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Monday, September 19, 2005

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Eligible in 1962.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 12:19 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1626554)
Faster than you can say "Jack Robinson," Jackie Robinson will be inducted into the Hall of Merit!
   2. DavidFoss Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1626647)
Win Shares fielding grade: A+
   3. Flynn Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:31 AM (#1626666)
I just don't see him as a Hall of Famer.

What did he ever do for the game of baseball?


:))))))))))
   4. DavidFoss Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:48 AM (#1626695)
1946 Montreal Royals

Note who his double play partner is.
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1626700)
Not that this really matters for Robinson, but how much credit does he deserve for his pre 1947 play? war credit?

Bil James has him as the best defensive 3B in history, yet as I recall he wasn't a terribly good 1B per WS.
   6. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:53 AM (#1626703)
pfft, only 1500 hits and never hit more than 20 HR. plus, career CS % of 25%, that's barely break even status.

his OBP is nice, but really. he's a ken phelps all-star, but not a hall o' merit guy.

so, why'd he not get called up until he was 28 anyways? attitude problems?
   7. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 19, 2005 at 03:45 AM (#1626758)
I once did a sim score between Jackie Robinson and other players from age 28-onward. The closest match? Frankie Frisch. The main differences: 1) Robinson had more power, 2) Robinson had more stolen bases, 3) Robinson had more walks, 4) Robinson didn't play in the 1920s NL.
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: September 19, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1626767)
Not that this really matters for Robinson, but how much credit does he deserve for his pre 1947 play? war credit?

Well, he certainly deserves MLE credit for 1945 and 1946.

He was such a great athlete, he could certainly have reached the majors before 1945, but I have no idea exactly when. As he doesn't, in my view, need war credit to be a first-ballot HoMer, I probably won't worry about it, though it could be interesting to speculate.
   9. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:00 PM (#1627153)
You know, one thing that hadn't really occurred to me until recently (Lord knows why) is that Jackie and Satchel Paige were teammates on the '45 Monarchs. I just wonder what kind of relationship they had, because I'd imagine that Jackie might not have had much patience for Satch's, um, relaxed attitude.
   10. PhillyBooster Posted: September 19, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1627374)
* If you look at him only from age 28 on only and project back, he is clearly a HoMer.

* His career before age 28 was hindered by racism, and he knocked around several years in the Negro Leagues and white minor leagues.

* Following a World War, he was finally able to become established in the major leagues, he quickly improved, peaking at about age 32, with one of the best seasons ever for someone at his position.

* He remained a solid, above average contributor through age 37.

* After that, he pitched another 600+ innings at league average or better for seven years, before finally retiring at age 44.

I'm talking, of course, about Cuban pitching star Dolf Luque. You were thinking of someone else, maybe?
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:51 PM (#1629803)
Here's what the MLE process is telling me about Jackie's 1945 and 1946 seasons.
Jackie Robinson, literal interpretation
YEAR AGE PO  avg  obp  slg   g  pa  ab  h  tb  bb  ops+ sfws
-------------------------------------------------------------
1945  26 2B .355 .454 .555 154 692 585 208 325 107 185 46.7
1946  27 2B .330 .408 .399 124 534 471 155 188 62  115 23.3

I did not apply any wartime discount to his 1945 numbers, but I think it's clear that they need it because his rates are somewhat out of line with the rest of his career, especially his OPS+.

Robinson may very well have had his career year at age 26, and he was among the league leaders in a variety of categories in a depleted NAL. Being a smaller league than the NL the draft may have lowered the quality of competition further than it did in the majors.

Robinson played SS at Montreal, but because he did not play there in the Majors, I chose to make him a 2B for the purpose of fielding WS. To figure his fielding, I took the FWS/g rate from 1948-1952 (when he played virtually every game at 2B) and applied it to his games played. He comes out as a 6.08/1000 innings 2B which is quite good.

As always, I appreicate any feedback to sharpen these numbers and help us get him right.
   12. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1629940)
A minor tidbit:

When I played youth baseball, we used wooden bats - and wooden bats came in various models with a player's name on them. Some were active players, some were retired players. My hands were more comfortable on a think-handled bat than a thin-handled bat, and I thought that the best bats for me were the thickest-handled bats I could find. (I was almost surely wrong about that, by the way.) That left two available models for me: Nellie Fox and Jackie Robinson.
   13. Mike Webber Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1630050)
In comparison to what I posted on the Irvin thread,

Among all hitters, age 28+ Robinson's 257 Win Shares is tied for 42nd with Zach Wheat.

Here are the dozen players just ahead of or behind him on the list:
273 Evans, Darrell
272 Gehringer, Charlie
269 Waner, Paul
269 Jackson, Reggie
268 Gwynn, Tony
265 Winfield, Dave
264 Clarke, Fred
262 Cruz, Jose
261 Bagwell, Jeff
261 O'Rourke, Jim
260 Perez, Tony
259 Clemente, Roberto
257 Robinson, Jackie
257 Wheat, Zack
256 Murray, Eddie
255 Brock, Lou
254 Averill, Earl
254 Smith, Ozzie
254 Butler, Brett
253 Carew, Rod
251 Palmeiro, Rafael
250 Williams, Billy
249 Killebrew, Harmon
249 Evans, Dwight
248 Mantle, Mickey


From Age 29 to 34 he had 187 Win Shares, tied with Speaker at 11th among that age range. Below is a list of players within 10 win share + or - in that same age range:

189 Bonds, Barry
187 Speaker, Tris
187 Robinson, Jackie
185 Gehringer, Charlie
182 Sosa, Sammy
181 Rose, Pete
180 Delahanty, Ed
179 Lajoie, Nap
179 Robinson, Frank


Gehringer shows up on both lists, and the worst players on these list are fine players.
   14. DavidFoss Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:55 PM (#1630059)
the worst players on these list are fine players.

I know Robinson was drifting along the defensive career as he got older, but those lists are even more impressive if you remember he was a 2B (or even a 2B/3B). I hesitate to say that the OF-ers should be removed as Robinson did play an appreciably time in the OF between his time in 2B and 3B (basically 53-54).
   15. Daryn Posted: September 20, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1630169)
That's fantastic stuff, Mike.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1630695)
On a personal note, my grandfather saw him quite a few times going to work at Chock Full O' Nuts during the early sixties. I also own an undated photo of him with my Aunt and Uncle at Vero Beach.

Of course, my father met all of the big name Dodgers as a kid at Ebbets Field. Much harder to do that today.
   17. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1630744)
Among all hitters, age 28+ Robinson's 257 Win Shares is tied for 42nd with Zach Wheat.

One thing to remember about Win Shares - more so than most other measures, it is tied to the length of the season. More games means more wins, more wins means more WS to be parceled out.

Note that most of the players in the list in #13 played in 162-game seasons - including Mantle, for whom "age 28+" includes only one 154-game season. Take all of those players, multiply the total above by 154/162, and sort again. Here's the new list:

??? O'Rourke
272 Gehringer
269 Waner
264 Clarke
260 Evans, Da.
257 Robinson, J.
257 Wheat
269 Jackson, Re.
256 Gwynn
254 Averill
252 Winfield
249 Cruz
248 Bagwell
247 Perez
246 Clemente
243 Murray
242 Brock
241 Smith, O.
241 Butler
241 Carew
239 Palmeiro
238 Williams
237 Killebrew
237 Evans, Dw.
236 Mantle

That's an overcorrection. Quite a few of these players should get another correction to account for the shortened 1981 and 1994-1995 seasons. But my point should still hold.
   18. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: October 03, 2005 at 06:49 AM (#1659127)
Robinson certainly makes for an interesting hypothetical. Had he been white, he almost certainly would have been in the majors at an early age, and would have been a good candidate for 3,000 hits if not for the war. This is one case in which MLEs don't really tell the entire story.

The reason Robinson attended Pasadena City College and, later, UCLA, is because college athletics was the highest level of competition available to him at the time -- that and the Negro Leagues. It's my feeling that Robinson, absent any restrictions preventing him from playing MLB, would, like most of the premier athletes of his day, probably have signed with MLB right out of high school instead of attending college. His family needed the money, and Robinson was such an indifferent student that it seems difficult to believe college would have been a priority for him then. (The intellectual side of him didn't come out until later, after he met Rachel.)

So, I think White Jackie would have signed a contract with some team at age 18 (spring of 1937) and likely would have reached the majors at age 20 or so (1939). Had he played full seasons from 1940-46, he'd be in 3,000 hit territory.

Ironically, had he been white he would likely have missed MORE time in World War II than he did. He wouldn't have been drummed out of the Army for refusing to go to the back of a bus, so White Jackie would likely have spent the 1945 season with Uncle Sam instead of Uncle Satch.

I'm not suggesting that any of the above be considered in voting on Jackie. But it's worth noting that although Robinson only played one season in the Negro Leagues, he actually lost 4-7 MLB seasons to racism, depending on how one counts the war.
   19. OCF Posted: October 09, 2005 at 04:39 AM (#1671898)
Here are several people's careers on my version of context-adjusted RCAA, with years sorted from best to worst (in arbitrary units):

Robinson  67 67 60 44 41 30 26 21 14  7
Rosen     84 62 46 37 25  8  6  0 -1 -5
Stephens  41 41 35 26 24 17 16 16 15 10  1  1  0 -3 -8
Boudreau  66 40 33 25 20 14 12 11  9  5  0  0  0 -4 -4
Elliott   48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10  8  7 -1 -2
Appling   55 48 35 34 27 22 22 21 19 19 17 12 11  7  2 -9 -9 0
Vaughan   84 64 58 52 51 47 39 31 28 27 19 14 11
Hack      59 51 50 45 43 32 29 27 23 22 20 12 10  5
Doyle     59 48 44 37 34 30 25 25 20 18 17 15 12 -4
Herman    42 42 41 36 28 27 15 13 10  9  5  3  2  2

In this collection of 10 infielders who could hit (5 of them already elected to the HoM) where does Robinson rate, year-by-year?

#1 year: 3rd behind Vaughan and Rosen
#2 year: 1st
#3 year: 1st
#4 year: 3rd behind Vaughan and Hack
#5 year: 3rd behind Vaughan and Hack
#6 year: 3rd behind Vaughan and Hack, tied with Doyle
#7 year: 3rd behind Vaughan and Hack, tied with Elliott

He's ahead of Boudreau through 10 years (Robinson's whole career), and ahead of Appling through 7 years.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: October 09, 2005 at 12:37 PM (#1672022)
IF who can hit is definitely one of my favorite categories of players. Among those who are eligible, the top 3 each year:

1st year: Rosen, Robinson, Doyle
2nd: Robinson, Rosen, Doyle
3rd: Robinson, Rosen, Elliott
4th: Robinson, Rosen and Doyle (tie)
5th: Robinson, Doyle, Elliott
6th: Robinson and Doyle (tie), Elliott
7th: Robinson and Elliott (tie), Doyle
8th: Elliott and Doyle (tie), Robinson
9th: Elliott and Doyle (tie), Stephens
10th: Doyle, Elliott, Stephens
11th: Doyle, Elliott, Stephens
12th: Doyle, Elliott, Stephens
13th: Doyle, Elliott, Stephens
14th: no +'s left

Did somebody say that Doyle had a short career? Or Vern Stephens for that matter? Not compared to this cohort. Let's give it up for Leapin' Larry Doyle!
   21. Jeff M Posted: October 09, 2005 at 02:33 PM (#1672070)
Personally I think it would be an error to give Robinson credit for the possibility he could have played in the majors at age 18 or 20. He could have played in the Negro Leagues at age 18, but did not. Something was drawing him to college. As Eric said, it may not have been academics. But even if Jackie was not academically minded, his family may have placed great weight on education. Remember that UCLA was integrated, but just barely. It was still a big deal for a black person to go to a nationally recognized institution of higher learning.

And then there was athletics. We know he went to Pasadena to stay closer to his mother and to help at home. We also know that he played baseball, football and basketball, and ran track, both at Pasadena and UCLA. He loved to compete. Was baseball even his favorite sport? He may have sought Olympic glory in track and field, following his brother's footsteps.

Would he, as an 18 or 20 year old, give up football, basketball and track (and an education) and travel constantly on the Eastern seaboard (3,000 miles from mom) if MLB offered him a contract when he was 18 or 20? Who knows? He didn't choose that course when it was the Negro Leagues, so if we assume he would sign with MLB, we'd have to assume he did it solely for the money.

I'm not saying he wouldn't. I'm saying we don't know, so we just have to leave that out of the equation.

By the way, I'm taking Dr. Chaleeko's 1945 and 1946 MLEs as is, without a war discount (except that my WS calcs are slightly lower). If they are a little high, so be it. I'm also taking his MLB stats as is, although I'm fairly certain his 1947 numbers (at least) were suppressed by the ordeal. Wherever that places him in my rankings, that's where he'll be on the ballot. If he doesn't make it as a player (though he most certainly will), he will get in the HoM by some other means.

I see no need to contort the numbers or to declare one's system invalid if Robinson does not come out where we'd like. We all WANT Robinson to be #1 or #2 on the ballot, I think. I don't know where he'll be on mine, but I'll be a little embarrassed if he isn't pretty high up, because I want him in the HoM one way or another. But if I have a system that I believe fairly ranks player accomplishments on the field, and I have used that for hundreds of players so far (and hundreds more to come), I will not abandon it when it produces an outcome I don't like. If I'm going to do that, there's no point in having a system (just like there's no point in doing scientific research if the research team scraps its otherwise valid research because it does not like the outcome).

Just my opinion. Here's hoping the system gives him a cushy spot on my ballot.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1672119)
Jackie Robinson, literal interpretation
YEAR AGE PO avg obp slg g pa ab h tb bb ops+ sfws
-------------------------------------------------------------
1945 26 2B .355 .454 .555 154 692 585 208 325 107 185 46.7
1946 27 2B .330 .408 .399 124 534 471 155 188 062 115 23.3


As high as those 1945 numbers look, those 1946 numbers look a bit strange in the other direction:

YEAR AGE PO  avg  obp  slg   g  pa  ab  h  tb  bb  
-----------------------------------------------
AAA   27 2B .349 .461 .462 124 536 444 155 205 092
MLE   27 2B .330 .408 .399 124 534 471 155 188 062

.
I understand the stats have to be regressed a bit because its the IL and not MLB, but the regression is more heavy in the walk rate and the ISO than in the AVG. Basically, it changed the shape of his line rather than just lowering it.

I suppose his shape did change when he went pro. The dip in the walk rate did happen, The dip in batting average was more severe than above while the dip in power was much less. His OPS+'s the first two years were indeed in the 110's.

Just thinking aloud here I guess. Trying to understand the MLE's.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2005 at 04:13 PM (#1672128)
Personally I think it would be an error to give Robinson credit for the possibility he could have played in the majors at age 18 or 20.

Jeff, I tend to agree with you. Too much Sam Leever "what-if?" projecting for me.
   24. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 14, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1682705)
I saw on the other thread (1961 results) that yest plans on leaving Jackie Robinson off - care to elaborate yest?
   25. yest Posted: October 16, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1685771)
see the 1962 dicusion thread
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2005 at 04:18 PM (#1688900)
My (retired ML) 2Bs

1. Hornsby 357
2. Lajoie 345
3. Collins 342
4. Morgan 302
5. Gehringer 263
6. Carew 245
7. J. Robinson 229
8. Frisch 222
9. Sandberg 221
10. Fox 201

11. Herman 188
12. Doerr 182
13. Grich 182
14. Gordon 180
15. Doyle 168
16. H. Richardson 165
17. Whitaker 163
18. Barnes 162
19. McPhee 158
20. Schoendienst 153

21. Dunlap 150
22. Lazzeri 143
23. Childs 141
24. Evers 136
25. Mazeroski 127
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: November 22, 2005 at 05:09 AM (#1741920)
Thought this was interesting.

"The L.A. Red Devils were an integrated (basketball) team.  Other members of their
1946-47 team were Art Stoefen (Stanford), Eddie Oram (USC), Bob Cotton
(Texas Wesleyan), Everett (Ziggy) Marcelle (Southern) as well as the three MLBers
Jackie Robinson (UCLA), Irv Noren (Pasadena CC) and George Crowe (Indiana Central).
Marcelle was a Negro League (baseball) player from 1939-48."

Was Ziggy Marcelle Ollie's brother?

Also, George Crowe's brother Ray coached the Big O at Crispus Attucks High School.

I was told that Jackie was the Devils' leading scorer. Note that this was 1946-47.
   28. Paul Wendt Posted: November 22, 2005 at 05:33 AM (#1741954)
Was that a (semi)pro team?
That reminds me of two barely related items that I read tonight.
From memory:

American cycling champion FName LName (black) won a big race in Europe (R---aux France?) late in April 1901. I don't know that he was the only American cycling champion but he wasn't merely the black champion.

Harry Hough (white) was the highest paid professional basketball player in 1908 at $300 per month.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: November 22, 2005 at 05:35 AM (#1741959)
Was Ziggy Marcelle Ollie's brother?

Everett was Oliver's son, according to Riley.
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: November 22, 2005 at 05:39 AM (#1741960)
I believe it was a fully professional team, but not 100 percent sure.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 22, 2005 at 06:56 AM (#1742003)
American cycling champion FName LName (black) won a big race in Europe (R---aux France?) late in April 1901. I don't know that he was the only American cycling champion but he wasn't merely the black champion.

That sounds like Major Taylor, who was the greatest African-American cyclist of his time.

My first cousin, three-times removed, Charlie "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy, invited him to perform on the vaudeville circuit at the turn-of-the-last century. They would race on rollers on theater stages across Massachusetts.
   32. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 01, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2321624)
Eric, what runs discount would you suggest for the 1945 MLE? How long was Jackie in the military (he did serve, right?)? And are there Negro League MLE's for him?
   33. AndrewJ Posted: April 03, 2007 at 12:59 AM (#2323233)
1946 Montreal Royals

Note who his double play partner is.


I guess what's-his-name lacked the necessities to make it in the bigs...
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 03, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2323247)
When I played youth baseball, we used wooden bats - and wooden bats came in various models with a player's name on them. Some were active players, some were retired players. My hands were more comfortable on a think-handled bat than a thin-handled bat, and I thought that the best bats for me were the thickest-handled bats I could find. (I was almost surely wrong about that, by the way.) That left two available models for me: Nellie Fox and Jackie Robinson.

You could break a steel bat more easily than that Jackie Robinson model. The difference between the Robinson and the Fox is that the Robinson also had a big barrel, whereas the Fox had a barrel that wasn't all that much bigger than the handle. It was great for bunting and chopping at a ball, though.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2007 at 01:20 PM (#2323439)
Re Campanis: He was a friend to Robinson even back then, and a good guy.
I saw the 'Nightline' piece live, and this literally was an old man off his meds.
Ridiculous comments, but in case anyone isn't already doing so, judge his entire body of work.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 04, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2323911)
I saw the 'Nightline' piece live, and this literally was an old man off his meds.
Ridiculous comments, but in case anyone isn't already doing so, judge his entire body of work.


I also watched it live (20 years ago?!!! Egads!) His comments were nuts, but I have to admit feeling sympathy for the old guy. I don't think he meant any malice toward African-Americans, only ignorance of them.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: April 04, 2007 at 02:16 AM (#2324088)
Yeah, Koppel was so stunned he tried to bail him out, but that only made it worse.

Rachel Robinson's still around, I wonder if she's talked about remembering Campanis back in the day. Sadly, it was no picnic befriending Jackie at that time.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 10, 2007 at 10:15 PM (#2331512)
Dan, I've finally been able to get Robinson worked up for you. These MLEs for his 1945-1946 seasons don't include any war-time discount. Reason being everyone does that different, so I just work 'em up like they are and let everyone have at in their own way.

Not much to note here, but

1) Only includes 1945-1946, no projecting for seasons that don't exist
2) No war discount
3) I put jackie in as a 2B, earning a FWS every 18.5 games, consonant with his career FWS rate at 2B.
4) The "filling" in portions of the MLE are calculated with his entire career record, not just MLB nor just his pre-MLB years.

Jackie Robinson1945-1946ages 26-27
Revised MLE version 1.0

      pa  ab   h  tb  bb sh sb cs hpb gdp  rc  avg  obp  slg ops
+
------------------------------------------------------------------
1945 624 537 163 246  78  9 14  4   7  12 105 .304 .386 .458 134
1946 523 442 124 165  73  7 20  6   5   8  74 .280 .377 .373 113
==================================================================
    
1147 979 287 411 151 17 34 10  13  20 179 .293 .382 .420 125


      bws  fws   ws
--------------------
1945 24.0  7.8 31.8
1946 18.4  6.6 25.0
====================
     
42.4 14.4 56.8 


SFWS reports 54. Hope that's helpful. I think they are a more likely representation than the previous MLEs were.
   39. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2331628)
And what about his time in the Negro Leagues? 45 and 46 are just the minors, no?
   40. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:32 AM (#2331653)
45 is the Negro Leagues, 46 is the minors. That's all he's got.
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2332078)
45 is the Negro Leagues, 46 is the minors. That's all he's got.

Amazing, huh? That guy was a truly gifted athlete.
   42. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 11, 2007 at 02:32 PM (#2332143)
Any thoughts on war credit? Should he be credited for war seasons before he had ever played professional baseball? I say yes...if he was 32-25-21 in his first three seasons of play, perhaps 15-20-25 for '42-'44?
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: April 11, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2332289)
Since Robinson got the idea of playing professional baseball while he was in the army, I don't believe it's appropriate to give him "war credit" for seasons that he never intended to play. If he had played professional baseball, he certainly would have been a good baseball player, but he didn't play baseball because he hadn't considered doing so.
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2332494)
This may be the case for Sam Leever, Joe McGinnity.
and perhaps Earl Averill for a while --did I read somewhere that he was a florist?
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2332528)
This may be the case for Sam Leever, Joe McGinnity.
and perhaps Earl Averill for a while --did I read somewhere that he was a florist?
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: April 11, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2332570)
IIRC, Sam Thompson was a carpenter, which is why he got a late start in professional ball. Buck Leonard was a mechanic, I think, playing semipro ball in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, until his late 20s.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 22, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#2828954)
Did he not get the idea to play 2B until the war because he was black? Meaning with the Negro Leagues as the only option at the time, it wouldn't have been a great one. But if he'd been white with a path to the majors, would he have been on that path all along?
   48. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 22, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2828958)
I mean Jackie went to college, left early to join the army, got out of the army and immediately started playing baseball . . . I don't think it's that unrealistic to put him at 1942-43 minors and give him credit to for 1944 also. Doesn't matter for electing him, but could make a difference in where he's slotted on the position rankings.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#2829055)
Except for the top-four second basemen of all-time and Ross Barnes, Robinson was clearly better than all other second basemen on a per-game basis. That's not even tallying up his NeL or Montreal years, not to mention the fact that his career rates would have been even higher if he had entered the NL in his early twenties instead of age 28. That's just amazing.
   50. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 22, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#2829059)
I also watched it live (20 years ago?!!! Egads!)
Now 21 years. I also saw that live, while - ironically/coincidentally - typing up a HS history report on... Jackie Robinson.

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