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Jackie Robinson Peak vs other 2nd basemen

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  • Jackie Robinson Peak vs other 2nd basemen

    How do you rate Jackie Robinson's playing peak (however you define it) against other 2nd basemen HoF and otherwise?
    He was a great player and I wad curious.
    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

    "I don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a ******* zebra. I'm the manager of this team and I say he [Robinson] plays." - Leo Durocher

  • #2
    This doesn't answer the question, but is something to consider.

    There is lots of variation, but for most players with extended careers, their peak seasons usually are between about ages 25 and 28. Robinson didn't play his first Major League game until he was 28 years and 3 months old. So, it's possible, maybe probable, that 100% of his Major League career took place in his decline phase.

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    • #3
      For Robinson's entire career he averaged 6.1 WAR per season (138 G)

      Over 7 seasons Robinson averaged 7.3 WAR (144 G) per season.

      Over 6 seasons Robinson averaged 7.9 WAR (148 G) per season.

      Over 5 season Robinson averaged 8.4 WAR (148 G) per season.



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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
        For Robinson's entire career he averaged 6.1 WAR per season (138 G)

        Over 7 seasons Robinson averaged 7.3 WAR (144 G) per season.

        Over 6 seasons Robinson averaged 7.9 WAR (148 G) per season.

        Over 5 season Robinson averaged 8.4 WAR (148 G) per season.


        That's pretty amazing since- as I mentioned in an earlier post- Robinson played most or all of his career in his decline phase.

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        • #5
          The real question is that if racism can't be accounted for in WAR then did the racism really effect him?
          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BigRon View Post

            That's pretty amazing since- as I mentioned in an earlier post- Robinson played most or all of his career in his decline phase.
            IMO if Jackie had a full career he's a 100 WAR player.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

              IMO if Jackie had a full career he's a 100 WAR player.
              Where do you have him amongst 2b?
              “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

              "I don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a ******* zebra. I'm the manager of this team and I say he [Robinson] plays." - Leo Durocher

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                Over 5 season Robinson averaged 8.4 WAR (148 G) per season.
                To add, over the 5 seasons he specifically was mainly a 2B, he averaged 8.1 WAR (150 G) per season, age 29-33.

                Now that I compare, Chase Utley is really close to that from 2005-2009: 7.9 WAR (151 G), age 26-30.

                To answer the initial question, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, and Napoleon Lajoie all had great 5 year peaks as 2B, and that's not surprising at all.
                The only other players I could say who rivaled or surpassed Robinson in terms of 2B peak WAR years would be Joe Morgan and Chase Utley. Ross Barnes also of course had a great peak, although the shorter 19th century seasons keep his WAR numbers to lower cumulative totals.
                Robinson Cano had a great peak from 2010-2014, but it wasn't quite at Jackie Robinson levels.
                Last edited by dgarza; 11-02-2019, 05:55 PM.

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                • #9
                  The Indians and Dodgers instantly acquired a bunch of really good black ball players that spearheaded their success for the next 7-8 and 30 years respectively. The Dodgers consistently had the best black players in baseball through the 70's. I wonder if Willard Brown would have enjoyed immediate and sustained success like Doby and Robinson more black players would have wanted to play for the Browns? The Giants scouted the NeL's well too picking up Irvin, Mays, Thompson and they had HoFer Ray Dandridge tearing up AAA Minneapolis in his late 30's that they never called up.
                  "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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                  • #10
                    To me one of the most important things a 2B has to do is turn the double play.

                    Jackie started >120 games at 2B only 4 seasons. He led the league in DPs all 4 years.

                    It's notable that he won his NL MVP award as a 2B. He also won the SB crown that year with 37, far outdistancing the 2nd place guy, his teammate Pee Wee who had 26. He led the league in steals twice in his 10 years.

                    In fact, in the 10 years that Jackie played, no one in baseball stole more bases than his 197. The 2nd place guy? Pee Wee with 176.

                    And as BigRon says, Jackie didn't get to play in MLB till age 28.

                    No question Hornsby is the most dominant hitting 2B of all-time. But half of his best years were ages 21-27. And even including his best years he wasn't as consistently accomplished with his glove, and nowhere near the base runner Jackie was.

                    Maybe no player in the history of the game had to deal with as much overt, public toxicity as Jackie. Even from his own teammates at times. Talk about overcoming obstacles.

                    Considering all that, IMO he's the best 2B of all-time. Clearly not the best hitting 2B. But not a bad bat by any means: Led the NL in Offensive WAR once (as a 2B), and finished in the Top 10 in the league 6 times in 10 seasons.

                    If I were to pick a 25-player GOAT roster for my GOAT manager Rube Foster, I'm sure he'd have appreciated Jackie's all-around game and mental toughness at 2B.
                    Last edited by Unconventional; 11-03-2019, 02:06 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I rank Jackie as my #1 second baseman but Robinson Cano belongs in the conversation with some of the other guys who have been mentioned here, in particular Chase Utley.
                      Last edited by GiambiJuice; 11-03-2019, 08:26 AM.
                      My top 10 players:

                      1. Babe Ruth
                      2. Barry Bonds
                      3. Ty Cobb
                      4. Ted Williams
                      5. Willie Mays
                      6. Alex Rodriguez
                      7. Hank Aaron
                      8. Honus Wagner
                      9. Lou Gehrig
                      10. Mickey Mantle

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                      • #12
                        How about some modern guys? Craig Biggio from 1993-1998 had a 135 OPS+ and great base running. Jeff Kent from 1998-2002 had a 142 OPS+. Roberto Alomar didn't really have five or six great years in a row, but his top seasons match up well with Robinson's. Rod Carew from 1969-1975 had a 139 OPS+ elite base running, and five batting titles. Sandberg from 1989-1992 had a 140 OPS+ with elite base running and a gold glove every year.

                        Then you have Gehringer from 1934-1939, 139 OPS+ great all around play.

                        Robinson fits in with these guys, not necessarily much above or below them. He is clearly behind Rajah, Collins, Lajoie, and Morgan. We also have to remember that Jackie only actually played 748 games at second base, how many of his best years were multi-positional years? Even with credit for early years, he probably doesn't go much past Carew's games at second base, and Carew is considered a multi positional player.
                        Last edited by willshad; 11-03-2019, 09:29 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Speaking of Eddie Collins he and Tom Yawkey had their historical markers and street name removed by John Henry. I'm assuming due to their alleged racism which is most famously exemplified by the mock tryout they gave Robinson and a couple other guys (Monte Irvin and Bus Clarkson?). Irvin and/or Robinson very well could have put the Red Sox in competition with the 1950's Yankees.
                          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Morgan, Hornsby, and Lajoie had huge ages 28 to 33 value, though Robinson looks to be 4th. With league quality, maybe just second to Joe. Giambi is right to recognize Cano, I don't think we generally think of him as being an all-timer, but dude was awesome.
                            Jacquelyn Eva Marchand (1983-2017)
                            http://www.tezakfuneralhome.com/noti...uelyn-Marchand

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                            • #15
                              Although he is still in his prime, Jose Altuve has had a peak extremely similar to Robinson's. The only major difference is that Robinson walked more.

                              Robinson 1949-1954
                              862 G 602 R 95 HR 522 RBI 122 SB 43 CS .327 .428 .505 145 OPS+

                              Altuve 2014-2019
                              887 G 564 R 114 HR 437 RBI 179 SB 47 CS .327 .380 .497 140 OPS+

                              Robinson is slightly better, but again Altuve has actually played almost all his games at second base. I think I would put him ahead in this comparison.
                              Last edited by willshad; 11-04-2019, 02:29 AM.

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