Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

1923 Ballot

Ooh the drama . . . lol.

Anyway, sorry it’s late, been one of those days, but it shouldn’t affect much.

Next week, when the site goes to registration it’s very important that you all register your names ASAP.

I have a feeling that some of our work may be hard to find for a week or two, so it’s quite likely that the 1924 election will be delayed a week or two. We won’t know for sure until we see how everything works with the transition . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 30, 2004 at 06:20 AM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 30, 2004 at 07:21 AM (#523409)
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."
   2. OCF Posted: March 30, 2004 at 08:50 AM (#523411)
1923 ballot.

1. Hans Wagner

(Pause before continuing.)

2. Sam Crawford (new) By far the best outfielder on the ballot. You do have to admit that it's hard to think of him without also thinking of Cobb, and it's hard to think of Cobb without thinking of Speaker. Cobb and Speaker will be 36 and 34 next year. They're not retired yet, but you wouldn't expect much else from them, would you? And Ruth is a skyrocket of a peak value case, but that was a troubling year he just had. Oh, he can still hit, but you wouldn't bet that a man of his behavior and habits would have a long career, would you? No one is claiming that Crawford is as good as Cobb or Speaker. We'll have to see about Ruth - a lot depends on whether he lasts.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: March 30, 2004 at 02:41 PM (#523415)
1. Kid Gleason

All right, all right. Just kidding.

The Real #1. Honus Wagner (new)

2. Sam Crawford (new) #1 on most other years.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: March 30, 2004 at 02:56 PM (#523416)
For Meyerle, Pike and the catchers I take adjusted hits as actual hits *130/actual games, normalizing them in each season to 130 games, with the exception of mini-seasons at the end where they were clearly winding down.

This is presumably our most crowded ballot for the next decade, although 1924 will run it close, since we're only electing 1 -- it will be good to detail fewer than 38 players. Hitter-Caruthers was a better hitter than Nap, he was also therefore, with only slightly more confidence, a better hitter than Crawford (who was better than Beckley, but not by a ton), though not than Honus. Plank's a somewhat better pitcher than Welch (but not as good as Matty or Pitcher-Caruthers), and had much better career stats than 3-finger. Evers significantly inferior to Huggins, so off the bottom of the ballot (better than Tinker or Chance, though.) Bender at 212-127 had a better record than Walsh or Waddell, so goes somewhere in the mid 20s and will move up. Rube Foster makes the NL even more difficult to assess; undoubtedly worthy of the HOM if management was included (but so for example is McGraw) but low on ballot without. I'll put him somewhat ahead of Vic Willis, unless evidence emerges that he was much better than that.

1. (N/A) Honus Wagner. Hopefully nobody will disagree with my #1 selection this "year."

2. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1-1-1) Bob Caruthers - 2/3 of Plank plus 1/3 of Crawford, so stays above everybody but 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?

3. (N/A) Sam Crawford Beats Plank on WS (well, I might as well use everybody else's metric occasionally!) If you adjust for era, fewer hits than Beckley. TB+BB/PA .480, TB+BB/Outs .740, so rate stats a bit better than Beckley, very similar to Nap, and nearly as good as Caruthers!

4. (N/A) Eddie Plank Better W/L and ERA+ than Welch puts him here, beating Brown by over 90 wins.

5. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-2-2-4) Mickey Welch - 307-210 still impresses me a lot, 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.

6. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5) 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 and very nearly as good as Crawford.

7. (N/A-6) 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.

8. (N/A-6-7-4-4-3-3-3-4-7) 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.)

9. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9) 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. Moves back above Thompson on fielding considerations, since the Beaneaters' WS figures were fudged and he was supposed to be really good.

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

11. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-8-7-10) 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. Moving steadily up the ballot, it seems.

12. (N/A-8-7-11-10-10-13-14-13-14-12-12-12-8-11) Frank Grant. The most plausible comparison I?ve seen was to Hardy Richardson, although others are comparing him to the (IMHO) somewhat inferior McPhee or, more recently, Collins. 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.

13. (N/A-7-9-12) 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.

14. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-13) 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.

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


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

17. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-9-13-N/A) 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.

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

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. (N/A-15-14-14-N/A) 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. Just not that special, overall, however -- short career and rate stats don't overwhelm you.

22. 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.

23. (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.

24. (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.

25. (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.

26. (N/A) Rube Foster. Include the managerial capability, and he should be MUCH higher. He's not getting elected this year; will move him up sharply if evidence is produced to warrant it -- but as a player he appears to be below Johnson

27. Chief Bender 212-127 moderately impressive, certainly compared to Waddell or Walsh, and would be 208-111 if you ignore his 4-16 in the Federal league. Somewhat unimpressive peak, though; 1910 his best year, but it looks like he just got lucky and had good run support.

28. (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.

29. 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.

30. 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

31. (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.

32. 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.

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

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. (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.

38. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   5. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 30, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#523417)
1. Honus Wagner (new). Well that sure was easy.

2. Sam Crawford (new). Great hitter for an extended period of time.

3. Eddie Plank (new). Great career value, though never as good at his best as Wagner or Crawford.

4. Joe McGinnity (7,5,2,2,3) 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.

5. Grant Johnson (5,5). Been a month & I'm still as high on him as I ever was. 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. Next week he could leap over McGinnity.

6. Frank Grant (7,5,4,3,6). 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. Bobby Wallace (6,4,8) 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. . .

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

9. Jimmy Sheckard (8,8,7,7) To me, he's very similar to Ryan & Van Haltren, but I'd put him a little higher. No longer receiving any subjective "Cub bump" due to a longer look at how solid that team was.

10. Dickey Pearce (15,11,10,8,10). One of the best players of his day, was good enough to outlast almost all his contemporaries. I think the 1870s have enough representatives, but that the 1860s may be getting short shrifted.

11. Sam Thompson (10,8,11,14,14). He could hit a little. And Fred Astaire could dance a little. Though I'm more a career guy, his prime is just amazing.

12. Tommy Leach (11,12). 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. George Van Haltren. (x,14,12,15,15). Nice long career for a guy who did numerous things well.

14. Mordecai Brown. (3). Helped more by his teammates than any great pitcher we've seen. RSI of 113.18 is almost as good as Chief Bender's. Defensive support was also fantastic. About a .600 pitcher with 3000 innings (including Fed League experience) when it's all considered. Not too far off from where I had him last week but I've realized that's a lot closer to Clark Griffith than Joe McGinnity & I also think I've been overrating Clark Griffith.

15. Jimmy Ryan (x,x,x,19,16). George Van Haltren without the ability to pitch.

   6. Brad Harris Posted: March 30, 2004 at 04:20 PM (#523419)
(1) Honus Wagner ? one of 3 best players in history
   7. Marc Posted: March 30, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#523420)
>38. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.

Tilting at windmills for $20: karl, those were 3 years out of a 22-23 year career and they were at age 35-36-37. And even in his "poor" year, he led NA SS in FA, and did it again in '74 at age 38. At age 39 in '75 he was still an average NA hitter and played 70 of his team's 70 games at SS.

Oz led NL SSs in FA at age 40 but with an OPS+ of 78. He had still been an average hitter at age 38. If you took his age 35+ seasons, you'd have, well, you'd have Dickey Pearce (Oz OPS+ 96-77-110-105-89-79-41-93 but with two FA titles; Pearce 76-35-88-109-100-51 with two FA titles). For Pearce's decline phase (age 35+) his OPS was about 80, for Ozzie's whole career including peak and prime--88, though for his age 35+ it was actually a couple points higher.

Except that Ozzie was never an all-star catcher earlier in his career, and Pearce was.
   8. ronw Posted: March 30, 2004 at 04:56 PM (#523421)
1923 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. Honus Wagner The biggest debate on this ballot is whether to call the unanimous winner Honus, Hans, or John Peter. MVP Candidate 1900-1909, 1912. All-Star candidate 1898-99, 1910-11, 1913-1916. (19 HOM seasons)

2. Sam Crawford He?s the best OF in history to this point not named Cobb or Speaker. MVP Candidate 1905, 1907-1909, 1911, 1914. All-Star candidate 1901-1904, 1906, 1910, 1912-1913, 1915. (15 HOM seasons)

3. Eddie Plank It will be interesting to see if we treat pitchers the same way as batters. Will the long steady pitching career look better than the 5-6 year shooting star? Never an MVP Candidate. All-Star candidate 1901-1905, 1907-1913, 1915-1916. (14 HOM seasons)

4. Grant Johnson Deserves a high ranking when considering the dearth of outstanding 2B candidates playing in 1890-1915 (Lajoie excepted). However, someone pointed out that Johnson was a 2B like Cal Ripken was a 3B. In that case, Johnson seems to be a better alternative than the steady Wallace?s and Tinker?s of the world, but he probably doesn?t measure up to the greatness of Davis and Dahlen, and can?t touch Wagner.

5. Frank Grant It is a shame that Johnson came along to eclipse him. I believe he should have been elected by now. Since I can?t say it about Johnson, I?ll say: deserves a high ranking when considering the dearth of outstanding 2B candidates playing in 1890-1915 (Lajoie excepted).

6. 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)

7. 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)

8. Jimmy Sheckard I?m looking forward to comparing him with Magee next year. All right, I already have. They are about the same. 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 16 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. Rube Foster Not the Red Sox pitcher, I?m still not sure about him. He might be the equivalent of a 3F Brown, who didn?t make my ballot this year.

13. 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)

14. 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)

15. Roger Bresnahan Max convinced me to drop him a bit. I think I was compensating for Bennett not being on the ballot, and not necessarily looking at the catcher candidates in their own right. MVP candidate 1906, 1908 All-Star candidate 1903-1905, 1907, 1911, 1914. (8 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT (significant newcomers on top, other must-comments following)

Johnny Evers ? I may have to rethink that WS defense, but I have him behind Tinker, and both comfortably ahead of Chance. Never an MVP Candidate, All-Star candidate 1903-1904, 1906-1910, 1912-1914. (10 HOM seasons)
   9. OCF Posted: March 30, 2004 at 05:32 PM (#523423)
Brad Harris -

Your ballot has no #9 vote and two #15 votes. (So does your prelim on the ballot discussion thread.) Would you please fix this or clarify it?
   10. Brian H Posted: March 30, 2004 at 06:23 PM (#523425)
HOM 1923

1. Honus Wagner - Quite possibly the greatest player ever

2. Sam Crawford - Stellar. Easily a full rung above the other outfield candidates.

3. M. Brown - I?m not really certain he is better than Caruthers but I think his career numbers warrant a slight edge... An integral part of the great Cub teams of the early 20th century....Interestingly, James ranks Walsh just above Brown as a Pitcher but then includes Brown (and not Walsh) in his 100 greatest players overall..

4. Bobby Caruthers (5 AS, 2 Cy Young, 2 MVP) 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 Eddie Plank - Because I am more a peak guy than a career voter he trails Caruthers and Brown. For now I place him above McGinitty but I have some reservations....

6. 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.

7. Rube Foster ? The first great Negro League/Black ball Pitcher

8. 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. Chance could rank higher if: (A) He was accorded credit for managing the Cubs; or (B) He was more durable player and put up career numbers like his longtime nemesis Fred Clarke.

9. 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.

10. Big Sam Thompson -- (6 AS and 1 MVP)?. The best player on the Detroit Wolverines
   11. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 30, 2004 at 06:48 PM (#523427)
Interestingly, James ranks Walsh just above Brown as a Pitcher but then includes Brown (and not Walsh) in his 100 greatest players overall..

I looked through that one time - there's several pitchers who change their rank WRT their fellow pitchers in the top 100. This happens once or twice to position players, too. Not sure if it was intentional or if it's another example of the same great copy editing that put Christy Mathewson in his "Team of the Decade" box for the 1950s.
   12. OCF Posted: March 30, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#523428)
Ballot counters: note that Martin in #18 did not change anything about his actual vote in #16 - just some of the explanatory information.
   13. RobC Posted: March 30, 2004 at 07:40 PM (#523429)
1. Honus Wagner (-) I think he will get elected sooner or later.
   14. karlmagnus Posted: March 30, 2004 at 08:04 PM (#523431)
Marc thanks; it comes of carrying comments over from year to year -- my Pearce comment dates from about 1904, when I put him below Wright, but there are now 20 places between them, which there shouldn't be. Will revise off-ballot placements in next "year" or so, as they're relevant to the late 20s -- Pearce will probably move up to about #25 -- and will make the bottom of my ballot in '31-32.
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: March 30, 2004 at 08:30 PM (#523432)
and will make the bottom of my ballot in '31-32.

There's a strong case waiting to be made that we should be electing Dickey Pearce in 31 or 32, if not sooner. We'll have three more pressing issues before we start digging into the backlog, namely (1) placement of negro-league candidates, (2) placement of pitchers vs. position players, (3) the players on the permanently ineligible list hitting the ballot in 1926, but giving the best players for each era of the game credit for their greatness should be the fourth issue.

Look for it round about June 1, I expect!
   16. Jim Sp Posted: March 30, 2004 at 09:08 PM (#523433)
Evers is well off my ballot but might make it someday, Bender will never make my ballot. I have Bender slightly above Haines and well above Marquard, still a terrible selection by the HoF though.

1) Wagner--Best candidate so far. Only Babe Ruth is clearly ahead of Wagner, I?d say, although if push came to shove I suppose Mays, Cobb, and Walter Johnson, plus maybe Charleston and Gibson are candidates for the #2 slot alltime as well. I put him above the HoM line, anyhow.
   17. Al Peterson Posted: March 30, 2004 at 09:16 PM (#523434)
1923 ballot. With a couple of easier elections at the top I took the time to redo my calculations, add some components to my rankings, basically do a double check for the coming years. Below are the changes which helped some players at the cost of some others.

1. Honus Wagner (-). Had a stranglehold as the dominant SS for a decade plus. If he had played in New York just think of the publicity he would have gotten.

2. Sam Crawford (-). Alltime leader in triples. Overshadowed in this election just like he was overshadowed by Cobb. Longevity + Excellence.

3. Sam Thompson (3). Personally feel a deserving HOMer. During 10 year period (1886-1895) was top 10 in league in total bases 9 times. .308 EQA, .684 OWP, man could hit a little.

4. Eddie Plank (-). Outstanding win totals with the needed underlying stats to go with them. Would be the type of pitcher any staff needs - steady, longterm option just not super.

5. Joe McGinnity (5). Quanity of work for the 1900s impressive to say the least. Helped the team by taking the ball often. Top 5 in IP for six straight years (1899-1904). Nine year span (1899-1907) of 123 ERA+ over 3235 IP. Good thing he threw sidearm with that workload.

6. Jimmy Ryan (7). Playing the flip-flop game again with...

7. George Van Haltren (6). Everytime I want to separate them the analysis says they're pretty much equal.

8. Three Finger Brown (8). Hall worthy, just not right away. Had fine defenses but his usage pattern shows he was thought to be the best of the Cub hurlers.

9. Frank Grant (10). Nothing new to report; scant evidence points to a player worthy of mention, possible induction.

10. Pete Browning (28). Don't know why I soured on him to such an extreme. Even with league discounts he swung some mean lumber. Let me throw out some numbers.

Career OPS+ = 162 which puts him in company with names like Foxx, McGwire, Frank Thomas. Discount it because of AA play? At the OPS+ = 147 level you're talking Heilmann, McCovey, and Schmidt. That's some pretty lofty company.

Batting Average Placement within league 1882-1891: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, -, 1, 3.
   18. Daryn Posted: March 30, 2004 at 10:49 PM (#523436)
40 players under consideration: 26 hitters, 14 pitchers.

1. Honus Wagner -- easy choice. One of the top 3 hitters in the league 11 times, plus the defense. 14 great years.

2. Sam Crawford ? would be first most years. 31 more hits than Beckley, his most similar player.

3. Ed Plank ? would be first many years. No real black ink, but easily best pitcher on the ballot unless you love McGinnity?s peak. Top ten most similars are a pretty impressive list.

4. Joe Mcginnity ? led league in wins 5 times, averaged 25 wins a year, led league in IP 4 straight years. Very close in value to first ballot inductee Walsh. Just flipped him with Brown.

5. Mordecai Brown ? very close to Mcginnity, top 5 pitcher in the league 7 consecutive times, 8 total. On win/loss only, Mcginnity had brown?s career and then went 7-12. I think they are about that close, but I am dropping him below McGinnity based on Chris? great analysis of the Cubs? fielding and the comparison of McGinnity against replacement level pitchers for all of his extra innings each year. I like that latter idea a lot and will try to incorporate it into my rankings in the future.

6. Grant Johnson - best blackball player to date. I?d really like to see he and Grant and Rube all make it.

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

8. Andrew Foster ? All three of these blackball stars should be in by 1932. Could easily be 6th on this ballot, or even 4th. I think his legend is a bit enhanced by his managerial and executive prowess. Still, Wagner said he might have been the best. Best Rube-related stat ? his Chicago Leland Giants went 123-6 in 1910.

*** I am worried that this deserving great will not be elected. To me, this would be a sad oversight. If anyone has the time to make a more eloquent argument in Andrew's support, please do so.

9. Mickey Welch ? 300 wins, lots of grey ink. Welch is the last person on my ballot that I really care about being in the Hall of Merit; and sadly he looks like the person on my ballot who has one of the worst chances of making it in.

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

11. Sam Thompson ? 8 dominating years, great ops+, lots of black ink in multiple categories. I have lowered him as it becomes apparent that others of his value are entering the ballot more frequently. I am lowering him again because I am more convinced his defense faired poorly compared to others on and near this ballot.

12. Bob Caruthers ? nice Winning percentage, great peak, short career, surprisingly low era+, 130 ops+ as a hitter . Karlmagnus? tactics notwithstanding, he has convinced me that this guy should be in (which was my original thought in any event). A record 6th pitcher on my ballot.

13. Roger Bresnahan ? Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor. Maybe I have him too high -- it?s here or just off the ballot. Tight ballot; I am sure he is better than Pike and below, but not necessarily better than Leach and above.

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

15. Jimmy Sheckard ? I can?t ignore 339 win shares and he did walk a lot ? throw in above average defense, a home run title and strong seasons 8 years apart and I guess I wouldn?t be embarrassed if he got in.

The rest

16. Tommy Leach ? slightly inferior to Sheckard, better fielder, worse hitter. I don?t like either of them really. Apparently I like peak a little more than I thought. Going into this I thought that 300 WS would make a candidate an easy choice. Off the ballot for the first and perhaps the last time.

17. Lip Pike ? 4 monster seasons, career too short. I re-evaluated him (he was as high as 9th on my ballot) ? I was giving him too much credit for his age 21 to 25 years. His is the kind of peak I can support. Second time off ballot. Will be back in 1925.

18. Bill Munroe ? I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I?ll take McGraw?s word for it. First time off the ballot, may be back in the late 20s.

19. Clark Griffith ? jumps close to my ballot from nowhere based a lot on the commentary in the 1917 thread and his 921 similarity score with mcginnity. Only been on my ballot once.

20. Chief Bender ? he fits in somewhere between here and Joss. Once he gets close to the ballot I?ll see if he really is better than Waddell.

21. Tinker ? my favourite of the t-e-c triumvirate and I?ll always keep him ahead of Jennings, but always behind Wallace. Perhaps spectacular defense ? someone has to be responsible for the 06-08 Cubs. Never been on my ballot.

22. Hughie Jennings ? I like him quite a bit. He?ll make it on to my ballot for the first time in the mid 20s I think. Never been on my ballot.

23. Johnny Evers ? not bad, better than Chance, worse than Tinker. Only here for his defence.

24. Pete Browning ? better than his statistics look. First time on my radar screen.

25. George Van Haltren ? 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Second time off my ballot.

26. Hugh Duffy ? 10 strong seasons, good black ink. Second time off my ballot.

27. Rube Waddell ? His career is too short for me. Pitchers especially, I like to see a long career because only a few really stand out on peak alone. With hitters my rating system emphasizes career over peak by about 1.8 to 1, with pitchers it is about 2.2 to 1. Though, I?m not dogmatic about it ? if Pedro retired today I?d have him ahead of tommy john and probably Blyleven. Despite the strikeouts, Rube does not shout Pedro/Koufax to me. Neither Rube nor anyone below him except Ryan has ever been on my ballot. I?m not sure anyone below this will ever make my ballot.

28. Jim Mccormick ? I like him much more than this, but have been swayed by my peers.

29. Jimmy Ryan ? 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs

30. Addie Joss ? I now think he?ll never make my ballot. Not sure what to do about these <200 win pitchers.

Also ran (31 through 40 in no order) -- Levi Meyerle, Tony Mullane, Vic Willis, Sol White, Roy Thomas, Dickey Pearce, Cupid Childs, Lave Cross, George Mullin and Frank Chance.
   19. OCF Posted: March 30, 2004 at 11:01 PM (#523437)
Career, peak, Beckley is to ? as Plank is to ?

Something for Jim Sp to think about: if you're Beckley's best friend, why does Plank rank below Brown?
   20. Marc Posted: March 30, 2004 at 11:03 PM (#523438)
>*** I am worried that this deserving great will not be elected. To me, this would be a sad oversight. If
   21. KJOK Posted: March 30, 2004 at 11:58 PM (#523441)
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. HONUS WAGER, SS . .749 OWP, 1060 RCAP, 11,738 PA?s. Def: EXCELLENT. Possibly one of top 2 players ever.

2. SAM CRAWFORD, RF . .686 OWP, 401 RCAP, 10,596 PA?s. Def: AVERAGE.

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. EDDIE PLANK, P . 278 RSAA, 288 Neut. Fib. Wins, 122 ERA+.

5. 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. When he retired, he ranked 12TH all-time in Plate Appearances by 3rd basemen:
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 31, 2004 at 12:20 AM (#523442)
When he retired, he ranked 12TH all-time in Plate Appearances by 3rd basemen:

I had McGraw on my ballot for many a year a while back, so I have no animus towards him. I'm also not criticizing your ranking of Mugsy. However, I think your argument here is not going to sway too many voters here.

If he was ranked 12th now, then that would be a different story.
   23. Marc Posted: March 31, 2004 at 06:51 AM (#523445)
I hope everybody will forgive this little diversion. But I just had to note that the Minnesota Gopher women's basketball team is going to the Final Four, the women's hockey team won the NCAA title on Sunday, and their volleyball team went to the Final Four last December. I have been a Minnesota sports fan for 45 years and tonight's win over Duke (and Lindsay Whalen's performance) is my 3rd most exciting event ever, after Kent Hrbek's grand slam in the 6th game in '87 and Kirby's walk-off in the 6th game in '91. It ranks just ahead of seeing the Twins beat Sandy Koufax in the 2nd game in '65 (because the Twins ended up losing that series). (See, this post is about baseball.)

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.
   24. KJOK Posted: March 31, 2004 at 07:36 AM (#523447)
I think your argument here is not going to sway too many voters here.

If he was ranked 12th now, then that would be a different story.

While I'm afraid you're right, I still think this is wrong. Where he ranks NOW should have very little bearing as the times have obviously changed, the season lengths have changed, etc. He should be compared to where he ranks with his peers, and in that context, his career was NOT unusually short, and it was extremely productive, which merits some votes here....
   25. KJOK Posted: March 31, 2004 at 07:46 AM (#523448)
<i>01. Satchel Paige
   26. Marc Posted: March 31, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#523449)
OK I'll try to stay on task today. Still a peak-prime voter with WS and WARP1 (both adjusted for season length, WS to 162 games, WARP to its specifications) both considered about equally. (*in my PHom)

1. *Honus Wagner (new)--goes into my HoM today. But just so nobody thinks this man was a god, his 3 year peak (WS and WARP) is not as good as Caruthers' and neither his 3 or 5 year peak on adjWARP1 is as good as Jennings. But of course he kills everybody else on every other worthwhile measure.

2. Sam Crawford (new)--easily the #1 all-time RF as of today, especially considering Ruth had played more LF as of "now."

3. *Bob Caruthers (4-2-2-1-3 last week)--right up there with Jennings and Wagner for the best peak available.

4. *Dickey Pearce (2-1-1-3-4)--best player not yet in HoM from 1855-1885 period.

5. *Home Run Johnson (x-6-10)--still trying to find the right slot, though he is already in my PHoM. Right now I *think* he is the best Negro League candidate though Frank Grant is also a viable choice. Clearly better than Monroe and White; probably better than Rube Foster.

6. Jimmy Sheckard (x-15-9-8-9)--my OF glut is Sheckard, Thompson and C. Jones. All three are very comparable for peak, but Sheckard's prime (14 years to the other's 10 years) is a tie-breaker.

7. *Harry Wright (6-4-4-4-5)--next best of the pre-NA players.

8. *Sam Thompson (1-5-5-5-6)
   27. Rick A. Posted: March 31, 2004 at 05:58 PM (#523450)
1923 Ballot

On the ballot
   28. Marc Posted: March 31, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#523451)
Like I said, I didn't do much new analysis this week other than slotting in Wagner, Crawford and Plank. So, I forgot Rube Foster. But he would be about #20 with the potential, as one of those dark stars about which little is known, to move up a bunch, maybe. But in fact, he is exactly #20, behind Plank and Wallace and ahead of Monroe and Sol White.
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 31, 2004 at 06:16 PM (#523452)

Glad to see that your non-consensus number will be definitely greater than mine with your omission of Plank. :-)
   30. Paul Wendt Posted: March 31, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#523453)
Marc #41
   31. Brad G. Posted: March 31, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#523454)
ed said: <I've just finish reading Henry Thomas' book about his grandfather, Walter Johnson, and I must say that it is a very well-researched book in all areas of this baseball giant's life. Highly recommended.>

I'll second that recommendation... the chapter detailing the 1924 World Series, in particular, was thoroughly compelling.
   32. Brad G. Posted: March 31, 2004 at 08:53 PM (#523455)
Oops... the above post refers to Thomas' book "Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train"
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#523456)
1923 Ballot

No changes from my prelim. Some analysis cut out to save space; some more info on Grant Johnson added.

Shoo-Ins. Only one goes in this year, but the other will have a good shot at pulling the top vote on 90% of ballots in 1924.

1. Honus Wagner. Best player so far eligible. Greatest shortstop of all time. 740 cws, 293 total peak, peak rate, 00-09 = 51.05 ws/162.
   34. OCF Posted: March 31, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#523457)
Thanks, Chris. Great post on Johnson. Now that I know what I get get out of you by putting you on the spot, I'll try not to abuse the technique.
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2004 at 10:07 PM (#523458)
You're welcome! I'd been working on the benchmarking data, but your comment inspired me to get a piece of it ready for this ballot.

Looking over it, I've spotted a typo: Johson's prorated MLE average for 1895, setting Sol White as an everage middle-infielder, should be .326, not .336 .
   36. karlmagnus Posted: March 31, 2004 at 10:28 PM (#523459)
Do you have an equivalent figure for Grant in 1895? He's more orless mid-career at that point, so it would be interesting.
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2004 at 10:52 PM (#523460)
I don't. Somebody apparently kept statistics on the 1895 Page Fence Giants, because Riley has batting averages for almost every starter on that team, and White, as a player who is something like a known quantity, provides a point of reference from which to estimate some major-league equivalents for the season. Grant was playing for the Cuban Giants or Cuban X-Giants at that time, however, and the only available info on them is a list of who the starters were. It's frustrating.
   38. karlmagnus Posted: March 31, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#523461)
Thanks -- pity. I was hoping to benchmark Johnson against Grant rather than vice versa, as we have IL figures for the young Grant, and at some stage someone (was it you?) produced some quite impressive later numbers for him as well, from a combination of which I concluded that he could be Hardy Richardson if looked at in the right light. So far I've seen evidence on several other blackball players, but not enough, or consisitent enough to give me even the level of confidence I had in Grant. (I worry a lot about selection bias when one has only a few years' figures -- stats will be remembered when a player had a standout year, but not when he had a disappointing one.) For Grant, this doesn't seem to be a problem -- his IL figures are complete, such as they are, and the other figures I remember were for a run of 4-5 years.

Hopefully we're coming to a period for which this won't be such a problem -- we will at least have a run of years of complete statistics, in whatever quality ball they played.
   39. Marc Posted: March 31, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#523462)
Do I recall, however, that we have some comparable figures for Grant and White and they seem to be very close, except that Grant is by then old enough to reasonably be in decline? The inference I am drawing is that it is fairly clearly Johnson-Grant-White in that order. Can anybody confirm? Or am I imagining such numbers for Grant and White?
   40. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2004 at 11:17 PM (#523463)
Up until 1910, the data are isolated fragments only. After 1910, the data are still fragmentary, but there are a lot more of them.

I have some promising (mostly) team numbers from the 1905 Philadelphia Giants from the Rube Foster biography that may help to provide a point of reference from the middle of Johnson's career (and could also help with Monroe, Pete Hill, and mabye Rube Foster, though I'm flummoxed by prospect of interpreting the pitching data), but I haven't finished working it up yet. As with the 1895 Page Fence team, it looks like somebody -- in this case, a journalist -- decided to follow this team closely and report on their doings, so there is a complete team record, season totlas of runs scored and runs allowed (!), and some part-season batting averages and won-lost records. The team data should be helpful in providing a basis for setting the overall quality of the best black teams.
   41. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2004 at 11:25 PM (#523464)
Do I recall, however, that we have some comparable figures for Grant and White and they seem to be very close, except that Grant is by then old enough to reasonably be in decline? The inference I am drawing is that it is fairly clearly Johnson-Grant-White in that order. Can anybody confirm? Or am I imagining such numbers for Grant and White?

Maybe you are thinking of the translated/projected statistics from i9s ? I'm pretty sure those were examined and discussed shortly after White became eligible. Holway may have some fragmentary statistics from the 1901-1903 period when Grant was at the end of his career and White was starting into his decline phase.
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: April 01, 2004 at 02:29 AM (#523466)
Ed and KJOK,

Both of your lists are really helpful -- they give me an orderly starting points for learning about and comparing negro-league pitchers beyond the obvious handful.
   43. DanG Posted: April 01, 2004 at 05:40 AM (#523467)
New exhibits added for Plank, McGinnity, Van Haltren, Brown, and Waddell. In 1923 we slam-dunk Wagner, while Crawford, Plank and Rube Foster jockey for position behind him until 1924, when the candidate drought begins. In 1925 Sherry Magee takes on the OF glut.

1) Wagner ? One of the top five all time.

2) Crawford ? Among the top 90 in history.

3) Plank ? First ballot HoMer in some years. Most wins 1904-12:
   44. Rob Wood Posted: April 01, 2004 at 06:58 AM (#523468)
My 1923 ballot:

1. Honus Wagner -- a pretty fair country ballplayer
   45. Sean Gilman Posted: April 01, 2004 at 08:51 AM (#523469)

1. Honus Wagner (-)--He?s really good.

2. Wahoo Sam Crawford (-)--Him too. One of my all-time favorite players.

3. Lip Pike (3)--Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I?ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea. Played the infield, played the outfield. The greatest power/speed combination of his time. Great peak and a reasonably long career for his time (1866-1878). (1919)

4. Home Run Johnson (4)--Look at KJOK?s translations and he?s a ?no-brainer?. Easily the best Negro League player we've seen so far.

5. Eddie Plank (-)--Heads the string of big career value players. Who had the better peak: him or Pud Galvin?

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

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

8. Bobby Wallace (7)--Lack of a peak keeps him from the top of the ballot, but I think he?s an eventual HOMer. Of course, I was a big fan of McPhee and Sutton too. Guess I like the defense.

9. Joe McGinnity (8)--A lot like Browning: big peak, not so much career value.

10. Pete Browning (9)--AA discount and short career keeps him in the middle of the ballot. I think he?s really underrated by the electorate at large. The man could hit.

11. Mordecai Brown (10)--I?ve got 3-Finger behind the Iron Man based on McGinnity?s IP advantage in their respective peak seasons and Brown?s superior defensive support.

12. Dickey Pearce (11)--The best shortstop of his time ranks towards the end of a very deep ballot.

13. Bob Caruthers (12)--His WARP1 and 3 Pennants Added are essentially the same as Pete Browning?s, which is interesting. . .

14. Hughie Jennings (13)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder.

15. Roger Bresnahan (14)--Great rate stats, but he just didn?t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. Waddell, Childs, Grant, Thompson, Van Haltren and another dozen or so players are just off the end of the ballot.
   46. Philip Posted: April 01, 2004 at 03:29 PM (#523471)
Top 10 all-time:
   47. KJOK Posted: April 01, 2004 at 07:36 PM (#523472)
KJOK about your Negro League pitchers ranking, it is also very good but I disagree with two of your rankings. I like Ray Brown, and he could even be ahead of Rube Foster on my list, but ahead of Leon Day? I don't know about that. Dave Brown only pitched 5 years before he went and killed somebody, so his career is way too short to be ranked so high. Also Bill Byrd just missed my top 15, finishing at the 16th spot.

Yes, Dave Brown definitely had a short career, and I may have him too high. However, I believe he was an 'ace' pitcher on the best team for those 5 years, so it's sort of a "lesser Dizzy Dean" argument to put him in the top 20.

As far as Ray Brown over Day, I made that choice looking at PITCHING ONLY. Factoring in hitting and the ability to play other positions, Day would definitely rank higher overall as a player.
   48. Brad G. Posted: April 01, 2004 at 08:16 PM (#523473)
Think the Yanks will be able to finally win a Series?

1923 Ballot:

1. Honus Wagner- Easily the best we?ve seen yet.

2. Sam Crawford- Great.

3. Mordecai Brown- Gets a bit of a boost from me this year. Excellent in both Win Shares and WARP.

4. Joe McGinnity- Very close to Brown in my estimation, could almost be reversed. Another Win Share star, and a ton of Black Ink (not too shabby on the Gray either).

5. Sam Thompson- I dropped him below the pitchers simply because he is clearly no longer the best RF eligible. Love the moustache, though.

6. Jimmy Sheckard- Went in my PHoM a couple years back (McG and Thompson are already there as well). Career Win Shares = 339, WS3 = 96, Career WARP1 = 130.7, Career WARP3 = 93.5, Career Runs Created = 1067, Black Ink = 19, Gray Ink = 124. Earns a Defensive ?A? in WS. Long, steady career; very good all-around player. Knew how to get on base.

7. Frank Grant- Consistent (subjective) placement of this early star 2B.

8. Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 Centerfielder of all time.

9. Ed Plank- Seems like we?ve been comparing pitchers to him for a long time. Lots of Ink (particularly the gray variety). Most career Win Shares (360) of any pitcher currently being considered. May go up.

10. Rube Waddell- First I went too high, then too low, but that?s pretty much the nature of Waddell?s career (and mental state). Walter Johnson, who knew a bit about pitching, said Waddell was the best he ever saw. I feel confident with him rounding out the top 10. Gotta appreciate these types of players.

11. Bobby Wallace- Career WS = 345, Career WARP1 = 155.5, Career WARP3 = 108. I feel he?s the 2nd best SS eligible.

12. Bob Caruthers- Yeah, he was good. 119 Wins over .500 in his career.

13. Jimmy Ryan- Career WS = 316, Career WARP1 = 119, Career WARP3 = 84.5, Career Runs Created = 1338, B+ WS Defender.

14. George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344 (just behind Wallace), WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286.

15. Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers? 1445.
   49. Sean Gilman Posted: April 01, 2004 at 09:01 PM (#523474)
TomH: You're a fan of Pete Browning's, which I understand. Can you explain what puts him above Sam Thompson? Shorter career, worse defense, and with a AA discount, probably not as good a stick either.

Couple reasons:

1. I like win shares better than WARP, and Browning does better than Thompson in WS. Browning's got a .72 - .61 edge in Win Shares Pennants Added, and a 241.5 to 215.4 lead in Win Shares above Replacement (both numbers from Joe's PA page).

2. Browning's got a slightly higher peak as seen by (adjusted by Chris Cobb IIRC) Win Shares: 119-104 for best 3 seasons, 190-160 for best 5 consecutive.

3. Thompson only had a longer career if you count his last three seasons when he had a total of just over 100 plate appearances, combined. If you don't count those (or Browning's last season), Thompson's career's only 1 year longer, not a real big difference.

4. As for the AA discount, I think it's way overrated. Great players are necessarily outliers. The great players of the AA have been consistently downgraded by the electorate as a whole because the average AA player wasn't as good as the average NL player. To put it in specific terms: everyone agrees that the Player's League in 1890 was of better quality than either the AA or the NL. At age 29, Pete Browning hit for a 169 OPS+ in the PL, while 30 year old Sam Thompson put up a 134 OPS+ in the NL. I think it's fair to discount Browning's first 4 seasons, when the AA really was bad, but considering that Browning played better than Thompson when he played more even (the later AA) or better (PL) competition, how sure are we that Browning was NOT a great player from 1882-1885?

All that said, Thompson is still on my radar. I've got him and Charley Jones and Van Haltren and several others waiting off the end of my ballot in the primordial soup of boarderline HOM candidates.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 01, 2004 at 09:48 PM (#523475)
3. Thompson only had a longer career if you count his last three seasons when he had a total of just over 100 plate appearances, combined. If you don't count those (or Browning's last season), Thompson's career's only 1 year longer, not a real big difference.

Browning played 9.5 seasons, while Thompson played 10.7.

BTW, I have both of them neck-and-neck on my list (with Thompson by a nose).
   51. Rick A. Posted: April 01, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#523477)
I rank Browning over Thompson as well. What I mostly use is WS above average, which Browning has more of than Thompson. Browning also has a higher prime value (seasons with WS over 23).
   52. dan b Posted: April 02, 2004 at 04:04 AM (#523479)
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. I will have more comments next time.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: April 02, 2004 at 02:03 PM (#523484)
Ack, swamped again this week, but "trials and tribulations" should be over in a few weeks...

1923 ballot
   54. Brad G. Posted: April 02, 2004 at 05:33 PM (#523485)
I'm not particularly in favor of asking voters to over-justify their ballots, but I noticed Dan B did not list Ed Plank among his top 20 for this year... I'm wondering if this was an oversite or if Dan has a reason for not voting for Plank. Just curious.

   55. OCF Posted: April 02, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#523486)
As long as we're pointing at ballots, Brad Harris's ballot (#11) is defective and hasn't been fixed. His numbers go 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-10-11-12-13-14-15-15. For the time being, I'm not including it in my tallies. Is he a new voter?
   56. Marc Posted: April 02, 2004 at 06:49 PM (#523488)
I am not a tallyer and it's certainly not up to me...but since Brad has 15 on his list, and if he does not offer a correction, I would move #10-15A up one slot and accept the ballot. Just a voice in the crowd.
   57. MattB Posted: April 02, 2004 at 08:16 PM (#523490)
I still hate my ballot. I decided to drop Clark Griffith, though, when I decided that he wasn't as good as I though he was. That gave me one more spot, to which I promoted Sam Thompson.

1. Hans "Parisian Bob" Wagner (n/e) -- Since I am becoming more of a peak voter (due to the fact that there are more good peak players available), I give Wagner no credit for his 1917 season, where he obtained only a 95 OPS+ at age 43.

2. Sam Crawford (n/e) -- Even were he to keep on his current trajectory for 20 more years, Devil Rays'left fielder Carl Crawford still wouldn't have a chance to be the best "Crawford" in major league history.

3. Ed Plank (n/e) -- Most wins by pitchers who won more games in the 1900s than in any other decade: (1) Mathewson; (2) Plank; (3)Vic Willis; (4)McGinnity; (5) Brown. Personally, I think that the HoM should be big enough for all five.

4. Frank Grant (3) -- Best black player of the 18th century.

5. Bob "Honus" Caruthers (4) -- Despite Caruther's pitching advantage over Wagner's 0.00 ERA in 8+ innings of work, I couldn't quite justify the -- what? -- 759 times better Wagner was as a hitter and fielder.

6. Rube Foster (n/e) -- Best of the early Negro League pitchers. I feel as though some think of him as a "pioneer" more than a player, and he certainly was a great pioneer. However, I consider pioneer-dom circumstantial evidence of greatness, since it is often the best players who can form the nucleus of a great team/league. The other circumstantial evidence does nothing to dissuade me here.

7. Home Run Johnson (5) -- With the ballot this close, Triples Johnson is way down in the low 20s.

8. Mordecai Brown (6) -- Best pitcher in baseball on a per-finger basis.

9. Jake Beckley (8) -- Still suffering from comparisons to Anson, Brouthers, and Connor, who were clearly much better, but don't take anything away from Beckley's value.
   58. dan b Posted: April 02, 2004 at 08:50 PM (#523491)
I'm not particularly in favor of asking voters to over-justify their ballots, but I noticed Dan B did not list Ed Plank among his top 20 for this year... I'm wondering if this was an oversite or if Dan has a reason for not voting for Plank. Just curious

Oversight is correct. Thanks, Brad G


3. Plank - Drop everyone else down one.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: April 02, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#523492)
Howie Menckel #76
   60. OCF Posted: April 02, 2004 at 09:38 PM (#523493)
Also from Howie Menckel's #76:

1. HONUS WAGNER ... and, seven months before he died, saw a statue of himself erected outside Forbes Field.

The sculptor was named Frank Vittor. The Pirates have moved twice since then, and the statue has moved with them each time. Quite a few people have posted pictures of PNC park on the internet, and they all take pictures of this statue. The "homepage" link above is just one of the choices.
   61. Rick A. Posted: April 02, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#523494)
Tom H. wrote
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 02, 2004 at 11:38 PM (#523495)
But Thompson looks better by every measure EXCEPT WS.

The funny thing is that I have Thompson by a nose using WS (though I do some alterations with the numbers).
   63. KJOK Posted: April 02, 2004 at 11:58 PM (#523496)
This is a plea for a little help on something that I think many of you will find to be of benefit.

I have finished "prettying up" and documenting a spreadsheet called "KJOK Leagues Parks Stats Converter". Basically, this is a spreadsheet that takes all of the different steps I use to convert a player's stats from one environment to another, different environment. As long as you have most of the basic stats for a player, the basic stats for the league they played in, the basic stats or assumed stats for the league your converting to, and have data or can make some basic assumptions about the relative level of competition between the two leagues and the parks in the leagues, the spreadsheet will spit out 3 different "equivalent" batting lines.

For example, if you want to know the NL, NY Mets approx. equivalent for Kaz Matsui's 2003 batting performance in the Pacific League for the Seibu Lions, this spreadsheet will do that. If you want to know the NL approx. equiv. stats of Bob Caruther's AA "big" seasons, this spreadsheet will do that. If you want to know what Oscar Charleton might have done in the AL, it will(assuming you're willing to make enough assumptions about the leagues he played in) do that.

I'm going to post it to the files section of the HOM egroup. What I'm asking is for those of you who are "in" to this type of thing to take this and test it to make sure I didn't miss any assumptions and that I didn't make any careless formula typos when manually entering all of this, AND to also offer any suggestions for clearer documentation or improvements in layout or method.

NOTE: Only the batting conversion has been completed. Hope to have a pitching conversion done in the near future...

Thanks in advance.

   64. KJOK Posted: April 03, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#523497)
One additional note - Although I built the spreadsheet, the theory behind it and the methodology about how to do the conversions were not mine alone but were built on the work of Tango Tiger and many other sabermetricians who have spent many hours and posted many discussions on this subject.
   65. favre Posted: April 03, 2004 at 01:42 AM (#523498)
Over the past twenty years I?ve developed from a strict career voter into something of a ?prime? voter. My rankings are based heavily on the best seven (nonconsecutive) years of each player, but also gives weight to career and peak.

1. Honus Wagner
   66. jimd Posted: April 03, 2004 at 03:45 AM (#523499)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles. The new rating system is not yet up-to-speed, unfortunately, due to a lack of available time on my part.

1) H. Wagner -- !.
   67. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2004 at 12:19 PM (#523500)
Anniversary alert: April 7, 2003 was the day that the first-ever (1898) ballots were submitted!
   68. EricC Posted: April 03, 2004 at 02:35 PM (#523501)
As an unofficial vote counter, I will assume (unless I hear otherwise) that Brad Harris (#11) intended his ballot to be in order 1-15, with no ties.

1923 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. Honus Wagner (N)

2. Sam Crawford (N) Because sometimes it's good enough to be the second best outfielder on your own team.

3. Eddie Plank (N) 326 wins make his election all but inevitable.

4. George "Rube" Waddell (N-4-5-3-3-3-1-5 last year) Those ERA+ and strikeout titles against strong competition convince me that he was a legitimately great, though hard-luck, pitcher.

5. Roger Bresnahan (N-2-3) His Win Shares rate (per game or per plate appearance) is among the highest that we've seen to date among players at any position. I don't understand all the recent Bresnahan bashing.

6. Mordecai Brown (N-4) May be overrated a little with respect to a system that takes every pitcher's defensive support into account, but that would knock him down into the "elect a little later" range, rather than the "mistake" range (unless you are an advocate for few pitchers in the HoM, which is a different matter).

7. Bobby Wallace (N-5-4-6) The kind of player (good every year for 15 straight) that has a lot of pennant impact over a career.

8. Lip Pike (3-2-4-4-4-5-8-6-4-4-5-7) In documented years, almost always best at position, with lots of black ink. Evidence that he was the fastest player in the game suggests that he was a defensive asset.

9. Jake Beckley (N-5-3-5-11-10-10-6-7-6-9) Average to very good for 17 straight years of regular play. Similar to Eddie Murray, though not quite as great. Would easily have cleared 3000 hits with a 162-game schedule.

10. Hughie Jennings (8-8-3-1-3-2-6-4-2-2-3-8) 2nd highest win shares/600 plate appearances during prime of any player on ballot after you-know-who, but was only good for 5 years.

11. Dickey Pearce (X-4-2-8-9-10-X-9-8-9-7-11) Anecdotal and statistical evidence suggest that he was the greatest pre-NA player.

12. John McGraw (12-15-9-5-6-6-9-8-5-8-10-13) Best 3B of 1890s. Answer: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and John McGraw, but not Barry Bonds. Question: Who are the top 3 in career OBP? Somewhat unfair, I know, because league average OBPs were at historic highs in the 1890s, but still....

13. Addie Joss (N-7-7-5-9-6-8-12) Career WHIP of 0.968 lowest ever; 142 ERA+ tied for 12th best ever. 8.5 years at this level is no fluke.

14. Jimmy Ryan (X-13-10-10-12-14-15-13-12-12-12-14) The 1889 White Stockings outfield forms the top of the CF glut. Ryan and Van Haltren have classic borderline HoM careers; Duffy has less career, but the monster year. I have them very close, with Ryan on top due to career length. They all hover (perpetually?) around the bottom of the ballot.

15. Frank Chance (X-11-7-7-10-9-10) Chance is the kind of player I like- great Win Shares rate, and best at position for a 5+ year span. That being said, he doesn't stand out from contemporary 1B quite as much as I thought before.

16. Hugh Duffy
   69. Paul Wendt Posted: April 03, 2004 at 04:49 PM (#523502)
2. Sam Crawford (N) Because sometimes it's good enough to be the second best outfielder on your own team.

True, Win Shares rates Jimmy Barrett the best outfielder on his team in 1900-1904 (four times team MVP, once second MVP to pitcher R.Miller). But Barrett moved from Cinci to Detroit two years before Crawford, and Win Shares rates Wahoo Sam the best Cinci outfielder in 1901-1902 (twice second MVP to pitcher "Noodles" Hahn). Win Shares also rates Crawford the best Detroit outfielder in 1905-1906 after Barrett's injury (once team MVP, once second to pitcher George Mullin).

If you know anything about Jimmy Barrett, beyond encyclopedia data and its sabrmetric implications, please write to me.
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 03, 2004 at 05:44 PM (#523504)
As an unofficial vote counter, I will assume (unless I hear otherwise) that Brad Harris (#11) intended his ballot to be in order 1-15, with no ties.

That's what I'm doing, too.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 03, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#523505)

The difference between Dunlap and Grant is not quality, but durability (IMO). If Sure-Shot had played a few more seasons of quality ball, he would be on a majority of ballots. Conversely, if Grant had only played 10 seasons as Dunlap did (I'm not counting 1890-91), "The Black Dunlap" wouldn't be on my ballot.
   72. Marc Posted: April 03, 2004 at 05:58 PM (#523506)
Dunlap was a hell of a player, I think the equal of Cupid Childs. And Fred Pfeffer too. Some great 2Bs in those days, all three better than McPhee on any given day. Grant appears to have outlasted them all (that is Dunlap, Childs and Pfeffer, not McPhee) but if he had been in the major leagues, would he really have played for 15-18 years? A serious logjam, IMO. All but Pfeffer have been on my ballot, just not very high.
   73. Esteban Rivera Posted: April 03, 2004 at 06:25 PM (#523507)
The fun starts next week!

1. Honus Wagner - The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs. (Oh yeah, he was kinda good)

2. Sam Crawford - To me it's a shame that he happened to appear the same year as Wagner. Fantastic player who was tremendously respected by Cobb even though they did not like each other. It was Cobb's campaigning that got Wahoo Sam into Cooperstown.

3. Eddie Plank - Very steady career. Career numbers are definitely HOMer worthy. This would be the type of pitcher I would love to have on a pitching staff.

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

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

6. Mordecai Brown - See him around McGinnity's level. Brilliant defense behind him lands him just a bit behind the Iron Man. But only a bit.

7. Grant Johnson - I am very certain that Home Run is a HOMer. All evidence points to a player of superior ability.

8. Frank Grant - I am finally comfortable ranking Grant higher. The experts that chose Grant in their list gave me the added confidence of boosting him higher. Was a great ballplayer acording to all accounts. Would be a an honor to have him grace our hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Roger Bresnahan - Starts of low on my ballot. He has his favorable points such as his offense and being versatile. However, playing time and defensive issues make me a bit wary of going higher with him.
   74. Adam Schafer Posted: April 03, 2004 at 09:49 PM (#523508)
I realized that if I didn't get my ballot in right now, it wasn't going to happen this week. No suprises on my ballot this year. Pretty consistent with all of my other ballots, except there are 3 new comers sitting at the top.

1. Honus Wagner (n/a) - No matter who your talking to, he is almost always considered one of the top 5 greatest players of all time, if not THE greatest player of all time.

2. Sam Crawford (n/a) - Truly a model of consistency. Being someone who looks at a mix of career and peak, but leans more towards career, I love Crawford.

3. Eddie Plank (n/a) - Three new comers atop my ballot. I pretty much have the same arguement for Plank that I do for Crawford. Having him up here is going to make my ballot top heavy with pitcher, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. It was once top heavy with outfielders, some of which we aren't even seriously considering anymore

4. Mickey Welch (4) - Poor Mickey was #2 just a couple of weeks ago, but due to 3 kick butt new comers, he gets knocked down a few notches. You can see my arguements for him on other posts. He wasn't as good as Keefe, but really wasn't much worse at all. They pitched in the same park in the same era for too long for their extremely similiar stats to be coincidental. Welch pitched much too long for his career to be considered all luck.

5. Joe McGinnity (5) - I've been listening, rereading posts, etc and while I still believe Brown is a HOM worthy player, I have been convinced that McGinnity is more deserving.

6. Three Finger Brown (3) - Some reevaluation of Welch and McGinnity leads to Brown's bump down my list. I still believe he is a HOM worthy player, but needs to be ranked a bit lower than I had him.

7. Sam Thompson (6) - 10 great years. Excellant peak. I'm more of a career type of person than I am peak, but Sam has a great mix of both.

8. Bobby Wallace (7) - Career, career, Career. That's what I keep saying I like. I like Bobby's, I really do. I would really like to see SOME peak.

9. Jake Beckley (8) - Again, I'm a career lover

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

11. Roger Bresnahan (10) - It's no secret that I love catchers. I would've ranked Roger higher had he caught more and played the OF less during his peak years.

12. Lip Pike (11) - I can see him finally getting in one of these days.

13. Hughie Jennings (12) - Nothing new to add to Jennings, except that he moves up above my OF glut

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

15. Jimmy Ryan (14) - See Van Haltren

16. Home Run Johnson (15) - For the first time I felt like there was enough information for me to rank one of the early Negro League players. Is there enough information for me to rank him higher? No. Would he have fared well against Major League talent? Maybe. We'll never know. I don't feel comfortable ranking him extremely high. I honestly don't think he was a better player than the people I have above him. I do feel he was a better player than the people I have below him though. Unfortunately Johnson moves down the ballot with 3 newcomers this year.

17. Rube Foster (n/a) - I really thought I'd have him ranked high on my ballot, but then after all of the posts, I wasn't so sure. I'll keep him near the bottom until I'm more confident in him as a player.

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

19. Bobby Carruthers (15) - I like Griffith a little bit better

20. Jimmy Sheckard - Just another Outfielder. I just don't get his high ranking for some.

21. Hugh Duffy - I'm beginning to wonder why I have him so low

22. Ed Reulbach - Pretty decent pitcher and look at that ERA!

23. Tommy Leach - I am a personal fan of his, I just can't rank him any higher

24. Vic Willis - A great pitcher, and I'm a friend of most pitchers. Vic lost too many games for my liking.

25. Dickey Pearce - Although doubtful, I could still persuaded to move him up

26. Deacon McGuire - I really wish I could justify putting him on my ballot somewhere, I really like the guy

27. Pete Browning -

28. Cupid Childs -

29. Mike Tiernan -

30. Joe Tinker -

Frank Grant still isn't under consideration by me.
   75. Brad Harris Posted: April 03, 2004 at 09:58 PM (#523509)
Just to clarify my ballot - because I've been informed I numbered my candidates wrong - please count the candidates in the order in which they are written. Ignore whatever numbers I put in the left column. Wagner is #1, Crawford is #2, etc.

Hope I haven't been a headache for anyone. Thanks.
   76. Adam Schafer Posted: April 04, 2004 at 06:48 AM (#523512)
Cindy, I knew deep down in my heart that you did!
   77. karlmagnus Posted: April 04, 2004 at 11:38 PM (#523514)
At least in the DC area, there's a TV show featuring our man of the year on TNT at 8pm.
   78. Jeff M Posted: April 05, 2004 at 12:19 AM (#523515)
Three new candidates take the top three spots -- everybody else stays put.

1. Wagner, Honus -- I'll assume the explanation requirement is waived in this case.

2. Crawford, Sam -- My system ranks him as the sixth best position player we've seen so far.

3. Plank, Eddie -- Just kept piling the numbers on. His only weakness in my system is that WARP doesn't see him as having an impressive 3-year peak or 5 consecutive year peak.

4. Brown, Mordecai -- Unlike some, I don't have him far behind Plank -- there's not much difference this year b/w my #3 and #4. Top-notch and deserving of the HOM. If he had retired a year earlier, he would have been elected that "year".

5. Browning, Pete -- Hasn't budged on my ballot in a long long time. I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. 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.

6. 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 and haven't seen a reason to move him.

7. 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.

8. 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. I'm starting to wonder if his chance for election has slipped by.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Caruthers, Bob -- WARP1 helped him leap higher on my ballot a few weeks ago. Also, I stepped away from the numbers and looked at the big picture, and he was one hell of a baseball player. I believe I'm being mischaracterized as an EOBC. I've never liked the "enemy of" and "friend of" characterizations, but I haven't complained before so I think the usage is entrenched on this blog. Nevertheless, I don't consider myself an enemy of any player, much less any player who is on my ballot. I'm not an EOBC, but I am, however, an EOPRBC (enemy of poorly reasoned ballot choices). :)

13. 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. Thompson now lurks just off my ballot.

14. 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.

15. 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.

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


Thompson, Sam -- Currently ranked #17 in my system, behind Waddell and ahead of Sheckard. 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 #18 in my system, behind Thompson and ahead of Beckley.

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. 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 #23 in my system, behind Willis and ahead of Chance.
   79. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: April 05, 2004 at 02:04 AM (#523516)
This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

1923 ballot:

1. Honus Wagner: Great.

2. Sam Crawford: Wow. Great is better than wow. [I had the bright idea to quote that whole commercial, but then never saw it again to get the script.]

3. Eddie Plank: The best pitcher on the ballot. Brown has a more impressive pure peak, but Plank has many more good years.

4. Grant Johnson
   80. Ken Fischer Posted: April 05, 2004 at 03:37 AM (#523517)
1923 Ballot

1-Honus Wagner 655 WS?no brainer?number 1 player all-time when he retired but soon surpassed by GHR
   81. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: April 05, 2004 at 04:24 AM (#523518)
I can't really say I did a lot of analysis this week (tax season will do that), but here's the ballot:

1. Honus Wagner (new) One of my all-time favorite players. If we were having a draft of all baseball players and I had the #1 pick, I'd trade down so I could draft Honus. By every account a great teammate, he could play anywhere on the field, and is so far ahead of any other shortstop that it's not worth comparing them. One of only 3 or 4 players who you could argue had the best season in baseball history (Ruth, Bonds and maybe Williams being the others).

2. Sam Crawford (new) Another one of my favorites, because of his chapter in Glory of Their Times as well as his excellent play. (Dammit! I placed an Amazon order today, I was trying to think if there was anything else I wanted to get, and I forgot the audio version of GoTT!)

3. Eddie Plank (new) His career argument is well ahead of any other pitcher's, and his peak was not that much worse than the rest.

4. Lip Pike (3) Made my HoM in 1919. The one 1870s player who should still be honored, one of the best hitters of his time.

5. Dickey Pearce (4) Made my HoM in 1921. The best player of his era, and I think that's worthy of honoring (and that's basically all we're arguing about with him.)

6. Home Run Johnson (5) I still have my reservations about tying his argument too closely to Pop Lloyd's, but the arguments for him seem pretty solid so far.

7. Bobby Wallace (7) I hope I'm not overvaluing shortstops, but he was a solid player for a long time, and his peak isn't nearly as poor as Beckley's.

8. Frank Grant (8) Not unlike Pearce in that I think "Best black ballplayer of the 19th century" is worth honoring. Maybe that's a quota, maybe not, but it feels legitimate to me.

9. Miner Brown (6) I need to look at all the stuff in this year's discussion thread again, but I'm willing to pull back on him a bit.

10. Jimmy Sheckard (9) A unique player, but there's nothing wrong with valuing defense.

11. Bob Caruthers (11) As usual, my dividing line between the defnites and the maybes.

12. Hughie Jennings (10) I still like his peak a lot, but I've got a LOT of shortstops on my ballot.

13. Bill Monroe (12) A good player, but I don't think he'll ever quite make the HoM or my HoM.

14. Jim McCormick (13) I need to look at the pitchers again (I need to do a lot of things), but I'm still linking him with McGinnity for now.

15. Joe McGinnity (14) I really don't think he was that much better than Waddell or Griffith, and I can't support that many pitchers.

Left out:
   82. Yardape Posted: April 05, 2004 at 07:03 AM (#523521)
The comments about the Cubs defense and the WS cap on the discussion thread has prompted me to go back and re-do all my rankings, trying to re-apportion the credit properly. That's proven to be a lengthy process, and it's not close to being complete. So now I'm still relying on my old system. Maybe if the site redesign takes some time, I'll be ready to roll for the next election.

1. Honus Wagner The system doesn't really matter for this vote. The difference between Wagner and Crawford is greater than the difference between Crawford and the bottom of the ballot.

2. Sam Crawford That's true even though Crawford was one hell of a player. He can wait a year, though.

3. Joe McGinnity Being a very good pitcher with a ton of innings has real value. A lot of value, in this case.

4. Bob Caruthers Everyone is familiar with the arguments on Caruthers. His combined peak, both hitting and pitching, matches up with anyone eligible, save maybe Honus.

5. Frank Grant I still think the greatest black player of the 19th Century deserves to go in.

6. Ed Plank I may be too conservative in this ranking; a steady, solid career, and a very impressive one. I have time to move him up, if necessary.

7. Lip Pike One of the elites of NA and early NL play. The last candidate from the 1870s deserving of serious consideration.

8. Dickey Pearce And one from the 1860s. One of the first legends of the game.

9. Home Run Johnson Along with Hill and Monroe, one of the first post-Grant Negro League stars. From what I can see, he should definitely go in.

10. Bill Monroe Ditto. I don't see much separating these too. Johnson was a better hitter, Monroe a better fielder. Hitting is probably more certain, so Johnson gets the nod.

11. Tommy Leach I think I was overlooking him before. Some great play at third and some good play in the outfield gets him here.

12. Jimmy Sheckard A great career, but his peak lifts him above the Ryan/Van Haltren glut. Sure, it's kind of a funny-shaped peak, with years in between, but it's there nonetheless.

13. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown I dropped him a bunch this week in response to the discussion of the Cubs defense. This may be too much, but I'm going to play it safe for now.

14. Hughie Jennings This is where an historic peak and nothing else gets you.

15. Fred Dunlap The white Fred Dunlap shouldn't be completely gone off the radar yet. There's still some fine middle-infield talent from the 19th Century eligible. I'd take him or Cupid Childs over Sam Thompson.

Incidentally, I've left Thompson off my ballot yet again. His career isn't terribly long, because he started late, and I'm not impressed with his peak. (I have been using WS, primarily).

Bobby Wallace misses again. I still don't like all-career, no-peak candidates, although Wallace is moving up in my estimation. He could hit my ballot soon.

Did I miss anyone else? Rube Foster, I think, was a very good pitcher whose reputation is enhanced by his later contributions to the game. I'm not convinced he belongs in; he's well behind Grant, Johnson, Monroe and Hill in my book, and somewhere around (but above) Sol White.
   83. Carl Goetz Posted: April 05, 2004 at 01:26 PM (#523522)
Honus Wagner easily enters my HoM this year.

1)Honus Wagner- Best player eligible and next year will be the best HoMer; both by a large margin.
   84. OCF Posted: April 05, 2004 at 03:59 PM (#523523)
47 ballots cast.

The following recent voters haven't checked in yet:
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 05, 2004 at 05:05 PM (#523525)
So, if you adjust for league quality and include post-season play, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Honus Wagner was THE BEST PLAYER IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL EVERY SINGLE SEASON FOR A DECADE.

If he wasn't the best player in the majors, he most certainly was the best player at his position for at least a decade. Can anybody elese claim that? Ruth can't. Cobb can't. Williams can't. Mays or Mantle can't.
   86. karlmagnus Posted: April 05, 2004 at 06:42 PM (#523526)
What about Bonds, 1993-2003?
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 05, 2004 at 07:47 PM (#523527)
What about Bonds, 1993-2003?

His '99 seasons screws it up, Karl.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 05, 2004 at 07:48 PM (#523528)
His '99 seasons screws it up, Karl.

That is: His '99 season screws it up, Karl.
   89. jimd Posted: April 05, 2004 at 07:54 PM (#523529)
So, if you adjust for league quality and include post-season play, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Honus Wagner was THE BEST PLAYER IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL EVERY SINGLE SEASON FOR A DECADE.

BP does adjust for league quality and would dispute that conclusion.

----- WARP1 ---- WARP3
   90. Jeff M Posted: April 05, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#523530)
What if the analysis wasn't limited to a decade, but was any 10-year rolling period? I'm just curious. I'm by no means watering down Hans' accomplishments, which were simply amazing.

That probably would get Bonds in there. Anyone else?
   91. Marc Posted: April 05, 2004 at 08:10 PM (#523531)
jimd, that's basically what I said in my ballot, Wagner was not god (nor Geno Auriemma). Jennings and Caruthers on this year's ballot have just as good of peaks, though Caruther's benefits from a seasonal adjustment that is "logical" but may or may not have realistically been replicable on the playing field. Jennings also got a small season adjustment that almost surely represents what would have happened on the field of play.
   92. jimd Posted: April 05, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#523532)
from a seasonal adjustment that is "logical" but may or may not have realistically been replicable on the playing field

The seasonal adjustment problem in a nutshell. If you're attempting to project how a player would have done in another era, the fact that the pitching/catching adjustments may not be "replicable on the playing field" is important. If you're trying to compare Value between eras, it doesn't matter. A catcher that catches 80% of the games in 1880 is as valuable within that context as a catcher that catches 80% of the games in 1980 (hitting and fielding ratings being comparable); it doesn't matter that the 1880 guy is stretched to his limit, or that the 1980 guy is also. The 1880 guy earns less WARP1s or Win Shares, quantitatively, but each one of those WARP1s or Win Shares are also worth more, qualitatively, because each individual game is worth more in an 84 game season than it is in a 162 game season.

End of rant ;-) Change topic.

What's up with registration? I didn't see any notice for it yet.
   93. Max Parkinson Posted: April 05, 2004 at 09:21 PM (#523533)
My 1923 Ballot. (I'll be very brief with the comments this week, as the conclusion is so foregone, and I'm up against the clock.)

1. Honus Wagner - Just so as to say something, if we were including everything done through 1923, and everyone was eligible, Wagner would be 4th on my ballot - behind Young, Cobb and Johnson.
   94. OCF Posted: April 06, 2004 at 12:14 AM (#523534)
I assume balloting is now closed. This week, I bring you a byproduct of the "consensus scores" calculuation, which could be called the "index of disagreement." This measures how much we disagree about candidates. I could say that the candidate the highest index of disagreement is Dickey Pearce, followed by Lip Pike, Bob Caruthers, and Sam Thompson. But most of this index of disagreement could be predicted simply on the basis of the candidate's ballot position. The full list (and yes, this is the order of finish as far as I can tell):

00 Wagner

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.


Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats





Page rendered in 1.2666 seconds
49 querie(s) executed