Who is the greatest Left Fielder of all time?

A simple one vote poll and feel free to explain your vote or argue over others.

Barry Lamar Bonds.

Teddy Ballgame.

He artificially extended his career with steroids, off the list.

Bonds? Henderson? Where exactly did this ballot come from?

Bonds and it isn’t that close.

Moises Alou? Jesus!

That’s my pick for top two.

Barry Bonds.

If the OP intended to exclude people on moral grounds, including Shoeless Joe Jackson is an odd choice.

Not moral grounds. every player reaches a point in his 30’s or 40’s when productivity decreases due to age.
Bonds cheated to maintain a high level beyond normal bounds and inflated his totals beyond what would have been natural. Jackson’s cheating did not affect his career totals(except by being banned).
Same as Pete Rose. His betting on baseball did not alter his numbers though I do agree no HOF or involvement with MLB.


Kingman is there as a joke, right? And why not Rickey? Or Manny even.

I don’t think that’s an unreasonable position to hold, but it’s worth pointing out that if you take a full quarter of Bonds’ career totals away, he hit 570 home runs and drove in 1500, and is still the best defender on the list (well, maybe Yaz is). And 25% is a heck of a lot to discount.

If you only use his rate stats from before his late career explosion when he was the greatest hitter who ever lived, he’s still a better hitter than anyone on this list but Williams, and there’s still the baserunning and defense. So if he had simply retired abruptly in 2000, there’d be a very serious argument he was the best left fielder of all time. And he obviously didn’t retire - he became the greatest hitter who ever lived. It seems to me that the only way you can argue Bonds isn’t the guy here is if you take the, um, suspicious power surge and not only discount it but use it to diminish what else he accomplished. Which sounds to me like moral grounds.

Kirk Gibson can hardly even be called a left fielder. Dave Kingman played more games at first base than in left. If you can say Kirk Gibson was a left fielder you could say Babe Ruth was, too.

This is a weird poll, to say the least. I picked Ted Williams but really, it’s Barry Bonds, then Williams, then Musial, then Rickey.

By WAR, incidentally:

Bonds: 172
Williams: 125
Musial: 128
Rickey: 113
Yaz: 89

I rank Williams ahead of Musial on account of his wartime service and Musial not really being a full time left fielder but really if I had Musial instead of Williams I’d be pretty happy with my left field situation.

If you had all five of those guys on your team, statistically speaking, you would be so awesome.

Didn’t even need to read through the options first, it’s Bonds.

(accidentally voted for Alou thinking Bonds would be listed first)

As others have said, even discounting whatever longevity and performance enhancement might have been due to steroids, Bonds still is among the top left fielders of all time. A moral judgement would be the only reason to take him out of contention completely.

Dave Kingman was a horrible fielder. He hit a ton of home runs but his fielding sucked. He was a head case and will never be in the HOF just because he was such a jackass.

I’ll go with Ted Williams.

Barry Bonds. Then Ted Williams. Then Rickey.

Is it so hard to use baseball reference.com? I used 50% or more of time spent playing LF, which is probably why my list doesn’t include Stan the Man.

Why hammer Bonds for steroids, and give greenies a pass?

Yeah what he said.



This SDMB post goes into a discussion, originally concerning Willie Mays, about the merits of Williams v. Bonds. TL;DR version: you have to account for the years Williams was fighting (1943-1945 + most of 1952 and 1953) Project what he might have done, absent the wars, and he gets really, really close to Bonds.

The whole thread has quite a bit of useful info about the topic, and how guys like Mays and A-Rod fit into the discussion of “who was better than who” over the years.

This one had me scratching my head, I wonder if I got the wrong names from the HOF thread for LF from 2008. I’ll check again when I get home. Though I would take Ted over Bonds for just the 7years lost in service not to mention the face of steroids thing with Bonds.