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Is There a Comparable to Howe in Any Other Sport?

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Old
11-24-2012, 09:40 AM
  #26
struckbyaparkedcar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
- would Michael Jordan be the Phil Esposito of the NBA?
How you figure? I don't know that much about Espo, but I grew up idolizing Jordan (I know, I know, I'm such a unique and delicate flower) and going off reports of Phil's play from here, I don't really see many grounds for comparison. Jordan was always the best player on his team and had a much better all-around game than anything I've seen credited to Esposito.

MJ doesn't really have an NHL comparable. Messier/Roy were equally likely to murder you if it got them another title, but he was better than either for longer. He was a Gretzky-like ambassador and sport-grower, but Wayne's absurd peak aligns him more with someone like Chamberlain, and Gretzky loses points for the lack of team success post-Edmonton.

Honestly, Jordan is a Frankenstein of the things I said combined with Lemiux's era-adjusted offense.

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Old
11-24-2012, 09:57 AM
  #27
Marotte Marauder
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Charlie Hustle seems to be a good comparison.

23 seasons, led league at some point in over 30 categories, alltime hit leader, games played, at bats and 2nd alltime in 2 baggers.

17 All Star games at 5 different positions.

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11-24-2012, 10:10 AM
  #28
DisgruntledGoat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
Charlie Hustle seems to be a good comparison.

23 seasons, led league at some point in over 30 categories, alltime hit leader, games played, at bats and 2nd alltime in 2 baggers.

17 All Star games at 5 different positions.
I'm kind of curious why he hasn't been mentioned yet. I'm not a baseball fan, but his name was one that I thought of early on, but Mays, Cobb and Williams are getting far more play.

Just based on this thread, it seems to me that Abdul-Jabar and Williams are closest so far.

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11-24-2012, 02:39 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
NFL if we consider seasons played and snaps then the linemen and linebackers dominate:

Brian Matthews, Clay Matthews Jr., Jackie Slater - 19/20 seasons.
Thanks for the shout out.

Adding to Abdul-Jabbar's case, he has six MVP trophies, same as Howe and more than anyone in NBA history. He also has 15 seasons where he was selected to either the first or second all-NBA team (plus one season where he was completely robbed) which is more than anyone in NBA history.

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11-24-2012, 02:45 PM
  #30
Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Hmmm. The NFL. Barry Sanders hung them up too early at 31 to be compared to Howe.
Sanders has to be Orr, doesn't it?

I don't get Howe at all there either.

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11-24-2012, 03:21 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Lots of good picks here and some I thought of myself and agree with. Football is a tough one so we'll start with the other sports.

I agree with Kareem on this one. Very high peak, played for a long time and won a lot of championships. Also Kareem is never off of anyone's top 5 list of NBA players and neither is Howe.

Ted Williams is another interesting one. Would have had higher numbers without the two Wars. The only knock on Ted is that he never won a championship while Howe did. And while Williams was the best at what he did (hitter, HR hitter) during his time he doesn't match that in defensive player or baserunning.

Cobb might just be the best example. Played a long, long time similar to Howe. Never won a championship though which hurts but was good at every facet of the game. He was just hated by everyone, unlike Howe.

Hank Aaron isn't a bad choice, but if I would pick another one in Baseball it is Willie Mays. Mays, like Aaron played forever, but I think he was better all around and could beat you in so many ways, like Howe. Mays won a World Series once so at least he could win.

Hmmm. The NFL. Barry Sanders hung them up too early at 31 to be compared to Howe. Same with Jim Brown. If any running back compares better to Howe it is Walter Payton. I don't know, Jerry Rice perhaps? Played an insane amount of football in his career up until 40. Won championships like Howe, was a big part of doing it. Could catch the ball, could run well after the catch and had great anticipation. Also, while more people would probably put Montana as the best NFLer the truth is a few would still put Rice in there which falls in line with the Gretzky/Howe train of thought.
I like the reference to Nolan Ryan too...

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11-24-2012, 03:29 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Sanders has to be Orr, doesn't it?

I don't get Howe at all there either.

Sanders is closer to Joe Dimaggio. Both chose to retire in or at the end of their prime. Sandy Koufax may be closer to Orr. Both were forced to retire in or at the end of their prime. Killion mentioned Satchel Paige. His longevity and quality of performance is comparable to Howe's. And Ted Williams likely could have stuck around as a DH had there been one in his day. He could still hit when he retired. Aaron and Cobb are also good comparisons to Howe. Especially the rough way Cobb played. Howe was immensely respected though. Cobb was hated til the day he died.

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Old
11-24-2012, 03:31 PM
  #33
DisgruntledGoat
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Sanders is closer to Joe Dimaggio. Both chose to retire in or at the end of their prime. Sandy Koufax may be closer to Orr. Both were forced to retire in or at the end of their prime. Killion mentioned Satchel Paige. His longevity and quality of performance is comparable to Howe's. And Ted Williams likely could have stuck around as a DH had there been one in his day. He could still hit when he retired. Aaron and Cobb are also good comparisons to Howe. Especially the rough way Cobb played. Howe was immensely respected though. Cobb was hated til the day he died.
Is Hank Aaron considered an all-around talent, though? I don't honestly know much about him other than the home run record.

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11-24-2012, 03:32 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Hmmm. The NFL. Barry Sanders hung them up too early at 31 to be compared to Howe. Same with Jim Brown. If any running back compares better to Howe it is Walter Payton.
Barry Sanders is a great comparison to Howe. He played 10 seasons and he finished in the top 5 rushing yards in all of them. Brown is a good comparison too though his era is a lot different. Walter Payton on the other hand didnt have a very good rookie season and in the strike-shortened 1982 season was 10th in rushing with 66.2 Y/G so he didnt have consecutive elite seasons.

Didnt Sanders really hang them up too early? Running backs have short lifespans and Sanders played 10 straight years with a heavy workload.

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Old
11-24-2012, 03:36 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
Is Hank Aaron considered an all-around talent, though? I don't honestly know much about him other than the home run record.
I was thinking more of his high level of offensive performance over a lengthy period of time.

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11-24-2012, 03:37 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
How you figure? I don't know that much about Espo, but I grew up idolizing Jordan (I know, I know, I'm such a unique and delicate flower) and going off reports of Phil's play from here, I don't really see many grounds for comparison. Jordan was always the best player on his team and had a much better all-around game than anything I've seen credited to Esposito.

MJ doesn't really have an NHL comparable. Messier/Roy were equally likely to murder you if it got them another title, but he was better than either for longer. He was a Gretzky-like ambassador and sport-grower, but Wayne's absurd peak aligns him more with someone like Chamberlain, and Gretzky loses points for the lack of team success post-Edmonton.

Honestly, Jordan is a Frankenstein of the things I said combined with Lemiux's era-adjusted offense.
Espo won the goal scoring title 6 seasons in a row, the most by any player, I thought it might of echoed Jordan's 7 in a row, (although he also had 11 total).....maybe Bobby Hull (4 in a row / 7 total plus another in the WHA) with would be a better comparison?

On a purely statistical basis Gretzky in total points (7 in a row / 11 total) would be ideal but Jordan was pretty damn good defensively and could be physical when need be.

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Old
11-24-2012, 03:54 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
Is Hank Aaron considered an all-around talent, though? I don't honestly know much about him other than the home run record.
Baseball Reference: Hank Aaron

won 2 batting titles & 11 times top 5
career .305 hitter with 3,771 hits
led in runs 3 times & 12 times top 5
7 times top 5 in OB%
8 times top 10 in SB (240 career)
3 gold gloves

Mays was a bit more of an all around player, while Aaron had a bit more consistency and longevity.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 11-24-2012 at 05:35 PM.
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11-24-2012, 04:03 PM
  #38
Killion
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... really none of the guys weve' mentioned though are comparative to a hockey player, to Howe specifically. Though in several instances they competed in sports that could be physically taxing, they all lacked the total & deliberate physicality of life in the WHA/NHL.

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11-24-2012, 04:08 PM
  #39
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Ty Cobb. Both played in Detroit and both are not the best players of all time in their sport but they're pretty close.

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11-24-2012, 04:28 PM
  #40
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Nolan Ryan.
Yup.

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11-24-2012, 04:29 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... really none of the guys weve' mentioned though are comparative to a hockey player, to Howe specifically. Though in several instances they competed in sports that could be physically taxing, they all lacked the total & deliberate physicality of life in the WHA/NHL.
It's a tough comparison. Only the NFL compares in physicality, but most NFL players are more specialized. It's not that many football players don't have all-around skills, but that they really aren't required to use them in their assigned roles.

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11-24-2012, 04:38 PM
  #42
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The Nolan Ryan comparison is only valid in terms of longevity. As far as being an all-time great in their sport, Howe is well ahead. Ryan is closer to Ron Francis than he is to Howe.

Ty Cobb was the first player that came to mind for me. Fitting that both played for Detroit.

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Old
11-24-2012, 04:43 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
The Nolan Ryan comparison is only valid in terms of longevity. As far as being an all-time great in their sport, Howe is well ahead. Ryan is closer to Ron Francis than he is to Howe.

Ty Cobb was the first player that came to mind for me. Fitting that both played for Detroit.
Ryan's peak greatness is debatable. He wasn't a Cy Young award level generally, but then he did throw more no-hitters than anyone.

Where he definitely falls short is the "all-around" department. He wasn't even an above average fielder or hitter. He could throw that speedball by ya, make you look like a fool and that's it. It would be like calling Manute Bol a great all-around player.

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11-24-2012, 05:06 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
It's a tough comparison....
.... yepp. Boxing; George Foreman til 48, was planning to go again at 58 but his wife talked him out of it. The strange case of a guy by the name of Marion aka Jackhammer or "The Creep" Wilson. Born in 1956, didnt start Boxing professionally until 1989, but was active at the age of 52, last date of a pro fight. Never knocked out.

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11-24-2012, 05:18 PM
  #45
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Off Season

Biggest obstacle is coming back after the off season regardless of the sport. Be it the legs, the arm, the body or the mental edge, the off season is the biggest opponent.

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11-24-2012, 05:53 PM
  #46
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Some other notes about Aaron:

- third in career hits
- most seasons with 150+ hits
- had to deal with racism a lot, both as one of the first 5 black players in the Southern Atlantic League, and as he was approaching Ruth's record
- had several football scholarship offers after high school
- played SS & 2B and changed to OF shortly before his major league career
- hit cross-handed ("wrong" hand on top) until shortly before his major league career


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 11-24-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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Old
11-24-2012, 06:02 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
And if all that wasn't enough, he also played at an incredibly high level for an incredibly long time (if there's a more impressive record than Howe's 20 consecutive years in the top 5 of scoring, I don't know what it is).
I think this is more impressive: Wayne Gretzky in the top 3 in scoring for his first 13 NHL seasons and nine of those he was #1, three times he was #2, and once #3. He was injured in his 14th season. He was #1 again in his 15th season. He was #19 in the lockout-shortened 94-95 season. Then in his 17th, 18th, and 19th seasons, he was 12th, 4th, and 3rd respectively. His 20th and final season he was 33rd.

So over 20 seasons:
Ten #1 finishes,
Three #2 (he was tied with Dionne in 1979-80 but Dionne had more goals)
Two at #3
Once at #4

Only 10/20 seasons, he wasn't #1. Only 7/20 seasons he wasn't in the top two. Only 5/20 seasons he wasn't in the top 3 and only 4/20 seasons he wasn't in the top 4.

The four seasons he wasn't in the top 4:
-1992-93 - Only played 45 games, scored 65 points.
-1994-95 - Lockout-shortened 48 game season where I believe player performance is not a great indicator of what they would have been able to do in a full season with a normal schedule with a full training camp.
-1995-96 - 12th place in scoring but he did get 102 points.
-1998-99 - Scored 62 points in 70 games but didn't have really have anyone to play with.

Gordie Howe's 20 consecutive seasons in the top 5:
Six #1 finishes
One at #2
Five at #3
Three at #4
Five at #5

Still very impressive, but I'd say Gretzky's is more impressive.

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Old
11-24-2012, 06:04 PM
  #48
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Ryan's peak greatness is debatable. He wasn't a Cy Young award level generally, but then he did throw more no-hitters than anyone.

Where he definitely falls short is the "all-around" department. He wasn't even an above average fielder or hitter. He could throw that speedball by ya, make you look like a fool and that's it. It would be like calling Manute Bol a great all-around player.
See that's the thing. The no-hitters are nice, but really it's a just a handful of games in the regular season. There are better pitchers that never threw one. It's like saying a hockey player "wasn't generally at Hart Trophy level, but had more 5-goal games than anybody".

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Old
11-24-2012, 06:13 PM
  #49
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Karch Kiraly in Volleyball

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...001/index.html


Sam Snead in Golf


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Old
11-24-2012, 06:48 PM
  #50
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This thread screams Magnus Wislander. Swedish handball player. Was voted handball player of the century. Played between 1983-2011. Supreme athlete.

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