Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Oscar Charleston General Thread

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Buck O'Neil told great stories but he tended towards hyperbole. Charleston was Cobb, Ruth, and Speaker all rolled into one? I'm surprised Buck didn't throw in Honus Wagner and Napolean LaJoie in there as well. But here's the thing though. When did Buck see Charleston play? As far as I can tell from my research Buck never saw Charleston play when Charleston was in his prime. Buck was 15 years younger than Charleston. Buck was born and raised in Florida and from what I've read so far didn't leave Florida until 1934 to play semi pro ball. Charleston was 37-38 years old in 1934. Buck didn't join the professional Negro Legues until 1937. Charleston was 40 years old during the 1937 season. So, it's highly unlikely that O'Neil ever saw Charleston play in his prime. Even is Buck did see Charleston play in the early 1920's Buck wasn't even a teenager then. It seems obvious that whatever Charleston stories Buck told were given to him by other people. Buck was not a first person eye witness to Charleston greatness as a ballplayer.
    I see what you are saying, but in rereading that post, I don't think Bill James was saying that Buck O'Neil knew these things from first-hand experience. It reads to me like he is quoting the often referenced Negro League ambassador. O'Neil would surely have been around far more people than most who would have known the true talents of Oscar Charleston, and yes he did like to embellish a bit (who didn't/doesn't when talking about great players?).

    I think the point he was making wasn't that Charleston had ALL the talents of the three combined elites (Cobb, Ruth, Speaker) but rather that he had certain skills that we attribute to these three (bunting/base stealing - Cobb, power hitting - Ruth, shallow and great center field glove - Speaker) all rolled into one great player. That is the way it reads to me, but I am no expert on the subject and am still learning as I go!
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Herr28 View Post
      I see what you are saying, but in rereading that post, I don't think Bill James was saying that Buck O'Neil knew these things from first-hand experience. It reads to me like he is quoting the often referenced Negro League ambassador. O'Neil would surely have been around far more people than most who would have known the true talents of Oscar Charleston, and yes he did like to embellish a bit (who didn't/doesn't when talking about great players?).

      I think the point he was making wasn't that Charleston had ALL the talents of the three combined elites (Cobb, Ruth, Speaker) but rather that he had certain skills that we attribute to these three (bunting/base stealing - Cobb, power hitting - Ruth, shallow and great center field glove - Speaker) all rolled into one great player. That is the way it reads to me, but I am no expert on the subject and am still learning as I go!
      That is the proper reading of it Herr. I just posted this over on the Mays thread:
      On the occasion of Willie Mays' 75th birthday Saturday, several of the game's great names from the Negro Leagues, where Mays got his start with the Birmingham Black Barons, were at PETCO Park for a ceremony honoring the Negro Leagues.

      Smiling, dignified Buck O'Neil, the game's enduring historian and ambassador, and Don Newcombe, ace of the Brooklyn Dodgers' staff in Mays' early days with the New York Giants, were in agreement on the Say Hey Kid's place among the all-time greats.

      "Willie Mays was the best Major League Baseball player I've seen," said O'Neil, whose memories stretch back to the 1930s as player, coach and manager and now serves as the face and spirit of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.

      "I can't see anybody being as good as Willie Mays, ever," Newcombe said. "Henry [Aaron] was more of a quiet player; he wasn't as flamboyant. He just went about the business of kicking your [fanny]. And I belonged to the club, believe me. Henry was great, all right, but there was only one Willie Mays."

      O'Neil admired the gifts of many of Mays' contemporaries.
      "Ted Williams and Stan Musial could beat you with the bat," he said. "Joe DiMaggio could beat you with the bat and glove. Willie Mays could beat you with everything: bat, glove, arm, speed on the bases," Then Buck made a fascinating disclosure.

      "The best ballplayer for me was Oscar Charleston, going way back now. He could give you 50 home runs and 50 stolen bases. We old-timers say the closest to Oscar was Willie Mays. You know, if Willie had played in the same ballparks Hank played in, that home run record [755] might belong to Willie."

      Newcombe faced Charleston in the Negro Leagues late in Oscar's career, when he was playing first base.
      "I didn't see him when Buck did, when he was young," Newcombe said, "but I don't think Oscar could run like Willie or hit with Willie's power.

      "I wish there was somebody I could compare with Willie Mays. But I haven't seen anybody in that class.
      ''A sport without black people ain't a sport. That's just a game!... That's like me saying, 'Ooh, I got the highest SAT score in the whole world, but no Asians took the test.' What kind of crap is that? 'I just won the marathon. No Kenyans could run, though!'''
      Chris Rock

      Comment


      • #18
        From 1920...

        1920-02-15 Indianapolis News pg 16.jpg



        Charleston referred to as the "Black Ty Cobb" in 1922.

        1922-09-07 Harrisburg Telegraph pg 19.jpg



        By 1925 Charleston was considered the best Negro Leaguer outfielder.

        1925-10-03 Pittsburgh Courier pg 14.jpg....1925-10-03 Pittsburgh Courier pg 14a.jpg
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

        Comment


        • #19
          Charleston rated among the best ballplayers ever in August 1954.

          1954-08-21 Pittsburgh Courier pg 12.jpg




          I found this neat article about Charleston right after he died. The old timer Negro Leaguers sure thought he was better than Willie Mays.

          1954-10-23 New York Age pg 20.jpg
          Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 02-21-2014, 12:05 AM.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

          Comment


          • #20
            Good stuff, HWR! That quote from Honus Wagner in the first of these two articles is real close to the one I saw in the Negro League's Hall of Fame and Museum in KC last May. I have been trying to figure out the exact quote, because I think I saw it somewhere else, too (possibly even in my own baseball collection all over the office), and to be sure it was Wagner talking about Charleston. I am near certain it is Honus calling Oscar Charleston the greatest baseball player he had ever seen, right after saying that Ruth was the best in the majors he had seen.

            Though the quote went the other way (should have just tried to paraphrase it). OK I will try to do that. Honus was asked who was the greatest ballplayer and he said something to the effect that if they meant in the major leagues, it was Ruth. If they meant ever in baseball then he said it would have to be Oscar Charleston.

            Anyone else seen that quote? I know it doesn't really matter, but it has been bugging me the past couple weeks or so when it got brought up.
            "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

            Comment


            • #21
              Yea, but they never saw Bobby Bonds.
              "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


              • #22
                Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                Yea, but they never saw Bobby Bonds.
                Yes, they were deprived of Bonds greatness! I pity them! :hyper:


                Bobby Bonds 2a.jpg
                Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 12-30-2013, 06:29 PM.
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Herr28 View Post
                  Good stuff, HWR! That quote from Honus Wagner in the first of these two articles is real close to the one I saw in the Negro League's Hall of Fame and Museum in KC last May. I have been trying to figure out the exact quote, because I think I saw it somewhere else, too (possibly even in my own baseball collection all over the office), and to be sure it was Wagner talking about Charleston. I am near certain it is Honus calling Oscar Charleston the greatest baseball player he had ever seen, right after saying that Ruth was the best in the majors he had seen.

                  Though the quote went the other way (should have just tried to paraphrase it). OK I will try to do that. Honus was asked who was the greatest ballplayer and he said something to the effect that if they meant in the major leagues, it was Ruth. If they meant ever in baseball then he said it would have to be Oscar Charleston.

                  Anyone else seen that quote? I know it doesn't really matter, but it has been bugging me the past couple weeks or so when it got brought up.
                  Honus must have seen Charleston play in Pittsburgh often. I found lots of Charleston articles in the Pittsburgh Courier.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Lol, I couldn't help it HWR.
                    "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


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                      Lol, I couldn't help it HWR.


                      Charleston was fined $10 for assault. A black man assaults a white man in 1915 gets no jail time and doesn't get lynched? Amazing.

                      1915-12-09 Indianapolis News pg 2.jpg
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Now I know why no one has yet to write a full biography on Charleston's life. I've been scrubbing through newspaper archives and, though, Charleston began his Negro League career in 1915 there is basically nothing in newspapers archives about him until the early 1920's. And The Sporting News, the Bible of Baseball, never once mentioned Charleston in print, even when he died.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          The Sporting News gave little snippets of Negro League Baseball highlights in Caught On the Fly. I've seen Charleston's name in there a few times, but this was in the 1940s.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                            The Sporting News gave little snippets of Negro League Baseball highlights in Caught On the Fly. I've seen Charleston's name in there a few times, but this was in the 1940s.
                            Really? I'll go check that. For some reason when I did a search of the entire TSN archive nothing came up.
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The Indianapolis Freeman June 19, 1915

                              1915-06-19 Indianapolis Freeman-1.jpeg
                              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Yikes. Did you read that article about CFer Vacey Boon drowning? That is terrible.
                                "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

                                Comment

                                Ad Widget

                                Collapse
                                Working...
                                X