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  • Pre-color barrier stats worthless?

    Are pre color (1947) barrier MLB stats worthless? I mean after all the best athletes of that ERA were not allowed to be in major league baseball because of their black race. Just look how Blacks dominated the MVP AWARDS from 1947-1970. I am sure Hank Aaron was not the best negro league player in the negro leagues of his ERA ,i doubt even Willie Mays was.


    Thats why the pre 1947 stats to me really don't count. They are worthless to me.

  • #2
    Taking your "argument," for lack of a better word, a bit to the extreme, don't you think?

    There were some great black players who never got to play MLB but to group them together as the best athletes is a little much.
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
    Carl Yastrzemski

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    • #3
      nice to know there are still trolls in the world.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NOMAR22
        Are pre color (1947) barrier MLB stats worthless? I mean after all the best athletes of that ERA were not allowed to be in major league baseball because of their black race. Just look how Blacks dominated the MVP AWARDS from 1947-1970. I am sure Hank Aaron was not the best negro league player in the negro leagues of his ERA ,i doubt even Willie Mays was.


        Thats why the pre 1947 stats to me really don't count. They are worthless to me.
        I hope you are kidding. I do agree that players who played in segregated league's numbers are a bit " inflated " due to inferior competition, but worthless ?

        That's pushing it, it's just as idiotic as baseball purist's who say today's " expansion, steroid inflated " stats are worthless.
        " NEVER underestimate the heart of a champion " ~ Rudy Tomjanovich

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with this opinion to some extent. I don't think we can take the stats of the pre-integration period at face value becaues the league was purposely watered-down. The ML players of the day were not playing in a league composed of the best players available. I'm of the opinion that had integration occurred earlier, we would have a very, very different idea of who the stars were of the day. That's not to say that Ruth and Cobb and Gehrig and others would not have been great players, it is to say that some the players on the next tier would have been bumped even further down and more obscured by history. I look no further than the number of great black players just after integration in the 50s and 60s. Who was the Willie Mays, the Frank Robinson, the Jackie Robinson, the Roberto Clemente, the Larry Doby, the Ernie Banks, the Bob Gibson, the Roy Campanella, the Willie McCovey, the Orlando Cepeda, the Minnie Minoso, the Jimmy Wynn, the Reggie Jackson, the Joe Morgan, the Rod Carew, the Billy Williams, the Dick Allen, and so forth, of earlier generations? Seriously, just imagine what the list of the best players of the 60s would look like without all of those names. Guys like Norm Cash, Boog Powell, Frank Howard, and others, could very well have looked like Hall of Famers if not for being overshadowed by so many of their black contemporaries. So I think there are a number of players we consider stars and who are Hall of Famers from earlier periods that would not have received so much praise if they had competed against the Mays' and Robinsons and Banks' and Campanellas and so forth of those eras.

          I know some people like to point to the fact that a lot of African-Americans were just not playing ball earlier in the century, and thus there was less chance that there would have been a number of African-American stars in the Majors. I'm sure if black ballplayers were featured in the Majors, generations of black youths would have been inspired to play, instead of seeing baseball as just another painful reminder of the inequity of injustice of society (in this regard, the NAACP studies from Brown v. Board of Ed. are relevant because they provide empiral evidence that segregation had the result of making African-American youths feel inferior - I'm sure this argument could be applied to baseball in that African-American youths were more reluctant to seriously pursue baseball because segregation sent an message of inferiority and futility in the pursuit).

          My basic point is that segregation has resulted in many of the ML stars from that day being overrated due to the waterdowned competition of the day. I tend to account for this in my rankings by giving a boost to post-integration players, especially when its close between a post-integration player and a pre-integration player.
          Last edited by DoubleX; 03-25-2006, 08:34 PM.

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          • #6
            --I pretty much agree with Double X here. Worthless greatly overstates the case, but some discounting is merited.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DoubleX
              I agree with this opinion to some extent. I don't think we can take the stats of the pre-integration period at face value becaues the league was purposely watered-down. The ML players of the day were not playing in a league composed of the best players available. I'm of the opinion that had integration occurred earlier, we would have a very, very different idea of who the stars were of the day. That's not to say that Ruth and Cobb and Gehrig and others would not have been great players, it is to say that some the players on the next tier would have been bumped even further down and more obscured by history. I look no further than the number of great black players just after integration in the 50s and 60s. Who was the Willie Mays, the Frank Robinson, the Jackie Robinson, the Roberto Clemente, the Larry Doby, the Ernie Banks, the Bob Gibson, the Roy Campanella, the Willie McCovey, the Orlando Cepeda, the Minnie Minoso, the Jimmy Wynn, the Reggie Jackson, the Joe Morgan, the Rod Carew, the Billy Williams, the Dick Allen, and so forth, of earlier generations? Seriously, just imagine what the list of the best players of the 60s would look like without all of those names. Guys like Norm Cash, Boog Powell, Frank Howard, and others, could very well have looked like Hall of Famers if not for being overshadowed by so many of their black contemporaries. So I think there are a number of players we consider stars and who are Hall of Famers from earlier periods that would not have received so much praise if they had competed against the Mays' and Robinsons and Banks' and Campanellas and so forth of those eras.

              I know some people like to point to the fact that a lot of African-Americans were just not playing ball earlier in the century, and thus there was less chance that there would have been a number of African-American stars in the Majors. I'm sure if black ballplayers were featured in the Majors, generations of black youths would have been inspired to play, instead of seeing baseball as just another painful reminder of the inequity of injustice of society (in this regard, the NAACP studies from Brown v. Board of Ed. are relevant because they provide empiral evidence that segregation had the result of making African-American youths feel inferior - I'm sure this argument could be applied to baseball in that African-American youths were more reluctant to seriously pursue baseball because segregation sent an message of inferiority and futility in the pursuit).

              My basic point is that segregation has resulted in many of the ML stars from that day being overrated due to the waterdowned competition of the day. I tend to account for this in my rankings by giving a boost to post-integration players, especially when its close between a post-integration player and a pre-integration player.
              I agree with everything you said.

              Comment


              • #8
                XX,

                I agree with most of what you said. But, I think it is always important to remember that the distribution of elite talent is always thin, whether it is applied to limited sample, like just blacks or a broader sample, all potential ball players.

                So, I think in terms of the dominance of the elite, it would make less difference if the leagues were intergrated earlier. Most of the players in the league are not stars, so the biggest difference would be that more of the non-descript players would be Black or Latin American. There would be a few superstars sprinkled along with the white superstars, but in terms of the OVERALL competitive landscape, intergration might not have had AS big an impact as we are sometimes inclined to think.

                Also, why do we always talk about all the other hitters, the quality of pitching is equally important.
                THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by digglahhh
                  XX,

                  I agree with most of what you said. But, I think it is always important to remember that the distribution of elite talent is always thin, whether it is applied to limited sample, like just blacks or a broader sample, all potential ball players.

                  So, I think in terms of the dominance of the elite, it would make less difference if the leagues were intergrated earlier. Most of the players in the league are not stars, so the biggest difference would be that more of the non-descript players would be Black or Latin American. There would be a few superstars sprinkled along with the white superstars, but in terms of the OVERALL competitive landscape, intergration might not have had AS big an impact as we are sometimes inclined to think.

                  Also, why do we always talk about all the other hitters, the quality of pitching is equally important.
                  I agree, and that's why I think that the status of the elite would not be affected. I'm going down to the next tier. The Earl Averills, the Enos Slaughthers, the Joe Medwicks, the Chuck Kleins, the Jim Bottomleys, the Ernie Lombardis, and so forth. Try this exercise out. Make a list of the top 40 players of the 50s-70s. Then make a list of the top 40 white players from that period. The list will become drastically different, and white players that would be around 20, could jump into the top 10 without competition from black players. That's why I think if integration occurred earlier, a number of those top 40 white players, would be bumped down quite a bit by the best black talent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think some adjustment is valid, but really not too much. As Diglahh stated, the graph has a very skinny tail, meaning that the truly great are less likely to be affected all that much. I do not think Ted Williams gained all that much, and I think Dimaggio would still have looked great. Many very good players, guys who made several allstar teams, would have had a more difficult time, as they would have been competing with more people who could play at their level and above. I am curious about the assertion that Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were not the best players in the negro leagues at that time. Who were the best? I have heard of the great early stars, Charleston, Gibson....But I am wondering who the best players of the early 40's to early 50's were. I know Satchel Paige once said that the greatest hitters he ever saw were Ted Williams and Josh Gibson. I am curious as to who the best negro leaguers of that era were that I may not have heard of.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The greatest player that you never heard of was Cannonball Bill Jackman who worked mostly in the New England area. He pitched professionally from 1917 through 1952 and likely won more games and struck out more batters than any pitcher who ever lived. So far I have reconstructed his career at 112 wins and 44 losses. I have found 39 games with double digit strikeouts. Currently I have him at 15-1 when the opposing starter had big league experience. While it is certain not all of his games can be located I hope to document at least 300 wins.

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                      • #12
                        But why is he greater than players from the 1860s and 1870s who have equally impressive pitching records, but are often discounted on this forum because of the leagues they played for and the competition they played against?
                        "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by digglahhh
                          XX,

                          I agree with most of what you said. But, I think it is always important to remember that the distribution of elite talent is always thin, whether it is applied to limited sample, like just blacks or a broader sample, all potential ball players.

                          So, I think in terms of the dominance of the elite, it would make less difference if the leagues were intergrated earlier. Most of the players in the league are not stars, so the biggest difference would be that more of the non-descript players would be Black or Latin American. There would be a few superstars sprinkled along with the white superstars, but in terms of the OVERALL competitive landscape, intergration might not have had AS big an impact as we are sometimes inclined to think.

                          Also, why do we always talk about all the other hitters, the quality of pitching is equally important.
                          I sort of agree with you, but you have to realize that today's era has produced A LOT of young VERY talented players. Every year there seems to be more and more incredibly talented players entering the league, from arod, to vlad, to helton, to pujols, to cabrera, to francour, to howard, these players are entering the majors VERY young and DOMINATING.

                          That's simply incredible.

                          IMO, today's league is considerably stronger than the league of ruth, williams, etc, because today's players are stronger ( naturally, not even including illegal muscle building products), and the impact minorities have had on baseball has been HUGE, the best players are currently latino.

                          As for pitching, you could make a case that today's players face better, more effective relief pitching than players pre 1947. They also face them 5x more times. The article also states this interesting tidbit - The relief ace of the 1990’s is a much better pitcher than the ace of the 1940’s, relative to other pitchers of the day.

                          http://www.baseballgraphs.com/blog/c...?id=81_0_1_0_C
                          Last edited by GnomeansGno; 03-27-2006, 03:15 PM.
                          " NEVER underestimate the heart of a champion " ~ Rudy Tomjanovich

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by digglahhh
                            XX,

                            I agree with most of what you said. But, I think it is always important to remember that the distribution of elite talent is always thin, whether it is applied to limited sample, like just blacks or a broader sample, all potential ball players.

                            So, I think in terms of the dominance of the elite, it would make less difference if the leagues were intergrated earlier. Most of the players in the league are not stars, so the biggest difference would be that more of the non-descript players would be Black or Latin American. There would be a few superstars sprinkled along with the white superstars, but in terms of the OVERALL competitive landscape, intergration might not have had AS big an impact as we are sometimes inclined to think.

                            Also, why do we always talk about all the other hitters, the quality of pitching is equally important.
                            I agree with this. The elites played whoever was put in front of them, and they would still remain elite post-integration. In fact, it might raise their game even more, facing better competition top to bottom.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                              But why is he greater than players from the 1860s and 1870s who have equally impressive pitching records, but are often discounted on this forum because of the leagues they played for and the competition they played against?
                              Yes, Jackman faced hundreds of major leaguers. He also faced top Negro League opposition. Most of the top Negro League researchers will tell you that Jackman, though having a poorly documented career, was considered by his contemporaires as being in the same class as any of the top Negro League hurlers of the 20s and 30s. If I recall correctly, from data published in the Chicago Defender, he was outpolling Paige for votes in the 1935 Negro League All-Star game, though to be fair, what I read may not have been the final tabulation.

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