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Jimmy Williams

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  • Paul Wendt
    replied
    Two tidbits.

    Barney Dreyfuss retained a very large roster of Pittsburgh/Louisville players for the 1900 season (at least, after the spring deadline when other owners hoped and urged that all would economize). One of the extras was the regular Louisville 3B Tommy Leach who barely played in a utility role. Dreyfuss was keen on him, a Cleveland paper reported. (If Dreyfuss was the source, he may have talked up Leach for the regional readers, or for the newspaper, where Leach was a favorite.) Next year, 1899 Pittsburgh 3B Jimmy Williams was the only important team member to sign with the AL. Williams was not much older than Leach but evidently much more capable of batting at that level when they were rookies and sophomores in '99-00.

    Jimmy Williams moved from third to second when he moved from Pittsburgh to Baltimore. John McGraw was recruiter and architect of the new Orioles and was the expected regular 3B. It turned out that Jack Dunn and Roger Bresnahan played a lot of thirdbase. I wonder whether and when Williams would have moved to second if McGraw had been injured more decisively or one season earlier.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 01-28-2011, 10:58 AM.

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  • Beady
    replied
    Certainly performed over his head in 1899, but some of the subsequent falloff is due to the general decline in hitting. He remained a solid hitter for an infielder until he fell the cliff in his last season.

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  • Cowtipper
    replied
    Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
    Walt Dropo and Dale Alexander come to mind though that might be raw numbers rather than rate stats.
    Dropo is a good one. Without 1950, his first real season, Dropo's career average drops seven points, his OBP drops seven points, his slugging percentage drops 21 points, his OPS drops 28 points and his OPS+ drops four points. Not as marked as Williams, but still notable.

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  • Freakshow
    replied
    In The Ultimate Quest for Candidates project Williams was not among the top 13 HOF candidates from the decade of the 1900's.

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  • PVNICK
    replied
    Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
    Yeah, it looks like his rookie year really carried his whole career. Removing his first season from his stats drops his career batting average 10 points, his career OBP 11 points, his career slugging percentage 23 points, his career OPS 34 points and his career OPS+ seven points.

    I wonder if their are any players with a 10-year career or longer whose rookie seasons affected their career numbers that much. I can't think of any.

    There's a project for the folks with the databases...who are the players who, when you remove their rookie season, experience a 10-point or greater drop in every major percentage (avg, OBP, etc)?
    Walt Dropo and Dale Alexander come to mind though that might be raw numbers rather than rate stats.

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  • Cowtipper
    replied
    Originally posted by Beady View Post
    Just on the basis of a scan of a couple of on line databases (which did produce a lot of hits, though), I would say he appears probably to have been considered a good player but by no means a great one -- better offensively than defensively, as you might guess, and he had conditioning problems at least around 1904 to 1906.

    When he dropped out of the major leagues, Alf Cratty, the long-time Pittsburgh correspondent of Sporting Life, remarked that Williams had played brilliant ball as a rookie but had never matched that performance again. It really was a high standard to meet, but even as a rookie he seems to have been considered a lot less polished defensively than Bill Bradley, another young third baseman coming up about the same time.
    Yeah, it looks like his rookie year really carried his whole career. Removing his first season from his stats drops his career batting average 10 points, his career OBP 11 points, his career slugging percentage 23 points, his career OPS 34 points and his career OPS+ seven points.

    I wonder if their are any players with a 10-year career or longer whose rookie seasons affected their career numbers that much. I can't think of any.

    There's a project for the folks with the databases...who are the players who, when you remove their rookie season, experience a 10-point or greater drop in every major percentage (avg, OBP, etc)?

    Leave a comment:


  • KCGHOST
    replied
    Not much hope for him. His career was too short and isn't any better than Larry Doyle and Danny Murphy.

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  • Beady
    replied
    Just on the basis of a scan of a couple of on line databases (which did produce a lot of hits, though), I would say he appears probably to have been considered a good player but by no means a great one -- better offensively than defensively, as you might guess, and he had conditioning problems at least around 1904 to 1906.

    When he dropped out of the major leagues, Alf Cratty, the long-time Pittsburgh correspondent of Sporting Life, remarked that Williams had played brilliant ball as a rookie but had never matched that performance again. It really was a high standard to meet, but even as a rookie he seems to have been considered a lot less polished defensively than Bill Bradley, another young third baseman coming up about the same time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cowtipper
    replied
    From 1899 to 1909 (the span of his career), Williams had 1,508 hits - the second most of all second baseman who played during that time. The second sacker who had the most hits in that span was Nap LaJoie.

    Anyway, my question is, is how highly touted was Jimmy Williams? In his time, how "great" (or not great) was he considered?

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  • BlueBlood
    replied
    44th? And we're electing our 44th President in November. It's a sign. Let 'em in!

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  • jjpm74
    replied
    Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
    According to the Rankings at The Baseball Page, Williams is ranked as the 44th best second baseman of all time.
    If the HOF expanded to 550+ players that ranking would still put him below the cutoff.

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  • Cowtipper
    started a poll Jimmy Williams

    Jimmy Williams

    14
    Yes
    0.00%
    0
    No
    100.00%
    14
    Maybe
    0.00%
    0
    Jimmy Williams played big league ball from 1899 to 1909, and boy, was his career filled with a lot of extremes. For example, he hit over .300 three times (with averages of .355 [in his rookie year!], .317 and .313) but he also hit under .250 three times as well (.228, .236, .195). So overall, he hit .275 with 1507 career hits, 242 doubles and 139 triples. He was so prolific at hitting triples in fact that three times he led the league. He was also on the home run and RBI leaderboards quite often.

    His rookie season could be considered one of the best rookie seasons of all time, in my opinion. In 1899, he hit .355 with 219 hits, 126 runs scored, 28 doubles, 28 triples and 116 RBI. He also had hitting streaks of 27 and 26 games in his rookie season. He holds the rookie record for most triples in a season.

    Williams played second base for the most part, but he also spent considerable time (over 200 games) at third.

    According to the Rankings at The Baseball Page, Williams is ranked as the 44th best second baseman of all time.

    Should Jimmy Williams be in the Hall of Fame?

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