View Poll Results: Josh Gibson/Mike Piazza

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  • I'd rather have Josh Gibson over Mike Piazza.

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  • I'd rather have Mike Piazza over Josh Gibson.

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Thread: Gibson/Piazza

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by bkmckenna
    i don't think anyone is denying that josh gibson was indeed a great player but you just can't make up stats - if they are not available - they are not available - it's a shame but that is how it is - please don't make up numbers especially something like 900 homers (why was 900 selected? because of painfully researched data or because no one else has hit 900 homers?)
    " don't think anyone is denying that josh gibson was indeed a great player but you just can't make up stats - if they are not available - they are not available - it's a shame but that is how it is - please don't make up numbers especially something like 900 homers (why was 900 selected? because of painfully researched data or because no one else has hit 900 homers?) "

    The same could be said of babe ruth's pitching career. Granted, we do know what his raw stats were, But adjusting for era ( he pitched in the deadball era) they werent anything astromical, No better than the pitching numbers posted By Pat Hentgen.

    Yet the casual fan, writer, Member of the media, etc, always falsely portrays ruth's pitching career as " Incredible ", and usually tends to use that arguement to aid his place in history.

    " not going out on a limb to say that piazza faced better pitching day in and day out than anyone in the negro leagues - i personally have a lot of respect for negro league ball and enjoy reading about it - but i am also under no delusions - there were top-notch/great ballplayers in the negro leagues - some would have done okay in the majors some would have excelled - "

    He probably did face better pitching than gibson.

    He also faced better, stronger, more effective relief pitching than ruth or any player from that era.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-12-2006 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dontworry
    The same could be said of babe Ruth's pitching career. Granted, we do know what his raw stats were, But adjusting for era ( he pitched in the deadball era) they weren't anything astronomical, No better than the pitching numbers posted By Pat Hentgen.

    Yet the casual fan, writer, Member of the media, etc, always falsely portrays Ruth's pitching career as " Incredible ", and usually tends to use that argument to aid his place in history.
    are you saying Ruth wasn't astronomical when he was pitching? second to Walter Johnson, he was the best pitcher in baseball in his prime
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-12-2006 at 04:29 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805
    are you saying Ruth wasn't astronomical when he was pitching? second to Walter Johnson, he was the best pitcher in baseball in his prime
    Babe Ruth was a very excellent pitcher, while he did that. He led his L. in ERA in 1916, but came in 7th in ERA next season, and so we can say that for that one year, he had the best year, among the competing pitchers.

    I do NOT think it is fair or just to say the if you lead your L in ERA for a year, or even several other stats, than you are the best pitcher in BB, even for that year. Even when Babe led in ERA in 1916, Walter Johnson was still the best pitcher in BB, followed by Alexander.

    We must be exceedingly careful as to our language in these matters. Words do count. Language matters.

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-12-2006 at 04:37 PM.

  4. #44
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    someone on this board posted this once:

    Ruth was a pitcher only in 1915-16-17 and here is how he compares in some stats, not only in the AL but in the NL as well, in all off baseball in 1915-16-17.

    Base runners/9 innings pitched
    1---Walter Johnson--------------9.08
    2---Babe Ruth------------------10.13
    3---Hooks Dauss----------------11.51

    Batters faced
    1---Walter Johnson-------------4038
    2---Babe Ruth------------------3508
    3---Hooks Dauss----------------3286

    Hits/9 Inn.
    1-- Babe Ruth-----------------6.64
    2---Walter Johnson------------6.94
    3---Hooks Dauss--------------7.96

    Shutouts
    1---Walter Johnson-----------18
    2---Babe Ruth----------------16
    3---Reb Russell---------------13

    Strikeouts
    1---Walter Johnson---------619
    2---Babe Ruth--------------410
    3---Dutch Leonard----------404

    Strikeout/Walks
    1---Walter Johnson--------3.00
    2---Babe Ruth-------------1.32
    3---Hooks Dauss-----------1.14

    Walks
    1---Joe Bush--------------330
    2---Babe Ruth-------------311
    3---Bill James--------------300

    Walks/9 innings pitched
    1---Walter Johnson-------1.80
    2---Hooks Dauss----------3.18
    3---Babe Ruth------------3.23

    Strike outs
    1---Walter Johnson-----619
    2---Alexander----------608
    3---Dave Davenport----458
    4---Babe Ruth---------410

    Walks
    1---Babe Ruth---------311
    2---Pete Schnieder----305
    3---Davenport--------301

    Wins
    1---Alexander--------94
    2---Walter Johnson--75
    3--- Babe Ruth------65

    Winning percentage
    1---Alexander------.729
    2---Ruth----------.663
    3 ---Johnson------.605


    forget who, but credit to them, not me

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805
    someone on this board posted this once:

    Ruth was a pitcher only in 1915-16-17 and here is how he compares in some stats, not only in the AL but in the NL as well, in all off baseball in 1915-16-17.

    Base runners/9 innings pitched
    1---Walter Johnson--------------9.08
    2---Babe Ruth------------------10.13
    3---Hooks Dauss----------------11.51
    I posted those stats some weeks ago. I have always stated that there is no way to tell how Ruth would have done for a career had he remained on the mound. I have never said he was a great pitcher, he would have to prove that over the long haul.

    But I will say and the numbers prove it, that he was one of the best in the only 3 seasons that he was a pitcher only. It's often brought up that he pitched in the dead ball era and had he remained a pitcher his ERA and some other stats would have suffered with the banning of trick deliveries, the practice of tossing out scuffed up balls and the livelier ball that came in the years 1920, actually that ball may have been improved, tighter wind in 1919.

    I say to that, so what, all pitchers would have suffered with those changes, what does that have to do with how Ruth pitched before 1920. Didn't all pitchers pitch under the same conditions in the years 1915-16-17.

    Lets face the facts, look at the only two pitchers that could be considered better than Ruth in the years 1915-16-17, Alexander and Johnson, two of the greatest ever and he was a lefty facing around 75 percent right handed batters

    Only 3 left handers in the history of the game threw more shutouts in a season than Ruth's 9 shutouts in 1916, Sandy Koufax 11, Carl Hubbell and John Tudor.

    They can say what they like, that Ruth could not be considered great, he was only a full time pitcher for 3 full seasons. They can't say he would not have been great, I can't say he would have. I can say and it can be proven he was amongst the best in the seasons of 1915-16-17.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-24-2006 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #46
    [QUOTE=
    But using that same biased logic your using to aid your arguement for the white league being superior, how do you know players such as ruth would of dominated the way he did had the league not been segregated ?
    QUOTE]

    I think you may have misread my post. I don't recall saying that white MLB was superior, I never said or thought that. I did say that overall white MLB pitching was at a higher level than that in black baseball which was also stated by some blacks who played at that time.

    Again as I have said and posted before that I don't believe that was because white pitchers were superior to black pitchers. The reason was because there was not as much incentive to pitch in black baseball, not much money. Also black baseball did not have the resources to pay scouts to find black pitchers. Pitching staffs on black teams were lean, at times position players, outfielders, infielders would be used as starting pitchers. It was not uncommon for a pitcher to pitch a double header.

    My point, those pitching conditions gave the hitters the better conditions and I think we have to remember that when we look at some hitting stats of blacks.

    Because of these conditions I have come to respect those black players even more. No money, terrible travel conditions, poor training conditions and facilities..... they stuck it out, they played this game because they loved it.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-12-2006 at 09:01 PM.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Dontworry
    "

    how do you know players such as Ruth would of dominated the way he did had the league not been segregated ?
    I don't know that and I don't believe that Ruth would have been as dominant had MLB been integrated. I can't say his numbers would have been lower but he would have had more competition. The intro of blacks in the late 1940s early 1950s raised the level of the game.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805
    someone on this board posted this once:

    Ruth was a pitcher only in 1915-16-17 and here is how he compares in some stats, not only in the AL but in the NL as well, in all off baseball in 1915-16-17.
    An error in two of of those stats, that I noticed, Alexander with 36 shutouts.

    Also strikeouts, Hippo Vaughn ahead of Ruth 487. I had two lists, one both leagues and one just the AL and got them mixed up, most of the above is correct, Ruth's standing in both leagues.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-24-2006 at 09:14 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dontworry
    " The definition of the "major league" teams often consisted of a a few legit major leaguers and the rest minor leaguers. The top Negro League teams were competitive with major leaguers but the overall depth of talent wasn't nearly as strong as the major leagues "

    What proof do you have of this ?

    " In many of those barnstorming games, position players for the major leaguers would pitch "

    Again proof ?

    I could say the same for the negroleagues, doesnt mean it's true.
    OK here's some examples. I've done a lot of research on ProQuest over the past couple months and I've looked up many games between negro league stars and major leaguers. I've seen box scores or game summaries that show a position player for the "major league" team pitch. Examples:

    1. Frank Brower, an outfielder, pitching in a game against the Brooklyn Royal Giants for Joe Judge's All Stars in 1920.
    2. George "Highpockets" Kelly was a 1st baseman for the Giants and pitched against the Cuban teams on a tour in 1920. This was the game where Torriente gained some notoriety for hitting 3 homers in one game. That's a great feat but keep in mind it was off a FIRST BASEMAN.
    3. Babe Ruth pitched in the same series and this was a couple years after he stopped pitching. Ruth also pitched during his barnstorming tours in the 1920s which included games against Negro League teams.
    4. When the Tigers went to Cuba in 1909 Ty Cobb didn't play. In Cobb's place they used a CATCHER named Breckeridge. It's clear to me from reading the accounst that they took a minimal team of 10-12 guys to play a dozen games and players had to play multiple positions.


    Anyway, my only point is that these were just exhibition games.
    "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

    Rogers Hornsby, 1961

  10. #50
    [QUOTE=SHOELESSJOE3]
    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805
    I did see some stats a while back and saved them, I will search for them and post them. It was the batting averages of some who played in black baseball compared to how some did in white integrated minor league baseball and also compared to how they did in MLB.

    Here is what I located, the difference between blacks batting averages was more than I stated above, I thought it was around 20 points but I was going on memory. These are the actual numbers. The total at bats and hits were computerized, calculated and this is what was projected, the batting average and average number of home runs based on a season of 550 at bats. These are the numbers and the comparison of some blacks, how they hit in black baseball compared to minor league baseball and how they hit in black baseball compared to integrated MLB

    -----------------------BA.------------Home runs
    Black baseball---------.336-------------12
    Minor Leagues---------.312-------------16



    --------------------Ba.-------------Home runs
    Black baseball------.332--------------13
    MLB----------------.281--------------18

    You can see they averaged more home runs but hit for a lower Ba. in the minors and MLB.

    There was a total of about 20 batters on that list. Some names, Jackie Robinson, Junior Gilliam, Sandy Amoros, Roy Campanella, Sam Jethroe, Elston Howard, Monte Irvin, Minnie Minoso, Bob Boyd, Luke Easter, Willie Mays, Larry Doby and Ernie Banks.
    Here are the numbers I spoke of earlier.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-24-2006 at 09:15 PM.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Bench 5
    OK here's some examples.
    [LIST=1][*]Babe Ruth pitched in the same series and this was a couple years after he stopped pitching. Ruth also pitched during his barnstorming tours in the 1920s which included games against Negro League teams.
    I found only one reference of Ruth pitching. If I recall he was playing first base and decided to pitch at least one inning. Came off of first base in mid game. The first batter hit a long double off of him, he than struck out the next 3 hitters. It's been a while since I saw that, but I believe that it was Torriente that doubled off of Ruth.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-12-2006 at 10:01 PM.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmckenna
    according to john holway's the complete book of baseball's negro leagues:

    gibson hit 216 home runs 1931-46 in the negro national league and east-west lg

    please explain the other 716

    Exactly. While I take the 900 HRs with a grain of salt, I don't doubt for a second that Josh Gibson hit a bunch more than the 216 listed. BUT we're counting what he hit in barnstorming, winter leagues, and against questionable oppostion and opposing pitchers.

    While we're at it why don't we count Johnny Bench's Spring Training HRs as well as his post-season homers too? Afterall, we're counting Gibson's questionable HRs.

    Don't get me wrong. I think it is a crying shame that this man and others of color were unable to display their considerable talents in MLB. It is a sheer embarrassment.

    But like Shoeless said, we have no idea how he would have done against MLB pitchers bearing down in a regular season. We can't possibly know.

    Therefore my vote goes to Mike Piazza. We KNOW what Mike has done. he's been the best offensive catcher in MLB history. We don't know precisely what Josh Gibson actually did do {or} how he would have done in MLB. Let's not get caught up in the hoopla of his reputed 900 HRS without looking at HOW he may have gotten them as well.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dontworry
    In recorded at-bats against big league pitching, Gibson batted .426. http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/ho...ibson_josh.htm

    Also - Satchel Paige, who was Gibson's teammate on the Pittsburgh Crawfords and later pitched for the Cleveland Indians, said, "He was the greatest hitter who ever lived." http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/class...ge=gibson_josh
    Against what pitchers? Top line hurlers? Don't forget it was exhibition games where the ML players may not have been bearing down. Plus I doubt the ML teams playing the exhibitions qualified as an All-Star team.

    Of course, Ol' Satch isn't quite qualified to make that statement. he didn't pitch in the ML's either...so how could he really know?
    A more accurate statement could have been, "He was the greatest Negro League hitter who ever lived."

    It saddens me that Satch and Josh did not get to play in MLB (at least Paige got a taste of it albeit well after his prime). It also saddens me when I see well-versed baseball fans and historians 'accept' as gospel what cannot be proven through statistical record keeping and rely on what very well could be a degree of exaggeration.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    Against what pitchers? Top line hurlers? Don't forget it was exhibition games where the ML players may not have been bearing down. Plus I doubt the ML teams playing the exhibitions qualified as an All-Star team.
    Even if it was an exhibition contest, why would one side be bearing down and the other not? Why would we assume that Josh Gibson took the games any less or more seriously than did Dizzy Dean? Would a white pitcher in the 1930s want to be outshone by a Negro League batter? The white players had just as much incentive to play well as did the black players.

    I think the best study that could be done would be to look at the 1946 and 1941 Mexican Leagues - the former had about 20 big-league players so we can get a fair MLE. We can then compare players between the two years to get an MLE for '41. Then we can figure out what Josh Gibson (who destroyed the '41 Mexican) might have done in the majors.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    Even if it was an exhibition contest, why would one side be bearing down and the other not? Why would we assume that Josh Gibson took the games any less or more seriously than did Dizzy Dean? Would a white pitcher in the 1930s want to be outshone by a Negro League batter? The white players had just as much incentive to play well as did the black players.

    I think the best study that could be done would be to look at the 1946 and 1941 Mexican Leagues - the former had about 20 big-league players so we can get a fair MLE. We can then compare players between the two years to get an MLE for '41. Then we can figure out what Josh Gibson (who destroyed the '41 Mexican) might have done in the majors.
    While I generally am on your side in this, Mischa, the Negro Leaguers wanted to prove they belonged when they played those exhibitions, and the major leaguers were often just there to make a few extra bucks. I'm sure the competitive juices started flowing at some point in those games, but I can't deny that the Negro Leaguers came with their "game faces" on, while the whites often didn't.

    Another place to look is the California Winter League, which was a competitive, sort of integrated league (there was a team of black stars which was a major focus of the league) with major leaguers and Pacific Coast League guys filling out the rosters of the white teams. Here, the exhibition argument is far, far weaker, as with some of the Mexican League seasons. William McNeil has written a nice book on the Calif Winter League, and it is stocked with stats.

    Jim Albright
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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    Even if it was an exhibition contest, why would one side be bearing down and the other not? Why would we assume that Josh Gibson took the games any less or more seriously than did Dizzy Dean? Would a white pitcher in the 1930s want to be outshone by a Negro League batter? The white players had just as much incentive to play well as did the black players.

    I think the best study that could be done would be to look at the 1946 and 1941 Mexican Leagues - the former had about 20 big-league players so we can get a fair MLE. We can then compare players between the two years to get an MLE for '41. Then we can figure out what Josh Gibson (who destroyed the '41 Mexican) might have done in the majors.
    An exhibition is just that...an exhibition. It counts for nothing other than a show for the fans and some $$$ in pockets of the players who are getting paid.
    I haven't seen where there was a ML caliber team, emphasis on team, playing the NLs. Sure, some top stars barnstormed and played but much of the ML teams were patchwork the majority of the time.
    Did Gibson and the other NL'ers bear down? I would think they did so I to show that they could be as good or better and to 'prove' they could play in MLB. I doubt that the ML'ers were bearing down as much.

    As for the Mexican Leagues of '41 and '46 who were the ML'ers who were playing? Give me the names.

    Don't get me wrong, I wish he had played in MLB. I strongly feel Josh Gibson could very well have been a star and possibly one of the greatest if not 'the' greatest catcher in MLB based on what I've read.

    What I cannot agree with is the 'legend' and hoopla that surrounds certain players. The NL, were for the most part an inferior league, except for some amjor stars. The pitching was not as high a calber.

    Let reverse the question for a change: How do you think Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, Gehrig, Hornsby, Lajoie, and other MLB 'stars' would have done in the Negro Leagues? Facing the same sort of pitching, defense, depth, and so forth as Gibson, Charleston, Bell, and others were actually facing? Would their stats/performance be the same as they were in the MLs; would thay have done better; or would they have done worse?

    I won't accept an answer that says, well, we'll never know because it didn't happen. We always 'imagine' how Gibson, Charleston, and company would have done in MLB, so let's just reverse it this time. I'm actually trying to get at something here.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    An exhibition is just that...an exhibition. It counts for nothing other than a show for the fans and some $$$ in pockets of the players who are getting paid.
    I haven't seen where there was a ML caliber team, emphasis on team, playing the NLs. Sure, some top stars barnstormed and played but much of the ML teams were patchwork the majority of the time.
    Did Gibson and the other NL'ers bear down? I would think they did so I to show that they could be as good or better and to 'prove' they could play in MLB. I doubt that the ML'ers were bearing down as much.
    What I cannot agree with is the 'legend' and hoopla that surrounds certain players. The NL, were for the most part an inferior league, except for some amjor stars. The pitching was not as high a calber.
    .
    good post and very accurate - this is how it was - the mexican league study won't produce anything but a lot of speculation

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    Against what pitchers? Top line hurlers? Don't forget it was exhibition games where the ML players may not have been bearing down. Plus I doubt the ML teams playing the exhibitions qualified as an All-Star team.

    Of course, Ol' Satch isn't quite qualified to make that statement. he didn't pitch in the ML's either...so how could he really know?
    A more accurate statement could have been, "He was the greatest Negro League hitter who ever lived."

    It saddens me that Satch and Josh did not get to play in MLB (at least Paige got a taste of it albeit well after his prime). It also saddens me when I see well-versed baseball fans and historians 'accept' as gospel what cannot be proven through statistical record keeping and rely on what very well could be a degree of exaggeration.
    " Against what pitchers? Top line hurlers? Don't forget it was exhibition games where the ML players may not have been bearing down. Plus I doubt the ML teams playing the exhibitions qualified as an All-Star team. "

    Well then I guess it is pure speculation, we'll never know who he faced.

    But did you read the comment walter johnson made of gibson ?

    " Of course, Ol' Satch isn't quite qualified to make that statement. he didn't pitch in the ML's either...so how could he really know?
    A more accurate statement could have been, "He was the greatest Negro League hitter who ever lived." "

    Actually satch won ROY at age 43.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmckenna
    the mexican league study won't produce anything but a lot of speculation
    The Mexican League study alone might not, but if you add to that how Negro Leaguers who got into organized ball did in both places, maybe exhibitions, and how players did in any other integrated settings (most notably the California Winter League), you'd have a good deal of data to work with and base some conclusions on.

    Jim Albright
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  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by jalbright
    Another place to look is the California Winter League, which was a competitive, sort of integrated league (there was a team of black stars which was a major focus of the league) with major leaguers and Pacific Coast League guys filling out the rosters of the white teams. Here, the exhibition argument is far, far weaker, as with some of the Mexican League seasons. William McNeil has written a nice book on the Calif Winter League, and it is stocked with stats.
    My problem with the Cal. Winter League is that the seasons were very short and McNeil doesn't list key stats such as batter walks (I have no idea if these were even tracked). Yes, it's nice to know that Willie Wells was 10 for 29 against Larry French and 10 for 27 with 3 homers against Bobo Newsom, but that doesn't tell us too much IMO other than what we already know - that Willie Wells would have been a Hall-of-Fame SS in the majors.

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