I admit, I had never knowingly heard the name Wes Parker. And as some of you may have heard, he is the greatest defensive first baseman of all time. According to the Rawlings "All Time Gold Glove" team at least. Which is not definitive or a completely accurate measurement of defensive ability. The "Gold Glove" winners are not always deserving of the award. See: Jeter, Palmeiro. But the majority of the time, I would say that a good player wins the award. And we should not expect anything less as these are so called "Experts" making these decisions. So they must have at least some knowledge about this game if we appoint them with this stature. But defensive statistics are not what their offensive counterparts are. And let’s just say that the defensive stats in past decades are not even close to as reliable as the ones used to evaluate range, etc, in the modern decade. So I really have little idea of how good Wes Parker was back in the 60’s. I notice that he won six "Gold Gloves." And that he was fairly sure handed with his glove. But what I don’t have access to, is his "Zone Rating" or John Dewan’s "Plus/Minus" system, or even "The Hardball Times" statistical tools. But we did not have those back then. So I have to base some of the viewing on what the awards and the "experts" are saying.
But am in no way am I saying that Parker should not have won. All the other choices seem logical enough. Maybe they weren’t the absolute best ever at their respective positions, but they all seem to be in the top tier at whichever "zone’ they covered. Some of the comments below the Associated press article on ESPN, have arguments/comments by viewers. Like; Ryne Sandberg should have won. Don mattingly should have won. But like usual they mostly seem to be subjective. And why not, the stats weren’t reliable, and nowadays no one wants to seem to admit that defensive statistics actually matter somewhat. So their reasoning is built around who they saw perform, and "Fielding Percentage" of course. Which are not the right ways to evaluate this sort of thing. And it is harder to figure out who is the greatest defender of all time than it is to figure out who the greatest player of all time is. And no, I don’t have the answers for either, but can and will dish out my opinions on them. But will be much, much more confident in the greatest player of all time discussion.
Anyway: Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Willie Mays. Is anyone going to be able to give a valid argument as to why any of these players should not be on this list? Griffey could very much be argued. Especially since Andruw Jones didn’t make the cut. But they are all good defensive players. So it seems to be accurate enough to interest me. But having Derek Jeter on the ballot was absolutely indefensible.