Talkin’ baseball …

There’s an article in today’s WaPo about Fleetwood Walker, a black man who played in the major leagues before Jackie Robinson, albeit in the 19th century.

I’m glad to see Fleet get the recognition he deserved, but I’m not even going to link to the WaPo article because it is basically wrong about everything. (Could Trump be right about “fake news”? I hope WaPo’s contributors know more about politics than they know about baseball.)

1) Fleetwood Walker wasn’t the first black man to play in the majors, although he was the first regular, as far as we know. The first one we are currently aware of was a star Brown University player named William Edward White, who played one game on June 21, 1879 when called into emergency service by an injury affecting the crosstown National League team, the Providence Grays. He had a single in four at-bats, two stolen bases, scored a run, and played errorless ball at first base, recording 12 putouts.

One of the very cool things about William Edward White is that he looks like a time-traveling Barack Obama!

2) Jackie Robinson wasn’t the first black man to play in the modern game, and therefore did not break the modern “color” barrier. His specific achievement was that he was the first African-American man to play in the 20th century. In 1944, however, three years before Robinson’s debut, an African-Cuban man named Tomas de la Cruz slipped under the radar as a regular starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. (De la Cruz’s achievement is doubly impressive, because he wasn’t even playing in a friendly home town. Cincinnati is just about a southern city, with suburbs in Kentucky! One must wince to think of the problems he must have endured.)

With WW2 raging, the majors were so desperate for players in 1944 that “Tommy” was barely noticed. Although he pitched respectably (9-9, 3.25 ERA), he was no longer on the roster once the first white guys started drifting back from the war. In an odd coincidence, de la Cruz also wore #42, the number Robinson would make famous.

3) De la Cruz was obviously a black guy, but even before him came at least three Latin-American players of mixed descent (some African included) who slipped under the racial radar: Roberto Estalella, Alex Carrasquel, and Hiram Bithorn.

4) Hi Bithorn also owns a claim to another bit of historical importance. He was the first Puerto Rican to play in MLB, and should also be called the first Puerto Rican star, easily preceding Vic Power and Roberto Clemente, because in 1943 he won 18 games for the Cubs and led the National League in shutouts. (Clemente was 9 years old at the time.)

14 thoughts on “Talkin’ baseball …

  1. Get better news from my pornographer than my newspaper. Although I’d put my pornographer up against anyone if the talk goes to baseball. Scoopy’s fun house laying the truth bare since 1994. Scoop you rock!!

  2. I think you are confusing Obama with the present egomaniac in the White House. For instance, it was the present egomaniac who claimed to have invented the term (if not the concept) of ‘priming the pump’ when pushing for corporate tax cuts.

  3. 1.If you’re not triggered, then why did you make your idiotic comment in the first place?

    2.Hypocritical in what way?

    1. You were triggered then, and now you’re triggered in lying that you weren’t triggered.

      1. Chris makes a harmless joke at the former President’s expense, and you immediately jump in with “but what about Trump!” From where I’m standing it was you, Adam, that was “triggered” from his inoffensive remark.

        As far as I’m concerned, both Obama and Trump are egotistical blowhards. I don’t feel the need to insult one if someone decides to insult the other, or vice versa.

        1. False equivalency idiocy. I’m sorry my disapproval of idiotic comments about President Obama triggered you.

        2. You’re right, Adam. Idiotic fallacies masquerading as logic tend to trigger me. I really should be more careful.

        3. Okay, my last was unnecessarily snarky and I apologize.

          But seriously, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean he’s a snowflake. A snowflake would retreat to their safe space to avoid being offended. (It follows that no conservative snowflake would ever read the comments section at OtherCrap.)

          As to “false equivalence”: you disagreed with him first, then he disagreed with you, then you called him a snowflake for disagreeing with you. I simply used (or misused) your logic against you. I’m sorry if I offended you much you had to lash out.

  4. 1.Chris can easily be a snowflake who makes ‘drive by’ comments.

    2.You were the one who used a false equivalency argument, not Chris.

    “As far as I’m concerned, both Obama and Trump are egotistical blowhards.”

    On a scale of 1 to 10 of egomania, Obama may be a 3 or a 4, but Trump goes to 11. Hence, the comparison is false equivalency.

    1. You say Chris “can easily be a snowflake who makes ‘drive by’ comments.” Do you know this about him, or are you just saying he could be? I don’t recall seeing his posts before, but maybe I’ve missed a thread or two.

      At any rate, the fact that he fought back instead of retreating to his safe space would seem to disprove the snowflake insult. Either way, you don’t prove your point by insulting the other guy (see “ad hominem fallacy”).

      Certainly calling him a snowflake seemed to have triggered him, as his reply seemed to have triggered you. But hey, I’m just a neutral observer; what do I know about people’s hearts?

    2. And I was comparing your reaction to Chris’s. If he was “triggered,” so were you. Nothing false about that equivalence. Apparently, I misunderstood what you were referring to.

      I have no interest in comparing Trump and Obama. Chris’s Obama joke was on point (referring to a specific part of Scoopy’s post). So it just seemed odd to me to jump in with a “but what about Trump” in a thread about baseball. But I guess such are the times we live in.

      1. Just because Scoopy mentioned Obama in the thread about baseball did not make Chris’ Obama reply ‘on point.’

        It’s your problem if my response about Trump triggered you.

        1. I agree with that. The baseball comment had nothing to do with Obama other than that William Edward White was a dead ringer for him. There was no good reason to make any comments about Obama, pro or con, nor did the post weigh in pro or con, so it is fair to argue that Chris was triggered into an anti-Obama comment by the mere mention of Obama’s name, although it was perfectly sensible (and completely neutral and apolitical) in context. After all, the guy really looks like Obama. Am I not supposed to notice? I would have made the same observation of the guy had looked like Trump or Ike or Chester Alan Arthur

          Chris, that is, in fact, the very dictionary definition of triggering. The mere mention or sight of Obama was “causing someone emotional distress, arousing feelings.” That picture and mention of Barry O obviously triggered you.

          Having said that, I have no idea how you guys managed to drag that out into such a long and vituperative discussion. It was supposed to be a baseball thread. You’re only supposed to insult each other over your feelings for Barry Bonds, like any normal baseball thread.

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