Tag: nice guys

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[Joe] Torre's older brother played with the Braves. One of the turning points in his life came in...

[Joe] Torre's older brother played with the Braves. One of the turning points in his life came in 1955, when [Joe] visited the Braves' clubhouse and met one of his idols, Warren Spahn. 'Boy, are you fat,' said Spahn tactfully. He was fat, but he had been kind of hoping people wouldn't notice. The scouts had been noticing. Torre began to work on his weight, and emerged as a prospect.

--Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, 375. James ranks Joe Torre as the 11th greatest catcher of all-time, and the best player in the majors in 1971. [What this is]

Look at the top ten-twenty players listed at each position. Which is the most likable group of...

Look at the top ten-twenty players listed at each position. Which is the most likable group of guys? The third basemen, I think. Four of them are famous for being nice people (Robinson, Mathews, Molitor, Hack), as were Pie Traynor and Buddy Bell, and the others are all OK, not a real asshole among them. Well, Graig Nettles could be a jerk sometimes.... The left fielders are the worst of the bunch; in the top thirty you've got Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson, Joe Jackson, Goose Goslin, Jim Rice, Jesse Burkett, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner, and Albert Belle. Boy, there's a family re-union you can leave me out of...

--Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, 542-543. [What this is]

Richie Ashburn combined the Pete Rose virtues and the Pete Rose style of play with the virtues of...

Richie Ashburn combined the Pete Rose virtues and the Pete Rose style of play with the virtues of dignity, intelligence, and style. Like Rose, he was a three-hundred-hitting singles hitter who ran out every ground ball of his career, a player who got out of his body every pound of ability that the Lord had put in there. Unlike Rose, Ashburn did not extend his career beyond its natural boundaries to break any records. At the time he retired, he had only 188 hits fewer than Rose had at the same age, and had more than many of the 3,000-hit men had at the same age. He didn't need records to tell him who he was. Ashburn was a reader, a family man, a man of restraint and taste. My favorite Richie Ashburn story... One time Ashburn hit a line drive into the stands, striking a young woman in the side of the face and knocking her unconscious. The stadium gasped, Ashburn stepped out of the box and watched in alarm as medics rushed to her side. In a few minutes the woman revived, the stretcher came, and the ballgame resumed. And Ashburn hit another line drive foul, and struck the poor woman again as she was bring garried out of the stadium. Ashburn visited the woman in the hospital after the game, invited her to come down and meet the players, befriended her and her family, and corresponded with the woman for the rest of his life."

--Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, 735. James ranks Richie Ashburn as the 16th greatest center fielder of all time. [Why I'm doing this "series.".]
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