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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Who is the greatest baseball player of all time?

Gerardo Recinos/The Inquirer ()

It’s more hotly debated than peace in the Middle East, and it’s more American than apple pie and ignorance of foreign accents.

A list of the top nine baseball players of all time.

Radio jockeys, former players and coaches have all had their say on the subject, but every one of them sounds more biased than the last. So why not leave it to a college kid who played only as high as varsity baseball to weigh in on one of the most hotly debated topics in baseball circles?

Great players create great memories, not tarnish them, so if you’re expecting a Barry Bonds reference, then look elsewhere.

Stats only tell you part of a players story, so instead of staring at stats I had different qualifications for my list.

9. George Kenneth Griffey Jr.: During an era where a player’s numbers have been more scrutinized than ever before, Griffey and his slim frame and uppercut swing helped established him as one of the only “clean” baseball players in the game. He treated the game with respect and disregard for his body and personal safety, crashing in to walls and sprinting into the gaps to track down a ball. Junior represents everything that was right with the game, in an era where so much was wrong.

8. Derek Sanderson Jeter: You don’t get a name like “Mr.November” for playing well after the all star break. He won five world championships, and made the kind of money that would turn even the most honest humble men into a cynical arrogant jerk. But never has there been a player so involved in a city, so appreciated like Jeter. A kid that was called up from the teams farm system and has been a Yankee ever since. And after signing his new deal in 2010 will be one for the rest of his career.

7. Rickey Henley Henderson: Any man that can stand in front of a stadium full of people and proclaim himself as “the greatest of all time”, isn’t cocky, he is right. Rickey was like a miniature body builder, with a sprinter’s speed and the power of a cleanup hitter. When Rickey drew a walk, it was only a matter of time before he ended up on third base. He was a freakishly good athlete in high school at Oakland Tech, before being drafted by the, Athletics. He set marks as a base stealer that will not be touched, truly enshrining him as “the greatest of all time.”

6. Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr.: A great pitcher can neutralize a great hitter with precision and control, but Ryan just overpowered hitters. He had a mean streak and was never afraid to tune up the band and throw some sweet chin music: plus I bet Robin Ventura will remember Ryan for the rest of his life. Even as a 50 year old Nolan could throw high 80s. No pitcher will ever be as dominant. He struck out and threw more no hitters than any other pitcher ever will.

5. Peter Edward Rose: Forget about the betting scandal; forget about the fact that Bud Selig has a personal vendetta against him. The man bet on his OWN team. Not another team, he was so confident his team would win he bet on them! Rose was the ultimate competitor, whether it be in game seven of the World Series, to a spring training exhibition game. The Hit King not being in the Hall of Fame is a travesty. I am just waiting for the day Bud Selig’s brain explodes after realizing what a mistake he made. Until then the Pete Rose section of Cooperstown waits until that blessed day.

4. Henry Louis Aaron: The Hammer was the epitome of consistency, but he gets overshadowed by the greats, because he never had an eye-popping season. The rightful Home Run King did it with hard work, not a pharmacist. 30 years from now, kids will watch ancient video of Hank Aaron running the bases with two long haired hippies, wishing they had seen true greatness.

3. Theodore Samuel Williams: The man was hated by sportswriters from Boston to California, but that didn’t stop him. Williams was the last man to hit .400 in a season Williams, and is widely considered the best pure hitter of all time. Despite serving with the Marines in the middle of his career Williams still posted some of the best stats in his era.

2. William Howard Mays: Mays has been seen as the greatest player of all time, for his all around excellence on the field. The way he patrolled the spacious centerfield in the Polo Grounds was amazing. He could hit for power and average, but the most amazing part of his game was his speed. Mays has been known for his hitting (660 career homeruns) but he also went first to third with better instincts than anyone else in the game.

And now, the greatest baseball player of all time

1. George Herman Ruth: The Sultan of Swat, The King of Crash, The Colossus of Clout, The Great Bambino. All nicknames used to describe the man more popularly known as The Babe. Ruth was a womanizing drunk, but when he was on the field, he meant business. Ruth was hitting 50 homeruns in a season when others were hitting 20. And let’s not forget, he even pitched! He held an ERA of 2.28 over his career. In the movie “The Sandlot,” The Babe is said to have been “godlike”.

“Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player that ever lived. I mean, people say he’s less than a God, but more than a man. Like Hercules or something.”

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About the Contributor
Gerardo Recinos, Sports editor
Staff member and sports editor.

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Who is the greatest baseball player of all time?