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  #1  
Old 08-02-2017, 03:42 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
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Default The Future of Negro League Players in the Hall

It seems like there will be another opportunity for Negro League players in 2020 (pretty sure I read that here in a post but can't seem to find it) and that got me thinking.

If I understand correctly, consideration for Negro League players was originally by a committee formed in 1971 with Monte Irvin as the chairman, and they voted in 9 players from 1971-1977. The veteran's committee elected a couple of players in the 80's and then 1 a year from 1995-2001. In 2006, a special committee was put together that elected 17 Negro League-related personnel (players, owners etc.) And now we have the upcoming 2020 opportunity.

Obviously the Negro Leagues ended decades ago. And while there is ongoing research that continues to shed light on these players, there are still quite a few players who were considered by their peers to be incredible, but have not made the Hall, and may not be the first names on a short list to make the Hall.

Given the way things have progressed, where do you see things ending up? Do we have committees every few years voting in a few Negro League players until there are another 30+ players? Are we almost at the end and basically only the players in now (and maybe a few others) is it? How do you see this playing out?
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:05 PM
tazdmb tazdmb is offline
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From my understanding, they will be up for consideration in 2020 and again in 2030. Based on the past track record, I wouldn't hold my breath for anyone getting in. There will not be a special Negro League Committee in 2006 and I doubt there will be any former Negro League players-like Irvin and O'neal-on the Committee.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:16 PM
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Going to cross my fingers for Valentin Dreke, Francisco Coimbre, and Perucho Cepeda anyway.
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:38 PM
Jason19th Jason19th is offline
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Going to cross my fingers for Valentin Dreke, Francisco Coimbre, and Perucho Cepeda anyway.
I think the above players, though unquestionable great players, actually poise a interesting question. How much should we value performances outside the US. After all it is the National baseball hall of fame and museum. We would never think about putting Sarahadru Oh or Victor Sarafin in the hall for there performance in japan. So should we think about putting Cepeda in for what he did in Puerto Rico and other Latin league. The same with Drake - if I am correct his stateside negro league experience is pretty limited. Pedro Formental played in the Cuban leagues throughout the 1950 and has many of the offensive career records. He was a great player - but should he really be considered for the American hall of fame
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:45 PM
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I think they should be. Dihigo played 12 seasons in the Negro Leagues, but I would argue it was his numbers in the Cuban and Latin leagues that got him in.

I think Dandridge and Jose Mendez's careers followed a similar path.

Cepeda is the most intriguing of my picks vis a vis this point. He refused to play in the Negro Leagues because he refused to be a part of a segregated society. So he expressly chose not to play in the Negro Leagues as a form of protest.

At the end of the day, all of the players I chose were excluded from playing in the Major Leagues because of their skin color, so for me, that is why they should be considered. Oh and Starfin don't meet that criteria.

Last edited by packs; 08-02-2017 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:39 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazdmb View Post
From my understanding, they will be up for consideration in 2020 and again in 2030. Based on the past track record, I wouldn't hold my breath for anyone getting in. There will not be a special Negro League Committee in 2006 and I doubt there will be any former Negro League players-like Irvin and O'neal-on the Committee.
You are completely correct . They are eligible in 2020 and 2030 under the Early Baseball era umbrella, and while there are probably 20 players/executives give or take from the complete Negro League era with Hall of Fame worthy credentials it is doubtful any will get elected given the current makeup of the Veterans Committee. Additionally by 2020 and certainly by 2030 the number of ex-Negro League players still living who could lobby or promote candidates will be few. The Negro Leagues will have lost their voice and history to time. While I hope for more Negro Leaguers to get inducted, without strong advocates such as Monte Irvin and Buck O' Neil the chances are slim.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:23 PM
Kenny Cole Kenny Cole is offline
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Anymore they don't even elect great eligible players from the major leagues. While I would very much like to see more deserving Negro League players elected, the way the process is currently configured, I think that's a pipe dream. The current system is completely rigged against anyone who played before 1950, in any league, IMO.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2017, 07:37 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
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You are completely correct . They are eligible in 2020 and 2030 under the Early Baseball era umbrella, and while there are probably 20 players/executives give or take from the complete Negro League era with Hall of Fame worthy credentials it is doubtful any will get elected given the current makeup of the Veterans Committee. Additionally by 2020 and certainly by 2030 the number of ex-Negro League players still living who could lobby or promote candidates will be few. The Negro Leagues will have lost their voice and history to time. While I hope for more Negro Leaguers to get inducted, without strong advocates such as Monte Irvin and Buck O' Neil the chances are slim.
I hope that as technology continues to get better and old newspapers are better cataloged and available for research to everyone, we will continue to gain better insights into the Negro Leagues, and that will push interest. As a relatively young white male (born in the 1980's) who finds the history of the Negro Leagues both interesting and important for the story of America, civil rights etc. i hope I am not the only one.
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default The Future of Negro League Players in the Hall

The obvious reply is, "dim." This is why the HOF is such a pathetic embarrassment. For all he did for baseball, Negro leagues and the bigs, to have have passed on Buck O'Neill tells you all you need to know about the joke known as the HOF.
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2017, 09:05 PM
Jason19th Jason19th is offline
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Buck O'Neil was a great man, a trailblazing coach and scout, a tremdous story teller and the sole reason that the Negro League museum exists. He was a utility player who was not a hall of fame player on his best day. He would tell you that. There is really no one who is in the hall with his type of credentials.
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2017, 02:41 AM
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So he didn't hit over 600 HR's and bat over .300 over 20 years. No NL hofers did. Records from the NL's are so sketchy today. But, for what he did, his overall contributions to the game, I submit he is deserving. A voice in the wilderness I agree, but, as noted in my first post, prospects are sadly dim for any more Negro leaguers getting to Cooperstown. Most are dead and unheard of, so lobbying on their behalf is futile.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2017, 05:59 AM
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There have been two special committees to elect Negro League players and in between 9 more players elected, including a 7 year mandate to elect one per year. The Hof has been very thorough in attempting to represent the NL in the Hof. Unless there is new information discovered, I would say that it is unlikely we will have any new members elected from the NL.
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2017, 01:16 PM
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I don't know. A decade has past since the last committee convened. At that time they had whittled a list of 39 names down to the final 17 (and five of those people never even PLAYED baseball).

If the HOF could ultimately induct Ron Santo after all those rejections, slights, and overlooking, perhaps Cooperstown will at least revisit those other 22 Negro Leaguers who almost made the final cut, like Dick Lundy, Oliver Marcelle, Alejendro Oms, Dobie Moore, John Donaldson, John Beckwith, Grant (Home Run) Johnson, etc.

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  #14  
Old 08-03-2017, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Scocs View Post
I don't know. A decade has past since the last committee convened. At that time they had whittled a list of 39 names down to the final 17 (and five of those people never even PLAYED baseball).

If the HOF could ultimately induct Ron Santo after all those rejections, slights, and overlooking, perhaps Cooperstown will at least revisit those other 22 Negro Leaguers who almost made the final cut, like Dick Lundy, Oliver Marcelle, Alejendro Oms, Dobie Moore, John Donaldson, John Beckwith, Grant (Home Run) Johnson, etc.
To some extent this is how the hall gets in trouble with the idea that you can only let so many people in for a particular year. If Dick Lundy isn't a hofer in 2006 how does he become one in 2017. The hall has to stop being afraid. To just put in a ton of people if such is warranted. I understand that this is done in part because they want market the induction weekends but all it really does is lead to arguments about who should be in. I also wonder to what extent we should apply new sabrrmetrics to old players. It's the hall of fame and I think there is an argument that we should recognize those who were reconginzed at their time.
If we look back we now can say that players like Maxie bishop who drew huge Numbers of walks before we valued them were really good players, but does that make them a Hofer. Does that mean we should take out the players who we can now look at and say that hey were actually pretty average players i.e. Fred Linstrom
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2017, 04:07 PM
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If the HOF could ultimately induct Ron Santo .
That committee had a former Cubs Beat Writer, Cubs Manager and Cubs HOF Player on it to push his campaign-plus no Joe Morgan

Seriously, if these committees can't get Marvin Miller in, who has had countless supporters on the committee, I don't know how they are going to get a long deceased Negro League player in with the current format. Honestly, if I had to bet on one person getting in, it would be Buck O'neil-since the 2006 committee had an entirely different makeup than the committees today (2006 were all Historians) plus he served on all the older veterans committees until their disbandment in 2001. I bet his name never came up since he was on the committee. IE-He never got a realm chance under the current makeup which was similar to now, where as all other Negro Leaguers did. Plus he also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and other countless awards and recognition that 2020 members were alive to see. Just my 2 cents.
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2017, 05:02 PM
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Well, technically, Buck O'Neil IS in the HOF. He has an award named for him, and was the first recipient of, the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award (not to mention the statue of him at the hall). I treat him no less than the sports writers or the announcers that are enshrined with their respective awards. I'd take a statue and an award named after me over a little plaque any day of the week. LOL
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:30 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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[QUOTE=tazdmb;1686826]plus no Joe Morgan



Agreed 100%
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2017, 09:45 PM
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Spottswood Poles deserves a place in the Hall of Fame, perhaps the best player nobody has heard of. (not counting the people on this forum).
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2017, 09:55 PM
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Spottswood Poles deserves a place in the Hall of Fame, perhaps the best player nobody has heard of. (not counting the people on this forum).
Spottswood Poles was a great player. But he probably ranks at least 8th on my list of folks in the Negro Leagues who should go into the HOF, probably lower if I sat down and thought about it. In my estimation, some the ones above him should simply walk in as no-brainers. But that's just me. In terms of Negro League outfielders, I would personally vote for Hurley McNair before I voted for Poles.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:23 PM
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Spottswood Poles was a great player. But he probably ranks at least 8th on my list of folks in the Negro Leagues who should go into the HOF, probably lower if I sat down and thought about it. In my estimation, some the ones above him should simply walk in as no-brainers. But that's just me. In terms of Negro League outfielders, I would personally vote for Hurley McNair before I voted for Poles.
I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about the NL but I have never heard of Hurley McNair - anyone in the same situation needs to read the br bulletins article on him. Amazing guy turns 30 and then basically hits 350 for the next decade - thanks for the info Kenny
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:38 PM
Kenny Cole Kenny Cole is offline
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I used to have this Spottswood Poles postcard which I really regret giving up, although the deal was such that I couldn't pass it up. The only one I have ever seen
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  #22  
Old 08-04-2017, 06:16 AM
Scocs Scocs is offline
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....and how's about Cannonball Dick Redding, who was a superb pitcher and halfway decent manager!
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:46 AM
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I used to have this Spottswood Poles postcard which I really regret giving up, although the deal was such that I couldn't pass it up. The only one I have ever seen
Very cool postcard... I wish that you still had it as well... Al
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  #24  
Old 08-04-2017, 11:42 AM
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It might ultimately come down to a LOT of petitioning on OUR part since these Negro leaguers don't have anyone else....
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:00 PM
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It might ultimately come down to a LOT of petitioning on OUR part since these Negro leaguers don't have anyone else....
I think that this is actually the real problem here. We - collectors and historians -
Are the only ones who seem to have any interest in the negro leagues as a whole. There is a chapter in the Great Experiment called Paul Bunyan in technicolor about Satchel Paige. To me this type of focus actual is a bit of a disservice to the league and players ad a whole. We make players like Paige and Gibson and foster to be myths from an shadow history. We talk about epic and unreal feats like Gibson hitting a ball that landed the next day or Bell being so fast that he could turn off the lights and be in bed before it got dark. But we don't talk about the league as a real league. As a business that employed thousand and brought millions into the black community. As a league that kept stats and had championships and all star games. What I am basically saying is that maybe we need to worry less about getting more players in the hall and more about getting more of the real history into the hall and the public perception
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:15 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
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Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
I think that this is actually the real problem here. We - collectors and historians -
Are the only ones who seem to have any interest in the negro leagues as a whole. There is a chapter in the Great Experiment called Paul Bunyan in technicolor about Satchel Paige. To me this type of focus actual is a bit of a disservice to the league and players ad a whole. We make players like Paige and Gibson and foster to be myths from an shadow history. We talk about epic and unreal feats like Gibson hitting a ball that landed the next day or Bell being so fast that he could turn off the lights and be in bed before it got dark. But we don't talk about the league as a real league. As a business that employed thousand and brought millions into the black community. As a league that kept stats and had championships and all star games. What I am basically saying is that maybe we need to worry less about getting more players in the hall and more about getting more of the real history into the hall and the public perception
I mentioned it earlier, but I think if we got a group a people involved a project scouring old newspapers, the data is out there to be able to build a better picture of some of the career information.

I've wanted to research some of the barnstorming tours that Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Satchel Paige and others led. (Actually just won a program to the 1953 Jackie Robinson tour at the Huggins and Scott auction that ended last night...)
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:32 PM
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Jeff - I was very lucky to be a part of a pbs show called history dectectives where they did a 15 min segment on a program I have regarding Jackies 1946 barnstorming tour - you can google Jackie Robinson and history detectives for the clip - I have limited wifi right now so I will not be able to send the link
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:05 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
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Jeff - I was very lucky to be a part of a pbs show called history dectectives where they did a 15 min segment on a program I have regarding Jackies 1946 barnstorming tour - you can google Jackie Robinson and history detectives for the clip - I have limited wifi right now so I will not be able to send the link
Just got a chance to watch it and the segment is awesome! That's a program I'd love to find a copy of one day.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:54 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
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I think the above players, though unquestionable great players, actually poise a interesting question. How much should we value performances outside the US. After all it is the National baseball hall of fame and museum. We would never think about putting Sarahadru Oh or Victor Sarafin in the hall for there performance in japan. So should we think about putting Cepeda in for what he did in Puerto Rico and other Latin league. The same with Drake - if I am correct his stateside negro league experience is pretty limited. Pedro Formental played in the Cuban leagues throughout the 1950 and has many of the offensive career records. He was a great player - but should he really be considered for the American hall of fame
I've been thinking about this question and wonder whether Puerto Rico, which is a US Territory, should be viewed more similar to the Negro Leagues, or more similar to other areas... (or whether this should matter at all).
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:43 PM
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Just to play devil's advocate here, given the racial makeup of the country at the time, in the absence of any bias wouldn't one conclude that there should be approximately 10 white players of the era in the Hall for every Negro League player? And isn't the actual ratio far lower than that? Or is there compelling evidence to conclude (e.g., from exhibition games and post-integration data) that the top 100 black players were approximately as good as the top 100 white players in spite of there being a 90% smaller pool from which to draw the talent? And if so doesn't that suggest a remarkably (or astonishingly) large population level race difference in baseball skills?
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:59 PM
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Just to play devil's advocate here, given the racial makeup of the country at the time, in the absence of any bias wouldn't one conclude that there should be approximately 10 white players of the era in the Hall for every Negro League player? And isn't the actual ratio far lower than that? Or is there compelling evidence to conclude (e.g., from exhibition games and post-integration data) that the top 100 black players were approximately as good as the top 100 white players in spite of there being a 90% smaller pool from which to draw the talent? And if so doesn't that suggest a remarkably (or astonishingly) large population level race difference in baseball skills?
It's an interesting point and one that others who are greater experts could probably speak on more but there are a number of lines of reasoning that would lead one to assume this:

1) Black players who played in the Negro Leagues and then went on to play in the Majors were successful disproportionate to their numbers. Obviously there was some selection bias but consider that this group includes Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Willie Mays, Minnie Miñoso and Ernie Banks. It's anecdotal to some degree, but just in this group you have some of the greatest of all-time in at least 4 positions (2nd base, catcher, center field and shortstop).

2) Competition between Negro League and Major League players - The book Outsider Baseball includes a ton of analysis on comparing the levels of quality and while no league matched the Majors in quality, it was far better than might be expected based on percentages in this country.

I imagine that when you combine players from other countries and territories (Cuba, Puerto Rico etc) it's not a 10:1 ratio. I also would guess that minorities who often had less options for either economic freedom as well as ways to pass the time, played baseball at a greater percentage.

It would also not surprise me if the sheer number of games they played in the Negro Leagues, and the fact that this was their livelihood, compelled them to play at a high level and get the most out of their talents. Players in the Majors would have had similar experiences to degree (albeit maybe without the level of desperation) but consider that at the highest levels the Negro Leagues had a decent number of teams (depending on the year) meaning that a larger percentage of minorities were playing at the "top level"

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Old 08-25-2017, 12:37 AM
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Just to play devil's advocate here, given the racial makeup of the country at the time, in the absence of any bias wouldn't one conclude that there should be approximately 10 white players of the era in the Hall for every Negro League player? And isn't the actual ratio far lower than that? Or is there compelling evidence to conclude (e.g., from exhibition games and post-integration data) that the top 100 black players were approximately as good as the top 100 white players in spite of there being a 90% smaller pool from which to draw the talent? And if so doesn't that suggest a remarkably (or astonishingly) large population level race difference in baseball skills?
Apply that math to the NBA and let me know how the results look.

-Ryan
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:27 AM
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You really can't apply statistics to that sort of stuff anymore because Ryan is exactly right, If you applied that analysis, we would have a lot more white and hispanic players and far fewer black basketball players. But we don't. There is a reason why.

Baseball was basketball back in the day, It was one of the (few) ways out. That is clear if you read any of the histories of black baseball. I don't know how you quantify that. but I do know intuitively that some sort of 10% threshold is and has always been bullshit. I can name off the top of my head at least 10 guys who are deserving of at least serious review, despite the fact that they weren't in the top 10% as perceived by mostly white voters during the intermittent period that they were actually even being considered.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:43 AM
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I just hope Perucho Cepeda gets in. He more than deserves it and his anti-segregation attitude and refusal to play in a segregated league were decades ahead of his time. His commitment to fighting that injustice should be recognized. If he had sacrificed his principles and played in the Negro Leagues he might already be in.

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Old 08-25-2017, 09:01 AM
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Apply that math to the NBA and let me know how the results look.

-Ryan
By my calculation, 68% of the top 50 players in NBA history have been black men, compared to about 12% of the U.S. population (demographic average across the history of the NBA), so the average American black man is about 5.6 times as likely to be an elite basketball player as his white counterpart. Presumably you were aware of the outcome, though perhaps not its precise magnitude, a priori. In any case, it's a good point, even if you intended it rhetorically, and perhaps a baseball Hall of Fame in which the average black man in the pre-integration era is 5.6 times as likely as the average white man to be included in the Hall could serve as a good upper bound. And the NHL on the other hand (at 0%) could serve as the strictest lower bound. The correct number, then, if we were to theoretically construct a Hall without any racial bias in the selection process should fall somewhere between those two extremes.

Probably the NFL gives a better comparison than either the NBA or NHL, and in that case, I calculate that 52% of elite players are black, which would suggest that indeed the numbers of white and black Hall of Fame players from pre-integration era baseball should be basically equal.

Someone should check my numbers here, but what I come up with if you throw out the people who were inducted as umpires/executives is that there are 129 white men in the Hall who played exclusively or primarily in the pre-integration era. This is compared to 31 men from the Negro Leagues, so while the black men make up a disproportionately high percentage of the Hall members relative to their demographic numbers, they are well below the NFL proportion.

A better number to look at than the NFL though is from baseball itself. Just look at who made it to the Hall from the 1950s and 1960s. There you find 13 black men and 28 white men. And that, I would suggest, is a better guideline for what the pre-integration ratio should look like if we could judge the players fairly on their merits.

So if we set aside the fact that there are both some bad inclusions and bad omissions among the pre-integration white players and just accept that the 129 number is about right, then there should be 60 Negro League players -- and we should induct 29 more than we have already.

But, if you want to compare the different techniques I walked through above, here's what would be most appropriate based on each ratio:

NBA indicates: We should add 133 Negro Leaguers.
NHL indicates: We should remove 31 Negro Leaguers.
NFL indicates: We should add 98 Negro Leaguers.
MLB indicates: We should add 29 Negro Leaguers.

Last edited by darwinbulldog; 08-25-2017 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:04 AM
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By my calculation, 68% of the top 50 players in NBA history have been black men, compared to about 12% of the U.S. population (demographic average across the history of the NBA), so the average American black man is about 5.6 times as likely to be an elite basketball player as his white counterpart. Presumably you were aware of the outcome, though perhaps not its precise magnitude, a priori. In any case, it's a good point, even if you intended it rhetorically, and perhaps a baseball Hall of Fame in which the average black man in the pre-integration era is 5.6 times as likely as the average white man to be included in the Hall could serve as a good upper bound. And the NHL on the other hand (at 0%) could serve as the strictest lower bound. The correct number, then, if we were to theoretically construct a Hall without any racial bias in the selection process should fall somewhere between those two extremes.

Probably the NFL gives a better comparison than either the NBA or NHL, and in that case, I calculate that 52% of elite players are black, which would suggest that indeed the numbers of white and black Hall of Fame players from pre-integration era baseball should be basically equal.

Someone should check my numbers here, but what I come up with if you throw out the people who were inducted as umpires/executives is that there are 129 white men in the Hall who played exclusively or primarily in the pre-integration era. This is compared to 31 men from the Negro Leagues, so while the black men make up a disproportionately high percentage of the Hall members relative to their demographic numbers, they are well below the NFL proportion.

A better number to look at than the NFL though is from baseball itself. Just look at who made it to the Hall from the 1950s and 1960s. There you find 13 black men and 28 white men. And that, I would suggest, is a better guideline for what the pre-integration ratio should look like if we could judge the players fairly on their merits.

So if we set aside the fact that there are both some bad inclusions and bad omissions among the pre-integration white players and just accept that the 129 number is about right, then there should be 60 Negro League players -- and we should induct 29 more than we have already.

But, if you want to compare the different techniques I walked through above, here's what would be most appropriate based on each ratio:

NBA indicates: We should add 133 Negro Leaguers.
NHL indicates: We should remove 31 Negro Leaguers.
NFL indicates: We should add 98 Negro Leaguers.
MLB indicates: We should add 29 Negro Leaguers.
Pretty interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. I do believe that the 1950s may not be the best time to look at black participation as many MLB teams still would only "allow" one or two black players on the team, thereby constraining to opportunity for many other players (who could have potentially made it to the HOF). You could argue that only the best black stars were allowed the MLB opportunity and therefore there are a disproportionate amount of them were successful (as they were already the cream of the crop).... though I imagine it has always been tougher for blacks in MLB than white (think the Aaron run up to the Ruth record)

Another point, I do not believe that we can include the NHL at all as the economics of hockey have been the main reason for the dearth of African American, in my opinion.

I do not pretend to know the answers or even be an arm chair historian, but I am convinced that there are many other Negro Leaguers who were likely far superior baseball players than some of those already enshrined in Cooperstown, and it would be fair to given them another look.

Nonetheless, interesting "math", and a fascinating perspective.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:36 AM
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Pretty interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. I do believe that the 1950s may not be the best time to look at black participation as many MLB teams still would only "allow" one or two black players on the team, thereby constraining to opportunity for many other players (who could have potentially made it to the HOF). You could argue that only the best black stars were allowed the MLB opportunity and therefore there are a disproportionate amount of them were successful (as they were already the cream of the crop).... though I imagine it has always been tougher for blacks in MLB than white (think the Aaron run up to the Ruth record)

Another point, I do not believe that we can include the NHL at all as the economics of hockey have been the main reason for the dearth of African American, in my opinion.

I do not pretend to know the answers or even be an arm chair historian, but I am convinced that there are many other Negro Leaguers who were likely far superior baseball players than some of those already enshrined in Cooperstown, and it would be fair to given them another look.

Nonetheless, interesting "math", and a fascinating perspective.
These are points that I considered as I was writing the post. I decided to include the 1950s as there were far more black players than black Hall of Fame players allowed in by that point, so you're correct that the ones who are included were more likely to be All-Star/Hall of Fame caliber than the rest of the league or else would not have gotten the chance, but I think by the 1950s if you were not only good enough to be a successful day-to-day player in MLB but actually good enough to reach the Hal of Fame that you'd almost certainly have been one of the handful of players given a roster spot.

Certainly I'm not suggesting that because all of the best hockey players have been white we shouldn't have any Negro Leaguers in Cooperstown, only pointing out the flipside to Ryan's suggestion to look at the NBA. The NBA is the flipside to your point about the effects of economic hardship on one's chosen sport. I have no doubt that if hockey were the only game in town and the price of entry were not an issue that there would be plenty of elite African-American players in the NHL.

There are many relatively weak players currently in the Hall (Rube Marquard, Rick Ferrell, Rabbit Maranville...), and I'm convinced there are dozens of Negro League players who have not yet been inducted but are better than that threshold, but I'm convinced of more than that. I believe there are roughly 300 players past and present who have been (or currently are) good enough that they belong in the Hall and that right around 60 of those players are men who were excluded from MLB by the color barrier.

Last edited by darwinbulldog; 08-25-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:17 PM
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These are points that I considered as I was writing the post. I decided to include the 1950s as there were far more black players than black Hall of Fame players allowed in by that point, so you're correct that the ones who are included were more likely to be All-Star/Hall of Fame caliber than the rest of the league or else would not have gotten the chance, but I think by the 1950s if you were not only good enough to be a successful day-to-day player in MLB but actually good enough to reach the Hal of Fame that you'd almost certainly have been one of the handful of players given a roster spot.

Certainly I'm not suggesting that because all of the best hockey players have been white we shouldn't have any Negro Leaguers in Cooperstown, only pointing out the flipside to Ryan's suggestion to look at the NBA. The NBA is the flipside to your point about the effects of economic hardship on one's chosen sport. I have no doubt that if hockey were the only game in town and the price of entry were not an issue that there would be plenty of elite African-American players in the NHL.

There are many relatively weak players currently in the Hall (Rube Marquard, Rick Ferrell, Rabbit Maranville...), and I'm convinced there are dozens of Negro League players who have not yet been inducted but are better than that threshold, but I'm convinced of more than that. I believe there are roughly 300 players past and present who have been (or currently are) good enough that they belong in the Hall and that right around 60 of those players are men who were excluded from MLB by the color barrier.
(not that it matters to you or anyone else), but I agree on all points... though I do not profess to have a list of 300 players (past and present) or 60 from the negro leagues who deserve to be in the HOF... I'll just have to trust you on that one... I probably couldn't pick out more than 20-30 negro leaguers who have a legit case (in my opinion), but again I am not a historian. Thanks for your perspective. Al
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:44 PM
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You'd have to look at the careers differently. You couldn't use the same magic numbers you would for the MLB players. For example, because the Negro League played fewer games in their seasons, it would be almost impossible for someone to get 3,000 hits or 500 homers.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:07 AM
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Resurrecting this thread- if someone from the Negro League makes it next year who are the people you think have the best chance?
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:45 AM
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Resurrecting this thread- if someone from the Negro League makes it next year who are the people you think have the best chance?
In no particular order, John Donaldson, Dick Lundy, Grant Johnson, John Beckwith, Alejandro Oms, Spottswoods Poles, Wild Bill Wright, Nip Winters, Perucho Cepeda, Dick Redding, Oliver Marcelle. I could see Bruce Petway, Quincy Trouppe, Pancho Coimbre (who Clemente idolized and said was better than he was), Buck O'Neil, Bingo DeMoss, George Scales, Sammy T. Hughes, Newt Allen, William Bell, Chet Brewer. I'm sure I've forgotten some. Much as I wish that would occur, I doubt that it will.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:49 PM
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I used to have this Spottswood Poles postcard which I really regret giving up, although the deal was such that I couldn't pass it up. The only one I have ever seen
Kenny, this (former) card of yours just recently sold again on eBay. I seriously considered pulling the trigger (it was a "Buy it Now" listing), but someone beat me to it. Cool freakin' card!!
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:40 PM
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Default Buck O'Neill and maybe Gus Greenlee ?

I think that Buck O'Neill has a good chance... My reading of the history is that he probably was not as good a player as most of the others Kenny listed. But his post-playing accomplishments put him in another class. I think that the HOF electorate (whoever it is for this group) will want to recognize that.

I would also toss in Gus Greenlee a non-player Negro League luminary (owner -operator) that may deserve HOF recognition.
As I recall, Greenlee's bio is not ideal but there are plenty of rascals in the HOF.
(then again Steinbrenner's not in yet)
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:28 PM
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I feel that the clear cut number one case is Bud Fowler and I am kind of shocked nobody has even thrown his name out there. I cant think of a single player from before 1900 that made a bigger impact on the game and probably dealt with more racial bias than most of the later guys considering he had no choices outside the United States during his career. He was the first black to play professional baseball, organized tours, founded the Page fence Giants, managed, and was THE dominant force in black baseball for three decades.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:52 PM
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I feel that the clear cut number one case is Bud Fowler and I am kind of shocked nobody has even thrown his name out there. I cant think of a single player from before 1900 that made a bigger impact on the game and probably dealt with more racial bias than most of the later guys considering he had no choices outside the United States during his career. He was the first black to play professional baseball, organized tours, founded the Page fence Giants, managed, and was THE dominant force in black baseball for three decades.
That would not cause me any heartburn at all. Nor would George Stovey from roughly the same era or Bill Monroe from a little later. But I do think there are probably several other candidates who are just as viable.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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Default All Great choices....

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I don't know. A decade has past since the last committee convened. At that time they had whittled a list of 39 names down to the final 17 (and five of those people never even PLAYED baseball).

If the HOF could ultimately induct Ron Santo after all those rejections, slights, and overlooking, perhaps Cooperstown will at least revisit those other 22 Negro Leaguers who almost made the final cut, like Dick Lundy, Oliver Marcelle, Alejendro Oms, Dobie Moore, John Donaldson, John Beckwith, Grant (Home Run) Johnson, etc.
All Great choices....
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 PM
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:40 PM
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Default Oms

A would give a strong vote form Alejandro Oms. I don’t think most know just how good he was. Below I have put his 162 game pace to give some idea of his greatness. Negro league stats from seamheads. Cuban from Beisbol Cubano 1955. Also you have to consider these numbers are over a long Career that went from the 1920-1940’s.

Negro League
327 ba
37 doubles
10 triples
909 Ops

Cuban
351 ba
47 doubles
17 triples
360 total base
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:59 PM
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Here's my Top 10 choices straight out of my Negro League Baseball Collectibles Guide:

1. Dick "Cannonball" Redding
2. Grant "Home Run" Johnson
3. Dick Lundy
4. Alejandro Oms
5. Oliver Marcelle
6. Spotswood Poles
7. Bruce Petway
8. Charles Grant
9. John Donaldson
10. Nip Winters

Other notables include: Buck O'Neill, John Beckwith, Gus Greenlee & Ed Bolden, quite possibly the most deserving non-player out there.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:29 PM
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This is a great thread. I enjoyed reading peoples opinions. I hope more Negro Leagures make it in the Hall in 2020. There certainly are more that are deserving in my opinion. In no particular order;Newt Allen, Chet Brewer, Alejandro Oms, Buck O' Neil, Dick " Cannonball" Redding, Oliver Mercelle, among others....
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