Wes Parker?

     I admit, I had never knowingly heard the name Wes Parker.  And as some of you may have heard, he is the greatest defensive first baseman of all time.  According to the Rawlings "All Time Gold Glove" team at least.  Which is not definitive or a completely accurate measurement of defensive ability.  The "Gold Glove" winners are not always deserving of the award.  See:  Jeter, Palmeiro.  But the majority of the time, I would say that a good player wins the award.  And we should not expect anything less as these are so called "Experts" making these decisions.  So they must have at least some knowledge about this game if we appoint them with this stature.  But defensive statistics are not what their offensive counterparts are.  And let’s just say that the defensive stats in past decades are not even close to as reliable as the ones used to evaluate range, etc, in the modern decade.  So I really have little idea of how good Wes Parker was back in the 60’s.  I notice that he won six "Gold Gloves."  And that he was fairly sure handed with his glove.  But what I don’t have access to, is his "Zone Rating" or John Dewan’s "Plus/Minus" system, or even "The Hardball Times" statistical tools.  But we did not have those back then.  So I have to base some of the viewing on what the awards and the "experts" are saying.

     But am in no way am I saying that Parker should not have won.  All the other choices seem logical enough.  Maybe they weren’t the absolute best ever at their respective positions, but they all seem to be in the top tier at whichever "zone’ they covered.  Some of the comments below the Associated press article on ESPN, have arguments/comments by viewers.  Like; Ryne Sandberg should have won.  Don mattingly should have won.  But like usual they mostly seem to be subjective.  And why not, the stats weren’t reliable, and nowadays no one wants to seem to admit that defensive statistics actually matter somewhat.  So their reasoning is built around who they saw perform, and "Fielding Percentage" of course.  Which are not the right ways to evaluate this sort of thing.  And it is harder to figure out who is the greatest defender of all time than it is to figure out who the greatest player of all time is.  And no, I don’t have the answers for either, but can and will dish out my opinions on them.  But will be much, much more confident in the greatest player of all time discussion. 

     Anyway:  Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Willie Mays.  Is anyone going to be able to give a valid argument as to why any of these players should not be on this list?  Griffey could very much be argued.  Especially since Andruw Jones didn’t make the cut.  But they are all good defensive players.  So it seems to be accurate enough to interest me.  But having Derek Jeter on the ballot was absolutely indefensible. 





  1. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    i wondered where you had been. i don’t know what article you’re writing about. was in on ESPN.com?
    is it about all great defenders of all time or just 1st basemen?

  2. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    hey joe, i went to the phil hughes game on monday which was a truly exciting game with the lead going back and forth. got to see hughes pitch for the first time ( of hopefully many) got to see homers by a-rod (his 40th) and a huge one from jorge to tie the game. of course the ending was not the one i was looking for 🙂
    there were some yankee fans around us that we made friends with and had amazing seats right behind 3rd base about 7 rows back.

    since the yanks lost that one i wanted to go to another one , but knew better than to go to see moose. which as you know was a good decision. ended up finding 2 tickets for andy last night on stubhub WAAAAY in the upper deck, but the game was tons of fun…also lots of LOUD yankee fans up there with us. the angel fans started pouring out of the stands after the 7th inning .

    seriously on a few occasions the “lets go yankees” cheers were deafening as well as a few choruses of “hip hip jorge”

    thanks for the link to the article, to be honest i had never heard of wes parker

  3. joseph

    Yes, that Rangers/Orioles game was pretty awesome. At least for the Rangers, especially since in the past 4 games or whatever, they have been completely dominated by both Santana and Bedard.

  4. joseph

    My Dad texted me earlier and told me that it had happened. The reason it happened, I just read, was so Javier Lopez could come up (lefty specialist) against Thome, the yankees, etc. but then lester will return. They chose to send him to AA because it lined up better with our rotation so he would not have to miss a start.

  5. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    ahhh…well i knew you’d know….thanks. i thought they weren’t happy with lopez. to be honest i only vaguely remember him from earlier this year

  6. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com

    Wes Parker’s claim to fame was he appeared on the Brady Bunch. Never thought he would have made the list.

  7. kmcduff@bak.rr.com

    Wes Parker’s significance is much more than appearing in the Brady Bunch (he also starred in a Billy Graham movie many years ago). I’ve been a baseball fan for lots of years and saw him play many times. I voted for him as best all-time defensive first baseman (as did many others, obviously) because he was so exceptional. Everyone else on that list was there at lease in part because of their overall accomplishment; Wes was there because he was a GREAT defensive first baseman. (He also finished fifth in MVP balloting one year.)

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