Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is Norm Cash the Most Underrated Player of All Time?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is Norm Cash the Most Underrated Player of All Time?

    --I got to thinking about Norm Cash after several recent threads had members advocating Roger Maris for the Hall of Fame. Cash's 1961 was just as fluky as Maris', but it was BETTER than Maris season. Cash was almost 100 points better in BA, over 100 points in OBP and over 40 points in Slugging. Cash OPS+ that season was 201 to Maris 167. Cash's season was the 48th all time in OPS+ and 8th best for the 50 year period between 1942 and 1992. The better seasons were 3 by Mantle, 2 by Williams and the best seasons of Brett and McCovey. Maris season was not one of the 200 best OPS+ recorded.
    --Of course, Cash never approached those levels again, but he did have a very nice career. Although 1961 was a big offensive year, conditions shifted quickly in favor of pitchers. Cash played most of his career in the worst offensive conditions of the live ball era and still posted career numbers of 271/374/488 with 377 HR 1100+ RBI and 1000+ runs. For their careers there is really no comparison between Maris and Cash - Cash was far superior.
    --Cash career OPS+ is 139, which ranks tied for 17th amoung players who played mostly in the same 50 year period mentioned above. The only men above him on that list not in the Hall of Fame are Dick Allen and Frank Howard. Cash had a longer career and was a better defensive player than either Allen or Howard. The man he is tied with is Reggie Jackson - who played longer and was, of course, better. Cash's career OPS+ is better than Hall of Fame firstbasemen Bill Terry, George Sisler, Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, France Chance, Eddie Murray, Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez. He played longer than about half of them and hit more HR than all but Murray, Cepada and Perez - and the later 2 only beat him by 2.
    --Cash's most similar player is Gil Hodges who is another marginal candidate. I actually think Cash's candidacy isn't that much different than Rapheal Palmeiro's. Both were amoung the best at their positions for a long time, but never clearly the very best (except for Cash in 1961). Palmeiro stayed good a little longer, but much of the difference in their numbers has more to do with conditions than talent.
    --I'm certainly not advocating Cash as a Hall of Fame candidate at this point in our balloting. Obviously there are better players not yet elected - Killebrew, Mize, Murray and possibly Allen, Mattingly, Hodges, Cepada and Perez. However, I do think he is worthy of serious consideration when we get down to the second level of candidates. He was a much better player than he generally gets credit for the few times his name comes up here.

  • #2
    Not THEE most undrrated player.

    But using pure popualrity to the test, he only made 4 AllStar teams 61-66-71-72. He should have made 62 and not 72. I assumed he would have made more ALLSTAR games, but obviously I was wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll grant you a couple things... Cash's 1961 season was MUCH better than Maris' 61 season (it's really not even close)... but he really had no other seasons even CLOSE to that one. He never even hit .290 any other year. He had a couple of other pretty good seasons, but I don't think they were as good as Maris' 60 or 62 seasons... he is underrated, but certainly not a HoF'er, and definitely not the most underrated player of all time.

      My vote for the most underrated player of all time, by the way: Rogers Hornsby. You may think that's odd, but try this sometime: Go into a random sports bar, walk up to a group of guys watching a baseball game, and ask them if they know who Rogers Hornsby is. 9 times out of 10, they'll never have heard of him. Almost certainly the best right handed hitter of all time... and nobody's heard of him outside of the true, hardcore baseball fans. Every fan at least gives a spark of recognition for Honus Wagner, or Ty Cobb, or Babe Ruth. But Rogers? Just blank stares.
      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I really want to say that Billy Williams is more underrated than Norm Cash.

        Comment


        • #5
          --I'm not sure people are really that ignorant of Rogers Hornsby. I can't imagine anyone who calls themself a baseball fan doesn't know who he is.
          --While its true Cash never hit .290 after 1961, he hit over .280 four times in an era where that was more impressive than hitting .300 in many others - including today. To put his BA in better perspective, Cash was 7th in the AL in batting in 1966 with a .279 mark. He outhit the league by 20 or more points 6 times in the 60s - the league just wasn't hitting for average. That said, he was really more of a power hitter than a true BA guy and he came close to his 41 HR in 61 numerous times, although that remained his career high.

          Comment


          • #6
            Cash confessed to corking his bat throughout the 1961 season. Kinda helps explain the fluke, although '61 was fluky in a lot of ways, probably due to expansion and the new 162-game schedule.

            I dunno. I know the '60's depressed statistics, but Cash was playing in a park that was congenial to lefties. Take away corky 1961, and he's Chili Davis with a first baseman's glove. (Actually, now that I look at it, Chili hit nearly 200 more doubles.)

            I just can't get impressed. He's an All-Star, an all-time great Tiger...but that's it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by leecemark
              --I'm not sure people are really that ignorant of Rogers Hornsby. I can't imagine anyone who calls themself a baseball fan doesn't know who he is.
              You'd be heartily surprised.

              In the real, non-online world... I've never, ever, once, met a baseball fan who had heard of Rogers Hornsby before I told them about him. Not once.

              One guy (who's an extraordinarily rabid Red Sox fan, and explained to me the theory behind Win Shares when I wasn't really clear on them), flat out REFUSED to believe that there had ever been a player who hit .400 with 40 homers in a season, and hadn't even peripherally heard of Hornsby. I had to actually show him Hornsby's sheet on baseballreference.com before he would believe that such a player existed.
              "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

              Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ElHalo
                In the real, non-online world... I've never, ever, once, met a baseball fan who had heard of Rogers Hornsby before I told them about him. Not once.
                This is more likely to be indicative of either (a) the frequency of your social outings; or (b) the amount of knowledge an average baseball "fan" in New York possesses; more than it would support your contention.

                Out here in the midwest, I could walk into the local Piggly Wiggly and mention the name and I'd bet money at least one person who wouldn't consider themselves a baseball fan had heard the name in connection with the concept of "great baseball players".
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                Comment


                • #9
                  ElHalo:

                  I'll agree that, for reasons passing understanding, Rogers Hornsby is not as familiar a name as Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Williams, DiMaggio.

                  But I'd suggest that ignorance of Hornsby is more a function of age than geography. That, and the intensity of one's interest in the game.

                  If the baseball "fans" you meet never heard of Hornsby, they are most likely under the age of 40. And they're just as likely to live in the mid-west as in New York.

                  Aside to Chancellor: Since you're such a strong proponent of fact-based arguments, please share with us the basis of your snide, but laughable comment about the knowledge possessed by the average New York baseball fan.
                  Last edited by shlevine42; 06-30-2004, 04:52 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Agree that Rajah is better remembered in the Midwest, due to his association with the Cards, & later the Cubs (back when they were a real baseball team). He could hit anywhere, but that's where he made the biggest impression.

                    Dunno if this is what the C. meant, but there's definitely a degree of ignorance, if not bias, among many Easterners with regard to baseball in the Midwest. I know personally that many Bosox fans are shocked and bewildered by the concept that there's another team in the AL whose fans refer to them as "The Sox".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Going to agree with Shlevine and WestSide on a couple of points here...

                      First) I am 24 years old, and most of my friends are under 30. It might be different with a slightly older crowd. Second: very, very few of my friends share the same rabid interest in baseball that I do... they're fans of it, but they're mostly Mets fans, and the type of Mets fans who go to a game at Shea once every couple years or so to see how things are going.

                      Second) While I wouldn't call it an ignorance, there is a definite... East Coast bias amongst East Coast baseball fans. East Coast baseball fans give deserved credit to Chicago Cubs fans for being real, hardcore baseball fans... and basically no credit to the fans of any other team outside of the Northeast corridor. Baseball really is seen as a Northeast sport, and the concept of there being fans in other parts of the country who care about baseball is foreign to a lot of us. So we tend to pay less attention to teams that aren't in the Northeast Corridor, and the history of those teams. Not saying that I myself do that... but a lot of Northeasterners do.

                      To be fair though... I wouldn't call it entirely unreasonable to call baseball a "Northeast" sport. That's not to say there aren't vociferous and educated baseball fans in other parts of the country; there certainly are... but I wouldn't count on them being there in as great percentages as in the northeast.

                      Think of it this way: if were to roughly slice up the country, you could say that the midwest is football territory, the south is Nascar territory, the northeast is baseball country, and the west is basketball territory. That's not to say that there aren't rabid, die hard football fans in New York... there are, but not as many as there'd be in, say, Cleveland or Dallas (Oh yeah... for these purposes, Texas gets lumped in with the midwest. Don't ask me). And that's not to say that there aren't people who live and die with baseball teams on the west coast... there are... but in smaller percentages than in the Northeast.
                      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rogers Hornsby doesn't come to mind when I think of "underrated." I'm convinced that the most underrated players tend to fall into one of two categories:

                        1) 19th-century ballplayers
                        2) Black ballplayers before integration, and especially before the East-West games were held.

                        I would think that Bullet Joe Rogan might be the most underrated player of all time. He was a pitcher with the Kansas City Monarchs during the 1920s. I've seen different W-L records for his Negro League appearances during that time, but they give a winning percentage above .700.

                        Did I mention that he played the outfield on days he wasn't pitching? His batting average is among the top ten in Black baseball history, and he was a consistent power hitter, leading his league in home runs at least once, and batting clean-up for a Monarchs team that regularly won pennants.

                        The only knock against him would be his short career, but his performance while he played was very impressive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          --To be honest, my intent here wasn't to spark a discussion of underrated players so much as to give a plug to Stormin Norman. Guess you never know where a thread is going to go once you get it rolling.
                          --On the issue of corked bats, Cash actually said he used one on occasion throughout his career not just in 1961. Alot of good players had great years in that first expansion season, his was just the best. Alot of players have used corked bats too. There is a corked Babe Ruth bat on display at Cooperstown.
                          --Cash was a pretty fun loving guy. His best remembered stunt was taking a table leg to the plate instead of a bat late in a no-hitter Nolan Ryan was pitching against the Tigers. He might have had more years similar to 1961 if he had been a little more serious about the game, but it was just a game to him. He was my favorite Tiger as a kid though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ElHalo
                            if were to roughly slice up the country, you could say that the midwest is football territory, the south is Nascar territory, the northeast is baseball country, and the west is basketball territory. .
                            Wow. And which country is this?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by leecemark
                              --I got to thinking about Norm Cash after several recent threads had members advocating Roger Maris for the Hall of Fame. Cash's 1961 was just as fluky as Maris', but it was BETTER than Maris season. Cash was almost 100 points better in BA, over 100 points in OBP and over 40 points in Slugging. Cash OPS+ that season was 201 to Maris 167. Cash's season was the 48th all time in OPS+ and 8th best for the 50 year period between 1942 and 1992. The better seasons were 3 by Mantle, 2 by Williams and the best seasons of Brett and McCovey. Maris season was not one of the 200 best OPS+ recorded.
                              --Of course, Cash never approached those levels again, but he did have a very nice career. Although 1961 was a big offensive year, conditions shifted quickly in favor of pitchers. Cash played most of his career in the worst offensive conditions of the live ball era and still posted career numbers of 271/374/488 with 377 HR 1100+ RBI and 1000+ runs. For their careers there is really no comparison between Maris and Cash - Cash was far superior.
                              --Cash career OPS+ is 139, which ranks tied for 17th amoung players who played mostly in the same 50 year period mentioned above. The only men above him on that list not in the Hall of Fame are Dick Allen and Frank Howard. Cash had a longer career and was a better defensive player than either Allen or Howard. The man he is tied with is Reggie Jackson - who played longer and was, of course, better. Cash's career OPS+ is better than Hall of Fame firstbasemen Bill Terry, George Sisler, Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, France Chance, Eddie Murray, Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez. He played longer than about half of them and hit more HR than all but Murray, Cepada and Perez - and the later 2 only beat him by 2.
                              --Cash's most similar player is Gil Hodges who is another marginal candidate. I actually think Cash's candidacy isn't that much different than Rapheal Palmeiro's. Both were amoung the best at their positions for a long time, but never clearly the very best (except for Cash in 1961). Palmeiro stayed good a little longer, but much of the difference in their numbers has more to do with conditions than talent.
                              --I'm certainly not advocating Cash as a Hall of Fame candidate at this point in our balloting. Obviously there are better players not yet elected - Killebrew, Mize, Murray and possibly Allen, Mattingly, Hodges, Cepada and Perez. However, I do think he is worthy of serious consideration when we get down to the second level of candidates. He was a much better player than he generally gets credit for the few times his name comes up here.
                              Hodges, no doubt. How about Carl Furillo, apparently the most forgotten Brooklyn Dodger star? Or Steve Garvey? Jim Kaat? Kaat doesn't think he belongs, but I do. Maury Wills? Not the greatest stats but he re-invented the running game and made baseball more pitching-defense oriented.

                              On a side note, I wish Bud Selig would deal with Pete Rose's reinstatement. It doesn't matter to me how he decides as much as it matters that he decides and gets this thing behind us. It's further evidence that baseball can't deal with its problems and the game has slipped in stature because of it. No one would have even thought of subordinating a baseball game to NFL football or college football when baseball reigned supreme, but they do, even when baseball is in postseason and the others are in regular season. The World Series takes a back seat to the Super Bowl because they play at night and kids aren't bringing portable radios to school any more.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X