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I think he was going by induction year.
SS: Leo Cardenas or Maury Wills trumps Zoilo Versalles
LF: Billy Williams vs. Minoso, this one might be competitive
But some of the truly great performances of the past 30 years are not given their proper due when they are buried among the numbers of the segregated era.
I'm convinced that MLB shouldn't keep a record of any record of any kind ever set during any era ever!
Stats are for nerds anyway. I like to use my own eyes and my gut in determining who the best player was, and in my opinion, the best player ever was Alvin Davis.
As a broad generalization, most people don't worry about 19th century baseball statistics, and consider "modern baseball" to have begun in 1901. If this article were to argue that the year used to make that distinction should be 1947 rather than 1901, I'd have no issue with that. I'm not sure I'd agree, but it's eminently defensible.
The first black HoF not named Paige who was signed by an American League team was Reggie Jackson, whose ML debut came 20 years after Jackie Robinson's.
But yeah, you can punt away the back-to-back MVP-winning 40+-jacks-per-year shortstop and dominate anyway.
The problem isn't the record book. The problem is equating the word 'most' with the word 'best'.
If you try to argue who the 'best' of something is, context matters... a lot.
If you are saying things like 'who had the most hits in a major league season' or who hit the most hoemruns in his major league career', these are straight up numerical facts. Don't try to add value judgements to them.
That leaves the AL all-black All-Star team of 1947-65 with a viable replacement for Pumpsie Green, even if Carew didn't actually break into the Bigs until 1967.
As a broad generalization, most people don't worry about 19th century baseball statistics, and consider "modern baseball" to have begun in 1901. If this article were to argue that the year used to make that distinction should be 1947 rather than 1901, I'd have no issue with that. I'm not sure I'd agree, but it's eminently defensible
And of course (as you probably would agree) the selection of one date as a watershed is not very helpful in thinking about the history of nearly anything. To my mind, 1893 is a much more important watershed than 1901
It's interesting how this argument is never used in reverse. Why is Oscar Charleston in the Hall of Fame when he never had to face Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, et al day-in and day-out?
1876 (NL era)
1893 (60 foot era)
1901 (AL/deadball era)
1920 (live ball era)
1947 (desegregation era)
1962 (expansion era)
1994 (big bang era*)
That's perfectly reasonable. But the Big Bang era is definitely over, and has been for several years. Runs/game nowadays is well below the level of 1993, let alone '94.
Of course that first qualification kind of messes up a lot of cross-league comparisons, but it does reflect reality.
There's no way Stuart Scott can find context with his head up LeBron James' ass.
From 1949-1969, 14 of the 21 NL MVP's were won by AA's or dark skinned latins. The AL has Howard and Zoilo, two of the weakest MVP's of the era.
If someone cares the most about the majors of the 1930s because they believe that the majors were the best, and they really weren't the best possible because of the refusal to hire blacks, then that person's beliefs aren't entirely consistent.
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