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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rogers Hornsby

Eligible in 1941.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 21, 2007 at 03:51 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 21, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2301118)
The Rajah had his due in these threads:

1941 Ballot Discussion

Second Basemen Positional Thread

If you know of any others, please let me know.
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 22, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2301662)
If this was 1941, not 1995, I suspect the following would be the question of the day (apologies if we've already covered it elsewhere).

Hornsby
Collins
Lajoie
Morgan

Who's the top dog among 2Bs?
   3. jingoist Posted: February 22, 2007 at 02:44 PM (#2301675)
I guess it depends on how a person constructs their evaluation criteria around the definition of "top dog".
If you are hitting-centric; you probably rank them one way; fielding-centric another and as all-around yet another. I have a feeling that Morgan was the most valuable all-arond 2B-man due to his attitude, leadership and phenominal abilities as a player. Of course I may well be compromized in my perspective as Joe was the only one of the 4 guys I actually saw play the game.
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 22, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2301793)
I have a feeling that Morgan was the most valuable all-arond 2B-man due to his attitude, leadership and phenominal abilities as a player.

you could likely say the same for collins and lajoie who enjoyed similar (if not superior) reputations for leadership, brains, being winners, and overall baseballyness. That's part of what I find so interesting about the foursome, especially when once you get Mr. Grumpypants in there, too.
   5. DavidFoss Posted: February 22, 2007 at 05:14 PM (#2301801)
you could likely say the same for collins and lajoie who enjoyed similar (if not superior) reputations for leadership, brains, being winners, and overall baseballyness. That's part of what I find so interesting about the foursome, especially when once you get Mr. Grumpypants in there, too.

Its interesting because Mr. Grumpypants could hit like few others could! Hoo boy! :-)

Normally we're pretty personality-independent around here and Rajah would be an easy pick, but he was pretty much done at age 33 which complicates things.
   6. andrew siegel Posted: February 22, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2301805)
I have Collins, Hornsby, and Morgan back-to-back-to-back in my All-Time ratings. I don't think there is a dime's worth of difference between the three.
   7. TomH Posted: February 22, 2007 at 06:04 PM (#2301846)
It is especially taxing because 2B morphed in defensive importance between 1900 and 1925 and 1975. If forced to choose, I'd probably take Morgan, only becuase he dwarfs any other other post-1950 star at 2B. Could Rogers even play 2B in the modern game, or would he be a third sacker? But he did play it and uttelry dominate for a while. Collins, if you credit him some for his superb post-season stats, could be the choice. Lajoie seems a lock for 4th, well above anyone else, but league strength dings him a bit. In the end, I'm pretty close to andrew siegel's more concise statement.
   8. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2301870)
Could Rogers even play 2B in the modern game, or would he be a third sacker?

Most likely Hornsby would be a third baseman in the modern era. But he wasn't a terrible defensive infielder by any means; he played 356 games at shortstop as a young player, in an era when shortstop was every bit as challenging and important as ever.

you could likely say the same for collins and lajoie who enjoyed similar (if not superior) reputations for leadership, brains, being winners, and overall baseballyness. That's part of what I find so interesting about the foursome, especially when once you get Mr. Grumpypants in there, too.

Mr. Grumpypants obviously carries a lot of interpersonal baggage. But he also did exhibit an uncommon reputation for "leadership, brains, being a winner, and overall baseballyness." Let's not forget that he was named a player/manager before he was 30 years old by none other than Branch Rickey (and won a pennant and World Series in that capacity), and after being traded to the Giants, was chosen by none other than John McGraw to fill in as manager when McGraw was ill. So some rather sagacious baseball minds were quite impressed with Hornsby's grasp of the game.
   9. sunnyday2 Posted: February 22, 2007 at 07:04 PM (#2301901)
I'd have to agree with TomH and go with Morgan. And Lajoie is #4. The other 2 are closer to Morgan than to Lajoie. I think I'd take Collins2 and Mr. Grumpypants 3, largely as a function of the grumpypants thing.

Who is #5? And don't give me no Biggio, neither. I guess I'd say Jackie though Gehringer is just about the same player. And Ryno is close.
   10. andrew siegel Posted: February 22, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2301951)
I have Jackie 5th too, but why not Biggio? I have him number 6, though 6-12 are very close (Biggio, Gehringer, Sandberg, Carew, Alomar, Grich, and Frisch). Then come the top 19th century guys (Barnes, McPhee, and Richardson) with Billy Herman mixed in. The a big gap to Gordon, Doerr, and Childs. Then the bubble guys--Doyle, Monroe, Whitaker, Kent, Grant, Fox, etc.
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 22, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2301969)
Second base has always been the toughest pick, for the many well stated reasons here. I'd read it this way:

If all you want is the best hitter: Duh. Or the best hitter who also seems to be a pretty good fielder: Lajoie.
If you want the most valuable overall 20th century career, with no adjustments for segregation: Collins or Morgan.
With adjustments, and a bit of imaginative projection: Collins, Morgan, or Robinson. Those pre-28 years were a crime against baseball, not to mention Jackie himself.

I go back and forth all the time about this, but the competition level almost forces me to take Morgan, though I'd sure love to see what Collins might have done against real competition, and what Robinson might have done if he'd had a normal career span. I can't imagine that Hornsby would've been able to perform anywhere near on the batting level today as he did in his time, and as the rest of his skill set was mediocre, he seems the least of the five to me. Although he sure is interesting to read about, movie phobia, buttermilk and all.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: February 22, 2007 at 09:06 PM (#2301977)
Those "AIR" numbers at baseball-reference sure show how the context changed in Rajah's career. The career number is a rather normal looking "99", but that includes seasonal numbers between 77 and 127. He dominated a "77" league in 1917 with .327/.385/.484 and he dominated a "121" league in 1929 with a .380/.459/.679.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2301990)
I can't imagine that Hornsby would've been able to perform anywhere near on the batting level today as he did in his time

Of course not, on an absolute scale. No one today puts up the kind of numbers Hornsby did in the 20s. But he was obviously a great, great hitter. Even factoring in difficulty of competition, I don't think a reasonable case can be made that Hornsby isn't among the all-time elite of peak-level hitters. Put his DNA clone in the modern day, with all the modern-day advantages of nutrition, conditioning, training, sports medicine etc. that modern-day players enjoy, and it's a near-certainty he'd be among the best hitters in the game.

I think that too often within the past 10-20 years the discussion of Hornsby has tended to focus on his personality issues. Probably Bill James's emphasis on that issue has been the primary cause. But while that aspect of Hornsby is relevant and necessary, it can be overdone (I think James overdoes it), and it has tended to cause us to overlook just what a stupendous baseball player he was.
   14. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 22, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2301994)
Sandberg and Grich are very, very close. Sandberg's only real edge is playing time, but even then, he only managed 12 more win shares and comes up just a bit short in WARP, so it's not as though his added playing time actually created more value.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 22, 2007 at 09:40 PM (#2301996)
I fully agree with your point about Hornsby's greatness, Steve. That's why I'd rate him in the ballpark with those other four guys, who weren't that bad themselves, and who had a greater variety of skills than he did. I admitedly tend to be a bit more subjective and less purely statistical in my ratings than many here. It's the same reason I'd still rather have the skill set of Dimaggio than Williams, especially on a neutral field, in spite of the raw numbers gap at the plate.

But I kind of like Hornsby's personality, now that he's safely six feet under. As I said, it makes for interesting reading. And my rating of him has nothing at all to do with his temperament.
   16. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2302005)
But I kind of like Hornsby's personality, now that he's safely six feet under. As I said, it makes for interesting reading.

It does. But I still don't think I'd go so far as to say I "kind of like" Hornsby's personality, dead or alive. Among the guys whose personalities were likely clubhouse-chemistry poison, there are those who would probably be fun to know: Dick Allen comes to mind, or Rabbit Maranville, or Bert Blyleven. But then there are those who were probably just an unrelenting drag to have to deal with: Ty Cobb is an obvious one, and I suspect Hornsby, while not as boorish as Cobb, would also wear out his welcome pretty quickly.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2302061)
>his DNA clone in the modern day,

Who is his DNA clone in the modern day? I see Dick Allen mentioned... doesn't feel quite right. Wrong position? I dunno. Sandberg maybe though he was a different kind of player in many ways--nowhere near the hitter though trending that way relative to his peers, obviously a different glove. Or like someone said, probably a 3B (well, Dick Allen...). Matt Williams? Brett? Schmidt?

I guess I'd say Brett or Schmidt, unless you want the attitude too. Dick Allen?....

Meanwhile, is Roberto Alomar = Eddie Collins?

Carew = Jackie? Not a great clone....

Sandberg = Lajoie? Or Grich = Lajoie? Or Sandberg = Gehringer?
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2302062)
Like I said, Steve, as long as I don't have to deal with him myself....
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2302063)
I'll put in a plug for Biggio here. If you use WS, there's little doubt you'll come to the same conclusion James did, that Biggio's really amazing. In my system he's the closest 2B to Lajoie, and he's not terribly far away either, within feet or yards, not miles.

OK, but let's say that Collins, Hornsby, and Lajoie are really 3Bs. Then none of them is going to win out over Mike Schmidt. They're more like at or slightly above the Brett, Boggs, Mathews level. Flip it around, what if Little Joe is a 3B? Then he's clearly the best 3B among pre-Clift 3Bs. White, Sutton, Collins, Baker, sorry.

there are those who would probably be fun to know: Dick Allen comes to mind, or Rabbit Maranville, or Bert Blyleven. But then there are those who were probably just an unrelenting drag to have to deal with: Ty Cobb is an obvious one, and I suspect Hornsby, while not as boorish as Cobb, would also wear out his welcome pretty quickly.

A few to add to the list

POSSIBLY FUN TO KNOW
Jose Canseco
Keith Hernandez
Manny Ramirez (is he considered poison? I wouldn't wonder if Shaughnessey thinks so)

POSSIBLY NOT SO FUN
Reggie
Jeff Kent
Albert Belle
Kong Kingman
Barry Bonds
Carl Everett
   20. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:25 PM (#2302064)
Who is his DNA clone in the modern day?

Well, he doesn't have one, obviously. But I guess the closest comp in terms of overall talent profile, assuming Hornsby would be a 3B in the modern era, would probably be Brett. Though in terms of personality, Hornsby was a lot closer to someone like Sheffield.
   21. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:33 PM (#2302070)
OK, but let's say that Collins, Hornsby, and Lajoie are really 3Bs.

I wouldn't break it down that way. Hornsby and Lajoie were similar types, big guys, power hitters with no more than average range, who were common 2B types in the pre-1920 era but would more likely be 3B today. But not Collins; he was a nimble little guy with excellent speed, who was the prototypical modern second base type.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2302072)
Who is his DNA clone in the modern day?

These guys are outliers. Its hard to come up with a one-to-one match.

Offensively, Hornsby's OPS+ is about the same as Mantle's and Pujols's. He's got a higher batting average and not as much power as those two though.

My guess is Wade Boggs in his power-spike year of 1987.... that would be Hornsby's *average* year. Easy Batting title. Good walk rate. 24 HR. Probably plays 3B in todays game. No gold glove, but not an embarrassment. Not a great basestealer.

Rajah would string a dozen of those types of seasons together.

With today's power hitters, he'd need to time any type of Sandbergian power-spike season he might have to win the HR title necessary to bring in any triple crowns. I suppose its possible, but not as likely as it was in the 1920s NL.
   23. Steve Treder Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:42 PM (#2302073)
POSSIBLY FUN TO KNOW
Jose Canseco
Keith Hernandez
Manny Ramirez (is he considered poison? I wouldn't wonder if Shaughnessey thinks so)

POSSIBLY NOT SO FUN
Reggie
Jeff Kent
Albert Belle
Kong Kingman
Barry Bonds
Carl Everett


Agree.

Let's see, who else ...

POSSIBLY FUN TO KNOW
Bobby Bonds
Ed Delahanty
Bill Lee

POSSIBLY NOT SO FUN
Billy Martin
Grover C. Alexander
Pete Rose
   24. Lassus Posted: February 22, 2007 at 11:58 PM (#2302077)
Because almost no one else anywhere cares, I would like to take this opportunity to state that I had regular interaction with Rogers Hornsby's daughter from 1998-2000 when I was singing for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She and I didn't really get along as I was a tattooed and pierced tenor with crazy hair and she was kind of an old grump. One day someone mentioned to me she was the daughter of some famous baseball player, like Honus Wagner or something. I asked someone who might actually know, and almost had a heart attack when I found out who her dad was. (For me, better than Wagner by a long shot, I was a 2B in little league.) She was in baseball, working for the Giants ticket office. When I talked to her a bit about our common ground, we got along marginally better. I even made a point to tell her that Costas had picked her dad as the best all-time 2B in one of his specials around that time. She actually thanked me.

And then I started wearing my Mets hat to rehearsals. And mouthed off about some of Vance's tempos for the Brahms Requiem. It was all downhill after that.
   25. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 23, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2302084)
POSSIBLY NOT SO FUN
Reggie
Jeff Kent
Albert Belle
Kong Kingman
Barry Bonds
Carl Everett


At least later in his career, Carl Everett seems to have been well-liked by many of his teammates. In Seattle last season, the comments about Everett's clubhouse influence were overwhelmingly positive. His on-the-filed contributions were another matter...
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 23, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2302091)
And then I started wearing my Mets hat to rehearsals. And mouthed off about some of Vance's tempos for the Brahms Requiem. It was all downhill after that.

I would have thought the Mets cap would have been a plus, since Rogers was an original coach for the team. :-)
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2007 at 01:57 AM (#2302118)
2B HOMers by pct of games played

(15) McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Childs 100, Gehringer 99, Morgan 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Grich 86, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65

also (2) Carew 47, Richardson 43

and (9) HR Johnson 25, Ward 24, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Rose 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10
   28. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 23, 2007 at 02:36 AM (#2302131)
Steve, I didn't realize that Pappy Bonds was a poison, nor Old Pete. Do you know what kind of stuff in particular made them difficult teammates? Or made seem that way?

As for Bill Lee, I've always admired this line (picked off of baseball library).

'Before the anticlimactic seventh game of the 1975 World Series, Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson boasted that no matter what the outcome of the game, his starting pitcher Don Gullett was going to the Hall of Fame. Bill Lee, the Red Sox starter, countered with: "No matter what the outcome of the game, I'm going to the Eliot Lounge."'
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2007 at 02:58 AM (#2302140)
I do recall Bobby Bonds being "called" poison during his time, but again, considering the era, it's hard to differentiate that accurately as genuine sullenness or genuine racism. Twas a very transitional time, so hard to be too confident of any answer, I'd think.

Alexander, by most accounts, was an alcoholic. Again, might hard to say how much that affected a team, especially as a (mostly) starting pitcher.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: February 23, 2007 at 03:01 AM (#2302141)
Including only players eligible through 2007 (i.e. no Biggio, Alomar, or Kent), here is my top 25 second basemen. This ranking is based on a composite measure that includes career value, total value above average, and peak rate. Players are compared to their contemparies in two ways: numerical rank in their decade, % above HoM in/out line for that decade. These comparisons are used to make an eyeball adjustment for quality and volume of competition.

1) Eddie Collins
2) Joe Morgan
3) Rogers Hornsby
4) Nap Lajoie
5) Charlie Gehringer
6) Ross Barnes
7) Frankie Frisch
8) Jackie Robinson
9) Rod Carew
10) Bobby Grich
11) Ryne Sandberg
12) Bid McPhee
13) Lou Whitaker
14) Billy Herman
15) Bobby Doerr
16) Joe Gordon
17) Hardy Richardson
18) Willie Randolph
19) Frank Grant
20) Cupid Childs
21) Nellie Fox -- HoM in-out line through 2007 falls here, I think.
22) Bill Monroe
23) Johnny Evers
24) Larry Doyle
25) Fred Dunlap

Biggio and Alomar will be in the Frisch-Grich range; Kent probably in the Herman-Richardson range, though as he was still a good player last year, he could move up, though the number of players who have continued to be productive second basemen at age 39 is quite small (Lajoie, Collins, Morgan, and McPhee are about it).
   31. Steve Treder Posted: February 23, 2007 at 03:08 AM (#2302144)
Steve, I didn't realize that Pappy Bonds was a poison, nor Old Pete. Do you know what kind of stuff in particular made them difficult teammates? Or made seem that way?

Well, it obviously depends on how one wishes to define "poison," an inherently imprecise and subjective concept (though, IMO, a real and impactful one nonetheless).

Pappy Bonds was traded more frequently than any other player of his ability in history, with the possible exception of Bobo Newsom. Obviously GMs didn't see him as a player they wished to build a team around, despite his terrific performance. Alexander, an all-time great performer, was traded for far less than his talent in mid-career, and waived by the Cubs while still pitching quite well.

Both were heavy drinkers; Alexander's raging alcoholism may have been exceeded by no other player in MLB history. (On his benders Alexander was described as not just drinking bathtub gin to excess, but also rubbing it all over his body, in an attempt to absorb as much alcohol as possible.)

Bonds was a party boy, who talked fast, drove fast, and lived fast. Horace Stoneham explained his trade of Bonds in 1974: "I was afraid he was going to get drunk, crash his car, and kill himself."

Alexander was more of a sullen, morose drunk; not convivial, just dark.

Bonds exasperated his family, and wasn't a good father until he cleaned up his act in his forties, after his playing career. But most of his teammates appeared to have liked him; he was funny, bright, and, to a fault, the life of the party. I wouldn't have wanted to count on him for anything, but I bet he showed his friends a damn good time.

Alexander tried the patience of everyone around him. He wasn't a bad guy per se, but I strongly suspect he was the sort of chronic, pathetic drunk whom people learned to dread, and avoid.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2007 at 03:11 AM (#2302147)
Thanks, Chris Cobb!

For us, Randolph may be the most interesting.
Go figure, another underrated longtime Yankee ;)
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: February 23, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2302174)
>8) Jackie Robinson

MLB only, I take it. Not that he actually had much other value.
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: February 23, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2302178)
MLB only, I take it. Not that he actually had much other value.

No, that includes MLEs for 1945 and 1946. I don't give Robinson war credit because, as far as I can tell, he basically decided to begin a career in baseball after his time in teh armed forces. Robinson did not have a long career. His peak was brilliant, and I can certainly see a peak ranking that puts him higher. I can see ranking him higher with the understanding that his playing career was diminished by segregation and the strain of integrating the major leagues. I can see ranking him higher for character. All those are reasonable positions to take.

But based purely on his playing record, that's where I see him in the rankings. His peak was not so much better than Frisch's or Gehringer's that it makes up for the fact that they were outstanding players for considerably longer periods of time than he was. His peak was not as good as Ross Barnes' was. Thus, he ranks behind three players whom other systems might justifiably place behind him. I don't think there's a good playing-baseball-only argument to be made that he should rank any higher than #5 all time, though.
   35. WahooSam Posted: February 23, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2302258)
When I think of a modern-day equivalent to Rogers Hornsby, I think Manny Ramirez - a great, great RH hitter with defensive challenges.
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: February 23, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2302396)
>I don't think there's a good playing-baseball-only argument to be made that he should rank any higher than #5 all time, though.

Nope, not that I can think of, though James has him ahead of Lajoie. But James admits to providing extra credit for all kinds of stuff other than on-the-field performance. Clearly if you want to rate his importance within the "history of baseball," he could just as easily be #1. Most of us here would probably try to separate that out a little better. And for career WS (simple WS as presented by James) he is only #22. As a peak voter I can get him up to #5.
   37. Steve Treder Posted: February 23, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2302403)
When I think of a modern-day equivalent to Rogers Hornsby, I think Manny Ramirez - a great, great RH hitter with defensive challenges.

As pure hitters, they do have a lot in common. However, there is a lot of difference between having defensive challenges as a corner outfielder and having defensive challenges as a second baseman.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 23, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2302436)
Steve and Andy-you forgot Jim Coates.

If there's ever been another pitcher with a 13-3 record to go with an 84 ERA+, I want to know that guy's lucky number picks. Not to mention his 43-22 lifetime record with an ERA+ of 90. I think that the Yanks kept him on as a sort of 6' 4" rednecked rabbit's foot.

But he was also one of the nastiest pitchers alive, with all the attributes of Sal Maglie, except talent. Watching a matchup between Coates and fellow redneck Jim Perry in Perry's early years was like witnessing a perverse version of a Koufax-Gibson duel. The geezers in the upper deck who made odds and placed bets on every pitch would lay over-unders on how many pitches it would take before the first brawl. He was Bill Laimbeer without the charm.
   39. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2302671)
Pappy Bonds was traded more frequently than any other player of his ability in history,

and Rogers Hornsby more frequently than any other player of his ability?

--
POSSIBLY FUN TO KNOW
Jose Canseco
Keith Hernandez
Manny Ramirez (is he considered poison? I wouldn't wonder if Shaughnessey thinks so)


Excuse my lack of discipline in continuing the subject. I suppose that time with Manny Ramirez would be tedious.
(Probably I don't like "fun" in postor's sense.)

--
Both were heavy drinkers; Alexander's raging alcoholism may have been exceeded by no other player in MLB history.

What time period? pre-1911? pre-1918?
(Did someone say here a while ago that Pete Browning's drinking was related to epilepsy? Alexander is famous for both.)

--
Alexander, an all-time great performer, was traded for far less than his talent in mid-career,

Interesting. Until I looked it up just now, I supposed that Cy Williams (much underrated here) and Dode Paskert were in the same trade, the Phillies giving pitching for batting and outfielding. The transactions database has Williams for Paskert six days later, 1917 Dec 17. That one is so ridiculous on the part of the Cubs that I wonder.
   40. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2302679)
> When I think of a modern-day equivalent to Rogers Hornsby, I think Manny Ramirez - a great, great RH hitter with defensive challenges.

As pure hitters, they do have a lot in common. However, there is a lot of difference between having defensive challenges as a corner outfielder and having defensive challenges as a second baseman.


Harry Heilmann?

Ed Delahanty as a batter?
It occurs to me that I know or "envision" less about these men as batters than in any other respect.
All I really know is that Big Ed Delahanty hit the ball far and I envision that he didn't do it at 170 pounds :-)
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2007 at 04:04 AM (#2302684)
Lajoie should have been called "The Big Napoleon".
He was a slugger and, I've learned from 1900 reading, a superstar. A gate attraction.
It's easy to guess that Delahanty was jealous, and to empathize.

But Lajoie couldn't stay in the lineup. He suffered major downtime in '99, '00, '02 (his mid-twenties when he was considered maybe the best player in baseball), '05, and '11 (the batting race with Cobb concluding at age 37). In 1900, the cause was injury fighting Elmer Flick.
   42. Alex_Lewis Posted: February 06, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2685018)
Five elements of baseball history that I regret never having the chance to see:

A Rogers Hornsby line drive, an Ernie Lombardi line drive, a Babe Ruth homerun, Jackie Robinson on the basepaths and Willie Mays in the outfield.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 06, 2008 at 09:20 PM (#2685061)
A Lou Gehrig line-drive could decapitate you, from what I have heard.

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