View Poll Results: Josh Gibson/Mike Piazza

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

    1 33.33%
  • I'd rather have Mike Piazza over Josh Gibson.

    2 66.67%
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Thread: Gibson/Piazza

  1. #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 09:01 PM.

  2. #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

  3. #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

  4. #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.

  5. #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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  6. #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

  7. #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

  8. #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.

  9. #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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  10. #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.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    I haven't seen where there was a ML caliber team, emphasis on team, playing the NLs.
    You haven't looked closely then. They were playing such games in the 19th century already. Here are some match-ups from the 20th:
    Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Philadelphia X-Giants, 1905 (2 games)
    Philadelphia A's vs. Brooklyn Royal Giants (2 games) and Philadelphia Giants (3 games), 1906
    Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Royal Giants, 1908
    Chicago Cubs vs. Leland Giants, 1909 (3 games)
    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Lincoln Giants, 1914
    New York Giants vs. Lincoln Giants, 1915 (2 games)
    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Lincoln Giants, 1915 (3 games)
    St. Louis Cardinals vs. St. Louis Giants, 1920 (3 games)
    Washington Senators vs. Brooklyn Royal Giants, 1920 (3 games)
    Philadelphia A's vs. Hilldale Daisies, 1920
    Philadelphia A's vs. Atlantic City Bacharach Giants, 1921 (4 games)
    St. Louis Cardinals vs. St. Louis Giants, 1921 (5 games)
    Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Stars, 1922 (4 games)
    Cleveland Indians vs. Cleveland Tate Stars, 1922 (2 games)
    St. Louis Browns vs. Detroit Stars, 1923 (3 games)
    Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago American Giants, 1923 (3 games)

    Then Commissioner Landis forbid white MLB teams from playing black teams, so "all-star" contingents were formed for future match-ups.

    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.
    So in 1930 America a white guy wouldn't mind being beaten by a black guy? Come on. The white guys were trying just as hard to "save face."

    As for the Mexican Leagues of '41 and '46 who were the ML'ers who were playing? Give me the names.
    In 1946 -
    Roberto Ortiz, Luis Olmo, Sal Maglie, Fred Martin, Tommy de la Cruz, Alex Carrasquel, Roland Gladu, Red Steiner, Roy Zimmerman, Bobby Avila, Nap Reyes, Sandy Consuegra, Adrian Zabala, Tony Ordenana, Chico Garcia, Bobby Estalella, Jorge Comellas, Bobby Herrera, Hector Rodriguez, Moe Franklin, George Hausmann, Rene Monteagudo, Red Hayworth, Chile Gomez, Lou Klein, Danny Gardella, Mickey Owen, Harry Feldman, Ace Adams, Max Lanier, Bus Clarkson and Chico Hernandez. So 32, not 20.

    That's a large enough sample to figure out the MLE for the 1946 Mexican (I arrived at an 83/100, just shy of modern-day AAA). From the '46 Mexican we have many players who played in the '41 Mexican to figure out if the '41 Mexican was better (my opinion), equal or worse.

    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.
    No arguments here. I can't stand the Gibson hit over 800 HR claims. But based on the existing stats, Gibson not only was an amazing power hitter, but also a great contact hitter and walk-drawer. I think we can judge quite a bit based on the existing data, while hoping that research sheds more light on his career.

    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?
    Obviously better. Whenever a player moves to a less advanced league they generally improve.

  12. #62
    [QUOTE=SHOELESSJOE3]
    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805
    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.

    While these stas may have some flaws I think it's appearant that it shows that MLB and even minor league baseball had "over all" pitching that was on a higher level than black baseball.
    The flaws in those comparison..... the number of at bats that those blacks had in black baseball were much higher than they were in minor and MLB.

    Another flaw, that some of them were older when they finally got to play in minor and MLB. Some were not that much older when they did play integrated minor and MLB. Some names Junior Gilliam, Sam Jethro, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Elston Howard.

    Most of the blacks hit for lower averages in MLB and even in minor league baseball.

    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 Jetroe, Elston Howard, Monte Irvin, Minnie Minoso, Bob Boyd, Luke Easter, Willie Mays, Larry Doby and Ernie Banks.

    We can debate this one for all time and we still won't know how Gibson or other great black hitters would have done in MLB. How many time must we say " it never happened" how can we know something that never took place.

    I think most of us agree that there were black hitters as good and better than some white hitters. I have a problem witht he one poster that makes the claim that Gibson would have been dominant in MLB.

    Keep the war of the words going but I ask anyone with a reasonable mind to compare the stats posted and tell me that they still believe that over all black pitching was on the same level as MLB pitching. Not convinced, take a look and see that the blacks batting average even in minor leagues was lower than it was in black baseball, 24 points lower.
    Thats all I and some others are saying, there were some great black hitters but when you throw around astronomical batting averages in black baseball, consider the over all pitching they faced day to day.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanks0714
    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 have dug up some box scores and read through John Holway's book and I put together a spreadhseet of Babe Ruth versus black competition. So far I have him at 29 for 66 (.439 BA) with 10 homers.

    According to Henry Thomas, Walter Johnson posted 70Ks in 44 innings and gave up just 25 hits and 12 Runs versus black teams.

    The only thing I take from this is that both of them were just as good against black teams as they were against major leaguers.
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  14. #64
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    --I don't think anyone (and certainly most of us) are saying the level of play was as high in the Negro Leagues as it was in MLB. I agree that the pitching was further away from MLB quality than the hitting as well. The best Negro League hitters would not have hit well over .400 in the majors as they did in the Negro Leagues. That doesn't mean they wouldn't have been amoung the best. The weight of evidence says the best Negro Leaguers were as good (or better) than the best MLB players, even if the league as a whole was not.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    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.
    With all due respect to Josh, the Mexican League was a hitter's heaven, more like wiffle ball. What caliber of pitching can there be when the entire league carried a .321 batting average, not for one season but over 59 years. You wont find not even one MLB team that could aveage that in modern times.

    Some league averages.

    Negro Leagues------------1930-1950--------.308
    Japanese --------------- no years given-----.278
    Cuban League------------1920-1960---------.284
    Mexican League----------1938-1997---------.321
    MLB---------------------1900-2004----------.262

    Same old story, MLB has the lowest league batting average and thats with the DH in the AL since 1973.

    Come to your own conlclusion, MLB hitters are inferior to Negro League, Japanese, Cuban, Mexican hitters. Or we can use common sense, MLB has always had the highest caliber pitching over all the rest.There may be some other factors but in the end, the pitching is the big one.

    What are these guys doing in Mexico, from 1938 to 1997 the entire league hit .321.

    So tossing Gibson's numbers around seem to mean more to some than to others. it's not disrespecting Josh, it's using common sense, evaluating the difference in the level of pitching not diminishing Josh.

    I took the individual league leaders batting average from Negro leagues in the east division and compiled them, averages from 1923 to 1930.
    Over all those 8 seasons the compiled batting average came out to .439, in orbit. I have considered that some of the seasons were very short, still that compiled batting average off the chart.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-16-2006 at 04:33 AM.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    --I don't think anyone (and certainly most of us) are saying the level of play was as high in the Negro Leagues as it was in MLB. I agree that the pitching was further away from MLB quality than the hitting as well. The best Negro League hitters would not have hit well over .400 in the majors as they did in the Negro Leagues. That doesn't mean they wouldn't have been amoung the best. The weight of evidence says the best Negro Leaguers were as good (or better) than the best MLB players, even if the league as a whole was not.
    Not a problem with that, thats been my thinking all along. Myself, I have never doubted the ability of the black hitters and have stated that more than once on this board. The problem comes in with the projections that Gibson or some others would dominate in MLB.It appears that some refuse to factor in the pitching level in the two leagues, don't want to hear it.

  17. #67
    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 werent anything astromical, No better than the pitching numbers posted By Pat Hentgen.
    Not sure I get this comparison. All I can say is that every pitcher who pitched in the only seasons that Ruth was a pitcher only 1915-16-17, pitched under the same conditions that Ruth did. Ruth had no advantage over any pitcher pitching in his time. Why was it only one pitcher, Babe Ruth that was right on the heels of Walter Johnson and Grover Alexander as the best pitcher in those three seasons.

    Where were all the rest, Ruth was a young pitcher with little experience and yet he distanced himself from some who had been in the game longer than he was and was close to two of the greatest Johnson and Alexander.

    He also faced the best the National League had to offer in the World Series and was 3-0 and still has the second lowest ERA amongst starting pitchers with 30 or more innings in the WS, .087.

    If we're going to detract from Ruth for his numbers in the dead ball era, do we do the same with Johnson and Alexander.

    Can we stop the nonsense, the so called reason why Ruth shined as pitcher and how he hit because of the era's he played in. All in the game played under the same conditions as Ruth did.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3
    With all due respect to Josh, the Mexican League was a hitter's heaven, more like wiffle ball. What caliber of pitching can there be when the entire league carried a .321 batting average, not for one season but over 59 years. You wont find not even one MLB team that could aveage that in modern times.

    Some league averages.

    Negro Leagues------------1930-1950--------.308
    Japanese --------------- no years given-----.278
    Cuban League------------1920-1960---------.284
    Mexican League----------1938-1997---------.321
    MLB---------------------1900-2004----------.262
    Where did you get that figure? Even in 1986, perhaps the most extreme offensive season, the league hit .308. And there were many periods where sub-2 ERAs were common, such as the 1970s.

    Same old story, MLB has the lowest league batting average and thats with the DH in the AL since 1973.

    Come to your own conlclusion, MLB hitters are inferior to Negro League, Japanese, Cuban, Mexican hitters. Or we can use common sense, MLB has always had the highest caliber pitching over all the rest.There may be some other factors but in the end, the pitching is the big one.
    I doubt that that's the reason (not that I doubt that better pitching is true). After all, you had many minor leagues where batting averages were in the .230s or lower - the Florida International, Georgia-Florida, etc. That doesn't mean that pitching was better in those leagues than in the majors. It means that environmental and park factors were more pitching-biased. Similarly, the regularly high offensive stats in the PCL did not mean it had worse pitching than the IL - it meant that the conditions were more conducive to offense.

    The best way to compare leagues is to use MLEs, as I suggested, not to assume that leagues with lower batting averages are somehow better (or else you could say that the 1994 AA was better than the 1994 AL or that Japanese baseball in the 60s was better than US baseball in the 60s). Otherwise we're not controlling at all for many key factors.

    What are these guys doing in Mexico, from 1938 to 1997 the entire league hit .321.
    I'd love to see your source, as almost nobody in Mexican League history hit over .321 and I can't find any single season where the league hit that high.

    So tossing Gibson's numbers around seem to mean more to some than to others.
    I didn't toss around numbers. I suggested a statistical analysis based on how players did in the '46 Mexican vs. the major leagues. That's much more valid analytically than citing league batting averages as proof of skill level.

    Over all those 8 seasons the compiled batting average came out to .439, in orbit. I have considered that some of the seasons were very short, still that compiled batting average off the chart.
    With short seasons you'll have extreme stats. That doesn't negate any kind of MLE-style analysis.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    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.
    Maybe the walks can be figured out, though I agree I wish McNeil had included that data. The short seasons are always a problem, but when you have so many points of comparison, we are adding much more info to our analysis.

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  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    Where did you get that figure? Even in 1986, perhaps the most extreme offensive season, the league hit .308. And there were many periods where sub-2 ERAs were common, such as the 1970s.
    Pehaps my wording was wrong, or misleading but certainly not intentional.
    Those batting averages that I listed were based on the average number of hit based on 550 at bats, which is often used as the average number of at bats per season. So they may not be the actual league average but they are all measured on the same scale.

    Still all the leagues are compared on the same scale, per 550 at bats per season. All are using the same yardstick of measurement so to speak. Regardless one can see that the MLB carries the lowest average, 61 points lower than the Mexican League and 48 points lower than in black baseball. those are hugh gaps and although we can't say that the quality of pitching was the only difference it was probably the biggest factor.


    You ask where I got those figures. In a book at the public library a few years ago. Don't recall the name of the book but I did make a copy of that page, have it on a CD and would be happy to email that page to you, at your request.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    I doubt that that's the reason (not that I doubt that better pitching is true). After all, you had many minor leagues where batting averages were in the .230s or lower - the Florida International, Georgia-Florida, etc. That doesn't mean that pitching was better in those leagues than in the majors. It means that environmental and park factors were more pitching-biased. Similarly, the regularly high offensive stats in the PCL did not mean it had worse pitching than the IL - it meant that the conditions were more conducive to offense.
    .
    Those comparisons that I listed batting average of blacks that played both black and minor league baseball were from AAA Minor League baseball only.
    It's the upper echelon of the minor leagues, just below MLB.

    That aside I think it's evident by some of the batting averages that often led the league in black baseball indicates that the over all quality of pitching was far below that of MLB.

    Short season or not look at some of the batting averages of some league leaders for a season in black baseball.
    .454-.470-.464-.547-.564, and there are many seasons of .400 plus.
    Chino Smith led the league in 1929 with .461 and 29 home runs. With a total of 29 home runs he had to play a fair number of games and still hit for .461

    There are only two hitters in the history of MLB with a career batting average of better than .350.
    Here is one list of the top career batting averages.
    Gibson---------------------------.379
    Chino Smith----------------------.375
    Jud Wilson-----------------------.370
    0thers rounding out the top ten
    --------------------------------.359
    --------------------------------.359
    --------------------------------.358
    --------------------------------.353
    --------------------------------.353
    --------------------------------.352
    --------------------------------.343

    Three hitters .370 or higher
    Six hitters over .350
    MLB no hitters at .370 and only Cobb and Hornsby over .350

    My view, this is an indication that over all pitching in black baseball was not on the same level as white MLB.

  22. #72
    Much of the stats I have posted came from a book at the public library, I don't believe its still available for sale.
    The Negro League Book
    Edited by Dick Clark and Larry Lester.

  23. #73
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    --I suspect those stats are not very reliable. Alot of data has been collected on the Negro Leagues in recent years and an out of print book, which FWIW I've never heard of, is almost certain to be behind the curve.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    I didn't toss around numbers. I suggested a statistical analysis based on how players did in the '46 Mexican vs. the major leagues. That's much more valid analytically than citing league batting averages as proof of skill level.

    I did not mean to and I don't believe I singled out you or any poster in particular, just a general observation.


    With short seasons you'll have extreme stats. That doesn't negate any kind of MLE-style analysis.
    I understand that but how short could they be. Compare them to the almost 100 years of World Series play, thats short, really short 4 to 7 games. Seldom will you see a batter in a WS with at least 25 at bats that can match some of those season batting averages in black baseball. I'm sure those seasons were longer than 7 games.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    --I suspect those stats are not very reliable. Alot of data has been collected on the Negro Leagues in recent years and an out of print book, which FWIW I've never heard of, is almost certain to be behind the curve.
    I'll be on the look for that one. In the mean time I stick to my view. All the evidence to this point looks clear to me, MLB pitching on a day to day basis was on a higher level than black baseball.

    I gave some numbers on how blacks that played black and minor league baseball and over all they hit for 19 points lower in AAA ball than they did in black baseball.

    I gave some numbers on how blacks that played both black and MLB and they hit for 40+ points lower in MLB than they did in black baseball.

    I did note that the numbers may be skewed some because the difference in at bats in black baseball, minor leaugue baseball and MLB had some wide gaps, but still show some indication of the level of pitching.

    Why would it be difficult to understand the gap in the level of over all pitching. We know that black teams had lean pitching staffs, hardly any scouts and at times used infielders or outfielders as starting pitchers. At times a pitcher would pitch one game early in the day take a bus ride to another site and then pitch another game.

    Buck O'Neil who spent years in black baseball himself commented on this. His words, there were some black pitchers the equal of some white MLB pitchers but over all black pitching was not on the same level as MLB pitching.

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