Baseball’s Greatest Living Players

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 9:57 PM

I ponied up and bought ASG tickets in 2015 and watched them honor the Greatest Living 4 Players

Aaron, Mays, Koufax and Bench


Who would be the 4 now?

Koufax and Bench are still alive. My two other choices? Guys like Pujols, maybe Griffey, Maddux….heralded guys like Jeter….not sure they are the type yet. When Koufax passes I’d be good with Maddux in the open spot.

Guys with the “age” factor? Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt. Getting close…George Brett, Cal Ripken, Rickey Henderson. 

Randy Johnson, Pedro


If I had to choose today I’d go:

Bench

Koufax

Schmidt

Griffey Jr

If Pujols was in there I’d be good too.


Dr Winston O'Boogie Senior Member
3,345 posts 35 reps Joined Oct 2010
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 10:24 PM

Bench 

Maddux (for certain)

Pujols

Bonds (juice or not, the guy was incredible)



Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 10:31 PM

I gotta give Rod Carew and Bob Gibson a mention

33,369 posts 132 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 10:38 AM

Are we just ignoring Barry Bonds? He has been the greatest living player for 25 years lol. If you take out 'roid users, ok. 

Dr Winston O'Boogie Senior Member
3,345 posts 35 reps Joined Oct 2010
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 11:59 AM
posted by Laley23

Are we just ignoring Barry Bonds? He has been the greatest living player for 25 years lol. If you take out 'roid users, ok. 

I included him.  I am not a fan of his, but he is undeniably one of the top 3 living players.


Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 12:07 PM
posted by Laley23

Are we just ignoring Barry Bonds? He has been the greatest living player for 25 years lol. If you take out 'roid users, ok. 

Hard to know where to put him but he’s an upper echelon HOFer to me but if baseball honored the greatest living 4 at the ASG….he’s not getting much consideration 



33,369 posts 132 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 12:08 PM

If we ignore steroids, and just look at his numbers and awards, there isn't anyone living who is even close. 

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 12:38 PM

If I’m at a game and they bring out Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench and Reggie Jackson….I’m extremely happy.

33,369 posts 132 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 1:29 PM
posted by Ironman92

If I’m at a game and they bring out Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench and Reggie Jackson….I’m extremely happy.

Sure, but I would also be sitting here thinking they don’t even have the best pitcher (Pedro) or hitter (Bonds). 


Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 1:47 PM
posted by Laley23

Sure, but I would also be sitting here thinking they don’t even have the best pitcher (Pedro) or hitter (Bonds). 


You want Pedro over Koufax?


Bonds won 3 MVP….then got tired of being overlooked by the cheaters so then he became a cheater and did Ruthian things. It was ridiculous what he was doing, but unlike so many who cheated, he was a HOFer without them.

He would’ve been 500 HR, 500 SB and 3000 hits 

I’m not sure Sammy Sosa gets to 200 career HR


Bonds clearly cheated and it took him further than most could imagine anyone doing.

Bonds was an abrasive Willie Mays…not far behind at all. I don’t know that he’s the greatest player without the steroids, but also don’t know that Pujols was squeaky clean either. Bonds likely will never be “Royal” in most minds so I basically didn’t mention him initially.

Guys like Jeter, Rivera and Ichiro will be the “Royal” guys that get celebrated.

Of the retired greats….which 4 would you be most awestruck by?

Probably Rose, Bench, Maddux and Ryan for me

Pedro is Koufax to me, just next generation


33,369 posts 132 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 2:34 PM

Yes, Pedro over Kaufax. Did it longer and DOMINATED versus the steriods users. He had an ERA almost 2 runs better than 2nd. 

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 3:04 PM
posted by Laley23

Yes, Pedro over Kaufax. Did it longer and DOMINATED versus the steriods users. He had an ERA almost 2 runs better than 2nd. 

You lose credit for misspelling his name 


Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 3:16 PM

Koufax is interesting because he lead the league in ERA his final 5 seasons.  Chronic elbow pain forced his retirement at age 30. Insane inning totals, strikeouts, wins etc

I wonder if you switch their career timelines what happens?

Pedro himself after about age 31-32 wasn’t the Pedro we knew but he transformed himself and adapted as needed to pitch several more years.

Both are the upper echelon talent/production guys, Pedro a bit more longevity…but can’t really diss either of these guys.

Been cool to see Nolan Ryan not on sub par teams for a quarter of a century. Lead the league in ERA and strikeouts and go 8-16. Always wondered if he stayed with the Mets for 5 years then went to Yankees instead of Angels…then the Dodgers instead of the Astros…then the A’s or Blue Jays instead of the Rangers.

Al Bundy Senior Member
4,526 posts 40 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 3:39 PM
posted by Ironman92

Koufax is interesting because he lead the league in ERA his final 5 seasons.  Chronic elbow pain forced his retirement at age 30. Insane inning totals, strikeouts, wins etc

I wonder if you switch their career timelines what happens?

Pedro himself after about age 31-32 wasn’t the Pedro we knew but he transformed himself and adapted as needed to pitch several more years.

Both are the upper echelon talent/production guys, Pedro a bit more longevity…but can’t really diss either of these guys.

Been cool to see Nolan Ryan not on sub par teams for a quarter of a century. Lead the league in ERA and strikeouts and go 8-16. Always wondered if he stayed with the Mets for 5 years then went to Yankees instead of Angels…then the Dodgers instead of the Astros…then the A’s or Blue Jays instead of the Rangers.

I'll take Maddux over either of them, and I'll take Clemens if we are ignoring steroids.

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 4:08 PM
posted by Al Bundy

I'll take Maddux over either of them, and I'll take Clemens if we are ignoring steroids.

Maddux the ultimate “pitcher”


33,369 posts 132 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 4:34 PM

Can argue Kershaw as well. I just cant get over Pedro doing it at the height of the steroids era. He was so far and away better than the next best pitcher during those years, it was insane. 

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Wed, Jun 19, 2024 4:42 PM
posted by Laley23

Can argue Kershaw as well. I just cant get over Pedro doing it at the height of the steroids era. He was so far and away better than the next best pitcher during those years, it was insane. 

He was…it was something to watch. Timing wise he wasn’t great for a while and then during that steroid era he had his biggest years.

I really like it when he was mid/late 30’s and didn’t sling it 97-99 and was crafty as hell getting those still tinkering with roids guys with a 88-90 mph fastball.


Would’ve loved to have seen 1994 play out. My God. The Expos were must watch. Maddux, Thomas, Bagwell, Griffey, Belle, Williams….magical years were being had

Edit: also Gwynn at .394, Kenny Lofton was at .350, 160 hits, 60 SB with 8.2 WAR already

Maddux had a 1.56 ERA with 6 losses! WAR 8.7 and was going to push 285 innings lol



Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Thu, Jun 20, 2024 4:32 PM

I mentioned Bob Gibson earlier…he died in 2020.


Social media pushing Rickey Henderson….I LOVE Rickey, but he’s not it. Wasn’t a great hitter, average fielder. GOAT leadoff hitter and baserunner 

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Thu, Jun 20, 2024 5:06 PM

The Rickwood Field stuff is really cool

Ironman92 Administrator
56,729 posts 165 reps Joined Nov 2009
Thu, Jun 20, 2024 7:09 PM

FOX Pregame desk…. Arod, Bonds, Griffey Jr, Ortiz, Jeter


Decent

Al Bundy Senior Member
4,526 posts 40 reps Joined Nov 2009
Thu, Jun 20, 2024 7:09 PM
posted by Ironman92

I mentioned Bob Gibson earlier…he died in 2020.


Social media pushing Rickey Henderson….I LOVE Rickey, but he’s not it. Wasn’t a great hitter, average fielder. GOAT leadoff hitter and baserunner 

He's not even the greatest living outfielder. Bonds and Griffey were better.

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