In the history of Major League Baseball there have been many fearsome sluggers, Ty Cobb, Ken Griffey Jr, Babe Ruth but, perhaps no 2 hitters struck more fear into opposing pitchers then Barry Bonds and Ted Williams.
Together they combine for over 1,000 HR, over 4,000 RBI, over 5,000 hits and over 3,500 runs. But, which one of these sluggers was superior. Ted played 19 seasons while Bonds played 22 seasons.
If you saw their respective overall stats then you would go over to the Barry Bonds side very quickly. In Barry's career he had a MLB record 762 HR and also had 1996 RBI, 514 SB, .298 .BA, .607 SLG%, .444% OBP, 1.051 OPS, 2227 Runs and 2935 Hits. In William's career he had 521 HR, 1839 RBI, 24 SB, .344 .BA, .634 SLG%, .482% OBP, 1.116 OPS, 1798 Runs and 2654 Hits. Lets break their careers down a little bit.
On a yearly basis Barry Bonds would average 101 Runs, 133 Hits, 27 Doubles, 34 HR, 90 RBI, 23 SB, a .298 .BA, a .444% OBP, a .607 SLG%, a 1.051 OPS and Ted Williams would average 94 Runs, 139 Hits, 27 Doubles, 27 Doubles, 27 HR, 96 RBI, 1 SB, a .344 .BA, a .482% OBP, a .634 SLG% and a 1.116 OPS. You look at the number Bonds might have been the better all around player with his ability to steal bases. The FLD% falls in favor to Barry as well, Bonds had a .984% FLD% while Ted had a .974% FLD%. Bonds had 8 Gold Glove Awards and Ted had 10 seasons of a FLD% under .980%.
Going by their careers Ted Williams had 5 seasons of 35+ HR, Bonds had 10 seasons of 35+ HR. Ted had 8 seasons of 100+ RBI and Bonds had 12 seasons of 100+ RBI. Williams had 11 seasons of 100+ BB and Barry had 14 seasons of 100+ BB. In a 19 year career Ted only batted below .300 once and Barry batted below .300 11 times in a 22 year career.Teddy Ballgame had 10 150+ Hits seasons, Bonds had 7 (to be fair he was walked so many times). Teddy Ballgame only had one season of a OPS under 1.000 and Bonds only had 6 seasons of a OPS under 1.000. Teddy had 13 full seasons of a SLG% over .600% and Barry had 12. Ted Williams 7 full seasons of an OPS+ over 200 and Barry Bonds had 6 seasons of an OPS+ over 200. Just to show you guys how good these two were, Ty Cobb had 3 seasons of a OPS+ over 200, Ken Griffey Jr. never had one, Albert Pujols has never had one yet, Alex Rodriguez has never had one yet and greats Hank Aaron and Willie Mays never had a season with a OPS+ over 200.
Ted Williams might be the greatest hitter of all time but for all of his 120+ RBI and 40 HR seasons his Red Sox only made the Post Season one time while he was with them. His taste of the October classic was bitter because he batted a Alex Rodriguez like .200 in the Post Season.Bonds in 22 seasons did lead his team into 7 play-off appearences, he didn't hit great (only .245), he did have 9 HR in only 48 games in the play-offs though.
How about who they had to face? In Ted Williams era in the AL he had to face the likes of Whitey Ford, Bill Pierce, Early Wynn and other good pitchers. Bonds did have to face the harder pitching in the NL, guys like John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and even Roger Clemens for a couple of years. If you take the ball park they played in respectably Ted Williams might not have the swing designed for Fenway Park with the monster did theres no arguing AT&T Park is a much harder park.
MVP's aren't that smart to go by but, Bonds does have a record 7 MVP awards as opposed to Ted's 2 MVP's. Williams however was snubbed many times, like in 1942 were Joe Gordan got it over him. Ted was a 17x All Star and Bonds was a 14x All Star. Bonds recieved a top 5 vote in MVP voting 10 times, Ted recieved a top 10 vote 8 times and 2 time he drove in over 100 runs and had 30+ HR but still Ted didn't receive a top 10 vote.
Bond's holds the all time HR record, walks record, intentional walks record, single season HR record, single season SLG% record, single season OPS record, single season walks record and is a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. Ted does hold the all time OBP% record. But, Ted was on the All-Century Team.
Finally, there is the whole steriod scandal surrounding Barry Bonds, do I believe Bonds used roids, all I can say is I have seen Barry Bonds entire career since I was a kid and he is a amazingly gifted athlete. Untill, he is proven guilty I don't think he used roids. If A-Rod is going to get voting into the hall you have to vote Barry in. Ted Williams is one of the top 5 players all time and if you ask some of the old time players that are still with us, Johnny Pesky, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford they say nothing but great things about him.
But, who do I think was the better player. Williams lost 3 pivitable years to the war, ages 24-27 he was serving our army. But, even if you include those years I think Bonds could give you more from the tool box, with that speed he had and the great FLD%.
Let me know who you guys think was the better player.
Here's a similiar article that I hope you enjoy: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/253718-the-great-debate-roger-clemens-vs-greg-maddux#comment