There is no definitive way to rank the greatest baseball players of all time, but I've created a mathematical formula that I think gets us pretty close.
First, I awarded points to the top 50 hitters in 11 offensive categories (runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, walks, steals, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage). The leader in each statistic received 50 points, second place got 49, etc.
Then, I repeated the process with the top 50 hurlers in six pitching categories (ERA, wins, winning percentage, WHIP, strikeouts and shutouts).
Finally, I multiplied the pitchers' subtotals by 11/6 to get the totals equivalent to those of the hitters. The conversion seems to work, because the list is made up of 25 hitters and 25 pitchers.
The rankings aren't perfect. For example, they do not take defense or team success into account, nor do they consider the era in which a player competed (i.e. Deal Ball, Steroids), or awards, because none of them date back to the start of Major League Baseball in 1869.
But the one thing that this system does take into account is statistics, and the system mixes cumulative stats with career averages to account for longevity and overall excellence.
Let me know what you think.