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

Monday, February 16, 2004

1920 Ballot

Only one gets in this year. Jimmy Collins, Charlie Bennett and Joe McGinnity are the top returning candidates, and they get a strong challenge from newcomers Bobby Wallace and Ed Walsh, as well as Negro Leaguer Bill Monroe.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 16, 2004 at 06:21 PM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Daryn Posted: February 16, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#521908)
I have 29 players under consideration: 20 hitters, 9 pitchers.

1. Joe Mcginnity ? led league in wins 5 times, averaged 25 wins a year, led league in IP 4 straight years. Joe beats Walsh in a coin toss, plus he?s been waiting longer.

2. Ed Walsh ? he may have the distinction of having the best peak only career for a pitcher in baseball history. Meets my wwjd-wpihrt test (what would Jeffries do with pedro if he retired today). I?d feel kind of silly if the pitcher with the best era of all time and a top 10 era+ of all time did not make the hom.

3. Jimmy Collins ? great defensive 3b, probably mvp in 1898, good win shares, good grey ink. Howie menckel says he may be the most dominant fielder of all time. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

4. Frank Grant ? no stats, gut pick based on descriptions of a great excluded player. I?m more sold on him than before based on the commentaries in the past few weeks.

5. Charlie Bennett ? catchers underrepresented, 8 straight solid to spectacular seasons. I think this guy has to go in. We are covering 45 years by now and we have only elected one guy who played more games at catcher than any other position. Even if you accept that they generally put fungible resources at catcher, one is not enough (either is 3 or 4 for that matter, if you also count one, some or all of White, McVey and Kelly). He may have to wait until 1926-1928.

6. Sam Thompson ? 8 dominating years, great ops+, lots of black ink in multiple categories. I have lowered him as it becomes apparent that others of his value are entering the ballot more frequently.

7. Mickey Welch ? 300 wins, lots of grey ink. This is the only pick I have that I would not be excited about defending. Could be as low as 14th.

8. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. My type of hall of meriter. The Beckley supporters have done some pretty good analysis of how strong his career was, even absent a real peak. Baseballreality.com has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time.

9. Bobby Wallace ? like Sheckard, too many Win Shares to ignore, but unless he was a great defender (and people seem to think he was, .34ws/1000 from an A) he doesn?t belong close to this high. Is he Ozzie or Tony Fernandez? I do compare ss?s as hitters to other hitters and as fielders to other ss?s. I don?t think this is wrong.

10. Bill Munroe ? I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I?ll take McGraw?s word for it. I have decided to pair him with Wallace, rather than Grant, based on Chris Cobb's analysis.

11. Jimmy Sheckard ? I can?t ignore 339 win shares and he did walk a lot ? throw in above average defense, a home run title and strong seasons 8 years apart and I guess I wouldn?t be embarrassed if he got in.
   2. MattB Posted: February 16, 2004 at 07:02 PM (#521909)
Congratulations to Jimmy Collins, my personal HoM inductee for 1920. Four new names make my ballot this year, but all in the bottom half. Sheckard and Waddell are pushed off for now, but still hovering in the periphery.

I now have 5 pitchers and 3 Negro Leaguers on my ballot (with no black pitchers). This struck me as disproportionate at first, since the HoM currently is fewer than 25% pitcher and fewer than 1% black, I guess it makes sense. It more likely than not that the HoM that?s out of whack, not my ballot. Put in my Top 4, who are already in my Personal HoM, and you?re down to 4 pitchers (actually 5, since Waddell would pop back on) and 1 Negro Leaguer on the ballot.

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 (5) ? Best of his era, and above average in everything. My Personal HoM inductee for 1920.

6. Joe McGinnity (6) -- 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 . Jake Beckley (8) ? The peak and then their "Peak". Beckley is chastised for not having a peak, but if you compare him to his peers at first base, he was the best or second best first baseman in his league for 7 or 8 years. That may not be "Peak," but it's much more impressive than a player with similar stats who was only 4th or 5th best. If Peak means "better than the others", then Beckley had peak. 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.

8. Bobby Wallace (n/e) -- The Jake Beckley of shortstops. Always among the best SS in his league, but never really an objective peak performer.

9. Ed Walsh (n/e) -- Great peak, short career. Essentially Bob Caruthers with al little more pitching skill in essentially the same number of innings, but without the offense.

10. Cupid Childs (n/e) -- The Ed Walsh of second base. I feel as though I?m morphing into more of a peak voter. Beckley and Wallace have great careers, but for anyone with a career that doesn?t measure up to theirs, I?m thinking that I?d rather have a few years of peak that a lot of filler.

11. Vic Willis ? (9) 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.

12. Sam Thompson (10) ? 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.

13. Clark Griffith (12) ? 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.

14. Lip Pike ? (14) 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. Bill Monroe (n/e) Circumstantial evidence so far. Ranking high in polls among peers and experts, but Holway doesn?t have him so high. Right now he?s ?On Ballot,? but barely. I?m going to do some more research and find some more meat to put on his bones.

The Two Top 10s I didn?t vote for were both on my ballot last year, and are now 16 and 17. They were fully considered, but 4 new names had to push two guys off. Not sure if I have to explain Hughie Jennings (12th overall, 10th returning), but since he was only was named on half of the ballots, I don?t think it was a glaring enough omission to require an explanation.

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

17. Jimmy Sheckard (13) ? Though he?d climb, but a strong Freshman class pushes him off for now. 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.

Also considered (18-32, alphabetically) ? Pete Browning, Frank Chance, Jack Clements, Hugh Duffy, Fred Dunlap, Hughie Jennings, Charley Jones, Fielder Jones, Jim McCormick, Dickey Pearce, George Van Haltren, Mickey Welch, Ed Williamson.

For non-top-20s (Sol White and Vic Willis) see the 1918 ballot.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: February 16, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#521910)
This year's newcomers could really seperate out the career-lovers from the peak-lovers, and all gradiants in between.

For the record, I am all about career.
   4. favre Posted: February 16, 2004 at 10:08 PM (#521912)
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
   5. karlmagnus Posted: February 16, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#521913)
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; now firmly convinced McGuire was the best of them and have accordingly moved him up.)

Walsh too short a career to rank high. Not impressed by short career pitchers in the Dead Ball Era, the easiest for pitchers, where Young and Matty seemed to have found it perfectly possible to have long careers. 195-126 is just not that impressive in Walsh's era, nor is Waddell's 193-143. Both players played on very decent teams, Chicago WS and Philadelphia As, that won at least one World Championship. For a season, win numbers may be distorted by random fluctuations, for a career very much less so. On the other hand, low ERA's (and hence high dead-ball ERA+s) are subject to wild random movement -- one bad day can wreck your season's stats.

Wallace gets a boost for era, another for position, and another for decent pitching, even though his rate stats are no better than Lave Cross's (though considerably better when adjusted for context). Monroe is somewhere below Jimmy Collins, apparently.

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1) Bob Caruthers - Still in first place. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Waddell (Caruthers won 25 more games than Waddell and lost 44 fewer; technically, I grant you, this is a shorter career.) 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. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2) Mickey Welch - 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the short career dead ball era pitcher glut. 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. Brown will come on the year after next between Welch and McGinnity.

3. (N/A-6-7-4-4-3-3) 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-9-9-10-7-7-5-5) Jake Beckley 2930 hits a lot closer to 3000 than Griffith or McGinnity to 300 wins, but TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut - but much 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. Played for un-famous teams. Don't see why we elected Keeler before him -- hope he makes a late run in the 20s, and think we'd be making a serious mistake not to elect him eventually.

5. (N/A-13-13-14-12-11-7-6-6-5-6-5-4-4-6-9-8-6-6) 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.

6. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7) 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.

7. (N/A) Bobby Wallace. Decent length career, TB+BB/PA .402, TB+BB/Outs .596, mostly in the deadball era, and he wasn't a bad pitcher for a year or two. Above Collins on career length considerations, and pitching moves him up an extra couple of spaces.

8. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8) 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-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9) 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-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10) 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-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11) 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-8-7-11-10-10-13-14-13-14-12-12) 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-15-14) 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, since 3B more valuable than OF, above Sheckard too.

14. (N/A-15) Jimmy Sheckard Only 2,084 hits, but a walk machine. TB+BB/PA .440, TB+BB/Outs .691, but that's in the low scoring 00s.

15. (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. Having sneaked a peak at Bresnahan, who is a smidgin less good than Bennett, IMHO, I am more impressed with McGuire than either.

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A) 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.) McGuire pushed ahead of him; back later in 20s, presumably.

17. (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

18. (N/A) Bill Monroe From what I read, Jimmy Collins is his upside; accordingly, a few places lower than Collins, in the next obvious "gap" would seem the appropriate place. On Negro League players I can be swayed by consensus, though.

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. Ed Walsh. Nice ERA+, mainly from one superb year, and one very unlucky one, but less than 200 wins and ERA+ presumably inflated by no decline phase. All time #2 in WHIP, but that's a function of era. Better W/L than Waddell, though.

21. (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.

22. 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.

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. Rube Waddell Short career but high peak, but under 200 wins so not HOM-worthy (Koufax will probably debut around this level on my ballot, too.) 193-143 not at all special compared to Griffith or McGinnity. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive -- I don't buy it.

28. 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.

29. (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.

30. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   6. OCF Posted: February 17, 2004 at 12:07 AM (#521914)
1920 Ballot

1. Ed Walsh (new) Before 1893, the standard for IP in a season was 600, but the 60'6" pitching distance changed that. In 1893-1896, there were 13 seasons of 400 IP or more, by Rusie, Young, Nichols, Breitenstein, Hawley, Killen, and Meekin, topped by Rusie's 482 in 1893. There were no more 400 IP seasons until 1902; then there were 7 more: Walsh, Walsh, McGinnity, McGinnity, Willis, and Chesbro. If you start over in 1893, the record for IP is Rusie at 482. Walsh is second at 464 in 1908. Since 1908, no pitcher has had 400 IP.

In that 1908 season, Walsh led the league in: IP by 139, G by 13, Starts by 12, CG by 12, W by 16 (40 to 24), Shutouts, Saves, W-L%, and SO. He was 3rd in Hits/IP, 3rd in BB/IP, 2nd in WHIP, and 3rd in ERA+. In ERA+, Joss had 205, Young 194, and Walsh 163. I prefer RA+: Joss 167, Young 166, Walsh 148. He's still 3rd but the margin is closer. (I suspect that most top ERA+ years have are a little less extreme when viewed through RA+. Example: Gibson 1968, ERA+ 258, RA+ 202.)

Of course, one season doesn't make a career, and Walsh's career was short. This is a weak year on the ballot; in a stronger year, he wouldn't rank first. But he's got the best RA+ this side of Grove and Johnson, with enough innings to make him worth it.

2. Charlie Bennett (4, 2, 6, 4, 3) The best catcher between Ewing and Bresnahan. Only really at the top of his game for about 4 years.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2004 at 12:17 AM (#521915)
Redid my balloting system yet again. A little more peak in the rankings and less outfielders.
   8. Jeff M Posted: February 17, 2004 at 12:37 AM (#521916)
This is obviously going to be a fragmented election, since some rank Walsh as low as 20th so far, and I'm going to rank him 1st.

1. Walsh, Ed -- His career WS place him as about a "C" among potential HoMers, but his three year, five year consecutive and seven year peaks are all "A"s. His WARP numbers are all "A"s among potential HoMers, except his career number, which is a "B". He has excellent Linear Weights numbers and even better when you take into account DERA. He's got 32 Wins Above Team, which is outstanding, and that's matched with a +.600 winning percentage. By the way, I see pitchers as "short career" pitchers when they have less than 8 full seasons. Position players I measure at 10 full seasons. Walsh had seven full seasons plus five years that would add up to about another 1.5 seasons, so I'm not troubled by his alleged "short career". If you judge by WS, he had five seasons of those seven that were worthy of MVP or Cy Young consideration. I see him as nearly as strong a candidate as Kid Nichols. In my system, there's a big gap between Walsh at #1 and Collins at #2. Walsh was THAT good.

2. Collins, Jimmy -- 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. Browning, Pete -- I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. His suspect defense kept him behind Kelley and Keeler, but now they're in. 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.

4. McGinnity, Joe -- 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.

5. Monroe, Bill -- For now, I'm relying on anecdotal evidence that he was comparable to Jimmy Collins, just as I relied on evidence that Frank Grant was comparable to Fred Dunlap. He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves a bit more credit. I think Home Run Johnson will be somewhere between Monroe and Grant.

6. Jones, Charley -- 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 -- He's not gaining any ground, but I wish he was. 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.

13. Grant, Frank -- 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. Some of this is based on comparisons to Dunlap, who I don't value as highly.

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.

Nobody fell off the ballot. Walsh and Monroe replace Kelley and Keeler. For the record, I have Wallace at about #20 and Danny Murphy isn't really in contention.
   9. Jim Sp Posted: February 17, 2004 at 02:49 AM (#521917)
I see Walsh as a truly great player with a short career. The other guys I go back and forth on, none of them are really compelling.

1) Walsh?Those are BIG seasons. A seven year peak by a pitcher is much more uncommon than a seven year peak for a hitter. No one has had 400 IP since he had 464 IP in 1908. Combine the innings with the dominant ERA+ numbers and he?s got enough to be #1 even with the short career.

2) Beckley?Keeler?s election convinced me to stop downgrading Beckley. Beckley is the better fielder, about the same as a hitter for his career, and at an underrepresented position that with more defensive value. Behind the big 3, much better than any other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900.

3) Waddell?Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, striking out people at rate that is extremely high for the era. Each year allowing at least 20% fewer runs than an average pitcher, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. 134 ERA+ in 3000 IP is worthy, his W/L record isn?t impressive because his run support wasn?t impressive.

4) Wallace?long career, good hitter, played shortstop well, and gets a boost for his pitching. A shortstop with a long career who can hit belongs in the HoM.

5) Collins?Win Shares best fielder in NL 1897, 1899, 1900, in the AL 1901 and 1903.

6) Bennett?Great fielding catcher, great hitter. Catchers in his era have to deal with a short pitching distance, with little protection, while the pitchers are throwing overhand, hard. On the other hand, he caught 954 games while Welch pitched 525 complete games?still Bennett is a unique talent during this period. I hope he gets in soon.

7) McGinnity?Win Shares NL best pitcher in 1900, 1903, and 1904. Terrible hitter.

8) Lave Cross?great fielder. Caught some too. Only hit well in weak leagues.

9) Joss?Comp is Koufax?a terrible hitter.

10) Griffith?Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.

11) Pearce?placement is quite subjective, putting him above Childs and McGraw feels right.

12) Childs?Discounting his domination of the 1890 AA. Great peak but not a long enough career.

13) Vic Willis?rules say I need a sentence here. He was very good.

14) McGraw?The OBP at 3B is a great combination, but too short a career to move higher. I see him as having a better career than Jennings, who didn?t hit as well and played a lot of 1B.

15) Bill Monroe?the Biographical Encylopedia makes him sound like a great player, but the other information I?ve seen this election hasn?t been so convincing. I have him ahead of Grant but I could be wrong?

Frank Grant?It?s pretty clear he would have been a good major league player. I still haven?t seen any evidence that he was better than Cupid Childs. As I understand the rules, that?s who we?ve got to compare him to on this ballot, and he doesn?t get pioneer credit although if anyone deserves it, it would probably be him. He?s close to my ballot but not there yet.
   10. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 17, 2004 at 02:56 AM (#521918)
Guys bouncing all over my ballot this week. Then again, that's part of the fun in this, right?

1. Ed Walsh (new). If only one player on this ballot could get elected to the HoM, who would you want it to be? Big Ed for me. Since pitcher's careers tended to be shorter in these years, I'm willing to rate peak higher. At his peak he dominated like no one else here. Highest ERA ever - that's a nice thing to have on one's resume. Sure the defense behind him was good, but no better than most ballot-worthy pitchers' defenses were. RSI 98.39 despite being a very good hitting pither.

2. Joe McGinnity(5,7,9,7,5). Only ten years, but he packed in a lot in those 10 years. His prime was an awesome combo of quality & quantity.

3. Jimmy Collins (7,6,6,4,6). By acclamation the best third baseman of the era. Nice career, nice prime. Nice defense, nice offense.

4. Frank Grant (6,5,7,5). Recently looked at the book "Cool Papas and Double Duties." That book has a survey of 25 negro league experts (20 members of SABR's negro leagues committee, 2 authors of books on the negro leauges, 1 filmmaker who's won an award from SABR for his work on the negro leagues, a historian on the Puerto Rican winter league, &, um, Bob Feller) who vote on the best negro leaguers not in the HoF. Frank Grant finished up as the BEST 2Bman not in the HoF. Especially impressive when you realize that there are NO Negro League 2Bers currently enshrined. Given the make-up of that committee, I put more weight on their picks than the SABR election that didn't put him in the Top 40. To be fair, I wonder if they voted him so high because they thought that highly of him or because he's the first big name. I have some suspicion it's the latter, but my sense is that the only thing Grant lacked in MLB was a chance.

5. Clark Griffith (11,11,11,9,7). My personal favorite of the remaining 19th century pitchers. Did very good for lousy teams in post-contraction baseball. Nice career. Nice prime.

6. Bobby Wallace (new). Shocker of the ballot. 8-10 ago he wasn't even an also-ran for me. Forced to look a lot closer at him due to the discussion thread & the more I see, the more I like him. Nice long career in which he was a very good player for an unusually large period of time. Defensively, he had a great peak & his career value was also fantastic. Offensively, no real peak, but great overall value. The things you learn in the HoM. . . .

7. Jake Beckley (3,3,5,3,3). I feel like I should apologize to Jake or something, for dumping him down just as he was about to take the top slot. . . . For me, enough years of very good play can turn into a great career. By OPS+, he was the best 1B in baseball in 1899, & 1900, & the best in the NL in 1901, even with his low peak. The only people that match his counting stats are already in the HoM or are locks to get in & I don't see anyone else even remotely on the horizon with similar career numbers who'll have too much trouble getting in. Why below Wallace? Well, offensively Beckley was to 1Bman what Wallace was to SSs, but Wallace trumps Beckley on defense. I'm hearing the argument that Beckley might move up due to the dearth of 1Bman coming up the pike. Part of me agrees, but most of me thinks: when all is said & done we'll have plenty of 1Bers in the HoM. If we're not putting many in from this era, that's probably a sign that the talent was a little weaker there those years.

8. Jimmy Sheckard (8). Don't know if this is where he'll end up, but for now it seems about right. To me, he's very similar to Ryan & Van Haltren, but I'd put him a little higher. I think of him & I think of that article from the BJHBA in which he says - as many games as that Cubs team won, there had to be more than just one great player (Brown) on it winning the games for them. That makes even more sense to me because I think Brown's overrated, but that's for another election. Nice strong career value.

9. Bill Monroe (new). Long comment time. For now, I'm following the voting in the "Cool Papas" book which clearly puts Monroe behind Grant. I'm doing this despite the fact that my natural inclination is that Monroe was a better player. Why go against my gut? First, I want to sit on my own personal guesstimate for a while & make sure it holds out. If, after a few years & the entry of Home Run Johnson, I'm still as strong on Monroe as I currently am, he'll shoot up my ballot. I don't want to fall into the trap where I always support the most recent shiny player more than the last one.

That being said, this was a 2Ber with a nice long career, who was a good defensiveman, & hit clean-up while in his mid-30s for Rube Foster's team. That's impressive. I like Chris Cobb's comment somewhere that it would be good to think of Foster's team like the Wright Bros initial teams - it attracted most/all of the best players to it. And like I said, this aging 2Ber was hitting clean up for them.

One final issue ruminating through my mind on Monroe & Grant: 2B was likely the worst position for the Negro Leagues, therefore if I highly support these two, then what about Bingo DeMoss or Sammy Hughes or George Scales or Newt Allen - & if I give big support to 5-6 guys at the weakest position - - you can see where this is going. But what I had to ask myself is: 2B's rep comes from (mainly) the negro players from 1920-45. Isn't it possible that the 2 best of 2 of the 3 best players at that position, just happened to break out really early? Taking initial looks at the other 2Bers, that may be the case. Scales is Hall of Very Good. DeMoss couldn't hit. Allen sounds like a Beckley type, & Hughes had a great prime, but a shorter career. . . . At any rate, for now he's here. He may shoot up soon.

10. Dickey Pearce (15,11). One of the best players of his day, was good enough to outlast almost all his contemporaries. I think the 1870s have enough representatives, but that the 1860s may be getting short shrifted.

11. Sam Thompson (8,9,14,10,8). Not the longest career but an immense amount of value per at bat. Falls a little due to comments on 1920 discussion thread.

12. George Van Haltren (?,x,x,14). Back on the ballot. Nice long career for a guy who did numerous things well.

13. Ed Williamson (new to me). Finally had a chance to take a good look at him & decided a second 3Bman had more value on my ballot than yet another OFer.

14. Charlie Bennett (15). I'm torn on this guy. OTOH, best offensive & defensive catcher of the 1880s, with tremendous replacement value. On the other hand, he's really short on games & part of me wonders if that replacement value of his is due to playing during a time of unusual weak competition at the catcher's spot.

15. Bob Caruthers (new to me). Have a lot of trouble getting a handle on these multithreat guys, but I'm getting more appreciation for his bat.

OFF:
   11. Marc Posted: February 17, 2004 at 04:02 AM (#521919)
Still a peak and prime voter. No timeline, value is value, a pennant is a pennant. Seasonal adjustments only to the tune of *2/3.

In My HoM (how's that compared to "no-brainer"?)

1. Dickey Pearce (1 LY-2-3-4-5). Second best player over a 15 year era, made my HoM in 1916.

2. Bob Caruthers (2-4-8-3-x). I've bounced around with Bob but the new WARP helped us to reconcile our differences. The #1 peak available. Made my HoM in 1905.

3. Ed Walsh (new). The #2 peak. Made my HoM in, ahhh, 1920.

4. Harry Wright (4-6-7-9-8). #3 player of his time which makes analogous to guys like Connor, Burkett and Crawford. Made my HoM last year.

5. Sam Thompson (5-1-2-1-4). No one below him on my ballot had both a longer prime and better averages (10 years at 27.9 adjWS and 10.5 adjWARP1). Made my HoM in 1905.

6. Charlie Bennett (3-5-6-2-3). Highest peak among position players. Made my HoM in 1914.

7. Charley Jones (6-7-9-8-10). Great peak and prime even w/o x-credit for blacklist years. Made my HoM last year.

Will Make My HoM Soon (but not"nb's")

8. Ed Williamson (8-10-14-13-14). Very comparable to Sam Thompson in all three dimensions--peak, prime, career. Could rank higher.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (15-new). Movin' up as promised. His prime is very competitive with the OF glut, and his prime much longer at 14 years and of good quality.

Could Make My HoM Someday

10. Cupid Childs (x-14-x-x-x). Continues to bubble under. Hard to rank the 2Bs. Very comparable to Fred Dunlap.

11. Hughie Jennings (7-8-12-10-11). High peak, what else is there to say.

Still Processing

12. Lip Pike (11-9-x-11-7). I've probably voted for the Lip more times than anybody, yet he'll probably never make my HoM. Even with a very high peak in the NA, you still have to infer greater achievements pre-NA than what seem to have been recorded in order to get him to HoM level. More uncertainty than with the few candidates who started out earlier than he did.

13. Frank Grant (13-x). Soon to be displaced by guys whose level is better documented. We'll never know how good he really was. Probably somewhere in the Childs-Dunlap-Wallace range.

14. Jimmy Collins (12-13-x-15-15). To those who say that Pearce and H. Wright and Pike represent votes made on some leap of faith...well, so is this. The numbers aren't there but his reputation preceeds him. Comparable to Williamson.

So many interesting candidates, so little room:

15 (TIE). Bobby Wallace (new). I had him about 7th on my prelim ballot despite his lack of a real peak. But his prime (Sheckard-like) and career (arguably #1 available) are real attention getters.

AND Bill Munroe (new). Ultimately I went with the voting reported by Chris J. from the Cool Papas book which had Grant 16, Munroe 6 and Sol White 1 for best Negro League 2B not in the HoF. Other than that one tidbit, frankly, I couldn't tell the three of them apart. Sorry, Sol.

Dropped Out--Childs bumped "the white Grant," Frank Dunlap, who still looks like a hell of a player. Another nickname might be "the 19th century Lu Whitaker."

Very Close--Along with Dunlap, S. White, Browning and McGinnity round out the top 20. I may very well be underrating some pitchers, but OTOH, I've got pitchers at #2 and 3. Big gap between the real hosses and the rest of 'em, and there will be no shortage of deadball pitchers elected in the end.

Also required to be mentioned (bashed as the case may be)--Waddell is to McGinnity as McGinnity is to Walsh. Brown, maybe Gettysburg Eddie and then the really, really obvious pitchers will fill out my ballot soon enough so I just can't get excited about the Rube.

The final five still under consideration are Van Haltren, Ryan, Duffy (in that order) and Waddell and finally Beckley, who is only here because he keeps threatening to sneak into the top 10 and I want to be sure to remember why he is 25th among 25.
   12. KJOK Posted: February 17, 2004 at 05:02 AM (#521920)
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. ED WALSH, P. 256 RSAA, 250 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

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

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

8. 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.

9. 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.

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

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

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. BOBBY WALLACE, SS. .522 OWP (.546 thru 1910). 195 RCAP (211 thru 1910). 9,612 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Hung around ala Pete Rose after 1910. Also outstanding defensive 3B in the 2 years he played there.

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

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:

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.

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.

BILL MONROE, 2B. Very similar to Grant in that the Negro Leagues were not yet established so we have very little to make comparisons with.

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.

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.
   13. Sean Gilman Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:36 AM (#521921)
1920

1. Lip Pike (2)--Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I?ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea.

2. Charlie Bennett (3)--Great defense and hitting (for a catcher) keeps him ahead of the gluts. Finally makes My Personal HOM this year.

3. Ed Walsh (-)--I just can?t ignore the peak. I think he?s clearly a step ahead of McGinnity, and that puts him here.

4. Jimmy Sheckard (5)--Looks pretty much identical to Keeler to me.

5. Hugh Duffy (6)--Peak and Career edge on Browning after the AA discount.

6. Bobby Wallace (-)--Lack of a peak keeps him from the top of the ballot, but I think he?s an eventual HOMer. Of course, I was a big fan of McPhee and Sutton too. Guess I like the defense.

7. Joe McGinnity (7)--A lot like Browning: big peak, not so much career value.

8. Pete Browning (8)--AA discount and short career keeps him in the middle of the ballot. I think he?s really underrated by the electorate at large.

9. Jimmy Collins (9)--Comparable Peak and Career values to the outfield glut. I don?t want to have positional quotas, but the fact that he?s the best at his position of his time (clearly) has to make him stand out from the identical outfielders.

10. Dickey Pearce (10)--The best shortstop of his time. I really doubt Harry Wright will ever make it on my ballot though. . .I think I?m gonna pair him with Collins the way I?ve paired Grant with Childs, seems like a good comp to me. . .

11. Bob Caruthers (11)--His WARP1 and 3 Pennants Added are essentially
   14. Al Peterson Posted: February 17, 2004 at 04:14 PM (#521923)
1920 official ballot. Some revisions from the prelim; the discussion thread made me think and relook at some of the players. I try to explain all the people I leave off but I might miss someone. If so my previous ballots usually mention my reason for omission.

1. Charlie Bennett (1). Didn't play everyday but the position at the time didn't allow it. Fine hitter, excellent receiver, positional adjustment = HOM member.

2. Ed Walsh (-). Peak-heavy pitcher who outdid the other short timers like Waddell and Joss. His workloads were impressive, impacted pennant races in the 1900s, whats not to like. Pitching careers need not be as long as position players for me to place highly.

3. Jimmy Collins (4). Jimmy Collins was named on too many All-time All-Star teams from the 1st half of the 20th century to not be an extraordinary player. A+ Defensive Win Shares Grade from Bill James.

4. Rube Waddell (5). Yes, I like pitchers. His strikeout numbers were well ahead of his time.

5. Sam Thompson (6). Slugging RF got off to a late career start. Ended early also due to injuries but while performing had few who could top him.

6. Jimmy Sheckard (7). Some of his accumulated stats are hard to ignore. Looks to be a well rounded player.

7. Bobby Wallace (-). Part of my analysis on him says put him in quickly, then I look at other SS we have in the HOM and I wish to hold back. Not a super peak but did play many years. Didn't do too well on the managing side of things.

8. Joe McGinnity (8). Start, relieve, whatever to help the team. Sidearming wonder who had (non-ML) longevity.

9. Frank Grant (9). Sticking with Frank as the man to bear the early Negro League torch.

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. And saying Cupid couldn't field is a disservice.

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

12. Clark Griffith (11). The many pitching metrics presented show he's in the mix as HOM worthy. Most people voting are saying the same thing: Nice career, here's a low ballot spot, thanks for playing.

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

14. Fielder Jones (14). Very steady production for 13 years for this centerfielder. Outstanding with glove, a leader of overachieving teams in Chicago.

15. Hughie Jennings (-). Return of the peak monster. Hard to argue his value over a five-year span, hard to ignore his other years. Another Bill James A+ fielder.

Who is below that you ask?

16. Bob Caruthers. Another peak guy, this time doing it pitching and hitting. Hurt (slightly) by doing work in AA and by my cap on value added per season. IOW one player can only make so much difference - you still need 9 to play the game. There is also the uniqueness issue about Caruthers - he wasn't the only one doing the hitting/pitching thing ON HIS OWN TEAM. Dave Foutz was no slouch, at least peak value wise. Charlie Ferguson, Guy Hecker, Jack Stivetts, Adonis Terry, Tony Mullane(see below), all similar skill set. Next ballot discussion I might have time for a Caruthers comment beyond this.

17. Bill Monroe (new guy). Grant has the edge in my mind. Don't hold me to it too strongly.

18. Tony Mullane. Helped most by my reexamination of Caruthers. Another pitcher who was good with the stick. Pitched many innings with good rate stats. He won 284 games playing with some teams that weren't nearly the strength of Freedom Bob. Remember he's missing a year (1885) when in a contract dispute or his numbers would have been better. If people have Caruthers high on their ballot I'd expect seeing Mullane - lower but in close proximity.

19. Hugh Duffy. Couple of great spikes to go with other uneven performances.

20. Jake Beckley. Not much of a career guy when it comes to ranking players. Still, 1B are not plentiful on the ballot.

21. Pete Browning. If you're not one to be concerned about OF defense then it is hard to discount what the Louisville Slugger did.

22. Mickey Welch. Just win baby...

23. Sol White. Probably bought into the White hype a little too much on the playing ability side. Overall a great contributor to the game of baseball.

24. Charley Jones. A lot like Browning to the extent he could hit the crap out of the ball.

25. Vic Willis. I have a feeling he wasn't as good as the win totals show. Just a feeling I guess.

26. Ned Williamson. Numbers are impressive but I'm still not much for a guy who played three years in parks that are in the top 15 all-time in terms of home run index. That was (N)ed in the mid 1880s. Yes, numbers are park adjusted but its shaky ground to count on proper adjustments when supporting players over 100 years after the home park no longer exists.

27. Dickey Pearce. Leaning toward a place on my cricket/baseball hybrid HOM.

28. Lave Cross. Have glove will travel.

29. Lip Pike. Was an excellent player but feel that with our other electees from this time period we are in good shape for representing the best of the 1870s.

30. Addie Joss. Short but sweet.

31. Mike Griffin. CF with shortish career but was productive all the time.

32. Fred Dunlap. Throwing another name out there.
   15. karlmagnus Posted: February 17, 2004 at 04:46 PM (#521924)
As a Red Sox supporter who suffered through last year's ALCS Games 3 and 7 let me make it clear that I would NOT put Pedro in the HOM if he retired tomorrow. Nor Koufax. Nor Walsh nd Waddell. To pitch in the easiest era of all time for pitchers, when spitting on the ball and rolling it towards the batter resulted in an easy out to the shortstop (unless Hal Chase had paid him off) and STILL not make 200 wins is a sign of utter ineptitude. Caruthers' "Fibonnaci wins" may total only 177, but unlike Walsh and Waddell his ACTUAL wns totaled over 200, and he was an A1 hitter too.
   16. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 17, 2004 at 06:03 PM (#521925)
To pitch in the easiest era of all time for pitchers, when spitting on the ball and rolling it towards the batter resulted in an easy out to the shortstop (unless Hal Chase had paid him off) and STILL not make 200 wins is a sign of utter ineptitude.
   17. Jeff M Posted: February 17, 2004 at 06:45 PM (#521926)
To pitch in the easiest era of all time for pitchers, when spitting on the ball and rolling it towards the batter resulted in an easy out to the shortstop (unless Hal Chase had paid him off) and STILL not make 200 wins is a sign of utter ineptitude.

This is one of the strangest statements I've ever seen in the HoM process.

First, wins is hardly the end-all-be-all, particularly when Walsh's win percentage is north of .600.

Second, have you noticed how much better Walsh is than everybody else during the years he played? Check out those ERA+ stats.

Third, if Walsh is "inept" how is it that he amassed 32 Wins Above Team, which is a very high number?

Fourth, have you noticed that he has five seasons of 12 in WARP3 (okay, one is an 11.9)? Your #2, Welch, does not have a single season over 10 and only has one over 8! You could give 50% bonuses to Welch and he still wouldn't match Walsh. Christy Mathewson has three seasons of 12 (including an 11.9) and only one more 10+ season than Walsh.

I'm having a hard enough time understanding how Walsh is left off of ballots (or even in the bottom half), much less understanding how he could be considered inept.

I'm going to assume you were kidding. :)
   18. karlmagnus Posted: February 17, 2004 at 07:32 PM (#521927)
No, I have the deepest suspicion of artificial sabermetrically-created stats invented 100 years after the event. Lots of good players have had their careers foreshortened by injury; it's very sad but it doesn't make them HOMers. If Young can get 500 wins and Matty 363 then a HOMer sould be able to get to 250 or so, in an era when you didn't have to bear down all the time, because home runs weren't a threat, and when scoring was at record lows. In a single season, wins have a large random element; over a career, if a player pitches for a decent team (in an era without much relief pitching), they aren't just a good indicator of a pitcher's Merit, they ARE his Merit.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2004 at 07:35 PM (#521929)
I'm having a hard enough time understanding how Walsh is left off of ballots (or even in the bottom half), much less understanding how he could be considered inept.

Because the top guys of the Deadball Era were Mathewson, Johnson and Alexander. Throw in the second half of Cy Young's career (which is still better than almost of the other candidates) and Plank.

I know some will say that Big Six, Barney and Cy were anomalies. Well, I don't think any of them would look any different compared to Clemens or Maddux in our time. They weren't Gods from up high.

If you are using an extreme peak curb, then I definitely see Walsh or whoever else at the top. But their lack of durability relative to their time was not outstanding. Frankly, I don't understand Walsh as high as he is on some of the ballots by voters who usually value career over peak. Walsh's peak, relative to his time, was not that outstanding.

But if he goes in, fine with me. He had a commendable peak and won't stink up the joint. Four pitchers (roughly) from the first decade of the 20th century sounds reasonable to me. I wouldn't see his election (or McGinnity, Waddell or Willis) as an embarrassment.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: February 17, 2004 at 07:59 PM (#521930)
Ed (21) -- nice point, but it's my view that doing things FIRST is more difficult than doing them when the game's settled down for 30 years into established leagues. Wright was the pioneer of pioneers, arguably the best player of the 1860s while JoeDimino, our Leader, anointed Meyerle the offensive force of 1871. I think the very early years of the game are still under-represented, which is why they're still on my ballot, whereas Dead Ball era pitchers are clearly going to be toasting each other and singing rugby songs in the HOM bar till kingdom come.
   21. Marc Posted: February 17, 2004 at 08:28 PM (#521931)
>I'm still not much for a guy who played three years in
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: February 17, 2004 at 08:53 PM (#521932)
John Murphy speaks my mind. Walsh's peak is not so high relative to his time, nor his durability so low, relative to his time, that he appears to me either a top candidate or a scrub.
   23. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:03 PM (#521933)
Four pitchers (roughly) from the first decade of the 20th century sounds reasonable to me. I wouldn't see his election (or McGinnity, Waddell or Willis) as an embarrassment.

Fair enough John. Outta curiousiy, who would be your four then? The reason I ask is that in your post, when you name the top-tier pitchers of this era, most of them really weren't pitchers of the 1910s. Alexander didn't debut until what - 1910? Johnson was also more a teens pitcher.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:21 PM (#521934)
What's wrong with Matty, Plank, Brown and McGinnity? Add the second half of Cy and a bit of Johnson and that's more than enough, in my view.
   25. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#521935)
karlmagnus - Nothing's wrong with those guys. But, since Murphy's currently got McGinnity very low on his ballot (& his comments in post #22 made it sound like McGinnity was someone he could live with being put in the HoM rather than someone he's supporting).
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:34 PM (#521936)
Chris J.:

For the Deadball Era (I'll leave Young out of this discussion for now) who I think are ballot worthy, Mathewson is an absolute #1 in my book. Long career and a high peak makes him an easy choice for me.

Plank belongs due to career and a steady (but not really great) peak. Brown, McGinnity, Walsh, Waddell and Willis would be the rest. No remarkable career lengths there, but enough peak there for me that they belong in the discussion.

That makes seven for a ten year period. If five of them go, I'll be fine with that. I'd probably leave off Waddell and Willis, but most of that group are too close to call for me to be definitive about anyone's removal at this time.

Leever, Phillipe, Joss, etc., IMO, just don't do it for me.

While I have been increasing the number of pitchers on my ballots throughout this project, I'm still not confident that I have the number right, so I'll go along with our group's wishes (and not reluctantly).
   27. Al Peterson Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:35 PM (#521937)
You didn't like King Kelly or George Gore or Cap Anson? Or, maybe what you mean is the guys who couldn't even hit home runs in high index parks are obviously much better players.

I can see it now: Roger Maris. I'm not much for guys who hit HR into that short porch. I much prefer Norm Siebern and his fly ball outs into LF. Surely they were more valuable, or at least more manly.


My goodness, I didn't mean to spit on Old Ed's grave. Just interesting to note how Williamson got to spend a career in a nice hitting environment. The other guys showed some hitting prowess elsewhere, that's all.

My apologies to the Williamson family. Ned was a good one, just not a HOMer in my book.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:38 PM (#521938)
Just so everybody is clear about post #29, I was only discussing pitchers who were prominent during the first decade of the last century.
   29. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:51 PM (#521940)
Plank belongs due to career and a steady (but not really great) peak. Brown, McGinnity, Walsh, Waddell and Willis would be the rest. No remarkable career lengths there, but enough peak there for me that they belong in the discussion.

In that case we're pretty much in agreement, except that I'd probably order 3-F, McG, & Walsh differently, but that's the way I'd work it too.
   30. DanG Posted: February 17, 2004 at 09:58 PM (#521941)
One new exhibit added, Walsh. McGinnity makes a move up over the OF glut. Pike and Pearce flip and move to ?Clearly deserving? status. Bobby Wallace takes Kelley?s #2 spot and Ed Walsh moves into Keeler?s #5 place. In 1921 Bresnahan, Leach and Tinker represent the three great NL teams of the era 1903-13 and ?Home Run? Johnson has been grant-ed eligibility. In 1922 we?ll coronate Mathewson and Lajoie, while ?Three Finger? also debuts.

1) Bennett (1,1,3)? Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1921 (3500+ PA):
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#521942)
In that case we're pretty much in agreement, except that I'd probably order 3-F, McG, & Walsh differently, but that's the way I'd work it too.

I think they're close enough that your order (whatever that may be) is certainly reasonable.
   32. OCF Posted: February 17, 2004 at 11:28 PM (#521943)
except that I'd probably order 3-F, McG, & Walsh differently

I'm looking forward to Chris's promised "too long" post on the Cubs. Do we get that when Tinker hits the ballot? Whatever is said there will have some bearing on Brown.
   33. Jeff M Posted: February 17, 2004 at 11:39 PM (#521944)
If you are using an extreme peak curb, then I definitely see Walsh or whoever else at the top. But their lack of durability relative to their time was not outstanding. Frankly, I don't understand Walsh as high as he is on some of the ballots by voters who usually value career over peak. Walsh's peak, relative to his time, was not that outstanding.

I'm not using a peak curve at all. I look at balance. And correct me if I'm wrong, but Young is in and Mathewson and Plank aren't eligible this year.

For all the bluster about Matty, he had 8 years of an ERA+ above 140. Walsh had 7. Plank had 3. Matty had 3 seasons of WARP3 of approximately 12 or better. Walsh had 5. Plank had 0.

Believe me, I would rank Matty higher than Walsh (I'm not crazy), but I don't see how one person's talent dilutes the talent of another player, especially when the first person isn't even eligible during said year. The argument seems to be "I'll vote for about 10 other guys for the HoM ahead of Walsh because in a couple of years, there will be another pitcher I will rank #1." That just doesn't make any sense, IMO.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 12:10 AM (#521945)
The argument seems to be "I'll vote for about 10 other guys for the HoM ahead of Walsh because in a couple of years, there will be another pitcher I will rank #1." That just doesn't make any sense, IMO.

It doesn't make sense because that's not my argument at all. What I'm trying to point out is, peak X career, Walsh, McGinnity, etc. do not stand out significantly for their era. It's not as it wasn't possible to have a long career during that time, yet only a handful were able to achieve long careers. Again, Young, Mathewson, Johnson and Alexander didn't come off Mt. Olympus.

If pitchers were now allowed to have bionic arms so that they were able to pitch every inning of every game for a 100 years, wouldn't you put the pitchers of that era in context (or would you ignore context because it shouldn't be a case of "one person's talent diluting the talent of another player")? That's what I'm trying to do with the Deadball guys. That's all.

Believe me, I would rank Matty higher than Walsh (I'm not crazy),

That's good, since Matty has almost 2,000 more innings than Walsh. :-)
   35. ronw Posted: February 18, 2004 at 01:59 AM (#521946)
1920 BALLOT

Well, the Reds got lucky in the Series. I'm sure the White Sox will be back this year.

1. Charlie Bennett He is nearly 1.5 times as valuable (per adjWS, WARP) as the Kling, McGuire, Farrell, Clements, Zimmer, Clapp next tier of catchers. As a pure catcher, he is probably 1.5 times as valuable as Bresnahan.

2. Jimmy Collins Not as position-dominant as Bennett, but I believe that he is clearly ahead of Williamson, Nash, McGraw, Lyons and Joyce, and is probably ahead of Sutton on the all-time list at this point (unless you count that Baker guy, who might take another year off.)

3. Frank Grant Fourth year in a row with these top three. I don't have much more to say about Grant, other than the oft-repeated argument that we should elect the best African-American player of the 19th century.

4. Ed Walsh I just can't ignore that excellent extended peak, despite the mushy ball.

5. Joe McGinnity Makes a dramatic rise up my ballot when his peak is compared to that of Walsh. Just slightly below Big Ed in terms of value, at about the same career length.

6. George Van Haltren Yes, no peak to speak of, but in reviewing his career I found 13 consecutive years of significantly above-average performance. From 1889-1901 with a couple of exceptions, he was within 70% of the league leaders in raw WS. Even during those exception years, he was within 50% of the league leaders in raw WS. One caveat, WS may overrate centerfielders (or WARP may underrate them).

7. Jimmy Sheckard Better peak than Van Haltren, and just as good a career, but at a slightly less demanding position.

8. Hugh Duffy I know we have elected a lot of outfielders, but are we somehow overlooking the CF? We've only elected Paul Hines, George Gore and Billy Hamilton. Compare this to 1890's-1900's LF Delahanty, Burkett, Clarke and Kelley, or RF Keeler and Flick. His 11 year prime from 1889-1899 was generally within 75% of the league leaders in raw WS.

9. Fielder Jones Keeping with the CF theme, this guy had some outstanding raw WS totals. In fact, he was over 20 raw WS every year from 1900-1908 and just missed with 19 WS in 1899 and 18 WS in 1898. Again, WS may overrate CF from this period. In my new system, his totals actually put him ahead of every other available OF. However, I obviously don't follow that system slavishly.

10. Mike Griffin Another overlooked CF. Only 1895 was truly outstanding, but the rest of his career was generally within 65% of the league leaders in raw WS. He also never had a bad year, and had a 12 year career.

11. Bobby Wallace I admit that I haven't finished looking at deadball shortstops. I'm afraid to see just how much Wagner dominates his peers at every position. Wallace may pop up ahead of the OF glut, but hopefully I can compare him to Tinker next year.

12. Vic Willis Solid peak at the beginning of his career 1898-1902. Took 1900 off, and had a good remaining career. I have revised my opinion of Griffith, and now think that Walsh, McGinnity, Willis, Waddell, and even Welch and Mullane deserve to rate ahead of the Old Fox.

13. Tony Mullane Accomplished a great deal, always among the league leaders in raw WS. Also held out the 1885 season. If you gave credit for Rusie's holdout year you should probably give an extra nod to Mr. Ambidextrous.

14. Bill Monroe I didn't read enough this week on Monroe, and I'm waiting for Grant Johnson comparisons before moving him up. I'm leaning toward ranking Johnson and Grant ahead of Monroe, although I do like all the presidential surnames being thrown about. (For president's day, also props to Claudell Washington, Babe Adams, Reggie Jefferson, Art Madison, Craig Monroe, Ace Adams, Reggie Jackson, Deacon Van Buren, Chuck Harrison, Lefty Tyler, Tony Taylor, Billy Pierce, Brian Buchanan, Mike Lincoln, Alex Johnson, Mudcat Grant, Von Hayes, Bill Garfield, Reggie Cleveland, Roric Harrison, Chief Wilson, Charlie Harding, Buster Hoover, Vern Kennedy, Bob Johnson, Otis Nixon, Whitey Ford, Joe Carter, Rip Reagan, Guy Bush, Jim Clinton, and Donie Bush. Apologies to Prez's Polk, Fillmore, Arthur, McKinley, both Roosevelts, Taft, Coolidge, Truman and Eisenhower, who have no MLB players sharing a surname.)

15. Jake Beckley Enough seasons at or near 50% of the league leaders in raw WS to sneak back onto my ballot. Very similar to . . .

The rest

16. Lave Cross I was shocked to see them so close. They only get this way if you give extra credit to some of Cross' decent catching years, however.
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: February 18, 2004 at 03:20 AM (#521947)
1920 Preliminary Ballot

While rumors circulate about the integrity of the 1919 World Series, Rube Foster has been writing a series of columns in the Chicago _Defender_ urging the formation of an organized league for black baseball. If Mr. Foster is willing to take a leading role, we might see a great change in the baseball landscape this year! If the league can thrive, it will be harder for the segregationists setting the policy of white baseball to avoid facing off against the best black teams in a championship setting.

Three of this year's newly eligible players -- Bill Monroe, Bobby Wallace, and Ed Walsh -- find ballot spots. They are the vanguard for very strong group of candidates who'll be moving onto the ballot over a four-year period. This year and next year are the weakest ballots we'll see until the late 1920s, and every one of the top nine players on my ballot has a good argument for being the best eligible player. In placing them, I've given priority to players at underrepresented positions. Giving priority to players from underrepresented periods would also be justifiable.

Ought to be elected

1. Charlie Bennett (4) jimd's work on him last week convinces me to move him past Collins into the top spot. Best hitter, best fielder, best peak, best career among eligible catchers. Bresnahan will be close in value when he becomes eligible. Bennett's best seasons measure up quite favorably against the best seasons of non-catchers. 327 CWS (catcher-adjusted). Total peak 64 (catch-adj.). Peak rate 81-86 = 31.76.
   37. RobC Posted: February 18, 2004 at 05:33 PM (#521948)
1. Ed Walsh - Im much more of a career voter, but those who say he doesnt have an impressive peak are looking at someone different than I am. His peak, by my measures, is about 50% better than everybody but Jennings. His peak is a good 10% above Hughie.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 06:44 PM (#521949)
1. Ed Walsh - Im much more of a career voter, but those who say he doesnt have an impressive peak are looking at someone different than I am.

I don't think anyone here feels that Walsh didn't have an impressive peak. He wouldn't be on my ballot if he hadn't, because his career numbers are not outstanding. Some of us just feel that his peak wasn't phenomenal, historically speaking.

If he had been the best pitcher in baseball more than once, then I would have a different opinion of him.
   39. Marc Posted: February 18, 2004 at 07:52 PM (#521950)
>His peak, by my measures, is about 50% better than everybody but
   40. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 18, 2004 at 08:36 PM (#521951)
But in any event, 1920 will be another great year for the Irish.

Actually, they're kinda stuck in a war against England right now but, once England gets sick of it, Black & Tans are sent back, & internal fights between hardliner & moderate rebels are quelled, things might be nice for 'em. But that's still down the road.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#521953)
On one side you write that "the Peerless Leader shouldn't be compared with the ABC boys or the post-1920 crop of first baseman", then you go and compare Walsh and McGinnity to the best pitchers of all time.

Ed, it's not the same argument that you're describing. I'm saying Chance (or McGinnity) should be compared to their era because a position's responsibilities or difficulty fluctuates throughout the years. I'm totally consistent with both players.

But John they did. It has beem 80+ years since they have left the game and many people still have them in the top 10 all time list of the best pitchers.

How many wins, all things equal, do you think Young, Mathewson, Johnson or Alexander would have in today's game? If you think they would be way above Clemens or Maddux, I'm not with you. If you think they wouldn't look out of place in our era, then I'm with you.

I'm not saying those four wouldn't make the top 25 (though I feel some analysts go a little overboard with that era's heroics). Sometimes an era has a great many players at one position. Anson, Brouthers and Connors were high on my ballot.

BTW, I have never understood why Frank Chance is ranked so high on your ballot. He might be the best 1B for a couple of years in the 1900's, but by the same token Beckley was the best 1B for a couple of years in the 1890's and Roy Thomas was the best CF in the 1900's, so where is the love for them?

I had both of the latter on my ballot for a while; Chance blows away Beckley peak wise, while I think first base was a little tougher on the body than centerfield was at the time. The latter view is flexible and may be subject to change with more analysis. Chance also gets a little boost because of his catching years.

BTW, I'm not knocking anybody's selections here; I'm just defending my selections because of a few posts here.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 09:40 PM (#521954)
Re: Chance/Thomas

In my previous ballots, I also felt I was including too many oufielders, which was my primary reason (which I forgot to add on my last post) why Chance is now there, but not Thomas.
   43. Rick A. Posted: February 18, 2004 at 10:03 PM (#521955)
1920 Ballot

1. Charlie Bennett (1) ? 60% of value is above average. Value over other catcher of his time moves him up some.
   44. Jim Sp Posted: February 18, 2004 at 10:17 PM (#521956)
Looking at the pitchers born 1871-1891, inclusive, to get a control group for Walsh (born 1881).

Johnson, Alexander, and Mathewson are clearly better.

I'd say Brown and Rusie are comparable but a little more qualified for the HoM.

Plank is much less dominant but a much longer career, I'd take Walsh first but others would take Plank.

I guess a few career voters would take Rixey over Walsh but not many.

Waddell, Vance, and Joss are peak picks, and lose out to Walsh.

I doubt too many people would pick Faber, Coveleski, or Cicotte over Walsh.

McGinnity only has 500 IP more than Walsh, so it's hard to see him as a career pick. A few prefer him but it's a minority.

So, lets say that Walsh is the #6 or #7 pitcher in a 21 year period.

Now, of course some will feel that Walsh isn't really the #6 or #7 pitcher in the period and propose their own candidate for that spot. But if your standard is that only 3 pitchers get for this 21 year period, that seems pretty tough on the pitchers to me.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 10:40 PM (#521957)
I doubt too many people would pick Faber, Coveleski, or Cicotte

I haven't done a final analysis of those three (plus Rixey), but I like them a little (just a little! :-) more than Walsh as of right now (peak times career). Pitchers were handling less innings (but more work per inning) during the later decades, so it's not easy comparing a 1900-1910 pitcher with a teen or twenties pitcher. Walsh's workload would not have been the same if he had started his career a decade later.

I might change my mind in the future, so don't start beating me up yet. :-)
   46. Marc Posted: February 18, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#521958)
Re. "reverse timeline." I was struck by ed's comment:

>So following the logic, people who does things FIRST is better than people who does them later, there is no way that Tupac Shukar or Biggie Smalls could be better than somebody like Easy E or Doug E Fresh, regardless of their skills.

Now, I'm not here to clarify what karl meant. But I would say (for myself), yes, "regardless of skills." This whole exercise (HoM) is not about skills. If it were, we should just start the voting in 2004 (today) and pick the top 200 players. Today's players clearly have more refined (and more) skills. Players in the 1860s and '70s clearly had less refined (and fewer) skills. No argument there.

But skills are irrelevant. We're trying to gauge value. Joe DiMaggio had more skills (FIVE TOOLS!) than Ted Williams but not as much value.

More to the point, denigrating the early guys for their lack of skills is kind of like saying that Parnelli Jones wasn't a great race car driver because he only went 140 mph. Why today, he wouldn't even get into the field. Well, today he'd have a different car. And today Dickey Pearce would have grown up playing ball 25X more than he had the chance to do in the 1840s and '50s, he'd have coaching that he didn't have, he'd have a glove, he'd inherit a whole range of strategies and techniques that in reality he had to think up. And he's have steroids and...well, never mind.

Those guys lived in a different world. They should be judged on what they did with what they had, not what they didn't do with what they didn't have.
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 11:26 PM (#521960)
But are you telling me that Walter Johnson, Young or Alexander is not in your top 10 all time?

I think they are top ten.

So Chance should be ranked higher than somebody like Duke Snider, because Snider would be compared with Mays and Mantle while Chance would be compared with a bunch of nobodies like McGann and Tenney?

(sigh)
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 11:28 PM (#521961)
Marc:

Bravo!
   49. KJOK Posted: February 18, 2004 at 11:35 PM (#521962)
I think all voters should be required to read Marc's post at least twice before being eligible to vote, and throw out all the other silly voting rules. ;>)

Nice job Marc.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2004 at 11:52 PM (#521964)
Ed:

I'm not in favor of reverse timeline difficulty, either. That's going a little too far.
   51. Rick A. Posted: February 19, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#521966)
i>So Chance should be ranked higher than somebody like Duke Snider, because Snider would be compared with Mays and Mantle while Chance would be compared with a bunch of nobodies like McGann and Tenney?</i>

ed, I don't think John is saying that at all. He's saying that a player should be compared to someone who played a similar postion in a similar era, in order to understand the difficulties and changes in a position from one era to the next.

For example, when McGinnity first came on the ballot, I had him ranked pretty low (not even on the ballot). I don't use a timeline and had him ranked below many of the 1880's pitchers (McCormick, Welch, Mullane, etc.). As more of his contemporary pitchers joined the ballot, I realized the differences between pitching in the 1880's and the 1900's, and adjusted accordingly. I now have Walsh, McGinnity, Willis, Waddell, and Griffith ranked above any 1880's pitchers (other than Caruthers).
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2004 at 12:19 AM (#521967)
ed, I don't think John is saying that at all. He's saying that a player should be compared to someone who played a similar postion in a similar era, in order to understand the difficulties and changes in a position from one era to the next.

Exactly. I compare each player to all of the other players at the position to get an idea how difficult the position was at the time.

Since I've changed my ballot criteria for the fourth time now, I'm not always right (if ever). But I'm trying, Ed. :-)
   53. EricC Posted: February 19, 2004 at 02:20 AM (#521968)
1920 ballot.

1. Ed Walsh A runaway #1 choice. Between 1907 and 1912: 5 seasons with huge workloads and 5 seasons with ERA+ in the AL top 3. Incidentally, has the all-time lowest career ERA. Per DanG's post #176 in the New Eligibles thread, is 3rd in career WARP3 (behind only Mathewson and Plank) among all pitchers eligible between 1919 and 1932. Among post-1892 pitchers, ranks 11th in Palmer's total pitcher index, and 19th in Bill James' NBJHBA (admittedly, such rankings are biased toward early 20th century pitchers). I can understand leaving Waddell or Joss off the ballot because of their short careers, but I'm baffled that anybody would leave Walsh off their ballot, unless they want a HoM with only 20 or so pitchers from the modern era.

2. Hughie Jennings Dominant player for a while in the mid-1890s. Highest win shares/600 plate appearances during prime of any player on ballot.

3. George "Rube" Waddell His career WARP3 is higher than nearly exact contemporary McGinnity's, although McGinnity pitched 480 more innings. Keeping in mind that the zero-line in WARP is such that a 0-WARP peformance is actually below a real "replacement-level player" performance, this implies that Waddell plus 480 innings of anybody does more to help teams win than McGinnity. I buy this analysis. Although it is dependent on relatively large league factor splits between the (stronger) AL and the (weaker) NL, such as those that Davenport uses, my own analysis finds that his league factors are plausible.

4. Lip Pike Pro: In documented years, almost always best at position. Evidence that he was the fastest player in the game suggests that he was a defensive asset. Con: Making the ballot depends on credit for being an 1860's star, with the usual uncertainties. Could drop significantly if I tweaked the amount of weight given to NA and pre-NA performance, always a worrisome sign.

5. Bobby Wallace The "Jake Beckley of SS" sounds like a good comparison to me, but, then again, I have Beckley 7th. Pitching years help his case. Career WARP3 is above 100.

6. Addie Joss Only pitchers in history with career WHIP below 1: Joss: 0.968; Walsh: 1.000-. 'nuff said.

7. Jake Beckley Could be counted on to be average to very good for 17 straight years of regular play. 2930 hits is a lot of career.

8. John McGraw Best 3B of 1890s. 2nd strongest prime of any player on ballot.

9. Dickey Pearce 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.

10. Frank Chance Outstanding run- best 1B six consecutive years, and best 1B of 1900s.

11. Jimmy Collins Was very good, but just below the level that would make him an automatic HoMer.

12. Jimmy Ryan Long career raises him above Van H/ Duffy, etc.

13. George Van Haltren CF are staging a comeback on my ballot. Next best 90s OF after Ryan.

14. Cupid Childs Best 2B six times in 1890s; and for the decade as a whole.

15. Hugh Duffy Welcome back, after 4 years off the ballot. MVP-type year in 1894, a couple of other all-star type years.

Previous Top 10, not on ballot:

Charlie Bennett. Great analyses and arguments in his favor in Marc's post #68 in the Catchers thread. All along, I've prorated catcher playing time relative to typical catcher usage, and also given a slight bonus to catchers for the fact that, like pitchers, there are effectively more of them in the roster than there are players at other positions. Bennett still, unfortunately, doesn't make my ballot, because his period of stardom was just too short. The catcher shortage in my system is not severe enough at this time to compel me to give any additional positional bonus. Bresnahan had a longer period of stardom at C (and OF), and will enter my ballot around #4 in 1921.

Joe McGinnity. See Waddell comment. Since I'm one of the few people with McGinnity off the ballot, I rechecked my data, and didn't find any errors. Iron Man simply had too many seasons with less than spectacular ERA+ in the weaker of the two leagues to rate well in my system.

16. Jimmy Sheckard. Several factors: my positional balancing effectively prevents too many outfielders from making the ballot; falls short of Delahanty, Burkett, Clarke, Kelley, and maybe Magee among contemporary LF; the NL during his career was relatively weak. Ought to compete head-to-head with Magee.

Bob Caruthers: If the spectrum of good-hitting pitchers looked something like this:

(worse) Hecker-Foutz-Caruthers (best),

then I would buy the argument that Caruthers was uniquely talented. However, the spectrum of good-hitting pitchers actually looks more like this:

(worse) Hecker-Foutz-Caruthers-X-Elmer E. Smith-Van Haltren-... (best)

The key point is that any pitcher to the right of the X is such a good-hitting pitcher that they will eventually be converted to a full-time outfielder. (In this regard, it is interesting to note that Caruthers only had one season as a full time time outfielder, and then was out of a major league job at age 29.) Conclusion: Caruthers was not uniquely talented; he just had a particular balance of talent that happened to be near the X in the above spectrum.

Of course, my ratings themselves are based on the results, not abstract considerations of talent. Taking into account his era, his weak league, and what other players were doing during those years, he simply did not come close to the sustained heights that would be required to make up for his short career.

Frank Grant: In order to find a steady anchor for rating Negro League candidates, I spent an evening this week compiling expert ratings and biographical data of about 150 potential candidates, and ranked them amongst themselves. Thinking about trends in the data, I reached a conclusion that I know will be unpopular here: that, prior to the organizing days of Rube Foster, there may actually have been very few, if any, Negro League candidates with HoM-type careers. I do intend to support more NL candidates than are enshrined in Cooperstown. I will not neglect to put an NL candidate on the ballot who I would not put in the HoM but who happens to be one of the top 15 available candidates. I do take the group consensus into account. What happened to players such as Grant was an injustice. But I don't think that it would be doing justice for me to take each of the two dozen or so NLers who would merely make my Hall of the Very Good (e.g. Grant and Monroe), and elevate them to HoM status. Based on all the evidence I've seen, I would compare Grant's career with that of, say, Tom Daly or Billy Nash, good players, but not HoMers.

Sam Thompson: Again, my positional balance prevents too many outfielders from making the ballot, and I rate Thompson as the 9th greatest outfielder of the 1890s, behind Delahanty, Hamilton, Burkett, Kelley, Ryan, Van Haltren, Duffy, and Tiernan. An intriguing 2004 comparison is Juan Gonzalez, who also has great slugging stats and RBI totals, but, in a hitter's park in a hitter's era, may not stand out enough from contemporaries to make it to the HoM. WARP ratings seem to give ST implausibly large defensive credit- Thompson vs. Tiernan: WS vs. WARP would make a great study.

Not in previous top 20, on ballot:

Joss, McGraw, Chance: Don't think that they require much explanation. All show up on the baseballreality.com best players by position chart; all had historically great peaks; all are probably hurt in the consensus rankings by their relatively short careers.
   54. karlmagnus Posted: February 19, 2004 at 03:27 AM (#521969)
Thank you, Marc for taking my thought and expressing it more elegantly. Half the early guys grew up playing cricket; having tried it, I can assure you that the transition between the two games is not easy. The pioneers of the 1860s, the NA and the NL CREATED the high level professional game that people now pay billions to watch; those who came later may even have been better, but they were standing on the shoulders of giants.

EricC. According to my metric, Caruthers, for his limited career, was a BETTER hitter than Van Haltren, in a slightly more difficult (for hitters) era -- he is both at the left end and the right end of your scale, that's what makes him unique.

I would guess that he gave up hitting as well as pitching after 1893 because he'd blown his arm out and it just hurt too much to move it rapidly enough to get round on a fastball. But if anybody KNOWS why Caruthers left the game at 30, it would be interesting to confirm that hypothesis.
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: February 19, 2004 at 04:01 AM (#521970)
EricC, your strong support for Chance, Joss, Jennings, and other short-career pitchers and your lack of support for Charlie Bennett seems highly inconsistent. Joss, Waddell, Chance, and Jennings especially were great for no more than 5 or 6 years, just as Bennett was, and WARP3 sees his peak as higher than theirs (except Jennings). I just don't see how you can rate those players as highly as you do, especially given that there are available examples of players who were great for significantly longer at their positions, and leave Bennett off your ballot because he wasn't a star for long enough, when he was a star for as long as anyone could be at catcher during the pre-armor era (I urge you to look at jimd's statistics on this before you conclude that Bresnahan starred for longer at catcher) and was a star for as long as Chance, Waddell, Joss, and Jennings were. Even without any compensation for catching, using WARP3, Bennett has as good a peak and more career value as any of these players except Jennings. I just can't make sense of your criteria here.
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: February 19, 2004 at 04:15 AM (#521971)
Karl,

Your theory about Caruthers, "I would guess that he gave up hitting as well as pitching after 1893 because he'd blown his arm out and it just hurt too much to move it rapidly enough to get round on a fastball. But if anybody KNOWS why Caruthers left the game at 30, it would be interesting to confirm that hypothesis" is romantic but not true. As was reported in one of our threads a while back, and confirmed by the bio of Caruthers on the baseballlibrary.com site, Caruthers didn't leave the game at 30. He left the major leagues, presumably because no one was interested in offering him a job. He continued to play professional baseball in the minor leagues until 1898.

From the baseballlibrary.com bio:
   57. DanG Posted: February 19, 2004 at 04:17 AM (#521972)
karl wrote:

According to my metric, Caruthers, for his limited career, was a BETTER hitter than Van Haltren, in a slightly more difficult (for hitters) era -- he is both at the left end and the right end of your scale, that's what makes him unique.

I would only point out that, using a minimum quality measure of a 125 OPS+, Van Haltren topped that mark in 9 seasons, Caruthers in only 3. You have to really give peak a ton of weight to overcome a difference that great in prime, in order to conclude that Caruthers was a superior hitter to GVH.

That being said, I think that Eric's post points out important issues to consider before ushering Caruthers and Grant into the HoM. More work needs to be done to dispel the doubts surrounding their quality before they got my vote.
   58. karlmagnus Posted: February 19, 2004 at 04:57 AM (#521973)
DanG, you're using the usual sabermetricians trick of twisting the statistics to suit your preconceptions. Over his hitting career, Caruthers' rate stats were better than Van H's; of course I don't deny that VanH lasted longer.

I wonder how much Caruthers played in the minors after 1893; his OPS+ in 1893 was 119, so he was still a productive major league hitter. Of course, this was mainly OBP, a very high .456, which suggests to me that his eye hadn't gone but his arm muscles had.

Given Caruthers' pitching and hitting peak, I really don't see how there can be any reasonable doubts about his quality; as someone said earlier today, his peak was higher than Walsh. The fair criticism of him is that he didn't last all that long, even though he managed to rack up more wins than Walsh or Waddell. But if that's so important, why haven't we elected Beckley? (who is about to become my next historical reclamation project!)
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: February 19, 2004 at 06:52 AM (#521974)
ed #56
   60. Marc Posted: February 19, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#521976)
> When I say "skills", I mean rapping skills. How can you twist it around for ballplayers?

Well, because this is a forum about baseball? I thought maybe you were making an analogy?

I realize that karl's "reverse timeline" is not defensible. I think he was proposing it as reductio ad absurdum (sp?), as an overstatement to make a point. I agree with his point if not with the specific and extreme way he chose to express it.

And that point was that a "timeline" is no more logical than a "reverse timeline" if what you are measuring is value. A timeline makes sense if you are evaluating "skills."

And to John Murphy's point, the logical frame of reference is the players against whom a player actually competed. I differ with some voters here as to what constitutes a "peer" group. In other words, was Joe Blow ever "the best" LF in the AL or the best SS of "his time." I'm not too big on hard and fast rules about whether a player was #1 or #2 at his position or won an MVP award, etc. etc., because as ed said, then a player is rewarded or penalized for what other people did and not what he himself did. But the general point is correct, that the relevant comparisons are to the players he competed against at the time, not players from future generations.
   61. Marc Posted: February 19, 2004 at 05:01 PM (#521977)
BTW, I don't remember if LennoxHC submitted a prelim ballot or not but his ballot (#68) sure passes any sniff test I can think of! (Well, I would recommend that he use WARP1 instead of 3! ;-)
   62. Al Peterson Posted: February 19, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#521978)
I'm with Marc on LennoxHC's ballot. Looks to be thought out with a method to the madness. I'd vote to say welcome to a new voter...
   63. Brad G. Posted: February 19, 2004 at 05:21 PM (#521979)
1920 Ballot:
   64. Carl Goetz Posted: February 19, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#521980)
Welcome Bob Caruthers to my personal HoM in 1920!

1)Charlie Bennett- No one else currently on the ballot dominates their position to anywhere near the degree that Bennett dominates the catchers. He's been in my HoM since 1914.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#521982)
I'm with Marc on LennoxHC's ballot. Looks to be thought out with a method to the madness. I'd vote to say welcome to a new voter...

Looks good to me, too.

Welcome, Lennox!
   66. Marc Posted: February 19, 2004 at 10:25 PM (#521984)
To Eric and Dan's discussion of Frank Grant and early Negro Leaguers, I would only point out that Eric said:

>there may actually have been very few,
   67. EricC Posted: February 20, 2004 at 01:03 AM (#521988)
EricC, your strong support for Chance, Joss, Jennings, and other short-career pitchers and your lack of support for Charlie Bennett seems highly inconsistent. Joss, Waddell, Chance, and Jennings especially were great for no more than 5 or 6 years, just as Bennett was, and WARP3 sees his peak as higher than theirs (except Jennings). I just don't see how you can rate those players as highly as you do, especially given that there are available examples of players who were great for significantly longer at their positions, and leave Bennett off your ballot because he wasn't a star for long enough...

Because an overcomplicated rating system, designed to reflect my personal biases, and informed by the consensus opinion of a mob of baseball nuts, puts them there? :-)

The answer that you're looking for is that I use unadjusted Win Share rates as the raw ingredient for rating players, rather than WARP3. The short-career position players on my ballot all had well-established WS/162 at their peaks higher than what Bennett achieved. Bennett gets some positional boost for being a catcher, and loses something for playing in the shadow of Ewing, and for playing in the 1880s, when high WS rates were easier to achieve. And I think that he does just fine: I have him around 21st-23rd right now; he has a good chance of making my ballot eventually (if not elected first).

On a side issue: in the coming drought years, I expect that we will be entering uncharted territory, when players will routinely be elected despite being left off significant numbers of ballots. I won't consider their election in the slightest bit "tainted" because of this. Better to have informed dissent about marginal candidates than to have a monoculture of opinions and rating systems (within reason of course: no leaving Wagner or Lajoie or Mathewson off your ballot).
   68. EricC Posted: February 20, 2004 at 02:48 AM (#521990)
If it is "very few" rather than "not any," then who would that be if not Grant-Munroe-White-HR Johnson-Poles-Mendez-Smith-maybe R. Foster?

Frank Grant and Pete Hill are not out of the running for players born before Pop Lloyd. I'd have a harder time seeing anybody else make my ballot, but that's just me.
   69. DanG Posted: February 20, 2004 at 05:12 AM (#521991)
Frank Grant and Pete Hill are not out of the running for players born before Pop Lloyd. I'd have a harder time seeing anybody else make my ballot, but that's just me.

I agree, with HR Johnson perhaps in the mix as well. But, essentially it all boils down to a numbers game.

How many Negro league stars belong in the HoM? The consensus seems to be in the low 20s. So if we put in 5 or 6 from the 1940s and 5 or 6 from the 1930s and 4 or 5 from the 1920s and 4 or 5 from the 1910s...well that leaves maybe a couple spots for the pioneers.

As Chris Cobb inferred in post #170 on the Negro Leagues thread, the development of black ball lagged about 30-35 years behind white ball. We haven't elected many from the Start/Pearce/Pike era in MLB and I don't see where we'll put in many black stars from the aughts.
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: February 20, 2004 at 05:32 PM (#521994)
As Chris Cobb inferred in post #170 on the Negro Leagues thread, the development of black ball lagged about 30-35 years behind white ball. We haven't elected many from the Start/Pearce/Pike era in MLB and I don't see where we'll put in many black stars from the aughts.

When I was talking about development, I was referring to the economic and _organizational_ development of the black ball, not to the quality of play, which is influenced by the economic organization of the game but not dependent upon it. The state of organization in the game permitted, and indeed encouraged the most talent-savvy managers of the aughts -- Sol White and Rube Foster -- to gather most, if not all of the best talent onto a couple of teams, just as Harry Wright was able to do with the Red Stockings. In the absence of harder data, being one of the best players on these best teams is, therefore, an important indicator of merit.

Analogies between the economic organization of black baseball in the aughts and the economic organization of white baseball in 1870 should _not_ be used as a measure of quality of play. Black baseball's economic organization developed more slowly than white baseball's did because the black community lacked access to the capital necessary to establish a stable financial system and physical infrastructure (setting aside the fact that they were reluctant to resign themselves to long-term segregation). It does not follow _at all_ that the quality of play developed similarly. While it was influenced by lack of resources (Rube Foster often remarked that if his teams had the same spring training time, quality of equipment, and consistent level of competition that teams in the white majors did, their level of play would rise), it was not determined only by those factors: it was also influenced, and I think more strongly, by the competition (more often indirect than direct, sadly) of black baseball with the white major leagues. The ambition of men like Rube Foster was to meet the best white players on an equal field to show what they could do, so they had in that respect a standard for their play that was independent of their economic circumstances.

In any event, it also has to be remembered that the black players of this era were excelling at the highest level of competition they were allowed to enter. If black baseball did not, and never would, match the across-the-board quality of the white majors, that is not the fault of the black players. They did the best they could given their circumstances, and to penalize them for their adverse circumstances runs counter to the spirit of the Hall of Merit. Those circumstances are part of the context that we need to understand when discerning how their merit compares to that of white players in better circumstances.

How many Negro league stars belong in the HoM? The consensus seems to be in the low 20s. So if we put in 5 or 6 from the 1940s and 5 or 6 from the 1930s and 4 or 5 from the 1920s and 4 or 5 from the 1910s...well that leaves maybe a couple spots for the pioneers.

I must state as strongly as possible that this kind of thinking is not only unfair to the black players, but it also _just doesn't work_ within the Hall of Merit election system. It is, in fact, a version of _strategic voting_, which the Constitution specifically disallows becuase, if it became widespread, would totally compromise the integrity of our elections. There are not a fixed number of spots that are designated for Negro League players. If we don't elect negro league players now, we aren't making room for Negro League players later; we are electing white players whom we will appear to have decided are better. We have to elect _somebody_ every year, so we had better make damned sure we are electing the best players each time. Deliberately downgrading black players now to make room for black players later means, in practice, electing white ballplayers now eligible who might not have made it otherwise. _They_ get the spots, not other negro-league players. When we get to the 30s, 40s, and 50s, we will have to rank the negro-league stars of those periods against their white contemporaries. Some will make it, some won't. Are we holding back on voting for Bobby Wallace because we want to make sure there's room for Luke Appling later?? Of course not. We're not evaluating white players that way, and we see that we can't _save room_ for Appling, because if Wallace isn't elected, Ed Walsh will be. If we like Walsh better than Wallace, we elect him now, and let Wallace and Appling compete head-to-head when Appling becomes eligible. If we like Wallace better, we elect him now, and let Walsh compete head-to-head with Appling sometime down the road.

At the moment, I'm planning to support Home Run Johnson, Rube Foster, and Pete Hill strongly because they look to me to be among the best players of their time and will be, therefore, among the best players eligible. How they compare to Pop Lloyd, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell is a matter about which I couldn't care less right now for the purpose of ranking them on upcoming ballots. If they are still on the ballot when these later players come on, _that_ will be the time to compare them to later players. Since all-time rankings lists are one of the main sources we have for judging the quality of negro-league players, we can't escape such comparisons. But we can recognize that they are only valuable insofar as they help us to compare one eligible player to another. If we like them better than Jimmy Sheckard and Bobby Wallace, we shouldn't hold back on voting for them because we think later players are better, any more than we hold back on Wallace or Sheckard because we like Appling or Al Simmons better. It doesn't work, and it compromises the integrity of the Hall of Merit.
   71. Howie Menckel Posted: February 21, 2004 at 12:54 AM (#521996)
1920 ballot

1. JIMMY COLLINS - If all these players were in a "last year of eligibility," which one would we absolutely have to put in the Hall of Merit? It's this guy. Collins revolutionized the game at 3B with his attacks of bunts, and his hitting was often stellar - top 10 in slugging pct. five times and even more impressive in rate stats due to his durability.

2. JOE MCGINNITY - Fellas, it's almost time for Iron Man to go in. Led the league in wins FIVE times, second another time. Top 7 in ERA+ five times. Tough era for pitchers not named Cy and Kid to pitch forever. Has the extended prime I want. Dreadful hitting hurts a little
   72. OCF Posted: February 21, 2004 at 01:10 AM (#521997)
5. ED WALSH - NOT a first-ballot HOMer.

Howie, "first-ballot" just isn't that meaningful a distiction in our system. If Walsh gets in this year (which he might), it's because he beat this year's competition. By no means does it prove that he was a stronger candidate than Jesse Burkett, who wasn't first-ballot only because he collided with Kid Nichols. I'm one of the ones who put Walsh #1 this year, and in doing so, I said, "in a stronger year, he wouldn't rank first."

I'm not arguing with your rankings at all. This isn't a year for unanimity
   73. jimd Posted: February 21, 2004 at 01:59 AM (#521998)
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
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: February 21, 2004 at 02:44 AM (#521999)
OCF,
   75. Chris Cobb Posted: February 21, 2004 at 04:00 AM (#522000)
EricC wrote:

The answer that you're looking for is that I use unadjusted Win Share rates as the raw ingredient for rating players, rather than WARP3. The short-career position players on my ballot all had well-established WS/162 at their peaks higher than what Bennett achieved.

Thanks, Eric, for explaining your use of the WS/162 rate stat. With that in mind, your rankings appear much more consistent! I see Bennett's rate as being as impressive for a catcher as those of the others for their positions, but your mileage may vary on positional comparison considerations.
   76. Brian H Posted: February 22, 2004 at 03:56 AM (#522003)
1920 Ballot-

1. Bobby Caruthers (5 AS, 2 Cy Young, 2 MVP) A tremendous winner. For my money the best AA player of all. He had an enormous amount of pennant impact. According to James his Pennant impact was greater than any player we have voted on except Kid Nichols. Most of his best years were during the years the AA was nearly on par with the NL. Caruthers? weakness is the brevity of his career ? 2828 IP. However, he also played 388 games as a position player (almost exactly his total as a Pitcher). Thus he may have packed over 10 years of excellence into his shorter career. If after staring as a Pitcher he then converted himself into a position player he would probably be a HOMer already (like Ward, for example). The way he did it actually had more impact and helped win a bounty of pennants... His five year Win Share total in the NHBA is THE HIGHEST OF ALL PLAYERS EVER (including those not yet eligible like Ruth, Grove, Cobb and Bonds).

2. Edward Walsh (4 AS, 1 CY, 1 MVP) - In his prime one of the greatest Pitchers of an era rich with Pitching excellence. Walsh?s short career (for a HOMer) is largely offset by his extensive use (overuse?) during his prime... Compiled a sub-2.00 ERA lifetime.... Walsh went 2-0 for the Hitless Wonders in their 1906 World Series upset of the Cubs and almost single-handedly got the Sox into a 1908 Series rematch.

3. Jimmy Collins (5 AS) ? For many years many people who were considered wise in Baseball viewed Collins as the best 3B of all time. In particular Connie Mack who had about the longest baseball life imaginable ranked Collins at #1 in 1950 and he managed Baker. Viewed as simply another position player who hit he wouldn?t rank nearly this high but I am guessing simply running the numbers doesn?t nearly capture his greatness. Apparently when he played third he literally foreclosed the then-popular bunt to third... Collins played an integral role in the success of the first World Series Champions in ?03.

4. Hugh Jennings ? (3 AS + 2 MVP) His peak is among the highest ever at SS. He was not merely the top SS of an era abundant with outstanding shortstops. This was in perhaps the most competitive era we have judged to date (the one-league 1890?s). James (a peak fan) ranks Jennings 18th , just above Dahlen among all SSs... Jennings was an integral part of the ?Old Orioles? dynasty of the ?90s.

5. Frank Chance (7 AS, 1 MVP) Chance was the was the premier 1B for several years (weak years for the position). Conversely, I have Beckley as the top 1B for only a few years. He would rank higher if: (A) He was accorded credit for managing the Cubs; or (B) He was more durable and put up career numbers like his nemesis Fred Clarke.
   77. Brian H Posted: February 22, 2004 at 08:21 AM (#522008)
No, of course I don't really think Bob Caruthers was better in his prime than the Babe et al... But I do think that his five year WS numbers suggest he might have been better than the other elgible players and much better than alot of the other voters think he is/was...Also I can't remember how to italicize in my posts (I think the CAPS are poor "netiquette")
   78. Adam Schafer Posted: February 22, 2004 at 08:38 AM (#522009)
My ballot has remained relatively unchanged for 2 years now. I guess that I've tinkered with it enough that I feel it's pretty much perfect...at least in my eyes.

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. 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.

5. Bobby Wallace (n/a) - Career, career, Career. That's what I keep saying I like. I like Bobby's, I really do. I would really like to see SOME peak.

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 (8) - 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. Ed Walsh (n/a) - I'm a pitcher lover, BUT I prefer career over peak. Walsh was in the top 5 in losses 4 times. Walsh led the league in wins 1 time and was in the top 10 for wins 5 times, 1 time in which he had more losses than wins. It appears to be a popular arguement against Welch that win you appear in a lot of games, you are going to get a lot of wins. I typically don't agree to the extent that some people argue this, but Walsh appeared in more games than anyone in 5 seperate years. Why isn't anyone using this as a major arguement against him? I believe he's HOM worthy. I just don't feel he's as worthy as those I have ranked above him. I also don't mean to knock him as much as it sounds I am. His ERA was oustanding, heck he's #1 all time.

10. Lip Pike (9) - 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.

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

12. George Van Haltren (12) - 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 (13) - See Van Haltren

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

15. Bobby Carruthers (15) - 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.

We're getting to the area of Negro League play where I am really excited to start putting some of these players on my ballot. As for the ones that have become eligible so far, I don't doubt their greatness amoung Negro League players, but I doubt the talent of the Negro Leagues as a whole. Were they great? Maybe. Were they possibly no better than the minor leagues?? Maybe. I'm not judging one way or another, but there hasn't, and possibly never will be, enough evidence for me to know for sure. I'd hate to put in someone that's the equivalant of the greatest minor leaguer ahead of someone such as Carruther's whom I truly believe is the 15th greates Major League player eligible right now.
   79. EricC Posted: February 22, 2004 at 01:38 PM (#522010)
His five year Win Share total in the NHBA is THE HIGHEST OF ALL PLAYERS EVER .

In Win Shares , Radbourn has the highest five year WS total of all time.
   80. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: February 22, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#522011)
I tried to construct a PHOM going back to the beginning, three times, and got a different result each time, so I give up for now. I was pretty close to the collective wisdom each time, anyway. The HOM through 1918 is my PHOM, last year I put in Keeler and Collins, this year it?s Frank Grant.

I?m glad we announce the election results in _early_ January. Prohibition starts Jan. 29, and I?d like to toast the winner with something stronger than Moxie.

1920 ballot:

1. Jimmy Collins: Great defense, solid offense at an important position. 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. Frank Grant: It?s conjectural, it requires a leap of faith, but I?m willing to take it. It?s no stretch for me to see him as a great player. Several people want more evidence. There?s obvious reasons why there isn?t more evidence, and there may not be any or much more. Me, I?ve seen enough. Kudos to Chris Cobb (#87). My sentiments exactly.

3. Joe McGinnity: Short, wonderful career. 2CYA, 5 STATS AS + 3 more very good seasons, workhorse, led league in wins 5 times, innings 4 times. Why McGinnity ahead of Walsh? More full seasons, more good seasons, 500 more innings, 50 more wins, better W-L%.

4. 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.

5. 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 Wallace, Van Haltren and Sheckard.

6. Pete Browning: Monster hitter. 8 STATS All-Star selections, 1 MVP. I think 8 years is a pretty good peak or prime. One of the top hitters of his time, even with a discount.

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

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

9. 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. He moves up this week.

10. Ed Walsh: A lot to like here ? W-L, ERA & ERA+, good K rate for the time. He?s all peak/prime. I?m being a little bit cautious here. I think he?s worthy, but am not completely sold.

11. Bobby Wallace: Again a little caution. Long steady career like Beckley, good Win Shares. Only 1 AS but a probable runner-up 7 more times.

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

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

14. Mickey Welch: Those 300 wins put him on the list. Also not dominant, but pitched a lot, pitched well.

15. Bill Monroe: I won?t repeat other comments, but here?s something new on him, I think: In his ?Complete Book of the Negro Leagues,? John Holway names east and/or west all-star teams. Through 1914, he?d done 6 years: 1906 (east only), 1910, 1911, 1912 (west only), 1913 & 1914. Monroe makes 4 teams, the only other player with 4 through 1914 is John Henry Lloyd. Players with 3 include Bruce Petway, Pete Hill, Ben Taylor and Spotswood Poles. Pretty good company.

In 1919 top 10, off ballot:

Jimmy Sheckard: Win shares and Warp3 really like him. A few very strong seasons mixed with so-so ones. He?s not at or near the top in his position often enough to suit me.
   81. Rob Wood Posted: February 22, 2004 at 04:39 PM (#522012)
My 1920 ballot:

1. Ed Walsh -- super pitcher for long enough for me
   82. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 22, 2004 at 05:37 PM (#522013)
Also I can't remember how to italicize in my posts (I think the CAPS are poor "netiquette")

Brian, bookmark this page: HTML Reference Page
   83. Max Parkinson Posted: February 22, 2004 at 06:53 PM (#522014)
Ballot for 1920:

1. Ed Walsh

By my count, the man won 4 MVPs ('07,'08,'10,'11; the only other player thus far with 4 is Amos Rusie), and as I wrote in the ballot discussion thread, his 6 year peak was one of the very best that we've seen until now. The weak link is obviously career length, but how many players will we see that don't have a weak link somewhere? 20? 25? Ed joins the MP HoM this week.

2. Jimmy Collins

The most dominating defensive force we've seen, and modern statistics aren't as high on him as his contemporaries were. No slouch with the stick either. For my money, Jimmy is the best 3rd baseman that played the game before 1950.

3. Hughie Jennings

Again, the monster peak more than overcomes the complete void that is the rest of the career.

4. Bob Caruthers

The best baseball player of the AA, and the best in the entire game in 1886.

5. Bobby Wallace

I said that I wasn't comfortable with having Bobby this high in the discussion thread, but I've gotten there. He was a great defensive shortstop, and an above-average hitter for a very long time (plus 2 years of average pitching to boot.) That brings value to a team, and added up, I'm convinced that he belongs in the HoM. An aside, the only players to date that are further above average for their career than Wallace with both the bat and glove are Glasscock, Bennett, Dahlen and Collins - all in the MP HoM.

6. Jimmy Sheckard

It makes for a lot of 1900s left fielders, but what can you do, sometimes greatness comes in bunches. 1930s 1B, 1950s CF, 1995-present SS for example.

7. Charlie Bennett

Based on my rankings, the best catcher we?ll see until Mickey Cochrane. He didn?t play other positions to pad his numbers while he rested from the grind of catching, but even if you don?t buy into WARP?s assessment of his defense, contemporary opinion was on his side. I give him the Dickey Pearce award as the best defender in the game for 1881 and 1886, and he finishes Top 5 three other times.

8. Sam Thomson

I want to move him up, but above who? A truly great power hitter, of that there's no doubt. The doubt creeps in on defense - WS, WARP, something else or no consideration at all? I've got him as basically average for his career, and when you add that to the hitting, you get a HoMer. Second best position player in the game from '86 to '96 to Roger Connor.

9. Jim McCormick

Jim is the bridge in HoM-quality pitchers between Spalding and Radbourne. Finished in the Top 5 in my Jim Creighton (best pitcher) Award for 6 straight years, winning in both 1880 and 1882. The only streaks longer than that through 1919 belong to Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Kid Nichols and Ed Walsh.

10. Dickey Pearce

A best guess on where the best player of his time should rank. No bonus points for donating his name to my Best Fielder award.

11. Lip Pike

We've elected everyone from the NA who was better than Lip - and also Ezra Sutton. If you were Top 5 in the game in 1871, it's pretty likely you were also Top 5 before that for at least a couple of years, and subjective credit is definitely added for Pike.

12. Frank Grant

Again with a subjective vote, but I've become comfortable with Grant as about this good, better than Childs.

13. Fielder Jones

I fear that because defense is not as easy to pin down as OPS+ or ERA+, it is being overlooked. Jones was named on but 3 ballots in 1918, despite being a fantastic glove man in CF for a decade, winning my Pearce award in 1907, and finishing top 5 twice more. I see him as the best defensive CF until Speaker. His hitting was consistently good; Jones? highest single-season adjEqA was .308, and his lowest was .270. I am giving him no credit for what he ?might have done? if he hadn?t have had his pissing match with Comiskey, he?s this high on his own merits ? a good hitting, great fielder at a very important position.

14. Clark Griffith

The 4th best pitcher of the ?90s, which is saying something when the other 3 are named Young, Nichols and Rusie. A long career, good peak, good prime ? just a really good player for a long time. Finished in the Top 5 in my Jim Creighton balloting 5 times, winning in 1898 (when he also got the MVP). An excellent hitter for his position. His time isn?t now, but it will come; please don?t forget about Griffith, as one day the 4th best of a decade behind three automatics will look really good compared to the glut that will inevitably develop.

15. Ed Williamson

Jimmy Collins before Jimmy arrived. A great glove man, and decent hitter at a premium position. Best fielder in the game in ?82, ?84 and ?85, and a .272 career adjEqA.

Need to mention:

22. Joe McGinnity ? He pitched a lot of innings, and pitched them well. He only did it for 9 years, though, which leaves him behind better and longer careers. His anemic hitting doesn?t help him in WARP, either. I should note that he?s the next pitcher on my list after Griffith. His 2 Jim Creighton awards and 2 MVPs will hold him in good stead as time goes by, and he should move up through the ?20s.

28. Rube Waddell ? Like the Iron Man, his peak just wasn?t high or long enough to overcome the lack of a long prime or career. As well, couldn?t hit or field a lick. It does bother me somewhat to see Waddell this low by my rankings, as he was the best pitcher in the game from 1902-06, but others just did more in their peaks or careers.
   84. Max Parkinson Posted: February 22, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#522015)
Oh dear God. Thompson.
   85. dan b Posted: February 22, 2004 at 10:36 PM (#522017)
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.)
   86. Ken Fischer Posted: February 23, 2004 at 01:55 AM (#522018)
1920 Ballot
   87. Esteban Rivera Posted: February 23, 2004 at 03:33 AM (#522019)
All three of Monroe, Wallace and Walsh make my ballot. Other than that, pretty much static.

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. Ed Walsh - Jumps to the head of all eligible pitchers. Just not enough length to go any higher yet.

5.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

6. 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.

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. 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.

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

12. Bill Monroe - Feel the best place to start him is behind Grant. Am fully comfortable with having Monroe on my ballot. The information presented so far is promising. However, a little more may be needed for him to gather momentum on my ballot.

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

14. Bobby Wallace - His carrer at short lands him ahead of the career first baseman. Not fully comfortable with my analysis of him yet. Will probably still be on my ballot in the coming years but where is anybody's guess.

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

Also under consideration are Jimmy Sheckard, Dickey Pearce, 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.

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. However, he is getting closer to returning to my ballot.

Jimmy Sheckard - Just got bumped off by the addition of three new candidates that I felt were a bit more ballot worthy. Will be back as soon as room opens up.
   88. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: February 23, 2004 at 07:19 AM (#522022)
No major changes this week, but I'm pretty enthusiastic about the new guys. I try to balance peak and career, but I think I lean a skosh towards peak.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) I'm still impressed by how much better he was than any other catchers we've been considering, which to me is a measure of greatness. Made my HoM in 1910.

2. Jimmy Collins (2) I see him as having a similar career to Bid McPhee, and he is clearly ahead of any other third baseman. Made my HoM last year.

3. Ed Walsh (new) I realize there are issues with WARP3, but it absolutely loves him, and I'm not going to totally ignore that. Win Shares doesn't have any problems with him either, and the Pythagorean and Support-Neutral records are well ahead of his contemporaries on the ballot when you Fibonacci them. He was a consistently great pitcher for seven years, and he clearly deserves to be in the Hall.

4. Lip Pike (3) An excellent hitter, one of the best players of his era, and has significant "off-the-books" play. Made my HoM last year.

5. Dickey Pearce (4) Here come the shortstops. The best player of the 1860s by most accounts, and I believe that's worthy of honoring here.

6. Bobby Wallace (new) I don't quite buy the Beckley comparisons - he has a similar type of argument, but his peak value isn't as pathetic as Beckley's. His OPS+ is reasonable for a middle infielder, and his defensive play was very good at worst. Not one of the HoF's major mistakes.

7. Hughie Jennings (7) His peak wasn't quite as high as Walsh's, and it wasn't quite as long, but it was still very impressive.

8. Frank Grant (8) I feel pretty certain he was a very good player, and I tend to think honoring the best Negro Leaguer of the 19th Century is worthwhile.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (9) A very good player who didn't get the recognition he deserved.

10. Bill Monroe (new) A tentative placement; I'm not as sure he deserves to be recognized as I am in Grant's case.

11. Bob Caruthers (10) Too many questions about the true value of his contributions to put him any higher.

12. Jimmy Ryan (12) A very good player with a reasonably long career, but we've got plenty of OFs already.

13. George Van Haltren (13) Jimmy Ryan v 1.1

14. Jim McCormick (14) One of the best pitchers in baseball in the early 1880s, I can't prove to myself that any of the other pitchers we're looking at were better than he was.

15. Joe McGinnity (15) Part of me isn't sure that he should be this far away from Walsh, but he comes up behind in everything but traditional won-loss record, and my feeling is that the early 00s NL was a lot more top-heavy than the late 00s AL, so those wins may have been easier to pile up. (I'd like to have something factual to back this up, but I don't at the moment.)

Off the ballot:
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 23, 2004 at 07:57 AM (#522024)
I'm not going to submit a revised ballot (because it's not going to change anything), but if I did, I would have McGinnity (#4), Walsh (#6) and Willis (#3) in my top 10 (with Waddell at #11).

Pitchers will have a more prominent spot on my ballot for now on.

PS If someone thinks I should submit a revised ballot, that's not a problem.
   90. Philip Posted: February 23, 2004 at 11:54 AM (#522025)
My ratings are based primarily on adjusted 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.

1. Walsh (new) ? By far the highest peak of anyone on the ballot and enough value in his big years to achieve high career numbers.
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#522026)
When is the ballot deadline, anyway?
   92. karlmagnus Posted: February 23, 2004 at 05:34 PM (#522027)
Joe (#116) Caruthers' pitching career was 136 innings shorter than Walsh's, during which he racked up 23 more wins and suffeed 27 fewer losses. If his teams were better than Walsh's, they weren't much better than the World Champion Hitless Wonders. In addition he could hit; OPS+ of 135 cmpared with Walsh' 50. Yet you rank Walsh #5 (and the consensus appear to have elected him) while Caruthers is off the ballot. Ijust don't get it.
   93. Daryn Posted: February 23, 2004 at 06:24 PM (#522031)
Jack,

I think the 5-0 edge Walsh has over you in top 3 finishes in era+ is pretty significant. That said, I am now moving chesbro into my top 30 -- his career is not embarrassing.
   94. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 23, 2004 at 07:47 PM (#522032)
Racing in hoping I can get a deadline extension...

1. Walsh
   95. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 23, 2004 at 07:48 PM (#522033)
Sorry my draft got screwed up with the final. The second set of ratings are my ballot.
   96. OCF Posted: February 23, 2004 at 08:05 PM (#522034)
Craig B's ballot doesn't change any ranking in the first 20 places. It makes a slight difference at #22-23-24.
   97. OCF Posted: February 23, 2004 at 08:11 PM (#522035)
Well, it also flips #18 and #19.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2004 at 08:39 PM (#522039)
Meyerle made a boatload of errors, and Barnes' fielding percentages were outstanding, so I think it's reasonable to call Meyerle the offensive force and Barnes the MVP.

Sounds good to me, Joe.
   99. karlmagnus Posted: February 25, 2004 at 01:33 AM (#522040)
Sounds good to me too, Joe, thank you. On major league data from 1871 on, he was clearly a significant touch better than his almost exact contemporary Pike. So (i) are we really SURE Pike was a lot better in 1866-70? (ii) I know Pike's exit from the majors was somewhat ignominious, and that he was disliked, whereas Meyerle (presumably equally Jewish) seems to have been quiet and well respected. Did he have any kind of minor league career after leaving the majors?
   100. Marc Posted: February 25, 2004 at 03:18 AM (#522041)
The real question is whether Meyerle had any kind of career before '71. I don't recall hearing or reading about him earlier, whereas Pike was very well established and pops up from time to time in various accounts.

And Pike played in the NA for a couple years longer. Overall, Pike is accounted for for a 13 year career, Meyerle for about half of that.

All that stuff about Pike being disliked was touted by people who say otherwise that you cannot trust those early accounts. Go figure.

But if I'm not gonna vote for Pike regardless then a good rumor helps justify.

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