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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hitters of the past.

Posted by: Dave P () on Tue Sep 2 23:08:26 2008

> Mr. Mays was one of the greats and w/ humility . Did you expect him to say he was better? By the way I'm still waiting for 406 or Holy Cow 56 straight . Been a few years .Floors wiped anyone?

To Coach and THG

First off in no sport seen in the olympics have the records stayed the same for the past 50 years and in fact all records go down consitantly over the years. If your statement is right you are saying that baseball is the only sport in which no player is getting better and they are all getting worse which would be a sad state of affairs.

In the game of baseball the hitters must face pitchers that if they were getting no better the hitting averages would be going higher and the records would fall all the time. If the hitters would be no better then the pitchers would be getting more no hitters and perfect games then there were before. I see neither happening and here are some of the reasons.

The sport of baseball now attracts more players then ever before and from across the world the number of players have increased greatly over the past 50 years. There for the number of athletes have increased on both pitching and hitting sides which means overall there are better athletes in the game today. On average the size of major league players have climbed substatially and even without steriods the average size is heavier and taller. These things have lead to more pitchers that throw 92+ mph on each team even though there are more teams in the league then in the past. There have been hard throwers in the past but only one or two on a team not 5-6. It is well documented that speed of the pitch greatly effects the ability of the player to hit the ball.

The change to setup men, closers and specialists in the pitching game has made it less likely that a player will ever face a pitcher more then 3 times in a game. In the past a starter would throw all nine innings and the hitters would get 4-5 looks at the pitcher. This for a good hitter is a huge advantage since the more you see a pitcher the better read you have on the pitcher. Great hitters had a huge advantage because of this 50 years ago and this would lead to an advantage of hitting .400 and 56 straight. No disrespect to ted or joe but it does change the game when you are hitting off 95+ closers and set up guys in the later innings instead of a starter that in at pitch 125-130 and slowing down. Would love to know the stats of later innings hits to early inning hits back 50 years ago.

Starters now pitch every 5-6 days while 50 years ago pitched every 4-5 and threw more games per year then now. With less teams you faced the same pitcher more often and had more looks at the same pitcher over the season. Longer and more outings per year is not indicitive of a stronger throwing arm and better pitching.

Individual pitchers had better stats because every team did not have 7-8 players on the diamond that could hit the ball out of the ball park and a great pitcher had advantages also because overall the hitters were not as strong from top to bottom of the lineup. The ball parks themselves had deeper fields and this makes for more real estate to cover for the fielders which can attribute to more texas leaguers. The fielders of today cover less ground and are faster then the ones in the past. (no arguing that players today are faster overall then players of the past as seen on the track events as the 100m speed keeps going down 1950 10.2 sec 2008 9.69 sec) I do not have every speed of all the players but with the fact that overall all athletes are faster today then 50 years ago the conclusion is that baseball players are faster today then before.

Hitters today face a fan that would rather have a homerun then a single, bunt to 2nd and then a punch hit to score one. Fences are closer so they can put more fans in good seats and homeruns can be easier attatined then to be lost in a 440 foot center field fence for a triple. Scouting of hitters and pitchers is now a computer based science that calculates the odds of getting a hit based on the law of averages or getting them out on a 2-2 curveball. I am not saying it is better but we know the more information that we get the easier it is to make an informed decision and those decisions usually closer to right then wrong.

The individual players of the past where fantastic and in their era they were the best that there was but games evolve and change. A sprinter in 1950 who ran the 100m in 10.5 was considered a world contender but today would have trouble beating a high school champion. This does not change the greatness of what was in the past but shows what the future has brought. The rules of the game have not changed too much but the athletes always get bigger and stronger and they change the game by their presence.

Dave P

PS I have thought of 3-4 more things that you must consider when you compare past to present but it is getting late.


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