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Monday, August 08, 2005

Bill Wright

Bill Wright

Eligible in 1959.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 10:10 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1530674)
How many people were nicknamed "Wild Bill" after the famous Wild West legend? I know of Donovan (the ML pitcher and OSS chief), Wellman, and now the NeL outfielder. Any others?
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: August 08, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1530845)
Wild Bill Wright Data

From Riley

Born June 6, 1914

Teams: Elite Giants of Nashville (1932-34), of Columbus (1935), of Washington (36-37), of Baltimore (1938-39, 42, 45). In Mexico, 1940-41, 43-44, 46-56

From Holway

1932 .300; cf
1933 .328, rf
1934 .252, 3 3b (5th in league); cf
1935 .298; lf
1936 .356, 7 3b (1st); lf, all-star
1937 .370 (5th), 10 hr (3rd), 29 hr/550 (4th) , 8 2b (2nd), 5 3b (1st); cf, all-star
1938 .273, 5 2b (2nd), 3 sb (1st); cf
1939 .398 (2nd), 4 3b (1st), 2 sb (2nd); lf, all-star
1940 .360 in Mexico, 3rd in ba
1941 .390 in Mexico, 1st in ba, 17 hr (3rd), 24 hr/550 (3rd), 26 sb (1st)
1942 .273, 8 2b (3rd); rf
1943 In Mexico, no data in Holway
1944 In Mexico, no data in Holway (he says no Americans went to Mexico, but he’s incorrect)
1945 .397, 3rd in ba, 5 hr (2nd), 21 hr/550 (2nd), 9 2b (1st); cf, all-star
1946-on All play in Mexico

career
488-1429, .341
11-39, .282 vs. major-league competition
.332 mean avg., including listed Mexican seasons
black/gray ink 13/55

career data from Macmillan 8th
251 g, 915 ab, 287 hits, 33 2b, 21 3b, 20 hr, 22 sb, .314 ba, .461 sa

As with Ray Dandridge, Mexican data will be crucial to an accurate evaluation of Wright.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 09, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1532202)
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2005 at 03:37 PM (#1532269)
I forgot about Hallahan, Ivan, though I shouldn't have because he's probably more famous than Donovan.
   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 12, 2005 at 04:10 AM (#1540981)
Mexican League Info for Wild Bill Wright.

                                     LG   LG  LG
YEAR TEAM     G   AB  AVG  OBP  SLG AVG SLG  OBP OPS+
------------------------------------------------------
1940 SR/MX   87  350 .360 .436 .571 .290 .420 .379 151
1941 MEX    100  387 .390 .486 .633 .288 .396 .390 184
1943 MEX     88  352 .366 .419 .577 .273 .367 .366 172
1944 MEX     87  334 .335 .410 .539 .284 .387 .380 147
1946 MEX     85  316 .301 .369 .434 .281 .381 .362 116
1947 MEX     79  249 .305 .359 .414 .278 .366 .363 112
1948 MON     66  258 .333 .377 .419 .273 .378 .364 114
1949 MEX/TOR 73  293 .276 .333 .416 .276 .369 .370 103
1950 MEX     63  248 .302 .364 .375 .260 .335 .361 113
1951 MEX/NUE 30  104 .365 .416 .558 .272 .367 .384 160
======================================================
     TOTAL  758 2891 .335 .402 .501 .279 .379 .372 140

MEXICAN LEAGUE CAREER RELATIVE AVERAGES
AVG+ = 120
OBP+ = 108
SLG+ = 132
OPS+ = 140


Some quick notes:
1) Wright was born in 1914, per Riley and confirmed by Cisneros, so these seasons represent his age 26-37 seasons.

2) I do not have any park factors available for these seasons, so you're seeing unadjusted numbers.

3) The AVG and SLG for each season are based on pitcher-excluded batting totals, as are the OBP data for seasons 1939 and 1948-1951. Due to time constraints (I'm going to a wedding and moving in the next five days) I used BB data that was already available in the Re-eval NgL Pitchers thread, basing my calcultions on BB/H because it proves easier to use that combo than any others when I have to extrapolate walk rates into NgL seasons.

Sadly due to my traveling and moving, I'll have ask Chris Cobb or someone else to complete Wright's translation. I'd like to have done it myself, but I just won't have time. This should at least give a good start.
   6. KJOK Posted: August 12, 2005 at 05:56 AM (#1541038)
Wright is another player that has some detailed battings stats in "The Negro Leagues Book" so I'll try to get them posted into the egroup also.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: August 13, 2005 at 06:14 PM (#1543889)
Well, this is frustrating--I mean, trying to compare Willard Brown and Bill Wright. Consider:

• Despite being born only 3 years apart, they played in the NeLs contemporaneously only from 1936 to 1939 and in 1942 (by year).

• Brown was 3 years older and yet Wright started play in the NeLs a full 4 years earlier. So Wright's NeL record is age 18-28, Brown's age 25-38. Except that Wright skipped age 26 and 27 (in MxL) so the only years that they have in common by age are age 25 and 28, and one was Brown's rookie season and the other an anomolously (if that's a word) bad season for Wright.

• Still for their NeL careers Brown has a .348-.341 edge in BA and the evidence suggests that he hit with significantly more HR power, though not necessarily with any more 2B and 3B power. Don't know yet who was the better fielder and baserunner though there are clues that both were good on both counts.

• Then aside from the general lack of synchronicity in their NeL careers, Brown played a lot in Puerto Rico and hardly at all in Mexico, while Wright never played in PR but played a ton in Mexico.

• Except they both played in MxL in 1940 and '41 and Wright stomped all over Brown, hitting .390 and .360 while Brown hit .354 and .256, for one of his worst seasons ever anywhere.

Of course Wright isn't eligible until 1959, so why worry? Well, getting the two squared away will help with Brown, who is eligible in 1958. IOW if both end up looking a lot like Suttles (and Brown does, frankly), then I will have to wonder if maybe the competition was declining pretty substantially and both should be discounted. If one looks like Suttles and the other like, say, Heavy Johnson, when all is said and done, I'll feel more comfortable supporting the one and not the other.

Right now Brown looks suspiciously like a HoMer (trending toward maybe #8 or 9 on my ballot) and Wright does in fact look a little more like Heavy Johnson to me (trending toward the 20s or 30s with Oms), but that is not yet a highly informed opinion.
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: August 13, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1544045)
Brown was 3 years older and yet Wright started play in the NeLs a full 4 years earlier.

Gadfly has reported that Brown's birthyear in Riley is wrong. He was born in 1915, not 1911. So he's actually a year younger than Wright, rather than 3 years older.
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: August 13, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1544051)
Except they both played in MxL in 1940 and '41 and Wright stomped all over Brown, hitting .390 and .360 while Brown hit .354 and .256, for one of his worst seasons ever anywhere.

Gadfly also reported that the 1941 MxL season of hitting .256 belonged to another player named Brown (can't remember who off the top of my head -- it's on the Willard Brown thread). Willard Brown did not play in Mexico in 1941.
   10. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1563214)
bump
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:07 PM (#1563219)
bump

Hadley?

Wills?

:-)
   12. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 25, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1572840)
Finally got time to round these out. Thanks again to KJOK for the help with the scans!

WILD BILL WRIGHT MLEs

Same process as the previous few batches of MLEs, but more straightforward because Wright didn't play too much ball in the winter and his record didn't appear very fragmentary.

These MLEs are normalized to his own league for the Mexican seasons and selected NNL years, but are otherwise pegged simply to the NL average. In addition, there are no park adjustments. Conversion rates are .90/.82 through 1948, then .875/.76 thereafter. As I mentioned with Dandridge, the absence of leaguewide AVG and SLG data, and my consequent choice to peg Wright's numbers to NL league data instead, may cause some dampening of his numbers for those seasons. Or perhaps it causes inflation? Not sure, but I hope it's not too large of a distortion.

Wright played several ineffecutal seasons from age 18-21, none of which are included in this MLE because they seem to be essentially minor- league-type seasons. In addition, the available data suggests Wright took a few years off after the 1952 season then returned in 1955 for a couple years in a Mexican league about which I have no data. I ended his career at age 38 after the 1952 season.

YEAR LG AGE POS  avg  obp  slg   g    ab    h   tb  bb   pa OPS+ WS
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1936 NL  22  OF .304 .346 .443   72  252   77  111  16  268 111   9.5
1937 NL  23  OF .369 .417 .574  109  380  140  218  31  411 167  25.9
1938 NL  24  OF .284 .329 .504  154  539  153  272  35  574 126  22.3
1939 NL  25  OF .364 .414 .464  126  441  160  205  38  479 135  23.1
1940 NL  26  OF .304 .364 .436  141  494  150  215  47  540 120  19.5
1941 NL  27  OF .288 .354 .425  152  533  154  227  54  587 119  19.4
1942 NL  28  OF .267 .318 .307  141  494  132  152  37  531  83   9.0
1943 NL  29  OF .320 .366 .463  152  533  170  247  39  572 139  23.2
1944 NL  30  OF .285 .340 .429  149  521  148  224  44  565 116  18.1
1945 NL  31  OF .335 .387 .457  154  539  180  247  46  585 134  25.1
1946 NL  32  OF .254 .314 .344  135  472  120  162  42  514  86  10.0
1947 NL  33  OF .271 .317 .377  102  358   97  135  24  382  83   9.1
1948 NL  34  OF .295 .334 .362  120  419  124  151  24  443  88  11.2
1949 NL  35  OF .236 .275 .347  137  480  113  167  26  506  66   8.0
1950 NL  36  OF .274 .322 .356  118  414  114  147  29  443  78   9.9
1951 NL  37  OF .314 .352 .468   56  197   62   92  12  209 119   8.2
1952 NL  38  OF .291 .345 .377   62  217   63   82  18  234 100   6.4
=====================================================================
TOTAL           .296 .347 .419 2080 7282 2157 3052 562 7844 111 257.8


I think that Wright's SLG may be coming in a little low, though I think .419 is closer than .519. Wright appears to have been a line-drive hitter rather than a big-fly guy, though that could be a context of his home parks as well.

I'm linking him with Manush or Cuyler mentally as corner outfielders who hit for good average, didn't walk much but had a good enough eye enough to keep pitchers honest, and who wielded gap power. Speedwise, he was probably faster than Manush, but not as fast as Cuyler.

Does that seem about right to everyone? As ever, your feedback is much appreciated.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: August 25, 2005 at 07:20 PM (#1573020)
That looks about right to me. The slugging seems a bit low, but when I did some preliminary work on Wright, the slugging numbers I was getting seem a bit low, so your conversions are not getting anything that mine didn't.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 25, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1573094)
Thanks, Chris!

I think at this point, we've at least got a working MLE for the major currently eleigible NgL hitters coming up for election through 1959.

I'm going to post revised numbers on Trouppe and Dandridge when I get a chance, and perhaps take a second crack at Easter as well.

But it's enough to keep the discussions flowing on these guys.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: August 25, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1573148)
Wright 258/26-23-23/109

Manush 285/35-28-27/128
Cuyler 292/34-29-26/116

Not quite? How about (among corner fielders)...

Gary Matthews 257/25-24-23/101 (total differential of 9)
Dusty Baker 245/24-23-22/99 (26)
Willie Horton 234/28-21-20/105 (31)
Del Ennis 233/27-26-26/112 (35)
Greg Luzinski 247/30-28-27/121 (35)

Ken Griffey, Sr. 259/25-25-23/111 (4)
Tony Phillips 268/25-23-23/109 (11)
Paul O'Neill 248/28-26-23/117 (23)
George Hendrick 237/28-21-21/107 (25)
Wildfire Schulte (239/31-26-24/110 (29)
Wally Moses 237/28-21-21/102 (30)
Felipe Alou 241/32-28-25/108 (31)

Also Wright .296/.347/.419/111

Ken Griffey Sr. .296/.359/.431/118
Gary Matthews .281/.364/.439/116
Tony Phillips .266/.374/.389/109
Paul O'Neill .288/.363/.470/121
George Hendrick.278/.329/.446/117
Dusty Baker .278/.347/.432/116
Wildfire Schulte .270/.332/.395/114
Wally Moses .291/.364/.416/109

Put Schulte in a higher run environment and you might have your man. Or maybe Dusty Baker or Wally Moses. Otherwise a lot of his WS comps seem to be a lot more OB oriented.
   16. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2376576)
1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 06:19 PM (#1530674)
How many people were nicknamed "Wild Bill" after the famous Wild West legend? I know of Donovan (the ML pitcher and OSS chief), Wellman, and now the NeL outfielder. Any others?

3. Ivan Grushenko of HK in Seattle Posted: August 09, 2005 at 11:10 AM (#1532202)
Wild Bill Hallahan
4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2005 at 11:37 AM (#1532269)
I forgot about Hallahan, Ivan, though I shouldn't have because he's probably more famous than Donovan.


Wild Bill Hutchison.
I wonder whether they nicknamed him Wild Bill before 1893 when he could not find the plate from 60'6
Or was every pitcher nicknamed Bill nicknicknamed Wild Bill?

Wild Bill Wright dnp mlp so he is not covered at baseball-reference. There search for 'Wild Bill' hits twelve ballplayers reportedly nicknamed Wild Bill, of whom pitchers Hutchison, Donovan, and Hallahan are most famous. The most recent are Pierro 1950 and Connelly 1953, whose brief mlb pitching records are most notable for their very high BB rates. At least under mlb conditions, they were Wild Bills indeed.

Bill Everitt played first base. Wild Bill Wright, too, was not a pitcher. (Granted, he may have been nicknicknamed as a young of occasional pitcher.) If the non-pitchers were named after Hickock on grounds related to Wild in the ordinary uncivilized or anti-social sense, theirs must be better stories than the poor pitchers provide, if not historically so instructive as Bill Hutchison's world turned upside down in the winter of 1893.
   17. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 12:13 AM (#2376585)
he may have been nicknicknamed as a young or occasional pitcher
Wild Jose Canseco? No, we live in a different world.
   18. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 12:34 AM (#2376678)
make that Bill Hickok
The biographical Wikipedia "Wild Bill Hickok" is interesting. I guess he considered the nickname an improvement on Duck Bill.

JTM, see also Wikipedia "Wild Bill"
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2007 at 11:42 AM (#2377174)
Thanks, Paul.
   20. burniswright Posted: December 10, 2007 at 10:52 AM (#2639842)
Since I have taken this guy as my screen name, I'm going to stick in a couple of comments here.

Yes, Burnis Wright absolutely got the "Wild Bill" nickname from being a youthful pitcher. My own tendency to call him by his proper name comes from what I consider to be the unfortunate double meaning of "Wild Bill." If anybody was not an outlaw-type personality, it was Wright: he was as gentlemanly as ballplayers ever get.

One quick anecdote illustrates the point. Bonnie Serrell, a very promising young kid on the '42 KC Monarchs, had had a total nightmare experience in the PCL under Lefty O'Doul. It's no exaggeration to say that Serrell literally fled to Mexico--his experience in white baseball was that bad. Wright not only secured him a spot on a Mexican roster, he took him into his home and made sure the kid had a chance to rehabilitate his psyche as well as his playing skills.

As to evaluating Wright, I'm not a sabermetrics guy, so I will go with Eric's numbers in post 12. But some of the comparisons that are subsequently suggested are way off the mark. Wright was, as Riley says, a five-point player. He had terrific speed and an outstanding outfield arm. He certainly didn't have Willard Brown's homerun numbers, but he did have substantial power, so the Cuyler and Moses comparisons are not apt.

And stylistically, it would be hard to find ballplayers as far removed from Wright as those two plodders: Suttles and Oscar Johnson. Wright was lightning-fast in all phases of the game. Apropos sunnyday2's post 7, both Wright and Brown had excellent footspeed, but Wright was a better base stealer, and was a far superior defensive outfielder. And while his plate discipline wasn't anything special, he wasn't totally allergic to the notion of taking a BB, the way Brown was.

While I'm off the subject, a possible blackball/modern comp might be Brown and Canseco. Both men had all the tools to excel in every phase of the game, but didn't fully use them. One suspects--in both cases--that they spent an awful lot of time in the outfield thinking about their next AB.

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