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  • Can we talk about Kobe?

    He didn't play baseball, but his fame goes so far beyond the NBA that his death is hardly irrelevant to other sports. Some are comparing this to Clemente's death in a plane crash, though that was in an era when even a great baseball star couldn't be as famous as some athletes are today. Maybe Gehrig, though his death wasn't sudden, had the kind of transcendent star power that could be compared to Kobe. It was a very different era, but baseball was followed closely by i think a far larger proportion of the population than is the case today.

    In any case, I honestly can't think of anyone in MLB whose sudden death would have as much impact. Roy Halladay didn't have nearly the standing even within baseball, let alone beyond it, as Kobe had within the NBA. Trout? He's not known beyond baseball to nearly the degree Kobe is. Jeter---who was a friend of Kobe's, apparently communicated with him a lot--maybe. But the NBA is more popular than MLB, particularly in so many countries outside the U.S.

    Oh, and since a college baseball coach and former college player named John Altobelli also died in the crash--he was taking his daughter to the same game that Kobe was takinghis daughter to--i wondered if he were related to former MLB manager Joe Altobelli. Apparently not.

  • #2
    An epic tragedy, for sure.

    Shock and mourning are only natural at times like this. Let's just remember that this is still a baseball site.

    That said, I hear John Altobelli was a former coach of Jeff McNeil's.
    Put it in the books.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post
      He didn't play baseball, but his fame goes so far beyond the NBA that his death is hardly irrelevant to other sports. Some are comparing this to Clemente's death in a plane crash, though that was in an era when even a great baseball star couldn't be as famous as some athletes are today. Maybe Gehrig, though his death wasn't sudden, had the kind of transcendent star power that could be compared to Kobe. It was a very different era, but baseball was followed closely by i think a far larger proportion of the population than is the case today.

      In any case, I honestly can't think of anyone in MLB whose sudden death would have as much impact. Roy Halladay didn't have nearly the standing even within baseball, let alone beyond it, as Kobe had within the NBA. Trout? He's not known beyond baseball to nearly the degree Kobe is. Jeter---who was a friend of Kobe's, apparently communicated with him a lot--maybe. But the NBA is more popular than MLB, particularly in so many countries outside the U.S.

      Oh, and since a college baseball coach and former college player named John Altobelli also died in the crash--he was taking his daughter to the same game that Kobe was takinghis daughter to--i wondered if he were related to former MLB manager Joe Altobelli. Apparently not.
      Is it? Or is it just more popular with people that are popular?

      "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post

        Is it? Or is it just more popular with people that are popular?
        NBA is much more popular globally than MLB.

        Even within the US alone, Kobe Bryant was more popular than any individual MLB star has been in at least 50 years, probably since Mickey Mantle.
        Last edited by GiambiJuice; 01-27-2020, 08:24 AM.
        My top 10 players:

        1. Babe Ruth
        2. Barry Bonds
        3. Ty Cobb
        4. Ted Williams
        5. Willie Mays
        6. Alex Rodriguez
        7. Hank Aaron
        8. Honus Wagner
        9. Lou Gehrig
        10. Mickey Mantle

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        • #5
          Yes, recognizing that this is a baseball site, brief comments should still be welcomed. To this fan, the primary matter is celebrity itself. The NBA is bigger than MLB (I suppose), and will likely be bigger than MLB worldwide. The practical reason for this is physical space. It takes a lot more space to build a baseball field, including an appropriate amount of room for foul balls to travel, than to simply put up a hoop and a court. Cities around the world are conjested, this is cold fact, and it is simply easier to recreate and compete with basketball.

          That said, this tragedy is indeed a tragedy, but with all due respect I don't believe it is in the same league as Clemente's. Roberto Clemente was Puerto Rican, and yet travelling to a country where he had never been (Nicaragua), had no idea how to get there by air with relief supplies, and still chose to fly along with those supplies. The storm which they ran into would have been seen or forecasted with modern technology. This did not exist, or not in existence in his locale, at the time. Sports Illustrated had a wonderful 8+ page feature on his demise on the 25-30 year anniversary of his crash. The story was one of the best I have ever read in the magazine. With all due respect to Kobe fans, and may Kobe RIP, but Clemente's wreck was a much bigger deal.
          Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

          A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

          Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post

            NBA is much more popular globally than MLB.

            Even within the US alone, Kobe Bryant was more popular than any individual MLB star has been in at least 50 years, probably since Mickey Mantle.
            I agree globally, it is the NBA.

            For the celebrity aspect, I suggest that it is because NBA players have such a larger function of how much they can affect a season.

            In the US, I think MLB is more popular....although that may be influenced by locale, where I literally know of zero people who follow the Bulls or NBA. The closest I know are some ex-coworkers.
            Man will land on the moon before the Mets win the World Series.-Ed Kranepool, Spring Training, 1969

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            • #7
              Originally posted by abolishthedh View Post
              Clemente . . . The storm which they ran into would have been seen or forecasted with modern technology.
              The plane carrying Clemente did not run into a storm. It was an overloaded piece of junk, and it never should have flown.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post

                I agree globally, it is the NBA.

                For the celebrity aspect, I suggest that it is because NBA players have such a larger function of how much they can affect a season.

                In the US, I think MLB is more popular....although that may be influenced by locale, where I literally know of zero people who follow the Bulls or NBA. The closest I know are some ex-coworkers.
                The NBA travels a lot better in places where there no teams because of the playing-time awarded to start players. I know a zillion people in St. Louis who root for Labron or Steph or Giannis or what-have-you. i love the NBA and would much rather watch an NBA game than most MLB games. I doubt many in Sacramento give a rip about the Cardinals or can even name a player.
                1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post

                  NBA is much more popular globally than MLB.

                  Even within the US alone, Kobe Bryant was more popular than any individual MLB star has been in at least 50 years, probably since Mickey Mantle.
                  The NBA, and it’s bigger name stars have been at the height of the pop culture zeitgeist since the early days of Bird & Magic,

                  That probably also was the start of their rock star/A-List celeb treatment by mainstream non-sports media outlets as well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SteveJRogers View Post

                    The NBA, and it’s bigger name stars have been at the height of the pop culture zeitgeist since the early days of Bird & Magic,

                    That probably also was the start of their rock star/A-List celeb treatment by mainstream non-sports media outlets as well.
                    Wilt Chamberlain might beg to differ.
                    My top 10 players:

                    1. Babe Ruth
                    2. Barry Bonds
                    3. Ty Cobb
                    4. Ted Williams
                    5. Willie Mays
                    6. Alex Rodriguez
                    7. Hank Aaron
                    8. Honus Wagner
                    9. Lou Gehrig
                    10. Mickey Mantle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post

                      Wilt Chamberlain might beg to differ.
                      Fair enough, but I’d imagine in Wilt’s heyday Jerry Lewis was more well known than Jerry West!
                      NY Sports Day Independent Gotham Sports Coverage
                      Mets360 Mets Past, Present and Future
                      Talking Mets Baseball. A baseball blog with a Mets bias

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                      • #12
                        RIP Kobe.

                        I do believe that the Clemente truth was that the plane was a piece of crap.
                        “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

                        "I don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a ******* zebra. I'm the manager of this team and I say he [Robinson] plays." - Leo Durocher

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post

                          The NBA travels a lot better in places where there no teams because of the playing-time awarded to start players. I know a zillion people in St. Louis who root for Labron or Steph or Giannis or what-have-you. i love the NBA and would much rather watch an NBA game than most MLB games. I doubt many in Sacramento give a rip about the Cardinals or can even name a player.

                          also a basketball player can affect the game more because you can pass the ball to him every attack while mike trout still only gets 4-5 at Bats per day just like the worst player of the team. If you could somehow give mike 20 at Bats per game which would be about the equivalent to how guys like James harden are used he would be more prominent too. But you can't and thus a baseball player can never be in the focus as much as an nba superstar (or a quarterback in nfl).

                          the only guy who comes close to that role is the starting pitcher but due to the stress of pitching he can only go every 5 games which makes it harder to follow them.

                          maybe if baseball was played once a week like nfl and the ace starts every game the SP would have a similar prominence as the quarterback has but it isn't so there isn't really one player having like huge impact.

                          even trout who is worth 10 war thus is only worth less than .1 wins extra per game while a guy like harden or LeBron probably is worth like .4 wins per game or so. In short: the angels win like 1 in 10 games more with trout than without him while the rockets win 4 in 10 games more when harden plays. That is a structural thing and a reason why mlb has less star power and is more of a local game, you don't switch on the angels from new York to see trout do something for a couple seconds every 20 minutes.

                          it has to be noted that mlb still has tremendous success locally though. Teams are still signing billion dollar local tv contracts so they don't need to be national for now.
                          Last edited by dominik; 01-28-2020, 04:31 AM.
                          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dominik View Post


                            also a basketball player can affect the game more because you can pass the ball to him every attack while mike trout still only gets 4-5 at Bats per day just like the worst player of the team. If you could somehow give mike 20 at Bats per game which would be about the equivalent to how guys like James harden are used he would be more prominent too. But you can't and thus a baseball player can never be in the focus as much as an nba superstar (or a quarterback in nfl).

                            the only guy who comes close to that role is the starting pitcher but due to the stress of pitching he can only go every 5 games which makes it harder to follow them.

                            maybe if baseball was played once a week like nfl and the ace starts every game the SP would have a similar prominence as the quarterback has but it isn't so there isn't really one player having like huge impact.

                            even trout who is worth 10 war thus is only worth less than .1 wins extra per game while a guy like harden or LeBron probably is worth like .4 wins per game or so. In short: the angels win like 1 in 10 games more with trout than without him while the rockets win 4 in 10 games more when harden plays. That is a structural thing and a reason why mlb has less star power and is more of a local game, you don't switch on the angels from new York to see trout do something for a couple seconds every 20 minutes.

                            it has to be noted that mlb still has tremendous success locally though. Teams are still signing billion dollar local tv contracts so they don't need to be national for now.
                            Yes - local TV rating are great! Tons of money is being made by players, owners, and TV networks. With the exception of an attendance dip last year, league-wide attendance has been (historically) strong for awhile. More and more people around the world are playing than ever before. The overall stare of the game is fine, despite all of the Chicken Littles out there.

                            But it is no NBA in terms of global popularity or player marketability...and that is okay.

                            You are dead-on about the MLB. When the Angels are on...I flip back-and-forth from other shows to see if Trout is batting. After he bats, I watch something else for awhile. But you better believe I am watching all of the Lakers/Clippers next game. I will also watch as long as Verlander or Scherzer are pitching. But I would rather watch the Antique Road Show than watching a full game between the Pirates and Marlins or whatever. Two Random Baseball teams is super-boring. And if somebody from Utah has no vested interest in a team, I can see why they don't care and wouldn't want to sit down and watch any of it.

                            But I care more about the Cardinals than ANY team. I care more about how the best MLB players do statistically more than I do for player's of any other sport. I care more about the history of baseball than of any other sport (though the NBA is close). In many areas, baseball is by far my favorite sports to FOLLOW, but I'd rather watch two random NFL or NBA teams play than any two teams that are not the Cardinals.
                            Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 01-28-2020, 07:56 AM.
                            1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                            1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                            1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                            The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                            The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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                            • #15
                              I've long thought that baseball is a great radio game, much better than other sports. But radio is not the medium of choice for many/most people today. If people listened to more games on satellite radio, I think baseball would pick up in following. But as Bothrops mentioned, it isn't a global game (Europeans in general are puzzled by all the nuances of baseball) and it doesn't have the one-person dominance found in other sports.
                              Man will land on the moon before the Mets win the World Series.-Ed Kranepool, Spring Training, 1969

                              Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

                              Go here for a link to all player links! http://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/...player-threads

                              Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info

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