Who the greatest MLB players of all time are a matter of great debate. Any fan that you ask will likely give you a different answer. But there are a lot of statistics and actual data that can be used to argue who the greatest MLB players of all time are.
People have such personal attachments to sports and the players that they are familiar with. For some people, they have favorite players that they believe to be the greatest of all time, but these are often childhood favorites or players they have grown up watching.
Data and statistics also aren’t infallible. Different people put different emphasis on a player’s ability. For example, one person will consider a player the greatest of all time because of their ability to pitch or hit the ball. For another, their sportspersonship, sense of being a team player, and their playing ability are all equally important.
Babe Ruth is perhaps the most famous baseball player of all time. Even people who have no interest in baseball and could not name any other player know of Babe Ruth. Ruth is often credited as the greatest player of all time.
Babe Ruth was definitely a favorite player for many people because they grew up with him as a national hero. But the statistics really do back up Ruth’s standing as the greatest player of all time. When Ruth joined the majors in 1914, the record for the highest number of home runs in a season was 27. Just seven years later, Ruth had more than doubled this number to 59. Even almost a century later, Ruth still holds the record for his career batting percentage.
It should be remembered that it wasn’t until the 1940s that the MLB “color line” broke. This means that there were likely a number of players who were just as good, if not better than, Babe Ruth but were barred from playing. Then Jackie Robinson became the first black player of the MLB in 1947. There were leagues specifically for black players, but these were not given anywhere near the same support or money as the white leagues. Jackie Robinson was an amazing baseball player and was once the highest-paid Dodgers player of all time. Robinson definitely deserves his place amongst the greats.
The Greatest Today
When placed in comparison with all-time greats such as Ruth and Robinson, it can be difficult to measure up contemporary players. Especially as they are not yet at the end of their careers and could still go on to become even greater.
In the 2021 season, Mike Trout is considered to be the best. This would be a surprising statement to make ten years earlier when he first started playing in the big leagues as his performances were pretty poor. Trout had some very low batting percentages and defensive metrics. The stats were not in his favor and he was not doing well.
Cut to 2021 and there are experts claiming that he might be able to one day sit amongst the historic greats mentioned above. As of 2021, Trout is already 29 so, in sporting terms, he is heading toward retirement. But he will likely be finishing on the top of his game and becoming known as one of the greatest today, but also the greatest of all time.
Coming up behind Trout in the rankings are Mookie Betts and Juan Soto. It is important to remember the historic greats, but also to recognize that there are new greats coming into the leagues all the time. It’s worth checking in on some statistics and leaderboards regularly to keep up. Sports statistics can often be difficult to get your head around but they will easily make sense once you get the hang of it. If you want some more information and stats you can always visit this site to find out more.