We are approaching the World Series, so baseball is on the minds of many Americans right now.

And baseball fans and sports pundits like to debate the issue of who is the best hitter of all time. And it is hard to compare hitters from different baseball eras.

However, my colleague, pal and the coauthor of one of my books, Who Will Win The Big Game, has recently collected some interesting data on this topic.

In this book Carlton and I tried to identify the fifty characteristics of winning teams,players and coaches based on statistics and psychology.

In doing research for another book on baseball, Baseball + Numbers= Fun & Games, Carlton Chin, a fund manager and an MIT trained quant, evaluated baseball hitters using these factors: batting average, slugging percentage, batting average plus slugging percentage and home runs.

Obviously, there are many ways that a statistician might crunch data to answer the question as to who is the best hitter of all time. For example, Some might look at total
number of hits, on base percentage, walks, strike outs and game winning hits.

However, Carlton’s data does seem to be a valid way to identify some of the games great batters. Mr. Chin elected to exclude players who were known to be steroid users or
who had admitted to steroid use during what he calls “steroid years.”

The top five hitters based on this research are Ted Williams, Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas and Mickey Mantle.

In my view, from a psychological and mental toughness perspective, Ted Williams was the greatest hitter of all time. His book, The Science Of Hitting, indicates that
Williams was a very bright fellow who was really a student of the game.

Williams took a very pragmatic and sensible approach to hitting and he had some interesting ideas on learning from previous at bats and on managing the count in an intelligent manner.

Many professional baseball players look upon his book as a kind of bible of baseball hitting.

His psychological strengths and physical accomplishments cause me to view him as being the greatest hitter in the game.

I am certain that some will disagree with our findings. And that is fine. Part of What makes baseball so interesting is that the statistics and differing opinions make for great debates and interesting dinner conversations.

Author's Bio: 

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is the author of 101 Ways To Break A Hitting Slump, the founder of www.StayInTheZone.com and a Psychotherapist in River Edge, NJ.