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Monday, November 03, 2003

1913 Ballot

Jake Beckley and Lave Cross are the top newcomers, joining top holdovers Bid McPhee and Cal McVey. Only one will get in, who will it be?

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 03, 2003 at 06:13 PM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. karlmagnus Posted: November 03, 2003 at 06:39 PM (#518743)
Maybe first this time!

For 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!).
   2. RobC Posted: November 03, 2003 at 06:48 PM (#518744)
1. Bid McPhee (1) - The top career value on the ballot.
   3. DanG Posted: November 03, 2003 at 07:51 PM (#518745)
In 1913, Jake Beckley will battle the backloggers for honors, while Lave Cross makes his Bid for McPhee-like status. In 1914, Joe Kelley and Fielder Jones pile on to the outfield glut, while Jimmy Collins will try to show that he?s not Ed Williamson and Joe McGinnity will try to show that he is Amos Rusie II. In 1915, George Davis and Bill Dahlen will blow away the backlog.

1) McVey (3,4,3)?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.

2) McPhee (4,5,4)? Players with 1600 runs scored 1876-1913. Can you spot the one who is not an OF/1B?
   4. Rusty Priske Posted: November 03, 2003 at 08:24 PM (#518746)
1. Bid McPhee (3,4,3)

Finally makes #1 after those above him are inducted.

2. George Van Haltren (5,6,6)

I think he is the most overlooked player on the ballot, including by me, up to this point. Just because there is a bunch of good OFs available doesn't mean that the best of them shouldn't get his recognition.

3. Jake Beckley (new)

In my mind, when you recognize the greatest players of all time, that is a career statement, pretty much by definition. (As opposed to the greatest single year ever played, or the greatest five years etc.)

Beckley gave a whole lot to his teams for a long time.

4. Cal McVey (4,5,4)

A worthy HoMer. He just needs to wait for a couple more weak years.

5. Jimmy Ryan (6,7,5)

Not as good as Van Haltren, but a strong candidate. I'm not sure he belongs in the Hall, but I wouldn't be offended if he got in.

6. Frank Grant (7,9,7)
   5. ronw Posted: November 03, 2003 at 08:37 PM (#518747)
Voters, remember to comment on Lip Pike this year. His 12th place finish last year (so he made the top 10 for the must comment rule) made me look at him more closely, and lo and behold he made my ballot.

1. Bid McPhee - My unscientific ranking spreadsheet (combining various pennants added tables, win shares, various subjective rankings, etc, even TPR) has the HOMers in bold. Two unbolded names stands out in the middle of the top half of the spreadsheet. The top unbolded name is Bid McPhee.

2. Cal McVey - His documented career was too short to make the top of the spreadsheet. However, I believe his entirely peak career was significant and sustained more than the Koufaxesque/Jenningsesque 5-6 years.

3. Harry Stovey - This is the other unbolded name on my top half of the spreadsheet. According to my various lists, each weighted subjectively we have elected all of the top 20 documented position players except two. McPhee is the 12th name on my list, and Stovey is 19th.

4. Charlie Bennett - Charlie is significantly above all other available catchers on my list. He is not necessarily high overall. I don't have any mathematical formula to give catchers more credit, but I feel comfortable with Bennett in the HOM someday.

--OUTFIELD GLUT WARNING--

5. Hugh Duffy - In my subjective opinion, the best of the glut. Sometime before one of them is elected, I would like to quantify the ballots where all 5 (6 with Tiernan, 7 with Stovey) are ranked.

6. George Van Haltren - One of the biggest beneficiaries of the partial completion of my ranking spreadsheet. His above average career didn't have the highs of many, but it also was nearly devoid of lows.

7. Sam Thompson - Sam seems to fit in the middle of anybody's outfield glut.

8. Mike Griffin - Like Van Haltren, never really had an atrocious season. Unlike Van Haltren, he didn't have a long career.

9. Jimmy Ryan - Just not enough great seasons, and too many poor seasons, so he is the lowest of the glut.

--OF GLUT REPRIEVE--

10. Frank Grant - Grant drops below the glut, because a reexamination of them showed me that they should be in. I am not sure about Frank Grant, and will be even less sure when other, more documented Negro Leaguers are available.

11. Lip Pike - Lip may join the glut soon. His documented career doesn't quite warrant it, but as I stated above a reexamination may show that he is a solid pre-NA electee, with an even better documented peak. I hope to read more comments on him with this election.

12. Jim McCormick - The best pitcher available, good peak, short career.

13. Tom York - I was surprised to see his name just below the glut on my ranking charts. Yes, pennants added may overrate him, but win shares may not. He gets little support from subjective all-time ranking lists, though.

14. Charley Jones - Since I'm giving some credit to undocumented careers here, I thought I'd throw Charley Jones in the ring.

15. Dickey Pearce - The king of the remaining undocumented 1860's careers may become the next Joe Start conversation topic.

Others:

16. Jake Beckley, 17. Ned Williamson, 18. Fred Dunlap, 19. Herman Long, 20. Mike Tiernan, 21. Lave Cross, 22. Cupid Childs, 23. Pete Browning, 24. Jim Whitney, 25. Ed McKean, 26. Billy Nash, 27. Mickey Welch, 28. Hugh Jennings, 29. Kip Selbach, 30. John McGraw
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: November 03, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#518748)
1913
   7. Carl Goetz Posted: November 03, 2003 at 10:35 PM (#518749)
Note: I realized that I was overvaluing George Van Haltren over the weekend. I realized that the year's where I was crediting him for his 'peak' were mostly years when he pitched alot. This gave him a WS advantage over other outfielders. I adjusted those years downward. This completely knocked out any excuse for electing him on 'peak' value. His Career value numbers did not take a huge hit, but with the cluster of OFs, it was enough to knock him down several spots. I was GVH greatest friend(probably), so that is why his ranking is now more in line with the concensus.
   8. Carl Goetz Posted: November 03, 2003 at 10:41 PM (#518750)
I almost forgot my 'yearly' explanation for keeping Sam Thompson off my ballot:
   9. Marc Posted: November 04, 2003 at 04:53 AM (#518751)
Some changes in my methodology. 1) I have now incorporated WARP as well as WS, each about equally, for position players (not pitchers, yet). 2) In addition to a 3-5 year peak, I now also calculate a "prime," usually 7-9 years but whatever the record shows. Bonuses to 10+ year primes. I still emphasize peak value but less than before with the addition of prime as well as career values.

Must-Be HoMers

1. Charlie Bennett (4 last year-5-3) moves up mostly because Cal McVey drops a bit in this analysis. His strengths remain his 3-5 year peak--no eligible player beats him on both adjWS and adjWARP1 peaks. And if you add up his PA scores on both WARP and WS, his is the 4th highest total. Not bad, as DanG would say, for a part time player.

2. Cal McVey (3-4-2) does not WARP out as well as he WSs, but I still have him as the #3 overall peak for position players and his prime years were as good as almost anybody's. And has the 4th best EqA on the board.

Deserving, but I'm a small hall advocate, so...

3. Dickey Pearce (7-7-4) is obviously not about the numbers. Little doubt that his career trajectory is very comparable to Bid McPhee's and, unlike McPhee, we are pretty sure that at his prime he was one of the two or three best players of them all.

4. Jim McCormick (6-6-5). I haven't brought WARP into my pitcher analysis yet. I agree with those who are concerned that we may be underrepresenting pitchers and so when in doubt I will tend to key in a pitcher. Mac is the best available now.

5. Harry Wright (8-9-6T). See Dickey Pearce.

6. Lip Pike (9-11-6T) also requires some imagination though his post-'70 numbers are impressive enough. But his 6th place rating also assumes significant value pre-'71. .326 EqA for documented (second half of) career is second on the board.

7. Bid McPhee (11-14-11) moves up. I'm now looking at peak-prime-career and he scores very well on 2 out of 3 (before it was peak and career and he only scored well on 1 of 2 mega-measures). Lack of peak still hurts a bit.

8. Harry Stovey (12-13-15) breaks into the top 10 for the first time. Like McPhee, a big prime period.

On the Bubble

9. Hughie Jennings (5-8-9) is off the charts for WARP peak. But he drops for the same reason McPhee moves up--weak prime as well as low total career values.

10. Tommy Bond (10-10-10). Oops, almost forgot to slot in another pitcher! #1 overall peak (Jennings is #1 among position players.)

11. Ed Williamson (x-x-x) hasn't been on my ballot for 5 years now. WARP likes him well enough, but I'm more struck by his consistent performance on peak, prime and career values across all the various measures.

12. Charley Jones (x-x-x) also bounces back after 6 years off my ballot. His WARP peak is #2 among position players. I don't give him any bonus for the blacklist years or he'd be higher yet. Pete Browning wishes he was this good.

13. Sam Thompson (15-15-14) just keeps hangin' around the bottom of my ballot. WARP likes Sam and I thought he might move up, but I was already knowingly over-rating him re. WS. I think it's still pretty accurate to call him "first among equals" as compared to the rest of the outfield glut--i.e. Ryan, Duffy, Browning, Tiernan.

14. Frank Grant (x-x-x) makes my ballot for the first time, thanks to Jason's suggestion to compare him to McPhee at the same age (22-23). If the IL is half as good as the AA at it's worst, I calculate his ML-equivalent WS at about 22 compared to McPhee at 19. It's too much of a stretch to assume that he sustained his value the way McPhee did, however, since almost nobody sustained his value as well as Bid.

15. Clark Griffith (13-x-x). See Tommy Bond.

Drops out: Jimmy Ryan (14-12-6T) scores consistently well for peak, prime and career, but just not quite enough of any one to really get excited about.

Close: Cupid Childs (x-x-x) moves up due to a solid prime but neither the peak nor the career is a knock-out. Beckley, Duffy and Browning get lost in the cornerman glut. Duffy is in the top 10 so I'll say that he has the #6 overall peak, but just the #13 prime and drops to #22 for career value. Not enough "sostenuto."
   10. Rusty Priske Posted: November 04, 2003 at 05:16 AM (#518752)
Just a question for Carl:

You said that you were overvaluing Van Haltren because you were giving him credit for his pitching which made him rise above the other outfielders. My question is, why shouldn't it? If he is just as useful as the others as an outfielder, and you can add extra use for his teams through pitching, that shoudl show that he was more of an asset to his teams than the other outfielders were.

How does that not make him better?
   11. Marc Posted: November 04, 2003 at 05:42 AM (#518753)
Rusty, backatcha. Van Haltren #2?
   12. EricC Posted: November 04, 2003 at 01:07 PM (#518755)
I've made a lot of improvements since my 1912 ballot. I have been treating OF as
   13. Jeff M Posted: November 04, 2003 at 02:45 PM (#518756)
1. Stovey, Harry -- I would have elected him way back in 1905. Not quite as good a pure hitter as McVey, and a smaller peak, but a much longer documented career and I give the nod to documentation vs. non-documentation. He was also a run scoring machine with some pop in his bat. I've discounted his years in 83-85 and 89, and he has consistently held his spot on my ballot.

2. McVey, Cal -- My park-adjusted normalized OPS for him is .892, which is damn good for a career. Essentially an all-star every documented year, and he was consistently 50% better than the league at the plate. Outstanding peak. I have given some intangible credit for pre-NA and post-NL play, but not as much as I gave Start for his pre-NA play (because of the age factor).

3. Bennett, Charlie -- Gets a boost for being a catcher because my rating system seems to undervalue catchers a bit. I've got him about 20-25% better than the league as a hitter, which is pretty good when you consider what an outstanding defender he was. He also has a nice peak compared to other catchers.

4. Browning, Pete -- I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. He's even a better pure hitter than McVey, but his suspect defense drops him behind the other three guys. A bit one-dimensional. I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. I think he's a HoMer.

5. McPhee, Bid -- A tough case. Didn't hit as well as Bennett and played a weaker position, but played a long long time. Probably the second best defensive 2b ever (behind Maz) and that's got to count for something. I do not believe his defensive prowess overcomes the better hitting of the four guys in front of him on the ballot. I wouldn't mind him being elected, but I wouldn't scream if he wasn't.

6. Griffith, Clark -- I believe he is the best eligible pitcher. An excellent win pct on some bad teams. I boost his win totals and win pct by approximately 1/2 of his Wins Above Team, which are outstanding. Has a nice career Linear Weights total also. I'm not convinced he's a HoMer, but I'm comfortable with his placement here.

7. Thompson, Sam -- Another pure hitter with questionable outfield defense. I don't think he was as good a hitter as browning. He didn't have an incredible peak or career, from a WS perspective, as outfielders go.

8. Jones, Charley -- I give no additional credit for blacklisted seasons. If I did, he would probably be Top 5. He hit about as well as McVey, with power, but with a smaller WS peak and fewer WS per 162 games.

9. Grant, Frank -- Since our initial discussions, no new evidence has come to light so I haven't really moved him. I don't see clear and convincing evidence that he is a HoMer, but I see evidence he would have been a very good major leaguer. I give him the benefit of the doubt.

10. Long, Herman -- Not quite the hitter that McPhee was and not as historically dominant at his position as McPhee, but he did play a tougher defensive position very well for a long time. He has a nice WS peak as shortstops go.

11. Duffy, Hugh -- Frankly not a much better hitter than Bennett and at an easier defensive position. He has a decent career length and some nice Run and RBI totals which help get him on the ballot, but not in the HoM. I give him a nod over some of the other outfielders because he contributed to several championship teams from a key position.

12. Beckley, Jake -- Good hitter for batting average and a long career, but not much else. Seems to have been a pretty good glove at 1b, for whatever that's worth. His peaks are really not HoM-worthy when compared to other 1b and his WS per 162 games is about as low as you will see for a non-catcher getting ballot consideration. He's here solely because he was a good player for a long time (and that's certainly worth something).

13. Caruthers, Bob -- I remain schizophrenic on Caruthers, much like his career. He was a fine hitter...almost as good as Beckley. He won a bunch of games. His Wins Above Team is a very good 30 and he had an outstanding win percentage. I discount his AA seasons. Taking his hitting into account, he has very good WS numbers for a pitcher.

14. Tiernan, Mike -- The only significant shift in my ballot. I discovered a rather large typo in my spreadsheet, so Tiernan falls like a stone. A consistently good hitter but not dominant. Has a decent but not great peak and his career WS are not outstanding for an outfielder. Was better than van Haltren/Ryan/Griffin, in my opinion.

15. Pearce, Dickey -- Frankly, this spot was up for grabs because I don't feel strongly about any other player. I've had Lip Pike in this spot before, but I just get the feeling there's something fishy about Pike's career (no pun intended). I've seen a number of good arguments for Pearce on this site, so I'm convinced he deserves a vote, but he'll fall off the ballot when we start to get a lot of solid newcomers.

The only consensus Top-10er who I do not include on the ballot is Jimmy Ryan. I see Ryan as a good, but not great hitter. I don't see much of a peak as outfielders go, his career WS numbers don't floor me compared to other outfielders and he was nothing special defensively. He's just one of the outfield glut.
   14. Rusty Priske Posted: November 04, 2003 at 02:56 PM (#518757)
I wasn't arguing about the palcement of Van Haltren. I was asking about his methodology. I'm not trying to claim mine is better, just that I want to understand his thinking to see if it can change my way of looking at things.

I don't understand how doing something different on top of the normal set of skills doesn't add to a players value.

I think of it like this:

Say you have two pitchers whose pitching abilities are identical. One of those pitchers is also a .300 hitter with power whiel the other one hits .125 and can barely get it out of the infield.

Which one os the better pitcher? Neither. They are equal.

Which one is the better player? The one who hits better.

So, why would you ignore Van Haltren's contributions as a pitcher?
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: November 04, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#518758)
1913 Ballot

This is a very level ballot. I'm quite clear that the top 4 belong at the top, and I hope/expect that all four will be elected by 1920, they're not that far ahead of the rest of the pack, and not much at all separates #5 from #20. I wouldn't be scandalized if any in that group were elected between 1924 and 1932, but I won't feel that we've messed up if many of them don't get elected.

Win shares are adjusted for fielding, season-length, and league quality. Pitchers' win shares are derived from WARP ratings, not official BJWS.

1) Cal McVey (3) (4) (3) 354 CWS. Total peak = 76 Peak rate, 71-79 = 34.86 Among top 5 position players 5 times, at/above avg. WS in 9 seasons. With Burkett and Start elected from the top of my ballot, McVey reaches the top for the first time. Among the very best in the game for a decade, and possibly longer. Wasn't a great defensive player, but his ability to play key defensive positions and his very high peak make him the best player eligible.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 04, 2003 at 04:44 PM (#518760)
Dickey Pearce is not in the top 10, but since I was asked about my lack of support for Pearce, I will add here that I am too skeptical of the quality of play prior to 1865 to give Pearce much credit for professional level play in those years. I gave Joe Start 60 WS credit for pre-NA play; I might give Pearce twice that, and that wouldn't leave him anywhere close to my ballot. I agree that he's most likely the best player from the 1860s, but I don't think his achievements can or should be ranked in the same scale as post-1870 performers.

Do you think Cal McVey (your #1 - and an excellent choice, BTW) is really comparable to a great player of today? Does it really matter since he was one of the best of his time (the benchmark we should be using, IMO)?
   17. Chris Cobb Posted: November 04, 2003 at 05:50 PM (#518761)
Do you think Cal McVey (your #1 - and an excellent choice, BTW) is really comparable to a great player of today? Does it really matter since he was one of the best of his time (the benchmark we should be using, IMO)?

I have nothing new to say on this subject that hasn't been said before, but I'll emphasize what seems to me to be the key issue.

Cal McVey can be compared to great players from later eras of professional baseball because, first and foremost, he was playing professional baseball. The success of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, of which McVey was a part, marks the gap between the truly professional game they initiated and the amateur game that preceded it. Neither the Red Stockings, nor the main NA teams after them, could be seriously challenged by amateur competition. Their quality of play had reached a new level, and we can see exactly when and exactly how this change in quality of competition takes place. Dickey Pearce did not distinguish himself in the professional game. I acknowledge that he was past his prime when the professional game arrived, but I simply don't believe that his achievements during his prime in an amateur or semi-professional game can be extrapolated to create a career comparable to that of post-1870 professionals. McVey has a professional career, and so he is comparable to any other professional player, with suitable discounts for level of competition in assessment. The game he played was different, but not radically different, from the modern game for the majority of his career.

I don't pretend that Dickey Pearce's pre-1871 career doesn't exist, but it was not a career in professional baseball. It was the career of a professional playing among amateurs, and I simply can't give his achievements the weight I give to the achievements of players in professional leagues. I treat his pre-1871 career in the same way I treat Cal McVey's and Lip Pike's. I give some credit for it, but I don't extrapolate a full season of professional-level value from each season of semi-professional play.
   18. OCF Posted: November 04, 2003 at 06:21 PM (#518762)
16. Harry Stovey. ... I don't buy arguments about his "unique run-scoring ability". I believe his large number of runs scored is more likely a simple result of lineup position (does anybody know?) and having good-slugging teammates.

Take another look at the 1882 Ruby Legs.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 04, 2003 at 06:43 PM (#518763)
I don't pretend that Dickey Pearce's pre-1871 career doesn't exist, but it was not a career in professional baseball.

Since he was a professional for the majority of his career, I don't understand the distinction.

Competition wise, I understand the difference. I have not really looked at Al Reach or Sam Chapman as ballot worthy because I'm not confident of where they stood at their positions. However, I have no doubts about Pearce (or H. Wright for that matter).

This is not a Snuffy Stirnweiss case during WWII. We all know he wasn't really one of the great players of his time, but was able to fashion MVP stats because of 4F competition. Pearce's competition might have been inferior to the WWII era, but it was the best for its time.

Is there any argument against Pearce as a great player for his time? No. Did he play against the best competition for his era? Yes. Was he a professional? Yes. Did he try to win all of his games? Yes. Did he try to win championships? Yes. Will having a representative from the 1860s negate a spot for a post-1871 candidate? It might prolong the election process, but the answer is no.

Sounds like he's at least ballot worthy to me.
   20. Carl Goetz Posted: November 04, 2003 at 06:51 PM (#518764)
Response to Rusty's post#10

I explained myself poorly and I apologize. What I was doing was comparing his WS to Replacement assuming he was entirely a hitter/fielder. He was able to score higher relative to replacement in those years when he pitched. My Hitting/Fielding Replacement level is 10 WS/162 gms. For each season, I take the 10 WS and multiply it by the percentage of the team's season the player played in. For example, a player who plays 81 games while his team plays 162 would have a replacement level of 5 WS. I'm still giving him credit for every WS he earned, but now I'm raising the Replacement level in those few years that he was a regular pitcher. This did not lower him too much in terms of overall numbers, but given how tightly the OF glut is packed, it did lower him several spots on my OF ranking list and on my overall ranking list. I hope that explains my position better.
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: November 04, 2003 at 07:07 PM (#518765)
It does. Thanks Carl.
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: November 04, 2003 at 07:25 PM (#518766)
I wrote: ? I don't pretend that Dickey Pearce's pre-1871 career doesn't exist, but it was not a career in professional baseball.

John responded: Since he was a professional for the majority of his career, I don't understand the distinction.

Let me try again. Pearce was a professional, but he was playing both with and against amateurs, so the context in which he played was semi-professional, not professional. It seems clear that the advent of entirely professional teams made for a quantum leap in the level of play without parallel in the subsequent history of professional baseball. The Cincinnati Red Stockings won every game they played in 1869, and almost every game they played in 1870. If one were to attempt to award win shares to their opponents, those opponents would receive virtually none -- they have no value in the context of professional play. In 1871, the Boston Red Stockings played about 30 exhibition games against amateur teams, and won all of them, and this seems to have been pretty much the usual result when the truly professional NA teams played against amateur competition.

There's no other point in baseball history where the competition changed so dramatically that the teams that had been competitive were rendered completely uncompetitive. When Dickey Pearce was distinguishing himself in the 1860s, he was playing against the sorts of teams that would have little value once the NA came into being. That doesn't nullify his accomplishments, but it makes it impossible to judge their magnitude in comparison to stars of the fully professionalized game. The NA was transitional, but I can discount McVey's peak value in the NA years by 10-20% depending upon the season, give him some conservative credit for his play in 1869 and 1870, and see that he still compares favorably to players of the next thirty years. I have no clear sense how high Pearce's peak was, and I'd have to discount it 40% at least to compare it to later peaks, given the level of competition he was facing.

I could do all that, and place Pearce somewhere between 18 and 25 in my list, I expect, but I don't think it's a worthwhile procedure. I'd rather see Wright and Pearce and other players who were central to the game in the 1850s and 1860s honored by some other means.
   23. MattB Posted: November 04, 2003 at 08:36 PM (#518769)
With Start in, I now have no one who has been on every single one of my ballots since 1898. It's fun going back, though, and seeing what I thought in past years.

Meanwhile, as a great man once said, ?Lave Schmave.?

1. Harry Stovey (4 -5 - 4 ? 10 ? 11 ? 10 -9 ? 7 ? 4 ? 9 ? 10 ? 11 ? 11 ? 11 ) ? People seem to like McPhee as the first AA-centric candidate to be inducted, but I think a fair comparison puts Harry ahead.
   24. Adam Schafer Posted: November 04, 2003 at 10:23 PM (#518770)
my ballot remains basically the same as my prelim except that i moved beckley up one spot.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) - With Burkett and Start elected, I don't feel there is a big gap between #1 and #2 on this years ballot for me.

2. Cal McVey (5) - I'm having a hard time believing how far up my ballot McVey has come. He has made it from the very bottom of my ballot on the verge of dropping off and never coming back to being #2. I'm not completely sure why I discredited him so much for his career earlier, could be that I'm own my own business and work 60+ hours a week here, and then work full time at the Sherrifs dept. full time as well and just never truly took the time to look at McVey, but I've spent the last week REALLY reading the Start/McVey thread and finally realized the errors of my way. I hope the ghosts of baseball past can forgive my foolishness. McVey is truly a HOMer in my book.

3. Bid McPhee (3) - Still nothing new for McPhee. Deserving to be in the Hall

----- BIG gap between 3rd and 4th -----

4. Sam Thompson (6) - I almost cringe to see Sam making it so high on my ballot now, but then again maybe it's because we're simply doing something very right and electing all the deserving players.

5. George Van Haltren (8) - Of the OF glut, I still feel the Van Haltren was the best. Peak DOES matter, but I'm the type that likes a well rounded career.

6. Jimmy Ryan (7) - I bounce back and forth between him and Van Haltren, but I think I've finally made up my mind.

7. Jake Beckley (n/a) - I'm a career guy and I like Beckley. Consistently in the top 10 for RBI each year. 1890 was easily his best year, but his career was very consistent and balanced. Definitely not a Harold Baines type in my opinion. Beckley stacked up much better against his contemporaries than Baines did against his. More of a Fred Clarke in my opinion...who happens to be another player that I like

8. Hugh Duffy (10) - Good peak, but not enough career for me.

-----I couldn't imagine letting anyone in below this line-----

9. Clark Griffith (9) - Still a middle of the ballot filler

10. Deacon McGuire (11) - Even being a strong friend of the catchers I can't put him a whole lot higher than this with a good conscience. I do admire him for his longevity, but that's not enough to merit admission to the HOM

11. Bob Carruthers (12) - Still holding on to one of the lower spots on my ballot.

12. Hughie Jennings (13) - Was in the upper part of those just missing my ballot last year, but he's getting a 2nd chance from me now

13. Harry Stovey (14) - I'm still not a believer in his greatness, but believe he was better than anyone else I have left to chose from

14. Mike Tiernan (15) - I realized that I couldn't justify leaving him off of my ballot when I had so many of the other outfielders on it. A small move up, don't know how long it will last though.

15. Lave Cross (n/a) - Career...no peak. Here's someone similar to Harold Baines. Baines would surely get at least a 15th place vote from me. So should Lave.

Frank Grant is still off of my ballot and will continue to be so from here on out. I am not convinced in the least that he was great. I'm not even convinced he was really good.
   25. Jeff M Posted: November 04, 2003 at 10:54 PM (#518771)
Lave Cross (n/a) - Career...no peak. Here's someone similar to Harold Baines. Baines would surely get at least a 15th place vote from me. So should Lave.

Has someone already asked how Lave Cross is similar to Harold Baines? They seem as opposite to me as I can imagine:

Baines/ Cross

Left/ Right
   26. Marc Posted: November 05, 2003 at 12:37 AM (#518772)
In the spirit of Fun Facts: This is not meant to embarrass anybody, but I charted last year's ballot. I defined a "conventional" ballot as including the top 15 holdovers from 1911 plus newcomer Clark Griffith who, based on the previous week's discussion, seemed destined to make the top 15 for 1912 (as indeed he did). So voters had their choice of 16 different players for a "conventional" ballot.

Only one voter submitted a totally conventional ballot, voting (as it happens) for the 15 holdovers and not for Griffith. That voter was Andrew Siegel, and I noticed that this year he has voted for the top 14 holdovers plus Jake Beckley. (Hope I haven't blown your image as a wild and crazy guy, Andrew.)

But the wild and crazy guy award is shared by Mark McKinnis and Clint, each of whom voted for 7 players not in the "conventional" crowd. Mark's unconventional votes were McCormick, Caruthers, Whitney, Long, O'Neill, Dunlap and Hutchison (the outlier of outliers is Dunlap whose only ballot of 42 was Mark's 4th place, and his #1, Sam Thompson, was the lowest rated player to get a 1st). Again, Mark, my point is not to embarrass you. Anybody can read your ballot and see that you have a rationale for your vote. Heck, I've voted for most of your unconventional picks at one time or another, including Mr. Outlier Dunlap and I've had Big Sam as high as #2 myself. (His top "skippee" was #2 winner Joe Start.)

Clint's were Browning, McCormick, Caruthers, McGraw, Mullane, Whitney and Jones, and again, I've voted for most of them (all but McGraw and Whitney. His top skippee was also Start and then first bridesmaid Bid McPhee). Clint's #6 vote for McCormick tied for his highest placement (with my ballot. I have him 4th this year).

For the record, I cast 4 unconventional votes for Pearce, H. Wright, Bond and McCormick. Note that 4 of Mark's and Clint's 7 (and 2 of my 4) unconventional votes were pitchers. Griffith was the only pitcher among the "conventionals" and he came in 14th. So anybody who leans toward more than one or two pitchers is already unconventional. Maybe that's my main point here.

So anyway, just in the spirit of Fun Facts.
   27. Marc Posted: November 05, 2003 at 01:00 AM (#518773)
PS. Hey, Joe, do the powers that be know that the sidebar ain't workin'? It wasn't working on Clutch for a day or two but they got it fixed. Are they working on us?
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 05, 2003 at 01:22 AM (#518774)
My ballot is still being converted from my old system to my new one, so there is one prominent addition plus some shuffling among the holdovers. I'm still not finished going over all of the viable candidates yet, so there might be some more changes by the next election. I should be finished with the overhaul by then.

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."
   29. Marc Posted: November 05, 2003 at 01:35 AM (#518776)
John's buckin' for most unconventional this year. Are Mark and Clint up to the challenge ;-)
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 05, 2003 at 01:53 AM (#518777)
John's buckin' for most unconventional this year ;-)

Marc, I revel in my unconventionality! :-)
   31. sean gilman Posted: November 05, 2003 at 04:53 AM (#518778)
1913

1. Cal McVey (3)--McVey?s massive peak advantage over McPhee?s big career edge.
   32. sean gilman Posted: November 05, 2003 at 06:27 AM (#518779)
Sorry for the missing line break. . . That's:

12. Mike Tiernan

13. Hughie Jennings

14. Mike Griffin

15. Jake Beckley
   33. OCF Posted: November 05, 2003 at 06:56 PM (#518780)
I made a few changes this year, especially among outfielders. I decided that I was creating large differences where no large differences really exist, and that in particular I was being too hard on Thompson and Van Haltren. I've also become convinced that the we have an "outfielder glut" mostly because the best players were playing outfield.

All of the spacings between adjacent players are quite small. It would be far easier for a new player to enter this list either at the very top or far down that to slip into one of the cracks to become a mid-ballot player. I'm going to do the unusual and slip Beckley into one of those cracks.

1. Harry Stovey (1, 2, 1, 3, 2). I've been consistent, and I've argued this for many years. The power-speed combination of his time.
   34. Rob Wood Posted: November 05, 2003 at 07:48 PM (#518781)
My 1913 ballot (one of the weakest candidate pools to date):

1. Bid McPhee -- the Brooks Robinson of his time?
   35. OCF Posted: November 05, 2003 at 09:10 PM (#518782)
6. Jake Beckley. Not 8.
   36. Rick A. Posted: November 05, 2003 at 10:39 PM (#518784)
Made a slight change in my ranking system. Decided that my threshold for average play was to high. This made some changes in my rankings.

1. Cal McVey (1) - Never had an off-year. Every season ranked as above average, also gets subjective bonus for undocumented play.
   37. favre Posted: November 06, 2003 at 01:50 AM (#518785)
Last ?year? I use new evaluation system, which gave players scores for the following: 1) career value 2) number of "all-star" seasons 3) extended peak 4) straight peak. This year I have re-evaluated my re-evaluations, using EricC?s concept of giving credit for either peak OR career, rather than demanding both.

Is it strange to anyone else not to write Joe Start?s name on a ballot?

1. Cal McVey
   38. jimd Posted: November 06, 2003 at 03:10 AM (#518786)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles. This is very similar to last time; Thompson and Jones move ahead of Duffy.

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

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.

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 very thin.

3) J. Whitney -- Still the best peak value around. "A strong hitter, he often batted cleanup and was usually stationed in centerfield when he was not on the mound." From baseballlibrary.com

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

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

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 be in my "must-get-in" group.

7) J. Ryan -- These outfield guys are so close, I could draw them from a hat and live with the order.

8) H. Stovey -- Decided that I was giving too much extra credit for the baserunning.

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

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

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

12) J. Beckley -- A careful examination of 1b play in the 1890's shows a lot of games "not played" by the starting 1b-man. I suspect it was a dangerous position to play due to the extremely rough style of play. Beckley and Tommy Tucker were the only really durable ones. I don't think you can use Anson as an example of how "easy" 1b was just because he was too pig-headed to retire. Tucker seems more instructive to me. BP sees him as a league average bat and a sub-par fielder for his 7 years as 1b-man for one of the two best teams in the league. Either there was more to fielding 1b than conventional stat analysis shows, or he proves that below average players have real value. I am not yet giving Beckley any boost for playing a "difficult" position, but I may choose to do so.

13) L. Cross -- Surprised me. I didn't think he'd make my ballot.

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

15) T. Bond -- Win Shares gives him a very high peak; sometimes I'm dubious, other weeks I can be convinced of his ballot worthiness. Needs an advocate, but that's not me, at least now.

Just missing the cut are Tony Mullane, Mike Griffin, Hughie Jennings, C. Childs, H. Wright, Jim McCormick, Bob Caruthers, Lip Pike, Fred Dunlap, Ned Williamson, Jack Stivetts.

Why isn't Pike higher? Basically, too short a career and too speculative a peak value.
   39. EricC Posted: November 06, 2003 at 05:06 AM (#518787)
Take another look at the 1882 Ruby Legs.

OCF- I did, and found that Stovey scored 90 runs on a team that went 18-66, and only got 10 win shares. Then, in 1892, he was the 46-101 Oriole's best slugger, and only got 9 win shares for his 74 games there. I'm convinced that his win share totals for those years do not reflect his performance, and that I need to re-evaluate him.
   40. Philip Posted: November 06, 2003 at 11:45 AM (#518788)
I did a big re-evaluation, causing some reshuffling but only few big changes this year. Only Thompson and Griffin made a great leap forward, while Williamson dropped off my ballot for the first time. I look at both WARP and Win Shares for career value and balance these with peak value and prime. If my ranking is close (which it often is) I give a slight edge to career.

1. Pike (5-6-5 last year) -- favre - I believe I have Pike higher than anyone else.
   41. DanG Posted: November 06, 2003 at 07:03 PM (#518791)
Bid McPhee - Best second baseman of the 19th century...the Brooks Robinson comp is, IMO, dead-on.

I keep reading this in posts and I finally feel compelled to comment. It's not really true; Bid was better.

Both are great fielders. Call them even.

They're close in career length. Each had 18 years as a regular, Brooks had a few more years as a back-up at the ends of his career.

Bid had a better OPS+, 106 to 104. Bid's is a bit heavier on OBP, so his edge is actually a bit more. Brooks would not take a walk, whereas Bid excelled at this.

Bid could wreak havoc on the bases; Brooks was more a slow wreck as a baserunner.

I think a somewhat closer comp for Brooks Robinson is Lave Cross.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: November 06, 2003 at 07:19 PM (#518792)
Ugh.
   43. DanG Posted: November 06, 2003 at 08:24 PM (#518794)
<i>Brooks: 145 125 125 124 124 117 114 113
   44. Yardape Posted: November 06, 2003 at 10:40 PM (#518796)
1. Frank Grant (2) Others on the list take the position that they need to be convinced of his greatness. I guess I take the opposite; given that he is the best black ballplayer of the 19th Century (and there seems to be no dispute on this), I would need to be convinced that's not good enough to be elected. And that hasn't happened yet. There's been some demographic info that may, or may not, suggest that the pool of black ballplayers was shallow, but nothing that convinces me it was that shallow. And his numbers in the IL, which are all we have, are consistent with his being a great player, IMO. Is it possible he then regressed when forced out of the league? Sure, but I see no reason to think he did.
   45. favre Posted: November 06, 2003 at 11:40 PM (#518797)
[1. Pike (5-6-5 last year) -- favre - "I believe I have Pike higher than anyone else."
   46. karlmagnus Posted: November 07, 2003 at 12:26 AM (#518798)
Guys, what about Meyerle? On the numbers, he looks better than Pike to me, and was the same age within 4 months.
   47. Marc Posted: November 07, 2003 at 12:42 AM (#518799)
As I understand, Meyerle had only two seasons of documented play pre-NA while Pike had at least five, and also played a year longer at the end of his career (half of '78 vs. half of '77, forgetting each of their unsuccessful comeback attempts). So each has a comparable documented peak, but Pike had already achieve notoriety before the NA (longer prime by as much as 100 percent--i.e. 2X) and longer career by at least 50 percent longer.
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: November 07, 2003 at 01:45 PM (#518801)
I think Brooks was a better hitter than Bid. If you want to say that Bid fielded as well, got on base more, and that his speed is a factor, go right ahead.
   49. Al Peterson Posted: November 07, 2003 at 02:09 PM (#518802)
Here we go...

1. Harry Stovey (2). Must score runs to win ballgames. Harry was pretty good at that. Speed and power combination make him a unique skills set person on the ballot. Like the fact he changed his last name to try and avoid having his mom know he was playing baseball.

2. Bid McPhee (3). I'd be happy with these two AA players getting in.

3. Cal McVey (4). Willing to accept his greatness even though he left major league baseball early.

4. Charlie Bennett (6). Someone has to be this high - I'm not real excited about people here and below.

5. Sam Thompson (7). One of the slugging Phillies - put up some huge numbers.

6. Hugh Duffy (8). Gotta have a space for the better Heavenly Twin.

7. Pete Browning (9). Hitter extraordinare.

8. Lave Cross (-). Long career, not much if any peak. More here due to excellence in fielding demanding position.

9. Frank Grant (10). Just not enough detail to his career for me to raise too high. Convinced he'd more than hold his own against white competition.

10. Jimmy Ryan (11). Was on Cap Anson's all-time team from Sporting News article in 1918. Big surprise there since Jimmy played in Chicago.

11. Clark Griffith (13). Good pitcher in a hitter friendly environment. Known as one of the best cheaters of his day with the spitball and other pitches of questionable quality (at least by today's standards)

12. Mike Tiernan (12). In the OF mix...

13. George Van Haltren (14). Ryan after taxes.

14. Mickey Welch (15). "Still got those 300 wins. Looks like I'm selling but nobody's buying."

15. Tip O'Neill (-). Wow, long time no see for this guy.

Hanging around...

16. Cupid Childs 17. Jake Beckley 18. Dickey Pearce 19. John McGraw 20. Lip Pike
   50. DanG Posted: November 07, 2003 at 03:21 PM (#518803)
They were about even in OBP before Brooks' atrocious final 2-plus years, and even with that anchor, Brooks outslugged Bid relative to league.

OK, do I really think Bid McPhee was a greater player than Brooks Robinson? Do I dare buck 30+ years of tradition that says Brooks is an all-time great and Bid is a borderline HOFer?
   51. Marc Posted: November 07, 2003 at 03:34 PM (#518804)
yest, the question is not whether Mickey Welch has some impressive numbers. The question is whether he is the best eligible pitcher we have not yet elected. If you compare Welch to guys like McCormick, Bond and Griffith, I think you will agree that he had nowhere near the peak value. Check the Pennants Added for a good comparison.
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2003 at 05:05 PM (#518806)
Re: Bid and Hoover

If you are asking who cast the larger shadow for his time, I would probably say McPhee. If you are asking who would be better if they played at the same time, that's another story (but not one for the HoM, IMO).

I haven't done an analysis of Robinson's career yet, but I have a feeling he'll wind up lower on my ballot than McPhee started in 1905.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: November 07, 2003 at 05:17 PM (#518807)
FYI, I think Brooks Robinson is overrated.
   54. Marc Posted: November 07, 2003 at 05:56 PM (#518808)
yest, the question is not whether Mickey Welch has some impressive numbers. The question is whether he is the best eligible pitcher we have not yet elected. If you compare Welch to guys like McCormick, Bond and Griffith, I think you will agree that he had nowhere near the peak value. Check the Pennants Added for a good comparison.
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: November 07, 2003 at 06:47 PM (#518809)
ignore this:
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2003 at 09:23 PM (#518811)
Mickey Welch had 5 seasons in the top 5 of his league in wins compared to McCormick who also had 5 ,Bond with 4 ,and Griffith with only 1. He also was in the top 5 in winning% 5 times ,McCormick also had 5 ,Bond had 4 ,and Griffith had 3. This shows how he and the others measured up with their contemporaries.

Well, it shows how he and the others measured up with their contemporaries when it comes to wins. It doesn't show how he and the others measured up with their contemporaries in terms of value as pitchers, however.
   57. RobC Posted: November 07, 2003 at 09:32 PM (#518812)
Wins are a team stat.
   58. DanG Posted: November 07, 2003 at 09:36 PM (#518813)
Assuming that yest is new here and his inquiry is serious, he would be directed to search this blog and he will find ample discussion regarding the merits of Welch.

In brief, the argument against him, as I understand it, is he had neither a great peak (1885 is the only year I see him among the top five pitchers in baseball), near enough longevity (11.5 full years) to make it over the hump. His win total is greatly attributed to his fortunate choice of teammates, including a great many HoMers. Jack Morris is a modern example of a pitcher who tends to get overrated for this same reason.
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#518814)
Under my old system, I have Griffith #1, Bond next and McCormick and Welch practically tied. I haven't figured out where they stand under my new system yet.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: November 07, 2003 at 09:58 PM (#518815)
Yeah, it's amazing to see Welch's 307 wins and then actually look at his mundane year by year.
   61. Brian H Posted: November 07, 2003 at 11:12 PM (#518816)
Originally I had McCormick and Mullane ahead of Smilin' Mickey but when I indexed in league strength things changed. McCormick had most of a big season in the UA -- the lowest "major league" of all-time. Mullane toiled primarily in the AA. Welch meanwhile was a National Leaguer... And then of course he has the 300 Wins. (I also give Welch a small bumpt for pennant contributions but I know a lot of you probably wouldn't credit that towards his candidacy.)

I actaully like Carruthers more than any of them because he was for almost all of his career among the tops in his league (mostly when the AA had virtual parity with the NL). Once I tossed in his hitting and pennant contributions I concluded he was the best hurler on te ballot.
   62. Marc Posted: November 07, 2003 at 11:29 PM (#518817)
Brian, what does this mean?

> McCormick had most of a big season in the UA

Well, maybe I see what you mean. And I am sure this is not the sum total of your analysis of Jim McCormick, but it is all that you expressed. So...this was A big season, but not THE "big season." He had more wins in '80 and a better ERA+ in '82. He won 244 games in more than 4000 innings in the NL over a 10-year period. Pretend that he didn't ever play in the UA at all and he is still the same Jim McCormick.

I'm not saying you should have him on your ballot or where. Just be careful not to dismiss a career based on 5% of it. It's not like he spent 8 years in the AA.
   63. OCF Posted: November 08, 2003 at 12:29 AM (#518819)
Pretend that he didn't ever play in the UA at all and he is still the same Jim McCormick.

That's actually what I have been doing - pretending that his UA statistics don't exist. I still have McCormick as the highest rated pitcher on my ballot. The question I'm not prepared to answer yet is how he compares to to Willis, McGinnity, Waddell, Walsh, et al. Pitching in the 1880's is so very different from pitching in the 1900's that the comparison won't be easy.
   64. Brian H Posted: November 08, 2003 at 11:23 PM (#518823)
Fair enough Marc, but Carruthers ERA+ wasn't just 118 --- it was 123!
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2003 at 07:31 AM (#518826)
At the risk of losing my lead for the Most Unconventional Ballot Award (:-), I give you:

*BALLOT REVISION*

Under my new system, I have three new additions to my ballot (post #32):

5) Harry Stovey-1B/LF (n/a): Rob Wood, I heard you. Without a doubt, my biggest screwup so far (even worse than Thompson and Tiernan - they at least had appeared on my ballot before their major adjustments). I gave him too much of a positional penalty that knocked him off my earlier lists. I'm convinced he definitely belongs now (which I'm happy about because I was dreading seeing his name in the Plaque Room before today :-).

Best major league first baseman for 1883. Best major league leftfielder for 1888. Best AA centerfielder for 1886. Best NL rightfielder for 1891.
   66. Howie Menckel Posted: November 09, 2003 at 02:23 PM (#518828)
yest,
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2003 at 04:26 PM (#518833)
Since you are now a member of our group, welcome yest!

I'm happy that you agree with the "best competition" argument that many of us share. I need to go over Bobby Mathews career under my new system to see where he now stacks up.

re: Mickey Welch

I wasn't saying that he wasn't a good pitcher. He was. Considering the quality of his teams and how relatively easy it was to rack up great career win totals during his time, however, I just don't think he ranks with the best of his time. Just because Smiling Mickey had about the same amount of wins as Roger Clemens doesn't mean he remotely was as good as him. Context is needed to sort out who was the cream of the crop for every era.
   68. Marc Posted: November 09, 2003 at 04:41 PM (#518834)
Far be it for me to agree with an attorney but I do agree with Andrew. Yest seems to have a little different perspective and I think that is a good thing.

As it relates to '80s, and by analogy '60s, pitchers, I think it will be interesting to see how consistent we are as a group in our evaluation. If we just can see to elect more than about five pitchers from the '80s, but we go ahead and elect 7-8 from the '60s and 7-8 from the '70s, pitchers whom we have seen work, this will be a pretty obvious example of bias. Or to put it the other way, can we evaluate players we never saw by the numbers and also players we did see by numbers/personal perceptions, and still be fair to both???
   69. Chris Cobb Posted: November 09, 2003 at 04:48 PM (#518836)
Welcome, yest!

It's customary, when one submits a ballot, to include brief explanations for why you did not rank a player in your top 15 who was in the top 10 in the overall balloting of the previous year. If I've noted correctly, the three players in that group whom you did not rank are Charlie Bennett, Frank Grant, and Jimmy Ryan. Could you post your views on where those players stand in your overall ranking?
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: November 09, 2003 at 05:25 PM (#518837)
I'll second the welcomes, and noting that the 'challenges' are in the spirit of give and take that produces the best possible choices.

Overall, my leanings are toward where a player ranks in the top 10 annually in many categories, and where he ranks among his positional, contemporary peers. Exceptional fielders like McPhee and exceptionally long, above-average careers also get their due from me. ERA+ and OPS+ also are key, while WARP, pennants-added, and other measures also have some sway.
   71. Ken Fischer Posted: November 09, 2003 at 05:48 PM (#518838)
1913 Ballot

It appears some voters have dropped McPhee down...I'm sticking with him. I keep Bid at the top because I value his consistency. I have always been high on Cross...but think the others should go in ahead of him...I'm putting the Vail Z Score for the 19th century era by the player (from James Vail's Outrageous Fortune)...pitcher & non-pitchers had separate rating pools...I'm still recovering from the excitment of the FB game I attended last night...the Southern Illinois Salukis beat Youngstown State 24-17 to go 10-0

1-Bid McPhee 8th

2-Harry Stovey 13th

3-Bob Caruthers 9thT

4-Frank Grant no rating

5-George Van Haltren 16th

6-Jimmy Ryan 15th

7-Cal McVey no rating

8-Jake Beckley 5th

9-Dickey Pearce no rating

10-Lave Cross 18th

11-Hughie Jennings 24th

12-Charlie Bennett no rating

13-Mike Tiernan 20th

14-Hugh Duffy 11th

15-Pete Browning 39th

NOTE: Vail's Top 30 19th Century era non-pitchers eligible for HOM not in my top 15...and not already in the HOM include: #12-Sam Thompson, #21-Herman Long, #21T-Fred Pfeffer, #26-Mike Griffin, #27-Billy Nash & #28-Dummy Hoy...Top 10 pitchers #6T-Jim McCormick & #6T-Tommy Bond
   72. ronw Posted: November 09, 2003 at 06:11 PM (#518839)
Clint: "I've found that these challenges will often change my mind about my ballot, and just as often, the challengers will come around. (Though it's taking some time, soon everyone will have Hughie Jennings at the top of their ballots)."

I think you forgot your evil laugh, and your obligatory statement about taking over the world.
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: November 09, 2003 at 06:53 PM (#518841)
I agree on the 'counterbalance' idea, and like traditional stats myself.
   74. favre Posted: November 09, 2003 at 10:19 PM (#518842)
"No one that I checked had 100 runs or 100 rbis every full season besides Duffy not Ruth not Foxx not Dimaggio not Ted Williams not Cobb not Speaker not Mays not Mantle not Aaron not Wagner".

I'm also glad to see a voter using traditional stats. I use them a lot myself, in large part because I am simply too dim to understand sabermetric stats. I look at Win Shares and WARP seriously and I figure them into my evaluations, but I can't analyze them...therefore, I always feel a little hypocritical criticzing other people's comments, since I tend to operate under the assumption that most people on the board probably know what they're talking about more than I do. On the other hand, blatant hypocrisy usually does not prevent me from opening my mouth, so...

1. As Howie suggested, we have to take the timeline into account. Playing conditions in the 1890s made it far easier to score or drive in 100 runs than it was in the 1900's, 1950's, and 1960's.

2. The people that you name had far longer careers than Duffy. Duffy was a regular for 11 years. Dimaggio was a regular for 13 years (even though he missed three years to WWII), Foxx for 14, Ruth for 16 (as a full-time outfielder), Mantle for 17, Williams for 17 (missing roughly five years to military service), Mays 19, Wagner 19, Speaker, 19, Cobb 21, Aaron 22 (TWICE as long as Duffy). It would be much easier for Duffy to score/drive 100 runs every year he was a regular, because he had fewer seasons to accomplish that feat.

I also happen to be a long-time detractor of Duffy, but I won't get into that here...weclome, yest! I hope you have a lot of fun with this.
   75. Chris Cobb Posted: November 09, 2003 at 10:57 PM (#518843)
Since I've taken on the mantle of advocating "best-practice balloting" today, I note that Ken's ballot, like Yest's, does provide a rationale for leaving off Sam Thompson and Lip Pike from among last year's top ten. Could you explain your rationale for leaving those two out of your top 15?

(I should note that I have no particular stake in the omissions from either ballot. I omitted Thompson, agreeing with Ken, and Ryan, agreeing with yest, while disagreeing with them on other omissions. Just trying to encourage explanation of points where one of us wants to challenge was passes for the consensus around here.)
   76. KJOK Posted: November 10, 2003 at 12:50 AM (#518844)
1. CHARLIE BENNETT, C -Comp is Roy Campanella. Until at least Roger Bresnahan, only Ewing was a better Catcher. Look how far ahead he is of Clements, McGuire, Zimmer, Farrell, Carroll, Milligan & Peitz.

2. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS ? Best comp may be Lou Boudreau. Great fielder and great hitter for a SS. Only drawback is shorter than normal HOM carrer, 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 - I count that quite a bit in moving him up the OF glut pack.

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

8. JAKE BECKLEY, 1B ? Comp is Tony Perez or Sam Crawford. Never had an MVP-type year, as Black Ink score is only 1!! BUT, his Gray Ink is 165, so he?s the poster boy of being very good for a very long time to be HOM worthy.

9. 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.

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

11. 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.

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

13. 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.

14. TONY MULLANE, P ? Think I?ve missed the boat on Mullane previously. Only 4 Win Shares behind Galvin (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.

15. LAVE CROSS, 3B - Comp is Nellie Fox. Terrific fielder at important 19th century defensive position. Just edges out similar player in Bid McPhee due to positional adjustment.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:
   77. dan b Posted: November 10, 2003 at 03:10 AM (#518846)
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. McPhee (8). Tops career ranking, best 2B of century. AA overdue.
   78. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 10, 2003 at 03:30 AM (#518848)
Not much to say except good luck to the Mc's this year.

1. Cal McVey - I strongly feel McVey is a HOMer. Played very demanding positions, produced at high offensive level and, when he left because of the reserve clause, his career was looking like Cap Anson's. Was still playing when he was 40 in the Texas League.

2. 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.

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

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

5. Sam Thompson - A heck of an offensive machine.

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

7. Hughie Jennings - A historical monster for five years.

8. Jake Beckley - The very definition of being very good for a long time. Starts right in the middle of my ballot. Time will tell whether his career moves him up or down.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:16 AM (#518850)
repley How many Roger Clemens have played baseball if we used him as a guide line? we'll only have at most 75 HoMers we're trying to get over 200.

That wasn't my point. My point was 300 wins for one era is not the same for another. It was much easier to make the mark during the 1880s. Therefore, it's of less value than Clemens' (and Maddux soon) feat.

This also goes for the guys who started their careers during the sixties. There's a reason that so many pitchers went on to post 300 game careers. It wasn't because they had super powers compared to other pitchers from other decades. The conditions for pitching were at its best for the lively ball era (especially on a young, maturing arm).
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:25 AM (#518851)
<i>repley here are your HoM pitchers
   81. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:46 AM (#518852)
Yest wrote re: Bennett: I'll also need more fielding stats for example how many times he led the league in putouts and assists. He was primarily a defensive catcher so I'll need to know he wasn't just a very good defensive catcher.

Yest, I'm not sure it's fair to say that Bennett was primarily a defensive catcher. He was a very good defensive catcher, but he hit pretty well. To use a simple measure, his OPS+ for his career is 118, which is a pretty good hitting number for a catcher (compare Bench at 126 and Simmons at 118). It is a particularly outstanding OPS+ for catchers in his era. In addition, in his best years, he hit about 50% better than the average player, not just the average catcher.

As for defensive stats, I can briefly tell you how he ranked among catchers in fielding Win Shares from 1881 to 1891: 1, 1, 5, 5, 5, 1, 4, 2, 2, 1, 2. That's four gold gloves and three second place finishes in 11 years. In addition, many of us agree that WS understates fielding contributions during that era because it tends to overstate pitching contributions during that period.

If you look at the BP ratings for Fielding Runs Above Replacement, Bennett averaged 35.6 per season. By contrast, Bench averaged 22.9 and Ivan Rodriguez is averaging 28.0 (through 2002).

His PO and Assist numbers are readily available from any number of sources, so if you need traditional numbers, they are certainly out there and should be considered.

<i>Frank Grant
   82. Marc Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:51 AM (#518854)
yest, (re. post #105) if you cannot consider non-statistical evidence (but it should be non-SABRmetric...)...

My question is this (re. to your Frank Grant comment). You just named three Negro Leaguers for whom we have statistics. Perhaps you've named all of the Negro Leaguers you're prepared to vote for??? If you can't find Charlie Bennett's fielding numbers, where are you going to find the numbers for other Negro Leaguers?

And re. Charlie Bennett (i.e. your request for more stats), we all work for a living, we are not a research service. The numbers are all over the Web. If you do half the research on Charlie that you did on Mickey Welch, you will come to one of two conclusions. 1) Charlie Bennett is a HoMer, or 2) there is no such thing as a HoMer catcher.
   83. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:54 AM (#518855)
Yest wrote re: Bennett: I'll also need more fielding stats for example how many times he led the league in putouts and assists. He was primarily a defensive catcher so I'll need to know he wasn't just a very good defensive catcher.

Yest, I'm not sure it's fair to say that Bennett was primarily a defensive catcher. He was a very good defensive catcher, but he hit pretty well. To use a simple measure, his OPS+ for his career is 118, which is a pretty good hitting number for a catcher (compare Bench at 126 and Simmons at 118). It is a particularly outstanding OPS+ for catchers in his era. In addition, in his best years, he hit about 50% better than the average player, not just the average catcher.

As for defensive stats, I can briefly tell you how he ranked among catchers in fielding Win Shares from 1881 to 1891: 1, 1, 5, 5, 5, 1, 4, 2, 2, 1, 2. That's four gold gloves and three second place finishes in 11 years. In addition, many of us agree that WS understates fielding contributions during that era because it tends to overstate pitching contributions during that period.

If you look at the BP ratings for Fielding Runs Above Replacement, Bennett averaged 35.6 per season. By contrast, Bench averaged 22.9 and Ivan Rodriguez is averaging 28.0 (through 2002).

His PO and Assist numbers are readily available from any number of sources, so if you need traditional numbers, they are certainly out there and should be considered.

<i>Frank Grant
   84. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:57 AM (#518857)
Marc, you and I are obviously thinking alike.

Sorry about the double post. Sometimes those things happen and you just can't explain them.
   85. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 05:08 AM (#518859)
JoeDimino:

Perhaps you can put "Frank Grant" back on the sidebar so that yest has some information about him.

Yest:

You might consider picking up a copy of the "Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues" or "Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues."

I want to continue trying to be diplomatic. However, I don't think most of the HoM electorate believe we should vote solely on the basis of information that happens to be in our heads at a given moment, particularly when information is readily available from a number of orher sources. We undertake to investigate things we don't know about.
   86. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 05:10 AM (#518860)
JoeDimino:

Perhaps you can put "Frank Grant" back on the sidebar so that yest has some information about him.

Yest:

You might consider picking up a copy of the "Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues" or "Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues."

I want to continue trying to be diplomatic. However, I don't think most of the HoM electorate believe we should vote solely on the basis of information that happens to be in our heads at a given moment, particularly when information is readily available from a number of orher sources. We undertake to investigate things we don't know about.
   87. Jeff M Posted: November 10, 2003 at 05:11 AM (#518861)
Figured it out. "Refresh" button = bad.
   88. Chris Cobb Posted: November 10, 2003 at 05:29 AM (#518863)
Yest,

Thanks for posting on the folks you didn't rank. There's been a lot of discussion of the stats of Bennett, Grant (such as they are), and Pearce (such as they are) here in various HoM threads. If you'll search the site, you'll turn up a lot, I think. Sometime during the next week I should have time to look about also; if I do, I'll post the locations of the most pertinent info. For Bennett, there's a comparison of his defensive records to those of Buck Ewing that's particularly illuminating.

Since Bennett is a player near the top of the ballot, I'd put in a pitch that you consider him carefully as soon as you can. Grant, Ryan, and Pearce are all in the mix, but any reevaluation you make is unlikely to decisively influence their chances for election in the next few "years." Bennett's near the top of the ballot, so your decision to include him or leave him off matters a lot (especially to his supporters, as you can see from the quick response to your notes on him :-) .
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 10, 2003 at 06:04 AM (#518864)
but that dosn't mean that 5 Hall of Merit pitchers is too many for one decade.

Personally, for the 19th century, I do. There has been considerable debate on this question prior to you joining our group. There are many that would agree with your viewpoint. For the 19th century, I'm probably the most extreme at the opposite end.

I should point out that, as a number, 300 wins means absolutely nothing to me (the same with 3000 hits, 500 homers, etc.). My concern is where each player stood out from the crowd at his position. Again, Welch was a damn good pitcher. We're not talking Rube Marquard here. But he wasn't a truly great player, IMO. He lucked out that he played for good teams at a time when it was easy to rack up many wins and innings so his numbers look extremely impressive out of context.
   90. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 10, 2003 at 07:04 AM (#518866)
For the people who were tracking personal HoMs, I'm two short (replace Richardson and Spalding with McVey and Bennett). Also, for the Irish Heritage Survey, as far as I know, it's 100% on both sides. Full name: Devin Patrick McCullen.

1) Charlie Bennett (2) I firmly believe he was a much better C than anyone else under consideration, and that puts him at the top of my ballot. He could hit and he could field well, even though WARP probably overrates that aspect.

2) Cal McVey (4) A powerful hitter, even though it was a relatively short career. More dominant than anyone on the ballot for his offense.

3) Bid McPhee (5) If he just had some kind of peak, I'd have him at the top. Average hitter, great fielder, durable, deserves to be in.

4) Harry Stovey (8) Jumps over a couple of people. A wide range of offensive skills; dominated his leagues in counting stats for many years.

5) Lip Pike (7) Back behind Stovey this year. Still a little uncertain about the quality of his off-the-books play.

6) Dickey Pearce (6) Ahead of everyone I'm sure he was a bigger star than. Wouldn't be upset if he does or doesn't ever get in.

7) Frank Grant (9) I liked the comparison to McPhee's first two years, but it's not clear how much it really means. I'd like to say the best black ballplayer of the 19th century deserves to be in, but we just don't have enough information to be sure.

8) Hughie Jennings (10) All peak, all the time.

9) Lave Cross (new)
   91. Ken Fischer Posted: November 10, 2003 at 01:28 PM (#518867)
Chris...I see Sam Thompson as part of the glut of outfielders from the '80s & 90s. He's in my top 20 but just misses. Some will disagree, but I believe Ryan and Van Haltren were more important to their teams (1887 being an exception for Sam). I admit I haven't given Pike a fair shake. I need to study his 1866-1870 years more before I look at adding him to my top 15 ballot. Note: I just read the "ballot explanation issues" thread. I know I've been a taker and not a giver...I'll try to check in more often and contribute...and add more to my ballots in the future. Joe and co. are hosting a great thing here (HOM) and I don't want to be as they say in the labor movement a "free rider."
   92. Chris Cobb Posted: November 10, 2003 at 02:04 PM (#518868)
Thanks, Ken!
   93. Robc Posted: November 10, 2003 at 03:23 PM (#518869)
I have to give yest a "Thanks!" here. Generally, when a player is off isnt anywhere near ballot consideration, I dont pay much attention to them unless they hit the top 15 overall. Guys like McVey,Spalding, and Start have gotten votes from me this way. Other guys, like Pike and Pierce havent, but I have relooked at them.

Because of yest's comments, I took a look at Welch. It appears that there was an accounting error back in '98 (do you like the use of the passive voice there - the error just occurred :)). It has been corrected and although it wont vault Welch onto my ballot, he is now close (top 20), and my #2 eligible pitcher, between McCormick and Whitney. He was about #5 previously.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: November 10, 2003 at 03:56 PM (#518871)
Bennett . . . was a very good defensive catcher, but he hit pretty well.

he had a 256 batting avg. for his career the NL had a 255 avg in every year he played. If you call a .001 avg increase over the leauge good fine but I don't.


Surely "hitting" must be understood as including more than "hitting for average."
   95. DanG Posted: November 10, 2003 at 04:47 PM (#518872)
Yes, Bennett was a superior, perhaps brilliant, defensive catcher. But to say "He was primarily a defensive catcher" is provably false:

Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1921 (3650+ PA):
   96. Marc Posted: November 10, 2003 at 05:09 PM (#518873)
Even I on my best (worst) day have never stirred up quite such a hornet's nest as yest has done!

PS. the "Frank Grant thread" mentioned above is really titled "Negro Leaguers."
   97. Marc Posted: November 10, 2003 at 09:53 PM (#518877)
red, actually, I misspoke. Everyday is my best day, 'cause I just keep getting better and better.

Though I must say it is tough to top that day when Al Spalding was elected, that was a good one.

At least I've had a best day since 1918.

You forgot the little smiley face on that one, BTW ;-)
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 10, 2003 at 10:47 PM (#518879)
And if Joe votes the same as last year, then I have a question. Do we have a second tie-breaker???

If Joe votes the same way as last year, there shouldn't be any need for a tie-breaker (unless I screwed up my spreadsheet).
   99. sean gilman Posted: November 10, 2003 at 10:53 PM (#518880)
My tally agrees with John, if Joe has McVey and McPhee as the top two (which would be voting the same as last year), there won't be a tie.
   100. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 10, 2003 at 11:02 PM (#518882)
John, then our spreadhseets disagree. I have a margin right now that is the inverse of what Joe had on his last year's ballot.

I usually screw something up on my spreadsheet every "year," so you may be right. Since the two principals are 1 and 2 on my ballot, I'm not sweating it. :-)
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