The Duke and Jimmy Edmonds

by on February 27, 2011 · 3 comments

As news about the passing of Duke Snider made its way around various media outlets, two things really stuck with me.  The first was an excerpt taken from a statement released by Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully:

“Although it’s ironic to say it, we have lost a giant.”

Well said, Mr. Scully, well said. 

The second thing was Snider’s batting line from his HOF career – .295/.380/.540/.919 with 407 hr and 1333 rbi. 

A recent blog piece I wrote contained a very similar batting line, and I suspected I knew why.  The “Similarity Scores” section at Baseball-Reference.com confirmed my suspicion.  The 2nd most similar player to Duke Snider according to B-R is Jim Edmonds.  Nice.

Edmonds had a career line of .284/.376/.527/.903 with 393 hr and 1199 rbi. 

I’m not saying that it’s a good idea to compare the two players.

But….

Snider totaled 67.5 WAR in 18 seasons (8237 plate appearances).  Edmonds was good for 68.3 WAR in 17 seasons (7980 plate appearances). 

Don’t look at this as ammunition to be used to help argue in favor of Edmonds’ HOF case.  Instead, use Jimmy Ballgame’s career to better appreciate Duke Snider‘s career.  Many of you who read this blog never had the pleasure of seeing Duke play (neither did I), so just imagine what kind of player he had to be to better Jimmy’s numbers against pitchers prior to the mound being lowered (which was done in 1969).  From what I understand, he wasn’t quite the defender in CF that Edmonds was, so just imagine what kind of producer he was at the plate to be mentioned in the same breath as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Henry Aaron. 

Yeah, Snider’s 1953 season was so “redonculous” (completely not a word) that I don’t have an appropriate adjective for it.  It was practically “Pujolsian”.

Simply put, I appreciate the numbers, respect the man, celebrate the life, and honor the baseball memories. 

~gr33nazn

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Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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Posted in: General PH8 Stuff

{ 3 comments }

Rob February 28, 2011

Snider had more HRs than any player in the 50′s. He had more World Series HRs and RBIs than any National League player, in fact for any player who isn’t a Yankee, Jim Edmonds? You’ve got to be kidding.

Dennis February 28, 2011

Did you miss the part where I mentioned that Edmond’s career could be useful for appreciating what Snider did? I was pretty clear about NOT using the stats to support Edmonds’ HOF case. I was pretty clear that in light of the stats, Snider’s body of work looks all the more impressive. Of course, I was trying to do so without repeating the same blurbs that everybody else was repeating sports-related radio and tv shows.

Of course, I could have given the article a bit more context. I could have mentioned how hard it was to hit those HRs in Brooklyn, but then I would have felt obligated to raise the issue of pitching quality. It’s a slippery slope. Sure, Snider was a beast for most of the 50s, but he also dropped off dramatically after 1957, but I didn’t want to go into that.

Did I mention that Edmonds was better or as good as Snider? Nope. I didn’t dare go there. Some people think Edmonds is deserving of the HOF, and Edmonds put up some pretty good numbers. Snider’s were even better. That’s impressive.

E.E. RIPPER March 1, 2011

Actually Ebbets Field from ’48 on was a bandbox. Duke Snider was a fine player, but I believe he was a bit overrated. He was a distant, distant third center fielder in his own city. I know that’s not fair to say, but it’s true. To Rob, who didn’t bother to read the whole article, check out baseball-reference.com & check out the comparable hitters… 1 Ellis Burks & drum roll please..2 Voila Jim Edmonds!!! I’m not saying that this site is end-all-be-all but it illustrates Dennis’ point. A point that was entirely missed.. And yes I’ll be the one to say that Edmonds has a very good HoF argument.
P.S.Had Edmonds been healthier his HoF counting numbers would be outta sight..
Peace!

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