Why? Why is Ruth an icon, Gehrig a legend, and Combs an unknown? Part of the answer lies in the ability to hit with power. Power, in this sense, means to compile extra-base hits, i.e. doubles, triples, and home runs. Combs was an excellent hitter and possessed outstanding speed ; he remains one of the all-time leaders in triples. His career high in home runs, however, was 9.
In comparison, in 1927 as an example, Combs and Ruth each had a .356 batting average, and Gehrig hit at a .373 clip. Each was among the league leaders. Combs hit an astounding 23 triples and a rather modest 6 home runs. Gehrig hit 52 doubles and 47 home runs; Ruth hit his historic 60 home runs. During his glorious 12-year career, Combs hit a total of 58 homers!
If you want to be a legend, hit with power. If the goal of baseball is to get on base and score runs, why not accomplish that feat sooner, rather than later. Combs was a great player and was soon forgotten; Gehrig and Ruth were great power hitters and will always be remembered.
From January 2011, http://raisingahitter.wordpress.com