Saturday, December 11, 2010

Best First Baseman of All-Time: Gehrig

There hasn't been much happening in terms of off-season signings or trades today, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about the best first baseman of all-time.  For anyone who knows anything about baseball, this should be an easy one.  Lou Gehrig, who played 17 seasons for the New York Yankees, is the runaway winner.  Sometimes overlooked because he played second fiddle to Babe Ruth for many of his years in the Bronx, a glance at Gehrig's statistics over his career show just how good of a player he was.  He has the 17th best batting average in baseball history  at .340, the 5th best on-base percentage ever at .447, the 3rd best slugging percentage ever at .632, and the 5th most RBIs ever with 1995.  He compiled 493 home runs and 2721 hits, while also winning two AL MVPs in 1927 and 1936.  From 1925 to 1939 he played in 2130 consecutive games.  Let's remember too, that Gehrig's career was cut short because of ALS (which was later named after him).  Who knows how ridiculous his stats would have been if he had been able to play a few more years.

Jimmie Foxx is the only the first baseman that comes somewhat close to Gehrig.  He had more home runs than Gehrig (534 to Gehrig's 493) and also compiled a .325 average, a .428 OBP, and a slugging percentage of .609.  He won three MVP awards in 1932, 1933, and 1938.  Even with more homers than Gehrig, Foxx was still not as complete a player as Gehrig was.

A player who could eventually come close to Gehrig: Albert Pujols.  Through ten seasons, Pujols already has 319 homers with a slash line of .334/.425/.624 (avg, obp, slg).  In each of his ten seasons, he has finished with at least a .300 average, 30 homers, and 100 RBIs.  He has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in all ten of his seasons, winning in 2005, 2008, and 2009.  If he can continue to have the consistency that he has shown, he will be considered one of the best first baseman and best right-handed hitters of all time.

1 comment:

  1. I like where this blog is going. You've named the best at two positions so far, both of them Yankees. Keep up the good work.