• Comparing Rickey & Mickey From Ages 21 To 35

    Posted by on September 19th, 2013 · Comments (7)

    Pretty close, no?

    Player WAR/pos ▴ From To Age G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
    Rickey Henderson 99.3 1980 1994 21-35 1991 8864 1603 2120 351 53 225 778 1444 1084 .290 .409 .445
    Mickey Mantle 99.3 1953 1967 21-35 2019 8348 1464 2050 282 59 482 1303 1509 135 .302 .428 .575
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/19/2013.

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    Comments on Comparing Rickey & Mickey From Ages 21 To 35

    1. Evan3457
      September 19th, 2013 | 1:37 pm

      Rickey’s huge advantage in defensive value over Mickey as Mickey’s knees went sour on him as he aged appears to make up for Mickey enormous power advantage.

      Me? I’d rather have Mickey for all but his last couple of seasons. But durability is Rickey’s advantage, and, in truth, despite all of his baggage, he was a helluva player when he was focused.

    2. September 19th, 2013 | 1:40 pm

      I wonder who would have won a race between the two of them, when they were young and in their prime?

    3. NC Yankee
      September 19th, 2013 | 4:16 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Mick would win….he was timed early in his career at 3.1 seconds home to first.

    4. September 19th, 2013 | 4:26 pm

      @ NC Yankee:

      The average pop time for catchers is just under two seconds. Some examples of the best are Matt Wieters, Russell Martin, Salvador Perez and Yadier Molina. They have average pop times of 1.9 seconds or better. Those four catchers have combined to throw out more than 30 percent of potential basestealers since 2011. In contrast, John Baker, Devin Mesoraco, John Jaso, and Yasmani Grandal have average pop times greater than 2.0 seconds, and they have combined to throw out only 15 percent of attempted basestealers since 2011.

      The average delivery time for pitchers on stolen base attempts is 1.4 seconds. Some of the best pitchers in this category are Stephen Strasburg, Vance Worley and Johnny Cueto who average less than 1.3 seconds.

      So, you have to be faster, on average, than 3.3 seconds when going from first to third, to steal a base. And, Rickey sure stole a lot of bases, with ease.

      If Mantle was 3.1, home to first; and, if Rickey was <3.3, first to second, it would be a very, very, close race between the two.

    5. KPOcala
      September 19th, 2013 | 11:33 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Steve, I’m not sure of the logic of it being “very close”. Running down the first baseline is way harder than stealing second, especially since stealing second doesn’t entail running 90 feet. Another issue, the “WAR” number. Mickey probably played (way) more games in CF v Ricky, and also played in a huge stadium. I know that the Oakland Mausoleum is murder on a players’ hitting stats, but the Old Yankee Stadium…. But the best assessment that I recall reading was in Bill James’ “Historical Abstract”, I believe v. I. He compared Mantle v Mays, and believed that while Mays’ career was better overall, Mantle had the highest peak value, which is saying a hell of a lot. BTW, I’m not writing to knock Henderson, he was great, great, great. But, if Mantle had come along during our era of sports medicine/surgeons, and training…..

    6. NC Yankee
      September 20th, 2013 | 8:29 am

      @ Steve L.:
      First to second wouldn’t be a full 90 feet….he would have had a pretty good sized (+/-15 feet) lead. Rickey was very fast and an incredible player, but Mantle was faster, and better all around in my opinion.

    7. September 20th, 2013 | 9:26 am

      I’d still like to see that race :-)

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