BASEBALL'S 100: A Personal Ranking of the Best Players in Baseball History by Maury Allen

BASEBALL'S 100: A Personal Ranking of the Best Players in Baseball History

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KIRKUS REVIEW

New York Post sportswriter Allen's top-100 boldly mixes generations, positions, record-setting accomplishments--making his choices all the more personal and provocative. Why, for instance, is Babe Ruth ranked third--only third, behind Willy Mays and Henry Aaron? ""He never played a night game, he never hit against fireball relief pitching . . . , he never traveled cross-country for a night game and played a day game the next day, he never performed before millions of television viewers, he never had to run on artificial turf."" Exactly what weight Allen accords such factors he doesn't say, but he does provide brief, to-the-point profiles of his choices that place each in an all-time perspective. And, as a confidant of the late Casey Stengel and other old-timers, he's up on the skills of players who antedated his 40-plus years in the press box and stands. Apart from a few notably eccentric selections (Mark Belanger, Baltimore's good-field/no-hit shortstop; the well-traveled Richie Allen), the lineup itself holds up--for fans of any age. Ratings, of course, are another story. Did 'Sandy Koufax (#23), in his abbreviated career, earn an edge on Bob Gibson (#49), who went 251-174 over a 16-year span and won three games in a single World Series? Does Duke Snider (#83), with his glittering stats, deserve to be so far behind Mickey Mantle (#20), Jimmie Foxx (#32), Willie McCovey (#65), and Harmon Killibrew (#70)? Or, take the omissions. Warren Spahn (#27) is on hand. But what of Johnny Sain, Early Wynn, and Satchel Paige? Enough to argue about, then, from April through November.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1981
Publisher: A&W