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The All-Time MLB Team, right field: nominations and ballot

Five spots just wasn’t enough for the talent here...

Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder Roberto Clemente

In the end, the talent at this position was so deep, I felt it necessary to go with a six-man final ballot. It would have felt ‘wrong’ to exclude any of the following candidates from the ballot, for a range of different reasons!

Henry Aaron

Ruth’s record of 714 career home-runs seemed untouchable. But Aaron proved otherwise, posting a tally 41 higher, surpassing the Babe on April 8, 1974, in the Braves’ home opener. But he still walked more often than he struck out over his career. Hank’s consistency was epic: from 1956 through 1969 inclusive, he was worth than seven bWAR in just one season: Aaron was worth 6.8 bWAR that year. He holds the all-time MLB mark for RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856). During his final season of 1976, he was the last Negro League player on a major-league roster, having played for three months with the Indianapolis Clowns as an eighteen-year old.

Roberto Clemente

MrRbi17: “Has there ever been a better defensive right fielder than Clemente? If there is, I’ll eat my D-Backs cap. Jim’s numbers appear to back this up. His game was honed on the dirt fields of Puerto Rico, and his batting style was far from “classic”. But he produced exactly 3000 hits and was a great bad ball hitter. I also rate his throwing arm as the best in MLB history. Another thing about Clemente, he was really the first to popularize the “sliding “ catch of sinking line drives, which are universal now. Prior to Roberto, outfielders were taught the much riskier “shoestring” catch.”

Ichiro

Imstillhungry95: “The real all time hits king.” The paramilitary wing of the Pete Rose Fan Club will be paying ish95 a visit after them words, I suspect. :) But he has a point. Ichiro didn’t even appear in the major leagues until he was 27, but still ranks 24th all-time for hits. By the time he arrived in MLB he had already played nine season for the Orix BlueWave in Japan, where he had a .353 average, 1,278 hits and seven Gold Gloves. Few NPB players have transitioned more smoothly to the majors, Ichiro batting .350 on his way to both MVP and RoTY honors. It was the first of seven times he’d lead the league in hits, peaking with 262 in 2004. He’d win ten MLB Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.

Oscar Johnson

Jack Sommers: “The greatest Negro Leagues right fielder was probably Oscar “Heavy” Johnson. Listed at 5’7”, 200 pounds, some said he was as heavy as 250 pounds ! I can see how he got his nickname. ;) He had a relatively short career, just 1981 career PA in the Negro leagues, really only playing full time between 1922-1928. His peak was 1923 when he won the triple crown while batting .406 for the 2nd straight year. Below is a snapshot of his 22-28 peak, plus 162 game average. He was a great hitter and it would have been interesting to see how he stacked up in MLB during these years.”

Frank Robinson

Diamondhacks: “Arguably most underappreciated great “modern” player. He’s got all the stats, 107 WAR. MVPs in both leagues. 586 HR the “right way” - 4th All Time when he retired. But what I remember about Robinson isn’t the stats. I remember the way he played: hard and serious. Really, really hard. I remember how hard he broke up double plays. Barreling in, cleats down. I remember when he was old, diving into the RF stands at Yankee Stadium to rob a home run. I remember how he was the Orioles captain, unofficial or otherwise, as a black man in the 1960s. He just was. I remember how he’d argue with umpires and how they’d let him do it for the most part. Not because he was a “star” or difficult, but because he was the truth, a fierce competitive truth, and took a backseat to no one.”

Babe Ruth

Three position players have produced seasons worth more than 12.5 bWAR. All of them are Babe Ruth. No position player has more than his 162.7 bWAR - and because he started as a pitcher, Ruth didn’t become an everyday hitter until his fifth season in the majors. He revolutionized the way the game, was played considering that before Ruth, no American League hitter had hit more than 16 HR in a season. He had 11 years where he hit more than forty. How transcendent was the Babe? In 1920, Ruth hit 54 home-runs. No other TEAM in the AL that season passed fifty HR, and no other player even reached twenty. Ruth was responsible for 15% of all the home-runs hit in the American League that year.

Poll

Who was the greatest right-fielder ever?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Henry Aaron
    (10 votes)
  • 16%
    Roberto Clemente
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    Ichiro
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Oscar Johnson
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Frank Robinson
    (2 votes)
  • 56%
    Babe Ruth
    (37 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now