Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Who was the Best

In an interview with Ford Frick winning, legendary announcer, Lon Simmons, the question was asked, "Who do you think was the best in the game?"

Willie Mays was the greatest ballplayer I ever saw...Barry Bonds is the best hitter I ever saw. Willie McCovey was a pretty good one too!"

It's all a matter of opinion based on the player you saw the most, isn't it? I think so. I mean if someone interjected with Roberto Clemente as a player he or she thought was the best you might think that person appreciated the defensive side of the game but #21 had 3,000 hits. Without a doubt, he or she spent some time in Pittsburgh, PA and witnessed #21 in person.

That's what makes baseball forums so fun to read. You get to compare perspectives and every now and then someone comes up with an angle you may not have thought of or maybe even reminded you of how you felt but for some reason your opinion has strayed for whatever reason. (Perhaps you've read or heard so much of the same thing that you just wanted something different.)

I grew up thinking the world of Willie Mays. His abilities piqued my curiosity as I focused my attention toward the African-American players more so than any other ethnicity. Because I was beginning to learn about the game of baseball it seemed a good way to do that was to find out about the better ballplayers.

I cut my teeth on America's pastime at the end of the 1960s. A decade dominated by African-American athletes. Of course, I didn't stop there it was, for me, a good place to start. I collected baseball cards and everything about this game fascinated me. I just absorbed it all . Some of it, I misinterpreted.

Like thinking #6, right-fielder for the Detroit Tigers from June 25, 1953 until October 2, 1974 (all as a Tiger) and the youngest player to lead the league in batting average when he hit .340 in 1955 at age 20, had a battery named after him.

I thought the Eveready alkaline battery was named for the hall of famer. Gee, he's still playing and there's a battery named for this guy. How good is that?

kevin marquez