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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 kickstarted the most successful major sports franchise of all time

The New York Yankees, holding 27 World Series titles, would never reach such heights without Babe Ruth's impact on the organization in the 1920's.
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The Argument

A player's ability to positively impact their team denotes a higher level of success and skill, and when that athletic proficiency sets new all-time trends for the entirety of American sports, the team will no doubt be influenced just as profoundly. Babe Ruth was not only a pioneer in the art of home runs, but, before the New York Yankees were the all-time organizational juggernaut they are today, he started a legacy of winning lasting almost 100 years. Before the 1923 World Series, the Yankees were 0-2 in World Series, but when Ruth put up a .368 batting average, .556 on-base percentage, and a 1.00 OPS, they claimed the ultimate victory for the first time in their history. Ruth and his Yankees went on to win two more times - the franchise eventually winning 24 times after that![1] Babe Ruth was such a great player that his legendary status as a baseball enigma catalyzed the most successful franchise in major North American sports to this day.

Counter arguments

One player's success does not necessarily guarantee the overall success of their organization over time. Babe Ruth did give the Yankees their first World Series win, but he was not the only one to contribute to that win and the New York Yankees have seen many great players come and go in their long history. Should we attribute their World Series titles to one player, even if he was only there in the beginning? The success could come from other major factors like managerial moves, free agent signings, and smart draft choices. The impact of one player does not always lead to the success of his franchise for a century, and Babe Ruth is no exception.

Framing

When an individual player is so valuable and impactful in their entire sport that their franchise goes on to experience the most prosperous history in all of major sports, that player is unequaled in all-time greatness.

Premises

[P1] One player's success can so deeply benefit their franchise that the franchise's legacy of excellence reflects that player's all-time individual achievement. [P2] Babe Ruth, because of his impact on the game of baseball, began the New York Yankees' record World Series winning legacy in 1923. [P3] Therefore, Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] A franchise's success over time is not necessarily due to an individual's success, even if they gave the team their first major win. [Rejecting P2] Babe Ruth's excellence as a player is not automatically tied to the Yankees' all-time excellence. [Rejecting P3] This does not make Babe Ruth the greatest of all time.

References

  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1923_WS.shtml

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 16:46 UTC

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