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Old 05-16-2019, 05:28 PM
WSI High Priest
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sebring Florida
Posts: 11,291

Originally Posted by TDog View Post
My freshman English teacher at Munster High told me about going to see the Red Sox at old Comiskey in the '50s and seeing Ted Williams hitting a sharp laser of a line drive into Nellie Foxes glove in short right field -- not just on the outfield grass. I only saw Fox as a coach for Williams with in Texas in 1972. Williams was in the dugout. I got Fox to autograph my program after he was finished working with the catcher on pop fouls. After batting practice with Dick Billings (I think) crouched behind him, Fox, facing center field, popped up fungoes that came down in foul territory just in front of the screen behind the plate, with the catcher running back to catch them. I couldn't get Williams attention to sign my first edition of his book The Science of Hitting, which I had brought to the park in hopes of getting Williams' autograph.

The thing about thinking about the best players you ever saw is that if you've been going to baseball for decades, you've seen a lot of great players you didn't think about at the time. Roberto Clemente was a great player when I saw him play in the 1960s, but he didn't have a great day. I saw Carl Yastrzemski drop a routine fly on a cold Sunday afternoon at Old Comiskey, parlay that with being at the old park on the Sunday afternoon when Ron Santo hit an inside-the-park home run in red pinstripes and you know you've been to a lot of baseball.

Judging the greatest that you saw is tricky, even if you remember all the names. If you have to use statistics, you really don't belong in the conversation. Henry Aaron, for example, might have played a dozen games in the old park when he was finishing his career with the Brewers, but he wasn't the great Henry Aaron at the time just as Ken Griffey Jr. with the White Sox wasn't the one remembered in the Hall of Fame or Willie Mays at the end with the Mets isn't the Willies Mays in the statue outside of the ballpark in San Francisco.

The Frank Thomas I saw in the early 1990s, the Tony Oliva I saw in the late 1960s, may have been the best offensive players I've ever seen, though not in that order and recognizing that I've seen Mike Trout. I might add the 1960s Frank Robinson as well. And if you're just talking 1972 and just talking offense ...
Some excellent points. I had to think about Teddy Ballgame as my first pick, I saw him play in 59 and 60 at the end of his career but he could still hit but wasn't the hitter he was when he hit .406 in 1941. Because I consider him the best hitter of all time I still put him at #1. Remember, he missed 5 prime years of his career serving in the military, he gets points for that too.
As far as Clemente goes, I have often thought that Roberto would be my first pick if I was starting an expansion team, he was the consummate 5 tool player with the best arm of any outfielder I've ever seen.
Loved your Nellie Fox memories.
Batting in the second position for the White Sox, number 2, the second baseman Nelson Fox.

Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 05-16-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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