Round One S40

Reggie Jackson Swing

Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Heinie Manush take on stars of the 70s Buddy Bell, Bill North, and Ken Griffey Sr. They also face Edwin Encarnacion, Bob Johnson, and 19th-century triple expert John Reilly in continuing Round One action.

The Hitters

Reggie-Jackson-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Before he became “Mr. October,” Reggie Jackson was already well on his way to a Hall-of-Fame career with the Athletics. All told, in his 21-years in the big leagues, he led in home runs four times, picked up an MVP, and was named to 14 All-Star teams. When he retired in 1987, his 563 career home runs were good for sixth place on the all-time list and he is among the leaders in multiple offensive categories.

Heinie-Manush-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Heinie Manush was one of the most dominating hitters of his era. His seventeen years spanned the 1920s and 30s, where he stroked 2524 hits with 491 doubles and 160 triples, good for a .330 lifetime batting average. He was selected for the Hall-of-Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1964.

Buddy-Bell-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

An excellent fielder – he won six Gold Gloves – Buddy Bell was also no slouch at the plate. He had 2514 hits in his 18-year career, good for a .279 lifetime batting average. He also slugged 425 doubles and 201 homers.

Bob-Johnson-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Bob Johnson had a good eye, as evidenced by his 1075 bases on balls in thirteen big league seasons. He was also pretty fair with the stick, batting .296 with 288 home runs. His OBP of .393 and slugging average of .506 speak to his production. One wonders what he might have accomplished in his career if he had made the majors before becoming a 27-year-old rookie in 1933.

John-Reilly-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

“Long John” Reilly only played for ten big league seasons – seven of them for the Cincinnati entry in the American Association from 1883-1889. He hit .289, primarily holding down first base due to his 6-3, 185 lbs frame. He made the playoff by virtue of his 139 triples.

Bill-North-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Bill North stole 395 bases in his eleven major league seasons, mostly with the Oakland Athletics. While only hitting .261, his ability to take a walk boosted his OBP to a healthy .365, just what you want in a leadoff hitter.

Edwin-Encarnacion-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Edwin Encarnacion‘s 414 lifetime home runs earned him a spot in the tournament. The hard-hitting first baseman also has a decent .352 lifetime OBP, which may make him someone to watch.

Ken-Griffey-Sr-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Often overshadowed by his extremely talented son, Ken Griffey put together a nineteen-year career that included a little power, a little speed, and good bat control. He slugged 152 home runs, stole 200 bases, and hit for a .296 average. He is in the tournament based on his ranking in Wins Probability Added.

The Results

John Reilly9064.584*WON*
Bob Johnson8569.5525.0
Ken Griffey Sr8074.51910.0
Heinie Manush7777.50013.0
Reggie Jackson 7678.49414.0
Buddy Bell7183.46119.0
Edwin Encarnacion7084.45520.0
Bill North6787.43523.0

19th Century first baseman, John Reilly, had a lucky year, going 42-24 in one-run games and that was enough to propel him to a first-place finish. Ken Griffey Sr. led in batting with .237 vs. the league’s .209.

Season Highlights

Bob Johnson and Reggie Jackson were the homerun hitters with the top Johnson hitting 25 on the season. Bill North was no-hit by Cy Young.

Round 3 will see Reilly, Johnson, Griffey, and Heinie Manush being joined by Reggie Jackson, who won his last two games of the season to swing his run differential into the positive. The rest head to Round 2.

Tim Bruno

Tim has been a baseball fan for most of his life and has played a great deal of baseball and softball over the years. Although his playing days are long behind him, he remembers back when he was an extremely fast catcher with an extremely bad arm. He has been playing Strat-o-Matic baseball since he was 14. Tim is currently living in southwest France and writes A LOT about coffee at He has also written Procaffeination: A Coffee Lover's Dictionary, which will be available soon. You can find out more about Tim's writing at and if you want to contact him about the tournament, drop him an email at

Recent Posts

link to Round 4 S26

Round 4 S26

The Hitters We are treated to a true mix of players for this elimination round, covering a broad swath of baseball history. Top seed Herman Long hails from the 19th century with...