Sports Briefs: The Best Leftfielder Ever

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Chris: It has to be considered a baseball miracle that a leftfielder ever got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Leftfield is the position where coaches tend to locate players who would best be suited for positions located on or next to a couch. Linus and Lucy’s younger brother, Rerun, played leftfield for the Peanuts team. Abbott and Costello’s leftfielder, Why, assumingly hit low in the batting order. Since one does not have to have a strong throwing arm, it is presumed the Black Knight played leftfield on Monty Python’s rec-league team.

Joe: I think Ted Williams is the best leftfielder of all time because of his overall statistics, productivity and longevity. As written by Marcel Mansuer of Bleacher Report: “Williams is considered by many to be the greatest hitter ever. In his 19 year career, he had a .344 average, 521 home runs, 1839 RBI, 1798 runs scored, 2654 base hits, 525 doubles, a .482 on base percentage and a .634 slugging percentage. He was selected to the All-Star team every year he played in, starting in left field in 12 of them. He won six batting titles and ten on base percentage titles. He ranks seventh all time in career batting average, first all time in on base percentage, second all time in slugging percentage and second all time in OPS. He won two MVP awards and the Triple Crown Award twice. He had four home run titles and led the league in RBI four times. His best season came in 1949 as he had a .343 average, a .490 on base percentage, a .650 slugging percentage, 43 home runs and 159 RBI.” 

Ralphie: Ted Williams is not the best leftfielder ever because he was never considered to be a very good fielder. His talent was at the plate.

Chris: Ted Williams was not just the best leftfielder and arguably the greatest hitter of all time, but he may have also had the greatest voice of all time. I read that during a time when Williams was homeless, a YouTube video of his deep, golden voice helped him land a job, leading to multiple appearances on Dr. Phil’s show and a career as a voice-over artist. 

Brad: Ted Williams was also a dedicated player and citizen but just doesn't fill the all-around ability that Willie Mays had.

Ralphie: Willie Mays is not the best leftfielder ever because he belonged in centerfield. That's where he was best.

Brad: Willie Mays is the best because he was a great all-around player, as well as being part of an all-African-American outfield, who had dedication to the sport and to our country as well.

Joe: Willie Mays is one of the greatest players of all time. Willie is not the best leftfielder because he played centerfield. If he had been a leftfielder, he probably would have been the greatest ever.

Chris: I declare Willie Mays undoubtedly the best ever centerfielder who played leftfield for two games, which also happens to be the same number of games he played shortstop. I would now like to reconsider my vote for Honus Wagner as the best shortstop ever. 

Ralphie: Bo Jackson is the best leftfielder ever because he had one of the best throwing arms ever. In fact, someone said that Bo was a "freak of nature." 

Brad: Bo Jackson was an All-Star baseball and football player, but splitting time between two sports doesn't bring him to the level of player that Mays was.

Joe: Bo Jackson is arguably the greatest athlete of all time. His baseball statistics, accomplishments, and unbelievable plays would have been a highlight reel. The only problem is that Bo only played a brief time due to a career-ending injury in football.

Chris: I often wonder if Bo had tried to break one of Ted Williams’ bats over his knee, would it have resulted in Bo getting a splendid splinter. Though Williams is head and shoulders above other leftfielders’ statistics, Barry Bonds can claim to have a larger homerun total, a larger RBI total, a larger stolen base total and a larger head, assuming freezing cryogenically does not cause massive expansion.

Joe: Barry Bonds was a great talent and highly productive hitter. His career stats are impressive. His career is tainted by his use of PED/steroids and not my pick for greatest leftfielder of all time.

Brad: The fact that Barry Bonds was involved in a steroid scandal shadows the great player he was and the family legacy he could continue.

Ralphie: Barry Bonds is not the best leftfielder ever because we don't know how much of his talent was real and how much of it was from the drugs he took. Heroes don't do drugs.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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