FanDuel - WFBC

August 09, 2010

Jim Gentile Wins 1961 RBI Crown: After a scoring change reduced Roger Maris's RBI total for 1961, first baseman Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles has been awarded a share of that season's RBI crown. Now 76, Gentile also has received the $5,000 bonus General Manager Lee MacPhail told him he'd receive 49 years ago if he won the title.

posted by rcade to baseball at 12:16 PM - 8 comments

As a lifelong Orioles fan, that's an interesting story.

Fairly certain its the only award the Orioles will win this year!

posted by BikeNut at 12:34 PM on August 09

Fairly certain its the only award the Orioles will win this year!

But they have looked better ever since Buck Showalter took over as skipper.

posted by BornIcon at 01:02 PM on August 09

Unless the bonus clause was actually for only $690, he got ripped off. That check should have been for $36k.

posted by bender at 01:34 PM on August 09

Actually, in reading the story, it does not look like he had a contract clause providing for a bonus. The story says that, when his next contract was entered, the club said it would have paid him $5,000 more if he had won the RBI crown in the prior year. So, the club is not really honoring an old contract provision, but somehow re-doing the contract to increase it by $5,000.

That said: There just should be some type of limitations on going back and changing old baseball records. Almost 50 years is just too long. I guess 30 or 40 years from now the statisticians will decide that there was another perfect game and another no-hitter this year. I understand that this was merely a clerical mistake and supposedly documents from the era supported the change, but I assume some also supported the extra Maris RBI or it would not have given in the first place.

posted by graymatters at 03:52 PM on August 09

There just should be some type of limitations on going back and changing old baseball records.

There shouldn't be a limitation on correcting a statistical mistake. And there will probably be many more, as organizations like RetroSheet work their way backwards into baseball history.

Baseball prides itself on its historical records. Might as well keep them accurate.

I understand that this was merely a clerical mistake and supposedly documents from the era supported the change, but I assume some also supported the extra Maris RBI or it would not have given in the first place.

It's not a case of someone "supporting" the Maris RBI. It's a clerical mistake. It would be like someone entering a 4-0 loss in an NHL game as a 5-0 loss.

posted by grum@work at 09:41 PM on August 09

@Graymatters There is no statue of limitations on getting things right.

posted by Jackjeckyl at 09:55 PM on August 09

There is no statute of limitations on getting things right.

So, this season's almost perfect game will in the future become a perfect game.

posted by graymatters at 11:55 AM on August 10

We're talking about a scorekeeping glitch -- a run batted in was credited to Maris that was actually due to an error. That's nothing like declaring a perfect game retroactively because the umpire made a bad call.

It has been long practice in baseball to catch and correct mistakes like the one that affected Gentile, thanks to the large number of sabermetricians who obsess over the statistics of the game.

posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on August 10

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