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  • Arky Vaughan

    I'm wondering what everybody here thinks about him. He may well be the most underrated baseball player of all time. His .318 lifetime BA is 2nd among shortstops. Without question the greatest lefty-hitting SS ever. Yet why does he hardly receive mention? He wasn't even on the ballot for the All-Century team, for pete's sake.
    Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

  • #2
    He had a relatively short career, didn't play on big name teams, had a nickname that implied he was a yokel, never hit 50 homers or .400, did a lot of things really well but didn't have one huge strength that people would point to (like Ruth's power or Ozzie's agility). I find him fascinating and think he deserves the high rankings that sabermetric attention have brought him.
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
      never hit 50 homers
      Hardly relevant when discussing shortstops. But I get the rest of your post.
      Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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      • #4
        His .385 single-season BA is the 20th century record for SS.
        Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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        • #5
          The 2nd best hitting SS of All-Time behind Wagner and not counting A-ROD. Easily a Top 5 position player.
          "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
          George Brett

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          • #6
            Originally posted by torez77 View Post
            Hardly relevant when discussing shortstops. But I get the rest of your post.
            I guess I was exaggerating for effect, but Banks was pretty famous for being a 40+ HR guy at SS and then ARod blew us all away by breaking the 50 HR barrier at that position (mind you, both in very favorable parks at the time).
            "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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            • #7
              Vaughan averaged over 3 times as many walks as strike outs per season.That is impressive.Bill James wrote that despite his nickname,Vaughan was a "very quiet man,a man who carried himself with considerable dignity".James goes on to say that this fact,as well as the fact that Vaughan`s Pirates were in decline,did a lot to keep attention away from him.

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              • #8
                He got voted as the 2nd best shortstop of alltime on the yearly polls Tyrus holds. He ended up with a war over 70 in a short career.
                "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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                • #9
                  His .490 OBP in 1935 is the record for shortstops. Guys with names like Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx never managed that.
                  "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                    He had a relatively short career, didn't play on big name teams, had a nickname that implied he was a yokel, never hit 50 homers or .400, did a lot of things really well but didn't have one huge strength that people would point to (like Ruth's power or Ozzie's agility). I find him fascinating and think he deserves the high rankings that sabermetric attention have brought him.
                    That "yokel" reference is most unfortunate, since, in reality, Arky Vaughan had little to do with ARK after his infancy. This, from the Arkansas Encyclopedia of History and Culture:
                    Arky Vaughan was born on March 9, 1912, in Clifty (Madison County) to Robert Vaughan and Laura Denny Vaughan. He was one of six children. When he was an infant, the family moved to Fullerton, California, where his father became an oilfield worker. Vaughan never returned to Arkansas.

                    :Throughout much of his life, Vaughan was linked to the state because of his nickname, given to him as a child because he talked with an Arkansas accent acquired from his family. Vaughan did not dislike the nickname, once remarking that he had been known as “Arky” for so long, he doubted people knew his given name.
                    Another SS worthy of note here is Cecil Travis. Mention has been made of Vaughan's career BA. Just take a look at Travis' career BA before WW II, the Battle of the Bulge, and frozen toes shut him down after the War ended.

                    From the time he broke in in 1934 through the 1941 season, Travis compiled a .327 career BA. Even with those disastrous seasons ['45,'46,'47], he ended up at .314.

                    Vaughan certainly belongs with the top tier of SS, top 3 - top 5.
                    Last edited by leewileyfan; 08-23-2012, 10:47 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I was born in Western Pennsylvania in 1946 and have lived most of my life within 35 miles of Pittsburgh. I've been following baseball and the Pirates since 1954 or 1955. Amazingly, I have almost never heard Arky Vaughan discussed, and I've been in thousands of baseball discussions. I've had several good friends who were teenagers or young adults when Vaughan was playing, but there really wasn't much talk about him. It's almost like he was invisible- strange, because he clearly was an outstanding player, even before more modern metrics like OBP became fashionable to help validate his value.

                      Once in a long while one of the Pirates announcers will mention his name, when some stats feeder on the staff whispers something in their ear about highest BA for a Pirates season or something like that. But, that's about it. I NEVER hear him mentioned when discussions of greatest Pirates come up- it's always Clemente, then Stargell, then somebody remembers that Honus Wagner played for the Pirates 500 years ago, then Pie Traynor gets mentioned, then finally somebody remembers there was some guy named Paul Waner- didn't he play in the outfield? But rarely a mention of Arky.

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                      • #12
                        Some Vaughan pics. Enjoy.

                        178335d1263942849-gambo-t_wil1-photopack-arky_vaughan-pittsburgh-.jpg

                        VaughanArky_f.jpg



                        Arky Waughan 2a.jpeg

                        Arky Waughan 3a.jpeg



                        I don't much much about Vaughn. I didn't know he drowned at age 40.

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

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                        • #13
                          Very underrated player.
                          “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

                          "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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                          • #14
                            I think if you ask a semi-knowledgeable baseball fan who the best shortstops were, he wouldn't even be considered in the top-10 and you'd probably have to tell that person exactly who he was.

                            I just asked my friend via email who are the greatest Pirates all-time off the top of his head. No Vaughan. I replied back... "No Arky?" His return: "Oops - forgot he was even a Pirate".

                            This was the list he forwarded me...

                            Honus
                            Bonds
                            Clemente
                            P Waner
                            Stargell
                            Kiner

                            He ran out of names off his head after that...

                            B Giles
                            J Bell
                            Parker
                            Van Slyke

                            I'm not going to say he's some kind of historian like many here are, but he's worked in the sports collectibles business since the mid-90s and has a decent (about my level) understanding of the old guys. He followed up saying he'd put Vaughan at #3 after Bonds and drop Van Slyke. So, yeah I agree Arky's vastly under-rated to the point of almost being a virtual unknown to the most casual of fans.
                            "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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                            • #15
                              Easily one of the best VC HOF selections. It took too long, either way, so that isn't a big feather in the cap of the VC.
                              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                              Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                              Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                              Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                              Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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