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  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    Originally posted by Metal Ed View Post
    Torrez, I'm not arguing the point that Ruth WASN'T the best player of his era, or that somebody from one of those other leagues was better, or that those other leagues, on average, was better than the Majors. That's moving away from my intended point. My point was that expanding the population pool and diversifying the league makes the average player better - and thus puts less distance between the best in the league and the league average, making stand-out performances more difficult.

    Okay, please bear with me as I go off on a long tangent to illustrate. I think we can both agree that the Ruths and the Bonds of any particular era are going to hit the worst pitchers in their respective leagues better than the best ones. Okay, occasionally there's a guy with a 5.83 era who, for whatever reason, seems to have Bonds' number - exceptions like that do occur. But they are the exceptions. Same thing with the best pitchers vs. the worst hitters. Occasionally we find that a schlub with a career .207 average is in the lineup against the Big Unit simply because he's gone 9-for-16 against Randy Johnson. These things happen, but they are the exception that proves the rule. In general, the worst pitchers are the easiest to hit off of - that's why they are the worst pitchers (obviously); and the best hitters are the hardest to pitch to - that's why they are the best hitters.

    I'm not going to pull up the numbers on this one, but I'm sure that we can both agree that if we divided the league into quintiles of ability - say, top 20%, bottom 20%, etc. - we would no doubt find that the Ruths and the Bonds have their highest slugging percentages against the bottom 20% of the pitchers in their leagues, not against the top 20%. If you had to play the All-Star team everyday, your numbers wouldn't be very good, and it would not be because you're not good.

    Vice versa, if we divided the hitters into quintiles, I'll bet that the lowest opposing hitters' BA against Randy Johnson comes from the bottom 20% of the hitters in the league - not the top 20%.

    You said that: "Yes, the Major Leagues in the 20's may have been even stronger overall had you tossed out the worst whites and taken the best from the other countries and put them in." MAY have been? Pardon my french, but that's horse poopie, my friend. OF COURSE they would have been.

    Okay, I'm definitely NOT trying to say that Ruth would have been out of a job if the league had been integrated. Or Lou Gehrig, or Walter Johnson. OF COURSE those guys still make the team, integrated or not, and of course they'd perform at the top of the league. But that "top" spot would not be as high as it once was. It would not be as far above the average as it used to be. Because the bottom feeders in the league are gone. The bottom percentile is gone, replaced by another league's best.

    Come on. Do you honestly believe that the WORST player in the white big leagues in 1920 was still better than the BEST player in the Negro Leagues?

    OK, let's toss race out the window. I don't want to play the race card anyway. Hey, I'm not even balck. Take another white league. Do you honestly believe that the BEST player in the white Pacific Coast League was not as good as the worst player in the white Major Legaues? That not a single low level player could have been replaced by someone more qualified? What's the East got that's so special? Remember, the guys in the PCL weren't in the majors, not because they weren't good enough to play in the majors but because transportation wasn't sufficiently developed to bring them in and even give them a chance to contend. It wasn't unitl the late 30's and early 40's that these guys came in.

    Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams got started in the PCL. Had they been born 20 years earlier, we might have never heard their names, because they never would have made the majors. Don't tell me that there weren't ANY players in the PCL who couldn't have been better than the WORST players in the Majors in the 1920's.

    In the last 7 years of its existence, the Negro Leagues gave up HOFer's Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Lary Doby, and - pause for emphasis - Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. What would the previous 40 years of the Negor Leagues have yeilded? Not a SINGLE player who might have been better than the WORST player in the majors at the time?

    OF COURSE the best players in the PCL and Negro Leagues were better than the worst players in the Majors, and OF COURSE diversifying the league would have made it stronger. No "maybes" about it. How many of the majors bottom feeders would have been tossed out, replaced by someone better ? I don't know. The bottom 10%, the bottom 20%, the bottom 40%? I don't know, how many guys in the Majors today AREN'T from the white Northeast U.S.? Probably a lot.

    OF COURSE Ruth and Gehrig would still have been in an integrated league, and OF COURSE they'd still be in the elite. But now, the bottom 20% or 30% or whatever of the competition - the ones that they've been slapping silly - have gotten better. They're not going to slug 1.000, or whatever, against those guys anymore. The same thing goes for the top pitchers - with the bottom feeding hitters in the league having gotten better, the top pitchers stand out from the pack less so than before. When the bottom gets better, and the average gets better, the distance between the best players and the worst players will shrink. The best will still be the best, but by a smaller margin.

    Adjusting for the league mean - using OPS+ and ERA+ - only adjusts for the balance between offense and pitching in the league at the time. When we talk of OPS+ and ERA+, we are looking no longer at the balance between hitting and pitching, but at the balance between the top performances and the rest of the league. And that balance will almost always favor old players over modern ones. As the popuation from which players are drawn expands, and as talent pool thickens and the talent in the leagues becomes denser, the performance of the best players in the league, relative to their peers, is going to be dragged down by the fact that the average is now better. Going back to my IQ example, a man with an IQ of 165 in a room full of men with an average IQ of 100 has an IQ+ of 165, but at a Mensa meeting, his IQ+ is 165/150 = 110. It's not that he's gotten dumber; the competition has gotten stiffer.

    This affects both pitchers and hitters, because mean-adjusted stats compare players to their peers. That's why the best OPS+ guys are Ruth, Williams, Gehrig; that's why the best ERA+ guys are Grove and Walter Johnson (ok, Pedro Martinez, but that's because he's still young; as hs career moves forward, his numbers will drop).

    Actually, OPS and ERA are kind of limited. It's better to look at a broader stat, like Win Shares - something like 75 or 80 of the top 100, I can't remember, Win Shares totals are from before 1950. That's doesn't make any sense unless one realizes that the most talented players from that time were playing in a relatively talent-poor environment, allowing them to dominate their game that much more.

    In my first post in this thread, I said that any argument over whether Ruth was the greatest ever is going to boil down to how much one thinks the league has improved. I should rephrase that and say that it will degenerate into an argument over how much the average and below average players in the league have improved.

    >>>>>>More teams, along with free agency, does make for a more competitive environment, but in a different way - because of diversity, not because of talent level. Thus, there are more teams and more divisions. In the 20's, the best teams had to play against eachother more often since the league was smaller.

    But wouldn't have the opposite effect- wouldn't that drag down the winning percentages of the best teams, rather than raise them? I don't see how this is a refuation of what I was saying. Actually, it seem to strengthen my argument. If currently, the best teams play the worst teams more often, we should be seeing even bigger gaps in winning percentages.

    >>>Why should we always assume that today's athletes, or today's world for that matter, has it tougher than yesterday's - with all our access to better technology, medicine,

    Because those things are irrelevant when comparing players to their peers. ALL of today's athletes have these advantages, AND THEY ARE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER. (god, someone please tell me how to italicize these things, I don't mean to shout.)

    It's not like Ruth was the only drunk, hot-dog-eating guy in a league full of athletes with access to modern medicine and training, and it's not like Randy Johnson and Barry Bonds are the only guys with access to modern medicine in a league full of drunken hot dog eaters. These things don't convey an advantage when we are talking about mean adjusted stats, BECAUSE MEAN ADJUSTED STATS COMPARE YOU TO YOUR PEERS AND ALL YOUR PEERS HAVE THESE "ADVANTAGES" TOO. (please help me italicize, I'm retarded.) It would be like saying track athletes have an advantage because they wear cleats now, and cleats help you run faster. Well, that's the playing field now.

    >>>>>Getting back to baseball, you bring up good food for thought to munch on, Metal Ed. But to me it boils down to this -- Ruth beat the best in his day, Bonds beat the best in his day.

    Yup, they are the best of their times. What this argument boils down to is: Ruth was way above the rest of the league in his day, more so than Bonds is above the league in his HIS (Bonds') day. The question is, how much higher is the playing field, and is it enough to send Bonds, or Schmidt, or Mays, or whomever you like, above Ruth? As I said when I jumped onto the thread, it comes down to how much higher you think the playing field has become - how much harder is it now to BE that much higher than the average player? How much better IS the average player?

    I don't know the answer. I'm not REALLY looking to convince everybody that Mike Schmidt and Barry Bonds are the greatest players who ever lived - because I'm not even sure if I totally believe it myself. I'm also far from convinced that Babe Ruth was the best, or that Josh Gibson was the best.

    I'm just trying to steer you away from the attitude that says "Look at their OPS+, look at how they dominated their leagues, badda-bing badda-boom, Babe's the best." It's not that simple. Mean-adjusted stats are helpful in adjusting for the balance between pitching and hitting for that era - not for the balance between the greats and the rest of the league.
    This guy was a brief, transcendent voice here. I dearly miss his perspicacity and erudition.

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  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 4.45.36 PM.png
    No way in hell Babe Ruth could EVER put up across the board percentile ranks like this, had they existed 100 years ago.

    Trout is much more skilled, and is every bit the hitter (at his best) that Ruth was (at HIS best).
    Last edited by Floyd Gondolli; 05-04-2021, 01:56 PM.

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  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    I calculated Z Scores for Mike Trout and Babe Ruth. Ironically, they played almost the exact same number of games during their peaks (1920-1928 for Babe, 2012-2021 for Trout). I calculated this using the top 50 in qualifying players for WAR (Fangraphs), or wRC+ (Fangraphs), for each's respective timeframes in question:

    wRC+ Z-Score
    Ruth: 4.29
    Trout: 4.37

    WAR Z-Score
    Ruth: 4.51
    Trout: 4.59

    I also did the same for peak 5 consecutive year spans. 1920-1924 for Ruth for WAR and wRC+, 2012-2016 for Trout for WAR and 2017-2021 for wRC+.( Best for each in each respective metric.):

    wRC+ Z Score
    Ruth: 4.47
    Trout: 4.44

    WAR Z-Score
    Ruth: 4.34
    Trout: 4.32

    So, in reality, when factoring in top 50 competition, Trout has been at least as dominant at his best as Babe Ruth was at his.

    This despite Babe destroying Trout (and everyone else in history) in every possible traditional or "adjusted" metric out there.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds are likeliest among the last couple decades.


    Here's what our Member "pheasant" (who is both a tacit and explicit) Ruth supporter over the years!!!- eloquently wrote via PM re: Bonds (1990-1998). He stated, plainly, that Bonds' run during the 90's was, all things considered, the greatest run of any player in baseball history.

    "I am a huge fan of LQ. And I am even a bigger fan of well-rounded players. Mike Trout is my favorite player, which no disrespect towards Pujols. When using my adjustments, it is actually clean-Barry that virtually matches Ruth's peak. That's right--clean Barry.

    Like I mentioned earlier, Mays' career eclipses Ruth's, when looking overall career value. But I am huge peak person. So I chose Ruth by a small margin since Ruth had a long enough peak. Clean-Barry wasn't clean long enough, or I believe that he actually was on pace to eclipse the mighty Babe. Based on my forecasts, I had clean Barry topping everybody. However, a 9 year peak isn't long enough.

    I watched baseball long enough to see the improvements, even from the 1970s to the 1990s. The players are more athletic than even in Willie's day. The highlight reals from the 1950s-1970s on defensive plays that I've seen pale in comparison to even the last 5 years. I.e, take all of the great defensive plays from 1950-1970 that's on tape and I'll take the past couple of years any day. My tape would impress most people easily.My old man is 40 years older than I and even HE admits that the level of defensive play has gone up immensely. My old man was at a ton of games in which Dimaggio and Mays played. My dad once said that nobody will ever top Dimaggio, although it's tough to bet against Mays. He no longer says that. And he was one heck of a pitcher in his day(actually threw a slider in the 1940s, which is saying a lot).
    Last edited by csh19792001; 01-30-2014, 04:35 PM.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Every thread on Baseball Fever 10 years or older is going to be completely erased- at least, every exigent thread of that era has been, to date. This is one I wouldn't want to see fall into that trap!

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  • 538280
    replied
    Originally posted by Appling
    Once Ruth joined the Yankees in 1920 and became a full-time position player (no longer used as a pitcher) he missed 12 or fewer games (in a 154-game schedule) only three times in a span of 12 seasons (from age 25 to age 36.

    Ruth compares pretty well with Joe Morgan -- who from 1969 (age 25) thru 1980 (age 36) missed more than 15 games (out of 162 game schedule) in 6 of 12 prime-year seasons (1970, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980).
    Or with Barry Bonds, who from 1989 (age 24) thru 2001 (age 36) -- but excluding the strike-shorted 1994 season -- missed 15 or more games in 4 of 12 seasons (1992, 1995, 1999 and 2000).

    In fact, Ruth played in 150 or more games in six of his ten seasons between age 25 and age 34. Morgan played in 150 or more games out of 162) only three times (1971, 1973 and 1977) in his entire career.

    Bonds has played 150 or more games eight times in his career, but five of those seasons were less than 154 games (out of 162).

    And certainly no player can match Ruth's output (Runs - HR - RBI) in those seasons when he did play 140 or more games!
    Good points. But did Barry or Joe ever miss just about half a season like Ruth did twice? Joe got injured in 1968, but other than that always played a full season. Barry had one year in 1999 when he played only 102 games, but other than that always played a full season, until 2005 which is likely to start a decline phase.

    Neither of those guys played only half the season right in the middle of their prime.

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  • Appling
    replied
    Superman? Or frequently out of shape?

    Originally posted by 538280
    Out of those, seven (Mays, Bonds, Schmidt, Wagner, Aaron, Cobb, and Morgan) were consistent year in and year out, always having a good year, no exceptions. When we're talking about the all time greats, that's consistent. Great every single year, always. Ruth certainly was consistent, but he has two years right in the middle of his prime when he showed up out of shape, missed a ton of games, and just didn't do what was expected of him. When being compared to these guys, that ruins his status as amazingly consistent IMO. That's what I was saying when I referred to Ruth as not consistent.
    Once Ruth joined the Yankees in 1920 and became a full-time position player (no longer used as a pitcher) he missed 12 or fewer games (in a 154-game schedule) only three times in a span of 12 seasons (from age 25 thru age 36).

    Ruth compares pretty well with Joe Morgan -- who from 1969 (age 25) thru 1980 (age 36) missed more than 15 games (out of 162 game schedule) in 6 of 12 prime-year seasons (1970, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980).
    Or with Barry Bonds, who from 1989 (age 24) thru 2001 (age 36) -- but excluding the strike-shorted 1994 season -- missed 15 or more games in 4 of 12 seasons (1992, 1995, 1999 and 2000).

    In fact, Ruth played in 150 or more games in six of his ten seasons between age 25 and age 34. Morgan played in 150 or more games out of 162) only three times (1971, 1973 and 1977) in his entire career.

    Bonds has played 150 or more games eight times in his career, but five of those seasons were less than 154 games (out of 162).

    And certainly no player can match Ruth's output (Runs - HR - RBI) in those seasons when he did play 140 or more games!
    Last edited by Appling; 04-09-2006, 07:15 PM.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Yoo hoo, Christopher.....you were saying?

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by 538280
    Sultan, I wouldn't call Ruth inconsistent but I wouldn't call him particularly consistent either. Two off years right in the middle of his prime isn't really that consistent. Most truly great players never have an off year.

    Schmidt had a not so great 1978 season, but I wouldn't dock him so much for that, because 1.He still was playing every single day that year, 2.He still won a Gold Glove that year as the league's best defensive third baseman, and 3.It's not like he was a bad hitter that year. 122 OPS+ is still good. I think Schmidt's off year (1978) was a much more valuable year than Ruth's off years.

    Sultan, the fact Ruth played the second amount of Yankee games after Gehrig doesn't mean anything, except that Ruth was A)On the Yankees every year 1926-1933, and B)His teammates just didn't play as many games. Just because Ruth's teammates weren't playing that many games doesn't make it okay for Ruth to do it. Ruth as he got older was playing 140 games a year instead of 150. Schmidt was still playing about 155 games a year as he aged. Not saying Ruth wasn't durable, but it is true he missed more games than Schmidt. That's not a huge thing, but it means at least a little bit.
    Christopher, how does playing in the second most games after the IRON MAN, not mean anything? Keep in mind what ages Ruth was during that 8 year span, and he only played in 83 less games than Lou. Babe's outfield play took more of a toll than Schmidt camping out at third base. A tad easier on the legs don't ya think. Also, did Schmidt play in exhibition games during the season? That's the thing I rarely hear you consider. You make league adjustments and this and that, but you never consider other factors that made things much tougher for oldtimers.

    The travel was brutal and the schedule was even more brutal. Many double headers and rarely ever getting a day off. Babe and Gehrig couldn't just simply not play in these exhibition games because they were tired. They were the main reason the games were being put on. People from towns all over who never got to see them play wanted to see them play, so they couldn't take the day off. Now, later on, Babe did play first base some in these games to save his legs, while Lou played the outfield, but still. Imagine the toll it would take during an already grueling season.

    I can't fathom how you can say he wasn't consistent? Not only was he consistent, but he was consistent in his dominance.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-08-2006, 09:59 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by 538280
    Sultan, the fact Ruth played the second amount of Yankee games after Gehrig doesn't mean anything, except that Ruth was A)On the Yankees every year 1926-1933, and B)His teammates just didn't play as many games. Just because Ruth's teammates weren't playing that many games doesn't make it okay for Ruth to do it. Ruth as he got older was playing 140 games a year instead of 150. Schmidt was still playing about 155 games a year as he aged. Not saying Ruth wasn't durable, but it is true he missed more games than Schmidt. That's not a huge thing, but it means at least a little bit.
    1. Babe was remarkably consistent. Simply a matter of record.

    2. Schmidt had infinitely more technology to help him stay in the lineup. Imagine if Babe had the high-tech whirlpools, heat, ice, icey hot, vibration devices, medical stuff like orthoscopic, Tommy John, etc.

    All Babe had was massage, hot towels, and Artie McGovern to help him pre-season. Not a level playing field at all! And you must know that Chris. You just must.

    Bill

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  • 538280
    replied
    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
    I know Chris, and you're doing a good job presenting Schmidt. I have him ranked fairly high myself. Comparing him to Ruth though, you had to know going in, that it would take a wild imagination and the math tweaking ability of Good Will Hunting to even make a case.

    The problem is that it requires you to make outlandish claims about Ruth that just aren't true. Wasn't consistent? Chris, save me the finger energy and just pretend that I copy and pasted his years from baseball-reference.com. How was he not consistent? I agree with you about '22 and '25, although in '22 he was 230 pounds and in good shape. It was '25 where he let himself go and weighed just over 250 at the time of his collapse in January.
    Sultan, I wouldn't call Ruth inconsistent but I wouldn't call him particularly consistent either. Two off years right in the middle of his prime isn't really that consistent. Most truly great players never have an off year.

    Schmidt had a not so great 1978 season, but I wouldn't dock him so much for that, because 1.He still was playing every single day that year, 2.He still won a Gold Glove that year as the league's best defensive third baseman, and 3.It's not like he was a bad hitter that year. 122 OPS+ is still good. I think Schmidt's off year (1978) was a much more valuable year than Ruth's off years.



    Not really sure how you can hold it against him that he didn't play in many games. From '26 - '33 Gehrig played in 1235 games. Babe played in 1152 over that same stretch. In fact, I'm pretty sure if you check, Babe played in the largest percentage of Yankee games out of everyone but Gehrig. Chris, I hate to keep bringing up that you haven't done your homework on Babe, but you really haven't.
    Sultan, the fact Ruth played the second amount of Yankee games after Gehrig doesn't mean anything, except that Ruth was A)On the Yankees every year 1926-1933, and B)His teammates just didn't play as many games. Just because Ruth's teammates weren't playing that many games doesn't make it okay for Ruth to do it. Ruth as he got older was playing 140 games a year instead of 150. Schmidt was still playing about 155 games a year as he aged. Not saying Ruth wasn't durable, but it is true he missed more games than Schmidt. That's not a huge thing, but it means at least a little bit.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Can't really alibi for the Babe for that 1922 season, what hurt him was his own doing, barnstorming after the 1921 season. He was suspended for part of the 1922 season and did not play his first game until May 22. Add to that in that 1922 season he was suspended 5 or 6 times on top of that first 6 weeks.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by 538280
    Joe, you just did the exact same thing I did in the earlier post, except you put in in chart form and presented the linear difference (player-league) instead of the percentage one (player/league).

    Your numbers on Schmidt are different from the ones I had though. I had the league average 3B 1974-1983 hitting .268/.336/.403, slightly different from you, and I had Schmidt hitting .271/.390/.579. I could be wrong though, it took me quite some time to do that and I could have made an error along the way. I'm just interested where you got the numbers from.
    If I recall I did not feature league average for my numbers. I may have tossed in Ruth compared to the league a bit but for the most part I compared Babe and Mike to others at their positions RF and third basemen.


    Here is what I have for Mike 1974-1983. This is from a software program called Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia.

    1974-1983--------------------------Ba.---------OBA--------Slg.
    Mike-------------------------------.269--------.388--------.548
    League numbers 3rd basemen-------.265--------.336--------.400
    Entire League numbers--------------.265-------.332--------.388

    I've seen this before, numbers that vary some, usually slight, different sources. Even at that, it's rare, most sources are right on with the others.

    It does not specify but I'm assuming that when they list stats for positions they list them for that same league the player mentioned played in.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by 538280
    Ruth was certainly consistent, but he did have two years (1922 and 1925) when he showed up out of shape and not in a condition to play. He normally didn't play in as high a percentage of games as Schmidt either. He strugged to play 140 games late in his career.

    (BTW, Sultan, I don't really have Ruth above Schmidt, but I do think it is much closer than many people realize. Schmidt does have a good argument, but I'm just playing like a devil's advocate for this thread, trying the best I can with the Schmidt case.)
    I know Chris, and you're doing a good job presenting Schmidt. I have him ranked fairly high myself. Comparing him to Ruth though, you had to know going in, that it would take a wild imagination and the math tweaking ability of Good Will Hunting to even make a case.

    The problem is that it requires you to make outlandish claims about Ruth that just aren't true. Wasn't consistent? Chris, save me the finger energy and just pretend that I copy and pasted his years from baseball-reference.com. How was he not consistent? I agree with you about '22 and '25, although in '22 he was 230 pounds and in good shape. It was '25 where he let himself go and weighed just over 250 at the time of his collapse in January.

    Not really sure how you can hold it against him that he didn't play in many games. From '26 - '33 Gehrig played in 1235 games. Babe played in 1152 over that same stretch. In fact, I'm pretty sure if you check, Babe played in the largest percentage of Yankee games out of everyone but Gehrig. Chris, I hate to keep bringing up that you haven't done your homework on Babe, but you really haven't.

    He was known for coming back from injury very quickly, and for playing through injuries. It's one of the reasons his 1920 season is so impressive, because he played through many injuries all season long. Maybe you missed that post I made in the Babe Ruth thread about it. He could easily have had 60 homers that year if not for the injuries. 1921 would have been another 60 homer season if he didn't have a homerun called a double that a fan knocked back into the field of play. Another season he should have had 50 but had two taken away at Shibe Park. I believe that was in '31. Anyway, I'm getting off track.

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  • 538280
    replied
    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3
    Why not look at more years a bigger sample, a broader picture of how they compared to others at their positions
    Joe, you just did the exact same thing I did in the earlier post, except you put in in chart form and presented the linear difference (player-league) instead of the percentage one (player/league).

    Your numbers on Schmidt are different from the ones I had though. I had the league average 3B 1974-1983 hitting .268/.336/.403, slightly different from you, and I had Schmidt hitting .271/.390/.579. I could be wrong though, it took me quite some time to do that and I could have made an error along the way. I'm just interested where you got the numbers from.

    I don't see how consistency is a bad point for Schmidt against Ruth either. Schmidt had one not so great year (1978), but other than that he was extremely consistent, even more so than Ruth. He was one of the greatest players in the league (actually the greatest player in the league over the period) for 15 years 1974-1987.

    Ruth was certainly consistent, but he did have two years (1922 and 1925) when he showed up out of shape and not in a condition to play. He normally didn't play in as high a percentage of games as Schmidt either. He strugged to play 140 games late in his career.

    (BTW, Sultan, I don't really have Schmidt above Ruth, but I do think it is much closer than many people realize. Schmidt does have a good argument, but I'm just playing like a devil's advocate for this thread, trying the best I can with the Schmidt case.)
    Last edited by 538280; 03-22-2006, 03:42 PM.

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