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Jim Thorpe Newsbeat

Monday, April 24, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-24-2017

Pittsburgh Press, April 24, 1917:

Manager Mathewson of the Cincinnati Nationals, announced that he had obtained the services of Jim Thorpe of the New York Nationals. The deal involved a straight sale, but the price was not announced.

1917 was the closest Thorpe came to being a regular in the big leagues, and he wasn’t awful. Thorpe hit .237/.275/.357 (96 OPS+) in 103 games, and legged out 10 triples in 308 at-bats. He put up 0.5 WAR, which isn’t great, but at least suggests that he deserved to be in the majors.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe

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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