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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bill Dickey

Bill Dickey

Eligible in 1952.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2005 at 10:54 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1339324)
The greatest catcher of the thirties not named Gibson.
   2. karlmagnus Posted: May 16, 2005 at 12:03 PM (#1339923)
Or Hartnett
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2005 at 01:34 PM (#1339980)
Or Hartnett

Hartnett is damn close, which is surprising since I always thought most of his value occurred during the twenties. Not even close.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: May 16, 2005 at 01:56 PM (#1340008)
For the record, I still (i.e. as of 1952) see Hartnett as #2 after Gibson. More consistent, more great years than Cochrane or Dickey, though for peak value I would take Mickey.

More to the point (in 1952), however, no way does Dickey threaten Gibson or Ott. But like Cronin, he looks like a slam dunk in year 2.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: May 16, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1340119)
A little overrated, like Cronin.
Significant career basically 1929-39, often did not reach 500 PA.
That said, he's an easy HOMer given his excellent peak and a half-dozen 120ish OPS+s as a catcher, which is really good. I just think he's rated remarkably high, and he's not quite that.

On a scale of 1 to 10, he's an 8 who is rated as a 9. I voted Cronin in fairly quickly, and will do the same with Dickey. Not sure if he'll get No. 3 on my ballot, though - leaning that he does, so far.
   6. Carl G Posted: May 16, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1340129)
Dickey's a 1st Ballot HoMer in alot of years. Unfortunately, 1952 is not 1 of them. I might have rated Dickey ahead of Cronin had he retired a year earlier, but I think they are close.
   7. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1340187)
often did not reach 500 PA

The rub on Dickey (at least when comparing with Cochrane/Hartnett when discussing levels of greatness) has been that he was platooned.

Part of this isn't fair as it just makes sense for LHB-catchers to time their days off the team is facing LHP's. Its better for the regular and its better for the RHB-backup.

Still, Dickey's playing time is a bit lower than Cochrane or Berra (also lefties).
   8. Michael Bass Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:13 PM (#1340302)
Better than Cochrane on career length, I'd say (and his peak is at the worst almost as good as Mickey's). Better than Hartnett on peak (his career is slightly, but not all that much, worse than Gabby's).

I'd rank them

1. Dickey
2. Hartnett
3. Cochrane

Best white catcher since I've been voting (era adjustment would be a #####, but Deacon White would be in the mix, I suspect). And he's still getting #3 on my ballot...and only the second best catcher on the ballot! Whatta bum!
   9. dan b Posted: May 23, 2005 at 12:43 PM (#1355528)
In years like this, when we know the outcome before the first ballot is cast, it would be fun to have a side poll. Who was best – Cochrane, Hartnett or Dickey? Using WS, the order is the same for WS/162, 3 best years, 8 best years, best 5 consecutive and best 10 consecutive seasons:
1.Cochrane
2.Dickey
3.Hartnett
Ranking by career value depends on how much war credit/discount is given to Dickey. On the ballot discussion thread, the Immoral Mr. Enders writes of Dickey “Ranks 14th all-time in estimated innings caught, although it’s hard to tell to what extent his career was artificially extended by WWII.” He led AL catchers in WS in 1941 and also led in 1942 when only one regular catcher from 1941 was off to war (Pytlak of Boston). Dickey played in 221 games after the war started (beginning at age 35.) Games played beginning age 35 by comparable catchers (from BaseballReference.com) – Hartnett 517, Lombardi 472, Fisk 1190, Santiago 505, Berra 393, Parrish 332, Cooper 594 suggest that there should have been plenty left for Dickey, i.e. contrary to Eric’s speculation that the war extended his career, the war cost him playing time. It is unlikely he would have gone from the most productive catcher in the league to a seldom used benchwarmer in one season.
I discount 1943 by 5%, 1944 and 1945 by 10%. I give Dickey credit for 13.3 WS in 1944 and 9 WS in 1945 - this reflects a straight-line decline from his adjusted 1943 to his 1946 totals. With war credit, career rankings:
1.Dickey
2.Hartnett
3.Cochrane
Without war credit, Hartnett would be #1.
Using a 50% career/50% peak composite ranking, I wind up with:
1.Dickey
2.Cochrane
3.Hartnett
Without WWII credit, Dickey and Cochrane would be in a dead heat. I favor acknowledging a player’s lost chance to play with war credit, so my vote would be for Dickey.
   10. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 23, 2005 at 12:54 PM (#1355537)
I have a peak heavy system so I would pick Cochrane first. After that it is close, Hartnett has the better (i.e. longer) prime but Dickey has a bit better peak if I recall. Again, the ocmputer with my spreadsheets is not this one so I am trying to do this by memory.

1. Cochrane
2. Dickey
2a. Hartnett

Is that cheating?
   11. TomH Posted: May 23, 2005 at 01:03 PM (#1355542)
I'd be more than a bit nervous if some heaven's-gate-guarding angel asks me to answer this one. After Josh Gibson, the next best catchers all-time appear to be the trio of Bench, Berra, and Piazza. After that, it's a real tough choice for #5: the three above are all candidates, as are Campy, Carter and Fisk.
If forced to choose, I'd put Hartnett last; his poor post-season play doesn't help in a tie-breaker. I'll put Dickey over Cochrane but that's really more of a career-value choice and it could easily be argued the other way.

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