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View Full Version : Was Barry greater than Walter?


drumback
11-01-2011, 09:24 PM
The Wichita Eagle recently named Barry Sanders as the greatest athlete ever produced by the state of Kansas, with Walter Johnson #2. Should it be the other way around?

drc
11-02-2011, 01:01 AM
Walter would be my #1, but nothing wring with Barry.

barrysloate
11-02-2011, 10:35 AM
There are many people alive who saw Barry Sanders play. Walter Johnson is an historical figure that very few living people ever saw play. That could be a factor in the decision.

Runscott
11-02-2011, 11:34 AM
Could you really see them picking an old white guy over Sanders?

Actually, I'm surprised they didn't pick a basketball player.

tiger8mush
11-02-2011, 12:02 PM
I had to re-read the posting cuz I assumed the comparison was football related - Barry vs Walter Payton haha.

"athlete" is about as well-defined as "rookie card". Are bowlers athletes? Pool players? Athletically, I'm sure Barry Sanders could do just about everything better than Walter Johnson, other than sling a baseball 100mph with accuracy. I'm sure there were better athletes than Barry though. Like track & field stars who went on to do other things in life than professional sports. So defining "athlete" is tough. Dave Wells could throw a baseball damn well but about 1/2 the earth's population is more athletic than he is haha.

Barry was fun as hell to watch though. I'm a Cowboys fan, but Barry was my favorite running back. Was sad when he retired and didn't come back to play though he was in his prime. What if ...

drc
11-02-2011, 08:19 PM
I looked at various "Best RB of All Time" lists (for what they're worth), and Barry was ranked #1,2 or 3 in each of them. I thought he was the best running back, by quite a bit, of his era-- and the most fun to watch. They say if you count foreword, backwards and sideways, he rushed more than anyone ever. He was a bit like a pin ball.

I still would rank Walter Johnson, the best pitcher ever, above him. I would rank Barry on part with say a Rickey Henderson or a Tom Seaver.

I met #3, Jim Ryun.

yanksfan09
11-02-2011, 09:02 PM
I think lists are usually always more biased towards more recent players. I always hear this or that athlete is a top ten player, such as Griffey, Bonds, Pujols, Manny Ramirez, A-Rod etc with hitters. Or how Pedro Martinez, Maddux, Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera etc... are in the top 10 or so with pitchers. People always make statements like that on talk radio and sports TV shows. Half the time I just shake my head and laugh. Maybe a couple of these guys get that high on the list like a Pujols or something, but the history of the game is so long with so many greats, it's hard to start making cuts from the players of the past.

Statements like this are so easy to say, but they never back it up by giving a complete list and who they exclude. In NY, I hear a lot how Derek Jeter is a top 5,4,3 etc... all time Yankee. Maybe he makes it to 5 at best, but ceratinly can't get higher. I think 5 is a real stretch and you have to leave off the pitchers Whitey Ford and Mariano Rivera. Babe Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle are immortal players who he can't surpass. Yogi Berra is maybe debatable but 10 rings and the MVP's and power from a small catcher is pretty tough to get past.

Rambling a bit. But, I feel a lot of people tend to forget or dismiss greatness of the past or just don't know their history.

Tabe
11-04-2011, 07:01 PM
There are many people alive who saw Barry Sanders play. Walter Johnson is an historical figure that very few living people ever saw play. That could be a factor in the decision.
Walter retired in 1987. It's not like you'd have to 100 years old to remember seeing him.

That said, I'd take Barry. I am hardly unbiased - I grew up 5 minutes from the Silverdome - but I think Barry was better.

Tabe

albrshbr
11-05-2011, 10:26 AM
Walter retired in 1987. It's not like you'd have to 100 years old to remember seeing him.

That said, I'd take Barry. I am hardly unbiased - I grew up 5 minutes from the Silverdome - but I think Barry was better.

Tabe

Ummmm...Walter Johnson retired in 1927. So yes, you would have to be 100 years old to remember seeing him.

Tabe
11-07-2011, 10:28 AM
Ummmm...Walter Johnson retired in 1927. So yes, you would have to be 100 years old to remember seeing him.

Somehow I read "Walter Johnson" and saw "Walter Payton". Good grief, that was bad :)

Tabe