Schuckman: Muddy River staff chimes in on greatest living baseball player debate


Willie Mays, considered by some to be the greatest baseball player ever to appear in Major League Baseball, passed away this week at the age of 93, opening the debate as to who is baseball's greatest living player. | Photo courtesy National Baseball Hall of Fame

QUINCY — The tributes to Willie Mays since the Hall of Fame baseball player passed away have been captivating and enlightening.

If you watched FOX’s pregame show prior to the St. Louis Cardinals facing the San Francisco Giants at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., you were treated to some of the most well-produced and engaging segments associated with any broadcast anywhere.

Through it all, one question remains unanswered.

With Mays gone, who is baseball’s greatest living player?

That can be a heated debate with a variety of opinions.

Does Hall of Fame status matter? How do you weigh MVP awards? Does playing on a championship team impact a player’s legacy? Do steroids and gambling alter your view?

We posed the question about the greatest living player on social media and received a tremendous response. The names you would expect to be mentioned — Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez — were there, as were players like Rickey Henderson and Pete Rose.

A vast number of pitchers were mentioned, such as Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax. There were even a couple of current players — Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani — whose names were dropped by some fans.

I asked the Muddy River Sports and News staff members to offer their opinions, and how they determined their top 10 was intriguing. Two of us — myself and News Editor David Adam — chose not to put any pitchers on the list, although I did make a separate list of my top 10 living pitchers. Ben Marth allowed steroid use and being banned from the game to impact his choices. Shane Hulsey laughed about his admitted bias at the top of his list.

So here are our lists ranking the greatest living baseball players. Let us know who you agree with, who missed the mark and who should have their sanity checked.

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