This is Part Three of a Five Part Series in which Butch Stearns Tackles the Task of Determining the Greatest Athletes of All-Time in the Four Major Sports: Basketball, Baseball, Hockey and Football. Butch Stearns is the C.O.O. of The Pulse Network, and the Host of Sports Buzz on The Pulse Network.
Let me paint a picture for you. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are battling for the top spot on my list of all-time baseball greats.
Seem hard to believe? It wouldn’t be such hardball heresy if not for the steroid era. Barry Bonds holds the records for most home runs in a career, most home runs in a single season, home runs against the most different pitchers, consecutive seasons with 30 + homers, and his seven MVP awards are four more than the nearest competitors. Oh yeah, and twelve other documented MLB records.
Meanwhile, The Rocket was the first player to whiff 20 guys in one game, and the only pitcher to accomplish the amazing feat twice*. He piled up an extraordinary seven Cy Youngs on his way to 354 wins and 4672 strikeouts. He won the 1986 AL MVP award, and he won two World Championships.
But the steroid era did happen, and it toppled these two immortals from their post atop baseball’s mountain. It also probably cost them their ticket to Cooperstown.
Steroids cast a shadow on these greats, and many more in the modern era. But luckily for the history of the game, it left the greats of old untouched. With that in mind, I present to you my top three baseball players of all time.
It may not be as clear cut as MJ, but in my opinion there’s no doubt that The Babe tops the list.
Agree with me? Think I’m dead wrong? Let me know by commenting on this post, or by reaching out to me on twitter @ButchStearns