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Monday, March 15, 2004

1922 Ballot

This one shouldn’t be too tough . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 15, 2004 at 10:29 AM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Daryn Posted: March 15, 2004 at 12:40 PM (#522901)
I have 35 players under consideration: 23 hitters, 13 pitchers.

1. Nap Lajoie ? 496 win shares is a good sign to me.
   2. Rusty Priske Posted: March 15, 2004 at 01:54 PM (#522902)
1. Nap Lajoie
   3. karlmagnus Posted: March 15, 2004 at 02:10 PM (#522904)
Nap and Matty aren't going to be unanimous, anyway!

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.

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1-1) Bob Caruthers - 2/3 of Matty plus 1/3 of Nap, so stays top (see Discussion thread for details), but will relinquish temporarily in '23 for Honus. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Walsh (Caruthers won 23 more games than Walsh and lost 27 fewer, pitching about 100 fewer innings in his career -- and Walsh had a career OPS+ as a hitter of 50.) As a batter TB+BB/PA .483, TB+BB/Outs .793, so better than Nap and close to Stovey. 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. (N/A) Christy Mathewson 373 wins considerably higher in the pantheon than Nap's 3242 hits, so he narrowly beats out Nap. Should also get extra points for being the first top star "gentleman-ballplayer" and thus expanding the game's reach to the professional classes. Without him, I suspect the skyboxes wouldn't exist, and the really serious sports money wouldn't be in baseball.

3. (N/A) Nap Lajoie TB+BB/PA .477, TB+BB/Outs .757, both significantly lower than Caruthers (and Nap played more of his career in the high scoring '90s.) Didn't walk much. Without question, should be in the HOM, but I'd rate him a B HOM'er rather than an A -- not the stature of Anson, Cy or Matty, more of a George Davis or Kid Nichols.

4. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-2-2) Mickey Welch - 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly compared to 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, Matty and Plank) got near 300 wins. Equal sixth all time in Complete Games; 8 of top 10 already in HOM.

5. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3) Jake Beckley. Played only 3 seasons of more than 140 games in his first 16. Adjust his 2930 hits to full length seasons, taking account of each season, and he gets to 3,238, agonizingly close to Nap's 3242 (Nap played a few short seasons early on, too, but no more than 50 hits worth of discount). 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. We're not giving him enough respect; he should be a slam-dunk HOM'er, as he was significantly better than Keeler.

6. (N/A) Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown 239-130 and an ERA+ of 138 says he's marginally better than McGinnity. Somebody had to be the keystone of those Cubs, and I think Brown was it, more than Sheckard, and much more than the Trio.

7. (N/A-6-7-4-4-3-3-3-4) 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's a fairly meaningless stat, since ERA was only invented in 1913 -- these guys tended to let up in blowouts, preserving their W/L (which they cared about) but not their ERA (which they'd never heard of.)

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

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

10. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-8-7) 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.

11. (N/A-8-7-11-10-10-13-14-13-14-12-12-12-8) 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. Moved him up a bit in '21, as I think he's better than Johnson and Monroe, his next serious NL competitors.

12. (N/A-7-9) 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. Slides down below Wright and Grant based on apparent consensus that he was nothing all that special, whereas Wright and Grant were.

13. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A) Clark Griffith Moves up a bit, as he pitched for poor teams, and pitching in the 1890s was unquestionably more difficult than in the Dead Ball era. 237 wins is not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice - though Welch?s 1885 is better.

14. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-10-10) 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.

15. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-11-11) 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?

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-9-13) Levi Meyerle. Off ballot, and therefore probably off the results table, but will be back in '25 or '26. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. 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. Dropped a few spots based on apparently undistinguished pre-71 career, though I still think he should be seriously considered on peak grounds.

17. (N/A-15-14-14) 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. Will return to ballot in late 20s, if others haven't elected him by then.

18. (N/A-15-N/A-15-15) 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.

19. Home Run Johnson. Another Negro League 2B, apparently somewhat better than Monroe. Not convinced by comparisons with Pop Lloyd until we get to Pop Lloyd. Will move up or down as further Negro league stars appear or more evidence is received. Certainly don't think he's "Top 5" or ahead of Grant.

20. Roger Bresnahan. Extrememly short career -- only 1,690 "normalized" hits, and he was playing with padding unlike Bennett, McGuire and Clements. But TB+BB/PA .447, TB+BB/Outs .719, exceptional for the dead ball era (higher than Sheckard, for example.) Sort of a catcher's Ed Walsh.

21. Sam Leever. On looking at the W/Lpct leaderboard, Leever, the kingpin of the deadball era Pirates, impresses me at 194-100 as having a better record than Walsh and a much better one than Waddell. So here he is, just above where Walsh would have been.

22. (N/A-11-13-12-15-14-N/A) Jack Clements. Let's keep the catchers together! 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.

23. (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.

24. (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. Below Meyerle, apparently by several spots, but it's not really that big a gap.

25. (N/A) Bill Monroe Examination of Home Run Johnson leads me to realize that Monroe wasn't as good; moved him down a bit, now significantly short of Collins. On NL players I will keep an eye on consensus, though -- I'm prepared against the consensus to stand by my negative view on Walsh/Flick, or my positive view of Caruthers/ Welch/Beckley, but not with these guys.

26. 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.

27. 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

28. (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.

29. 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.

30. Jesse Tannehill. Substantially better record (197-116) than Waddell, for largely mediocre Pirates and Red Sox teams. Hence placed just above Waddell.

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

32. Tommy Leach TB+BB/PA .416, TB+BB/Outs .620. Not quite yawn, another outfielder, as he also played 3B. Not as good as Sheckard or Collins, and certainly gets no additional bonus since his career stretched 5 years into the high hitting 10s.

33. 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.

34. (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.

35. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   4. MattB Posted: March 15, 2004 at 02:47 PM (#522905)
Not many changes this year, which probably means I'm doing something wrong.

I guess as we get further along, each voters' personal preferences will start becoming more pronounced. I didn't know, going in, how my "preferences" would stack against the groups, but apparently I like pitching more than the majority, and I give more credit for top notch performance in inferior leagues (early Negro League and National Association performance). I also consider positional context, so end up with fewer outfielders than most.

As a result, six pitchers and four Negro Leaguers are on my ballot. Lip Pike falls into a special category, too, as a NA star. I can imagine that if this trend continues, some of us pitcher-friendly voters may end up with 15 pitchers on our ballots, just as in some recent years there have been voters with no pitchers!

Anyway, that left only 4 spots on my ballot for "regular" hitters. Those are Lajoie (Mr. Easy Choice), Beckley (Mr. Career), Bresnahan (Mr. Jack of All Trades), and Childs (Mr. Peak). There's less than one complete white outfielder on my ballot, which I am also content with. I am comfortable with electing any of these 15 into the HoM.

1. Christy Mathewson (n/e) -- Total domination. Besides being the third winningest pitcher of all time (although that alone -- given the fact that his peripherals don't hurt him -- should be enough to put him in first place) he was the best pitcher in the AL in 1905, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913. He was the second best pitcher in the league in 1903 and 1904 to Joe McGinnity, and in 1901 to Vic Willis. That's 11 first or second bests in 13 years. And in most of those years in which he was first, there was no close second.

2. Nap Lajoie (n/e) -- Would be first almost any other year.

3. Frank Grant (2) ? My longtime #1 (Bennett) finally gets in, and my number 2 ends up dropping a slot. Made my personal HoM in 1914.

4. Bob Caruthers (3) ? I understand there is has been some debate about the merits of his candidacy. I hadn't heard. Been sitting in my personal HoM since 1901.

5. Home Run Johnson (4) ? With the ballot so close together, Triples Johnson is ranked all the way down at 32! Made my Personal HoM in 1921.

6. Mordecai Brown (n/e) -- clean up on my new "wins per finger" metric. If we liked Amos Rusie, I don't see how Brown can fare any worse.

7. 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. Will also make my Personal HoM in 1921.

8. Jake Beckley (7) -- best first baseman on the ballot, and best first baseman for the decade before and after 1900. Frank Chance is my #2 first baseman, and he?s not really close.

9. Lip Pike (10) ? Keeps moving up in new comparisons to weaker remaining candidates. The best remaining NA-peaked player. Had fallen off my ballot, but gave him a second look.

10. Bill Monroe (8) ? More research this week, including reading posts on this site, moved him up.

11. Clark Griffith (9) -- Moving him up. Even with Walsh in, pitchers make up fewer than 25% of the HoMers. I think it should be closer to 1/3, in theory. A second look at pitchers this week confirms many strong candidates who should be getting second looks.

12. Roger Bresnahan (11) ? one of the best centerfielders in the NL in 1903 and 1904, one of the best catchers in 1905, 6, 7, and 8. That 6 year peak, plus the career numbers, constitutes a HoMer in my book.

13. Sol White (12) -- Made my Personal HoM in 1918. Upon further research on others, looks like the 4th best Negro Leaguer on the ballot, so moves down accordingly.

14. Cupid Childs (14) -- as the ?career? players? careers are getting worse, I?m more willing to reconsider the high peak players like Childs and Jennings.

15. Vic Willis (15) -- one of the winningest pitchers of all time. Some great (non-consecutive) peak years.

Drops off:

16. Bobby Wallace (13)
   5. OCF Posted: March 15, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#522907)
1922 ballot. It's clear who the top two are this year, and I haven't invested a lot of thought yet into placing people below that.

1. Napoleon Lajoie (new) A great player. Certainly not Wagner and maybe not Eddie Collins, but an easy choice anyway.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2004 at 07:09 PM (#522908)
I use a combination of peak and career for the rankings. Therefore, career guys will mix with peak guys on my ballot. I also view each position on an equal basis. This doesn't mean that I have a quota to fill each position for my top ten. Sometimes a position will not have a viable candidate for a certain "year."
   7. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 15, 2004 at 07:51 PM (#522910)
1. Nap Lajoie (new). As of 1922, he's the best 2Ber ever, though that Collins fella may end up with a better career if he ever retires.

2. Christy Mathewson (new). Great great pitcher - but clearly not the best SP ever as of 1922, which is why he is below Lajoie.

3. Joe McGinnity (5,7,9,7,5,2,2). Terrific combo of quality & quantity. Only pitched 10 years but threw enough in those seasons that his career numbers look like respectable career-length totals. Could throw 400 innings of high quality baseball in his prime - no one else here could dominate their league like that.

4. Mordecai Brown. (new) Yea, his defensive & offensive support were fantastic. Among all the non-controversial HoF pitchers, he was likely aided more by his teammates than anyone else. But, for me, all that does is knock him down from being a potentially inner-circle HoMer to a deserving one.

5. Grant Johnson (5). Feeling more secure & comfortable with him the more I learn about him. A great hitter for an extended period of time at a key defensive position who compared well in his sunset years to a young Pop Lloyd. Sol White asked him to write the section on how-to-hitter for his book. At the very worst, he was blackball's best hitter between Frank Grant & Pop Lloyd.

6. Frank Grant (6,5,7,5,4,3). 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) 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.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (8,8,7) 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, so he (like Tinker) gets a bit of a purely subjective ranking boost from me for that reason.

8. Bobby Wallace (6,4) 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. . . .

9. Jake Beckley (3,3,5,3,3,7,6). 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.

10. Dickey Pearce (15,11,10,8). 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. Clark Griffith (11,11,11,9,7,5,11,9). My personal favorite of the remaining 19th century pitchers. Did very good for lousy teams in post-contraction baseball. Nice career. Nice prime.

12. Tommy Leach (11). Down a bit from my prelim because I realized that the argument I made against Bresnahan (not enough as a catcher, not nearly enough as a non-catcher) could be thrown back at Leach. Why's he still on the ballot then? Because his overall career value was still quite high.

13. Joe Tinker (10). See this post on the Cubs defense. I don't buy that merely a solid team could win as many games as that team did & Tinker (& Sheckard) get a bit of a subjective bump for that).

14. Sam Thompson (8,9,14,10,8,11,14). He could hit a little. And Fred Astaire could dance a little.

15. George Van Haltren. (?,x,x,14,12,15). Nice long career for a guy who did numerous things well.
   8. Yardape Posted: March 15, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#522911)
1. Nap Lajoie (n/a) Easily the greatest second baseman thus far. Edges Matty for the top spot, not that I expect it will matter.

2. Christy Matthewson (n/a) I was wondering how he managed to wind up fifth on my original rankings. Fortunately, it was just an error. He and Lajoie lap the field.

3. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown (n/a) Just barely beats out McGinnity. The idea that Brown should lose some credit to his fielders could drop him below McGinnity, but for now I'll keep him here.

4. Joe McGinnity (2) Neck-and-neck with Brown. He's not as famous as the three-fingered one, but he deserves to go in all the same.

5. Home Run Johnson (9) I'm convinced, he's the best Negro League candidate we've had yet. Even if he's not on an all-time, Honus Wagner/Pop Lloyd level, it still seems pretty clear he was very good, and probably good enough to go in.

6. Frank Grant (7) Probably not as good as Johnson, but the consensus best black player of his century. We've hashed him out a lot, and I think he belongs.

I would like to pause here to reassure anyone who's feeling some deja vu that daryn and I are actually different people.

7. Bill Monroe (1) He topped my ballot last week; he drops this week, in response to the Johnson discussions here, although I still think they are very close. Both look worthy to me.

8. Jimmy Sheckard (4) Tinkers-Evers-Chance get the poems, but Sheckard was the best position player on that great Cubs team.

9. Bob Caruthers (3) He drops this week, but don't mistake that for thinking I'm giving up on him. I still think his peak should get him in the doors.

10. Vic Willis (15) Rebounds after I dropped him last week. Not quite as good as McGinnity, but several great seasons at the beginning of the century.

11. Frank Chance (10) I'm a little nervous about putting Chance on the ballot, given his limited playing time, but I think he played enough and was good enough to warrant this spot.

12. Lip Pike (5) His short career, especially in organized ball. Still, a great early star, and still deserves to be considered.

13. Fred Dunlap (n/a) He hasn't seen my ballot in a loong time, but I think I was being unfair to 19th century middle-infielders. Fred wins the race onto the ballot.

14. Rube Waddell (13) Could go ahead of Willis, based on the strikeouts, but then again, maybe not.

15. Dickey Pearce (n/a) A subjective placement, of course, but I think the great pre-NA star is at least as good as this.

Notable omissions continue to be Bobby Wallace, who just lacks any sort of peak and so won't make my ballot soon; and Sam Thompson who just doesn't impress me, RBIs aside.
   9. Jim Sp Posted: March 15, 2004 at 08:26 PM (#522912)
1) Lajoie--Best position player we?ve seen on the ballot yet.
   10. Jim Sp Posted: March 15, 2004 at 09:14 PM (#522914)
Same old comments on the people I left off the ballot...

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.
   11. KJOK Posted: March 15, 2004 at 09:56 PM (#522915)
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. NAP LAJOIE, 2B . .724 OWP, 766 RCAP, 10,460 PA?s. Def: EXCELLENT. One of the greatest players in history.

2. CHRISTY MATHEWSON, P . 405 RSAA, 393 Neutral Fibonacci Wins, 135 ERA+. Best pitcher we?ve seen except for Cy Young and Kid Nichols.

3. MORDACAI BROWN, P . 295 RSAA, 282 Neut. Fib. Wins, 138 ERA+. Certainly benefited from good defense behind him, but better pitcher than Walsh, Radbourn, & Galvin, so he belongs.

4. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Similar to Lajoie except only 60% of RCAP, but 60% of Lajoie is still excellent. 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.

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

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

7. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. .651 OWP. 282 RCAP, 5,373 PA?s. Def: AVERAGE. Best hitting Catcher between Ewing and Cochrane/Dickey.

8. HOME RUN JOHNSON, 2B/SS Great hitter and played important middle infield defensive positions. By my method his neutral MLE?s are .390 OBP, .501 SLG, 1460 Runs Created in around 8,500 PA?s. That may be a little high, but still signals that he was a special player.

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

10. TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, and 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins. AA discount puts him behind Waddell.

11. 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.
   12. dan b Posted: March 16, 2004 at 01:56 AM (#522918)
It is my busiest time of year at work and fantasy league commissioner duties call, so I appreciate the timing of consecutive slam dunk elections. I haven?t been able to keep up with the discussion, but I doubt its content will impact the outcome for 1922 and 1923.

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.)
   13. EricC Posted: March 16, 2004 at 02:59 AM (#522922)
>9. Chance (11) ? may be a victim here of an anti-Cooperstown bias. >

Not acc. to me.

Or me:

Similar Batters


WARP- You know better than to use similarity scores to compare a deadball era player with a 135 career OPS+ with a group of players from hitters' eras with a median career OPS+ of 107.
   14. Jeff M Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:14 AM (#522923)
1. Lajoie, Nap -- Easy choice for HOM. Edges Christy for #1.

2. Mathewson, Christy -- Slam Dunk

3. Brown, Mordecai -- Fairly distant behind Mathewson, but top-notch and deserving of the HOM. If he had retired a year earlier, he would have been elected last "year".

4. Browning, Pete -- Hasn't budged on my ballot in a long long time. 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 because he was easily one of the best hitters we've evaluated. He was an outfielder, so I doubt his suspect defense detracts much from his overall value.

5. Johnson, Home Run -- Lacking a perfect system for ranking the Negro League players, I tend to look at which white players they were compared to, and then drop them a couple of notches below that (unless there is evidence that I shouldn't). I've got Johnson linked with Home Run Baker, who will easily make the HOM, so I've got Johnson here. Maybe he should be a couple of spots lower. Who knows?

6. Bresnahan, Roger -- I was surprised to see that in my system he was quite a bit better as a hitter than Charlie Bennett, though certainly not as good defensively. If you stack Bresnahan's WS and WARP1 numbers against the catchers actually elected to the HoF, he looks very very solid.

7. 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.

8. Monroe, Bill -- With Monroe, his alleged comp is Jimmy Collins. He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves a bit more credit.

9. 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.

10. Leach, Tommy -- His numbers are deflated by the era, but normalized he looks very good. I've got him with 7 gold gloves at two different tough positions. He's just below my election line.

11. Caruthers, Bob -- WARP1 helped him leap higher on my ballot a couple of weeks ago. Also, I stepped away from the numbers and looked at the big picture, and he was one hell of a baseball player.

12. 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.

13. Grant, Frank -- Some of this is based on comparisons to Dunlap, who I don't value as highly as others. I haven't moved Grant's ranking, but I wonder if I subconsciously value Johnson and Monroe higher because Grant has been on the ballot so long.

14. Griffith, Clark -- Maybe too many pitchers on my ballot, but this is where he's been so this is where he stays. I'm not dumping him simply because other pitchers have become eligible. 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.

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

Off-ballot:

Thompson, Sam -- Was #15 last week but drops off as we get three new excellent candidates. Another pure hitter with questionable outfield defense. I don't think he was anywhere near as good a hitter as Browning. He didn't have an incredible peak or career, from a WS perspective, as outfielders go.

Sheckard, Jimmy -- Currently ranked #17 in my system.

Wallace, Bobby -- I didn't have him on the ballot during his first year of eligibility, which is clearly out of step with the consensus who voted him 4th. I've stated my thoughts on Wallace elsewhere, but in essence, his WS numbers are not that impressive in relation to existing HoF shortstops (he's kind of at the bottom of the stack) and he was only the best shortstop in the league once. He's ranked #22 in my system.
   15. Brian H Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:34 AM (#522924)
HOM 1922

1. Napoleon Lajoie - Lajoie may very well have been the greatest 2B ever (yes, even better than Craig Biggio !).... Does he have a relative currently involved in organized baseball ?

2. Christy Mathewson - Really a pretty much a perfect career. I think its rather unfortunate he comes up against Lajoie.

3. M. Brown - I?m not really certain he is better than Caruthers but I think his career numbers warrant a slight edge... Interestingly, James ranks Walsh just above Brown as a Pitcher but then includes Brown (and not Walsh) in his 100 greatest.

4. Bobby Caruthers (5 AS, 2 Cy Young, 2 MVP) As a strong an advocate for Caruthers I admit a temptation to put him at the top. But, honestly I can?t realistically say he was better than Lajoie or Mathewson. Brown is another story. But for now I?m going with Brown at 3 and Caruthers at 4. His five year Win Share total in the NHBA is THE HIGHEST OF ALL PLAYERS EVER (including those not yet eligible like Ruth, Wagner, Grove, Cobb and Bonds).

5 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.

6. Frank Chance (7 AS, 1 MVP) Chance was the was the premier 1B in baseball 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.

7. Joe McGinitty (4 AS, 2 Cy Young, arguably 3 Cy Youngs)? Very strong peak and stronger career numbers than the new candidates. A crucial player for McGraw?s Giants.

8. Big Sam Thompson -- (6 AS and 1 MVP)? Still the best power hitter on the ballot. The key player on the Detroit Wolverines NL pennant winner in 1887. A big assist man in the outfield though apparently not too good with the glove.

9 . Hugh Duffy ?(2 AS, 1 MVP) Duffy was integral part of Boston?s ?team of the 90?s?. He had an exceptional peak and enough of a career that I can?t call it a fluke. Renowned as a heads-up player and a top-notch fielder.

10 . Pete Browning (8 AS !) ? A better AA hitter you will not find. Not as good all around as Stovey ? a much better career than O?Niell. His early AA years are discounted. Apparently he was known as ?the Gladiator? for his battles in the outfield (with the ball) ? not a great fielder.

11. Rube Waddell ? (3 AS, 1 CY + 1 MVP) ? one of the greatest strikeout Pitchers of all time. If he had the legendary savvy of Griffith, for example, he probably would have won 300 games and become a first ballot HOMer.

12. Cupid Childs (5 AS) ? I had him above McPhee based on his peak and strength of competition (as does James). I also think he hit a bit better than Bid (although his fielding was clearly inferior). Easily the best major league 2b between McPhee and Lajoie.
   16. Jeff M Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:44 AM (#522925)
1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1-1) Bob Caruthers - 2/3 of Matty plus 1/3 of Nap, so stays top (see Discussion thread for details), but will relinquish temporarily in '23 for Honus.

Forgive me, because the following message isn't really my style, but I'm not going to be all that nice. I don't expect Karlmangus will be my friend after this.

Probably the only thing about the HOM process that consistently bugs me is when someone gets a "pet" player and then manipulates the evidence to justify a vote for that player.

I think this is an example of taking partisanship too far. I don't think Caruthers relatives think he was a better player than Matty and Nap. But apparently he is the second best player in history, second only to Wagner. Was he also better than Ruth?

Even assuming you're right with your fractions, is 2/3 of Matty plus 1/3 of Nap anywhere near as good as a full Matty or a full Nap for 17 years and 21 years respectively? Caruthers only played for 10 years (only pitched nine), and half in the AA. You've somehow extrapolated Caruthers career so that it is equivalent (actually, better) than Matty pitching for 17 years and Nap playing for 21 years. I read the post on the 1922 Discussion thread, and it doesn't make any sense.

Try this. Terminate Matty's career after 10 years and project another 7 years onto it, based on his first ten years. Do the same with Nap, except project another 11 years onto it. See if Caruthers is better. If he is -- and he won't be -- then he still shouldn't be ahead of Matty and Nap, because he didn't play those extra 7 and 11 years respectively.

Honestly, I think if you were a brand new voter who showed us a ballot with Caruthers ahead of Matty and Nap, we might not count it.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2004 at 11:13 AM (#522928)
I have to agree re Caruthers - you can make a case, at least, for him being the Peak-meister General, although it's overstated in my eyes. Yet it could be enough to boost him (with a full, generous stretch that no one else would give) ahead of all the remaining holdovers.

But putting him ahead of Mathewson and Lajoie? I'd respectfully ask our voter to reconsider.....
   18. karlmagnus Posted: March 16, 2004 at 02:54 PM (#522933)
I've never minded a little acerbity in discussion, and don't take it personally, even though I beliee those like our Leader who have Caruthers off the ballot entirely (and not at #17 on this very crowded ballot, but way off)are allowing pet hates to be as strong as pet candidates (and Joe, I'm sorry Bennett was off the bottom of my ballot, but only just off; he'd have been back in '25 or '26 which is when we start to elect backlog again.)

Of course Caruthers wasn't a better pitcher than Matty; the pedagogical cnstruct "Pitcher-Caruthers" was arguably as good, however.

Of course Caruthers wasn't a better hitter than Nap; the pedagogical construct "Hitter-Caruthers" was however just about as good, and in a much more sabermetric-friendly way -- he walked like mad, unlike Nap who was a VERY impatient hitter and deserves to be #2 not #1 on this ballot even for non-Caruthers-lovers because of it.

Of course Caruthers isn't the second best player in history; his peak was like Ruth's superb seasons of 1917 and 1918 -- but Ruth has since shown us 1920 and 1921. He's not better than Honus, he's not better than Cobb, he wasn't above Cy on my 1917 ballot and he's probably not better than Anson.

But he packed a career that was fully equivalent to 2/3 of Matty plus 1/3 of Nap into 10 seasons -- because he both pitched and hit, he got more value into a season at his peak than any player in history, as Brian H has pointed out.

THAT's why he deserves to be, not ranked #1 in history, but ranked above Matty and Nap on this ballot.

Incidentally, Jeff M, your comment about not considering my ballot if I were a new voter is why I vehemently oppose any such "quality" standards, which merely allow the consensus view to throttle dissent, a bad thing in any society. I'm nothing like the expert many on thse threads are, but I've been doing this for 20 "years" now. I'm also perfectly capable of understanding WARP3 and WS -- and of treating them with the skepticism they deserve.
   19. Jeff M Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:36 PM (#522935)
Incidentally, Jeff M, your comment about not considering my ballot if I were a new voter is why I vehemently oppose any such "quality" standards, which merely allow the consensus view to throttle dissent, a bad thing in any society.

Normally I'd agree with you there Karl. But I was one of the first people to sign up for this project, and while I can't claim ownership of it the way Joe rightly can, I feel strongly about protecting the HOM's integrity. Unlike a presidential election where popularity dominates and the quality of the electorate ought to be ignored, this is akin to a scholarship forum -- so quality does matter.

I'm not interested in throttling dissent, but I am (and will remain) concerned about votes that cannot be justified by any rational means. In the history of this project I have never advocated throwing out a vote or a ballot...not even a ballot of any "newbie"...not even when others have advocated tossing a ballot. There are many ballots here with which I seriously disagree. I have never suggested we ignore them.

But I think voting Caruthers ahead of Nap and Matty is unjustifiable by any rational method. I think any "outsider" who chose now to review these proceedings would question the integrity of the project if it saw that vote. When I saw it, I simply hoped you were kidding.

I have Charley Jones ranked #8, which is high by most voter's standards. I certainly wish the voters would pay more attention to him. Suppose I voted Charley Jones #1 ahead of Nap and Matty? My method? To project his stats to a modern-length season (reasonable) and double the length of his career by projecting his existing career for another ten (unreasonable).
   20. Marc Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:46 PM (#522936)
I've bashed karl from time to time myself but I can't get too worked up about his ballot this year. No I don't agree with it and I'm a FOBC. My 1922 ballot, when I get around to it, will be Lazhway-Mathewson-Caruthers. But:

Raw WS
   21. Jeff M Posted: March 16, 2004 at 05:00 PM (#522937)
Maybe I've just got a bug up my ass about the Caruthers thing. I'll drop it if others don't agree.
   22. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 16, 2004 at 05:20 PM (#522938)
I think any "outsider" who chose now to review these proceedings would question the integrity of the project if it saw that vote.
   23. Daryn Posted: March 16, 2004 at 05:22 PM (#522939)
Ballot Positions karlmagnus has Caruthers above the norm: 8.
   24. RobC Posted: March 16, 2004 at 05:57 PM (#522940)
daryn,

The absolute position difference doesnt tell us anything, we need the difference in "value" or "merit". By my system, the difference between 1st and 3rd this week is probably about 4 times larger than the difference between 10th and 30th.
   25. Chris Cobb Posted: March 16, 2004 at 06:13 PM (#522941)
Just so Jeff knows he's not way out in left field, I think his criticisms of karlmagnus's ranking of Caruthers are valid. However, I think the election process is strong enough that it keeps its integrity despite an outlandish vote here and there, so I don't worry about it too much. I was quite put out when yest left George Davis off his ballot in 1915; looking back, I don't think that vote compromised the integrity of the process much. In fact, since it's only when a player's value is crystal-clear to the vast majority of voters that we can really spot an outlandish vote, we can identify votes as outlandish only when they really don't make a difference to the outcome of an election.

That said, it's still important for us to try to distinguish good arguments and assessments of value from bad ones. RobC has just pointed out the problems with daryn's defense of the relative regularity of karlmagnus's ranking of Caruthers. I'll add that Marc's defense isn't really valid, either. Marc is making a peak argument for Caruthers; karlmangus made a career argument.

In my view, karlmagnus's analysis doesn't work on its own terms, for reasons Andew Siegel pointed out in post 61 on the ballot discussion thread, and that's what makes it seem like a polemical vote rather than a reasoned one. But karlmagnus is convinced by his numbers, so I don't think his vote actually is polemically motivated. It's just a mistake, and we all make our share of those.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 16, 2004 at 06:28 PM (#522942)
Incidentally, Jeff M, your comment about not considering my ballot if I were a new voter is why I vehemently oppose any such "quality" standards, which merely allow the consensus view to throttle dissent, a bad thing in any society. I'm nothing like the expert many on thse threads are, but I've been doing this for 20 "years" now. I'm also perfectly capable of understanding WARP3 and WS -- and of treating them with the skepticism they deserve.

Personally, while I obviously disagree with Karl's choice of Caruthers as numero uno, I feel his ballot would still pass muster fairly easily with the ballot committee. It's not as if he placed Wid Conroy in his top five. :-)

In other words, Karl is not the type of voter the ballot committe was intended for.

BTW, I scrapped my old system when it was telling me that Cy Young and Fred Clarke shouldn't be on my ballot. I promptly walked the system outside to my backyard and put it to sleep. :-(
   27. OCF Posted: March 16, 2004 at 07:06 PM (#522943)
There's an odd little side effect here. Of course, both Nap and Matty are going to be elected easily, and in the broad sweep of our project, it makes no difference which one is first on this year's ballot and which one is second. But suppose you do care about the order of the top two. If everyone had those two as #1 and #2, that issue would come down to a straight majority vote. You can see above ballots that have both possible orders, and of course you could argue it either way. But our system has a much larger point gap between #2 and #3 than it has between #1 and #2. So by placing the top two at #2 and #3, karlmagnus has given himself a larger share of the relative vote between Nap and Matty than anyone else so far.
   28. Marc Posted: March 16, 2004 at 07:50 PM (#522944)
Enough comedy. Jokes!

Still and always a peak-prime voter. I consider WS and WARP, adjusted for season length, no timeline (a pennant is a pennant), except "weak league" adjustments for AA, UA and FL. More than willing to consider qualitative/anecdotal evidence. Otherwise how can we give Negro Leaguers--even the Golden Age Negro Leaguers--a fair shake?

*In my PHoM

1. *"Freedom Bob" Lajoie (new)--195 adj WS (#2) and 85 adjWARP1 (#1) for 5 year non-consecutive peak. Not to mention a 15 year prime (#2 induration) at 29 WS (440 prime WS #1) and 13.3 WARP/year 199.8 prime WARP #1). Not too shabby.

2. *Christy Mathewson (new)--183 WS (#4) and 66.8 WARP (#5) for 5 year peak, and a 13 (WARP)-14 (WS) year prime for a #2 total WS and WARP for prime period.

3. *Bob Caruthers (8-4-2-2-1 last week)--255 WS (#1) and 73.6 WARP (#3) for 5 year peak.

4. *Dickey Pearce (3-2-1-1-3)--prove me wrong if you can!

5. *Harry Wright (7-6-4-4-4)--ditto.

6. *Sam Thompson (2-1-5-5-5)--#11 peak, #6 prime, #7 career among my 30 player consideration set. Among players for whom we have Pennants Added, Sam has the most. More than McGinnity, Val Haltren, Ryan, Duffy et al.

7. *Charley Jones (9-7-6-7-7)--182 adj WS for 5 year non-consecutive peak, just one less than Mathewson. History has dealt Charley almost as bad a deal as the Negro Leaguers.

8. Mordecai Brown (new)--I may have to take a new look at McGinnity because the Three-Fingered one and the Iron Man are pretty comparable in WS and WARP at eyeball level. But along with ERA+ there is this: OOB--Brown .278 McG .302.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (x-15-9-8-9)--his 38.5 adjWARP1 for 3 years is 5th best and his 14 year prime at 337 WS and 129 WARP is 4th best among my consideration set. His 354 career adjWS is 6th and 136 career WARP1 is 4th.

10. Home Run Johnson (x-6)--not a sophomore slump. I think he'll move back up as I give him more consideration. Frankly (pardoning the expression) what holds him back is my inability to decide whether Grant was maybe better.

11. Ed Williamson (14-10-8-8-9)--192 adjWS for 5 years is #3 in my consideration set, and his 10 year prime compares favorably with all but the N-Bs.

12. Hughie Jennings (12-8-7-11-10)--the #1 adjWARP1 peak for 3 years and #2 for 5 years. Not the best peak among position players this year, but usually.

13. Cupid Childs (x-14-x-10-12)--a decent peak and a high rate for his 8-9 prime years. We have as many or more great 2Bs as CFs worth considering (Wright-Pike-Browning-Van Haltren-Ryan-Duffy vs. Johnson-Childs-Grant-Dunlap-Monroe-White).

14. Lip Pike (x-9-11-12-14)--slipping again but probably the #5 or 6 player of his era. How many other #5-#6 players for a 15 year period will fail to make the HoM?

15. Joe McGinnity (15-10-x-x-15)--just as Jimmy Collins helped me rediscover Ed Williamson, 3 Brown is helping me to reconsider the Iron Man. He came close last year and will get elected with or without my help. Probably deserving even though he's not in my PHoM nor in a bonus position on my ballot. I s'pose this means I need to reconsider Clark Griffith too.

Dropped off--16. Frank Grant (x-13-13-13)--unlucky 13 as it turns out, but he'll be back. He or Johnson will get up to about #5 in a few years.

17. Bobby Wallace (x-15-15)--another guy I like, closer in value to Davis and Dahlen than Tinker or Long. Will move back up.

Close--18. Fred Dunlap--still like him a lot
   29. Jeff M Posted: March 16, 2004 at 08:10 PM (#522945)
<i> Ballot Positions karlmagnus has Caruthers above the norm: 8.
   30. ronw Posted: March 16, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#522946)
1922 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. I'll gladly incorporate WARP when they finally complete their fix.)

1. Nap Lajoie Much better than Caruthers or anyone else on this ballot not named Mathewson. MVP Candidate 1901, 1903-1908, 1910, All-Star candidate 1897-1900, 1902, 1909, 1912-13. (15 HOM seasons)

2. Christy Mathewson Much better than Caruthers or anyone else on this ballot not named Lajoie. I really want to tie these two at the top. MVP Candidate 1903, 1905, 1908-09, 1911-13. All-Star candidate 1901-02, 1904, 1906-07, 1910, 1914. (14 HOM seasons)

3. Grant Johnson Deserves a high ranking when considering the dearth of outstanding 2B candidates playing in 1890-1915 (Lajoie excepted).

4. Frank Grant It is a shame that Johnson came along to eclipse him. I believe he should have been elected by now.

5. Joe McGinnity I think very comparable to electee Walsh. MVP Candidate 1899-1900, 1903-1904. All-Star candidate 1901-1902, 1905-1907. (9 HOM seasons)

6. George Van Haltren I think he stands out from the CF glut. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons)

7. Roger Bresnahan MVP candidate 1906, 1908 All-Star candidate 1903-1905, 1907, 1911, 1914. (8 HOM seasons)

8. Jimmy Sheckard MVP Candidate 1901, 1903, 1911. All-Star candidate 1899-1900, 1902, 1905-1907, 1909-1910, 1912. (12 HOM seasons)

9. Jake Beckley If I were picking a team, would I want Hughie Jennings' 5 MVP-candidate seasons with nothing else, or Beckley's 176 All-Star candidate seasons? I lean on the Beckley side of the fence. All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. BTW, until Sisler, and even he is doubtful, we won't have a HOM 1B since Anson and Connor retired. (16 HOM seasons)

10. Jimmy Ryan MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons)

11. Bobby Wallace I do like long careers. To make my ballot, a long career player still needs a decent amount of solid play. Wallace had that solid play. I don't think ever an MVP candidate, but All-Star candidate 1897-1899, 1901-1908, 1910. (12 HOM seasons)

12. Hugh Duffy Part of the now underrepresented CF block. We have Hamilton from the 1890's, and no 1900's CF representatives. The teens will have a few, however. I'm not sure Duffy is so different from Joe Kelley. MVP candidate 1893-1894, All-Star candidate 1889-1892, 1895-1899. (11 HOM seasons)

13. Fielder Jones Doesn't seem too much different from Kelley or Duffy, when you factor in his fielding. MVP candidate 1908 (his last real year). All-Star candidate 1896-1898, 1900-1907. (12 HOM seasons)

14. Vic Willis Even on bad teams, apparently had good fielding. It didn't help his W-L record too much, since his early teams had no offense. MVP candidate 1899, 1901-1902. All-Star candidate 1898, 1903-04, 1906-09. (10 HOM seasons)

15. Mordecai Brown I will start slowly on the three-fingered one, who, like Waddell, surprisingly doesn?t rank high in my system. MVP candidate 1906, 1908-09. All-Star candidate 1904-05, 1907, 1910-11, 1915. (9 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT (in order of votes last year, with significant newcomers on top)

Miller Huggins - Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1904-08, 1910-14. (10 HOM seasons)
   31. Daryn Posted: March 16, 2004 at 09:37 PM (#522947)
Jeff M,

I'm not looking to start a fight at any time and particularly not on a ballot thread. I respect your ballot. All I was saying in a round-about way is that you have two guys high on your ballot that are far different from consensus. It seems odd that someone like that would advocate considering tossing someone else's ballot because one of his 15 choices, in your view, is impossibly too high. I understand you wouldn't be complaining if Caruthers were third on his ballot and I also understand the difference on this ballot between 1st and third is enormous, but it is ballots like yours and karlmagnus' that differ from consensus that (IMHO) better this project, rather than discredit it.
   32. OCF Posted: March 16, 2004 at 10:55 PM (#522949)
I've got "agreement with consensus" scores as a running tally. So far (which means compared to the consensus of the first 22 votes, which could well shift as more votes come in), I've got the following:
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: March 17, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#522956)
1922 Ballot

Quick review of methodology -- Primary metric for position players is fielding-adjusted, season-adjusted, league-quality adjusted win shares. Primary considerations for position players are career value, total value above average, and peak rate. I look at WARP but don't incorporate it systematically. Primary metric for pitchers is my calculation of wins earned above an average pitcher with the same offensive and defensive support. For pitchers, I consider peak and extended peak (best 3 years, best 7 years, best 10 years) most heavily; career value also considered. Positional adjustments made in ranking players from different positions against one another to insure fairly even representation of positional groups. Players also ranked against their immediate contemporaries to help ensure fairly even representation of eras.

Shoo-Ins. These two are obvious picks, but I'll rhapsodize on their greatness just a bit.

1. Nap Lajoie (n/e). 3rd-best player so far eligible. 560 CWS. Total peak 161. Peak rate 01-10 = 41.95 ws/162. What Hughie Jennings was for 5 years at his peak, Nap Lajoie was for 10 years at his. It's easy to see why Cleveland named the team for him.
   34. Marc Posted: March 17, 2004 at 04:35 AM (#522957)
>Posted 10:21 p.m., March 16, 2004 (#54) - George Kelly
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 04:53 AM (#522958)
<i>George, add nothing. This IS your HoM resume.,/i>

Marc, you're much too kind to Highpockets. :-)
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:17 AM (#522959)
John Murphy, I was just wondering, you wrote for Bill Monroe that "McGraw said (I'm assuming somewhat hyperbolically) that Monroe was the greatest of all-time. I must have missed it in the Negro League discussion page, but he was the greatest what? 3B? 2B? Negro League player? Greatest player ever? If it was greatest player ever, then it must be an hyperbolic comment, because he has stated many times that the greatest player he have ever seen is (not surprisingly) Hans Wagner. Maybe the greatest Negro League player?

From the Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues:

New York Giants' manager John McGraw stated that Monroe was the greatest player of all time and would have been a star in the major leagues if he had been given the opportunity to play at that level. Reports persisted that McGraw wanted to sign the handsome, light-complexioned infielder and pass him as a Cuban.

At any rate, it appears he thought highly of him. I wouldn't use McGraw's quote to catapult Monroe to the top of the heap at this point and time, however.
   37. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:55 AM (#522960)
Don't look now, but it looks like the Hall of Merit may soon have its very own Mark Garber... (click on homepage and scroll to end)
   38. RobC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 02:31 PM (#522964)
Clint,

I agree that the one guy was a troll, but as the person who seems to be making the biggest deal out of the minor league comparisons, shouldnt YOU be doing the minor league comparison research? My vote for Grant has nothing to do with minor league comparisons so it (at this point) isnt important to me. If there were more than 3 comparisons though, I might take it into account.
   39. RobC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 02:59 PM (#522965)
Someone asked if anyone has a rigid system recently. Mine may be
   40. Al Peterson Posted: March 17, 2004 at 02:59 PM (#522966)
1922 ballot. Hoops action will keep me busy most of this weekend. Some changes to my system and am still working on it.

1. Nap Lajoie (-). Even with questions about his fielding value I put him over...

2. Christy Mathewson (-). Could pitch a little. Or maybe a lot.
   41. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 17, 2004 at 03:32 PM (#522967)
<i>Posted 10:21 p.m., March 16, 2004 (#54) - George Kelly
   42. Marc Posted: March 17, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#522968)
>Take race out of the picture.

The problem is you can't take race out of the picture. When you appeal to what we don't know about these guys, that is all about race. If it weren't for race and racism, they would have a historical record the same as all those other guys.
   43. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 04:45 PM (#522970)
Joe, Caruthers' peak advantage over Nap and Matty isn't "slight" or "not that I'm granting that" it is, by Marc's figures on WS for the peak 5 years, 48% over Nap and 57% over Matty. (before I get endless 5-page seminars on why I can't use that metric, it's your metric, not mine; I prefer to stick to W/L pct and TB+BB/Outs.)

I always enjoy stirring up the pond, which of course disagrees with me. I take an extreme (but justifiable, and justified in detail above) position mostly to point out that those who have him out of sight of the ballot (as distinct from say #17 in this very strong year) are playing games with the numbers based on prejudice. Sorry, but that's the way I see it.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 04:57 PM (#522971)
Too bad Lu Blue didn't play with Frisch instead of Kelly so he could have taken Highpocket's place in the Hall. Same exact player value-wise as Bill Lange's nephew, yet nobody is championing his cause (for good reason).

Worst ... HoF pick ... ever!
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:13 PM (#522972)
I take an extreme (but justifiable, and justified in detail above) position mostly to point out that those who have him out of sight of the ballot (as distinct from say #17 in this very strong year) are playing games with the numbers based on prejudice.

What "prejudice" are you referring to, Karl?
   46. OCF Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#522973)
At least Lu Blue has a chance at making the All-Color team. The first baseman on that team would be either him or Bill White. Three-Finger Brown is in the rotation, but Sol White will have to stand in line behind Frank White.
   47. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#522974)
I think Hank Greenberg has the first baseman role nailed down on the all-color team.
   48. RobC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#522975)
I take an extreme (but justifiable, and justified in detail above) position mostly to point out that those who have him out of sight of the ballot (as distinct from say #17 in this very strong year) are playing games with the numbers based on prejudice.

This seems to be toeing the line on a form of "strategic" voting. Taking an extreme position to show others the error of their ways may not be constitutional, even if justifiable. You are probably on the safe side of the line but just barely.

Is there anything wrong with just voting your best 15 in order? If you really believe that Caruthers is more "meritorious" than Mathewson/Lajoie then I have no problem with your vote (other than it being wrong), but voting to point out the errors of others is strategic voting and should be smacked down hard.
   49. RobC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:43 PM (#522976)
I take an extreme (but justifiable, and justified in detail above) position mostly to point out that those who have him out of sight of the ballot (as distinct from say #17 in this very strong year) are playing games with the numbers based on prejudice.

This seems to be toeing the line on a form of "strategic" voting. Taking an extreme position to show others the error of their ways may not be constitutional, even if justifiable. You are probably on the safe side of the line but just barely.

Is there anything wrong with just voting your best 15 in order? If you really believe that Caruthers is more "meritorious" than Mathewson/Lajoie then I have no problem with your vote (other than it being wrong), but voting to point out the errors of others is strategic voting and should be smacked down hard.
   50. Marc Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:46 PM (#522977)
Greenberg is a color?

Aside from Lu, is there anybody on the team NOT named White, Black, Brown or Green? Or are we accepting first names, which gets you a bunch of Reds as well as more White(y)s.

Which one's pink?
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#522978)
Taking an extreme position to show others the error of their ways may not be constitutional,

It's definitely not constitutional. No ifs, ands or buts.
   52. OCF Posted: March 17, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#522979)
Marc - yeah, I probably wouldn't have taken Greenberg, but there isn't anyone to decide what the rules are for this. In answer to your second question, Vida Blue is also in the starting rotation. I would also consider anyone named "Weiss" or "Schwartz" to be eligible, and maybe even "Rojas." Next question: is "Rose" a color?
   53. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 06:37 PM (#522981)
And persisting in irrational error in the face of 20 years worth of reasoned argument IS constitutional?
   54. Joe Morgan Posted: March 17, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#522983)
What about the best guy I ever played with, Davey Concepcion? He was "great in the clubhouse", if you know what I mean - wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.
   55. RobC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#522984)
And persisting in irrational error in the face of 20 years worth of reasoned argument IS constitutional?

Actually, yes. I dont remember "irrational error" being mentioned. But, strategic voting was. Also, I dont think having Caruthers very, very low is an "irrational" error. I have him on my ballot, but it wouldnt take much adjustment to my system at all to have him out of the top 30. He is much closer to 30th than he is 1st, at least in my system.

I just did a quick look at pennants added (last update for 1914, so its out of date). Using the Warp1 pennants added, he is tied for 19th amongst current eligibles who were on that list. Lower him at least 2 positions, plus possibly a couple more, and you have a guy in the low 20s. I dont think voting by pennants added could be called "irrational", and it would show Caruthers as a guy who would be borderline at best for EVER making a ballot. If you then adjust for his league, by not giving him full pennant credit, and he is even lower. Doesnt sound "irrational" to me.
   56. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 06:56 PM (#522985)
To justify once more: Caruthers had more value at peak, by a substantial margin, than either Nap or Matty. Next year, by the same argument, he will also have a great deal more peak value than Crawford or Plank. His peak value matched Ruth's 1917-1918, but Ruth then, by a modest margin, exceeded that peak in 1920-21. If his peak, by some small margin, exceeds Honus's or Cy's, their huge value on a career basis outweighs it. With Nap (in any case somewhat overrated in my view) and Matty (somewhat underrated by this group, in my view) Caruthers' peak is enough better, and their career value advantage modest enough, that, combined with his uniqueness, he deserves to be #1 on the ballot.

Thus Caruthers will not be #1 on my ballot in 1923, he will (if not elected this year) be #2, just as he was in 1917.

You can obviously rationally justify having Caruthers at #3 this year. You can indeed justify, with increasing difficulty, anywhere down to about #17, depending on your criteria, and what (rationally determined) discount you take for the AA in his years in it.

You can NOT justify rationally having him out of sight of the ballot, except by using perverted sabermetrics to distort reality like a pretzel. His ERA+ is suppressed by his two last sore-arm years, and is in any case a meaningless stat for any pitcher before 1913, when ERA was first calculated.

That is NOT what this exercise is supposed to be about.
   57. OCF Posted: March 17, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#522986)
Jimmy Lavender is eligible for the HOM next year as well.

And he has a 63-76 career record and a 97 ERA+, so we won't be voting for him. Lavender first appeared in the majors as a 28 year old rookie with the 1912 Cubs. One of the things I noticed about those Cubs was that they were constantly refreshing their pitching staffs with not-young pitchers of little major league experience. I would guess that they were established minor league pitchers - perhaps Chance had a preference for going with known quantities. Between 1911 and 1912, Reulbach dropped from 29 starts and 222 innings to 19 starts (+ 20 relief experiences) and 169 innings. Brown (hurt?) dropped from 270 IP to 89 IP. King Cole went from a starter to little-used trade bait. The two main replacements who filled the gaps were Larry Cheney (age 26) and Lavender. Cheney did better with what was left of his career than Lavender.

By 1912 the Cubs weren't the extreme and unusual team that has generated so much discussion with this election. Their team ERA was still better than league average, but fading back towards average. Chance was nearly retired as a player. Tinker and Evers were still around - and Evers had a great year with the bat in 1912 - but they wouldn't have been the defensive forces they had been a few years earlier.
   58. Jim Sp Posted: March 17, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#522987)
Karl,
   59. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 07:37 PM (#522988)
Jim Sp, a very interesting question, which I hadn't thought of. We're actually talking a Hall of about 40 members, if James' ranking of Lajoie at 40 and Matty at 42 is correct. In such a Hall, yes I would have Caruthers. I would also have Matty, with his boost being his huge economic benefit to baseball as the first upper-middle-class hero figure. I wouldn't have Nap, who was never the best position player of his time, being behind both Wagner and Cobb. (Matty WAS the best pitcher between say 1905-10, and Caruthers was the best overall player in baseball in at least 1885-87.)

Having said that, I'm not sure the two questions are exactly equivalent, because uniqueness and positional balance are also criteria (the former, IMHO, works strongly in Caruthers' favor, the latter against him because of Clarkson/Keefe/Radbourn/Galvin) In such a small hall, if you had several closely equivalent outfielders, say, and one unique catcher who ranked behind them on the metrics, you might well include the catcher and not the outfielders. In our Hall, this is after all the argument for Bennett over Thompson/Ryan/Duffy/VanH, one with which I have some sympathy although I didn't vote that way in that case (to me Bennett, even adjusted for season length, was not overall better than McGuire, and so the argument didn't quite apply).
   60. Brian H Posted: March 17, 2004 at 07:37 PM (#522989)
I think what Karlmagnus is doing is hardly strategic voting --- Caruthers at #1 on one ballot isn't going to get him anywhere meaningful this time around.

Meanwhile, while I definitely disagree with his placement of Caruthers I think Karlmagnus' ballot should certainly stand as it was plainly done in good faith and with reason.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#522991)
You can NOT justify rationally having him out of sight of the ballot, except by using perverted sabermetrics to distort reality like a pretzel. His ERA+ is suppressed by his two last sore-arm years, and is in any case a meaningless stat for any pitcher before 1913, when ERA was first calculated.

Karl, no offense, but I'm starting to get ticked off by these comments. Almost half of the electorate felt he didn't belong during the last election - are they all idiots or do they have a vendetta against a man who probably died before their grandparents were born?

BTW, Is it all right with you if I place Dickey Pearce and Cupid Childs above Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, Williams and Mays to protest the "irrational" voters who don't have them on their ballots?

If you honestly think Caruthers belongs at the number one slot, I'm fine with that. If you honestly don't believe he belongs at the top slot and are using your ballot counter to our Constitution, then maybe a revised ballot is in order.
   62. Jeff M Posted: March 17, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#522992)
Hence my comments about integrity of the project.
   63. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#522993)
Nowhere near half the voters have Caruthers way off their ballots; a number have him just off, which is justifiable.

Theer is an enormous danger in taking sabermetrics, a science invented in the last 30 years, for post-1975 baseball, and applying it to an era in which it was unimaginable -- you will very often end up with screaming anachronisms.

ERA+ is just one example of an area where sabermetrics assumes that pitchers were doing something (striving at all times to minimise their ERA) that we know they were not, in fact, doing. Another is stolen bases -- players like Hamilton and Cobb sweated blood to improve their stolen base ability, something that sabermetrics tells us was completely futile. Even later, do you give Lou Brock NO benefit for his SB?

Untransparent "package deal" formulae like "pennants added", which RobC was using, are generally mathematical derivations of other baseball stats -- in that case, I suspect, of ERA+ -- they do not represent actual addition of actual pennants.

I'm really not trying to "tick you off" and accept entirely that you and most people in this discussion know far more about baseball and baseball history than I do (it probably helps to have ever actually played the game, for one thing!) However, I think there are more general techniques of statistical evaluation and historical comparison, in both of which I would claim considerable skill, that should also be applied here.
   64. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:31 PM (#522996)
Hopefully the EOBC will join me and other FOBC in saying Welcome, Martin, (very elegant BC positioning and phraseology!) to this very enjoyable if occasionally acerbic project. Technically, you probably need to say something about McGinnity.
   65. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#522997)
Hopefully the EOBC will join me and other FOBC in saying Welcome, Martin, (very elegant BC positioning and phraseology!) to this very enjoyable if occasionally acerbic project. Technically, you probably need to say something about McGinnity.
   66. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:34 PM (#522998)
Aside from Lu, is there anybody on the team NOT named White, Black, Brown or Green? Or are we accepting first names, which gets you a bunch of Reds as well as more White(y)s.

Which one's pink?


A buncha Grays.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:40 PM (#522999)
Theer is an enormous danger in taking sabermetrics, a science invented in the last 30 years, for post-1975 baseball, and applying it to an era in which it was unimaginable -- you will very often end up with screaming anachronisms.

If I wasn't using sabermetrics, I still would have Welch, McCormick, and Mullane in front of Caruthers on the pecking order of pitchers during that time.

I'm really not trying to "tick you off" and accept entirely that you and most people in this discussion know far more about baseball and baseball history than I do (it probably helps to have ever actually played the game, for one thing!)

If you are implying we haven't played professional baseball, you're correct. If you are implying that we are pencil-neck geeks who'd rather sit in front of a computer than play the game, I hope you can explain yourself better.

Another is stolen bases -- players like Hamilton and Cobb sweated blood to improve their stolen base ability, something that sabermetrics tells us was completely futile. Even later, do you give Lou Brock NO benefit for his SB?

Have you read anything that is sabermetrically inclined? I tend to doubt it with your Lou Brock statement.

Karl, you are in a sabermetrical website. What did you expect we would be doing here?

Sway us with the weight of your arguments. But remember this is a democracy and you might not get your way (as I won't always either). Besides, Caruthers is eventually going in.
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:42 PM (#523000)
Welcome, Martin! Good ballot.
   69. Brian H Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:54 PM (#523001)
I think what Karlmagnus is doing is hardly strategic voting --- Caruthers at #1 on one ballot isn't going to get him anywhere meaningful this time around.

Meanwhile, while I definitely disagree with his placement of Caruthers I think Karlmagnus' ballot should certainly stand as it was plainly done in good faith and with reason.
   70. Brian H Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:58 PM (#523002)
Sorry -- double-post inadvertent.
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: March 17, 2004 at 09:59 PM (#523003)
John,

In karlmagnus's reference to the advantages of having played the game, I believe he was indicating that _he_ had not played it, knows some other voters have, and respects the value of their experience. He was not indicating that all of us who haven't actually played the game don't know what we're talking about.

Maybe I wrong, and if I've mistaken karl's meaning I'm sure he will correct me, but I thought it might be helpful to inject a mediatory comment into the dialogue. I'll step back out of the way now . . .
   72. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2004 at 10:01 PM (#523004)
No, having been brought up in Britain and Singapore, I have never played baseball at all, professionally or otherwise. Although I followed it when in the US from 1971 on (about 14 of those 33 years) by the time I was here permanently I was much too fat and middle aged to risk embarassing myself among a bunch of jocks.

Have read everything Bill James has written since '83 Abstract, plus Palmer, Wright and a bunch of other stuff. Probably nowhere near as much as some on this site, though.

My point is, sabermetrics presumably doesn't like Brock much (I don't think James was a great fan, from memory.) Yet he had 3,000 hits and the SB record. Do we, because that SB record has little sabermetric value (he was a pretty good percentage base-stealer, from memory) say it has no Merit? This will actually be a relevant question in I guess 1985, as Brock must be fairly close to the borderline of the HOM.
   73. Marc Posted: March 17, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#523005)
Well, this is about as spirited as it has been, ever. I think ed is mistaken, karl is the guy stirring the pot this year. I wrote some 40-50 posts ago (?) that karl's positioning of Caruthers vis-a-vis Nap and Matty is no big deal. Haven't changed my opinion.

But is karl the guy who said we shouldn't use ERA or ERA+ pre-1913 a week or so ago? I had forgotten except that he just said it (again?). Now, that is ridiculous. I take it that we should also NOT use WS or WARP until about 1975ish. The logical extension of this (absurd) argument is that we should just let yest select all of the HoMers until 1975, when the rest of us will be allowed to reconvene.

Besides which I also note that on your ballot, karl, you admit to being impressed by Welch's 1.67 ERA one year. As for me, I would mark Welch down for that year because he obviously failed to do what some of us are absolutely certain that he meant to do, i.e. "pitch in a pinch." (Just kidding, though that's not much different than penalizing Ed Williamson for having lobbed 27 balls over a short left field fence that he did not build instead of doing something more manly.)

I think Jeff said about 20 posts ago that it's time to move on. Now that I got my two cents in, I agree with Jeff ;-)
   74. OCF Posted: March 17, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#523006)
Martin appears to have the 3rd or 4th highest "agreement with consensus" score this year so far. I'm also keeping track of the "friends of": for each candidate, which voter has placed him highest? So far, Martin appears to be the best Friend of Jimmy Ryan.

As a Fan of Lou Brock (not the same category as Friend of) - I'd rather not speculate him until the time comes.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2004 at 10:29 PM (#523007)
No, having been brought up in Britain and Singapore, I have never played baseball at all, professionally or otherwise. Although I followed it when in the US from 1971 on (about 14 of those 33 years) by the time I was here permanently I was much too fat and middle aged to risk embarassing myself among a bunch of jocks.

I honestly wasn't sure what you were implying so that's why I asked it the way I did. I'm glad I didn't fly off the handle before your explanation here.

My point is, sabermetrics presumably doesn't like Brock much (I don't think James was a great fan, from memory.) Yet he had 3,000 hits and the SB record. Do we, because that SB record has little sabermetric value (he was a pretty good percentage base-stealer, from memory) say it has no Merit? This will actually be a relevant question in I guess 1985, as Brock must be fairly close to the borderline of the HOM.

James has Brock as the #15 leftfielder all-time, so we're talking borderline HoFer. If Brock didn't have the stolen bases on his resume, he wouldn't be in contention for the honor.

James was also a strong supporter of Henderson and Raines, too. In fact, sabermeticians are more in Raines' corner for the Hall than the media is.

James and the gang value stole bases, but they also look at caught stealing, too.
   76. jimd Posted: March 17, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#523010)
But is karl the guy who said we shouldn't use ERA or ERA+ pre-1913 a week or so ago? ... I take it that we should also NOT use WS or WARP until about 1975ish.

Creating a Saves title has coincided with the complete restructuring of bullpens and the result is that Saves are now concentrated in a "closer". Would the restructuring have happened anyway, if Saves weren't measured? Who knows.

Measuring can change the behavior of the measured. We've all heard the seamy stories about the Cobb/Lajoie battle for the Batting Title in 1910. (And the other Batting title battle stories since then.)

I think that it's very likely that creating an ERA title may have influenced the behavior of the elite pitchers, who now had a "batting" title of their own to pursue.

If there was an official Win Shares or WARP title, some players would attempt to maximize their performance under that metric.
   77. EricC Posted: March 17, 2004 at 11:50 PM (#523011)
Re: Caruthers #1

That's absolutely laughable, and I agree with everyone who has picked the selection and the reasoning behind it apart. Obviously we don't discount Karl's ballot or anything, but it has to be the 2nd worst selection I've seen (yest's leaving Davis off entirely is definitely the winner).


Perry Werden (1911)?
   78. jimd Posted: March 18, 2004 at 12:33 AM (#523012)
Caruthers and peak; it all depends on how you measure the peak. Viewed using WARP-1, Caruthers top two seasons are 17.3 and 17.2, in 140 game seasons. Adjusted to 154 games, these are 19.0 and 18.9. Ruth's best season, 1923, was also 18.9 and his second best was 17.2 over the longer schedule. Walter Johnson's best season, 1913, was 18.6, again over 154 games. So it's quite fair to say that those seasons were 'Ruthian' in their impact on the AA of those days.

Lajoie has one season of higher impact, 1901, which measures out at 17.8 WARP-1, also in 140 games. Mathewson has no such season of 'Ruthian' dominance, 1908 being as good as it got, a not-too-shabby 15.6, in 154 games.

WARP-1's opinion is that Caruthers' pitching/hitting/fielding combo at its peak was as effective as Walter Johnson 1913 (pitching alone) or Lajoie 1901 (hitting/fielding together) or Ruth 1923 (hitting alone).

All the 'league difficulty' adjustments that go into transforming WARP-1 to WARP-3 turn these 'Ruthian' seasons (for both Caruthers and Lajoie) into less than such. But a "peak-only" voter -- with a narrow definition of peak and an avoidance of league-quality adjustments appropriate to the attitude of "a season is a season" -- could place Caruthers ahead of even the Babe and justify it.

I won't have him ahead of Lajoie and Mathewson, but the man did dominate the AA for a brief period of time. Imagine today if it was a kid instead of veteran Barry Bonds putting up Barry's numbers since 2000; that's the impact.
   79. Jeff M Posted: March 18, 2004 at 01:07 AM (#523014)
But a "peak-only" voter -- with a narrow definition of peak and an avoidance of league-quality adjustments appropriate to the attitude of "a season is a season" -- could place Caruthers ahead of even the Babe and justify it.

A very narrow definition of peak. Until now, I had yet to see people use only the 1-year or 2-year peak of players to justify their inclusion in the HOM. The shortest I've seen is a 3-year peak. I use 5 consecutive and 7 as well, to help round everything out.

Maybe Hughie Jennings ought to be #1.
   80. Jeff M Posted: March 18, 2004 at 01:21 AM (#523015)
Considering the lack of any decline whatsoever, does this mean that Albert's dying wish will be fulfilled?

Yes. I've taken the liberty of using Albert's first three solid seasons and projecting those numbers onto a 21 year career. I can safely say he is the fourth best player in major league history, behind Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Bob Caruthers. If Albert gets any better, he'll move up to #1 in no time. :)
   81. Jim Sp Posted: March 18, 2004 at 01:31 AM (#523016)
the man did dominate the AA for a brief period of time

Yup, and so did Tony Mullane, Silver King, Guy Hecker, Will White, and Dave Foutz. It was a lot easier to be Babe Ruth in the AA.

I'm going to belabor the point. Looking up these seasons briefly, there are a bunch of crazy years like Guy Hecker's 1884 season: 171 ERA+, 670 IP, 148 OPS+. Now that's a season.

Tony Mullane in 1884: 567 IP, 135 ERA+, 128 OPS+.

The next year Caruthers has his best season, 482 IP, 158 ERA+, didn't hit so well that year as he did later. We're supposed to believe that Caruthers' peak was uniquely great?

A few others...

Silver King in 1888: 585 IP, 199 ERA+, 96 OPS+.

Dave Foutz in 1886: 504 IP, 163 ERA+, 111 OPS+.

Will White in 1883: 577 IP, 155 ERA+.

Ed Morris (who?) in 1885 pitched 581 innings, 136 ERA+.

Bob Caruthers had a really, really nice career for a guy who was washed up at age 28. If we expand the HoM to 350 guys, I'll sign up for his campaign. His peak is not as impressive as it first appears, as is evident from the list above. And he ain't getting in on career.

If you cut Lajoie's and Mathewson's careers in half they would still be better choices than Caruthers.
   82. EricC Posted: March 18, 2004 at 02:22 AM (#523017)
1922 ballot.

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

1. Nap Lajoie (N) 2B (1B). Prime 1896-1913: 473 WS/9017 PA; 31.5 WS/600 PA. Most career value and strongest prime of any player on ballot. Obvious first-balloter HoMer; I have him behind only Wagner, Anson, and Cobb among position players seen to date. Fits the "inner circle" archetype- an entire long career's worth of all-star type seasons.

2. Christy Mathewson (N) P. 1901-1914: 143 ERA+ in 4486.3 IP. 5 ERA+ titles, done by nobody before, and by only 6 since. 373-188 W/L; 2nd most career wins to date, behind only Cy Young. A shoo-in.

(Cecil Fielder sized gap)

3. Roger Bresnahan (N-2) C (CF). 1902-1915: 222 Win Shares/5032 PA; 26.5 WS/600 PA. 2nd highest in career WS and career WS/162 of all catchers to date, behind only Ewing. Among the top 3 at position 9 times*, exceeded by only Lajoie among eligible players, and a catcher for most of them, fer cryin' out loud.

*Top 3 in WS rates. Other eligibles among top 3 at position 9 times: Tom York, Cupid Childs, Frank Chance.

4. Mordecai Brown (N) P. 1903-1915: 140 ERA+ in 3124 IP. Defensive support or not, a legitimately great pitcher year in and year out during his prime. Not a shoo-in, but deserving.
   83. Rob Wood Posted: March 18, 2004 at 02:27 AM (#523018)
My 1922 ballot:

1. Nap Lajoie -- a true superstar
   84. Marc Posted: March 18, 2004 at 02:29 AM (#523019)
The issue that wouldn't die: I rate on WS and WARP (both season-length adj, and the WARP is WARP1). And I rate for 3 and 5 year peak (about 40%), prime (about 45%) and career. I have Caruthers #1 for peak, and #3 overall. Leave karl alone. It's just a game.

>If there was an official Win Shares or WARP title, some players would attempt to maximize their
   85. jimd Posted: March 18, 2004 at 02:29 AM (#523020)
If you cut Lajoie's and Mathewson's careers in half they would still be better choices than Caruthers.

Well, you probably won't get much argument on Lajoie, but that doesn't stand up for Mathewson (Young, yes), at least for me.

Your list of "wonders" is AA only, and is also missing Keefe's 1884.
   86. Chris Cobb Posted: March 18, 2004 at 02:47 AM (#523021)
I'm as guilty as the next guy (maybe more) but I think all of us who have already voted should log out and come back next week.

Or this debate could shift over the the ballot discussion thread . . .

And Martin, welcome! Glad you're finding the project fun and educational. Me, too! You've arrived at a busy moment. Well-reasoned ballot!
   87. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 18, 2004 at 03:49 AM (#523024)
Interesting week. Two great candidates, the continuing saga of Frank Grant, and a new way of regarding le Parisien.

1922 ballot:

1. Christy Mathewson
   88. EricC Posted: March 18, 2004 at 04:00 AM (#523025)
From the 1922 BD thread, as requested:

<i>

Posted 7:05 p.m., March 11, 2004 (#119) - Max Parkinson
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2004 at 06:47 AM (#523027)
<i>George Kelly
   90. Brad G. Posted: March 18, 2004 at 04:26 PM (#523031)
This year began with a pool of 77 players (53 position players, 24 pitchers). I first narrowed the field to 35 players (28 and 7), at which point I begin the ranking process, which includes sorting through Win Shares, WARP numbers and assorted other statistics based on career and peak values.

I have re-evaluated my pitching system this year, resulting in a jump for McGinnity and (ugh) Caruthers, as well as a drop for Waddell. My evaluation of Negro League players has been adjusted in the fairest manner I?ve been able to develop, which incorporates various ?expert? opinions (posted on the Negro League board), along with those of contributers here.

Incidentally, I don?t rank based on any quotas for position, although I do use comparisons by position (as well as across the board).

1922:

1 Napoleon Lajoie- I was surprised at how easy it was to put Nap ahead of Mathewson. I feel he is the best position player we?ve inducted, and will remain so for one year.

2 Christy Mathewson- I would rank Mathewson behind Cy Young, but well ahead of the rest of the rest of the pitching pack. Best player on any McGraw-coached team.

3 Sam Thompson- Here?s one that I feel the Cooperstown gang got right (in 1974). Career WARP3 = 84.4, Career Runs Created = 1153, Career OPS+ = 146, Black Ink = 42, Gray Ink = 200 (!).

4 Joe McGinnity- Benefits from improvements in pitcher rankings (at Waddell?s expense). The perfect complement to Mathewson.
   91. Jeff M Posted: March 18, 2004 at 04:39 PM (#523032)
I think that it's very likely that creating an ERA title may have influenced the behavior of the elite pitchers, who now had a "batting" title of their own to pursue.

The "managing your career to gain awards" theory seems to make sense for hitters and some pitching categories, but not for ERA titles. I think your comment that Cobb may have sacrificed power so he could win coveted batting titles (and shiny new cars) makes some sense....though hard to measure, of course.

The same holds true for saves, although in a different way, because managers seem to be equally at fault here.

But why would an otherwise motivated pitcher start pitching better to win an ERA title? Are you saying he tried EVEN HARDER to prevent runs so he could win an award? Well, great, that's what he's supposed to do...and shouldn't he get credit for it? Should I discount the importance of ERA in the pre-ERA "era" because the pitchers weren't properly motivated to prevent runs? I don't follow this end of the argument.
   92. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2004 at 04:51 PM (#523033)
re: Bad HoF picks

I was only referring to players, so Comiskey, Yawkey and the rest should pipe down! :-)

As for Marquard, he's my pick for the worst pitcher in the Hall (I'm still looking at Haines), but I would still take him over Kelly or McCarthy (but not by much). But that is certainly debatable.
   93. Rick A. Posted: March 18, 2004 at 07:11 PM (#523035)
1922 Ballot

1. Nap Lajoie (n/e) ? Has more than 130 adjusted WS above average over the next highest position player, based on my system, with very good value for both prime and career. A clear #1.
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: March 19, 2004 at 03:02 AM (#523037)
1922 ballot, Nap and Christy comments from baseballlibrary.com

1. NAP LAJOIE - "Handsome, graceful, talented, and popular with both fans and teammates, he was an important figure in the launching of the AL and the survival of the Cleveland franchise. In the field, the 6'1" 195-lb Lajoie was known for his grace despite being considerably bigger than most infielders of his day. He had excellent speed and good hands. He managed the Cleveland team from 1905 to 1909 and during that time the club was called the Naps in his honor. He stepped down voluntarily because he believed his managing duties were hurting his play and ultimately hurting the team.
   95. EricC Posted: March 19, 2004 at 03:22 AM (#523038)
Howie- What's your take on "Three Finger" Brown?
   96. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 19, 2004 at 04:13 AM (#523040)
Re-posting something I just put on the discussion thread to make sure everyone sees it:

Just dumped the RSI career info in the HoM yahoo group (the e-mail should be forthcoming as I write this). There's four W/L records there, so if there's any confusion as to what they mean, check this post that will hopefully explain them. The column headers should work, but if not check the link. It's similar to the e-mails I've sent Joe (but keep apparently getting lost in cyberspace) except that: 1) there's a few more columns of info & 2) I've now had the time to double check all four W/L columns, whereas previously I'd only doublechecked 2 of them (very little difference, but I did catch at least one error - with David Wells).

Feel free to disregard all post-1922 pitchers. That would be in the spirit of the rules. I put everyone in because there's no way I want to keep adjusting that thing at the end of every election.

Let me know if there's any questions/comments/complaints or whatever.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 19, 2004 at 05:51 AM (#523041)
A better measure is Isolated Average (SLG-BA) but I can't find it on baseball-reference.com so I can't say how much power Cobb really has.

He led the league four times (1908, 1910-11, 1917).
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: March 19, 2004 at 12:44 PM (#523042)
DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH!

REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED REVISED

Dammit, I had forgotten 3-finger. Swamped at work, just looked at top of thread, and forgot to look for any other "newbies." My apologies.

1922 ballot, Nap and Christy comments from baseballlibrary.com

1. NAP LAJOIE - "Handsome, graceful, talented, and popular with both fans and teammates, he was an important figure in the launching of the AL and the survival of the Cleveland franchise. In the field, the 6'1" 195-lb Lajoie was known for his grace despite being considerably bigger than most infielders of his day. He had excellent speed and good hands. He managed the Cleveland team from 1905 to 1909 and during that time the club was called the Naps in his honor. He stepped down voluntarily because he believed his managing duties were hurting his play and ultimately hurting the team.
   99. DanG Posted: March 19, 2004 at 02:54 PM (#523043)
New exhibits added for Sheckard, Brown, Leach, Bresnahan, and Griffith. In 1922 we?ll coronate Lajoie and Mathewson, and ?Three Finger? also debuts. In 1923 we slam-dunk Wagner, while Crawford, Plank and Rube Foster jockey for position behind him until 1924, when the candidate drought begins.

1) Lajoie ? Normally ranks a couple places higher than Matty on the all-time greats lists.

2) Mathewson ? He and Nap are inner circle, among the top 15% in the HOF.

3) Wallace (2,2,ne) - Like McPhee, he was a regular for 18 years. Bid leads in ?raw? career OPS+ 106-105, but once you account for Bid?s AA play and Bobby?s pitching and six decline years, Wallace consistently leads in OPS+ by 7-8 points during their prime years. As fielders it?s a wash, comparing an A+ 19th century 2B to an A- deadball SS. The list below shows him surrounded by HoMers, plus he had more defensive value than most of those players. Players leading in Total Bases 1897-1908:
   100. Philip Posted: March 19, 2004 at 04:45 PM (#523044)
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 with most weight on the latter. Pitchers get a little boost to compensate for shorter careers.
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