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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holmes: The Hall of Fame case for shortstop Marty Marion

Must break in to pro-Slats SABR dude’s The Hermit’s Cave hardcore listening habit and hep him to this.

Due to that excellence in the field, Marion has another shot at the Hall of Fame (he’s appeared on the ballot before), but this time he may have as strong a case as he’s ever had. Modern statistical analysis continues to shine a light on the importance of defensive play, and Marion stands out among players at his position, as Bill Mazeroski did at second and Ozzie Smith did at shortstop. Both Maz and the Wizard of Oz are in the Hall of Fame based almost solely on their defensive ability, and if Marty is to earn a plaque in Cooperstown that will also have to be the route he takes.

...Based on his short career and the weak hitting stats on his ledger, Marion is a stretch (no pun intended) for the Hall of Fame. When stacked up against the contemporary shortstops who are in the HOF (Lou Boudreau, Pee Wee Reese, and Phil Rizzuto), Marion is their superior with the glove, no question. At the plate he ranks well below them, however. One might compare him to Mazeroski, a second baseman who earned election solely because he was great in the field, but Maz played more than 2,000 games and collected more than 2,000 hits. They were similar players in offensive quality (Marion walked more and Maz had more power but essentially they were each about 20% below league average at the plate), but Maz stuck around much longer. If Marion’s defensive play was valued that much, why did he stop playing at the age of 32? Surely some club could have used his All-Star glove?

The only way Marion deserves to be elected to the Hall is if the committee determines that the 1940s are under-represented at the shortstop position – that three Hall of Fame shortstops who played the bulk of their careers in that era is not enough. But if that’s the case, then Vern Stephens and Cecil Travis are more compelling alternatives.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2012 at 06:48 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: November 21, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4307313)
The only way Marion deserves to be elected to the Hall is if the committee determines that the 1940s are under-represented at the shortstop position – that three Hall of Fame shortstops who played the bulk of their careers in that era is not enough. But if that’s the case, then Vern Stephens and Cecil Travis are more compelling alternatives.


If that's the case for him, I'd hate to hear the case against him.
   2. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4307331)
This is just foolishness.
   3. BDC Posted: November 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4307338)
It's déjà vu all over again, if you ask me.
   4. AROM Posted: November 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4307347)
There is no case. Phil Rizzuto was considered a controversial, borderline case. Phil had better stats than Marion despite the fact that he lost years to WW2, while Marion played baseball against watered down competition and won his MVP award.

Looking at his comparable players (which is based solely on hitting stats and position) and focusing on top defenders, I don't think he was significantly better than Mike Bordick or Rick Burleson.
   5. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4307361)
Was Marion really a better glove than Rizzuto? Scooter could pick it.
   6. AROM Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4307375)
On BBref Marion is +130 runs and Rizzuto +115. The uncertainty around that is huge. I think the best we can conclude is that they were both excellent defenders.

To make Marion anything close to a legit HOF player, he'd have to be something like a +300 defender. There's nothing in the record to think that's the case. His range factor per game (very crude, but innings aren't available for most of his career) is actually a bit below the league average.
   7. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4307398)
Is it even possible to be a +300 defender in that amount of time? I don't think SS gets that many chances.
   8. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4307403)
Looking back, Marion's MVP was easily the worst in history. I know people will bring up Dawson, but the man did hit 49 homers and in the recent past had been a top notch defender.

Marion had a .686 OPS, over 300 points lower than his teamate and real MVP Musial, and was only in the top 10 in one "offensive" category - sacrifice hits. He was last among regulars on the team (i.e. 8th - they had a steady lineup) in runs and triples, and tied for second-most in Ks. He obviously must have had a great year defensively, but its not like he set any records - he was third in the league in assists and putouts. He led the league in fielding %, but it wasn't close to being a record.

A headscratcher of a selection if there ever was one.
   9. BDC Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4307454)
Michael Humphreys's DRA has Rizzuto at 98 and Marion at 81, a similar position to the one AROM notes in #6. After various era adjustments, Humphreys has Rizzuto between #30 and #40 all-time, and Marion not even in his top 40. Clearly that too is in part a playing-time issue: if Marion's career had been longer, he'd rank higher; but again, then we'd be talking Chris Speier or somebody like that as a comp, not any HOFer.
   10. AROM Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4307457)
Is it even possible to be a +300 defender in that amount of time? I don't think SS gets that many chances.


He'd have to be about +30 per year. Very unlikely, but it's possible. Mark Belanger was there in his best years. Adam Everett was there for a few years. Ozzie Smith may have been there as well. Tougher to do it as a 10 year average than for one year. But if the question is whether it's possible, it has to be.

I don't think Marion was that level of uber-defender.

   11. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4307472)
All of those players were from later eras and played on artificial turf. With the equipment and fields of that era I'm not convinced +300 is possible.
   12. phredbird Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4307508)
thanks to the train wreck that is going to be HOF voting in the next 5 to 10 years -- people like jack morris getting in, people like, well, you know who being shut out, i have lost interest.

sure, put marion in. i'm reaching the age where i want the players i liked to read about when i was a kid, or root for as i gained adulthood, should go in.

so with marty i'd also like to see guys like mike shannon and joe rudi and john tudor and terry pendleton and willie mcgee and andy van slyke and reggie smith and ron swoboda get in. i could come up with some others too.
   13. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4307530)
No kidding, my first "favourite player" was Nelson Liriano. There is a reason you haven't heard of him. I don't even know why I liked him, probably the name.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4307537)
All of those players were from later eras and played on artificial turf. With the equipment and fields of that era I'm not convinced +300 is possible.


This may be ignorance on my part but wouldn't it be MORE likely in that era? It seems to me that the equipment and fields would create greater variances between the elite and the not elite players and that would make big numbers (both plus and minus) more attainable.
   15. AROM Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4307541)
All of those players were from later eras and played on artificial turf. With the equipment and fields of that era I'm not convinced +300 is possible.


He's compared to shortstops playing under the same conditions he played in. Putting up better defensive stats than your peers is not any easier or tougher, even if the act of converting a ground ball into an out is.

Shortstops handled more chances in the past than they do now - fewer strikeouts, more ground balls - so in that sense we should expect the best shortstops of the past to have bigger + numbers than the moderns.
   16. AROM Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4307549)
Whether such defensive numbers are possible though is a totally separate question than whether Marion was that good.

To make a case for him being in the HOF, you'd have to convince people that he was the best defensive shortstop ever. Better than Belanger, better than Ozzie, better than Aparicio, better than Maranville, better than Rizzuto.

Nobody, outside of maybe a few obscure cults, does this.
   17. bjhanke Posted: November 22, 2012 at 07:26 AM (#4307957)
AROM has it right, but it is true that Marion had an absolutely tremendous glove reputation. I live in STL, so my sources are all biased in Marty's favor, but the New Historical Abstract is different. It quotes Billy Southworth as saying that Marion was the best SS glove he ever saw, and Southworth goes a couple of decades back before Marty, although he did spend years with the Cards. More impressive is Connie Mack, who goes WAY back and saw everyone in the American League (his quote says he never did see Honus Wagner play, which sounds weird, but it's a quote). Apparently, going by the descriptions I've heard about WHY Marion was so good, he apparently combined the quickness of Rizzuto with the long arms and reach range of, say, Leo Cardenas or Cal Ripken.

I have often said that there are only four realistic candidates for the title of greatest SS glove ever: George Wright, Honus, Rabbit Maranville, and Ozzie Smith. The reason that I pick those four is that they are not contemporaries of each other, and played different game styles, so it's impossible, really, to compare them to each other. But every other SS is close enough to one of them that the comparison can be made, and everyone else fails his closest match on the Gang of Four. I have no serious sabermetric way of comparing Wright to Wagner, much less Maranville, much much less Ozzie. They just played too far apart. But I can compare Omar Vizquel, say, to Ozzie, and he's not Ozzie. The largest gap in this list is between Rabbit and Ozzie. If you wanted to add a fifth candidate in between, Marion would be the one. Rizzuto is credited, by Bill James, with being the best SS ever at turning the double play pivot, which is NOT the same thing as saying that he was the greatest defensive SS ever.

All that being said, Marion has NO Hall of Fame case. He simply didn't hit enough, which is why he only played 14 seasons. But if you wanted to put up a case that he was the best, or one of the best, SS gloves ever, I think you have a case for that. - Brock Hanke
   18. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4307971)
Connie Mack, who goes WAY back and saw everyone in the American League (his quote says he never did see Honus Wagner play

It's weird but plausible. Mack managed in the NL through 1896 and then went to the Western League, while Wagner's NL career started in 1897. They never faced each other in the World Series. You'd have thought Mack saw Wagner in exhibition games at some point, though.

four realistic candidates for the title of greatest SS glove ever: George Wright, Honus, Rabbit Maranville, and Ozzie Smith

Is Mark Belanger on your radar, Brock, or is he close enough to Smith in era that he just falls short? Michael Humphreys has Belanger significantly ahead of Smith; B-Ref has him barely behind in terms of career Fielding Runs.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4308066)
sure, put marion in. i'm reaching the age where i want the players i liked to read about when i was a kid, or root for as i gained adulthood, should go in.

Marion's out because his G-600 glove wasn't reliable. That undersized webbing made me have to use both hands to grab a ground ball, and it still made me make too many errors. So no HoF for "Mr. Shortstop".

so with marty i'd also like to see guys like mike shannon and joe rudi and john tudor and terry pendleton and willie mcgee and andy van slyke and reggie smith and ron swoboda get in. i could come up with some others too.

Okay, then you've gotta go with Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, Gene Woodling, Elston Howard, Gil McDougald, Bob Turley and Cliff Mapes, who's the only non-HOF Yankee ever to have two of his uniform numbers retired. In fact Mapes was held in such high esteem that he was still wearing #3 the day after Babe Ruth's death, which IMO makes him not just a HoFer but deserving of a plaque right next to the Babe's.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4308074)
Connie Mack, who goes WAY back and saw everyone in the American League (his quote says he never did see Honus Wagner play

It's weird but plausible. Mack managed in the NL through 1896 and then went to the Western League, while Wagner's NL career started in 1897. They never faced each other in the World Series. You'd have thought Mack saw Wagner in exhibition games at some point, though.


In Christy Mathewson's Pitching in a Pinch, he mentions that he's never seen Ty Cobb play. So yes, in those days, I think it was very plausible for players from one league to not have seen players in the other league, even ones such as Mack or Mathewson, who played or managed inb a city with teams in both leagues. One thing that I should mention is that spring training was different then; major league teams trained separately (there was no organized Cactus League or Grapefruit League). Teams would play minor league teams, and then perhaps work their way back north playing a series of games against one other major league team, but there was no organized pre-season "league" that included teams from both leagues as we have today.
   21. bjhanke Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:49 AM (#4308227)
I've seen Belanger play, and he was certainly terrific, and he'd be on my radar except that I saw Ozzie play, and he looked even better - even quicker, hard as it is to believe if you've ever seen Belanger. Most systems have Ozzie ahead of Mark, and I go with them and with my memory. But if there was someone out there in that time period who was better than Ozzie, it was probably Mark. It certainly was not Omar Vizquel, and is not Omar now, either.

I have also noticed that there was a lot of league separation in the early 1900s, meaning that AL and NL teams did not trade very many players across leagues (after the raiding war between them was over by about 1903). The AL seems to have been about a decade ahead of the NL in recruiting from the deep South, which may be why they were winning all the World Series' a decade later. Actually, although I've never put in the time to do this thoroughly, it does look like Ty Cobb was just about the very first really good player to come out of the deep South, which explains a part of why he had so much trouble getting along with his contemporary players. The NL's first really good deep South player may have been Rogers Hornsby, who had similar personality clash problems. On the other hand, some of you out there may have done this research in better detail than I have and may be able to correct me. If so, please do, as I'd like to know. The idea that Mack never saw Honus play, or that Matty never saw Cobb is possible, but the endless exhibition "teams" that got rounded up in the winter to go barnstorming makes that just sound weird to me. There are also oddities like Matty being a correspondent on the 1919 World Series, which happened a decade before Cobb retired. Cobb wasn't in that series, but it does indicate that star players who were not actually in the Series may have been hired by newspapers to comment on them, and therefore would have seen players from the other league. Bill James, in his FIRST Historical Abstract, has a picture of Cobb and Matty standing side by side in a ballpark, albeit in street clothes. So, not impossible, but certainly weird that Matty would never have seen Cobb play. - Brock
   22. Sunday silence Posted: November 23, 2012 at 06:21 AM (#4308230)
only four realistic candidates for the title of greatest SS glove ever: George Wright, Honus, Rabbit Maranville, and Ozzie Smith. The reason that I pick those four is that they are not contemporaries of each other, and played different game styles, so it's impossible, really, to compare them to each other



why wouldnt Luis Aparacio easily fit on this list based on your own criterion?
   23. Sunday silence Posted: November 23, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4308235)
The AL seems to have been about a decade ahead of the NL in recruiting from the deep South, which may be why they were winning all the World Series' a decade later. Actually, although I've never put in the time to do this thoroughly, it does look like Ty Cobb was just about the very first really good player to come out of the deep South, which explains a part of why he had so much trouble getting along with his contemporary players. The NL's first really good deep South player may have been Rogers Hornsby, who had similar personality clash problems


WIth some exceptions, this seems to be pretty accurate. Here are a few of the early ones that I could find:

name/debut date/birth state/team

Deacon Phllipi/4/21/99 VA. Louisville (NL)
Gabby Street 9/13/04 AL Wash (AL)
Cobb 8/30/05 GA Det
Boss Schmidt 4/30/06 ARK Det (al)
Clyde Milan 8/19/07 TN Wash (AL)
Speaker 9/12/07 TX Bos (AL)
HIppo Vaughn 6/19/08 TX NY (AL)
Jackson 8/25/08 SC Cle(AL)


Aside from Phillipi, its hard to find NL guys.

Dick Hoblitzell 1908; WV Cin
Rube Benton 1910 NC Cin
Possum Whitted 1912 NC STL
   24. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 23, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4308240)
You mean Deacon Phillipe? Did he pronounce it with the hard "e" at the end? It being a French name, the correct pronunciation would be half way between "Feelip" and "Fileep".
   25. BDC Posted: November 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4308275)
The NL's first really good deep South player may have been Rogers Hornsby

Like Speaker, Hornsby was a Texan, and from the north-center of the state, not from the part of Texas (the piney-wood east) that was like the deep south. Hornsby grew up in Fort Worth, a crossroads of trade that was pretty cosmopolitan (though he was a working-class kid, another dynamic to consider). Speaker was better-educated, more middle-class, and had a reputation as a gentlemanly fellow that carried over into business success after he left baseball. (Charles Alexander's good biographies of both are the source of what I know about them. Incidentally, Alexander finds no grounds for the rumor that Speaker was ever a Klansman. I doubt that Tris Speaker was any Eleanor Roosevelt when it came to the rights of mankind, but he seems to have been an uncontroversial type who took no great political stand on anything.)

Anyway, it was certainly personality more than region that made Speaker a respected, classy guy and Hornsby a combative sorehead.
   26. phredbird Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4308355)
so with marty i'd also like to see guys like mike shannon and joe rudi and john tudor and terry pendleton and willie mcgee and andy van slyke and reggie smith and ron swoboda get in. i could come up with some others too.

Okay, then you've gotta go with Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, Gene Woodling, Elston Howard, Gil McDougald, Bob Turley and Cliff Mapes, who's the only non-HOF Yankee ever to have two of his uniform numbers retired. In fact Mapes was held in such high esteem that he was still wearing #3 the day after Babe Ruth's death, which IMO makes him not just a HoFer but deserving of a plaque right next to the Babe's.


sure, why not?

you're not getting it. i'm waving off HOF as meaningful if the current voting trends continue, so let 'em all in. f-k it.
   27. DanG Posted: November 23, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4308491)
Looking for SS or C comps to Marion, he's a ringer for modern guys Scott Fletcher and Greg Gagne:

Rk           Player WAR/pos OPS+   PA Rfield From   To   Age    G
1      Jim Sundberg    37.3   90 6899    114 1974 1989 23
-38 1962
2      Terry Turner    34.7   89 6655    102 1901 1919 20
-38 1659
3    Scott Fletcher    29.8   85 5976     98 1981 1995 22
-36 1612
'4     Marty Marion    29.6   81 6143    130 1940 1953 22-35 1572'
5      Billy Jurges    28.3   82 7013    113 1931 1947 23-39 1816
6        Ray Schalk    25.0   83 6228     46 1912 1929 19
-36 1762
7        Greg Gagne    23.8   83 6209     83 1983 1997 21
-35 1798
8      Mike Bordick    23.5   83 6484     68 1990 2003 24
-37 1720
9      Rick Dempsey    23.1   87 5407     71 1969 1992 19
-42 1766
10     Eddie Miller    21.8   80 5817     79 1936 1950 19
-33 1510
11        Tony Pena    21.7   84 7073     46 1980 1997 23
-40 1988 
   28. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 23, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4308508)
THis is one of the more interesting threads I've read this month. I've heard some old timers rave about Marion's glove, but I wonder how often they saw him play. He played during the radio days.


   29. bjhanke Posted: November 24, 2012 at 05:24 AM (#4308583)
Sunday - The answer to comment #22 may seem odd, but it's the timing as it applies to my eyes. I never saw Marion play. My dad started taking me to ballgames in 1954, when I was 6. Marion retired after 1953. And in any case, at that time, I couldn't tell one SS from another - I was 6. By the time I could, the best glove rep in the AL was Aparicio. Being in a NL city, at a time when there were very few ballgames on TV, I doubt I ever saw Luis except in All-Star games and the 1959 Series (the role of the All-Star game in a fan's experience has completely changed from those times. In the 1950s, you watched the ASG so that you could see the stars of the "other" league. So I could see Aparicio, Fox, and Doby, while someone in, say, Cleveland could see Musial, Aaron and Mays). Luis was certainly impressive, very very quick. However, at about the same time, the NL consensus glove pick was Roy MacMillan. MacMillan was VERY odd to watch. Normally, you see the pitch go in there, the bat hitting the ball, notice that it's a grounder to short, and then look at the SS. By then, a good SS has completely turned his body and is on his first or maybe second step to where the ball was going. MacMillan was on his THIRD step. It was like he had ESP, and knew where the ball was going when it left the pitcher's hand. I've never seen the like. MacMillan's rep has drifted away with time, while Aparicio, because he had all this fame as the great SS / leadoff man, had a rep that held up over the decades. But MacMillan looked better to me, albeit I was still in my teens. So, if I had to pick someone from that period, it would be Roy, not Luis. If you want to check with your own eyes, try to find a clip of Roy somewhere. He's truly unique. It's worth the effort. Roy's career ended about when Mark Belanger's began, so I have no visual comparisons that don't involve a few year's separation.

Oh, and THANKS for comment #23. Very interesting, especially since I happen to be a big Deacon Phillippe fan (I think it's anglicized pronunciation goes "PHIL lip pee." However, I can't pronounce French at all, and don't try, because I know someone who majored in French in college, so I can always get the real deal with a phone call.

Dan - Nice list. And comforting, if you're a Marion fan. He has one of the lowest PA numbers on the list, but the highest RField, by a pretty serious margin. Maybe he really WAS as good as his rep. Like I said, my best sources were my dad, a lifetime STL baseball fan, and Bob Broeg, a lifetime STL sportswriter. Possibility of bias - very high. Sabermetric numbers apparently confirming the rep, very comforting. - Brock
   30. Sunday silence Posted: November 24, 2012 at 07:03 AM (#4308586)
On Phillipe, his rookie year was the last year they were in Louisville so maybe it was OK to be s southerner in that town? Similarly other southerners first appear in the NL in Cincinnatti.

The list I posted is not thorough but almost. I started out just looking for names I recognized but then I started going through entire starting line up and main line pitchers. I think I got most of the starters but maybe missed a few. Mention should also be made of Morrie Rath from TX who came up with the Phillies in sept of '09, but was not a full time player until 1912. He disappeared from MLB after 1913 spends about 6 years in the minors and then turns up as a starter on the 1919 world champion Redlegs. Of course back then, the minors were different and I guess they really wanted him in Salt Lake City and Kansas City.

But that was a real good pt. about southern ball players. I had no idea how marginalized they were at that pt.
   31. BDC Posted: November 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4308606)
I've heard some old timers rave about Marion's glove, but I wonder how often they saw him play. He played during the radio days

My father thought Marion was a fairly awesome fielder, and he saw him in person a lot: he was Cub fan in his teens during the height of Marion's career, and lived a crosstown bus away from Wrigley Field.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4308641)
Brock (#29),

I'm 4 years older than you, and my distinct recollection of the reps of the 50's shortstops on fielding alone would have been McMillan, Chico Carrasquel (Aparicio's predecessor and fellow Venezuelan), Banks, and then Aparicio, whose reputation as a base stealer easily overrode his rep as a fielder. I'll let others look at the numbers, since I'm only talking about contemporary reputations, not necessarily reality.
   33. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 24, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4308671)
I have also noticed that there was a lot of league separation in the early 1900s, meaning that AL and NL teams did not trade very many players across leagues (after the raiding war between them was over by about 1903).


There were no interleague trading periods until the 40s; until then players could only move from one league to the other by passing through league waivers. Around the end of WWII (I think, trying to check the date on this) MLB instituted an interleague trading period centered around the winter meetings, and they later added a second one during spring training (1976 CBA, the one that established free agency). It wasn't until 1986 that the designated interleague periods were completely removed.

-- MWE

EDIT: Waiver-free interleague trading actually didn't start until the 1959 offseason.
   34. bjhanke Posted: November 25, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4309017)
Mike - THANKS! I had NO idea that there had EVER been a restriction on trading between leagues. This completely changes my impression of how insular the two leagues were. You know one hellacious amount about baseball, as is evident from all of your comments.

Sunday - Did you read Bill James' comment on Morrie Rath in the New Historical Abstract (1999)? It's buried in the comments AFTER the rankings at second base. He comments on four guys there who didn't make his top 100 2B. Rath couldn't make the list because he played so few years in the majors, but Bill thinks that he was a genuinely good ML player. The problem seems to have been that as a hitter, he was Roy Thomas, someone who got on base by bunting and taking boatloads of walks, but who had NO power at all. Just a Gold Glove. Not enough for the managers of a time that didn't value walks.

Bob and Jolly - Thanks for the visual confirmations. I always sweat when making a comment about the 1940s or early 1950s, because almost all of what I know I got from either my dad or Bob Broeg. Either I didn't see the player at all, or was too young to actually evaluate anything. For example, I know who Chico Carrasquel is, but only because I got into a board game called Cadaco All-Star Baseball, and he had a player disc almost every year in the 50s. I got ramped up to speed quickly because my dad felt horribly guilty about not taking me to a ballgame before 1954. Dad, you see, was born in 1911. The first GOOD team he got to root for was the 1922 Browns, so he was a lifelong Browns fan with a strong side interest in the Cardinals because they actually won some of the time. Judging from my interest in listening to radio games with him, he decided that I would be old enough to actually take to a game in 1954, when I would have been 6. But, of course, he meant to take me to Browns games, and then, with no notice, during the offseason, they left for Baltimore. Dad went into a wallow of guilt at never being able to take me to see his beloved Brownies, so he started taking me to LOTS of Cardinal ballgames. By the time I was 9, in 1957, I had a pretty good general idea of how each position was played, and what the tools needed at each position were, and who the stars of the time were. But before then, it's dicey, because I was old enough to be aware of the game, but not old enough to know what was really going on. - Brock
   35. Sunday silence Posted: November 25, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4309036)
Likewise I had no idea of the interleague waiver deal. I did read the New Historical Abstract but I must have forgotten the part about Rath. I only recalled him from studying the 1919 world series. I also didnt know much about McMillan. Very enjoyable off season thread...

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