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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?

Hank Aaron is the greatest baseball player ever Show more Show less

Hank Aaron (AKA "Hammer") left his mark on the National League for 20 years, and his batting performance is still largely unmatched today. His story of overcoming many obstacles to pass Babe Ruth for the home run record and his historical base-hitting numbers help him achieve the title of GOAT.
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Hank Aaron is an unparalleled statistical phenomenon

The numbers over Aaron's illustrious career in almost all essential slugging statistics are mind-boggling. His batting versatility in all categories reigns supreme to this day.
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The Argument

Hank Aaron is the best baseball player of all time because of his incredibly diverse array of batting skills. His records in runs batted in (2,297) and total bases (6,856) are astronomical, and, until 2007, he held the all-time title for career home runs at 755. Additionally, he is fourth all-time in runs (2,174), third in base hits (3,771), and third in games played over his career (3,298), his .305 batting average and 155 OPS+ extending his argument for greatest of all time even further. [1] His 25 all-star appearances and six-time top three National League MVP ballots denote his dominance over baseball from 1954 to 1976. To see such mastery in all essential batting criteria is rare, and Aaron's value to his team helped catapult them to a World Series win in 1957, the year he also won NL MVP. No one else, in the history of baseball, is top three all-time in RBI, total bases, base hits, and career home runs simultaneously. Hammer's portfolio is so riddled in history, perseverance, and athletic genius that both a stadium and an award were named after him, proving his legacy over all feasible aspects of the game. [2]

Counter arguments

The argued correlation between versatility across statistical categories and a player's value is illogical. Simply because someone is a top all-time performer in every category does not mean they can achieve GOAT status. Why should someone in the top three of many statistics be better than another player who far surpasses him in one statistic? The arbitrary definition of stats like RBI, total bases, etc. as the MOST important is ungenerous to other stats in which Hank Aaron was not in the top three all-time (like slugging percentage, for which he is twentieth all-time).[3] To claim that batting solely makes a player versatile discounts other areas of the game like outfielding and pitching (defense). The prioritization of one all-time batting mark over the other, as well as over entirely separate defensive statistics, is problematic, and to promote his value and historical significance in the annals of baseball based off of this assumption is to promote an illogical premise.

Framing

A player's versatility over an amalgamation of categories in their athletic performances is fundamental in determining their value and historical impact. Excellence is not simply achieved through a singular home run or RBI record, but through supremacy over multiple facets of the game. Hank Aaron's long-tenured guarantee of consistency, on top of his historical baseball landmarks, cement his place as the greatest to ever do it.

Premises

[P1] Individual value and historical importance is based on adaptability throughout all statistical categories within a player's niche. [P2] Hank Aaron is among the very top all-time in most crucial and value-indicating statistical categories, something no one else has ever done. [P3] Aaron is the most versatile baseball player of all time. [P4] Therefore, Hank Aaron is the greatest baseball player ever.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There is no proven correlation between an athlete's versatility and the cloudy definition of historical value. Batting does not cover all statistical categories in baseball. [Rejecting P2] Prioritizing some of Hank Aaron's records over his other statistics is disingenuous. [Rejecting P3] Versatility is also a difficult ability to gauge, and opinions on its athletic definition differ. [Rejecting P4] Hank Aaron is not the greatest baseball player ever based on the argument.

References

  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/aaronha01.shtml
  2. https://www.biography.com/athlete/hank-aaron
  3. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/slugging_perc_career.shtml

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This page was last edited on Friday, 8 May 2020 at 04:11 UTC

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