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Should Clemente's #21 be retired by MLB

Should #21 be retired by the MLB?  

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40 minutes ago, goalieboy82 said:

also with Gretzky, what if someone comes a long and breaks his records, will the NHL retire that persons number.

Gretzky’s numbers are so far ahead of second place that it could be a century before anyone capable of even approaching his numbers comes along. 

 

29 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

I honestly don’t think his number was retired for any one record that will fall, but for being the superstar that brought the NHL into the mainstream.  The first international superstar, as it were. 

 

Can’t take that away from him.  But still doesn’t mean his number should have been retired league-wide. 

Check out Gretzky’s numbers in relation to everyone else.

That’s why I’m ok with his number being retried league-wide. There’s a legitimate argument to be made that he’s the greatest hockey player who will ever live.

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4 hours ago, smzimbabwe said:

If they hadn't retired it and made it unavailable, would anyone else dare to wear 99 in the NHL?

I know that saying Gretzky is the Jordan of hockey is still downplaying how dominant Gretzky really was, but FWIW 23 is worn all the time in the NBA.

 

I guess the NHL is a bit more entrenched with unwritten rules though.

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Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player who ever lived.  And probably always will be. 

 

Don Hutson was the greatest football player who ever lived.  And probably always will be. 

 

But I’m glad #s 3 and 14 haven't been taken out of their sports. 

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1 hour ago, Kaz said:

I know that saying Gretzky is the Jordan of hockey is still downplaying how dominant Gretzky really was, but FWIW 23 is worn all the time in the NBA.

 

I guess the NHL is a bit more entrenched with unwritten rules though.

 

32 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player who ever lived.  And probably always will be. 

 

Don Hutson was the greatest football player who ever lived.  And probably always will be. 

 

But I’m glad #s 3 and 14 haven't been taken out of their sports. 

Jordan, Ruth, and Hutson didn’t dominate their sports like Gretzky did his. Again, look at the record books. It’s not even close.

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I have a real love/hate relationship with Gretzky's retired number. On principle, I don't think somebody should have their number retired league-wide just because they were really, really good at their sport. On the other hand, I think the association between Gretzky and 99 is probably greater than any other athlete and their number. Jordan's 23 is close, but it's a more common number. If Gretzky wore #7, it wouldn't be nearly the same and I don't even know if they have a discussion about retiring it.

 

Jackie Robinson is a good reason to have a number retired league-wide. Clemente deserves a ton of reverence and recognition, but not to have his number retired everywhere.

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2 hours ago, goalieboy82 said:

also with Gretzky, what if someone comes a long and breaks his records

 

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

 

The fact that he wore 99, the highest number, makes it a convenient leaguewide retirement. I won't argue that. But hey, he smashed the record book to smithereens, go ahead, retire it, he's Wayne Gretzky, do whatever you want. Replace the playing of the national anthem with "O Gretzky" if you want (as long as it's gender-neutral).

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1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

Jordan, Ruth, and Hutson didn’t dominate their sports like Gretzky did his. Again, look at the record books. It’s not even close.

What??

The guy hit more home runs than every other team in the league in 1920 (four years after he led the league with 9 shutouts and a 1.75 ERA...he could've had a career as a Hall of Fame pitcher!). Then he did it again in 1927.

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1 minute ago, cmm said:

What??

The guy hit more home runs than every other team in the league in 1920 (four years after he led the league with 9 shutouts and a 1.75 ERA...he could've had a career as a Hall of Fame pitcher!). Then he did it again in 1927.

Ruth was dominant in his time, but he was surpassed. 

Gretzky’s numbers are so far beyond everyone else’s that it’s hard to comprehend how anyone can even come close to approaching them. 

 

Ruth doesn’t dominate the MLB recordbooks like Gretzky does the NHL’s. 

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Not a fan of 99 being retired league wide. 

 

I do really like teams retiring numbers when warranted. I wouldn't want to see another 23 in Chicago, 21 in San Antonio, 34 in LA, etc

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3 hours ago, Kaz said:

I know that saying Gretzky is the Jordan of hockey is still downplaying how dominant Gretzky really was, but FWIW 23 is worn all the time in the NBA.

 

I guess the NHL is a bit more entrenched with unwritten rules though.

 

You cant say that Gretzky was the Jordan of hockey when there’s a lot of people who consider Wilt Chamberlain the goat, not to mention what Lebron is doing now. The gap between Jordan (if he even is #1) and next is not very wide. 

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2 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

Jordan, Ruth, and Hutson didn’t dominate their sports like Gretzky did his. Again, look at the record books. It’s not even close.

 

Sure they did. 

 

I can’t speak to basketball, but Ruth and Hutson put up better numbers (home runs, touchdowns) than entire teams of their era.  I don’t know enough about hockey - did Wayne ever score more goals in a season than the entire Pittsburgh Penguins roster?

 

it’s just that their era was a long time ago, so we don’t recognize them as such.  And the games have been changed (largely through their influence) to maximize the numbers of those who came after them. 

 

If hockey evolves as baseball and football did, Gretzky’s numbers will also fall. But those two men were the reason their sports evolved in the first place, to try and make more like them. 

 

Dont want to diminish Gretzky at all. Not my intention.  Only pointing out that game-changing athletes happen in all sports, just not always in our lifetimes. 

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5 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

You cant say that Gretzky was the Jordan of hockey when there’s a lot of people who consider Wilt Chamberlain the goat, not to mention what Lebron is doing now. The gap between Jordan (if he even is #1) and next is not very wide. 

Gretzky was certainly more dominant in his sport than Jordan, but I think they do share the distinction of being the general consensus GOATs of their respective sports and that means something.  Sure, some think Wilt or Lebron or Kareem is the NBA GOAT, but some people think Orr or Rocket is the NHL GOAT too; there's always gonna be some contrarians.

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11 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Sure they did. 

 

I can’t speak to basketball, but Ruth and Hutson put up better numbers (home runs, touchdowns) than entire teams of their era.  I don’t know enough about hockey - did Wayne ever score more goals in a season than the entire Pittsburgh Penguins roster?

 

it’s just that their era was a long time ago, so we don’t recognize them as such.  And the games have been changed (largely through their influence) to maximize the numbers of those who came after them. 

 

Ruth and Hutson played in smaller leagues and before integration. That's a notable point against them, compared to Gretzky (who played in the liveliest period of NHL scoring).

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True.  Which is why it’s foolish to compare across eras.

 

Again, not minimizing his accomplishments in the slightest.  He is certainly the greatest hockey player ever, even I know that.  But I don’t think “greatest ever” is itself enough to justify retiring a number league-wide.  Jackie Robinson’s number is retired because of what his career meant to the entire nation, not just to his sport or even to sports in general.  That can’t be said about Ruth, Hutson, Jordan, or even Gretzky.

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34 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

I don’t know enough about hockey - did Wayne ever score more goals in a season than the entire Pittsburgh Penguins roster?

No, but hockey really doesn’t work that way. It’s pretty much impossible for one player to outscore an entire team over the course of a season. That said? 

 

Gretzky has the NHL record for most points, at 2, 875. 

Who’s at number two? Jaromir Jagr, at 1,914. And Jagr had to play for nearly 30 years to get within 1,000 points of what Gretzky did in 20 years. 

 

Gretzky also leads the league with most goals in a single season, at 92. For context? Sidney Crosby won the league scoring title last season with 44. And Crosby was (correctly) touted as the game’s best talent since Gretzky. 

 

Ruth and Hutson don’t own their sports’ record books. Not like that. 

 

Gretzky may be surpassed one day. It probably won’t be in any of our lifetimes though. 

 

34 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Dont want to diminish Gretzky at all. Not my intention.  Only pointing out that game-changing athletes happen in all sports, just not always in our lifetimes. 

I’m just trying to provide some context, given that you admit that you’re unfamiliar with hockey. 

What Gretzky did was more than just set records. He obliterated everything to come before him, and no one’s been able to catch up. 

 

I get that Wayne Gretzky didn’t effect the game in a way that was societally important, but I’m not sure that’s the only requirement for a league-wide retirement. 

Gretzky’s utter ownership of the NHL’s record books makes retiring 99 league wide ok by me.

 

 

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Home runs are not the same as goals. You can’t even make a comparison line that between sports. Did Ruth have more rbi or runs scored than any entire team? Do course not, but those are the closest to “goals” as baseball has, and even that’s flawed. 

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3 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

Ruth and Hutson played in smaller leagues and before integration. That's a notable point against them, compared to Gretzky (who played in the liveliest period of NHL scoring).

And Bonds and Aaron and all played in the expansion era with more crappy pitchers, smaller ballparks, amphetamines, steroids, the DH, etc. And none of the guys who caught Ruth's home run numbers also dominated as a pitcher like he did. (I don't think Gretzky would have fared as well as a goalie.)

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WAR isn't the be-all, end-all. But it does attempt to normalize for different eras, different ballparks, different competition, different positions, and all that jazz. To dismiss Ruth's accomplishments because a couple of guys out-homered him in a more offensive era is silly.

 

Both Ruth and Gretzky were dominant in their sport. Which one was more dominant? I don't know, you can make a case for either. But don't just dismiss Ruth because he's no longer the career leader in certain stats. The game has changed so much since he played, and a lot of it is because of him; he made the home run sexy.

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8 minutes ago, cmm said:

I don't think Gretzky would have fared as well as a goalie.

Um...baseball is set up in such a way that offence and defence aren’t on the field at the same time. Ruth could excel as a batter and as a pitcher because the game allowed that to happen. 

 

Hockey doesn’t work that way. There was no scenario where the Oilers were going to have Grant Fuhr play centre and have Gretzky strap on the goalie pads. 

 

8 minutes ago, cmm said:

But don't just dismiss Ruth because he's no longer the career leader in certain stats.

I’m not dismissing Babe Ruth. I’m saying Wayne Gretzky obliterated his sport’s record book in a way Ruth didn’t. 

 

*shrug*

 

8 minutes ago, cmm said:

To dismiss Ruth's accomplishments because a couple of guys out-homered him in a more offensive era is silly.

Not as silly as suggesting that Gretzky wasn’t that dominant because he never played goalie :P 

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4 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Um...baseball is set up in such a way that offence and defence aren’t on the field at the same time. Ruth could excel as a batter and as a pitcher because the game allowed that to happen. 

Ok, but why is he the only person in baseball history who had so much success at both? Because he was that dominant!

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