Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Million Dollar Outfield - 1912 Red Sox

Duffy Lewis, Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper. Speaker and Hooper are in the Hall of Fame. This group led the Red Sox to multiple World Series championships in the 1910s. These were the guys who patrolled Fenway Park when it first opened.

I'm thinking about baseball this week and I'll be posting some more old baseball pictures along with the usual stuff, mostly because baseball is cool.


Night Writer said...

Ah, Tris Speaker ... wasn't it said of his glove that that was "where triples went to die"?

Mark Heuring said...

That's the guy, NW. The only other center fielder in history who was as good defensively was Willie Mays.

Penigma said...

Mays' catch, not the silly stuff on ESPN every night, should go down as one of the two or three most amazing professional athletic feats.

Unfortunately, I also remember J.R. Rider falling out of bounds at half-court, wheeling and with a looping, under-hand shot, making a basket at the buzzer. Not quite in Mays' class, but still one of the more amazing sports feats.

Penigma said...

BTW, Mark, I'd put Ken Lofton (for range) and Griffey (for the combination of range and arm) in a pretty special class of CF's. Lofton had more speed than either Mays or Griffey, while Grif (for the time he was in Seattle) had the better arm (over Lofton). I don't know how well regarded Mays' ability to throw was, so can't evaluate it.

I DO, however, agree that the only since Mays who is in his class overall, is Bonds, steroids or not, he was going to steal 500 bases and hit 500 home runs. His season in 1993 (336 avg, 42 home runs, 29 sb - on a team where he essentially had no protection) was probably the best of his career - and better than the year he hit a steriod induced 70 HR.

Apparently he started using steroids sometime after McGwire and Sosa went on their tears - telling Griffey he felt the attention was unfair.

It's a shame, because he had all the talent he needed, was a shoe-in hall of famer - and was the best player of his era. Had he been on teams with decent other hitters - he'd probably have both 3000 hits and the all-time RBI record.

However, Mays was still better. George Will is not rightt that stronger players of today make the game higher calibre, guys like Speaker, Wagner, Johnson, Feller, Cobb, Ruth, Williams, and Gherig, all were more skilled, more polished, than the virtually ANY player of today. It's part of the reason why they've had to dumb down scoring.

Baseball is great, but it has been greater.

Mark Heuring said...

Good points, P. I sometimes wonder if Lofton in particular will be overlooked when it comes time for the HOF because he's been such a vagabond the last few years. He has been a wonderful center fielder everywhere he's played. Tim Raines gets short shrift now for the same reason.

I completely agree about Bonds - it's really a shame, because if he'd retired in 1998 with the numbers he'd put up to that point, he'd be in the HOF now. About as clear a Faustian bargain as you'll ever see.

Mays had a very good arm, by the way. I only wish I had seen him play in his prime - I remember him playing with the Mets in 1973 and he was a shadow of what he'd been.

Penigma said...

Agreed, I think Raines (frankly) should be considered for the HOF. While I really like Lofton (had him on multiple fantasy teams) I just don't see him in that light.