Lehrman: The easiest question in baseball history might have a new answer

From SABR member Jeremy Lehrman at Plate Coverage on March 10, 2017:

So there’s a game baseball fans like to play (and by “fans” we also include anybody, anywhere, who has ever written any words, at any time, about the sport). The game, or exercise if you prefer, is to rank the best player who ever lived at every position. Think of it as the all-time, “All-Time Starting Lineup.” Entire books have been devoted the topic, TV shows, countless articles, blog posts… it’s a favorite pastime of devotees of the national past time.


Second base? You have some options. Joe Morgan or Eddie Collins are always popular choices, and one can’t exactly make an argument against Rogers Hornsby. Catcher? Johnny Bench is probably the consensus pick, but Yogi Berra, Josh Gibson, maybe Pudge Rodriguez are going to get their share of votes. Shortstop? For the better part of a century, there was only one answer: Honus Wagner. But then Alex Rodriguez came along to muddle up that picture (and connoisseurs of the finer arts may prefer Ozzie Smith). Pitcher? Psshh. How much time do we have? You might pick any one of six or seven pitchers and not be wrong.

The point being, there’s a basis for reasoned debate and rational discussion at most positions. One has options when filling out this lineup card. The exceptions, other than Ruth, are third base (obviously Mike Schmidt) and first base, which has always been the easiest pick on the field.

Read the full article here: http://www.platecoverage.com/home/the-easiest-question-in-baseball-history-might-have-a-new-answer

Originally published: May 23, 2017. Last Updated: May 23, 2017.