A great career in baseball takes unflagging excellence, year after year, and is a demanding measure of success. This work presents rankings of the best career performances in baseball history, by position, for each team in the American and National leagues. Players are measured both by rate and volume of success. The rankings are also translated into All-Star lineups for each team.
Baseball's Best Careers, in a departure from other latter-day stats books, everywhere adheres to common sense. The book, for instance, assigns a player's career performance to a single, primary team. The numbers of Rogers Hornsby, then who batted .380 and hit 39 home runs for the Cubs in 1929, are attributed to the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom Hornsby played most of his games. And so the historic value of the second baseman's career is preserved, and Ryne Sandberg, Johnny Evers, Glenn Beckert, and Billy Herman - the rightful contenders for the Cubs all-time spot at second - are free to fight it out.
Several sabremetric measures are employed in compiling the rankings, which have been adjusted for hitting and pitching biases over periods of time. Raw historical statistics are examined, and the author explains why some statistics are used in his work to measure performance, while others are discarded as nonindicators of performance. For each team, statistical ratings and rankings are provided, as are brief player profiles of that club's All-Star team members.