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Monday, August 25, 2003

1908 Ballot

Another election that promises to be tight.

I’d like to push further the idea of people justifying anyone not in the previous top 10 that is left off your ballot. Several people did this last time, and I think it’s a good idea. For this election that would be . . . Ezra Sutton, Joe Start, Bid McPhee, Pud Galvin, Cal McVey, Harry Stovey, Charlie Bennett, Hugh Duffy and Sam Thompson.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 25, 2003 at 01:22 PM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rusty Priske Posted: August 25, 2003 at 02:35 PM (#516816)
1. Ezra Sutton (1, 2, -)

I had a real hard time getting a handle on him, but I feel really comfortable now that this was just a mistake on my part. I think he is a slam dunk this week... but I thought so last week as well.

2. Pud Galvin (2, 1, 2)

The last of the "must-induct" pitchers.

3. Joe Start (3, 4, 3)

I see Start as being very worthy of induction, but I can see it taking a number of years as he keeps getting pushed down by new candidates.

4. Bid McPhee (4, 5, 6)

After a steady rise, McPhee stalls. A sure thing HOMer, but not just yet.

5. Cal McVey (6, 6, -)

Like Sutton, it took me a bit to come around on McVey. I'm now convinced he belongs in...eventually.

6. Hugh Duffy (10, -, -)

I was conservative on him in his inaugaral week. He is right at my personal in/out line.

7. Bob Caruthers (7, 7, 7)

The best of the next group of pitchers. I wouldn't be offended if he got in, but the gap between him on guys like Hoss and Pud is very large.

8. Harry Stovey (11, 8, 8)

I soured a little on Stovey for a week, but he is back. A strong career, but nothing in it makes him jump out for me.

9. Mickey Welch (8, 9, 9)

See Caruthers... only moreso.

10. Jim McCormick (9, 11, 13)

Recent analysis on this site made me upgrade him, but not enough.

11. Cupid Childs (15, -, -)

Like Duffy, I was conservative on him last week. He still isn't HoM-worthy, imo.

12. Tony Mullane (12, 10, 10)

I had him third in his first year of eligibility. Clearly he doesn't belong that high. On the other hand, I am surprised that he doesn't appear on more ballots.

13. Sam Thompson (14, 12, 12)

See Stovey.

14. Mike Tiernan (13, 13, 15)

Ballot-filler.

15. Pete Browning (-, 14, -)

On again, off again ballot filler.

Just off: Griffin, Whitney, Hoy.

No newcomers this week. I am a career guy and Jennings just doesn't do it, and Hoy just didn't quite make it.
   2. Philip Posted: August 25, 2003 at 02:46 PM (#516817)
1908 ballot:

Previous top 10 all found their way onto my ballot:

1. Start (1) ?- My number 1 for the 5th year in a row.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#516818)
I still haven't had time to go over the fielding adjustments for WS fully, so my "bests for" are stilled based on the unadjusted version. Unfortunately, work is still my top priority. :-)

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): It's his year. 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) 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.

4) 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.

5) Cupid Childs (6): 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.

6) Joe Start (7): 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.

7) Pud Galvin (n/a): Okay, I'm sold on him as a great player. The IL discussion pushed him over the top for me (though we shouldn't get too crazy with his number of innings for that time). However, I don't want to hear about any more pitchers from the 1880s. :-)

8) Harry Wright (8): 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 (9): 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 (10): 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 (11): Very durable with a nice peak. Best major league catcher for 1891 and 1895.

12) Ed Williamson (12): 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 (13): 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 (14): Considered the fastest man of his time. Best centerfielder for 1874, 1875 and 1876. Best rightfielder for 1871. Star second and third baseman for half of the 1860s. He might deserve to move up.

15) Hugh Duffy (15): "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.

As for Stovey and Thompson (top ten last election), they don't impress me. Never true standouts at their positions.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: August 25, 2003 at 03:24 PM (#516819)
Here?s 1908, having caught up on traffic after my vacation.
   5. RobC Posted: August 25, 2003 at 03:27 PM (#516820)
This is the same as my prelim ballot. More detail than below on
   6. OCF Posted: August 25, 2003 at 03:59 PM (#516821)
1908 Ballot.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 04:29 PM (#516823)
hope that there's a Friend of Frank Grant out there who is already preparing a thorough argument to be posted on the 1909 Ballot Discussion thread when that thread appears. I think we're a receptive audience, but we will need to see good reasons before we offer our support.

I'm seeing him as a top ten guy, but still working on him. I think the "Black Fred Dunlap" was actually better than the original.
   8. DanG Posted: August 25, 2003 at 05:07 PM (#516825)
Tom's question can also be put to Rusty. What's the justification for omitting Bennett?
   9. Rusty Priske Posted: August 25, 2003 at 05:16 PM (#516826)
My justification is pretty simple: I don't see his career as being better than any of the 15 players I put on the ballot. I just went back to my notes and I have him at #21.

16 - Mike Griffin
   10. Jeff M Posted: August 25, 2003 at 05:36 PM (#516828)
John Murphy wrote: "As for Stovey and Thompson (top ten last election), they don't impress me. Never true standouts at their positions."

Okay, I guess, but how does Clements, who was arguably the best at his position for only two years (and never remotely approached being one of the best players in the entire game), get a #11 spot on a HOM ballot? I have a very difficult time understanding how Clements could be a better major league player than Stovey and Thompson.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 05:43 PM (#516829)
(How could Josh Gibson not be #1? I suppose I would have to check the other newly-eligibles for his year to know for sure...)

Dickey (?) and Ruffing are Gibson's only rivals that I can see.

Josh will certainly be my #1 in '52.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 05:51 PM (#516830)
Okay, I guess, but how does Clements, who was arguably the best at his position for only two years (and never remotely approached being one of the best players in the entire game), get a #11 spot on a HOM ballot? I have a very difficult time understanding how Clements could be a better major league player than Stovey and Thompson.

1) Clements is not that far ahead of Stovey and Thompson, IMO. Those last few slots on my ballot are fairly close. Thompson is #16, while Stovey is #18.

2) As a catcher, Clements was much more durable than Stovey or Thompson ever were. Comparing Jack with his contemporaries at the position will confirm this.

Peak-wise, all three players are comparable. Career-value pushes Clement over the other two.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:06 PM (#516832)
1908 Ballot

1) Ezra Sutton(1) (1) (2) Third year at the top of my ballot. Top combination of peak and career on this ballot. Hope he goes in this year!
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:22 PM (#516833)
1908
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:27 PM (#516834)
Mark, I disagree that your vote has no impact. It has the same impact as everybody else's vote. In fact, your vote changed who was in first palce on my running tally (which I won't share here).
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:34 PM (#516835)
1) Clements is not that far ahead of Stovey and Thompson, IMO. Those last few slots on my ballot are fairly close. Thompson is #16, while Stovey is #18.

Actually, I have Thompson #17. Tiernan is #16.
   17. Rusty Priske Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:51 PM (#516838)
Oh, I agree that one ballot can not significantly affect the results of an election.

I guess it comes down to that I think that who comes fifth, or twelfth, is nearly as important as who comes in first.
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 06:58 PM (#516839)
14. Sam Thompson - Could be a farewell vote, unless someone convinces me he was better than part of that 1909 tidal wave. Elmer Smith with a PR agent?

While I think Thompson is somewhat overrated here, there's still a big difference between him and Smith. Elmer is no way near being a HoMer.

At least Big Sam has been on my ballot before. Elmer can't see it because of all the guys ahead of him.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: August 25, 2003 at 07:30 PM (#516840)
Poetic license, Mr. Murphy, poetic license.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2003 at 07:43 PM (#516841)
<i> Poetic license, Mr. Murphy, poetic license.
   21. MattB Posted: August 25, 2003 at 09:58 PM (#516843)
Switched #1 and #2 and re-examined my pitchers (see discussion thread). Otherwise, things are about the same. I believe all of the Top 10 made my ballot.

1. Joe Start (2) -- Best player of the mid-1860s at a time when first base was a defenseman?s position. Unlike some others who have Start near the top of the ballot, I have not qualms in saying that I believe his peak occurred pre-1871 and that that peak has real value. Deserves a ballot place for professional league play, but first place with the addition of his peak years.

2. Pud Galvin (1) ? No longer #1, but best pitcher by a mile, especially considering the three unrecorded years with Buffalo before the team (and therefore he) joined the majors.

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

4. Bid McPhee (5) -- Holding steady.

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

6. Charlie Bennett (7) ? Best catcher by at least a third. A well drawn bell curve shows he?s clearly in.

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

This is my current in/out line, with Caruthers the "borderline".

7. Bob Caruthers (14) ? Best hitting pitcher (OPS+ and BRARP) by a huge margin. Best winning percentage and ERA+ among serious contenders. WARP-1 is third after Galvin and Mullane.

8. Tony Mullane (off) ? a real ?lost in the shuffle? player, but really good upon reconsideration. Good at almost everything, but hardly ever the ?best?. Among top pitchers left on the ballot, he comes out second to Galvin on a ?career? basis, and just a hair below Caruthers even when peak is considered.

9. Pete Browning (15) ? really strong peak.

10. Cupid Childs (8) ? McPhee?s career value trumps Childs? peak.

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

12. Hugh Duffy (11) -- incrementally better than Sam Thompson.

13. Sam Thompson (12) -- See Hugh Duffy.

14. Bud Fowler (9) - the best Negro league player to retire in the 19th century.

15. Tom York (off) ? he was never on. Call him #15 with a bullet. The numbers look good, and I?m not sure how I missed him before.

16. Lip Pike
   22. RobC Posted: August 25, 2003 at 10:38 PM (#516844)
Clint,

I think your ballot is as much anti-mine possible, but we are in agreement about the clogged ballots/easing people off (although maybe I dropped York too soon. Although Im about to give some people a "what are you thinking, he aint a top 15 guy" to some voting for him.) Anyway, I thought I would take a shot at convincing you on McPhee.

Below are the pennants added ranking (among unelected players, hitters only) for McPhee, McVey, Jennings, and Bennett:

adjWarp3
   23. Marc Posted: August 25, 2003 at 11:42 PM (#516845)
First I build a consideration set consisting of the top 25 peak players plus any player in last week's HoM top 15. From there my final ballot is about 55% peak and 45% career. My ballot has changed a lot over the past 3-4 "years" due to a detailed look at the 1860s and a re-calculation of peak WS--it has always been adjusted for season length and league strength (not a timeline), but I added a fielding bonus which is the flip side of a pitching deduction that I have always used.

PS. I'm a small hall guy, so there are only 2 obvious HoMers on this ballot, IMO.

Obvious HoMers (to me)

1. Joe Start (jumped from 11th to 6th 2 years ago to 1st last "year")--That was based on his peak in the 1860s. I have Start as both the #1 peak and #1 career player on the ballot.

2. Cal McVey (2-3-2 last "year)--#2 peak and #12 career with credit for 1869-70 but not after 1879.

Deserving (but also deserving of scrutiny and debate, would NOT be a terrible injustice of they were left out)

3. Ezra Sutton (jumped from not rated to 6th)--that was based on a new look at his peak with a fielding bonus. I have his 1883-85 as the #12 peak and he is #2 for career. My heart says Dickey Pearce, BTW, but there is an obvious gap in our certainty there.

4. Charlie Bennett (9-5-4)--also jumped up based on a new look at his peak with both a fielder's and a catcher's bonus. At his peak he was better than Ewing. #5 peak and #13 career.

5. Dickey Pearce (from unranked to 10th last "year)--I have upgraded his peak from last year and moved him ahead of Harry Wright based on emails from Paul Wendt. #4 peak and #4 career but moved down due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

Maybe Deserving (but "on the bubble" due to Heisenberg's input)

6. Lip Pike (10-7-9)--think Pete Rose or even Rickey Henderson for his NA years, and played the middle IF in the '60s. Could be #2 on this ballot or, if you discount undocumented career, could be off the ballot. I don't discount undocumented, but I fudge downward a little. #7 for peak, #11 for career.

7. Harry Wright (off the ballot to 12 to 5)--see Dickey Pearce. #9 peak, #7 career, but fudged downward due to

Close but No Cigar (and not due to Heisenberg, they just don't quite measure up)

8. Hugh Duffy (7 last "year")--#13 peak, #5 career. Much better than I had thought but there are lots of his type.

9. Tommy Bond (went from unrated to 8th)--again, due to new look at peaks. He has the #1 3 year peak and the #1 5 year peak on the ballot, though he did not maintain that peak as long as some, so overall his peak is #3 but his career is only #24.

10. Jim McCormick (unrated to 14th to 12th)--and keeps moving up. Not as high a peak as Bond but sustained it longer. The #8 peak and #19 career.

11. Cupid Childs (up from 13th)--#22 peak and #8 career, yet it is his peak that really makes him ballot-worthy. Just shows you there are still not a lot of nice, long careers available, which is why I don't value career as much as I will in a few years.

12. Bid McPhee (8-9-14)--bouncing around a bit due to the lack of a respectable peak (#29) but the #3 career. Maybe I have him pegged now, or maybe he'll keep moving.

13. Hughie Jennings (new)--the numbers say only the #10 peak, surprisingly, though my gut says that's too low. But with the #21 career, this is where he lands until I have a chance to reevaluate a bit.

14. Sam Thompson (dropped from 2-3 to 11th and now 14th)--his peak numbers (#16) just aren't there though I don't feel that is right. But with the #17 career I can't do any better for him right now.

No Cigar and Not That Close, Either (Ballot Filler)

15. Billy Nash (was tied for 15th with Ned Williamson)--#21 peak and #9 career but like Childs it is really his peak that is newsworthy.

Also--Harry Stovey--not enough peak
   24. Marc Posted: August 25, 2003 at 11:49 PM (#516846)
Clint,

sure, Joe Start and the New York Atlantic had PR. They were from New York. But every historian I'm aware of will acknowledge that New York also had the best baseball through the late 1860s, and the Atlantic were the dominant team in New York from 1859 on. They were almost certainly the best team in America during the 1862-66 period (not every year but cumulatively) when Start was their biggest star, even over teammate Dickey Pearce.

PR is one thing but I think knowledgeable historians can cut through the BS as opposed to just ignoring the whole decade. It is not at all unthinkable that a 28 year old player might be past his prime or injured.
   25. favre Posted: August 25, 2003 at 11:52 PM (#516847)
1. Ezra Sutton (2)
   26. Marc Posted: August 26, 2003 at 01:58 AM (#516849)
>Start was not the best player before NA formed, George Wright was.

By the time the NA was formed, organized baseball had been around for a quarter century. Pennants had been contested for a decade.

The evidence suggests that G. Wright emerged in 1867, when he toured with the Washington Nationals. He of course played with the Red Stockings in '69-'70. He was the best player, cumulative, of the '67-'70 period. Start played elite ball beginning in '59, joined the best team in America, the Atlantic, in '61 or '62 and through '66 was the best player, cumulative, in America.

"The '60s" is not booyah. We can distinguish what happened year to year. This is like saying Jimmie Foxx was not the best player in the '30s. True, but we also know he won 3 MVP awards.
   27. KJOK Posted: August 26, 2003 at 02:18 AM (#516850)
Just in case no one's looking at the discussion thread:

Here' a discussion from Tango on BP's WARP method.

http://www.baseballprimer.com/studies/archives/00000106.shtml#comments_10

Bottom line - "The implication with the double-counting error at BP is
   28. Yardape Posted: August 26, 2003 at 03:46 AM (#516852)
I remain a peak-favouring voter, but I tried to make career a slightly bigger factor this time around.

1. Ezra Sutton (1)
   29. Brian H Posted: August 26, 2003 at 03:49 AM (#516853)
Ooops ! I forgot to comment on Charlie Bennett. I have him around 17th or 18th (along with Griffin, Williamsom and O'Niell). My thinking is that while he is clearly the best Catcher available he doesn't measure up offensively. Perhaps I am not giving him enough credit for Catching to overcome his offensive weakness (and short career) next to some of the other candidates. I'll be interested to see how Deacon McGuire does when he comes up soon.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 04:57 AM (#516854)
13. Hughie Jennings (new)--the numbers say only the #10 peak, surprisingly, though my gut says that's too low. But with the #21 career, this is where he lands until I have a chance to reevaluate a bit.

Geez Louise, the way you were beating me up about not recognizing Ee-Yah's value, I thought you were going to have him as your #1 pick. :-)
   31. Yardape Posted: August 26, 2003 at 05:12 AM (#516855)
Ah, yes, I forgot my notable omissions:

Sam Thompson: A good hitter, but to my eye he wasn't good enough to make him a truly outstanding candidate. He could easily land on the bottom of my ballot some year, but so far he's not there.

Bid McPhee-I share Clint's concerns about McPhee. He was never an MVP-caliber player; his candidacy rests almost entirely on his defence, but given that second base was less important defensively in the 19th Century, I don't see him as any more than a marginal candidate. Until now, I've had him on my ballot mostly because everybody else did, but I just don't think he's worthy.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 05:50 AM (#516856)
People are brushing off Tiernan's .349, .343 and Thompson's .355, .353, .346 marks. There is no proof that Start could have matched any of this.

It's not a matter of brushing off Tiernan and Thompson. It's a matter of Start having about twice the career as those two. And being the best first baseman a couple of times in his documented era. And being recognized as the best first baseman of the sixties.

I have him #6 on my ballot, so I am not as high on Old Reliable as some others here. However, there is just too much data to ignore.

He belongs in our Hall.
   33. Adam Schafer Posted: August 26, 2003 at 05:59 AM (#516857)
basically an exact duplicate of last years ballot, just that Jennings is in the #10 spot and everyone else above that got bumped up a spot with Hamilton's election.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) - 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 (3) - 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. Bid McPhee (5) - Nothing new. Still deserves to be in the HOM

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

6. 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"

7. Hugh Duffy (8) - 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.

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

9. Cal McVey (10) - Amazingly he's moving up my ballot. I think it's the batting average and the fact that he did some time catching that makes me like him just a tad more each week.

10. Hughie Jennings (n/a) - not deserving of the HOM, but more deserving in my opinion than the last 5 spots

11. Harry Stovey (11) - Nothing new here, he just drops a notch as McVey leap frogs him

12. Pete Browning (12) - He's just hanging out on the ballot. He'll never go anywhere

13. Cupid Childs (13) - A watered down version of Tiernan offensively, but gets the nod as he played 2b

14. Mike Tiernan (14) - Quite similar to Childs, but an OF.

15. Tony Mullane (15) nothing new here
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: August 26, 2003 at 12:15 PM (#516859)
Ed,
   35. RobC Posted: August 26, 2003 at 12:51 PM (#516860)
KJOK,

Thanks for the link. One thing Tango failed to point out that BP did point out (either on the website or one of the books, i forget which) is
   36. Marc Posted: August 26, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#516862)
> 13. Hughie Jennings (new)--the numbers say only the #10 peak, surprisingly, though my gut saysthat's too low. But with the #21 career, this is where he lands until I have a chance to reevaluate a bit.

>Geez Louise, the way you were beating me up about not recognizing Ee-Yah's value, I thought you were going to have him as your #1 pick. :-)

I had him #3 at one time, he may pop up there again. I need to put some of the peaks under the microscope again. We are into hair-splitting territory from now on.
   37. Marc Posted: August 26, 2003 at 02:55 PM (#516864)
Andrew, the problem with this analogy (below from #43) is that the best player(s) in 1860 are at least analogous to your 2013 guy, not the guy on your block. The guy on your block would be analogous to 1845.

Also, who is "the greatest player" of the 1890s? Well, there's about ten of 'em who could make a claim. In the '60s it clearly was Start, Pearce, H. Wright and (later in the decade) G. Wright. To me the clarity of the claim for certain '60s players counteracts your timeline to some degree. So, head to head, no, the '60s guy probably doesn't rate as highly as the '90s guy (if you use some sort of timeline), but it's more of an apples and oranges thing, I think, because the best players of the '60s are more SDs above the norm.

But on the other hand I don't believe in a timeline. If H. or G. Wright had been born 30 years later, they would have had the training and the field time, etc. etc., that the '90s guys had, and they would have kicked butt anyway.

>I also have become more and more convinced that it is folly to give equivalent great for being the best
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 03:07 PM (#516865)
I also have become more and more convinced that it is folly to give equivalent great for being the best player in 1860 and 1890. If I invent a new sport and show it to my friends on my block, one of us will be the best player in the world today. If in ten years, the game has permeated my region, someone in the area will be the best player in the world in 2013. If the game eventually becomes the National Pastime, I wouldn't want some silly Twenty-Third Century statheads, arguing that the kid on my block in 2003 or the regional superstar in 2013 belong in the HoM.

Well, this silly 21st century guy would say you might belong in the Hall. You were the best of your time and may deserve the honor. It seems patently unfair to ignore the men who helped create the sport, but disproportionally honor men who piggyback on their ancestor's efforts.

I've used this argument before, but it's time again to repost it. Should we not honor the great scientists of Greek and Roman civilization (even though their accomplishments seem to pale in comparison with today's version of them)? Of course not. Without them, we wouldn't have progressed as far as we have. They find their places in their respective Halls because they were the best examples possible. So should Pearce, H. Wright and Start.
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#516867)
Looking at Joe Start's performance and comparing it to the likes of G. Wright, Barnes, Spalding, McVey, Sutton, O'Rourke, Anson, Deacon White, etc., I think the best explanation is that he was simply never as good as those guys were (which is unsurprising given how much deeper the pool of baseball players was when those guys were 18 compared with when Start was 18).

How about the explanation is that he was older than all these guys? He was still good enough to be the best player at his position twice.

Another thing: if the competition was that much better in the professional leagues, how was he still able to be a productive player at forty? It would be impossible. He would have been out of the league years before.

BTW Andrew, your hypothetical situation from before would make you more in the lines of an Alexander Cartwright/Doc Adams player. Nobody is even hinting at electing one of the first amateurs into the Hall (except as definite Pioneers). That's why I didn't say positively that I would vote for you in your sport's Hall.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: August 26, 2003 at 05:51 PM (#516869)
Ed,
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 05:56 PM (#516870)
So, John Murphy you would say that Mark Grace is a better player than somebody like Frank Thomas or Edgar Martinez just because he has a longer career?

When did I even remotely say that? Thomas and Martinez are easily better than Grace. Can Grace be said to ever have been the best at his position? The Big Hurt and Gar's peaks are clearly better than Grace (which is not clear to me between Start, Stovey and Thompson). The latter three were the best players at their positions about the same amount of times in their documented eras, while Start played and played and played at an above average level for a long time.

To deny Start is to totally ignore career.

So Jack Quinn is twice the pitcher of somebody like Rube Waddell or Ed Walsh?

Another great comparison, Ed. I'm joking. I don't even have Quinn on my radar. You are totally misrepresenting what I said in my prior post.

I don't believe that Start was the best player before 1870, I think it is mostly NY hype. Look at Lip Pike.

I think Pike was better at his peak than Start, too. So? I think Ruth was better than Cochrane, too. That doesn't mean I can't vote for him either. Besides, Pike didn't play that long, so that's why he trails Start in the voting.

If you can name a first baseman from the sixties who was better, please let us know.

This is FIRST BASE we are talking about, not something important like C, SS, 2B or CF.

This is totally incorrect. They are all equally important. Try playing a game without a first baseman if you want to prove me wrong.
   42. Marc Posted: August 26, 2003 at 06:29 PM (#516871)
>>I don't believe that Start was the best player before 1870, I think it is mostly NY hype. Look at Lip Pike.

>I think Pike was better at his peak than Start, too.

Pike had a better peak than Start after 1870 but there is no evidence that Pike was better before 1870. Oh, yes, there's that New York hype. Oops. Pike was born and began his career in New York, too. (The only real star players pre-Cincy Red Stockings not from the New York area were Al Spalding and Ross Barnes, and even then only Cal McVey. Most of the Red Stockings were recruited from back east.)

I have seen a number of mentions of Start as a star in the '60s, I have seen no such claim for Pike. But once you discount the only evidence that we have then you can rank the players purely on prejudice. Clever and convenient!
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 26, 2003 at 06:41 PM (#516872)
I have seen a number of mentions of Start as a star in the '60s, I have seen no such claim for Pike. But once you discount the only evidence that we have then you can rank the players purely on prejudice. Clever and convenient!

I should have been clearer. While I think Pike was probably better peak-wise than Start, I don't think it was by much. I do think Start was a great player at his peak.

I also don't think of Pike as a sixties guy, but more of a seventies guy (if it matters).
   44. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 26, 2003 at 08:27 PM (#516873)
I'm a bit curious as to why Bob Caruthers ranks as highly as he does on some ballots, seeing how his ERA+ decreased every year of his career.

How many HOM-caliber players were done by the age of 28?
   45. OCF Posted: August 26, 2003 at 09:48 PM (#516874)
How many HOM-caliber players were done by the age of 28?

Well, A. G. Spalding last pitched at the age of 25 and last played 1B at the age of 26. Amos Rusie last played at the age of 27. To take a peek at a debate we're not going to have just yet, Dizzy Dean had only 24 decisions after the age of 28. Koufax at least made it to the age of 30. Of course, James Newburg does have a relevant question; What we did with Spalding and Rusie doesn't have much bearing on the case of Caruthers.
   46. OCF Posted: August 27, 2003 at 01:33 AM (#516878)
redsox1912, I somehow don't think that was your 2008 ballot. I point this out only because I've made the equivalent 100-year typo nearly every time I've tried to post anything here. So far, I think I've been lucky enough to catch most of them before they got out, but I bet if you combed through my posts looking for it, you'd find it.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: August 27, 2003 at 03:03 AM (#516880)
May I note that the tone of the Start discussion is getting a bit sharp?

If y'all want to go at it some more, maybe the ballot discussion would be a better place, to keep the ballot thread clearer?

To encourage the move, I've stuck a comment of my own over there.
   48. Marc Posted: August 27, 2003 at 03:22 AM (#516881)
ed, you totally misconstrued redsox' comment about the '60s vs. the '70s. His point was that a player's value is based on his performance at the time. Start didn't compete with Billy Hamilton. In the '60s he competed against the guys who were there, and he was the best (i.e. to timeline or not to timeline--you timeline, redsox does not nor do I).

As to my comment, you said you compared the facts (the statistics) for Pike and Start. We don't have statistics for the '60s. Your response to that is to pretend they didn't happen (that's your prejudice). My approach is to look at all the evidence, to review it critically (not to just accept anything as dogma) and come to a conclusion. The level of certainty about the '60s is lower than it is later. But I am 100% certain that they played baseball in the '60s and that Joe Start played ball in the '60s and that he was one of, if not the best for a period of 3-5 years or more. You are 100% certain that they did not play baseball in the '60s. You are wrong.

Also the size of the pool has nothing to do with how good the very best players are.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 27, 2003 at 05:52 AM (#516882)
If y'all want to go at it some more, maybe the ballot discussion would be a better place, to keep the ballot thread clearer?

I agree. I have posted my response over there.
   50. sean gilman Posted: August 27, 2003 at 06:44 AM (#516883)
1908

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.

2. Joe Start (3)--He?s got a better peak than McPhee and more career value than McVey, even without counting the 1860s (where all indications are his real peak most likely occurred).

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

4. Cal McVey (5)--A hearty congrats to Cal, who makes My Personal Hall Of Merit this Year.

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

6. Harry Stovey (7)--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.

7. Hugh Duffy (8)--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).

8. Lip Pike (9)--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.

9. Charlie Bennett (10)--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. . .

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

11. Sam Thompson (13)--His advantage in WARP3 over Tiernan is slightly larger than Tiernan?s advantage over him in Win Shares, so I switched them this year.

12. Mike Tiernan (12)--About even peakwise with Jennings, significantly more career value though.

13. Hughie Jennings (-)--I didn?t think 3 players could be any more equal than Thompson and Tiernan and Griffin, then Jennings came along and I put him right in-between ?em. Ahead of Griffin on peak.

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

15. Cupid Childs (15)--A poor man?s Hughie Jennings?
   51. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 27, 2003 at 07:06 AM (#516884)
Does anyone know where I can find Adjusted Win Shares for each season of a player's career? Having the career total and three best seasons is good, but I need to look at something more before I can feel comfortable in evaluating the bottom 10 spots on my ballot.
   52. Brad Harris Posted: August 27, 2003 at 12:06 PM (#516885)
1. Ezra Sutton - Could this be the year?
   53. Jeff M Posted: August 27, 2003 at 01:34 PM (#516887)
Easy ballot. Everybody moves up a slot, except I flip-flopped Bennett and Welch, so Bennett gains two spots and Welch stays put. Lip Pike also moves up one to occupy the #15 spot.

1. SUTTON, EZRA (#2)

2. STOVEY, HARRY (#3)

3. START, JOE (#4)

4. MCVEY, CAL (#5)

5. BROWNING, PETE (#6)

6. MCPHEE, BID (#7)

7. GALVIN, PUD (#8)

8. TIERNAN, MIKE (#9)

9. THOMPSON, SAM (#10)

10. JONES, CHARLEY (#11)

11. BENNETT, CHARLIE (#13)

12. WELCH, MICKEY (#12)

13. DUFFY, HUGH (#14)

14. CARUTHERS, BOB (#15)

15. PIKE, LIP (--)

I have Jennings at #17. Hard to say what number Hoy is. He (like many others before him -- Nash, Joyce, etc.) didn't really make my personal cut to be carried over for consideration in future years, so I don't actually have him ranked. I'm guessing he would be about #30-#35.

There's an interesting article about Hoy by Steven Jay Gould in his new book "Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville" (which consists of articles Gould published in various places before his death). I'm about halfway through the book, and I'm not that crazy about it so far (but I'm just now getting to the statistical part). The first part of the book is just a fan's love affair with baseball mid-century, which we've all heard ad nauseum. The articles are quite repetitive substance-wise...but the Hoy article is interesting, choosing to focus more on his size and popularity than his deafness.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: August 27, 2003 at 02:39 PM (#516888)
FYI to Jeff M: I find that baseball is the weakest topic that Gould used to write about. He's an anthropologist, and I've read most of his books - they are breathtaking in their passion and skill in explaining complex issues. But when it comes to baseball, indeed he's mostly just another Roger Angell/Kahn wannabe. Try Gould's other stuff, if you haven't already...
   55. Jeff M Posted: August 27, 2003 at 02:47 PM (#516889)
Howie:

I agree with you. "The Mismeasure of Man" is fantastic. However, I'm afraid I'm neither smart enough nor diligent enough to make it through "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" tome.
   56. Rick A. Posted: August 27, 2003 at 03:25 PM (#516890)
1. Ezra Sutton (2) - Jumps over Start and McPhee and Galvin.
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 27, 2003 at 05:18 PM (#516892)
How? Start is only 2 years older than Pike.

Because Start played the whole decade of the sixties, while Pike played more of his career in the seventies. Am I wrong?
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 28, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#516895)
14. Billy Nash (14) - very close to Williamson in value, I have him ranked somewhat higher though I can see the contrary view. What I cant see is ranking Williamson top 10 and Nash out of the top 20. Both had great defensive reps. Williamson?s EqA is slightly higher but he benefited from some bizarre park effects, and played 300 fewer games than Nash.

Nash's competition was better, too.
   59. Rob Wood Posted: August 28, 2003 at 07:06 PM (#516896)
My final 1908 ballot. Note that I have tweaked my 1907 ballot a bit and slotted Jennings in near the bottom (I am a career value guy).

1. Ezra Sutton -- his time is near
   60. jimd Posted: August 28, 2003 at 08:55 PM (#516898)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

1) P. Galvin -- Still not elected? I don't think pitchers get enough love here ;-)
   61. DanG Posted: August 29, 2003 at 05:05 AM (#516899)
Another one of our backlog will be elected in 1908. The next year our discussion really heats up. Ed Delahanty is a shoo-in for 1909, but the 1910 election is up for grabs.

1) Start (2,2,1)? Longevity is a hallmark of greatness. I guess that makes me a ?career guy?.
   62. Philip Posted: August 29, 2003 at 11:10 AM (#516900)
jimd,

Looking at your ballot I notice that you did not mention Lip Pike. While I agree with the top of your ballot (except for the low placement of McVey) I am surprised that Pike doesn't even seem to make your top 24. What makes you have him so low?
   63. Ken Fischer Posted: August 29, 2003 at 12:39 PM (#516901)
1908 Ballot

Joe suggested explaining why someone in the top ten was not on your ballot. The only one that applies to me is Cal McVey. I could be unfair to Cal but need to study his early record more before putting him on my ballot. I haven't found as much about McVey as you can on Start and Sutton. Pearce is on my ballot because I believe the link to the 1850s needs to be represented...knowing McVey's numbers are better.

1-Bid McPhee-long career and fielding records

2-Joe Start-the "link" between the Buchanan and Cleveland administrations

3-Erza Sutton-moved him up...it could be his time
   64. Marc Posted: August 29, 2003 at 03:12 PM (#516902)
>2) Sutton (3,3,2)?It?s a little disturbing that he lost out on election in 1906 due to a quirk in the
   65. Al Peterson Posted: August 29, 2003 at 08:22 PM (#516903)
1908 is in the books. Have fun with the remaining discussion.

1. Harry Stovey (2). Speed kills during the 1800s and it looks like Harry was among the best. Scored runs in bunches before the 1890s offensive explosion. Add in extra base power and you've got an impact player.

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

3. Pud Galvin (4). The man doesn't need extra credit for time in the minors in the 1870s. Still a HOMer - it just cements his position this high.

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

5. Cal McVey (7). Nice peak, his own man for moving out of the NL when he did.

6. Joe Start (6). Put me down as somewhere between Joe Start is the Messiah and Joe Start is the Anti-Christ. Being among the best between 1861-1865 is easier when there are plenty of potential ballplayers fighting in Manassas, Gettysburg, etc.

7. Ezra Sutton (9). I'm comfortable putting him here. So sue me.

8. Hugh Duffy (8). Here come the outfielders...

9. Sam Thompson (10). Get your RBIs, get your RBIs here.

10. Hughie Jennings (-). If they erect statues for five years of superior play, he gets one. His HBP totals are outrageous. Wonder if an umpire ever had the guts to not award him 1st base when he dove into another pitch.

11. Pete Browning (11). Still lingering around...

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

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

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

15. Dickey Pearce (15). Lets hear it for the old school.

Next year will be a tough one to sort. Hope I have time to digest some information to consider.
   66. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 29, 2003 at 09:47 PM (#516904)
I'll have my ballot in an hour or two...
   67. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 29, 2003 at 11:42 PM (#516905)
1. Joe Start (1) - The documented portion of Start's career is similar to Tony Perez. He'd be worth a ballot spot on the basis of his documented career alone. If you put any stock in the idea that he was one of the giants of 1860s baseball, he becomes a first-ballot HOMer. He doesn't necessarily need to be a star throughout the '60s to be first on my ballot. Even if he was only a marginally better player than in the documented portion of his career, he'd still have a 27-year career with a 130 OPS+ and great fielding at first base. That's enough to put him #1 on my ballot.

2. Pud Galvin (2) - 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. His performance in the IL just puts it over the top for me.

Won the Win Shares Cy Young Award in 1879.

3. Ezra Sutton (4) - I hadn't appreciated just how durable Sutton was. He played the equivalent of over 2,600 games in his career, with 2,300 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. Arguably the most underrated player in 19th-century baseball, much like his modern counterpart Evans.

4. Cal McVey (5) - Flip-flopped with Bennett based on my appreciation for his hitting. Just a great hitter.

5. Charlie Bennett (6) - 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. Add that to some outstanding defense behind the dish and you've got yourself a HOMer.

6. Jim McCormick (8) - I strongly feel that McCormick is a HOMer. Pitched nearly 4,300 innings in 10 years, never having an "off" year until his final season in 1887 (322.1 IP, 89 ERA+). Finished with a 118 career ERA+, which places him 14th all-time among the 31 pitchers who pitched as many innings as McCormick did. He also won the Win Shares Cy Young Award in 1880.

7. Bid McPhee (9) - 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.

8. Harry Stovey (11) - 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.

9. Pete Browning (12) - 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, and the second-best offensive player on the ballot behind Stovey. If he didn't have his inner-ear problems, he'd be a first-ballot HOMer mentioned in the same breath as Brouthers and Connor for his hitting ability.

10. Ed Williamson (NR) - I listened too much to the idea that Williamson was overrated, which knocked him down so much in my eyes that I realized I was underrating him. He's one of the all-time great defensive third basemen at a time when defense at the hot corner was more valuable. As a hitter, he had good secondary skills and displayed the ability to get on base and hit with gap power. This made him an asset with the bat despite a batting average below league average.

11. Sam Thompson (13) - Great hitter, arguably the best on the ballot. To me, it boggles the mind that I can place a hitter with a 146 career OPS+ this low on the ballot. But:

1) He basically played 11 full seasons, which is not long for a HOM career.

2) He had little defensive value in an era where defense was a bigger part of the game than at any other time in history.

If he had played 40 years later, I'd be worrying a lot less about his defensive value.

12. Charley Jones (NR) - Another player I overlooked. A hitter extraordinare like Thompson, Browning and Stovey. He probably gets underrated because 4,009 plate appearances doesn't look all that impressive to the eye, but in the environment of those shortened seasons, it's equivalent to about 7,200 plate appearances with 162-game schedules. I have him essentially equal with Thompson, though Thompson is ahead due to the level of competition he played against.

(I do give full credit for Jones' blacklisted seasons. His blacklist fell right in the middle of a long peak; therefore I give him credit for two peak seasons (165-170 OPS+).)

13. Hughie Jennings (NR) - A great from 1894-1898, a span where he was arguably the best position player in baseball. But he contributed next to nothing outside of those five years. For me, a player needs to perform at a Pedro Martinez/Barry Bonds-type level, a historically great level, over five years if their peak is going to be such a dominant part of their HOM case. In short, I wouldn't put Jennings any higher than I would now, but I'd feel pretty comfortable placing Alex Rodriguez in the Top 10 of a HOM ballot if he retired today.

14. Hugh Duffy (NR) - Hugh Duffy may well be the most overrated player of the 19th century. I don't mean this as a knock against him; just stating an opinion that I believe can be supported. He tooled along as a very nice, near-HOM player for his entire career, highlighted by that genuinely great 1894 season. Like Charley Radbourn, he was inducted into the HOF largely on the basis of that one outstanding season.

15. Mickey Welch (14) - Welch does fine by the traditional measures and would rank higher, but his WARP numbers and pennant impact don't corroborate what the ERA+ and innings pitched say. He is right at my in-out line as far as pitchers from this era are concerned; Welch and Duffy represent my in-out line for HOMers.
   68. jimd Posted: August 30, 2003 at 12:24 AM (#516906)
Looking at your ballot I notice that you did not mention Lip Pike. ... I am surprised that Pike doesn't even seem to make your top 24. What makes you have him so low?

My rating system blends both peak and career, WARP and (defense-adjusted) Win Shares. I also tend to rate pitchers more highly than some here seem to. I don't see Pike as that different from Tiernan or Browning, just a generation older. That he isn't in my "top-24" is really because I felt like giving Hawley and Stivetts a mention or two before they disappear, probably for good. More career length could raise my evaluation of Pike. (Did he play in the IA and how well? Who did he play for between Worcester and his last token for the Metropolitans?).
   69. jimd Posted: August 30, 2003 at 12:34 AM (#516907)
Giving Charley Jones credit for two years of blacklisting may be excessive, then again, maybe not. Anybody know why he didn't play in the AA in 1882, or what he was doing instead? (1881 was obviously lost due to blacklisting from the NL, the only major league game available that season.)
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2003 at 03:22 AM (#516911)
Giving Charley Jones credit for two years of blacklisting may be excessive, then again, maybe not. Anybody know why he didn't play in the AA in 1882, or what he was doing instead? (1881 was obviously lost due to blacklisting from the NL, the only major league game available that season.)

As Bill James tells it, Jones lost 2+ years to blacklisting. He was kicked off the Boston club over a salary dispute in early September in the 1880 season and blacklisted. So he was out of baseball in 1881. In 1882, he signed a contract to play in the AA, but then they decided to honor the NL's blacklist, so his contract was voided. In 1883 the AA decided to stop honoring the blacklist, so Jones was able to get back in major-league baseball. Under the circumstances, I think two years credit is reasonable, if one is inclined to give credit for that sort of thing.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 30, 2003 at 05:01 AM (#516913)
Next year will be a tough one to sort.

You ain't kidding, brother!
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 30, 2003 at 06:04 AM (#516915)
Welcome to the club, Doctor!
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2003 at 11:30 AM (#516916)
An error on Spencer? You must not be the ghost of the REAL one!!
   74. KJOK Posted: August 30, 2003 at 06:43 PM (#516917)
I look more for wins above AVERAGE as opposed to above REPLACEMENT LEVEL when considering a player's greatness, and I use at least 5 years for a peak, along with heavily weighting C, SS, and 3B defense.

1. CHARLIE BENNETT, C -Comp is Roy Campanella. Until at least Roger Bresnahan, only Ewing was a better Catcher. Catchers may have trouble "adding up" numbers due to the nature of the position, but last I checked you can't play the field without a catcher.

2. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS ? Best comp may be Lou Boudreau. Great fielder and great hitter for a SS. Only drawback is played 10,000 less SS innings than Dahlen, over 6,000 less than George Davis.

3. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF - Hits like Joe Jackson, fields like Greg Luzinski playing CF. Still has one of the highest Win Shares/Year for the 19th century. Possible MVP in 1882, 83, 85 & 90 - that should count for quite a bit.

4. JOE START, 1B,- Similar to Tony Perez, IF you assume a normal career progression that is not fully documented. Keeps moving up on my ballot as I'm now convinced he's a worthy 1860's/1870's period inductee.

5. CUPID CHILDS, 2B - Hitting value almost identical to Hardy Richardson, AND played close to 13,000 innings at 2B. Comp is somewhere between Charlie Gehringer to Stan Hack.

6. HUGH DUFFY, CF ? Strong comp with Kirby Puckett. Note quite the hitter that Mike Griffin was, but played a little longer. One MVP Year - 1894.

7. MIKE GRIFFIN, CF ? Fred Lynn/Jimmy Wynn offensively, and was a better CF than both. Seems to be very underrated.

8. SAM THOMPSON, RF - Harry Heilmann comp. Downgraded a little due to 19th century defensive spectrum.

9. MIKE TIERNAN, RF ? Similar value to Gary Sheffiield. Just slightly below Sam Thompson. Downgraded a little due to 19th century defensive spectrum.

10. BID McPHEE, 2B ? I think Graig Nettles is his best comp, as he was relatively a much better hitter than Brooks Robinson AND a terrific fielder.

11 CAL McVEY, C/1B - Modern Comp: Gene Tenace, only better and longer career. Best catcher before Ewing/Bennett.

12. HARRY STOVEY, LF/1B - Comp is Albert Belle.

13. NED WILLIAMSON, 3B - Best comp may be Jeff Kent with Bill Mazeroski?s defense, which is a pretty potent combination. Seems to be undervalued with all the friends of Ezra..

14. EZRA SUTTON, 3B ? I'm warming up to the idea that he was better than my rating of him, but having a hard time finding anyone to drop below him. He was a good hitter, but nowhere near Joyce or Meyerle or even Deacon White or Denny Lyons. He was a good fielder, but nowhere near Ned Williamson or Nash. Solid all-around player, but had a lot of mediocre seasons.

15. LIP PIKE, CF ? Comp is Hack Wilson. May deserve to be even higher.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 30, 2003 at 07:22 PM (#516918)
Billy Nash, 3B ? Couldn?t hit or field as well as Ned Williamson, but played a little more, mostly due to season expansion.

Nash was a terrific fielder. Both Wins Shares and BP indicate this.
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 30, 2003 at 07:24 PM (#516919)
I should have also noted that both Win Shares and BP don't see any great difference between Nash and Williamson as fielders.
   77. KJOK Posted: August 30, 2003 at 08:30 PM (#516920)
John:

BP has Williamson at 124 (!) and Nash at 112, which is quite a bit of difference, although Nash had a lot more 3B innings...
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2003 at 08:55 PM (#516921)
I just (double) posted on the postional threads from last year thread a summary of all the win share translations from WARP that I've done for prominent National Association players. The posting includes Cap Anson, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White, (whom I had not done previously) as well as all the players I had already. It covers all NA players in the HoM, currently appearing on ballot, or otherwise of interest, except major NA pitchers.
   79. Jeff M Posted: August 30, 2003 at 11:24 PM (#516922)
Ned Williamson is Jeff Kent with Bill Mazeroski's defense?

Just to use BP, for example, Williamson has a season-adjusted BRAR of 421, but 19% of that total came during the fluke 27 HR year when he benefited from the ridiculous park effect in Chicago that year. I think you've got to shave 20 or so BRAR off of Williamson for that 1884 year, which would put him at 401. Kent has BRAR of 439 through the end of last year, and he's still playing!

I'm not crazy about BP's defensive numbers, but since it is all I have handy: Williamson has a season-adjusted FRAR of 630. Maz has a FRAR of 761.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 31, 2003 at 12:22 AM (#516923)
BP has Williamson at 124 (!) and Nash at 112, which is quite a bit of difference, although Nash had a lot more 3B innings...

RA doesn't take into account league strength. Since Williamson played during many short-schedule seasosn, his RA will also stand out to a greater degree than during Nash's time.

FRAR tends to handle the problems I outlined above.
   81. DanG Posted: August 31, 2003 at 02:52 AM (#516924)
In answer to jimd and adding to what Chris said re Charley Jones.

The 1989 SABR book, "Nineteenth Century Stars" has this concerning Jones' 1881 activities: "He operated a laundry in Cincinnati, and in November 1881 signed to play for the Cincinnati team of the American Association for the 1882 season. When the AA attained major league status in 1882, it decided to honor the National League blacklist and Jones was never asked to report. He sued Cincinnati for his 1882 salary but lost in a bitter trial in which Jones' alleged alcohol problem was an issue. Jones did play minor league ball for Portsmouth in 1882."
   82. DanG Posted: August 31, 2003 at 03:08 AM (#516925)
Jimd also asked about Pike's later career. From the SABR Bioproject entry, this is Lip's career in the 1880's:

"Beginning the 1880 season with Albany, Pike showed he still had home run power, as evidenced by this report in The Baseball Chronology regarding the game of May 21, 1880:

"In Albany's Riverside Park, Lip Pike hits a ball over the wall and into the river. Right fielder Lon Knight begins to go after the ball in a boat but gives up. Few parks have ground rules about giving the batter an automatic home run on a hit over the fence."

According to David Nemec:

"Pike played for the Albany team until it disbanded in July. He then played for the Unions of Brooklyn in a three-team tournament held at the Union Grounds on August 18th, featuring the Washington and Rochester teams. Pike also played for the New York Metropolitan team. He appeared in a total of 12 games and batted .241.

"Pike opened the [1881] season playing second base for his old Atlantic team in a minor league and working in the mercantile business. However, in late August he was called up by the National League Worchester Ruby Legs when Arthur Irwin was disabled. He joined Worchester on August 27th, played center field and batted second. In six games he went 3-for-25, a mere .120 batting average."

Pike's miserable play for the Worchester club led to controversy, as noted in The Baseball Chronology's account of events as the season of 1881 drew to a close:

September 3rd:
   83. KJOK Posted: August 31, 2003 at 06:07 AM (#516926)
" Ned Williamson is Jeff Kent with Bill Mazeroski's defense? "

Jeff, with regard to comparing Williamson to Kent and Mazeroski

Lifetime EQA
   84. KJOK Posted: August 31, 2003 at 06:15 AM (#516927)
"RA doesn't take into account league strength. Since Williamson played during many short-schedule seasosn, his RA will also stand out to a greater degree than during Nash's time.

FRAR tends to handle the problems I outlined above. "

I'm a little confused by this statement. NEITHER RA or FRAR takes league strength into account. Also, RA is only impacted by the short-season in that it's HARDER to get a higher RA number with fewer games?! Maybe you meant the RATE number (124 for Williamson) is more likely to be higher by chance due to a smaller sample size? If so, then I agree with that 100%, which is why I've argued against straight line seasonal adjustments for short-seasons for BOTH batting and fielding. However, Williamson also played almost 4,000 innings at SS, so in my rating that puts him back slightly ahead of Nash overall on defense.
   85. KJOK Posted: August 31, 2003 at 06:29 AM (#516928)
"Williamson has a season-adjusted BRAR of 421, but 19% of that total came during the fluke 27 HR year when he benefited from the ridiculous park effect in Chicago that year. I think you've got to shave 20 or so BRAR off of Williamson for that 1884 year, which would put him at 401"

I think this is a huge mistake. First, BRAR is ALREADY park adjusted.

And second, if you're going to penalize Williamson for 1884, you'll need to add 20 or so BRAR for 1883, when the ground rule was in the "other direction!" Williamson hit 49 doubles and 2 HR's - quite likely many of those doubles were ground rule doubles that would have been HR's in all the other parks in the league.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 31, 2003 at 02:38 PM (#516929)
I'm a little confused by this statement. NEITHER RA or FRAR takes league strength into account.

Actually, FRAR does (under All-Time). RATE doesn't (RATE2 does).

Maybe you meant the RATE number (124 for Williamson) is more likely to be higher by chance due to a smaller sample size?

That's what I meant.

However, Williamson also played almost 4,000 innings at SS, so in my rating that puts him back slightly ahead of Nash overall on defense.

That did make a difference for me, too. Just not enough to overtake Nash, IMO.
   87. RobC Posted: August 31, 2003 at 04:42 PM (#516930)
I think on the Williamson vs Maz defense issue, you need to look at
   88. Chris Cobb Posted: August 31, 2003 at 05:28 PM (#516931)
FRAA 365 vs 46. Here is why, Ned wasnt that much above average. In his last 5 seasons, he was a below average fielder according to W3 adjusted numbers. Using only the seasonal W1, he was below average in 4 of 5. Those were mostly his SS seasons.

In using the WARP3 numbers for fielding, keep in mind that WARP3 downgrades fielding value from the early game more heavily than it downgrades batting value. I know neither the rationale nor the method for this feature of the WARP system, but it's there.
   89. RobC Posted: August 31, 2003 at 05:49 PM (#516932)
Chris,

I think there are 2 effects. One is a timeline adjustment, which is in the batting too. The other is an opportunity adjustment. This is explained in the 2002 book. Basically, as I understand it (which may be wrong), it adjusts for the differences in the game. Infielders in the 1800s had many more fielding ops than later infielders. The ops are pro-rated down. Im not sure what the "baseline" year is.

The point is, I think, that the seasonal adjustment gives you a "pure" runs saved number. The adjusted for all time number allows you to compare players from different time frames be putting them in the same universe.
   90. sean gilman Posted: August 31, 2003 at 07:51 PM (#516933)
FWIW, BP 2002 rates Roger Connor, Fred Tenney, Bid McPhee, Bobby Lowe, Bill Dahlen, Jack Glasscock, and Jimmy Collins among the top 10 defensviely at their positions. . .
   91. Jeff M Posted: August 31, 2003 at 08:02 PM (#516934)
KJOK, step away from the numbers for a second in the "Williamson is Kent/Mazeroski" argument.

If Williamson was an MVP quality hitter (like Kent) who was as good defensively as the single best fielding 2b in baseball history (i.e., Maz), why is Williamson only #13 on your HOM ballot? That sounds like a slam dunk #1 to me.

Yet I count 37 ballots so far this "year". Williamson is named on only 17 of them -- only once in the top ten. You would think that if Williamson was Jeff Kent with Maz' defense, he would be a consensus HOMer, not a "throw-in" on about 45% of the ballots and omitted on the remaining 55%.

I don't mean to attack your ballot (it isn't my practice), but I believe that saying Williamson is Kent/Maz is possibly the most extraordinary thing I've ever read on the HOM boards in nearly two years of participation, so I'm trying to understand it.
   92. dan b Posted: September 01, 2003 at 01:34 AM (#516937)
Not much time ? not much has changed, still favor stars of 90?s and AA. Hamilton had been #1, replace with Jennings at #3. Drop Denny Lyons from the tie for 15th. My views on McVey haven?t changed.

1. Bid McPhee. Lots of career value, AA deserves one.
   93. Esteban Rivera Posted: September 01, 2003 at 02:24 AM (#516938)
With Hamilton in everybody either moves up one or stays put except Bennett. The analysis on him this week has pushed him to second on my ballot. Jennings makes his debut also. Have a great and safe Labor Day everybody.

1. 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.
   94. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 01, 2003 at 04:25 AM (#516939)
It's Sunday, it's midnight, it's time for my ballot. Not really a lot of changes this week. I tend to value career more, but it's nice to have a good peak.

1. Ezra Sutton (2) Long career, good peak (if oddly timed), very good fielder at important position, decent hitter. Fewest weakness of anyone on the ballot.

2. Pud Galvin (3) Only pitcher left to put in. Pitched for a very long time in his era, comparable to Radbourn in my view, and I accept that he was hurt by his defenses.

3. Joe Start (4) His documented career would get him on my ballot, and I'll give him a pretty good credit for the off-the-books stuff.

4. Cal McVey (5) Hit the ball real hard, played some catcher, and he kept going for a long time. If I knew the quality of his leagues, he might go higher.

5. Bid McPhee (6) Very good player, should be in, but as I said, I'd like a little peak.

6. Charlie Bennett (7) May be overrated by WARP, may be underated by WS. He could hit well for a catcher, was an excellent fielder.

7. Harry Stovey (8) Defintiely a step ahead of the other 1B/OFs, but not sure if he was quite good enough to merit induction.

8. Dickey Pearce (10) Doubt he'll ever get in, but wouldn't mind if he did.

9. Hugh Duffy (9) Realize now he's very similar to Griffin - excellent fielder, reasonable hitter. Maybe a bit better, but not much.

10. Hughie Jennings (NR) The opposite of McPhee, five great years does not quite a HoMer make. (Five incredible years, even at Dodger Stadium in the 60s, might. Ask me again in 2006.)

11. Mike Griffin (15) Similarity to Duffy moves him up.

12. Lip Pike (12) Maybe I'm underating him, but I have less confidence in the quality of his off-the-books work than Start and McVey.

13. Sam Thompson (13) Not a good fielder, and not a great hitter. If he gets in, I won't be thrilled about it.

14. Pete Browning (11) I can't think of a comment this week.

15. Tom York (new) I'd overlooked him before, a good player, but with next year's flood, this is probably his only appearence. (Odd fact: The Win Shares defensive rating gives him an A- (in LF!), but he never won a WS Gold Glove. I don't know what it means, either.)

Dropped out: Cupid Childs (14) A reasonably good player, but I don't see much to get excited about.
   95. KJOK Posted: September 01, 2003 at 06:45 AM (#516940)
"I don't mean to attack your ballot (it isn't my practice), but I believe that saying Williamson is Kent/Maz is possibly the most extraordinary thing I've ever read on the HOM boards in nearly two years of participation, so I'm trying to understand it."

I didn't think this was so hard to understand, but to explain it more fully:

Williamson had a RATE OF OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION over his career that is very similar to what a modern player, Jeff Kent, has had thru 2002.

There IS a difference in that Williamson was not a productive player after age 30, while Kent is still going strong at age 35, so Williamson's SUM OF OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION, compared to Kent's, whenever Kent retires, is obviously going to be less.

However, I think you'll find if you compare Williamson's 1884 season to Kent's 2000, or Williamson's 1879 season to Kent's 2002, they do closely resemble each other.

The comparison with Mazeroski is more of a stretch statistically, but we have to remember that defensive statistical tools are not nearly as accurate as offensive statistical tools. What I really meant was to indicate Williamson's reputation as a defensive player was similar to Mazeroski's reputation. Statistical numbers do back up Williamson being an excellent fielder - just not one of the all-time greats.

As TomH said "Williamson was Almost Kent's bat with Almost Maz's defense, at least in context of his day" would be a more accurate statement.
   96. Carl goetz Posted: September 01, 2003 at 03:20 PM (#516941)
Sure-fire HoMers:

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