Any list of greatest athletes is likely to be an argument starter, especially if the subject is the Major League Baseball’s greatest players. Since the game, stadiums, equipment, rules, and even training have changed over the years, there is no single standard to rate a player from the 1920s against a player today.
How do you judge Babe Ruth’s raw talent for hitting home runs against a player with similar skills who may have used steroids to improve his power? Many fans want an asterisk next to records that are considered “questionable” due to the differences in the game.
When it comes to the greatest there are definitely areas of performance that will point to the superstars. Let’s break it down by various statistics.
Early 20th century pitchers were known to have amazing numbers of wins.
1. Cy Young 511
2. Walter Johnson 417
3. Grover Alexander 373
4. Christy Mathewson 373
5. Warren Spahn 353
In the last 60 years, any pitcher with more than 300 wins over his career was certain to make the Hall of Fame, including Greg Maddux with 355 (eighth on the all-time list) and Roger Clemens with 354 (ninth on the all-time list, although there are claims of steroid use.)