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Ted Williams completes four-stamp set honoring MLB greats

Sep 2, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

ted williams stamp

Last month the United States Postal Service announced that they’d be issuing “Major League Baseball All-Star” stamps honoring “four players who were perennial All-Star selections and left an indelible impression on the game.”

Joe DiMaggio was the first honoree announced, followed by Willie Stargell and Larry Doby, and today the final player was revealed as Ted Williams.

Which is good news, because when the DiMaggio stamp was announced and the press released noted that “many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time” I suggested that Williams was, in fact, the greatest all-around player of that time. Reasonable people disagree about that, of course, but honoring both DiMaggio and Williams seems fitting.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Ted Williams > Joe DiMaggio

    • bigharold - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      Ted Williams is certainly a deserving candidate for this honor. He was perhaps the best hitter to ever play the game. Had he not lost significant time fighting in two wars during what should have been the prime of his career he almost certainly would have challenged for Ruth’s all time HR record. That being said, defensively he was only adequate while DiMaggio was superb. Williams wasn’t even in close defensively.

      If you limit the conversation to merely hitting Williams could be arguably be called the best. But, if all other aspects of the game are considered Joe DiMaggio was far and away an all round better baseball player than Ted Williams. In fact, so was Willie Mays.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Ted Williams was so far and away ahead of Joe DiMaggio as a hitter that it makes up for the defensive difference.

      • bigharold - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        No it doesn’t. You can’t ignore half the game and still be considered the greatest at anything.

        He was a great, .. maybe even the greatest hitter ever but that does make somebody “.. the greatest all-around player of that time.”

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        I’m not saying Ted Williams is the greatest all around player of any time. I am specifically saying that Ted Williams was a better all-around player than Joe DiMaggio. His hitting far and away makes up for his average at best defense.

        I think if you actually take a gander at the numbers, you will find that this is a silly argument. But whatever…

        Williams led the league in OPS 10 times. DiMaggio…0 times. Williams led the league in OBP12 times. DiMaggio…0 times.

        You want to assign so much to DiMaggio’s defense, then go ahead. But then doesn’t WAR come into play?

        Williams best 5 years…(b-ref) 11.8, 11.3, 11, 10.3, 9.9
        DiMaggio best 5 years….9.4, 9.0, 8.9, 7.4, 7.3

        Williams was just a far superior all-around player than Joe DiMaggio.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Defense isn’t half the game. I will defer to John Dewan who is waaaay smarter than all of us, writes the Fielding Bible, ect. He estimates that defense is worth 50% of offense, therefore, defense is 25% of the game.

        Going by WAR (I know, I know), Williams top five season were:
        11.8, 11.3, 11.0, 10.3 and 9.9

        DiMaggio’s were:
        9.4, 9.0, 8.9, 7.4, and 7.3

        Both were extremely great, but Ted Williams was clearly the better player.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        falcon, why do you think it is that DiMaggio is so overrated when it comes to his offense? Do you think it is because of the hitting streak? I mean, if you really delve into DiMaggio’s numbers, they aren’t all that spectacular. I guess it’s because the Yankees were winning the World Series every year.

        His MVP winning season in 1941 is a joke. Williams his .406 and beat DiMaggio in every offensive stat and didn’t win the MVP? And 1947 is an absolute travesty. I mean…DiMaggio was far behind Williams in every single category and he beat Williams by a single point.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        Dimaggio’s hitting streak and Yankee popularity are certainly two reasons DiMaggio was thought to be better than Williams.

        That being said, I would say his hitting numbers were very spectacular. Sure they weren’t Ted Williams’ (whose were?), but he was top 10 in batting 7 times, OBP 6 times, slugging 11 times, total bases 11 times, home runs 11 times.

  2. nolanwiffle - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    There’s a stamp of the greatest hitter who ever lived.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      His career OBP is .482. Even more amazingly, #5 on the list, Lou Gherig’s was .447. Williams OBP is 35 points higher than the guy only 4 slots down. The guy was a better player than DiMaggio.,,and Joe D. is one of the best of all time too.

  3. natstowngreg - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    For greatest all-around player, I’d go with Willie Mays. But thankfully, he’s not eligible for a stamp yet.

    Once having been a Pirates fan, I’m thrilled to see Willie Stargell get a stamp. Also Larry Doby, who integrated the American League.

  4. shaggylocks - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    It’s a shame Stargell is batting in his stamp, otherwise we’d get the funky pillbox hat with the Stargell Stars on it. That would’ve made one hell of a stamp.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      As any Cardinal fan will say, Stargell sharing 79′ MVP with Hernandez was one of the worst voting decisions ever (lest you think I’m belittling Stargell, he had a great case in two other MVPs he didn’t win and was good [when healthy] in 79, just not nearly as good as Hernandez). But, upon re-looking at the numbers, that had to be the most bizarre MVP voting in any season! Here are the guys who got first place votes:
      -Keith Hernandez: Deserved it
      -Willie Stargell
      -Dave Winfield: Great case for the away, no argument here
      -Ray Knight: Huh? He was pretty good, but 10 HR, .318/.360/.454 and he gets 2 first place MVP votes?
      -Joe Niekro- 21 wins…117 ERA+. He was good, but far from great!
      -Kent Tekulve- A reliever!?! A good one, but still!
      -Gary Carter: Carter had 15 points total. A first place vote is worth 14 points. Meaning, one writes thought he deserved the MVP and only one other writer thought he was the MVP, one thought he was a down ballot guy and no one else voted for him anywhere!
      -Bill Madlock: Are you f**king kidding me? He had arguably the worst season of his career in 1979 and no one thought was an MVP before!

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Hernandez had the edge over Stargell in WAR. But Stargell beat Hernandez soundly in WareF

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      In an era full of ugly uniforms, those were perhaps the worst. But I’m an O’s fan and ’79 ended badly…..

  5. agelardi - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    40 cent or 34 cent stamp?

  6. drunkenhooliganism - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I’m not the only one who’s gonna get a sheet of these and put them in the freezer, am I?

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