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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, August 11, 2003

1907 Ballot

Let’s get started, sorry it’s late . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2003 at 04:09 PM | 76 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 11, 2003 at 04:22 PM (#516371)
I haven't had time to go over the fielding adjustments for WS fully, so my "best major league player for" references are still based on the unadjusted version.

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): Greatest nineteenth century third baseman. In fact, I think he's the best peakXcareer player at that position until at least Ray Dandridge (who I haven't analyzed yet). Baker was much better peak-wise, but wasn't nearly as durable (he also didn't play during 1915 and 1920). Not that far off from being the best NA third baseman over Meyerle. Best major league third baseman for 1873, 1875, 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 (2): 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) Sliding Billy Hamilton (n/a): My pick for greatest outfielder of the '90s because of his amazing peak. Best major league leftfielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898.

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?).

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.

5) Dickey Pearce (5): 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.

6) Cupid Childs (n/a): Best second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century (but his stellar peak almost does it!). Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.

7) Joe Start (6): 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.

8) Harry Wright (n/a): I'm convinced (thanks to Marc) that he definitely belongs on my ballot. Another player that will take a hundred years (maybe) to be elected on my ballot. :-) Best all-around centerfielder for his time.

9) Charlie Bennett (7): Strictly as a catcher, extremely comparable to Buck Ewing value wise (though based more on career than peak value). Best major league catcher for 1881, 1882 and 1883. Most durable catcher up to that time (catchers absorbed much more abuse than they do today).

10) Billy Nash (8): The '90s had some terrific players at the "hot corner": McGraw, Collins, Joyce and Nash. Possibly the best defensive third baseman for the 19th century (and not too bad offensively).

Best major league third baseman for 1888, 1889, 1892, and 1893. Best PL third baseman for 1890.

11) Jack Clement (9): Very durable with a nice peak. Best major league catcher for 1891 and 1895.

12) Ed Williamson (10): Best third baseman for the 80s. Best major league third baseman for 1881. Best NL third baseman for 1882. Best NL shortstop for 1888.

13) Fred Dunlap (11): Most value as a second baseman for the 1880s (though McPhee and Richardson were still the better players career wise). Best major league second baseman for 1880, 1881 and 1884. Best NL second baseman for 1882 and 1886.

14) Lip Pike (12): 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) Hugh Duffy: "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league rightfielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

Pud, Big Sam and Silent Mike fall off. The last few slots are becoming increasingly competitive.
   2. Rusty Priske Posted: August 11, 2003 at 06:05 PM (#516372)
I have been away for the last week, but I did read every post on the discussion thread before making my ballot.

1. Ezra Sutton (2) I sing in his glorious name as I have joined the choir of the converted.

2. Pud Galvin (1) I haven't soured on Pud at all. He deserves a spot.

3. Joe Start (4)
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2003 at 09:49 PM (#516376)
1907 ballot

1. Joe Start - His age 30s and 40s stats look an awful lot like ones a superstar would produce, and darned if he wasn't seen as a giant in his day. I make the Yastrzemski comparision again - Start can slip through a "peak fan" or a "career fan" if they don't step back from the stat sheet a moment.
   4. Marc Posted: August 11, 2003 at 11:03 PM (#516378)
First I build a "consideration set" of players who were truly "great" at their (3 to 5 year) peak, then rank them about equally on peak and career. (You can't "become great" by hanging around.) I do give consideration secondarily to players with unusually long careers or other attributes, but they are hard put to rank above the double digits. My ballot has changed significantly after a closer look at the '60s and recalculating peak WS with more value for fielding.

Really Should Go In

1. Joe Start (12-9-11-6 last year)--certainly one of the top 2 or 3 players at his peak, arguably the greatest player in terms of total value for the 1860s. I have him #1 for career value among those currently eligible with 409 documented adjWS after 1870 and easily 600+ if we could quantify the '60s.

2. Billy Hamilton (new)--the top peak player of the 19th century in the sense that he maintained a reasonable claim to be "the best (position) player in the game" for a remarkable 8 years, though in absolute terms I see his peak (114 adjWS for 3 years, 179 for 5) as the 6th best. His 473 career adjWS is the #1 documented total.

3. Cal McVey (9-6-6-2 last year)--his 1876-78 represents the 3rd highest 3 year peak adjWS on the ballot. And these were not even his best seasons. (I do not have annual numbers pre-'76 nor therefore a 3 year peak prior to '78.) His career 336 adjWS does not include 2 years with the Cincy Red Stockings and is still #8 on the ballot.

A Very Strong Case Can Be Made

4. Charlie Bennett (13-12-9-5 last year)--a huge peak (7th best on the board) with the fielding adjustment. A vastly better catcher than Buck Ewing and maybe a better player. 346 career adj WS only 12th best but with the wear and tear of catching a truly fabulous record.

5. Harry Wright (x-12 last week)--clearly one of the top two or three players (if not "the best") at his peak. I have him 7th for career value over 15 year though his best years are of course un(statistically) documented.

6. Ezra Sutton (not ranked the past 5 cycles but 13-14-14-12 before that)--only the 13th best peak because his 5 year peak is not in the same class as his 3 year peak. In fact, for a guy with a very high 3 year peak and a very long career, the rest of his curve is lower than you'd think. Nevertheless, his peak is much higher than I had previously thought and his 468 career adjWS are 4th best on the ballot.

7. Hugh Duffy (new)--two things I hadn't expected: that he is a vastly better fielder than Hamilton, and at his peak (1893-95) was a strong claimant as the best in the business. 435 career adj WS is 5th best on the board.

Not Obvious Choices, But Have Their Strengths

8. Tommy Bond (never before rated)--the #1 peak on the board even after cutting pitching WS in half (but adjusting for season length). Sure, the short season works to his favor in this system but if "a pennant is a pennant," he had the greatest impact.

9. Lip Pike (10-11-10-7 last week)--assuming he combined the offense (150+ OPS+ in the NA) and the defense (middle infield pre-'71), a very valuable guy. Assuming he did both at the same time (i.e. he was as dominant on offense while playing in the IF), has the #7 peak. I drop him down a bit, however, because of the uncertainties of what I just said.

10. Dickey Pearce (never before rated)--the 3rd best player of the '60s (about the #10 peak on the ballot) and across a 15 year career I have him 11th for career value, though much of it is un(statistically) documented.

11. Sam Thompson (6-4-2-3)--big drop. The numbers just don't support the high ranking; in fact, they don't support him being on my ballot at all. But I think his defense is substantially underrated by WS and, frankly, I don't understand why his O doesn't earn more WS either. As somebody said, Billy scored 'em but Sam drove him home. Think Ricky and Donnie. (On the other hand, I thought Sam was the star of the '87 Wolverines but, no, that was Charlie Bennett.)

12. Jim McCormick (x-15T-x-14 last year)--2nd highest peak among eligible pitchers; actually the career leader in raw pitcher WS for several years in the mid-'80s. 284 career adj WS after a 50% reduction in pitching value, still #16 in career value on the board.

13. Cupid Childs (new)--one of the top players in the game circa 1892, a bigger combo of bat and glove than McPhee, though for a shorter period. I have Childs #19 for peak and #10 for career, Bid #27 and #3. I prefer the peak.

14. Bid McPhee (x-8-9)--special dispensation to make my ballot despite "no" peak. His career (471 adjWS, 3rd on the board) and his defense push him ahead of 20 guys with higher peaks, most notably:

Not HoMers But Worth Talking About

15 (tie). Billy Nash (not rated before) and Ed Williamson (not rated the last 5 cycles but 11-15-15 before that). Mirror images. Nash the #22 peak and #14 with 345 career adjWS, Williamson #23 and #13 (358
   5. jimd Posted: August 12, 2003 at 01:11 AM (#516379)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

1) P. Galvin -- He was already a candidate for top spot; giving him some partial credit for his time in the International Association makes him a definite #1.
   6. Jeff M Posted: August 12, 2003 at 02:17 AM (#516380)
Wow John Murphy. Ten of your 15 played 2b, 3b, ss or catcher (if you include McVey as a catcher).
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 12, 2003 at 03:03 AM (#516382)
Wow John Murphy. Ten of your 15 played 2b, 3b, ss or catcher (if you include McVey as a catcher).

That's because the hitters tend to go in faster than the guys at the defensive positions, leaving a backlog.

I have had high on my ballot the names Hines, Gore, O'Rourke, Anson, Brouthers, Connors, Kelly, Start, and H. Wright (Delahanty, Keeler, and Burkett will defintely be near the top) so I will vote for the bat. I just won't vote for all of them. :-)
   8. sean gilman Posted: August 12, 2003 at 05:01 AM (#516383)
1907

1. Ezra Sutton (1)--Should have been in a long time ago. Peak value comparable to Cal McVey (Best 3: 121/137 WS, 5 Consecutive: 161/177 WS), with significantly more career value (468/314). More Career Value than anyone on the board by far. Thanks to Chris Cobb for the numbers.

2. Sliding Billy Hamilton (-)--Close to Sutton in Career Value, but Ezra?s got the higher peak (by adjWS, yup it surprised me too).

3. Joe Start (4)--Bump up for Start this year. He?s got a better peak than McPhee and more career value than McVey, even without counting the 1860s (where all indicates his real peak was).

4. Bid McPhee (2)--Compared to McVey, McPhee?s defense and career value edge trumps the AA discount and the lack of a tremendous peak.

5. Cal McVey (3)--Not moving him down so much as moving Start up.

6. Pud Galvin (6)--I think I?ve been convinced.

7. Harry Stovey (5)--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? further down the ballot. Trails Glavin on both WARP1 and WARP3 Pennants Added lists.

8. Hugh Duffy (-)--Peak and Career value puts him in the middle of the outfielder glut; closer to Stovey than Thompson (which is a good thing in my book).

9. Lip Pike (7)--Tough to get a handle on him: not as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. I imagine he?ll be moving up and down my ballot for quite awhile.

10. Charlie Bennett (8)--Great defense and hitting (for a catcher) moves him ahead of the Outfielder/Pitcher Glut, at least according to WARP. I tend to trust Win Shares more though. . .

11. Pete Browning (10)--AA discount brings him down to Thompson and Tiernan and Griffin?s level. Browning still has the higher peak though.

12. Mike Tiernan (11)--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.

13. Sam Thompson (12)--Lower peak than Tiernan, higher peak than Griffin.

14. Mike Griffin (13)--Defense raises his (relatively) low peak to a level slightly below the rest of the outfielder glut.

15. Cupid Childs (-)--Could move ahead of the outfielders depending on what the appropriate defensive adjustments look like.
   9. KJOK Posted: August 12, 2003 at 04:12 PM (#516385)
Ed wrote: "Diamond Mind has a greatest players disk coming out and it uses the player's best 6000 plate appearances in consecutive seasons. But not too many 19th century players have 6000 plate appearances in his career so I wonder how many 19th century players, especially players that played before the schedule expanded, are going to be on the disk.
   10. Yardape Posted: August 12, 2003 at 05:59 PM (#516386)
After being very pitcher-heavy on my first ballot, I've taken another look at that, which has caused some of them to drop off in favour of a couple more hitters. That's the main cause for any shake-up from my previous ballot.

1. (1) Ezra Sutton
   11. sean gilman Posted: August 12, 2003 at 08:48 PM (#516387)
2. Sliding Billy Hamilton (-)--Close to Sutton in Career Value, but Ezra?s got the higher peak (by adjWS, yup it surprised me too).
   12. Brad Harris Posted: August 12, 2003 at 09:08 PM (#516388)
(1) Ezra Sutton - had planned on putting Billy Hamilton here, at the start of discussion last week, but realized just how comparable their hitting stats were, giving Sutton an edge.

(2) Billy Hamilton - one of the ten best 19th Century players, IMO.

(3) Joe Start - I'll continue to go with Joe D. on this one; Start could play for me anyday.

(4) Cal McVey - close behind him, of course, is Mr. McVey

(5) Bid McPhee - probably the greatest defensive player (at any position) of the 19th century

(6) Harry Stovey - great hitter, slugger, run producer

(7) Charlie Bennett - best pure catcher of the 19th century

(8) Sam Thompson - close with Tiernan, but name recognition more than anything gives him just a little push here

(9) Mike Tiernan - superb (and highly underrated) player

(10) Cupid Childs - have long wanted a reason to research Childs' career; glad this project brought him to light

(11) Pud Galvin - best pitcher on the ballot, perhaps, but it's just hard to think of him as being THAT deserving (relative to greats like Clarkson and Keefe)

(12) Fred Dunlap - slides down a few, particularly with insertion of Childs this time

(13) Ned Williamson - despite park effects, still a great slugger at a defense-oriented position

(14) Pete Browning - can't leave a guy with that BA off the ballot

(15) Jim McCormick - after some study and much hand-wringing, he replaces Bob Caruthers as king of the overlooked short-career studs
   13. Marc Posted: August 12, 2003 at 09:39 PM (#516389)
Tom and Sean,

Having just completed recalc. of annual WS for purpose of rating peak performance... The calc. includes adj. for fielding "bonus" up through 1892 (but not thereafter), for season length and for league strength (AA and UA but NOT a timeline). I am not saying these are any offical adjWS because there are legitimate disagreements about how to adjust. But:

For best 3 consecutive: Sutton 133 Hamilton 114
   14. favre Posted: August 12, 2003 at 11:51 PM (#516391)
I generally favor career over peak. I'm not much of a statistician, so I really on the posted adjusted WARP and Win Shares pretty heavily.

1. Billy Hamilton (NA)
   15. Jeff M Posted: August 13, 2003 at 01:14 AM (#516392)
Ed: Funny you should mention it...I'm on page 200 of the book. I agree with your review. Very interesting to see how things were written (colorful language, and unbelievable racism in the newspaper accounts), but it's hard to say he "wrote" it or that it is about the pennant race when the Pirates and Cubbies are largely excluded. I don't find it boring, but I think I would have preferred a narrative that covered all three teams equally.

John Murphy: Hope you realize I wasn't criticizing your defensive weighted ballot or accusing you of ignoring outfielders and 1b; just noting it. :)
   16. favre Posted: August 13, 2003 at 02:01 AM (#516393)
I posted this earlier, but it didn't appear on the thread when I checked it. Sorry if there's a repeat of the ballot.

1. Billy Hamilton (NA)
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2003 at 03:02 AM (#516394)
For those scoring at home, we DO have two Favre ballots, at least at the moment.......
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 13, 2003 at 03:24 AM (#516395)
John Murphy: Hope you realize I wasn't criticizing your defensive weighted ballot or accusing you of ignoring outfielders and 1b; just noting it. :)

No offense taken. It's not as if I hadn't noticed it myself. :-)
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 13, 2003 at 04:16 AM (#516396)
11. (n/a) Nig Cuppy Hasn't got much discussion, but he looks like an excellent pitcher to me. I thought he was worthy of a lower-ballot spot. Perhaps he gets overlooked in comparison to Young, Nichols, Rusie. Doubt he'll ever climb high on my ballot or in the rankings.

The guy was good. However, he was never remotely the best pitcher for his era (he didn't pitch that many innings each season). Interesting career, though.

BTW, I'm pretty sure I won't see someone with his nickname in my lifetime (hopefully). :-)
   20. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 01:34 PM (#516398)
>Joe Start. The rationale for him seems to be that, although he wasn't great in the 16 seasons we can see,
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2003 at 02:23 PM (#516399)
A simple approach: Take the worst-case scenario of a guy who was perceived to be one of the best of a decade but maybe was overrated in your mind (maybe a slugger who didn't walk, pitcher in a pitcher's park, etc.). In no case was the guy not a star; it's just a matter of degree.
   22. Al Peterson Posted: August 13, 2003 at 02:27 PM (#516400)
My 1907 ballot. Sorry about the length in some places.

1. Billy Hamilton (-). This baseball era placed a premium on high scoring by getting on-base, where walks are free bases and speed on balls in play is used to cause pressure defense into miscues. Once on-base, you take extra bases on base hits, again something where speed was a great asset. Slidin' Billy did these items extremely well.

2. Harry Stovey (2). OK, I'll tilt at this windmill along with OCF. Sort of a Billy Hamilton Lite. Take away some of the on-base ability, add on some slugging. Among eligible hitters, Joe's Pennants Added material has him 10th in adjWARP3(behind folks like Ed Williamson and Charlie Bennett), 3rd in both adjWS and adjWARP1. This without some of the other value of baserunning that the metrics struggle with. Lets look at stolen bases for a minute, taking into account their differing definition than today. From 1886 (first recorded) to 1893 (when Stovey retired), he had 509 SB in 4295 plate appearances. Only two men had better ratios during that time frame: Hamilton and Artie Latham. In addition, HS did it during his age 29-36 years - late in life for running in baseball. If they kept SB records in his earlier, prime years maybe Hamilton wouldn't have been known as the 1st great basestealer. Finally, the AA discount. Stovey did avoid some of the weakest AA years in terms of competition (82, 90-91) and did well in the PL, NL when at those stops.

3. Bid McPhee (5). Extreme career length for middle infielder with defense to spare. Hitting was adequate, at least in comparison to others on this ballot.

4. Pud Galvin (3). Still should be thought of as a star. Will get in eventually.

5. Charlie Bennett (4). Defensive stalwart, solid offensively early on. Catching was a tough gig around his time.

6. Joe Start (7). Joe Start must have really liked baseball to play that long...

7. Cal McVey (6). Another 1870s player, this one a star. Start's career wins out this time.

8. Hugh Duffy (-). WARP3 and WS love him. I'm not as sold that his defense can kick him into the upper echelon of players on the ballot.

9. Ezra Sutton (9). Pass...

10. Sam Thompson (8). Thank you Mr. Hamilton for this positioning. The What Were We Thinkings:

11. Pete Browning (11). Scary good with the bat, kinda scary with the glove.

12. Mike Tiernan (10). Silent Mike not making much noise with the voters.

13. Mike Griffin (12). Shade below Duffy.

14. Ed Williamson (13). Sutton beats him, still worth a mention. Played some SS as well.

15. Dickey Pearce (-). The input from others in the ballot discussions have been substantial - enough to me see him as worthy of HOM mention.

Off are Tony Mullane and Mickey Welch. Pitchers take a seat, might return.

As for Cupid Childs, if I put him on the ballot (119 OPS+, 6758 PA), what about his teammate and keystone partner Ed McKean (114 OPS+, 7610 PA)? Not going down that road yet...
   23. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 06:24 PM (#516403)
>Isn't it "historical record" that Joe Dimaggio was better than Stan Musial or Ted Williams? That Cobb was
   24. MattB Posted: August 13, 2003 at 06:27 PM (#516404)
Back from vacation, and ready to vote:

1. Pud Galvin (1) ? Yes. Too many players from the 1880s. No, that doesn't mean that I'll downgrade a player who was better than half of those already in.

2. Joe Start (2) -- Still holding strong. One day we'll get there.

3. Billy Hamilton (n/a) -- Exactly like Sam Thompson, but with more plate appearances, and he played center, and he had more speed. So, not really like Sam Thompson at all.

4. Cal McVey (3) -- With Spalding in, he's now my top "pure 1870's" candidate. Start tops him only with 1860s and 1880s stats thrown in.

5. Bid McPhee (5) -- Holding steady, with Spalding in and Hamilton jumping over.

6. Ezra Sutton (6) -- still above my personal in/out line. Would be above McVey if only NA/NL stats were included.

7. Charlie Bennett (7) ? Another year, another debate over whether Bennett's defense in overrated or his career was too short or whatever. And yet, for another year, he's the best catcher on the ballot, and no one else is even close (and no one better seems to be on the horizon). The longer he goes without serious competition as Best Catcher, the more I lean to the side of those who put him further out on the tip of the bell curve. As I type this, I'm thinking I'm more likely to have him too low than too high.

8. Cupid Childs (n/a) -- very close to McPhee. Better offense, better league, shorter career. There's a lot of bunching going on here, but I almost consider Childs and McPhee tied.

9. Bud Fowler (8) - the best Negro league player to retire in the 19th century gets precedence over the fifth best first baseman/ left fielder until I hear evidence to the contrary.

10. Harry Stovey (9) ? a great player, but at deep positions. Still not sure about him. Could go higher some day.

11. Hugh Duffy (n/a) -- incrementally better than Sam Thompson.

12. Sam Thompson (10) -- See Billy Hamilton and Hugh Duffy. The more who appear better, the closer he seems to an Out on the In/Out Line.

13. Jim Whitney (12) -- Second week on my ballot, as I have not yet reconsidered my views from last week.

14. Bob Caruthers (11) -- still like him, but the comparison to Jim Whitney was interesting.

15T. Pete Browning (13)
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 13, 2003 at 06:53 PM (#516405)
6. Ezra Sutton (6) -- still above my personal in/out line. Would be above McVey if only NA/NL stats were included.

Have you seen Chris Cobb's work from the 1906 Discussion thread?
   26. Adam Schafer Posted: August 13, 2003 at 07:12 PM (#516406)
1. Charlie Bennett (3) - I favor catchers very strongly which as I've said before you'll see in my future ballots.

This one was really close between Ezra and Charlie, the closest that it's ever been for a number 1 spot for me.

Personally I feel that at this point in history, Charlie is THE best catcher ever. I'm not trying to set any

quotas for positions, but catchers are few and far between on our ballots so far and take much more abuse. I love

catchers, they'll always be high on my ballot.

2. Ezra Sutton (2) - He was almost #1, SO close that I almost had them tied for the #1 spot. It's starting to look

like this might be his year, and honestly, I hope it is.

3. Pud Galvin (4) - Pud has been up and down my ballot but I know he's near the top to stay until he makes it in.

There has been a lot of nitpicking about his stats, but all I have to say is 300 wins is 300 wins. Even in this

era 300 wins didn't come easy.

4. Billy Hamilton (n/a) - Unless I'm mistaken, he has the highest career batting average of all time at the time of

the voting.

5. Bid McPhee (5) - Nothing new. Still deserves to be in the HOM

6. Sam Thompson (6) - I still applaud his incredible offense

7. Joe Start (7) - the end of his career does look great, and that might imply that he was a superstar at the

beginning of it, bu I just can't rank him any higher than this on a "might"

8. Hugh Duffy (n/a) - I haven't really decided where I want him on my ballot. I like the fact that he had a lot of

extra base hits, hit for power, average, scored runs etc. I don't like the fact that he was basically done by the

time he was 32 without having an enormous peak such as Spalding did while pitching.

9. Bob Carruthers (9) - he's still hanging in here.

10. Cal McVey (11) - Amazingly he's moving up my ballot. I think it's the batting average and the fact that he did
   27. MattB Posted: August 13, 2003 at 07:54 PM (#516407)
John wrote:

"' 6. Ezra Sutton (6) -- still above my personal in/out line. Would be above McVey if only NA/NL stats were included.'

Have you seen Chris Cobb's work from the 1906 Discussion thread?"

Yes, I've read through everything. Before the 1906 election, I believe I had both McVey and Sutton in the teens.

Is your point that Sutton should be higher than McVey (in which case I point to McVey's pre- and post- documented numbers, which I give significant weight) or that McVey should be higher even if only NA/NL numbers are considered (which I don't agree with, but is a fair viewpoint)?
   28. RobC Posted: August 13, 2003 at 09:38 PM (#516410)
1. Bid McPhee (1) - Defense and a long career.
   29. RobC Posted: August 13, 2003 at 09:40 PM (#516411)
Note: #5 Charlie Bennett is hanging out with the typos at the end of Pud Galvin's line.
   30. KJOK Posted: August 13, 2003 at 10:13 PM (#516413)
I look more for wins above AVERAGE as opposed to above REPLACEMENT LEVEL when considering a player's greatness, look at at least 5 years for a peak, heavily weight C, SS, and 3B defense. Don't know if anyone else is experiencing this, but my #3 - #20 players are extremely close, and could almost be reversed without too much trepidation...

1. BILLY HAMILTON, CF - Basically Rickey Henderson minus Henderson?s last 10 years. High OBP with basestealing/baserunning ability was extremely valuable in the style of play of the 1890's. Could have been MVP in 1891, 94 & 98.
   31. Adam Schafer Posted: August 13, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#516415)
i did indeed jump the gun on him. i must have been looking at my future ballots and just got his name in my head and was thinking abou thim. lets remove ryan, bump everyone up one, and make Tony Mullane #15.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2003 at 02:41 AM (#516416)
Is your point that Sutton should be higher than McVey (in which case I point to McVey's pre- and post- documented numbers, which I give significant weight) or that McVey should be higher even if only NA/NL numbers are considered (which I don't agree with, but is a fair viewpoint)?

I didn't check to see where you had Sutton prior to this election. If I had, I wouldn't have asked the question. Sorry.

As for Sutton/McVey - who knows? I'm not giving McVey any credit for his post-NL career, so it's possible that he could go ahead of Ezra. Your ranking is certainly plausible.

Has anyone acquired Cal's western numbers and his relation to the league? I know I have asked the question a few times, but you never know if somebody new has the info.
   33. Marc Posted: August 14, 2003 at 03:11 AM (#516417)
John, I have not found any numbers...and when we say "west," my understanding in Cal's case is that we mean Texas and Louisiana...?
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2003 at 03:35 AM (#516418)
John, I have not found any numbers...and when we say "west," my understanding in Cal's case is that we mean Texas and Louisiana...?

He was in San Francisco of the California League in '85, so I believe he was on the West coast for a good deal of that time.
   35. Rob Wood Posted: August 14, 2003 at 07:07 AM (#516419)
My 1907 ballot:

1. Billy Hamilton -- clearly the best player on the ballot
   36. Philip Posted: August 14, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#516421)
1. Start (1) -- Even being modest about his peak years in the 60?s, he is absolutely the top candidate.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2003 at 05:24 PM (#516423)
Charlie Bennett: He's not too far off my ballot year after year--may eventually move on, but I'm not a big believer in giving "durability points" for playing a rough position. Give me the top RF over the top catcher any year and I'll be ahead way more often than not.

... but you won't be ahead if you're playing a team with a comparable hitting rightfielder, but you will be ahead if your catcher is much better than the other guys catcher. If I'm wrong, please show me where.

Ezra Sutton: I've been consistent in downgrading players that experienced a peak in 1871/1872 and then dropped off. (see Geo. Wright)

Sutton didn't tail off, however. He had arguably his greatest seasons in the mid-eighties.

Sutton is not quite as linear as Wright in terms of falling off, but between the path of his career, the fragility of early NA stats, and the 6-year period in the prime of his career where he was blah...I'm just not ready to say he was vote-worthy.

I know you won't be surprised (:-), but I don't follow you're logic still. You put so much weight on one season (1871), yet seem to ignore his terrific seasons from the eighties when the competition was much better. Obviously, his stats were inflated by only playing thirty something games and with a weaker talent pool in '71, but that is still only one season.

As for the "prime of his career," who cares. What is the difference between a player who has peak at the beginning, middle or end? Answer: none. All that matters is the sum total of his accomplishments. Besides, he was experiencing arm problems during that time.

I'm starting to think Al Spalding or Cal McVey stopped your gg-grandfather's budding NA career in '71. :-)

I'll leave JoeDimino to scold you on Start. :-D
   38. Marc Posted: August 14, 2003 at 06:03 PM (#516424)
>What is the difference between a player who has peak at
   39. Carl Goetz Posted: August 14, 2003 at 06:34 PM (#516426)
Here we go. I think I've got comments for 1906's top 11 (minus Spalding of course):
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2003 at 06:37 PM (#516427)
Which is why I disagree with the second half: All that matters is the sum total? No, the shape of the curve (career) and the height of the line (peak) matter a lot!

Obviously, I forgot to add the peak aspect of a player's worth in my post. In fact, I mention it on my ballot every year that I weighh peak equally with career.
   41. Marc Posted: August 14, 2003 at 07:16 PM (#516428)
By "top 2 or 3," I mean that Start clearly had as much accumulated value as of 1870 as anybody (with Pearce and H. Wright as the only guys who could dispute that or more likely even claim to be close). I also mean that right around 1864-65 he was probably the best player in America (in the sense that Hines or Gore was "probably" the best position player in the mid-'80s; in other words, I am not hedging due to any lack of data--qualitative rather than quantitative though it might be--but rather just in the sense that there is always a counterpoint). I did not mean to say he was "the best" every single year from age 16 on.

I don't think it at all implausible, BTW, that a player might have his peak prior to age 28. It happens all the time. The old theory that a peak comes at 28-32 seems to have been widely refuted. Many great players are washed up at 32. (Once again, Ernie Banks comes to mind.) And Start and Banks are analogous in terms of the shape of their careers--high peaks early, a clear mid-career decline followed by a fairly long period of above average but not all-star play. Actually, if you take away the timeline, I think their total career values are probably pretty close, too.

But the main point is that at his peak, Start was clearly one of the best, if not the best player in America. Drawing inferences about one part of a career from another (assuming, that is, a "normal" curve) is risky business. Every career has a different curve. I would rather base Start's play in the '60s on known (qualitative) facts than on Brock2.
   42. Rick A. Posted: August 14, 2003 at 09:38 PM (#516430)
Okay, here is my ballot. I haven't been able to go through the adjustment for fielding data yet, but I will by the next ballot. So, there may be some changes in the next ballot.

HOMer?s
   43. sean gilman Posted: August 14, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#516432)
I'm off on vacation for about 10 days. Keep voting for Ezra!
   44. OCF Posted: August 14, 2003 at 11:06 PM (#516433)
From Mark McKinnis (#52):

1 (1) Sam Thompson--One of the greatest run producers of all time, despite only playing for one pennant winner.

... Thompson stays ahead for now because: ... b) the RBI/clutch thing.


You may be right - he was a big hitter. But is that RBI/clutch thing anything like Jeff Kent's MVP year? Thompson's three biggest RBI years were 1888, 1894, and 1895.

In 1888, Dan Brouthers went .338/.426/.562. His XBH line was 36-20-12, he had 34 SB, and he had 153 R to 101 RBI.

In 1894, Ed Delahanty went .407/.478/.585. His XBH line was 39-18-4, he had 21 SB, and he had 147 R to 131 RBI.

In 1895, Ed Delahanty went .404/.500/.617. His XBH line was 49-10-11, he had 46 SB, and he had 149 R to 106 RBI.

I don't know the details of the batting orders, but I would assume that Thompson was usually batting right behind Brouthers and Delahanty (with Hamilton at the front in the Philadelphia cases.) That was a very rich environment of RBI opportunities.
   45. dan b Posted: August 15, 2003 at 01:46 AM (#516434)
My ballot favors stars of the 90?s and the AA. HoMers to date have played a composite 33 seasons in the 5-year history of the NA and less than 6 seasons in the 10-year history of the AA. NA apologists have admitted that play in the AA was as good as play in the NA. IMO with the exception of lack of recognition of the AA, we have adequately represented the 70?s and 80?s. I would rather slight the early years when the caliber of play was suspect than the 90?s when the game started to approach ?major league? quality as we know it today.

1. Hamilton tops the ballot in career value, 5-year peak and 3-year peak. Slam dunk. Shatter the glass. Rip down the backboard.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2003 at 07:04 AM (#516436)
IMO Sutton and Start would be better representatives of the 60?s and 70?s than Spalding and Barnes.

How do you come to that conclusion about Sutton? He started his career later than the other three and also ended it later.
   47. Philip Posted: August 15, 2003 at 12:58 PM (#516437)
Mark wrote: ?1. Charlie Bennett never hit as well as a top-rank right-fielder. He hit as well as an average RF. If your (John) point is that Bennett is a better HoM choice than an average RF, I whole-heartedly agree with you.?

I think that John?s point is that Bennett not only is a better HoM choice than an average RF but also a better choice than a very good RF, which Thompson is. Even though Thompson may be a better hitter, Bennett?s value comes from standing out from his competition. It is what in economics is called opportunity cost.

Consider having both Thompson and Bennett in your lineup. If Thompson gets injured you can get a decent replacement for a reasonable price. There are many good hitting rightfielders, so you don?t lose too much on offense and the abundance of decent rightfielders drives down the price to get one.
   48. Marc Posted: August 15, 2003 at 01:18 PM (#516438)
>>IMO Sutton and Start would be better representatives of the 60?s and 70?s than Spalding and Barnes.

>How do you come to that conclusion about Sutton? He started his career later than the other three and also
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2003 at 02:09 PM (#516439)
I think that John?s point is that Bennett not only is a better HoM choice than an average RF but also a better choice than a very good RF, which Thompson is. Even though Thompson may be a better hitter, Bennett?s value comes from standing out from his competition. It is what in economics is called opportunity cost.

Correct, Philip (I forgot to answer Mark's point myself). If your team's rightfielder is only 5% better than league, but your catcher is 50%, the latter is helping his team win to a much greater degree (regardless of how he compares to the rightfielder as an offensive threat).
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2003 at 02:23 PM (#516440)
This line should have read:

If your team's rightfielder is only 5% better than the average rightfielder, but your catcher is 50% better than the average catcher, the latter is helping his team win to a much greater degree (regardless of how he compares to the rightfielder as an offensive threat).
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2003 at 02:24 PM (#516441)
John, it seems clear enough that for some voters anybody who played before 1876 goes into that big pot called "no competition."

I think you're right, Marc.
   52. Brad Harris Posted: August 15, 2003 at 03:27 PM (#516442)
I'll make this quick 'cause my PC has the "Reboot-R" virus right now. :(

1. Ezra Sutton
   53. Marc Posted: August 15, 2003 at 04:15 PM (#516444)
I'n not naming names (I don't keep track of who is an F or E of whom), but here's an eg.

>15. (3-way tie) Denny Lyons. Best 3B of the AA
   54. DanG Posted: August 15, 2003 at 04:47 PM (#516445)
With the blackout hitting on top of vacation, I'll have to make my preliminary ballot the final one:

1) Hamilton ? Not quite the caliber of earlier first-ballot picks, but among this crowd he stands out. Is he not one of the top ten center fielders of all-time?
   55. dan b Posted: August 15, 2003 at 05:02 PM (#516446)
"I'n not naming names (I don't keep track of who is an F or E of whom), but here's an eg.

>Since McVey is in the top-10, but not on my ballot - McVey played in just 527 games in his measurable 9 year career. How much credit can we really give him for his play as prior to the NA?"

Marc - if you are going to quote me, get it right - that should read - "How much credit can we really give him for his play as a teenager prior to the NA?"

When Bill James knocks the early game, one of his points is the number of "stars" that were in their teens.

>John, it seems clear enough that for some voters anybody who played before 1876 goes into that big pot called "no competition."

I wouldn't say "no competition", just weak competition - unevenly documented, unverifiable, demographicly unavailable
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: August 15, 2003 at 06:26 PM (#516448)
Mark,
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2003 at 06:38 PM (#516449)
To follow up on dan's comments, all pre-1876 replacement-based metrics (most notably: WARP and Win Shares) need to be doubly (and then some) adjusted for regression. In a ~65 game season, the best will be at a higher peak than usual, and the worst will be at a lower valley than usual. When you throw in the fact that the worst in the NA didn't even belong in a "major" league, it's no wonder that you have the implausibly high adjWS that dan b alludes to (post #64). The replacement level was sub-replacement level.

I don't disagree. In fact, I have mentioned basically the same thing on a number of occasions.

However, this still doesn't mean the best players of the NA and before weren't great players in their own right.

Cobb and Wagner stood out much more than they would today because of the inferior competition from their time. They were sometimes 140 points greater than the average player in BA, while no one today approaches that level in today's greater offense era. That doesn't mean they're not upper echelon HoFers. That's the argument I have been trying to make.
   58. Marc Posted: August 15, 2003 at 08:05 PM (#516450)
>I'm in your camp in not getting too caught up in pre-1876 numbers.

We're not really talking 1871-75 numbers here and in fact my point was: can we consider evidence that is not in the form of numbers?

This started with the fact that Joe Start's peak occurred in the 1860s. Sure Joe Start was a teenager once but he was 20 years old in 1862. The assumption that he peaked at age 28-32 flies in the face of the (qualitative, therefore apparently irrelevant) historical record. I would be satisfied if someone regressed that to the mean, rather than pretended it didn't happen. Better yet, accept it as qualitative data (but date nonetheless). That was the original pt.
   59. Marc Posted: August 15, 2003 at 08:08 PM (#516451)
PS. I hope everyone knows this is all in good fun. I like to argue with you guys. Obviously I think I'm right but on the other hand "groups make better decisions than individuals do," right? All in fun.
   60. Yardape Posted: August 15, 2003 at 10:22 PM (#516453)
This started with the fact that Joe Start's peak occurred in the 1860s. Sure Joe Start was a teenager once but he was 20 years old in 1862. The assumption that he peaked at age 28-32 flies in the face of the (qualitative, therefore apparently irrelevant) historical record.

I'm a proponent of NA stars getting in. Spalding topped my ballot last "year" and McVey and Pike rank very highly as well.

With Start, I'm not assuming that he peaked between 28 and 32. I'm giving him credit for a peak in the 1860s, as without that credit he wouldn't come close to my ballot. But my concerns are with how great that peak was. At age 28, one would expect Start to still be near his peak level, but he was getting outperformed by guys like Pike and McVey, making me wonder if they aren't better candidates (they are, IMHO).

Is there evidence that Start experienced a drop-off around the time the NA began? I understand that the qualitative evidence indicates that he was a top player in the 1860s, but what does the qualitative evidence say about Start in the 1860s vs. the 1870s? Are there any accounts indicating that Start either dropped off or stayed the same through those periods? Those questions could help decide exactly where on my ballot Start lands. He is probably the player I have spent the most time trying to figure out so far.
   61. KJOK Posted: August 15, 2003 at 11:16 PM (#516454)
While I probably deserve to be in the 'skeptic' camp when it comes to pre-1871 playing ability, I think it's important to point out that, for Joe Start, we do have SIXTEEN seasons of data from 1871-1886, and the statistical evidence that he was good enough to be a starting player at age 42. So, while I'm not as high on Start as some others are, I don't see him as a good example of an "undocumented" player like a Dickey Pearce or Harry Wright, where confidence in "reputation" places a much larger role.
   62. Marc Posted: August 16, 2003 at 01:56 AM (#516457)
Someone was daring enough recently to ask for details of another (small) hall project that Dan G. and I and others are currently involved in, though we haven't seen Dan recently. Come home Dan, all is forgiven!

But just for fun, the following are the current standings on the 1989 ballot (not final), just to illustrate the kinds of wacky comparisons we will be making in the distant (or perhaps, the not so distant) future.

1. Johnny Bench
   63. KJOK Posted: August 16, 2003 at 02:44 AM (#516458)
redsox1912 asks:

"Please, someone answer me, are those adjustments done by doubling an 81 game season?s stats to equal a 162 game season? "

That is my understanding of the adjustments. That's also why I've been rejecting the "a pennant is a pennant" philosophy. For the analysis I've been doing, I basically take the 81 games stats and regress them about 50% for my "2nd" 81 games. That gives some adjustment for the short season players while also recoginizing that it's much easier to have an OBP of .400 in 81 games than in 162 games (all other factors being equal.... )
   64. Jeff M Posted: August 16, 2003 at 12:41 PM (#516459)
1. HAMILTON, BILLY (--) -- An enormous run producer due to high OBA. I have his career adjWS behind Hamilton, but have Hamilton better on a WS per 162 games basis, and I think Hamilton was better on a year to year basis; just for not as long.

2. SUTTON, EZRA (#1)

3. STOVEY, HARRY (#2)

4. START, JOE (#5) -- I've flip-flopped Start and McVey, based on fielding adjustments I did to WS. The adjustments weren't much, but were just enough in my system because McVey had been only slightly ahead of Start to begin with.

5. MCVEY, CAL (#4)

6. BROWNING, PETE (#6)

7. MCPHEE, BID (#8) -- Adjustments to fielding WS move him up.

8. GALVIN, PUD (#5) -- The fielding WS adjustments have corresponding effects on team pitching WS, so Galvin loses ground.

9. TIERNAN, MIKE (#7)

My HOMer cutoff is probably here ---------------------

10. THOMPSON, SAM (#9)

11. JONES, CHARLEY (#10)

12. WELCH, MICKEY (#13) -- After making the fielding WS and pitching WS adjustments, Welch stood out a little more among the pitchers.

13. BENNETT, CHARLIE (#15)

14. DUFFY, HUGH (--) -- When park adjusted, his numbers are not all that impressive, other than '91 and '94, particularly for an outfielder. I'm comfortable with my rank ordering on this ballot of the outfielders. Off the ballot, but next, would be Lip Pike, followed by Mike Griffin.

15. CARUTHERS, BOB (#11) -- Suffers a little bit from the pitching WS adjustments I did, but not as much as some because such a large portion of his value was in his hitting.

Notable omissions: Pike still lingers just off the ballot. So does Mullane, who was on my ballot last time but slipped off because of the pitching WS adjustments. Cupid Childs was a better hitter than McPhee, but had a short career and not really comparable defensively. I think he was a very good player, but doesn't really rise to the level of the other guys on the ballot.

Just off (where they've been living for a while and will probably stay): McCormick, Pike, O'Neill, Stivetts, Griffin, Buffinton.
   65. Ken Fischer Posted: August 16, 2003 at 05:32 PM (#516460)
1907 Ballot

On the road for the 1906 ballot. Now I'm in the middle of moving. I'll try to contribute more next round. I moved Sutton up...he continues to grow on me.

1-Billy Hamilton
   66. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2003 at 06:34 PM (#516462)
1907 Ballot

Just back from a week's vacation. I've read through all this week's postings, but I haven't had time to think through them carefully to see if any major changes in my rankings might be indicated. If any are, they'll register next year. Numbers listed are fielding and season-adjusted win shares, with AA and UA WS discounted on a seasonal basis. Total peak is calculated by summing the player's win shares above average in each individual season. Average= contribution from each full-time player necesssary for team to achieve a .500 record. I care about peak, but not about its shape.

1) Ezra Sutton (1) (2) (3) (4) (2). 470 CWS, 87 total peak. Career value at difficult defensive position narrowly outweighs Hamilton's offensive peak, so Sutton stays on top of my ballot.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2003 at 11:50 PM (#516463)
As per Joe's request, I scanned the 1907 discussion thread for ballots posted as final. The only one I found belongs to karlmagnus (#40 in that thread). I've reposted it here. Others perhaps should scan the list also to make sure that I didn't miss someone.

Posted 12:03 p.m., August 5, 2003 (#40) - karlmagnus
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2003 at 12:16 AM (#516464)
Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.

Compare any 35-plus years old shortstop from the 19th century to him and you may acquire an appreciation of him.
   69. Esteban Rivera Posted: August 17, 2003 at 02:53 AM (#516465)
It's starting to get interesting with the 90's stars starting to appear on the ballots:

1. Billy Hamilton - My number one. One of the most outstanding players of the past 30 years. Clear cut head of the pack.

2. Cal McVey - 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.

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

4. Ezra Sutton - Best third baseman of the 19th century according to my interpretation of the numbers. Interesting note, Sutton was supposed to join the Big Four and Anson in Chicago in 1876. Public opinion made him reconsider.

5. 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.

6. Pud Galvin - Drops one spot because of my moving Bennett ahead of him. Still feel he's very HOM worthy.

7. Harry Stovey - More value than the numbers tell.

8. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. Have him here while I try to sort him out more. May go lower or higher, but currently have him placed here.

9. Bid McPhee - Spent most of my time this "year" evaluating McPhee and Childs. The career wins out for now.

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

11. Sam Thompson - With Hamilton on the ballot I have better placement of Thompson. He's the yang to Hamilton's Ying. Not sure if he's HOM worthy, but moves up this year.

12. Pete Browning - You don't suppose his health problems are what caused his terrible defense? He did shockingly win two win shares gold gloves early in his career. Maybe there is a correlation between his decline in defense and his rise in health problems?

13. Cupid Childs- The very best second basemen of the 90's. Career a bit short but good enough to earn a spot on the ballot.

14. Charley Jones - Feel that he deserves attention for his accomplishments. Will give him credit for the time missed while being blacklisted. The man was standing up for himself and a system that was exploitative.

15. Mickey Welch - Have looked at him and realized I have been short changing him somewhat. Slightly ahead of McCormick.
   70. KJOK Posted: August 17, 2003 at 06:12 AM (#516466)
"Pete Browning - You don't suppose his health problems are what caused his terrible defense?"

I think I did see someone theorize somewhere that his hearing problem caused him to be much less agressive in CF...
   71. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 18, 2003 at 04:17 AM (#516469)
Let the record show I started typing this before midnight.

1. Billy Hamilton (NA). Now THAT'S an outfielder! Clearly superior to all the other OFs on the ballot. Saw it as very close between him and Sutton, with Ezra having a longer career at a more important defensive position. Deciding factor was a timeline adjustment.
   72. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2003 at 02:08 PM (#516470)
Is this the entire murderer's row up next??

1908
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2003 at 02:14 PM (#516471)
Is this the entire murderer's row up next??

1908
   74. MattB Posted: August 18, 2003 at 04:47 PM (#516472)
I believe top 19th century Negro Leaguer Frank Grant will be on the ballot. I need to do some research, but if so, I believe he was clearly the best black player of the era.
   75. MattB Posted: August 18, 2003 at 04:52 PM (#516473)
Oops. Grant retired in 1903, which should put him on the 1909 ballot.
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 18, 2003 at 06:34 PM (#516481)
Blatant example: 1 game--Mark Whiten goes 4-for-4 with 4 dingers. Tripp Comer goes 0-for-5. If that's the whole season, Comer's standard becomes the replacement level, and every single non-Comer performance is overstated in terms of WARP/WS---when compared to other existing WARP/WS numbers

But, if you use standard deviation, Whiten would not become Babe Ruth to the tenth power.

In my analysis, Meyerle's .492 in 1871 (for example) is not the same as it would be under the same conditions, but with a longer schedule. But that doesn't mean that it should be considered less than a normal league lead in that stat either.

As I pointed out earlier in another post, Wagner, Cobb and Ruth benefited from a weaker talent base than today, but that doesn't mean that we should give them a severe penalty (as many are doing here with the pre-NL stars) because their competition unquestionably made them look greater than they really were.

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