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Dode Paskert

  Deadball Era Committee Icon  


See the Paskert tobacco cards, large size, both sides.

Born George. Dode Paskert was born "George". Who knows how he became "Dode", which is Dutch for "dead"?

Icon. How did Paskert become the icon of the Deadball Era research committee of the Society for American Baseball Research? David Jones (now Vice Chair) was fond of Paskert because of his name. During preliminary email discussion of the committee in 1999, Jones said something like "How can anyone not like an era that includes a guy named Dode Paskert?", and founder Tom Simon urged him to make Dode Paskert more than just a name. In the first number of the DEC newsletter, Jones expressed Paskert's new symbolic credential eloquently.

Paskert was just one more example of the delicious underbelly of baseball history, a history stuffed with now-forgotten players who were well-known in their time, where for every Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner there were twenty Wildfire Schultes and Dave Brains.
--David Jones, The Inside Game 1.1 (April 2000)

Baseball Encyclopedists unaffiliated with the D.E.Committee do know something about Dode Paskert. The same vital statistics and playing statistics available in the historical record for Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker are available for him! See your favorite encyclopedia for a disinterested presentation.

Similar to Dode Paskert? According to Sean Forman (visit paskedo at Baseball-Reference and see the bottom of that page), the active players most similar to Dode Paskert by career playing statistics are Stan Javier and Dave Martinez. Forman uses the "Similarity Score" by Bill James, slightly revised. That measure is derived from batting, baserunning, and scoring statistics, and games played by position but no other fielding statistics.

Stan Javier gets a very high score for similarity to Paskert through his current age, 37, which corresponds to the moment after Paskert suffered his worst season. Dode enjoyed another season in the sun at age 38; perhaps he deserves the retroactive "Comeback Player of the Year Award" for NL1920. Anyway, Paskert was more valuable than Javier by a long shot, and maybe more valuable than Dave Martinez at his best, because he achieved his similar statistics when hits and runs were more valuable than in Javier's and Martinez' time. With the glove, Paskert was considered a fine centerfielder, like Javier in his prime, I suppose.

Acknowledgments. David Jones is the man responsible for the symbolic elevation of George "Dode" Paskert. He provided background information.

Images courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. For more information, visit the Paskert tobacco cards, large size, both sides.

Last updated: 2003-09-26 (David Jones on the origin)
Paul Wendt
© Society for American Baseball Research, 2001, 2002, 2003