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Overlooked Players of the Depression

daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

@coinkat in another forum mentioned that Bing Miller and Travis Jackson were overlooked greats (or that is what I inferred). IMO, Miller is nothing special and Jackson is a very much lower tier HoFer who is in by mistake.

So, just for fun I tried to make a list of the most overlooked players from the '30s. My first pass is the five players with the most WAR from 1925 to 1944 who are not enshrined. I figure adding five years on either side should get us players whose careers extended beyond either end.

"Indian Bob" Johnson
Buddy Myer
Stan Hack
Dolph Camilli
Wally Berger

and, pitchers

Tommy Bridges
Wes Ferell
Mel Harder
Larry French
Lon Warneke

Thoughts?

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    1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 6,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool topic. His career was probably too short but one player I can think of who played from 1920-30 and doesn’t get much love is ‘Long’ Bob Meusel. He led his team - which featured Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth - and the league in HR and RBI in 1925; I listed both because I’m not sure which carries more weight!

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,117 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a soft spot for third basemen, who get overlooked too often and/or for too long by the HOF, and I've always thought Hack had a pretty good HOF case. Ferrell was no doubt a HOF quality pitcher but gave out too soon. Ditto for Wally Berger. Reverse ditto for Johnson, who got started too late (I don't know why). Overall, this group is mostly very good to great players who just didn't play long enough to be remembered as well as they should be. WWII ended some of their careers, as it did a whole lot of Depression era players. We are probably missing a handful of "all time greats" because of the war, and Feller's place in the GOAT conversation was almost certainly damaged by it.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    On the other thread @dallasactuary suggests Jackson might be the worst postseason hitter of all time. No idea how you'd measure that, but I did a search on Stathead for players with 50 postseason plate appearances sorted by lowest OPS. Jackson came back seventh. Which is terrible.

    There are actually two HoFers in the top 6, which is likely a surprise until I say that Maddux is second (.214) and Ford is sixth (.278).

    I have two candidates for worst postseason hitter of all time. One is a contemporary of Jackson and Miller. Some guy named Marv Owen was .061/.132/.061 as a third baseman over 54 PA in the 1934-35 World Series for the Tigers. That's 3 singles, 2 walks, 2 HBP, and a sacrifice bunt over 13 WS games which is unimaginably bad. The other candidate is Mariners catcher Dan Wilson. .091/.129/.102 over seven series in four years and 94 PA. It may be possible to dismiss Owen due to small sample size, but I think he is worse, playing 3B rather than catching.

    Jackson was unimaginably bad (.350 OPS) but I think Owen and Wilson were clearly worse, but, of course, they aren't in the Hall.

    Incidentally, Jackson is yet another example of my point that HoF standards, at least in the Committees, haven't decreased recently.

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    thisistheshowthisistheshow Posts: 9,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like this thread. 👍👍

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So does Bridges have a legitimate HoF case? He compares favorably with the second (third?) tier of HoF pitchers from that era (Gomez, Hoyt, Haines). It's not a "he's in the group" case. He's clearly no worse and probably far better than a lot of HoFers from that era:

    https://stathead.com/tiny/akBwv

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,524 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lefty ODoul was pretty fantastic during this time period. He got a late start. didnt really get going until 30 or so.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,117 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @daltex said:
    So does Bridges have a legitimate HoF case? He compares favorably with the second (third?) tier of HoF pitchers from that era (Gomez, Hoyt, Haines). It's not a "he's in the group" case. He's clearly no worse and probably far better than a lot of HoFers from that era:

    It's my guess that Bridges did not have the good fortune of being friends with Frankie Frisch.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,481 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    Lefty ODoul was pretty fantastic during this time period. He got a late start. didnt really get going until 30 or so.

    Years ago his name used to crop up for Hall of Fame consideration. He had a lifetime batting average of .349 over a little less than a 10 year career. He was also a very successful minor league manager.

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,777 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 8, 2023 2:38PM

    @daltex

    Seems to be short but one has to start somewhere. So your list started with some great choices. I have added some players that should be recognized and others that just fell between the cracks through no fault of their own. It is well worth the effort to acknowledge some players as long as it doe not come at the expense of others deserving whom should be recognized as this thread unfolds.

    So here are some that are worthy besides "Bing" Miller and to a lessor degree Travis Jacobs as he made it to the HOF despite the objections of some the regularly share their thoughts here. I am not suggesting the players below are HOF candidates- just underappreciated for what they did and others for what they might have been. I did not consider WAR as I doubt that the measurement is reflective of what really matters in looking at some of the players that had a short career

    Dale Alexander- excellent hitter and career cut short due to accidental burns that wrecked his career
    "Buddy" Lewis- excellent player- over 1000 hits by age of 25- 3 years of service in WWII took his prime playing time
    Phil Cavaretta
    "Zeke" Bonura- short career
    "Buck" McCormick
    Charlie Jamieson- long career and consistent career with the Cleveland- but perhaps alittle too early to be included in this group- I obtained his 1933 Goudey card too- so there you have it

    As for Pitchers- here are afew-

    Paul Derringer
    Bucky Walters
    Schoolboy Rowe-
    Charlie Root
    Fritz Fitzsimmons

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