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Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Biggest Years by the Smallest Players

Just a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin.’

gehrig97 Posted: July 22, 2018 at 10:34 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, berra, jose altuve, morgan, puckett, yankees

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   1. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5713828)
Good list, but surprising not to see a Pedroia season on it.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5713840)
Hell, in 1951 the 3'7" Eddie Gaedel put up a 1.000 OBP.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5713852)
Good list, but surprising not to see a Pedroia season on it.

or Jimmy Wynn
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5713862)
Good list, but surprising not to see a Pedroia season on it.

or Jimmy Wynn


The tallest player in the list is 5'8". Pedroia is 5'9, Wynn 5-10.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 22, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5713866)
Wynn was listed at 5' 10, but he was maybe 5'8. From an SI article in August 1969:

According to the Astros, Wynn is 5'9" short and weighs 168 pounds. "That's right," Wynn says, "I'm 5'9" and weigh 168." He does weigh 168 pounds in his uniform, but subtract at least one inch from his listed height to compensate for Texas exaggeration.




   6. AndrewJ Posted: July 22, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5713899)
What is the likelihood of Hack Wilson's RBI record being broken? Being even seriously challenged?
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 22, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5713903)
What is the likelihood of Hack Wilson's RBI record being broken? Being even seriously challenged?

Almost zero. When Wilson set his record of 190 in 1930, the National League's BA was .303, its OBP was .360, there were 0.7 HR per team per game, and only 3.2 strikeouts.

In 2018, the MLB BA is .247, its OPB is .318, each team hits an average of 1.1 home runs per game, and strikes out 8.5 times. That's a lot fewer baserunners and a lot fewer times a batter will come up with men in scoring position. To break Wilson's record you'd need to put a Barry Bonds on the Red Sox, outlaw the intentional walk, and require 10 balls to put him on "unintentionally".
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 22, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5713905)
Pedroia is 5'9
I'm sure that's what he tells people.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5713921)
The biggest season in the last 80 years (Foxx 175 in 1938) is Manny's 165 in 1999. Sosa had 160 in 2001. Manny's was the highest totals in 50 years when it happend. 10 of the top 12 RBI seasons are from the 1930s, 8 of those in the AL, and nothing's compared to that since. So, yeah, a sea change back to sillyball with a rabbit ball and something that reduces Ks. Or get rid of the humidor and trade Trout, Votto, Bryant and Judge to the Rox. (I'm thinking Votto, Bryant, Trout, Judge ... or maybe slip Freddie Freeman between Trout and Judge to avoid ROOGYs.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5713922)
On the topic of the article, I never realized how short Raines was. Certainly wasn't my impression when he was playing.
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 23, 2018 at 12:39 AM (#5713931)
to compensate for Texas exaggeration


Everything is bigger in Texas!
   12. Walt Davis Posted: July 23, 2018 at 01:44 AM (#5713936)
On the RBI thing ... I've brought these factoids out before but they're appropriate here again regarding Wilson's RBI record ...

For his career (not just the crazy years), Barry Bonds with men on base but first base open:

-2- 342 IBB, 170 uIBB in 1204 career PA; 597 OBP; 42.5% BB rate
--3 91 IBB and 62 uIBB in 444 PA; 554 OBP; 34.5% BB rate
-23 139 IBB and 14 uIBB in 271 PA; 675 OBP; 56.5% BB rate

He led the league in IBB 12 times. Even with first occupied, he received 75 IBB. (I think most of those probably did come in the crazy period.)

Anyway, there's a reason he didn't manage to drive in 2,000 runners, why he led the league in RBI just once, only once topped 125 and never topped 140 -- they just wouldn't let him drive runners in. Driving himself in accounted for 38% of his RBI (Aaron about 33%; Ruth 32%; Sosa 36.5%; Mac 41.2%).



   13. BDC Posted: July 23, 2018 at 07:13 AM (#5713945)
I never realized how short Raines was. Certainly wasn't my impression when he was playing

Me neither, and I saw him play quite a lot. I guess it's that Raines is not shaped like a short person, if that makes sense: he's not slight, he doesn't have disproportionately short legs or something like that. He's just scaled down.
   14. Rally Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:24 AM (#5713961)
Me neither, and I saw him play quite a lot. I guess it's that Raines is not shaped like a short person, if that makes sense: he's not slight, he doesn't have disproportionately short legs or something like that. He's just scaled down.


He's not a short person, he's about average height. Just short for a ballplayer.

I wouldn't expect him to be shaped differently, like this guy is.
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5713970)
If Pedroia is 5'9" then I'm 6', because I'm 5'9" and have at least two inches on him.
   16. SandyRiver Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5713974)
Adding to #9: There have been 21 seasons with 160+ rbi. Two are by Sam Thompson way back, 1887 and 1895. Two are the sillyball seasons by Manny/Sammy. The other 17 are Ruth(21,27)/Gehrig(27) and/or 1930s. As the 20s were the (post-1900) decade of .400+, so the 30s were the decade of 160+.
   17. gehrig97 Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5713979)
Snuffy Stirnweiss, 1945, might've made this list: .309/.385/.476/145 OPS+/8.7 WAR

He led the league in batting, slugging, adjusted production, WAR for position players (a country mile behind pitcher Hal Newhouser), runs, hits, triples, stolen bases (33) and total bases.

Then again, Stirnweiss was playing against his fair share of barbers, auto mechanics, and shoe salesman: Hundreds of major leaguers missed time due to military service.
   18. gehrig97 Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5713982)
@10: I was surprised at Raines' stature as well. I mean, he obviously wasn't a giant -- but he seems larger in my memory. I always thought he and Rickey were about the same size (Rickey is listed at 5'10", 180).
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5714001)
Since I don't feel like signing in via Facebook or Google just to access the content, am I right in assuming the list includes Wee Willie Keeler's 1897 season? He put up a 1.003 OPS, a 164 OPS+, and 7.1 WAR in 129 games.
   20. Zonk is One Individual Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5714005)
If Pedroia is 5'9" then I'm 6', because I'm 5'9" and have at least two inches on him.


I met Jimmy Wynn at a card show - well, me and everyone else who stood in line to get a card signed - when I was in HS and I don't think he's 5'10" either. This would have been when he was in his 50s.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5714014)

#19 Yes it does.

He also has a list of best seasons by really tall players, which are basically all by Randy Johnson, with an honorable mention to Aaron Judge's 2017.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5714015)
Wynn was listed at 5' 10, but he was maybe 5'8. From an SI article in August 1969:

Aren't most listed baseball heights fudged upwards? Do we really believe Yogi Berra was 5'7?
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5714063)
If Pedroia is 5'9" then I'm 6', because I'm 5'9" and have at least two inches on him.


Hell, the catcher and home plate umpire always seem taller than him, and they're in various states of crouching.

   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5714075)
Or get rid of the humidor and trade Trout, Votto, Bryant and Judge to the Rox.


Judge's raw numbers would probably go down if he played for Colorado.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5714088)
#19 Yes it does.

He also has a list of best seasons by really tall players, which are basically all by Randy Johnson, with an honorable mention to Aaron Judge's 2017.


Thanks. It's strange that I was able to access the article when it was first posted yesterday, but when I went back today I got a blocking popup that said something like "Whoa! You've been here before", and that I had to login via Facebook or google to continue.
   26. gehrig97 Posted: July 23, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5714125)
...am I right in assuming the list includes Wee Willie Keeler's 1897 season? He put up a 1.003 OPS, a 164 OPS+, and 7.1 WAR in 129 games.


FTA:

Willie Keeler, 1897. Listed at 5’4”
.424/.464/.539/164 OPS+/7.1 WAR
At five-foot-nuthin, a hundred-and-nuthin, Wee Willie was smaller than a ball boy. It didn’t stop him from becoming one of the bigger stars of his day. Keeler in 1897 lashed 239 hits for an absurd .424 average. One of the greatest contact hitters who ever lived, he whiffed but five times over the course of his 618 PA (that wasn’t even a career best: In 1899 he whiffed twice in 633 PA).

We’re hesitant to include pre-1900 seasons on any list, but, well, .424. It was obviously a very different game, but relative to his time Wheeler was an excellent player.
   27. Rally Posted: July 23, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5714250)
You kind of have to timeline this. There are 34 seasons of a 150 or better OPS+ by a batter listed at 5'7 or shorter and qualified for batting title. 16 of these were before 1900. Another 6 before 1915. Between 1915 and 1970 there are 6 such seasons, all by Hack Wilson.

Since then it's been Joe Morgan, Jose Altuve, and one year by Don Buford (I did not know he was that short.)
   28. Rally Posted: July 23, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5714258)
In 1897 median height of the top hitters (OPS+ > 120) was 5'10. Keeler 6 inches shorter.

Morgan was 5 inches shorter than the 6'0 median top hitter of 1975. Altuve was 8 inches shorter than the median top hitter of 2017.
   29. dlf Posted: July 23, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5714333)
Aren't most listed baseball heights fudged upwards?


I spent a little time in close proximity to one of the players on the list, 5'8" Eddie Stanky and, even as an early teenager, I towered over him. But it was in the 1980s when he was closing in on 70 and was a college coach at South Alabama so I have no idea how much he had shrunk as he aged.

...

The short player I remember from my childhood is Freddie Patek. All 5'5" of him finished in the top 10 in MVP voting once early in the 70s and, in my childhood memories, was always causing havoc for those really good Herzog era Royals clubs. He is listed at 1 inch and 8 lbs bigger than Wee Willie.
   30. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 23, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5714335)
He's just scaled down

A scaled-down linebacker, maybe. The man's nickname was Rock.
   31. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: July 23, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5714372)
Tommy Leach put up 6 WAR in I think it was 1902 or 1904
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5714379)
A scaled-down linebacker, maybe. The man's nickname was Rock.

Wasn't that because of the cocaine habit?
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5714394)

Raines was supposedly a standout running back in HS and was heavily recruited by colleges:

Raines's election is also notable for the fact that, growing up in Sanford, Fla., his first love was football. Solidly built despite his modest height of 5'8", he averaged 10.5 yards per carry and scored 18 touchdowns as a running back in his senior year, drawing over 100 college scholarship offers, including one from Florida. But while he harbored dreams of the NFL, watching the similarly compact Joe Morgan (listed at 5'7") win back-to-back National League MVP honors with the Reds in 1975 and '76 changed Raines’s focus, convincing him to give professional baseball a try first.
   34. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:42 PM (#5714630)
Jose Ramirez is listed at 5'9", 165 lb -- exactly my "listed" size, though I'm sure that he doesn't still weigh 165. He looks short on TV. Have any of you stood next to him in real life?
   35. Walt Davis Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5714669)
Me neither, and I saw him play quite a lot. I guess it's that Raines is not shaped like a short person, if that makes sense: he's not slight, he doesn't have disproportionately short legs or something like that. He's just scaled down.

It may also be a symptom of the ways in which he was generally ignored by the media. I don't remember him being portrayed as short which seems to happen to most players who are short and have success. He's the same listed height as Puckett whose stature was constantly commented on.

On listed heights and such, the issue is not so much that folks are fibbing but whether they are fibbing in the same ways and direction (or we can split them into sub-groups where that's true). That is, even if Jimmy Wynn was 5'8" and listed at 5'10" doesn't particularly matter if, say, Raines was really 5'6" and listed at 5'8". This would still be a list of "best seasons by shortest players." Obviously if both were really 5'8" then it does matter since Wynn should make the list.

So sure, certainly then and probably still at least sometimes now, short heights are bumped up a couple of inches and big weights are pushed down a stone or two :-) but it's still probably a good bet that today's player listed at 215 pounds is at least as big as yesteryear's 185 pounds.
   36. BDC Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5714696)
There's also the occasional tall athlete who's listed as shorter. I remember it being said of Bill Walton that he couldn't really be 6'11"; he was well over seven feet, but somehow thought that acknowledging that would have a freak-show element, so he went for just 6'11". My now-very-distant memory of Walton on the court was that he towered over players who were really tall to start with.

Cal Ripken is listed as 6'4". I met him once – I'm 6'1" – and he seemed more than three inches taller. Maybe he's 6'6" but thought that would be absurd to claim for a major-league infielder of his era.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:41 AM (#5715450)
Judge's raw numbers would probably go down if he played for Colorado.

Maybe but it's Trout's RBI numbers I'm trying to maximize. Get guys on in front of him (Votto, Bryant), make sure he's got enough protection behind him they don't just walk him whenever guys are on base. They still might (as they did with Bonds).
   38. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 25, 2018 at 02:46 AM (#5715451)
Jose Ramirez is listed at 5'9", 165 lb


There ain't no way Jose is 165. I'm 5'10" and just under 165 and I'm pretty darn lean. Jose is solid, like Raines solid. He's pushing 190 easy. Dude has the neck of a football player.

   39. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5715568)
There's also the occasional tall athlete who's listed as shorter. I remember it being said of Bill Walton that he couldn't really be 6'11"; he was well over seven feet, but somehow thought that acknowledging that would have a freak-show element, so he went for just 6'11". My now-very-distant memory of Walton on the court was that he towered over players who were really tall to start with.

Cal Ripken is listed as 6'4". I met him once – I'm 6'1" – and he seemed more than three inches taller. Maybe he's 6'6" but thought that would be absurd to claim for a major-league infielder of his era.


The same was said about Kevin Garnett - he didn't want to be thought of as an immobile 7'er so he stuck with 6'11" as his listed height.

And I also think people are not very good at assessing heights by simply standing near someone. Are they slouching? Are you standing tall trying to measure up to them? What shoes are you wearing? Any hat or funky haircut? Take Ted Williams - he has a pretty sloped-shouldered, slouching stance, I'd bet when he stands straight up and puts his shoulders back he'd noticeably 'gains' two inches.
   40. BDC Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5715571)
I also think people are not very good at assessing heights by simply standing near someone

That's a fair point. Shoes alone can make a considerable difference.
   41. gehrig97 Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5715576)
There ain't no way Jose is 165.


Yeah... listed weights are plain silly. Mookie Betts is listed at 5'9", 180 --and Ramirez looks quite a bit bigger. I remember Frank Thomas was listed at 240 lbs for years... it's doubtful he was south of 280-290 the last decade of his career.
   42. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5715577)
That's a fair point. Shoes alone can make a considerable difference.


Don't you hate shoes?

/Arkansas native
   43. dlf Posted: July 25, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5715625)
Take Ted Williams - he has a pretty sloped-shouldered, slouching stance, I'd bet when he stands straight up and puts his shoulders back he'd noticeably 'gains' two inches.


Well, he's probably what, about 8 or 10 inches shorter with his head in a can.

I also think people are not very good at assessing heights by simply standing near someone


I wouldn't try to make precise comparisons, but, as noted in the NBA thread, I've stood next to 7'4"Mark Eaton and spent time at a high-school reunion with my wife's one-time classmate 6'10" Pete Chilcutt. Just as there is a noticeable difference between really tall and ohmygodhesagiant, there is a difference between short and shortish.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5715660)
Wasn't that because of the cocaine habit?


No. He was Rock before his drug troubles.
   45. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5715676)
I've read that Cal was actually 6-6.
Kevin Durant is another 7-footer artificially listed as a shorter than that.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5715695)
Although I'm sure that Jose Ramirez weighs more than 165, he does have a fat head, which makes him seem thicker than he really is.
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5715728)

Listing a single weight for an athlete makes little sense--athlete's weights fluctuate over the course of a season, let alone a career.

Although I'm sure that Jose Ramirez weighs more than 165, he does have a fat head, which makes him seem thicker than he really is.

Thank you for noting this. Based only on his Baseball Reference photo I would have guessed he weighed 200 lbs, but looking at some pictures of him on the field he's probably a bit less than that. I agree he weighs more than 165 (I'm about 5'11, 165, and I'm a relatively thin guy).
   48. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5715853)
Trying to find pictures of Ripken for a size reference and I came across Jeter & A-Rod standing next to each other. According to BBREF they are the same height and ARod outweighs Jeter by 35! pounds.

I am not going to guess how tall either one actually is, but there is no conceivable way they are the same height. Hips, elbows, shoulders, eyes, every level of reference has A Rod taller.

ETA:

And I just noticed that Jeter puts his belt on backwards. Who does that?
   49. BDC Posted: July 25, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5715870)
One assumes AROD's height is listed in hands.
   50. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 25, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5715934)
Basketball players fudge their heights, too. Barkley was listed as 6'6", but he was probably 6'4", and maybe even 6'3".

Larry Bird was listed at 6'9", but he was really 6'7". Here's the story: Back then, the guy who worked as the radio engineer for the C's broadcast (working w/Johnny Most) was a big guy, 6'9". I worked with him for a few years, from 2004 until about 2008, when he retired (not in the radio industry). He told us this story: One day, he got on the hotel elevator while on the road with the team. Bird was on the elevator, and asked him how tall he was. "6'9"" was the reply. Bird then told him "oh yeah? well, from now on, your 6'11", mother ######\". And for the rest of the time he worked for WRKO, whenever anyone asked him how tall he was, he said he was 6'11".
   51. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 25, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5715943)
And I just noticed that Jeter puts his belt on backwards. Who does that?
Tribute to the late Chris Kelly of Kriss Kross, who died in 2013? Jeter and ARod were both on the Yankees that year, although neither played much.
   52. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 26, 2018 at 12:02 AM (#5716117)
I was shocked the first time I saw Khris Davis on TV. I only knew him from his numbers (notably his HR and strikeouts) and assumed he would be a big, hulking guy like Chris Davis or Chris Carter. For a couple of innings, I couldn't figure out who this little guy in left field was.

He's listed (BB-Ref) at 5'10", 195 lb but I wouldn't be surprised if he was shorter AND lighter than that. And he's working on his third straight 40+ HR season. Remarkable. (Of course, Willie Mays was listed at 5'10", 170, and Hank Aaron wasn't much bigger.)
   53. OCF Posted: July 26, 2018 at 01:23 AM (#5716130)
Exaggerating heights and weights isn't just for big-time athletics; it happens everywhere and at every level where such things are listed.

A long, long time ago, in my home town, I remember someone who was my age. He played all the team sports, and he was, throughout his youth, always the best athlete of his age cohort. In Little League and in the league we had for 13-14 year olds, he was a P/SS who batted leadoff or cleanup and made very few outs at the plate. We had junior high football - he was the quarterback, and a very good one. But as he entered high school, he dropped all other sports to focus entirely on basketball. He was a point guard, listed as 6-1, and everything about him was smooth and controlled. He had moves, he had great court awareness, he had tremendous shooting range (born too soon, since we didn't have the 3-pointer). One game his senior year, our high school was playing a highly rated team with a talented, heavily scouted player. There were college scouts in the building. We got and held a lead, in part because the player I'm talking about shot us into it. I remember the furious fourth quarter - we were trying to slow it down, they were pressing and playing with aggression. I remember us stepping to the free throw line 9 times in the quarter, nearly all of those the player I'm talking about, none of it shooting fouls, so they were all 1 and 1 - and getting 18 points out of those 9 trips to the line. Which won the game. And which may well have earned the player I'm talking about a scholarship to a major-conference college.

And, very quickly, that didn't work out for him. Which starts with the fact that he wasn't 6-1, he was 5-10. And the world was full of players who were much taller than him, and stronger than him, and faster than him, and who could jump higher than he could. The advantages he had - the shot, the handle, the slickness, the poise - those were all things those taller and faster players could learn or grow into, while he was never going to get any taller or faster himself. I think I heard that because he still wanted to play, he left his first college to go to some other school a division or two down, although I lost track of him after that.

In retrospect, maybe he should have tried specializing in baseball.
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 26, 2018 at 07:09 AM (#5716150)
I've read that Cal was actually 6-6.

It wouldn't shock me if he were. On the last day of Memorial Stadium in 1991, the O's players were helping to take tickets at the turnstiles for the early arrivals, and by chance I was in the line that passed by Cal. I'm just a tad over 6' even, and Cal certainly seemed more than 4" taller than I was.
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5716185)
I’m 2 inches taller than one of my best friends from growing up. A few years ago I made an offhand comment about me being 5’11 and he responded, “There’s no way you’re 5’11, because I’m 5’11 and you’re taller than me.” I had to break the news to him that he has really been 5’9 for the past 20 years.
   56. Rally Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5716196)
Barkley was listed as 6'6", but he was probably 6'4", and maybe even 6'3".


I went to HS in the Philly area in the 80s, so I followed Barkley quite a bit. It was commonly reported that he was not his listed height, and the reports were usually pretty specific, 6'4 and 3/4. I have no idea why the 6'6 listing is still around since everybody knows it's BS. Looking at Wikipedia he claimed 6'4 in his book.

Barkley was amazing to watch and the perspective of time makes his game even more amazing. It's not like 1950's players where a 6'4 forward might be no big deal, he was playing against PF's and centers who were on average bigger than the guys playing today, since post play has taken a back seat to small ball and stretch bigs. I don't know if exact measurements were taken but Barkley did seem to benefit from relatively long arms and a great wingspan, helping him play above his height. But mostly it was just freakish athleticism. Something that big (and kind of fat, not sculpted muscle like LeBron) should not be able the way he did. YouTube for "Barkley coast to coast" and check out the first clip that comes up. I watched it live on TV, but I never get tired of it.

How in the world did a player who looked so out of control, and shot (poorly) many ill-advised 3 pointers have such a high FG%?

RE: Bird - I assume Magic is more like 6'7 too.
   57. PreservedFish Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5716201)
I was shocked the first time I saw Khris Davis on TV. I only knew him from his numbers (notably his HR and strikeouts) and assumed he would be a big, hulking guy like Chris Davis or Chris Carter. For a couple of innings, I couldn't figure out who this little guy in left field was.

He's listed (BB-Ref) at 5'10", 195 lb but I wouldn't be surprised if he was shorter AND lighter than that. And he's working on his third straight 40+ HR season. Remarkable. (Of course, Willie Mays was listed at 5'10", 170, and Hank Aaron wasn't much bigger.)


GuyM, I think it is, has argued that we all underestimate the degree to which the overall skill level of the game has improved over the years, using the example of Mays in particular, and arguing that because there are essentially no elite players of his height anymore, it suggests that a 5'10" player with inner-circle natural ability would simply be overwhelmed by the larger men of the game these days.

But then Altuve happened!

If Altuve had the same natural talent and drive and was born 6'3", would he be the best player ever? Is there any good way of addressing this question?
   58. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5716203)
Something that big (and kind of fat, not sculpted muscle like LeBron)


Barkley was a rock. He may be fat now, but he was solid coming out of college. He may have been the strongest 6'4 and 3/4" player ever.
   59. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5716207)
Beyond exaggerations, which are much more common than underestimations, official NBA heights generally correspond to the player's height in shoes. (When I give my height, not that it comes up often as an adult, it's barefoot.)
   60. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 26, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5716287)
Barkley was listed as 6'6", but he was probably 6'4", and maybe even 6'3".


I was on an elevator with Barkley one time. He was about my height. I am 6 4". He was massive though. He was a little chubby in college, but he was a rock in the pros.
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5716347)
GuyM, I think it is, has argued that we all underestimate the degree to which the overall skill level of the game has improved over the years, using the example of Mays in particular, and arguing that because there are essentially no elite players of his height anymore, it suggests that a 5'10" player with inner-circle natural ability would simply be overwhelmed by the larger men of the game these days.

I'm sure others have commented that if Mays had been born 30-40 years later, with better nutrition available, he most likely would have been taller than 5'10.
   62. Rally Posted: July 26, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5716427)
Barkley was a rock. He may be fat now, but he was solid coming out of college. He may have been the strongest 6'4 and 3/4" player ever.


I'm sure Barkley was real strong. Had to be to dominate the way he did. He did not have the muscle definition of his contemporary and top statistical comp, Karl Malone. I think Barkley was deceptively strong. You expect a certain strength just because he was big, but he was stronger than other big guys who looked more cut. Still is, the TNT crew was doing some kind of contest a few years back and Barkley beat Shaq on the bench press. I don't remember what the contest was, max weight or most reps, but do remember that the round mound of rebound was the winner.
   63. Rally Posted: July 26, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5716431)
I'm sure others have commented that if Mays had been born 30-40 years later, with better nutrition available, he most likely would have been taller than 5'10.


I remember people saying Mays, while listed at 170, was bigger than that. He was probably 170 when he signed but came back from the army with more muscle and played at 185-190. Maybe he would have been taller had he been born in 1990, but we can't say that with much certainty.

In any case we've had a number of players put an end to the idea that because no modern player is hitting for power at Mays' size that means it cannot be done, and that Willie would be a singles hitter today. Mays played almost certainly taller and heavier (no matter what bbref listing says) than Mookie Betts, and Mookie is slugging .673.

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