Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— 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
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 04:03 PM (#518237)
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?

I wouldn't say insane, but incorrect. The majority of Banks' value (undeniably) is at short, while White's value (again, undeniably) was much greater as a catcher. The two players may have played more games at another position, but their initial positions are what put them in their respective Halls.
   102. Marc Posted: October 14, 2003 at 04:43 PM (#518238)
John, that's right. If you class Ernie Banks (or Rod Carew) as a 1B, you automatically diminish them and their value, at least subjectively. You create an impression of them as less than what they were.

I had this conversation recently when somebody argued that Pete Browning was more valuable than Cal McVey. He said, "Browning was a CF and McVey a 1B, and therefore...." Well, Browning played more games in CF than anywhere else but only about 40 percent of his total games, and McVey indeed played more games at 1B than anywhere else but less than 40 percent. The rest of Browning's time was spent in LF and McVey's at C-3B and a little OF. So I thought the statement about CF vs. 1B was unfair, inaccurate or ate least misleading (intentionally so) and, especially, it was highly prejudicial.

In the case of Banks and Carew being 1B, it is not technically inaccurate and not intentionally misleading, but a little misleading nevertheless and certainly prejudicial. Of course, we all know and can adjust our thinking in the cases of Banks and Carew, while some may not have known the actual facts about Browning and McVey.
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: October 14, 2003 at 04:55 PM (#518239)
Marc's mention of Pete Browning reminds me that I noticed recently that Browning was primarily an infielder (playing first, second, third, and short) and, according to BP, a competent one, during his first three seasons. He shifted to CF full time in 1885 and played well there that year, then his fielding fell off the table for several years.
   104. Chris Cobb Posted: October 14, 2003 at 05:02 PM (#518240)
And while we're waiting for 1912 to begin, I might as well ask what folks are planning to do with Clark Griffith?

I see him as probably the fourth best pitcher of the 1890s (the top 3 are obvious . . . ), not as good as McCormick, very comparable to Mullane and Welch. I think he's going to start in my rankings somewhere between 15 and 20.

Where should he rate? This seems to me a placement that it's worth talking over in some depth, since Griffith will be setting the bar as it were for a large group of excellent-but-not-obvious-first-ballot-HoMer pitchers who will be coming along in the next several years.
   105. Carl Goetz Posted: October 14, 2003 at 05:15 PM (#518241)
John,
   106. Carl Goetz Posted: October 14, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#518242)
'In the case of Banks and Carew being 1B, it is not technically inaccurate and not intentionally misleading, but a little misleading nevertheless and certainly prejudicial.'

Marc,
   107. Marc Posted: October 14, 2003 at 05:29 PM (#518243)
>He shifted to CF full time in 1885 and played well there that year, then his fielding fell off the table for several
   108. Chris Cobb Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:00 PM (#518244)
To be most precise about Pete Browning:

Pete Browning shifted to CF in 1885, and he played mostly in center through 1988 (he played some left field in 1886 and 1888). In 1889 he shifted to left field, which became his primary position for the rest of his career, except for a stint in CF for Cincinnati in 1892.

. . . So what about Clark Griffith?
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:05 PM (#518245)
I see him as probably the fourth best pitcher of the 1890s (the top 3 are obvious . . . ), not as good as McCormick, very comparable to Mullane and Welch. I think he's going to start in my rankings somewhere between 15 and 20.

The funny thing is I have him slightly below Rusie in my rankings, but I doubt he's going to sail in like the Hoosier Thunderbolt. That's fine with me. Like you, Chris, I have him just off my ballot, too.

Chris, actually he shifted to the OF and played almost as many games in LF as CF (I think it was only about 40 more games in CF). I wasn't aware of that until just recently, I thought it was all CF. So you can overrate him a little if you overlook that distinction.

Yup.
   110. OCF Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:10 PM (#518246)
12 straight posts with no ballots, arguing about Williamson, White, Browning, (Banks and Carew), and wanting to argue about Clark Griffith. Hey, Joe D. - it's Tuesday, and this stuff needs a thread to call its own - especially if anyone wants to reply to Chris about Griffith.
   111. Rusty Priske Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#518247)
I've got Clark Griffith a little below Welch/McCormick/Caruthers/Mullane, but not by a lot.

He currently slots in as #17 for me.
   112. OCF Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#518248)
Telepathy must be quicker than electrons. Thanks, Joe.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 06:18 PM (#518249)
I go by playing time. I do note other positions that a player played at least 10% of his career at. I consider White a 3B/C and Banks a 1B/SS.

Well, at least you're consistent. :-)

I don't think its fair to compare a Charlie Bennett directly to Deacon White because White played more 3B than C and Bennett played almost entirely C. Its also not fair to compare White directly to Ezra Sutton because Sutton didn't have to catch.

Agreed on both points (and my rankings are based on that logic). However, if we want a label for him, C/3B would be the one I would hive him (Banks would be SS/1B) because he helped his teams more with the former than the latter by a considerable amount.
   114. Carl Goetz Posted: October 14, 2003 at 07:21 PM (#518251)
As long as we're both considering all positions a players played, then each of our given 'labels' for a player are kind of irrelevant. I have a feeling Banks will be ranked pretty highly on both of our ballots in the late 70s. I don't know who else is in his 'class', but I doubt Ernie will have to wait long.
   115. Jeff M Posted: October 15, 2003 at 04:38 PM (#518252)
You create an impression of them as less than what they were.

In the case of Banks and Carew being 1B, it is not technically inaccurate and not intentionally misleading, but a little misleading nevertheless and certainly prejudicial.

These statements are a little scary to me. They seem to indicate that we should maintain impressions at the expense of facts. They seem to say "Our impression of Banks makes him who he is, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary. We think of him as a SS, therefore he's a SS." This seems like a different version of the problem that Bill James first identified when he started talking sabermetrics and the baseball insiders said "Yeah, sure. We know what we see."

Banks <b>was</i> a 1b. He was also a SS. There's nothing misleading about that. You may think of him as a SS because he had his best years there and because that's part of the baseball culture, but the majority of his career, in terms of games played, years, etc., did not occur at SS. I'm not saying he wasn't a SS...just that he was both a SS and a 1b, and it isn't fair to put him only in the SS position and compare him solely to other SS. If someone wanted to compare him to 1b for the second half+ of his career, that makes sense to me.

Banks was moved to 1b when he was 31 years old, not 40. Most SS do not move to a weaker defensive position at age 31, unless they are having trouble at SS (see e.g., Wagner, Ripken, Rizzuto, Smith, Reese, and so on). You know who replaced Banks for the first three years after he moved to 1b? Andre Rogers. Banks couldn't cut it at SS for most of his career, so it would not be accurate to consider him only, or predominately, a SS...even though most of us think of Banks as a SS.

Does it diminish his value that more than half of his career was spent at 1b? Maybe it does and maybe it should. It doesn't matter, because he Banks will be in the HoM as a hitter, irrespective of position, and I certainly will vote for him to be inducted. But if being moved from the strongest defensive position to arguably the weakest one hurts our impression of him, so be it. Those are the facts.
   116. Marc Posted: October 15, 2003 at 05:13 PM (#518253)
Jeff, I was just responding to a post that described Banks as a 1B. Yes, he was both.

I was also responding (indirectly) to a recent description of Pete Browning as a CF when in fact he played something like 30 more games in CF than in LF. Again, in Banks' case it doesn't really matter--everybody knows his story. But generally I was asking for a little more precision. It's good to know, e.g., that Hughie Jennings played a bunch of 1B. It would be prejudicial to create the impression he always played SS (or that he always played 1B).
   117. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2003 at 05:16 PM (#518254)
Jeff:

I don't see the problem of placing Banks with the shortstops (or Deacon White with the catchers), provided that you rank them lower then if they had played those positions throughout their careers. I don't think Marc was arguing otherwise.
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2003 at 05:39 PM (#518256)
As for Deacon White, when he moved to 3B the seasons got much longer. If you adjust his games played for season length I bet he played more at C.

David, you're 100% correct. From the positional thread section here:

Deacon White - 18.1 sea.
   119. Jeff M Posted: October 15, 2003 at 11:07 PM (#518257)
...with a positive FRAA for what that is worth

I don't buy all of the WARP fielding numbers, but it shows he accumulated a career FRAA of 34 in his 9 primary years as a SS. In four of those years he had a FRAA that was negative. He did seem to be improving in FRAA before moving to 1b. However, his total career FRAA is 77, which means he produced more fielding wins as a 1b than a SS.

I don't see the problem of placing Banks with the shortstops (or Deacon White with the catchers), provided that you rank them lower then if they had played those positions throughout their careers.

I'm not trying to except him from the SS discussion by any means, but I don't think he is a pure shortstop that should be compared only to other shortstops. I do think his last 10 years as a 1b ought to be considered in that discussion. My point is this: the fact we perceive him as a SS doesn't make him a only SS.
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 16, 2003 at 12:24 AM (#518258)
I do think his last 10 years as a 1b ought to be considered in that discussion.

Of course they should be. There's a huge difference between having his offensive numbers at short than at first. However, his first base portion of his career didn't add much to his HoF credentials: his years at shortstop are his credentials. Therefore, if you have to slot him, he has to go in the shortstop section (keeping in mind his years at first base).
   121. Carl Goetz Posted: October 16, 2003 at 04:02 PM (#518259)
Like I said, I'll be comparing his peak numbers to the peaks of other SS. His career will be compared to both 1B and SS.
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.3443 seconds
49 querie(s) executed