Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ty Cobb is the Greatest Detroit Tigers player ever, and he always will be.

They were born 48 years apart, one on December 18, 1934, in Baltimore, Maryland, the other on December 19, 1886, in The Narrows, Georgia.


Two men, Ty Cobb, and Al Kaline, the two greatest players in Detroit Tigers history, are forever joined in a great debate this time of year, on their Birthday's... "who's the greatest Tigers player of All-Time, Cobb or Kaline?"



Two great baseball players, outfielders who could run, hit, field...there was nothing either one of those men couldn't do.



The annual debate as to what player is #1 in Tigers history had always baffled me.


Why?


Because Ty Cobb, the owner of 4,192 base hits, a .367 lifetime batting average, 12 American League Batting Championships,  and the first player ever inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, is the best player to ever wear the Olde English D.



Look, I get it, it's Al Kaline, Mr. Tiger... 399 home runs, the most ever by a Tigers player, 3,007 base hits, 10 Gold Glove Awards, the youngest batting champion ever, at age 20 in 1955...beating out Ty Cobb by one day, and also, like Cobb, is in the HOF.


I grew up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, saw Kaline at the end of his career....never saw Cobb play, we just see old black and white photos and news reel clips of The Georgia Peach dominating the game.



Now, with every game on TV, highlights of the newest greatest Tigers player, Miguel Cabrera  is causing debate that he, not Kaline, or Cobb, is the best Motown ballplayer ever.


Cabrera, the best hitter in baseball today, has won two American League MVP Awards and in 2012 won the Triple Crown, just like Cobb did in 1909, although Cobb's 9 homers pale in comparison to the 44 home runs Cabrera hit in 2012.


Cabrera's 2012 Triple Crown was the first by any big leaguer since 1967.



I love Miggy, he's been a great Tigers player since he arrived in Motown in 2008, but the simple answer to the annual debate starts and ends with Cobb.



There's simply nothing any player, Cabrera included, can do to unseat Ty Cobb.



On Twitter I often see baseball fans...Tigers fans, try to use Cabrera's stats as being far superior to any player to ever play in Detroit.


The retoric is unfounded.


Why?


Because Cabrera played 5 years in Miami, and those stats are Marlins stats, and not Tigers stats.


Ty Cobb collected 3,900 base hits as a member of the Tigers... that total will never be approached by any player in Detroit.


Cabrera may reach 3,000 hits in his career, but his total isn't likely to include 3,000 hits as a Tigers player...he has 1,489 base hits as a Tigers player... Al Kaline sits at 3,007 base hits as a Tigers player...


COBB... 3,900 Detroit Tigers base hits

KALINE... 3,007 Detroit Tigers base hits

CABRERA... 1,489 Detroit Tigers base hits


Cabrera needs 1,518 more hits to tie Kaline...and 2,411 more hits to get to Cobb.


Cabrera has a magnificent. 326 batting average as a Detroit Tigers player... he beats Kaline at .297, but can't reach Cobb at .368...the highest lifetime batting average in baseball history.


Kaline hit 399 HRs as a Tigers player, Cabrera has hit 270 HRs as a Tigers player...Cabrera is likely to become the teams All-Time HR leader.


Ty Cobb had 1,800 RBI in Motown, Kaline had 1,582 RBIs in a Detroit uniform, and Cabrera has 922 RBI and counting.

It's possible...not likely though, that Cabrera could get to Cobb in RBI... Cobb had 164 RBI his final 2 years as a Tigers player.



Now, none of what I'm saying is meant to diminish either Cabrera or Kaline, I wouldn't ever do that.


What I'm showing is that no matter how fans try and insert their favorite Tigers player as the best ever... hey, Sam Crawford, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Alan Trammell, they all have their place in the 114 years of Detroit Tigers baseball.



The Detroit Tigers will begin their 115th season in the American League next year looking to get back to the top of the A.L. Central Division again.


Miguel Cabrera has 408 HRs and counting, and it's going to be great in a few years when Miggy hits HR #500.


Let's just remember that Marlins fans get to rejoice along with us Tigers fans, after all, he hit 138 HRs as a member of the Fish.



One last thing...we, as Tigers fans, are blessed to have the players who call Detroit home...Cabrera, Verlander, J.D. and Victor Martinez, Castellanos, and new players like Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Aviles, Francisco Rodriguez, and a young man named Cameron Maybin, who returnd to the Motor City 9 years after he was traded to the then Florida Marlins for a slugging 3rd Baseman named Miguel Cabrera.



From the 19th Century Detroit Wolverines, to Charlie Bennett, to the Georgia Peach and Bobby Veach, to Must See JV and Miggy, we should celebrate every single day as fans of our great baseball team.


Have a MerryChristmas and a Happy New Year!


PLAY BALL!






Thursday, December 10, 2015

The 25 Best Big League Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame

Historical baseball writer /blogger Graham Womack has an article on Sporting News that asks you, the baseball fan, who  are the 25 best big league ballplayers NOT in the Hall of Fame.


You can read the article and find the link to vote right here.



As for my ballot, well, here are the 25 ballplayers that I think deserve to be in the HOF.


First off, let me say this... I only voted for the 25 players I believe belong in the HOF...you can also vote NO for a player /players you think don't belong.




I didn't vote NO  for any players because I believe that would not allow for me to give players I believe desreve to be in Cooperstown a voice.



That means that I didn't vote for Barry Bonds, or any other ballplayer that I believe took steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

I didn't vote for Pete Rose, but I did vote YES on Shoeless Joe Jackson of the 1919 ChiSox.


These 25 ballplayers are the men who I think gave all they had on the diamonds since the 1869 Cincinnati Reds started to play baseball.


Alan Trammell 

Bill Freehan 

Dale Murphy

Don Mattingly 

Don Newcombe

Edgar Martinez 

Gil Hodges 

Jack Morris 

Jeff Bagwell 

Jim Kaat

Ken Griffey  Jr.

Lou Whitaker 

Mickey Lolich 

Mike Piazza 

Roger Maris 

Sadahara Oh

Shoeless Joe Jackson 

Tim Raines

Trevor Hoffman 

Steve Garvey

Lefty O'Doul

Larry Walker

Harold Baines

Curt Flood

Charlie Bennett



The 25 big league ballplayers above are my best choices for the HOF, but they're not the only list, because every baseball fan has their own thoughts on who should be elected.


For all of those who think I'm a Detroit Tigers homer fan because I selected Trammell, Freehan, Morris, Whitaker, and Lolich, well, hey, guilty as charged, including 19th Century player Charlie Bennett.


Just so you know, I didn't vote for Norm Cash and RockyColivito either, both former Tigers teammates in the early 1960s.


There is a question after the vote that asks " True or False,  There are too many people in the Hall of Fame."


As the article by Graham Womack notes, over 18,000 ballplayers have played in the big leagues, and as of today, there are only 310 ballplayers in the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Needless to say, I voted NO, because there are easily 25 more players that should be in the HOF, including Fernando Valenzuela, Bob Boone, Ted Simmons, and Dom DiMaggio.



I hope all of you who read this post today will go to the article written by Graham and vote for your group of 25.


Thanks for reading this, and thanks for loving the greatest game ever invented, the great game of baseball.


Play Ball!