John Holway / Negro Leagues
Also Read: My Hall of Fame Ballot Lloyd or Johnson? Gibson's Stadium Blasts
Black Ball Numbers
By John B Holway
Baseball Reference has begun to run stats on the Negro Leagues. Great idea. Unfortunately, the stats they chose are about 50% complete.
They are using the Hall of Fame study, which was done in only two years. Considering the time constraint, they did a very good job. But they ran out of time and money when they were about half-way to the goal.
For example, they found 107 homers for Josh Gibson. In a 25-year study I have 249.
They had 102 victories for Satchel Paige. I have 162.
For some examples of my totals vs the Hall of Fame, see attachment.
(Keep in mind that Negro League seasons were between 40 and 100 games a year.)
The Hall of Fame totals are slightly behind where I was in 1990, when I first published my stats in the Macmillan Encyclopedia in 1990.
Gary Ashwill and Scott Simkus are also mounting a major campaign to collect stats. They are still early in the pursuit, but they are young, and, I have no doubt, will over-take me before they are done. Gary has done the pre-1920 seasons, which the Hall of Fame did not do, for BBR. Putting the two together, the comparative totals for Pop Lloyd are:
Baseball Reference 3439 .337
Holway 3635 .321
Baseball Reference printed his Cuban stats amid his Negro League stats, so it's not clear at this is writing if their totals include Cuba or not.
In compiling their Negro League states, both the Hall of Fame and Ashwill counted only games with box scorers. I included home runs, wins etc wherever they could be found.
I also have a long list of games which I still need to look up. But that pleasant task must wait while I finish three other higher priority projects - the Red Tails, an oral history of the the Korean war, and my Ted Trilogy.
My stats include:
All Star Games
Vs white major leaguers
California Winter League
Those who are interested may check out the latest blackball stats in my books - Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues, Black Diamonds, Blackball Tales, and Black Giants. From time to time I'll also run occasional player's profile in these pages.
Some comparative totals of the leading batters and pitchers are attached. You may check them against Baseball Reference to see which ones are most complete.
John B Holway
I have loved my work I have been uplifted by the thought that whatever I have done will live long and what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed over to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I have done.