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Monday, August 08, 2005

Dom DiMaggio

Dom DiMaggio

Eligible in 1958.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 10:02 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 10:29 PM (#1530689)
Question: Which famous television program of the fifties and sixties used DiMaggio's first name at the beginning of every episode?

Answer: Dragnet.

:-D
   2. DonPedro Posted: August 09, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1531234)
And now for tonight's musical selection-

He's better than his brother Joe,
Dah-muh-nic
Duh-mah-jee-oh
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2005 at 01:29 AM (#1531254)
Thanks for the tune, DonPedro. :-)
   4. karlmagnus Posted: August 09, 2005 at 01:34 AM (#1531269)
Nicer person, anyway from all accounts. Marilyn seems to have liked Joe, but not many other people did. Dom, on the other hand, seems to have been universally liked and respected, and did very well in business after he quite the ML.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: August 09, 2005 at 01:35 AM (#1531275)
"quit the ML". Sorry
   6. Brent Posted: August 09, 2005 at 04:14 AM (#1531596)
I was struck by the parallels between the careers of Dom DiMaggio and Max Carey. I know, I know, I'm comparing a guy who didn't make it to 1400 major league games with a guy who had nearly 2500, but hear me out.

- Both were premier defensive centerfielders of their time, both by contemporary reputation and according to win shares. (BP also rates the Little Professor highly, but for some reason Carey doesn't do so well in their system.)

- Carey became a major league regular at age 21, and Dimaggio at 23, but DiMaggio had 3 strong seasons in the PCL before going to Boston (.306, .307, and .360), so until we can crunch some MLEs, it's unclear which one was the better player at ages 21-22.

- From ages 23 to 35 both were highly consistent with no real peaks or troughs. Carey's OPS+ ranged from 100 to 126; DiMaggio's ranged from 102 to 123.

- Both were quite durable. From ages 23 to 35, Carey played fewer than 126 games only once, in 1919; the only time DiMaggio played fewer than 128 was in 1940. They both often played 145+ games.

- Of course, DiMaggio missed his age 26, 27, and 28 seasons to military service in WWII. However,it appears that he spent at least part of those years playing baseball for a good Navy team.

- Both remained on their original teams through their age 36 season, when their performance dropped off. Here their paths diverged -- Carey was then traded and spent the next 3½ seasons hanging around with Brooklyn, playing at essentially relacement level. DiMaggio, on the other hand, decided to retire rather than be traded. Although Carey ran up his career totals during his last 4 seasons, my system sees those seasons as having had very little value.

- Their mix of skills was quite similar. Both were often among the league leaders in runs scored. DiMaggio hit leadoff most of his career; Carey also hit in the leadoff spot several seasons. DiMaggio hit for a slightly higher average and with a little more power (doubles) relative to his environment (an artifact of Fenway?). Carey drew more walks relative to the standards of his time, and stole a lot of bases. DiMaggio led the league in stolen bases once (with 15), but he played during an era when stolen bases were not a factor in MLB offense.

Despite these differences at the margin, I can't help but think that had they faced the same environment during their careers, their records would have ended up essentially interchangeable.

Of course, Carey has made it into the HoM, but I have the feeling that if he were still eligible, he'd now be appearing on about as many ballots as Joe Sewell.

Minor league credit (and a healthy dose of war credit) might be enough to make Dom DiMaggio a viable candidate. I don't have his full PCL statistics, and I'm getting ready to travel now, so I won't be able to work on them during the next week. But if someone is able to post his statistics or wants to do some work on his minor league record, I'd welcome your efforts.
   7. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 09, 2005 at 08:09 AM (#1531888)
I'm very open to this line of though on Dom DiMaggio Brent. I'll take a deeper look at it myself. If he was actually a good 'trapped' player from 1937-39, I could see giving him credit for 1938-39 (it takes a year to get noticed). I have no problem with the war credit.

A 15-year career is much different than a 10-year career.

That being said, I wasn't a huge Carey fan at the time. I only had him 9th, the year he was elected. I've reshuffled since then, but among still on the ballot guys, I had him between Jimmy Ryan and Edd Roush - (now guys in my second 20), but also between Rixey and Griffith (guys in my top 10). I'll give Dom DiMaggio a very close look.
   8. OCF Posted: August 09, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1532880)
Using the offensive system I use (modified RCAA), how does he look compared to Fielder Jones? Note that DiMaggio played in high-offense circumstances, and Jones in low-offense circumstances, so each Jones run was more valuable than each DiMaggio run. In arbitrary units, here are their seasons, sorted from best to worst:
DD: 29 27 26 25 24 20 12 11  9  0
FJ: 42 34 33 33 31 28 21 20 17 16 14 10  9  1 -1 

We understand that DiMaggio lost several years to the war, and left some of his good years in the PCL. But we'd basically have to assume that most of those seasons we don't see would have been a little better than Dom's best major league season just in order to bring him up to even with Fielder Jones.

Dom DiMaggio was a very fine player, of course. Here's an exercise: pick a current team, any team - maybe your team. Imagine installing a clone of Dom as the centerfielder and leadoff hitter. If you want to retain your current CF, move him to LF or RF. Move your current leadoff hitter somewhere else in the lineup (or to the bench). Dom will do two things for you: catch flies and get on base. Would this make your team better? Could you use him?

I'm hearing a lot of yesses on that. But he's not a HoMer.
   9. karlmagnus Posted: August 09, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1533004)
You only get a "maybe" from me, but then I'm convinced Damon will be a HOMer in the end :-))
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: August 09, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1533060)
Well, I'm a Twins fan so Dom DiMaggio would make them a ton better. But then, so would Earl Combs.
   11. PhillyBooster Posted: August 09, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1533071)
I think I'd first need to check to see that he doesn't swing at the first pitch as much as Jimmy Rollins does!
   12. PhillyBooster Posted: August 09, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1533127)
- Both were premier defensive centerfielders of their time, both by contemporary reputation and according to win shares. (BP also rates the Little Professor highly, but for some reason Carey doesn't do so well in their system.)

- Carey became a major league regular at age 21, and Dimaggio at 23, but DiMaggio had 3 strong seasons in the PCL before going to Boston (.306, .307, and .360), so until we can crunch some MLEs, it's unclear which one was the better player at ages 21-22.


My problem with these two points, taken together, is that about of DiMaggio's value was defensive, and he looks to have not developed as a fielder as quickly as he did as a hitter. His PCL stats may translate to an average or a little-above hitter, but if he was just an average-or-worse fielder in those years, too, I can't see PCL credit adding a lot of total value.
   13. KJOK Posted: August 10, 2005 at 04:32 AM (#1534899)
1938 Dom DiMaggio, San Francisco Seals:
G - 163
AB - 659
R - 120
H - 202
2B - 42
3B - 9
HR - 5
SH - 11
SB - 16
RBI - 60
AVE - .307

San Francisco Team:
G - 178
AB - 6039
R - 903
H - 1763
2B -301
3B - 61
HR - 71
SH - 94
SB - 72
RBI - 819
AVE -.292
   14. KJOK Posted: August 10, 2005 at 04:59 AM (#1534929)
1939 Dom DiMaggio, San Francisco Seals
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN LEAUGE by Sporting News

G - 170
AB - 664
R - 165 (leg league)
H - 239 (led league)
2B - 48
3B - 18 (led league)
HR - 14
SH -8
BB - 72
RBI - 82
SB - 39 (2nd in Lg)
AVE - .360 (2nd in Lg)
   15. OCF Posted: August 12, 2005 at 01:43 AM (#1540620)
I was looking at the career of Richie Ashburn. Considered side-by-side:

Ashburn was
- a semi-regular CF at age 21
- a full regular CF (and a very durable one) ages 22-33
- a well-used 4th OF ages 34-45. (Position varied as needed.)

DiMaggio was
- a star PCL player ages 21-22
- a regular CF ages 23-25
- in the military ages 26-28
- a regular CF ages 29-35, winding down some in the last year.
(token appearance at age 36)

Note that DiMaggio was never quite as durable in-season as Ashburn in his prime.

DiMaggio had 1399 games played, 1338 of them in CF.
Ashburn had 2189 games played, 1995 of them in CF.

DiMaggio had a career OPS+ of 111. In detail, he was +.024 in OBP and +.015 in SLG.

Ashburn had a career OPS+ of 111. In detail, he was +.049 in OBP and -.029 in SLG.

Most of what Ashburn has on DiMaggio is career length, and the bulk of that is accounted for by the PCL and the military. Ashburn does have two other things: the greater in-season durability, and the extreme OBP-first offensive shape.

Both of them have a lot of defensive value. I know we're talking about shades of A's here.

(Note: DiMaggio was reasonably durable - it's just that Ashburn was an extreme every-day player.)
   16. yest Posted: September 01, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1590901)
in 1942 Dom Dimmgio led all AL outfielders in putout assists and double plays what makes it special was the same year Vince Dimmagio also led all NL outfielders in putout assists and double plays.
   17. TomH Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:14 PM (#1590936)
Now THAT is a great piece of trivia! Thanks yest!
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1590942)
Now THAT is a great piece of trivia! Thanks yest!

Ditto. That was something that I wasn't aware of.
   19. yest Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1590959)
Joe finished second in outfield putouts that year
   20. yest Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:27 PM (#1590972)
Joe finished second in AL outfield putouts tied for 10th through 12th assits and 8th through 12 in double plays that year
   21. yest Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1590978)
3rd times the charm

Joe finished second in AL outfield putouts tied for 12th through 14th assits and 8th through 12 in double plays that year
   22. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1596309)
Sharpen your pencils and turn off your cell phones.
The Hall of Merit project generated a consensus that Max Carey was greater than Fielder Jones, Hugh Duffy, and Mike Griffin.
Discuss.

(Recognizing the point of the Joe Sewell reference, I don't include anyone younger than Carey such as Edd Roush, Cool Papa Bell, and Earl Averill.)

--
Note that DiMaggio played in high-offense circumstances, and Jones in low-offense circumstances,

Yes, but easy to overstate as Jones arrived in 1896.
(Oddly, his first and last seasons were his two best as a batter.)

--
DiMaggio did well in business after he quit the ML.

Carey never quit pro baseball. Perhaps he aspired to manage the Pirates, where he was captain and leader, including the organized labor sense that led to his release. He became manager of the Dodgers, surely only because he accepted the transfer and spent a few years there as a (merely replacement quality) player.

Later, he was a manager in the AAGPBL --for several seasons, I think. For some reason a photograph of Carey with his team --Max equipped with baseball bat, bathing suit, and flip flops, or something like that-- is the only AAGBPL photo that I can easily recall. ("For some reason" --probably a publicity photo that continues to work fifty years later!)

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