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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

1911 Results - Kid Nichols elected

Kid Nichols, a star pitcher for the Boston Braves in the 1890s, has been elected to the Hall of Merit.

Nichols narrowly missed becoming the second player to be unanimously elected to the Hall of Merit. Dan Brouthers was named first or second on every ballot in 1902, a 2 electee year, and is the only such honoree so far. Nichols received 40 of 42 first place votes the highest percentage to date (Billy Hamilton had 40 of 43, and Brouthers 39 of 42).

Jesse Burkett debuted on the ballot with a strong 2nd place showing, being named 2nd or 3rd on 34 ballots.

Joe Start once again led the returning candidates, finishing 3rd overall. Bid McPhee and Cal McVey finished 4th and 5th. Harry Stovey and Charlie Bennett have been neck and neck, this week Stovey edged Bennett for 6th by 5 points.

Hugh Duffy, Frank Grant and Jimmy Ryan rounded out the top 10. Sam Thompson was 1 point behind Ryan, finishing 11th.

Major thanks to Patrick W and John Murphy for tallying the ballots and especially to Patrick for doing the formatting for the table you see below, which is one of the duties I dread every other week!

RK   LY Player             Pts Ballots  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 1  n/e Kid Nichols        997   42.0  40  1  1
 2  n/e Jesse Burkett      765   42.0     21 13  6  1     1
 3    2 Joe Start          634   38.0      7  8 13  2  2  3  1        1  1
 4    3 Bid McPhee         598   39.0   1  5  6  7  6  1  4  3     1  1        1  3
 5    4 Cal McVey          581   38.5      4  4  7 12  1  1  2  1  2     1  1  1  1.5
 6    6 Harry Stovey       510   38.0      1  3     5  7  2  6  6  4     1  1  1  1
 7    5 Charlie Bennett    505   36.0      3  3  3  4  7  3  2  2  2  3  1  1  1  1
 8    7 Hugh Duffy         400   36.0            3  2  3     4  3  4  3  4  7     3
 9   10 Frank Grant        367   32.0         1     1  4  3  4  5  1  4  1  4  3  1
10    9 Jimmy Ryan         342   31.0               1  2  6  5     5  1  1  4  5  1
11    8 Sam Thompson       341   29.0   1     1  1  1  3  3  1  5  3     1  3  4  2
12   11 George Van Haltren 280   30.0                  2  1  4  1  2  3  4  1  4  8
13   13 Lip Pike           246   20.0         1     1  2  4  3  1  2  3  1  1     1
14   12 Hughie Jennings    221   22.0         1  1  1  1  1  2        1  3  3  6  2
15   14 Cupid Childs       201   20.0                  2  1  1  2  3  2  2  3  1  3 
16   16 Mike Tiernan       147   16.0                           4  1  1  4  1  4  1
17   15 Pete Browning      146   13.5                     1     5  3  3           1.5 
18   18 Dickey Pearce      143   13.0               1     2  1     3  2  1  3
19   17 Jim McCormick      138   13.0                  1  1  2  1     4  2     1  1
20   19 Bob Caruthers      130   10.0            1  2  1  1     1  1  2  1
21   20 Mike Griffin        82    9.0                     1     1        4     2  1
22   23 Mickey Welch*       75    8.0               1     1              2     3  1 
23   22 John McGraw         75    8.0                     1        1  1  2  2     1
24   21 Ed Williamson       56    7.0                  1                 1  1     4 
25   24 Tony Mullane        51    5.0                  1              2     2 
26   28 Harry Wright        48    4.0                        1  2  1    
27   25 Jim Whitney         41    3.0               1     1        1
28   26 Charley Jones       40    5.0                                 2     1     2 
29   27 Herman Long         34    4.0                                 1  1  1  1   
30   29 Duke Farrell        26    3.0                              1        1  1
31   30 Jack Clements       25    3.0                                 1  1        1
32   31 Tip O'Neill         20    2.0                           1           1      
33   33 Billy Nash          17    2.0                                 1        1   
34   32 Fred Dunlap         15    1.0                  1                           
35   38 Levi Meyerle        14    2.0                                          2    
36   35 Tom York            12    1.0                           1                  
37   37 Tommy Bond          11    1.0                              1               
38T  34 Chief Zimmer         9    1.0                                    1         
38T  36 Bill Hutchison       9    1.0                                    1         
40   -- Perry Werden         6    1.0                                             1
*won tiebreaker, ahead on individual ballots 8-7.
Dropped Out: Silver King (39).
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 14, 2003 at 08:20 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 08:36 PM (#518398)
We now have seven pitchers in the Hall; Cy Young will make it eight from that century (8 1/2 if you include Johnny Ward). As far as I'm concerned, that's enough.

Good going, Kid!
   2. Marc Posted: October 14, 2003 at 09:13 PM (#518399)
Interesting pattern.

Top tier all made 36 ballots or more: Burkett, Start, McPhee, McVey, Stovey, Bennett, Duffy. These guys have the broad support needed to get elected some day.

Second tier, 29-32 ballots: Grant, Ryan, Thompson, Van Haltren. Not impossible to imagine a player getting elected with 30-32-35 ballots someday, as the pool gets bigger and votes more spread out.

Third tier, 20-22 ballots: Pike, Jennings, Childs. A very tough row to hoe. I don't see us electing guys with 20-22-25 ballots.

Fourth tier, 10-16 ballots: Tiernan, Browning, Pierce, McCormick, Caruthers. Fuhgedaboudit! Unlikely to ever make more than about 20 ballots.

This analysis assumes (not necessarily accurately but not necessarily inaccurately) that players who missed ballots last year would NOT just slide up on to future ballots as we elect the players above. Obviously, some will. But lots of us who don't have some of these players on our ballot now have them not 16th or 17th but 25th, 30th or not at all. So I see us someday electing Tier 1 and half of Tier 2 (probably Thompson and either Ryan or Van; the Ryan/Van line being the proverbial gnat's eyelash).
   3. Marc Posted: October 14, 2003 at 09:42 PM (#518400)
Delahanty also got 40 of 43 1st place votes, same as Hamilton and a higher pct. than Brouthers.

Grant, Welch, H. Wright and Meyerle were the only players to move up more than 1 spot in this election. Other than Welch, this would seem to be an endorsement for considering subjective, non-numerical data, though it is of course a very small trend and unlikely to make any real difference in the long run, except possibly in the case of Frank Grant.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 14, 2003 at 10:12 PM (#518404)
Andrew:

Tip received 20 votes in 1911.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2003 at 10:58 PM (#518405)
Here are the "two-HOMer" pitching staffs so far.

1888 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 26 33-20 2.76
Radbourn 33 7-16 2.87
Bill Sowders actually was the No. 2 Beaneater pitcher in 1888, going 19-15 at age 23 for that fourth-place team. But he won only 10 more games in his career (then again, he lived another 63 years, which ain't bad).

1889 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 27 49-19 2.73
Radbourn 34 20-11 3.67
The improved marks of both in 1889 coincided with a second-place finish. Kid Madden, a 23-year-old, 130-pound lefty who was second behind Radbourn in 1887 and the No. 4 pitcher here in 1888, went 10-10. He was dead before age 30.

1890 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 28 26-18 3.27
Nichols 20 27-19 2.23
Pretzels Getzein went 23-17 for this three-pitcher team, but the Beaneaters finished fifth. Getzein, age 26 this year with 136 wins, gained only nine more career wins.

1891 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 29 33-19 2.79
Nichols 20 30-17 2.39
Harry Staley, an early-season acquisition from Pittsburgh, went 20-8 in Boston and 24-13 overall at age 24. He lived to age 33.

(Keefe pitched in only eight games for 1891 NY NL, where Rusie was the star, so they didn't make this list).

   6. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2003 at 11:12 PM (#518406)
Here are the "two-HOMer" pitching staffs so far.

1888 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 26 33-20 2.76
Radbourn 33 7-16 2.87
Bill Sowders actually was the No. 2 Beaneater pitcher in 1888, going 19-15 at age 23 for that fourth-place team. But he won only 10 more games in his career (then again, he lived another 63 years, which ain't bad).

1889 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 27 49-19 2.73
Radbourn 34 20-11 3.67
The improved marks of both in 1889 coincided with a second-place finish. Kid Madden, a 23-year-old, 130-pound lefty who was second behind Radbourn in 1887 and the No. 4 pitcher here in 1888, went 10-10. He was dead before age 30.

1890 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 28 26-18 3.27
Nichols 20 27-19 2.23
Pretzels Getzein went 23-17 for this three-pitcher team, but the Beaneaters finished fifth. Getzein, age 26 this year with 136 wins, gained only nine more career wins.

1891 Boston NL
Pitcher Age W-L ERA
Clarkson 29 33-19 2.79
Nichols 20 30-17 2.39
Harry Staley, an early-season acquisition from Pittsburgh, went 20-8 in Boston and 24-13 overall at age 24. He lived to age 33.

(Keefe pitched in only eight games for 1891 NY NL, where Rusie was the star, so they didn't make this list).

   7. OCF Posted: October 14, 2003 at 11:31 PM (#518407)
1890 New York NL
Rusie 19 29-34 2.56
Burkett 21 3-10 5.57

Not that we're about to elect Burkett for his pitching! And we havan't actually elected Burkett quite yet. They also had:
Welch 30 17-14 2.99.

Welch is 22nd in the results above, but 3rd among pitchers - he's still a candidate, and can't be ruled out just yet.

   8. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2003 at 11:43 PM (#518409)
Good one, OCF.
Burkett not in yet, but I might have overlooked that one.
   9. sean gilman Posted: October 14, 2003 at 11:45 PM (#518410)
ok, sounds good to me. . .
Babe Adams and the Pirates vs. Eddie Plank and the A's:

http://web.archive.org/web/20031207174711/http://www.whatifsports.com/mlb/boxscore.asp?GameID=11048208&ad=1

   10. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2003 at 11:47 PM (#518411)
And... I'm losing it.
Of course, Ward was an ss-P!
Radbourn and Ward, 1881 and 1882 with Providence, are two other examples. I wasn't thinking of Ward as a pitcher, either...
   11. ronw Posted: October 15, 2003 at 05:58 PM (#518412)
Boy, that McKechnie is sure a smart player. He might make a fine manager some day.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2004 at 01:42 AM (#957139)
This thread is fully restored now.

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