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Banks, Hornsby, Petrocelli:  Why the move?
Posted: 27 January 2009 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]

These three were moved by their clubs from ss to elsewhere on the infield.

Banks offensive numbers dropped at the same time as the switch.  Did he get injured in 1961 so he could no longer play ss?

Was Hornsby moving from ss to 2b (via 3b in 1919) because of his defense?  He seemed to be a passable ss by the numbers, but his defense at 2b appears decidedly below average.

at 27, Petrocelli moves from ss to 3b.  He seemed a decent ss, so why did the BoSox move him? Especially since it appeared to happen at the end of the 1970 season.  Maybe a ss September call-up?

If someone can give me a good source for this kind of thing, I would appreciate it.  Thanx.

Posted: 27 January 2009 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]

Yes why would any 1 move a big star off short stop well Hronsby had an arm like a Noodle and Banks went to his right like Calvin Coolidge on Valium and Petrosilly became most ungodly fat after too many dough nuts.  There is usually a Flight in the Ointment.

Posted: 31 January 2009 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]

Here’s what happened to Hornsby, as best I can figure out from various written sources and some conversation with the old STL sportswriter Bob Broeg:

Before 1918, the Cardinals, a poor team then, had an infield that was not a settled thing at all, with people moving around a lot, so it’s sometimes hard to tell who could actually play where. Hornsby took over the shortstop job because he was the best SS among all these infielders. However, in 1918, Hornsby, whose arm had been OK for shortstop before, hurt the thing, missing a few games, and his shortstop defense dropped quite a bit. Then, in 1919, Branch Rickey took over the Cards and moved to improve the infield. He brought in Doc Lavan, a good glove no hit shortstop, in his prime at age 28, that Rickey had managed earlier with the Browns, and Milt Stock, a young, good hit poor field infielder who had an arm but absolutely was not a shortstop. Lavan took over the shortstop job and Stock took third base because his arm was better than the injured Hornsby’s. You can argue that Hornsby, weak arm and all, was a better third baseman than Stock, but Stock had the better arm, so the assignment of positions was just simple logic. Hornsby’s arm never recovered and then he had the inner ear thing in 1923 that made him unable to go back for fly balls. - Brock Hanke

Posted: 24 February 2010 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]


Banks: Knee problems
Petrocelli: Back
Hornsby: Before the Lively Ball, defense was more important for a third baeeman the second.  I imagine changing defensive thought o emphasizing defense at second was a gradual thing over several years.  I guess they could have put Hornsby in the outfield but he was apparently pretty bad at catching popups and that would be a major problem in the outfield.  Plus Hornsby msy have resisted being moved and he was not the most likeable fellow who ever played.  Better to just leave him at second, make a few bad plays and see him hit .400