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

Sunday, June 15, 2003

1903 Ballot

Balloting for 1903 is open, a little early since a few voters are going on vacation this week . . .

I know the rules allow a Cap Anson no-vote this week. But I don’t encourage that at all. He was a product of his time.

And looking at some other things he did off the field, I found this in the NHBA:

Bill James basically gives him most of the credit for saving the game in the late 1870s. Anson organized the practice of raiding other leagues, not other teams in the league. This forced other teams in the league to follow suit, and the National League rose to the top, becoming the true major league. Also:

“. . . Anson made baseball immensely popular in Chicago, which was the league’s largest and most important city. In the NL’s first years, the schedule was getting shorter, the league was getting smaller, and the cities in the league were growing more remote. The game was dying. Cap Anson is the man who really changed that - not all by himself, but more than anyone else.”

I’m not saying he deserves any ‘extra credit’ for this on a ballot, but it should help to offset any moral issues one might have with him. Paraphrasing what someone said on the 1903 discussion thread, think long and hard before penalizing a Jim Crow from a Jim Crow time.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 15, 2003 at 11:53 PM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. dan b Posted: June 16, 2003 at 02:21 AM (#514200)
It?s January 1903 and here in Pittsburg we are still excited about the great Pirate team that won The League by 27.5 games! Bring on those upstarts from the American League. And how about a vote for Louis Bierbauer, now that he is eligible, for giving our team a better name than the Alleghenys.

Having just picked up Alfred Spink?s The National Game at Half-Price Books, here are some ?great? quotes from his 1911 history. With Anson and Connor replacing Brouthers and Ewing at the top of my ballot, refer to my 1902 ballot for my comments.
   2. MattB Posted: June 16, 2003 at 02:32 AM (#514201)
I concur with Joe. I encourage everyone else to vote for Cap Anson . . . so I don't have to next week.

1. Roger Connor -- #1 on my ballot with a 1906 start date, so obviously #1 in any individual year before that.

2. Joe Start (2) ? Holding strong at #2. Those who think there is "insufficient data" on Start before 1871 is not looking hard enough.

3. Pud Galvin (4) ? the more I think about Galvin, the more I think he's the best pitcher on the board. Better than Spalding, better than Radbourn, and probably better than the rest of the hitters.

4. Jack Glasscock (6) -- Head to head against Sutton, it looks like Glassock wins, so I'm giving him a bump.

5. Al Spalding (7) ? best early pitcher

6. Ezra Sutton (3) - I can see third base being more important relative to second, but not more important relative to today. The best third baseman of his time, but how important is that, really?

7. Charlie Bennett (11) ? He's the clearly the best catcher on the board. Solid comparison to a HoMer (Ewing) helps his standing.

8. Bob Caruthers (5)

9. Harry Stovey (10) -- I'm giving him less of an AA discount and bumping him one notch.

10. Hardy Richardson (9)

11. Charley Radbourn (12)

12. Pete Browning (13) ? Ranks #13 All Time in OPS+. The only eligible person to rank higer was Dan Brouthers. His career was a great peak. Give him some decline phase to get his PA's up and he'd be even higher.

13. Sam Thompson (T15) ? Still don't see him as better than Browning.

14. Cal McVey (T15)

T15. Lip Pike

T15. George Stovey (14) ? One year omission of Cap Anson gives me one more year for George Stovey, which I find appropriate.
   3. favre Posted: June 16, 2003 at 04:00 AM (#514202)
Brouthers and Ewing were my top choices last year. I've made comments when I have made changes.

1. Cap Anson (LY:N/A) Unbelievable career. He played his last game 103 years ago, and he is still seventh all time in hits, seventh all time in runs, and third all time in RBI's (including NA stats).

I'm not sure what to make of his role in segregating baseball. I agree that the game likely would have been segregated no matter what he did. Still, segregation in the nineteenth century wasn't a random force of nature, like a tornado or drought. Nor was it some inevitable occurrence of history. It was the result of a series of conscious choices, like Anson's decision to boycott games. A lot of people agreed with him, true. Nevertheless, given the publicity they received, his threats certainly seemed to make an impact.

My suggestion is this: On his plaque in the HoM, note that his threats to boycott games with African-American players helped segregate the major leagues. His decision helped reduce the quality of the game for sixty years (which gives the HoM a right to comment on it, IMO)--not to mention dehumanized and devalued thousands of people.

On with the ballot:

2. Roger Connor (LY:N/A)
   4. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 16, 2003 at 06:37 AM (#514204)
1. Cap Anson (NR) - A giant figure who casts a long shadow on baseball history.

2. Roger Connor (NR) - A step below Dan Brouthers in the same way that John Stockton was a step below Magic Johnson.

3. Joe Start (3) - Was excellent in the twilight of his career, doing enough to suggest that he was a great player in the 1860s. The fact that he was that good while playing in the National League from the age of 33 to 43 is simply amazing, especially considering the rough-and-tumble world of 19th century baseball. He also gets a bit of (subjective) extra credit as one of the game's first stars.

4. Jack Glasscock (4) - The Alan Trammell of 19th century shortstops. Had a long, consistent career with about six All Star-type seasons. Career OPS+ of 112 and an A- defender according to Win Shares. Didn't quite have the peak to be Top Three with a bullet, so I'm slotting him here. In any event, a deserving HOMer.

5. Pete Browning (10) - After reading the biography on Browning that was posted in the 1903 ballot discussion, I became convinced that his career was one of the most courageous in baseball history.

The mastoiditis that affected him led to an early death for Browning, with the pain so intense that it drove him to madness and alcoholism. To play through that and absolutely dominate as he did (.341 AVG, 162 OPS+) is simply amazing. Ignore the defense, ignore the American Association discount, read the biography.

6. Charlie Bennett (6) - The first full-time catcher to have a real career. Very good with the bat at his best and great behind the plate. From 1881 to 1888, he was a complete player. The best defensive catcher to date.

7. Ezra Sutton (7) - Long, productive career. He was a very good hitter and very good fielder at an important defensive position. I like Andrew Siegel's quote about Sutton: "We are measuring value, not conformity to a stereotypical career path."

8. Cal McVey (NR) - Tore the cover off of the ball for nine seasons (152 OPS+) before heading out west. Absolutely owned his leagues on some great teams. He's probably the player who benefits the most from my reevaluating of pitchers.

9. Hardy Richardson (8) - He only comes in below Sutton because he played a less important defensive position. Otherwise, a heavy hitter and slick fielder. There are those who could argue for Richardson over Sutton, and they wouldn't be wrong. I just wish he played more second base.

10. Harry Stovey (9) - One of the few 19th century players who could take a walk. He was a complete offensive player in the mold of Bobby Abreu. His 1891 season in the National League, where he put up a 141 OPS+ at the age of 34, showed that his American Association accomplishments have more meat in them than other players in that era.

Another thing I looked at was that Stovey was quite likely the best basestealer among eligible players (excepting Arlie Latham). He stole 68 bases the first year they kept track of the statistic, at the age of 29. He stole at least 40 bases over the next six years, with a career high of 97 in 1890. Since the stolen base was a much more valuable offensive weapon than it was in the modern era, this can only be a big plus in Stovey's favor.

11. Sam Thompson (10) - It was really tough to not look at his RBI column and completely fall in love with his candidacy. But when you look past the tasty counting stats, there's not a whole lot of there there. His bat alone (146 OPS+) does not necessarily make him a lead pipe cinch for induction, and that's basically all he has. He was a decent baserunner (seven years of at least 20 steals) and was a butcher in the outfield, actually ranking worse than Pete Browning, according to Defensive Win Shares.

12. Pud Galvin (NR) - I slagged him for "pitching like Kirk Rueter" for several seasons, but it turns out that Galvin was hurt by his defenses as much as Radbourn was helped by his. His adjERA+ is 114, matching Radbourn. He had perhaps the best season in 19th-century pitching in 1884 (636 IP, 174 adjERA+).

And his peak, surprisingly enough, is better than Radbourn's.

Galvin's six best seasons:

1881---474 IP---128 adjERA+
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 16, 2003 at 07:57 AM (#514206)
(please excuse the repeat info)

Here's my ballot. Again, I use a combination of peak and career for the rankings. I also view each position on an equal basis. This doesn't mean that I have a quota to fill each position for my top ten. Sometimes a position will not have a viable candidate for a certain "year."

1) Cap Anson (n/a): As I rank them, Anson is the greatest player of the 19th century. Maybe not at peak, but 27 years is too much too ignore (and his peak was damn good).

Yeah, he was a racist jackass (try comparing him with Cobb - Ty looks like an NAACP member!), but Jim Crow was going to come regardless.

Best third baseman for 1872 and 1877. Best first baseman for 1873, 1880 and 1881

2) Ezra Sutton (4): Simply the best at the position for the 19th century when combining peak and career. Best third baseman for 1875 (probably), 1883, 1884 and 1885. Almost the best first baseman behind McVey for 1876.

As has been stated before, third base at the time was more of a defensive position than second base. Offense at the "hot corner" has to be analyzed with that in mind. Third basemen tended to get beat up more than they do today so their career numbers seem truncated as compared to some of the other positions.

3) Roger Connor (n/a): What an era for first baseman! This guy was an undeniable great, but I have him behind Anson and Brouthers.

Best third baseman for 1880. Best first baseman for 1885, 1886 and 1888

4) Jack Glasscock (5): I have him basically tied with Wright, except he's more career value than Wright (and George is more peak).

Best shortstop for 1882, 1886, and 1889.

5) Al Spalding (3): The defense theory holds water for me, so I moved Spalding down a little for now. I'm still not confident how much the defense backing him helped him, so he stays here until further notice.

If you don't give credit for his pre-NA work, then that would be the only way you could consider his career short.

6) Cal McVey (6): Awesome player. I gave him credit for his pre-NA work, though I still decided not to give him any for post-NL. This might be unfair of me and I might decide later to include his career out west (does anyone have any info for this time of McVey's career?).

Never had an off year in the NA or NL. Best offensive catcher for the NA (possibly the best all-around). Best first baseman for 1876 (possibly 1879). Best catcher for 1877. Best third baseman for 1878.

7) Dickey Pearce (7): Really revolutionized the position of shortstop. All-around player at the position. Considered the best before George Wright. Caught many games as a catcher (even was an All-Star at the position one year). Even with my conservative evaluation, he has to rank near the top. He played for over twenty years in the best leagues or on the best teams of the 1850s and '60s. Even though his NA and NL was meager (he was 35 in '71), he still had the most value after 35 until Dahlen and Davis, FWIW.

If we are including pre-NA players, I can't see how anyone could leave him off their ballots, IMO.

I'm not giving him any credit here for the bunt, BTW.

8) Hardy Richardson (8): Greatest player who played a great deal at second for the 1880s (Fred Dunlap probably had the most value strictly at the position). Best leftfielder for 1886. Best second baseman for 1887 and 1889.

9) Joe Start (9): Considered the best first baseman for the 1860s. Considering how old he was when he joined the NA and how well he did, that evaluation seems to hold water. Best first baseman for 1871, 1878 and 1879.

10) Charlie Bennett (10): Strictly as a catcher, extremely comparable to Buck Ewing value wise (though based more on career than peak value). Best catcher for 1881, 1882 and 1883. Most durable catcher up to that time (catchers absorbed much more abuse than they do today).

11) Levi Meyerle (11): I have been underrating him greatly. Great player, but short career. An injury forced him out of the NL. Best third baseman for the NA. I also gave him some credit for the period 1867-1870.

12) Ed Williamson (12): Best third baseman for the 80s. Best third baseman for 1881.

13) Fred Dunlap (13): Most value as a second baseman for the 1880s (though McPhee and Richardson were still the better players career wise). Best second baseman for 1880, 1881 and 1884.

14) Lip Pike (14): Considered the fastest man of his time. Best centerfielder for 1874, 1875 and 1876. Best rightfielder for 1871. Star second and third baseman for half of the 1860s. He might deserve to move up.

15) Old Hoss Radbourn (15): Possibly could be rated the number one pitcher of the 19th century, but I need more information. At any rate, he deserves at least a mention.

I didn't have time to go over Pud Galvin's and Candy Cumming's merits (which have increased in my eyes) further, so they stay off my ballot for now.

Newly eligible Denny Lyon is like Stovey, Browning and Thompson: Terrific player, but needs a few more years of quality play to make my ballot.
   6. Philip Posted: June 16, 2003 at 11:50 AM (#514207)
1. Anson (-) -- I had a very tough time choosing between Connor and Anson. Connor was a better hitter and fielder than Anson but being a star a decade longer gives Anson the slightest edge.
   7. RobC Posted: June 16, 2003 at 12:51 PM (#514208)
My ballot went under some reorganization even since my prelim ballot this "year". Still primarily favor career over peak, but I have reordered some guys. I divided my groups up smaller, anyone within the same group is effectively interchangeable within the group. And probably will be interchanged as time goes forward.

1. Cap Anson - The first 3 guys are clear cut in their own class. No
   8. Rusty Priske Posted: June 16, 2003 at 01:14 PM (#514209)
1. Cap Anson (new)- I am here to rate baseball players, not human beings. Sure he was a scumbag, but so were a lot of other guys who are going to get my votes as well. It is unfortunate, but that's just the way it is.

2. Roger Connor (new)- This was the biggest decision I made this week. Right up until I typed his name, I wanted to put Hoss here.

3. Old Hoss Radbourne (2)- The most overlooked player so far.

4. Pud Galvin (3)- And Pud would be second. I am amazed that so many people realized that Pud was nearly as good as Hoss, so lowered Hoss. Hoss deserves his spot, the Pud comparisons just move Galvin up.

5. Joe Start (15) - My biggest adjustment of the week as I have been convinced of his accomplishments.

6. Jack Glasscock (4) - I don't think everyone who is putting him at 3 is overrating, rather they are underrating the previously mentioned pitchers.

7. Hardy Richardson (8)

8. Bob Caruthers (5) - Bob lacks staying power and begins to slide...

9. Harry Stovey (7)

10. Sam Thompson (14) - A little bump, but not enough to get in.

11. Mickey Welch (9)

12. Tony Mullane (10)

13. Silver King (new) - An overlooked newcomer, but he doesn't deserve induction regardless.

14. Jim McCormick (11)

15. Ezra Sutton (13)
   9. karlmagnus Posted: June 16, 2003 at 01:52 PM (#514211)
This repeats last week?s analysis, normalizing to 130 games played ? I think 140?s a bit high, doesn?t allow for injuries and 130 also leaves room for small ?errors? adjustment per game. Moved McVey up a bit, Caruthers down a bit.

I think I?ve figured out a way to handle the 1870s/1880s comparison. If you ?normalize? all careers to modern standards, assuming that each player played 140 (now 130) games per season in the ?core? of his career (knock off most ?breaking in? seasons and any that are obviously ?playing out the string? and then add them back after normalizing) then you get figures for hits that compare reasonably with modern hits figures, and with those from 1890 on. This still doesn?t solve the problem of Harry Wright and Dickey Pearce, who were 35-36 in 1871, but it gives a good metric for Start, Pike and McVey.
   10. Carl Goetz Posted: June 16, 2003 at 03:58 PM (#514212)
Here we go:
   11. jimd Posted: June 16, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#514213)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

1) R. Connor -- Anson played in the best hitters park in the league. Brouthers played predominantly in hitter's parks. New York was a pitcher's park. Contemporaries may have been fooled by the park illusions involved; modern analysis says that Roger was more valuable than Dan after park-effects and defense are factored in.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 16, 2003 at 06:54 PM (#514217)
(7) Ezra Sutton -- his funk during what should have been his peak age 27-29 years really hurts him; even slightly above average offense in those years would have pushed him to #3/#4.

Jason, why does it matter that his "peak" years were not his best seasons (they were actually about average for a third baseman, BTW)? Besides, knowing what he did do during his career, he probably was playing injured.
   13. Rick A. Posted: June 16, 2003 at 08:09 PM (#514218)
1. Cap Anson (n/a) ? Incredibly long and brilliant career.
   14. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 16, 2003 at 10:21 PM (#514221)
Joe - I looked at the Constitution thread and it doesn't mention anything about injury. I liken his situation to that of Lou Gehrig, who had an outstanding career, the last five to ten years of which were likely spent playing through ALS.

The SABR Bio Project on Browning's condition:

"On May 12 (1884), while the team was on the road, Browning underwent major surgery for the first time for mastoiditis, an inflammation of the mastoid process. Located behind the ears and connected to the temporal bones that run along both sides of the head, the mastoid process are two honeycomb-like areas that occasionally aid the ear by acting as a surplus receiving area for violent sound vibrations that the ear cannot handle by itself, such as a sudden, nearby explosion.

"For nearly his entire life, Browning was plagued by mastoidal problems. The impact of this malady is significant. It robbed Browning of his hearing. Because he could not hear, he refused to go to school out of frustration and embarrassment; the lack of schooling made him a virtual illiterate. The resulting sense of isolation, coupled with the savage physical discomfort attendant to the condition, fueled his uncontrollable drinking. It also prompted his commitment to an insane asylum, and was a major factor in his early death --both the product of a brain infection. In short, the mastoiditis was responsible for all his personal and professional problems."


I think that calling this condition "part of his skill set" glosses over how debilitating it really was and minimizes what an amazing accomplishment it was for Browning to play HOM-caliber ball while going through this.

I can understand your cautiousness for projecting what-if scenarios for players like Joe Wood and J.R. Richard, but what we have here is clear evidence of a body of work that is arguably worth HOM enshrinement and clear evidence as to the effects of Browning's condition.
   15. Brad Harris Posted: June 17, 2003 at 12:26 AM (#514225)
1. Cap Anson - how much of this is predisposition, I dunno, but I'm comfortable putting him here.
   16. jimd Posted: June 17, 2003 at 01:32 AM (#514226)
Clint, sorry but your ballot is irregular; you've got two 11's.

My Glasscock argument goes as follows: Win Shares seems to overrate the pitchers of this era due to it's (practically) constant allocation of 2/3'rds of the defensive credit to the pitching staff. If you deemphasize the pitching (so that it's now 50%, 40%, 33%, pick your number), then the fielding has to pick up that slack. Who are the main benificiaries of that? Catchers, shortstops, 3rd-basemen. Bennett, Glasscock, Sutton, not Thompson or Browning. Those defensive wins have to be credited to somebody, so superb defense means more in this era than it does later.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 17, 2003 at 05:07 AM (#514227)
The problem with Sutton is that he just doesnt quite have enough good years to match up with Glasscock and Richardson. The timing of his career slump doesnt matter; the fact that it caused lower career value than if he had good performances in those years does.

Thanks for the clarification, Jason. I've seen statements about Sutton's off seasons during his supposed peak in other posts and never understood the concept.

Since you have him at #7, you're wouldn't be classified as an Enemy of Ezra Sutton, anyway.
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 17, 2003 at 05:19 AM (#514228)
However, Browning produced these stats while fighting an illness that caused him severe pain, sickness and eventual death. That gives him a boost, in my mind, out of my virtual tie and over Thompson and Stovey.

I don't know what Joe will say, but I have no problem with your tiebreaker technique.
   19. Rob Wood Posted: June 17, 2003 at 05:58 AM (#514229)
My 1903 ballot:

1. Cap Anson - best ever 19th century player
   20. Sean Gilman Posted: June 17, 2003 at 06:54 AM (#514230)
Not a lot of changes for me:

1903

1. Cap Anson (-)--career value advantage over Connor bigger than Connor's peak advantage.

2. Roger Connor(-)--great player.

3. Ezra Sutton (2)--ahead of Glasscock on career (if you count the NA) and peak (even if you don't).

4. Jack Glasscock (3)--Ahead of Richardson on defense.

5. Hardy Richardson (5)--Hope he makes it someday.

6. Joe Start (6)--lower peak than Richardson, more career than McVey.

7. Cal McVey (7)--I like the Ross Barnes comparison a lot. Of course, Barnes just made my personal HOM in 1901.

8. Lip Pike (8)--Not as good in the NA as McVey, but better before. Some credit for McVey's post-NL career moves him ahead.

9. Harry Stovey (9)--Much closer to 15 than to 8. He's got career value on Thompson, Browning, et al even after correcting for the clerical error, the advantage is just a little bit smaller though.

10. Charley Radbourn (10)--Got career and peak edge on Caruthers and competition (and defense) edge on Spalding. Still think he's Dwight Gooden though.

11. Charlie Bennett (11)--I'm more sure that Bennett was a great player than I am that Spalding was. Great defense at catcher moves him ahead of the Outfielder/Pitcher Glut.

12. Pete Browning (12)--Browning and Thompson and Tiernan and Jones all look identical to me. Browning's got a peak and a slight defensive (but probably only because he played center, he did play center right?) edge on Thompson.

13. Sam Thompson (13)--He's got competition advantages on Stovey and Browning, but a significantly lower peak than both, a big career value gap between him and Stovey and slightly less defensive value than Browning.

14. Al Spalding (14)--Here for his hitting and the adulation of his peers. This low because of the defense behind him, the hitters on his team compared to the competition and the amount of credit I give pitching vs. fielding in the pre-93 era.

15. Bob Caruthers (15)--Hitting and peak moves him ahead of Galvin, who (whom?) I just can't seem to keep on a ballot.
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: June 17, 2003 at 12:35 PM (#514233)
There is a huge difference between giving someone an edge as a tiebreaker due to the conditions he played under, and projecting a player out into production he "would have gotten" if it wasn't for his illness/injury/whatever. (Though someone is "normalizing" games played per season, which is just as odd, as far as I'm concerned)
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2003 at 02:12 PM (#514234)
1903 ballot, all notes from the wondrous baseballlibrary.com.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 17, 2003 at 02:53 PM (#514235)
(Though someone is "normalizing" games played per season, which is just as odd, as far as I'm concerned)

Well, if you don't do some type of normalization, you wind up ignoring the 1870s guys (which is even odder).
   24. Rusty Priske Posted: June 17, 2003 at 03:01 PM (#514236)
Not so. I just assess the players in the context of when they played. I don't try to change thier numbers to act as if they played in a different format.

We, of course, have to estimate what a player put up when we have no stats. That is very different than giving a player credit for things he didn't actually do.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 17, 2003 at 03:16 PM (#514237)
Not so. I just assess the players in the context of when they played. I don't try to change thier numbers to act as if they played in a different format.

Basically, that's what I do, so I think we are in agreement after all. As long as the shorter schedule guys don't fall by the wayside, I'm satisfied.
   26. Rick A. Posted: June 17, 2003 at 04:43 PM (#514239)
Yeah that's fine Rick . . . I hope you see why I brought it up though. I agree that it's a reasonable tiebreaker, but really things like that shouldn't be any more than a tiebreaker.

Joe,
   27. RobC Posted: June 17, 2003 at 05:52 PM (#514240)
I am declaring my above ballot void, mostly due to reasons of temporary insanity. Joe and whoever else is ballot tallying, ignore post #10, this is my real ballot. It wont affect who gets in, or any of the top 4 vote getters, but I wouldnt want to defend that ballot.

The changes are a moving up of Start/Browning/Stovey with a moving down of Dunlap/McCormick/Williamson/Whitney (who moves off).
   28. Rusty Priske Posted: June 17, 2003 at 05:57 PM (#514241)
Hey Joe, I remember that somebody was sending their votes directly to you. Any chance you could post those for those of us playing along with the home game?
   29. MattB Posted: June 18, 2003 at 02:15 AM (#514246)
I accept that the Anson boycott is not really gaining any momentum (it so far consists of just me), but I unilaterally reject the notion that Anson was just a "product of his time."

HoMer Monte Ward attempted to sign George Stovey. Moses Walker played major league baseball. This was not a publicity stunt or a freak occurrence. These were decisions made by individuals attempting to improve their teams.

I can understand that, entering the game in a time when the color line has been imposed, you have to actually break an understood rule (written or unwritten) to hire a black person. In the 1870s, there was no such rule. Jim Crow laws were not the immediate result of the end of the Civil War. There was a period of Reconstruction in there were Southern states elected black men to Congress. Individual people in each state decided to put an end to that, and President Johnson let them. But it was not inevitable.

So, I can understand saying a manager like John McGraw was just a product of his time -- there was a color line in place when he managed, and he abided by it. But when Anson played, there was no color line. In a world with more Monte Wards, there might never have been one. But Anson's refusing to play against teams with black players (of course he was not the only one, or even in the minority, but he was the most prominent) helped to legitimize its imposition. The world is made up of large groups and movements, but also of great individuals. And I can imagine that, in a time of flux, one Cap Anson standing up and saying that he would play against (or even on) integrated teams could have made a difference.
   30. Silver King Posted: June 18, 2003 at 05:45 AM (#514248)
I've been following along - very interested - and learning a lot.

N/A Cap Anson - a first-ballot HoMer, except that he's also
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:14 AM (#514249)
James has Glasscock ninth among the shortstops we've seen so far by 1903: Wagner (#1), Davis (#14), Jennings (#18), Dahlen (#21), Tinker (#33), Long (#34), Ward (#35), Wallace (#36), Glasscock (#43).

Glasscock was better than Long and Ward; probably better than Tinker; comparable to Wallace and Jennings (by my seat-of-the-pants ranking). The probables and comparables could change.

Wagner, Davis and Dahlen were definitely better.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:38 AM (#514250)
BTW, what the hell is Larry Bowa doing next to Glasscock in the NBHA?
   33. MattB Posted: June 18, 2003 at 01:06 PM (#514254)
Silver King wrote:

"15. Silver King - one of the outstanding seasons of all time!
   34. DanG Posted: June 18, 2003 at 01:31 PM (#514255)
Silver King wrote:
   35. DanG Posted: June 18, 2003 at 04:36 PM (#514257)
The all-hilarious-name team? Now ya got me thinkin'.

Here's a few I like:

Van Lingle Mungo (of course)
   36. Marc Posted: June 18, 2003 at 04:42 PM (#514259)
actually, Joe posting Marc's proxy ballot:

> For 1903 I still generally like peak value and I try to respect
   37. Silver King Posted: June 18, 2003 at 05:18 PM (#514261)
Argh, you're right, I misremembered some stuff I'd read and confused Force with another guy, temporarily creating a mysterious stud out of both of them. Tsk! Here's the fixed list, with Force dropped out and Spalding popping in.

1. Connor
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 05:22 PM (#514262)
<i>Sorry, I can't get
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 05:24 PM (#514263)
Argh, you're right, I misremembered some stuff I'd read and confused Force with another guy, temporarily creating a mysterious stud out of both of them.

Were you thinking of Dickey Pearce?
   40. MattB Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:09 PM (#514265)
John re: 1884

"Sutton was easily the best third baseman in baseball for that year (Dude Esterbrook was second best, but comfortably behind Ezra). Doesn't that mean something?"

Not to quibble, but Ned Williamson was easily the best third baseman in baseball in 1884. Besides being comparable offensively, Williamson recorded about one more out per game. (Sutton may have had his worst year defensively in 1884). Meanwhile, in the AA Pete Browning played more third base than any other position. I'd say he's tied with Sutton for second that year.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:09 PM (#514266)
It took John 6 minutes . . . who won the pool?

LOL

BTW, Force was a fair/foul guy. Unlike Barnes, he didn't have his extra base power, so he became Superman after touching a piece of gold Kryptonite.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:31 PM (#514268)
Not to quibble, but Ned Williamson was easily the best third baseman in baseball in 1884. Besides being comparable offensively, Williamson recorded about one more out per game. (Sutton may have had his worst year defensively in 1884). Meanwhile, in the AA Pete Browning played more third base than any other position. I'd say he's tied with Sutton for second that year.

1884 is the year that Chicago went homer crazy. Baseballreference.com underrates the park effects greatly. The White Stockings hit 131 homeruns at home, but 11 away. Big Ed himself hit 25 at home, but 2 away. I'll take Sutton the hitter that year easily.

As for Ezra's defense, that is debatable. Win Shares looks on favorably. I'm more confident of WS than BP with that category.

The only way Browning could be considered better than Sutton that year if you don't take into account the Gladiator's league.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:33 PM (#514269)
The only way Browning could be considered better than Sutton that year if you don't take into account the Gladiator's league.

I meant to say even, not better.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:35 PM (#514270)
My daughter was born on Friday the 13th,

Congratulations! No bad luck for you that day, JP. :-D
   45. MattB Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:47 PM (#514271)
I'll give you that the homers inflated Williamson's slugging, and Sutton might have a slight advantage, but in defense it's not even close.

Look at range factor, which, while it doesn't address opportunity, gives a good look at value.

Ned Williamson had 3.75 put outs or assists per game, Sutton had 2.77. Williamson turned 25 double plays, compared to 7 for Sutton.

I don't recall my WS formula for third basemen in the 19th century, offhand, but does it weigh errors heavily? Williamson seems to have many more errors -- likely on balls that Sutton wasn't coming anywhere near.

Williamson's defensive edge more than makes up for the downsizing of Williamson's offensive edge.
   46. MattB Posted: June 18, 2003 at 06:56 PM (#514272)
And congratulations, JP!

My second girl is due next month.
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 07:00 PM (#514273)
Look at range factor, which, while it doesn't address opportunity, gives a good look at value.

Range factor? James doesn't even use that anymore.

WS gives Sutton 5.8 for fielding, while Williamson gets 4.9. Overall, Sutton receives 28, while Big Ed receives 19. That's a big gap to make up defensively.

I don't recall my WS formula for third basemen in the 19th century, offhand, but does it weigh errors heavily?

Not that I'm aware of. For the record, Win Shares rates Williamson the better of the two career wise.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 07:02 PM (#514274)
My second girl is due next month.

Good luck, Matt!
   49. Silver King Posted: June 18, 2003 at 07:38 PM (#514276)
re: Force/Pearce

Yeah, that's who I was confusing/combining. But when I rechecked Pearce, I couldn't quite commit to him in my top 15 this time. In future after more thought/reading, I'll rereevaluate him.

All my other guys I had careful comparative notes'n'notations on, but I did Force outa memory figuring there wasn't much 'evidence' anyway. Stoopid memory.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2003 at 07:39 PM (#514277)
The talk of new daughters (mine, btw, is 10 months) leads me to renew my suggestion that we set up a thread where we list age, family, occupation, hometown, favorite team, etc., so that we can get to know something about the people we are spending so much time with.

Belated congratulations to you, Andrew!

I'd like to give some information about myself... but then I would have to kill you.
   51. DanG Posted: June 19, 2003 at 01:17 PM (#514284)
Because you asked, Tom, here are the next five years of newbies as I have them. I've added in some basic info:

Win Shares - WARP3 - Rookie Year - Position - Year Died

***1904 (July 6)
   52. RobC Posted: June 19, 2003 at 01:32 PM (#514285)
I will post new eligibles over on the discussion thread, 1904-1908.

Secretariat was better at 1.5 miles. Next.
   53. MattB Posted: June 19, 2003 at 04:40 PM (#514288)
Joe, I do not follow your logic at all.

Win Shares is supposed to me a measure of value, not ability.

If Sutton got fewer chances because his pitchers struck out more people, and Williamson got more chances because his pitchers gave up more ground ball outs, wouldn't that give Ned more defensive Win Shares than Ezra? Sutton may have had more intrinsic skill in turning balls hit to him into outs, but that is not what WS is intending to measure. Williamson got more opportunities and turned many of them into outs. I don't see how that could possibly result in Sutton having more defensive WS.
   54. MattB Posted: June 19, 2003 at 05:51 PM (#514291)
I'm just not following your logic, Joe.

I added up the various range factors of Boston and Chicago.

For Boston, I got 35.95, for Chicago I got 37.77. Chicago got almost 2 more (assists + put outs) per game. Obviously, then, the defensive "pie" for Chicago should be larger.

Sutton was responsible for 2.77/35.95 of the (A+PO), or 7.7%.

Williamson was responsible for 3.75/37.77 of the (A+PO) or 9.9%.

Williamson therefore contributed toward a larger percentage of a larger pie. Both team had only right-handed pitchers, so there was no L/R tendencies. Their shortstops had nearly identical raw RF. We don't know their relative opportunities.

I am confounded as to how Win Shares could confer more defensive value to Sutton in 1884.
   55. DanG Posted: June 19, 2003 at 05:51 PM (#514292)
1903 Ballotte

1) Anson: ?Commissioner? Anson?s influence on events of the day is overblown by some, IMO. Beyond his stellar play, his undeniable leadership contributed to his teams? success.
   56. MattB Posted: June 19, 2003 at 06:00 PM (#514293)
And the HoMie for "Longest Ballot" goes to . . .
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 19, 2003 at 06:07 PM (#514294)
And the HoMie for "Longest Ballot" goes to . . .

It was worth it, though (especially the Lip Pike info).
   58. DanG Posted: June 19, 2003 at 06:20 PM (#514295)
I'd like to thank all the little people who made this possible...except I can't because I did it all myself.
   59. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 19, 2003 at 10:25 PM (#514297)
Sorry to jump ahead to next year, but does anyone think Amos Rusie is first-ballot? Personally, I have him third on my preliminary ballot.
   60. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 20, 2003 at 04:43 AM (#514300)
When given the chance, I will vote for Shoeless Joe on the first ballot. He was at least the equal to Cap Anson on the field. The difference in my opinion, is that Joe was an uneducated, unintelligent "follower", who, was not guilty of plotting or even carrying out any wrongdoing. If anything, he went along for the ride.

I'll vote for Shoeless Joe here (I wouldn't for the HoF), but when did Jackson become a blithering idiot? Just because he wasn't able to read doesn't mean that he was a moron. He was considered an intelligent player by his peers.

He knew right from wrong. He chose wrong. He paid the price.
   61. Jeff M Posted: June 20, 2003 at 01:34 PM (#514301)
Ballot (without repeating previous comments):

1. ROGER CONNOR -- An easy choice, and second only to Anson. For purposes of voting, I don't buy the argument that Anson was "a product of his time." I'm sure we are voting for other players who felt the same as Anson, but Anson was in a position to do something about it. He was a leader of his time, and he set a precedent that took years to undo. Anson is #1 next year (by rule), but for this ballot he's out. I know this omission doesn't teach anybody a lesson, but it makes me feel better. :)

2. HOSS RADBOURNE -- I continue to value him highly and hope this is the year he gets in.

3. HARRY STOVEY -- I've said 'bout all I can about the inflated AA discounts I've seen.

4. EZRA SUTTON -- An illustration of how ballots change. This guy was skimming the bottom of my first ballot. I was wrong. I'm always surprised to see Williamson mentioned in his company. Williamson was a great defender, but defense is still a relatively small part of the game...even during that time period. Defense certainly doesn't trump hitting in any era.

5. SAM THOMPSON

6. JACK GLASSCOCK -- I'm not as impressed as some others with his hitting, but defense was damned good.

7. BOB CARUTHERS

8. CAL MCVEY

9. AL SPALDING

10. JIM MCCORMICK

11. PETE BROWNING -- My HOM line is either after Browning or Galvin

12. PUD GALVIN

13. JOE START

14. TONY MULLANE -- virtually indistinguishable from other pitchers like Welch.

15. MICKEY WELCH
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: June 20, 2003 at 10:04 PM (#514302)
My ballot -- sorry it's on the late end, been vacationing. Comments only on changes from last time.

1. Cap Anson (nr). Probably the best pre-1900 player. His handling of race has serious negative consequences for MLB, but that's not what HoM is evaluating.
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 21, 2003 at 05:17 AM (#514304)
I should have directed the "blithering idiot" comment to others in the media who have portrayed Jackson as a simpleton who didn't know what was happening around him. I don't buy it, but I'll vote for him anyway when his name pops up.

As for Anson, I have no problem with your protest. I think he was pond scum, so I won't cry that his vote % will be lower than it should have been. I still think Jim Crow was going to come to baseball with or without Anson (as it happened to all other sports).
   64. Al Peterson Posted: June 21, 2003 at 02:07 PM (#514305)
For the 1903 ballot. Limiting comments since others have done a good job of reviewing the players.

1. Roger Conner(-). Taking the shorter career with higher peak.
   65. Adam Schafer Posted: June 22, 2003 at 01:02 AM (#514306)
my ballot remains relatively unchanged, except for the additions of anson and connor. i've been a bit out of the loop this week as i've been without internet. check my previous ballot for explanations on each player.

1. Cap Anson (n/a) - simply the best. i can't help but love a career like his

2. Al Spalding (2) -

3. Roger Connor- 100% deserving, I just feel Spalding is more deserving still.

4. Ezra Sutton (3) -

5. Hoss Radbourne (4) -

6. Jack Glasscock (5) -

7. Sam Thompson (6) -

8. Joe Start (7) -

9. Bob Carruthers (9) -
   66. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 22, 2003 at 02:53 AM (#514308)
Chiming in before the time passes:

1. Cap Anson - His accomplishments on the field more than earn the number one spot.

2. Roger Connor - Greatest hitting peak and tremendous fielder. Unquestioned credentials.

3. 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. It comes down to if you think he was Whitey Ford or Charles Nagy.

4. Charles Radbourne - I still believe what he accomplished at his peak and after, even with a somewhat bum arm, is unbelievable.

5. Cal McVey - Finally feel that I am giving him the respect he deserves. I strongly feel McVey is a HOMer. Played very demanding positions, produced at high offensive level and, when he left because of the reserve clause, his career was looking like Cap Anson's. Was still playing when he was 40 in the Texas League.

6. Jack Glasscock - The total package at shortstop.

7. Charlie Bennett - Best catcher available. His defense was excellent and his hitting great for a full time catcher, even if his numbers are uneven. Campanella was pretty uneven during his career and not many people discredit his greatness as a catcher.

8. Pud Galvin - Starts moving back up after re-assesing all the information on him.

9. Ezra Sutton - Best third baseman of the 19th century according to my interpretation of the numbers.

10. Hardy Richardson - Was the top second baseman of his time.

11. Joe Start - Was the best "old" player of his time.

12. Lip Pike - One of the best players in early baseball. Definitely deserves more attention.

13. Harry Stovey - Find him and Browning to be the same type. AA discount but better defense has him just ahead.

14. Pete Browning - Great hitter but defense and AA discount land him just behind Stovey.

15. Sam Thompson - The RBI machine makes it on my ballot for the first time.
   67. Ken Fischer Posted: June 22, 2003 at 02:01 PM (#514311)
A computer crash this week. I had to go to another computer to get this in. I was tempted to keep Anson off the ballot but Joe's arguments convinced me otherwise...I'm also convinced now that Hardy Richardson belongs on the ballot.

1-Cap Anson

2-Roger Connor

3-Al Spalding

4-Joe Start

5-Bob Caruthers

6-Old Hoss Radbourn

7-Jack Glasscock

8-Harry Stovey

9-Hardy Richardson

10-Dickey Pearce

11-Pete Browning

12-Sam Thompson

13-Erza Sutton

14-Charlie Bennett

15-Jim Galvin
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 23, 2003 at 01:27 AM (#514314)
14. Lip Pike (not ranked) - (copying John Murphy's comment, which sums up my thoughts nicely . . .) Considered the fastest man of his time. Best centerfielder for 1874, 1875 and 1876. Best rightfielder for 1871. Star second and third baseman for half of the 1860s.

Don't worry Joe. You don't have to pay a royalty this time. :-)

10. Harry Stovey (10) - He probably is the best pure hitter (in terms of career batting value) on the ballot, either he or Thompson.

Do you mean besides Anson and Connor?

When the eternally late KJOK gives us his ballot (:-), we'll have a new record of 44 voters. The word is spreading!

... and Dickey Pearce still making his inexorable climb to the top!
   69. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 23, 2003 at 02:33 AM (#514315)
I'm feeling a little overlooked here - I'm late every week too!

1. Cap Anson (NA) He'd either be 1st or off the ballot. I may bring some rotten fruit to the induction ceremony, though.
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:03 AM (#514316)
I'm feeling a little overlooked here - I'm late every week too!

I didn't mean to "offend" you, Devin. I could have sworn that you had posted your ballot already. Besides, my boy Pearce needs your help!
   71. Carl Goetz Posted: June 23, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#514319)
'Does anyone think this will be a problem, and if so do you have any ideas for how to prevent it from becoming one, while still being inclusive and welcoming newcomers? '

Joe,
   72. MattB Posted: June 23, 2003 at 02:43 PM (#514320)
I don't see this necessarily becoming a problem. Voter have, so far, been open to the rules. On the other hand, it's hard to argue after the fact that voters aren't being fair to early players when the defense of "timeline adjustment" can carry serious weight when comparing players 100 years apart.

To the extent there is a consensus that something needs to be done, I would recommend closing eligiblity to become a new voter in 1936 -- the year of the first HOF election.
   73. Jeff M Posted: June 23, 2003 at 02:44 PM (#514321)
I agree with Carl's conclusion. I think I first started following HoM about two years ago (not sure about that, but seems like it). There's quite a bit of lore here.

After the 20s and 30s, the voting is going to be a lot tougher, and it will be hard for older players to carry their weight. If we get too many new voters without knowledge of previous discussions of older players, the older players have no chance of holding their own.
   74. Rusty Priske Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:08 PM (#514323)
I disagree with ANY restrictions on voting, other than a pledge to follow the rules.

Elitism causes many more problems that it avoids. If someone cares enough to put time into it, then they should be allowed to vote. Can it hurt older players? Maybe, but maybe not. That is up to the voters.
   75. Carl Goetz Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:14 PM (#514324)
1936 seems like a good year to close to me, too. Its a good symbolic year and we should reach that election in November or December of 2004(if my calculations are correct). This gives voters over a year and a half from the initial ballot to 'discover' our work. Its also almost exactly 3 years after the 'Something Better' article that launched this all. Most people who would be interested in this, would have 'found' us in that time.
   76. Philip Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:16 PM (#514325)
I'm in favor of closing new registration at some point in a few months. I think we should set the date well in advance so there is still plenty of time for newcomers to join in. I think this is the only way to avoid a potential problem that will eventually come. Part of the fun is being part of the project from the beginning years.
   77. Rusty Priske Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:26 PM (#514326)
So if someone comes along when we are on, say 1960, and they are interested in taking part and contributing, we are going to tell them to take a hike?
   78. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#514327)
I agree with Rusty. If we think voters aren't giving sufficient weight to the older players, we can deal with the situation at that point. Yes, it could cause some arguments, but I think it's better than the alternative. I don't see a problem with requiring some kind of "basic skills test", but I'm against an outright cutoff date.
   79. Carl Goetz Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:54 PM (#514328)
I'm still in favor of closing the voting at some point, but here's another thought: what if we keep a running list of all players who have ever made the Top 10(or 15 or whatever) in ANY of our elections(obviously excluding those who have already been elected. Any prospective new voter would have to send Joe(or we could create a committee to go through these to ease Joe's workload) a brief writeup on the pros and cons of each of those players. This would be fairly easy right now and more difficult with each passing year as there would be more players to research all at once. Whoever goes through these 'reports' could reply to the voter and let them know of some of the arguments for or against a player that they might have missed. I have an Access database that I am keeping to keep track of eligible players and I could easily keep track of this list using that.
   80. MattB Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:03 PM (#514329)
On the other hand, the number of voters has been growing weekly, from 29 in 1898 to 43 in 1903. If, in a few decades, we have 70 or 80 voters, I don't think it'll be much of a problem allowing more newcomers who agree to abide by the rules. We cannot assume that all late-comers will be ignorant of early baseball.

Also, PERSONALLY, I think that some of the present voters aren't giving sufficient weight to accomplishments of the 1860s and 1870s. But I'm not advocating kicking any of the current voters out. I'm just working to convince them that Start (and later Spalding) should be in.

Oh, and Carl, you can get a Coke in my office for 65 cents.
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:05 PM (#514330)
I'm against closing the registration for voting, but I like the idea of a "basic skills" test.

Of course, being a charter member, as long as I still get to vote, I really don't care. :-)
   82. MattB Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:07 PM (#514331)
I guess, in general, we should not assume a problem that we haven't even gotten the first hint of becoming reality. We might end up setting up strict entry guidelines, and have the newcomers start voting in 1970 put Bobby Mathews and Arlie Latham on the tops of their ballots.
   83. Jeff M Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:34 PM (#514334)
Let's not confuse elitism with education about the subject matter. It has been a hallmark of the HOM since the beginning that we justify our votes. For instance, I shouldn't place Davey Lopes on my ballot simply because I tried to emulate his batting stance in little league and collected all his baseball cards.

This club is whatever we say it is. If we want a minimum skills test, I think that's okay. It's hardly the same as a poll tax (but I guess it is a literacy test, in a way). I don't think it works to evaluate individual ballots for perceived errors, because then the review committee is subconsciously projecting its opinions into the process.

Maybe the real question is whether we want an administrative burden such as a skills test. That could be cumbersome (developing it, adminstering it, evaluating it, etc.).

Also, I should mention that in very early discussions, registration was discussed and died on the vine. I don't know if some of the other
   84. Silver King Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:35 PM (#514335)
Hmm. I really like Carl Goetz's idea. That sounds like a very constructive version of a voting-preparedness 'quiz' (in fact, a report rather than a quiz.) Requirement/encouragement to bone up on the matter at hand, targeting all of the most relevent stuff. That could be nicely in the spirit of the project. I wonder what would be a good line: top 10, top 15, top 5,... (or changing with the timeline)?

If Player Z was top 10 in the 5th election, but by '36 hasn't shown up in the top N for Y years, he might be inessential, speaking (cough, gak) utilitarianistically.
   85. Silver King Posted: June 23, 2003 at 04:48 PM (#514337)
Primey nomination for #134 + #135 =)

I think a quiz would be a tougher admin burden than a Goetzian report, and could feel less respectful to the newbie. A report would have to be reviewed, so that certainly is admin burden. I suppose reviewers would look for main points (pro and con?) about each player, and they should be written in the newbie's own words. The words don't have to be wordsmithery, of course, but copy'n'paste would be prevented--at minimum there'd be an extra step of thinking about the statements.

I'd think of this, also, as a HoMer "recommended reading" list evolving out of the process of this project. There's the elected HoMers themselves for interested folks to learn about, but also there's the fluxing swirl of unelected cool candidates drawing serious consideration.
   86. Rick A. Posted: June 23, 2003 at 05:54 PM (#514340)
Jeff,

I recall those discussions very well, because I brought them up. Here is what I wrote followed by the discussion.

From the 1898 Ballot Discussion

<i>Posted 11:45 a.m., April 3, 2003 (#105) - Rick A.
   87. Rick A. Posted: June 23, 2003 at 05:58 PM (#514341)
That should be accepting new voters, not excepting new voters
   88. Jeff M Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#514343)
Rick:

Thanks. I was actually thinking of "ancient" discussions -- maybe as far back as a year and half ago. I'll check the archives and see if I can figure out where those discussions were.

It was a discussion proximate to me suggesting we should call our electees "HoMers" -- my one and only significant contribution to the group. :)`
   89. Carl Goetz Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:19 PM (#514344)
I'm not trying to be condescending to new voters. I feel that I'm pretty knowledgeable on Baseball History in general, but before this project started, I knew next to nothing about 19th Century Baseball. I watched the Ken Burn's Baseball series on DVD 3 times and picked up little bits and pieces here and there and that was about it. I had never heard of Paul Hines, George Gore, Joe Start, etc. I have learned alot more in doing research for this project. My concern is that someone like myself who comes to the project in 1960 might not take the time to evaluate a Joe Start and just put an above average player that they are familiar with on their ballot instead. I envision a flood of new voters when we get to players from the 50s, 60s and 70s and beyond. I don't want to see all the research and debating that we have been doing and will continue to do, undermined by new voters who might not have bothered to Start or Stovey or any other 19th players who is not already in by that point. At the very least, we should give Andrew's list to all newbies. Then require that, on their 1st ballot, anyone on the list that doesn't make their ballot should have a brief explanation as to why not. This would require very little extra work for Joe as all of us could see their reasoning and debate with them over their nonselections, or at least point them to some previous debates that they should take a look at.
   90. Jeff M Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#514345)
For what it's worth, the registration discussion from January 2002 is at the link above. It is primarily a discussion between me, John Murphy and scruff, and was more related to registration to prevent ballot stuffing than anything else. Not quite the same thing we're talking about here, since naive voters have no bad motives, but I figured I would close the loop.

Also interesting to read some of the preliminary stuff we all wrote. :)
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:49 PM (#514349)
Did Anson get in?

Easily with 85% of the vote. If it weren't for the protest votes, he would have been in the high nineties.
   92. Marc Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:52 PM (#514350)
I'm baaaccckkk. Thx Joe for posting a proxy ballot.

Mark, yes Anson got in, at least he was ahead of Pebbly Jack by more than 100 points last night and there was only 1 (?) more ballot today.

As for newbies, so far I don't see a problem. Ya'll probably couldn't hate anybody's ballot much more than you hate mine, Sutton and Start being in the double digits and all ;-) Seriously, I prefer the 1936 cut off to any of the other options discussed. That leaves the choice with the voter not with big bro.
   93. MattB Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:56 PM (#514352)
"By the way, how do you register? I didn't know I was supposed to. I just started talking one day."

I'm not good on figuring out the "how," but I can give you the where. The group registry is in a Yahoo! Group. Go to it and figure out how to join.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HallofMerit/
   94. Jeff M Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:59 PM (#514353)
I apologize for this (not really), but I ran across this August 20, 2000 Letterman Top Ten List that some of you might find funny. Especially #6.

Top Ten Baseball Movies Playing In Times Square

10. "Behind The Green Monster"

9. "Sacrifice My Fly"

8. "Pantsless Joe Jackson"

7. "The Don Zimmer/Pamela Anderson Home Video"

6. "Debbie Does Dallas Green"

5. "Who's In First?"

4. "Abner Double-D"

3. "How Chuck Got His Knob-Locked"

2. "The Story Of The '69 Mets"

1. "A Babe Named 'Ruth'"
   95. MattB Posted: June 23, 2003 at 06:59 PM (#514354)
BTW, I just noticed that the Group has 70 registrants. Y'all think there are 30 lurkers just biding their time waiting to all put Andy Pettitte ahead of Pud Galvin on their ballots?
   96. Marc Posted: June 23, 2003 at 07:04 PM (#514355)
Based on the following can somebody give me a quick take on the difference between WS and W3?

McPhee 305 WS/101 W3
   97. Rick A. Posted: June 23, 2003 at 07:20 PM (#514356)
It was a discussion proximate to me suggesting we should call our electees "HoMers" -- my one and only significant contribution to the group. :)`

I understand, Jeff. The discussion I posted above was my one and only significant contribution also. (Which is why I was so quick to point it out. :-) )
   98. dan b Posted: June 23, 2003 at 07:37 PM (#514357)
I am not so concerned about the qualifications of future new voters as I am about the logistic issues of an unwieldy number of voters. If we continue to grow at our current rate on an arithmetic progression, we will have 200 voters by 1955. I would expect faster growth after we start voting on players we have seen. Would we be able to dissect and discuss each ballot if we allowed unlimited growth? I would support establishing a numeric cutoff, maybe 100 voters.
   99. Philip Posted: June 24, 2003 at 03:49 PM (#514359)
I like Carl's idea that new voters (starting in 1936 or whatever) should not only comment on players making the ballot but also on those who have had our support over the years but are not on his/her ballot. This way we are sure that the new voters have considered all these players. Considering the amount of research this requires only dedicated new voters will join.
   100. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 05, 2004 at 12:21 AM (#837652)
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