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Old 10-09-2018, 09:47 PM   #1
BirdWatcher
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Willie Mays- Homerun King!

A few other possible titles for this thread:
Rogers Hornsby- All Time Hits Leader or
Tommy John- First (and so far, only) major league pitcher with 300 career wins, or
Mookie Betts- Hall of Famer, or
Marcell Ozuna- Hall of Famer, or
get this,
Pedro Astacio- Hall of Famer.

To set the stage: a while ago I set up a few Historical Random Debut saves but haven't done much with either since. But then, as part of a process I am setting up for my primary fictional save (reported on here in the Fictional Simulation folder) I decided I needed an environment to test out some fictional created players before using the templates for their ratings in my W.P. Kinsella fictional league. (Long story short-they are part of a process to create relatives of current WPK players who will also be professional ballplayers and might one day play in the WPK themselves.)

So, I've moved forward, with these fictional creations inserted in batches (about every 20 years apart) into this HRD, which I gave a start date of 1947, up to the beginning of the year 2000 now. While not strictly an historic simulation, this league is still predominantly populated by historic MLB players and is set up to mirror the progression of the MLB in terms of teams and structure and statistical modifiers, etc.

And while it has proven a great testing ground for my created/edited players, I am also finding myself fascinated by how the historical players are sorting themselves out.

So, back to the title of the thread. At this point Willie Mays holds the MLB career HR record at 708. Granted, there has been no Babe Ruth yet, no Ted Williams, no Willie McCovey, no Barry Bonds, no Mark McGwire, etc., etc. Unfortunately, Hank Aaron was in the original group of players and started his career at the age of 31. He had some fine years but finished his career with just 169 HR's and his top single season saw him hit 42 (at age 34.)
You will see the top of the career best list below. Numbers 2, 8, and 11 were created players based upon the Super-Star template for created relatives in my WPK. You can see that among current players (meaning currently still playing in this league, not current IRL), J.D. Martinez (well, he's current either way) is the closest to the top of the list. But J.D. is 39 years old here and won't be challenging any records. Tied at 20th though are a 34-year old (Frank Robinson) and a 35-year old (the surprising Don Demeter) with 461 long balls each. Almost no chance they challenge Mays, but Robinson in particular could move well up this list. (And is pretty much already a sure HOF'er.)

What's crazy about Mays here though, to me, is that he didn't win a single Gold Glove award. How is that possible? (I'll have to do a bit more research to see what contemporary might have been beating him out.)

Oh, and Hornsby? He played from 1957 through 1981 and collected 4,356 career hits. Current player, Ty Cobb, at age 42, isn't far behind at 4,073. But not likely that Cobb has enough left in him to catch Hornsby.

Tommy John, who retired just a few seasons ago (1996) with 303 wins, is the only member of the 300 win club thus far. But at 31 and still going strong, and having ended the 1999 season with 201 career wins, Pedro Martinez could join the club eventually.

And what about Betts, Ozuna, and Astacio? (And others: George Foster, Felipe Alou, Cleon Jones, Cliff Lee, Gary Peters, Jose Rijo, Reggie Smith, Rusty Staub, Jim Wynn- all Hall-of-Famers). Well, let's save that for another post.
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