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  • Solly Hemus? Wow!

    When I was a kid, I was the only Cardinal fan in my town. Everybody's favorite player was Mantle, or Mays. When they asked me my favorite, I sorta looked at the ground and mumbled Solly Hemus, and prepared for the round of laughter and jibes. We didn't know about WAR in those days, or I'd have had a comeback. That was the early 50s, and here are the Cardinals Hall-of Famer WAR totals 1951-54:

    Musial 32.6
    Hemus 20.4
    Schoendienst 19.1
    Slaughter 9.9,(gone in '54)

    Wait a minute. Solly Hemus had a higher WAR than Schoendienst and Slaughter over four years, at the peaks of their careers? Well, what happened to him, then?

    Well in 1954 the geniuses that ran the team (and had just traded Slaughter for Raschi and would soon trade Virdon and Moon for DelGreco and Cimoli), decided that Alex Grammas was the shortstop of the future. So Hemus was sent to the bench, then traded to the Phillies, while Grammas struggled to get his WAR up to a skinny digit.

    So, looking for a uniform number to retire? Try #7. No, not Matt Holliday. whose WAR in 8 years with the Cards is only 22.7, barely above Hemus' for four years. In fact, Hemus, in 1952, had a higher WAR than ANY Cardinal in 2015. Batting .268 with 52 RBIs and one stolen base.

    And, yes. Solly Hemus really was my favorite player when I was in junior high school.

  • #2
    In fairness to Holliday, 2009 was 1/3 of a season and 2016 is 2/3 of a season and he missed half of 2015. So really about 6.5 seasons. 23 WAR in 6.5 seasons is still really, really good, considering he has been in his 30's for all of it.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by jtur88 View Post
      When I was a kid, I was the only Cardinal fan in my town. Everybody's favorite player was Mantle, or Mays. When they asked me my favorite, I sorta looked at the ground and mumbled Solly Hemus, and prepared for the round of laughter and jibes. We didn't know about WAR in those days, or I'd have had a comeback. That was the early 50s, and here are the Cardinals Hall-of Famer WAR totals 1951-54:

      Musial 32.6
      Hemus 20.4
      Schoendienst 19.1
      Slaughter 9.9,(gone in '54)

      Wait a minute. Solly Hemus had a higher WAR than Schoendienst and Slaughter over four years, at the peaks of their careers? Well, what happened to him, then?

      Well in 1954 the geniuses that ran the team (and had just traded Slaughter for Raschi and would soon trade Virdon and Moon for DelGreco and Cimoli), decided that Alex Grammas was the shortstop of the future. So Hemus was sent to the bench, then traded to the Phillies, while Grammas struggled to get his WAR up to a skinny digit.

      So, looking for a uniform number to retire? Try #7. No, not Matt Holliday. whose WAR in 8 years with the Cards is only 22.7, barely above Hemus' for four years. In fact, Hemus, in 1952, had a higher WAR than ANY Cardinal in 2015. Batting .268 with 52 RBIs and one stolen base.

      And, yes. Solly Hemus really was my favorite player when I was in junior high school.
      Solly Hemus, age 93 years and 3 1/2 months, is the fourth oldest living St Louis Cardinal and the second oldest living Philadelphia Phillie, but if you are a big Solly Hemus fan. you probably already knew that.

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      • #4
        WAR is a purely useless stat that saber guys use to prove how much smarter they are than the rest of us. This proves it. In the fours years mentioned Schoendinst line was .312/.364/.439 while averaging 36 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR while Hemus was .279/.397/.421 with 23/8/8. So Hemus is more valuable because he had 312 walks to 191 for Red even though Red had 733 hits to 499 for Hemus and Hemus did not have as many doubles. Only WAR can say a walk is better than a hit.

        Hemus was replaced by Alex Grammas in 1954 and his numbers really fell off.

        Bob Gibson also cited Hemus as holding him back when he was manager because of racist issues. He told Gibson it would do him no good to attend their pitchers meetings. “The bad news was that my performance would be judged by the Cardinals’ overmatched new player-manager, a utility infielder named Solly Hemus. … (His) treatment of black players was the result of one of the following. … Either he disliked us deeply or he genuinely believed that the way to motivate us was with insults. … He told me, like he told Curt Flood, that I would never make it in the majors. … I made the team in 1959, but Hemus had me convinced that I wasn’t any damn good and, consequently, I wasn’t. …” All that changed when Johnny Keane took over as manager.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Whoman69 View Post
          WAR is a purely useless stat that saber guys use to prove how much smarter they are than the rest of us. This proves it. In the fours years mentioned Schoendinst line was .312/.364/.439 while averaging 36 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR while Hemus was .279/.397/.421 with 23/8/8. So Hemus is more valuable because he had 312 walks to 191 for Red even though Red had 733 hits to 499 for Hemus and Hemus did not have as many doubles. Only WAR can say a walk is better than a hit.

          Hemus was replaced by Alex Grammas in 1954 and his numbers really fell off.

          Bob Gibson also cited Hemus as holding him back when he was manager because of racist issues. He told Gibson it would do him no good to attend their pitchers meetings. “The bad news was that my performance would be judged by the Cardinals’ overmatched new player-manager, a utility infielder named Solly Hemus. … (His) treatment of black players was the result of one of the following. … Either he disliked us deeply or he genuinely believed that the way to motivate us was with insults. … He told me, like he told Curt Flood, that I would never make it in the majors. … I made the team in 1959, but Hemus had me convinced that I wasn’t any damn good and, consequently, I wasn’t. …” All that changed when Johnny Keane took over as manager.
          WAR doesn't say walks are better than hits. The WAR that you referenced says an average walk is worth about .3 runs and an average hit is worth about .8 runs. WAR says a walk is better than an out. And they are right about that. Hemus had a much better OB% and a comparable slugg%. To find why one had more WAR...we'd have to see who ran better and who fielded better, etc. Its not even close to just being about a slash line. The only person I have ever heard say a walk was as good as a hit are little league coaches.
          Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 11-01-2016, 04:34 PM.
          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

          Comment

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