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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

1919 Ballot

Sorry it’s late (and sorry for that pattern) - I was out of town and now that I’m on my new schedule, this is my first internet access. Should have set it up before I left . . . hopefully being one day short doesn’t hurt anything.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 03, 2004 at 09:58 AM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Chris Cobb Posted: February 03, 2004 at 02:00 PM (#521400)
<i>Jim McCormick (13)
   2. Rusty Priske Posted: February 03, 2004 at 02:48 PM (#521402)
My personal HOM inductees this year are Jimmy Sheckard and Bob Caruthers.

The "musts"

1. Willie Keeler (1,3,2)
   3. Daryn Posted: February 03, 2004 at 02:59 PM (#521403)
I have 30 players under consideration: 21 hitters, 9 pitchers.

1. Wee Willie ? top 10 in hits 13 straight years, top 6 in runs 12 of those 13 years. ~3000 hits, subjective opinions solid. No brainer for me.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: February 03, 2004 at 03:06 PM (#521404)
For Meyerle, Pike and the catchers I 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 (this allows Bennett to be put in context with McGuire and Clements, and soon Bresnahan.)

I had Flick off the ballot, which probably undervalued him, but even knowing that he's been elected I don't think I'd have him above the bottom third. Anyway, thus no changes at the top of the ballot. Sheckard (shortish career, but longer than Flick and good while he lasted) comes on near the bottom. White, Devlin, Titus well below radar screen in terms of career length; Kling significantly below off-ballot Bennett/McGuire/Clements and about to be overwhelmed by Bresnahan, so also not near the ballot.

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1) Bob Caruthers - Still in first place. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity. As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so close to Stovey and beats Duffy and van Haltren slightly and Beckley and Keeler by a significant margin. If he?d just concentrated on pitching, added 50% to his career length, and gone 327-149, he?d have been in on the first ballot. Magnificent peak: 1886-87 59-23 and an OPS+ of 180 on 681AB beats anyone (Ruth?s best 2-way years, 1917-18, he was 37-20 and OPS+ of 182 on 440AB.) Compare with Ward, whose TB+BB/PA was .374 and TB+BB/Outs .545 and W-L was 164-102 (ERA+118) Caruthers was a better hitter and much better pitcher - so why have we elected Ward and not Caruthers?

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2) Mickey Welch - 307-210 comes to impress me more and more (yes, I know it was mostly with the strong Giants.)1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson?s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. Welch not as good as Clarkson, but not that far off. Better than the 00s pitchers, all of whom were pitching in favorable conditions, none of whom (other than Young and Matty) got near 300 wins.

3.(N/A-6-7-4-4-3) Joe McGinnity. 246-142 is better than either Griffith (237-146) or Rusie (245-174) though not than Caruthers? 218-99. Peak at 35-8 (1904) better than Griffith or Rusie, too. Career ERA+ only 121, but I think that stat is artificially deflated during the peak (or trough) of the Dead Ball Era, when league ERAs were so low - Pedro?s 285 ERA+ in 2000 is in reality much less impressive than Dutch Leonard?s 279 in 1914 or Mordecai Centennial Peter Brown?s 253 in 1906. Mathewson?s career ERA+ is only 135 compared to John Franco?s 144.

4. (N/A-8-9-6-6-4) Joe Kelley Kelley now above the outfield glut, better than Ryan and Duffy. TB+BB/PA .501, TB+BB/Outs .830 in mainly 90s career, although 300 fewer hits than Ryan.

5. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5) Jake Beckley 2930 hits a lot closer to 3000 than Griffith to 300 wins, but TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut - but more of his career was played in the dead ball ?00s, and as others have suggested 1B was a marginally more important fielding position than LF or RF then. I fail to understand why people put Keeler so far ahead of him.

6. (N/A-13-13-14-12-11-7-6-6-5-6-5-4-4-6-9-8-6) Sam Thompson Only 2,136 hits adjusted to 130 game season. However TB+BB/PA was .534 and TB/Outs .865, among the highest figures on the ballot, so high peak. Even though this figure is inflated by his having no decline phase, and by his big years coinciding with hit gluts, each new outfielder makes Thompson look a little more special.

7. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he?s way below Beckley on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though - and it?s ?94 not ?93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Behind Beckley on counting considerations.

8. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8) Harry Wright Better than Pearce, but how good was he really compared to the rest? But I?m convinced by the anecdotal evidence that he has to have been at least as good as this.

9. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season, and he was only 2 months younger, so 1860s value presumably also close (was baseball better reported in local papers where Pike played?). Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike?s figures, includes no ?decline? phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike. Moving up my ballot, will move up further in 20s.

10. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10) Jimmy Ryan Counting stats similar to Van Haltren and better than Duffy, peak slightly better than Van H, not as good as Duffy, rate stats also not as good as Duffy. Hence, on balance should be below Duffy. TB+BB/PA .485, TB+BB/Outs .773.

11. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11) George van Haltren Counting stats almost like Delahanty, but again need to be deflated for the 1890s. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s. No peak to speak of - what happened to him in 1893-95, when he should have been in his prime?

12. (N/A-8-7-11-10-10-13-14-13-14-12) Frank Grant. The most plausible comparison I?ve seen was to Hardy Richardson, although others are comparing him to the (IMHO) somewhat inferior McPhee (for whom Collins is currently a close proxy.) With the figures we have now got, TB+BB/PA .442, TB+BB/Outs .737, assuming (rough guess) 200BB, which makes him slightly better than Richardson and significantly better than McPhee, but against lesser competition. I think I?m happy having him here, and moving him up in 20s as more room appears.

13. (N/A-14-15-13) Willie Keeler 2932 hits but TB+BB/PA only 426, TB+BB/Outs .680. Only .460/.761 even if you knock off his last 6 years of decline, which takes him down to 2331 hits and puts career mostly into the 90s, so distinctly inferior to Beckley, and slightly inferior to Van Haltren, who was after all a CF.

14. (N/A-15) Jimmy Collins TB+BB .430, TB+BB/Outs .648 and 1999 hits compared to McPhee?s 2250. Very close comp to McPhee, since he was in top league in dead ball era for his non-90s career, rather than 80s AA. OPS+113 vs McPhee 106 for what that?s worth. So I?ve put him above Griffith, and also moves above Sheckard as 3B more difficult than OF.

15. (N/A) Jimmy Sheckard Only 2084 hits, but a walk machine. TB+BB/PA .440, TB+BB/Outs .691, but that's in the low scoring 00s.

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14) Clark Griffith He?s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good (Rusie was my #12 the year we elected him, I?d have him about 10 on this ballot.) 237 wins is not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice - but he doesn?t match up even close to Welch or Caruthers, in my view (Welch?s 1885 is much better than Griffith?s 1898.) Will return to ballot in '20, presumably.

17. (N/A-15-N/A) Deacon McGuire No fewer than 2,821 hits, adjusted to 130-game seasons over 1884-1906, which works just as well for catchers as it does for 1870s players, with the same rationale behind it. Rate stats unexciting though -TB+BB/PA .412, TB+BB/Outs .630, less good than McPhee (but catcher more difficult than 2B.) Unadjusted or adjusted, almost twice as many hits as Bennett; Bennett?s rate stats better, but this reflect his lack of McGuire?s extended decline phase. If you take the 15 seasons 1887-1902 (he missed 1889), and compare it with Bennett?s 15 year career, McGuire has 1,436 hits vs. 978, and rate stats of 435/675 vs. 454/689. Not much in it compared with Bennett, but a significantly longer career.

18. (N/A-14-N/A) Charlie Bennett Only 1,796 ?normalized? hits over 1878-93, but he was a catcher. However McVey and Clements were catchers too, and both better hitters, while McGuire went on much longer. TB+BB/PA.454, TB/Outs .689, but much shorter career than Start/Sutton. Further thought gets him above Pike and Clements, on edge of ballot, to return no doubt in a weak year, but now below McGuire

19. (N/A) Tony Mullane. Better W/L than Willis, same ERA+ as Willis, plus he could hit a bit (1884 was a pretty productive season, albeit in the weak AA.) Therefore he should rank above Willis.

20. (9-12-12-11-9-10-10-13-12-15-14-N/A) Lip Pike - Like Start, give some credit for missing 1860s. However, normalize 1871-78 season by season and he gets 1,592 hits after 26 - not quite an obvious HOM-er. 4 ?normalized 200-hit? seasons, but only just, whereas Meyerle?s 1871 peak normalizes to 320 (obviously a random fluctuation, but in the right direction!)TB+BB/PA .478, TB+BB/Outs .713 Also, unlike McVey who was clearly damn good in 1880, Pike was through by 1881.

21. Vic Willis 249-205 means he played a lot, but relatively little peak; he has 10 more wins and 60 more losses than Griffith or McGinnity - hence LESS valuable, on balance.

22. Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak, but under 200 wins so probably not HOM-worthy. 193-143 not at all special (40 less wins) compared to Griffith or McGinnity. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive -- I don't buy it.

23. Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, now some way off bottom of ballot. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning though well behind Thompson

24. (N/A-15-N/A) Pete Browning (mostly AA -- Only 1,986 ?normalized? hits (adjusting 1883-92 to 130-game seasons, and with no AA discount,) However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855.

25. (N/A-11-13-12-15-14-N/A) Jack Clements. Normalizing for Clements over 1885-1898 gives him a normalized 2,004 hits, not bad for the most difficult fielding position. TB+BB/PA .455, TB/Outs .696, pretty impressive for a catcher and slightly better than Bennett and McGuire, but he played more in the 1890s than Bennett.

26. Hughie Jennings: Great peak (though not a historic peak like Koufax, Radbourn or McVey.) But his career numbers are mediocre. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .672, in the high-average 90s, so even his ?rate? stats not overwhelming.

27. Lave Cross gets lots of points for length of career and hits, but his rate stats are appalling TB+BB/PA .404, TB+BB/Outs .599, substantially worse than McPhee, and it?s mostly 90s (Sutton was .404/.588, but 20 years earlier) - if you knock out the decline phase, the rate stats are still unexciting and the counting stats then mediocre as well.

28. (N/A-15-N/A) Tom York 2,122 ?normalized? hits, doing it season by season as seasons were lengthening. Primarily OF. Never above 200 ?normalized? hits per season though - really no peak at all TB+BB/PA.412, TB+BB/Outs.596, not very impressive.

29. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   5. MattB Posted: February 03, 2004 at 03:37 PM (#521405)
1919 Ballot

Bid McPhee and Cal McVey made my personal HOM this week. The Top 4 of my ballot are also in. I have not yet inducted Jack Glasscock or Elmer Flick (who would have been 5th and 9th on my ballot had they been still eligible.)

1. Charlie Bennett (1) ? If pitchers get more representatives, the more of them make a rotation, the least we can do for catchers is not DECREASE their numbers because there are more of them. I?d be willing to consider an anti-Bennett argument if he were merely marginally above the next best catcher (probably Clements), but the truth is he towers over all the others. That is a HoMer. Made my personal HoM in 1912.

2. Frank Grant (2) ? As Favre argued, there may be flaws with any argument for him, but there simply aren?t any arguments against him. If Hardy Richardson or Bid McPhee were still on the ballot, they?d be here too. Made my personal HoM in 1914.

3. Bob Caruthers (3) ? The best overall player, although not the best in any specific category. I discount star performances in the AA less than average players?. Been sitting in my personal HoM since 1901.

4. Sol White (4) ? Directly comparable to Frank Grant. Successful against all opponents, and viewed as the best in his prime (as witnessed by other teams signing him away after he leads his teams to victory). Those who refuse to vote for Grant because he didn?t make any ?expert?s top list should note that Sol White does make the SABR?s Negro League Top 40 (tied for 35th). The fact that he played until 1911 probably has a lot to do with the view that he was better than Grant, since many experts simply exclude pre-20th century or pre-?League-play? candidates. Made my Personal HoM in 1918.

5. Jimmy Collins (6) ? Best of his era, and above average in everything.

6. Joe McGinnity (10) -- Best of the short-career pitchers of the early 1900s. Career numbers may not stack up well, but he was the best pitcher in baseball in several different years, and in the Top 5 in numerous others.

7. Joe Kelley (5) -- Best of the outfielders still on the ballot.

8 . Jake Beckley (7) ? Racked up the counting stats. He's a pure-career value pick that would not be on my ballot if his counting stats were not #1 among his contemporaries. You can't be second-best in counting stats and go in without a peak of any note, but first-best cracks my ballot. Will follow the Charlie Bennett route to induction as the percentage of 1B HoMers shrinks and shrinks and Beckley stands out from the pack more and more.

9. Vic Willis ? (13) Looking at all pitchers whose final victory came in the quarter century between 1902 and 1926, all those with more wins that Willis (Young, Alexander, Mathewson, Nichols, and Plank) are in the ?first ballot? category. Number 6 on the list for the quarter century therefore worth a hard look. More narrowly, he is the third winningest pitcher (after Mathewson and Plank) who pitched primarily in the first decade of the 1900s. He is #44 on lifetime wins, and his ERA+ is 118. He was also in the NL the whole time, so no weak league discounts. That gives him a presumption of dominance that only the most convincing sabremetric evidence could dissuade me from. The requirement to explain why I voted for this non-top-20 last week merely strengthened by resolve, leading to this bump.

10. Sam Thompson (9) ? Thompson was the best or second best right fielder in baseball in 1886, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1895. That?s seven out of 10 years, and his OPS+ in the other three were 159, 134, and 122. That?s a decade (1886-1895) of absolute dominance.

11. Wee Willie Keeler (11) -- Probably underrated him last week when he fell off of my ballot. With all of the A+ outfielders in already, I?m reconsidering the difference between the A?s and A-minuses. Keeler is closer to the A side. He should be in, but below Kelley and Flick, and definitely below Beckley.

12. Clark Griffith (off) ? Thanks for the arguments this weak (primarily from Tom). I re-examined Griffith and saw that he was much closer in overall value to Willis than I was giving him credit for.

13. Jimmy Sheckard (n/e) ? very solid numbers. BUT, he is also about the 10th best outfielder to play around the turn of the Century. In my mind he is clearly behind Fred Clarke, Willie Keeler, Jesse Burkett, Joe Kelley, Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, Sam Crawford, Elmer Flick, and Ed Delahanty. Honus Wagner and Roger Bresnahan also played outfield during parts of Sheckard's career, before moving against traffic on the defensive spectrum. In a close race for 10th, he's beating out Duffy, van Haltren, Fielder Jones, Ryan, Griffin, Tiernan, et. al., but I'm not getting too excited about him.

14. Lip Pike ? (12) best NA player not yet in. It looks to me like the NA is closer to be under-represented than over-represented, so I gave the league another look.

15. Rube Waddell (15) -- Just missed 200 wins, but he was clearly a great pitcher.

Also considered (16-30, alphabetically) ? Pete Browning, Frank Chance, Cupid Childs, Jack Clements, Hugh Duffy, Fred Dunlap, Hughie Jennings, Charley Jones, Fielder Jones, Jim McCormick, Dickey Pearce, George Van Haltren, Mickey Welch, Ed Williamson.

All Top 10s voted for. For non-top-20s (Sol White and Vic Willis) see the 1918 ballot.
   6. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 03, 2004 at 05:40 PM (#521407)
<i>My ballot (and my personal HoM) starts with the players who were ever the best player or best pitcher in baseball. Not the best in any one year, but the actual best overall player; this is a minimum two-year qualification but I prefer more to be sure. If that player had an otherwise insignificant career, I am open to moving him down from the top places. After that (those "best players" are the core of my personal HoM) I try to expand that list to include (1) players who are very close to the best at any one time who have some significant career contributions, and (2) players who have a very large amount of raw overall career value. I'm generally not concerned with "replacement" measures in this second category though it's certainly a factor. I do not rank these together, by any sort of weighting system - they are ranked separately for the most part. If X has a good career and good peak, but Y has a great peak and nothing else in his career (or vice versa), Y beats X. I do look at the "other measure" to separate players that are close.

I also try to give bonus points to players who were unique, and made contributions to their teams (or did extraordinary things) that I think isn't captured by the stats. Garnering huge numbers of base hits or stolen bases or strikeouts, for example, is "meritorious" in a way that I think isn't captured solely by the win impact of those stats. Being the greatest defensive player ever at a position, same sort of thing.

Essentially, I look for dominance first, so my list tends to be weighted heavily to peak - but because I also will rank a player solely on his career contributions with no assessment to peak, some long-career low-peak players can sneak on my ballot. I also timeline.

1. Hughie Jennings (2-1)

Jennings is the only man in this ballot who was ever the best position player in baseball. Jennings may be too high on this ballot, but I don't know what to do with his eye-popping defensive ability so I rated it as best I could - and it gives him huge props. Jennings's Orioles teams had some very ordinary pitchers, and yet at the top of the league in runs allowed every single year. A great deal of that is team defense, and when you add the fact that Jennings was the dominant defensive player on the team *and* that his defensive win shares are sky-high (best ever overall, I think) despite not getting enough credit through the method for the team's blah pitching, *and* his superb hitting - he's the best position player in baseball in those Orioles pennant years, and arguably the best defensive player of all time.

2. Bob Caruthers (11-2)

Too much has been said already. Bob Caruthers was the best player in baseball in 1886-87 (and possibly 1885), he was a dominant player in other years. The way I rank the players, he doesn't need anything else, which is good because he doesn't have anything else. I apply a AA discount - and even after that, I still get Caruthers as the best player in baseball in his prime.

3. Willie Keeler (5-4)

Keeler's measure here is a career measure, though he has an excellent peak. Some credit for being a great collector of base hits, enough to keep him ahead of the Rube. I think Keeler is essentially the equal of Clarke, and I'd be disappointed to se him stay out. Gets shafted in my opinion, because this crowd dislikes singles hitters.

4. Rube Waddell (7-5)

Unique player, terrific peak, larger than life and larger than the stats. Was mowing them down at a time when no other pitchers were, a test of high quality. Rube's skills were a very poor match for his era (when everyone is choking up and punching the ball, strikeout pitchers don't do as well), but still managed to be a top-3 pitcher in 1900-05 with lots of other good years.

5. Frank Grant (10-9)

Frank Grant was an elite player during his entire career, and was always considered to be one of the very best players in any competition he was allowed to enter. This is a career award, as opposed to a peak award; I am convinced that Grant won as many ballgames for his teams - probably many more - as any player here.

I have been trying to collect as much information on Grant as I can from newspaper accounts. I am amazed at how he is the center of attention in almost every game report, which is echoed in other accounts of him. A defensive nonpareil.

6. Joe Kelley (8-8)

Kelley is very close to the top of this ballot, and I could easily have him #1 and wouldn't mind too much. I am still mystified by his abysmal performance on the Black Ink Test.

7. Joe McGinnity (9-7)

Another unique player, 417 career wins in the majors and minors despite not starting until late in his twenties. The phrase "Iron Man" is actually named after McGinnity (he got the nickname elsewhere and only after him did it get its present meaning) which gives you an indication of exactly how good he was. One way to be a great pitcher is to just be real good, but just pitch a hell of a lot more than anyone else. McGinnity only has 4-5 great years supplemented with some good ones, but that's all he needs.

8. Jimmy Sheckard (n/e)

I was going to place Sheckard higher, but I need to work out how much extra credit to give him for his offense being crippled by Chance during the Cubs years. I will estimate it very conservatively.

I am wary at giving too much defensive credit to Sheckard. Yes, he was part of same marvelous defensive teams and got to a lot of balls, but he never was the best defensive outfielder on any of his teams. (Well, not never - he was in 1901, I guess).

I don't think that matters in the end. Sheckard was a magnificent hitter in several years, and his numbers with the Cubs are absoultely killed (in my opinion) by all the bunting and hit-and-running he was doing. Sheckard's dropoff from an elite hitter to an average-to-good hitter coincides perfectly with his arrival in Chicago from Brooklyn, and it coincides with his sacrifice totals doubling. I think Chance had Sheckard (when he wasn't leading off) making "productive outs" because he had a great eye and obviously good bat control.

Once Chance and Evers start sitting out of the Cubs lineup, in 1910 and then 1911, Sheckard starts leading off, and pounding the ball again, and drawing walks, and generally being the player he can be. I think Chance was holding him back, and while I can't give Sheckard credit for being a big run producer in those years, I can give him credit for fulfilling his offensive role very well.

Sheckard gets hurt by my rating system since I rate guys on peaks and careers separately, not both combined, and so Sheckard is hurt since he had a very good career but a better peak (or better great years) than guys like Van Haltren. This rating for Sheckard is on career value.

9. Sam Thompson (6-6)

I'm starting to get the feeling we should have elected Thompson already. His era is starting to hurt him in my assessment.

10. Addie Joss (13-10)

An entire career of nothing but quality play, an impressive feat in itself. Joss is the 10th best pitcher in his era (all years 1896-1915) for value over average... (Cy - Matty - Walter, then Nichols, Brown, Walsh and Plank. 8, 9, and 10 are Waddell, McGinnity, and Joss.) So he could go in on career alone. I would draw the HoM line here, incidentally. I may yet move Joss well up.

11. Jimmy Collins (14-12)

Career award. One of the top five players in his league a couple of times, no more than that, but an impressive consistency.

12. George Van Haltren (13-11)

There don't seem to be a lot of reasons to vote for Van Haltren, just a lot of reasons to vote against him. This is also a career mark. Havign him below Collins depends on my subjective assessment of the value of outfield defense in Van Haltren's era.

13. Jake Beckley (nr)

JoeDimino and I argued late one night about Beckley's merits, and Joe convinced me to re-evaluate his career. I still think he's nothing special on any given day, but he did have a very substantial career.

14. Vic Willis (nr-13)

A great pitcher for a short while and an average pitcher for just as long, all in a short career. Willis may drop lower later as he doesn't do that well on either of my measures and is here on the back of five very good, but not overwhelming, seasons. Ranks below Joss on peak and not far above on career.

15. Clark Griffith (nr)

A career award, I've been too tough on Griffith, whose career performance versus average is quite noteworthy.

Close to the ballot... Chance, Browning, Ryan, Sol White, Bennett.

As for Bennett, I am perfectly comfortable saying that Bennett was easily the best fulltime catcher of his time, and equally comfortable saying that none of the best 50 players of his era were catchers. Deserves some consideration from a positional perspective, but not that much. Unlike Chance, he would not usually have been the best player in games he was playing in, though he may not have been far off.

Lip Pike is off my ballot, and practically off my radar screen. The 1870s were very weak in my estimation, and I am not inclined to rank someone very high when compared to even a average-to-good player 30 years later.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 03, 2004 at 05:51 PM (#521408)
Redid my balloting system, because my "new" one has been deemed as horse**** by me. I tried to mix the good aspects of my original system with the new version, plus a few revesions.
   8. Marc Posted: February 03, 2004 at 06:19 PM (#521409)
1918 ballot. Still weighted toward peak (3 consecutive and 5 non-consecutive) and prime (floating, usually 8-10 but increasingly in the 20th century we're seeing more 12-13-14 year primes). New WARP (adjWARP1) is now fully engaged, cap'n.

The No-Brainers

1. Dickey Pearce (5-4-3-2 last year)--made my HoM in 1916. Second greatest SS before Wagner.

2. Bob Caruthers (x-3-8-4)--made my HoM in 1905. Easily the best available peak.

3. Charlie Bennett (3-2-6-5)--made my HoM in 1914. Great peak '81-'83, solid 8 year prime.

4. Harry Wright (8-9-7-6)-makes my HoM today. #3 player of the '60s; no other #3 for a decade hasn't advanced.

5. Sam Thompson (4-1-2-1)--made my HoM in 1905. Outstanding 10 year prime.

Also Deserving

6. Charley Jones (10-8-9-7)--I was prepared to abandon some of the old-timers who are never going to get elected, but by popular demand (OK, Rick A.) Charley will remain on my ballot for now. Awesome hitter.

7. Hughie Jennings (11-10-12-8)--more adjWARP1 value in 5 years than Kelley in his 7 best years.

8. Ed Williamson (14-13-14-10)--interchangeable with Jimmy Collins. Turn 27 1884 fly balls into outs if you like. How does that affect an 11-year, 1100 game prime?

9. Joe Kelley (13-14-11-12)--I don't know if anybody eligible this year beats him on peak and prime and career. None of them ranks terribly highly, nor particularly low.

10. Joe McGinnity (x-x-x-15)--moving up, especially now that I have abandoned old-time pitchers Bond and McCormick (nobody objected to that). Best of the heavy workload-short career pitchers for now (but not for long).

11. Lip Pike (7-11-x-9)--abandoned Lip for a year, but came back due to a high peak and not a short career for his time.

12. Jimmy Collins (15-15-x-13)--anywhere from a 9 to a 12 year prime depending on the method. Even a 9 year prime is pretty solid, but not much of a peak.

13. Frank Grant (first time on ballot since 1914)--the more I think about the place that the Negro Leaguers should have in the HoM, the more I think we could reasonably start with Grant.

14. Fred Dunlap (first time on ballot since 1905)--and the more I think about Frank Grant, the more I think the "white Grant" also deserves some support. WARP absolutely loves this guy, even after you reduce his '84 season to bring it in line with his surrounding years.

15. Jimmy Sheckard (new)--not obviously better than Keeler, Van Haltren, Duffy, Ryan and Browning, but not obviously worse either. Right in there despite playing in lower run scoring environments. May move up, but I try hard not to overstate the new guys.

Close--along with all the upper tier OF glut (mentioned in the Sheckard comment), you've got Childs, who is pretty interchangeable with Grant and Dunlap, and Rube Waddell.

Why not?--Keeler--Sheckard, Duffy, Ryan and Browning all had better peaks; Sheckard and Van Haltren had a better prime and more career value; he's glut, albeit high glut. Waddell--clearly rates behind McGinnity with lots better short career fireballers coming up his backside.

16. Keeler
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: February 03, 2004 at 06:23 PM (#521410)
Hey, Murph:

Are you saying that left field is MUCH easier pre-1910 than CF or RF?
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: February 03, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#521411)
Tom H. wrote: <i>McCormick rates low by ERA+, but has the best DERA. He also has the 2nd best unadjusted DERA (no attempt to account for league quality), behind Bob C.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 03, 2004 at 07:21 PM (#521412)
Are you saying that left field is MUCH easier pre-1910 than CF or RF?

Since I have Tom York in a prominent position (plus voted for Delahanty, Burkett and Clarke), I guess my answer would be no. :-)

I just don't get the whole "divide the early-era OFs into specific slots,"

I don't divide the early-era OFs into specific slots. I'm doing it for all eras.

I try to be fair to all of the positions, but without setting up quotas. It's not a matter of right or wrong, but how I want to vote for the candidates in question.

If Kelley goes in, there will be no temper tantrum from me. It just means that the electorate as a whole have a different criteria than me. That's cool. I knew joining this project that all of my choices weren't going to be inducted.
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 03, 2004 at 07:50 PM (#521413)
1919 Ballot. Weird year. Sorting out a bunch, as Waddell's falling, & the bottom's an even bigger jumble than usual. Here it goes:

1. Joe Kelley (4,1,3,1). Great combo of career rate stats & career counting stats.
   13. Jeff M Posted: February 03, 2004 at 08:08 PM (#521414)
Andrew, if you were managing, you would want Ed Williamson before Frank Chance, Sam Thompson, Pete Browning, Dickey Pearce, Mike Tiernan and Herman Long?
   14. Marc Posted: February 03, 2004 at 08:22 PM (#521415)
Being so much more level-headed than Andrew, I would want Pearce or Thompson, but then Big Ed ahead of the rest. Jeff, would you want 6 years of a semi-regular 1B or 11 years of full-time regular 3B, assuming both play at all-star levels?
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: February 03, 2004 at 09:00 PM (#521416)
1919 Ballot

The arrival of Jimmy Sheckard causes me to struggle anew with upper-ballot outfielders; Johnny Kling is the best new catcher to become eligible since Bennett came onto the ballot twenty years ago, but still doesn?t match him in any measure. Slight changes of the ballot in the top half; the rest is the same as last year.

Notes on rankings. For position players, I use season-adjusted, fielding-adjusted, league-adjusted win shares as my primary metric. I establish a preliminary ranking by combining career value and ?total peak?; the sum of win shares above average in all above-average seasons. I then modify this ranking by considering peak, peak rate, prime, number of seasons above average, and position. For pitchers, I use my calculated percentage of wins above average value, looking at peak and career.

History of my voting begins in 1910.

Ought to be elected

1. Joe Kelley (--, --, --, --, 3, 4, 2, 3, 1 ) Holds steady at #1. Fourth-best peak on ballot, 4th best career, strong prime. Marc, in ranking him 9th said, ?I don't know if anybody eligible this year beats him on peak and prime and career.? They don?t, which is why Kelley looks like the top candidate to me. 1890s were deep in outfielders; I see no reason that a left fielder who is not as good as Delahanty, Burkett, or Clarke (all effectively 1st-ballot HoMers) should be devalued because he ranks behind them. 373 CWS. Total peak 73. Peak rate, 94-99 = 35.47.
   16. Rusty Priske Posted: February 03, 2004 at 09:26 PM (#521418)
As an aside (and not complaining about anyone in particular), but I really dislike the term "no-brainer".

When I read no-brainer, in my head I hear "this is my opinion, but if you disagree, then you are an idiot".

There are much nicer ways to be it like "ought to be elected", a couple spots up from here.That just says "in my opinion, these people should be elected into the Hall of Merit", but adds nothing about insulting the intelligence of the other voters.

Anyway, minor point, but it has been irking me.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 03, 2004 at 09:34 PM (#521419)
When I read no-brainer, in my head I hear "this is my opinion, but if you disagree, then you are an idiot".

I hear you, Rusty. I have felt the same way on a couple of occasions. Of course, I have used it a couple of times myself, so who am I to complain? :-)
   18. RobC Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:00 PM (#521421)
When I read no-brainer, in my head I hear "this is my opinion, but if you disagree, then you are an idiot".

You are hearing it correctly then. :)
   19. Daryn Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:10 PM (#521423)
I have the phrase "no brainer for me" on my ballot in respect of keeler, and I will delete it next year if keeler doesn't get in so as not to continue to offend. but all it means to me is that in my little mind he isn't a difficult decision, whereas i vacillate on guys like bennett and collins, who are nevertheless high on my ballot.

I used to be very bothered by people who said "I don't see how anybody could have x higher on their ballot than y"; particularly when I did have x higher than y, but i've developed a thicker skin. i'm pretty sure i'm not stupid or uneducated and someone telling me i'm stupid is not really going to change my mind.

john murphy's ballot is the one most dissimilar from mine, but his methodology is consistent and he has obviously given his ballot a lot of thought. I'm not offended by his comments and i hope he is not offended that two or three of his guys aren't even in my consideration set.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#521424)
john murphy's ballot is the one most dissimilar from mine, but his methodology is consistent and he has obviously given his ballot a lot of thought. I'm not offended by his comments and i hope he is not offended that two or three of his guys aren't even in my consideration set.

I wrote my post after I realized you were the "no brainer" guy that Rusty was referring to, so I definitely have no problem with your ballot. I'm not offended by anyone's ballot, for that matter. Besides, I have Keeler #6 so I'll be happy if he makes it this year.
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#521425)
When I read no-brainer, in my head I hear "this is my opinion, but if you disagree, then you are an idiot".

I have a different reason for disliking it. When I hear it I think of the Dave Wannestadt days here in Chicago. Bleaah. Then again, it ain't like what's happened since then is much better, but that's a whole other topic.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:39 PM (#521427)
Personally, I object to all of your "No Brainard" ballots. Harry Wright thought I was the best pitcher of my time. Why not you?

LOL
   23. Daryn Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:57 PM (#521428)
In looking up asa brainard i made my way to the 1874 baltimore canaries and found lew carl, he of the career .250 fielding percentage. ouch.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: February 03, 2004 at 11:46 PM (#521429)
His full name was probably Lew Karlmagnus -- my fielding was always about like that!
   25. Rick A. Posted: February 03, 2004 at 11:59 PM (#521430)
1919 Ballot

1. Charlie Bennett (1) ? 60% of value is above average. Value over other catcher of his time moves him up some.
   26. dan b Posted: February 04, 2004 at 03:39 AM (#521432)
Win shares are my metric of choice. I start with a composite ranking = 4 x Career + (3 best years)/3 + (5 best consecutive years)/5 + (8 best years)/8 + WS per 162. I then make adjustments justified by individual components with a touch of subjectivity thrown in. I use the same system for hitters and for 60? 6? era pitchers. I also look at WS w/o defense for a hitting only ranking. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)
   27. EricC Posted: February 04, 2004 at 04:04 AM (#521433)
1919 ballot. A relatively weak slate forces some borderline candidates high in the ballot. 1920 ballot should have two newcomers in the top five, one at number 1.

Season-by-season ratings for each player determined relative to peers, and based on (unadjusted) win shares per plate appearance (for batters) or ERA+ (for pitchers), corrected for league strength. The best string of consecutive seasons (the "prime") is then determined for each player. Final ratings are based on "strength plus length" of prime.

1. Willie Keeler (N-3-4-2 last year) RF. 1892-1910: 333 WS/9594 PA; 20.8 WS/600 PA. Little Willy Willy won't ... go home! Now there's a song I haven't heard in years. In fact, Wee Willie did go home a lot- 1719 career runs at his retirement was 4th all-time behind Anson, O'Rourke and Burkett. If he had gotten 2930 hits with no peak, like Beckley, he wouldn't be this high, but he had a great peak in the 1890s. A no-b^D^D An easy #1 choice for me.

2. Hughie Jennings (8-8-3-1-3-2-6-4) SS. 1894-1898: 150 WS/2989 PA; 30.1 WS/600 PA. My system rewards the high peak types such as Jennings, McGraw, and Chance. Is it coincidence that they were all winning managers? Highest WS/600 rate of any player on the ballot.

3. George "Rube" Waddell (N-4-5-3) P. 1897-1909: 136 ERA+ in 2928.3 IP. Great combination of career length, good years, and Cy Young-type years (1904 -1905). I weigh ERA+ titles and near misses very highly in my system, which breaks up the potential pitcher glut. I also think that the AL was stronger than the NL from 1902 through at least 1913.

4. Lip Pike (3-2-4-4-4-5-8-6) IF/RF/CF. Prime 1866(?)-1878. 158 OPS+ in 2006 PA in NA/NL. I trust the numbers. The quality of competition in the NA was only a little lower than in the NL. Significant credit given for being a star in the 1860s.

5. John McGraw (12-15-9-5-6-6-9-8) 3B. 1894-1901: 169 WS/3618 PA; 28.0 WS/600 PA. Best 3B of 1890s. 2nd strongest prime of any player on ballot. I deliberately set the balance between strength and length in my system such that the short-career types favored by Cooperstown (e.g. Jennings & Chance) could compete. McGraw fits the mold. In any case, there is no question that he was brilliant when he actually played.

6. Jake Beckley (N-5-3-5-11-10-10) 1B. 1888-1906: 318 WS/10348 PA; 18.4 WS/600 PA. Could be counted on to be average to very good for 17 straight years of regular play. Though only the 14th runner up in 1918, I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually gets elected- 2930 hits is a lot of career.

7. Frank Chance (N-11-7-7) 1B (+C,OF). 1900-1911: 219 WS/4844 PA; 27.1 WS/600 PA. Outstanding run- best 1B six consecutive years. See McGraw comment.

8. Dickey Pearce (X-4-2-8-9-10-X-9) Anecdotal evidence, and the mere fact that he played at shortstop into his 40s leaves no doubt that he was at least as great as Dahlen/Wallace lite. Lingering doubts about how many people were actually playing baseball before the Civil War keep me from moving him higher.

9. Addie Joss (N-7-7-5) P. 1902-1910: 142 ERA+ in 2327.0 IP. 8.5 years at this level is no fluke. He only drops because I readjusted the balance between pitchers and position players in my system this year.

10. Joe Kelley (N-9-10-12-12-11) LF/CF/1B. 1893-1904: 272 WS/6644 PA; 24.6 WS/600 PA. Strong prime raises him above Ryan/Van H/Duffy, etc.

11. Jimmy Collins (N-11-11-13-13-12) 3B. 1895-1907: 267 WS/6982 PA; 22.9 WS/600 PA. Was very good, but just below the level that would make him an automatic HoMer.

12. Jimmy Ryan (X-13-10-10-12-14-15-13) OF. 1885-1903: 310 non-pitching WS/9106 PA = 20.4 WS/600, + 6 pitching WS. Long career raises him above Van H/Duffy, etc.

13. Cupid Childs (7-7-7-6-7-8-X-15) 2B. 1890-1901: 238 WS/6754 PA; 21.1 WS/600 PA. Best 2B six times in 1890s; and for the decade as a whole.

14. Frank Grant (13-9-8-7-8-9-X-X) Pro: specific anecdotal evidence: "the black Fred Dunlap" and "good enough to play in the majors". If he had played like Dunlap in the majors for nearly 14 years as a regular, he would rate here in my system. Con: He gets compared to players such as Dunlap, Burdock, Barnes, Pfeffer, and Y. Robinson. Only one of them (Barnes) would even make the top 50 of my ballot. I'm more worried that Grant should be 50th than that I have him too low.

15. George Van Haltren (10-X-X-12-13-X-X-X) P/OF. 1887-1903: 303 non-pitching WS/8979 PA = 20.2 WS/600, + 41 pitching WS. Back on my ballot as the next-best 90s OF after Ryan.

16. Jimmy Sheckard. LF. 1897-1912: 334 WS/8788 PA; 22.8 WS/600PA. All-star level 1900-1903; otherwise solid, but not spectacular. Worthy candidate, but despite the 339 win shares, falls short of Delahanty, Burkett, Clarke, Kelley, and maybe Magee among contemporary LF. As such, joins the glut. Would probably not make my HoM.

In previous top 10, not on ballot:

Charlie Bennett: C. 1878-1893: 157 WS/4210 PA; 21.9 WS/600 PA. 16th in pennants added by WARP3, but only 51st (at best) by Win Shares. I trust the WS numbers more. All star play 1881-1883. Decent, but not exceptional durability and career length. Without a positional boost to catchers (which I'm not yet ready to give), his resume is qualitatively very similar to Tom York's. Bresnahan will be the next catcher to make my ballot.

Sam Thompson. RF. 1885-1898: 236 WS/6470 PA; 21.9 WS/600 PA. I rate Thompson as the 9th greatest outfielder of the 1890s, behind Delahanty, Hamilton, Burkett, Kelley, Ryan, Van Haltren, Duffy, and Tiernan. I don't think that there's enough room in the HoM for that many OF from one decade.

Joe McGinnity. P. 1899-1908: 121 ERA+ in 3441.3 IP. Pitchers who pitch for good teams are doubly overrated: they get good run support and they don't have to pitch against their own teammates. By switching from the AL to the NL in 1902, McGinnity also followed the weaker league from 1901-1908. Despite pitching more innings than Waddell, has fewer career WARP3. At best, I see him as a borderline candidate.

Bob Caruthers. P/OF. 1884-1893: 129 ERA+ in first 2727 IP; 98 non-pitching WS/2906 PA; 20.2 WS/600 PA. I created a new toy this week: comparability scores. I consider two careers comparable if they have similar strength (established performance level in standard deviations above average), length (in years), and if they coincided in time. By subtracting points for each deviation, I get "comparability" scores for different careers. For Caruthers, I give full and fair credit for his hitting. The most comparable careers to Caruthers are:

(better careers): McCormick, Welch, Silver King, Cuppy, McGinnity
   28. Rusty Priske Posted: February 04, 2004 at 04:06 AM (#521434)
LOL. I'm glad my "complaint" led to some funny stuff.

Just to clarify: I am not deeply offended or anything. It's just one of those things. Consider it a minor pet peeve.
   29. Marc Posted: February 04, 2004 at 05:09 AM (#521436)
I thought my "no-brainer" was less insulting than

>Because Bob Caruthers
   30. Yardape Posted: February 04, 2004 at 07:02 AM (#521437)
Well, whattya know? We elected my #1 from last year, so basically, a couple of people move up a slot, and Jimmy Sheckard slides in.

1. Bob Caruthers (2) The best player during the AA's best years. At his peak, a great pitcher who was also a damn good hitter. I think it lasted long enough to give him the best primer on the ballot, which is enough to give him the top spot on my ballot.

2. Joe McGinnity (3) He looks like the best available pitcher. Sure, on rate, he might not be as good as, say, Joss, but I think the huge disparity in innings pitched matters. A lot.

3. Lip Pike (3) Was closer to the elite of his time than any of the later outfielders lower on the ballot.

4. Jimmy Sheckard (n/a) I think he has a very good prime. Sure, it's not typical shape, but he was the equal of any of the other outfielders on the ballot. Add in a pretty decent career, and I think he moves to the head of the glut.

5. Frank Grant (5) I've argued for Frank Grant for many years. Unless some evidence surfaces that he wasn't a great player, he's going to rank near the top of my ballot.

6. Jimmy Ryan (6) Ryan's not very exciting, so I don't have much to say, but a better prime moves him ahead of very, very close contemporaries like Van Haltren and Keeler.

7. Rube Waddell (7) Better than his record would suggest. He doesn't deserve to be punished for lousy run support. Even with the unearned runs factored in, he's still worthy.

8. Willie Keeler (8) Top-notch career, and a pretty good prime get him this far. Probably won't make it much farther before being elected.

9. Vic Willis (9) Well, he still didn't move into the top 20, so I guess I should explain again. He's not Waddell or McGinnity, but he was solid and effective pitcher for several years. At his peak, he was one of the best in the game.

10. Frank Chance (n/a) I'd missed him the last couple of years, but I think he's worthy of a spot. His limited playing time keeps him from the rarefied air at the top. I think Chance, not Beckley, is the best first baseman of the early century.

11. Joe Kelley (10) It kind of feels like he should be higher, but there isn't much room between players at this point.

12. George Van Haltren (11) A very good, solid player overshadowed by his better contemporaries.

13. Charlie Jones (12) Could move up or down depending on the credit for his blacklisted years.

14. Hughie Jennings (14) The best peak on the ballot. Just a little more would have vaulted him much higher.

15. Hugh Duffy (13) One more outfielder. Much is made of his one out-of-this-world season, but he did maintain a pretty solid prime.

I once again didn't vote for Jimmy Collins or Charlie Bennett. I imagine this is because I don't give as much of a position bonus as others, and neither has enough to make it otherwise.

Sam Thompson, meanwhile, just doesn't stack up to the other outfielders. Virtually all outfielders under consideration have better peaks/primes than Thompson, which counts for a lot in my book.
   31. sean gilman Posted: February 04, 2004 at 09:23 AM (#521438)
1919
   32. EricC Posted: February 04, 2004 at 12:18 PM (#521439)
Rusty Priske: I really dislike the term "no-brainer".

Marc: I thought my "no-brainer" was less insulting than "Because Bob Caruthers makes a "story", he gets instead more undeserved praise than anybody in the history of this project."

Thanks for reminding me that this discussion is best served by a cordial tone. I do respect opinions that differ from my own, and I should have edited my remarks better before posting.

By the way, it will officially be OK to call Lajoie, Mathewson, and Wagner "no brainer" choices in the upcoming elections. :-)
   33. MattB Posted: February 04, 2004 at 02:35 PM (#521440)
<i>It is also instructive is to find the most comparable season to each season of a player's career: Doing this for B.C.,

1884: Jumbo McGinnis 1882
   34. Jeff M Posted: February 04, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#521441)
Jeff, would you want 6 years of a semi-regular 1B or 11 years of full-time regular 3B, assuming both play at all-star levels?

The latter, but I don't see how Williamson fits into the latter category. Simple answer: I wouldn't want Williamson unless about 25 other guys currently eligible for the ballot were unavailable. And if Williamson was the best player on my team, I'd go manage somewhere else. :)

I don't know why I got singled out for my Williamson vote...

Nothing personal Andrew. I just happened to read your ballot all the way through and skimmed the others. Plus, since Day 1, I have been very sensitive about Williamson's support, because I just can't understand where it comes from. Every once in a while he gets some momentum and then disappears into nothingness, which in my opinion, is where he belongs vis-a-vis our other candidates.
   35. RobC Posted: February 04, 2004 at 05:07 PM (#521442)
Comments mostly the same as last year

1. Willie Keeler - No brainer. If you dont have him #1 then Rusty thinks you are an idiot.
   36. Rusty Priske Posted: February 04, 2004 at 06:37 PM (#521443)
1. Willie Keeler - No brainer. If you dont have him #1 then Rusty thinks you are an idiot.

Well, I did have him at #1...

:)
   37. OCF Posted: February 04, 2004 at 06:40 PM (#521444)
1919 Ballot

There are no "no-brainers" anywhere on this ballot. I could argue against any of my choices.

1. Joe Kelley (3, 5, 3, 4, 1) Yes, his peak was in a high-offense era - but it was a real peak.
   38. Rob Wood Posted: February 04, 2004 at 07:43 PM (#521445)
My 1919 ballot:

1. Joe Kelley -- a great player for many years
   39. Marc Posted: February 04, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#521446)
> 1. Willie Keeler - No brainer. If you dont have him #1 then Rusty thinks you are an idiot.

And if you do I think you're an idiot.

OK now is everybody even :-)
   40. ronw Posted: February 04, 2004 at 08:41 PM (#521447)
John Murphy:

Great reintroduction of Tom York! However, I'd really like to see how Charley Jones rates in your system. In the same league at the same position, Jones was probably 2nd at LF to York in 1877-78, and Jones beat York in 1879 and 80. In 1881 and 1882 of course Charley was banned so give York the edge. In 1883 on they were in different leagues, but Jones was arguably better. From 1883-1885 they again both played in the same league, at the same position, and Jones was much better. York clearly had a better NA career, so maybe that evens them out again or puts York slightly ahead, depending if you give no credit for Jones' blacklist years. The tiebreaking year could be 1876, when York may have been marginally better, at a different position (Jones played CF that year.) All of these conclusions were developed from raw WS which look like this, including Chris Cobb's translated WS from the Pennants Added thread for the NA.

<pre>
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 04, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#521448)
Great reintroduction of Tom York! However, I'd really like to see how Charley Jones rates in your system.

He's right at 16 or 17. I'm giving him credit for his blacklisted years, but I'm not sure if I'm still slighting him. In my gut, he belongs higher (probably in the top five).

He should pop back on my ballot next "year."

The whole point of this exercise is similar to the Williamson vs. Collins debate. It seems that anyone considering Tom York should not have Charley Jones too far behind.

I can't argue with that, either. Not the defensive player York was, but what a bat!
   42. RobC Posted: February 04, 2004 at 09:35 PM (#521449)
Where were all these pro-York voters back in the 1890s? I believe in 1898 and 1899 I was the only FOTY.
   43. RobC Posted: February 04, 2004 at 09:38 PM (#521450)
woops, just checked, there were 3 of us in 1898. One of the others was, of course, John Murphy.
   44. ronw Posted: February 04, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#521451)
I wasn't voting in 1898, but I am a FOTY. Tom York has appeared on one of my ballots since I started in 1910.

Since the 1880's candidate list is shrinking, I am looking to see if we have forgotten anyone who is not still regularly showing up. I think the 1870's candidates are appearing, however minutely, in the voting, and I don't have reliable data for them. (Sorry WARP).

For the 1880's, Ed Williamson, Tom York, and Charley Jones seem to head the list of forgotten candidates, but they are still receiving votes. For players not receiving a vote, Abner Dalrymple probably heads the list.

Other voteless guys that I have reviewed include Tom Burns, John Clapp, Larry Corcoran, Jerry Denny, Frank Fennelly, Jim Fogarty, Dave Foutz, Bill Gleason, Guy Hecker, Henry Larkin, Arlie Latham, Jack Manning, John Morrill, Dave Orr, Fred Pfeffer, George Pinckney, John Reilly, Yank Robinson, Jack Rowe, Orator Shaffer, Ed Swartwood, Curt Welch, Will White, Sam Wise, Chicken Wolf, and George Wood. I agree that none of them should be receiving votes from us.

My criteria for reviewing is simple: Did the player have 4 seasons (beginning in 1876) when he received half as many raw win shares as the league leading batter (if he was a batter) or league leading pitcher (if he was a pitcher)? This flawed method is problematic for extreme Tip O'Neill 1887 seasons, but I don't use it to determine who should make the HOM, but who should be on my candidate list. It is obviously very AA dominated, because there is no league discount. I will eventually get to the 1890's through the present, but right now I have gone through 1888, hence this post.
   45. Rick A. Posted: February 04, 2004 at 10:24 PM (#521452)
In my gut, he belongs higher (probably in the top five).

He should pop back on my ballot next "year."


Glad to hear it, John. We need all the FOCJ we can get.
   46. DanG Posted: February 04, 2004 at 10:38 PM (#521453)
Many new exhibits added (Duffy, Ryan, Van Haltren, McGinnity, Sheckard, Collins, Thompson, Griffith, McCormick, Beckley). Made a couple flip-flops (GVH-Ryan, Collins-Thompson). In 1919 Jimmy Sheckard joins the OF scramble, while two more backloggers gain election. In 1920 Bobby Wallace and Ed Walsh stir things up. In 1921 Bresnahan, Leach and Tinker represent the three great NL teams of the era 1903-13.

1) Bennett (1,3,2)? Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1921 (3500+ PA):
   47. Al Peterson Posted: February 04, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#521454)
1919 ballot - wow, that was some World Series that just took place:

1. Charlie Bennett (1). Two things I like: stands out from other catchers of his time, had a few years of hitting excellence. The defense, both the numbers and contemporary views, seems solid. I do give a positional adjustment because, well, catchers are important. Without one there are a lot of wild pitches ; )

2. Wee Willie Keeler (3). If you're going to excel at one thing, you should really perfect that. Hitting the ball for average, even without power, does have a lot of merit to it. I probably undersold his defense before - seems to be a decent RF. Just barely ahead of the next guy...

3. Joe Kelley (4). Didn't accumulate the career totals of Keeler, slightly better in the peak department. Probably the better of the two during the 1890s with the Orioles. More in the pack with the other LFs.

4. Jimmy Collins (5). Shorter career but at a taxing position where outstanding players rarely existed. Too much good said about him from those who saw him play to not believe his greatness.

5. Rube Waddell (6). Numbers don't tell the whole story. Flame thrower with outstanding K rates. I feel strikeouts are important in the deadball era. Many bad things can happen with bunts, hit-and-runs, etc. Doesn't happen if the batter doesn't hit the ball. His uniqueness for the era is worthy of note.

6. Sam Thompson (7). Sometimes common baseball numbers are very hard to ignore. Sam and his RBIs do that to me.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (-). Very good player, below the other worthy fly catchers who have underwent analysis for some years now. He'll wait for further inspection.

8. Joe McGinnity (8). Workhorse useage allows for a smaller peak. I do give at a little bump for the long non-ML career. Pitching both ends of a doubleheader is cool.

9. Frank Grant (9). Always the tug of war about known players and the unknowns. Frank with his fragments of information seems likely to be a keeper. By keeper I mean worthy of a spot on the ballot.

10. Cupid Childs (10). Allowing a shorter career length for infielders in the rough and tumble 1890s helps Cupid. Still hit with the best of them some years, regardless of position. If McPhee was the fielding 2B, Childs was the hitting 2B.

11. Clark Griffith (12). The many pitching metrics presented show he's in the mix as HOM worthy.

12. George Van Haltren (11). The OF glut is still around. Broad skills certainly didn't hurt his team.

13. Jimmy Ryan (15). A thumbs up for career length, thumbs down for not doing more with that time.

14. Fielder Jones (14). Went out on top, probably wasn't too happy about it. On his managing prowess this from baseballlibrary.com: "An innovative tactician, he is credited with inventing the "motion infield" and was one of the first to position his outfielders according to the hitter." Another historical note from Baseball Magazine (Sept 1928) states Big Ed Walsh was advised/encouraged by Jones to take up the spitball around 1904, thus propelling Walsh to his later success.

15. Sol White (13). Lack of information not helpful for this Negro Leaguer.

Others below that:

16. Hughie Jennings. Arod for five years almost gets him on this year.
   48. Al Peterson Posted: February 04, 2004 at 10:55 PM (#521455)
1919 ballot - wow, that was some World Series that just took place:

1. Charlie Bennett (1). Two things I like: stands out from other catchers of his time, had a few years of hitting excellence. The defense, both the numbers and contemporary views, seems solid. I do give a positional adjustment because, well, catchers are important. Without one there are a lot of wild pitches ; )

2. Wee Willie Keeler (3). If you're going to excel at one thing, you should really perfect that. Hitting the ball for average, even without power, does have a lot of merit to it. I probably undersold his defense before - seems to be a decent RF. Just barely ahead of the next guy...

3. Joe Kelley (4). Didn't accumulate the career totals of Keeler, slightly better in the peak department. Probably the better of the two during the 1890s with the Orioles. More in the pack with the other LFs.

4. Jimmy Collins (5). Shorter career but at a taxing position where outstanding players rarely existed. Too much good said about him from those who saw him play to not believe his greatness.

5. Rube Waddell (6). Numbers don't tell the whole story. Flame thrower with outstanding K rates. I feel strikeouts are important in the deadball era. Many bad things can happen with bunts, hit-and-runs, etc. Doesn't happen if the batter doesn't hit the ball. His uniqueness for the era is worthy of note.

6. Sam Thompson (7). Sometimes common baseball numbers are very hard to ignore. Sam and his RBIs do that to me.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (-). Very good player, below the other worthy fly catchers who have underwent analysis for some years now. He'll wait for further inspection.

8. Joe McGinnity (8). Workhorse useage allows for a smaller peak. I do give at a little bump for the long non-ML career. Pitching both ends of a doubleheader is cool.

9. Frank Grant (9). Always the tug of war about known players and the unknowns. Frank with his fragments of information seems likely to be a keeper. By keeper I mean worthy of a spot on the ballot.

10. Cupid Childs (10). Allowing a shorter career length for infielders in the rough and tumble 1890s helps Cupid. Still hit with the best of them some years, regardless of position. If McPhee was the fielding 2B, Childs was the hitting 2B.

11. Clark Griffith (12). The many pitching metrics presented show he's in the mix as HOM worthy.

12. George Van Haltren (11). The OF glut is still around. Broad skills certainly didn't hurt his team.

13. Jimmy Ryan (15). A thumbs up for career length, thumbs down for not doing more with that time.

14. Fielder Jones (14). Went out on top, probably wasn't too happy about it. On his managing prowess this from baseballlibrary.com: "An innovative tactician, he is credited with inventing the "motion infield" and was one of the first to position his outfielders according to the hitter." Another historical note from Baseball Magazine (Sept 1928) states Big Ed Walsh was advised/encouraged by Jones to take up the spitball around 1904, thus propelling Walsh to his later success.

15. Sol White (13). Lack of information not helpful for this Negro Leaguer.

Others below that:

16. Hughie Jennings. Arod for five years almost gets him on this year.
   49. OCF Posted: February 04, 2004 at 11:05 PM (#521456)
1919 ballot - wow, that was some World Series that just took place

You're one of those people who's looking forward to the rest of the Babe's career in Boston, aren't you? Who would you have voted for for MVP, anyway? Ruth, Cobb, or Johnson? But you really don't want to know what the crystal ball shows for the future.
   50. karlmagnus Posted: February 04, 2004 at 11:12 PM (#521457)
If Barrow turns Babe into an outfielder this year, it'll destroy his value to the team. The last two years, he's been almost like Bob Caruthers at his best -- far more valuable than he could be as a mere OF!
   51. Marc Posted: February 04, 2004 at 11:15 PM (#521458)
Somebody said Keeler set the table for some prolific run scoring teams and Al added that he was really good at one thing. Well, as a table setter, hitting singles is pretty much interchangeable with taking a BB. Keeler did not do the latter. Pls check out his OBP along with BA.
   52. favre Posted: February 05, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#521459)
"If Barrow turns Babe into an outfielder this year, it'll destroy his value to the team. The last two years, he's been almost like Bob Caruthers at his best -- far more valuable than he could be as a mere OF!"

Have you ever seen this Ruth guy play? I know he's a great pitcher, but if you put him in the outfield, I swear he'll hit thirty home runs one season. No joke.
   53. RobC Posted: February 05, 2004 at 12:21 AM (#521460)
Arent we voting in the fall of 1918 for the induction ceremony in summer 1919? Of course, if you all can see the future, I may make some bets on the 1919 WS, I doubt anyone will try to fix it or anything.
   54. sean gilman Posted: February 05, 2004 at 12:27 AM (#521461)
I thought we were voting in the fall of 1919. . .
   55. OCF Posted: February 05, 2004 at 12:48 AM (#521462)
I was always assuming that our voting was in the winter, probably January or February, and that the 1919 season hasn't started yet. Remind me again, someone - if we throw out the Williamson 1884 season as a fluke, what is the "real" single-season HR record?
   56. favre Posted: February 05, 2004 at 01:26 AM (#521463)
In order to get a handle on the pitchers, I compared their seven best seasons in terms of ERA+ and IP, then gave a lot of credit for additional career and some credit for peak. I also compared batters in a similar manner.

1. Lip Pike

Pike averaged about 34 aWS per season during an eight-year stretch (275 aWS in 10-year documented career; -5 WS for two token appearances; 270/8=33.85). While I concede the difficulties of adjusted win shares for the NA era, that?s still quite a prime. His OPS+ of 155 is higher than anyone on the ballot except Browning. He had speed, hit for doubles power, and led the league in home runs four times?OK, he led with four home runs each time, but let?s face it: even if you?re inclined to give a big NA discount, the guy could flat-out hit. He did this all while playing CF/2B. His documented record is outstanding, and he played for five years before the creation of the NA.

2. Charlie Bennett
   57. EricC Posted: February 05, 2004 at 03:47 AM (#521465)
I have two questions about your comparisons here, one is theoretical and one is practical. First, theoretical. Other than Galvin and Nichols, you have essentially given a list of pitchers with short non-HoM careers that had several great seasons. Sure, comparing Caruthers to Gus Weyhing tarnishes Caruthers, but comparing Caruther's 1889 season to Weyhing's 1889 season (31-20, 128 ERA+) is certainly no knock on Caruthers...... Each year of a ten year career may be equivalent to the sole good season of a one-year wonder who quickly flamed out.

True. It would be more instructive to take each individual season of Caruthers (or any other player of interest) and see which other players had typical seasons which were most comparable.

I'm not sure if you have typos

Yes, I have typos. You would think that it would be easy to copy a number that's right in front of you, wouldn't you?

"1884: Jumbo McGinnis 1882"
   58. DanG Posted: February 05, 2004 at 04:31 AM (#521466)
OCF wrote:
   59. Al Peterson Posted: February 05, 2004 at 03:12 PM (#521467)
DanG wrote:
   60. RobC Posted: February 05, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#521468)
If you wont, I will point the fingers. I hear that certain gamblers will try to get the NL team's pitchers drunk the night before they pitch in order to throw the series to the Junior Circuit.
   61. OCF Posted: February 05, 2004 at 05:23 PM (#521469)
Thanks, David Foss (#66). Of course, the crystal ball says the record is doomed. Doooomed, I say.
   62. ronw Posted: February 05, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#521472)
1919 Ballot

1. Charlie Bennett The second-best catcher in the first 50 years of baseball deserves to go in. (I think Ewing was better). Made my personal HOM in 1916. Interesting parallel, Bennett's early career vs. Fred Carroll's early career. Carroll probably makes up in hitting what he loses to Bennett in fielding. Carroll doesn't even doesn't even have a baseballlibrary.com bio. Anyone know why he stopped playing all of a sudden in 1891?

2. Jimmy Collins I do give a slight underrepresented positional bump, but Collins deserves to go in eventually. Made my personal HOM in 1918. Keeping the theme along the lines of Charlie Bennett, what 3B was having a Jimmy Collins career and stopped all of a sudden? I'll throw out George Pinckney.

3. Frank Grant Makes my personal HOM this year, along with Harry Stovey. Like many others, I fail to see why the generally acclaimed best black player of the 19th century doesn't make the HOM. No idea who had his early career and fell off a cliff.

4. Willie Keeler He and his Orioles teammate Kelley will probably make it this year, and I won't complain. Who (from our list of eligibles) could be compared to Keeler at the beginning of his career, and then stopped playing? Chicken Wolf? I don't know.

5. Joe Kelley See Keeler comment. I see some of Kelley in Ed Swartwood, but Ed tended to take advantage of poor leagues. Maybe Kelley's contemporary, Jake Stenzel, qualifies as a mini-Kelley.

6. Jimmy Sheckard My third Baltimore/Brooklyn OF teammate. (I won't put Fielder Jones next.) I'm impressed with Sheckard. Like Keeler, I can't make an early comparison (Walt Wilmot?)

7. George Van Haltren In 1889, Cap Anson had a young Van Haltren, a young Jimmy Ryan, and a young Hugh Duffy in his starting outfield. He had used George as a pitcher the year before, but put him in LF in '89. Ryan was the CF, and the supposedly great-fielding Duffy manned RF? Does this say anything about their fielding abilities? I don't know. I wouldn't notice a young Van Haltren who suddenly dropped out. Maybe Bug Holliday.

8. Jimmy Ryan See above for comment. I think Pete Browning could be considered an early Jimmy Ryan, but Pete's peak lasted longer.

9. Lip Pike The last NA player I will support, and my support for him is waning as more OF come on the ballot, and as I look at other missing OF like Charley Jones. He is not eligible, but I will throw out Benny Kauff as a Pike comparison.

10. Clark Griffith I will need to review my 1890's pitchers again. Something is telling me this week that I have Griffith too high. (Maybe it is your voting.) Many, many pitchers could be compared to an early Griffith. I'll throw out Icebox Chamberlain.

11. Bob Caruthers Only Kelley has moved up one slot from last years' ballot. Sheckard takes Flick's place. I haven't seen anything to move Parisian Bob up, and I'm becoming less impressed by 6 years. (If I can't be impressed with Jennings' 5 years, why should I like Caruthers' 6?) Caruthers drop-off comparison is himself, or maybe his teammate Dave Foutz.

12. Joe McGinnity Joe has just missed my ballot, and after looking at his dominant years, he may even be ahead of Griffith and Caruthers. You have me convinced. For major league play, Joe's comparison to date could be Matt Kilroy.

13. Charley Jones I'm giving credit for blacklist years. I may have too many OF, but I think we may have missed Charley. A further reevaluation of Sam Thompson may drop Charley below Big Sam, but I'll leave him here for now. Here's a weird drop-off, probably not comparable to Charley, but I'm running out of OF names. Jim McTamany.

14. Ed Williamson Everyone who misspells his name Ned must write "I love Gavy Cravath" 100 times on the blackboard. Just like Iron Man Joe, Ed has just missed my ballot for many years. It's time he got back. I've already used Pinckney, does my brain have any other flash-career 3B left? How about Bill Kuehne.

15. Tom York Yay for John Murphy. Part of me thinks York should get my Pike support. Again, a review of Thompson may vault Big Sam ahead, but I'll put York here for now. Lets throw out Emmett Seery for fun.

Missing Top Ten

Sam Thompson - My project for the week. Another guy just looking over the fence at my ballot. Made my ballot in 1911-1914 and may make it again.

Rube Waddell - Love the stories and strikeouts, not sure about the career length. Has not made my ballot yet.

Other close consensus picks, so I can cut and paste if they make the top 10 this year.

Hughie Jennings - Five years doesn't quite cut it. if he had played only those five years, I think he would not get much support from our group. I don't see how five years plus a few years of slop gets him so high. If so, why not vote for Frank Fennelly? OK, it's because Fennelly may have been the best SS, but not the best overall player during his peak years.

Jake Beckley - Made my ballot in 1914-1918, and probably will again. Is CHICKAZOOLA really the opposite of EE-YAH?

Dickey Pearce - Blame JoeDimino, not me. He pointed out the purpose of this exercise, and I realized that I can't support a nonblacklisted player who did not merit at least one post 1871 All- Star season.

Hugh Duffy - Like Thompson, may need another look. That 1889 Chicago White Stocking outfield really put Duffy's fielding in a relatively negative light. On the other hand, what an outfield! Stupid Players' League wrecked it.

Pete Browning - Pete is closer to making my ballot than even I realize. It's hard to put Charley Jones on my ballot and leave Browning off.

Cupid Childs - I generally pay attention to former Supreme Court clerks. Andrew's "adoption" of Cupid will be carefully scrutinized when I review the 1890s.

Sorry Addie Joss, Vic Willis, Frank Chance and Mickey Welch. Maybe I'll comment on you later.
   63. OCF Posted: February 06, 2004 at 04:20 AM (#521474)
Vic Willis ... but the translated stats say he?s a 0.500 pitcher who happened to pitch forever.

FWIW, I don't think Vic Willis is a .500 pitcher. I don't think you think he's a .500 pitcher either, because there's no way you should rate a .500 pitcher as high as 19th. A .500 pitcher should have a RA+ of about 100. The number I have (not RA+ exactly, but a close relative) for Willis is 120, which makes him about a .590 pitcher. Of course that could be the result of good defensive support, so maybe 120 is too high. But I have a hard time imagining defensive support good enough to bring 100 up to 120 over a substantial career. Jack Powell is closer to being .500, but with a sort-of-RA+ of 109, I'd say he's better than .500, too. You want a .500 pitcher, look at Hooks Dauss.

I'm certainly not disputing your 19th ranking for Willis - that's probably not far from his median placement among the electorate. I don't exactly understand your reason for putting McGinnity behind Willis, but I guess that's for hashing out next year, right?
   64. Marc Posted: February 06, 2004 at 04:48 AM (#521475)
>6. Jimmy Sheckard (n/a), Bkn. ? Chic. (N), LF / RF (?97-?13) ? Killed by the difficulty adjustment from
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 06, 2004 at 05:44 AM (#521476)
Another reason I don't like WARP3. Not because it is Sheckard. But could the deadball NL really be that bad compared to the AL. Picj any two comparable deadballers--one AL, one NL--and take a look. Amazing.

I don't buy it either, Marc. I have no idea how BP is coming up with these numbers. The Dick Cramer numbers from the seventies don't show any AL superiority for the entire Deadball Era (except for 1918).

I think WARP3 should be used with caution.
   66. Mr. Crowley Posted: February 06, 2004 at 06:16 AM (#521478)
If I told you some guy's win shares were as follows (162 game seasons), would he make your ballots and if so where:

30-28-31-36-19-33-19-05-28-20-16-13 (total 278)?


It's a trap!
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: February 06, 2004 at 01:59 PM (#521480)
More on Vic Willis

I don't place any weight on the "translated records" BP now has on offer. The Vic Willis we actually have to evaluate had a winning record! But I do believe that RA+ and ERA+ overrate Willis quite a bit: he is not, for his career, much better than an average pitcher. Let it be said that an average pitcher who can throw a lot of innings is a very good player -- durability is as much a talent as a 98-mph fastball, and is quite valuable to a team. However, durability and average effectiveness is not enough for the HoM. Here's how Willis's wins above average look from a variety of angles, as I've calculated them.

Wins above team -- 25.6
   68. DanG Posted: February 06, 2004 at 03:17 PM (#521481)
Chris C. in #18 wrote:

Clark Griffith ... His career was about as good as McGinnity?s, and was achieved under tougher conditions for pitchers, ... the 1890s .... He?s clearly the fourth-best pitcher of that turbulent decade for hurlers, though I?ve started to study Ted Breitenstein, Pink Hawley, Jack Stivetts, and Gus Weyhing to confirm that. More news in another balloting cycle or two.

That reminded me of a post in the 1904 Discussion, which could be relevant:

"With Rusie now a candidate, it brings up the issue of the pitching distance change from 1892-93. The change signaled the end of many careers, but how many pitchers successfully bridged the gap?

Here is a list of the nine pitchers who won 60 games on each side of the divide:
   69. Philip Posted: February 06, 2004 at 05:31 PM (#521482)
My ratings are based primarily on WARP1 figures, Adjusted Win Shares, subjective arguments (where I feel they are necessary) and some positional adjustments to WARP. I look at peak, prime and career values. Pitchers get a little boost to compensate for shorter careers. And congrats to Monte Ward for making my personal HoM this year.

1. Bennett (4-2-4-1 last year) ? Being a regular catcher for 13 years is a bigger accomplishment than being a regular 1b/outfielder for 16 years. Therefore I give Bennett a little boost. Very good peak and prime numbers to go with good career. Made my personal HOM back in 1905.
   70. Brad G. Posted: February 06, 2004 at 06:06 PM (#521483)
1919 Ballot:

1. Willie Keeler (2)- Excellent career numbers in Win Shares (333 total) and WARP. 1377 Runs Created over his career. Lots of Ink as well; will go in eventually.
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: February 06, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#521484)
Brad, I've seen a fair number of voters who don't have Charlie Bennett on their ballots who still recognize him as the best catcher available. What numbers don't show Bennett as a better candidate than Chief Zimmer or Chief Meyers or Ray Schalk (he was great defensive catcher, but he has a career OPS+ of 83 . . . )?

On a related note, does anybody know what Meyers was doing before John McGraw found him in 1909 to replace Bresnahan? He was 28 then, and immediately became one of the top catchers in the majors. Pursuant to the discussion on the other thread of players whose minor league records ought to be taken into account, Meyers' profile in the majors suggests that he might well have been at least a major-league average player well before he got a chance in the majors. Anybody have any info about him?
   72. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 06, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#521485)
Chris Cobb,

No idea, but my guess would be it's related to his being born in CA. Harder for managers to go on scouting trips halfway across the nation then. I asked in the primer lounge - maybe someone there knows. Worth a shot I figured.
   73. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 06, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#521486)
Found one thing on Meyers. From this website by San Diego's SABR community, Meyers apparently played in town before going to the Giants. He's listed as one of four pre-PCL players nominated for selection as the most influential individuals in SD baseball history (others are Cravath, Walter Johnson, & Jack Hartley). All it says about him is:

Chief Meyers - a full-blooded Indian from the Mission tribe in the San Bernardino area, he played on the 1907 San Diego Pickwicks before launching his major league career as a catcher for several teams from 1909 to 1917.
   74. Brad G. Posted: February 06, 2004 at 08:25 PM (#521487)
>What numbers don't show Bennett as a better candidate than Chief Zimmer or Chief Meyers or Ray Schalk (he was great defensive catcher, but he has a career OPS+ of 83 . . . )?<

Good question, Chris Cobb. It's a good thing I didn't throw Schreckengost's name in there....

In truth, I must confess that I do believe Bennett is a more qualified candidate than either of the Chiefs (but Schalk is debatable, particularly in terms of Win Shares). My spouting was more in the spirit of "if Bennett's the number one eligible candidate overall, why aren't some of these other catchers showing up somewhere on the lists?"

Or, just another way of saying the best catchers of the era are not, in my estimation, as qualified for the Hall as the 10th best outfielder of that time.
   75. Brad G. Posted: February 06, 2004 at 08:29 PM (#521488)
By the way, what is the "catcher adjustment" on Win Shares?
   76. Chris Cobb Posted: February 06, 2004 at 08:57 PM (#521489)
Good question, Brad G.

I adjust catcher win shares in two ways.

First, in calculating "total peak", the number of win shares, season by season, that the player is above average, I set "average" for catchers at 70% of average for position players to reflect their reduced playing time within seasons. I set average at 23 adj. WS/year for position players pre-1900, since I adjust fielding WS upwards.

Second, for career win shares, I increase catchers' totals by about 30% to compensate for the playing time that they lose, seasonally, to the wear-and-tear of the position.

The career adjustment really is a bonus to catchers (if Bill James can give bonuses to catchers, so can I :-) but the peak adjustment seems to me to be appropriate to accurately assesing the real seasonal value of catchers.

Both adjustments actually vary on a seasonal basis as average playing time for first-string catchers changes, but from 1884 to 1907 they remain consistently close to 70% and 30%. They get rapidly smaller before 1884 and gradually smaller after 1907. I expect I will be using some degree of value adjustment for catchers through to the end of the project.

I would agree that Schalk could have an argument for being better than Bennett. I don't think he is, but Schalk's defensive value is so outstanding over many years that I might end up supporting his candidacy when he becomes eligible.
   77. Brad G. Posted: February 06, 2004 at 09:11 PM (#521490)
Great... Thanks, Chris! This will help as I re-evaluate my system (an annual event, it seems).

I'd be interested in knowing how others adjust catcher ratings as well... has this been covered already? Anyone know where?
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 06, 2004 at 09:24 PM (#521491)
I thought it would be more fun to hide the ball this once, but I certainly wasn't intending to invite the Admiral over into the Hall of Merit section. Those numbers are Pete Browning after I expanded to 162 games, applied league strength assessments, and did a few minor subjective tweaks.

Do your adjustments take into account the high attrition rate among players during the 1880s?
   79. MattB Posted: February 06, 2004 at 09:30 PM (#521492)
Chief Meyers was a full-blood Cahuilla Indian. He played amateur and semi-pro baseball after high school around Riverside, CA where he grew up, but it was never his intention to play professional baseball. Rather, he wanted to go to college, and eventually he earned a scholarship to Dartmouth University, which he began attending in 1905, only playing ball in the summer (as a former semi-pro player, he was ineligible to play college ball).

He was only there a year, however, when his mother got sick, and he had to drop out to care for her in California. His mother recovered, but by then he had lost his scholarship, so could not return to New Hampshire.

If his mother had not gotten sick, it is likely that Meyers would never have played pro baseball at all. As it was, unable to return to Dartmouth, he played in the minors in California for about a year before getting "discovered" and joining the Giants, where he was the best catcher of his era.

He managed in the minors for a few years after his playing career, got tired of baseball, and got a job with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
   80. Marc Posted: February 06, 2004 at 09:54 PM (#521494)
Two points re. catchers. 1) The WS differential between Bennett and Schalk is entirely a matter of season length. Of course Schalk amassed more WS in 150 games seasons than Bennett did in 90-110 game seasons. If you use raw WS *and* then timeline besides, well, a guy like Bennett has no chance and I don't mean frank.

2) I rated all members of Cooperstown on a variety of factors--everything from WS to WARP to HoF Monitor and Standards and ERA/OPS+, etc. etc.-- and it turned out that catchers across the board averaged about 15% lower in rating. ie. The very best catchers (Berra, Bench, et al) were 15% behind the best at other positions (even after deleting the really huge outliers like Ruth and Cobb) and the weaker (VC) choices like Bresnahan and Ferrell and Lombardi and 15% the (average of) the weaker HoFers at other positions (i.e. not the really horrible selections like McCarthy, Marquard and G. Kelly but those who are simply not in the first tier, more like Schoendienst and Evers and Lazzeri, guys like that).

So...the obvious outcome to that was a 15% boost for catchers. BTW, I did the same thing for relief pitchers and came up with a similar discrepancy/correction of 15% versus other pitchers, though that was not perhaps reflective of the new closer paradigm with vastly fewer innings and therefore fewer WS than guys like Wilhelm and Fingers used to get. Eck made my HoF even without the 15% bonus while Gossage and Sutter and Quis make it only with the bonus.

Also BTW, the 15% boost for catchers, just by happenstance, really doesn't make any difference for any particular individual catchers re. my HoF though it pushes a few guys (Munson, Simmons, Freehan) into the borderline. The great ones are in...the not so great don't quite make it even with the boost. But it makes a difference in MVP voting, e.g., where the very same procedure and reasoning applies.
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 06, 2004 at 10:07 PM (#521495)
I haven't given any sort of bump to 1880s OF's b/c/ I don't see any systemic reason for their attrition.

I was referring to players from all positions during the eighties, not just oufielders.

To the extent that it is not a coincidence, it is the effect of the game contracting at just about the time where they were starting to show the effects of aging and/or that the talent pool was expanding.

But this is an environmental issue that needs to be addressed. If contracted players from the nineties had been slowing down by 1901, there's a very good chance that they would have played many more seasons that they were denied ten years earlier. It might be just padding of their stats, but if later players had this opportunity, why not give them a little boost in the rankings.

BTW, one thing you left out concerning Browning's WS was his outstanding WS Rate per 162 Games (which I factor into my ranking system).
   82. jimd Posted: February 07, 2004 at 03:15 AM (#521497)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

1) C. Bennett -- Best catcher available; stands out from the other catchers far more than any of the other OF'ers do from their pack. He's in my personal HOM, instead of McVey. Click to see my previous arguments in favor of Bennett. I'm not excited about any of these guys on the ballot but I think the catcher has more merit than another 90's/00's outfielder or another 80's/00's pitcher.

Attempting to use WARP-1 to compare Bennett, White, Ewing, McVey on a rate basis: (I've attempted to convert BRAR (Batting Runs Above Replacement) to a similar Rate metric as the defense, a "Batting Runs Above Average per 100 games"; I trust I didn't mess it up.)

Off Def Tot Player
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2004 at 06:49 AM (#521498)
Yes I used WARP for my analysis. Why? Because I am a LMF (lazy mofo).

LOL
   84. Adam Schafer Posted: February 07, 2004 at 09:30 AM (#521499)
This years ballot is pretty much like last years ballot. There was no need to shuffle it around much as I'm finally feeling like I just might have it perfect.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) - Was far superior to anyone else at his position than anyone else on this ballot.

2. Mickey Welch (2) - So he pitched for great teams. So those great teams may have won the games for him. So he pitched in a lot of games each year and when you pitch that many games, you're bound to win as many games as he did. They are the same conditions that Keefe had. I'm not getting so crazy here that I'm saying Welch as great a player as Keefe. He wasn't, but if we penalized Keefe for all the same things that everyone is penalizing Welch for, then Keefe wouldn't be a HOMer. I just think that I have been following the crowd too much on Welch and have allowed myself to have double standards. Do I think he was better than Waddell, McGinnity, and Joss? Yes, I do. And if pitching was so easy back then, how come we don't have more 300 game winners?

3. Joe McGinnity (3) - Yes, 2 of my top 3 spots are pitchers, and it's not going to be a popular vote with everyone else I know, but at least read my explanations before you ridicule me. I've thought about Joe, I've dropped him off of my ballot, added him back to my ballot, had him near the top of my ballot, then back towards the bottom again. He led the league in wins 5 times, stands out more as a player than the OF glut does. I've stated several times before that I'm a big fan of catchers, but I never mentioned that pitchers are my 2nd favorite players to be voting for. I might find more worth in pitchers and catchers than anyone else voting, much like some people favor shortstops.

4. Willie Keeler (4) - Is Willie worthy of the HOM? Absolutely. Should he go in ahead of Bennett? Absolutely not.

5. Sam Thompson (5) - 10 great years. Excellant peak. I'm more of a career type of person than I am peak, but Sam has a great mix of both.

6. Jake Beckley (6) - Again, I'm a career lover

7. Jimmy Collins (7) - Greatest third baseman so far. Gets much of the same boost that Bennett does, Bennett was just better at his position.

8. Rube Waddell (9) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. 107 years after he pitched his first MLB game, he's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

9. Lip Pike (10) - Another strong burst onto my ballot. I have let my own ignorance of pre-1871 baseball keep him off of my ballot. I have read and re-read some of the previous threads and ballots, saved them to floppy and taken them to my 2nd job with me to read them, and I'm convinced now to an extent of his greatness. This goes to show that sometimes it does take awhile for votes to truly appreciate a player.

10. Hughie Jennings (11) - Nothing new to add to Jennings, except that he moves up above my OF glut

11. Joe Kelley (12) - The best of the remaining outfielders

12. George Van Haltren (13) - I've been a moderate supporter of Van Haltren, unfortunately he'll never make the HOM, but he's still the 13th best player eligible in my opinion. Good career, very modest peak.

13. Jimmy Ryan (14) - See Van Haltren

14. Clark Griffith (15) - He's hanging on to the bottom spots. I doubt he ever moves up to the middle spots

15. Bobby Carruthers (n/a) - Bobby has moved back onto the ballot. I'm sure he won't last long here, but in my opinion, he's the 15th most deserving player to choose from.

I couldn't justify putting Sheckard on my ballot. Sure he's new and is receiving some support b/c of that, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. We've had a glut of OF's for sometime now, all of which were better than him. He might rank somewhere from 25-30 for me on an extended ballot.
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: February 07, 2004 at 10:17 PM (#521502)
I entered this experiment thinking that I cared most about career value and little about defense.
   86. ronw Posted: February 08, 2004 at 12:53 AM (#521503)
Howie:

CHARLIE BENNETT - Where did he rate among catchers in all those latter years that look so awful?

Essentially, bottom 1/2 in 1878, top 1/2 of all C 1880-1888, 1890 (10 years), bottom 1/2 in 1889, 1891-1893.

Raw WS - Don't count UA in 1884, don't discount AA

Year___CB____Rank Among All Catchers
   87. KJOK Posted: February 08, 2004 at 02:13 AM (#521504)
Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers.

1. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. McGraw was to 3rd basemen what Ruth was to RF'ers in the 1920. He didn?t have a long career, but he?s being discounted for low playing time way too much as he provided more value in those few appearances than all of his contemporary 3rd baseman.

2. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. .745 OWP. 478 RCAP. 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball?s premier hitter in the 1880?s.

3. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890?s.

4. CHARLIE BENNETT, C . 568 OWP. 196 RCAP. 4,310 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. His offense wasn't really THAT much better than Jack Clements but Bennett does still outdistance all of his contemporaries on defense, however, which moves him up to here.

5. TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, and 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

6. RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, and 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

7. DENNY LYONS, 3B. .658 OWP. 326 RCAP. 5,021 PAs. Def: FAIR. Lyons really distances himself offensively from his 3B contemporaries (except McGraw, of course.) and really deserves a lot more support.

8. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. .720 OWP. 308 RCAP. 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was more important defensively.

9. CUPID CHILDS, 2B. .609 OWP. 354 RCAP. 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890?s.

10. JOE McGINNITY, P. 238 RSAA, 208 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

11. JOE KELLEY, LF. .665 OWP. 286 RCAP. 8,139 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Good both offensively and defensively for a long time

12. SAM THOMPSON, RF. .684 OWP. 387 RCAP. 6,510 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best of the outfield glut.

13. JIMMY COLLINS, 3B. .550 OWP. 148 RCAP. 7,460 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Being one of the greatest defensive 3B of all time puts him on the ballot, but his hitting was pretty good also.

14. CLARK GRIFFITH, P. 255 RSAA, 199 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

15. BOB CARUTHERS, P/RF. 179 RSAA. 177 Neut. Fibonacci Wins. .668 OWP. 243 RCAP. 2,906 PAs. Only shortness of career keeps Caruthers from being an ?inner circle? superstar.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:

WILLIE KEELER, RF. .633 OWP. 233 RCAP. 9,610 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Good hitter for a long time, but not in same class with Browning/Kelley/Thompson.

FRANK GRANT, 2B. There?s evidence he was a very good minor league player for a long time, but hard to put him in top 15 ahead of these guys based on that evidence.

LIP PIKE, CF. Perhaps best hitting CF of the 1870?s, but short career puts him off ballot.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. .620 OWP. 167 RCAP. 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. A notch below the elite OF?ers both offensively and defensively.

JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF. .609 OWP. 205 RCAP. 9,114 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not quite up to top OF hitters, and only average defense won?t move him up.

JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. .596 OWP. 245 RCAP. 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Another good for a long time player who is just below elite status.

DICKEY PEARCE, SS. Not sure how to tell if he was Cal Ripken or Ozzie Guillen. Not sure we?ll ever know.

HUGH DUFFY, CF/LF. .623 OWP. 154 RCAP. 7,838 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Just not in the elite OF class offensively.
   88. KJOK Posted: February 08, 2004 at 02:30 AM (#521505)
Probably should explain this guy on the "off the ballot list" also:

JIMMY SHECKARD, LF. .626 OWP. 135 RCAP. 9,117 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Another player who was good but not great offensively, played a long time, AND had great defense, although it was in LF. Similar to Hugh Duffy.
   89. EricC Posted: February 08, 2004 at 04:46 AM (#521506)
DENNY LYONS, 3B. .658 OWP

KJOK- By way of comparison, what was Bill Joyce's OWP?
   90. KJOK Posted: February 08, 2004 at 05:45 AM (#521507)
Oh, yes, Bill Joyce, who I advocated early on but who also like Denny Lyons never picked up much voter support:

OWP - .697
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: February 08, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#521509)
Thanks, Ron.

Do you have Bennett's NL ranks those years, and what conclusions do you draw from that?
   92. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 08, 2004 at 05:40 PM (#521510)
3. (3-4-3-2-2) Joe Mcginnity I?m pretty sure we?ll put everybody else who led the league in wins 5 times a lot faster

If that happens, it will probably be due to the fact that the pitcher in question had twice the career of the Iron Man.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: February 08, 2004 at 07:19 PM (#521511)
Congrats to Adam Schaefer for (unofficially) making Charlie Bennett the first 10,000 point-vote-getter in HOM history!

No comment whatsoever on whether Bennett is doing well or poorly this week, please, as we remain in active ballot session. Just figured I'd toss that note in for posterity's sake...
   94. Marc Posted: February 08, 2004 at 08:19 PM (#521512)
>Charlie Bennett I don?t think he caught enough games to make it solely as a catcher and he didn?t play another
   95. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: February 09, 2004 at 01:55 AM (#521514)
1919 Ballot (my first). This has the same population as my preliminary ballot, but the order?s a bit different below the top 4. Nobody moves up or down more than 3 spots, so everybody?s still in the same neighborhood. (This is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.)

1. Jimmy Collins: Great defense, solid offense at an important position. 9th among non-electees in career WS, 8th in Warp3. Easily the best 3B so far. 4-time STATS All-star. Considering the comments I?ve read on his defense, A+ might not be high enough.

2. Willie Keeler: Nothing wrong with being a singles hitter in that era. Nothing wrong with putting the ball in play 98+% of the time when fielders are making errors 5-6% of the time. Highest WS and Warp3 of any electable player.

3. Frank Grant: I?m persuaded by the FOFG, especially the case favre put forth elsewhere. It?s no stretch for me to see him as a great player. He may have been the ?black Dunlap?, but Frank played 18 years to Fred?s 12. If Frank=1.5* Fred, he?s pretty comparable to Hardy Richardson. This may be a bogus calculation, but I?m comfortable placing him this high.

4. Joe McGinnity: Short, wonderful career. 2CYA, 5 STATS AS, workhorse, led league in wins 5 times, innings 4 times.

5. Bob Caruthers: Short career, but this one?s too good to overlook. 2MVP, 2CYA, 5AS, best W% to date except for Spalding, and there?s the hitting. Led AA in OPS+ in 1886.

6. Pete Browning: Monster hitter. 8 STATS All-Star selections, 1 MVP. I think 8 years is a pretty good peak or prime.

7. Sam Thompson: Not quite a monster but very strong offense. MVP, 6AS.

8. Jake Beckley: Top 1B of his time. Long, consistent career with no ?peak? to speak of, but really no ?valleys?, either, and more career WS than any other player under consideration except Keeler, Van Haltren and the new guy, Sheckard.

9. Rube Waddell: MVP/CYA in 1905, good ERA & ERA+, lots of strikeouts, won a lot with poor run support.

10. Joe Kelley: Mostly a career placement for 305WS. OPS+ of 133 over a long career is impressive.

11. Hugh Duffy: Almost as many win shares as Kelley, higher per 162, better defense, played centerfield. Warp3 doesn?t like him as well. MVP but only 2 STATS AS (same as Sheckard & Kelley).

12. Charlie Bennett: The best catcher available. The best pure catcher so far, I am not sure that?s enough. Looks good compared to the other eligible catchers, not so good compared to White, McVey, Ewing.

13. Jimmy Sheckard: Win shares and Warp3 really like him. Placing him here for now. A few very strong seasons mixed with so-so ones. Could move up or down.

14. Clark Griffith: Career is sort of comparable to McGinnity?s, but spread out over more years. Not as dominant.

15. Mickey Welch: Those 300 wins put him on the list. Also not dominant, but pitched a lot, pitched well.
   96. Esteban Rivera Posted: February 09, 2004 at 02:00 AM (#521515)
The only movers on my list are Browning and Griffith. In Browning's case its due to finally being completely comfortable with the conclusion that a superstar cannot take full advantage of weak competition since there is a personal ceiling one can reach.

1. 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.

2. Jimmy Collins - The best thirdbaseman of his time. Great defense and hitting for the position. Edges out Williamson and Cross.

3. Sam Thompson - A heck of an offensive machine. Reputed to have the best arm of his time. Doesn't the 1890's Philadelphia outfield kind of resemble the mid 1990's Cleveland outfield?

4. Joe McGinnity - Compiled an awesome record in only a decade and began past the usual starting age for a ballplayer in the majors. The best pitcher or runner up for half his career

5. Rube Waddell - Was a special picher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was jettisoned because his managers did not know how to deal with his unique personality.

6. Willie Keeler - Fantastic career numbers but was not great in other offensive aspects besides batting average. However, he is definitely worthy.

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

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

9. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the player's league.

10. Joe Kelley - His career gives him a slight edge over Hugh Duffy. Don't see the impact that Thompson had.

11. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. However, I feel his peak gives him the slight edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

12. Frank Grant - Still believe he was great, it just gets a bit harder to justify placing him higher than the ones above.

13. Clark Griffith - The more that I look at him the more I realize I have been underestimating his accomplishments.

14. Jake Beckley - The counting stats career guy. Reached the point where the length of being above average works in his favor.

15. Jimmy Sheckard - Starts conservatively just behind Keeler, Kelley and Duffy. If he stays or goes depends on how much I end up trusting the defensive evaluations of him.

Also under consideration are Addie Joss, Vic Willis, Frank Chance, Mickey Welch, Ed Williamson, Sol White, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, Bob Caruthers, Lave Cross, Charley Jones, Jim McCormick, Cupid Childs, Mike Tiernan, Tony Mullane, and John McGraw.

The returnee I have to explain is Bob Caruthers. Not fully convinced about his worthiness just yet when you also had guys like Hecker, Foutz, and Whitney around. I am open to putting him on, just not yet.
   97. Jeff M Posted: February 09, 2004 at 03:00 AM (#521516)
I've now incorporated the new WARP1 numbers (adjusted for season length) for everyone but 1b and 2b. Previous ballots essentially ignored WARP altogether because I thought it had defensive problems, but now it is part of the mix.

1. Kelley, Joe -- A pure hitter that I show as about 55% better than the league from a RC/27 perspective. Excellent WS peak and good WS career total. WARP1 makes him look even better than WS. Would not have won MVP awards, but would have been in contention for a few. Was regularly an important player on championship teams.

2. Collins, Jimmy -- Jumps about five spots in my new system. Fantastic on defense at a key position. One of the best 3b in history (though I admittedly see 3b as a fairly weak position over the course of MLB history).

3. Keeler, Willie -- Leapfrogs Pete Browning with WARP1 factored in.

4. Browning, Pete -- I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. His suspect defense keeps him behind Kelley and Keeler. 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. McGinnity, Joe -- Stays where he was. Solid WS numbers. Fantastic winning percentage and excellent Wins Above Team. Has some nice counting stats and good grey ink scores. Would probably have won two Cy Young Awards. Suffers a bit in the WARP system...otherwise, he'd be higher.

6. Jones, Charley -- Jones won't go away. When I factored in WARP, he jumped five more spots. I give no additional credit for blacklisted seasons. He hit about as well as McVey, with power, but with a smaller WS peak and fewer WS per 162 games. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning. Even those who see his skills have put him to the side in favor of more glamorous players -- thus, he's not really a factor in the consensus voting. It may be a lost cause, but I believe he belongs here.

7. 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.

8. Caruthers, Bob -- I've been reviewing his case based on comments here. I've never been comfortable with where I've ranked him (bottom of the ballot) because I just couldn't get a handle on the dual role thing. WARP1 helped him leap higher on my ballot. Also, I stepped away from the numbers and looked at the big picture, and he was one hell of a baseball player.

9. Duffy, Hugh -- Like most of the glut outfielders, he's appeared just about everywhere on the ballot. He has some good counting stats, good grey ink and scores well on WS and WARP1 measures. In my system he bests Thompson based primarily on pennants added.

10. Griffith, Clark -- I believe he is the third 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.

11. Waddell, Rube -- Comparable to Griffith, but win totals are far less impressive. Can?t see putting him ahead of Griffith, unless you overvalue strikeouts.

12. 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. He slides a bit in my revamped system.

13. 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 and put him here. His ranking may change when I work WARP1 into my 2b ratings (based on comparables -- e.g., if Dunlap moves up in my system, Grant may too, or vice versa).

14. Sheckard, Jimmy -- Thought he might rank a little bit higher, but he doesn't have any particular category that he dominates. He was solid across the board, though, so he deserves a spot on the ballot, but not quite a HoMer.

15. Jennings, Hughie -- Jennings is probably the second most difficult candidate, behind Caruthers, to get a handle on because his career was shaped so strangely. He just barely nudges Herman Long off the ballot. When I work WARP into the 1b rankings, this spot could be threatened by Frank Chance or Jake Beckley, who are already lingering nearby.

Welch and Willis are casualties in the new system. Welch dropped far enough that I don't anticipate him cracking the Top 15 again. Willis may make an occasional appearance at the bottom of the ballot.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 09, 2004 at 05:38 AM (#521520)
<i>only Cy Young had twice the career of McGinnity 3441.3 innings pitched
   99. Ken Fischer Posted: February 09, 2004 at 06:20 AM (#521521)
1919 Ballot
   100. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: February 09, 2004 at 07:08 AM (#521524)
Not too much change this week. Jimmy Collins and Lip Pike make my HoM this week.*

1. Charlie Bennett (1) The idea of the Hall of Merit (or anything else like it) is to identify greatness, and by virtue of being much better than any other catcher under consideration, I think Bennett shows more greatness than anyone else on the ballot. Great fielder, very good hitter at his peak. Made my HoM in 1910.

2. Jimmy Collins (2) Not as dramatic a gap as Bennett, but still quite far ahead of any other 3B under consideration. Not quite as good as Bid McPhee, but a similar type of player.

3. Lip Pike (3) A dominant player in his era, I've gone back and forth on him, but ultimately think he deserves induction. We're not exactly overflowing in 1870's OF.

4. Dickey Pearce (6) The BEST player of his era, and there's no reason not to honor that - baseball wouldn't have become established without the players of the 1860's.

5. Joe Kelley (5) Has the widest range of talent among the OFs - hit, hit for power, fielded, had a good peak, had a good career.

6. Willie Keeler (7) Close to Kelley but not quite there. Singles hitters are useful, and even moreso in his era, but power hitters are still better.

7. Hughie Jennings (8) An incredible peak. Being the best player in baseball over a five-year span is quite an accomplishment.

8. Frank Grant (9) He was the best Negro Leaguer of the 19th Century, and I wouldn't be worried about honoring that.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (new) An odd career, a lot of his value in his defense - I think he's between the K's and better than the CFs, but that may change. 339 Win Shares ain't pocket change.

10. Bob Caruthers (10) Still won't put him any higher than this. I'm just not convinced he was a great player; he may just have been uniquely talented and in the right place at the right time.

11. Clark Griffith (13) Moves ahead of the other pitchers when I looked at how consistently good he was in the 1890's; never #1 in the league like McGinnity's, but very good-great for 8 straight years.

12. Jimmy Ryan (14) Not that far behind the other OFs. A solid player with a reasonably long career.

13. George Van Haltren (15) Joined at the hip to Ryan.

14. Jim McCormick (11) Okay, now I think a non-Caruthers pitcher was better than he was, but he was pretty consistent as well. Whatever numbers you look at, he doesn't come out behind the whole Griffith-McGinnity-Waddell group.

15. Joe McGinnity (12) A good peak, but not as dominant as Jennings, and his career numbers aren't any better than McCormick's.

Off ballot:
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