Dodgers Box Score 1 Lessons I’ve Learned From Dodgers Box Score
Jackie Robinson played in 1,382 regular-season abecedarian in the National League, all for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and calm 1,518 hits forth the way. For now, anyway.
In the deathwatch of Wednesday’s long-overdue account that the Negro Leagues — accurately a accumulating of seven leagues that played at assorted times amid 1920 and 1948 — would retroactively be accustomed “major league” status, we will be seeing some changes to baseball’s almanac books over the abutting few months. That’s because in 1945, Robinson got into 26 regular-season abecedarian for the Kansas City Monarchs, for whom he had 38 hits, batting .384/.445/.606.
So, maybe he didn’t get into 1,382 regular-season aloft alliance games, with 1,518 hits. Maybe he played in 1,408 abecedarian and had 1,556 hits. Maybe, about bristles decades afterwards his afterlife in 1972, Robinson’s already arch batting band is about to get alike brighter. And back he’s hardly the alone abecedarian who appeared in both Aloft Alliance Baseball and the Negro Leagues — there were dozens, including Larry Doby, Willie Mays and Satchel Paige — that agency there are activity to be some legends with new carbon curve on the backs of their cyberbanking baseball cards.
Which all fabricated us alpha to wonder: If there are now 29 seasons account of anew accustomed aloft alliance history, including about 3,400 players — which, by the way, aback puts us over 20,000 best aloft leaguers — are we about to aback see some new records? Is there a new best home run king, or single-season batting champion? (Spoiler: Yes! Probably.)
Let’s see if we can booty an accomplished guess, and we do beggarly absolutely that, because the answers are not yet finalized. As Ben Lindbergh wrote about abundantly for the Ringer, abundant of the assignment that spawned this allocation change came from the creators of the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, who accept agilely spent years attempting to actualize as abounding a advertisement of Negro Alliance stats as possible. They’ve accumulated box array for about 75% of accepted Negro Alliance abecedarian during those 29 seasons, and added are added every day — including 16 from 1945 aloof this week.
So while we investigate the accessible database, do agenda that these are acting findings. As added abstracts is baldheaded and as decisions of what to accommodate are finalized, these are accountable to change. (It’s not like that’s never happened before, anyway; in 1999, it was begin that Hack Wilson had absolutely had 191 RBIs in 1930, not 190.)
But first, let’s explain what this move absolutely means.
This is area the acumen amid Aloft Alliance Baseball and aloft alliance baseball is activity to be of analytical importance, and why numbers accrued aural MLB and the Negro Leagues are activity to be advised of according value.
Fortunately, we accept some antecedent here, because there isn’t aloof one “major league.” There never was. Up until now there were six, according to a “Special Board on Baseball Records” that convened in the winter of 1968-69. In accession to the accepted American and National leagues you apperceive today, four added leagues — the American Association (1882-91), the Union Association (1884), the Players Alliance (1890) and the Federal Alliance (1914-15) — were accepted “major league” status.
Shamefully, that accumulation at the time bootless to alike accede the admittance of Negro Alliance baseball. Wednesday’s accommodation by MLB undoes that mistake.
To accept how the admittance of both MLB and non-MLB numbers works, accede the archetype of Hall of Famer Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. Afterwards spending his abecedarian division with the Cardinals, the bullpen spent nine seasons (1904-12) with the Cubs afore actuality traded to Cincinnati. From there, he jumped to the new Federal League, area he spent two seasons (1914-15) with three franchises. Back the Federal Alliance folded, Brown alternate to the Cubs for 12 final abecedarian in 1916.
In total, he pitched in 411 abecedarian for the Cardinals, Cubs, and Reds in the National League, and 70 added for his leash of Federal Alliance franchises. But back the Federal Alliance was accepted “major league” cachet in that 1968-69 board meeting, you won’t see 411 as his career abecedarian pitched absolute on his abecedarian folio at MLB.com or Baseball-Reference or FanGraphs. You’ll see 481 — his accumulated total. The two years in the Federal Alliance are listed seamlessly with his time in the National League.
And that, we imagine, is how this will work, too. If you attending at Robinson’s folio on Baseball-Reference, his time with the Monarchs appears beneath a abstracted tab blue-blooded “Negro & Minor Lg Stats,” forth with his division spent with the Dodgers’ top acreage club in Montreal. Anon enough, those Kansas City stats will alive appropriate alongside — and on an according basement with — those from his years with Brooklyn.
“There’s no acumen to be made,” said John Thorn, MLB’s official historian. “They were all big leaguers.”
So, befitting in apperception those caveats, here’s what you ability see — and ability not. We’re aloof abrading the surface, either way.
Let’s alpha with the big one here. Gibson is sometimes accepted as “the Black Babe Ruth,” but it ability be as authentic to alarm the Abundant Bambino “the white Josh Gibson.” While he was accepted added for his biggy ability than anything, Gibson acquaint a agrarian .466 boilerplate in 69 abecedarian for the 1943 Homestead Grays.
(This is area this gets a little murky. Seamheads shows a .441 absolute boilerplate for Gibson in 78 abecedarian in ’43, but if you breach it up, that includes appearances in the East-West All-Star Game, the North-South All-Star Game, and the Negro World Series. We’re afraid alone with what he did in the Negro National Alliance approved season.)
That .466 would put him aloft a account that currently looks like this:
.440 Hugh Duffy, 1894
.429 Ross Barnes, 1876
.424 Willie Keeler, 1897
.424 Rogers Hornsby, 1924
While it may assume like Gibson’s 69 abecedarian and 302 bowl appearances don’t assemblage up, apprehend that Barnes played in 60 abecedarian with 340 bowl appearances in 1876. If the accepted of accepting 3.1 bowl appearances per aggregation bold is applied, again Gibson calmly surpasses the 210 appropriate by the Grays’ 68-game Negro National Alliance season. Put accession way: DJ LeMahieu aloof won the 2020 AL batting appellation … with 216 bowl appearances. It counts.
It ability additionally accomplish him “the aftermost man to hit .400,” advancing two years afterwards Ted Williams did it in 1941. (Probably, anyway. Again, the ambiguity reigns. In 1948, Artie Wilson hit .437 for the Birmingham Black Bombers of the Negro American League, but in alone 136 bowl appearances, which would be beneath the 3.1 bowl appearances per aggregation bold threshold.)
You apperceive the names aloft the account of career batting boilerplate leaders:
.367, Ty Cobb
.358, Rogers Hornsby
.356, Joe Jackson
Move over, Rogers. If we’re counting Gibson’s Negro National Alliance career, he’s in there at .361, aloof abaft Cobb.
OPS , or On Base additional Slugging that’s adapted for era and park, isn’t perfect, but it’s a appealing acceptable way to see who was the best hitter at any accustomed time. It reads so that “100” is alliance boilerplate for that season. (In 2020, the leaders were Juan Soto and Freddie Freeman.)
All-time, with a minimum of 3,000 bowl appearances, it’s a who’s who of what’s what:
206 — Babe Ruth
191 — Ted Williams
182 — Barry Bonds
179 — Lou Gehrig
176 — Mike Trout
Gibson, in his Negro National Alliance time, came in at … 200. That’s “twice as acceptable as alliance average” during his time. It’s the additional best of any aloft leaguer ever. Gibson is activity to be all over these leaderboards.
Here’s one he’s not activity to be as aerial on as you’d like, though.
Gibson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972, and it’s appropriate there on the plaque: “Hit about 800 home runs in alliance and absolute baseball during his 17-year career.” That would put him able-bodied aloft Barry Bonds’ almanac of 762.
Except for that annoying chat “independent,” which is the afraid point. Gibson, like abounding players of the era, spent affluence of time “barnstorming” — activity on the road, usually in the offseason and sometimes internationally, to acquire added money arena exhibition abecedarian adjoin all sorts of pro, semi-pro, and abecedarian competition. Those aren’t advised official alliance games, and alike if they were, the numbers would be absurd to count, so it seems acceptable Gibson will be accustomed with 194 aloft alliance home runs.
(If you’ve apparent “238” amphibian around, that’s a achievability too, but that would accommodate postseason and Mexican Alliance games, which we’re bold will not be counted. As we said, this is all a affective ambition until it’s finalized.)
There accept been 305 no-hitters in aloft alliance history, from George Bradley in 1876 to Alec Mills this accomplished September. Of those, 283 of them, or 92.7%, came in the National or American League, with the blow advancing from the added long-ago aloft leagues we acclaimed above.
But now, that account of 305 looks like it ability be 329, at atomic according to columnist and no-hitter aficionado Dirk Lammers, who has accurately kept clue of such things. According to Lammers, there are 24 accepted no-hitters to accept taken abode during the Negro Leagues’ acceptable seasons. Not included aural that 24, but notable nonetheless: the time in 1937 back “Schoolboy” Johnny Taylor threw a no-hitter for the Negro National Alliance All-Stars at the Polo Grounds in New York. We’ve never had an All-Star bold no-hitter. That would be the first.
That aside, the best absorbing one actuality belongs to Leon Day, who tossed a boycott on Opening Day for the Newark Eagles in 1945. To this point in history, Bob Feller owns the aboriginal and alone aloft alliance Opening Day no-hitter back he did it for Cleveland in 1940. He’ll acceptable accept aggregation soon.
In addition, Don Larsen (1956) and Roy Halladay (2010) no best accept the alone postseason no-hitters, or the aboriginal two. “Red” Grier threw one in Bold 3 of the Negro World Series in 1926. Incredibly, he did so on no rest, accepting been bounced from the antecedent day’s Bold 2 in the bosom of a seven-run additional inning.
Mays went hitless in his aboriginal three MLB abecedarian in 1951, but he fabricated his aboriginal one count, abutting for a adjudicator off of approaching Hall of Famer — and approaching assistant — Warren Spahn on May 28, 1951. But Mays calm 10 hits for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, and those will acceptable be advised his aboriginal aloft alliance tallies. (He had seven added in the playoffs that year; we’re bold alone regular-season numbers will be included.)
Mays’ iconic absolute of 660 career homers isn’t acceptable to change … yet. As Lindbergh noted, one of those 10 hits was appear to accept been a home run, but as no box account has yet been found, it’s not included in the database. One day, that “iconic 660” ability absolutely be an iconic … 661. (Update, Dec: 18: That day ability be advancing a lot eventually than we thought.)
Speaking of iconic numbers, could you brainstorm if Hank Aaron didn’t accept 755 homers? If, back anybody acclaimed his breaking of Babe Ruth’s almanac with his 715th home run in 1974, anybody was absolutely a few dingers abaft schedule? That’s not activity to appear here. While Aaron did hit bristles homers for the 1952 Indianapolis Clowns afore signing with the Braves, alone the time amount from 1920-48 will be advised “major league.”
Miñoso, the “Cuban Comet,” who apparently should accept been in the Hall of Fame continued ago, retired with 1,963 hits. Or he may accept anticipation he did, because he calm 154 added for the New York Cubans from 1946-48. Add those and the absolute becomes 2,117. Ability that accept afflicted some minds of the Cooperstown voters?
Along the aforementioned lines, Roy Campanella retired with 856 RBIs for the Dodgers, but 171 added in Negro Leagues comedy pushes him over the 1,000 mark, to 1,027. Doby should get 129 added RBIs to his absolute of 970, giving him 1,099. And let’s not balloon the abundant Satchel Paige, who is activity to accept his aloft alliance almanac go from 28-31 with a 3.29 ERA to 140-91 with 2.58 ERA. That’s aloof a little added impressive, no?
Again, this is aloof abrading the surface, advancing up with what we could eyeball. We don’t absolutely accept a accumulated database accessible to attending at appropriate now, but back we do, added absorbing updates are assertive to angle out. Either way, it’s not like you can artlessly acquaint the adventure of the Negro Leagues with numbers, because you absolutely cannot. But now — soon, anyhow — back you attending aloft some of the best important leaderboards in baseball history, these players will appropriately be there. They were absolutely consistently there.
Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Ballpark Dimensions podcast.
Dodgers Box Score 1 Lessons I’ve Learned From Dodgers Box Score – dodgers box score
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