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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Dobie Moore

Bill James’ #4 all-time Negro League SS. Post all things Dobie Moore here.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:46 AM | 233 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:48 AM (#772911)
Moving this to hot topics.
   2. Michael Bass Posted: August 03, 2004 at 01:55 PM (#773070)
I can't add much to the discussion of his merit, but the story of how his career ended from NBJHA is worth sharing for those who don't have it.

"Moore's career ended prematurely when he was shot by his girlfriend while jumping out the window of a whorehouse. He had some sort of quarrel with the girlfriend, who apparently ran the brothel; she claimed that he hit her three times in the face, while he said, plausibly enough, that if he had hit her three times she wouldn't have been able to go get the gun. Anyway, his leg was fractured so badly that it ended his career."

James is very high on his hitting, but doesn't mention his fielding. I might take that to assume he wasn't anything special with the glove, but other sources may say differently.
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:41 PM (#773555)
Here's what I have on Dobie Moore. i9s hasn't projected him, so we're on our own with developing MLEs. However, data for him in Holway in much more complete than for pre-1920s players. For several of his best seasons, it's possible to work out a nearly complete batting line. Without further ado:

Dobie Moore Data
Nickname “The Black Cat”

From Riley
“a superb fielder with outstanding range and a terrific arm”
1924 hit .453, led league in doubles, with 10 hr and .694 slugging %
Played ball in the army for the 25th Infantry team
1920-21 hit .274 and .264
1922 hit .385
1923 hit .365
1925 hit .325
1926 hit .381 in partial season before his career-ending injury

.365 lifetime avg.
.356 avg. in Cuban Play

Holway Data

Seasonal Totals
1920 .306 for KC Monarchs; Holway all-star
6-14 (.429) vs. major-league competition
1921 .372 for KC Monarchs; Holway all-star appx. 242 ab so 90 hits, 11 HR (5th in league), 19 doubles (3 in league) est. 5 triples for a .628 slugging percentage (home ball park was a hitters park, 3 of top 6 in HR were Monarchs)
1922 .406 for KC Monarchs (4th in league and 4th on Monarchs!); Holway all star; appx. 360 ab so 146 hits, 17 HR (3rd in league), 22 doubles (4th in league), est. 5 triples for a .636 slugging percentage.
2-4 vs. major-league competition
1923 .315 for KC Monarchs; Holway all star
.386 in Cuban Play
1924 .356 for KC Monarchs; Holway all star; in appx. 306 ab, so 109 hits, 18 HR, (4th in league), 24 doubles (1st in league), 9 triples (4th in league), for slugging % of .670
12-49 in World Series vs. Hilldale
1925 .333 for KC Monarchs; Holway all star, 25 doubles, 13 triples (2nd & 1st in league, respectively)
4-29 in playoff vs. St. Louis
8-22 in World Series vs. Hilldale

Career Totals
12-38 vs. major-league competition
50 HR in 1760 career at bats (15/550 AB)
625-1760 (.355) lifetime against negro-league competition
top three seasons hit .380 and slugged .645

He was quite a player.
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#773628)
Chris, based on these numbers, what sort of WS numbers would you estimate Moore putting up in MLB? Or more to the point, I see him, because of his short career, as like Jennings, but I suspect I'm dramatically overestimating him just based on this loose mental association. What player might you compare him to instead to give us a sense of what sort of offensive performer he was?
   5. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#773629)
Is the 6 years (1920-1935) all there is, or all that we have records of?
   6. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:32 PM (#773682)
Is the 6 years (1920-1925) all there is, or all that we have records of?

That's all there is, at least in organized baseball. A little more detail on the Moore biography from _Cool Papas_ --

"Moore was born in Georgia in 1893 and joined the U.S. Army sometime around 1911. He eventually became a member of the famed 25th Infantry Division baseball team, a team that dominated the amateur sports world during the teens. The 25th included a number of players who would eventually leave the Army to play professional baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs. There was pitcher Bullet Joe Rogan, first baseman Lemuel Hawkins, second baseman Bob Fagan, and outfielders Oscar "Heavy" Johnson and Hurley McNair.

"Moore was considered to be a good soldier during his 10-year military career. And he was already a sensational all-around ballplayer with a deadly bat and a trusty glove. The 25th served with honor in Hawaii from 1913 to 1918, then moved on the Fort Huachuca, Arizona, near the Mexican border. After Casey Stengel played an exhibition game against the 25th in 1919, he recommended Moore and several other players to J.L. Wilkinson, owner of the Monarchs. In 1920, Dobie Moore and Joe Rogan bought their way out of the army and became professional baseball players."

It's imaginable that there are records of the 25th Infantry Division baseball team somewhere, but I have no knowledge of them.

The question for Moore, then, is, how much credit do you want to give him for playing baseball in the army from possibly as early as 1913, through 1919? This question will arise for Joe Rogan as well (he was 30 when he left the army and joined the Monarchs) and maybe Heavy Johnson as well.

With no additional information, I'm inclined to give him three seasons worth of major-league average credit for his army years, which would cover his age 24-26 seasons. There may be more info out there that would clearly justify either more or less credit.
   7. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:51 PM (#773719)
What player might you compare him to instead to give us a sense of what sort of offensive performer he was?

It's hard to make a clear comparison, because the pattern of Moore's data is different from what a player in major-league baseball would put up. His slugging percentage is higher, relative to his batting average, than it was for major-league hitters. So I'm not sure how to adjust him -- I think his batting average ought to be reduced by a smaller factor than his slugging percentage.

With that caveat in place, I set his career BA/SLG major-league equivalent at

.300 career batting avg., .510 slugging

This is better than any contemporary shortstop; his nearest offensive equivalent is probably Frankie Frisch during Frisch's peak, 1921-27. Moore was, I suspect, a little bit better than Frisch at his peak. Definitely a better power hitter, and probably a more valuable fielder, since he was an excellent defensive shortstop where Frisch was an excellent defensive second baseman.

Thus, Moore would not have been one of the top 5 hitters at the time, but with his defensive value he might have been among the top 5 position players a couple of times during his brief but brilliant career. This is not quite as high as Jennings was.

If he had a full career consistent with these 6 1/2 years, he would be an obvious hall of famer, just like Frisch will be, but with just 6 1/2 years, he may not have quite enough.

My win share estimates, adjusted to 162 games and including my own (+10%) defensive adjustment to win shares, for the record, are presently as follows:

1920 24
1921 34
1922 36
1923 26
1924 31
1925 28
1926 15 (part season)

194 total

I'd welcome other analyses of Moore's career -- this is what I have, so far, based on the data posted above.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#773749)
Thank you, Chris, that really helps me get a much clearer image of him.
   9. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:07 PM (#773759)
I don't know. It seems to me that if you join the army and play baseball there, that's a decision you make just like going to work at a company and play on their softball team. Of course, it might have been Moore's best career move, but unless you were drafted, I don't see giving credit for playing part-time while you've got a full-time job doing something else.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:07 PM (#773762)
194 total

That's not going to be enough for me, though a peak voter will have much to salivate over.

His army years will be the deciding factor for me.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:32 PM (#773815)

There are two points I'd like to know more about before I decide about Moore's baseball play during his military years.

1) To what extent was it "part-time"? College Division 1 athletes are technically amateurs who are playing sports as an extra-curricular activity while they are full-time students, but that's rather a fiction, isn't it? What was the case for Moore? Was the baseball team a showpiece for the division, with its star players spending their time primarily getting ready to play ball, or was it an interesting sidelight for the division? It's not like the 25th infantry division was over in the fields of France during WWI. I don't know the answer to this question, but it would be good to have an answer.

2) _Cool Papas_ says that Moore and Rogan "bought their way out" of the army in 1920. What exactly was the nature of the military's control over its enlisted men at this time? Once Moore was in (and he enlisted at 18), what options did he have for getting out when he wanted to? It might well have been impossible to get out between 1917 and 1919, considering that the U.S. was at war. I don't know the answer to this question, but it would be good to have an answer.

It's interesting how often it's necessary to reference U.S. history in order to understand U.S. baseball history . . .
   12. yest Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#773846)
Chris does Riley give hits and at bats in addition to batting avreges
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:05 PM (#773879)
Chris does Riley give hits and at bats in addition to batting avreges

No. All the numbers Riley gives, I've posted.

I have calculated at-bat and hit totals for Moore for 1921, 1922, and 1924 from Holway's data. (See those years above.) Moore was in the league leaders for home runs and home runs/550 ab, so it just took a little algebra to find his at bats and then find his hits from his ab and ba.

Some of the Macmillan's Baseball Encyclopedias from the late 1980s or early 1990s had negro-league stats. The early 20s were a very well-documented period for the Negro Leagues, so it's possible that good stats are available there. Maybe someone with a copy could check that out? Chris J., you've been able to provide such data in the past?
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:08 PM (#773883)
MattB, I'm with John and Chris. We know Moore played baseball, and we know he played it well. He was hand-picked, though of course we do not know by whom, to play on an elite squad. I can't just dismiss it.

He played 7 years in the army, age 19-26. Taking Chris' suggestion of giving him half credit (three years)--at least for the moment, until we learn more about that army squad--seems conservative enough.

Then, what quality do you assign to those three years? Well, saying he matched his three worst years in the NL (24-26-28 WS by Chris' MLEs) may NOT be conservative. It may be a big generous. Let's even reduce that by 25%. Dobie may have been a bit rough, unpolished; may have been a late bloomer. (This is a large assumption, of course, but I'm trying not to assume the guy INTO the HoM.) You get three more years at 18-20-21 WS.

Career total now = 253
Top 3 still = 96
Top 5 still = 155

Career comps Joe Tinker, Maury Wills, Dick Bartell (all in the 250s). This is conservative by total (IMHO) and you also end up with completely different kinds of ballplayers. More comp if you consider the style and strengths might be Boudreau (277), Jennings (214--not normalized) or Stephens (265).This is good company but not NB territory.

Peak comps Jennings (97-150), Joe Cronin (102-152) or Ernie Banks (96-143). Now we are cooking with gas.

Put the two together and Jennings is in fact not a bad comp, including the short career, with Moore's 7 years in the army (reduced to 3 years of MLE) standing in for Jennings' utterly undistinguished shoulder career. Looked at this way, perhaps Moore should rate above Jennings.

There are no other SS comps because his 5 year peak would be the 3rd best of all-time (this without adding Pop Lloyd into the mix).

Among CFers the comps would be Larry Doby, Wally Berger, Earl Averill, Hack Wilson, with Wilson having the closes career shape by far, but Berger also not a bad comp.

If you look at 2B you've got maybe Rod Carew for peak--but again a totally different kind of player--or maybe Lazzeri for career but with a much higher peak. At 3B Sal Bando is fairly close on both peak and career.

On the whole these are pretty impressive comps, but of course you can MLE anybody into the HoM with the right assumptions. I tried to make conservative assumptions, but of course I accepted Chris' MLE WS to begin with. Maybe they are too generous. But:

1. In this case I don't think Chris was too generous. I mean we're talking a SS who hit for a high average with excellent power.

And 2. I will not pretend he didn't play ball until 1920.

He will be on my ballot, but where? Dunno yet. My prelim had Jennings #2 and Moore #13. I now believe them to be a lot closer than that.
   15. Gadfly Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:28 PM (#774228)
1. Notes on Dobie Moore (biographical):

The best available evidence (1920 and 1930 census research) has Walter "Dobie" Moore born in 1895. Moore himself stated that he was born in Atlanta, Georgia. The Macmillon Encyclopedia listed Moore as having been born in 1893, but this was based on information from the social security database that turned out to be false.

Moore hit and threw righthanded.

The Macmillon Encyclopedia lists Dobie Moore as having been 5 foot 11 inches tall and 230 pounds heavy. Although the height is correct, there are numerous photos of Moore and he was obviously not 230 pounds. From the photographical evidence, Moore weighed between 185 and 190 when he joined the Monarchs in 1920. By the mid-1920s until the premature end of his career, he had bulked up to about 200 pounds.

In his prime, Moore was 5 foot 11, 200 pounds.

(Many of the vital statistics for Negro League players in MacMillan are wrong. For instance, Oscar "Home Run" Johnson is listed as 6 feet tall and 250 pounds. However, Johnson was the Black Hack Wilson. He stood 5 feet 7 inches tall and probably weighed between 200 and 210.)

NEXT: (Career)
   16. KJOK Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:38 PM (#774258)
Career Stats from MacMillan:
NAME Moore, Dobie
G 357
AB 1393
H 509
2B 88
3B 39
HR 41
SB 31
AVG 0.365
SA 0.573
YR 7
   17. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 12:03 AM (#774375)
1. Notes on Dobie Moore (early career):

Dobie Moore began his baseball career playing with local teams in his Atlanta home town. In 1916, Moore was recruited by the United States Army's 25th Infantry (one of four Black divisions in the Army) to play for their baseball team. This team was commonly known as the 25th Infantry Wreckers.

(Moore did not play for the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1911 to 1920.)

From 1913 to 1918, lead by Wilber Rogan and Oscar Johnson, the Wreckers were quite well publicized in the Black Press. The team was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, during this time. The Wreckers played all comers, regularly beating virtually every team that they played, including Pacific Coast League teams.

Seven men (perhaps more) on the team would play in the Negro National League, including the 3 superstars (Rogan, Johnson, and Moore). It is obvious that the 25th Infantry was actively recruiting baseball players for the team and doing quite a superb job at it.

In 1919, after the end of World War One, the 25th Infantry was re-assigned to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The team continued to play baseball there, including a game at the end of the season against a barnstorming team lead by Casey Stengel.

Supposedly, after this game, Stengel, a Kansas City native, recommended Rogan, Moore, and Johnson to J.L. Wilkinson. J.L. Wilkinson, the white owner of the All Nations barnstorming team from 1911 to 1919, was forming the Kansas City Monarchs for 1920.

Of course, Wilber Rogan had already played for Wilkinson in 1917 so his talents were hardly news to the Monarchs' owner.

In any event, Wilkinson made offers to Rogan, Moore, and some other 25th Infantry players for the 1920 season.

NEXT: (Career 2)
   18. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:35 AM (#774930)
2. Notes on Dobie Moore (later career)

Dobie Moore accepted Wilkinson's offer to play for the Monarchs in 1920 (as did Wilber Rogan). However, Moore and Rogan were not discharged from the Army until July of 1920. They finally joined the team on July 5, 1920.

The Monarchs were in Rube Foster's Negro National League, which (like the Monarchs) was in its first year of existence. The 1920 Monarchs were cobbled together from three sources (Wilkinson's old All Nations team, the 25th Infantry, and some Cubans (most notably Jose Mendez).

Moore, who had played third base for the 25th Infantry from 1916 to 1919, moved to shortstop when he joined the Monarchs.

The team steadily improved, finally winning the Negro National League championship in 1923 (Oscar Johnson, the last remaining great 25th Infantry player joined the Monarchs in 1922). In 1924, the Monarchs repeated and also won the first Negro League World Series versus Hilldale.

In 1925, the Monarchs won their third straight championship but lost the World Series to Hilldale. Dobie Moore was the second greatest player on these teams behind Wilber Rogan. He was also the second greatest hitter behind Oscar Johnson,

Early in the season of 1926, Dobie Moore's career was ended when he was shot in the leg by Elsie Brown. One interesting fact is that it was not the bullet that ended his career but his leap from the second story window in an effort to escape.

His injured leg shattered on landing.

The Monarchs, minus Moore, saw their run of three straight Championships end when they were eliminated in the play-offs.

From 1927 to 1930, Dobie Moore stayed in Kansas City and promised to return to the Monarchs just about every year. In the 1930s, with the Depression in full swing, Moore moved to Detroit to find employment. In Detroit, Dobie finally did return to play some semi-pro games, as a stiff legged first baseman.

He lived in Detroit into the 1940s, occasionally giving interviews. The last recorded sighting of Dobie Moore was in 1948 when he attended the funeral of his former teammate, George Carr.

He date and place of death are unknown although the palce is sometimes listed as Detroit.

NEXT (Statistics)
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:58 AM (#775225)

Thank you! This is extremely helpful information! It clarifies and corrects much of what I had known. What is the source?
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 03:03 AM (#775233)

Thank you for the MacMillan data!

What do you think of my rough equation of Moore's offensive value with that of Frankie Frisch, from about the same time?

Fair comparison, or no?
   21. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 03:45 AM (#775290)
3. Statisitcs for Dobie Moore


1920 21 84 23 3 0 2 .274 2
1921 36 125 33 7 4 6 .264 4
1922 77 312 120 22 3 8 .385 11
1923 43 170 62 7 8 8 .365 2
1924 79 307 139 26 9 10 .453 1
1925 83 332 108 20 12 7 .325 9
1926 18 63 24 3 3 0 .381 2

G 357 AB 1393 H 509
2B 88 3B 39 HR 41 SB 31
BA .365 SA .573

AB 601 H 220 2B 38 3B 17 HR 18 SB 13


94 378 70 138 22 9 8 79 .365 .534 10 21

The 1923 Negro National League Statisitics were compiled by a man named Patrick Rock and published by Replay.

1920 .306
1921 .372 2B 19 HR 11 in about 240 AB.
1922 .406 2B 22 HR 17 in about 360 AB.
1923 .319
1924 .356 2B 24 3B 9 HR 10 in about 305 AB.
1925 .333 2B 25 3B 13
1926 .390

From: "The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues" by John Holway.

Holway's statistics are similar to the MacMillon statistics with one major exception: 1924. With virtually the same at bats and secondary stats (2b/3b/hr), Macmillon credits Moore with a .453 BA and Holways credits Moore with just .356.


1923-24 184 28 71 9 6 1 .386 .516 Santa Clara

1923-24 97 10 29 1

TOTAL BA .356 (H 100/AB 281)

1920-21 34 139 46 7 6 1 .331
1921-22 22 80 22 4 3 0 .275
1924-25 40 158 77 17 4 12 .487

G 96 AB 377 H 145
2B 28 3B 13 HR 13
BA .385 SA .631
   22. KJOK Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:26 AM (#775364)
What do you think of my rough equation of Moore's offensive value with that of Frankie Frisch, from about the same time?

I think given that Kansas City seems to have been a pitcher's park relative to other Negro League parks that you're right on target! Moore was a better hitter than I first thought....
   23. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:40 AM (#775393)
4. Dobie Moore Statistical Analysis:

To adjust Dobie Moore's Negro League Statistics, three things must be kept in mind:

One is that the Negro Leagues were not Major League caliber and the statistics must be down-graded. In other words, the Negro Leagues of Dobie Moore's time were one step below the Major Leagues.

Two is that offensive enviroment of the Negro Leagues (because of the much inferior quality of the baseballs and the continuation of trick deliveries, i.e. spitballs) was not as high as the Major Leagues. Thus Negro League statistics must then be upgraded.

In many ways, one and two cancel each other out. In all, Negro League statistics must be slightly downgraded.

But the third thing is by far the most important:
An adjustment must be made for Park effects. Negro League teams played in a wide variety of parks, some that were incredible bandboxes and others that were as wide open as the Great Plains.

(A good example of this is demonstrated by the current reported Negro League single season home run record holders. One is Willie Wells, who was five feet 9 inches and 165 pounds, and the other is Chino Smith, all of 5 foot 8 inches and 170 pounds. The right-handed Wells set his record in a park with a 250 foot left field foul line. The left-handed Smith set his record in a park so small that it was reportedly impossible to hit a 3B. The records of both men are pure flukes.)

Kansas City Monarch Parks:

1) Association Park 1920-1923: Bandbox
2) Muehlebach Park 1923-1926: Spacious

Muehleback Park opened July 23, 1923, and was the Moanrchs main park by 1924.

The difference in size between the two Kansas City Parks can be seen right in Dobie Moore's statistics:

1921 and 1922: 28 HR in 600 AB (Holway)
1924 and 1925: 17 HR in 639 AB (MacMillon)

Cuban Winter League: Almendares Park.
This park was absolutely huge, reportedly 400 feet down the right field line and an incredible 500 feet down the left field line.

California Winter League: White Sox Park (only in 1924-1925).
The opposite of Almendares Park in Cuba. This park was an absolute bandbox with the right and left field lines being barely 300 feet away.

In an offensively average Major League Park and in a color-blind world, Walter "Dobie" Moore would have probably hit between .330 and .360 with real good power ( 35 to 45 Doubles, 10 to 20 Triples, and 10 to 20 Home Runs) per year from 1920 to 1926.

Moore, from the Replay statisitcs and his high at-bat per game rate, did not draw a lot of base on balls. He probably would have drawn 30 to 50 walks per season and stolen 15 to 25 bases per season (Stolen bases are usually under reported in Negro League stats and must be upgraded).

In Moore's peak season/career year (most probably 1924), Dobie would have probably hit .375 and slugged out 25 or so homers. He was a hell of a player.
   24. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#775437)
Thanks, Gadfly!

It's too late tonight to discuss major-league equivalents with you, but I'd like to do so. I think your estimates are a bit too high, but you're clearly more informed than I am about the players, so I'd like to see how you work out your estimates.

For other folks: Gadfly has pointed out that the Monarchs shifted from a hitter's park to a pitcher's park in 1923. The win shares I posted in post 7 above were based on Moore playing in a hitter's park (I knew about the "bandbox," but not the second park) throughout his career. If you think my estimates are reasonable, you might adjust the 24-26 numbers upward by 5%. I'm planning to go over my numbers again in light of the park change, myself.
   25. andrew siegel Posted: August 04, 2004 at 12:10 PM (#775512)
Dobie Moore as pre-injury George Sisler playing a good SS? Wow.
   26. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 12:46 PM (#775527)
Chris Cobb-

On Negro League MLEs:

The Negro Leagues interface with the Major Leagues at three places-

1) From 1886 to 1891, many black players played in the Minor Leagues. Their statistics can be compared with many white players who had careers in Organized Baseball.

2) From 1946 to 1951, many black players played in the Negro Leagues, Major Leagues, Minor Leagues, and the Mexican Leagues. These players can be compared with the many white and latin players who had careers in Organized Baseball and the Mexican League.

3) The Cuban and California Winter Leagues also allow for comparisons between black, white, and latin players during the actual course of the Negro Leagues themselves.

Using all three of these starting points, almost any Negro League player can then be evaluated by comparing him with other Negro League players and the appropriate white and latin players.

Of course, this is a gross simplification of the process which is quite difficult. Also, as I stated in my post yesterday, the hardest thing to judge is context and the greatest influence on context is the parks.

Considering that I am an amateur Negro League researcher, I will admit that there is certainly a possibility that my estimates are high. After all, everyone is biased to the subject that they are interested in. However, I personally always try to be conservative to counterbalance this.

But my personal opinion of the quality of the Negro Leagues (and their statistics) is that the Negro Leagues started in 1920 being roughly the same quality as the Triple-A Leagues- the IL, AA, and the PCL (though, of course, they were not actually called Triple-A at that time).

The quality of the Negro Leagues then rose to somewhere between Triple-A and the Major Leagues, peaking during the Depression from 1931 to 1936 (all the weaker teams had been killed off). But, from 1937 until 1945, the Negro Leagues fell back to Triple-A quality as Latin Leagues, especially the Mexican, began to severely affect the talent level.

After integration started in 1946, the level of talent in the Negro Leagues steadily fell until, in the early 1950s, the Negro Leagues were just another A ball quality league.

For an interesting example of Negro League quality, see the Marianao club of 1922-23, 1923-24, and 1924-25 of the Cuban Winter League. Marianao was managed by the white Cuban Merito Acosta, who played throughout the 1920s for Louisville in the American Association (Acosta was married to the daughter of the team's owner).

In 1922-23, Acosta entered a his brand new Marianao team in the League. They finished 26-19, winning the pennant. The team (and the League itself) was made up mostly of Cubans.

In 1923-24 and 1924-25, the other Cuban teams imported a boatload of Negro League stars to improve their teams and regain the pennant from Marianao.

Acosta, for his part, imported a whole bunch of white players from Louisville and other American Association teams, making the Marianao teams of 1923-24 and 1924-25 basically AA all-star teams.

The 1923-24 team finished last at 16-32. The 1924-25 team finished last at 18-27. Marianao did not bother returning for the 1925-26 season.
   27. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:08 PM (#775539)
Gadfly, Chris Cobb, and Sunnyday,

Does Gadfly's info on Moore's army hitch suggest that we should give Moore any credit for his time spent in the service? Since he was recruited and doesn't appear to have had too much trouble getting his discharge, I'm somewhat inclined to believe that we should not give him any army credit and instead chalk it up to his making a career choice.

BUT I'd really like to hear what you all think before I make up my mind since this is the key to whether Moore will appear on my ballot or not. (And I'm guessing that's probably true for many other voters.)
   28. Gadfly Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:33 PM (#775560)
5. Dobie Moore and Comps

Who was Dobie Moore comparable to?

Among Negro League shortstops, Dobie Moore was probably the third best Negro League shortstop offensively at his peak. The two Negro League shortstops that were unquestionably better than Moore at their peaks were John Henry Lloyd and Grant Johnson.

After Johnson and Lloyd, there are four Negro League shortstops that could reasonably be chosen as number three peak offensively. I would rate these four as: 3) Dobie Moore, 4) Willie Wells, 5) Dick Lundy and 6) Silvio Garcia.

In my opinion, Moore was the best of these four players offensively. In comparison to Willie Wells, Moore had as much power and would have hit for a greater average (some of Wells statistics are wildly inflated; but, when you adjust for the context, Wells is a dead ringer comp for Charlie Gehringer).

As for white Major League players, there are some obvious similarities between Moore and Honus Wagner. Both were big men playing what was considered a little man's position. Both played other positions first, but eventually ended up playing short. Both were considered great fielding shortstops, known for their range and rocket arms.

All this being said, Wagner was a much better player than Moore. Wagner was the best player, hitter, and slugger in the National League throughout his prime. Moore was not even the best player on his own team (Wilber Rogan) or best hitter (Oscar Johnson).

Compared to Frankie Frisch, Dobie Moore was a much better hitter for both average and power, but Frisch was much faster. And, of course, Moore, because of his much stronger arm, was a shortstop while Frisch was a second baseman.

Probably the closest near contemporary to Moore offensively would be Joe Cronin, but Moore was a much better defensive shortstop then Cronin and was certainly quicker than Cronin.

I had never considered George Sisler before, but there are obvious similarities. They are both direct contemporaries and both were flashy fielders. Of course, Sisler was a first baseman, but this was because he was left-handed. Both men had their careers badly altered by injury.

Moore had more power than Sisler, but George was certainly quicker and would have hit for a much greater BA because of this. At his peak, I think Sisler would have been a greater player, but Moore would not have been far behind.

I think that sums up Dobie Moore pretty well on offense. A somewhat more powerful George Sisler who, because he was nowhere near as speedy, hits for a lower batting average.

As far as defense goes, Moore was basically a much quicker version of Cal Ripken. A guy who, because of the strength of his arm, could play back and thus had great range.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:06 PM (#775595)
Dr. Chalupa,

Somone posted here a month of two ago that the real purpose of this project is to determine "what kind of player was (name)?" Not just how many WS or WARP or (insert own preferred measured) the player earned, but what kind of player was he.

The reason this is a vital distinction is because it is also the purpose of this project to INclude those players who were historically EXcluded from major league baseball and therefore from its history.

Players like Dobie Moore and Dickey Pearce, e.g.

Clearly, in order to answer the question "What kind of player was Dobie Moore?" one has to INclude all the evidence possible. That would IMO have to include his army play (granting that we don't know much about it). If we "pretend" that Dobie Moore did not play baseball 1913-1919 we get a distorted view of reality. If we recognize that he did play baseball during those years, we get a more accurate picture of reality. Now, how well did he play, what was the context, etc. etc., again, we don't know as much as we'd like, at least not yet. But we want to get closer to the truth and factoring in his army play allows us to do that.

As to the specific rationale as to whether he made a career choice (and therefore tough luck), consider if he had had the opportunity to choose to play for money in the minor or major leagues, would he have chosen to play in the army? In fact, there wasn't even an organized Negro League at the time, what if he had had the opportunity to play in an organized Negro League, would he have chosen to go into the army?

IOW his choice to go into the army may not have been a choice at all. To ignore his army play is to subject Dobie to the same discrimination again that he faced in his own lifetime. I think that's inconsistent with the spirit of this project.

So there are two reasons why I will factor in his army play. It gives us a more accurate picture, and it's fair.

PS. Gadfly, thanks, (and who are tou? Have you posted on the HoM before?) I had already concluded myself that Moore looked a lot like Joe Cronin. Nice to be reinforced. I also think Boudreau, Vern Stephens and Ernie Banks are interesting ways to think about Dobie. But of course there is still that short career. Maybe Hughie Jennings is the best comp after all.

But I can't imagine making a fair assessment of Dobie without factoring in his army years.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:22 PM (#775618)
Dr. Chaleeko,

My reaction to the fuller army story Gadfly has given us is similar to Sunnyday2's, but for slilghtly different reasons.

Since Moore was recruited into the army to play baseball, I think Phillybooster's concern that he was just doing some ballplaying on the side while he served in the army is answered. Moore's profession, essentially, was playing baseball for the army.

As Sunnyday2 said, the Negro Leagues were not yet organized when Moore went into the army in 1916. So the competition that Moore would have been facing playing all comers for the 25th Infantry Division Wreckers would have been similar to a lot of the competition the top civilian teams would have been playing against. He didn't face, as they did, the other top black teams, but if the Wreckers were beating PCL teams regularly, then they would have been competitive with the top black teams or major-league teams. It's well documented that Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants cleaned up against West Coast minor-league competition when they barnstormed there in winters.

The fact that Moore joined the team, and apparently the army, in 1916 and that he was 21 at that time, not 24, means that I do not plan to give Moore any more than the 3 seasons of credit I was giving him before. I am considering cutting his 1917 credit back to rookie level and raising his 1919 credit to equal my estimate of his 1920 season.

In sum, I plan to give Moore credit for his time in the army not at all on the draft model of compensatory credit (i.e. serving his country instead of playing baseball because that was what he had to do) but because his army service was in fact playing baseball at pretty much the same level as he would have done had he joined a civilian black team.
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:44 PM (#775660)
Sunnyday and Chris Cobb,

Thanks for the historical reality check on that one. It's way too easy to get caught up in trying to nail down a player and so lose a sense of why he made certain decisions in context....

Thanks again!
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 03:21 PM (#775707)
But I can't imagine making a fair assessment of Dobie without factoring in his army years.

I totally agree, Marc. My problem right now is figuring out how much credit he deserves. He was a teenager for a few of those years in question, so I doubt he was doing that much early on.

Chris' proposal of three years credit does seem fair reasonable though.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: November 12, 2004 at 12:41 AM (#962467)
hot topics
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 12, 2004 at 06:15 PM (#963500)
Chris, what's your best conservative guess for what Moore's WS would be for his pre-1920 years? If his total WS would be in the mid-250 range (when combined with his Negro League years), that would have to place him #1 among shortstops due to his outstanding peak.
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: November 12, 2004 at 06:35 PM (#963528)

Thanks for asking. In checking on what I had previsously posted, I ran across a piece of historical info from Gadfly above that leads me to supect my guess was off, whether high or low I don't yet know.

I had been pegging Moore's pre-1920 play to his level of play in 1920, when I estimate he earned 23 win shares.

On this basis, I had him pegged for 14, 21, and 23 win shares in 1917-1919. Those are the numbers I've been using in ranking him.

I just noted from gadfly's post that Dobie Moore accepted Wilkinson's offer to play for the Monarchs in 1920 (as did Wilber Rogan). However, Moore and Rogan were not discharged from the Army until July of 1920. They finally joined the team on July 5, 1920.

I need to go back and look at how I calculated Moore's win shares for 1920 to see how I accounted for his playing time in 1920. My estimate may be off on that basis, or it may not. I'll either confirm or revise my guesses later today, when I've had time to revisit my analysis in more detail.

If his total WS would be in the mid-250 range (when combined with his Negro League years), that would have to place him #1 among shortstops due to his outstanding peak.

fwiw, right now I have him at 243 career win shares, but, as I say, I need to check how I handled his 1920 season.
   36. TomH Posted: November 12, 2004 at 06:51 PM (#963544)
I don't wanna sound like a 'quota guy', but rather another call for prsepctive.

How many Negro League shortstops can we justify in the HoM? Grant Johnson is in. Pop Lloyd is in. I'm gonna assume, based on what all of the voices have previously recorded, that Willie Wells is gonna be in. That's three (or you could say 2.5, since Grant played some 2B), and Dick Lundy is going to get some strong support, which might well make four. Others may as well. Anyone wish to justify Five guys at one position? Some have been writing about how we already have too many lilly-skinned shortstops.....
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: November 12, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#963564)

Reasonable question, but we may end up short at second base (Frank Grant may be the only one), and the same thing could happen at another position (maybe third base or right field). There are good reasons to believe that a disproportionate number of the best NeL players were shortstops.

Moore has a _long_ way to go to get elected, so even if he is revived as a serious candidate, we'll have 20-30 years to worry about the proper representation question.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 07:11 PM (#963574)
FWIW, John and Chris, I did a little inventory of 13 star infielders who were contemporaries or near-contempories of Moore's, but who were not named Hornsby. [I looked at Groh, Sewell, Traynor, Jackson, Bancroft, Geheringer, Lazzeri, Frisch, Dykes, Cronin, Maranville (including an adjustment to 20 WS in 1918), Pratt, and Chapman. I probably could have thrown others in, but I just picked out a quick baker's dozen.]

Of these 13, the average age for their first 10+ raw WS year was 22. Their first 20+ raw WS year was, on average, 24. I didn't look at it using WS adjusted to 162, so I'm not sure how that might have effected the results.

Anyway, with the info that Moore was born in 1895, not 1893, that puts his age 22 season at 1917. So something like 15-18-23 or thereabouts would be a farily likley outcome for a star infielder of the period.

One other thing I noticed was that the projection of Moore's value pattern was fairly consistent with our familiar ideas of growth, peak, and prime. Among the thirteen infielders I surveyed, Moore's post age-27 seasons seemed to fit most snugly with those of Gehringer and Frisch who had some great seasons after age 28. Gehringer had more of them than Frisch, Moore had slightly fewer than Gehringer over the same period (per the projection).

So anyway, if you want to think about Moore's pre age-25 sesaons in terms of his contemporaries, FF and CG might be a good starting point with the general pattern in mind that he might not have had his first All-Star year until age 24 if he fit the trend of his contemporary all-star-type infielders.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 07:22 PM (#963601)
Tom H,

I don't have it in front of me, but IIRC, Bill James says in the NBJHBA that the strongest and deepest NgL positions are short, catcher, and centerfield because the most dominant atheletes gravitated to the key positions [just as they do in college ball].

Conversely, 2B, LF, RF, 1B aren't nearly as strong, and 3B strikes me personally as neither strong nor weak, depending wholly on how you view Beckwith, Judy, and Boojum.

Looking at the position players who haven't gotten any support at all from HOM voters (Lyons, Shively, DeMoss, Warfield, Thomas, Giles), substantiates this: they mostly fall into 1B, 2B, corner OF (exception: Pelayo Chacon). Candidates with Lukewarm support have been CF (Poles), SS (Moore), C (Petway), and the exception to the rule, Monroe (2B).
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 12, 2004 at 07:32 PM (#963620)
Anyway, with the info that Moore was born in 1895, not 1893, that puts his age 22 season at 1917.

Is that definite concerning his age, Dr. Chaleeko?
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 07:54 PM (#963650)
Riley has his birth year as 1893, as does, and, but if you look at post 15 above from Gadfly, it strongly suggests that 1895 is more likely to be correct (as pointed out by Chris Cobb in the Sewell thread.

What I haven't been able to figure out is what month he was born to know what his "baseball age" was.

PS: Is Gadfly still with us via a new screen name?
   42. Michael Bass Posted: November 12, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#963768)
I want to ditto the response to TomH...we know that in leagues with limited talent base, the best players congregate to the most difficult positions. That certainly was the case with catcher in the Negro Leagues, and most likely to shortstop and centerfield as well.

I doubt we're going to elect any more Negro League 2Bs (and Grant barely counts as it is, as his best play seems to have predated organized NL ball). So if you look at Moore as Middle Infielder #4/5 instead of as SS #3/4, he starts looking a lot more reasonable. Particularly considering that I sort of suspect we will he short on NL 1Bs and 3Bs by the end, too (none elected yet).
   43. Michael Bass Posted: November 12, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#963774)
More specifically on Moore, even taking the most conservative estimate of his career, I don't quite see how anyone who has Hughie Jennings #1 (as I do) can not have Moore on the ballot. Career votes, sure, even those who balance career and peak can make a case for not having him, but those leaning strongly toward peak, as you must to have Hughie #1, should have Moore in their top 15.
   44. TomH Posted: November 12, 2004 at 09:28 PM (#963796)
Maybe a good place to start would be comparing D Moore to B Monroe, the other NegLeg middle infielder.

I understand why we might have more SS than other pos in the NegLeg, but NO second basemen? Hughes? Allen? Both gonna get dissed ya think? Guess we'll find out in 15 "years".
   45. Chris Cobb Posted: November 12, 2004 at 10:00 PM (#963864)
It's risky to speculate too much, but I don't think Sammy T. Hughes will get anywhere.

Newt Allen is a stronger candidate.

Comparing Moore to Monroe makes sense; I'm pretty sure Sunnyday2 has them both in his mix over on the Sewell thread.
   46. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 10:22 PM (#963913)
Wasn't Larry Doby a 2B in the NgL?

Also Jim Gilliam (247 raw MLB WS) will get some consideration too, and with his NgL MLE might have a good case, though I haven't looked closely at it to confirm.

Re monroe v. moore

I used short-form WS on Monroe's i9s projection (assuming A defense at 5.25 WS/1000---118 games---and prorating that over his PA/4.2 for a seasonal FWS total), to come up with this basic outline.

1901 31
1902 31
1903 30
1904 30
1905 27
1906 26
1907 27
1908 22
1909 25
1910 20
1911 22
1912 18
1913 21
1914 14
total 344

That gives him
3 best 92
5 best 149
10 best 269
15 best 344

If we use the projection established earlier in this thread for Moore...

3 103
5 157
10 253
15 253

Hardly a slam dunk on peak for Moore. He's better on peak and about as productive per season for 10 year prime (or 9.5 as it were), but Monroe's got about 90 WS on him for their careers, and that ain't spilt milk.

Monroe looks like the man here, and, if this is to be believed, then I would probably need to move him up my prelim. ballot a lot.

If you assume that Monroe's a B defender, the picture muddies, and his totals slip to

3: 89
5: 144
10: 261
c.: 329

Moore's peak/prime dominance begins to have more sway, and Monroe loses a lot of his edge over other competitors as well.

At this point, I'd hope the more savvy projection crafters would jump in and suggest where this Monroe projection could be improved to help us get a clearer picture of him than the blunt-object approach I've taken here could give us.
   47. PhillyBooster Posted: November 12, 2004 at 10:34 PM (#963938)
How many Negro League shortstops can we justify in the HoM?

Judging by how many Caucasian League stars we can justify, I'm guessing a lot. . .

After reading the discussions, I remain confident on my inclusion of Monroe and exclusion of both Hughie Jennings and Dobie Moore from my ballot.
   48. Michael Bass Posted: November 12, 2004 at 10:37 PM (#963948)
Dr. Chaleeko,

I think using raw I9s is probably a mistake, as I'm pretty sure we've discounted them for most (all? Chris could weigh in here) Negro League hitters. Pitchers, on the other hand, have been hit and miss.

I say this as someone who likes Monroe enough to have him on the ballot.
   49. Chris Cobb Posted: November 12, 2004 at 11:08 PM (#964018)
In all of the win-share projections I have done, I have found it proper to discount the i9s numbers. Typically the discount has been 5%, but for some players it has been higher -- I think they tend to overrate the top players. Pitchers have indeed been hit and miss. I haven't found any consistent correlation between their numbers and the actual data I have worked with.

The actual data we have for Monroe is extremely sketchy, so sketchy that I've never ventured to build a projection off of it. It's my opinion that the data in no way justifies the i9s projections for Monroe, however.

Fwiw, Monroe began playing for top teams in 1899, so i9s does miss his first two years, since they started their project in 1901.
   50. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 11:09 PM (#964020)
Ugh, I forgot about the discount, AND I was working off old, bad numbers (where I was playing around with Major League RS totals and trying to work them into the projection somehow---it didn't work...). And I was looking at the wrong spreadsheet.

Apologies to everyone, I'm really sorry about that. I wasn't trying to pump a candidate with bad numbers, just rushing.

Here's what I should have reported for Monroe (including the standard 5% i9s discount that Chris Cobb has suggested and fixing the errors I'd made in my last post)----

As an A defender:
1901 26
1902 28
1903 28
1904 32
1905 27
1906 28
1907 30
1908 25
1909 27
1910 20
1911 20
1912 16
1913 20
1914 14
Total 343

3 90
5 146
10 272
15 343

[very close obviously to the last one]

If a B 2B (4.25 WS/1000 innings), then
3 87
5 140
10 260
15 327

Please substitute these numbers in where appropriate in my previous post on the subject, #46. Sorry again and thanks for your patience.
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 12, 2004 at 11:12 PM (#964026)
Chris, do you mean the data doesn't justify the i9s projection in the sense that if fails to give him full credit for all of his play or because it overcredits him for the star-aspect you mentioned?
   52. Chris Cobb Posted: November 13, 2004 at 09:12 PM (#964878)
I mean that it overcredits him.

Here's my view in a nutshell, quoted from the Monroe thread:

<i>All the data that I have seen on Monroe has him hitting about .300 vs. Negro-League competition for his career, and i9s has him hitting .312 vs. major-league competition for his career. I just can't accept it.<i>

There's a more detailed discussion of this matter on the Monroe thread. I follow the stats when available. But since the stats offer us only a 250 at-bat sample of a sixteen-year career, that data must be seen as potentially unrepresentative.
   53. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 13, 2004 at 09:49 PM (#964905)

I am one such person who will most likely have Jennings at #1 with Moore off my ballot, so I figure I should explain this. Moore right now is going to be anywhere from 19-21, just off my ballot. Of course the difference between #15 Joe Sewell and # 19-21 Moore is whisker thin. hell, the difference between #5 Lip Pike and Moore isn't that great. Right now there are 21 guys I want on my ballot and Moore is one of them, but he just loses out. I am going to take another look at him, the numbers here give me a much more rosy picture then I had before, but I still doubt I will have him over Sewell.

So he is unlikely to get on the ballot but he is very close.
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2004 at 07:33 PM (#983958)
My win share estimates, adjusted to 162 games and including my own (+10%) defensive adjustment to win shares, for the record, are presently as follows:

1920 24
1921 34
1922 36
1923 26
1924 31
1925 28
1926 15 (part season)

194 total

Chris, do you have his approximate games played per season? I'm trying to figure out his WS per 162 Games and your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: November 27, 2004 at 07:45 PM (#983972)

My games played estimates for these seasons is derived from the i9s projections: AB + BB / 4.2 .

I didn't actually save those numbers, but they would be quite easy to recalculate. It's the same method I used for Beckwith, except in those cases where I felt it appropriate to adjust Beckwith's playing time.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#983986)
My games played estimates for these seasons is derived from the i9s projections: AB + BB / 4.2 .

That's the problem, Chris. You weren't dealing with the i9s for Moore because he didn't have any.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: November 28, 2004 at 03:32 AM (#984429)

I haven't been able to find season-by-season games played projections. I must have done those by hand, and I haven't come across the calculations.

However, I can tell you that I projected Moore to average 150 games per season from 1921 through 1925. I projected him to a half season, about 75 games for 1926. He played a little more than half a season in 1920, but the win shares I gave are projected for a full season, since he missed the first part of the season in military service.

Hope that gives you enough info.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2004 at 05:11 PM (#985023)
However, I can tell you that I projected Moore to average 150 games per season from 1921 through 1925. I projected him to a half season, about 75 games for 1926. He played a little more than half a season in 1920, but the win shares I gave are projected for a full season, since he missed the first part of the season in military service.

Hope that gives you enough info.

That works for me, Chris. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out here.
   59. Gary A Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:54 PM (#1005936)
From Patrick Rock's 1923 NNL yearbook:

Dobie Moore 1923
Kansas City Monarchs

*-led league

Patrick remarks that Moore had "one of the highest range factors in history." I haven't finished auditing everything, but I can report that my research on the 1921 season does show very high assists totals for Moore.
   60. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:30 PM (#1006262)
That 1923's not bad; speaking in the roughest terms, it's something like a 35 WS year using the short-form method on the 1923 data supplied, estimating about 5 WS/1000 defensive innings, and discounting 5% for quality of play between the leagues. [don't know if that last step was necessary or not, but I thought it might be a good check against the lack of a complete data set.]

Again, that's just a really rough little sketch of Moore's value, not to be taken as gospel.
   61. Gary A Posted: December 16, 2004 at 06:49 AM (#1023905)
1921 Dobie Moore
NNL Kansas City Monarchs

*-led league
G-61 (team 90)
AVE-.323 (NeL .263)
OBA-.385 (NeL .324)
SLG-.565 (NeL .361)

Moore was injured late in the season--in fact, three-fourths of the Monarchs' infield went down in September, which doomed their attempt to catch the American Giants.
   62. sunnyday2 Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:35 AM (#1135606)
hot topics
   63. Gary A Posted: February 10, 2005 at 05:52 AM (#1135855)
Since there's been some discussion of Moore's army time, I thought this might be interesting: I just ran across a box score in the 3-18-1916 Chicago Defender for a game in Hawaii between the 25th Infantry Wreckers and a team called the "Travelers." (Unfortunately, the paper that was microfilmed is torn and much of the game story is missing). Here's the Wreckers' lineup:

Fagin 2b
Rogan c
Crafto lf
Johnson cf
Smith ss
Goliah rf
Hawkins 1b
Moore 3b
Waterhouse p
Swinton lf

(Swinton is stuck at the end with 0 ab; most likely he was a defensive substitute for "Crafto.")

Aside from Rogan and Moore, Fagin (Bob Fagan), Goliah (Fred Goliath) and (Lemuel) Hawkins all played in the NNL, for the Monarchs or Chicago Giants. "Johnson" is I think Heavy Johnson.

(The "Travelers," by the way, seem to feature several players who later toured the United States as "the Chinese team of the University of Hawaii.")
   64. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1136661)
Thanks, Gary A.

I don't suppose you have any Wreckers box-scores from 1914 or 1915?

Interesting things in this one: Rogan catching, Moore hitting 8th and (confirming gadfly's earlier comment) playing third base.

One box score does not a full story make, but this is suggestive of Rogan's stature as an all-around athlete and of Moore being near the beginning of his professional career.
   65. Gary A Posted: February 10, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1136962)
Yes, just checking through the Defender I have a handful of box scores and some game stories without boxes for 1916-17. I'll go through them to see if there are any interesting details, but here are the main things:

1) Moore was still hitting eighth and playing third base well into 1917.

2) He was regarded as a great-fielding third baseman; the story for a game against Portland of the PCL revolves around how he made a one-handed stab of a hot line drive to end the game.

3) "Smith," the shortstop, was also much praised for his fielding.

4) Rogan pitched most of the games I found (all of which were Wreckers' wins), and hit third. When he didn't pitch, he played center field (except the one game he caught above). He was regarded, of course, as the star of the team. He pitched and won the game against Portland, 4-1, striking out 7 and hitting 1 for 3 with a walk. (By the way, when Rogan first played semipro ball, with the Palace Colts of KC in 1911, I believe he was a catcher.)

5) Heavy Johnson appears to have been the regular catcher, usually batting cleanup.
   66. Gary A Posted: February 15, 2005 at 04:58 AM (#1146008)
Chris, just realized you were asking about Wreckers games from 1914-15. I was already working on 1916-17, so I just went through that material. I will look through the 1914-15 Defender and Freeman to see if I can find anything.
   67. Gary A Posted: February 20, 2005 at 08:10 AM (#1155654)
Sadly, I was unable to find any Wreckers box scores (or references at all) in the Chicago Defender or Indianapolis Freeman for 1914-15.

Maybe if somebody has access to Hawaiian newspapers for those years...
   68. andrew siegel Posted: March 23, 2005 at 01:46 PM (#1212579)
   69. andrew siegel Posted: March 23, 2005 at 10:56 PM (#1213333)
Ok, more serious effort at starting this discussion. Defensively, Moore was at least an average major league SS and might have been his generation's Cal Ripken. So, how good exactly was his offense? Clearly, he was a better hitter than Lundy and Sewell, but how much better? I assume he was a worse hitter than Wilson, Beckwith, and Suttles, but I'm not sure and I have almost no idea how much worse? If he was 95% of the hitter Beckwith and Wilson were and played somewhere between good and gold glove SS defense then he had one of the fifty greatest 7 year peaks and baseball history and belongs in the top 6 on my ballot.
   70. koufax Posted: May 29, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1369630)
I am the author of several Negro league books, including 'The California Winter League', 'Baseball's Other All-Stars', and 'Cool Papas And Double Duties'.
My research indicated that Dobie Moore was one of the top four or five hitters in Negro league history, along with Jud Wilson, Oscar Charleston,and Chino Smith. Dobie is my choice as the all-around greatest shortstop in Negro league history. According to my calcualtions he would have hit about .317 in the major leagues along with 32 doubles, 10 triples, and 20 home runs for every 550 at-bats. According to his contemporaries such as Tweed Webb, Moore was an oustanding defensive shortstop with big hands, wide range, and a powerful throwing arm. He was at least as good defensively, as best I can determine, as Lloyd and Lundy, and better than Willie Wells who had a weak throwing arm. And he outhit Lloyd by at least 12 points, and Lundy and Wells by more than 30. and he was the top power hitter of the three, with only Wells close to him.
   71. sunnyday2 Posted: May 29, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1369637)

the hang up here has been the shortness of his career. It would really help if we knew how long (and how well) he played with the Wreckers. Early on somebody said he had played with them for 7 years. If that is so and if he was a reasonably polished player from the start, that gives him a 13.5 year career and a solid case for the HoM. OTOH, somebody then said that , no, he only played with them for 3 years and BTW he was not very good his first year or two, now he's only got those 6.5 years or maybe 7-8 good years and now he's not a HoMer at all.

Of course I am a peak/prime voter and he is #4 on my ballot. Please help!!!
   72. sunnyday2 Posted: May 29, 2005 at 02:49 PM (#1369639)
PS koufax,

Is there any more to Chino Smith than meets the eye? e.g. is his total career just his 5 (?) years in the NeLs? If so, despite his incredible peak, he does not have much of a case!?
   73. Gary A Posted: May 29, 2005 at 03:37 PM (#1369686)
Just realized I never posted Moore's fielding stats for 1921. Here they are:

Dobie Moore-ss, KC

G-62 (team 95)
A-206* (led league)
RF-5.90* (led league; NNL ss 5.15)
FPCT-.919 (NNL ss .909)

KC shortstops (mostly Moore, though he was injured) accounted for 29.6% of the team's assists (not including catchers and OF); the league average was 25.7%.

The team's pitchers were average in their walk rate, a little below average in their strikeout rate, and gave up slightly fewer home runs than average. Despite a hitter's park (Association Park PFs for 1920-23: 110, 115, 109, 113), the Monarchs allowed the second-lowest runs/game in the NNL, 4.83 (league ave 5.28). In all, I think their pitchers were about average (maybe somewhat above), but their fielding was outstanding.

As far as Moore's opportunities go: it appears that KC allowed a below-average number of baserunners, which would tend to cut down on his plays. KC's opponents' OBA was significantly below average (.313, to league ave .329), as was their opponents' SLG (.345, to league ave .366). Their team fielding pct. was .945, compared to league ave .949. I didn't have time to do a complete ground/flyball analysis, but a quickie calculation of assists per putouts minus strikeouts shows KC as getting somewhat more assists than average, but not by that much (.517 to league average .503). So they might have had more of a groundball staff, but the effect doesn't seem to have been very large.

Anyway, the point of all that is that, as far as I can tell, and with all the usual caveats about sample size, etc., Moore in 1921 had genuinely outstanding fielding statistics at shortstop, probably the best in the NNL (the 37-year-old Lloyd is the other contender). Moore was most likely the most valuable defensive player on a very good defensive team.

One interesting thing, though, is that Jose Mendez, who played 26 games at short for KC, looks just as good: his RF was 6.40, his fielding percentage .924.
   74. koufax Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1371650)
To answer Sunnyday2
Dobie played 7 years in the Negro league, batting .355.
He played 3 years in the strong California Winter League, against major league and PCL pitchers, such as Sloppy Thurston, Ferdie Schupp, and Charlie Root, batting a hefty .385.
And he played 2 years in the very strong Cuban Winter League against the top Negro league players, the cream of Cuba, and major leaguers like Charlie Dressen and Eddie Brown and pitchers Jakie May, Jess Petty, and Adolfo Luque, and he hit .353.
In addition, he played at least four years (1917-20) for the 25th infantry Wreckers, but I feel his service in Cuba and Califronia was far more important than his service time.
Dobie Moore hit and hit with power wherever he played.
   75. koufax Posted: May 30, 2005 at 06:01 PM (#1371670)
Answer to Sunnyday2
I answered your Chino Smith question in the Chino Smith section.
To summarize, Chino played 5 years in the Negro leagues and 5 years in the tough Cuban Winter League.
His stats indicate he would have hit about .349 in the major leagues, with 39 doubles, 12 triples, and 20 home runs for every 550 at-bats.
   76. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 30, 2005 at 09:39 PM (#1371958)
Are we giving credit for winter ball when we have evidnce that the player played in the summer? I only ask because this will have big consequences for guys like Miguel Tejada in coming years.
   77. sunnyday2 Posted: May 30, 2005 at 11:58 PM (#1372220)
koufax (and schmeagol):

I don't speak for other HoMers but I'll make a guess. Dobie's time with the Wreckers is absolutely vital while his time in Cuba and the California Winter League is less so.

I say that because many voters (if not most, or maybe almost all) use MLEs (Major League equivalents) to evaluate NeLers. Moore played 6.5 years in the NeL and I assume his time in Cuba and California represents the same seasons. If so, he only gets credit for 6.5 seasons. You can't add 6.5 NeL seasons + 3 in Cal + 2 in Cuba and come up with 11.5 seasons.

There's no question that his Cal and Cuba play helps his cause because it helps to demonstrate that his .355 (I've generally seen .365) NeL BA was absolutely no fluke. But it doesn't help at all with his longevity for career voters.

OTOH, schmeagol, if you want to give him some XC for playing ball all year long, I would think that's your call.

But anyway, my real point is that any info we can get re. the Wreckers is what would really help Dobie's cause. The simple fact, koufax, that you said he played 4 years is news to us here, I think. I had heard 7 but then I had heard 3 and it seemed that 3 was generally taken to be the final word. One more at least gives him a HoF-eligible 10+ seasons active.

So, is it true the Wreckers routinely wrecked PCL teams? Is it true Dobie generally played 3B, not SS, and batted 7th or 8th? Or is there some credible evidence that he was a great player already? He's already 4th on my ballot but I think a lot of voters would need to know he had 10 great seasons in order to vote for him.
   78. Gary A Posted: May 31, 2005 at 02:48 AM (#1372626)
But anyway, my real point is that any info we can get re. the Wreckers is what would really help Dobie's cause. The simple fact, koufax, that you said he played 4 years is news to us here, I think. I had heard 7 but then I had heard 3 and it seemed that 3 was generally taken to be the final word. One more at least gives him a HoF-eligible 10+ seasons active.

So, is it true the Wreckers routinely wrecked PCL teams? Is it true Dobie generally played 3B, not SS, and batted 7th or 8th? Or is there some credible evidence that he was a great player already? He's already 4th on my ballot but I think a lot of voters would need to know he had 10 great seasons in order to vote for him.

I guess you've seen my posts #63 and 65 above, which has what Wreckers' info I've been able to find. Moore was playing with them as early as March 1916, so if he played baseball continuously from then till he joined the Monarchs mid-1920, that would give him four (or 4 1/2) seasons in Army baseball. Since I only have 1916-17 box scores, I don't know whether he changed positions or moved up in the batting order in subsequent years. When he started with the Monarchs, he was batting 5th or 6th and playing shortstop exclusively. By 1922, he was usually batting third.

I think I found a handful of games against PCL teams, all of which the Wreckers won.
   79. Gary A Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:10 AM (#1372680)
<i>Is there any more to Chino Smith than meets the eye? e.g. is his total career just his 5 (?) years in the NeLs? If so, despite his incredible peak, he does not have much of a case!?<>

Smith's NeL numbers were compiled under almost the best imaginable circumstances: he played in the higher-scoring east during a high-scoring era for the NeL, and his best years were in a great hitters' park (Catholic Protectory Oval). If Riley is right about his birth date (1903), then he would have played from age 22 to age 28, so he could be missing a good chunk of his prime (but also declining years).

My take on his Cuban League numbers, though, is that they're not as impressive as they might seem. The best hitters in that league when Smith was in it were Alejandro Oms, Jud Wilson, Oscar Charleston, and maybe Martin Dihigo; Smith is good, but he kind of fades into the pack a bit.

An interesting comparison would be to a contemporary, Pythias Russ. Riley doesn't give him an age, but he played from 1925-29; since he was a college man, it would seem likely he was born about the same time as Smith. Unlike Smith, Russ played under circumstances that suppressed his numbers, spending four of his five years with the American Giants in their extreme pitchers' park. Still, according to Holway, he batted .327, .268, .350, .405, and .386, before dying of tb in 1929. Holway's career numbers for him are .350 (313 for 895). I can't endorse the .405 (my research shows him at .346 for 1928), but he was still the best hitter on the American Giants that season.

The kicker is that Russ started out as a catcher, then converted to shortstop. His fielding numbers for 1928 are fine: fielding pct .940 (NNL ss .922), RF 5.58 (NNL ave 5.59), under circumstances (high-K pitching staff that allowed the fewest baserunners in the league) that tended to suppress chances for infielders. Considering park effects, I'd have to say he rivaled Willie Wells as the best player in the NNL that season.

The thing is, almost nobody remembers Russ, whereas there were several anecdotes about Smith, largely because of his temper. But after studying the 1928 season in some detail, I strongly suspect that Russ was a more valuable player, possibly by a lot.
   80. Gary A Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1372699)
Btw, Russ's batting record for 1928:

G-77 (team 83)
AVE-.346 (NNL .278)
OBA-.382 (NNL .333)
SLG-.449 (NNL .384)

Chicago's PFs for 1920-23 and 1928: 85, 54, 66, 81, 57. In 1928, the American Giants hit a grand total of 9 home runs: Russ 4, Walter Davis 3, John Hines 2.
   81. koufax Posted: June 02, 2005 at 12:12 PM (#1376390)
I still believe that Dobie Moore's California and Cuba experience is much more important than his Wrecker's experience. The Wreckers played most of their games against semi-pro teams and other army teams. They played very few games against high level competition. And when they did play PCL teams, it was strictly an exhibiton as far as the PCL teams were concerned, not a highly competitive game.
In the California Winter League, the opposition consisted of major league players and PCL players, and the teams played for a 60-40 split of the gate, making it very competitive. As we know players didn't make a lot of money in those days and every dollar was important. And the quality of the Cuban Winter League is without question a high level league, somewhere between major league and AAA.
Also, I believe players should be rated on seasons, not on calendar years.
According to gadfly, Dobie Moore was born in 1895, making him just 22 years old in 1917. He was not yet a superstar. However, on July 1, 1917, in a game against the 32nd infantry, Moore played 3rd and batted 5th. Eleven days later, against an army all-star team, he batted 6th. He hit 6th again on November 23.
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: June 02, 2005 at 01:03 PM (#1376415)

Do you mean to say that a player could play 2 or more "seasons" in a single calendar year? If so, I don't know that a lot of voters here will agree.

What is holding Dobie back here is a belief that his career consists of 6.5 seasons/years (or, "elite" or "MLE" seasons/years). His achievements in Cal and Cuba within those 6.5 years add certainty to the idea that he was an outstanding player. But they don't add to that 6.5 number that is his downfall.

That is where getting a better handle on his Wreckers play is his only hope of moving up in the voting. Just today there is a statement on the 1953 ballot discussion thread to the effect that "I don't give him much credit for his Wreckers play because it was his choice" to play in a less-elite environment rather than in the more elite NeLs. Whether you agree with this statement or not (on several dimensions), it defines the problem.

That is, he is the Jennings of black SSs. All peak, no bulk.

I say all of this as one of the BFODM.
   83. Gary A Posted: June 02, 2005 at 01:41 PM (#1376453)
Just today there is a statement on the 1953 ballot discussion thread to the effect that "I don't give him much credit for his Wreckers play because it was his choice" to play in a less-elite environment rather than in the more elite NeLs.

I have to say this is rather baffling, since Moore was playing baseball and was probably expressly in the Army to play baseball. Clearly the 25th Infantry team has to be considered one of the "elite" black teams of the later 1910s. Also, there *were* no Negro Leagues at that time. As soon as one was organized, Moore was playing shortstop with one of the elite teams within a matter of months. (I know it's not your argument, sunnyday--just wanted to respond to it, since I saw it here first.)
   84. sunnyday2 Posted: June 02, 2005 at 02:07 PM (#1376488)
Gary, thanks, yes, I agree 100% with what you say!
   85. Gary A Posted: June 02, 2005 at 02:28 PM (#1376517)
Also--I agree with you on winter league seasons. Players shouldn't get "extra credit" for them -- but they are important in establishing a player's abilities at a given time, helping to correct the problem of short seasons and small samples. For example, I've got Willie Wells playing 82 games with 326 at bats for the St. Louis Stars in 1928. In the 1928-29 Cuban League, he played about 41 games with 152 at bats. Added together, we have 123 games with 478 at bats, which, as long as we're able to account for league offensive levels, park factors, etc., give us a pretty good sample for that slice of his career.
   86. Gary A Posted: June 02, 2005 at 02:34 PM (#1376528)
Should have used a Moore example--for some reason I momentarily thought this was the Wells thread. Anyway, if you put together Dobie Moore's 1923 NNL season with the 23/24 Cuban League regular season, you get about 139 games, 562 at bats, which really begins to do away with sample-size problems.
   87. koufax Posted: June 02, 2005 at 05:11 PM (#1376844)
I have two comments.
Sandy Koufax pitched in the major leagues for 12 years, but he was a Hall-Of-Fame caliber pitcher for just 6 years. The rule that a player must play 10 years, based on Sandy's record, is somewhat absurd.
Also, see Addie Joss. An exception was made in his case.
Sandy Koufax was a great pitcher for 10 years.
Dobie Moore was a great shortstop for 7 years.
To paraphrase Jesse 'Mountain' Hubbard, "If you can't tell if a player is a great player in 7 years, you're not much of a judge".
   88. sunnyday2 Posted: June 02, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1377019)
I don't know who Jesse Hubbard was, but there are a few voters here at HoM who would agree. A player who is great for 6-7 years has proven himself.

koufax, I am just trying to find every extra shred of evidence to help move those voters who don't share that philosophy.
   89. OCF Posted: June 02, 2005 at 06:37 PM (#1377092)

You're not quite a regular around here, but just so you're clear on a few things:

"10 years" is a rule from that other Hall. It's not our rule.

We haven't elected Addie Joss, and at this point it would seem that we won't. He was fully eligible by our rules - no special dispensation needed - and he did have supporters, but those supporters didn't prevail.

Among our toughest cases are those of players with high peaks but either short overall careers, or careers that feature only low-value padding outside that peak. A good reference for that is our endless debates regarding Hugh Jennings, who had only 5 years at the top of his game.

Jennings remains a live candidate, as does Sisler, whose early greatness subsided suddenly to low-value padding in his later career. I would guess that we will easily elect Hank Greenberg,despite his low career totals.

I offer no predictions or projections about what this body will do with Sandy Koufax, other than that whatever we do won't be unanimous.

If you're going to argue that a player should be admitted almost entirely on the basis of a 5-7 year period of his career, then you really have to make the case for greatness in that short span. I have some edges or skepticism about Jennings's 5 years - and I don't have Jennings on my ballot.

And of course, all of this is relevant to Dobie Moore, one way or another.
   90. koufax Posted: June 05, 2005 at 12:08 PM (#1382455)
You hit the nail on the head.
If a player is to be admitted in just 5 or 6 years, his greatness needs to be proven, which is why his winter league seasons in Cuba, California, etc., against strong competition, is critical.
You mentioned the 'other' hall. It has a 10 year requirement, but it's not absolute. Addie Joss had only 9 years, and really only 8 full years, and he was elected to the Hall in 1978. Where will they go from here - to 7 years or 6 years?
You pointed out players who had hi peaks padded with low-value seasons outside the peaks. That identifies Koufax to a 'T'. And is there anyone who thinks Koufax is not one of the top 1-2-5 southpaw pitchers in major league history? Maybe the top overall pitcher ever, right or left.
And to Sunnyday2. Jesse Hubbard was a Negro league pitcher from 1917 to 1934. He saw or played against all the great Negro league players from Dobie Moore to Roy Campanella.
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 05, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1382481)
Maybe the top overall pitcher ever, right or left.

Obviously, you're not factoring in career if you can make a statement like that. If you add in career, there is no way that Koufax could be considered the greatest pitcher of all-time. Over Johnson? Over Clemens? Over Grove?

Even if we dealt strictly with peak, I would be hard pressed to name him as the best from any era (though he definitely would be in the discussion).

As for Joss, he wasn't very durable per season for his generation of pitchers, so that's what hurt him in the voting.

BTW, Dobie Moore is not that far off my ballot. But when you have to weed through countless candidates who have fine peaks plus career, it makes it tougher to place him on the ballot.
   92. Brent Posted: June 05, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1382617)

You seem like someone who is very knowledgeable and could contribute to this group. You are welcome to participate in the voting - you just need to submit a sample ballot on the discussion thread and get it ok'd. The rules require ranking 15 top eligible candidates with short comments on each, along with short comments on any of the prior week's top 10 that have been left off your ballot.

I agree with you that short-career, high-peak candidates like Moore deserve full consideration. I have him ranked in my top 25, but he hasn't been making my top 15 because there are several other high-peak I consider to have been a bit better--shortstop Hughie Jennings, pitchers Wes Ferrell, Dizzy Dean, and José Méndez, and catcher Roger Bresnahan. Also several longer career candidates like Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Burleigh Grimes, Biz Mackey, and Cool Papa Bell. But I think this group enjoys discussing the relative merits of the various candidates and most of us are open to changing our minds if new evidence or a convincing argument is put forward.

I'm particularly interested that, according to # 70, you have your own estimates of major league equivalent batting records for stars of the Negro leagues. On our threads, Chris Cobb has been calculating MLEs for the Negro leagues (with help from Gary A, gadfly, Dr. Chaleeko, and others) and I've done some work for minor leaguers. I think we would all be interested in a discussion and critique of the methods that are being used and of the assumptions that need to be made.
   93. koufax Posted: June 06, 2005 at 11:42 AM (#1384427)
John (Don't call me Grandma) Murphy

John, my definition of great is the best, the most talented, or the most skilled. Great has nothing to do with longevity. 'Total Baseball' rates the most 'valuable' players, a rating that includes both skill and longevity. That is why Tim Raines has a higher rating than Joe DiMaggio.
When I say Sandy Koufax may be the greatest pitcher of all time, it is based on his record from 1961-66, not his total 12-year career.
Randy Johnson is a great pitcher.
Roger Clemens is a great pitcher, but Roger has one serious flaw. He lacks something inside. It may be heart. It is reflected in the fact that he has been able to complete only 1 of 30 post-season starts. The famous 'Bill Buckner' game in the 1986 World Series is a perfect example. I believe that Clemens, not Buckner, was more to blame for the Series loss. If Roger had not begged out of the 6th game after 7 innings because of a blister, he might have been able to protect the 3-2 lead for two more inings and give the Red Sox the World Championship 19 years before they actually won it. Compare Clemens post-season record with Koufax (4 complete games in 7 starts, including pitching a three-hit shutout at the Twins in 1965 on two days rest after telling Alston 'If you want to win the game, you'll pitch me'). Or compare it with Bob Gibson who threw 7 complete games in 9 World Series starts. If you were a manager and had to choose one pitcher to pitch the seventh game of the World Series, and you had Koufax, Gibson, and Clemens to choose from, Roger would have to be your last choice.
Greatness combines talent and heart, but doesn't include longevity.
   94. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 12:22 PM (#1384443)

Most of Roger Clemens' post-season starts have come since 1999. During this time, he rarely completes ANY of his starts; 3 CG in 190 regular seaosn starts. So his post-season CG raito is BETTER than his regular season in this period. So we don't 'credit' Clemens for the fact that his team won most of the post-season games in which he pitched?

The game has changed dramatically since the Koufax/Gibson era of 1965. To compare the eras using CG is silly.

Addie Joss had a career ERA of 1.89, and won more ERA titles than Gibson. He pitched a perfect game in the most important contest of his life. I guess he was 'greater' than Gibby, who somehow lost in the 1968 W.S. game 7?
   95. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 12:28 PM (#1384445)
But after spouting all of that, I don't mean to say that 'heart' is not a legitimate factor in evaluating players. Yes, some have come up sorter or stood taller in big games than others, and yes, this is relevant. I merely believe that the Rocket's detractors, of whom there are many, have often overstated their case.
   96. koufax Posted: June 06, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1384698)
What is your opinion about Roger Clemens asking to come out of game 6 of the 1986 World Series after the seventh inning with the World Championship resting in his hand?
And tell me. If you had Koufax, Gibson, and Clemens available to pitch game 7 of the World Series, who would you choose and why?
   97. sunnyday2 Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:13 PM (#1384738)

Not to speak for Tom, but with all due respect this is a question that we will probably never have to decide here. IOW each of these will be elected when their turn comes, and Clemens will never be on a ballot with Koufax and Gibson.

One thing this electorate does is think through the balloting very seriously and thoroughly, but time being a finite commodity, we tend to focus on the decisions that NEED to be made and not ones that don't need to be made. And to throw an opinion off-the-cuff--e.g. Koufax or Clemens--well, I know I am not prepared to do it. It hasn't been researched, nor will it ever be.

So anyway, just to say I don't know if you'll get a satisfactory answer to your question here at the HoM. And that is a strength of the HoM format. We do what needs to be done, we do it thoroughly, and we don't pretend to have authoritative answers to questions we haven't researched.

The real gist of your question is an important one, however. How long does a player have to play in order to get elected here? Of course that depends on the level. We elected Ed Walsh but not Addie Joss and not Dizzy Dean. Ross Barnes but not Hughie Jennings. etc. etc. I have no idea how this plays out for Sandy Koufax other than he will be (high) on my ballot.
   98. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:17 PM (#1384747)
As a person who recently has moved to Northern New England and has been trying to learn the correct pronounciation of the accent by listening to sports-talk radio, I would like to share that in any discussion of Rawjuh "The Rawckit" Clemens and his mental makeup, the pronounciation of heart is apparentlyhahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhht.

As in

"Friggin' Rawjuh is a loosuh wiht no hahhhhhhhhhhhhhhht, that's why his .667 winnin' puhcentidge is only thurteenth all time and nawt even as good as fou-ah uhthuh Sawx pitchahs, incloodin': Rawbut Moses Grove, Smokey Joe Wood, Gawge Hehman Rooth, and Pedro Mahhhhtinez. It's scary thinkin' what he coulda done if he'd had more hahhhhhhhhhhhhht!"

Or at least this is how sports radio says it should be done....

: )
   99. Michael Bass Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1384766)
As one of the most peak-oriented voters here, I find Koufax as quite probaby the single most overrated player in history, a man who combined the perfect pitcher's era with the perfect pitcher's park, and left the game at his height so no one remembers a downturn.

I am hard pressed to locate a serious difference in value between him and Dizzy Dean (who is on my ballot, but who is largely rejected by the voters).

The list of people I would support over Sandy Koufax is long and illustrious, and ceratinly includes Roger Clemens (who may be my personal least favorite baseball player ever but is also obviously one of the 10 best pitchers ever, a list I wouldn't put Koufax on if you expanded it to 20).

More relavent to the topic of the thread, Dobie Moore deserves a lot more attention from the electorate. It feels to me that his low support flows from two things:

1) The "alltime lists", both from the 50s and more current, which practically always favored later NL players over earlier

2) The glut of talent at SS in the Negro League. We've elected 2 I think, and almost certainly will elect Wells as a 3rd, meaning that Moore would be #4. I find this perfectly understandable; we're not electing very many 1B/2B/3B, the talent simply went to SS and C. But others find the idea of 4 NL SSs troubling.
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1384815)
As a kid growing up, Sandy Koufax was, well, maybe not my idol. I was a Twins fan and an American League fan. Mantle, Killebrew, Oliva, those were my personal idols. But Koufax was just plain the most dominant and skillful player in the game. And he wasn't a pain in the ass. So my memories of Koufax are all plusses.

Years later I learned that his particular claim to greatness belonged in the peak rather than the career category. But since then it has also come to my attention that his record is indeed almost indistinguishable from that of Addie Joss and that of Dizzy Dean.

Dean ERA+ 130 1967 IP
Dean peak ERA+ 133 1728 IP 6 years

Joss 142 2327 IP
Joss peak 148 2220 IP 8 years

Koufax 131 2324 IP
Koufax peak 160 1633 IP 6 years

Joss has been on my ballot (currently around #18), Dean has not (though currently around #24).

I can see room here to rate Koufax more highly based on his peak, and I expect him to be in my top 3-5. But who knows? It will depend on the competition.
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