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OK, Shoeless Joe vs Dick Allen

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  • #31
    Originally posted by ElHalo
    Jackson is probably one of the top 5 hitters of all time; Allen might be top 25, but that's probably stretching it.
    And Jackson probably one of the top 5 ever isn't?
    Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
    I hope that's all.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Chisox
      And Jackson probably one of the top 5 ever isn't?

      You're right; I really can't offer any justification for putting Jackson top 5. Jackson ranks as my number six hitter all time, behind Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Hornsby, and Cobb.
      "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

      Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by 538280
        I know you don't think the 1970s were very high quality, but either way you do have to give in that they were at least hard to dominate, right? Anyway, Allen had great years in the 1960s as well.

        ...

        I don't think there's any question Allen was the better slugger. He's only five points behind in rel. SLG, not factoring in league quality. Jackson does have a 20 point edge in rel. BA, but that deserves a HUGE LQ hit.

        First off, no I don't have to admit that they were hard to dominate. A weak league (which I believe the mid 70's to early 90's leagues were) should be easy to dominate. The fact that nobody did dominate in them is more an expression of the dearth of top talent than of the depth of the league. If you put Albert Pujols in a special ed high school league, he'd hit 1.000 with a 4.000 SLG. If you take him out of that league, the fact that nobody else is dominating the league is less a reflection of its overall quality than of the complete inability of anybody in it to actually play the game.

        And something you forget with Jackson's relative SLG... you have to remember that it's a lot harder to seperate from the pack in SLG when you're in the dead ball era and don't have the advantage of the HR. One HR is worth 3 2B in IsoSLG; three doubles are worth a LOT more than one home run, especially in the dead ball era. If you've got two players with the same relative SLG, and one of them was able to get SLG in bunches by bashing homers, while the other guy didn't have the homer option, and so had to be really, really consistent with the XBH... the latter guy is a lot more impressive.
        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by ElHalo
          First off, no I don't have to admit that they were hard to dominate. A weak league (which I believe the mid 70's to early 90's leagues were) should be easy to dominate. The fact that nobody did dominate in them is more an expression of the dearth of top talent than of the depth of the league. If you put Albert Pujols in a special ed high school league, he'd hit 1.000 with a 4.000 SLG. If you take him out of that league, the fact that nobody else is dominating the league is less a reflection of its overall quality than of the complete inability of anybody in it to actually play the game.
          EH, this is a HUGE stretch. So you basically think that the 1970s were easy to dominate, but the top level players were just so terrible that they couldn't separate? That's not neccesarily how it works anyway. If the whole league sucks, then there has to be some people who just don't such as much and those guys will have huge separation from average anyway.

          And something you forget with Jackson's relative SLG... you have to remember that it's a lot harder to seperate from the pack in SLG when you're in the dead ball era and don't have the advantage of the HR. One HR is worth 3 2B in IsoSLG; three doubles are worth a LOT more than one home run, especially in the dead ball era. If you've got two players with the same relative SLG, and one of them was able to get SLG in bunches by bashing homers, while the other guy didn't have the homer option, and so had to be really, really consistent with the XBH... the latter guy is a lot more impressive.
          That's not true, because all the others were competing in the same environment as Jackson, and weren't hitting HRs just like Jackson. It is obviously much harder to separate from league in SLG today if you're not hitting home runs because everyone is hitting HRs. When no one else is hitting HRs like in Jackson's era it really doesn't have an effect.

          Also, you could argue that Allen's SLG is actually more impressive because in his day players were taking more of a slugging approach and trying to hit home runs while in Jackson's era the focus was on contact.

          Comment


          • #35
            I'll agree with numerist on this. If nobody is hitting home runs then the lack of home runs mean nothing or I should say very little to SLG and difference between a players SLG and the leagues. It then comes down to batting average, doubles, and triples.

            If you bat .400 and somehow have very little power you will still have a SLG over .500. 25 players have batted .390 or higher since 1900 and the lowest SLG is Cobb at .535. The next lowest is Cobb again at .565. In that era SLG was batting average driven, the higher batting average the higher the slugging, which leads to extreme sepetation from the rest of the league.

            Comment


            • #36
              Hitting in the deadball era was no picnic and Jackson showed incredible ability to hit those scuffed and battered baseballs.

              The Allen people insist so Joe can't win in their eyes no matter what. The stats don't count, though they favor Joe, the deadballs don't count but the balance of the league in Allen's era does.

              Come on guys, you're setting up arguements that are totally one sided for anyone from Allen's era.

              Comment


              • #37
                The stats don't count?

                Stats are the center of my argument.

                Jackson and Allen look very nearly identical by most hitting metrics except (1) Allen played in a league that was only slightly less hitter friendly and SIGNIFICANTLY more balanced and competitive and (2) Allen did it for much much longer. Hitting in the deadball era wasn't easy...no one claims it was...but hitting in 1965-1973 was very nearly as difficult despite better baseballs thanks to some incredible defensive players and pitchers all peaking at around the same time.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Jackson wins with the relative stats but you pick Allen--how do the stats count?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    You have to go with something more detailed than relative BA/OBP/SLG/OPS...the problem with relative statistics is that there's an assumption inherent within that league average is fully representative of the difficulty in playing the game. Just because league average OPS is .800 one year and .770 the next doesn't mean it was necessarily entirely caused by conditions intrinsic to the league...that drop n production could be because the hitters got worse. Even worse...you're only seeing the mean...the whole distribution of player performance is not described by the mean. In fact the mean is above the 50th percentile of most of these distributions (there are more players below the mean than above it...and more high outliers than low outliers).

                    In point of fact there was a significantly larger range of outcomes in the deadball era than there was in the 60s/70s...have you ever read the article on the disappearance of the .400 hitter? The game has progressively gotten stronger through time and the standard deviation of batting average (and OPS for that matter) has been on the decrease...meaning that using straight relative statistics, it will appear that Cobb's .400 BAs or Jackson's .350 BAs etc are more impressive than say...Wade Boggs and George Brett and Tony Gwynn's BAs...but in fact it was statistically more improbabe that Gwynn, Brett and Ichiro would hit .370+ than it was that Sisler or Jackson or Cobb would hit .380+ or even .400+ back in the deadball era.

                    The understanding of statistics goes beyond looking at relative figures...you have to see the whole distribution for what it is...Allen was a more improbable (and therefore likely more intrinsically gifted) hitter than Jackson.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by four tool
                      The Allen people insist so Joe can't win in their eyes no matter what. The stats don't count, though they favor Joe, the deadballs don't count but the balance of the league in Allen's era does.

                      Come on guys, you're setting up arguements that are totally one sided for anyone from Allen's era.
                      No, YOU come on. You're showing no real understanding of the proper use of relative stats. When using relative stats, you have to realize that they will be biased towards old time players who played in easy to dominate leagues.

                      I'm sure it was tough to hit in the deadball era, but that's where relative stats do the job. They put Jackson against others who played in the same conditions.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by 538280
                        EH, this is a HUGE stretch. So you basically think that the 1970s were easy to dominate, but the top level players were just so terrible that they couldn't separate? That's not neccesarily how it works anyway. If the whole league sucks, then there has to be some people who just don't such as much and those guys will have huge separation from average anyway.

                        There were guys who didn't suck as much and had huge separation. Willie Stargell looked like a demon in the 70's, because he was playing against a crappy league. Can you honestly tell me that you believe Stargell was better than, say, Moises Alou?

                        That's not true, because all the others were competing in the same environment as Jackson, and weren't hitting HRs just like Jackson. It is obviously much harder to separate from league in SLG today if you're not hitting home runs because everyone is hitting HRs. When no one else is hitting HRs like in Jackson's era it really doesn't have an effect.
                        Think about this one a little deeper.

                        Let's say Dick Allen's best season is 1972. In 1972, in the AL, the average player hit a home run once every 52.5 AB's. Allen, the league leader, hit one every 13.7 AB's.

                        Let's say Jackson's best season is 1911. In 1911, in the AL, the average player hit a home run once every 207.8 AB's. The league leader, Home Run Baker, hit a HR once every 53.8 AB's.

                        Do a little math here. All else being exactly equal, in 1972, the league average player got 76 points worth of slugging from HR's (four total bases per HR, and one HR every 52.5 AB's, works out to a SLG from HR's of 0.07619...). Allen got 292 points of slugging from homers, giving him a HR isolated SLG advantage over the average HR hitter of 216 points. So the best HR hitters got 216 points worth of slugging more than the average HR hitter.

                        The league average player in 1911 got 19 points of slugging from HR's. Baker got 74 points worth of slugging from HR's. Thus, the best HR hitter got 55 points worth of slugging over the average HR hitter.

                        Look at that. Just because of the bare fact that home runs were more prevalent, a great home run hitter could get four times the SLG advantage over an average player in 1972 than he could in 1911. Thus, a relative slugging average from 1911 is more impressive than an idential relative slugging average from 1972, because it was a whole lot easier to create separation once everybody started hitting homers.
                        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by SABR Matt
                          In point of fact there was a significantly larger range of outcomes in the deadball era than there was in the 60s/70s...have you ever read the article on the disappearance of the .400 hitter? The game has progressively gotten stronger through time and the standard deviation of batting average (and OPS for that matter) has been on the decrease...
                          Just a very quick point... decreasing standard deviaition doesn't necessarily equate to increasing league quality. A lot of stat people just assume that this is true, but it isn't necessarily.

                          Think of it this way: As scouting increases and player development increases, you're more likely to get the players from the very top of the bell curve, and so your standard deviation will be smaller. However, if, at the same time (as happened in the 70's and 80's as people had less interest in playing baseball than in the 50's and 60's), your population base is decreasing... the standard deviation will decrease even as league quality increases. Then, if you introduce a supply shock (such as, say, the massive influx of Latin players around 1990), you can massively increase the population base you're drawing from, which will increase the league quality by increasing the number of upper outliers... while at the same time increasing the standard deviation, because scouting in Latin America isn't at its best, and thus you're not drawing from solely the very top of the bell curve there.
                          "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            except the population base wasn't shrinking in the 70's and 80's.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                              except the population base wasn't shrinking in the 70's and 80's.
                              Except that it was.

                              No, the overall population base of the US wasn't shrinking. But, since baseball was a lot less popular of a sport and a lot fewer kids were playing it, the population base that baseball had to draw from was shrinking. The overall population of the US is a lot higher now than it was in 1925. The population of bootleggers is much, much lower, because bootlegging is a lot less popular now than it was in 1925... so a bootlegger's olympics would probably be a lot stronger in 1925 than today.
                              "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                              Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I am working on a project ranking the best offensive players in major league baseball history (I have 115 players ranked to date, but nowhere near finished, and now I'm swamped with work, oh well) that takes into consideration season-by-season stats, career stats, and dominance in regard to their era. My ranking thus far has Shoeless Joe at about 50th all time in terms of offensive performance, and Dick Allen about 60th. So, I would say Shoeless Joe was a better hitter than Dick Allen, but in terms of ACTUAL production, not that much better. BUT, had Shoeless Joe continued to play and not been kicked out of baseball at 30, I have no doubt he would have finished in the top 20 all time, but doubtful he would have made the top 10.

                                My top ten is
                                1. Ruth
                                2. Bonds, somewhat sadly.
                                3. Williams
                                4. Gehrig
                                5. Cobb
                                6. Musial
                                7. Foxx
                                8. Aaron
                                9. Mays
                                10. Hornsby

                                I just don't see Shoeless Joe beating any of those guys out, but he could have been in the next 10 I think.

                                Comment

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