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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?

Other eligible greatest baseball players ever Show more Show less

There are several other all-time greats with their respective records and statistical achievements who also contend for the top spot.
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Lou Gehrig

Before his career with the New York Yankees was tragically cut short, Lou Gehrig's batting performance was already on an all-time level. His career slugging marks helped continue his organization's winning legacy for years to come.
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The Argument

With a career average of .340 BA, .447 OBP, and .632 SLG, Lou Gehrig's individual batting excellence gave him the American League MVP twice and significant standing among the greatest in baseball history. His playoff numbers show that his skill and greatness far surpass those of many elite players around him, averaging .361/.483/.731 and earning 6 titles in 7 World Series appearances.[1] Lou Gehrig, before his untimely death at age 37, helped his team continue racking up the wins for the most successful franchise in all of North American sports history, and, for that, he is the greatest ever.

Counter arguments

Batting averages over a career do not always guarantee an individual's greatness in history, and most of Gehrig's marks do not even come close to the all-time greats like Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. Playoff performance is important, but there are many other factors in a team leading up to six World Series titles, and the Yankees are historically successful in themselves. One individual's playoff success does not necessarily guarantee the success of their whole time in winning it all.

Framing

Individual batting performance, especially in the playoffs, cements both a player's and a team's mark in the annals of sports history. Gehrig is the greatest ever because he not only earned, incredible batting numbers, but he played exceptionally well when his team most needed him.

Premises

[P1] Phenomenal batting statistics in both the regular season and the playoffs guarantee greatness for an individual player and contribute to the prosperity of that player's franchise. [P2] Lou Gehrig possessed amazing batting averages while helping lead his team to six World Series titles with his remarkable playoff numbers. [P3] Therefore, Lou Gehrig is the greatest baseball player of all time.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Batting averages and individual performance can be good, but that does not necessitate their bid for an all-time great discussion. Also, an individual's success in the playoff's does not guarantee the success of their whole team. [Rejecting P2] Lou Gehrig does not rank high in most of the major batting categories listed, and his performance in the playoffs is irrelevant to that of his team. [Rejecting P3] Lou Gehrig is not the greatest baseball player ever.

References

  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gehrilo01.shtml

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 20:20 UTC

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