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Who is the best baseball player of all time? Show more Show less
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Baseball, since the late 19th Century, has been a quintessential American pastime and, today, the MLB serves as the second-most popular major North American sports league. Within such a long and storied history of outstanding individual performances, many baseball fans naturally gravitate toward this question. From the absolutely reality-defying sluggers, pitchers, outfielders, and catchers, who is the best baseball player of all time?

Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever Show more Show less

Babe Ruth, the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash, absolutely dominated the game of baseball since he was 23 years old and catapulted it into a new era of widespread popularity and Americana. His seemingly unbeatable performances still stand today as lore in the baseball community, and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports history.
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Babe Ruth is the most influential and widely known baseball player of all time

Ruth's impact on the game of baseball was undeniable since his beginning in 1914, and not only did he catapult baseball into the mainstream American consciousness, but he still stands today as the most recognizable baseball player ever.
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The Argument

Babe Ruth's legacy is forever cemented in all of popular American culture, not simply baseball. In a time when baseball was somewhat losing popularity with the era of "scientific" strategy, in which teams attempted to slowly score one base at a time, Babe Ruth made the home run into an art form. Clearing the bases at will, he redefined what it meant to be a "slugger" and created an exciting, ball-crushing environment. [1] The Bambino hit 602 home runs from 1918 to 1931, while no one else cracked 300 in that period. He went on to finish his career with 714 crushers, third on the all-time list. [2] Ever since his tenure with the league, the popular fascination with home runs and feats of pure skill and athleticism shaped the entire MLB landscape, which continues into the current game. His personality, sportsmanship, and absolute mastery over the craft of hitting has made him the most beloved and recognizable figure in baseball history.

Counter arguments

There is no accurate gauge for Babe Ruth's name being the most prevalent and widely known throughout American baseball history. He was an essential cog in the beginning machine, but that does not necessarily mean his legacy continues into the minds of young, modern baseball fans. This claim is unsupported by definitive evidence. Additionally, home run hitting is not the one arbiter for baseball through history, and there are more aspects of the game that permeate through all of American sports culture. Slugging is one of the most exciting attributes of baseball, but pitchers' ERAs and the forever evolving defensive strategies of teams throughout the league's history are important as well. Babe Ruth was a pioneer in slugging, but to prioritize home runs over everything else is factually irresponsible. The American sports consumer enjoys more than slugging, and that has been evident through time. Babe Ruth is not automatically the most influential figure in baseball because of his home run revolution, and he certainly cannot be posited as the greatest baseball player of all time based on these parameters.

Framing

Popularity and renown are based upon an individual's ability to both revolutionize the environment in which they thrive and captivate their audience with their performances and overall persona. Home runs in baseball are some of the most essential cornerstones of the modern game, and Babe Ruth was the first player to introduce such a sweeping and league-altering phenomenon that still stands today, cementing his mark in history forever.

Premises

[P1] Babe Ruth was the first player to popularize home run hitting, which is still an essential part of the modern game's public appeal. [P2] Babe Ruth's name, charisma, and athletic ability still stand today in the American consciousness and record books. [P3] Babe Ruth is the most influential and widely known baseball player of all time. [P4] Therefore, Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Home runs are the not the sole focus of American popular culture in baseball, so Babe Ruth's legacy is not necessarily the most "influential" through time. [Rejecting P3] The jump from Ruth's legacy to his influence here is illogical, especially because there is no accurate measurement of his prevalence in the American consciousness of today. [Rejecting P4] Basing Ruth's greatness as a baseball player off of his popularity and influence is illogical.

Further Reading

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1209140-25-most-beloved-players-in-baseball-history

References

  1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Babe-Ruth/Later-life-and-legacy
  2. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/HR_career.shtml

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 7 May 2020 at 05:25 UTC

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