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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Wilbur Cooper

One of those borderline cases, Cooper was a good one.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 05:23 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#1030449)
hot topics
   2. Kelly in SD Posted: December 19, 2004 at 09:03 PM (#1030623)
Wilbur Cooper

Played 1912-1926
Pit 1912-1924, Chicago Cubs 1925-26, Det 1926.
Career Record: 216-178 in 3480 IP with 2.89 ERA, 3.64 RA in a league with LERA 3.33. ERA+ of 116.
His Black/Grey Ink scores were 17 and 173.
Top 10s:
ERA 6 times but no firsts.
ERA+ 7 times no firsts.
Wins 8 times with 1 first.
WHIP 4 times with no firsts.
IP 8 times with 1 first.
Win% 3 times with no first.
K/9 4 times with no firsts.
BB/9 5 times with no firsts.
But Pete Alexander was in his league the whole time.
He was a NL all-star by win shares in 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924 and best pitcher in the league in 1922.
NL all-star by STATS in 4 years. 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922 with a retro Cy-Young for 1922.
He had roughly average run support over his career. Chris J. figures his Run Support Index as 99.69.
He did enjoy strong defensive support. Chris J figured his defensive win shares support to be pos 11.1 which is quite good. If that number doesn’t mean much, then look at then number of win shares gold glovers who played defense behind him: C – Walter Schmidt 1921. 1B – Dots Miller 1913, Ed Konetchy 1914, Charlie Grimm 1920-24. 2B – George Cutshaw 1918. SS – Wagner 1912, Maranville 1921-23, Glenn Wright 1924. Outfield – Max Carey – 1912, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, Carson Bigbee 1919.
Notes from SABR’s Deadball Stars of the National League. ( I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Does anyone know when the American League version will be out? Everyone knows the big stars of the period, but I look forward to learning about players like Larry Gardner and Fielder Jones)
First name is Arley. Born in 1892. Debuted in professional baseball in 1911 with Marion of the Ohio State League. He pitched with Columbus of the American Association in 1911 and 1912. Made is debut on Aug 29, 1912. Shut out Cardinals in first start.
In 1916 when he posted his best ERA, he went12-11 as the Pirates were shut out in 7 of his losses. Often would start his windup before receiving the sign because he liked to work quickly. He and Alexander pitched a 59 minute game between them. The Giants offered 75k for him in 1919. If he had been on the Giants during their run of 4 world Series I think he would be in the Hall by now. After his career in the majors ended, he pitched for a variety of teams throughout the minors through 1930.
He is the subject of a biography in the Neyer-James Guide to Pitchers. It lists as pitches as a sneaky fastball, a curve, and a change.
Some stats on his minor league days:
1911: w/ Marion - 17-11
1912: Comubus - 16-9 in 31 starts. Allowed 184 hits in 219 innings pitched with 117 K and 107 BB.
1927: Oakland in PCL: 15-12 with 3.35 ERA in 36 starts/231 IP. Gave up 238 hits and 51 walks with 65 Ks.
1928: Oakland: 10-16, 3.48 ERA. 27 GS 212 IP 261 hits, 45 K, 45 BB.
1929: Shreveport of the Texas League: 17-9 4.23 ERA. 30 GS 232 IP 260 hits 55 K 56 BB.
   3. Paul Wendt Posted: December 19, 2004 at 09:11 PM (#1030628)
from SABR’s Deadball Stars of the National League. (I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Does anyone know when the American League version will be out?

by plan, December 2005.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 09:19 PM (#1030632)
by plan, December 2005.

Talk about a great Christmas gift next year for me. :-)
   5. Mike Webber Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:02 PM (#1072070)
SABR Bio Project - Wilbur Cooper

Thought this might be of interest to some voters.
   6. Mike Webber Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:05 PM (#1072074)
   7. DavidFoss Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1072474)
Weird how the links don't work... pasting the following into my address bar worked though:
   8. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2373849)
From the 1999 Ballot of best friend Eric Chalek
4. Wilbur Cooper: Dominant NL portsider of the late 1910s-early 1920s. This guy was in the (retroactive) Cy Young chase every single year for a good long while in the late teens and early 1920s, battling Old Pete, Hippo, and Dolf for several years. I like pitchers who show dominance for a good stretch, and he’s one.

By prime years, peak years, age, and birthplace, Wilbur Cooper matches Eppa Rixey better than the others named (Alex, Vaughn, Luque) and Eric overlooks Rixey's peak or "dominance". Rixey has the higher pitching peak and of course the longer career. Cooper has the 'ten'-year run but he played through the war that looms large in Rixey's record --not only the DNP 1918 but the aftermath. Two southpaws with very different builds. Cooper was a good batter.

Neither one peaked like Hippo Vaughn --or Dolf Luque if a 3-year selection is permitted. Maybe not like teammate Babe Adams (older, working fewer innings, and a righty).

Luque, 5'7 160
Rixey, 6'5 215
Luque was closer to the norm in their day.
   9. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2373857)
By the way, Cooper was off-ballots, zero points, for all but two of 15 elections 1952-66. Luque retained token support thru 1963. Vaughn (short career) picked up one low vote in both years 1928-29. Adams (long broken career) no votes at all.
   10. Paul Wendt Posted: May 23, 2007 at 11:16 PM (#2376357)
That Wilbur Cooper was merely very good, not dominant, I stand by my suggestion and upgrade it to a claim.
At the same time, Hippo Vaughn was dominant.

Eric [Chalek] overlooks Rixey's peak or "dominance". Rixey has the higher pitching peak and of course the longer career.

I retract the higher pitching peak for Rixey in favor of calling it a draw. Consider Cooper at his innings peak, 1920-24, his last five seasons in Pittsburgh. He was clearly a notch less effective than Rixey at peak, 1921-25, his first five seasons in Cincinnati. But at his rate peak, 1916-20, Cooper was essentially as effective as Rixey at peak. (Rixey reached peak workload and peak rate at the same time. Not so, Cooper.)

For registered members of the Yahoo Group:
Graph featuring all pitcher seasons for Vaughn, Cooper, and Rixey
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2007 at 12:48 AM (#2376727)
How about those who registered for the Yahoo group 2-3 years ago and have no idea how to get back?
   12. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 01:29 PM (#2377231)
If you remember your yahoo username and password
Visit ; select "Files" ; "Graphs"

Otherwise you may need to register again. (Yahoo Groups customer service? You get what you pay for.)
At the same page, select "New user? Sign up"
Can you attach existing subscriptions to a new registration? I don't know.

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