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Monday, July 14, 2003

1905 Ballot

Time to start voting . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 14, 2003 at 05:03 PM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2003 at 05:34 PM (#515559)
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) Ezra Sutton (1): Simply the best at the position for the 19th century when combining peak and career. Best major league 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.

2) Bid McPhee (n/a): Greatest second baseman of the 19th century. If any AA guys should go in, he should be numero uno. Consistently near the top of the list for second baseman (and did it longer than any of them). Best major league second baseman for 1886.

3) Al Spalding (3): The defense theory holds water for me, but only so far.

Best pitcher of his time. Best hitting pitcher by far, also. If you don't give credit for his pre-NA work, then that would be the only way you could consider his career short.

4) Cal McVey (4): 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?).
   2. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 05:46 PM (#515560)
Adjusted hits are normalized to 130 games played, as set out in my 1903 and 1904 ballots, to equalize 1870s and 1880s/90s players. I quite like McPhee, so he slots in above Richardson -- hope he doesn't go in on first ballot, though.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: July 14, 2003 at 05:46 PM (#515561)
1. Old Hoss Radbourn (1) - Half of us think he was great, the other hald think he was an also-ran. I still can't see why.

2. Pud Galvin (2)

3. Joe Start (3)

4. Al Spalding (5)

5. Hardy Richardson (8)

6. Bid McPhee (-) - Overrated, but still deserving.

7. Bob Caruthers (7)

8. Harry Stovey (9)

9. Mickey Welch (10)

10. Tony Mullane (12)

11. Bud Fowler (-)

12. Sam Thompson (11)

13. Jim McCormick (13)

14. Mike Griffin (14)

15. Mike Tiernan (-)
   4. Rusty Priske Posted: July 14, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#515565)
I mean also-ran as it relates to the HoM. I think it is safe to say that if you don't have someone in your top 6 or 7 that you don't think they belong in the HoM. Everyone is entitled to thier opinion - in fact, that it the point of this whole thing.

In short, when someone ranks Hoss below Galvin or Spalding, I say to myself, "Okay. I don't agree, but I see thier point." But when they put him below Billy Nash, Fred Dunlap, or Jack Clement, I am bewildered. I just don't see it.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2003 at 06:43 PM (#515568)
In short, when someone ranks Hoss below Galvin or Spalding, I say to myself, "Okay. I don't agree, but I see thier point." But when they put him below Billy Nash, Fred Dunlap, or Jack Clement, I am bewildered. I just don't see it.

I have the same problem when Sutton doesn't appear on a ballot. :-)

I don't believe in valuing pitchers more over every other position. I know that I am odds with everyone here concerning that, but that's how I feel. I try to pick the cream of the crop. Spalding, Clarkson, Keefe (and later Young and Nichols) were the best of the 19th century, plus I give a nod to Galvin.

Actually, I appear to be a photo negative of your ballot since you appear to be Will Rogers when it comes to pitchers. :-)
   6. Rusty Priske Posted: July 14, 2003 at 06:49 PM (#515569)
I have the same problem when Sutton doesn't appear on a ballot. :-)

LOL. Fair enough. :)

And, yeah, I am a pitching booster. I have 7 on my ballot (though only 3 are people I would 'push' to get in the HoM: Hoss, Galvin, Spalding)
   7. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 06:59 PM (#515570)
Joe (#8)

Clements had a longer career, and racked up 1223 hits vs. 978 (over 2,000 if you "normalize" him to 130 games, which as well as equalizing 70s with 80s, equalizes catchers and players of other positions.) Bennett's about #17-18, Clements #13 on my list, neither of them in my view are going to make it, or should (well, maybe Bennett in the 1920s if everybody but me loves him) and the gap betwen them is quite small. It's not an extraordinary move, which completely disregards all contemporary and later opinion, like leaving Old Hoss off the ballot altogether, which I have to say smacks of tactical voting.
   8. favre Posted: July 14, 2003 at 07:18 PM (#515572)
I?m back after a three-week vacation that took me to six east coast ballparks and Cooperstown. Great trip. Anyway, here?s the ballot?

1. Pud Galvin
   9. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 07:36 PM (#515575)
Joe (#13)

This is where I get suspicious of these new-fangled stats. How can Clements have played 8.9 equivalent seasons and Bennett 9.8 when Clements played 1157 games and Bennett 1062? (and Clements played 1073 to Bennett's 954 as a catcher, too.) Bennett got less than 1 hit per game, very low for a HOMer, whereas Clements beat that benchmark. Bennett got 55 homers to Clements' 77 and averaged .286 to Bennett's 256. Yes Bennett got 478BB to Clements' 339, but that doesn't cancel out the difference in hits/game or batting average.

As I said, it's close, but I stick to my view that Clements had more career value. I value peak, but only when it's a really big one, like Koufax, Yaz '67 or Hoss '84. Incidentally, new fangled stats took another beating in my mind when somebody claimed that Whitney (a less than .500 pitcher, less than 200 wins) '83 was better than Hoss '84. IF your new stat says that 37-21 is better than 59-12, junk it! (and yes, wins DO matter when the sample size is as big as this, and not a modern 15-9 vs 17-10.)
   10. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 07:39 PM (#515576)
Joe (#13)CORRECTION - sorry

This is where I get suspicious of these new-fangled stats. How can Clements have played 8.9 equivalent seasons and Bennett 9.8 when Clements played 1157 games and Bennett 1062? (and Clements played 1073 to Bennett's 954 as a catcher, too.) Bennett got less than 1 hit per game, very low for a HOMer, whereas Clements beat that benchmark. Bennett got 55 homers to Clements' 77 and Clements averaged .286 to Bennett's 256. Yes Bennett got 478BB to Clements' 339, but that doesn't cancel out the difference in hits/game or batting average.

As I said, it's close, but I stick to my view that Clements had more career value. I value peak, but only when it's a really big one, like Koufax, Yaz '67 or Hoss '84. Incidentally, new fangled stats took another beating in my mind when somebody claimed that Whitney (a less than .500 pitcher, less than 200 wins) '83 was better than Hoss '84. IF your new stat says that 37-21 is better than 59-12, junk it! (and yes, wins DO matter when the sample size is as big as this, and not a modern 15-9 vs 17-10.)
   11. Rick A. Posted: July 14, 2003 at 07:56 PM (#515579)
1905 Ballot

1. Al Spalding (1)
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2003 at 08:02 PM (#515581)
122-119-119-118-113-113-108

Wow!


Yeah, I noticed that. Double-wow! :-)
   13. Rick A. Posted: July 14, 2003 at 08:05 PM (#515582)
It's actually closer after my vote.

137-136-135-133-132-131-121

VERY close election
   14. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 08:08 PM (#515583)
Joe (#22) Since the constraining factor on catchers was wear and tear, not season length, I don't think Bennett should be given extra credit for having played in shorter seasons -- if they'd been 200 game seasons, he'd have played in roughly the same number of games. It's a problem peculiar to catchers.

I am partly but not wholly persuaded, we'll have to agree to differ. It won't matter this time; I'll look at it again next, possibly to move Clements down as well as Bennett up, though. Bennett still doesn't make it past Pearce on this one.
   15. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2003 at 08:12 PM (#515585)
Joe (#22) Since the constraining factor on catchers was wear and tear, not season length, I don't think Bennett should be given extra credit for having played in shorter seasons -- if they'd been 200 game seasons, he'd have played in roughly the same number of games. It's a problem peculiar to catchers.

I am partly but not wholly persuaded, we'll have to agree to differ. It won't matter this time; I'll look at it again next, possibly to move Clements down as well as Bennett up, though. Bennett still doesn't make it past Pearce on this one.
   16. Marc Posted: July 14, 2003 at 08:59 PM (#515590)
1905 ballot, still with a lot of emphasis on peak. In fact, I clarified myself on another thread. A high peak is pretty much a threshold criteria for me. A player has to BE great at some point in time. If yes, then they get further consideration. If not...then I make some exceptions in the case of exceptional career value, e.g. McPhee, Sutton.... Anyway:

1. Al Spalding (1 last week and #1 for the 5th time on my 8 ballots). A dominant player and at 11 years his career was even a bit long for that time and place. The only other pitchers with more than 10 years of "prime" performance before 1893 are Galvin and Keefe. Has been called the Koufax of the 19th century but Koufax had a truly short career. I see Spalding as more of a Steve Carlton.

2. Sam Thompson (4 but #2 among holdovers). Now that ABC are out of the way, his 12 "prime" years are as good as any pure "hitter" on the board and his 146 OPS+ better than any serious contendor than Browning. Bunched his value in very high peaks that really made a difference in '87, '93-'94-'95. Rather than bash him for taking advantage of the highly offensive environment of the mid-'90s (and I'm not talking about the ethics of the Baltimore Orioles) we should be asking why Mike Tiernan, seven year's Big Sam's junior, didn't. Not quite Reggie Jackson, more of a Dave Winfield.

3. Bob Caruthers (5 but #3 among holdovers). Very high peak with huge pennant impact. Think Bob Lemon.

4. Hoss Radbourn (7 and #5 among holdovers). Like Caruthers a very high peak with huge pennant impact. Surprisingly each had about the same number of "peak" seasons, Hoss hung around a little longer. Like a Gaylord Perry in terms of how he fits into the pitcher pecking order of his time.

5. Pete Browning (8 but #6 among holdovers). Had to move him up, his 164 OPS+ better even than Dave Orr but Orr had 2000 fewer AB + BB. His defensive numbers aren't as bad as his rep; based on his rep alone, there's no way he would have been in CF. An Andre Dawson.

6. Cal McVey (6 but #4 among holdovers). A great player, played tougher defensive positions than any other "hitter" on the board, and played as long as Spalding (longer than Browning) but just not quite as dominant as either. I think of Don Mattingly here.

7. Hardy Richardson (10 #7 among holdovers). Edges McPhee for his obviously greater offensive contributions. A better defensive player than McPhee was on offense, and not a bad hitter for an OF; led the PL in RBI as an outfielder. I see him as a Rod Carew type (not as good overall but a better defender), though more of a Lou Whitaker in value relative to his time and competition.

8. Bid McPhee (new). About as high a ranking as I've ever given anybody who didn't have a peak. I considered him as high as #3 but just couldn't pull the trigger. Could move up or down, a unique talent for his day. Somewhere between Lou Whitaker and Red Schoendienst, no other defensive specialist matches his total value.

9. Charlie Bennett (12 but #10 among holdovers). Also a unique talent, can't quite pin him down. A genuinely great player whose greatness is not fully seen in the numbers--in short, a catcher. Think Bill Freehan.

10. Lip Pike (11 and #9 among holdovers). A force on offense who moved pretty seamlessly from middle IF to CF. Think Vada Pinson.

11. Joe Start (9 and #7 among holdovers). Sorry I just can't get Joe to settle in. Not a force on offense. But reputed to be one of the best of the '60s and pretty clearly a guy who knew how to play the game. I wish we could elect Start but no way we get to #11. Think Bill White.

12. Harry Stovey (12 and #11 among holdovers). 5 points lower on OPS+ than Thompson and in a weaker league. Below the in/out line in my book. Think Zack Wheat.

13. Fred Dunlap (15T and #13T among holdovers). Not a HoMer and his '84 season doesn't really count, but a solid all-around contributor. Think Schoendienst again.

14. Tony Mullane (14 but #12 among holdovers). A solid starter, 299 wins, but AA, think Teddy Lyons.

15. Denny Lyons (new on my list). Not Teddy, Denny. I didn't really consider him when he first came eligible but clearly more valuable than any other 3B on the board at his peak. Think Sal Bando.

Only Jim McCormick (think Catfish Hunter) drops off. Sutton (think George Kell) and Williamson (Buddy Bell?) also received serious consideration. Mike Tiernan received not-so-serious consideration (looks like Ross Youngs to me). Clements = Walker Cooper = no go.

Boy, have I ever over-stayed my welcome.
   17. Marc Posted: July 14, 2003 at 09:07 PM (#515591)
Did I tip it to Spalding? If so, let's just stop counting the votes now. Jim Baker will be making a statement shortly.

;-)
   18. OCF Posted: July 14, 2003 at 09:13 PM (#515592)
1905 Ballot

1. Charles Radbourn (2). I know that we could overdose on 1880's pitchers - but there's greatness that hasn't been recognized yet.

2. Harry Stovey (3). He scored runs, and although his best years were AA, it wasn't all AA. 1882 is a gem of a season.

3. Ezra Sutton (4). I was going to put him behind McPhee, but his supporters' arguments wore me down.

4. Bid McPhee (-). Long career, excellent defense. A useful offensive player. We'll have other players of this general type in the 20th century, and none of them will be easy to place, with so much of the argument resting on defense.

5. Pud Galvin (8). I'm moving some pitchers up relative to others.

6. Hardy Richardson (6). Medium-long career, offense and defense both.

7. Pete Browning (13). I decided it doesn't make much sense to push Stovey and pretend Browning doesn't exist. I don't put much stock in his '82-'83 seasons, but he was a terrific (high-average) hitter.

8. Albert Spalding (9).

9. Joe Start (7).

10. Charlie Bennett (12). For a 5-year stretch, he was an unusually durable catcher with solid defense, and he hit some, too.

11. Jim McCormick (-). The first time I really looked at him.

12. Mickey Welch (10). More bulk than McCormick, but the value is pretty close.

13. Ed Williamson (15). A nice player, if not Richardson. I'd like to know why he and his team's shortstop traded places, moving Ed to short.

14. Cal McVey (14). I'm starting to think his teams are already well-enough represented.

15. Bob Caruthers (-). My week to like pitchers. Just ahead of Mullane.
   19. RobC Posted: July 14, 2003 at 09:27 PM (#515593)
I think Im the opposite of Marc (#32) - I rank by career value mostly with exceptions for really big peaks.

1. Bid McPhee - By far the highest career value, his lack of peak almost cost him this spot.
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: July 14, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#515595)
1905 Ballot

1. Pud Galvin (2) (6) (8). With Glasscock in, Galvin rises to the top. Most career value of any player on the ballot, even without credit for 76-78, and his peak is also quite strong. With 76-78 included in his career, we get a pitcher with 18 years of major-league calibre pitching, with several of his seasons among the best of the era. No pitcher prior to Cy Young comes close to that kind of career, and no position player currently on ballot matches it.
   21. jimd Posted: July 14, 2003 at 11:05 PM (#515597)
Radbourn threw 2/3 of the team's innings, but there's still another 1/3 of the innings, and those pitchers went 25-16. If you extend this out, they would have been 68-44 without him, just 5 1/2 games out.

Those other innings can be divided into two groups; Charlie Sweeney, and the other 7 pitchers that pitched some for Providence that year. The other 7 pitched 136.3 innings (a pretty good size sample). They went 8-8, with a 2.84 ERA; as such they are a perfect match for Radbourn and his 59-12 record and 1.38 ERA (:-D), and argue well for the case that it was all only the Providence defense (more :-D).

Who was this Charlie Sweeney that pitched almost as well as Radbourn in 1884? He was a PROSPECT; if they had hype machines back then, he would have been Kerry Wood '98, Roger Clemens '86, Bob Feller '36, take your pick. He threw a one hitter in his first game of that season against Buffalo. On June 7, he struck out 19 batters in an NL game, definitely one of the 10 greatest 19th-century games. A little background to that game:

Boston was the defending NL champion. Beginning on June 6, Boston and Providence hooked up for what was scheduled to be 8 consecutive games, alternating between the two cities, the first meeting of the season between the two rivals. Boston had started out white-hot, and was 24-6; Providence was 1 game behind at 22-6 (1st and 2nd, natch.) On Friday afternoon in Providence, Radbourn and Whitney hooked up in the first game; 16 innings later it was called due to darkness, 1-1 tie. The players then took the train to Boston for game 2.

On the road, against the defending champions, with 1st-place at stake, Sweeney struck out 19 Boston players as Providence won 2-1, and Charlie set a record that would last over 100 years. Voters deliberating in 1905 for real would be well aware of Charlie Sweeney, who is now mostly forgotten. He was a budding star; that it didn't happen is just another sad story of great young pitchers that flame out. Charlie Sweeney was NOT just another backup pitcher.
   22. jimd Posted: July 14, 2003 at 11:16 PM (#515598)
Forgot to mention that the 19K's were in 9 innings; no tricks here :-).
   23. Rob Wood Posted: July 15, 2003 at 04:32 AM (#515601)
My 1905 ballot:

1. Ezra Sutton -- hopefully his time is nigh
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 07:38 AM (#515602)
I think for now we can make do with some short term 3Bs ? Anson, Kelly & White and wait around for Jimmy Collins and perhaps Lave Cross and maybe John McGraw (all of whom are at or near the end of their careers right now).

Since Collins, Cross and McGraw are inferior to Sutton peak * career, I guess we can elect Baker in the twenties. :-(
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 08:13 AM (#515603)
16. Billy Nash -- Outstanding defensive player; career value pretty much identical to Williamson, but peak value is lower. Reassessment of defense moves him past Browning also.

I think some people are forgetting that Nash played in the more competitive league than Williamson did. What would his numbers be relative to the league if he played in the NL during the eighties than in the nineties? I'm confident that Nash was comfortably better than Ed.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 08:19 AM (#515604)
BTW, this could be said for anyone who played during the nineties being compared to someone before that time.
   27. Chris Cobb Posted: July 15, 2003 at 01:02 PM (#515605)
John wrote: ? 16. Billy Nash -- Outstanding defensive player; career value pretty much identical to Williamson, but peak value is lower. Reassessment of defense moves him past Browning also.

I think some people are forgetting that Nash played in the more competitive league than Williamson did. What would his numbers be relative to the league if he played in the NL during the eighties than in the nineties? I'm confident that Nash was comfortably better than Ed.

Billy Nash's productive years were 1886-1895. Ed Williamson's productive years were 1879-1888. That's only seven years difference, and it's probable that the NL 1879-1882 was a higher-quality league than the NL during the AA years, anyway. I just don't see much basis for using playing conditions to put Nash ahead of Williamson.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 02:46 PM (#515606)
That's only seven years difference, and it's probable that the NL 1879-1882 was a higher-quality league than the NL during the AA years,

That's a good point.
   29. DanG Posted: July 15, 2003 at 06:59 PM (#515608)
I understand why someone would do this, but does it bother anyone else when a ballot is cast with absolutely no comment? Shouldn't there at least be some comment with the newbies? Or with players rated very different from the consensus?

And isn't this unconstitutional? C'mon guys, play along,
   30. Rusty Priske Posted: July 15, 2003 at 07:21 PM (#515609)
I understand your point, but sometimes you have said all that you wanted to say on the discussion thread. I would rather see no comment than straight repetition.
   31. DanG Posted: July 15, 2003 at 07:56 PM (#515611)
Rusty: Not everyone reads every post. It wouldn't hurt to repost.

Andrew: If the reasoning is posted elsewhere, then they should link to it, or at least say where to find it.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 08:03 PM (#515612)
I have to agree with Dan on this one. It doesn't take that much time to link to another post or just recopy it with a few additional notes (like I do).

If it's repetitive, I'll just ignore it. I want to understand how everyone is coming up with their picks. My thinking has changed a few times because of this.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2003 at 09:20 PM (#515614)
Er,
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2003 at 02:54 AM (#515617)
1905

1. Joe Start - Between age of 34 and 39, ranked in top 7 in BA five of six years. Led league in hits at age 35 and was third at age 39. Played between 1860 and 1870 with shadowy stats, but his reputation was as one of the best players of the decade. For anyone who downplays him, are you SURE you are grasping how few games were played in the early 1870s, and how long this guy played (well) before the NA?
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 06:33 AM (#515618)
With the top candidates next year being Gus Weyhing-P, Ted Breitenstein-P, Frank Killen-P, and Bert Cunningham-P (yuck...),

Double yuck! :-(
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 07:04 AM (#515620)
The thing about Ezra Sutton is that he might be the best third baseman in the league for 4 years but he has never been the best player or the most valuable player in the league like Radbourn was. It is sort of like voting in Laughing Larry Doyle because he was the best second baseman in the NL between Evers and Hornsby, but Doyle like Sutton has never been "the cream of the crop" like Radbourn has.

Sutton isn't Doyle by any stretch of the imagination.

Sutton was the best third baseman in major league history until Frank Baker. That adds up to over forty years.

OTOH, Radbourn wasn't the best pitcher of his time. He wasn't better than Clarkson. He wasn't better than Keefe. He wasn't better than Galvin.

Old Hoss had a Gooden of '85 season (if it was that good). Sorry, but I can't see voting for the fourth best pitcher of his time for one fantastic season. I doubt Gooden will be on my ballot, too.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2003 at 12:12 PM (#515621)
If it helps, our sked says we put only put ONE guy in in 1906, 07, and 08..
   38. Rusty Priske Posted: July 16, 2003 at 12:38 PM (#515622)
I agree that Hoss was not the best pitcher of his time: that was Tim Keefe. He was better than Clarkson and Galvin, though.

Of course I think all four should be in the HoM. Half way there! :)
   39. MattB Posted: July 16, 2003 at 01:35 PM (#515623)
Not a lot of time this week. My daughter was born one week ago today. She is healthy, but had to spend the first four days of her life under the phototherapy lights with jaundice, so we only got to bring her home Monday night. All is well now, but obviously not a lot of baseball-time permitted. I have been following the discussions though . . .

1. Pud Galvin (1) ? Best pitcher on the board. Two pitchers out of ten may be the right mix (I'd argue for more), but even so, they've got to be the right two. Galvin and Spalding should have gone in before Rusie and Ward.

2. Joe Start (2) -- still holding his own.

3. Al Spalding (3) ? best pitcher, 1867-1876 with no close second.

4. Bid McPhee (n/a) -- I try to be as conservative as possible with the new guys, but putting McPhee any lower than third goes beyond conservative to reactionary. A close study of McPhee has led me, however, to move Hardy Richardson up in my estimation.

5. Hardy Richardson (6) ? See.

6. Bud Fowler (n/a) - the best Negro league player of the 19th century gets precedence over the fifth best first baseman until I hear evidence to the contrary.

7. Harry Stovey (4) ? a great player, but at a deep position. Still not sure about him, but he moves up in my estimation this week.

8. Ezra Sutton (7) -- I'm following the arguments on the 2B/3B thread, but while I can see the argument for closing the gap, I can't go as far as reversing it. At the moment, I am working under the assumption that 2B and 3B are identical positions (neither is more important). On that assumption, McPhee goes higher for defensive prowess, and Richardson for offensive prowess. Sutton is definitely on the "IN" side of the in/out line, but he stays here for now.
   40. Jeff M Posted: July 16, 2003 at 02:02 PM (#515625)
1. SUTTON, EZRA -- Has been steadily and this time it's his turn.

2. RADBOURN, CHARLEY -- Trying to get him elected from the first ballot and I hope this is the one.

3. STOVEY, HARRY -- My AA discount isn't as steep as some other voters', so I've consistently ranked Stovey very high.

4. RICHARDSON, HARDY -- Discussion is on separate thread, but he was a significantly better hitter than McPhee, and although he didn't play nearly as many games as McPhee at 2b, he had a good defensive reputation. I don't think McPhee's defense quite makes up for the hitting gap.

5. MCVEY, CAL -- Cal has been high on my ballot for some time now. He's all about peak, and as mentioned in the McVey vs. Start thread, I've got him a nose above Start.

6. START, JOE -- I give him a bump for the pre-1871 years. It isn't exactly scientific, but without any numbers to evaluate, it can't be.

7. BROWNING, PETE -- Similar comment to comment about Stovey. I believe this guy could flat out hit. He proved it in the Players' League, and I don't discount the AA as much as some.

8. GALVIN, PUD -- Pitchers have dropped in my rankings this time. The more I evaluate, the more credit I give to the outstanding hitters and the less credit to the pitchers. I think Galvin belongs, but I like everyone in front of him a tad better.

9. THOMPSON, SAM -- See discussion on Thompson vs. Tiernan vs. Griffin thread. Neck and neck with Tiernan. I give Thompson the nod for slightly better defense and because he was more consistently a league leader. Again, not a perfect way to evaluate, but have to make distinctions somewhere.

10. TIERNAN, MIKE -- Tremendous hitter. See comment above re: Thompson.

11. MULLANE, TONY -- Mullane isn't getting that much attention, but deserves consideration. A workhorse, with big WS and lots of Wins Above Team.

12. MCPHEE, BID -- Very tough call about where to put him. On a personal level, I'm enamored with 2b and SS defense. I just think good defensive players at those positions are cool. And McPhee played lots and lots of games there. He was a good hitter, but not a great one. I only give so much credit for runs scored, since the part that McPhee controls is evidenced by his OBP, RC or whatever measure you use, and everything else was up to other players. So, great defense + pretty good hitter lands him here. He may be higher on subsequent ballots. I don't know.

13. JONES, CHARLEY -- From the cobwebs. I went back and looked at Jones again, and saw some very good hitting numbers. Not convinced he's a HOMer, but might be.

14. WELCH, MICKEY -- Been lingering down here for a long time.

15. MCCORMICK, JIM -- Another somewhat overlooked pitcher that has been lingering at the bottom of my ballot for a while. This just as easily could have been Caruthers, Spalding, Pike or even Charlie Buffinton.
   41. Marc Posted: July 16, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#515626)
The idea that Ezra gets bonus points for being the best 3B until Frank Baker is a little weird. 100 guys coulda been "the best" something in the first few decades. Ed Williamson held the HR record until Babe Ruth, etc. etc. Hoss Radbourn STILL holds the record for most wins in a season.

I also agree that Hoss was not the best pitcher of his day based on his entire career but he was the best a couple of times and cumulatively over a 3-5 year peak. This debate is a lot like those "only player ever to have 200 hits and 40 doubles and ten triples and 40 HR and 100 RBI and 100 runs and 20 SB and 100 BB and hit .300 and..." There isn't anybody on any of our ballots who wasn't the best from some particular point of view, but that doesn't diminish anybody else.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 02:35 PM (#515628)
The idea that Ezra gets bonus points for being the best 3B until Frank Baker is a little weird. 100 guys coulda been "the best" something in the first few decades. Ed Williamson held the HR record until Babe Ruth, etc. etc. Hoss Radbourn STILL holds the record for most wins in a season.

Who says I'm giving Sutton bonus points? He gets zip in that regard. What you're upset with is that I don't give Old Hoss bonus points.

As for Radbourn's win total, the attrition rate for pitching assured that he would have that record forever, not because he was the king of all pitchers. Does he still have the record if you normalize it?

Roger Maris had the homerun record for almost forty years, yet 61 really wasn't any greater than we he only hit 39 the year before (when you take in standard deviation). Those two examples are not the same as being the best player for decades.

I refuse to vote for a truckload of pitchers for each decade. I'll admit that I could be terribly wrong doing this and may even knock the Earth off its orbit :-), but that's just the way it is until further notice.
   43. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 05:25 PM (#515631)
1. CHARLIE BENNETT, C, Comp is Roy Campanella. Better hitter and fielder than Clements. Best Catcher between Buck Ewing and Roger Bresnahan.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 06:05 PM (#515632)
23. Dickey Pearce ? Need more evidence to move up. Looks like Omar Vizquel or Mark Belanger from what I know.

Except Belanger and Visquel were never remotely considered the best all-around shortstops in the game. Pearce was for ten years (with some catching to boot).
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#515634)
8. E.Sutton-----------Admittedly I was in error having left him off previous ballots, until I delved further into his career I had no idea of his greatness.

Hey, I never even heard of him a year ago! Now I'm probably his biggest booster.

Now about McPhee... :-)
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: July 16, 2003 at 06:39 PM (#515635)
re: KJOK's ballot -- Bill Joyce at #7 and Ezra Sutton off the ballot?? What principle of selection are you using? Ezra Sutton had six years in which he was about as productive a hitter as Joyce (certainly _much, much_ closer to Joyce than Joyce ever was to Rogers Hornsby) and six years is essentially Joyce's whole career. Sutton was a good fielder at 3B, capable of playing some shortstop, where Joyce was atrocious in the field. Sutton had a bunch of other good seasons, along with some bad seasons. If Joyce is hall-worthy based on six years of good hitting and nothing else, what about Sutton? It's as if Sutton's longer career counts against him, in this way of reckoning.

I apologize for bringing a somewhat strident tone to the board in this post, but I just can't find any way to give this ranking the benefit of the doubt. Bill Joyce being mentioned as in any way comparable to Hornsby while Sutton is being presented as comparable to Miller Huggins? These comparisons, and these rankings, are simply indefensible.
   47. DanG Posted: July 16, 2003 at 07:13 PM (#515636)
Perhaps he agrees with James' dubious rankings in the NHBA. Joyce is #61 at third, Sutton is #98. Of course, if that was really the case then he would've voted for Denny Lyons, #42 at 3B. It's all about the timeline, doncha know.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 07:44 PM (#515637)
Sutton had a bunch of other good seasons, along with some bad seasons.

That middle patch for Sutton was more mediocre than bad for a third baseman.

KJOK rates the players heavily peak over career. There's no law against that. However, Sutton had five seasons that were better than Joyce's (combination of offense and defense), so I don't understand why Joyce's peak trumps Ezra's.
   49. Marc Posted: July 16, 2003 at 07:57 PM (#515638)
Well, I voted for Denny Lyons! The reaction re. Ezra Sutton is based on the assumption that career totals are all you need to know. C'mon guys, some people don't agree with that methodology.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:03 PM (#515639)
Well, I voted for Denny Lyons! The reaction re. Ezra Sutton is based on the assumption that career totals are all you need to know. C'mon guys, some people don't agree with that methodology.

The problem is that Sutton's peak is better than both Joyce and Lyon so we're confused about the methodology being used. He obviously destroys them career-wise.

BTW, Lyon was close to being on my ballot.
   51. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#515640)
I'll try to be more comprehensive in a minute, but basically, the only way Sutton ranks ahead of Joyce or Williamson is to IGNORE his seasons of 1872, 1874, 1878 (played TERRIBLY, hardly the mark of a HOM'er!) 1879, 1880, & 1882. I don't think you can just look at Sutton's peak and the fact that he played more seasons and say he's better. Those seasons listed above are just as valid a sample of Sutton's "true" value as 1875 or 1876 or 1884.
   52. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:41 PM (#515641)
To try to show this another way:

Average Seasons
   53. MattB Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:46 PM (#515642)
Joe wrote:

" "- the best Negro league player of the 19th century gets precedence over the fifth best first baseman until I hear evidence to the contrary."

The problem is that Bud wasn't the best Negro League player of the 19th Century. Everyone I've spoken with has said hands down that Frank Grant was the best Negro League player of the 19th Century. They've also said that Fowler would get in if off-field accomplishments counted, but as a player he was pretty good, not great."

I meant the best black player to RETIRE in the 19th century. By the end of this election, we will have elected 18 HoMers. Take those 18, plus the next 30 persons on the ballot, and we are saying that not only was an eligible black baseball player not one of the best 18, but was not one of the best 48!

I don't think you need to be a supporter of quotas to think that there was likely at least one black player who could fit into a list of the Top 50. By putting Bud Fowler 6th on my ballot, I am estimating that he was approximately the 25th best player who played entirely in the 19th century. Does that seem like an unreasonable estimate?

I haven't looked closely at Grant, but if he was, in fact, better, then I will put him higher than 6th when he is eligible.
   54. Chris Cobb Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:07 PM (#515643)
I'll try to be more comprehensive in a minute, but basically, the only way Sutton ranks ahead of Joyce or Williamson is to IGNORE his seasons of 1872, 1874, 1878 (played TERRIBLY, hardly the mark of a HOM'er!) 1879, 1880, & 1882. I don't think you can just look at Sutton's peak and the fact that he played more seasons and say he's better. Those seasons listed above are just as valid a sample of Sutton's "true" value as 1875 or 1876 or 1884

I'll be interested to see what a more comprehensive analysis looks like, but this statement seems to confirm my sense that you are actually marking down Sutton for being good enough to play the game when you are not marking down players for not being good enough to play the game for more than a few years. Although I don't agree with rating players based on their deviation from "average," I accept that method, as long as it is applied consistently. But to downgrade a player with a long career for below-average seasons but not to downgrade a player with a short career for not playing is inconsistent and leads to major mistakes, like Joyce's rating.

Individual seasons are not a "sample," they are a record of what the player did, and they all count. We're not drawing blood and testing it for "essence of HoMerness." We're assessing the value of these players.

In my criticism of the ranking of Joyce, I'm not especially concerned with the merits, or lack thereof, of Sutton in particular. I haven't raised a criticism of other ballots that left him off. I brought him up because he's a player at the same position as Joyce, so comparison ought to be easier because they're on an even defensive playing field. Joyce's appearance as a mid-ballot choice is the red flag for me. Whether you compare Joyce to Sutton, to Billy Nash, or to Cal McVey, Joyce's ranking is out of line, and since he is so high on the ballot, it affects a lot of other players, too.

Positions 13-15, there's _lots_ of room for disagreement, but in the top half of the ballot, I hope it's appropriate to raise a question about a voter's reasoning.
   55. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:07 PM (#515644)
I should have listed Clements in my "passed over" list along with Bud Fowler.

Regarding Fowler, I guess you can make a case for the HOM that he's the best 1880's Negro League player, but I passed over him primarily because even the most ardent supporters of recognizing Negro League players generally don't mention him as one of the top Negro League players of all time or one of the players who should be recognized in the Hall of Fame.
   56. Carl Goetz Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:10 PM (#515645)
Let me get this straight: Sutton has 8 outstanding seasons to Joyce's 7 and 10 Average seasons to Joyce's 1. We'll say for argument that this is correct(I would say Joyce had 5 outstanding seasons and 3 average seasons, but that's not important right now). How does your analysis make Joyce the better player? Sutton has more of both.
   57. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:21 PM (#515646)
Sutton's "average" seasons are actually mostly below average. Great players do not generally have more than a couple of below average seasons. If Joyce played 8 seasons and had 6 "star type" seasons, while Sutton played 18 seasons and had 8 "star type" seasons, to me that indicates that Joyce is more likely a true "HOM" type of player.
   58. Sean Gilman Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:23 PM (#515647)
1905

1. Ezra Sutton (1)--Ahead of McPhee and Richardson on both career and peak value.

2. Bid McPhee (-)--I don?t think it?s the novelty, I had McPhee ahead of Richardson on my 1906 ballot and I haven?t seen anything that makes me change my mind. Defense and career value trumps the AA discount, but it?s very close among all my top 3.

3. Hardy Richardson (3)--Ahead of Start on defense and maybe peak.

4. Joe Start (4)--More career value than McVey. But a lower (documented) peak.

5. Cal McVey (5)--I like the Ross Barnes comparison a lot.

6. Harry Stovey (6)--I think some people have been applying an awfully harsh AA discount to him. He was a tremendous hitter and looks great in WS pennants added and in the baserunning info that?s been posted. More career value than any of the other ?hitters? on the ballot.

7. Lip Pike (8)--Not as good in the NA as McVey, but better before.

8. Charley Radbourn (9)--A virtual tie with Galvin, but I don?t think either should be HOMers for awhile.

9. Pud Galvin (10)--Could still move him up.

10. Charlie Bennett (11)--Great defense at catcher keeps him in the middle of the Outfielder/Pitcher Glut.

11. 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. Though, I may be underrating him too much still.

12. Pete Browning (12)--AA discount brings him down to Thompson and Tiernan and Griffin?s level. Browning still has the higher peak though.

13. Mike Tiernan (-)--I don?t think 3 players could be any more equal than Thompson and Tiernan and Griffin. Tiernan has a slight peak advantage over Thompson.

14. Sam Thompson (13)--Lower peak than Tiernan, higher peak than Griffin.

15. Mike Griffin (-)--Defense brings his (relatively) low peak onto the ballot. Just edges Caruthers off the ballot.
   59. Carl Goetz Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:26 PM (#515648)
Sutton v Joyce
   60. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:35 PM (#515649)
Here's the more detailed analyis, remembering that Sutton played 18 seasons vs. Joyce playing 8:

EQA
   61. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:38 PM (#515650)
oh, and obviously Sutton has an edge in fielding, but I don't see how that and just having a long career can overcome Joyce's superior offense.
   62. Jeff M Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:43 PM (#515651)
1. Agree with KJOK's post #86 re: Bud Fowler. Seems to me there's not much evidence that he was a truly great player.

2. John and Jason: Would be interested to hear more about the positional distribution. What underlies this concept? In other words, why do you think talent is evenly distributed around the ballfield over the decades? Since this is the ballot thread, I'm including a longer post in the ballot discussion thread and keeping it short here.
   63. Sean Gilman Posted: July 16, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#515652)
KJOK,
   64. Marc Posted: July 16, 2003 at 10:07 PM (#515653)
I am an EOES but does KJOK's analysis count NA?

I see that Cal McVey is perhaps moving ahead of Al Spalding this year. Every single baseball aficionado of the 1870s would think this HoM thing is totally weird at this point. Barnes and Wright? Maybe. McVey (and speaking as a FOCM)? Better than Spalding? Not a snowball's chance anywhere.

And once the HoM has fulfilled its mission--that is, of electing Deacon White and Ezra Sutton--what are we gonna do for an encore?
   65. KJOK Posted: July 16, 2003 at 10:40 PM (#515654)
No, my totals are all raw totals. Adjusting for season length WOULD give Sutton some more BR and EQR. My analysis DOES count NA.
   66. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 16, 2003 at 11:01 PM (#515656)
This is a radically different ballot from the ones I've filled out over the past few weeks. With such a close election, I reevaluated all of the candidates and evaluated some fringe players I hadn't looked at, like Billy Nash and Denny Lyons. I came to the conclusion that I had been undervaluing the achievements of pitchers and NA players. For the NA players, I looked back to the argument made for George Stovey's inclusion in the HOM: that he played against the best competition possible. When evaluating NA players, I can't fault them for not playing against better competition because that league was the best around.

The main statistical measure I used was WARP-1 projected out to 162-game seasons. I don't completely trust the adjustments made for WARP-3 and I wanted the chance to look at the numbers and make my own subjective adjustments. While this formula yielded some highly out-of-context results, like Fred Dunlap's 26.0 WARP 1884 UA season, it helped me to see through the mirage of wildly fluctuating season lengths and to evaluate players more accurately.

New comments for every player.

1. Joe Start (1) - The documented portion of Start's career is similar to Tony Perez. If you put any stock in the idea that he was one of the giants of 1860s baseball, he becomes a first-ballot HOMer.

2. Pud Galvin (11) - I had simply missed the boat on him. He's been the highest-ranked pitcher on my ballot, but I hadn't given the proper respect to a pitcher whose career parallels to the likes of Phil Niekro. The Little Steam Engine had the highest peak and highest documented career value of any pitcher on the ballot.

3. Al Spalding (NR) - Al Spalding? Yes, Al Spalding. After weeks of being arguably his biggest enemy among HOM voters, I looked at his career again. I knock off about 20-25 points off of his ERA+ to take his defense into account, but his pitching is still pretty damn good. When you take into account his career previous to the NA and the amount of value he was able to shove into a season by pitching every day and being one of the better hitters on his team, it's clear he deserves to be in.

4. Ezra Sutton (7) - I hadn't appreciated just how durable Sutton was. He played the equivalent of over 2600 games in his career, with 2300 coming at third base and shortstop. His career averages compare pretty closely to Darrell Evans, and he was a fine defensive player at an important position.

5. Cal McVey (6) - Flip-flopped with Bennett based on my appreciation for his hitting.

6. Charlie Bennett (5) - WARP likes him a lot and so do I. A Pudge Rodriguez-type of player, but with more offenisve value tied up in on-base percentage.

7. Charley Radbourn (12) - I'm coming around on Old Hoss, but this is about as far up as he goes. I just can't see anything that immediately distingutishes him from the rest of the pitchers on the ballot, though he was pretty darned good. There are some people who have him in their top three while leaving the guy below him completely off of the ballot.

8. Jim McCormick (14) - He was discussed as part of a thread on "big peak" pitchers, but Radbourn fits the description better than does McCormick. Hoss has the slightly higher peak, but McCormick was more consistent on a season-by-season basis. Never really had an off-year until 1887, his final season. I have him essentially tied with Radbourn, but Hoss gets the very slight edge due to the historical significance of that 1884 season.

9. Bid McPhee (NR) - I like Bid McPhee a lot, but not enough to place him in the top three or top five of my ballot. He was a league-average hitter, great baserunner and outstanding fielder. He turned in essentially the same performance for 18 years. If he played shortstop or third base, then he would clearly be a top three selection. But he played second base, which was an important defensive position, just not as important as the positions to his right. Still, a deserving HOMer.

10. Hardy Richardson (8) - Had a higher peak than McPhee and was clearly a better hitter, but McPhee played 1800 more equivalent games at second base and was a better baserunner than Richardson. Hardy gets placed below McPhee because of his relatively short career at second base, but gets placed above the outfielders because of his time at second base.

11. Harry Stovey (9) - Stovey's strengths are obscured by traditional statistical analysis. A significant amount of his value came from his excellence in the "shadow offense" of 19th-century baseball: base stealing and baserunning. The fact that 30 to 50 percent of the runs scored were unearned would seem to indicate that baserunning and defense had a much bigger impact on offense than at any other time in baseball history. Off of the top of my head, I can't think of a player in the 19th century who is truly comparable to Stovey: a great hitter with walks and power who was also a terror on the basepaths.

12. Pete Browning (4) - I feel bad about knocking him down this far after I've been his biggest booster here, but there are teeny, tiny differences separating players in the top 15. He is the best hitter on the ballot, but the second-best offensive player on the ballot behind Stovey.

13. Sam Thompson (10) - Third-best offensive player on the ballot, but made the smallest defensive contribution of any position player on the ballot.

14. Mickey Welch (13) - WARP doesn't treat Welch kindly. He may deserve to get in one day, but it's sure not looking like that day's coming anytime soon.

15. Lip Pike (NR) - Absolutely owned in the batter's box. I need to take a closer look at the claims that he dogged it in the field and fixed games, which could make all the difference in the world to his ballot status.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: July 17, 2003 at 03:42 AM (#515657)
Apologies for this long post. If you're clear that fielding has significant, calculable value and that players with short careers need to have that shortness accounted for, this post may not hold much interest. But if you're curious about how fielding value matches up with hitting value, or if you don't tend to look at players' careers season by season, you might find something interesting here. This is how I go about digging deeper into players' records to see what value they created for their teams.

KJOK has presented some evidence that shows Joyce as better than Sutton. But it's a very partial selection of evidence. First, it doesn't account for season length, so it's not representative of what either player contributed to their teams' winning pennants. Second, it doesn't take defense into account at all. KJOK says that he doesn't see how Sutton's edge in fielding, plus a longer career could match Joyce's offensive superiority.

First, fielding.

Well, WS sees Sutton's defense as twice as valuable as Joyce's, inning for inning. BP sees it as 2 1/2 times as valuable, inning for inning. Sutton was a very good fielder (though not as good as Billy Nash); Joyce was a terrible fielder, among the worst-fielding regular third basemen of all time. Treating fielding as a sort of dismissible matter is just not right here. Here are the figures, with Billy Nash thrown in for good measure.) WS calculates defense conservatively for this era (I judge about 30% too low), WARP overvalues defense somewhat.

Career Win Shares -- no season-length adjustment
   68. KJOK Posted: July 17, 2003 at 04:58 AM (#515658)
First, I want to say good job to Chris on articulating his position.

Second, it's probably a good place to explain why I don't do much adjusting for shorter seasons and why I think absolute numbers are important.

Using an admittedly exaggerated example, suppose a league had only 2 teams, and those two teams played one game for the season to determine the pennant, and in that game one batter hit 2 home runs, and his team won the game and the pennant 2-0. What would that batters WARP, Win Shares, etc, look like, adjusted to a 162 game season? They would easily dwarf any Bonds or Ruth season. They might even exceed the CAREER WARP or Win Shares of many players. Hopefully, it's obvious that this player would be getting an "unfair" statistical adjustment due to "getting" to play in a shorter season, where his numbers could be more extreme than a player of similar ability who played a 162 game schedule.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 17, 2003 at 06:30 AM (#515660)
Using an admittedly exaggerated example, suppose a league had only 2 teams, and those two teams played one game for the season to determine the pennant, and in that game one batter hit 2 home runs, and his team won the game and the pennant 2-0. What would that batters WARP, Win Shares, etc, look like, adjusted to a 162 game season? They would easily dwarf any Bonds or Ruth season. They might even exceed the CAREER WARP or Win Shares of many players. Hopefully, it's obvious that this player would be getting an "unfair" statistical adjustment due to "getting" to play in a shorter season, where his numbers could be more extreme than a player of similar ability who played a 162 game schedule.

100% correct. That's why you need to obtain the standard deviation for the season in question. This would eliminate the problem that you presented.
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: July 17, 2003 at 12:50 PM (#515662)
I can't remember where he posted this, but I know that Rob Wood has said that KJOK's problem pretty much disappears by the time you get to a 60-70 game season, and that you would only need to regress 3-5% to the mean to adjust for the 'sample size' issue. Rob if you're lurking and care to expand on this it'd be appreciated.

I also remember this, and I'd also appreciate seeing this info again.

John, I'm not a statistical whiz, but I'd like to be able to look at the SD for seasons. Is that data available somewhere?
   71. DanG Posted: July 17, 2003 at 01:42 PM (#515663)
In these next four elections 1905-08, figure to see at least three of our backlog make the HOM. Recent elections indicate Radbourn and Richardson are the leading candidates. However, increasing support for Galvin, Start and Sutton puts them in the running as well.

I have done more shuffling than usual for this ballot. McVey jumps 4 slots, Bennett and Pike up three. Thompson was the only one who slipped, down one place.

I?m also providing more commentary this time so as to avoid sanctions from the Ballot Police.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 17, 2003 at 02:33 PM (#515664)
13) Pearce ? Although I?m the oldest FODP, I?m less enthused then I used to be. There seems to be more Rabbit Maranville about him than Ozzie Smith.

I know I sound like a broken record, but Pearce was the best all-around shortstop for at least ten years. He's the only guy mentioned before George Wright. Plus, to make it interesting, he was an All-Star catcher. How is that Maranville?
   73. DanG Posted: July 17, 2003 at 02:49 PM (#515665)
Well, you kinda said it yourself: "He's the only guy mentioned before George Wright." That sounds like the best by default more than by merit.
   74. Marc Posted: July 17, 2003 at 02:51 PM (#515666)
The trouble I have with Pearce is that if we're going to delve that far into pre-history--I mean everybody else being discussed had more than half a career after '71--then how can we not be talking about Harry Wright? Or maybe Al Reach? Pearce was probably not the single greatest player pre-'71, I don't think.
   75. karlmagnus Posted: July 17, 2003 at 03:16 PM (#515667)
I put Pearce #15 this week on a "run it up the flagpole" basis, but tend to think Harry Wright may have a better case. Is the choice between them something that is determinable at this stage?
   76. Marc Posted: July 17, 2003 at 03:22 PM (#515668)
I think the case for Harry Wright is pretty well known. Voters who have trouble with Joe Start and G. Wright and Spalding are obviously gonna have trouble with Harry. Nobody can argue that his competition was ML, and there are no numbers. But I don't think there's much question that among those players who were through before '71 he was it. Sure Reach and Creighton and others get some props, but Harry was da man. He was the Cap Anson, the Ty Cobb, the Babe Ruth, the Joe DiMaggio, the Barry Bonds of his day. So Harry Wright is not unknown at all, what is problematic was "his day." But I'm gonna think about getting him on my ballot.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 17, 2003 at 03:32 PM (#515669)
I put Pearce #15 this week on a "run it up the flagpole" basis, but tend to think Harry Wright may have a better case.

Wright or Reach may have excellent cases, but it seems to me that people were more impressed with Pearce than almost everybody else during that time. Creighton might be the exception.
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 17, 2003 at 04:16 PM (#515671)
John, I'm not a statistical whiz, but I'd like to be able to look at the SD for seasons. Is that data available somewhere?

I'll see what I can do in the next few days, Chris.
   79. Chris Cobb Posted: July 17, 2003 at 06:11 PM (#515675)
On Tip O'Neill: I've said my piece and more about Bill Joyce, so I'll spare y'all an in-depth analysis of Tip, but the issues are quite similar.

Sam Thompson-- One of the greatest run producers of all time, his career OPS+ (adjusted for ballpark) still ranks as a top 50 mark, and we're worried about his defense?

If all we want to determine is that Thompson was a great player, we don't need to look at his defense, no. But if we have to rank Thompson against the other great players of his era, we do have to worry about his defense. We're not comparing him to average hitters, we're comparing him to hitters who were, with a few exceptions, around 20% better than the league, as measured by OPS+, for their careers. It's a mistake to _assume_ that defense isn't important enough to make a difference in these cases when we have some tools available for looking at defense. If you look at the defense and find that Thompson still should rank ahead of everybody else, ok, we can talk about interpretations of the evidence. But you can't expect us to take your arguments as seriously when you choose evidence selectively and then say that we shouldn't worry about the evidence you've chosen not to consider . . .
   80. DanG Posted: July 17, 2003 at 08:30 PM (#515677)
While Mark's ballots are always intriguing (and puzzling), it is good that he disrupts the Groupthink that sometimes seems to pervade here.

OTOH, the Constitution say: "Our goal is to identify the best players of each era and elect them to the Hall of Merit."

As a voter who altogether dismisses every NA star on the ballot(Start, Spalding, Sutton, McVey and Pike), Mark seems to run counter to the ideal stated in the Constitution.

He's probably explained his methods at some point in the past, but it might be helpful for an update on what rational he uses to eliminate from serious consideration every star from that era.
   81. Adam Schafer Posted: July 17, 2003 at 08:33 PM (#515678)
1. Al Spalding (1) - He had good teams behind him, wonderful, glad that he did. ANd with that good teams behind him, he was STILL the start.

2. Hoss Radbourne (2) - Spalding was better, but Hoss is the 2nd most deserving player on the ballot

3. Ezra Sutton (3) - If he doesn't make it soon, he might not have a chance.

4. Pud Galvin (5) - It's time to see our great pitchers go in

5. Bid McPhee (n/a) - what can I say, I love long careers

6. Charlie Bennett (8) - It's not like we're comparing him to Bench or anyone even yet to be born, so comparing him to Ewing makes him a logical choice.

7. Sam Thompson (6) - Still love the offense

8. Joe Start (7) - I am giving his credit for pre-'71 and I do think he should be in, but others are more deserving right now

9. Bob Carruthers (8) - a poor mans Spalding in my opinion

10. Harry Stovey (10)

11. Mickey Welch (12) - Eleventh place just doesn't seem right for him, but I can't seem to make any room for him any higher. Once Hoss and Spalding get in, I think we'll see Welch making a big move up on a lot of ballots other than my own.

12. Hardy Richardson (13)

13. Pete Browning (n/a) - he made it back on my list. he really could hit. he's no HOM'er but he's in the top 15

14. Cal McVey (14) - nothing new here

15. Mike Tiernan (n/a) - I like Sam much better, but wanted to show that Tiernan was good enough to make the top 15

how does whitney and mccormick get votes over spalding...maybe they would've been good IF they would've had the teams, or IF the parks had been different, or IF they had been luckier, but the facts are facts, they didn't get any of that and although it's unfortunate, the "IF" in all of it doesn't merit any vote from me.
   82. jimd Posted: July 17, 2003 at 09:12 PM (#515679)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

1) A. Spalding -- The only player on this ballot that can claim to be a top 3 player every season over a six year period, and a "Gold Glover" the 7th. WARP-1 finds him as deserving as Barnes; Harry Wright might be surprised that it regards Barnes that highly.
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 06:17 AM (#515686)
In fact, someone praised him for being the best second baseman in the league once, in 1886.

Actually, he was the best major league second baseman in 1886. He was close to being the best in the majors for '87.

Did he ever have a bad year? A few mediocre ones, but he seemed to be above average almost every year. He wasn't even bad his last year. Amazing durability!
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 06:25 AM (#515687)
As a voter who altogether dismisses every NA star on the ballot(Start, Spalding, Sutton, McVey and Pike), Mark seems to run counter to the ideal stated in the Constitution.

He's probably explained his methods at some point in the past, but it might be helpful for an update on what rational he uses to eliminate from serious consideration every star from that era.


Mark feels there are big question marks concerning the competition of that era. While I think he overstates the inferiority of that time, he has made his views known in an articulate, reasonable manner.

Consider his lack of NA and prehistory stars as idiosyncratic as my not including every pitcher that made an appearance during the eighties. :-D
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 06:47 AM (#515688)
. Tip O'Neill. I've had him in this range for a while. Those who tag him as a one-year wonder are selling him short. In my opinion, from 1884 to 1889, he was the best position player in the AA.

I have O'Neill as the best major league leftfielder in '87. Beyond that, I have him tied with Stovey as the best leftfielder in the AA in '88.

I'll take Stovey, Browning or Lyon over him as the best position players in the AA.
   86. Jeff M Posted: July 18, 2003 at 12:23 PM (#515689)
I could post this on any of the various threads, but I would just like to suggest/remind that we should challenge concepts in a constructive way. Some have a tendency to simply attack voters and concepts as if the attacker has the correct answers. I haven't looked, but I suspect no two ballots are alike. There's always something about a person's ballot you won't like. Some of the voters whose thoughts I most respect have the most disparate ballots from mine.

There's a pleasant way to argue these points, and there's an unpleasant way. I prefer the former. You can be forceful in putting down your thoughts on a topic. But if you find yourself getting angry about something (or someone) you are responding to, stop for a second, take a deep breath, and think of this as a learning experience for all of us. If you are going to make a jab, do it in a fun way. See John Murphy's various posts as an example of a pleasant way to challenge concepts.
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2003 at 01:04 PM (#515690)
Very fair point, Jeff M, although so far I think even the more emotional assertions have been correctly perceived as such - and not as actual attacks. Personally, I enjoy having my opinions challenged, but without face-to-face contacts, it is possible for that to get out of hand.
   88. Chris Cobb Posted: July 18, 2003 at 01:29 PM (#515692)
Food for thought on McPhee and peak: WARP1 gives a very different picture of McPhee's year-by-year quality than WS does. I haven't cross-checked nearly as thoroughly as Clint has done yet, but I can say that WARP1 sees him as better than Childs in 91, 93, and 95. It's possible that McPhee looks like he has no peak and seldom looks like the best 2B in the league in WS because WS underrates fielding. It's something I plan to look at more closely next "year" if McPhee remains on the ballot. I take the WARP1 values with a grain of salt, but they suggest that a systematic correction of fielding WS might give McPhee's career a different shape.
   89. Marc Posted: July 18, 2003 at 02:16 PM (#515693)
I am probably somebody who speaks pretty directly, maybe more so than I should. I don't mean to attack anyone but, yes, to challenge things. In re. Howie's point:

<We're not voting for each of our
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 02:27 PM (#515694)
See John Murphy's various posts as an example of a pleasant way to challenge concepts.

Thank you for your kind words, Jeff, but I unfortunately have had my bad days, too.

BTW, I'll have an answer for you about your positional adjustments question from the other thread this weekend. Must... find... more... time...
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 02:45 PM (#515695)
Sometimes I feel like the "directive" is to vote for Ezra Sutton, Joe Start and Pud Galvin, and that we're expected to reject the wisdom of previous generations and eschew traditional stats and bow down to WARP and DIPS, and that's when I kind of react.

The problem is, Marc, that the members of the Hall from the 19th century were elected by sportswriters after 1936. How many saw any of these guys in question? How many had hard statistics, traditional or nontraditional, in front of them?
   92. DanG Posted: July 18, 2003 at 03:11 PM (#515696)
I take this post (#133) as being indicative of the logical underpinnings supporting Mark?s highly idiosyncratic ballot. I fail to see any compelling logic here that would persuade anyone to reach the same conclusions.

Mark wrote: ?What's an era? In the very first ballot, I considered every player and every season from 1871 to 1892. Is that not an era??

Yes, that?s an era. But by dismissing the performance of the stars of that era that occurred in the years immediately preceding that era, you cannot reach accurate conclusions as to those stars? merit.

Mark wrote: ?One can only assume that if we were constitutionally obligated to vote in a like number from the 1870s and the 1880s, the first ballot would have taken place earlier in history.?

False assumption. To begin with, the constitution is careful to avoid imposing any such obligations. However, fair representation is encouraged: ?the goal is to identify the best players of each era.? I agree that it?s reasonable that the 1880?s have more players in the HOM than the 1870?s, but a 3-to-1 ratio of players whose careers centered in the 70?s vs. those centered in the 80?s is too extreme.

As to the first ballot, don?t you recall the last minute decision to move the date back 8 years? It was for the very reason I mentioned: there were indications that the 1870?s stars weren?t being fairly considered by our electorate. Maybe it should?ve been 1890.

Mark wrote: ?Why no love for pre-1871? A) As John pointed out, who were they playing?; and B) I don't like the slippery slope that pops up if we start looking at pre-1871.?

Oh no, the dreaded ?slippery slope!? Unfortunately, by participating in this project you obligate yourself to look at pre-1871. Professional ballplayers competed for pennants in those years, too.

As for the ?Who were they playing? argument?, that has little validity here because the answer is ?The best competition of the time.? Start and Spalding and Pike excelled before 1871 and continued to do so in the organized leagues after 1871. Also, if you buy that argument then you can use it to exclude Negro leaguers from consideration. They had no option to play better competition.
   93. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 03:11 PM (#515697)
It's possible that McPhee looks like he has no peak and seldom looks like the best 2B in the league in WS because WS underrates fielding.

It's probably that WARP1 doesn't really care for Child's defense, while James gave Cupid a B+ for fielding.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: July 18, 2003 at 03:30 PM (#515698)
me? It's possible that McPhee looks like he has no peak and seldom looks like the best 2B in the league in WS because WS underrates fielding.

John It's probably that WARP1 doesn't really care for Child's defense, while James gave Cupid a B+ for fielding.

I don't have the answers, but I don't think it's that simple. Most years, WARP1 sees Child's defense as above average, sometimes well above avg. (1891 is the glaring exception, where they see him as slightly below _replacement_). But in 95, McPhee ranks higher because, according to WARP1, he _hit_ better than Childs. I don't have any answers, and I don't quite know what WARP numbers _mean_ yet, but, esp. with Childs coming onto the ballot soon, I'm curious enough to look into it more. It'll be something to do on the McPhee thread . . .
   95. Jeff M Posted: July 18, 2003 at 04:05 PM (#515699)
Dan G said "IMO, this indicates a refusal to consider new evidence emerging as our discussions evolve. If someone?s player rankings have remained unchanged for the past 3+ months, then they need to give it a little more thought."

"Evidence" is a loaded word and "consideration" is the key. There are some valuable discussions about various topics in this forum. In most cases, those discussions are arguments or theories. These discussions should be considered. They do not, however, necessarily represent "evidence" that must result in a re-ranking of one's ballot.

I consider everything written in this forum and I either accept or reject arguments based on my own evaluation. I do not feel compelled to accept them, even when they seem to be popular with the voting group. Sometimes the ones I accept move players on my ballot, and sometimes not.

My ballot doesn't look like Mark's. So what? I disagree with his ranking, but I don't see it as patently unreasonable. And I've never gotten the impression that Mark votes simply to be a contrarian.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2003 at 04:21 PM (#515700)
My ballot doesn't look like Mark's. So what? I disagree with his ranking, but I don't see it as patently unreasonable. And I've never gotten the impression that Mark votes simply to be a contrarian.

I have to agree. There is a certain logic to his ballot selection that, while is at odds with mind, I have no problems with. Except maybe Tip O'Neill... :-D
   97. Jeff M Posted: July 18, 2003 at 04:30 PM (#515701)
Dan G also wrote "As for the ?Who were they playing? argument?, that has little validity here because the answer is ?The best competition of the time.? Start and Spalding and Pike excelled before 1871 and continued to do so in the organized leagues after 1871. Also, if you buy that argument then you can use it to exclude Negro leaguers from consideration. They had no option to play better competition."

This point was briefly addressed a couple of months ago in a post or two that I'm not able to find right now. But I don't think the same reasoning applies to the Negro Leagues. We know what the Negro Leagues would have competed against, had they been allowed. We know that Willie Wells may have competed with Marty Marion or Lou Boudreau for a SS position. We know about hundreds of players -- the good players, the average players and the bad players. The Negro Leaguers have some context.

We do not know what the competition looked like pre-1871. I don't know who Start was hitting against, or what the other 1b in the league looked like. We know 12-20 names from that period of time. All of them seem like they were pretty good players. The vast majority of us cannot rattle off the names of even 5 pre-1871 players who were terrible players (or even average). There must have been some. The talent pool was small. The game was new and very very regional.

Start was a very good major leaguer and obviously had some abilities during his younger prime years. But his competition is completely unknown. As for the "best competition of the time," of our pre-1871 players, how many even played against each other? Spalding was in Rockford and Chicago. Start was in Brooklyn winning the "national" championship. Did they ever go head-to-head?

You don't have to buy into the timeline adjustment through the 2003 season to see that baseball pre-1871 was very unorganized, came from a small pool of potential players and is poorly documented. It does not seem unreasonable to me that someone would heavily discount the oral history re: pre-1871 players. And this can be done without wholly buying into the timeline adjustment and applying it throughout the eras.

I give some intangible bonus points (a few, not a lot) to pre-1871 players. When combined with their major league records, I have Start at #6 (he has been as low as #12). Pike and Pearce are not on my ballot, but Pike is close.
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2003 at 04:46 PM (#515703)
I've been an offender myself, of course, but shouldn't this stuff be moved to the "1905 ballot DISCUSSION" thread?
   99. DanG Posted: July 18, 2003 at 05:32 PM (#515704)
Yes, caution is required. But for most of the guys we're considering here, there are many documented years of play in the 1870's, even into the 80's.

Joe Start was 28.5 when the NA started. We have 16 years of documented play, enough to easily extrapolate to his early years. We know he wasn't nothing in the 1860's, he was one of the most highly regarded players.

Maybe we can't assume he hit a really high peak; but we've seen reasonable, conservative estimations that figure him for well over 3000 hits and 350 win shares, adjusting to 162 game seasons. Fielding stats (and reputation) indicate he was a superior fielder. How is that not a HoMer?

For Dickey Pearce or Harry Wright, I understand folks not supporting them. The small percentage of their careers with reliable documentation tends to discourage the stat fans.

What I'm saying is use the hard information we have and make reasonable, conservative assumptions to fill in the gaps. Just because we don't have numbers for every year to put on a spreadsheet should not deter us from making judgments about players whose documented play indicates they were superstars.
   100. Al Peterson Posted: July 18, 2003 at 08:48 PM (#515705)
Here's my go at the 1905 ballot. If you had to catagorize my ballot style, I'd say peak over longer careers, NA guys get little help from pre-NA days, small discounts for AA players, and opinions of contemporaries weigh more heavily with me than some others. Many of the numbers thrown around the discussions mean a lot but if it was all about numbers we'd pick 4-5 metrics as a group, combine those figures through some master formula, and then spit out a list of HOMers each year. What fun is that...

1. Old Hoss Radbourn (1). Best of the pitchers - not by a lot but enough. 1884 he went 59-12, 3-0 postseason. That's not too shabby.
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