Baseball would not be the game it is today without the contributions these players made in its early days. Check out this list of baseball’s super seven, the players that help define the game.
George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth
You cannot talk about baseball without talking about Babe Ruth. Arguably the first true legend of the game, Babe set the standards for the players that followed in his footsteps.
The ‘Sultan of Swat’ hit 60 home runs in the 1927 season for the Yankees, and their stadium became known as ‘the house that Ruth built’.
This man is a legend of baseball for many reasons. He joined the Dodgers in 1947 and became the first African American player in the Majors.
He went on to play for 10 seasons, winning six pennants and the 1955 World Series. He was known as a gentleman on and off the field, and his stats make him as much of a legend as his debut did.
Joltin’ Joe turned to baseball to escape the family business. His father was a fisherman and Joe hated the smell of dead fish. The fishing world’s loss was the Yankee’s gain, with him they won nine World Series titles.
His 56-game hitting streak record still stands today. His fame led to him marrying Marylin Monroe in 1954, but their marriage didn’t last as long as a baseball season; it was over in nine months.
This baller was a legendary first baseman for the Dodgers, both in Brooklyn and LA. He was crucial to their success in the 1955 World Series, making the final out in the final game.
Before he died suddenly just shy of his 48th birthday he had a managerial career that included leading the New York Mets to the World Series Championship in 1969.
The ‘Georgia Peach’ is a true baseball legend, with a career batting average that still stands to this day. Only once has a player hit more in a single season, and it was Ichiro Suzuki back in 2004.
Ty Cobb is often talked of as a brawler, with accusations of violence and racism following him even past his death. The truth is most of the stories are wildly exaggerated, and though he did brawl with black players and staff in his time he would fight anyone who crossed him. A complicated, but talented man. This article on Ty Cobbs goes into more detail.
Willie ‘Say Hey’ Mays
One of the biggest names in the game, Willie Mays was a classic slugger who finished his career with a lifetime record of 660 home runs, just 54 short of Babe Ruth.
He spent 21 seasons with the New York Giants before they transferred to San Francisco and was still appearing at spring training when he was in his 80s to give the team his support.
He played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and led the National League batting averages four times throughout the 60s.
He died in a plane crash in 1972, delivering aid packages to Nicaraguans after an earthquake. He was a legend on the field and off.
Any of these players could walk into any Major League team of today. Their achievements help define the game, and the heights a modern baller can reach in today’s league.