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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Frank Howard

Eligible in 1979.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 11, 2006 at 11:18 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 11, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#2060444)
I don't remember "The Capital Punisher" in his heyday, but I do remember him doing promos for the Mets tankard about 25 years ago, so that's about the same.

</facetiousness>
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#2060458)
In the first major-league game I ever attended, Frank Howard hit two home runs...

Washington at Seattle 5/11/69
   3. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:04 AM (#2060490)
Howard hit a ton of home runs in a bad hitters era.

1967: 36 home runs, 5.91 runs created per 27 in an environment where 3.7 runs are scored per game, .849 OPS in a .665 OPS environment

1968: 44 home runs, 6.57 RC/27 in a 3.41 run environment, .890 OPS in a .651 OPS environment.

1969: 48 home runs, 8.18 RC/27 in a 4.09 run environment, .976 OPS in a .699 OPS environment.

1970: 44 home runs, 7.97 RC/27 in a 4.17 run environment, .962 OPS in a .710 OPS environment.

Frank Howard home runs by park

Home: 186 HR

18 HR in the Coliseum, 37 HR in Dodgers Stadium, 116 HR in RFK Stadium, 8 HR in Arlington Stadium, 7 HR in Tiger Stadium

Away: 196 HR

Top 5- Milwaukee (23 HR), Cleveland (22 HR), Fenway (18 HR), Baltimore (15 HR), Minnesota (15 HR)
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:14 AM (#2060500)
My preliminary analysis (basically, I rated all of the 1978-1990 eligibles among themselves based on a statistically analysis, but then placed them all within my top 100 on an eyeball basis) shows Frank Howard being on my ballot. Obviously I have to fine tune the analysis thus far, and in Howard's case there's the issue that his reputation was never quite that great. But I think at this point that that was just prejudice because he played on some pretty bad teams. The guy could hit. I know that we Twins fans were pretty defensive about Killebrew being better than Howard, but for 3-4 years there Howard had a damn good argument, including Killebrew's MVP season.
   5. jingoist Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:57 AM (#2060619)
I ran into Frank Howard last year and thought the readership might enjoy catching up on Hondo's life these days.
Last summer a buddy and I were on our way to RFK to catch a Nats vs Pirates game.
We took the Metro from Vienna, VA, a suburb west of DC, down to RFK.
We no sooner sat down in our seats than Frank Howard walks onto the train.
I say to none/everyone "It's Frank Howard"; Frank says, "whats left of him"

We spend the 45 minute ride reminiscing about old Senators/Dodgers teams; Franks prodigious home runs; Bob Short (boooooo); Franks health (he was about to turn 69 and he looked GREAT).
FYI; for those of you who remember Hondo near the end, he'd gotten a bit portly from pounding all that Budwiser every night. Frank's dropped 50+ lbs now, he's trim and looks healty as a horse.

Frank now works for George Steinbrenner as a scout.
He had extremely kind words to say about George Steinbrenner; called him Mr. Steinbrenner; said he was a peach of a guy to work for and said he was a happy camper working as a Yankee scout.

Frank's a very quiet, unassuming man who tries to blend into the crowd.
At 6'7" he isn't able to do that very easily.

Note: not many other people on that train, which was filled with baseball fans going to the game, knew who Frank Howard was.
My buddy and I gave them a reasonable education by regaling Frank with our eye-witness accounts of a number of his many hitting feats.
Frank's a definate borderline HoM'er; I always felt Frank was two really good years away from Cooperstown. He of course pooh-poohed that idea, but had he hit another 60 or so HRs maybe.
   6. Brent Posted: June 12, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#2060644)
I always felt Frank was two really good years away from Cooperstown.

Howard may have had some trouble with the expanded strike zone that was in effect from 1963-68. His missing two or three years were 1964-66.
   7. DavidFoss Posted: June 12, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2060729)
Even if we don't induct him, he's certainly a strong borderline guy who should linger in the backlog for a while and he'll be a strong test for future candidates.
   8. DavidFoss Posted: June 12, 2006 at 03:58 AM (#2060784)
I know that we Twins fans were pretty defensive about Killebrew being better than Howard, but for 3-4 years there Howard had a damn good argument, including Killebrew's MVP season.

Win Shares has the two dead even from 1969-71. Hondo has a big edge in 1968 and is also tied or near tied in 62-63 and 65, but Killer has a big edge in 59-61,64,66-67,72. Harmon had a head start and isn't eligible yet. They had similarities, that's for sure, though.

Howard's main competition in the backlog in my opinion is Ralph Kiner. I'm going with Kiner right now, but I'd be interested in seeing more analysis. Of course, Sisler, Minoso, Beckley, Duffy and the rest of the backlog should also be in the discussion as well.
   9. CraigK Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:07 AM (#2060838)
So, 382 HRs in a career smack dab in the middle of one the bigger deadball eras in history; if he was born 30 years later with all his baseball talent intact, would he have hit 550+ homers?
   10. OCF Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:26 AM (#2060844)
A corner outfielder really has to hit. I've got Alou a hair ahead of Callison, but neither one anywhere close to a ballot. Howard, on the other hand ... I need to do one of those side-by-side year things versus Kiner. I have Kiner high on my ballot, but Howard is going to look good next to him. Willie McCovey doesn't become eligible until 1986? I should see how he looks.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 11:32 AM (#2060868)
McCovey is a tad ahead of Killebrew, Howard a couple tads behind. All pretty similar. But yes, Howard's career certainly was shorter, that is the big difference as David says.
   12. Ardo Posted: June 12, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2060870)
Howard belongs in the high-peak, shortish-career corner OF discussion with Kiner, Keller, Cravath, and Klein. I have him a smidge below Kiner (Hondo was a truly subpar defensive player; Kiner was merely below average), but I see how others may differ.

The hard part will be ranking him vis-a-vis Cravath and Pete Browning.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:23 PM (#2060893)
Haven't looked at Hondo's actual candidacy yet, but this is the nicest man I've ever met in baseball.
The best part of that sweet train story is that thousands more can recount equally warm tales over the past several decades.
   14. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:32 PM (#2060899)
So, 382 HRs in a career smack dab in the middle of one the bigger deadball eras in history; if he was born 30 years later with all his baseball talent intact, would he have hit 550+ homers?


Howard slugged ~.550 in 1968. I'd imagine that year would look downright ferocious in a 2006 context.
   15. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2060914)
One more random thing: I was looking at Howard and noticed that he hit a extremely small number of doubles for someone with his kind of HR power...then I was looking at other big/slow sluggers, and saw that in 1964, Killebrew hit 49 HR's and only 11 2B's. That's unbelieveable, and the highest ratio I can find (2nd is a McGwire season, 52HR's, 13 2B's). Ruth had a 41-13 season near the end (1932). Kiner's "best" was 54-19 (1948), and Hondo did 48-17 and 44-15 in his last two great seasons.

Other notables:

Cecil Fielder had a surprisingly solid amount of doubles for his, um, "size". 51-25 in his famous 1990.
Dave Kingman: 48-19 in 1979. Definately an all-time "great" in this category.
Darrell Evans, 1985: 40-17
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2060925)
I don't think those are so unusual. This year you've got Pujols at 25-7 and Dye at 19-5. In the AL alone, Thome, Dye, Giambi, Manny and Thomas are 90-31 among them. In the NL, Pujols, R. Howard, Bay and Burrell together are 82-28. Killebrew and McGwire's 4-1, that's unusual. But 3-1 ratios don't look that unusual, or else this is an odd year. Kingman and Evans' 2-1 don't seem special.
   17. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2060931)
I don't think those are so unusual. This year you've got Pujols at 25-7 and Dye at 19-5. In the AL alone, Thome, Dye, Giambi, Manny and Thomas are 90-31 among them. In the NL, Pujols, R. Howard, Bay and Burrell together are 82-28. Killebrew and McGwire's 4-1, that's unusual. But 3-1 ratios don't look that unusual, or else this is an odd year. Kingman and Evans' 2-1 don't seem special.

I was only looking at seasons over ~35HR or so, since below that, the demon of statistical noise rears its ugly head. But yeah, the numbers this season seem a little unusual.
   18. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:06 PM (#2060935)
For instance, Dye, Thomas, Howard, Giambi, Burrell, and Pujols have only had 1 2:1 HR:2B full season among all of them combined. Even 2:1 is unusual.
   19. DL from MN Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:30 PM (#2060958)
It looks like he'll be on my ballot next year, probably in the bottom 3rd. I see players like this and wonder if Willard Brown was clearly any better.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2060977)
It looks like he'll be on my ballot next year, probably in the bottom 3rd. I see players like this and wonder if Willard Brown was clearly any better.

Since Brown took 20 years to get elected, it's possible they are THAT close to one another. I see Brown as a little better because he appeared to me to place better among CFs. Howard's in a death match with Minoso, Kiner, Johnson, and the gang (soon to include Brock) in the tier right below Billy Williams and Willie Stargell, down at the straggling end of potential electability among the left fielders. Brown, for his part, was closer to the Williams/Stargell group than the Kiner/Howard group among my by-position rankings, which was a big point in his favor in my system. Ones mileage may vary, of course....
   21. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: June 12, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2060980)
Mickey Mantle in 60 and 61:

40-17
54-16

Maris in 61

61-16

Ynakees as a team in 61 - 240-194.

No other AL team was even close to hitting more HR than doubles. The closest was the Angels at 189-218.
   22. OCF Posted: June 12, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2061076)
Willie Mays in 1955: 51-18. (Of course, the whole XBH line was 18-13-51.) It's clear that a high HR/2B ratio is only secondarily about speed; it's primarily a sign of hitting the ball in the air.

Here are Kiner, Howard, and just for grins, Roger Maris, in my scaled RCAA system.

Kiner    81 76 70 42 41 28 24 20 10  7
Howard   72 71 63 46 41 40 36 35 25 12 12  8  3  0 
--1
Maris    67 55 41 38 31 23 19 11 10  9  7  3 

Note that Howard played 400 more games than Kiner or Maris (although Kiner was everyday-durable during his career) and Kiner or Maris in turn played 300 more games than Keller.

Howard slugged ~.550 in 1968. I'd imagine that year would look downright ferocious in a 2006 context.

The "72" on Howard's line is 1968, the "71" is 1969.
   23. OCF Posted: June 12, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2061119)
One caveat - I haven't been correcting for length of season, and length of season may be creeping in there as an advantage Howard has over Kiner. Although Howard only played more games than typical of Kiner in the three years 1968-70.
   24. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2061252)
Mickey Mantle in 60 and 61:

40-17
54-16

Maris in 61

61-16

Ynakees as a team in 61 - 240-194.


Willie Mays in 1955: 51-18. (Of course, the whole XBH line was 18-13-51.) It's clear that a high HR/2B ratio is only secondarily about speed; it's primarily a sign of hitting the ball in the air.


OK, so make it "HR-(2B+3B)" ratio.

Killebrew only hit 1 triple in his 49HR year to go with his 11 2B's.

That's still amazing.

Also, Mantle must have been an extreme flyball hitter...either that, or Yankee Stadium must have killed 2B's and 3B's (I suspect it might have for a dead-pull lefty like Maris).
   25. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#2061267)
Also, Mantle must have been an extreme flyball hitter...either that, or Yankee Stadium must have killed 2B's and 3B's (I suspect it might have for a dead-pull lefty like Maris).

The huge left-center field and very short right field made the old Yankee Stadium a good triples park, but a rather poor doubles park. Balls that would be doubles or triples to right wound up as homers; balls that would be homers or doubles to left-center wound up as triples.

And yes, both Mantle and Maris were extreme flyball hitters. As was Killebrew.
   26. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#2061269)
balls that would be homers or doubles to left-center wound up as triples.

Or as outs, of course.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#2061281)
With Killebrew, if it stayed in the park it was a single.

But then, Frank Howard, too.
   28. JPWF13 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2061295)
Howard hit a ton of home runs in a bad hitters era.

Looking at BBREF- the problem with Howards comps is that he';s got a better career OPS+ than all of them- his was 142, his ten comps average about 125

even going by age 33-36 he has a better OPS+ than all the comps that pop up- except 2- McCovey and Stargell, both in the Hall

of course neither ended up on Howard's final top 10 list because they played a bit more than he did
   29. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:42 PM (#2061319)
In one of his articles someplace, Bill James made a good point about Howard; I think it might have been in his comment on Mickey Vernon in the first Historical Abstract. He said something to the effect that Vernon, like Frank Howard and Rico Carty, would be in the Hall of Fame if only he'd been able to string together a normal, expected series of years in between his great years.

Even under 1960s batting conditions, Howard's trough from 1964-66, at ages 27-29, was weird. Put three seasons in there in line with what he did before and after and he's got over 400 HRs; give him peak seasons in there (hardly unusual for a guy ages 27-29) and he'd have been rightly recognized as a superstar.

What happened, happened, of course. But he had one a strangely concave career arc.
   30. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2061320)
One thing that no one ever mentions about Howard was his arm. He was very slow, and not a good outfielder overall, but he'd been a pitcher in high school and college (and pitched a few games in the minors, IIRC), and he could throw. Very similar to Stargell in this regard, although Stargell's arm was even better.
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 12, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#2061326)
Looking at BBREF- the problem with Howards comps is that he';s got a better career OPS+ than all of them- his was 142, his ten comps average about 125.

James say in TPOG/WEHTTHOF? that being better than ones comps is a point in the favor of any HOF candidate.

if only he'd been able to string together a normal, expected series of years in between his great years.

James makes a similar point about Jim Kaat. If you rearranged Kaat's luck so that instead of having three 20-win years and a ton of 14-11s, you could construct a prime for Kaat where he's winning 18, 19 games a year instead of 13-15, but still has the same career record. Even though he'll now have a few losing years, his career will look more normal and more like what a HOF's career is supposed to look like. Same could be said of Howard. Take the bad seasons and disperse them to the beginning and end of the career, and he's a more normal-looking candidate.

The concave career shape is pretty dramatically shown by Jacques Fournier. Good value for a year or two, then poor, then out of MLB for several years, then rising back up to studhood in the 1920s. Howard got to keep his job at least....
   32. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2061333)
One last post w/r/t the HR/2B thing:

So I made up a stat, (HR/H)/((2B+3B)/H). Esentially normalizing all the XBH's as a percentage of total hits, and taking the ratio of the homers to the other XBH.

Here's the list of the top 10 guys all-time:
McGwire Mark
Killebrew Harmon
Phelps Ken
Kittle Ron
Kingman Dave
Fielder Cecil
Gentile Jim
Sosa Sammy
Kiner Ralph
Deer Rob
   33. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2061336)
Frank Howard, FWIW, is 12th.
   34. Mark Donelson Posted: June 12, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2061397)
This won't take anyone by surprise, but I, too, find Howard very appealing. Not sure if he makes my ballot or just falls off the end, but he's likely to at least make my pHOM this year.

And my wife, who met Howard when she was singing the national anthem at a Mets/Dodgers spring training game sometime in the early '90s, concurs in everyone's assessment of him as a sweetheart and a real gentleman. (She told her father, a lifelong Indians fan, who she'd just met, and he responded "Do you know who he is?!!!" Because, of course, Howard himself hadn't told her. She did know enough that he must be somebody to get her photograph taken with him, though.)

She also got hit on by Roger McDowell, but that's another story... :)
   35. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2061401)
She also got hit on by Roger McDowell, but that's another story... :)

Roger McDowell hit on my mother, too!
   36. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:21 PM (#2061424)
Even under 1960s batting conditions, Howard's trough from 1964-66, at ages 27-29, was weird.


In 1964, Howard's batting average took a tumble, and he was traded from the Dodgers to the Senators in the offseason. In '65 and '66, he wasn't hitting home runs, but his BA recovered and he posted the two best OBPs of his career to that point (even in the teeth of the wider strike zone), while striking out at about the same rate as he had before 1963 (actually, a tad less often). In 1967, his strikeout rate took a huge leap upward - but so did his home run total.

Which makes me wonder - did Howard make a deliberate effort to shorten his stroke and to take more pitches in his first two years in DC, and did he then decide "Screw it, this isn't working" and return to his previous style of hitting? 1965 and 1966, interestingly enough, were also the only full seasons in which Howard had more doubles than HRs, and Howard also had 10 triples in those two seasons (he managed 6 in 1962, but never more than 3 in any other season).

T'would be an interesting research topic.

-- MWE
   37. OCF Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#2061430)
If you're looking for other examples of "concave" careers, there's also Lonnie Smith.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2061435)
Which makes me wonder - did Howard make a deliberate effort to shorten his stroke and to take more pitches in his first two years in DC, and did he then decide "Screw it, this isn't working" and return to his previous style of hitting? 1965 and 1966, interestingly enough, were also the only full seasons in which Howard had more doubles than HRs, and Howard also had 10 triples in those two seasons (he managed 6 in 1962, but never more than 3 in any other season).

That's generally been my theory over the years, Mike. He reduced his Ks, restored his BA, and reduced his HRs in '65 and '66. Perhaps that was at the urging of Gil Hodges (who had known him in LA) or the Senator's batting coach, or perhaps Howard shortened up his stroke on his own.

But why did he suddenly revert back to his old go-for-broke approach in '67?

I don't know. It puzzled me at the time, and (while honestly I haven't looked real hard), I never came across anything in the annuals and guidebooks of the time that explained it.
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:32 PM (#2061443)
Mike:

Actually, Howard had a tough streak in early 1963 and only a late surge salvaged that season. In '64 his power numbers to start the season were fine, 13 homers through the first two months, but his average was stuck around .220. Then his power vanished and Alston soured on him. The organization was already less then thrilled with Frank's less then enthusiastic approach to Spring Training.

I think the trade to Senators caused something of a career crisis in Frank's mind which resulted in the change in approach. As was already described he was a slow guy without much value outside of the batters box. If folks decided he couldn't hit his shelf life was pretty short. So I am pretty certain your hypothesis applies to the 1965 season.

I also seem to remember a hand injury in 1966 being something of an issue which would have delayed a return to his powerhitting persona. But I could be confusing Howard with Adcock. Big lugs...............
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2061446)
This won't take anyone by surprise, but I, too, find Howard very appealing.

Well, yeah, compared to Don Mossi, Andy Etchebarren, and Joe Torre, I could see you thinking Frank was more appealing. ;-)
   41. Steve Treder Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:50 PM (#2061468)
Actually, Howard had a tough streak in early 1963 and only a late surge salvaged that season. In '64 his power numbers to start the season were fine, 13 homers through the first two months, but his average was stuck around .220. Then his power vanished and Alston soured on him. The organization was already less then thrilled with Frank's less then enthusiastic approach to Spring Training.

I think it can be fairly said that Alston and the Dodgers organization never really appreciated what they had in Howard. He has a fine rookie year in 1960, in fact wins the ROY, and then the next year Alston platoons him into a part-time player. Even in '62, '63, and '64, Alston benched him against RHPs a fair amount. He seemed to be one of those guys who the organization always focuses on what he can't do, to the extent that they lose sight of what he can. They put up with Tommy Davis's shortcomings and played him every day in the middle of the lineup; if they'd done it with Howard instead they'd have likely produced more runs.
   42. DCW3 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2061473)
in 1964, Killebrew hit 49 HR's and only 11 2B's. That's unbelieveable, and the highest ratio I can find

That is the highest HR/2B ratio in history for anyone with at least 502 PAs in a season. The only other season with better than a 4:1 ratio is Dave Kingman's 1982 (37 HR, 9 2B).
   43. JPWF13 Posted: June 12, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2061475)
If you're looking for other examples of "concave" careers, there's also Lonnie Smith.

Dave Parker...
   44. TerpNats Posted: June 12, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#2061495)
Frank remains one of the most beloved athletes to play in Washington in any sport. I've suggested that the new Nationals' park feature three oversized statues a la Schmidt, Roberts, Ashburn and Carlton in Philadelphia: Walter Johnson pitching to Frank Howard, with Josh Gibson catching, just behind Hondo. That encapsulates the three facets of baseball in 20th century D.C.

Met Frank at a luncheon in '82; a real genuine guy. When he was a coach with the Mets in the early nineties, I took my nephew to a game where there was a postgame "kids run the bases" event, and Hondo stood in the first-base coaching box, urging the kids on. Wonderful.
   45. TerpNats Posted: June 12, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2061501)
Oh, one more trivia bit about Frank Howard: I believe he still holds the single-game rebounding record at the ECAC Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. This was when it was a major eight-team intersectional college basketball event, not the ersatz St. John's (MSG house team) four-team invitational it has declined to.
   46. Mark Donelson Posted: June 12, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#2061539)
Somebody brought up the question of Howard vs. Browning, which I find particularly interesting because, as it turns out, they're up against each other for the second slot this "year" in my pHOM. They're hard to compare (well, almost anyone is hard to compare with Browning).

I'm leaning toward Browning at the moment for various reasons, but does anyone else feel strongly enough one way or the other to spend the time to post on the subject?
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2061598)
I can't imagine MLB putting an all-star basketball team on the court without Frank Howard. Howard and Dick Groat would be easy choices, not sure who else. I suppose Gene Conley, probably Dave DeBusschere though he wasn't much of a hardball player, pretty good hoops guy, however. Who would be the fifth?
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2061601)
Danny Ainge?
   49. DCW3 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2061603)
Who would be the fifth?

Danny Ainge?
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:12 AM (#2061604)
woo hoo, in your face, DCW3!
(lol)
   51. DCW3 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2061606)
It's my own fault for taking the time to quote what I was responding to. I've learned my lesson.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2061607)
I'll buy Ainge though, again, not much of a baseball player but worthy on the court side. Now, we do need to improve on that frontcourt. Not very big.
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:14 AM (#2061608)
'Course there's always Michael Jordan, would he count?
   54. yest Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:43 AM (#2061629)
Bob Gibson
   55. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2061648)
Red Rolfe and Lou Boudreau either coached or played pro b-ball at some point (IIRC).

Kenny Lofton was an All-American at AZ, wasn't he?

KJOK, Gadfly, or Gary A would be able to tell us which NgLs played for the Globetrotters, I think there were a few.
   56. yest Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2061659)
Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield were both drafted
   57. OCF Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2061660)
We talk about the Negro Leauges here, but that was just one manifestation of a whole world of sports entertainment rooted in Black America - including some sports entertainments marketed to white audiences. The promoters who built teams and organized events crossed over among several sports. There's also a continuum between deadly serious straight-up athletic competition on one end and scripted entertainment on the other with several hard-to-distinguish shades in between. And what is one of the last surviving manifestations of that world? The Harlem Globetrotters, of course. And who played for the 'Trotters? See yest's #54.
   58. OCF Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2061664)
Tony Gwynn went to the same high school as my children - a high school that is especially proud of its athletic traditions. What is it best at? Football and track. After that? Basketball ranks pretty high, all though not really at the same level as football. And Tony Gwynn is one of the all-time basketball legends of that school.
   59. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:38 AM (#2061686)
Oh, yeah, forgot about the Negro Leaguers. Fats Jenkins was the best of them at hoops, I think. He played for the New York Renaissance (Rens), who were better than the Trotters generally through the 1930s. The Rens won the first World Professional Tournament, and the Trotters won the second one, I think 1938 and 1939. Jenkins definitely has to be Groat's running mate at guard, yes, ahead of Ainge.

I didn't think of Winfield because I saw him play--I had season tickets to the Minnesota Gophers through his career. Actually he never played until his junior year. He was discovered playing intramural ball and invited to try out for the Gophers, and ended up starting for 1.5 years. He was a tough son of a b***h but lacked a certain finesse. I think Frank Howard was vastly better as a front court player.

Lou Boudreau is of course a good choice, too, an All-American at Illinois around 1937-38 or thereabouts. In fact, the Gophers won the Big Ten title in 1937, their only one between 1919 and 1972, but Illinois and Boudreau tied them for it. 'Course he's another guard. What we need is a center.

I don't remember Lofton being that good. When I think of Arizona State, I think of Lenny Randle running a punt back for a touchdown against Minnesota in about 1968-69(?).
   60. DavidFoss Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2061701)
Ferguson Jenkins also played for the Globetrotters.
   61. Paul Wendt Posted: June 13, 2006 at 02:36 AM (#2061751)
in Howard's case there's the issue that his reputation was never quite that great. But I think at this point that that was just prejudice because he played on some pretty bad teams.

he doesn't look like a baseball player or run like one.

The concave career shape is pretty dramatically shown by Jacques Fournier. Good value for a year or two, then poor, then out of MLB for several years, then rising back up to studhood in the 1920s. Howard got to keep his job at least....

in a time when the major:minor pay differential had become serious.

I think it can be fairly said that Alston and the Dodgers organization never really appreciated what they had in Howard. He has a fine rookie year in 1960, in fact wins the ROY, and then the next year Alston platoons him into a part-time player.

I have read this elsewhere, too, maybe in someone's remarks on the 1963 World Series from a Yankees perspective.

--
"Creighton" makes me think of pitcher Jim, not Bob Gibson and Willis Reed.
Gibson and Jenkins are the obvious HOF choices.
Winfield is the enforcer off the bench.
David Thompson's sidekick Tim Stoddard (9 rebounds 5 assists v UCLA) can come off the bench for both teams, too.
   62. Paul Wendt Posted: June 13, 2006 at 02:39 AM (#2061752)
.
On my screen, the whitespace between numbered articles has vanished.
.
   63. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 13, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#2061770)
Howard slugged ~.550 in 1968. I'd imagine that year would look downright ferocious in a 2006 context.
BPro's Translated Batting Statistics has Hondo's '68 season as 303/369/680 with 60 jacks among his 100 XBH. Wow.
   64. DCW3 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:57 AM (#2061864)
Howard slugged ~.550 in 1968. I'd imagine that year would look downright ferocious in a 2006 context.

In 1969, Howard hit .296/.402/.574 with a 177 OPS+. If you translate those numbers into the context of 2005 in Texas, you get a line of .326/.417/.663. Derrek Lee's 2005: .335/.418/.662...with a 177 OPS+. Eerie.
   65. DCW3 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 07:00 AM (#2061866)
(And, of course, the reason I picked Texas was to keep Howard on the same franchise.)
   66. KJOK Posted: June 13, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2062076)
Globetrotters who played baseball in Negro or Major Leagues (I'll make no claims this is 100% accurate):


Rock Anderson
Joe Bankhead
Zack Clayton
Nat “sweetwater” Clifton
Piper Davis
Bill Dumpson
Greene Farmer
Sammy Gee
Bob Gibson
Ferguson Jenkins
Collins Jones
Ezelle King
Joe Lillard
Ziggy Marcell
George “sonny” Smith
Ford Smith
Othello Strong
Ted Strong
Bill Watson
Sam “boom Boom” Wheeler
John “jumping Johnny” Wilson
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2062193)
whoops! wrong thread. i posted this on willie mays by mistake...

mental note: when it comes to basketball, always trust sunnyday2 over Dr. C.

from baseball liberry:

Lofton grew up in the projects of East Chicago, Indiana and was a four-year starter for the George Washington High School baseball team before taking his athletic talents to the University of Arizona. While he didn’t make the varsity baseball team until his junior year, he was the sixth man for the Wildcats 1988 Final Four basketball team. The following season, he started at point guard. By his graduation he owned the university’s single-season and career record for steals.

So good, but not as good as I'd claimed.

But one I made good on:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Red_Rolfe

Rolfe coached in the NBL. Here's basketball-ref's take, they only go back to 1947:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/coaches/rolfero99c.html
   68. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2062248)
Are you sure about Fergie Jenkins? You're not thinking of Fats Jenkins, who played for the Rens and the NeLs?

But if he did, then I would guess the Gibby and Fergie should be on the joint baseball/hoops all-star team.
   69. Mark Donelson Posted: June 13, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#2062332)
Bringing things back to Howard's baseball career for a moment... :)

Looking over some old threads, I discovered he did surprisingly well on ronw's old lists by position, and reasonably well in Kelly in SD's, both near the bottom of the page at this link:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/leftfielders/

Whatever happened to those positional threads, anyway? We seem to have abandoned them.
   70. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:37 AM (#2062612)
IIRC, Lofton was a reserve on the '88 Final Four team, and was the starting PG the following season.
   71. KJOK Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:47 AM (#2063351)
Are you sure about Fergie Jenkins? You're not thinking of Fats Jenkins, who played for the Rens and the NeLs?

Jenkins supposedly played in the 1967-68 and 68-69 offseasons.

I believe Jenkins also had a tryout with the Chicago Blackhawks.
   72. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:30 AM (#2063365)
The official Harlem Globetrotters web site has an all-time roster, which includes...

Ferguson Jenkins F 6-5 Chatham Vocational H.S. (Ont.)
   73. baudib Posted: June 21, 2006 at 10:44 AM (#2070549)
Ron Reed played in the NBA.
   74. Babe Adams Posted: June 22, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#2071988)
Koufax was supposed to be a fine basketballer.
   75. Mike Webber Posted: June 26, 2006 at 09:05 PM (#2076762)
Globetrotters who played baseball in Negro or Major Leagues (I'll make no claims this is 100% accurate):



Another one, and I'd argue the best at the two sports together - if you had some Power/Speed number type equation.

Goose Tatum
   76. yest Posted: October 05, 2006 at 06:44 AM (#2198643)
I just found this <url=http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Borgmann.htm>basketball hall of famer</url>
   77. yest Posted: October 05, 2006 at 08:05 AM (#2198652)
acording to wiki. <url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Globetrotters]lou brock</url> played for them
   78. KJOK Posted: October 05, 2006 at 11:53 PM (#2199807)
I believe the Lou Brock playing for the Globetrotters is erroneous.

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