Comparing the sluggers is something of a pastime. Which one was better? Some aspects of the players can be scientifically compared. Seems to me, but don’t quote me, Mantle has the record from when he hit the ball to first base. On the other hand, the Babe was also a terrific pitcher.
However, mostly, it is impossible to truly compare them. They played in a different time and against different players. They both faced different pitchers and they even played on slightly different fields. There are dozens of variables. It is, to be sure a good reason to keep the game rules relatively constant. Even then, they found that some of the records need asterisks because of the use of steroids.
Also, the conditions have changed. Some say that Roger Marris didn’t deserve the home run title because they played more games in a season than during the days of Ruth. Over time, it has become somewhat moot. Seems to me a couple more have exceeded the Babes old record.
Still, things are different today in many ways. Today we have all sorts of training aids. Using video recorders, a person can examine his swing and modify it to perfection. On the other side, the pitchers have the same advantage. If I had to guess, and I have, I would suspect that both the hitting and pitching have improved over the years.
There is one other factor that few figure into it. During the days of Babe Ruth, the population of the US was much smaller. Not only that, many of today’s players come from other countries. It greatly increases the selection pool. This in itself will likely increase what I call the talent co-efficient; for both the hitters and the pitchers. It could be argued that if today’s hitters went against the pitchers of Ruth’s day, all sorts of records would be set.
To be sure, it does make comparing players of different eras impossible. Moreover, it is even difficult to compare players of the same time. The players on the Yankees don’t face Yankee pitching. The pitchers on the Dodgers don’t ever have to face the Dodger hitters. I’m quite sure the Yankee pitchers in Ruth’s day were thankful they never had to face the Great Bambino or the likes of the Iron Man, Lou Gehrig.
It simply makes it impossible to truly compare abilities of players. Yet, to some degree, we can make some comparisons. Even if I played in the days of Ruth, I would have never made it into the major league. In some cases the comparisons are obvious.
This difficulty of comparisons holds true in all the major sports. Even so, there are those who stand out and we can say they are special within their sport. So to some degree, we can make some comparisons. However, the closer their abilities, the more difficult it is to say one is better than another, even when they play at the same time.
If only it were limited to sports. One president leaves office. Another comes in. The one that comes in says the previous man left a mess and he is doing well to get things straightened out. Most times, the truth is difficult to perceive.
On the other hand, with Biden, it is simple to tell that he is lying. In almost every way, indicators show that things have nose dived since he took office. If he were trying to destroy this country, he couldn’t be much more effective. And still he has, the last I heard, a 60 percent approval rating.
Maybe he would lose favor if he invited criminals across the southern border. Wait a minute. I think he already did that.