Comparing Albert Pujols to Stan Musial really isn't fair. So much about the game is different, from the run environments to the nation's economy to the travel and exposure involved.
Nothing stays the same, and as much as baseball treasures its traditions, it is as guilty as any American institution of changing all the time. It can be fun to parse debates a hundred different ways and argue the merits of Babe Ruth versus those of Ted Williams, but ultimately, the conclusions are hollow. A real resolution hangs just out of reach.
So for today, let's have a different kind of conversation. Let's compare all batters ONLY within the eras in which they played. If you saw one of the entries on the following lists play baseball, you likely saw the others play, too. They played against each other and alongside one another. By setting them back that way, we can have a more productive conversation. Here are the five best hitters in each era of MLB history.