Only Scoop Jackson Would Believe Such an Utterly Outrageous Stat

>> Wednesday

Scoop Jackson just wrote a racially-themed column about race. Scoop really stretches his bounds with this column about race because this column about race is a column about race about race and baseball history. (Race.)

The column is mostly boring, but there was one thing I couldn't let slide. Read this:

How can "experts" hold against Paige the fact that baseball made it illegal for him to pitch in the majors until he was 42 years old? (And still he helped the Indians win the pennant as a rookie in 1948.) How can they put up the numbers of Christy Mathewson (373 wins, 2.13 ERA, four 30-win seasons), Sandy Koufax (three Cy Youngs, .655 winning percentage, 0.95 postseason ERA, 1963 MVP), Walter Johnson (3,509 strikeouts, 417 wins, 12 20-win seasons, two 30-win seasons) and Dennis Eckersley (390 saves, 197 wins, 1992 MVP) and not Paige's estimated 300 career shutouts, estimated 2,000 wins, 64 straight scoreless innings, 21-game winning streak, and 1939 MVP? Just because most of it was done outside of Major League Baseball?

I had to include the first sentence of this paragraph because he pulls my favorite sportswriter move--that is, challenging a person's or a group's credibility by merely enclosing any reference of them in quotations. (A slightly more backhanded approach is to capitalize your object of derision, e.g. The Experts.)

But now--let's do some math. Satchel Paige started his Negro League career in 1926 and didn't break into the majors until 1948. That means he pitched 22 years in the Negro Leagues. If, during those 22 years, he were to compile 2,000 wins--oh wait, I'm sorry; only 1,972 wins after you subtract the 28 he won in the majors from '48 to '53--that would mean he averaged just under 90 wins per season, or more than double the number of games that a good major-league pitcher would start in a season (and mind you, that's going by Savagery Era standards).

I also found this hilarious tidbit from the official Satchel Paige website:

[Satchel] claimed that he won 104 of the 105 games he pitched in 1934.

Could you imagine what NFL receiving records would look like if guys like Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens could just make up their own stats like that without any reputable bookeeping to refute them?

In conclusion, Scoop Jackson is a racist.


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