I rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 10 Position Player.
I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 10 Player.
I rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 5 All-Time Hitter .
I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 5 All-Time Hitter
I rank Rogers Hornsby as my #1 Second Baseman.
I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby as my #1 Second Baseman.
I STILL consider Hornsby the finest RH hitter ever.
I only rank Joe Morgan over Hornsby at 2B.
I only rank Eddie Collins over Hornsby at 2B.
I rank both Collins/Morgan over Hornsby at 2B.
Hornsby was a greater hitter than Gehrig.
Gehrig was a greater hitter than Hornsby.
Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis
What was the actual strike zone- as called- in the 1920's?
Things that really bolstered offensive numbers of old timers...
1. Lousy gloves.
2. Relief pitchers were the opposite of what they are today....they were tired starters or stop-gap/backup pitchers who were usually subpar. Now they platoon incessantly, and all relievers throw 95+. Most relievers have much lower ERA's than starters.
3. Hitters beat up on pitchers over time if they get a 4th and 5th PA against them. The CG % was around 50% in Babe and Ty's time, 2-4% today!!
4. Familiarity (tends) to favor hitters. Bonds homered off of 449 pitchers, Ruth off of 219.
5. Night ball: Nobody hits better at night. In this century, 75% of games are evening/night games.
6. Massive fields, less athletic/speedy fielders overall: More room for hits to fall, more long extra base hits, esp. triples.
All I can think of at the moment...have to run.
Randy, you should take the opposite position.....disadvantages faced by old time hitters....
Last edited by csh19792001; 11-30-2012 at 04:24 PM.
For example, suppose baseball became a truly worldwide sport, with the consequent media explosion and the revenue that would bring. And suppose this was accompanied by advances in neurology, kinesiology, nutrition, etc. so that potential stars could be predicted with some success in early childhood and trained in scientifically proven methods. So you would have a pool larger by an order of magnitude, worldwide, well-funded training programs, playing for enormous stakes. Every person in the world who could possibly throw 100 mph would be scouted from childhood, playing every day, and the top 1% might make it to the bigs. Every person in the world who could hit a ball 500 feet . . . likewise.
In other words, San Pedro de Marcoris would be the model for a global industry devoted to manufacturing the best possible baseball players. From that perspective, yes, our perfectly appropriate contemporary veneration of Albert Pujols will look rather quaint.
Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 11-30-2012 at 06:30 PM.
I guess we will never know what official scoring was like way back when but I can say seeing the game in the 1960s-1970s, official scorers were not very generous to the hitters. Official scoring in the last couple of decades has gone South, favor the hitters in general, not by much but some. I can't believe some of the fielding plays that go for hits today, fielders getting good leather on a ball and at times , it's a hit.
Can I prove that, no, thats my take on official scoring in todays game. It's not glaring but it's there.
What was the strike zone way back then..as called, no way to tell. But anyone on this board that can go back to the 1960's 1970's and some of the 1980's has to be aware that in the 1990's the strike zone on the verticle is a joke. At one time in the 1990's it was almost belt to the knees and even today, not what the book calls for.
Yes, overall pitching at a higher level today but I'm not going to subtract from Ruth, Foxx and some other because they batted against a smaller number of pitchers to indicate they couldn't hold their own today. Again, we are getting to that place again how would we know.
What I'm saying because a hitter today hits against more pitchers today, we can't just assume some past players stats would suffer today.
Batting average yes, home runs, total bases, no way to tell.
Night baseball, I don't think it hurts that much, not in the parks in recent years.
Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 11-30-2012 at 06:45 PM.
Some figure, picked at random but i would bet if we look at the last 20 years in total, the day/night numbers would not have a significant difference.
OK, could skew the numbers a bit, far more day game than night, I don't think it would matter that much.
The difference is certainly not like night and day.
Part of the improvement (in error rate, not dp) I guess, is due to the increase in strikeouts, but if it's also due to more stringent use of the E, then a big argument for improved quality gets smaller.
I wonder what the trends in Reached-on-error have to say about this.
The only way I use 'league quality' is in league leaderships, MVPs, etc, because it is obvious that in some eras there were a lot more top stars around than in other eras.
Last edited by willshad; 11-30-2012 at 09:18 PM.
Not to say it's that frequent in todays game, but it's there.
As for the DP's, I checked some numbers, team fielding, second base and SS Dp's from 1960-2005 and out of the top 10, only about 4 were from 2000 or later. A good number were from the 1960's -1970's- 1980's. Of course, other factors can effect that, more walks, more strikeouts, balls in play, would have to really consider other factors than fielding alone.
Some of these plays we see every night on TV highlights, these middle infielders are wizards. What Dp's and these guys making plays in short RF and LF and throwing out runners at first base.
You have to watch them a couple of time to believe what your seeing.
Not going to project what Ruth would do in todays game, but again if he could not match the best in todays game. What are we saying, that there was no player born whan he was and played when he did that could be among the best today.
Not logical, not a single player back then could be as good as any we have today, anyone buying that.
I have never projected Ruth possible numbers if playing today, but when I see some saying he would be a Jim Thome, Adam Dunn and yes, even Steve Balboni, it's a laugher.
BTW, no diminishing Jim Thome a legit long ball, slugger.
Conversely, Albert Pujols might be viewed as a saintly sample of honest human perfection; and Barry Bonds might be seen as a misunderstood martyr who was ahead of his time but born before his time.
Human nature being what it is.
Last edited by leewileyfan; 11-30-2012 at 10:01 PM. Reason: extension
I'm not into just taking a position because I prefer one era over the other. I look at each factor and determine how much it helps or hinders that eras player.
I know you've read the Jenkinson chapter on COMARATIVE DIFFICULTY which deals with past eras but also how issues specifically relate to Ruth. Jenkinson makes excellent points, for example, Ruth facing more specialized relief pitching than anyone else in his time. We also know that pitchers were able to pace themselves, but hitters like Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, etc...the elites, always faced the pitchers utmost focus and energy. How do we translate that into numbers? We can't.
I think you make great points about why offensive numbers were high. Remember though, the great hitters back then also played in the field and used the same gloves, in the same expansive outfields, etc. Everyone faced the same circumstances (field size, lack of scouting, crappy gloves, etc), which is why relative stats have meaning.
Points/counterpoints to nearly every issue.
You bring up night baseball. Personally, I think it is easier to see the ball at night, especially with the sophisticated lighting systems today. The ball glows because it is always white and always scuff free, coming in against a hitters backdrop. That is a huge counterpoint. Another one would be, it is much cooler at night, which is a huge advantage throughout the dog days of a long season. Playing all day games in heavy wool uniforms? Non air conditioned clubhouses, trains, or hotels. No thanks.
The high strike was called back in the day. Most videos or pictures you see, will have the catcher in a half crouch. Pitchers were able to come inside without a big stink being made about it. As a result, hitters (especially without helmets available) would not dive out over the plate with care-free attitudes, and inside pitches were called strikes more often because you didn't have hitters unjustly diving away, making the pitch appear inside.
Let us break this down. A hitter today does not have to worry about the letter high, or even the belt high pitch being called a strike. If the catcher even raises his mitt a little, 9/10 times it's called a ball. But....if the hitter decides to swing at said pitch, it's a GREAT pitch to hit (see pic below of a pitch that would not be called a strike), especially given the smaller ballparks.
So you have pitchers today who can throw harder than ever, but are not able to take advantage of a "normal" zone. If they could, it would allow them to work off their curveball and achieve was is crucial to pitching success; changing the hitter eye level (or expectations). The same principal that applies when busting a guy inside, only to paint the outside corner. As a hitter, you know exactly what the pitcher is doing, but there's a subconscious mental and muscle memory reaction, that causes you to expect the opposite (or not be as committed).
Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 11-30-2012 at 11:04 PM.
In Saint Louis that summer (1920), three cowboys were ushered into the Yankee dressing room to meet Ruth. They told him they had ridden three days on horseback to catch a train in Wyoming. "Babe Ruth," one of them drawled, I’d have ridden all the way to Saint Louis to see you hit them home runs." - Kal Wagenheim
Yes a fairly high pitch for many hitters a good pitch to hit. But what the shrunken strike zone as done, taken away one of the pitchers weapons, The borderline high strike, the one that once was a toss up, could be called a ball or strike, not today, for sure a ball. The batter with two strikes could not take a chance years ago, often swinging at that borderline high pitch.
I saw Mantle, Killebrew and some of todays strongest hitters having a problem with that high pitch. Getting around, on the high one, getting "on top of the ball", driving it. Often this pitch is missed, fouled back or popped up, bat speed slows down that high.
One example although not everyone is Mariano Rivera. I've seen him so often, a pattern.When he has the batter 0-2, so many times he throws one up around the letters, usually strike three if the batter swings of course.
In recent years the umps are calling some higher pitches a strike, but still not that close to the rule book.
Why do you think we often hear broadcasterss comment............he called the high strike on that pitch...........no kidding, it is a strike in the rule book.
To me, this one gets overlooked. Other factors in the 1990's were a part of the offensive explosion but this is one of them
Which I hate seeing. The idea that he was a Balboni(!) or Thome(hmmm) or Adam Dunn gimme a break. He was a tank. He was described as having cat-like reflexes in the OF. He had a really good, accurate throwing arm. He was a legit top 5 all time great great hitter. He was a 20 game winner twice. None of this sounds much like Bye Bye Balboni or Adam 1 and Dunn now does it?
If Ruth was Dunn, does that make Josh Gibson Rob Deer or Kingman? Of COURSE it doesn't.
If the change in league quality was so great, guys like Rick Dempsey, Dave Philley, Dave Martinez and Doug Jones would NEVER have lasted but 5 years, much less the decades that they as a group played. I just don't see it. If Ruth was Adam Dunn, what are we going to say about Jackie Robinson-??