Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Willie, Mickey and the Duke

This is an interesting comparison for me. I have never seen any of these greats play, however I have seen quite a bit of highlight reel and talked to enough people that saw them play that I am going to give it a shot. While numbers don't tell the whole story, they do tell some of it.
My sense is that, while this was a heavily debated topic on the streets of NY during the fifties, that this is statistically a two horse race. Duke Snider was an amazing Hall of Fame player, But Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle were a leg up on that. Obviously Willie had a longer career than either of the other two. It would be interesting to try and project Mickey's stats over a similarly lengthy career, but he suffered from many nagging injuries, some of which were self inflicted.
From a power standpoint, Willie had more Home Runs, but Mickey had more Home Runs per 100 ABs. While they were all considered outstanding Centerfielders, Willie garnered twelve gold gloves to Mickey's one and Duke's zero. Their career batting averages were within a few points of each other.

I think that after it is all said and done, that Willie wins it by a nose over Mickey with Duke in third place. What are your thoughts??


  1. I think that you were right that it was a two horse race even though they were all fantastic players.

  2. In the end I think Willie wins because he had speed and power.