With Hall of Fame voting coming soon, ESPN surveyed "experts" to identify the best players ever:
Out with conventional wisdom and hidebound opinions; in with a new analysis of which players really are the best of the best.
And so we present the ESPN Hall of 100: the top 100 players of all time. Period. -- Steve Wulf
By "new analysis", he means this...
Our panel of experts -- editors, writers, reporters, on-air personalities -- was given a list of more than 300 names: players already in the actual Hall of Fame or on the ballot as well as past and active players who surpassed certain seasonal and career benchmarks in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), a measure of how many wins a player contributes to his team compared to a readily available minor leaguer. The voters were asked to rate the players on a scale of 0 (the least worthy to be on the list) to 100 (most worthy) by increments of 5. They were advised to not factor in steroids use (real or suspected) or off-field conduct detrimental to the game. They were encouraged to look at advanced metrics, not just the same old numbers.
They also tried to factor in the quality of the peak, as explained in the methodology.
The top 100 are being published in three pieces, with 76-100 yesterday, 26-75 today, and 1-25 to appear tomorrow.
Tuesday: Nos. 76-100
78. Mike Piazza
79. Robin Roberts
83. Mark McGwire
85. Manny Ramirez
92. Roy Halladay
94. Jim Thome
95. Sammy Sosa
Wednesday: Nos. 26-75
26. Steve Carlton - pleasantly surprised he's this high
35. Nolan Ryan
37. Pete Rose
38. Derek Jeter - fitting, in a way, coming after Rose
41. Pedro Martinez
49. Chipper Jones
50. Grover Cleveland Alexander
Coming Thursday: Nos. 1-25