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Josh Gibson vs Sadaharu Oh

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  • #61
    Bill and I have had this discussion before.

    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    A good question. I do not understand why people can so easily rank Paige and Gobson so high but do not rank Sadaharu Oh at all?
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Lack of familiarity. People had heard the legends of Paige/Gibson since the 30's. Much, much less so for Sadaharu Oh. It's that simple.
    With the Internet that is no reason anymore to not know anything about Sadaharu Oh. Oh is still alive today. There is film and video of Oh. There are many Japanese ballplayers and major leaguers who played against Oh who are still alive and who have commented on Oh as a ballplayer. We have the full statistical record of Oh readily available. His chase of Hank Aaron's 755 career HR record was considered such news that Oh was on the COVER of Sports Illustrated in 1977. I would argue that there is far more information and statistics and first hand account of still living people of Sadaharu than any Negro Leaguer.

    I think part of reason Negro Leaguers get more love here at BBF is because they played a long time ago and are seen as "old school". There is very little in terms of film, photos, and people still alive who saw them play. Mostly, we have these old grainy black and white photos of these great Negro League ballplayers. Because of this we can imprint on them our our image of what kind of ballplayer they were. We can simply imagine Josh Gibson hitting a ball out of Yankee Stadium (even though there is no evidence for this HR ever being hit) and infer from that that Gibson could have hit 50-60 HRs in the majors had he had an opportunity to play in the major leagues. But we can't do that with Sadaharu Oh. He's too recent, he's too modern, too "human" for us to imagine him hitting lots of HRs in the majors. We see Negro Leaguers as "black and white" and we see Sadaharu Oh in "color".
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-09-2009, 05:37 PM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    • #62
      Lord knows, I've tried to increase the knowledge of Sadaharu Oh, but I think a factor that cannot be ignored is that with the passage of time, the Negro Leagues have been given their due as containing a goodly number of great players. The Negro Leaguers had lots of immediate success. The Japanese, while hardly embarrassing themselves, have not had the same degree of success, Ichiro notwithstanding. There's also the misunderstandings that go with minor league stars becoming stars in Japan, which did not happen with the Negro Leagues. Also, the Japanese are still limited in when they can come, and most come once they have passed age 30, which has an impact on how well they do when they arrive in the majors. There's a number of things to cloud the view of NPB players and thus Oh, and combine that with a degree of ignorance of the man's accomplishments, it's easy for many to dismiss him.
      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by jalbright View Post
        Lord knows, I've tried to increase the knowledge of Sadaharu Oh, but I think a factor that cannot be ignored is that with the passage of time, the Negro Leagues have been given their due as containing a goodly number of great players. The Negro Leaguers had lots of immediate success. The Japanese, while hardly embarrassing themselves, have not had the same degree of success, Ichiro notwithstanding. There's also the misunderstandings that go with minor league stars becoming stars in Japan, which did not happen with the Negro Leagues. Also, the Japanese are still limited in when they can come, and most come once they have passed age 30, which has an impact on how well they do when they arrive in the majors. There's a number of things to cloud the view of NPB players and thus Oh, and combine that with a degree of ignorance of the man's accomplishments, it's easy for many to dismiss him.
        I think this is a major issue that doesn't get discussed enough. In past threads when we talk about the Negro Leaguers that entered the majors after I've made the argument that no established star Negro Leaguer became a star player in the majors other than Roy Campanella. By "established" I mean a veteran Negro Leaguer that was was developed in the Negro Leagues and played a substantial amount of games of their prime ages in the Negro Leagues. But even Campanella debuted in the majors at age 26. As I said before I do not consider Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays to be "Negro Leaguers" in the sense that the Negro Leagues didn't develop these players. Aaron and Mays debuted in the majors at age 20 and Jackie played 47 games in one Negro League season in 1945. I strongly believe that had Aaron and Mays been forced to toil in the Negro Leagues for 9-10 years and then entered the majors at say age 29-31 they would not have had the same success as they actually did. This is what happens to the Japanese players that come over today. They play 8-10 years in the NPB and they hone their baseball skills to play NPB style baseball. It is very difficult to change at age 30. Had a Hideki Matsui entered the minor leagues at age 18-19 I believe he would have been a better player in the majors because he would have faced major league pitching at a much younger age and would have been forced to adapt his hitting skill.
        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-09-2009, 05:35 PM.
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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        • #64
          I'd call Doby, Irvin and Minoso fairly well established as stars in the Negro Leagues (they were in the Negro League all-star game several times each) before they went to the majors, and even Irvin had 3-4 strong years before injuring his ankle.
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by jalbright View Post
            I'd call Doby, Irvin and Minoso fairly well established as stars in the Negro Leagues (they were in the Negro League all-star game several times each) before they went to the majors, and even Irvin had 3-4 strong years before injuring his ankle.
            Doby and Minoso are on the bubble for me. Both debuted in the majors at the young age of 23 so they both had plenty of development years ahead of them. But you are right about Irvin, he was one of the better players in the NL for a few years and he didn't enter the majors until he was 30.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • #66
              Bump!
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #67
                I don't want to get sidetracked into presenting data I'm digging up using BBref's search tool, but I'm finding some interesting stuff by looking at the Negro Leaguers who came to the majors and comparing them to major leaguers from their starting age on. IIRC, Jackie would be compared to 2B from age 28 on because that's the age he was on June 30 of his first year in the majors. I messed a little with Minoso, who the Indians felt needed to go back to learn to play OF rather than 3B. Even Satchel Paige does well compared to major leaguers from his entry age. Doing this levels the field for the years the Negro Leaguers were excluded, and could be used to better rank a guy like H. Matsui from Japan.

                I'll try to remember to make sure to post in the international and Negro League threads once I start posting the fruits of this research.
                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                Comment


                • #68
                  The Strat-O-Matic game company has done excellent work to answer the questions of this thread. They are the only sports simulation company to have an exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. They have researched and released both Negro League and Japanese seasons using the stats that are now available (The available Negro League stats have multiplied the last few years) and they also use what are called MLE or Major League Equivalents to normalize stats across eras and leagues. You should really look into these if you are interested in the subject. I would also interject that the overall level of competition that Josh Gibson played barnstorming, playing town teams, schools, and even stripped down teams with some Major League players was not very high. Baseball historians pretty well agree that even competition between Negro League teams in league games was below triple AAA minor league baseball at best. Yes, Josh was great and he belongs in the Hall-of-Fame, but when you see the actual league stats from league competition you will realize that he was a great player, but hardly "Paul Bunyan".

                  Follow this: http://www.strat-o-matic.com/

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by TerryB View Post
                    The Strat-O-Matic game company has done excellent work to answer the questions of this thread. They are the only sports simulation company to have an exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. They have researched and released both Negro League and Japanese seasons using the stats that are now available (The available Negro League stats have multiplied the last few years) and they also use what are called MLE or Major League Equivalents to normalize stats across eras and leagues. You should really look into these if you are interested in the subject. I would also interject that the overall level of competition that Josh Gibson played barnstorming, playing town teams, schools, and even stripped down teams with some Major League players was not very high. Baseball historians pretty well agree that even competition between Negro League teams in league games was below triple AAA minor league baseball at best. Yes, Josh was great and he belongs in the Hall-of-Fame, but when you see the actual league stats from league competition you will realize that he was a great player, but hardly "Paul Bunyan".

                    Follow this: http://www.strat-o-matic.com/

                    This is a point than many do not want to take into consideration here at BBF. Any discussion that casts any doubt or simply tries ot shed some light on the "lengends" of the great Negro League players is frowned upon and implied to be racist. I made this point in this thread earlier.

                    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                    Bill and I have had this discussion before.

                    I think part of reason Negro Leaguers get more love here at BBF is because they played a long time ago and are seen as "old school". There is very little in terms of film, photos, and people still alive who saw them play. Mostly, we have these old grainy black and white photos of these great Negro League ballplayers. Because of this we can imprint on them our our image of what kind of ballplayer they were. We can simply imagine Josh Gibson hitting a ball out of Yankee Stadium (even though there is no evidence for this HR ever being hit) and infer from that that Gibson could have hit 50-60 HRs in the majors had he had an opportunity to play in the major leagues. But we can't do that with Sadaharu Oh. He's too recent, he's too modern, too "human" for us to imagine him hitting lots of HRs in the majors. We see Negro Leaguers as "black and white" and we see Sadaharu Oh in "color".
                    Recently, I started a thread comparing Oscar Charleston to Bobby Bonds. And some BBF posters took great offense that I dared to compare Bobby Bonds to the legendary Oscar Charleston. it was kind of ridiculous if you ask me.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      [QUOTE=Honus Wagner Rules;2280861][/B]
                      "This is a point than many do not want to take into consideration here at BBF. Any discussion that casts any doubt or simply tries ot shed some light on the "lengends" of the great Negro League players is frowned upon and implied to be racist. I made this point in this thread earlier."

                      The Stats for league games for the 1931, 1937 and 1942 Negro League seasons were compiled by the Strat-O-Matic game company. They have done the same thing for Japanese seasons. These stats are MLE or Major League Equivalent and projected out to a 144 game season. MLE is helpful when comparing the level of play in various leagues and around the world. Below the stats are various ratings. These stats are MLE;

                      Code:
                      BATTER        AB DO TR HR RBI  AVG  BB  SO  SB CS  OB%  SL%   OPS
                      J.Gibson     510 30 13 32 106 .296  46  48   0  1 .358 .594  .952
                      
                      YEAR TM  PWR B BAL Vsl BNT H&R STL RUN DP CLAv FIELDING             OF CA
                      1931 HOG N/N R  1L 20%   D   B   E  14 24 .323 CA2                     -3
                                                                     e7  
                      
                      BATTER        AB DO TR HR RBI  AVG  BB  SO  SB CS  OB%  SL%   OPS
                      J.Gibson     473 29  4 39 120 .351  76  50   8  2 .440 .677 1.117
                      
                      YEAR TM  PWR B BAL Vsl BNT H&R STL RUN DP CLAv FIELDING             OF CA
                      1937 HOG N/N R  2L 26%   C   C   C  14 20 .369 CA2                     -4
                                                                     e7  
                      
                      
                      BATTER        AB DO TR HR RBI  AVG  BB  SO  SB CS  OB%  SL%   OPS
                      J.Gibson     496 34  6 39 113 .335 114  57   9  1 .462 .663 1.125
                      
                      YEAR TM  PWR B BAL Vsl BNT H&R STL RUN DP CLAv FIELDING             OF CA
                      1942 HOG N/N R   E 25%   C   C   C  14 27 .351 CA2                     -4
                                                                     e7
                      Last edited by TerryB; 03-15-2014, 03:09 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Josh was only 35 when he died...not fair to compare him to Oh on a career basis.
                        I'd suspect that Josh was better at his peak, if I was forced to make a judgement.
                        "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Here are the MLE stats for Sadaharu Oh for the 1973 season. Please note that these are not his actual stats for the 1973 Japanese season. They are the MLE or Major League Equivalents based on the strength of the Japanese league as compared to Major League baseball in 1973. The gap between the level of play in Japan as compared to Major League baseball has narrowed since that time.

                          BATTER AB DO TR HR RBI AVG BB SO SB CS OB% SL% OPS
                          S.Oh 526 24 0 29 120 .331 89 39 2 1 .423 .542 .965

                          YEAR TM PWR B BAL Vsl BNT H&R STL RUN DP CLAv FIELDING OF CA
                          1973 YOJ N/N L 4R 17% D B D 11 12 .349 1B1
                          e10
                          Last edited by TerryB; 03-16-2014, 11:57 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                            Josh was only 35 when he died...not fair to compare him to Oh on a career basis.
                            I'd suspect that Josh was better at his peak, if I was forced to make a judgement.
                            Just curious, what do you base this on?
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              The problem I have with ranking Gibson above anybody is that we don't have enough stats on what he actually did. So obviously, I believe that Oh's career is much more legit. But I'll go one step farther. I'll throw myself out there and list who I think would do better.

                              The problem that I have with players from Japan is that many of the players that came from Japan to the U.S. only lasted a year, then were done. The difference in LQ is huge. It was even bigger going back farther in time since professional baseball in Japan only goes back about 70-80 years.

                              Hideo Nomo lasted 14 years in the MLB. Most pitchers that came over were done in less than a year. Nomo only managed a 97 ERA+ and I cannot think of a pitcher from Japan that did better in the U.S than Nomo. I think this is why most people rank Gibson above Oh in ability, even though most will have to agree that Oh's career is more legit(based on available stats only).

                              However, there are always exceptions to the rules and Oh truly had no comps in Japan. He's head and shoulders above the next best player.

                              Some projections that I've seen from statisticians is that Oh would have hit 525 HRS while batting about .285 and slugging .520 had he played in MLB. That seems believeable. I personally think that Mel Ott is a good comp for Mr OH. I think Oh shredded a weak league, much like Ott did. I also think these two would adjust well to any league, had they been given the chance. I truly think Ott=Oh at the dish.

                              So the question to me is this since Ott and Gibson played during the same era: If this is 1940 and you had a choice between Josh Gibson or Mel Ott, who would you take?

                              As much as I believe that Gibson would have been even better, I'd play it conservative and take the sure excellent thing; Mel Ott. I already know Ott was incredible, even though my gut is that Josh Gibson probably the equivalent of Lou Gehrig at the dish. However, I will not pass on Ott.

                              My vote goes to Mr. Oh.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by pheasant View Post
                                The problem I have with ranking Gibson above anybody is that we don't have enough stats on what he actually did. So obviously, I believe that Oh's career is much more legit. But I'll go one step farther. I'll throw myself out there and list who I think would do better.

                                The problem that I have with players from Japan is that many of the players that came from Japan to the U.S. only lasted a year, then were done. The difference in LQ is huge. It was even bigger going back farther in time since professional baseball in Japan only goes back about 70-80 years.

                                Hideo Nomo lasted 14 years in the MLB. Most pitchers that came over were done in less than a year. Nomo only managed a 97 ERA+ and I cannot think of a pitcher from Japan that did better in the U.S than Nomo. I think this is why most people rank Gibson above Oh in ability, even though most will have to agree that Oh's career is more legit(based on available stats only).

                                However, there are always exceptions to the rules and Oh truly had no comps in Japan. He's head and shoulders above the next best player.

                                Some projections that I've seen from statisticians is that Oh would have hit 525 HRS while batting about .285 and slugging .520 had he played in MLB. That seems believeable. I personally think that Mel Ott is a good comp for Mr OH. I think Oh shredded a weak league, much like Ott did. I also think these two would adjust well to any league, had they been given the chance. I truly think Ott=Oh at the dish.

                                So the question to me is this since Ott and Gibson played during the same era: If this is 1940 and you had a choice between Josh Gibson or Mel Ott, who would you take?

                                As much as I believe that Gibson would have been even better, I'd play it conservative and take the sure excellent thing; Mel Ott. I already know Ott was incredible, even though my gut is that Josh Gibson probably the equivalent of Lou Gehrig at the dish. However, I will not pass on Ott.

                                My vote goes to Mr. Oh.
                                One thing that Jim Albright's research has brought to light is the depth and completeness of Oh's domination. Obviously Oh's 868 HRs was against below major league quality competition. No one doubts that. Looking at how far above Oh was over every other player is simply staggering. In the entire history of the NBP there have been just eight 500-HR hitters. Five of these eight hitters hit between 504-536 HRs. The #3 hitter hit 567 HRs. The #2 hitter hit 657 HRs. So Oh is is 201 HR's ahead of the #2 hitter and a staggering 311 HR's ahead of the #3 hitter.

                                Mel Ott is a good comp, .300 hitters with tons of walks, good HR power.
                                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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