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  • Discussion thread for Albright's Musings, contributor section

    This thread is designed to be the place any discussion of my posts in the Musings thread on contributors will eventually be transferred to. I want to keep the Musings thread easy to navigate for its value as a reference. I do not wish to squelch discussion, so this thread helps accomplish both goals.

    One thing I need to tell those who are familiar with the player comments is that the contributor comments are far less oriented toward judging the quality of the candidate and more toward describing what the individual did. I have some objective measures for GMs and managers, which appear in the musings thread so I am more apt to serve as a judge in those cases. However, for other candidates, there are few if any objective measures, and that limits the persuasiveness of anything I might have to say. I may occasionally raise or borrow an argument for or against the candidate, though.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  • #2
    Abe, Iso

    This comes from the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame (English version, with some editing by me)

    Father of university baseball (Waseda U.)

    Inducted Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame1959
    Category Elected by the Special Committee

    This professor formed Waseda U. Nine in 1901. Their American tour in 1905 helped develop baseball in Japan. Organized the Tokyo Big Six League (TBSL), becoming its first president in 1925. Known as father of university baseball in Japan.
    From Fitts and Engels' Japanese Baseball Superstars, p. 113:

    Abe established Waseda University's baseball's team and is known [ed. : in Japan] as "The Father of University Baseball". .... While in the United States, he fell in love with baseball. ... Abe started teaching at Waseda University. In 1901, he established a baseball team and became its first manager. In 1905, he took his team on a tour of the United States to teach them the finer points of the game. It would be the first of many Japanese university teams to travel to America. Abe also helped promote inter-collegiate baseball [ed. : in Japan] and later became the Director of the Tokyo Big Six University League and the Chairman of the Association of University Baseball.
    I will add that college and high school baseball were quite popular in Japan prior to the establishment of NPB in 1936 and those two sources provided much of the talent for that league.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

    Comment


    • #3
      Adams, Doc


      From http://sabr.org/latest/sabr-44-doc-a...ll-legend-2014

      It is tempting but foolish to attempt to bestow the title “Father of Baseball” on any single individual. Dozens — if not hundreds — of pioneers could claim the title in one way or another. But one of the very first and most influential early pioneers has remained relatively unknown…….
      Adams became a member of the famed Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in 1845, about a month after the club was formed. He was elected Vice President of the Knickerbockers in 1846 and played in the famous “first” game between clubs on June 19 at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey (other Knickerbocker games at the time were intrasquad affairs). The following year Adams was elected President of the club, a position he held for the next three years and would serve again from 1856 to 1858. In 1848, Adams led the committee to revise the rules and by- laws of the Knickerbockers.

      As a player, Adams is credited by most baseball historians with pioneering the shortstop position in 1849 or 1850. Before teams were limited to nine players, any extra players not pitching or covering a base would play in the outfield. Adams was the first to start playing shallow to relay throws from the outfield. The balls at this time (which Adams personally produced for the Knickerbockers and other New York clubs) were soft and light and would not travel far when thrown. As balls were wound tighter and able to be thrown further, shortstops moved into the infield (with Dickey Pearce, credited by many, as the first to do so). Adams, a left-handed batter, played regularly and productively into his forties.

      At Adams’ suggestion, the first baseball convention of ball clubs met in May 1857 to formalize set rules between clubs and ultimately leading to the formation of the National Association of Base Ball Players. Adams was elected president of the convention and was the first chairman of the Rules Committee. In his leadership positions, Doc played a crucial role in the establishment of several key aspects that make up the game of baseball, including nine players per team, the nine inning game, ninety feet between bases, and catching the ball on the fly to record an out rather than being able to catch the ball on one bounce for an out (the latter not officially gaining universal support until 1864).
      Last edited by jalbright; 03-05-2016, 02:59 PM.
      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

      Comment


      • #4
        Allen, Mel

        From Wikipedia

        American sportscaster, best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions.
        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

        Comment


        • #5
          Allison, Doug

          Originally posted by westsidegrounds View Post
          Allison was a (the?) first catcher to stand (relatively) close behind the batter - positioning which involved the risk of serious injury, even with the dead ball of the time. This technique drastically reduced base stealing and run scoring. He was also (possibly) the first fielder to wear a glove to protect his hand (or hands, unclear whether he wore one glove or a pair). He was also the first professional catcher.
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

          Comment


          • #6
            Alston, Walter

            He’s in the top 17 in all the categories in the manager rating system, and when you realize there’s about 30 in the Hall, that screams that he belongs. He won 4 World Series, and is is 7th in the rating system behind Connie Mack.
            Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
            Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
            A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

            Comment


            • #7
              Anderson, Sparky

              He’s top 10 among managers in everything but winning percentage, and even there he’s in HOF territory at 26th. He comes in 9th in the rating system.
              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

              Comment


              • #8
                Anson, Cap

                Certainly good enough for his play, and a manager with his level of success (5 pennants in the pre WS days, a .578 career winning percentage, and 1282 wins) would get in as well IMHO. In the rating system, he comes in 17th.

                I’m not sure if the “managers” of his day should get quite as much credit as the men who held that post later on. Anson was such a good player that if somehow you don’t think he makes it, he still should be close, and these accomplishments as a manager or captain should be sufficient for almost everyone to consider him worthy of the Hall of Fame.
                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ashburn, Richie

                  This is an insurance policy in case he doesn’t make it as a player, though in my opinion, he certainly deserves to do so. After his playing career, he began his career as Phillie broadcaster in 1963. He was beloved by the Phillie fans. He held his job until his death in 1997.
                  Last edited by jalbright; 03-05-2016, 03:05 PM.
                  Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                  Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                  A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ashford, Emmett AL, 1966-1970
                    Umpire minibio from dgarza

                    Originally posted by dgarza View Post

                    Emmett Ashford was the first African-American umpire in the major leagues. Ashford served in the Navy during World War II, and was inspired to become a major league umpire when an announcement came on the radio that Jackie Robinson had broken baseball's color barrier. Soon afterward, in 1951, Ashford took a leave of absence from his post office job to umpire in the Southwestern International League. His contract was sold to the AL for the 1966 season, and with it came his new style to being an umpire; he wore jewelry, flashy cuff links, wore polished shoes and freshly-pressed suits, and was outwardly expressive in voice and movement. Some suggest that this “flash” kept him from making majors sooner. He toned down those mannerisms some as his big league career progressed, but it was always part of his personality. Ashford umpired one World Series and one All Star Game. In 1971, Ashford was hired by commissioner Bowie Kuhn as a public relations adviser.
                    Last edited by jalbright; 03-05-2016, 03:05 PM.
                    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Baker, Dusty

                      I know there are plenty of people who don’t think much of his managerial acumen, but either through good fortune or his own skill (or more likely a mix of the two), he’s 30th in the manager’s rating system. He hasn’t won a World Series and has only one pennant winner to his credit. He’s on the edge and I don’t have a problem leaving him out, but he’s so close he deserves a careful look.
                      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Barber, Red

                        From Wikipedia

                        primarily identified with radio broadcasts of Major League Baseball, calling play-by-play across four decades with the Cincinnati Reds (1934—38), Brooklyn Dodgers (1939—1953), and New York Yankees (1954—1966).
                        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Barlick, Al

                          From Wikipedia:
                          umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League for 28 seasons (1940–43, 1946–55, 1958–71). Barlick missed two seasons (1944-45) due to service in the United States Coast Guard and two seasons (1956-57) due to heart problems. He umpired seven World Series and seven All-Star Games.

                          Barlick was known for a strong voice and for booming strike calls. After retiring from umpiring, Barlick was hired by the league to supervise and scout umpires, a job he held for 22 years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
                          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Barrow, Ed


                            -Barrow signed Honus Wagner to what I think was his second professional contract, and thus is a key participant in the development of his talent.

                            -He won the World Series as manager of the Red Sox in 1918

                            -He's the manager who made Babe Ruth a full-time OF

                            -He hired Joe McCarthy to follow Miller Huggins as manager of the Yankees, which proved to be quite successful.

                            -He was the Yankee GM from 1921-44, during which time:
                            =====The Yankees won 10 World Series and 14 pennants
                            =====The Yankees had only one season under .539, in 1925, when Ruth had his abdominal abcess
                            =====Barrow built the Yankee farm system into a regular provider of talent

                            In essence, Barrow, along with Branch Rickey, created the role of the modern GM.

                            Dan Levitt, Barrow's biographer, in an interview said this:

                            there were really three different phases [in Barrow's tenure with the Yankees]: 1921 - 1923, 1926 - 1928, and 1936 - 1943. Much of Barrow's genius lay is reading the environment correctly so that he could build and then rebuild on the fly. After joining the Yankees, Barrow spent roughly $450,000 to buy up the rest of Boston owner Harry Frazee's best players. This avenue dried up in 1923 when Frazee sold the team – he was out of good players by this time anyway – and other major league teams were not sellers during the roaring twenties. To restock his team in the mid-1920s Barrow assembled a terrific team of scouts and bought top talent from the independent minors. In the 1930s the onset of the Depression led to new rules regarding the ownership of minor league franchises. With these revised, more favorable rules in place, owner Jacob Ruppert demanded Barrow start a farm system. Barrow quickly developed the best minor league organization in the league while his scouts redirected their efforts to nation's best amateurs to stock
                            The New York Post's review of Levitt's book had this:
                            Popular lore has it that the Yankees transformed from sad sacks to champions when they bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox before the 1920 season, but simply having the Bambino in the fold was no guarantee for long-term success. That guarantee came with the acquisition of Barrow - then the Red Sox' manager - the next year. As the legendary New York World-Telegram sportswriter Joe Williams once put it, the Barrow hiring "was the best deal the Yankees ever made." As Levitt adds, "The Ruth purchase placed America's best baseball player and biggest sports celebrity in its largest city. The Barrow acquisition a year later ensured that the short-term boost from Ruth would be solidified and prolonged into one of the great sports dynasties of the 20th century."

                            It was with the Yankees where Barrow would realize his full potential after years of kicking around from venture to venture, city to city, and team to team. "Barrow prided himself on both his organizational abilities and his player evaluation skills," Levitt writes, and "the Yankees offered him the opportunity to employ both." At a time where the business and baseball sides of Major League teams were separate and distinct, Ed Barrow brought them together, essentially inventing the modern-day position of general manager. Armed with the then unprecedented combination of decision making power and baseball savvy, Barrow wasted no time turning the Yankees into a juggernaut.

                            How did he do it? Every way he could. He raided his old club, spending over $400,000 acquiring some of the Red Sox' best players. Meanwhile, "one of Barrow's most significant and lasting influences was the emphasis and resources he put into scouting," Levitt observes. "Barrow and his scouts spent lavishly by the standards of the era to land top Minor League baseball talent."

                            Finally, while Barrow himself initially resisted the newly-created farm system, Yankees' owner Jacob Ruppert felt differently. But "once Ruppert directed the new approach, Barrow moved quickly." Within a few short years the Yankees had a farm system that served as the model for the rest of the league, and with the talent pipeline in place, Barrow would preside over a franchise that won 14 pennants and 10 World Championships before he retired.
                            Looking at the records of Barrow’s teams, he’s twelfth among GMs in the number of games. He leads in pennants and World Series won, winning percentage, wins minus losses, and Fibonacci’s number. He’s second in wins times winning percentage and in the number of playoffs made. He’s fifth in wins, and first in the GM rating system.

                            I think Barrow is a worthy choice for the Hall of Fame.
                            Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                            Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                            A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bavasi, Buzzy

                              biography is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzzie_Bavasi

                              Key points:

                              Dodger GM 1951-68
                              Angels went to playoffs twice while he was their GM.

                              Among GMs with over 1000 games in that role:
                              3d in pennants
                              3d in World Series
                              5th in wins
                              6th in the number of playoffs reached
                              6th in games
                              14th in wins minus losses
                              5th in wins times winning percentage
                              5th in Fibonacci number (above two categories added together)
                              and 40th in winning percentage
                              which adds up to fifth in my rating system .
                              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                              Comment

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