Wednesday, January 14, 2004

MLB Timeline: Best Players by Position 

In his book on the Hall of Fame, Bill James listed criteria to consider a player worthy, including "Was he the best player in baseball at his position?" This chart is an attempt to help answer that question, as well as showing duration. There are also inevitably some tough-luck cases, such as George Brett, whose career happened to coincide with that of another great third baseman, Mike Schmidt. Likewise, Tris Speaker's time in center field was mirrored by Ty Cobb, while Hank Greenberg played opposite Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx at first base.

The chart in question comes from Baseball Reality. I'm not sure if I agree with all the rankings, but the chart makes a good starting point for any discussions (arguments.) My thanks go out to TangoTiger at Primate Studies for tipping me off to this chart's existence.

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