McMurray: ‘Bad Bill’: A card history of Bill Dahlen

From SABR member John McMurray at Sports Collectors Digest on January 27, 2015:

In recent years, collectors have shown a heightened interest in the cards of Bill Dahlen, who remains a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.

Dahlen, a tempestuous figure who was one of the most dynamic shortstops of his day, was one of 10 retired players who completed their careers prior to 1947 who were considered for election by a special panel which convened in Cooperstown in 2012. Though Dahlen was not elected then, he may be in future year. Dahlen’s many merits as a player invite consideration of his vintage cards.

Dahlen (pronounced DAY-len, according to his biographer, Lyle Spatz) is a difficult candidate to consider. Since he played from 1891-1911, no one living has seen him play. Although he was generally considered to be a defensive standout relative to his contemporaries, his defensive statistics cannot measure up to players of today, as Dahlen was hindered by the meager gloves and comparatively poor field conditions of his time. That he committed nearly 1,000 errors in his career – including a staggering 86 errors in 1895 alone – can be quite misleading, considering Dahlen’s exceptional range.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 27, 2015. Last Updated: January 27, 2015.