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Checking the 1901 team the leader was Noodles Hahn who was in his 3rd year with a 119 ERA+. His career was from 1899 to 1906, with ERA+'s of 145-112-119-169-141-142-118-78. Clearly above average but one bad year and that was it.
Hahn retired because he hurt his arm.
Doesn't Catfish Hunter belong pretty squarely in the outliers section as well? Only three very good seasons, in the HOF because he had a great (constructed) nickname and played for a bunch of good teams. Neither a peak nor career argument.
I dislike how much writers seem to dismiss the 19th century/DBE and overrate today and especially the 60s-80s. Yes, they are better today but not much better. Yes, a small advantage makes all the difference but when you are comparing across eras you shouldn't just say the old timers would be crushed in today's game out of hand.
Given the advances in every other sport in the same time frame, I think this is wholly unsupportable. Given the measured improvements in sports like track & field, swimming, cycling, etc., how can you not conclude that a good H.S team would beat the dog crap out of the average 1892 N.L. team?
So, were Tinker/Evers/Chance really better than previously thought? From what I've read, given the number of unearned runs that scored in those days, a great infield defense could have a huge impact and make the pitchers on the team look crazy good.
how can you not conclude that a good H.S team would beat the dog crap out of the average 1892 N.L. team?
Well there are a couple things here. Nutrition and training have clearly improved now versus then. So the raw physical aspects have changed. Of course equipment has also changed, so unless you plan on having each team play with its stuff I think there is more equality than you do - for example do both sides get the video monitoring stuff, or just the modern players - especially since baseball is more about skill than atheletics (which minimizes the impact of the training and nutrition).
More importantly what are you measuring? Baby Babe Ruth growing up in modern times almost certainly would have the skills to be much better than the average "good H.S. team" and thinking otherwise is silly. Removing folks from their context, dropping them in another context (keeping all their upside and none of the other contexts downside) and declaring something like you have is pretty meaningless.
How in the world can you respond to a quality-of-play comparison wanting to start by equalizing the quality of play?
(Tried to find a track/swimming example and yards/meters makes it hard. Found the women's world long-jump record from 1922 - 30 later than we're talking about, mind you. Would not have qualified for the 2012 Michigan High School state meet. Not placed - qualified. That's the kind of athletic advancement the post to which I responded was trying to hand-wave away with "not much better".)
Found the women's world long-jump record from 1922 - 30 later than we're talking about, mind you. Would not have qualified for the 2012 Michigan High School state meet. Not placed - qualified. That's the kind of athletic advancement the post to which I responded was trying to hand-wave away with "not much better".)
Because 1922 was such a boom time for women's athletics
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