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Sunday, October 10, 2021

John Thorn: 5 rookies

Just as there were famous players before they began to receive bronze plaques marking their fame, there were great freshmen before the Rookie of the Year Award. My friend Bill Deane, an expert on baseball awards of all sorts, went so far as to list hypothetical Rookie of the Year winners for the years 1900 to 1946 (which I have extended, informally, to 1876, when technically everyone was a rookie).
Deane wrote in Total Baseball:
“In 1947 thirty-three baseball writers were asked to name five rookies in order of preference, with votes distributed on a 5–4–3–2–1 basis. Thus, Jackie Robinson became the first nationally recognized winner of the BBWAA Rookie of the Year Award…. In 1948 forty-eight writers [three per club] took part in the award, this time naming only a single candidate on each ballot. In 1949 the BBWAA began the process of choosing a top rookie in each league.”...

Ted Williams, 1939
When he reported to the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League in 1936, at age 17, Ted had reached his full height of 6’3”, but he weighed only 148 pounds. Where did the power come from? Not from the physique, although that would become impressive over time, but from technique. He had the most beautiful swing any baseball oldtimer had ever seen. Ted had a remarkable rookie season in Boston in 1939, hitting 31 home runs and driving in 145 runs while drawing 107 walks. The long arc of his swing, combined with plate discipline, would mark his career from beginning to end.
Runners-up: Paul Waner, 1926; Hal Trosky, 1934; Johnny Beazley, 1942; Del Ennis, 1946.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:26 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rookie of the year

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   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6045542)
1876, when technically everyone was a rookie

Everybody who played in the National Association says hi. (Actually, they don't, since they're all long dead.)
   2. Cblau Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:03 PM (#6045593)
Since the National Association wasn't a major league, or any kind of league, they might as well keep quiet.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 12, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6045748)
National Association wasn't a major league, or any kind of league

Don't be daft, of course it was a league. You could argue that the NA wasn't "major", but certainly it was the top baseball league of the time. (And, really, you can't consider many NA players "rookies", either, even in 1871, as many of them previously played in the old National Association of Base Ball Players...)
   4. cookiedabookie Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6046105)
I'd have Ichiro over Fernando, and Ichiro didn't even make the honorable mentions list
   5. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#6046173)
It's John Thorn, MLB's official historian ... I think his opinion that everybody in 1876 was "technically" a rookie carries just a tad more weight than RMc and, whether right or wrong, his comment was made with full knowledge of the NA's existence.
   6. Jameson Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6046324)
BBWAA in 1949 began the process of choosing top rookies in each league and according to previous records Ted had a remarkable rookie season in Boston. Instead of arguing you should hire australia writing to solve your queries regarding to articles and school assignments.

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