2. Ty Cobb (CF-Tigers)
- 1905-28 (Tigers, Athletics)
- 1st in BA (.366)
Widely considered the most despicable human being in MLB history, Ty Cobb sure could play some ball.
When first glancing at the list, one might wonder why Cobb outranked Willie Mays, and it’s a fair thought. After all, most greatest of all-time lists has Mays firmly planted in the No. 2 spot.
Here though, we decided that Cobb barely edged out Mays based on this one real distinction: he didn’t have the tool of the home run at his disposal.
Not only did Cobb not hit home runs (117 in his career), but nobody did. This means that his career 1,933 runs batted in were much tougher to come by than Mays’ 1,908.
In any event, we’re bickering about nonsense. Both guys were absurd players in their day.
For Cobb, his career .366 batting average (1st all-time) and 4,189 hits (2nd all-time) proves his worth without a shadow of a doubt.
The one negative for both Cobb and Mays came in the postseason. Mays only won one World Series Title (1954) and Cobb never captured one. Both guys actually played far worse during those pressurized situations than they normally did during the regular season.
As we normally see with baseball, unlike the NBA for example, even the greatest of all-time need those pieces around them to capture greatness.
Cobb was so respected by baseball that he received more Hall of Fame votes than Babe Ruth during the inaugural inductions.