Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 09-13-2019, 08:09 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
What player of a sport played the least and made the Hall-of-fame? I mean in a non-honorary way and as a player, specifically, not a coach later.
In the NFL, it's very likely Jim Thorpe, who was mentioned upthread, and who only played in 52 games in the NFL (as well as some number of games with semi-pro teams in the years before the NFL was founded).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-13-2019 at 08:10 PM.
  #102  
Old 09-15-2019, 02:12 PM
Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 29,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
In the NFL, it's very likely Jim Thorpe, who was mentioned upthread, and who only played in 52 games in the NFL (as well as some number of games with semi-pro teams in the years before the NFL was founded).
I'm curious if anyone knows how to find out other sports record for the same thing.

Shortest amount of time played, earned their way into the hall-of-fame for their sport(as a player, not in an honorary way).
  #103  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:30 PM
Tom Scud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,260
So that's about 3 1/2 or 4 seasons in the NFL for Thorpe. George Mikan had 6 1/2 seasons in the NBA, which is pretty damn short by modern standards though I don't know how it stacks up to the average NBA player at the time.
  #104  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:42 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Scud View Post
So that's about 3 1/2 or 4 seasons in the NFL for Thorpe.
By modern-ish standards, yeah. Back in the early days of the NFL, it seems like 10 or so games in a season was more common.

Here's Thorpe's entry on Pro Football Reference -- not much info in there, probably due to limited statkeeping in those years, but you can see that he played in 8 seasons, though never more than 9 games in a season, from 1920 until 1928.

Plus, Thorpe was playing football professionally before the APFA (which became the NFL) was formed in 1920. His Wikipedia entry mentions him playing for a team called the Pine Village Pros in 1913, then for the Canton Bulldogs in 1915 through 1919, before the Bulldogs joined the APFA in 1920.

I'm not enough of a scholar of early pro football to know if there are any stats in existence for those years, and the NFL tends to conveniently not pay attention to much of anything that happened before 1920, but it seems likely that Thorpe's best years as a professional football player probably happened before 1920 (bearing in mind that he was already 33 when the APFA/NFL was founded), and that there was at least a tacit acknowledgement of that fact when he was elected to the Hall of Fame.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-15-2019 at 03:44 PM.
  #105  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:46 PM
Tom Scud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,260
If you look at the basketball hall of fame site, out of the first ten or so players inducted only Mikan actually even played in the NBA - I guess the others were all college stars who never turned pro or something along those lines.
  #106  
Old 09-15-2019, 04:25 PM
OldGuy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Very east of Foggybog, WI
Posts: 5,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
What player of a sport played the least and made the Hall-of-fame? I mean in a non-honorary way and as a player, specifically, not a coach later.
Define least? If it's number of games, it's almost certainly an NFL player. Seasons were only 12 games in the 50s into the 60s. Jimmy Brown, for example, played 118 career games -- less than a single baseball season. Addie Joss who played 9 incomplete season and was a pitcher so didn't play every day is likely the Baseball Hall of Famer with the fewest games played, and he played in 286 games.
  #107  
Old 09-15-2019, 05:26 PM
russian heel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,804
I saw Jim Brown mentioned and while I agree 8-9 seasons is actually a long NFL career, he is a remarkable entry in that he quit football to make movies at the age of 29 off a Pro Bowl year, so its possible he could have eeked out a few more seasons.
  #108  
Old 09-15-2019, 07:28 PM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 39,389
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Define least? If it's number of games, it's almost certainly an NFL player. Seasons were only 12 games in the 50s into the 60s. Jimmy Brown, for example, played 118 career games -- less than a single baseball season.
I think you'll get a lot of disagreement about 118 career NFL games being "less than a single baseball season" because there's a reason baseball is played every day and football only once a week.

But the fact of the shorter football seasons back in the day is worth pointing out. Especially when you add in postseason games: back in the day, the NFL postseason was a single game on top of a 12-game season, and now it's 3-4 games on top of a 16-game season. So nearly half again as long now if you're on a contending team.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 09-15-2019 at 07:28 PM.
  #109  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:36 AM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 41,464
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Define least? If it's number of games, it's almost certainly an NFL player. Seasons were only 12 games in the 50s into the 60s. Jimmy Brown, for example, played 118 career games -- less than a single baseball season.
118 football games isn't less than a single baseball season. 118 BASEBALL games would be less than a single baseball season.

If you just go by total games played, well, I can't think of any all time great boxers with 118 fights. It's not a meaningful comparison.

I'd love to be able to cite the median seasons/games played for a sampling of top greats in various sports (say, the top X qualifiers by some generic metric) but I'm not smart enough to figure out how. I can use the Baseball Reference one but the problem is that any number you use to ascertain greatness is confounded by career length; if for instance you choose wins above average, the top twenty players all played a long time because of course they did; the SHORTEST careers are 17 years
(Lou Gehrig and Eddie Mathews, if you care.)
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #110  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:40 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 50,359
There are a number of sports in which an athlete's peak lasts for only one Olympiad. Pick any you like.
  #111  
Old 09-16-2019, 09:39 AM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 41,464
Mary Lou Retton's career wasn't even an Olympiad; at the highest level it was basically two weeks. The 1984 Olympics were her only major international wins. Unlike most Olympic champions, she never participated in a World Championship type event in an off year.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #112  
Old 09-16-2019, 02:49 PM
gdave is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
I'm curious if anyone knows how to find out other sports record for the same thing.

Shortest amount of time played, earned their way into the hall-of-fame for their sport(as a player, not in an honorary way).
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
In the NFL, it's very likely Jim Thorpe, who was mentioned upthread, and who only played in 52 games in the NFL (as well as some number of games with semi-pro teams in the years before the NFL was founded).
Even though I'm the one who originally brought up Jim Thorpe, upon further review, I'm going to reverse myself on him, at least as far as pro football is concerned.

The NFL doesn't actually have a hall of fame; it's the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Before 1920, pro football wasn't really formally organized. The semi-pro teams Jim Thorpe played for between 1913 and 1920 were the only pro football teams around. Between those and the APFA/NFL, he played pro football for around 15 seasons, which is a pretty lengthy career.

Also, he was probably inducted more for "contributions to the game" than his actual on-field athletic performance. Before 1920, as mentioned above, pro football wasn't really a thing. The fact that it became a thing was at least in part due to Jim Thorpe being determined to continue to play football and make a living at it. He was one of the most famous athletes in the world in the 1910s and 1920s. The mere fact that he was playing (semi-) pro football was probably a major factor in raising public awareness and interest. He was also not only an early star in the APFA (which would become the NFL), he was also its first president.

Still, I think he probably belongs in this discussion for his decathlon career, which was about as short as it possibly could have been, and was originally made him internationally renowned as an "all-time great".
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017