Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Joe Adcock

Eligible in 1972.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 05, 2006 at 10:07 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 05, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#1884376)
One of the top guys who was seriously hurt by his home park throughout his career.
   2. OCF Posted: March 06, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#1884713)
Welcome to the mystery of why the Milwaukee Braves weren't a dynasty, winning multiple pennants. Yeah, they got one pennant, but look at who they had: Spahn, Matthews, and Aaron, all of whom are "no-brainer" HoMers, all of whom had long, stable careers. Adcock may not be a HoMer, but he was a darn good player. So where did they fall down. (And how do they compare to the mid-90's Mariners?)
   3. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 06, 2006 at 05:18 AM (#1884868)
Since they did win two pennants and a World Series I think maybe teh mid nineties Indians (Thome, Ramirez, Belle, Lofton, then Alomar) may be a more apt comparison. How many 'pennants' would the Mariners or Indians have won without the extended playoff system? I think the answer for the Mariners is zero but for the Indians it should be more than one no?

And while the Braves had the Dodgers (winners of the '55, '56, and '59 pennants) to contend with, the Mariners and Indians had the Yankees (winners of the '96, '98, '99 pennants before those two teams began to break up).
   4. OCF Posted: March 06, 2006 at 06:33 AM (#1884986)
Comparing the Mariners (mostly before ARod) to the Braves:

Johnson -- Spahn
Griffey -- Aaron
E. Martinez -- Matthews
T. Martinez -- Adcock
   5. karlmagnus Posted: March 06, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#1885324)
Adcock seems to have consistently played far less than a full season. Was he injured, platooned? -- anybody know why? It takes him out of serious HOM consideration, in my view.
   6. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 06, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#1885449)
OCF,

WOuldn't it be better to compare ARod to Matthews since both were infielders and will be no brainer HOMers? Though I guess that Edgar was better than Tino and Adcock, huh? Tino also left the mariners after 1995, the first truly great year for RJ (as I recall) and the first year the Mariners made the playoffs.

In fact they beat my Yankees in heartbreaking fasion (It took me a few years to like Edgar after that one). I honestly remember wondering if the Yankees, who had a pretty old team at the time, would be back in the playoffs again in the near future. Oops. Second worst loss of my baseball career if you count games 4-7 of the 2004 ALCS as one loss. Though I guess I can't really complain huh?
   7. DavidFoss Posted: March 06, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#1885491)
Well, the 1959 Dodgers were not that great of a team. Less than 90 wins and outperformed Pythag by six games. It was sort of a transitional team between the early-50s and 60s juggernauts.

In Bill James' book on baseball managers, he critiques Fred Haney and the 1959 Braves and tries to decipher what went wrong and why they didn't win the pennant that they really should have won that year.

The Braves did get *two* pennants out of the run, but indeed it could have been more. Losing by a game in 1956 and in a playoff in 1959. Also finishing more distantly second (but still second) in both 1955 and 1960.
   8. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 06, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1885670)
Would a better analogy to the 1990's Mariners be the 1960's Giants? Marichal, Perry, Mays, Cepeda (for a time), and McCovey and they could only muster one measly pennant?
   9. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 06, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#1885697)
Or the 1960s Cubbies with Santo, Banks, Williams, Jenkins, Holtzman, and no measly pennants?
   10. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 06, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#1885707)
Welcome to the mystery of why the Milwaukee Braves weren't a dynasty, winning multiple pennants. Yeah, they got one pennant, but look at who they had: Spahn, Matthews, and Aaron, all of whom are "no-brainer" HoMers,

One problem for the Braves: they didn't match up as well as they should've against the Dodgers. Or, more accurately, Spahn didn't. The Braves' best pitcher was a lefty, and their #1 competition murdered lefties, and IIRC played in a park that hurt lefties. Spahn went years where he hardly ever started against the Dodgers so he wouldn't get clobbered. I don't know how big an impact that would have in the long run, but they played each other 22 games a year back then. This lefty mismatch could've cost them a few games a year. That's enough to cost them the pennant in '56 and '59.

The Dodgers were a monster before '56. Their margin of victory in '55 (13.5 games) was the largest peacetime lead in the NL in the last half-century before divisional play began. And their '53 squad might have been even better.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#1885728)
Or the 1960s Cubbies with Santo, Banks, Williams, Jenkins, Holtzman, and no measly pennants?

Banks was a mediocre player by this time, so he really doesn't belong with that group as a distinct talent. Now, if they had Banks, Santo, Williams, and Jenkins at the height of their careers, they might have become the Giants of that decade. ;-)
   12. DavidFoss Posted: March 06, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#1885733)
This lefty mismatch could've cost them a few games a year. That's enough to cost them the pennant in '56 and '59.

Perhaps true for 1959 as the Coliseum had the screen in LF. Unfortunately retrosheet only has AL for that year.
   13. Brent Posted: March 18, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#1905418)
Adcock seems to have consistently played far less than a full season. Was he injured, platooned?

Both. In Cincinnati from 1950-52 he was trapped behind Kluszewski at first base, forcing him into the outfield. Bill James, in a short bio in The Baseball Book 1990, writes, "As an outfielder, Adcock was in danger of becoming a joke player, like Willie Aikens or Smead Jolley...The first ball hit to him in the outfield went between his legs, and it wasn't the last one to get through there. He was the favorite target of bench jockeys throughout the league..." His outfield miseries ended with a trade to the Braves in February 1953.

Major injuries mentioned in the article:
- 1948 (while in minors) - broken leg at start of season
- 1951, broken ankle
- Sept. 11, 1954 - wrist injured by HBP; out for rest of season
- July 31, 1955 - forearm fractured by HBP; out for rest of season
- June 23, 1957 - broke ankle sliding into second base
- 1962 - "battling injuries"

The most bizarre aspect of Adcock's career, however, is that Fred Haney platooned him with Frank Torre from 1957-59. James writes, "Haney, forced to defend the platoon arrangement, became defensive about it and then became stubborn about it, perhaps even outrageously stubborn...While Torre did nothing, Adcock had a terrific 1959 season with the bat, including a twenty-game hitting streak--yet the two continued to share the position. In 1959 the Braves and Dodgers wound up the schedule in a tie, and the Dodgers won the playoff. Facing Don Drysdale in the 156th and final game of a 154-game schedule, the Braves cleanup hitter was not Eddie Mathews (.306-46-114) or Hank Aaron (.355-39-123) or Joe Adcock (.292-25-76) or Wes Covington or Del Crandall, but Frank Torre, a .228 hitter with one home run in 115 games."

Other highlights
- April 29, 1953 - Became the first ML player to hit a home run into the center field bleachers in the Polo Grounds. (Easter had hit one there in 1948 in a Negro League game.)
- July 31, 1954 - 4 home runs and a double; setting a record for most TB in a game (18) that lasted until 2002.
- May 26, 1959 - I assume you know the story about Adcock's 13th inning home run, which wasn't really a home run, that ended Haddix's 12-inning perfect game bid.
- June 8, 1961 - Along with Aaron, Mathews, and Thomas, Adcock and the Braves set a record by hitting 4 consecutive home runs against the Reds.

As John Murphy mentioned, Adcock lost many home runs to his home parks; over his career he hit 199 home runs on the road, but only 137 at home.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#1905424)
The most bizarre aspect of Adcock's career, however, is that Fred Haney platooned him with Frank Torre from 1957-59. James writes, "Haney, forced to defend the platoon arrangement, became defensive about it and then became stubborn about it, perhaps even outrageously stubborn...While Torre did nothing, Adcock had a terrific 1959 season with the bat, including a twenty-game hitting streak--yet the two continued to share the position. In 1959 the Braves and Dodgers wound up the schedule in a tie, and the Dodgers won the playoff. Facing Don Drysdale in the 156th and final game of a 154-game schedule, the Braves cleanup hitter was not Eddie Mathews (.306-46-114) or Hank Aaron (.355-39-123) or Joe Adcock (.292-25-76) or Wes Covington or Del Crandall, but Frank Torre, a .228 hitter with one home run in 115 games."

I think I'm starting to understand the real reason why the Milwaukee Braves didn't dominate more. What a bonehead!
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: March 18, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#1905447)
I heard the call of the Haddix 12+ IP perfect game on the radio, live. Very exciting. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when he lost the perfect game, the no-hitter and the game, but what a bizarre finish when Adcock passed Aaron on the bases.

Also what a disappointment when MLB redefined a no-hitter so that Haddix' gem is no longer on the list. Boo!
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2006 at 09:10 PM (#1905620)
Also what a disappointment when MLB redefined a no-hitter so that Haddix' gem is no longer on the list. Boo!

He definitely deserves some type of mention in the record books at the very least, Marc.
   17. DavidFoss Posted: March 18, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#1905699)
In some ways Harvey Haddix and Ernie Shore are more remembered than, say, Len Barker or Mike Witt, because of the unique and semi-controversial situations surrounding their accomplishments.
   18. Cblau Posted: March 19, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#1906479)
Haddix is in the record books, longest one-hitter. I don't know how you could define a no-hitter as a game in which the pitcher allowed a hit.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.1438 seconds
49 querie(s) executed