Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente

Here’s to you, Jackie Robinson

It’s tax day and also Jackie Robinson day in baseball.  April 15.  I don’t think you could have given Jackie a worse day to commemorate him on, but that’s just me.

I obviously never got to see him–heck, he died well before I was born–but I remember hearing stories of him playing.  My dad had that famous photograph of when he stole home in the World Series framed and hanging in his office and, later, in the living room.

But throughout my youth, I only knew Jack as the breaker of the color barrier.  I had no idea how great he was.

And boy was he!  He had a career line of .311/.409/.474.  At second base.  And with decent defense, if legend is correct.  He had a career walk rate of 12.8% and a career K-rate of 6.0%.  His career wOBA was .412–Alex Rodriguez, who has a shot at retiring as the all-time home run king, is at a solid .411 right now.

So not only did he break the color barrier, but he was one of the best players of his generation.

I wish that was told about Jackie, sometimes.  I wish the legend of just how great he was was mixed properly with the reason why he was honored, like Roberto Clemente.

But at least he’s remembered.  Here’s to a great baseball player and one of the greatest men of his generation.

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Filed under Jackie Robinson, MLB, MLB history

All-Modern Day Deadball All-Stars pt. I

All-Modern Day Deadball All-Stars–hitting by year

The last post got me thinking, what players in the modern day would have thrived in the Deadball era.

Deadball era hitters were known for low home run totals, high batting averages, bad Isolated Discipline (on-base percentage – batting average) and low strike out rates.

I went on Baseball-Reference’s Play Index (jeez is that thing fun to play with) and set the first parameters for career: BA >= .315, OBP >=.370, HR <= 400, minimum 3,000 plate appearances.

The list is surprisingly thin and chock full of first basemen of all things. Turns out a number of them were hurt because of late-career declines, so I scrapped that and started looking under single season for the same parameters, with HR <=20, between 1961-2009 (expansion era).

And that’s when the hits just kept coming.

Here’s what came up (slash stats are batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage/no. of home runs):

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Filed under All-Deadball Team, Deadball era, MLB history