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  #46  
Old 11-30-2013, 02:44 PM
chicagowhitesox1 chicagowhitesox1 is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
In Warren Spahn's case, it wasn't the time off that he credited, but the maturity he gained. He was a combat engineer during the Battle of Bulge and distinguished himself to the point where he received a commission in the field. He said that with what he had been through, he was a different person. Ted Williams trained Navy pilots during World War II. Later, his A-4 was hit by enemy fire on a mission during the Korean War. Getting back to base alive was likely more intense than hitting third for the Red Sox. I don't think Spahn or Williams ever said anything about saving their careers for an age when their bones would be more brittle. As I recall, Williams in his autobiography wrote that military service took away prime athletic years and a chance to challenge Babe Ruth's career home run record.

Of course, there were other players who came back from America's wars and didn't have the productive years they missed tacked on at the end. Bob Feller, Rapid Robert, declined rapidly after the age of 32, despite having the advantage of three seasons off in the 1940s. There were even those who couldn't complete at the same level upon coming home, even if they didn't sustain injury in a military uniform.

But, really, you don't know if Tony Gwynn had missed three seasons during his athletic prime that he wouldn't have been hitting over .320 at the age of 44 as well as the age of 41.
I would say your right but thats the only other time in MLB history besides the steroid era where several players played at high levels at an older age. It does make me wonder why.

I think Ted Williams would have been playing at a high level even if he never missed time but I do wonder about Spahn only because he was a pitcher and those missed years actually did probably save his arm.

I think it's a shame MLB doesn't do more in honoring some of these WW2 Vets too. Particually Cecil Travis. I think if he was a Yankee, then he would be in The Hall of Fame.
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  #47  
Old 11-30-2013, 03:09 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1 View Post
I would say your right but thats the only other time in MLB history besides the steroid era where several players played at high levels at an older age. It does make me wonder why.

I think Ted Williams would have been playing at a high level even if he never missed time but I do wonder about Spahn only because he was a pitcher and those missed years actually did probably save his arm.

I think it's a shame MLB doesn't do more in honoring some of these WW2 Vets too. Particually Cecil Travis. I think if he was a Yankee, then he would be in The Hall of Fame.
World War II didn't save Bob Feller's arm.

In fact, I don't know that Warren Spahn ever credited World War II with saving his arm.
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  #48  
Old 12-01-2013, 02:45 AM
chicagowhitesox1 chicagowhitesox1 is offline
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World War II didn't save Bob Feller's arm.

In fact, I don't know that Warren Spahn ever credited World War II with saving his arm.
Well your nuts too if you don't think WW2 helped his arm. Especially when he says it did.
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  #49  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:13 AM
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Well your nuts too if you don't think WW2 helped his arm. Especially when he says it did.
Telling someone they are nuts is a personal attack. Knock it off.
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  #50  
Old 12-01-2013, 12:29 PM
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Well your nuts too if you don't think WW2 helped his arm. Especially when he says it did.
Name-calling aside, I have never seen any reference to Warren Spahn saying that shutting down his arm from the ages of 22-25 allowed him to pitch until the age of 44. What I heard him say in interviews was that going off to fight in Europe gave him the maturity he needed to be a successful major league pitcher. Maybe a less mature Warren Spahn would have burnt out his arm with youthful enthusiasm, but even in that case, the positive effect of the war would have been mental.

If he did say that inactivity in his 20s gave him the strength to pitch more than 250 innings as one o the league's best starters at the age of 42, I would have to look for other pitchers who shut down during their 20s to see if he is correct. The only other pitcher I can find whose career was interrupted by World War II who went on to pitch into the 1960s was Hoyt Wilhelm, who was in the minors until the 1950s.

The idea that innings you don't pitch in your 20s are innings you can pitch successfully in your 40s ignores physiological changes brought on by aging. Spahn was an incredible pitcher. At the age of 42, he pitched a 16-inning complete game. It's true that he only pitched 15.1 innings because the game ended with a Willie Mays home run in Candlestick, so 16 innings is a bit of an exaggeration. But if you are suggesting not pitching in his early 20s enabled Spahn to pitch into his 40s, you might as well be arguing that taking him out in the sixth inning in those 300-inning years when the Braves still played in Boston would have extended his career or that leading the league in complete games (averaging more than 20) from the age of 36 to 42 prevented him from pitching into his 50s.

Your argument is that Nolan Ryan excelling as a major league pitcher beyond the age of 40 is evidence of his steroid use. When Warren Spahn is introduced to counter your argument, you say he doesn't count because he has Hitler to thank for extending his career.

Your argument is flawed.
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  #51  
Old 12-01-2013, 04:38 PM
chicagowhitesox1 chicagowhitesox1 is offline
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Name-calling aside, I have never seen any reference to Warren Spahn saying that shutting down his arm from the ages of 22-25 allowed him to pitch until the age of 44. What I heard him say in interviews was that going off to fight in Europe gave him the maturity he needed to be a successful major league pitcher. Maybe a less mature Warren Spahn would have burnt out his arm with youthful enthusiasm, but even in that case, the positive effect of the war would have been mental.

If he did say that inactivity in his 20s gave him the strength to pitch more than 250 innings as one o the league's best starters at the age of 42, I would have to look for other pitchers who shut down during their 20s to see if he is correct. The only other pitcher I can find whose career was interrupted by World War II who went on to pitch into the 1960s was Hoyt Wilhelm, who was in the minors until the 1950s.

The idea that innings you don't pitch in your 20s are innings you can pitch successfully in your 40s ignores physiological changes brought on by aging. Spahn was an incredible pitcher. At the age of 42, he pitched a 16-inning complete game. It's true that he only pitched 15.1 innings because the game ended with a Willie Mays home run in Candlestick, so 16 innings is a bit of an exaggeration. But if you are suggesting not pitching in his early 20s enabled Spahn to pitch into his 40s, you might as well be arguing that taking him out in the sixth inning in those 300-inning years when the Braves still played in Boston would have extended his career or that leading the league in complete games (averaging more than 20) from the age of 36 to 42 prevented him from pitching into his 50s.

Your argument is that Nolan Ryan excelling as a major league pitcher beyond the age of 40 is evidence of his steroid use. When Warren Spahn is introduced to counter your argument, you say he doesn't count because he has Hitler to thank for extending his career.

Your argument is flawed.
Sorry I didn't mean anything by calling you nuts. I'm just going by what Spahn said too. It wouldn't seem like missing time in your 20's would help but neither one of us really knows and if Spahn feels it did then i'm going by him.
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  #52  
Old 12-01-2013, 05:17 PM
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Sorry I didn't mean anything by calling you nuts. I'm just going by what Spahn said too. It wouldn't seem like missing time in your 20's would help but neither one of us really knows and if Spahn feels it did then i'm going by him.
I believe I have been going what I heard Warren Spahn say in radio and television interviews.

Go by what Nolan Ryan has said, and you wouldn't be so certain he used steroids.
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  #53  
Old 12-07-2013, 05:49 PM
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Random question that just popped into my mind...

Maddux goes into the HOF with a Braves hat on, right? Can that even be debated?
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  #54  
Old 12-07-2013, 09:04 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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Random question that just popped into my mind...

Maddux goes into the HOF with a Braves hat on, right? Can that even be debated?
An argument COULD be made that he goes in a Cubs hat, but it would be a pretty poor argument.
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  #55  
Old 12-08-2013, 06:42 AM
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Maddux goes into the HOF with a Braves hat on, right? Can that even be debated?
No, his credentials alone scream Braves hat, but the whole Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz thing makes it a slam dunk
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  #56  
Old 12-12-2013, 11:17 PM
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Just watched Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian talk about their HOF ballots on Baseball Tonight. I respect them both as reporters, but this needs to be taken out of the hands of the sportswriters. Seems like these guys would vote in Ozzie Canseco if he played for 10 years and gave a decent interview.
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  #57  
Old 12-16-2013, 07:42 AM
SephClone89 SephClone89 is offline
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Just watched Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian talk about their HOF ballots on Baseball Tonight. I respect them both as reporters, but this needs to be taken out of the hands of the sportswriters. Seems like these guys would vote in Ozzie Canseco if he played for 10 years and gave a decent interview.
Anything for those of us who didn't see this piece?
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  #58  
Old 12-16-2013, 02:16 PM
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Anything for those of us who didn't see this piece?
They put up a graphic with Olney and Kurkjian's ballots, including who they would have put on if they had more than ten slots. Curt Schilling, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell and Jeff Kent appeared multiple times, in addition to all the juicers, which is admittedly a different debate altogether.
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