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?
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There are several other all-time greats with their respective records and statistical achievements who also contend for the top spot.
Ted Williams undoubtedly knocks on the door of GOAT because of his incredibly illustrious batting career. He is 1st all-time in on-base percentage (.482), 2nd in slugging percentage (.634), 2nd in OPS+ (190), and 8th in batting average (.344). A two-time American League MVP and a two-time Triple Crown recipient, before his age-40 season, he never averaged below a rate of .317 BA, .436 OBP, and .556 SLG. Williams' record-breaking and steadily remarkable career cements his place in the historical landscape of baseball.
Batting performance alone does not necessarily guarantee all-time greatness, and Ted Williams ranks behind Babe Ruth for several of the major slugging percentages. Some players have had better averages throughout their careers, and there are also some statistical facets of the game that Ted Williams did not dominate. To claim that simply because Williams' numbers are the near the top does not make him the best player (or even hitter, for that matter) of all time.
Record-breaking and all-time great statistical strength in batting performance determines a player's eligibility as the best to ever do it. Ted Williams' individual performance undeniably places him among the highest tiers of baseball over the years.
[P1] When a player displays statistical anomalies in all major batting categories and ranks among the top in all-time individual performance, their bid as the greatest ever is automatically considered.
[P2] Ted Williams gave an unbelievably unprecedented and consistent batting performance throughout his 19-season career, his numbers still near the top in the record books today.
[P3] Therefpre, Ted Williams is the greatest baseball player ever.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1] All-time batting performance does not always guarantee all-time greatness.
[Rejecting P2] Ted Williams was not the very best in statistical categories mentioned in the argument, so he was not even the best all-time in batting, let alone all-around playing.
[Rejecting P3] Ted Williams is not the greatest baseball player ever.