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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Artie Wilson

Artie Wilson

Eligible in 1963.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2005 at 02:54 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1661414)
Considered the best NeL shortstop of the forties.
   2. Maury Brown Posted: October 04, 2005 at 03:48 PM (#1661581)
He lives here in Bridgetown. Keep hoping to interview him.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1661599)
YEAR LG AGE POS AVG  OBP  SLG    G   PA   AB    H   TB  BB ops+ sfws
--------------------------------------------------------------------
1944 NL 23  SS .327 .375 .398  143  585  543  178  216  41 118  23.5
1945 NL 24  SS .344 .393 .405  141  577  534  184  217  43 122  25.2
1946 NL 25  SS .340 .388 .411  148  606  562  191  231  44 126  26.4
1947 NL 26  SS .344 .393 .425  154  632  585  202  249  47 117  29.1
1948 NL 27  SS .343 .391 .413  154  632  585  201  242  47 118  28.0
1949 NL 28  SS .297 .348 .338  136  556  516  154  174  40  85  16.5
1950 NL 29  SS .248 .292 .306  152  615  579  144  177  36  57  12.2
1951 NL 30  SS .243 .286 .272  113  400  377   92  103  23  51   7.1
1952 NL 31  SS .286 .319 .292  137  545  520  149  152  25  71  12.2
1953 NL 32  SS .302 .372 .376  151  639  575  174  217  64  96  22.7
1954 NL 33  SS .309 .338 .384  155  614  589  182  226  25  88  21.3
1955 NL 34  SS .272 .309 .318  139  556  527  143  168  29  67  13.1
1956 NL 35  SS .249 .302 .295   93  379  352   87  104  27  62   7.4
1957 NL 36  SS .230 .252 .284   69  269  261   60   74   8  44   3.8
====================================================================
TOTAL          .301 .347 .359 1884 7605 7108 2140 2549 497  91 248.6


The games total would rank him around 30th all-time among SS. Defensively, I've set him up as a very good defender, netting one WS for every 21.5 games played.

I have one methodological issue with this set of MLEs. Wilson left the NgLs after 1948. And that's exactly when he goes off the cliff in the MLEs. I suppose it's possible that his style of game simply played better in the NgLs, but I'm not sure I have enough information to understand whether he's being overrated early in his career or underrated later in his career.

I'm definitely looking for feedback on this one.
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2005 at 04:14 PM (#1661678)
Here's the real-life info on Wilson

NEGRO LEAGUES
                    TM                           
YEAR LG  TM  AGE PO  G   G  AB   H  TB 2B 3B HR SB BB  K  AVG  SLG
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1944 NAL BIR 23  SS 70  65 266  92 113  9  6  0 17       .346 .425 
1945 NAL BIR 24 SS  69  63 249  90 111  8  2  3 17       .361 .446
1946 NAL BIR 25 SS  37   2   4   0   0  0  0  0  0       .000 .000
1947 NAL BIR 26 SS      53 212  79 100                   .373 .473  
1948 NAL BIR 27 SS  76  76 333 134 175 19  8  2 10       .402 .526 
                      
PCL                      
         SD/
1949 PCL OAK 28 SS 187 165 607 211 248 19  9  0 47 62 58 .348 .409 
1950 PCL OAK 29 SS 200 196 848 264 328 27 17  1 31 68 79 .311 .387 
1951 PCL OAK 30 SS 168  81 349  89  99  8  1  0  6 14 36 .255 .284 
1952 PCL SEA 31 SS 180 160 683 216 250 15  8  1 25 35 20 .316 .366 
1953 PCL SEA 32 SS 180 177 638 212 269 23 14  2  9 76 25 .332 .422 
                SS/
1954 PCL SEA 33 IF 162 163 660 222 278 24 16  0 20 32 28 .336 .421 
                2B/
1955 PCL POR 34 1B 172 155 616 189 219 20  2  2 12 34 36 .307 .356 
         SEA/
1956 PCL POR 35 IF 168 101 273  80  97  9  4  0  6 24 19 .293 .355 
1957 PCL SAC 36 2B 168  75 315  83 105 10  6  0  3 11 12 .263 .333 
                2B/
1962 PCL POR 41 3B  25  55   9  11   0  1   0  0          .164 .200                       

AA              
                IF/        
1951 AA  MIN 30 OF 152  17  59  23  33  2  1  2  0 13  8 .390 .559 
                      
NL              SS/        
1951 NL  NY  30 IF 154  19  22   4   4  0  0  0  2  2  1 .182 .182 
                      
INT                      
1951 INT OTT 30 OF 150   2   7   2   3  1  0  0  1       .286 .429                       

NWL                      
1962 NWL KEN 41 2B      14  42   9   9  0  0  0  1       .214 .214 
                      
PRWL                      
1947 PRWL MAY 26 SS 60     252 102 137                   .405 .542 
1948 PRWL MAY 27 SS 80     338 126 163        3  9       .373 .481  
1949 PRWL MAY 28 SS 77     262  87 117                   .332 .445 
1950 PRWL MAY 29 SS 65     232  56  83 10  1  5  2       .241 .358 
   5. KJOK Posted: October 04, 2005 at 04:37 PM (#1661748)
The quality of the PCL during these years may have been quite high, so my first guess would be that the discount used might be a little higher than what it should be.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2005 at 04:54 PM (#1661780)
Here's my discount table for Wilson (really it's standard operating procedure), it's applied to batting average, then to SLG as the square of the discount rate for AVG.

MLB: 100%
PCL, A.A., INT, NgL (ie AAA): 90%
PRWL: 90% until 1949, when it drops to 87.5% (ie AA)
NWL (ie Hi-A): 85%

Does that seem likely/reasonable?

On another note, Gadfly's rsearch from the Beckwith thread suggested that the NAL SLG in 1944 and 1945 were .329 and .340. And in 1947 .388. Contrast that with the NL SLGs of the same period: .376, .377, and .406. In this power-deflated environment, Wilson's slash and dash style would have been of more value than in the NL. Suddenly he goes into the PCL and SLGs go up: 1949-1951: .403, .389, .403 vs. NL's .405, .418, .405. Now in this more normal environment, Wilson's value diminshed considerably.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: October 04, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1661821)
Doc, to me the data suggests strongly that a .402/.526 NAL season in 1948 is equivalent to a .348/.409 season in the PCL in 1949. They were both posted by essentially the same man.

And a slap 'n dash .348 player with 62 BB and 47 SB has a lot of value in any league. He appears to have continued to slap 'n dash.

So, about those conversions....my gut would be NAL 1948 is too high.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1661945)
Hmmm. If 1948 isn't deep enough, then all the NAL discounts aren't deep enough. As the MLEs indicate, in comparison to his league, Wilson was very consistent in the period.

Also, if the NAL discount isn't deep enough, then I'll have to revisit other players that have been previously MLEed. Unless the suggestion is that they aren't deep enough specifically for Wilson because he benefited more than other players from a low-run environment.

Also, his walks in 1949 appear to be somewhat abberational. He appears to typically have walked at a rate about 2/3s that of his 1949 season.
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: October 04, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1662034)
A one-season to next-season comparison is too small a data set on which to base a conversion rate, especially when the player changes leagues between the two seasons.

It's my understanding that for BA/SLG, AAA converts to the majors at a rate of .95/.90; The level of play in AAA was higher than in the NeL. Wilson's stats certainly don't go against this hypothesis.

If Wilson's AAA play is converted to MLEs at that rate, his decline is much less precipitous, although 1950 was surely a bad year for him and the unproductive stint in the majors really hurts his production levels that year.

But 1951 should be instructive to us: if Wilson was performing at an unimpressive level in the minors, why would he get the call-up? The call-up suggests that, if our MLEs for his minor-league seasons don't suggest a potentially good major-league player, the MLEs are probably too low.
   10. Mike Webber Posted: October 04, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1662090)
Chris, The call-up suggests that, if our MLEs for his minor-league seasons don't suggest a potentially good major-league player, the MLEs are probably too low.

I would suggest that players are promoted many times regardless of their MLEs, both now when MLEs are readily available, and especially in 1951 when I'd guess few if any even considered the idea.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2005 at 06:52 PM (#1662107)
I would suggest that players are promoted many times regardless of their MLEs, both now when MLEs are readily available, and especially in 1951 when I'd guess few if any even considered the idea.
Page 1 of 1 pages


Except for a certain child from Kansas, of course. :-D
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: October 04, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1662186)
I didn't say that Wilson was underperforming in '51 or in the minors, but that the conversion for the NAL might be high. There has been talk of the NAL being weaker than the NNL. I don't know if the conversion for both is the same?

Certainly it is possible that Wilson's adjustment to MiL was difficult andhe was better than he looked in '49. OTOH there is nothing going forward to suggest that he then adjusted and got a lot better. The fall off from '48 to '49 just seems extreme.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: October 04, 2005 at 07:19 PM (#1662193)
I would suggest that players are promoted many times regardless of their MLEs, both now when MLEs are readily available, and especially in 1951 when I'd guess few if any even considered the idea.

But MLEs give us a window into what the people who were actually watching the players might have seen in terms of talent. I'm saying that, if the MLEs make it appear that a player has no business being promoted to a (competent) big-league club, and a player was promoted, then there's a reason to question the MLEs, particularly when other testimony already suggests that the conversion rate being used for said MLEs may be too low.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1662204)
OK, before I roll out any more MLEs I need to get a good fix on where the PCL, A.A., and IL are at. I've been systematically translating all AAA-level seasons at 90%. Chris has suggested that the level of discount should be 95%. I've also seen 93% mentioned in the past.

This is but a small adjustment, but it has a quite significant impact even within single seasons, so I want to get the AAA-level discount "correct" before we really home in on Irvin, Clarkson, Wilson (and soon Campy, Davis, Serrell, Marv Williams, and others). I believe that my use of 90% may be creating OVERLY CONSERVATIVE equivalancies, which could be tamping down interest for deserving players. (Note: Brown and Oms are not effected by this, and Trouppe is only slightly effected at most).

So I'm asking for a consensus on AAA-level discount so that I can proceed with more confidence on other Negro League candidates, as well as revisit Bus Clarkson, Artie Wilson, and Monte Irvin.

Incidentally, I believe that it's far more likely my rather arbitrary discount rate for AAA is wrong than is the well-researched (by Chris C.) and oft-discussed (especially by Gadfly) discount rate for the NAL.
   15. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: October 04, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1662205)
He lives here in Bridgetown. Keep hoping to interview him.

You should, he's a terrific guy. One of my 5-10 favorite players of all time.

Here's a piece I did on him several years ago:


THE LAST .400 HITTER
Artie Wilson, once one of America’s great ballplayers, now sells cars in Portland

By Eric Enders

The last .400 hitter is a modest man, and is not used to getting all this attention. “I have to go pretty soon,” he says. “I have some customers coming in. Cars to sell, you know.”

These days Artie Wilson, 79, sells Lincolns at an auto dealership in Portland, Ore., a job he has held for more than 40 years. Few of his customers know that in 1948, their car salesman batted .402 for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League, making him – and not Ted Williams, who accomplished the feat seven years earlier – the last man to bat over .400 in major professional baseball. That few know this does not bother Wilson.

“I still say it doesn’t mean that much,” he says. “I never worried about my batting average, and nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never looked at the newspaper to keep up with my batting average; all I worried about was playing and getting on base.”

With Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies chasing the .400 mark, the holy grail of batting, Williams has received much notoriety as the last to bat .400 in the major leagues. But seldom is it mentioned that the major leagues in 1941, including all the pitchers Williams batted against, were exclusively white. The names of those who have batted .400 in the majors – Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Rogers Hornsby – roll off the tongue with ease, but those who might have done it in the Negro Leagues – Artie Wilson, Oscar Charleston, Spotswood Poles – are less familiar.

“Some might say it doesn’t count because I did it in the Negro Leagues,” Wilson says. “Well, if I hit .400 in the Negro Leagues, I probably would have hit more in the majors, because I’d have gotten better pitches to hit.”

In 1948, when Wilson reached the mark, two major league teams were integrated, but most of the best African-American players still played in leagues that were separate in fame but equal in talent. By then the Negro Leagues were keeping careful statistics in the hopes that it would help them sell their players to major league franchises. The records show that Wilson got 134 hits in 333 at-bats in Birmingham’s 76 official league games. That lofty .402 average made him one of the first Negro League players to be sold, although his sale sparked a dispute between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians over which team had purchased his contract first. The Yankees won the dispute, but lost Wilson when he refused an assignment to the minor leagues.

“They wanted to send me to Newark, but I didn’t want to play for less money than I was making in the Negro Leagues, and I said no way,” Wilson says. “I’d rather stay in the Negro Leagues, knowing what I’d have to go through being in Newark, like what Jackie had to go through. So I turned them down.”

The Yankees’ original scouting report on Wilson and Birmingham teammate Piper Davis, sent to team President Lee MacPhail in 1948, reveals the reasons the franchise didn’t want Wilson on its major league club. “They are both good ball players,” the report reads. “[But] there isn’t an outstanding Negro player that anybody could recommend to step into the big league and hold down a regular job. ... These committees apply the pressure to hire one or perhaps two [black] players. If you hire one or two, they will want you to hire another one.”

After Wilson refused assignment to Newark, his contract was sold to the Pacific Coast League, which fancied itself a third major league, where he became one of the most popular stars in the league’s history. He would eventually play for five different teams in the PCL, collecting 200 hits in five of his six full seasons there. In 1949 with Oakland, he had 264 hits and scored 168 runs, and over his ten-year minor league career amassed 1,609 hits.

“I was strictly a line drive hitter,” says Wilson, a left-handed batter. “Most of my home runs I hit between the outfielders and had to run. I wasn’t able to hit it out of the park, so I let all the big guys behind me do it. I always batted leadoff, and I was there to get on base.”

In the 1940s and ‘50s Wilson was one of the best unknown players in baseball. Although former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda once called him the greatest player who never played in the major leagues, Wilson did get a cup of coffee: 22 at-bats with the New York Giants in 1951. But he was never given the chance to win a regular job with the team, and was used largely as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement before being sent back to the minors.

“I figured I’d get a chance,” he said. “If anybody could make it, I could make it. If I’d gotten with some other club, I’d have been the main shortstop, but the Giants had a tough combination: Alvin Dark at short and Eddie Stanky at second. It’s pretty tough to break into a lineup like that. I was a rookie and didn’t know the club, didn’t know the players. So I just sat there and waited.”

The waiting ended in mid-May of 1951, when the Giants sent Wilson down to make room for a young prospect who was hitting .477 with Triple-A Minneapolis: Willie Mays. Ironically, Mays and Wilson had been teammates with the Black Barons in 1948, the year Wilson hit .400. “Oh, I knew Mays before he was even big enough to play ball,” Wilson says. “He’s from my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve known him all his life.

“They needed a center fielder, and I’d been telling Leo [Durocher, the Giants manager] the whole time to bring Mays up. I wanted to come back to the Coast League because I didn’t want to be sitting on the bench up there – I’ve got to play. So finally one day they said, ‘You still want to go back to the Coast League, and we’ll bring Mays up?’ And I said sure. So I went to Minneapolis and Mays came up to the New York Giants.”

Wilson never made it back to the majors, and his major league career batting average stands at .182: 4 for 22. His lack of success was due in part to an unusual defensive strategy employed against him by the Brooklyn Dodgers, whose manager, Charlie Dressen, had managed Wilson in Oakland. Dressen knew Wilson was an extreme opposite-field hitter, so he shifted most of his defensive players to the left side of the playing field. (Ironically, another batter famous for facing such a shift was Williams, Wilson’s .400-hitting counderpart.) The shift, as Dan Parker wrote in the New York Mirror, made Wilson look “like a hockey player trying to shoot the puck through a netful of fat men wielding snow shovels.”

The Wilson Shift was not a new phenomenon – he had previously faced it, and defeated it, in both the Negro Leagues and the minors – but in 1951, it was successful enough to bring his brief major league trial to an end. Wilson was dispatched to Minneapolis and, soon thereafter, back to Oakland, where he was honored with a floral tribute upon his return. He continued to face the shift and, like Williams, stubbornly refused to change his batting style to combat it.

“They put the shift on, but it didn’t make any difference – I still got base hits,” he says. “They’d play everybody on the left side of the infield, thinking I’d hit that ball to left field. But sometimes the pitcher still let the ball get inside, and if I hit it to right I could walk home. It would be a home run, because nobody would be there to catch the ball in right field. And the fans, even the opposing team I’m playing against, they’d yell, ‘Artie, pull the ball,’ because they wanted to see me run. But I just hit it where they pitched it.”

Though he hasn’t played professionally since 1962, Wilson still follows baseball avidly, rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers. “They gave Jackie a chance to play, and that’s the reason we got a chance to get in there,” he says. “I give Jackie all the praise, and the Dodgers. That’s why I pull for the Dodgers now, even if they lose.”

Wilson also is a fan of Seattle shortstop Alex Rodriguez – “he’s a good shortstop, a smart ballplayer” – and has kept close tabs on Helton’s run at the .400 mark.

“He’s a good hitter,” Wilson says of Helton. “He hits every ball good. I like him because he’s not up there taking balls. If they’re strikes, he’s swinging. If he doesn’t let the pressure get to him, he could do it. He could hit .400.”

For Wilson, who hit .400 in near anonymity, the task is more difficult in today’s game “because every sportswriter, every newspaper, they want to write something about it. If he was like me, I wouldn’t even worry about reading the sports pages. If you’re under pressure to try and hit .400, going after pitches when normally you’d take them, then you start slowing down.”

Although few remember Wilson’s accomplishments today, he bears no grudges. “I’ve never had bad feelings toward anybody; I was just glad to be able to play when I did,” he says. “And I’m thankful to be alive and be able to read about Helton, to see him go for it. If he keeps swinging, you never know.”
   16. Jorge Colon Delgado Posted: October 04, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1662537)
Besides playing with Mayaguez for three season, Artie Wilson saw action with Santurce in 1953-54 and 1954-55 batting .223 and .229 respectively.
That team of 1954 was integrated among others by Willie Mays, Bob Thurman, Roberto Clemente, Buster Clarkson, George Crowe, Sam Jones, Ruben Gomez, Valmy Thomas and Bill Greason. Sadly, Wilson had an accident and didn't finish the season.
   17. Gadfly Posted: October 05, 2005 at 01:52 AM (#1663362)
Doc-

Artie Wilson was born October 28, 1916 (not the 1920 in the Encyclopedias). When he is in the PCL in the 1950s, he is in his decline phase.

Wilson, like Piper Davis, spent his early career in the Birmingham Industrial Leagues.
   18. Brent Posted: October 05, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1663376)
Regarding translation rates for triple-A, my own minor league conversions were based on methods that Bill James published in one of his Abstracts back in the mid-80s, and translate at rates of about 92% for batting, 89% for slugging.

I looked back at some old threads, and Gadfly argued for .95/.89 in one place (Beckwith thread # 123) and .96/? in another (Major league equivalencies thread # 95).

I'd say 90% is too low.

Actually, though, I'm more concerned about park factors. During the 20s and 30s Oaks Ball Park was very much a pitchers' park. (See data posted on the Buzz Arlett thread.) Although I haven't looked at data for the 40s and 50s, I believe that it continued to be a pitchers' park throughout its history. Were park factors applied to the PCL data?

Wilson looks like a much stronger candidate than I had realized, so it's important that we get the translations sorted out.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2005 at 03:40 AM (#1663605)
Regarding translation rates for triple-A, my own minor league conversions were based on methods that Bill James published in one of his Abstracts back in the mid-80s, and translate at rates of about 92% for batting, 89% for slugging.

That's the figures that I remember from one of James' Abstracts.
   20. KJOK Posted: October 05, 2005 at 03:54 AM (#1663616)
Park factors would be something to look at very closely. I don't think I have full PCL stats for those years, but I do have park approximations somewhere.

Also, the PCL was NOT AAA in most of those years - it was "Open" classification, which was more like AAAA. That was partly because the PCL was trying to become the 3rd major league, but it also reflected the reality that the level of competition was higher in the PCL - a lot more MLB-calibre players than the IL, with quite a few former Negro League players like Easter and Wilson...
   21. KJOK Posted: October 05, 2005 at 04:54 AM (#1663645)
Portland and Seattle seem to have been pitcher's parks, but Oakland looks like it was very neutral.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 05, 2005 at 12:53 PM (#1663773)
Brent, I have not applied any park factors.
   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 05, 2005 at 12:57 PM (#1663776)
If Wilson was born in 1916, that completely changes how I see his career. That drop-off that we're seeing is partly the result of too-low AAA conversion rates, and partly a result of his being four years older than previously thought.

A major implication of this 1916 birthdate is that Wilson's rookie year in the NAL is his age 28 season, not his age 24 season.

So the question I have then is how we should consider his pre-NAL career. Does he get MLE credit for it?
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 05, 2005 at 01:05 PM (#1663783)
Here's Wilson's career when his PCL, A.A., and IL seasons are converted at 93% (for avg), and with his corrected birthdate shown.

I chose 93% because it's a little higher than James's 92%, and perhaps a little lower than what the PCL might have been playing at---trying to strike a balance.
YEAR LG AGE PO  AVG  OBP  SLG    G   PA   AB    H   TB  BB ops+ sfws
--------------------------------------------------------------------
1936-1943 ?????
1944 NL 28  SS .327 .375 .398  143  585  543  178  216  41 118  23.5
1945 NL 29  SS .344 .393 .405  141  577  534  184  217  43 122  25.2
1946 NL 30  SS .340 .388 .411  148  606  562  191  231  44 126  26.4
1947 NL 31  SS .344 .393 .425  154  632  585  202  249  47 117  29.1
1948 NL 32  SS .343 .391 .413  154  632  585  201  242  47 118  28.0
1949 NL 33  SS .303 .354 .348  136  557  516  156  180  41  89  17.5
1950 NL 34  SS .252 .297 .316  152  616  579  146  183  37  61  13.2
1951 NL 35  SS .249 .294 .285  113  401  377   94  107  24  57   7.9
1952 NL 36  SS .296 .329 .310  137  546  520  154  161  25  78  13.9
1953 NL 37  SS .313 .383 .399  151  641  575  180  230  66 105  25.4
1954 NL 38  SS .319 .348 .407  155  615  589  188  240  26  97  23.9
1955 NL 39  SS .281 .319 .337  139  557  527  148  178  30  75  14.8
1956 NL 40  SS .257 .311 .313   93  379  352   90  110  28  69   8.5
1957 NL 41  SS .238 .260 .302   69  269  261   62   79   8  51   4.5
====================================================================
TOTAL          .306 .352 .369 1884 7613 7108 2174 2622 506  95 261.8
   25. sunnyday2 Posted: October 05, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1663935)
Clarkson 315 32-26-25/115
Sewell 277 29-29-26/125
Stephens 265 34-32-27/129
Artie Wilson* 262 29-28-26/132
Piper Davis 186 23-23-18/92

*per #24

Clarkson .285-.371-.435/120 in 8500 PAs
Sewell .312-.391-.413/109 in 8000 AB+BB
Stephens .286-.355-.460/118 in 7200 AB+BB
Wilson .306-.352-.369/95 in 7600 PAs
Davis .267-.303-.378/83

Davis' comp is Max Bishop. Wilson's is, well, Stephens or Sewell or Maury Wills. Clarkson's is, well, nobody. Players just don't accum 315 career WS with a 5 year peak of 115. This suggests Bus' grand total is a bit high, though I'm sure there are other interpretations.
   26. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 05, 2005 at 03:41 PM (#1664057)
A la Max Bishop, I see Artie Wilson's modern comp as Luis Castillo sans the good walk rate.
   27. KJOK Posted: October 05, 2005 at 04:57 PM (#1664260)
I think I have to slot Artie W. BEHIND Dick Lundy, which puts him quite a ways out of the top 15.
   28. sunnyday2 Posted: October 05, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1664333)
Wilson clearly behind Lundy, I will have to look and think about Lundy-Clarkson. They seem superficially comparable, not having looked at Lundy's numbers for awhile.
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 05, 2005 at 05:55 PM (#1664431)
I think Clarkson walked a lot more than Lundy, IIRC.
   30. Jeff M Posted: October 29, 2005 at 01:37 PM (#1710325)
Defensively, I've set him up as a very good defender, netting one WS for every 21.5 games played.

That doesn't seem like a good rate to me, or maybe I should say that doesn't produce WS that are normally associated with a good defensive shortstop.

If you assume 8.5 innings played per game, then he gets one WS for every 182.75 innings, or 5.47 WS per 1,000 innings. As HoFers and HoMers go, that gets you about a "C" grade.

I'm not saying that's the wrong rate...I don't know. But I don't think it is a rate that shows a particularly skilled fielder. I think it makes him about average.

Since Riley basically describes him as an excellent fielder, I was thinking more along the lines of 6.25 per 1,000 innings, or in Dr. Chaleeko notation, about 1 WS per 18.8 games.
   31. sunnyday2 Posted: July 10, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2094408)
bump

A better case for representing the lost generation of the '20s (better than Bus Clarkson, that is, considering that Clarkson was born in the '10s) but Wilson has vastly less impressive MLEs.

The question is whether that is a function of a lesser ability, or a function of a diminished opportunity in the twilight years between the golden age of the NeLs and full integration.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:45 PM (#2097059)
UPDATE

Wilson loses a couple points of SLG and AVG when I use the new NgL league averages from the HOF.

old Wilson MLE: .306/.352/.369/95/261.8

new Wilson MLE: .304/.350/.364/93/254.8

Incidentally, I never got back to Jeff M, using 1 WS per 18.8 games yields 267.4 career WS instead of 254.8.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: September 05, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2168191)
>Artie Wilson was born October 28, 1916 (not the 1920 in the Encyclopedias). When he is in the PCL in the 1950s, he is in his decline phase.

This doesn't jive with a playing career from 1944 to 1962 (ages 28-46). 1920 would place his career at 24-42, which seems somewhat more plausible.
   34. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 05, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#2168203)
The one thing I'd like to know more about are Wilson's park factors. A nagging feeling tells me that his OAK and maybe SEA totals have some heavy park illusions in them.

Like Clarkson, Wilson's long term presence in the PCL (that is the highest minor leagues) is a very good point in his favor.
   35. KJOK Posted: September 05, 2006 at 06:52 PM (#2168289)
The one thing I'd like to know more about are Wilson's park factors. A nagging feeling tells me that his OAK and maybe SEA totals have some heavy park illusions in them.

Maybe you missed my earlier post:

"Portland and Seattle seem to have been pitcher's parks, but Oakland looks like it was very neutral."
   36. KJOK Posted: September 05, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2168313)
Artie Wilson was born October 28, 1916 (not the 1920 in the Encyclopedias). When he is in the PCL in the 1950s, he is in his decline phase.

I believe Artie claims 1920 as his birth year.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 05, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2168515)
KJ,

So I'm looking at the PF situation. Looking back at Wilson's PCL seasons....
PCL  
                                                      REL REL  
YEAR LG  TM  AGE PO  G  AB   H HR SB BB  K  AVG  SLG  AVG SLG
-------------------------------------------------------------
         
SD/
1949 PCL OAK 28 SS 165 607 211  0 47 62 58 .348 .409  125 102
1950 PCL OAK 29 SS 196 848 264  1 31 68 79 .311 .387  117 100
1951 PCL OAK 30 SS  81 349  89  0  6 14 36 .255 .284   93  70
1952 PCL SEA 31 SS 160 683 216  1 25 35 20 .316 .366  121  92
1953 PCL SEA 32 SS 177 638 212  2  9 76 25 .332 .422  123 108
                SS
/
1954 PCL SEA 33 IF 163 660 222  0 20 32 28 .336 .421  125 110
                2B
/
1955 PCL POR 34 1B 155 616 189  2 12 34 36 .307 .356  114  92
         SEA
/
1956 PCL POR 35 IF 101 273  80  0  6 24 19 .293 .355  105  86
1957 PCL SAC 36 2B  75 315  83  0  3 11 12 .263 .333   95  83
                2B
/
1962 PCL POR 41 3B  25  55   9  0  0       .164 .200  N/A N/A*
*
I don't have the league averages for the PCL for 1962. 

What facet of his hitting is which of the parks effecting? Is it that Seattle increases SLG? (and maybe average?) Or is that OAK decreses SLG? (and maybe average?)

In the Negro Leagues, Artie Wilson's relative averages were
rel rel
year age avg slg
----------------
1944  23 124 113
1945  24 132 120
1947  26 132 119
1948  27 141 131 

Dock three percent on AVG and nine percent on SLG for the PCL being a high caliber league than the NAL and you get
rel rel
year age avg slg
----------------
1944  23 120 103
1945  24 128 109
1947  26 128 108
1948  27 137 119 


Now incorporate into the PCL years

rel rel
year age avg slg
----------------
1944  23 120 103
1945  24 128 109
1947  26 128 108
1948  27 137 119
1949  28 125 101
1950  29 117 100
1951  30  93  70
1952  31 121  92
1953  32 123 107
1954  33 125 110
1955  34 114  92
1956  35 105  86
1957  36  95  83 


Bingo! Nice fit.

Is Seattle masking his decline? Is Oakland masking some aspect of his peak? (Don't look at 1951, he split it among three or four leagues en route to the Giants.) I think his career arc seems pretty obvious when you look at his key attribute, AVG, but I'm not certain what the 1952-1954 SEA years tell us about either AVG or SLG. I think they say there's puff in his SLG, but the AVG is consistent with previous seasons. Unless Portland (1955-1956) played as a really tough park for hitters, in which case, his decline may be swamped by Portland!

Help!
   38. KJOK Posted: September 06, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2168547)
What facet of his hitting is which of the parks effecting? Is it that Seattle increases SLG? (and maybe average?) Or is that OAK decreses SLG? (and maybe average?)

Without actual Home/Away splits, and without Pitcher 2B and 3B allowed, not sure if this question can be adequately answered. I've been primarily looking at runs and runs allowed to get an approximation for the PCL parks...I'll do some more analysis, and see if I can come up with anything..
   39. sunnyday2 Posted: September 06, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#2168616)
Doc, we ended up with >300 WS for Williams and Clarkson and only about 260-something for Wilson. Do you think that is a fair picture of the 3 of them?
   40. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 06, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#2169037)
Yes, in as much as Wilson has no power at all. I mean none. Above I mentioned Luis Castillo as a comp, and that's why. I think Wilson would have hit for a very fine average (in the .320s probably during his typically good year), but his SLG would have been right around the league average (excluding pitchers that is) and would have been less than that during his 30+ years. At least that's what the MLE process suggests. That 94 OPS+ you see above in the new translation reflects the total lack of power and it's an absolute dead ringer for Luis Castillo's 94 OPS+ through 2005. (This year Castillo's lower walk totals are dragging him down even further. His EQA has dumped 30 points to below average, and we can only assume his OPS+ is going to more southerly climes with it.)

Wilson also didn't have a terribly long career, documented in the NgLs or MiLs only from 1944 to 1957 as best I can tell. He had a brief comeback in 1962, but there's no documentation of him being elsewhere between 1958 and 1962, nor does there seem to be anything about him before 1944, when he'dve been 24. Clarkson started around 1939-1940 and played as long as Wilson did. Williams started in 1944 or 1945 and lasted til about 1961ish.

So that's why I think you see less value: less power + shorter career = less value.

Wilson's defense was surely superior, but I've already given him a very good defensive rating (roughly B to B+) and that's helping him get to the value level you see on this thread. Again, my main concern is park factors. As a guy so reliant on his AVG, parks that effect average a lot will be very important to understanding his case, and even some slight puff or dampening of his slugging could make some difference to our perception of him.
   41. Chris Cobb Posted: September 06, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#2169058)
It looks like Phil Rizzuto is a good ML comp for Artie Wilson.

Advantages for Wilson
More speed
Better batting average
Better consecutive peak

Advantages for Rizzuto
Better plate discipline
Longer career (with war credit)
Better defense ? (We know Wilson was very strong defensively, but we know Rizzuto was great.)

Since Rizzuto is himself at best a borderline candidate, I can't see Wilson as any more than that.
   42. sunnyday2 Posted: September 06, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#2169330)
Well, with WWII credit I've got Rizzuto at 300+ WS to Wilson's 262. But I agree Rizzuto is borderline, so Wilson to me is a non-starter. Glad I took a fresh look, however. Marvin Williams, OTOH, looks like a serious player.
   43. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 06, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2169373)
Well, with WWII credit I've got Rizzuto at 300+ WS to Wilson's 262. But I agree Rizzuto is borderline, so Wilson to me is a non-starter. Glad I took a fresh look, however. Marvin Williams, OTOH, looks like a serious player.

I think that's probably a good approach on Wilson. Unless there's really big park influences in Rickwood Field or in the PCL that actually squash his power and AVG, then I think we have a good sense of him. It was said that in the majors teams used a gigantic reverse-Williams shift on him because he always went the other way. Which by the way is interesting because it suggests that there was advanced scouting on him. I don't know when advanced scouting came along, but this is 1950, the Williams shift must have been around the same time, maybe a couple years before. In 1930, Connie Mack sent Howard Ehmke off to advance-scout the Cubbies before the World Series, as James recounts in the NHBA with a strong suggestion that advance scouting on opponents (as opposed to amatuer/talent scouting) was then a somewhat novel practice. If true, the discipline developed in that interceding fifteen to twenty years between Ehmke and Williams/Wilson...which is <u>very </u>interesting.

Let me float a quick thought out there. How would advanced scouting hurt/help players? Well hitters obviously would be at the greatest disadvantage since their weaknesses and in-play tendencies could be exposed more easily. But wouldn't the value of individual pitchers also decrease relative to their team defense? Let's take two pitchers: Walter Johnson and Ted Lyons. One throws amazingly hard, the other used to, but in the late 1930s and early 1940s doesn't anymore. Who has the advantage facing a hitter against whom he has no scouting, no hard and fast sense of an opponent's tendencies? Hard to say, but Johnson's a better pitcher whose strikeouts keep the balls in play down, which means that a good hitter can't really hit the ball hard into the holes in the defense as easily as against a Lyons who pitches to contact.

OK fastforward into the advanced scouting era. Say the early 1940s. While Johnson may continue to blow people away, Lyons can presumably gain some ground because he now has better information on hitters. He can pitch in ways that maximize the positioning of his defenders. Lyons wants to induce more balls in play because his defense is aligned in ways that cut down each hitter's ability to find the gaps (that is in ways that reduce the natural range of options from which a batter draws his base hits). This could explain why .400 hitters have esentially disappeared (in combination with offensive environment), but it could also suggest that dominators like Johnson could have been brought back to the pack somewhat because their style of pitching didn't necessarily give them a massive advantage over guys who pitch to contact in the area of getting outs that it once did.

Bringing it all back HOM, it's also possible that in bringing the dominators back to the pack and pitching to contact with better scouting, that the dearth of big pitchers in the 1940s-1950s noted by jimd is a combo of not only the war, but the recalibration effect caused by the (r)evolution of advanced scouting.

OK, that's just a theory and an idea that's been kicking around in my head based on a couple loose pieces of information. I figured I'd give it the light of day just in case there might be something to it. Can someone set me straight?
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 15, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2312356)
I thought Artie Wilson would be a good place to start in my mini-quest to go back through the backlog NgLers.

I've applied the method from the Charleston and Johnson MLEs I've recently completed. Since the dataset is different here, I'll tell you the things I did a little differently for Wilson. Incidentally, i was using the old Lester/Clark numbers and game totals, not the new ones.

1) Park Factors: I remember hearing someone (Gadfly?) say that Rickwood Field, Wilson's NgL home park, was really tough. To be conservative I used a .97 pf for his seasons there. For the high minors, however, I figured some home-made pfs using team and league total runs. It required some guesstimating (like pitcher batting and some multi-team situations), but I think it's pretty reasonable. The pfs are five-year regressed factors, by the way, so there's plenty of hedging in them. Here's what I used:

1949 SD/OAK 1.015
1950 OAK 1.08
1951 OAK 1.05
1951 MIN 0.96
1951 NYG 1.01
1951 OTT 0.95
1952 SEA 0.98
1953 SEA 1.00
1954 SEA 1.01
1955 POR 0.92
1956 POR/SEA 0.94
1957 SAC 0.96

2) League R/G were real figures for the PCL since I had the info available, continued to be estimates for the NgL years.

3) Conversion rate: .90 for 1944-1946, 1947-1948 I went with .88, AAA level. The PCL was an open-classified league at this time, with lots of NgLers of MLB caliber, so I used .90 for it. If the group thinks the PCL of that era was as strong as Japan today, then I'll ratchet up to .92.

4) Playing time: This one's always a pain. As noted, I was using the old L/C game and player totals. I decided to use a hybrid of old and new techniques here. I used the ratio of player's games to team's games times 154 to figure out about how many games Wilson would be appearing in for MLE purposes. Then I assumed he would lead off. MLB batted around its order about 4.3 times per game during Artie's career, so I selected that number as my PA/game total for him, applying it directly to the games estimate to get his MLE PA total. You'll see below that it leads to lots of PAs. In previous MLEs, he had six 600 PA seasons, now seven of them, plus several very close to. In total, about 500 more PAs than I'd previously estimated. As always I'm open to ideas on how best to figure this. It's worth noting that Wilson was fairly durable, particularly in his prime years, and that batting leadoff has its advantages.

5) Fielding: Rereading the thread above, I made Wilson's FWS rate approximately 1 per 20 games played. This means he gets about 7.5-8.5 FWS per year as you can see below. This would make him second, third, or fourth each year of his career for a WS Gold Glove (he might win one year). I felt this was appropriately convservative, making him an annual GGer didn't make much sense to me.

6) 1946: still made out of whole cloth, this time using the career-rates model.

In summary: almost identical batter as previously MLEed, a little better fielder, with nearly a season's more PAs based on leadoff-hitter model, but my new WS routine likes him much better than SFWS does in the old one. I think that's because the new routine captures subtleties and contexts much better than SFWS can (it's not really designed to)...and because WS likes playing time.

As is sometimes the case, the MLE process spits out a near-unique result. The profile you see below isn't very much like any player. However, I'd prefer to defer that question until everyone's had a look at the stuff below and decided if the playing time (and any other adjustments) look reasonable or need further adjustments.

Artie Wilson MLE
Re
-eval 1.0

       pa   ab   h    tb  bb sac  sb cs   rc  avg  obp  slg
------------------------------------------------------------
1944  608  562  171  211  37   8  19  6   81 .304 .343 .375
1945  602  556  176  217  38   8  19  6   86 .317 .355 .391
1946  584  542  155  192  35   7  15  5   70 .286 .325 .354
1947  663  612  194  272  42   9  19  6  105 .317 .356 .444
1948  660  610  201  256  41   9  15  4  102 .330 .366 .419
1949  586  527  168  196  51   8  40 12   85 .319 .373 .373
1950  654  603  160  199  43   7  20  6   70 .265 .311 .330
1951  587  544  144  172  36   7  12  4   60 .265 .306 .317
1952  580  546  170  194  25   9  20  6   73 .311 .337 .355
1953  661  581  193  245  71   8   7  2  109 .332 .400 .423
1954  667  629  205  257  29  10  18  6   98 .326 .351 .408
1955  597  558  176  202  31   8  10  3   78 .315 .346 .363
1956  393  360  101  123  28   5   8  2   46 .281 .329 .342
1957  293  281   70   89   9   4   2  1   26 .249 .268 .316
============================================================
     
8135 7511 2284 2826 516 109 225 67 1088 .304 .344 .376

      bws  fws   ws
---------------------
1944 17.1  7.6  24.8
1945 18.1  7.6  25.7
1946 14.8  7.3  22.1
1947 22.2  8.3  30.6
1948 21.7  8.3  30.0
1949 16.8  7.4  24.1
1950  8.8  8.2  17.0
1951  8.0  7.4  15.4
1952 15.0  7.3  22.3
1953 23.2  7.6  30.8
1954 20.0  7.7  27.7
1955 14.5  6.9  21.4
1956  8.2  4.5  12.7
1957  2.7  3.4   6.1
=====================
    
211.2 99.5 310.8

      pa   ab  obp  slg  lgobp lgslg  obp
slgops+
-----------------------------------------------------
1944 608  562 .343 .375  .335  .376   102  100  102
1945 602  556 .355 .391  .343  .377   104  104  107
1946 584  542 .325 .354  .338  .368    96   96   92
1947 663  612 .356 .444  .349  .406   102  109  111
1948 660  610 .366 .419  .343  .398   107  105  112
1949 586  527 .373 .373  .344  .405   109   92  101
1950 654  603 .311 .330  .347  .418    90   79   69
1951 587  544 .306 .317  .341  .405    90   78   68
1952 580  546 .337 .355  .334  .389   101   91   92
1953 661  581 .400 .423  .345  .427   116   99  115
1954 667  629 .351 .408  .345  .424   102   96   98
1955 597  558 .346 .363  .337  .421   103   86   89
1956 393  360 .329 .342  .331  .417    99   82   81
1957 293  281 .268 .316  .332  .416    81   76   57
=====================================================
    
8135 7511 .344 .376  .341  .403   101   93   94 


(Incidentally, I'll be out of town through next Tuesday and not likely checking in very often, so if I don't respond immediately to queries, I'm not ignoring you!)
   45. Al Peterson Posted: November 15, 2010 at 08:10 PM (#3690278)
Artie Wilson passed couple weeks ago. Obit article just got into the Washington Post today.

Artie Wilson, Negro leagues player who hit .400 and mentored Willie Mays, dies at 90
   46. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4374432)
He seems to have really good MLE numbers. Why didn't he get more support?

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