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Greatest Players Ever (on a Per Game Basis)

Bruce GrossbergContributor IOctober 24, 2016

Here's something that my friend Michael will love. What I did was to go through Bill James win share numbers and list the top 5 players at each postion on a per game basis. What you will see is each player's win shares per 162 games played. Using this method eliminates any credit that a player gets for a long career and just lists the most effective players period. The advantage here goes to the short career player who did not play long at the end, like Mickey Cochrane. AND to the active player who is still in his prime and has not yet begun to decline, like Pujols.

There will be some huge surprises in some spots. Here we go:

1. Mickey Cochrane - 30.06
2. Buck Ewing - 29.69
3. Yogi Berra - 28.66
4. Bill Dickey - 28.43
5. Mike Piazza - 28.34

No surprises here as all 5 players are acknowledged all time greats. Piazza was the leader easily back in 2002, but his final years brought him way down. You see Michael, that's why a player who can play at a great level for longer is better. If Piazza had sustained some injury after the 2002 season he would rank # 1 of all time on this list, but his declining years did him in. That's probably why Cochrane is # 1, as his career ended abruptly due to injury, and he didn't have a chance to have a decline phase---GET IT?  Roy Campanella would be # 6.


1. Albert Pujols - 37.39
2. Lou Gehrig - 36.31
3. Dan Brouthers - 34.38
4. Dick Allen - 31.68
5. Hank Greenberg - 31.03

Pujols will not be able to keep up that rate if he plays long enough but it's still awesome to see that so far he's playing at a level better than even Lou Gehrig at this point in his career. Mark McGwire (30.54) would be # 6 with Jimmie Foxx (30.41) slightly behind him at # 7.

1. Rogers Hornsby - 36.00
2. Eddie Collins - 32.90
3. Nap Lajoie - 32.40
4. Joe Morgan - 31.31
5. Jackie Robinson - 30.13


No surprises at 2B, with Hornsby easily being the top guy on a per game basis. Hardy Richardson would be # 6 at 27.99.








Brett's not even in the top 5, but Michael's guy John McGraw shows up well. Bill Joyce is # 6 at 27.78.






1. Honus Wagner - 38.01
2. Alex Rodriguez - 32.29
3. Arky Vaughan - 31.74
4. Barry Larkin - 29.27
5. Lou Boudreau - 27.26

Wagner is easily the top shortstop, with A-Rod at # 2. He would be # 1 on the 3B list right now. Larkin and Boudreau surprisingly round out the top 5, with George Davis and Hughie Jennings at # 6 and # 7.


Ted Williams - 39.22
Barry Bonds - 38.47
Joe Jackson - 35.81
Tip O'Neill - 32.73
Stan Musial - 32.33

No surprises here, as Jackson remained real high when he was banned and did not get to play in his decline phase. By the way, Manny would not be top ten. Ed Delahanty is # 6 with Jesse "The Crab" Burkett is # 7 followed by Charlie keller at # 8.

Ty Cobb - 38.55
Mickey Mantle - 38.12
Tris Speaker - 36.59
Joe DiMaggio - 36.11
Willie Mays - 34.76

The usual 5 greats here. Michael's guy Bill Lange, even with the short career is only at 27.76. He would not even be near the top ten. The next few guys on this list would be # 6 - Billy Hamilton at 34.31 and # 7 Benny Kauff at 33.00 and # 8 George Gore at 30.91 and # 9 Pete Browning at 30.81.

Babe Ruth - 45.21
Elmer Flick - 31.80
Hank Aaron - 31.58
Mel Ott - 31.33
King Kelly - 30.95

King Kelly only played 742 games in RF, and also caught almost 600 games. He was of course one of the most famous players of the 1800s. Elmer Flick isn a surprise as # 2 in RF. Michael would never pick up on how great he was because he played his entire career in the dead ball era, so his raw stats are not as impressive as some of the guys who played in the 1890s and the 1920s and 1930s, but this list shows how awesome he was. The next guy down on this list would be # 6 Frank Robinson at 29.92 and then # 7 Sam Crawford at 28.70.

Back with more in some other posts.





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