Ronald Reagan tops a list of the nation's greatest presidents, ahead of Abraham Lincoln, according to a new Gallup survey. -- News item.
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As spring training for another baseball season swings into high gear, it is time to discuss the Greatest Baseball Player of All Time.
Eddie Miller did things shortstops just don't do today. He cut a hole in the sweet spot of his fielder's mitt! "Gives me a better feel, especially on double plays started by Frey." That would be Lonnie Frey, his second baseman with the great Cincinnati Reds teams of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Together they turned 112 double plays in the 1943 season. Cubs fans may sing the praises of Tinker to Evers to Chance, but in Cincy, Miller to Frey to McCormick spells G-R-E-A-T-N-E-S-S.
Eddie (The Ripper) Miller broke into the major leagues in 1936 at the age of 19. Already he was demonstrating the fielding prowess that would make him a seven-time All-Star. In 1937, the 20-year-old shortstop wasn't charged with a single error.
Eddie could do it all, however. Swing the bat, run the bases . . . he stole 11 bases in 1942 at the ripe old age of 25. It's true that other shortstops like Luke Appling or Hughie Jennings compiled higher lifetime batting averages than Eddie's .238, but Miller could take two and hit to right like nobody before or after him.
And in 1947, he not only hit .268, but also belted a career high 19 home runs. Miller actually led the National League in homers for most of the first month of the season.
Sure, you had your Ty Cobbs, your Babe Ruths, your Honus Wagners, your Ted Williamses and a whole batch of terrific pitchers.
But among everyday position players, there was only one Eddie Miller. (The other Eddie Miller who played big-league baseball was a pitcher.)
To this day, kids on the sandlots of Cincinnati are inspired to go out and win one for The Ripper.