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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Seamheads.com:  Negro Leagues Database 1933 Statistics Added

The year 1933 marked something of a fresh beginning for the Negro leagues, with the start of a new league and the inauguration of what became black baseball’s biggest event, the annual East-West All-Star Game. ....

The Crawfords are possibly the most famous team in Negro league history, featuring five Hall of Famers. Their offense was led by the 22-year-old Josh Gibson, by far the league’s dominant hitter (.411, 14 home runs), and the 35-year-old first baseman/manager Oscar Charleston (.352, 12 homers). Their pitching may have been even more impressive, with southpaws Sam Streeter (8-2, 2.62) and Leroy Matlock (7-5) right-hander Bert Hunter (8-1) taking pressure off the undisputed star, Satchel Paige.

KJOK Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:52 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: negro leagues, seamheads

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4408582)
This continues to be awesome.

And jeez, Josh Gibson...
   2. AROM Posted: April 09, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4408632)
Satchel: BB-ref has 78 IP, 42 hits, 33 runs, 11 bb, 49 K.

Seamheads has 80 IP, 52H, 25R, 16BB-77SO. The only point of agreement is the 4-6 record.

I certainly do not mean to disparage the people who have compiled these stats, and am very greatful for their efforts to bring the record, however incomplete, of the Negro leagues to the web.

Just curious, if anyone reading this knows about the issues, on where the disparities are coming from and which source is more accurate.
   3. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 09, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4408756)
I just noticed that Paige had 10 WAR in MLB after entering the league at 41. That's amazing.
   4. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: April 09, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4408809)
I just noticed that Paige had 10 WAR in MLB after entering the league at 41. That's amazing.

And he kept pitching, and pitching well, for a few years in the minors after he was done in MLB.
   5. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 09, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4408819)
And he kept pitching, and pitching well, for a few years in the minors after he was done in MLB.

Paige was a major league-quality pitcher through at least 1958, when he was 51, after three solid years with AAA Miami. And he had a 2.88 ERA for Portland of the PCL (league ERA 4.68), albeit in only 25 innings, in 1961. He was 54.

And on the other end...Satchel's 2.93 RA was second-best in the NNL among pitchers with at least 100 IP. That was 1928, when he was 21. Paige was probably ready for the majors already then.

So, that's, what, thirty plus years as a big league-quality pitcher? The Gordie Howe of pitchers, only better? Wow. Just...wow.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4408983)

So, that's, what, thirty plus years as a big league-quality pitcher?


His arm probably wouldn't have held up to major league workload for 30 years; but still damn impressive.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4408986)
He had a dead arm period IIRC. Late 1930s. The HoM thread on him has some info on it. .
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4408996)
On a somewhat related note, Sunday's Washington Post had a review of Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line" by Tom Dunkel, the story of the 1933 Bismarck (North Dakota) integrated semi-pro team that included Satchel Paige.
   9. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4409207)
EDIT: wrong thread, wrong reliever
   10. AROM Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4409208)
"His arm probably wouldn't have held up to major league workload for 30 years; but still damn impressive."

Consider the barnstorming/exhibition games that are not included in what bbref and Seamheads give for his record. Satchel almost certainly pitched more than any contemporary.
   11. KJOK Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4409360)
Just curious, if anyone reading this knows about the issues, on where the disparities are coming from and which source is more accurate.


I'm certainly aware of the issues, and not totally unbiased, but the best I can say at this point would be:

1. Both datasets were compiled by groups of very high quality researchers.
2. The stats on BB-Ref are from the original 2006 HOF study. The researchers that compiled those those stats have I believe made many, many corrections and additions since then.
3. There are many reasons why the stats could differ. For example, sometimes the actual innings pitched for a team that had more than one pitcher that game are not there. So you have to estimate based on figuring out how many times the pitcher batted. For example, if a team scored 1 run in the first innning, and their pitcher had 1 AB for the game, he almost certainly pitched at least 2 innings, since he couldn't have come to bat in the first (max 7 batters). Another might be if there are no strikeouts or walks for pitchers listed. The seamheads data will 'derive' the likely strikeouts based on catcher putouts and estimate pitcher walks based on batter ABs, while I think NLRAG/BB-Ref would just record 0 K's and 0 BBs. A big difference would be the games actually included. BB-REF has 1933 data for the Memphis Red Sox and New Orleans Crescent Stars, while at Seamheads we considered those teams 'minor league' and didn't include data for games involving those teams. It's possible/likely Paige pitched against those teams at least once, and maybe the closeness of innings and W-L record could be just a coincidence.
   12. bjhanke Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:43 AM (#4409510)
I do think that, if Satchel Paige had entered MLB in 2008 instead of 1948 (assuming he would have been the same age both times), he would have had a serious decade of a career as a reliever, probably a closer. He was that good - IMO one of the top 5 pitchers ever. Certainly better than Jamie Moyer. However, it also seems obvious to me that pitching in barnstorming games, with a tiny league schedule, just doesn't do the damage to a pitching arm that a full MLB schedule does. Paige, after all, didn't have to go full speed to handily beat 95% of the barnstorming teams he faced. He was also famous for not pitching the whole games. You can find ads for games that take the trouble to say that Satchel will pitch three full innings. Apparently, he was capable of showing up, pitching an inning, and then leaving for the next town. That's not exactly a monster workload. Apparently, as he aged, he and Hilton Smith became a sort of platoon, where Satchel would pitch the first three innings, and Hilton would finish up. I don't know how often that happened, though.

In some ways, the whole history of the Negro Leagues is like an eternal version of the National Association. The schedules were so tiny that even catchers could catch every game (with NO equipment in the NA). This didn't start to break in MLB until the schedules got to about 60 games, when the percentage of schedules played by starting catchers takes a nosedive, and teams actually have a second pitcher that they actually use. The Negro League schedules rarely, if ever, reached 60 games. So, while I have Paige in the top 5 pitchers and Pop Lloyd as my #2 or 3 shortstop of all time (behind Honus and maybe behind George Wright), I don't take Pop's monster season in the 1930s as an actual evaluation of his skills at that age. He had a hot streak in a schedule that just didn't have enough games in it to regress Pop's hot streak. And I don't think that even Satchel's arm could have handled a starter's workload in 1948, although I'd have given him more work than he got in the 1948 World Series.

In general, I tend to take very long Negro League careers with a grain of salt, for just these reasons. A grade A Negro League pitcher is facing grade A opposition maybe 20 times a year (maybe more if he plays during the winter in Latin America). Maybe half his barnstorming games were against grade D opposition, and another quarter against grade C. He can throw his grade B stuff out there and win almost all the time.

And I've always thought of the Homestead Greys as the most famous of Negro League teams, just because the name is so unusual it's hard to forget. - Brock Hanke

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