Comparing Eras: The Mistake of “All-Time” All-Star Teams

What’s Wrong With Ranking ‘All-Time’ All-Star Teams?

Making a “all-time” All-Star team or a list of the top 100 players in sports history using complex algorithms and formulas is a meaningless exercise in futility, as stated by Norman L. Macht.

There is no more connection between WWI warfare and modern conflicts than there is between the baseball played in the 19th century and the Deadball Era and today.

There is no use comparing different time periods

The goal is the same, the bases are 90 feet apart, and it’s still strike three and you’re out, but there have been a lot of other changes to the game that make it difficult to draw meaningful comparisons between players and teams from different eras.

Even when used to counter a shift, the bunt is now as archaic as a musket.

Once commonplace, brushback pitches are now viewed as serious offenses.

Home run hitters are richly rewarded even if they strike out four or five times for every one they hit, so it’s not enough to just get on base. When pitches are made by a group rather than an individual, win-loss records become meaningless.

That was the Problem, and Connie Mack knew it

Connie Mack had known about all of those things as early as 1943, having first seen them in 1886. The selection of all-time all-star teams was deemed unnecessary by him at his 80th birthday party.

He spoke of the evolution of the game, saying, “There were great ball teams in the 1880s. In the 1890s, many successful squads emerged.

That was the Problem, and Connie Mack knew it

The new millennium ushered in an era in which a new group of superstar athletes emerges every decade or so. However, regardless of when the teams are selected, Cobb, Speaker, and Ruth always appear in the outfield.

The infield always remains the same. That can’t be the case. I believe that every fifteen years, the baseball writers should choose the all-star teams.

This is a just solution for all concerned, as the rules of the game evolve and newcomers should not be judged against veterans. OKBET Sports Betting agrees that there are a lot of great players in the league right now who should be considered for all-star teams.

To what extent have the alterations Mack mentioned been implemented into play?

To what extent have the alterations Mack mentioned been implemented into play?


Get the glove out of the way first. First of all, there wasn’t supposed to be any. The outfielders of the nineteenth century caught fly balls and grounders with their bare hands.

Even though some infielders started using thinner “pancake” gloves in the early 1880s, most players still considered them “sissy stuff.”

When pitchers started throwing overhand, catchers had to move up from their traditional positions several feet behind home plate and catch pitches on the bounce.

Some of them wear buckskin gloves tailored to their hands, which are sometimes fortified with a thin slab of beefsteak or a rubber pad.

Originally designed as large, rigid cushions, catcher’s mitts have evolved over time into the modern, more pliable versions we use today.

My friend, 1930s shortstop Dick Bartell, and I used to sit in the Phillies’ dugout in the 1980s, and I remember putting on his old glove and sliding my hand, glove and all, into the glove of the Phillies’ shortstop sitting next to us.

No one will ever know how well the modern Ozzie Smiths would have done with that kind of technology.

Venue of the Match

Nowadays, instead of playing on uneven terrain like slopes and hills, kids can enjoy professionally maintained fields.

The pitcher’s mound and base paths suffered from groundskeepers being either too creative or too untrained.

Fields were almost always in use and minimal maintenance was performed during the years that the Cardinals and Browns shared Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis and the Giants and Yankees shared the Polo Grounds in New York.

The infield in St. Louis was baked like a brick because the summers were so hot.

Alterations to the Ball

The ball they were hitting at also differs greatly from modern versions.

In the “good old days,” players would use the same ball until it was mushy from being used so much or soaked through with saliva or tobacco juice.

Mike Trout has hit home runs of 450 feet, how many of those do you think he might have hit?

(Infielders hated playing behind spitball pitchers because it was difficult to field the slick ball and throw it)

There were no instances of pitchers throwing away balls they didn’t like. Ushers would take foul balls and occasionally home runs hit into the stands and return them to the field.

Game Times

Because of this, it’s not fair to compare today’s hitters and pitchers to those of the past.

For more than fifty years, the vast majority of MLB contests took place between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon and ended around 5:30.

Because of the layout of the diamonds and the height of the grandstand behind home plate, the area around home plate gradually becomes shaded, and the batter winds up batting in the dark while facing a pitch that is thrown in the light.

There were no lights to turn on during rainy weather, and where there were, the rules forbade their use.

Twilight games in the spring and fall may not be the best time for modern sluggers to try their luck with 100 mph pitches, as the old adage goes, “you can’t hit what you can’t see.”

In the July–September heat and humidity of cities like New York, Washington, and St. Louis, players wearing wool uniforms wilted; pitchers sometimes keeled over on the mound and had to be carried into the clubhouse and submerged in ice to recover.

All-Star - pitchers sometimes keeled over

Some Cubs players, prior to the installation of lights at Wrigley Field, attributed their team’s inability to win a pennant to the draining effects of the hot summers.

Modern athletes often travel with their own private hotel rooms.

No more sleeping on the floor or a couch with your fellow players, as happened back in the “good old days.”

To that end, feel free to devise any metrics or formulas you like: To be fair, Connie Mack did make a valid point.