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McCovey/Pujols/Thomas/Bagwell/Votto/Hamilton in the 1920's-30's?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    Pujols in a typical park would definitely have had several .370+ batting averages. His relative average in Hornsby's setting would put him at .347. If you just reduce then number of hits robbed on balls in play from today's rate to then you get about a .356 average at this point and .393 and .390 in his top 2 seasons and that doesn't include that he probably would have probably only averaged about 35-40 Ks a year against the pitchers of that day. I think he would have probably hit .400-.410 in those 2 years. I think that Cobb playing in Hornsby's setting would have hit just under .380 for his career though.
    I think Pujols' would have a few years near .400. but remember he doesn't have Hornsby's speed, and this can make a difference. His home runs would go down a bit , to 30-35 a year, and 40 tops. He also isn't quite as patient as Hornsby at the plate. Picture Mel Ott, but with less walks and a higher batting average. Maybe something like Musial without the triples. He would definitely be in the Mel Ott/Stan Musial category.

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    • #17
      Bonds=Ruth/Gehrig
      Bagwell=Greenberg
      Manny=Foxx
      Pujols=Ott
      Piazza=Mize
      Gwynn=Waner
      Thomas=Hornsby
      Votto=Heilmann
      Vlad=Al Simmons
      Walker=Klein
      Last edited by willshad; 06-30-2012, 01:58 PM.

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      • #18
        --I think these comparison's may understate how much tougher the game has become to dominant over time. Willie McCovey's closest comp from this era is probably Gehrig. He probably wouldn't have hit for as consistently high averages, but he probably hits for a little more power. Pujols might match Hornsby for average and Foxx for power. Thomas is a tougher comp for stars of the 20s and 30s. If he kept the same approach - not swinging at anything out of the strike zone - then there really wasn't a great hitter of that style before Teddy Williams. So he would have been Williams before Williams in the 20s and 30s.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by leecemark View Post
          --I think these comparison's may understate how much tougher the game has become to dominant over time. Willie McCovey's closest comp from this era is probably Gehrig. He probably wouldn't have hit for as consistently high averages, but he probably hits for a little more power. Pujols might match Hornsby for average and Foxx for power. Thomas is a tougher comp for stars of the 20s and 30s. If he kept the same approach - not swinging at anything out of the strike zone - then there really wasn't a great hitter of that style before Teddy Williams. So he would have been Williams before Williams in the 20s and 30s.
          McCovey would be closer to Greenberg I think. A few dominant years, lots of home run power, good but not great batting average. A bunch of injury seasons in there as well. Gehrig was MUCH more durable than Mccovey.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by leecemark View Post
            --I think these comparison's may understate how much tougher the game has become to dominant over time. Willie McCovey's closest comp from this era is probably Gehrig. He probably wouldn't have hit for as consistently high averages, but he probably hits for a little more power. Pujols might match Hornsby for average and Foxx for power. Thomas is a tougher comp for stars of the 20s and 30s. If he kept the same approach - not swinging at anything out of the strike zone - then there really wasn't a great hitter of that style before Teddy Williams. So he would have been Williams before Williams in the 20s and 30s.
            You put Mccovey in the same class as Gehrig? Really? You think Pujols would hit 50+ home runs and bat over .400? Really? You must think that all the top 30 players of all time have played in the last 40 years.

            I think that speed played a bigger part in the game back then, even after the dead ball era. Guys like Gehrig and Foxx and Hornsby were VERY fast, much faster than the sluggers of today. Don't let the stolen base totals fool you. They got many infield singles, more doubles and triples and even inside the park homers. Today's slugger would find a lot of his home runs would be long flyouts, and what were doubles and triples for the old timers would be singles and doubles for Thomas, Pujols, etc. The power/speed guys would do very well..Bonds, Bagwell, and Henderson. The concept of the one dimensional slugger who couldn't hit for average, and ran station to station did not develop until much later on.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRumpSojr1E

            Check out Gehrig running to first at the 1:43 mark.
            Last edited by willshad; 06-30-2012, 02:42 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by willshad View Post
              You put Mccovey in the same class as Gehrig? Really?
              If you believe the quality of play has improved, one could certainly argue that McCovey's 1969 season is just as good if not better than anything Gehrig ever did. The dude had a 209 OPS+, which I believe is higher than any 1B ever besides Gehrig and a juiced up Mcgwire. He also had 45 intentional walks, which was the single season record up until Bonds silly seasons.

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              • #22
                I don't buy that Gehrig and Foxx were VERY fast. If Foxx and Gehrig were VERY fast why didn't they play the outfield? When John McGraw first saw Gehrig he wasn't that impressed of Gehrig's defensive skills.
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by willshad View Post
                  I don;t think Thomas matches Foxx's home run totals. Thomas was more of a line drive hitter whose home runs were by 'accident', and Foxx was a pure power guy. I don't see Thomas matching Lou's home run totals either. I think in the huge stadiums of the 20s and 30s his batting average goes up,but his home runs go down. I picture him as a Hornsby type of hitter, but not quite as good. A lot of Hornsb'y triples would be doubles for Thomas, and a lot of his doubles would be singles.
                  Foxx was known for line drives, like some into the upper deck that blew up seats.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by fenrir View Post
                    If you believe the quality of play has improved, one could certainly argue that McCovey's 1969 season is just as good if not better than anything Gehrig ever did. The dude had a 209 OPS+, which I believe is higher than any 1B ever besides Gehrig and a juiced up Mcgwire. He also had 45 intentional walks, which was the single season record up until Bonds silly seasons.
                    That was also a pretty extreme outlier season for him. Gehrig's OPS+ is about 42 points higher than Mccovey's for his career. He is about as much a better hitter than Mccovey as Mccovey is better than a league average hitter. No amount of 'league quality' can bring Mccovey up to Gehrig's level. If you really believe that, then you must also believe that at least 30 or 40 other hitters since then are also as good as Gehrig. I honestly don't believe there has been a single one at his level, steroids or not.
                    Last edited by willshad; 06-30-2012, 08:25 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                      I don't buy that Gehrig and Foxx were VERY fast. If Foxx and Gehrig were VERY fast why didn't they play the outfield? When John McGraw first saw Gehrig he wasn't that impressed of Gehrig's defensive skills.
                      You can be fast, and still not be a good outfielder...Tim Raines, for example. You can clearly see in videos that Gehrig had well above average speed. He had 10 triples or more 9 times in his career, including one season with 20. Foxx had foot races with his teammates and always came out in front. These guys were not just ballplayers, they were great all around athletes....maybe not in Mantle's class, but not far off either. You have to remember. first base wasn't always the place where you stuck your worst, least mobile fielder.
                      Last edited by willshad; 06-30-2012, 08:28 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by brett View Post
                        Foxx was known for line drives, like some into the upper deck that blew up seats.
                        I'm pretty sure Foxx's home runs traveled further then those of Thomas.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by willshad View Post
                          You can be fast, and still not be a good outfielder...Tim Raines, for example. You can clearly see in videos that Gehrig had well above average speed. He had 10 triples or more 9 times in his career, including one season with 20. Foxx had foot races with his teammates and always came out in front. These guys were not just ballplayers, they were great all around athletes....maybe not in Mantle's class, but not far off either. You have to remember. first base wasn't always the place where you stuck your worst, least mobile fielder.


                          YS was the greatest triple producing ballpark ever compared to the league. I do remember reading that Foxx ran track at some point and maybe was 10.6 in 100 yards.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by willshad View Post
                            I'm pretty sure Foxx's home runs traveled further then those of Thomas.
                            Thomas was known for his right-centerfield power, but they weren't line drives. Your distances may go down if you hit a lot of your home runs to the opposite field.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by willshad View Post
                              That was also a pretty extreme outlier season for him. Gehrig's OPS+ is about 42 points higher than Mccovey's for his career. He is about as much a better hitter than Mccovey as Mccovey is better than a league average hitter. No amount of 'league quality' can bring Mccovey up to Gehrig's level. If you really believe that, then you must also believe that at least 30 or 40 other hitters since then are also as good as Gehrig. I honestly don't believe there has been a single one at his level, steroids or not.


                              McCovey also got to platoon significantly which raised his rates, though not from '68-'70. I would not say '69 is an extreme outlier when he went 174, 209, 182 over three consecutive full seasons and had 4 more years over 160.

                              The best estimate based on actual number of black players added and the average level of production is that the simple act of full integration would cut OPS+ scores by 4 or 5 percent, so Mccovey's 147 would be about 6-7 points higher if we removed all of the players who would have been banned, but he also got to play through expansion periods so 6-7 points is the maximum boost to about 154. If the average player produced the same relative isolated power and walks during Gehrig's time as they did after full integration, Gehrig's OPS+ would have been cut by about 15-16 points to 163 or 164. I think this is a little too much of a deduction because players in Gehrig's time produced more of their value from batting average anyway, so about half of this, or 7-8 points may be right, and its in the ballpark of the 6-7 point integration estimate. Gehrig 172 to McCovey 147 or Gehrig 179 to McCovey 154 sounds about right on equal settings, but 179 to 147 is not really twice as much better than the league anyway. Its only 168% as much better.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                                I don't buy that Gehrig and Foxx were VERY fast. If Foxx and Gehrig were VERY fast why didn't they play the outfield? When John McGraw first saw Gehrig he wasn't that impressed of Gehrig's defensive skills.
                                Gehrig had better than average footspeed. (He favorite off-season pastime was speed skating.) He was quite clumsy when he first arrived in the majors, though, which is probably what relegated him to first base.

                                Foxx was real burner. He is recorded as posting a personal best of 8.6 seconds in the 80-yard dash at the age of 14. A year later, he was clocked at 10.6 secs. in the 100-yard and 23 secs. in the 220-yard. (At an undetermined date, he is alleged to have been clocked at 10 seconds flat in the 100-yard.) Bill Werber, often claimed as the fastest ballplayer in his day (he once stole seven bases in a single minor league game), tells the story of how he once lined up to race against other baseball speedsters of his day, such as Ben Chapman, Jake Powell, and Meryl Hoag, only to have Foxx beat them all.
                                A swing--and a smash--and a gray streak partaking/Of ghostly manoeuvres that follow the whack;/The old earth rebounds with a quiver and quaking/And high flies the dust as he thuds on the track;/The atmosphere reels--and it isn't the comet--/There follows the blur of a phantom at play;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel--/And damned be the fellow that gets in the way.                 A swing and a smash--and the far echoes quiver--/A ripping and rearing and volcanic roar;/And off streaks the Ghost with a shake and a shiver,/To hurdle red hell on the way to a score;/A cross between tidal wave, cyclone and earthquake--/Fire, wind and water all out on a lark;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel,/Plus ten tons of dynamite hitched to a spark.

                                --Cobb, Grantland Rice

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