Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher in MLB history. That is why I gave him more points to get him to the top 10. But is he the greatest pitcher of all time? I would argue it was Satchel Paige. I did not rate ballplayers from the Negro League or any other leagues, but the major leagues recognized by Baseball Reference. I did this for two reasons:
1. My lack of knowledge of the other leagues. I am not an expert on baseball or major league baseball, but I am a knowledgeable fan who had read a lot and studied the history of baseball. I have read a few books on the Negro Leagues but have not obtained near the knowledge I have of Major League Baseball.
2. The lack of records. We have more records then we have 10 years ago of the Negro Leagues and will likely have more in the future. However, they played a lot of exhibition games which we probably won’t find the records and probably shouldn’t count in the first place.
However, I have an idea where I would rank some of the top players. Oscar Charlton Bill James had 4th on the all-time list. That is basically where I would put him, and I would rank him in Center Field between Mays and Cobb. He must be ahead of Cobb. Since I have Satchel Paige ahead of Walter Johnson, I would put Paige at number 10, knock Musial and Johnson out of the top 10. Josh Gibson would be the greatest all-time catcher. Bill has him in the top 10, but I would have to push him down to the top 15. I would have to put Pop Lloyd between Hans Wagner and number 2 shortstop Alex Rodriquez. I don’t know much about Turkey Stearns, but my top 4 in left field are the three you already seen, Bonds, Williams and Musial, then Rickey Henderson. I would Stearns after Henderson. After that I get vague.
If you read any players biography, I would recommend reading Satchel Paige’s. He didn’t always play in the Negro Leagues even before blacks were allowed to play in the majors. He played about everywhere that would pay him a decent salary. In addition, he lived a life like no other ballplayer.
Speaking of Walter Johnson, he had about a dozen great years. But his greatest year was most likely 1913. He finished 36-7. He led the league in wins, ERA, complete games shut outs, innings pitched and strike outs. His team the Washington Senators finished 90-64 in second place. However, without Johnson’s won loss record they would have finished 56-57. So, they a mediocre team when he didn’t pitch.