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Jim Thorpe Newsbeat

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-8-2016

A sure sign that it’s the offseason from the Pittsburgh Press, December 8, 1916:

Jim Thorpe, the Indian ball player who was sent to the Milwaukee club last spring by Manager McGraw, is to get another chance with the Giants. It was announced [in New York] today that McGraw plans to play him regularly in one of the outfield positions, if he displays improvement.

This is, IIRC, the fourth consecutive offseason in which it was reported that Thorpe had a chance to be an everyday player for the Giants. Once again, it didn’t happen. The Giants sold Thorpe to Cincinnati in April 1917 and he played cromulently if unspectacularly (97 OPS+, 0.5 WAR) in a half season as a semi-regular corner outfielder. The Reds returned Thorpe to the Giants in August, where he returned to his customary position on the bench.

It’s admittedly a small sample size, but Thorpe hit .216/.262/.323 (77 OPS+) in his Giants career while McGraw jerked him in and out of the lineup for six years. With the Reds and Dodgers, Thorpe hit .278/.303/.391 (~115 OPS+). I’m not saying Jim Thorpe could have or would have been a good MLB outfielder in a different situation, but I am saying that McGraw doesn’t appear to have done him any favors.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 08, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe

 

 

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