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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 07, 2003

1898 Ballot

Let’s do it.

Post your ballots here, with a full explanation please. For a good example of what it might look like (other formats are good too, this is just one that I liked), look here, Andrew Siegel’s post of 11:08 a.m. on April 1, 2003.

sample ballot

Please do not tabulate the other votes before posting your ballot, and if you calc them after your ballot, please don’t post them here.

If as the week moves on, you realize you want to change your ballot, i.e., you’ve been convinced the John Doe really was better than Jim Smith, note that on this thread, along with the time and date of your original ballot.

Please post any comments on ballots on the discussion thread, try to keep this thread clean for just ballots.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 07, 2003 at 03:41 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2003 at 05:14 PM (#511923)
Hey, I'm no Andrew Siegel (cough, teacher's pet, cough - just kidding), but hopefully this will do. I'll be more stat-inclined in another few years, but at this point judging the numbers is a VERY inexact science.
This is just a repeat of my picks from the other thread..........

1. Paul Hines - I agree with those who say Gore is very close, but in part I want a true pioneer of pro baseball in the No. 1 slot.
2. Deacon White - His peers' admiration gives him a final boost that also includes great stats and the catching bonus.
3. George Gore - I'd be annoyed if he didn't also make the first cut. Great all-around player.
4. Ross Barnes - Sandy Koufax-type batter stats, and we know Sandy's going in 75 years from now. Ignore Bill James's doubts.
5. Joe Start - The first "damn good seemingly forever" player, and there's a lot of Merit to that.
6. George Wright - Hard to measure the numbers, but one of the first legends of the game.
7. Ezra Sutton - Closer than Senor DiMino thinks, but ultimately he goes ahead of Williamson.
8. Ned Williamson - Not Better than Ezra (pun alert), but right up there.
9. Hardy Richardson - All due props to career length and consistency, but doesn't excite me as a clear HOM player.
10. Old Hoss Radbourn - Would like to have a pitcher higher, but these don't deserve it. Throw one Hoss season out, and no way he gets a vote. Can't say that of candidates listed much higher.
11. Pud Galvin - Peak's not much, but I think unique careers are worthy of consideration, and this one was at the time.
12. Charley Jones - Quite the NL/AA slugger, but doubt he'll never make my top 15 again.
13. Lip Pike - Better an early superstar than an 1880s star who we're more sure doesn't belong.
14. Albert Spalding - Maybe I'm harsh, but the stats do show he beat up weak competition.
15. Mickey Welch - It's 1898, and I already know that some nearly-retired SPs were better.

   2. KJOK Posted: April 07, 2003 at 08:08 PM (#511926)
I know we probably want to keep posts limited to ballots, but since it was brought up above and might impact other ballots, here's where Ned Williamson's sudden 27 HR power in 1884 came from, explanation courtesy of Bob Schaefer:

"Ned Willianson established a new HR record in 1884 because his home field was about 190 feet down the left foul line, 300 feet to straight away center field, and about 180 feet down the right foul line. Prior to 1884, a pole was placed in both left center and right center. Only a ball hit over the fence between these two poles was a HR. A ball over the fence between the foul pole and one of these poles was a two base hit. In early April, on the eve of the 1884 season, Captain A. C. Anson unilaterally changed the ground rules so that ANY fair ball over the fence was a HR.

There was a huge howl of protest from all other NL teams. It became a moot issue at the end of the 1884 season because the Chicago team lost their lease on that park and were forced to move to a new location.

The League moved quickly to prevent any other club from ever enacting a ground rule that premitted such cheap HRs. In 1885 a new rule was enacted:
'A fair batted ball that goes over the fence at a distance less than 210 feet rom home plate shall entitle the batter to two bases and a distinctive line shall be marked at this point.'"
   3. Carl Goetz Posted: April 07, 2003 at 09:39 PM (#511927)
Some brief notes so I don?t repeat myself too much in player comments. I tend to weight peak value higher than career value, all things being equal. I don?t trust defensive numbers from this period and I generally don?t like weighing subjective evidence, such as comments from contemporaries too heavily. For modern players, I will be happy to use the numbers, but for these early years, I will grudgingly use the subjective evidence. Because of this, I will weigh offense more heavily than defense. I admit that I don?t know how to rate pitchers compared to hitters in this period. I have selected what I believe are the top 3 pitchers to be in my list of 15 and have included 1 in my top 4 (i.e. the players I think should be elected this year). I believe a pennant is the ultimate goal for all players, so I don?t downgrade too much for players who played in shorter seasons than others. The players didn?t have the option to play longer seasons at the time, so I?m not going to punish them too much for it. I may use it as a tiebreaker if I feel 2 players are close to each other in adjusted numbers.

1) Paul Hines- To me, Hines is the best of this group. Best peak + Best Career= Hall of Merit
2) George Gore- Less spectacular peak than Hines, but (supposedly) better defense.
3) Deacon White- Was a top ten offensive player 6 times at mostly demanding defensive positions. He had a high peak and a long career. I don’t rate him as high offensively as the top 2, so that is why he is slightly lower in my rankings than in others.
4) Old Hoss Radbourn- He is clearly the top pitcher of those eligible and I think 1 pitcher should be elected. In the top 4, this is my least comfortable pick.(I guess #4 being my least comfortable pick in the top 4 is kind of redundant, but I’ve made my point).
5) George Wright- His peak value was amazing, but that was in the NA, for the most part. He was considered a great defensive player during his time. I am not comfortable with him this high, but can’t find anyone I am more comfortable with at this spot.
6) Ezra Sutton- I’ll go with Joe in the ‘Great Sutton/Williamson Debate’. With the similar peak values, I’ll take Sutton’s career. I think Williamson was a better defensive player, though.
7) Joe Start- One of the great ‘old players’ of his era. He started late, but had a strong peak in his 30’s in the early years of the NL. He was 1 of the better hitters in the league into his early forties. I consider this impressive nowadays, but this was in an era when players peaks seemed to come at a younger age, which makes it even more impressive.
8) Ross Barnes- Amazing peak, but I downgraded him slightly because he only had 1 strong NL season(1876). I have a gut feeling that he feasted on weak competition and was not as good as his numbers look. I also downgraded him slightly for his short career. With the question marks surrounding his peak season, I need more of a career to rate him higher. I did not downgrade him for taking advantage of the rules at the time. We cannot expect players from the 19th century to have played by 20th century rules.
9) Ned Williamson- See Sutton comments above.
10) Al Spalding- Great peak, but his career just wasn’t long enough to rate him higher. He played almost exclusively in the NA, so I have to downgrade that peak a bit. He also played for great teams, so I’m inclined to downgrade his gawdy win totals also.
11) Hardy Richardson- 2nd best 2ndbaseman of the era. He had a better career than Barnes, but not the peak value.
12) Dave Orr- Impressive peak, but not enough career. Didn’t play a high enough level of competition, either.
13) Tip O’Neill- See Dave Orr
14) Abner Dalrymple- Solid career, not enough peak for my tastes.
15) Pud Galvin- I’m not sold on Galvin. I think I should include 3 pitchers. He’s better than the others available. I will be kicking myself if Galvin squeaks in because of this vote.



   4. Sean Gilman Posted: April 08, 2003 at 05:23 AM (#511928)
1. Paul Hines--highest career value by far, as good a peak as anyone. A no-brainer-HOMer it seems to me.

2. Deacon White--great career value even without the NA added in, with it he's second only to Hines. That for me is enough to overcome Gore's advantage in peak value. But it's close.

3. George Gore--best peak of eligible players (except maybe Barnes), shorter career keeps him out of the top two.

4. Ezra Sutton--Long career with excellent value. I take scruff's side of the Williamson/season-length adjustment debate. A pennant is a pennant.

5. Ross Barnes--I've gone back and forth between Barnes and Richardson. Richardson had the longer career, but I think Barnes packed enough value into his 6 year peak to make up for it.

6. Hardy Richardson--Solid all around. Good offense, peak and career and good defense. I think he's ultimately a HOMer, but not this year.

7. Joe Start--may be giving him too much credit for his pre-NA career, but he was good enough in his 30s that I think if he was 10 years younger he might have been the best player of this group. Spots 7-12 on my ballot are very close.

8. Cal McVey--Higher peak than Start in the NA/NL, but much less career value. Don't know enough about what he did after he left the NL to give it a reasonable value in comparison to Start.

9. (N)ed Williamson--I think he's too short on both career and peak value to be reasonably compared with Sutton, Start or McVey. But still a very good player for a reasonably long amount of time. Great defense too.

10.Charley Radbourn--As you can see, I really don't put much value in pitchers of this era. I imagine that using DIPS one could come up with a decent adjustment to the 19th century pitching/fielding Win Shares division. But I don't think anyone's done that yet. . .
But I don't think anyone's done that yet. . .
Regardless, Radbourn seems to be the best of the bunch.

11.George Wright--Basically a poor-man's Ross Barnes, without the phenomenal peak but about the same career value.

12.Al Spalding--Same as with Radbourn, but with the added fact that he never had to face his own team, retired very young, and wasn't all that impressive in the NA. Great hitting-pitcher though.

13.Lip Pike--Another pre-NA star. Good peak in the NA, loses out to Wright on defense however.

14.Pud Galvin--His value comes from being slightly above average for a freakishly long amount of time for a pitcher from this era. He's not great, but good enough to get a spot at the end of the ballot.

15.Jim McCormick--A little more above average than Galvin, with a slightly better peak year. But Galvin's got 1800 more innings pitched.


   5. MattB Posted: April 08, 2003 at 01:43 PM (#511929)
An example of strategy foiled. I had a framework all in place, and then the facts got in the way.

1. Deacon White. Honestly, I thought the ballots would be pretty evenly split between those with Hines over White and those with White over Hines, but a quick eyeballing showed that I was in a large minority. So I looked them over again, but it was insufficient to change my mind. Their numbers were similar offensively (maybe a small advantage to Hines), but White spent 8 seasons as primarily a catcher. These were also some of his highest peak seasons, and the fielding numbers indicate that he was a solid defensive catcher for the era as well.

2. Paul Hines. I thought I'd have to explain why he was as high as number two on my ballot, but it looks like the question is why he is as low as number two. No knock on Hines, but if I needed one player on the ballot to base my franchise around, I'd pick Deacon White.

3. Charley Radbourn. I am throroughly unconvinced that since most pitchers didn't strike a lot of guys out, that they weren't that important. I think they ALL get high career value points just for showing up every day and playing. Finagling the Win Shares may get their numbers more in line, but is just jury-rigging to get a desired result. I don't believe that any less than 1/4 of the game could conceivably be due to the pitchers, so pitchers get at least one slot out of every four.

4. George Wright. Along with pitchers, pre-NL stars are hard to integrate with the list, so on the theory that the value doesn't change over eras, even as ability does, Wright gets the top early stars spot. Barnes was better in the NA, but Wright was better before and after, which pushes him to the top.

5. Ezra Sutton. The 18 year career gives him career value over Williamson. As another poster suggested, Mark McKinness was convincing that Ned Williamson should be knocked up a few placed, but not that Ezra Sutton should be knocked down.

6. Ned Williamson. He was perceived by his peers as among the best, and the numbers put him in the arena where that perception cannot be purely written off.

7. George Gore. Paul Hines with a shorter career, and therefore several notches lower. I have also decided that he should rank below the Sutton/Williamson dupras.

8. Ross Barnes. Slots 7 and 8 were supposed to be for another pitcher and early star, but I couldn't knock either of the three above down to ninth, so Barnes falls to here. He is the #2 early star after George Wright, and has the highest peak. I am optomistic that everyone down to Barnes will eventually be inducted, as they will all be worthy additions. I do not consider the players below Barnes "unworthy", but rather borderline candidates who will rise and fall on the strength of their competition.

9. Joe Start. On reconsideration, I had him ranked far too low before. He is clearly the best first baseman on the ballot so far, but only fourth best when you look at his contemporaries (the ABC triumvirate). I may still have him too low now, but at the moment I can't see who I could move him past. I will continue to reconsider him as the others come and go, and he may get bumped up later.

10. Al Spalding. The number 2 pitcher on my list, and also the number 3 early player. Great peak, but not in the same class as Radbourn. I consider him my first "borderline" candidate where the field flattens out. I see less difference between numbers 9 and 15 on my list than I do between any two candidates above.

11. Hardy Richardson. He and McPhee were the best second basemen of the post-Barnes era. Neither strikes me as a "Top 10" sort, though, he gets to be eleven.

12. Jim McCormick. The third best pitcher on the ballot. The fact that my second-best got knocked out of the top 8 doesn't mean that my third best shouldn't make the top 12.

13. Tip O'Neill. Dropped a few spaces from my preliminary ballot not so mcuh because I found any problems with him, but because I was convinced that several others had to be promoted.

14. Charley Jones. Great peak, but was not a regular for very long.

15. Pud Galvin. This spot could have very easily gone to Cal McVey, Dave Orr, or Mickey Welch, but Galvin's got the Wins that tell me that if I'm going to err, I'm going to err less leaning on his side.
   6. Philip Posted: April 08, 2003 at 03:20 PM (#511930)
I took my post from the provisional ballot thread and added a few more comments.

I value defense highly because I believe pitching was less important and without the equipment we have today there must have been greater variance between good and bad fielders. However, I acknowledge the fact that rating defense is very difficult looking back 130 years.

Also, I am slightly in favor of high peak-short career versus no peak-long career.

Here it goes:
1. Hines --- Highest peak (if not Barnes) and highest career value. Very good defense at key position
2. White --- Consistently very good offense at very demanding positions. Especially comparing his offense to an average catcher his value becomes apparent. Lack of peak leaves him behind Hines.
3. Gore --- Great 5 year peak, just behind Hines, though better defense at a key position
4. Barnes --- Game’s top all-round player for a 6 year period. That should do it.
5. Sutton --- Very good defense at tough defensive position. Good offense, high career value
6. Wright --- Great peak in NA at the most demanding position. Short career drops him below Sutton
7. Start --- Great career at an old age. Uncertainty about pre-NA years and thus no visible peak drop him slightly
8. Williamson --- Great glove, good offense for a 19th century 3B, though shorter career than Sutton
9. Richardson --- Long consistent career. Most playing time at 2B/LF less demanding defensive positions than those above him.
10. Radbourne --- Praised for 1 tremendous season. Other than that a very good, but not great career
11. McVey --- High peak in NA, playing a good part of his games behind the plate
12. Pike --- May well have been best player in baseball pre-NA.
13. Spalding --- I put him here mainly for his accomplishments with the bat
14. York --- Great career value, less peak
15. Jones --- Great peak, dropped a bit because of AA
   7. Marc Posted: April 08, 2003 at 04:54 PM (#511931)
I wanted to go by the numbers, really, but in the end I couldn't make sense of '70s numbers vs. '80s numbers, so this is a fairly subjective ballot. I also went with an inverse timeline adjustment (stay with me here). We have a full '70s cohort, this is their shot, their time. We don't have a full '80s cohort and many of the '80s guys on this ballot are clearly not the best from their own time. So:

1. Deacon White
2. Paul Hines
White-Hines, Hines-White. Either way, they are the only players who had both a high peak and a long career. Not as high a peak as some, of course, but OPS+ around 190 and WS MVPs, Hines three times. In the end I went for White not so much for defensive reasons but because of ever so slightly higher peak OPS+.

3. Al Spalding--Best ERA+ on the board (138). Short career but exactly as many "effective" seasons as Hoss. And put me down as a "pennant is a pennant" kind of guy.

4. Ross Barnes--Highest hitting peak on the board and that fair/foul thing is a red herring. He didn't ding and chop his way to league leadership in XBH and SA.

5. Cal McVey--Red Stockings '69, 161 OPS+ in NA, 140 OPS+ in four NL seasons, went out (of the NL) at the top but continued playing around the west.

6. Lip Pike--played 15 years, 5 as an IF before '71, 5 in CF in NA, 5 in CF in NL. No OPS+ numbers before '71, of course, but then 161 in NA and 152 in NL. The fastest man of his era, once defeated a racehorse in a widely publicized foot race. Career parallels Joe Start's but much better, at least offensively.

7. George Gore--a little better than Hines in NL portion of their careers but add those 5 extra years for Hines.... But his career not any longer than McVey or Pike, just a little better documented.

8. George Wright--I really wanted him 4th but I tried to consider the numbers as much as I could and they kept dragging him down. A star before and during NA but he declined much more rapidly than peers McVey and Pike.

9. Hardy Richardson--130 OPS+ in 14 years, half of them as a decent 2B

10. Hoss Radbourn--comparable to Spalding, but subjectively Spalding was the very best of his era, Radbourn quite clearly not the best of his. He is a worthy HoFer but only after Clarkson is safely ensconced.

11. Ed Williamson--I know, shorter career and lower OPS+ than Sutton, but people who saw him play seemed pretty impressed.

12. Charley Jones--150 OPS+ and only half his career in the AA. That makes him better than O'Neill and Orr who had shorter careers all in the AA.

13. Ezra Sutton--about a 120 OPS+ in 18 years puts him behind Richardson (130 in 14) among the infielders and, again, people who saw them play remembered Big Ed more fondly.

14. Fred Dunlap--impressive 132 OPS+ in 12 years, even discounting his big UA season--the other 11 were in the NL. Reasonable comp for Richardson.

15. Joe Start--trails Pike among his contemporaries OPS+ 161-108 in NA and 152-127 in NL. Maybe 1B was that important defensively, but I don't know.

It is very tempting to put Orr in here (Orr clearly better than O'Neill) or Meyerle (166 OPS+ second only to Barnes in NA and 156 in NL but just 3 years). And I couldn't find a third pitcher worth a vote but for the record I like Bond and White a little better than McCormick or Hecker or Corcoran. Welch and Galvin too lacking in peak value for my taste.

The 1898 ballot really made me go back and discover guys like Pike and Start and Dunlap who I had not seriously reviewed for the 1906 ballot. Hey, this is fun, thanks Joe.

   8. RobC Posted: April 08, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#511932)
Basic approach: Career value with bonuses for being best eligible
at position.

1. Paul Hines - No comment really necessary for first 2 guys. If you
like them in opposite order, I dont disagree.
2. Deacon White
3. Hardy Richardson - Career over Peak. Not that Barnes is far away.
4. Pud Galvin - There are only 2 pitchers I really liked, and both
ordering them and placing them was hard. Galvin may be a little
high, Radbourn a little low.
5. George Wright - dominated the NA. Does he belong at #5?
6. Ezra Sutton - A touch better than Williamson.
7. Ross Barnes - See Hardy Richardson.
8. George Gore - Lowered by being 2nd to Hines.··
9. Tip O'Neill - He was everywhere from 4 to 12 on my ballot. Ended up
here.
10. Old Hoss Radbourn - I have trouble with pitchers from this era. Top
two belong somewhere on here though.
11. Ned Williamson - not quite Ezra.
12. Fred Dunlap - Was 1884 his last great year, or the first of his good
years?
13. Jim McCormick - Just good enough to make the list, but 3 pitchers is
enough!
14. Tom York - career value pick - consistent, better in NL than NA.
15. Levi Meyerle - Originally Jim Whitney, but he got booted because I
couldnt put in a 4th pitcher. And Whitney just wasnt in the same
class as the other 3. So, I go with a peak pick instead.

   9. Rick A. Posted: April 08, 2003 at 08:07 PM (#511934)
1. Deacon White ? Could go either way with the first two players, but I went with White. A slightly lower peak value than Hines, but a much more demanding defensive position and he seemed to be pretty solid defensively

2. Paul Hines ? Highest career and peak value. Just a hair behind White overall.

3. George Gore - Very high peak value. Just a step behind Hines really.

4. Al Spalding ? Had a very hard time deciding where to rank pitchers. I agree with Marc in that ?a pennant is a pennant?. We don?t break down todays pitchers based on the competition level of their opponents, so why start with Spalding. In future elections, will we be saying that Christy Matthewson pitched a lot against the Phillies and Dodgers, and should thus be discounted? I don?t think so. Very good pitcher from the NA years.

5. Hardy Richardson ? Higher career value gives him the edge over Barnes? peak

6. Ezra Sutton ? More career value than Williamson, especially when the NA years are taken into account.

7. Ross Barnes ? Incredibly high peak. Hate having him even this low. A few more good years in the NL could have moved him within the top 4.

8. George Wright ? Hard to rank NA players. Not quite Ross Barnes.

9. Ned Williamson ? Good player. Ranks behind Sutton based on career value

10. Hoss Radbourn - Another pitcher. Very good career.

11. Joe Start ? Pretty darn good old player. Makes me wonder what his totals would be if the NL was founded a bit earlier.

12. Charley Jones ? Good peak value, but a little low career-wise.

13. Mickey Welch - Close race between Galvin and Welch for my last pitcher?s spot, but I think Welch was slightly more valuable.

14. Abner Dalrymple ? See Charley Jones. Just slightly less career value.

15. Tip O?Neill ? Same as Jones and Dalrymple. Entire career in AA didn?t help either
   10. KJOK Posted: April 09, 2003 at 12:20 AM (#511935)
Overall Comments - I looked for "established level of performance" for at least a 5 year period, and compared players vs. their peers to develop my ballot, which has changed numerous times up to now.

1. Ross Barnes, 2B, EQA-.343, KJOK Fielding Rating - Excellent, WARP - 59. One of top players in his league 5 years in a row.

2. Cal McVey, C/1B, EQA-.325, KJOK Fielding Rating - Very Good, WARP - 40. Around top 5 in offense in 5 of 7 seasons.

3. George Wright, SS, EQA-.294, KJOK Fielding Rating -Excellent, WARP - 63. An excellent fielding SS who was around top 5 in league in offense for 5 consecutive years.

4. Deacon White, 3B/C, EQA-.299, KJOK Fielding Rating -Fair (3B), Very Good (C), WARP-87. Good long career, around top 10 in offense 6 times.

5. George Gore, CF, EQA-.315, KJOK Fielding Rating - Average, WARP-81. Somewhat long, consistent career. Around top 10 in offense EIGHT times!

6. Paul Hines, CF, EQA-.304, KJOK Fielding Rating -Average, WARP-96. Very long career. Around top 10 in offense NINE times! Lower peak than Gore.

7. Hardy Richardson, 2B, EQA-.302, KJOK Fielding Rating-Very Good, WARP-94. Very consistent, long career. One of top 2nd baseman almost every year of career.

8. Al Spalding, P, ERA+-142, IP-2891. Best pitcher of NA. May have won 4 or 5 Cy Youngs in row if Award had existed.

9. Ned Williamson, 3B, EQA-.285, KJOK Fielding Rating-Excellent, WARP-79. Fielding was way above everyone else, played 13 solid seasons in the best leagues, and he could hit too.

10. Ezra Sutton, 3B, EQA-.289, KJOK Fielding Rating-Very Good, WARP-77. Very long career. Had 4 seasons around 10 top 10 in offense, but had quite a few mediocre years right in the middle of his career.

11. Charley Radbourn, P, ERA+-120, IP-4535. Around 10 top in pitching 6 different seasons. Was baseball's best pitcher '82-'84.

12. Lip Pike, CF, EQA-.332, KJOK Fielding Rating-Average, WARP-31. Probably best OF of NA, but relatively short career moves him behind Gore & Hines.

13. Dave Orr, 1B, EQA-.333, KJOK Fielding Rating-Average, WARP-60. Had 6 seasons around top 5 in offense in league. AA competition and no seasons after 30 years old knock him down this low.

14. Charley Jones, LF, EQA-.321, KJOK Fielding Rating-Very Good, WARP-68. EIGHT seasons around top 10 in league in offense get him on the ballot.

15. Tip O'Neill, LF, EQA-.316, KJOK Fielding Rating-Excellent, WARP-69. One monster seasons surrounded by 4 very good ones. Probably note quite as good as contemporaries O'Rourke or Stovey.
   11. Rob Wood Posted: April 09, 2003 at 05:20 AM (#511936)
1. Paul Hines. Was born at exactly the right time for a great long career. Being brutally honest, I am not sure that these guys compare very well to the stars to come. As much as I like Hines and think he is the best of the bunch, he is not head and shoulders above the class.

2. George Wright. Star of the NA. I am happy to have him serve as the NA representative in the HOM. Of course, he was a great star before MLB was founded for which I extend ample credit.

3. George Gore. I am a big fan of Gore. Great offensive player who played a lot of years. Although the evidence is mixed, I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his defense.

4. Deacon White. Difficult to assess his true value and ability. I do give him credit for catching for so many seasons. One of my favorite players of this era. It's a shame that very few people today have even heard of him.

5. Ezra Sutton. I am convinced that Sutton was one of the greatest players of this era. HOM-worthy in my opinion.

6. Hardy Richardson. Greatest second baseman of this era. I haven't given it a lot of thought, but right around here is where I'd be comfortable drawing the HOM boundary.

7. Al Spalding. What more can be said? I do not down-grade him much for his short career. As TomH has pointed out, in another era Spalding would never have considered leaving baseball to make more money as a businessman!

8. Ross Barnes. I am a waffler on Barnes. I generally favor career value over peak value, though I am willing to extend credit for factors outside a player's control that shortened his career. Barnes had such a high peak that I am happy to have him here. I think it may be appropriate to down-grade Barnes a little for the fair-foul factor, not because it didn't provide his teams value. But because this avenue was unique to his time and Barnes would likely not have been so great in another era.

9. Jim McCormick. The 2nd greatest pitcher of this era.

10. Ed Williamson. I do not like players whose main claim is only one outstanding season (dare I call it a fluke season). To paraphrase Bill James, the evidence that he was a legitimate candidate for the greatest 19th century player has not been handed down to us. Definitely a great fielder though.

11. Pud Galvin. I like players who were very good for a long time over meteroic players. Galvin has innings and wins going for him.

12. Joe Start. I am more than happy to back-extend credit to players who were probably past their prime when major league baseball developed. Start is the poster boy.

13. Fred Dunlap. Not sure why he hasn't received more consideration from HOM voters.

14. Mickey Welch. Very good for ten seasons.

15. Hoss Radbourn. One terrific season due to unique circumstances for which, I believe, he shouldn't be given full credit. Again, I don't like players who have only one outstanding season. (I know that Old Hoss had a couple others.)
   12. Adam Schafer Posted: April 10, 2003 at 05:42 AM (#511941)
i'm admittedly not as up on my pre 1890's players as i'd like, so please don't flame me if i made some odd and/or unpopular picks.

1. Deacon White - 827 games at third, 458 at catcher, and then a handful of other tames at all other positions. about the same offensively as hines, so the defense sets makes him a clear choice for me in the #1 position.

2. Paul Hines - triple crown in '78, consecutive batting titles, was 18 hits away from 2000 before the 1890's ever even began. other than white, was one of the first to be consistently productive.

3. Al Spalding - many players had short careers at this time and spalding was truly the most dominating pitcher there was. radbourne, mathews, mccormick were all losing 20+ games a year. spalding was a step above any other
pitcher.

5. Ross Barnes - what did he NOT do from 1871-1876?

6. Ezra Sutton - the best third baseman. can't say anything about him that hasn't been covered here already

7. Charley Radbourne - maybe did have one fluke season, assuming we take that away from him he STILL has remarkable career.

8. Joe Start - played from 1860-1886. harry wright and himself were the first of the games grand old men.

9. Harry Wright - easily interchangeable with Start but how good is a managers worth at this point? i just feel more comfortable picking start ahead of wright...barely.

10. Fred Dunlap - dunlap was one of the first 2b stars. not spectacular, but consistent.

11. Cal McVey - career was a little short for my liking, and if radbourne can be hurt for having one great season and another very good season, the same arguement could be made against mcvey. i'll give him a vote for his ability to catch, play of, 1b, 3b, and attempting to pitch.

12. Lip Pike - i'm real iffy on him. he did get suspended for suspicion of throwing a game. 4 home run titles and hit for average.

13. Charley Jones - i'm trying to avoid any player that played more than 20+ games/season in the 1890's, thus no vote for galvin, gore, etc. yet. jones hit for some average and had good OBP

14. Levi Meyerle - very short career, but removing the 1872 year, he was dominant for a short time. a poor man's mcvey.

15. Andy Leonard - top 10 in hits and rbi's from 1872-1875. good average, short career.

   13. MattB Posted: April 10, 2003 at 01:20 PM (#511942)
Adam,

You lave only listed 14 names (no #4).
   14. Marc Posted: April 10, 2003 at 01:20 PM (#511943)
Hey, Adam, who was #4?
   15. Adam Schafer Posted: April 10, 2003 at 02:14 PM (#511944)
lesson #1. don't let me do this at 2:00 in the morning again, b/c obviously i can't count! i thought that i had jack manning in there somewhere! sorry for the goof, here is the correct list.

1. Deacon White - 827 games at third, 458 at catcher, and then a handful of other tames at all other positions. about the same offensively as hines, so the defense sets makes him a clear choice for me in the #1 position.

2. Paul Hines - triple crown in '78, consecutive batting titles, was 18 hits away from 2000 before the 1890's ever even began. other than white, was one of the first to be consistently productive.

3. Al Spalding - many players had short careers at this time and spalding was truly the most dominating pitcher there was. radbourne, mathews, mccormick were all losing 20+ games a year. spalding was a step above any other
pitcher

4. Ross Barnes - what did he NOT do from 1871-1876?

5. Ezra Sutton - the best third baseman. can't say anything about him that hasn't been covered here already

6. Charley Radbourne - maybe did have one fluke season, assuming we take that away from him he STILL has remarkable career.

7. Joe Start - played from 1860-1886. harry wright and himself were the first of the games grand old men.

8. Harry Wright - easily interchangeable with Start but how good is a managers worth at this point? i just feel more comfortable picking start ahead of wright...barely.

9. Fred Dunlap - dunlap was one of the first 2b stars. not spectacular, but consistent.

10. Cal McVey - career was a little short for my liking, and if radbourne can be hurt for having one great season and another very good season, the same arguement could be made against mcvey. i'll give him a vote for his ability to catch, play of, 1b, 3b, and attempting to pitch.

11. Lip Pike - i'm real iffy on him. he did get suspended for suspicion of throwing a game. 4 home run titles and hit for average.

12. Charley Jones - i'm trying to avoid any player that played more than 20+ games/season in the 1890's, thus no vote for galvin, gore, etc. yet. jones hit for some average and had good OBP

13. Levi Meyerle - very short career, but removing the 1872 year, he was dominant for a short time. a poor man's mcvey.

14. Jack Manning - he could hit, he could pitch, and he fits my personal criteria as he didn't play in the 1890's.

15. Andy Leonard - top 10 in hits and rbi's from 1872-1875. good average, short career.
   16. dan b Posted: April 10, 2003 at 04:39 PM (#511945)
I am using WS with adjustments for time line and length of schedule (AdbWS). I am influenced by subjective reports and Bill James, sharing his low regard for the quality of play prior to the 1890?s. NA not factored into AdbWS, but given some consideration. With apologies to the fans of the NA, my time line adjustment buries players who didn?t do anything after 1880.

1. Gore. It’s close for the top spot, but Gore edges Hines to lead the field in career AdbWS and 2nd to O’Neill (w/o AA downgrade) in 5-year peak. If Hines’ NA stats had been stronger, may have gone with him. James has Gore over Hines.
2. Hines. James has him as best player in ’78, ’79 and ’84.
3. Williamson. Big subjective boost here. Ranks 6th in AdbWS, but named as greatest player ever by 3 of 11 experts in an 1894 where no other player was named more than twice (Anson, Ewing and Kelly, who would dominate the top of all of our ballots if eligible, were each named twice)
4. Richardson. Third in AdbWS. Strong 5-year peak.
5. Radbourne. Ah, where to place the pitchers. Hoss is keeping more impressive company with his placement in NHBA rankings compared with players listed below. James has him as top pitcher 3 years in a row.
6. White. Most of you guys have him in top 3, and maybe I’m wrong on this. I just see a long, steady career after a couple big years early. His career value is 5th in my ranking. I expect he goes in, and I am OK with that. James ranks him just above Kevin Seitzer, but then maybe he’s wrong too.
7. O’Neill. Best of the AA, I’ve got him 4th career, tops with peak. Best player in ’87.
8. Sutton. My ratings have Sutton, Jones and Dalrymple in dead heat both career and peak. I will yield to the consensus on this and put Sutton on top of the pack.
9. Jones. Two-year hold out probably costs him a couple places.
10.Dalrymple
11. Start. Long, steady career. Have Start, Orr and Dunlap about even. Give Start an NA boost and Orr an AA downgrade.
12. Dunlap.
13. Orr.
14. Galvin. Long, steady career.
15. Bond. James calls him the best NL pitcher in ‘70’s, but you fans of primitive baseball are ignoring him. Other than Radbourne, he is the only pitcher on our ballot ranked by James.
16. Sunday. Hey, since Marc can leave Anson off his ballot for one year based on off field racist activities, how about a one-time tied for 15th vote for Billy Sunday based on off field accomplishments. My guess is that Sunday the Evangelist is known by more people today than any of his baseball-playing contemporaries (with the possible exception of A. Spalding). My grandfather, when he wasn’t telling me about the Wagner era Pirates of his youth, would tell me how attending a Billy Sunday tent meeting changed his life – he started going to church where he met my grandmother. You could say I can trace my very existence to Billy Sunday.
   17. Marc Posted: April 10, 2003 at 05:25 PM (#511946)
I think Anson was a racist on the field, too ;-) But of course, maybe Billy Sunday gave sermons in centerfield, I don't know.
   18. Adam Schafer Posted: April 10, 2003 at 11:38 PM (#511950)
didn't forget him, i wanted to take a tad bit of a different approach from everyone else and personally not consider anyone who played more than 20 games in the 1890's. i just wanted the guys prior to the 1890's to get a fair shake out of me. eventually gore will get a vote out of me :)
   19. Adam Schafer Posted: April 11, 2003 at 12:48 AM (#511952)
didn't forget him, i wanted to take a tad bit of a different approach from everyone else and personally not consider anyone who played more than 20 games in the 1890's. i just wanted the guys prior to the 1890's to get a fair shake out of me. eventually gore will get a vote out of me :)
   20. Adam Schafer Posted: April 11, 2003 at 01:03 AM (#511953)
sorry about that double post, i hit my refresh button. updated list including those who played in the 1890's. didn't mean to break any rules or upset anyone. at least the pre-1890's guys got a moment of recognition ;)

1. Deacon White - 827 games at third, 458 at catcher, and then a handful of other tames at all other positions. about the same offensively as hines, so the defense sets makes him a clear choice for me in the #1 position.

2. Paul Hines - triple crown in '78, consecutive batting titles, was 18 hits away from 2000 before the 1890's ever even began. other than white, was one of the first to be consistently productive.

3. Al Spalding - many players had short careers at this time and spalding was truly the most dominating pitcher there was. radbourne, mathews, mccormick were all losing 20+ games a year. spalding was a step above any other
pitcher.

4. George Gore - he could hit, take a walk, and was on some excellant teams. excellant teams are made with excellant players.

5. Ross Barnes - what did he NOT do from 1871-1876?

6. Ezra Sutton - the best third baseman. can't say anything about him that hasn't been covered here already

7. Charley Radbourne - maybe did have one fluke season, assuming we take that away from him he STILL has remarkable career.

8. Joe Start - played from 1860-1886. harry wright and himself were the first of the games grand old men.

9. Harry Wright - easily interchangeable with Start but how good is a managers worth at this point? i just feel more comfortable picking start ahead of wright...barely.

10. Pud Galvin - lots of losses, but lots of wins. consistently one of the best

11. Fred Dunlap - dunlap was one of the first 2b stars. not spectacular, but consistent.

12. David Orr - some major similarities with barnes, not quite as dominating though.

13. Cal McVey - career was a little short for my liking, and if radbourne can be hurt for having one great season and another very good season, the same arguement could be made against mcvey. i'll give him a vote for his ability to catch, play of, 1b, 3b, and attempting to pitch.

14. Mickey Welch - didn't lose near as many as galvin, but didn't win as many either.

15. Ned Williamson - no new arguements for him

   21. Jeff M Posted: April 11, 2003 at 03:05 PM (#511956)
I'm going to have more pitchers on this ballot than most others, because while pitching was less important during this era, I don't see the pitchers as mere game starters. That having been said, I only expect two of these pitchers to be elected to the HOM. The rest are just rounding out the ballot because I'm not particularly impressed by the hitter's numbers in some of these high-scoring run environments. Also, defense may have been very important, but the numbers are sketchy and I still can't see it swamping hitting. I've significantly discounted pre-1876 play. In general, I try to normalize everything to a 750-run, 162 game season, since every player remains eligible forever.

1. PAUL HINES -- I could go either way with Hines and White one and two. Hines had a long and consistently good career, with lots of black ink. Very good defender. Hines would not have been elected on my first ballot before we moved to 1898, but he would have been elected eventually. I think Gore got a bigger boost from the ballparks he played in, so I have Hines higher.

2. DEACON WHITE -- Again, very consistent for a very long time. Reiterate comments above. I evaluated him at 3B and gave no real boost as a catcher.

3. HOSS RADBOURN -- I believe a pitcher should be elected in the first group, and Hoss gets the nod because he really had some unbelievable seasons. He was incredible from 82-84. What a workhorse! Gets nod over Spalding because he played longer and didn't get quite the same boost by having All-Star teammates.

4. GEORGE GORE -- Was a consistently strong hitter, but I think a "saludatorian" with respect to Hines' hitting ability for outfielders. Not quite as well-rounded as Hines, in my opinion. A run-scoring machine.

5. ROSS BARNES -- Almost twice as good as everyone else when he was playing. Yet I just can't get past the fact that his numbers fell when the rules changed, so I'm not seeking his election on the first ballot. I think he will make the HOM eventually.

6. TIP O'NEILL -- Another short powerful career, like Barnes, but benefitted from hitters parks. A feared hitter. Gets a bit of a discount because of AA seasons. Expect him to be elected eventually.

7. AL SPALDING -- The second, and last, pitcher on this ballot that I expect to be a HOMer. Shorter career puts him behind Radbourn, but was really incredible if the ballpark factors from this era are accurate. His numbers may have been supressed by as much as 8%.

8. MICKEY WELCH -- I don't really think the players from this spot down to #15 should be elected to the HOM, but there are some fine careers here. Welch was extremely steady, but loses points because he was not dominant. No black ink (unless you count 2 saves as the league leader), but gray ink is fantastic.

9. JIM MCCORMICK -- Seemed to have either great years or terrible years, but the great ones show how good he can be. He produced lots of black ink.

10. JOE START -- Will pale in comparison to future 1B we see. Will be in and out of my ballots for a while, but only bringing up the lower half.

11. CAL MCVEY -- Would have been a perennial All-Star in his time, but he didn't play very long. Played as much 1B as catcher, but gets a small boost for catching activities but a discount for NA career.

12. PUD GALVIN -- Lots of up and down years. A poor win pct for someone of his caliber. Incredibly, he consistently led the league in strikeouts...as a hitter! Still, he put up big numbers. I don't know where to put him, but I think he ought to be in the Top 15.

13. CHARLEY JONES -- Consistently strong performances in pitcher's parks and scored lots of runs. Excellent defender. Lots of AA play hurts him, and he just doesn't wow me.

14. HARDY RICHARDSON -- Played almost as many games in the outfield as at 2b, which makes me question whether his 2b defensive reputation is reflective of his true ability. Not really dominant in any category. I've had him as high as 8th, but every time I make an era-based adjustment, I lose confidence in him. Frankly, I don't know what to do with him.

15. TOMMY BOND -- Could just as easily have been Will White. Bond had a fine ERA and lots of black ink, but otherwise doesn't distinguish himself from lots of other good pitchers. May not even be on future ballots. Gave him the nod over White because White got a bigger boost from his ballparks.

Quick comment about Sutton and Williamson: I've had difficulty raising Sutton and Williamson to the level at which the discussions on the HOM boards have raised them. I'm not hanging my hat on Bill James in my HOM analysis, but by way of example, he has Sutton as the 98th best THIRD BASEMAN. We're only electing about 210 players overall. These guys appear to me to be average or below-average hitters and outstanding defenders. Maybe there's an Ozzie Smith-type argument to be made for them, but otherwise, I just can't see it.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 11, 2003 at 07:52 PM (#511958)
My list:

1) Tony Suck -

ARGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Er... sorry about that! :-)

1) Deacon White - He came out ahead in my analysis even before I gave him a positional attrition adjustment. One of the "Big Four" of the NA, I'm happy to have him at the "head of the class."

2) Al Spalding - Best pitcher of the NA (and the 1870s). No pitcher was as dominating as him until Kid Nichols shows up in the 1890s.

3) Ezra Sutton - A little over a year ago, his name wouldn't have registered with me. The best third baseman of early baseball until Jimmy Collins enters the debate later on. Way to go to JoeDimino for bringing Sutton (and White) into the spotlight.

4) George Wright - Best shortstop of the seventies. Though I rank Jack Glasscock as the better shortstop, Wright was the most dominant of that early era.

5) Paul Hines - Feel bad keeping him out of the top four, but he should be in it next election (unless voted in now). More durable than Gore (but overall very close).

6) Hardy Richardson - Terrific second baseman. Not nearly as dominating as Barnes, but played in a more competitive era and was more durable.

7) George Gore - A Gore Republicans can love! :-)

8) Joe Start - I gave him credit for his pre-NA work, but stayed on the conservative side. Here is a guy who never really impressed me until I compared him to his contemporaries (and took into account his age).

9) Ross Barnes - Best second baseman of the 1870s, bar none. If he had only been as durable as Bid McPhee ...

10) Cal McVey - another great player but is ranked where he is because he decided to play out west at the age of 29 (though he was still a fine player in the NL).

11) Fred Dunlap - Underrated player. He was a standout second baseman prior to his great UA season.

12) Ed Williamson - I was surprised to see him this low, but I have him down as the best player at his position only once. Good one, though.

13) Tom York - Another forgotten player. Very good, but not great.

14) Pud Galvin - It was a struggle between him and Radbourn to be included here. I might be wrong here since Old Hoss started his NL career late. However, I have no idea what type of player he was during the 1870s. If someone has additional info on him, please let me know.

15) John Clapp - durable catcher; not as good as the Deacon or McVey.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Do I have this right? Who knows? I took into account peak and career, plus position, era, and quality of the leagues.

At this time, I can't see including Frank Grant, Fleet Walker, George Stovey, etc (some of them might not be eligible at this time anyway). I have the same problem with Dickey Pearce - lack of data. I'm always open to persuasion, though.

   23. Al Peterson Posted: April 12, 2003 at 02:21 AM (#511959)
Overall Notes: Thanks to all who have put a lot of time into this initial ballot and working with the data from the early years. I?ve followed the discussions and hope to be more involved with future debates. My research has covered the last couple of weeks and thus ballots for later years can be influenced for the right price :)

I?m not as concerned about shorter career lengths at the beginning of baseball. If the ballot is being filled out like it was 1898, a lot of people would have shorter careers. Ratings are a mix of statistics and opinions from that time frame. Anyways, here goes?

1. Deacon White: Versatile positions (C/3B) with high production numbers for many years. Worthy HOMer.
2. Paul Hines: A close second. Due mostly to the OF being less valuable than where White played.
3. George Gore: Probably be called a professional hitter in today’s game. Long enough career to be rated this high.
4. George Wright: Effective fielder at SS who could wield the stick. Maybe a little high but I’m struggling to move others up.
5. Ross Barnes: Dominant. Maybe the competition was subpar but that’s a minor deduction. As for the fair/foul debate, he had skill to take advantage of the rules of the day. Good for him.
6. Al Spaulding: My take is that pitchers were important even in this era. And this guy could pitch AND hit. Short career but at least he had no problems financially.
7. Ezra Sutton: Relatively fair numbers over longer career. Giving him the benefit of the doubt with regards to defense pulls him up to here.
8. Joe Start: Long career with excellent results to boot. Some credit for his 1860s work.
9. Old Hoss Radbourn: Not a one year wonder. Some other excellent years added make for enough career length.
10. Hardy Richardson: Well defined peak, not as high as Barnes. Defensive position doesn’t help.
11. Ned Williamson: He’s not quite Sutton but was highly thought of in his time. I’ll take those opinions as somewhat valid.
12. Mickey Welch: More of taking into account some of the hype of the day. Comparable to Galvin in my mind.
13. Cal McVey: Good enough while in the “majors” but I’m torn on what to do with his time outside of that. Definitely deserves mention.
14. Pud Galvin: Recognized for being effective for longer than normal, allowing the accumulation of some milestone numbers.
15. Lip Pike: Nice name, nice career. There are about 7-8 guys who got consideration here and will continue to do so.

That’s it. We’ll see who is in the initial HOM class shortly.

   24. jimd Posted: April 12, 2003 at 02:53 AM (#511960)
1) D. White -- A close decision between 1 and 2. I think that 19th Century catchers are probably underrated by Win Shares. James has a comment wondering where all the catcher put-outs went that were recorded in the early days. Well, there used to be no distinction between foul tips and foul balls, and fouls were outs when caught on the fly or on the first bounce; a good sure-handed catcher was very important then; White could also hit and field, which kept him playing at 3b after his catching days were done.
2) P. Hines -- Best outfielder in the league from 1878-1884; Gore might dispute the latter part of that period. Hines has the longer, better career. Peak is pretty close.
3) R. Barnes -- We understand hitting, and Barnes was the best hitter 1872-76, not close, no dispute.
4) C. Radbourn -- A close decision between 4 and 5. Pitchers dominate the early 1880's; there's no doubt that they are important in each game (the pitching records like no-hitters, perfect games, a 19 strike-out game all demonstrate this). Individuals also are close to complete pitching staffs. My interpretation is that a great pitching season put a team in contention, even over an All-Star team like Chicago. Radbourn is the best of this generation, the best pitcher of 1882, 83, and 84, after which they let the overhand guys play, and rapid schedule expansion diluted the impact of individual pitchers.
5) G. Wright -- Giving him credit for his reputation as the best player in the country in the period 1867-70 before the NA started. The 1869 Washington Nationals were considered the best that year, as were the 1869-1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings; he was a star on each, and the highest paid player on the Red Stockings.
6) G. Gore -- Best CF/OF except for Hines.
7) A. Spalding -- Most consistent pitcher of any of the era's before the 1890's. The salary deals he negotiated persuade me that he's got to be up there close to Barnes and Wright in value; his overall business acumen makes me think he got every dollar he was worth and maybe more.

I find it harder for me to order the guys below here; these are the guys that I might not have in my HOF, but then again I'm a small hall advocate, smaller than the one that exists now. I've tended to go with WARP-3 over DDWS for ranking the other early 1880's players. I give them precedence over the position players for the reasons mentioned above with Radbourn.

8) H. Richardson -- Better career and peak than Dunlap.
9) P. Galvin -- Long career and good peak in a very tough pre-expansion league.
10) J. Whitney -- High peak with a bat that gets ignored.
11) J. Start -- Joe, your arguments in his favor have made me move him up as far as I can justify for somebody with an undocumented peak.
12) F. Dunlap -- Too many 2nd base-men, but there seems to be a shortage of OF's.
13) E. Sutton -- Close decision but almost irrelevant (maybe).
14) N. Williamson -- Close decision but almost irrelevant (maybe).
15) Tommy Bond -- Best pitcher for a brief period of time; probably screwed by the rule change in 1881 that moved the pitcher's box from 45 to 50 feet. Maybe not that hard for a fastballer to adapt but what do you do when your curve ball breaks five feet too soon?

   25. jimd Posted: April 12, 2003 at 03:10 AM (#511961)
Correction. That should say the "1867 Washington Nationals" under George Wright. And I proof-read it too (not very well, mind you).
   26. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: April 13, 2003 at 09:49 PM (#511962)
I'll be honest. I wasn't really keeping up with the discussions here, and then tax season hit and it all went to heck, so I haven't had the chance to prepare as much as I should have. Toss it if you want to, here's my ballot:

1. Deacon White. This is the big positional argument, and I'll come down on the Catchers' side most times.

2. Paul Hines. Definitely an overlooked player, even for this era.

3. George Gore. Maybe he shouldn't be this high, but he put in a long, quality, career.

4. Hoss Radbourn. Yeah, his argument is based on one big season. But A)An argument can be made that it was the BEST season in baseball history, and everybody else in such an argument (Wagner, Ruth, Williams and Bonds are about it in my view) is a shoo-in. This isn't hitting 61 home runs with the true MVP hitting behind you. And B)As has been mentioned, to accomplish this, he significantly hurt his career value. This is truly "taking one for the team" and it should be recognized.

5. Ross Barnes. Here come the infielders. Was a good player without the fair/foul bunt, and there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of the rules.

6. George Wright. A bit hard to slot due to timing, but clearly a great player.

7. Ned Williamson. You know, even if Bill James was 40 places off on Sutton, he's still behind Williamson. I'm not sure you're not overadjusting, Joe.

8. Joe Start. We'll never be sure if he was a late bloomer or overlooked, but what he did was still impressive.

9. Al Spalding. I don't see a reason to believe he couldn't have kept playing, and his pitching numbers are remarkable.

10. Ezra Sutton. It's close with him and Williamson, but it's not quite there.

11. Lip Pike. Okay, at this point I'm basically looking at other ballots and seeing what sounds good. Any comments at this point would be complete BS, so I won't waste your time.
12. Hardy Richardson
13. Cal McVey.
14. Fred Dunlap.
15. Hugh Nicol. OK, I couldn't resist. Has the all time record for SBs in a season (granted, they were counting them differently), and according to Win Shares, he's by far the best defensive RF of all time. And somebody already did Jim Creighton.

I promise in future ballots I will try to be more thorough in my research. For this one I did the best that I could, and I'm comfortable with my top 10.

   27. Esteban Rivera Posted: April 14, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#511964)
Hi, I'm one of those registered members that has not spoken yet. I have been following all discussions for the past four months and here's my ballot:

1. Deacon White - My number one is the Deacon. He was very productive while playing the most demanding positions of his time. Career almost the same length as Hines but a find he was more consistent throughout his entire career. A class person and a definite HOMer.

2. Paul Hines - An exceptional player. Was the first triple crown winner. Was the best player for a stretch and had a great peak.

3. Charles Radbourne - My feelings on Radbourne are exactly the same as those posted on Devin McMullen's ballot. To accomplish what he did in ten years is just awesome.

4. Ross Barnes - The man just flat out dominated in hitting during his first six years. Don't believe in penalizing him for the "fair/foul bunt" because that was how they played it then.

5. George Gore - Basically Paul Hines but without such a dominant peak.

6. Al Spalding - I put Al Spalding here because of his dominance during his time. His hitting was good and, even though he did benefit from having great teammates, that doesn't negate his talent. I mean, the man may have gotten a lot of run support but he was always near the top in ERA. His early retirement keeps him behind Radbourne.

7. George Wright - One of the first great players. Ranks here because of the credit given for his pre-NA years.

8. Joe Start - The arguments in his favor have made me reconsider his original ranking (he was actually 11) and this the highest I was comfortable putting him. Was the best "old" player of his time.

9. Pud Galvin - In an age where pitchers rapidly burned out, he was the Mr. Durable. He might not have been as dominant as other pitchers, but he was very consistent.

10. Cal McVey - Was as great as Deacon White during the time they were in the league together. I actually consider that I have him lower than he should be but because of a shorter career I don't feel comfortable rank him over the others above yet.

11. Ezra Sutton - On the Sutton/Williamson debate I side with Sutton. His overall numbers are better than (N)ed's.

12. Ed Williamson - His name was Ed! Opinion of contemporaries lands him here.

13. Hardy Richardson - Was the top second basemen of his time.

14. Lip Pike - One of the best players in early baseball.

15. Mickey Welch - Managed to be consistent and effective. Not as durable as Galvin.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2003 at 03:48 AM (#511966)
Sorry, Michael D. You can't submit two ballots. :-)
   29. DanG Posted: April 14, 2003 at 05:59 AM (#511967)
It seems pretty much settled as to the four winners. I don?t have as much opportunity to crunch numbers as some others, so I rely greatly on opinions of those who do. I like Joe?s number crunching; I subscribe heavily to Bill James opinion, as well.

I am not confident we have a reliable handle on fielding prowess for this era, so I tend to put less emphasis on it. For instance, I think many voters have Ezra Sutton a tad overrated. Thinking, too, of our legacy, I can?t help but think it might look very strange to most casual observers for Ezra to be in our Hall. It would be hard to encapsulate a convincing/comprehensible explanation of his greatness in a radio interview or on-line chat. Or maybe it?s just the name.

I?m also a little bothered that we never got much in the way of win shares for the NA.

So, working with what we have, here?s my ballot.

1. P. Hines ? James calls him ?the best player in baseball in 1878 and 1879,? and he probably was. I don?t see where White can quite ?ketchup? to a variety such as this.

2. D. White ? A class act on and off the field. The comparison to Biggio is about the closest comp you could find for White, although Biggio wasn?t a catcher for anywhere near as many years.

3. G. Gore ? One of three players since 1876 to score more than a run per game (with Stovey and Hamilton). Bill James? NHBA write-up has only a couple of flip anecdotes, but the numbers are there.

4. Hardy Richardson ? In the NHBA, he?s the highest ranked player, at his position, of any player on our first ballot (#39). Edges over Barnes based on career length and league quality.

5. R. Barnes ? Earlier I said he wasn?t quite top 5 on the first ballot. On second look, I didn?t see anyone else better.

6. H. Radbourn ? James rates him amazingly high, #45 among pitchers. Not a first-ballot guy, but I think he deserves to be one of the 7 or 8 from here who eventually make it. In the end, wouldn?t our Hall look strange without him? He ain?t Galvin or Welch, ya know.

7. G. Wright ? This is based on reputation more than anything. Interestingly, James makes the choice of John Peters as the top NL shortstop 1876-79.

8. Joe Start ? Joe D rates him #3, I respect that a lot but don?t quite buy it. Led league six times in fielding average, back when it meant something.

9. E. Sutton ? James says ?Often cited as the best third baseman of his generation.? I agree with that, but you have to give him a lot of points for his defense to make him a HoMer.

10. A. Spalding ? Difficult to place accurately. I might tend toward a higher ranking for him.

11. C. McVey ? Would be a HoMer if we started electing ten years earlier. Not so sure he isn?t anyway, given the unknowns concerning his post MLB career.

12. N. Williamson ? Must?ve been a joy to watch in the field, as he impressed so many observers. Hitting numbers simply aren?t there.

13. L. Pike ? James names him the fastest player of the 1870?s. Probably why he led the league in HR four times.

14. P. Galvin ? I thought another pitcher should be here. I chose him over Bond because I like long career over peak, in general.

15. D. Pearce ? Credited with inventing bunting, was reputed to be adept at it. Was he the Ozzie Smith of his time? Clearly, a great fielder, and at least useful offensively.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2003 at 03:38 PM (#511968)
I am not confident we have a reliable handle on fielding prowess for this era, so I tend to put less emphasis on it. For instance, I think many voters have Ezra Sutton a tad overrated. Thinking, too, of our legacy, I can?t help but think it might look very strange to most casual observers for Ezra to be in our Hall. It would be hard to encapsulate a convincing/comprehensible explanation of his greatness in a radio interview or on-line chat. Or maybe it?s just the name.

I think many people underrate the position (as they have done for years) before the Eddie Mathews years. How many third basemen have been selected by the HoF before the Mathews era? Collins, Baker, Traynor and Kell (he straddles the two eras). That's pretty pathetic compared to the other positions.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2004 at 11:31 PM (#782129)
All posts reconstructed up to #38. Jim, if you have this ballot, could you send me a copy? My e-mail address is

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks!
   32. jimd Posted: August 07, 2004 at 01:55 AM (#782664)
Sorry, 1898 and 1903 were the two ballots that weren't available through Google when I saved off the ballots in April. I do have a record of who voted for whom from when I was ballot tallying, but no accompanying explanations. Again, sorry.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2004 at 03:45 AM (#782920)
Again, sorry.

And you should be! :-)

Seriously, I'm suprised that you have any of them. We're all thanful that you took the time to save what you do have.

When you find the time, would you mind sending me what you have? I would greatly appreciate. Thanks again!
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 05, 2004 at 03:48 PM (#837863)
Thanks to a "friend of the HoM" (he didn't give me permission to use his name, so I'll keep him anonymous for now), I know of a new site called the Internet Archive which has some threads that Google or JimD don't have. With those three wells to draw from, we should have almost of the posts reconstructed now!

With that said, this thread is fully reconstructed now.
   35. Daryn Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2410768)
I was kind of lurking back in September 2004 and I didn't have my ballot ready until November when I started voting. But, with the new flexibility, I thought I'd get this in. I should have my 1899 ballot ready by the weekend.


1. Paul Hines - I agree with those who say Gore is very close, but in part I want a true pioneer of pro baseball in the No. 1 slot.
2. Deacon White - His peers' admiration gives him a final boost that also includes great stats and the catching bonus.
3. George Gore - I'd be annoyed if he didn't also make the first cut. Great all-around player.
4. Ross Barnes - Sandy Koufax-type batter stats, and we know Sandy's going in 75 years from now. Ignore Bill James's doubts.
5. Joe Start - The first "damn good seemingly forever" player, and there's a lot of Merit to that.
6. George Wright - Hard to measure the numbers, but one of the first legends of the game.
7. Ezra Sutton - Closer than Senor DiMino thinks, but ultimately he goes ahead of Williamson.
8. Ned Williamson - Not Better than Ezra (pun alert), but right up there.
9. Hardy Richardson - All due props to career length and consistency, but doesn't excite me as a clear HOM player.
10. Old Hoss Radbourn - Would like to have a pitcher higher, but these don't deserve it. Throw one Hoss season out, and no way he gets a vote. Can't say that of candidates listed much higher.
11. Pud Galvin - Peak's not much, but I think unique careers are worthy of consideration, and this one was at the time.
12. Charley Jones - Quite the NL/AA slugger, but doubt he'll never make my top 15 again.
13. Lip Pike - Better an early superstar than an 1880s star who we're more sure doesn't belong.
14. Albert Spalding - Maybe I'm harsh, but the stats do show he beat up weak competition.
15. Mickey Welch - It's 1898, and I already know that some nearly-retired SPs were better.

We kid because we love, Joe.
   36. DanG Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2410946)
From Internet Archive, posts from my ballot (#29 above) to the end:

Posted 1:59 a.m., April 14, 2003 (#45) - DanG
It seems pretty much settled as to the four winners. I don?t have as much opportunity to crunch numbers as some others, so I rely greatly on opinions of those who do. I like Joe?s number crunching; I subscribe heavily to Bill James opinion, as well.

I am not confident we have a reliable handle on fielding prowess for this era, so I tend to put less emphasis on it. For instance, I think many voters have Ezra Sutton a tad overrated. Thinking, too, of our legacy, I can?t help but think it might look very strange to most casual observers for Ezra to be in our Hall. It would be hard to encapsulate a convincing/comprehensible explanation of his greatness in a radio interview or on-line chat. Or maybe it?s just the name.

I?m also a little bothered that we never got much in the way of win shares for the NA.

So, working with what we have, here?s my ballot.

1. P. Hines ? James calls him ?the best player in baseball in 1878 and 1879,? and he probably was. I don?t see where White can quite ?ketchup? to a variety such as this.

2. D. White ? A class act on and off the field. The comparison to Biggio is about the closest comp you could find for White, although Biggio wasn?t a catcher for anywhere near as many years.

3. G. Gore ? One of three players since 1876 to score more than a run per game (with Stovey and Hamilton). Bill James? NHBA write-up has only a couple of flip anecdotes, but the numbers are there.

4. Hardy Richardson ? In the NHBA, he?s the highest ranked player, at his position, of any player on our first ballot (#39). Edges over Barnes based on career length and league quality.

5. R. Barnes ? Earlier I said he wasn?t quite top 5 on the first ballot. On second look, I didn?t see anyone else better.

6. H. Radbourn ? James rates him amazingly high, #45 among pitchers. Not a first-ballot guy, but I think he deserves to be one of the 7 or 8 from here who eventually make it. In the end, wouldn?t our Hall look strange without him? He ain?t Galvin or Welch, ya know.

7. G. Wright ? This is based on reputation more than anything. Interestingly, James makes the choice of John Peters as the top NL shortstop 1876-79.

8. Joe Start ? Joe D rates him #3, I respect that a lot but don?t quite buy it. Led league six times in fielding average, back when it meant something.

9. E. Sutton ? James says ?Often cited as the best third baseman of his generation.? I agree with that, but you have to give him a lot of points for his defense to make him a HoMer.

10. A. Spalding ? Difficult to place accurately. I might tend toward a higher ranking for him.

11. C. McVey ? Would be a HoMer if we started electing ten years earlier. Not so sure he isn?t anyway, given the unknowns concerning his post MLB career.

12. N. Williamson ? Must?ve been a joy to watch in the field, as he impressed so many observers. Hitting numbers simply aren?t there.

13. L. Pike ? James names him the fastest player of the 1870?s. Probably why he led the league in HR four times.

14. P. Galvin ? I thought another pitcher should be here. I chose him over Bond because I like long career over peak, in general.

15. D. Pearce ? Credited with inventing bunting, was reputed to be adept at it. Was he the Ozzie Smith of his time? Clearly, a great fielder, and at least useful offensively.

Posted 11:38 a.m., April 14, 2003 (#46) - John Murphy
I am not confident we have a reliable handle on fielding prowess for this era, so I tend to put less emphasis on it. For instance, I think many voters have Ezra Sutton a tad overrated. Thinking, too, of our legacy, I can?t help but think it might look very strange to most casual observers for Ezra to be in our Hall. It would be hard to encapsulate a convincing/comprehensible explanation of his greatness in a radio interview or on-line chat. Or maybe it?s just the name.

I think many people underrate the position (as they have done for years) before the Eddie Mathews years. How many third basemen have been selected by the HoF before the Mathews era? Collins, Baker, Traynor and Kell (he straddles the two eras). That's pretty pathetic compared to the other positions.

Posted 2:55 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#47) - Joe Dimino (e-mail)
The balloting is now closed. I should have the results tabulated by the end of the night.

In response to Dan G's comment, how's this for a sound-byte:

The best 3B of the 19th Century. Extremely long career for the era, with arguably the highest peak of any 3B, which was a key defensive position in the era, much like 2B is today. According to Win Shares, he had 2 of the 3 best years and 3 of the 9 best seasons of any 3B in the 19th Century. Long productive career with a high peak, sounds like a HoMer to me.

As far as it looking strange to casual observers, great, education is a part of this also. That's one of the reasons we started this project, it should by no means dissuade anyone from voting for someone. If anything, it's our responsibility to vote for someone that might look strange (if he's worthy) because we're try to 'right a wrong' here, to take an analogy from one of my favorite television shows, we're leaping back into the bodies of the initial Hall of Fame voters, and 'trying to put right what once went wrong'.

Posted 3:14 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#48) - Joe Dimino (e-mail)
I've counted the votes, and I'm asking someone else to do the same and email me their spreadsheet for a check. We had 29 ballots from the following people:

Howie Menckel
Andrew Siegel
Mark McKinniss
Carl Goetz
Sean Gilman
MattB
Philip
Marc
Rob C
RMc
Rick A.
KJOK
Rob Wood
David
thebigeasy
TomH
Brian Hodes
Adam Schafer
dan b
ed -- phatyou
Joe Dimino
Jeff M
John Murphy
Al Peterson
jimd
Devin McCullen
Michael D
Esteban Rivera
DanG

Only 3 players were named on every ballot. Four others made 28 out of 29. 31 different players received votes, and some were all over the place like Al Spalding receiving at least 1 vote at every position between 2nd and 14th, and being left off 4 ballots entirely.
Hardy Richardson was voted everywhere between 3rd and 14th and left off one ballot. It was a wild election.

Once I get a confirmation from someone else, I'll post the results, although if it comes too late that might not be until tomorrow because I've got to do the taxes tonight.

Posted 3:42 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#49) - Andrew Siegel (e-mail)
Joe--

I'll tabulate the scores now and then send an email with my tallies to you. Does that work for you?

Posted 4:34 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#50) - Joe Dimino (e-mail)
yes it does . . .

Posted 4:37 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#51) - Andrew Siegel
Joe (and everyone)--

Sorry to delay, but I have a child care issue and need to run home. Will be able to turn to this again later tonight. If anyone else has been tabulating or is impatient enough to want to do it yourself, jump in. Otherwise, I'll send my totals to Joe later tonight. Sorry again.

Posted 5:21 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#52) - Rick (An Independent Counter) (e-mail)
Gents, I'm tallying as I type...will forward the results as soon as I'm done (11 ballots in already).

Didn't vote in this election because I can't claim to be an expert. I have, however, mastered the talent of "Addition". At least, my spreadsheet has!

Posted 5:28 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#53) - Rick
And just as I post that, my spreadsheet crashes.

Starting again....

Posted 6:45 p.m., April 14, 2003 (#54) - Rick (e-mail)
It is done! Ballot count sent in....
   37. yest Posted: June 21, 2007 at 08:52 AM (#2411770)
Daryn sorry to bring you back to baseball

leaving out those who were already elected your ballot is

1. Ned Williamson - Not Better than Ezra (pun alert), but right up there.
2. Charley Jones - Quite the NL/AA slugger, but doubt he'll never make my top 15 again.
3. Mickey Welch - It's 1898, and I already know that some nearly-retired SPs were better.

leaving out those who weren't eligable here's your 2000 ballot
1. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data shows those wins are real. Compares

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