Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

d. Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be "shouting"; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.

e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

VI. Baseball Fever User Signature Policy

A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
Font size limit: No larger than size 2 (This policy is a size 2)
Style: Bold and italics are permissible
Character limit: No more than 500 total characters
Lines: No more than 4 lines
Colors: Most colors are permissible, but those which are hard to discern against the gray background (yellow, white, pale gray) should be avoided
Images/Graphics: Allowed, but nothing larger than 20k and Content rules must be followed

Signature Content
No advertising is permitted
Nothing political or religious
Nothing obscene, vulgar, defamatory or derogatory
Links to personal blogs/websites are permissible - with the webmaster's written consent
A Link to your Baseball Fever Blog does not require written consent and is recommended
Quotes must be attributed. Non-baseball quotes are permissible as long as they are not religious or political

Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

VII. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for Baseball Fever:

Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

Baseball Fever is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the webmaster's discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate baseball interest and usefulness may be allowed. If advertising is posted to the site it will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the post via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue advertising will be banned from the site. If the advertising is spam-related, pornography-based, or a "visit-my-site" type post / private message, no warning at all will be provided, and the member will be banned immediately without a warning.

It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

VIII. Role of the moderator:

When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

IX. Legal aspects of participation in Baseball Fever:

By submitting a post to Baseball Fever, you grant Baseball Fever permission to distribute your message to the forum. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the ORIGINAL author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by any others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.

The messages appearing on Baseball Fever contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of Baseball Fever, or of the Baseball Almanac family of sites.


Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever |
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
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Johnny Mize

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  • Johnny Mize

    I've seen him ranked as high as third at first base...looking at his stats I can't see a justification for him over Bagwell (probably not even Greenberg) why is he rated so high amongst some people?

    --------------Johnny Mize, Cardinals' 1B, 1936-39----------------------------------------1940---BB Reference


    Johnny's Relative Stats:

    ----Relative BA-------Rel.Slg.-------Rel.Onbase------Rel.ISO-------OPS+
    ----115.0 (68th)----142.1 (12th)------114.9 (78th)---193.5 (17th)----158 (t 16th)

    Hitting Stats Comparion Chart:

    Mize, Cobb, Wagner, Hornsby, Ruth, Gehrig, T. Williams, Mays, Mantle, Aaron, DiMaggio, Speaker, Lajoie, Musial, Collins, Crawford, J. Jackson, Wheat, Roush, Foxx, Clemente, Schmidt, Yaz, Anson, Bonds, B. Williams, Kiner, Killebrew, Rose, Gwynn, Kaline, Greenberg, Waner, R. Jackson, Boggs, Gehringer, Brouthers, Delahanty, Simmons, Brett, F. Robinson, Ashburn, Sisler, Snider, Banks, Molitor, Keeler, Bench, Terry, Henderson.

    led league----1---0---1--1---4---1----3---3---0---4---0---0---2
    2nd league----2---0---1--0---2---1----1---4---2---3---0---0---5
    3rd league----0---3---1--2---1---2----3---0---1---2---0---2---2
    led league--12---8----3----4----1---5---4---6----7----8----6---0--11
    led league----8---2----7----3----0---2---5----7---4----6----5---0--6
    2nd league----2---2----1----3----1---2---2----1---1----3----0---0--2
    led league---8----4----4----2---2----5---4----7----9----9----0---3--12
    2nd league---2----1----1----1---2----1---1----2----1----1----0---1---1
    led league----1----0----1----0---12---8---6----6----9---13----0--11--13
    2nd league----2----0----1----0----2---1---2--- 3----2----1----0---1---1
    Led league---1----1----1----4----2----4----4----2----4----2---0---3--3
    2nd league---2----3----0----0----4----2----4----3----2----4---0---2--6
    Ted Williams--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----6----0----2---0---4---6----4----6---12---8---0---8--9
    2nd in league--2----1----2---0---4---1----2----0----0---1---0---1--1
    Willie Mays----BA---Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---3----4---2----0----3---2---5---4---1--6
    2nd in league---3----1----1---1----1---5----2----5---1---3---0---1--1
    Mickey Mantle--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---1---4----6----1----3---3---4---0---5--8
    2nd in league---1----0----1---0---3----2----3----4---5---0---0---3--3
    Hank Aaron----BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----2---2----4---0---4----3----4---8---0---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league--0---3----2---2---4----1----0---2---2---5---1---1--4
    Joe DiMaggio---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------2---0----0---1---2---1----2----3---0----2---0---0--1
    2nd in league---0---1----1---0---0---2----3----2---0----5---0---0--4
    Tris Speaker--BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----1---2----8---0---1---0----0----1---4---1---0---0--1
    2nd in league--2---1----3---1---2---4----1----3---3---2---0---1--4
    Nap Lajoie---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs--RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league----3---4----5---0---1----1----3---4---2---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league-3---0----4---1---0----1----1---2---2---3---0---0--3
    Stan Musial-BA--Hits-2B---3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league---7---6----8----5---0---5----2----6---6---6----0---1--6
    2nd league---2---3----3----1---1---4----0----2---7---3----0---0--4
    Ed Collins--BA--Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led League---0---0----0---0----0---3----0---0----0---0---4---1--0
    2nd league---3---2----0---1----0---1----0---0----3---0---4---5--1
    led league---0----0----1---6---2----1----3----2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---4----5----4---3---2----1----4----6---0---4---0---0--2
    led league---0----2----1---3---0---0----0---2---1----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---3----2----2---1---0---1----0---2---2----3----0---0--3
    3rd league---2----2----2---2---1---2----1---1---0----1----0---1--2
    Z. Wheat----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---1----0----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---1----3----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----0----0---0--1
    3rd league---2----2----1---0---0---1----2---0----0----1----0---0--1
    Edd Roush--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----0----1---1---1---0----0---1---0----1----0---0--1
    2nd league--2----0----1---2---0---0----1---0---0----0----1---0--1
    3rd league--1----3----0---3---0---0----1---0---1----1----0---0--2
    J. Foxx-----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---2-----0---0---0---4---1----3---3---3---5----0---2--5
    2nd league---2-----1---0---0---3---2----0---1---3---1----0---1--2
    3rd league---1-----2---0---0---2---1----3---0---3---2----0---3--0
    led league---4----2----0---1----0---0----0----0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2----1----1---1----0---0----2----1---1---0---0---0--1
    3rd league---1----1----0---2----0---0----0----1---0---1---0---0--1
    led league---0----0----0---0---8---1----4---3---3---5----0---4--6
    2nd league---0----0----0---0---1---2----1---1---0---2----0---2--1
    3rd league---0----0----0---0---2---6----4---0---0---2----0---3--2
    led league----3----2---3---0---1----3----1---2---5---3----0---2--4
    2nd league----2----0---1---0---0----1----0---0---1---0----0---3--1
    3rd league----0----0---2---1---1----1----1---0---1---0----0---1--0
    led league--2----1----3--0---0-----0----8---1---4----0----0---1---1
    2nd league--5----4----2--1---0-----0----3---2---5----4----0---1---2
    3rd league--2----2----2--0---4-----0----3---2---1----1----0---1---1
    led league--2----0----0--0---2---1----1---1---8----7----0--10---9
    2nd league--0----0----0--0---5---3----1---0---3----1----0---4---3
    3rd league--1----0----0--0---1---6----0---1---0----1----1---1---2
    B. Williams--BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---1----0--0---0---1----0---3---0---1---0---0--1
    2nd league----0---0----1--1---2---0----3---1---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---3----3--1---3---0----0---1---0---2---0---0--1
    led league---0---0----0--0---7---1----1---1---1---3---0---3--0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----3---2---0---0---0---3--0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---1----1---0---2---1---0---0--0
    4th league---1---0----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---2---0---1--2
    led league---0---0----0--0---6----0----3---0---1---1---0---4---0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---2---1---3---0---1---1
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---4---2---4---0---3---2
    led league---3---7---5--0---0---4----0---0---1---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---2---5---2--2---0---3----0---1---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---1---4--0---0---3----0---1---3---0---0---0---0
    led league--8---7----0--0---0----1----0---0----1---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--1---0----1--3---0----0----0---0----2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league--2---1----1--0---0----0----0---1----0---0---0---0--1
    led league--1----1---1--0---0----0----0---1----0---1---0---0---1
    2nd league--3----1---1--0---0----1----2---1----3---1---0---0---2
    3rd league--2----1---1--0---0----0----0---0----2---1---0---0---1
    led league---0----0----2--0---4----1---4---2---0---1---0---2--0
    2nd league---0----0----2--0---2----1---1---3---2---4---0---1--4
    3rd league---0----0----1--1---0----1---1---1---2---2---0---0--1
    led league---3---2----2--2---0---2----1---1---0---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---1---3----1--5---0---2----0---0---2---0---1---2---0
    3rd league---0---1----1--0---0---0----0---1---2---1---0---1---1
    led league----0---0----0--0---4----2---1---0---0---3---0---0---4
    2nd league----0---0----3--0---3----0---0---3---0---2---0---1---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---1----1---1---0---0---1---0---0---0
    led league---5----1----2--0---0---2----0---0---6---0---0---1--1
    2nd league---1----5----3--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---0--2
    3rd league---2----0----2--0---0---1----0---0---1---1---0---3--0
    led league---1---2----2--1---0----2----0---0---0---0---1---0--0
    2nd league---1---2----2--1---0----1----0---0---2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league---0---0----1--1---0----3----0---0---0---0---0---1--0
    led league----5---3----3---1---2----2---2---4---5---7---0---0--8
    2nd league----1---2----2---4---1----0---2---2---5---3---0---0--1
    3rd league----2---1----1---2---2----1---1---1---0---0---0---0--2
    led league----1---1----5--1---2---0----3---2---2---5---1---0--4
    2nd league----3---1----3--0---0---0----2---2---1---2---0---0--3
    3rd league----2---1----2--2---1---1----1---2---2---1---0---0--1
    led league---3---3----2--3---0----0---0---1---3---3---0---0---3
    2nd league---2---0----2--1---0----1---1---2---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---0----2--0---0----1---0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    led league----1---0----1--0---1----3---1---1---2---4---0---0--4
    2nd league----2---2----0--0---2----2---4---1---6---1---0---1--1
    3rd league----1---1----3--1---3----0---2---1---0---0---1---1--1
    led league---2---3----0--2---0---0----0---0---4---0---1---4---0
    2nd league---2---1----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---2---2---0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    led league----2---2----0--2---0---1----0---2---0---0---4---0--0
    2nd league----1---1----1--2---2---2----1---1---1---2---2---0--1
    3rd league----2---3----1--1---0---0----0---1---1---0---0---0--2
    led league---0----1---0--0---1----3---1---3---1---2---0---1---1
    2nd league---0----1---2--0---1----1---1---1---1---2---0---0---1
    3rd league---2----1---2--2---1----0---1---0---2---0---0---1---2
    led league---2---2----0--0---0----1---1---2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---0----2--0---1----2---2---2---0---3---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---3----0--0---2----0---2---1---0---3---0---0--2
    led league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---1---0---1---0---0--0
    2nd league----0---0----0--1---2---2----0---1---0---1---0---0--1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---3---0---0---0---0--0
    led league--0---0----0--0---2---0----3---1---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--0---0----1--0---1---1----1---1---0---0---0---0--1
    3rd league--0---0----2--0---0---0----1---1---0---2---0---1--0
    led league---0---3----1--1---0---3----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---2----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---1---0--1
    led league----1---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league----3---3----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---1----1--1---1---0----1---0---0---1---0---0--0
    led league--2----3----0--0---0----1---0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--2----5----0--0---0----5---0---1---1---1---0---0--1
    3rd league--1----1----0--0---0----1---0---1---2---0---0---0--0
    led league----0---1----0--0---0----5---0---0---1---0---12--4---1
    2nd league----1---0----0--1---0----1---0---0---2---1----0--2---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---0----1---0---0---6---0----0--1---0
    leecemark; October 30, 2004, 08:01 AM
    --Congratulations to Lou Gehrig for his easy and well deserved win here. Foxx was just as easy a second place winner. The big question was who is the third best firstbaseman of all time and our group selected Hank Greenberg for that spot. The most debated issue was whether George Sisler was an all time great or an all time overrated player. The majority here tended to vote closer to great than overrated, as Sisler was voted into the 5th slot. Here are the top 10.

    1. Lou Gehrig 129
    2. Jimmie Foxx 115
    3. Hank Greenberg 67.5
    4. Johnny Mize 60
    5. George Sisler 50
    6. Jeff Bagwell 37
    7. Willie McCovey 36
    8. Frank Thomas 35.5
    9. Mark McGwire 35
    10. Dan Brouthers 32

    --I was surprised by the lack of support for Eddie Murray who has better counting numbers than pretty much all these guys. Of course, he wasn't quite as good at his peak as any of them and nowhere near as good as some of them. I also was surprised by Harmon Killebrew's low vote totals. He is pretty similar to the McCovey, Thomas, McGwire group and probably more consistent over the course of his career than any of them. Also, while Killebrew wasn't a great defender, he was probably the best of that group (maybe the best baserunner too, although that is a dubious distinction here).
    538280; October 29, 07:05 AM
    The results are now in. We had 18 ballots, and Lou Gehrig was a near unanimous #1 with 17 first place votes (there was also one first place vote for George Sisler). After the automatic two of Gehrig and Foxx, Frank Thomas claimed the #3 spot, and was closely followed by Jeff Bagwell at #4. Here are the final results (first place votes in parenthesis):

    1. Lou Gehrig-213 (17)
    2. Jimmie Foxx-159
    3. Frank Thomas-96
    4. Jeff Bagwell-94
    5. Hank Greenberg-79
    6. Eddie Murray-54
    7. Johnny Mize-53
    8. Willie McCovey-51
    9. George Sisler-40 (1)
    10. Cap Anson-28
    11. Buck Leonard-23
    12. Harmon Killebrew-20

    No one else received more than 20 points. I'll now get the second basemen poll up.
    Bill Burgess; April 22, 2007, 02:45 PM

    1. Lou Gehrig - 150 points
    2. Jimmy Foxx - 141
    3. Jeff Bagwell - 98
    4. Hank Greenberg - 65
    5. Johnny Mize - 57
    6. Willie McCovey - 53
    7. Frank Thomas - 53
    8. George Sisler - 42
    9. Cap Anson - 32
    10. Eddie Murray - 25
    11. Harmon Killebrew - 24
    12. Dan Brouthers - 20
    13. Bill Terry - 15
    14. Mark McGwire - 12
    15. Dick Allen - 7
    16. Roger Connor - 4
    17. Jake Beckley - 4
    18. Rafael Palmeiro - 2
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-13-2010, 06:13 PM.
    "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

    "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

  • #2
    Originally posted by ChrisLDuncan View Post
    I've seen him ranked as high as third at first base...looking at his stats I can't see a justification for him over Bagwell (probably not even Greenberg) why is he rated so high amongst some people?

    Of course he lost 3 prime years to the war. That would have put him at 2200+ games and over 9000 plate appearances with about a 163 OPS+ (based on the seasons around it).

    Bagwell had a 149 OPS+ through an almost identical playing time.

    There is no way he is better than Bagwell though. Bagwell's 149 OPS+ is about as rare as 165+ in Mize's time, and Bagwell was a better fielder (maybe an all time great fielder) and a better baserunner.


    • #3
      Good call on Bags

      Always took Bagwell too much for granted, he does belong at least in my logjam at first, behind Gehrig, Foxx, Anson, and maybe Greenberg: McCovey, Thomas, Sisler, Killebrew, Mize, Bagwell, Pujols (PDQ if not already), Suttles, and a couple of others who currently slip my vacuous mind.

      The original Big Cat was a player of the first order, by all accounts, but I sure can't see him supplanting any of the top 3-4, above.


      • #4
        Found this sweet photos of the Big Cat!

        Johnny Mize 1.jpg
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


        • #5
          I've decided to make Johnny Mize another research project of mine. Hopefully, I can dig up some great historical info on the Big Cat.

          The Sporting News, September 6, 1934, page 2

          TSN 09-06-1934.jpg
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


          • #6
            The previous article I posted stated if the Cardinals pass on Mize other teams would be interested. Less than two weeks later the Cardinals bought Mize's contract.

            The Sporting News, September 20, 1934

            TSN 09-20-1934.jpg
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


            • #7
              Here's a good SABR bio of Mize.

              Johnny Mize

              (This article was written by Jerry Grillo.)

              In 1947, Johnny Mize did something unmatched in baseball history. He became the first and, so far, only player to hit 50 or more home runs in a season while striking out less than 50 times, one of the game’s extraordinary records.

              Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, etc., etc. – none of baseball’s best all-around hitters ever combined meticulous bat control with brute power the way Mize did in ’47, back when the New York Giants carried two trunks of bats when they hit the road. “One trunk was for Johnny Mize,” said Buddy Blattner, Mize’s roommate on the Giants. “The other was for the rest of the team.”

              So yes, Mize had plenty of bats, and he knew how to use every one of them. This was his arsenal, his black bag, and throughout a 15-year Hall of Fame baseball career the Georgian used his tools with the precision of a surgeon and the stylistic beauty of an artist. And, trusting in his tools, he had unfailing confidence in his ability to hit any pitcher. Built like a slugger (6’2”, 215 pounds in his prime), Mize was a line drive hitter who could hit for distance, to all fields and generally for high average, especially earlier in his career. “Nobody had a better, smoother, easier swing than John,” said Don Gutteridge, who roomed with Mize on the Cardinals. “It was picture perfect.”

              Splitting his career among the St. Louis Cardinals (1936-1941), Giants (1942, 1946-49) and New York Yankees (1949-1953), Mize was a 10-time All-Star who led his league in most major offensive categories at one time or another. A first baseman through most of his career, injuries ultimately took their toll on the “Big Cat,” so Mize’s inconsistent defensive skills became something of an afterthought (and sometimes a joke). He spent the end of his playing days as one of the game’s premier pinch hitters on a Yankee club that won five straight World Series titles. Yet when Casey Stengel brought Mize across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds to Yankee Stadium, he wasn’t really looking for another glove.

              John Robert Mize was born on January 7, 1913, in Demorest, Georgia, a small college town in the rural Appalachian foothills of Northeast Georgia. He was the second son of Edward Mize, a local merchant and salesman, and Emma Loudermilk, a homemaker who had to go to work in an Atlanta department store after the couple separated.

              Johnny stayed with his grandmother in Demorest, and was actually more interested in tennis than baseball as a youngster, winning a county championship with a racquet in his hand. It seems that Mize may have been a hitter on some molecular level, like it was in his DNA somehow – his distant cousin was another Georgian of note, Tyrus Raymond Cobb. Mize also was related to the game’s greatest hitting star, though not by blood – his second cousin was Clara Mae Merritt, who became better known as Mrs. Babe Ruth.

              Between the ages of 13 and 15, Mize grew rapidly and his sweet swing caught the attention of the Piedmont College baseball (and football and basketball) coach Harry Forester, who convinced the muscular teen to try out for the team. “The fact is, when I was 15 and a sophomore at high school, I played on the varsity baseball team for the college,” Mize admitted in How to Hit. “I could do this because Piedmont College didn’t belong to any athletic conference and therefore there were no rules governing eligible players.”

              Mize hit over .400 for Piedmont in his two seasons on the college team while attending the local high school, Piedmont Academy. There are stories that have been passed down in Demorest of long home runs, baseballs sailing over the college administration building, onto or beyond U.S. Route 441. Mize, as a low-key old man living back in his hometown, said most of it was a myth. But tales of his actual prowess – which probably came from Forester, a former minor league pitcher – reached Branch Rickey, general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, and he sent his brother Frank to scout the young slugger.

              The college season was over and Mize was playing semipro ball in nearby Toccoa, Georgia. That’s where Frank Rickey saw a young outfielder, slow of foot, but quick minded, playing like a veteran – never swinging at bad pitches or making mistakes on the base paths or throwing to the wrong base. He signed the 17-year-old Mize after seeing him play one time.

              It was 1930, middle of the baseball season. Mize was sent to the Class C Greensboro (North Carolina) Patriots, deep within the Cardinals’ famous and vast farm system, got into 12 games and batted .194. The next season, though, began a string of 15 consecutive seasons of pro ball during which Mize hit over .300.

              The 18-year-old returned to Greensboro in 1931, batting .337. He was promoted to Elmira in the New York-Penn League in 1932. That year, after consulting with Elmira manager Clay Hopper, Branch Rickey decided the slow-footed Mize should switch to first base. It was evident early on that Mize, with his ambling pace and limited range, would never be a defensive star. And yet, he always claimed that he earned his famous nickname, The Big Cat, because of his fielding. The man supposedly responsible was Cardinals infielder Joe Orengo.

              “One day the infielders were having a pretty bad time and were making some bad throws to me at first base,” Mize said late in his career. “After digging a few out of the dirt, Joe Orengo called over to me, ‘Atta boy, John, you look like a big cat.’ Some of the writers overheard the remark and asked Joe about it later. The nickname has stuck with me ever since.”

              Other observers, like St. Louis sportswriting legend Bob Broeg and Buddy Blattner, maintained that it was sort of a derisive nickname that described the way Mize stalked around the bag. Either way, once Rickey moved the 19-year-old Mize to first base, that would remain his regular post in the field for the rest of his career. And nobody was complaining about his glove or his range in 1932, when he batted .326 and drove in 78 runs in 106 games for Class B Elmira.

              In spite of that showing, he was inexplicably sent back to Greensboro for 1933, and he responded by hitting .360, with 22 home runs and 104 runs batted in in just 98 games. He finished the year at Rochester in Class AA, batting .352 with eight homers and 32 RBI in 42 games. In St. Louis, however, the Cardinals already had a hard-hitting first baseman with a better glove, Ripper Collins. Thus, Mize’s eye-popping offensive numbers didn’t seem to be moving him any closer to the big leagues, though he was becoming a known commodity around the majors.

              But something happened in 1934 that almost ended his career. Sometime during the season, Mize felt a painful snap in his groin when he was legging out a double. The injury limited him to 90 games, but he batted .339, drove in 66 runs and hit 17 homers. It was good enough for the Cincinnati Reds to buy him from the Cardinals in the spring of 1935 for $55,000 (a sum that qualified as a bona fide star investment in the midst of the Great Depression). But it was a conditional deal – Mize had to prove he was healthy enough to play. He couldn’t.

              Spurs had developed on his pelvic bone, a result of the groin strain months earlier, and he couldn’t swing a bat without wincing, couldn’t properly field low throws, ran slower than usual. So the Reds sent him back to the Cardinals, whose club surgeon, Dr. Robert Hyland, said he was fit enough to play the 1935 season in Rochester. Mize didn’t last three months. He was hitting .317 after 65 games, but the pain and immobility forced him out of action and he went on the voluntarily retired list, and thought his playing days were over.

              Hyland performed a daring bit of surgery that winter, and by the time spring training began, Mize had made an amazing recovery. He made the Cardinals big league roster and by midsummer had moved Collins off first base. His rookie campaign was nothing short of brilliant – in 126 games he batted .329, with 93 RBI and 19 homers. And he led the National League first basemen in fielding percentage. Mize actually led his league in this category four times, and led in assists and putouts twice each. Then again, he also led in errors twice and finished second in that dubious category three times. “He was a big, lumbering guy, and some ground balls got by him, sure, but if he could reach it, if he ever got his hand on the ball, he held it,” Don Gutteridge said.

              Proving his rookie season was no fluke, Mize batted a career-high .364 in 1937, second in the league to his teammate and rival, Joe Medwick (who wore a Triple Crown that year). Mize also was second in on-base percentage, total bases, slugging percentage and doubles, belted 25 homers, drove in 113 runs and made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.

              Mize broke in with the St. Louis team known as the Gas House Gang, the Cardinals of Dizzy Dean and Pepper Martin and Leo Durocher, World Series champions in 1934, two years before Mize’s rookie season. The team was still strong, finishing second in 1936 and 1939. Another of the team’s stars was Joe Medwick. Mize and Medwick played five and a half seasons together in St. Louis (Medwick was dealt to the Brooklyn Dodgers in June 1940), forming one of baseball’s most terrifying tandems. But they didn’t get along – hardly anyone on the club got along with Medwick, and there may have been some mutual jealousy between the two sluggers.

              “John wanted to drive in runs, and so did Medwick,” Gutteridge recalled. “And there was some times when John was on base and Medwick got a hit, and he thought John should have scored. Then, Medwick would get on him. But Joe was kind of arrogant. We called him the ‘Mad Hungarian’ because he was mad all the time.”

              Mize was outwardly a low-key person, never a rah-rah kind of guy or emotional team leader, and at times something of a clubhouse lawyer and salary holdout. But he usually got along well with his teammates and the press. “He is a quiet, pleasant, easy-going giant,” wrote Dick Farrington in The Sporting News in 1937.

              According to Hal Epps, Mize’s teammate in St. Louis for two seasons (1938, 1940), and a fellow native of Northeast Georgia (Epps is from Athens), “Johnny was always smiling, and if he had a bad moment, I didn’t know about it. He had a good attitude. Easygoing. Nothing seemed to bother him much.” Instead, Mize bothered National League pitchers. He hit .337 in 1938, led the league in triples, hit 27 homers, and led in slugging percentage, something he would do the next two seasons (he would actually win four slugging titles in five seasons). The home runs came in clusters – Mize twice hit three in a game in 1938 (the first player to do this; he did it again in 1940, twice hitting three homers in game).

              In 1939 he finished second in Most Valuable Player voting after leading the National League in batting (.349), home runs (28), total bases and slugging, hitting a career-high 44 doubles and posting a career high OPS (1.070 – the sum of his on base percentage and slugging percentage).

              Mize recalled arriving for spring training in 1940 at the Cardinals camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. When he walked into the clubhouse he saw 43 bats lined up along the clubhouse wall – his bats, some left over from the year before, and new ones ordered by the team at his request. The clubhouse man “was most vigorously complaining that they occupied an entire bat trunk. I asked him how he expected me to work without my tools – for which he had no answer,” Mize said. Or, as his teammate Gutteridge said, “When you hit .350, they buy you all the bats you want.”

              So Mize started the 1940 season with 43 bats, and when it was over he’d hit a club record 43 home runs, leading the league in that category and RBIs (137). “To this day I wonder what would have happened if I had started the season with sixty-one bats,” he mused in How to Hit. He eventually would take his shot at Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season, or Mize called it, “Cousin George’s mark.” But it would have to wait until a blockbuster deal sent him to New York City. And then, of course, there was World War II.

              “He had bats of different sizes and weights, 34 ounces, 37, 40. The harder the thrower, the lighter the bat,” said Don Gutteridge, who remembers an incident when the left-handed-hitting Mize was about to face a tough, hard-throwing left-handed pitcher (Gutteridge could not accurately recall who) who’d been giving him fits. “We were at home in St. Louis, and John says, ‘Next time I get up there, I’m gonna get one of those light bats and I’ll get around on that high fastball, you watch.’ So, next time up he hits the first pitch out onto Grand Avenue outside of old Sportsman’s Park. He comes back and says to me, ‘See, I told you.’”

              “I was working in Boston in 1941 for the Associated Press, when Casey Stengel was managing the Braves, and he told me that Mize was a slugger who hit like a leadoff man,” said Bob Broeg. That year, with most of the Gas House Gang gone, the Cardinals made a serious run at the National League pennant, winning 97 games, but finishing two and a half games behind Brooklyn, which won its first flag since 1920. As it turned out, one Stanley Frank Musial joined the Cardinals for the final two weeks of the season, batting .426 in 12 games. Mize, who missed the end of the season with a bum leg, complained, “We might have gone ahead and won the pennant,” if Rickey had brought Musial up sooner.

              Yet that season was the end of Mize’s stint in St. Louis. Over in New York, new manager Mel Ott had his eyes on the Big Cat. Ott, who held the National League record for lifetime home runs at the time with 511, insisted that the Giants make a deal for the 28-year-old slugger. That’s exactly what they did, sending $50,000 and three players to the Cardinals for Mize.

              It was big news in baseball, but not particularly earth-shattering considering the times – four days before that deal, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. was at war. Mize had one season in a Giants uniform (.305 average, 26 homers and a league-leading 110 RBIs) before putting on a Navy uniform, which he wore for three years – three prime years, and it’s been said over and over again, but there’s no telling how gaudy his career numbers would have been.

              Like so many other ballplayers who served during World War II, Mize carried a bat in lieu of a gun. His combat was limited to the baseball diamond, against other professional ballplayers who provided a welcome and entertaining respite for U.S. troops.

              Mize returned to the Polo Grounds in 1946 and picked up where he left off, batting .337 with 22 homers in 101 games. In the second Mayor’s Trophy game versus the Yankees on August 5, Joe Page broke Mize’s hand with a pitch. Mize was out until September 13 and then promptly broke a toe in his return. Yet he was only setting the stage.

              In 1947, the talk was over who would catch the Babe – Mize or Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Ralph Kiner. After Mize hit his 44th home run on August 28, he said, “it dawned on me that I might give that record a scare.” He finished well shy of Ruth with the 51, his career high, leading the fourth-place Giants as they set what was, at the time, the record for home runs by a team in one year (221). Mize also had career highs in RBIs (138) and runs (137), leading the majors in both categories in 1947. He tied Kiner for the National League and major-league lead. The Giants’ big first baseman also hit .302 – the lowest mark of his big-league career to that point – but he struck out just 42 times. Only Ted Kluszewski (in 1954 and 1955) has since approached the 50-HR, sub-50-strikeouts feat.

              Mize tied Kiner for the National League home run title again in 1948 with 40 blasts (striking out only 37 times). It would be his last full-season with the Giants, his last great statistical season as a full-time player. But some of his biggest thrills were ahead.

              In 1949, Mize was 36 and unhappy playing for Giants manager Leo Durocher. He was about to get a lot happier. In August, the Big Cat was sent to the Yankees for $40,000. The move was criticized in the press, but ultimately helped make Casey Stengel a genius as the aging slugger became an important cog in baseball’s greatest dynasty, helping the Yankees win a record five straight World Series championships. “Your arm is gone, your legs likewise, but not your eyes, Mize, not your eyes,” wrote New York sportswriter Dan Parker, inspired by the aging slugger’s ability to drag his bulk and his bat to the plate and deposit baseballs anywhere on the field, and often beyond it.

              “He didn’t run very well and he’d injured his arm so he couldn’t throw very well, either, but Mize was an extremely valuable guy on our team, because he was such a dangerous hitter, especially in the clutch,” said former Yankee third-baseman (and American League president) Bobby Brown. Or, as former Yankees star and teammate Hank Bauer noted, Mize had “an abnormal ability to respond to the most urgent demands.”

              Nursing an injured shoulder, Mize performed admirably as a pinch hitter down the stretch as the Yankees nipped the Red Sox in a blistering 1949 pennant race. His two-out, ninth-inning, bases-loaded single broke a tie score and brought the Yankees a critical win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series.

              Playing a part-time role in 1950, he put up full-time numbers, with 72 RBIs and 25 homers in only 274 at bats. He led the American League in pinch hits each of the next three seasons and earned the Most Valuable Player Award in the 1952 World Series, when he hit three home runs (and just missed a fourth), batted .400, and led the Yankees in a seven-game classic against Brooklyn. “I will never forget Mize in the 1952 World Series,” Hank Bauer told Baseball Digest’s George Vass in 2004.

              Normally a quiet giant, Mize was nonetheless happy to offer his opinion on hitting. He even wrote about it: How to Hit, by Johnny Mize as told to Murray Kaufman, published in 1953. “He’s the one guy I’d tell the other guys to imitate at the plate,” said Gutteridge. “He was absolutely one of the great students and teachers of hitting.”

              Sometimes, though, Mize’s unsolicited advice backfired. During the 1953 World Series – Mize’s last hurrah – Brooklyn pitcher Carl Erskine was throwing a masterpiece in Game 3 at Ebbets Field, striking out a horde of Yankees with his sharp-breaking off-speed pitches. As teammate after teammate went down on strikes, and Erskine got closer to a World Series strikeout record, Mize kept grumbling that the Yankees should lay off pitches in the dirt.

              “A lot of our players were getting pretty annoyed, they looked at him like he was crazy,” said Whitey Ford, the Yankees’ Hall of Fame pitcher. “Then Casey (Stengel) sent him up to pinch hit in the ninth. He ends up swinging at a curveball in the dirt, and Erskine set the World Series strikeout record.”

              Mize was Erskine’s record 14th victim, swinging three times at pitches that were down around his ankles. When he returned to the dugout, tight-lipped and none too happy, the Yankees’ aggressive infielder Billy Martin managed to rip Mize’s whiff and bad defense in one quip: “What happened, John, that low curve take a bad hop?”

              When he left the game following the 1953 season (during which he hit .311 as a pinch hitter), Mize had 359 home runs – sixth all-time when he retired, and he’d hit one in all 15 of the ballparks in use at the time. He also had 1,337 RBIs and a .312 batting average, plus a .397 on-base percentage and a .562 slugging average (higher than Hank Aaron or Willie Mays). He was the first player to hit three homers in a game six times – a record since matched by Sammy Sosa. His 43 home runs in 1940 remained a Cardinal club record until Mark McGwire broke it in 1998.

              After retiring as a player, Mize bounced around between businesses in Florida (real estate development, orange groves, liquor store) and the occasional foray into coaching (New York Giants, Richmond in the minors, and Mexico City, among others).

              His wife of 20 years, Jene, died tragically in 1957 – she fell asleep while smoking and later died from the burns suffered in the fire at their Deland, Florida, home. Three months later, however, Mize married Marjorie Pope in Deland, and eventually adopted her children, Jim and Judi. In his later years, Mize played a lot of golf, attended old-timers games and baseball card shows, where he signed a lot of autographs – donating his fee to local Boy Scout troops.

              In 1974, the Mizes moved to his boyhood home in Demorest, across the street from Piedmont College, where he died on June 2, 1993. Mize went to bed after watching the Atlanta Braves on TV and never woke up.

              The greatest moment of Mize’s post-playing career finally came on August 2, 1981, when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after waiting nearly 30 years. Broeg and others have indicated that Mize’s defensive liabilities probably cost him, but many fans, journalists and baseball people wondered why it took so long. Mize wondered himself, but took it in stride and announced with his typical wry humor on the day of his induction, “Years ago the writers were telling me that I’d make the Hall of Fame, so I kind of prepared a speech. But somewhere along in the 28 years it got lost.”

              June 28, 2011
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


              • #8
                Here is a picture of The Big Cat with Dimaggio,Berra,and the last Yankee to wear number 3,Cliffton Mapes(there`s a good trivia question for you).Mize,Joe D,and Yogi had a combined total of 14 seasons with more homers than K`s.joe d and the big cat.jpeg.


                • #9
                  Nice shot, Nimrod.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


                  • #10
                    So three months after the Cardinals purchased Mize's contract the Cincinnati Reds purchased Mize's contract as well. I'm not sure how these transactions worked back then. I seems to me that teams could purchase players from other team ny only paying part of the asking price. If the purchasing team decides to keep that player by a certain date then t hey pay the original team the balalnce of the purchasing price. Anyway, the Reds.

                    The Sporting News, December 13, 1934

                    TSN 12-13-1934.jpg
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


                    • #11
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis