James: So what is a superstar, exactly?

From SABR member Bill James at Bill James Online on May 10, 2018:

I wandered into this discussion about what is a Superstar.  OK, it’s an argument; if I had known it was going to be an argument I would have stayed out of it, but you know how things go. 

Let us begin with the observation that if you say that something is a “star type accomplishment”, that very rarely would encounter any resistance, but if you say “superstar” anything, somebody will want to argue about it.    If I were to say, for example, that hitting .300 is a star-type of accomplishment, or that driving in 100 runs is a star type of accomplishment, or playing in an All Star game, or winning an MVP Award, or leading the league in stolen bases, no one would be inclined to argue with me who isn’t a sick bastard who just likes to argue about stuff.    These are the things that make players stars.   No one is a star, I don’t think, who doesn’t do any of these type of things.  

The most hyped rookie in the world, I think, would not very often be described as a “star”.  You may say that he has superstar potential, but you will wait until he actually performs at a “star” level before you say that he is a star.   These are observations; they are not controversial assertions. 

Read the full article here: https://www.billjamesonline.com/so_what_is_a_superstar/

Originally published: May 10, 2018. Last Updated: May 10, 2018.