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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Even More Negro League Data

1907 (first REAL Negro League) plus the Cuban Winter Leagues of 1913/14 and 1914/15.  Bruce Petway, Pete Hill, John Henry Lloyd, Home Run Johnson, Cristóbal Torriente, and José Méndez all now with even more career data available.

Contrary to popular belief, blackball teams playing in a ‘real’ league did not begin in 1920.  In 1886, there was an attempt to start a 10 team “Southern Colored Base Ballist” league.  In 1887, the National Colored Baseball League managed to play 13 league games before folding.  The 1906 “ILIP League” (International League of Independent Professional Clubs) probably wouldn’t qualify as an actual league under a strict definition, but was more a loose assocation of teams like subsequent “Negro Leagues” in the 1908-1919 time period, plus it included two white teams.  But in 1907, the National Association of Colored Professional Clubs of the United States and Cuba was a REAL league, and most likely can claim being the first real Negro Baseball League.

KJOK Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: negro leagues, seamheads

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: September 08, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4230539)

any new Dick Redding numbers?
we're still debating him for Hall of Merit after about "100 years."

   2. KJOK Posted: September 09, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4230721)
Sure! Dick Redding Seamheads Stats

Redding wasn't yet playing in 1907, but he did play in the Cuban Winter League in 1914/15.

   3. bjhanke Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4231381)
I went over to the seamheads link and they do, indeed, have more Redding stats than I have seen anywhere else. However, they don't do Dick any favors. His HoM candidacy depends a lot on his being acknowledged as an almost superhuman strikeout machine, with his supporters claiming that he was "similar" to Walter Johnson as an overall pitcher (which is, shall we say, very unlikely) and/or similar to Rube Waddell as a strikeout machine, which appeared to have a lot better chance of being true. A year ago, the Wikipedia article on him had one source of Redding stats that did have a year or two of Waddell-like K numbers (as well as another source for the same years that did not have those K numbers), but I checked, and noticed that the Wiki article has been changed, and those stat lines are gone now. The seamheads stats don't support any superhuman claims. They suggest that his K rate was a little less than Walter Johnson's, against what has to be at least a little lesser competition. His ERAs are very good, but the seamheads stats do cover almost only the Dead Ball Era. His ERA+ is a very nice 123 for the career as they have it, but again, the Negro Leagues overall (as opposed to the very best players in them) can't really be considered to be quite at the level of the white Majors of the same time. So, if I were a Redding supporter for the HoM, I don't think I'd be too happy with seamheads' numbers. He really does need Waddell-like K numbers to be a HoM candidate, and he really doesn't have them, at least at seamheads. - Brock Hanke
   4. bjhanke Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:23 AM (#4231383)
On a whim, I checked out Smokey Joe Williams and Bullet Rogan at seamheads. Williams has a 155 ERA+, over a similar collection of years as Redding. Rogan has 160, although there are only 4 years of Rogan. Seamheads doesn't have any numbers for Hilton Smith, who is the other serious NgL pitcher candidate for the HoM, but they don't appear to have any stats for careers as late as Smith's. Redding doesn't have to be as good as Williams or Rogan to get into the HoM, I would guess, but I'd also guess that he has to be at least a little closer than he is at seamheads. - Brock again
   5. AROM Posted: September 10, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4231417)
Conveniently, Baseball reference picks up right about where Seamheads leaves off. Though it would be nice to put together league totals and do stats like OPS+ and ERA+.
   6. AROM Posted: September 10, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4231420)
Looks like Redding's strikeout rates are similar to Rogan and Williams. Very good in the context of their leagues. But Satchel was just on another planet, striking out 50% more than any other top pitcher.
   7. DL from MN Posted: September 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4231453)
Baseball reference picks up right about where Seamheads leaves off

That's strange. I thought baseball reference was using the Seamheads data.
   8. KJOK Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4231743)

That's strange. I thought baseball reference was using the Seamheads data.

They are only using the Seamheads data thru 1919. From 1920 forward they use the NLRAG/HOF data.

   9. KJOK Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4231756)
Rogan really pitched in a sligtly later 'era' than Redding. However, Williams and Mendez are clearly a notch above Redding in the 'deadball' era.

Dick Whitworth is probably right there with Redding in terms of credentials for the 3rd best 'pre-league' pitcher.

   10. DL from MN Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4231869)
Looked over Dick Redding and his Cuban League / Negro League splits are quite wide. 137 ERA+ in the Negro Leagues but 93 ERA+ in Cuba. Likewise 87 OPS+ hitting for NGL, 53 OPS+ for Cuba. Are the NGL stats including barnstorming against semipro? Is there another reason the Cuban league looks significantly stronger?
   11. bjhanke Posted: September 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4232050)
I think the Cuban winter leagues were a haven for MLB players of quality (including people as good as Johnny Mize), because it gave them an off-season job playing baseball while the weather wasn't warm enough here in the U. S. The Dominican winter league, too (Mize may have been in that one instead of Cuba. I'm pretty sure he was in one of the Latin winter leagues at least one winter). What I don't know is which years or which MLB players. But if there was an influx of GOOD MLB players, that might have raised the quality of play over in Latin America's assorted winter leagues. - Brock
   12. bjhanke Posted: September 10, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4232052)
AROM - Thanks, both for the work and for letting me know you had that stuff. I'll certainly look at BB-Ref when I'm putting together this year's HoM ballot, which is going to be a weird one anyway, because of all the hot "rookies" we have this year. - Brock
   13. KJOK Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4232757)
Are the NGL stats including barnstorming against semipro?
The Cuban league usually only had 3 or 4 teams, so it was sometimes like an 'all star' league.

   14. AROM Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4232766)
AROM - Thanks, both for the work and for letting me know you had that stuff.

Work? I'm a Sean but not a Forman.
   15. spycake Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4232827)
Work? I'm a Sean but not a Forman.

You should have allowed the misidentification to continue for awhile. At least until you got some free drinks or something.
   16. bjhanke Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4233396)
AROM - Oh. I had you down as the Sean behind BB-Ref's WAR system (with others on your development team), with Sean Forman as the site producer. That is, I thought there were two Seans involved there. Is that true, or do you have nothing to do with BB-Ref's WAR? In any case, you still produce very good material here, no matter what your last name is, and I thank you for it. - Brock

Also, the Mize reference I was trying to identify comes from the Martin Dihigo comment in the Right Field subsection of the Negro Leagues section of the New Historical Abstract. It's from an unidentified year in the Dominican league. Mize says, in essence, "I was Johnny Mize, and they were intentionally walking Martin Dihigo to pitch to me." Says a lot about Dihigo, and also says a lot about the quality of the Latin winter leagues. They, uniquely, had both white Major League stars AND Negro League stars. That might well have produced a stronger league than the Negro Leagues of the time, at least at the top end, and maybe even the white Majors, at least for the very top Latin teams. I mean, they also got the best of the Latin players. I've never seen a full roster for a Latin winter league team, so I don't know how many major league players (white or black) they had, or whether they were evenly distributed among the Latin teams (which I doubt; I would guess that only the best Latin teams could afford major league stars). But I can sure see the possibility of some of those leagues being pretty salty overall.

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