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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, October 06, 2003

1911 Ballot

Balloting is now open for 1911 . . . Kid Nichols and Jesse Burkett join the top returning candidates, Joe Start, Bid McPhee, Cal McVey, Charlie Bennett and Harry Stovey in one or the strongest fields yet. Only one will be elected.

Don’t forget to follow the ‘best practices’ as we’ve discussed . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 06, 2003 at 04:08 PM | 121 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Carl Goetz Posted: October 06, 2003 at 05:13 PM (#518100)
I'll go first. I am not changing anything from my prelim ballot. I consider the 1st 7 to be sure-fire HoMers, the next 5 to be borderline candidates(ie, I wouldn't raise a stink if they're elected), and the rest to be worthy of mention, but not election.
   2. Marc Posted: October 06, 2003 at 05:53 PM (#518101)
Thanks to all of you guys, I am now incorporating WARP into my ratings so there are a few minor changes. My preference, as many of you know, is 1) peak first and career second, and 2) a pennant is a pennant (very weak timeline).

Must-Be HoMers

1. Kid Nichols (new)--highest career adjWS and he remained among the best players in MLB longer (8 years) than anybody else on the board. Second highest adjWARP1, second highest 5 year peak adjWS, etc. etc.

2. Joe Start (1st the past 4 years)--no, I am not kidding. Played for 27 years. If credited for 1859-70 (or even only for 1865-70) he comes out second (to Nichols) in career adjWS and second (to McPhee) in career adjWARP1. And unlike McPhee, he was for 3-5 years one of the 1-3 best players in America.

3. Jesse Burkett (new)--does not rise above the OF glut to the degree I expected, maybe this is too high a rating. But his 429 adjWS is third best on the board and he was among the top players in MLB for three years.

4. Cal McVey (2 last year-3-2-3)--.325 EqA and 132 3 year peak WS are among the best on the board. Like Start and Burkett, rates highly on both peak and career.

Deserving

5. Charlie Bennett (3-5-4-4)--his 3 year peak from 1881-83 is among the best on the board; 116 adjWARP1 is as good as many of the OF glut.

6. Jim McCormick (5-8-10-12)--continues to move up, this year it's because I discovered his adjWARP1 is the fourth best on the board, to go along with the second best 5 year peak adjWS.

7. Dickey Pearce (4-4-5-10)--played 23 years but we don't know how high a peak he had; was he the Bid McPhee of the '60s?

On the Bubble

8. Hughie Jennings (9-10-13-x)--moves up due to the highest WARP1 peak among position players on the board, to go along with the third best 5 year adjWS peak.

9. Harry Wright (6T-6-7-5)--nothing new to add; best of the '60s along with Start and Pearce.

10. Tommy Bond (10-11-9-8)--WARP echoes WS high regard for his peak--that is, one of the top three or four on the board.

11. Lip Pike (6T-9-6-9)--.326 EqA impressive but his adjWARP1 drops him further behind contemporaries Start and McVey.

Ball Filler

12. Jimmy Ryan (6T-7-x)--on closer inspection, falls down closer to that OF glut. Peak WS impressive but other ratings less so.

13. Harry Stovey (15-15-x-x)--looks good to WARP, third highest career adjWARP on the board. Moves up.

14. Bid McPhee (11-13-12-14)--bumped him up to #11 last week in case he "almost" got elected; I don't need to be accused again of strategic voting. This week he's back where he belongs. #3 career but #29 peak.

15. Sam Thompson (14-14-14-11)--WARP helps him stand out a little better from the OF glut (.319 EqA) but even with WARP not much of a peak.

Drops out--Van Haltren--as close as he is to Ryan, Jimmy edges him out on every measure, and this OF glut is so close that Van becomes odd man out.

Close--Along with Van Haltren, last men out were Duffy, Williamson, Long, Caruthers and Whitney, all of whom look a little better if you look at WARP than if you don't. The biggest effect of factoring WARP into my ratings were off-ballot. There's a much bigger scramble from 15 to 25 than from 1 to 15.

Frank Grant continues to languish, awaiting some (any) info about his play in the '90s. His IL play isn't enough for me, when the best comp is Patsy Donovan, even adjusting for position and age (and we don't know his age for sure).
   3. OCF Posted: October 06, 2003 at 08:19 PM (#518102)
OK, I'll go next. From 3 down, the comments are copied from last year.

1. Charles A. Nichols (new) Cy Young goes ahead of him based on 20th century performance. Still, it doesn't feel right that Young should be a household name when many highly knowledgable fans seem to have barely heard of Nichols.
   4. OCF Posted: October 06, 2003 at 08:21 PM (#518103)
Oops! Bad proofreading. Make that:
   5. Jeff M Posted: October 06, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#518104)
1. Nichols, Kid (--) -- One of the best pitchers we've seen, with no apparent weaknesses. Although there has been some discussion about him relative to Welch, I don't see them as close, for reasons I explained in the discussion thread.

2. Burkett, Jesse (--) -- I rarely put a new candidate at the top of the ballot (much less two), but I think it is the right move this year. He was a dynamic hitter. He's a classic HoMer because he performed at very high levels and had a long career. Satisfies both the peak and career folks. In my mind, there's a big gap between #2 and #3 on this year's ballot.

3. Stovey, Harry (#1)

4. Start, Joe (#2)

5. McVey, Cal (#3)

6. Bennett, Charlie (#4)

--------------------------------MY HOM LINE---------------------------

7. Browning, Pete (#5) -- Seems to be fading fast in the balloting. The election results show that Stovey, Duffy, Thompson, Ryan, van Haltren and Pike were all better. Duffy had an excellent fielding reputation, so maybe that's explainable, but Thompson, Ryan (!!!), van Haltren (!!!!) and Pike are all considered better hitters? Maybe this is b/c Browning spent lots of time in the AA, but he did tear up the Players League, so he was no fluke.

8. McPhee, Bid (#6)

------------------------CAN ENVISION THEM "IN" LINE-------------------

9. Tiernan, Mike (#8)

10. Thompson, Sam (#9)

11. Jones, Charley (#10)

12. Long, Herman (#11)

13. Grant, Frank (#12)

14. Welch, Mickey (#13)

15. Duffy, Hugh (#14)

Pike, Dickey Pearce and Bob Caruthers would be next.

Since Jimmy Ryan was in the Top 10 voting last time and hasn't yet appeared on my ballot, I'll give the same explanation as last time. I simply cannot distinguish him in any positive way from a number of other very good outfielders, like Mike Griffin, Cy Seymour or even George van Haltren. He was a very good player but rarely, in my opinion, in the top echelon. To me, he wasn't outstanding. Not an MVP-type player and not even a guy who would consistently over his career have made an all-star team (though he would always have been close).
   6. dan b Posted: October 06, 2003 at 08:47 PM (#518105)
Marc ? When I responded to your preliminary ballot with the hope that you were kidding, it was because you stated that you were considering placing Start above Nichols, who should be our first unanimous pick (although I felt the same about Brouthers and Delahanty). Your placement of Start at #2 ahead of Burkett is consistent with your tendency to overrate (IMO, of course) the play of the 1860?s, and I accept that you are not kidding.

OTOH, we do agree on Frank Grant.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2003 at 11:34 PM (#518107)
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)Kid Nichols (n/a): Best pitcher eligible by a mile. Unanimous selection? Best major league pitcher for 1892, 1897 and 1898.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 07, 2003 at 04:51 AM (#518110)
15. Perry Werden 1B - Marc wrote: "ed, please vote for Perry Werden." For you Marc, anything.

Ed, I'd be shocked if this vote means anything for this election, but the rules do state to pick the best fifteen players for your ballot.

Besides, the thought of Werden getting a single vote makes me nauseous. :-)
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 07, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#518113)
<i>4- Bid McPhee (3)
   10. Jeff M Posted: October 07, 2003 at 02:22 PM (#518114)
Joe Start. ... Without some indication that he suddenly lost steam in 1871, I?ll have to believe that he had unusually great PR. I had Start on my ballot when I started, but then I dropped him because I lost faith in the press reports in the 1860s.

Although I consistently rank Start highly, I haven't been vociferous about my vote and I'm not going to "start" now. Without trying to convince you how highly Start should be ranked, I'll just say that I think Start can make your ballot even if you give him zero credit for 1871 play. He certainly was better than Jimmy Ryan and George van Haltren.
   11. Al Peterson Posted: October 07, 2003 at 02:31 PM (#518115)
No tight race this year at the top...

1. Kid Nichols (-). Won 360 games and, oh by the way, took two years "off" to manage and play in the Western Association. Laps the field on the ballot.

2. Jesse Burkett (-). Pride of Wheeling, WV is a strong candidate who ran into a buzzsaw at the top.

3. Harry Stovey (1). Played in the wrong league in the wrong era. His numbers in the hitting mid-90's would have got him noticed.

4. Bid McPhee (3). Career value as a middle infielder makes up for hitting being a weaker component of his game.

5. Cal McVey (4). Like him better than Start. Not by a lot but still. Reportedly still playing in the Texas League 1888-90 so career was quite long.

6. Joe Start (5). Be patient FOJS. He's getting there. What nags at me is two things: (1) His best documented years are 1877-79 when there were 6,6 and 8 teams in the NL. His peak years seems to hit when it was easiest to peak due to smaller number of players. (2) Claims to being one of the best in the 1860s are not irrefutable. When the professional Cincinnati team of 1869 was being put together did Harry Wright make Start an offer he couldn't refuse to join them? There were a few New York imports on the Red Stockings team but no JS. Also, If I wanted to go far back into the early 1860s and give playing credit I would probably be inclined to take Dickey Pearce.

7. Sam Thompson (11). Big mover of the week. In our rush to prove how smart we are and unearth some players that are hidden gems we overlook a pretty darn good player.

8. Charlie Bennett (6). Could help the Tigers more today than Brandon Inge.

In/Out line around #7 or #8 on my own scale.

9. Hugh Duffy (8). Believe some of the hype so here he falls.
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: October 07, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#518116)
1. Kid Nichols (new)

No arguments here. The clear best choice.

2. Joe Start (2,3,3)

This could easily be Burkett. Since I can't decide I will err on the side of caution for the newer candidate.

3. Jesse Burkett (new)

4. Bid McPhee (3,5,4)

I am not a big Bid booster, but he has the career to be in the HoM. He is deserving and it should only be a matter of time.

5. Cal McVey (4,6,5)

The last of my current "sure things".

6. George Van Haltren (6,4,-)

I agree that there is a glut of outfielders. I just place that glut higher than some.

7. Jimmy Ryan (5,7,-)
   13. DanG Posted: October 07, 2003 at 03:02 PM (#518117)
Al Peterson wrote"
   14. karlmagnus Posted: October 07, 2003 at 03:36 PM (#518118)
For Start, Sutton, Meyerle, Pike and McVey, I now take adjusted hits as actual hits *130/actual games, normalizing them in each season to 130 games, with the exception of mini-seasons at the end where they were clearly winding down. I have also looked at another metric, total bases+ BBs (why aren?t BB in TB?)/plate appearances and (TB+BB)/outs, which puts the 1890s players more into context, with each other although not with the 1870s players, who hardly ever walked (not surprising, with the pitcher allowed 9 balls!).

My 1911, nearly identical to 1910, with Nichols and Burkett added:

1. (N/A) Kid Nichols He?s about ? of Cy Young, and would not be No. 1 against Anson, but on the other hand on career value he beats Radbourn, albeit without the 1884 peak. A worthy No. 1, ahead of noble, dogged Joe, but not quite an exceptional one.

2. (7-5-6-3-2-2-1-1-1-1-1) Joe Start ? I?m convinced by the arguments of his greatness in the 1860s. If you normalize his 1871-85 to 130-game seasons, season by season as above, he gets 2,705 hits after the age of 28? Add say 7 ?normal? seasons of 150 hits for 1864-70 and he?s around 3,800. TB+BB/PA .389, TB+BB/Outs .572, both lowish, but we presumably only have his latter years, in gentle decline (would be on this ballot, but at the bottom end, if he?d been say eight years younger, with only 1871-86 career.) Nobody else loses this much of their career, yet still puts up decent numbers. He?s Ezra Sutton in 1871-86, plus the 1860s.

3. (n/a-9-7-5-3-3-3-3-3) Cal McVey ? 1,986 hits in 9 normalized seasons of 1871-79, normalized season by season, at the end of which he was 28 1/2. Peak of 7 successive ?adjusted? 200-hit seasons in 1871-77. Giving any reasonable credit for post-29 puts him in HOM territory, even though he slowed a little from his peak in 1878-79 (to level of 170-hit ?adjusted? seasons.) TB+BB/PA .453, TB+BB/Outs .700, less than Meyerle, but played more. Considerably higher peak than Sutton, even if shorter career. Don?t entirely believe sabermetric ?funny numbers? but to the extent I understand them, they point to McVey.

4. (N/A) Jesse Burkett TB+BB/PA .498, TB+BB/Outs .847, must be very close to Delahanty if Delahanty had a decline phase. Put him where Delahanty was (have lost one from above, one from below since then.) Gap between 3 and 5 is quite large, so plenty of room for him.

5. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4) Bob Caruthers ? a first class pitcher/position player, with a high peak on some top teams, but a significant AA discount. Only 1,047 ?normalized? hits, so only a moderate addition to his 218 wins, but 218-99 is kinda impressive. Don?t see that Rusie had much over this guy, except an overblown NY reputation. As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so significantly better than McPhee and Sutton, and even beats Duffy slightly. Tough to beat double peak, as hitter and pitcher ? don?t know why others aren?t more impressed.

6. (N/A-13-13-14-12-11-7-6-6-5) Sam Thompson Only 2,136 hits adjusted to 130 game season. However TB+BB/PA was .534 and TB/Outs .865, among the highest figures on the ballot, so high peak, in a more difficult hitting era than the 1890s guys.

7. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6) Mickey Welch ? 307-210 comes to impress me more and more (yes, I know it was mostly with the strong Giants.)1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson?s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. Welch not as good as Clarkson, but not that far off.

8. Jimmy Ryan (N/A-10-9) Counting stats very similar to Van Haltren and better than Duffy, peak slightly better than Van H, not as good as Duffy. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .809, higher than Duffy.

9. (N/A-6-5-9-8) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he?s way below Burkett on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though ? and it?s ?94 not ?93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Drops down because of flood of competition, now just behind Ryan on counting considerations.

10. Harry Wright (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10) Better than Pearce, but how good was he really compared to the rest? But I?m convinced by the anecdotal evidence that he has to have been at least as good as this.

11. (N/A-8-7) Frank Grant. The most plausible comparison I?ve seen was to Hardy Richardson, although others are comparing him to the (IMHO) somewhat inferior McPhee. Move him down to halfway between Richardson?s ex-spot and McPhee?s spot.

12. (--15-15-15-15-14-13-9-8-11-11) Harry Stovey Best years were in AA, and only 2,084 ?normalized hits (adjusting 1880-92 to 130 games). TB/PA .512, TB/Outs .800, moves him above McPhee

13. George van Haltren (N/A-13-12) Counting stats almost like Delahanty, but again need to be deflated for the 1890s. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s. No peak to speak of ? what happened to him in 1893-95, when he should have been in his prime?

14. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season, and he was only 2 months younger, so 1860s value presumably similar. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike?s figures, includes no ?decline? phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877.

15. (N/A-7-7-14-13-off-15) Bid McPhee 2,466 hits, adjusted to 130 games in 1882-99. Modest AA discount for first part of career. TB/PA only .432 and TB/Outs .668, so now below Meyerle and Pike, and probably not HOM, since much of this was in the 90s, and most of the rest was in the AA.

OFF LIST:
   15. Marc Posted: October 07, 2003 at 04:44 PM (#518122)
Har har har. Harry Wright was one of the top 3 players of the '60s by every source available. What was Perry Werden, top 300? Harry Wright is a serious vote, Perry Werden is a large middle finger extended toward this discussion.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 07, 2003 at 04:46 PM (#518123)
Don't worry John, you'll get over it, I've lived to accept your voting for Harry Wright. ;-)

Are you really serious about Werden?! I thought it was just a joke for Marc's sake. Please tell me I'm wrong?!? :-)

BTW, the difference between Werden and Wright is huge (but you knew I was going to say that). :-)
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: October 07, 2003 at 05:08 PM (#518124)
Not to be picky, but I'd be happier if that Werden 'vote' was replaced by a real one by Ed....
   18. Al Peterson Posted: October 07, 2003 at 06:20 PM (#518125)
DanG wrote:

Well, maybe, but this does nothing to refute his standing. Harry Wright wasn't George Steinbrenner; he couldn't offer a king's ransom to every good player. Plus, Start was the King of Brooklyn. He was almost certainly being well compensated. Why would he want to leave? He played all but one year of his long career on the east coast, where he was born and died.

Fair enough Dan. But just think what a success the tour would have been if they could have had the "great" Joe Start. If he was the King of Brooklyn then his exploits would have been known throughout the land as they'd be spread by the New York tabloids. Was it believed that the Cincinnati squad, that juggernaut, was incomplete because it didn't have Super Joe Start? Just asking...
   19. OCF Posted: October 08, 2003 at 12:36 AM (#518126)
TomH, speaking of Nichols:

Nice career (some undocumented) in the early 1900s.

Not that anyone needs to see any more evidence here (the major league record speaks pretty loudly), but that two-year stint in the Western Association isn't exactly "undocumented." I don't have the numbers in front of me, but we do know things like his W-L record, the team standings, and so on, right?
   20. sean gilman Posted: October 08, 2003 at 01:44 AM (#518128)
1911

1. Kid Nichols (-)--Doubtless, without a doubt.

2. Jesse Burkett (-)--Close with Start, but I?ll take Burkett?s definitely great peak versus Start?s probably great peak.

3. Joe Start (1)--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).

4. Cal McVey (2)--Bumping McVey?s massive peak advantage over McPhee?s career edge. Only the 60s keep him behind Start.

5. Bid McPhee (3)--Slight edge on Harry Stovey due to defense and career length.

6. 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 Galvin on both WARP1 and WARP3 Pennants Added lists. Much better peak than the other outfielders (by WS). I think he clearly stands out from the glut.

7. Lip Pike (6)--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.

8. Charlie Bennett (7)--Great defense and hitting (for a catcher) moves him ahead of the Outfielder/Pitcher Glut, at least according to WARP.

9. Pete Browning (8)--AA discount brings him down to the rest of the glut. Browning still has easily the highest peak though.

10. Jimmy Ryan (9)--Any of the next 5 could go in any order.

11. Hugh Duffy (10)--Peak and Career value puts him in the middle of the outfielder glut; comparison to Ryan and VanHaltren shows me I was overrating him. Slightly higher peak than those two, slightly less career value. Decided to rate them by Joe?s adjWSrepl.

12. Gerorge VanHaltren (11)--Solid career WS lead puts these three ahead of the next two.

13. Sam Thompson (12)--His advantage in WARP3 over Tiernan is slightly larger than Tiernan?s advantage over him in Win Shares.

14. Mike Tiernan (13)--About even peakwise with Jennings, significantly more career value though.

15. Hughie Jennings (14)--Just ahead of Griffin and Childs(Grant) on peak.
   21. DanG Posted: October 08, 2003 at 01:31 PM (#518132)
This may not make you rethink your 1912 ballot, but the leading new eligibles are:

***1912 (October 26)-- elect 2
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: October 08, 2003 at 02:10 PM (#518134)
Joe,
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: October 08, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#518137)
Joe,
   24. Marc Posted: October 08, 2003 at 02:57 PM (#518138)
Joe, TomH's 1911 ballot is post #14. #33 is an early 1912 ballot.

BTW, ed, is there actually a case to be made for Perry Werden? If so, I haven't seen you make that case. All we know from post #10 is you cast your vote for Perry to annoy me. That's not a case. Nobody voted for Joe Start or Harry Wright to annoy you. It is not about you.
   25. DanG Posted: October 08, 2003 at 03:01 PM (#518139)
Joe's been gone for a bit. Maybe he doesn't understand that Tom's 1911 ballot is #14 above, with Nichols at the top. Post #33 is his 1912 ballot, put here early because Tom will be out of it for a couple weeks. Surely, Joe doesn't expect Nichols to be a candidate in 1912.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2003 at 03:06 PM (#518140)
<i>Joe,
   27. RobC Posted: October 08, 2003 at 03:21 PM (#518143)
The same as my prelim ballot. I think at #2, I become a EOKN. I thought O'Rourke, then Delahanty would be unanimous #1s though, so who knows, maybe someone will have Kid at #5. #1 and #2 were as close as I have come for the #1 spot on a ballot.

1. Bid McPhee (1) - The top career value on the ballot. As an interesting note, guys with most of their value in fielding are going to have a tendency to not have a great peak. Fielding skill does not have the same season-to-season variance that hitting does.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2003 at 03:35 PM (#518144)
The top career value on the ballot. As an interesting note, guys with most of their value in fielding are going to have a tendency to not have a great peak.

This is very true. The guys at the defensive positions got banged up more than the first baseman or outfielders did back then. Would Delahanty have had the same peak if he had played third base? I doubt it.

BTW, glad to see someone else will be getting the "how can anybody not slot Kid Nichols at #1" posts this time (though McPhee over Nichols certainly can be defended). :-)
   29. ronw Posted: October 08, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#518147)
1911 Ballot

Having voted in my state's embarassing election, I now turn to less important, but more fun issues.

As this is my first ever ballot, my votes have changed from my preliminary post, and may change in the weeks to come. This week, I'm going to try to avoid reference to WARP and WS, since I have seen flaws in both formulas in my research.

1. Kid Nichols - Should be unanimous. This is sure an easy first election.

2. Bid McPhee - Here's my first surprise. As a result of this election, I've been evaluating long stellar careers pre 1906. In keeping with my current skepticism on peak value, I don't factor in Bid's lack of a true peak.

3. Jesse Burkett - The Crab could vault ahead of McPhee next week, upon further examination of his excellent long career, but I need to evaluate his fielding numbers.

4. Joe Start - OK, I'm convinced he should be a member. I took the hardest look at Mr. Start this week, and you guys have directed me to several sources that say he was the best player of the 1860's. I realize that may not mean much, given the level of competition back then, but I feel that it should be honored.

5. Cal McVey - Another candidate I feel is deserving without the numbers in sanctioned play. He gets credit for his pre-NA days, but not post-NL.

--Should be "IN" line--

6. Charlie Bennett - A rare exception to my peak aversion, but understandably so, since the train wasn't his fault.

7. Harry Stovey - This guy may be my project for next week. I am skeptical of the AA, but Stovey was more than a serviceable major leaguer during his 1880-82 Worcester years, and he did fine in the Players League of 1890.

8. Jim McCormick - I was impressed enough with Jim's raw stats to elect him. I would have liked a longer career. However, he may never get there, based on future competition.

9. Frank Grant - He dropped due to Ted's recent list, an examination of the blackball web site, and a review of the additional lists provided on the Negro Leagues thread. He may move up or down pending further research.

--Now, the outfielder glut, with one pitcher--

I really tried hard to distinguish these guys, but aside from recognizing career over peak, none of them shine as sure-fire HoMers.

10. Jimmy Ryan - Solid career, Jimmy.

11. George Van Haltren - Again, solid career.

12. Mickey Welch - My biggest surprise. Welch also had a solid career for a pitcher, generally in the best available league. Consequently he compiled better raw numbers than Mr. McCormick. In fact, I may decide to flip-flop them in a future election.

13. Hugh Duffy - Slightly better career value than my next oft-maligned candidate.

14. Sam Thompson - I am surprised he fell this low, but then again many of you were shocked to rate him similarly. I keep having to tell myself . . . Don't think of the Hall of Fame, don't think of the Hall of Fame, but I find myself giving "bonus" points to those enshrined in Cooperstown.

15. Mike Griffin - Just below the remaining outfielders, but all of them could eventually be mixed up.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2003 at 04:18 PM (#518148)
Should I not take offense like John Murphy did?

Hold on, hoss. I didn't take offense to Werden on your ballot. I admit to being puzzled (still am and not the only one here) about selecting him since he wasn't on anybody's radar. If there is a case for him, fine by me.

From what I have read about Werden, he wasn't much of a player in the majors, but some hitter in the minors. However, he played in a bandbox for Minneapolis in the Western League during the nineties, so his numbers are suspect. I need to read up more on his other minor league seasons.

As for Werden vs. Start, here's the difference: Start was acknowledged as the best first baseman of his time. Werden was not even close to being the best first baseman of his time on his best day. Start, in his documented era, was the best first baseman in the majors three times (when it was more of a defensive position during the seventies). Werden was never the best first baseman for any season. Finally, FWIW, there are many quotes about Start being a great player. Are there any about Werden?

BTW, the arguments for Werden and Start apply to Harry Wright.
   31. MattB Posted: October 08, 2003 at 04:33 PM (#518149)
1. Kid Nichols (n/e) -- primarily on the basis of his OPS+ of 124 in 1901. His pitching was good too, though.

2. Joe Start (1) -- On the one hand, I think Start should have gone in before Galvin, since I has Start ahead last year. On the other hand, I don't think that Start is better than any currently inducted first basemen, while Galvin was better than some already inducted pitchers. Galvin's election leaves no players who should be obviously in based on those who are in already. I consider myself 50% peak and 50% career, and Start is as much as peak choice as a career one. His peak was just less documented, existing as it did in the mid-1860s.

3. Jesse Burkett (n/e) -- another great peak/career mix, but not as far above his peers as Start was above his.

4. Charlie Bennett (3) ?- Still head and shoulders above the other catchers who came after, and it looks like people are finally starting to notice. After finishing 12th in 1899, he climbed up to fifth last year. I am confident that soon he will complete his Galvin-esque climb to the top.

5. Harry Stovey (4) ?- These are the only five who I consider worthy on EITHER peak or career measures. Those below fall somewhat short on one area or the other (or there is simply not enough information to judge).

6. Frank Grant (5) -- An 18-year career when hardly any players made it that long. International League stats, reputation, and longevity combine to put him on the top of the "not 100% sure" list, but I'd rather have an "80% sure was great" player inducted that a "100% sure was not great" player.

7. Cal McVey (6) -- With Spalding in, he's now my top "pure 1870's" candidate. Start tops him only with 1860s and 1880s stats thrown in.

8. Bid McPhee (7) ? My main "peak" stat I look at is "Win Shares Above Average". On that calculus, he shouldn't be on my ballot at all. Only an overwhelming career case knocks him up this high.

9. Bob Caruthers (8) ? Best hitting pitcher (OPS+ and BRARP) by a huge margin. Best winning percentage and ERA+ among serious contenders. WARP-1 is third after Nichols and Mullane among eligibles. Loses point on career measures, but was the best AA pitcher for 3 straight years, and was very good in the surrounding years as well.

<b>10. Pete Browning (9)
? really strong peak, no matter the league. Really would be #3 or 4 if I was a strictly peak voter. Missed too much time to be higher, though.

11. Dickey Pearce (10) -- See last ballot for rationale.

12. Cupid Childs (11) ? McPhee?s career value trumps Childs? peak.

13. Sam Thompson (12) ? In the glut of 1890s outfielders, there is room now for Nichols + one more. I think that one more is Sam Thompson.

14. Mickey Welch (off) ?- So, if you look at the 1910 results, you see that Galvin was named on 43 of 44 ballots, and rightly so. Now add up the ballot appearances of McCormick (15), Caruthers (11), Welch (9), Mullane (7), Whitney (5), Hutchison, Bond, and King (1 each) and you only get 50 votes. The highest of those, McCormick, was in 17th place. The ballots will look similar this year. On average, people voted for Galvin and only one other pitcher, which I think underrates the skills of at least the top 4 also-rans. I'd like to see some more discussion on which of those 4 is really the best, and get some support behind him. McCormick, Welch, Mullane, and Caruthers have all been around since nearly the beginning, with no newcomers joining them in the "also-ran" category. Have we been underestimating all of them?

15. Jimmy Ryan (13) ? Very strong centerfielder. But not really that much better than the glut (Van Haltren, Duffy, Tiernan,. .. ) so I can't see him really standing out much higher.

Only Top 10 guy I omitted was Hugh Duffy, who I don't have anything against, so I can't really pinpoint the fatal flaw that kept him from the elite Ballotworthy. I just saw 15 players who were better. He is hanging out in the tight 16-25 range with a bunch of 1890s outfielders, Lip Pike, some high peak/short career guys like Jennings, the pitchers like McCormick and Welch, Charlie Jones, Ed Williamson, and maybe another catcher (Farrell or Clements or Zimmer). He'll likely creep back on in the upcoming lean years.
   32. MattB Posted: October 08, 2003 at 04:34 PM (#518150)
</b>Sorry about that guys.
   33. RobC Posted: October 08, 2003 at 05:05 PM (#518152)
John,

I think there is more to the defensive guys than just the banged up factor. Fielding is just inherently has less variance than hitting. Guys age and dont field as well, and it may fall off in a hurry, but it doesnt bounce up and down from year to year (with the exception of injuries). I havent statistically tested this, but I dont have any doubts that it is true (if anyone has evidence otherwise, please let me know). Thus, a guy who has a large proportion of his value in fielding (McPhee, Maz, Ozzie) will be much more consistent than a all-hit/no-glove guy.

RMc,

Any chance of ballot compliance?
   34. Marc Posted: October 08, 2003 at 05:21 PM (#518155)
ed, I'm sorry, I did read your post, but to be honest I thought you were kidding.
   35. DanG Posted: October 08, 2003 at 06:22 PM (#518156)
Ahh, it's a beautiful day to cast a ballot...

The 1911 election is the Kid?s (no, not Gleason). Crab will have to wait for 1912, along with one of the backlog. In 1913, Jake Beckley will battle the backloggers for honors.

1) Nichols ? Is there another player on this ballot who has a good case for being one of the top 50 players of all time? Top 100?

2) Burkett ? A HoMer any way I look at him. Poor pitching in 1890 probably takes away from his career WARP ratings. Next year.

3) Start (1,2,1)? Longevity is a hallmark of greatness. I guess that makes me a ?career guy?. At least we?ll have one HoMer born before 1847.

4) McVey (3,3,3)?A great hitter (152 OPS+) at important defensive positions who had nine great seasons in the best leagues of the time. Evidence shows his post-NL career was not long.

5) McPhee (4,5,5)? Secondbasemen with the most career extra-base hits through 1911:
   36. favre Posted: October 08, 2003 at 11:13 PM (#518158)
1. Kid Nichols
   37. EricC Posted: October 09, 2003 at 01:05 AM (#518159)
Hi,

I'm a first-time voter. I've been lurking for 10 "years", and
   38. MattB Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:49 AM (#518160)
Welcome, Eric! Looks like the size of the HoM electorate is increasing regularly. And, unlike in past years, there doesn't seem to be an anti-1870s among the newcomers, which I certainly approve of.

If any of the eligibles need a champion, it's Tom York who does well on nearly every measure but doesn't get any support from voters(including from me!)
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2003 at 04:50 AM (#518161)
Nice to have you on board, Eric! You have a nice looking and balanced ballot.
   40. Adam Schafer Posted: October 09, 2003 at 06:15 AM (#518162)
1. Kid Nichols (n/a) - no brainer for #1
   41. RobC Posted: October 09, 2003 at 01:32 PM (#518163)
Back in the 1890's I was a FOTY. It was lonely.
   42. DanG Posted: October 09, 2003 at 01:53 PM (#518164)
York was a regular for 14 years, which is very good. Despite this long career, his Black and Gray Ink marks are well below HOF averages. Left field was not an important defensive position. But in an era where it was easier to exceed the average player, his career OPS+ was only 119. In an era where the greats were near to scoring a run per game, he wasn't really close to this.

I guess I don't see the argument for him.
   43. Marc Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:05 PM (#518165)
Anybody who is looking for a pre-'90s LF, why not Abner Dalrymple. He looks about as good or better than Tom York. Of course, neither is on my ballot.
   44. DanG Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:10 PM (#518166)
Dalrymple is marginally better than York. I think I'd take Tip O'Neill over both of them. Not that I've ever voted for him either.
   45. Carl Goetz Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#518167)
If York or Dalrymple were infielders or catchers, they would be top 5 players with those numbers. They're just stuck in a huge group of outfielders waiting in line. If I went by raw WS alone, there would probably be 11 or 12 outfielders on my ballot this year. TY and AD are among those that I left out for the very best at other positions. I have read others saying that 'good' newcomers will become scarce ove rthe next 20 years or so. I haven't researched that myself, but if its true, I could see TY or AD possibly creeping onto the back end of my ballot. I just don't see either as an HoMer.
   46. Howie Menckel Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:18 PM (#518168)
as I did a number of 'years' ago, these comments are collected from BaseballLibrary.com. The Burkett ones are my favorites, but there are lots of tidbits to flesh these guys out into real people, so please grant indulgence for the length.....

1. KID NICHOLS - "A durable overhand pitcher with a smooth delivery, he depended on control and a fastball reportedly equal to that of Amos Rusie... Following the 1901 season, Nichols bought a part interest in the Western Association's Kansas City team and served as the club's manager for 1902 and 1903 while also recording 48 victories as a pitcher. .... Nichols subsequently formed a partnership with Joe Tinker, former Cub shortstop, and entered the motion-picture business..... While managing a bowling alley in Missouri, he was recognized as one of Kansas City's finest bowlers, winning the Class A Championship at age 64.... The youngest player to reach 300 wins; he was only 30."
   47. Marc Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:37 PM (#518169)
Start jumped from the Atlantics to the (Tammany) Mutuals to Chicago to the Grays? Sounds like a revolver and a person of questionable character to me! ;-?

(That's my sign for tongue in cheek.)
   48. DanG Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:41 PM (#518170)
You could throw George Wood in with that bunch (York, Dalrymple, O'neill), too. If you're really looking for an 1870's OF to support, I don't know how anyone could take York ahead of Charley Jones.
   49. Rick A. Posted: October 09, 2003 at 02:52 PM (#518172)
DanG,

I posted as Charley Jones in post#73. I haven't posted my ballot yet, but when I do, you will see that he made a jump up on my ballot.

Great minds and all that.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2003 at 03:36 PM (#518173)
You could throw George Wood in with that bunch (York, Dalrymple, O'neill), too. If you're really looking for an 1870's OF to support, I don't know how anyone could take York ahead of Charley Jones.

With Jones' missing years, I would have to agree (without those years, I'd take York for his impressive durability).

I'm going to see if Jones deserves to be placed on my next ballot. It's one thing for a player to hold out because he wants an increase in salary. While I sympathize, I doubt I would extrapolate a player's career numbers over that (Edd Roush).

However, it's another thing to be blacklisted for two years when you're having a typically fine Charley Jones season. Jones couldn't control the actions of Soden and the NL, so it seems to me to be unfair not to add some heft to his stats.
   51. ronw Posted: October 09, 2003 at 03:54 PM (#518174)
Thanks to RobC, there will not be a unanimous #1 this year. I for one am fine with this, as I feel that unanimous #1's should be reserved for the extra-elite, top 10 all time players.

Going over the available candidates until 1932 leaves two remaining unanimous selection possibilities, Cy Young in 1917 and Honus Wagner in 1923.

(Note that either Lajoie or Mathewson would be unanimous #1s in 1922 were it not for each other. Since 2 players are elected that year, I think it may also be safe to say that in '22, we will have a unanimous election for both of them.)

As a new elector, I am intrigued about the 1912-1916 and 1918-1921 elections, without any more clear-cut #1s, and with alternating years in which we elect 2 candidates. As has been posted elsewhere, even more intriguing is the 1924-1932 gap in clear-cut HoM talent, during which we generally elect two candidates each. We may truly be looking at the 1890's outfielders as viable candidates at that time.

For FOJS, FOBM, FOCM, it looks like these candidates are almost assured of election before 1932. FOCB, FOFG, FOMW may also be able to take heart at future elections of their candidates. Mr. Jones, you may even get in after a long wait.

Keep up the interesting research everybody.
   52. Rick A. Posted: October 09, 2003 at 04:43 PM (#518175)
Sorry, I should mention that Charley Jones' 120 WARP1 is season adjusted, not the raw WARP1 value.
   53. DanG Posted: October 09, 2003 at 04:53 PM (#518176)
With Jones' missing years, I would have to agree (without those years, I'd take York for his impressive durability).

I'm not exactly sure what this means. I would just like to point out that York was done at age 33, while Jones played through to age 38.
   54. jimd Posted: October 09, 2003 at 05:01 PM (#518177)
Jones was a year older than York and still going strong when York retired. The interesting question is what Jones was doing pre-1875, his first NA season at the age of 25.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2003 at 05:31 PM (#518178)
I would like to make a correction to my ballot. For those who are playing at home, take a vote away from Jimmy Ryan and add Jones.

15) Charley Jones (n/a): I've decided to give him some credit for the years he was unfairly blacklisted. It's still not enough to place him in the Delahanty/O'Rourke/ K. Kelly level of greatness, but enough to place him here (and to move ahead of Ryan). Even with the credit for his blacklisted years, his career wasn't long enough to move up higher. Best major league leftfielder for 1877, 1879 and 1884. Best AA centerfielder for 1883. Best AA leftfielder for 1885 (close to being the best in the majors).

Does anybody know about his career before the NA?
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2003 at 05:44 PM (#518179)
I'm not exactly sure what this means. I would just like to point out that York was done at age 33, while Jones played through to age 38.

Who cares about their age? York had 4211 PA compared to Jones' 4009 PA (and the latter played during a period of more scheduled games). Without Jones' missing years, York clearly played more of his scheduled games than Jones (3 and a half more years). That's value.
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: October 09, 2003 at 05:47 PM (#518180)
Well, never let it be said that I can't see where the real interest lies. So here goes:

CHARLEY JONES
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2003 at 07:48 PM (#518182)
6 (7) Fred Dunlap--There's no doubt in my mind that he's a better player than Bid.

On peak, no question. Dunlap was better, IMO also. However, McPhee had double the career of Sure Shot. Of course, this gave Fred a lot of spare time to check out this new motion pictures thing. :-)

1 (1) Sam Thompson

3 (-) Kid Nichols


You surprised me on this one, Mark. I thought our ranking systems would agree for a brief moment again at the top spot. But, alas...
   59. jimd Posted: October 09, 2003 at 07:59 PM (#518183)
A couple more notes on Jones from the Baseball Library Chronology (thanks to google).

Sept 1st, 1880
   60. Rick A. Posted: October 09, 2003 at 08:37 PM (#518184)
1911 List

I took a fresh look at pitchers this week. I re-analyzed them based on career value, percentage of value that is peak and percentage of value that is above average, just like I did for hitters a couple of elections ago. A few pitchers did move up some (Tony Mullane, Charlie Buffinton, Silver King), but not enough to crack my ballot.

1. Kid Nichols (n/a) - 95% of career value is peak. Clearly best pitcher of 1890?s.
   61. Chris Cobb Posted: October 09, 2003 at 09:30 PM (#518185)
1911 Ballot

This "year" I finished a reevaluation of pitchers, so there are some changes as a result in the bottom of the ballot.

Overview of methods: I look at both career and peak value, though I weight career a bit more heavily than peak. I rank players within positional groups prior to creating a unified ballot, so I assess both career and peak value in relation to positional standards. I list win share values for all players, which are modified from "raw" win shares in several ways. I apply discounts to NA, AA, and UA play, and to AL 1901 only. I adjust fielding win shares, and I season-adjust also (though I season-adjust pre-1893 pitchers differently from position players and post-1893 pitchers). Pitching WS are derived from the WARP system, not from James's numbers.

1) Kid Nichols 471 CWS. Total peak 194. Among top 3 pitchers 3 times, at or above average 12 seasons. The top pitcher we have seen so far, including both peak and career. Never as dominant as Spalding or Rusie, but maintained an outstanding level of performance much longer than any pitcher we have seen so far.
   62. Yardape Posted: October 09, 2003 at 11:18 PM (#518186)
1. Kid Nichols (n/a) Is he the best player we've seen so far? I think so, but it doesn't really matter. He's easily the best player on this ballot.

2. Jesse Burkett (n/a) He should have stuck around for another year if he wanted to go in on the first ballot. He shouldn't have any trouble getting in, but he wasn't quite as good as Kid.

3. Frank Grant (1) I still believe he's a HoMer, and certainly moreso than those below him on my ballot. He drops behind the no-brainers, though.

4. Bob Caruthers (2) Still hanging tough at the top of my ballot.

5. Cal McVey (3) An outstanding hitter; I think the NA is underrepresented.

6. Lip Pike (4) One of the best players from the NA; I think he has as good of a case for enshrinement as any of our backloggers.

7. Joe Start (5) I guess I've landed somewhere between FOJS and EOJS. I don't think he's a bad candidate, but he doesn't really compare to the top new guys, IMHO.

8. Jimmy Ryan (6) To me, he looks like the best of the outfield glut.

9. Jim McCormick (7) The best remaining pitcher. Well, other than Kid Nichols. Or Bob Caruthers (to me), although he's really a slash.

10. Harry Stovey (8) One of the two or three best players from the AA. The league wasn't that bad.

11. Tony Mullane (9) Another pitcher who may not deserve to go in, but deserves a spot on the ballot.

12. George Van Haltren (11)

13. Hugh Duffy (12) Outfielders, outfielders, everywhere.

14. Charlie Bennett (13)

15. Charley Jones (14)
   63. EricC Posted: October 10, 2003 at 12:41 AM (#518187)
Thanks to all for your comments regarding Tom York. I welcome criticism
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 03:36 AM (#518188)
<i>I'm not out to be a FOTY. I just want to rate the top 15 eligible candidates
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: October 10, 2003 at 10:59 AM (#518189)
Yardape, McPhee is intentionally left off, right? I'm no friend of the guy, but probably worth briefly noting your take on his 'shortcomings.'
   66. DanG Posted: October 10, 2003 at 01:35 PM (#518190)
Not to pick on anybody, but sometimes statements just jump out at you:
   67. Jeff M Posted: October 10, 2003 at 01:50 PM (#518191)
However, it's another thing to be blacklisted for two years when you're having a typically fine Charley Jones season. Jones couldn't control the actions of Soden and the NL, so it seems to me to be unfair not to add some heft to his stats.

Sounds good to me, but this is another case in which I've not added anything for missing years, and I still think he belongs in the "teens" on the ballot.

I was actually one of the few people to have him on my ballot in '98, but he was forced off after a few elections. Of the "outfield glut" guys, he was better than many of them.

Initially I overlooked York, but voted for him on at least one ballot a little later...at #15 I think. I agree that he's part of the outfield glut. I've got him in the same mix as Ryan and van Haltren, who were pretty darn good, but not quite enough to make my current ballot. I feel pretty strongly that he was not as good as Charley Jones, even though Jones missed some time.
   68. Marc Posted: October 10, 2003 at 02:58 PM (#518192)
I like Charley Jones, but the problem with Charley Jones is that he played at a time when "adjusted" numbers, when used as "raw" numbers, were very high. In other words, he played in some fairly short seasons so if you adjust his WS or WARP he comes up pretty big. And now that we're comparing him to guys who played even 5-6 years or a decade or so later, his adjWS or adjWARP numbers look extremely competitive. However, among his own peers who similarly benefitted from the big adjustments (Anson, Kelly, Brouthers, etc.) he doesn't look quite so dominating, but of course these guys are no longer on the board. So I like Charley, I have voted for Charley, but I think you have to be careful comparing adjusted numbers across eras just like you have to be careful comparing raw numbers for guys who played 50-60 games against guys who played 2-2.5X more games (a la Bill James). First you should compare Charley's numbers against his own peers and right now that would include pitchers like Bond and McCormick. I think some people discount the adjusted pitcher numbers more than they discount the hitter's adjusted numbers.
   69. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2003 at 03:03 PM (#518193)
Dan G wrote: Not to pick on anybody, but sometimes statements just jump out at you:

I had written: </i>12)Jim McCormick... he was nevertheless among the top pitchers in the game 4 times , an accomplishment matched or exceeded only by Spalding, Rusie, and Young so far.</i>

Dan G wrote: While the phrasing is vague, surely Nichols (1891,93,96,97,98), Clarkson (1885,86,87,89,91), Caruthers (1885,86,87,89) and Bond (1876,77,78,79) would also be in this group(?) Perhaps Galvin and Ward, also?

It's nice to know that what I write in the ballots is being read carefully! The phrasing was vaguer than I intended it to be. That statement should read Jim McCormick... he was nevertheless among the top three pitchers in the game 4 times, paralleling the figure I used for Nichols earlier in my ballot. Apologies for the omission!

That number is derived from a study I have been working on, in emulation of Clint's listing of the top 5 position players according to WS, of the top 3 pitchers each year, according to WARP. I haven't posted my full findings yet, since I'm not yet up to 1911 in my survey, but through 1900 (with 1904 checked also to make sure I didn't miss a year for Nichols), here are the top finishers. There are two lists, one using WARP1 to find the most valuable player who was primarily a pitcher, the other using PRAR to find the pitcher with the most defensive value.

Times among top 3 pitchers, according to WARP1

7 Amos Rusie
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 03:15 PM (#518194)
Marc:

I agree with all of your comments from post #94. That's why Jones hadn't made a showing on my ballot until now. Those missing years helped, but not enough to push him into the top ten, so he lounges at #15.
   71. Philip Posted: October 10, 2003 at 03:38 PM (#518195)
1. Nichols (new) -- best pitcher yet

2. Start (1-1-1-2-1) -- Back to #2 my ballot but should wait only one more year. Longer career at a more important position than Burkett.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 03:42 PM (#518196)
10. Pearce (new on my ballot) -- This should please some people (John).

:-D
   73. DanG Posted: October 10, 2003 at 04:04 PM (#518198)
Hey, Lipman. The way a lot of the voters here see it, you were a minor leaguer, too. Until 1876, anyway.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 05:34 PM (#518202)
Howdy, Justin! More votes for Dickey and Harry!
   75. Carl Goetz Posted: October 10, 2003 at 05:52 PM (#518203)
Just as a note on the Jones conversation from post#94: Jone's Adjusted Peak numbers definitely need to be taken with a grain of salt because it is much easier to have a 'Great' year in 60 games than 162. However, adjusted Career numbers are probably fairly reliable since a 60 game slump in 1 season will offset a 60 game tear in another. It should be noted that Jones didn't have too many down years so his Peak may be a bit more reliable than some others from the same period.
   76. dan b Posted: October 10, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#518206)
Favor stars of the 90?s and the overlooked AA. I look at 8-year peak, 3-year peak, 5-consecutive year peak, career and WS per 162. I start with a composite ranking = 4xCareer + the 3 peaks + WS per 162 and make adjustments justified by individual components. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)

1. Kid Nichols. The first player we saw to crack NHBA top 100 was Delahanty at #99. Nichols is the second at #47. I guess BJ would argue Kid is the best we have seen yet.
   77. Howie Menckel Posted: October 10, 2003 at 06:24 PM (#518207)
Dan B, McVey was primarily a 1B in only three of the nine documented seasons we have. He had 4 primarily at C, one at 3B, and one in OF.
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2003 at 07:17 PM (#518208)
Marc wrote: First you should compare Charley's numbers against his own peers and right now that would include pitchers like Bond and McCormick. I think some people discount the adjusted pitcher numbers more than they discount the hitter's adjusted numbers.

Speaking as someone who now rates McCormick slightly ahead of Jones, I think that pre-1893 pitching should be discounted more steeply than pre-1893 hitting or fielding, because it is particular to the pitching conditions (how the pitch is to be delivered, location of the mound, and pace of the schedule) of the time and cannot be extrapolated fairly to a 162-game season. I discount by adjusting 1871-73 to 75-game seasons, 1874-1882 to 100-game seasons, and giving no seasonal adjustment 1883-1982. From 1893 on, I adjust pitcher seasons to 162 games.

Andrew wrote: ? Echoing what Mark said, if we are going to reconsider whether York and Jones have gotten a raw deal, how about Tommy Bond? I don't know whether we have underrated him, but he is certainly -- by a large margin -- the player whose support has most fallen short of what I would have predicted it to be.

If there is another pitcher from the 1870s who should be receiving support, it is Bond, though Bobby Mathews merits at least a passing glance. I suspect Bond has been neglected because Whitney and Caruthers, as two-way players, have commanded a lot of attention that has been given to short-career, high peak pitchers, which is the category into which Bond falls. As I see the numbers now, Bond is comparable to them, though perhaps a little bit below them. His three-year peak is the highest of all, but he is above avg. for only five years. He's a bit like Hughie Jennings in that regard, but short-career, high-peak pitchers are a lot easier to find than high-peak shortstops. If you see Bond as serious candidate, how much better is he that Matt Kilroy, for example? Sure, Bond is better, but by how much?

I'm quite curious to see how pitchers like Rube Waddell and Ed Walsh fare in comparison to Bond.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 08:10 PM (#518209)
<i>Dan B, McVey was primarily a 1B in only three of the nine documented seasons we have. He had 4 primarily at C, one at 3B, and one in OF.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 08:22 PM (#518210)
Start and McVey ? Concerns about too many pitchers to date pale compared to the thought that we could have 5 first basemen who retired before 1898, and these 2 are not close to the other 3. I suspect some are giving too much a defensive boost to 1B for barehanded play - the onus should fall on the other infielders to make a catchable throw.

Since Start started his career during the sixties, four first basemen for forty years of baseball is a fair number. Any pitchers from the sixties that you would like to induct? :-)

As for Start not being comparable to Anson, Brouthers and Connor, that's arguable. First base was not the same position as it was during the other three's era during the eighties (and they because of the barehanded issue). We're comparing apples to apple sauce here.
   81. Marc Posted: October 10, 2003 at 09:50 PM (#518211)
Chris, I agree that pitching in the '76-'86 or so era should be discounted more than hitting, and I do discount it. For that era I adjust to 162 games but use a pitching discount of 50% which is then invested in fielding. But even after you do that, Bond and McCormick remain with big value. My comment was not that you shouldn't discount at all, but maybe some discount too much.

As to Bond, I can't compare him to Nichols or Waddell or Walsh (just as I can't compare Start or McVey to Connor and Brouthers). To me, comparing contemporaries at different positions is easier than guys at the same position but in different eras. So the question is not so much whether Bond was "better" than Waddell. The question is whether Bond's value above X (i.e. above average, above replacement, whatever, but specifically above X as it was at the time he played) is greater than Waddell's value above X. And so Bond is judged against an era in which virtually nobody had a long career for reasons that, I believe, had to do with the structure of the game, not the weakness of the players.

I guess this is what John said--judge a player by his SDs against his own time. And so, ditto, McVey vs. 1Bs or Cs or whatever. It was normal for a guy to play a variety of different positions in McVey's time. To pigeonhole him at any one position and compare him to one-position players is hard.
   82. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 10:33 PM (#518213)
The NABBP from 1857-1867 does not appear to be much different from your local softball league in terms of quality, or even quantity.

I'll let others address the quality of softball today, but I will state that the difference between then and now is that they were the best for their times. Huge difference.

Guys, hopefully, there will be a time when the players of today would not be able to compete with later generations. Does it matter? If there were no HoM or HoF, would the latter-day descendants of anti-sixties voters shun a Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn or Alex Rodriguez on the grounds of competition or quality of play for enshrinement? If this thought makes you shudder, then why is it different for the pre-1880s guys? I don't see a difference.

I will continue to be Tom Joad concerning this matter. When an argument against pre-NA guys appears, I'll be there. :-)
   83. Marc Posted: October 10, 2003 at 11:20 PM (#518214)
John, Patrick said he gives credit for '60s play. That's all I would ask, just don't give no credit or pretend it didn't happen. Nice line, though, the Tom Joad thing.
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2003 at 11:39 PM (#518215)
John, Patrick said he gives credit for '60s play.

Yes, but only for 1868 and beyond, not before (if I'm reading Patricks's post correctly).

As for The Grapes of Wrath reference, I had just seen it again, so it was on my brain.
   85. jimd Posted: October 10, 2003 at 11:50 PM (#518216)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles. Some small changes to the ordering of OF'ers, but nothing ballot-shattering.

1) K. Nichols -- Best pitcher yet, peak and career combined, but not as dominant as some make him out to be. Better defensive support than Caruthers or Clarkson or Radbourn received (to mention a few noted for the great defense behind them), almost as good as Spalding's.

2) C. Bennett -- Best catcher available; stands out from the other catchers far more than any of the other OF'ers do from their pack.

3) B. McPhee -- Very long career; imperceptable peak. Post-27 career played at higher level than Start.

4) J. Start -- Very long career; debatable peak.

Following are the guys that I might not have in my personal HOF, but then again I'm a small hall advocate, smaller than the one that exists now. The pool of qualified applicants is still low, from my perspective.

5) J. Whitney -- Caruthers-like career in a better league with an inferior team at a time when pitchers had maximum impact (because #1 pitchers did 60-75% of a teams innings). Highest peak of anybody on the ballot, bar none. From a different viewpoint, a Koufax-like career, but in reverse (best first, dwindling off to irrelevance, instead of being irrelevant early and leaving on top); does the order matter more than the content?

6) H. Duffy -- The peak value is enough to distinguish him from the other OF'ers in the pack. However, I've decided that it's not enough to move him up into my "must-get-in" group.

7) J. Burkett -- Best career of all the current OF candidates.

8) H. Stovey -- I found the baserunning analysis interesting and persuasive; there is a LOT of shadow offense going on due to the errors and baserunning.

9) S. Thompson -- If he had started baseball young instead of doing carpentry, he may already have been elected; great post-27 career.

10) J. Ryan -- The next three guys are so close, I could draw them from a hat and live with the order.

11) C. Jones -- Giving him credit for blacklisted seasons.

12) G. Van Haltren -- Nothing more to add.

13) D. Pearce -- I'm not sure he belongs, but I think he's a better choice than my other "almosts".

14) C. McVey -- I not giving him much credit for California; I'm waiting for better evidence of his post-NL career there.

15) F. Grant -- If he was a potential "super-star", you'd think there'd be more stories and discussion about him.

Just missing the cut are C. Childs, Tony Mullane, Tommy Bond, Hughie Jennings, Mike Griffin, Jim McCormick, Bob Caruthers, Herman Long, Fred Dunlap.
   86. OCF Posted: October 11, 2003 at 12:04 AM (#518217)
As a latecomer myself and not a founding member, I welcome Ron Wargo, Eric C., and Justin B. We should be open to such additions to our membership, and all three of you cast appropriate ballots informed by the discussions that you have all read.

I do have one quibble about timing. Wouldn't it be preferrable for newcomers to first announce themselves on the "Ballot Argument" thread, in the week in which that thread is active, rather than on the ballot thread? Ron Wargo observed this bit of timing, but Eric and Justin announced themselves on the ballot thread itself. This isn't a big deal, but how about it?
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: October 11, 2003 at 12:12 AM (#518218)
OCF,
   88. OCF Posted: October 11, 2003 at 12:19 AM (#518219)
You're right, Howie. I was really making a suggestion to those who are still lurking (with intent to join someday).

jimd: Burkett ranks below Duffy? I like to see a little more on how you make that particular comparison. (Of course, this is an argument to be taken up next week.)
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 11, 2003 at 12:20 AM (#518220)
I do have one quibble about timing. Wouldn't it be preferrable for newcomers to first announce themselves on the "Ballot Argument" thread, in the week in which that thread is active, rather than on the ballot thread?

Yes, especially if the voting were close. I'm not that concerned, however. So far, the newbies are lurkers who have been reading the prior posts from past elections, so I'm comfortable that they are knowledgeable.
   90. jimd Posted: October 11, 2003 at 01:07 AM (#518221)
Duffy vs Burkett? It's a peak vs career argument. It's clear that Burkett has a better career than the other available OF's, and I've always had Duffy ranked ahead of the OF pack due to his peak value. I really haven't made the head-to-head decision between the two yet, and have chosen to err on the side of conservatism for this ballot.
   91. Rob Wood Posted: October 11, 2003 at 04:13 PM (#518223)
1911 ballot:

1. Kid Nichols -- best player thus far
   92. Yardape Posted: October 11, 2003 at 06:28 PM (#518224)
<i>Yardape, McPhee is intentionally left off, right? I'm no friend of the guy, but probably worth briefly noting your take on his 'shortcomings.'
   93. Ken Fischer Posted: October 12, 2003 at 12:03 PM (#518226)
1911 Ballot

1-Kid Nichols: no brainer?a likely 400-game winner if he didn?t take leave in '02-'03

2-Bid McPhee: still the model of consistency on the ballot?1 team?18 years

3-Joe Start: after deeper study of Start/McVey I?m still high on Start but have finally put McVey on my ballot?Start deserves high spot as top rep of pre-NA days

4-Jesse Burkett: .400 averages hard to ignore

5-Harry Stovey: after McPhee is best AA rep?was overrated 20 years ago (our years, not HOM years)?now is underrated

6-Frank Grant: penalized by playing in pre-1920 Negro League era?some Negro League experts are very high on Grant and say he should be honored

7-George Van Haltren: if Van had joined another major league team instead of returning home to play in the PCL he could?ve made 3000 hits

8-Jimmy Ryan: very productive in Chicago for a very long time

9-Mike Tiernan: a shorter career version of McPhee?s consistency

10-Bob Caruthers: still believe his great winning percentage and championship seasons earn him honors

11-Dickey Pearce: Reality: On careers of Start, Grant, Pearce and McVey we have less information and have to make decisions based on factors besides raw data?and that?s ok

12-Cal McVey: I took a more serious look at the Start/McVey discussion. I now realize I was using the same argument against McVey that I was using in favor of Start & Pearce?that for pre-1871 players we have to utilize information beyond the numbers to make our decision?McVey belongs?his 1870s numbers are incredible

13-Charlie Bennett : has been on & off my ballot

14-Hughie Jennings:1890s Orioles work gets him on ballot?but soon to be overshadowed by other outstanding shortstops

15-Hugh Duffy: the Heavenly Twin that should be in the HOM
   94. Esteban Rivera Posted: October 13, 2003 at 02:14 AM (#518227)
With Burkett on the ballot this year, I had to take a closer look at all the outfielders. This is where almost all my shuffling occured.

1. Kid Nichols - Undoubtedly the strongest pitching candidate I have seen to date and the absolute number one.

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. Jesse Burkett - An outstanding career that is head and shoulders above the rest of the outfielders on the ballot. The Crab earns a top 3 spot.

4. 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.

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

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

7. Bid McPhee - The long career of Bid still keeps him in the top half.

8. Frank Grant - I am secure with Grant's placement here. Believe he was a great player for his time.

9. Sam Thompson - The big mover this week. Having looked at him even more, I felt I was underrating him. I was only focusing on the RBI's and couldn't see what a complete offensive player he was.

10. 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. However, I feel his peak gives him the slight edge over Ryan.

11. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress.

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

13. Hughie Jennings - A monster for five years. Moves down with my evaluation of outfielders being fine tuned.

14. Jimmy Ryan - A strong candidate who was effective after his injury. Kind of weird how all the really great outfielders of the 90's had short periods as great and then very good due to either injuries, late starts, or other reasons.

15. George Van Haltren - Of all the 90's outfielders on the ballot, the only one that never really cracked the greatness barrier. However, he did make a fantastic career for himself that is ballot-worthy.
   95. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 13, 2003 at 04:57 AM (#518229)
1. Kid Nichols (new) Some weeks this is kinda boring. Agree that he's the best pitcher we've seen so far.

2. Jesse Burkett (new) Not as dominant as Delahanty was, but still clearly a step ahead of all the other outfielders.

3. Charlie Bennett (2) As I said last week, ahead of Start because he's so clearly ahead of the competition at his position.

4. Joe Start (3) Long solid career, with a pretty clear indication he was a star before they made it official.

5. Cal McVey (4) I thought about moving him up because I wasn't giving him enough credit for being a catcher, but I'll hold off for the moment. Could really smack the tar out of the ball.

6. Bid McPhee (5) I don't know that I buy the "infielders get hurt" reason for his lack of peak. Did he miss a lot of games? (I know I could look it up, and I will when my job slows down this week.)

7. Dickey Pearce (6) I'm still more certain of his greatness than anyone below him, although the next 2 guys are challenging him.

8. Harry Stovey (7) Still see him as a step ahead of the OF glut.

9. Lip Pike (10) No, there isn't proof that he was a cheater, but we're working with a limited record from this distance. And because Ty Cobb was accused of something 50 years later has no relevance. He's still better than the clump at the bottom of the ballot, though.

10. Frank Grant (8) I think he was a very good player, but I don't know enough to say he should absolutely should be inducted.

11. Hughie Jennings (9) Not one of the HoF's best moments, but not one of the worst, either.

12. Mike Griffin (13) As good as any of the others down here, but he draws much less support. I'm not sure why.

13. Hugh Duffy (14) Very similar to Griffin.

14. Sam Thompson (15) Too much like everyone else to put him up high.

15. Pete Browning (12) I still think his D wasn't as bad as people say, but with the AA discount, I can't put him high above anyone else.

Dropped out: Jimmy Ryan (11) Because this year I looked at the CFs and Duffy and Griffin appealed to me more. He'll probably be back in next year.
   96. KJOK Posted: October 13, 2003 at 07:46 AM (#518231)
I look more for wins above AVERAGE as opposed to above REPLACEMENT LEVEL when considering a player's greatness (JUST BEING BETTER THAN REPLACEMENT LEVEL DOES NOT ADVANCE ONE TOWARDS BEING A HOM PLAYER!), while I use best 5 years for a peak, along with heavily weighting C, SS, and 3B defense, and lightly weighting RF and LF defense.

1. KID NICHOLS, P - Not many pitchers have made my ballot, and Nichols becomes the first one to sit at the top of any of my ballots. Cy & Kid were the pitching standards until Mathewson, Alexander & Johnson's careers ended...

2. 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.

3. JESSE BURKETT, LF - Only Delahanty was a better hitting LF'er in the 19th century.

4. JOE START, 1B,- Similar to Tony Perez, IF you assume a normal career progression that is not fully documented. I basically double his documented career value for analysis purposes, and I'm now convinced he's a worthy 1860's/1870's period inductee.

5. 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, but I don?t see how not having 5 years of Jeff Blauser career performance added on makes him NOT a HOM?er . MVP type years 1895, 1896 & 1897.

6. 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. Only MVP type year was 1890 in weak AA.

7. JOHN MCGRAW, 3B ? Comp is? no one, as there hasn?t really been an infielder who was this good offensively but played so little. Still has to rank as one of THE best 3Bmen of the 19th century. Would be #1 or #2 on this ballot if he had played a little bit more.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF ? Comp is Jimmy Wynn. Good hitter, and average fielder who played quite a bit of RF. MVP type year in 1888.

11. GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF ? Almost identical to Ryan offensively, but loses out due to fielding and no MVP type year.

12. MIKE GRIFFIN, CF ? Fred Lynn offensively, and was a better CF. Seems to be very underrated, but just doesn't stand out enough in crowded OF talent pool.

13. SAM THOMPSON, RF - Harry Heilmann comp. Downgraded a little due to 19th century defensive spectrum. MVP type year in 1887.

14. MIKE TIERNAN, RF ? Similar value to Gary Sheffiield. Just slightly below Sam Thompson. Downgraded a little due to 19th century defensive spectrum. MVP type years in 1889 & 1890.

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

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:

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.

TONY MULLANE, P ? Think I?ve missed the boat on Mullane previously. Only 4 Win Shares behind Pud (399 vs. 403) in 1,400 fewer innings (but still a substantial 4,500 innings pitched). Peak almost identical to Pud?s (183 WS vs. 182 over 5 years). ERA+ of 118 vs. Pud?s 109. Don?t see how Pud could possibly rank ahead except on career length alone.

FRANK GRANT, 2B, Was probably best African-American player of 19th century, but not enough evidence to suggest he was one of the greatest players of the century. Even the most ardent ?blackball? boosters don?t rank Grant as one of the greatest.

BOB CARUTHERS, P/RF, Combination of Carl Mays & Gavvy Cravath. Not convinced he?s not a better choice than Pud, but quite a few less innings has him down here. Cy Young year in 1885.

JIM McCORMICK, P ?Modern Comp is Eppa Rixey. Below Tony Mullane in effectiveness and playing time.

HARRY STOVEY, LF/1B - Comp is Albert Belle, only with baserunning ability. MVP type years in 1883, 1888 & 1889. Hard to see what basis he belongs ahead of crowded OF glut of Duffy, Browning, Van Haltren, Ryan, Griffin, Thompson, & Tiernan. If anything, I'd probably be more inclined to remove a couple of those guys from my ballot as opposed to adding Stovey.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 07:04 AM (#518233)
15)Ned Williamson- 3rd best 3rdbasemen of the 19th century and probably better defensively than Sutton or White.

Carl, if you have White down as a third baseman, then I assume you have Ernie Banks down as a first baseman. :-0
   98. Jeff M Posted: October 14, 2003 at 02:51 PM (#518234)
Carl, if you have White down as a third baseman, then I assume you have Ernie Banks down as a first baseman. :-0

Since (i) Banks wasn't a particularly strong SS, (ii) played more games at 1b than at SS and (iii) played more years at 1b than SS, it wouldn't be insane to consider him a first baseman, would it?
   99. Jeff M Posted: October 14, 2003 at 02:52 PM (#518235)
Carl, if you have White down as a third baseman, then I assume you have Ernie Banks down as a first baseman. :-0

Since (i) Banks wasn't a particularly strong defensive SS, (ii) played more games at 1b than at SS and (iii) played more years at 1b than SS, it wouldn't be insane to consider him a first baseman, would it?
   100. Marc Posted: October 14, 2003 at 03:57 PM (#518236)
> Since (i) Banks wasn't a particularly strong SS

Not that it will matter for about 70 years or so, but this is not exactly a consensus opinion.
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