• Joe DiMaggio Vs. Jackie Robinson

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2013 · Comments (2)

    If you had to pick one, as to who was the better baseball player at their peak, who would you choose?

    Player WAR/pos From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG
    Joe DiMaggio 78.3 1936 1951 21-36 1736 7673 6821 1390 2214 389 131 361 1537 .325 .398 .579
    Jackie Robinson 61.6 1947 1956 28-37 1382 5804 4877 947 1518 273 54 137 734 .311 .409 .474
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/23/2013.

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    Comments on Joe DiMaggio Vs. Jackie Robinson

    1. Evan3457
      September 23rd, 2013 | 8:07 pm

      At their peak, WAR suggests Robinson was slightly more valuable. But DiMaggio was a great, great, great player, especially at his peak, and all of Jackie’s margin and then some is provided by backward-looking advance defensive metrics, which is subject to huge error bars. In addition, Jackie’s career started at age 27, and he might’ve had a greater peak if he’d been permitted to play in the majors when he was younger.

      On the other hand, Joe’s peak came before the integration era, so perhaps some of his Above-Replacement value is due to inferior competition. On the third hand, their teams met twice in the World Series, and the Yanks came out on top both times. On the third hand, Joe’s value was clearly in decline at this time, from lack of durability if nothing else.

      Well, let’s just say they were both great players and team leaders, and either would elevate a good team into a title contender if they were replacing a replacement-level player.

    2. September 24th, 2013 | 7:05 am

      @ Evan3457:
      Good summary

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