1922 – Bob on Miner Brown and levels of competition

A couple of random comments….

I never know what to call Brown. No one called him Mordecai and no one called him Three Fingers, at least not to his face. Miner seems to be what he was called by his friends, so that’s the name I use. It’s sort of like Cy for Denton True Young and Pete for Grover Cleveland Alexander or Whitey for Edward Charles “Chairman of the Board” Ford. Miner is probably the name that should be used in encyclopedias.

I’m still unsure of how good Frank Grant really was. I think he was probably the best of the four black players currently on the ballot, but I’m just not positive. John McGraw called Monroe the greatest player he ever saw. And I’d bet somebody said the same thing about Charlie Grant and George Stovey, as well as Frank Grant. But there are people who say that Freddie Lynn was the greatest they ever saw, so I don’t know where that gets ya.

A local college here in Fort Wayne is ALWAYS in the Top 5 in football. Every year, Saint Francis College seems to go 12-1, losing in the NAIA Division 7 (or whatever they are in) playoffs. And I suppose that’s interesting in some way, but not a single player has ever made the NFL. It’s a “level of competition” thing that I’m having with these guys. I’m just not sure that dominating the IL is enough for GOR selection, since I don’t know the level of talent in that league. I have to do more research.

That 37% of HOFers since 1956 are non-white is interesting and telling, and I’ll keep that in mind when I evaluate Negro League stars from the ’30s and ’40s. but I’m not sure if that same figure is relevant with 19th/early 20th century black players. That we’ve had quite a few Japanese pitchers in the majors recently doesn’t mean that there would/should be an equal percentage in the 1930s. That Ichiro Suzuki is a star today doesn’t mean that Sadaharu Oh would have been one in the ’60s and ’70s. That we’ve had numerous European basketball All-Stars recently, doesn’t mean that there would/should have been any in the ’50s.

I’m headed to the SABR National Convention next week. I’ll be going to the Negro Leagues Committee meeting, and I’ll be asking lots of questions.

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