Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!
Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
But that was pseudo-pitching, back in the days when only 1/3 or 1/4 of one's pitches were thrown hard, and the rest were "paced"--i.e., lobbed--thus
enabling pitchers to throw a zillion innings, pitch 18-inning games, pitch on consecutive days, etc., etc.
As all of this site's veterans will recall, this is why I'm just not that impressed with Dead Ball pitchers.
Not having read many of your posts on baseball (I'm just not that big of a fan, at least at this piont), I think you have answered a question I've
had, that being what the definition of the "Deal Ball Era" is. Could you expound?
They used to play with one ball for the whole game, and it didn't have nearly as lively a reaction to the bat as the ball introduced in 1920 did.
Babe Ruth occasionally hit one in the seats from 1915-1919, but no mere mortal could do so, so doubles and triples were the signs of sluggers.
Cobb and Speaker, the Dead Ball Era's greatest sluggers, both had over 1,000 combined doubles and triples, an outstanding feat. And I'm sure when one
of them was at the plate (or a few other batters), pitchers didn't lob their pitches in.
But check the batting averages and power stats of whole teams from back then. Most hitters had dismal averages. The game was all about fielding
skills (which required a lot of ability, with THOSE balls, THOSE gloves, and the way the infield was butchered), getting someone on first base, and
moving him around via sacrifices and stolen bases.
And against the mediocre vast majority of hitters, pitchers just didn't throw very hard. Many books were written during the era, one famously by
Christy Mathewson (a real pitching legend), about pacing oneself on the mound.
From 1920 on, "pacing" became a crock of b.s., just like it would be today. If you "paced" yourself, any legitimate major leaguer could at least get
a double or triple with the live ball, and a few great ones could hit it out of the park. I can only imagine what would have happened to the guy who
"paced" himself against Babe Ruth.
So that's what I'm talking about, and it's why I don't feel Dead Ball Era pitchers deserve "full faith and credit" in the rankings as all-time
pitchers. The first truly great pitcher to pitch his entire career in the Live Ball Era, starting in MLB in 1925 and spending 100% of his MLB career
with horrible home parks for left-handed pitchers, yet nonetheless racking up the greatest stats any pitcher ever racked up, was Lefty Grove. Only
Clemens is close in stats.
THAT was a real pitcher. So were, in chronological order, Hubbell, Dean, Feller, Newhouser, Spahn, Wynn, Roberts, Ford, Koufax, Marichal, Gibson,
Seaver, Carlton, Palmer, Neikro and a whole boatload of guys in the 25 years since then, known to all of you--and headed, IMO, by Clemens, Maddux and
Pedro, each of whom has an arguable case as the greatest pitcher ever, though Pedro's lack of stamina is making his case a tough one to argue, despite
his other-worldly W-L% and Adjusted ERA (both of which are better than Grove's, whereas none of other above-named pitches is better than Grove in
EITHER category, except Ford in W-L%).