Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Thursday, April 22, 2004

1924 Results: Crawford and Plank Cruise into Hall

Sam Crawford and Eddie Plank were easily elected to the Hall of Merit; each was in his second year of eligibility.

In an unprecendented turn of events, the top 13 finished in the exact same order as 1923.

Mordecai Brown and Grant Johnson are the top returning candidates for 1925.

RK   LY  Player             PTS Bal     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 1    2  Sam Crawford      1102  46    44  2
 2    3  Eddie Plank        907  45       23 13  6     2        1
 3    4  Mordecai Brown     620  41        5  3  3  9  5  4  2  3  2  2     1  1  1
 4    5  Grant Johnson      604  39        3  8  4  9  5  1  1  3  1        3     1
 5    6  Joe McGinnity      548  40        2  2  6  3  3  7  3  3  4  2     1  2  2
 6    7  Frank Grant        488  36           2  5  4  7  3  4  2  1  2  3  2     1
 7    8  Bobby Wallace      483  35        3  4  2  2  4  6  1     5  1  1  4  1  1
 8    9  Jimmy Sheckard     417  33           2  2  5  2  2  4  5  4  1  1     4  1
 9   10  Sam Thompson       391  29        1  5  2  2  3  4  1  3  1  1     2  1  3
10   11  Bob Caruthers      376  30     1  1  4  2  1  2  1  1     4  3  3  2  3  2
11   12  Dickey Pearce      277  19        2     5  1  1  3  2  1     2     1  1
12   13  Lip Pike           269  18        4  1  1  2        3  2  1  2     2 
13   14  Jake Beckley       253  22                 3  1  1  4  3  2  2  2  2     2
14   17  Rube Waddell       244  24              1     1  2     3  3  3  5  1  2  3
15   15  Hughie Jennings    228  20     1        2  1  1        1  3  4  2  2  2  1
16   16  Jimmy Ryan         223  23                 1  1     2  3  2  1  2  6  2  3
17   19  Hugh Duffy         201  18                    3  1  3  1  2  2  3  1  2
18   18  George Van Haltren 197  19                    2  2  2  2  1  2  1  2  3  2
19   20  Roger Bresnahan    194  20           1        1  1  1     2  3  3  1  5  2
20   22  Clark Griffith     149  15                       1  3  1  1  1  2  3  3
21   24  Bill Monroe        148  15              1        1  2     2  2  2     1  4
22   23  Pete Browning      135  12              1  1           5     2  1     1  1
23   21  Rube Foster        115  10                 1  1  3        1  1     1  1  1
24   27  Cupid Childs       101  11                 1        1  1        3  1  1  3
25   25  Mickey Welch        99   9           1  1           2           2     2  1
26   26  Tommy Leach         79   9                          1     1  1  2  1  1  2
27   28  Charley Jones       67   6                       2     2        1        1
28   33  Ed Williamson       60   7                    1                 1  3     2
29   29  Addie Joss          47   5                                1  1  2  1
30   31  John McGraw         46   4              1                 1     2
31   30  Frank Chance        43   4                          1  1     1     1
32   32  Lave Cross          34   3                       1           2
33   37  Vic Willis          32   4                          1                 1  2
34   38  Fielder Jones       30   4                                      1     3
35   35  Harry Wright        28   2              1                 1 
36   34  Jim McCormick       25   3                                   1     1  1
37   42  Herman Long         19   2                                   1  1 
38   40  Silver King         15   2                                         1  1
39   --  Tommy Bond          13   1                          1
40   43T Sol White            7   1                                            1
41T  41  Fred Dunlap          6   1                                               1
41T  --  Mike Tiernan         6   1                                               1
41T  --  Tony Mullane         6   1                                               1
41T  36  Johnny Evers         6   1                                               1
Dropped Out: Jim Whitney (39), Charlie Buffinton (43T)
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 22, 2004 at 07:10 AM | 35 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. Jim Sp Posted: April 22, 2004 at 01:27 PM (#524047)
Too bad, Crawford almost got the distinction of being elected unanimously in his second year on the ballot.
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: April 22, 2004 at 01:35 PM (#524048)
Next year that might happen is 1935, though it will be hard for anybody in the class of 34 to be unanimous either in 34 or 35, I suppose. Given that group, one might conceivably be elected unanimously in his third year on the ballot . . .
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 22, 2004 at 01:45 PM (#524050)
2-14 on last year's ballot became 1-13 this year. Not a lotta movement on the ballot. That bodes well for Mordecai & Johnson.
   4. MLB Posted: April 22, 2004 at 01:53 PM (#524051)
"I'm looking forward to reading all your comments about me!"

Dickey, you played little league...
   5. Marc Posted: April 22, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#524056)
In a manner of speaking I think Crawford was unanimous. We elected two and he was in an election slot on every ballot. Didn't we count that as unanimous is another case (Connor or Brouthers maybe)?

Also I still see us electing 10 of this backlog by 1932 plus newly eligibles Magee, Jackson, Baker, Hill and Poles (not necessarily in their first years), then in '33 the Big Train and either Zack Wheat or another backlogger.

The first 8 backloggers look fairly secure, but the 9-10 slots are really up for grabs. Pearce and Pike are next in line now and along with Jennings might stand to get the extra bonus slot or two. But they will also miss a lot of ballots that Beckley, Waddell and Ryan will be on. That's 6 strong candidates for the last 2 (or 3) slots.

My personal bias would be for everybody to consider Williamson and C. Jones for those slots (since they probably won't get any higher than that).
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2004 at 08:48 PM (#524057)
My personal bias would be for everybody to consider Williamson and C. Jones for those slots (since they probably won't get any higher than that).

Looks like Williamson will be on my ballot by '27. As for Jones, I might be his greatest friend now.
   7. OCF Posted: April 22, 2004 at 08:57 PM (#524058)
Looks like Williamson will be on my ballot by '27. As for Jones, I might be his greatest friend now.

You had Jones 9th. His greatest friends, both of whom had him 7th, were Marc and Rick A. Marc was also Williamson's greatest friend, putting him 6th. You and Marc are tied as greatest friends of Pearce (2nd in both case). Given how closely Pearce and Pike are coupled in the standings, and the tendency for the same people to vote for both, it's intersting that neither of you have Pike in the top 15.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:02 PM (#524059)
OCF:

You haven't seen my prelim, have you? :-)
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#524060)
Also I still see us electing 10 of this backlog by 1932 plus newly eligibles Magee, Jackson, Baker, Hill and Poles (not necessarily in their first years), then in '33 the Big Train and either Zack Wheat or another backlogger.
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:22 PM (#524061)
John, how did you rank Elmer Flick? Jackson's career is Flick-like, though it ended early for different reasons.
   11. jimd Posted: April 22, 2004 at 11:18 PM (#524062)
Didn't we count that as unanimous is another case (Connor or Brouthers maybe)?

IIRC, Brouthers and Mathewson are the two others who were elected in two-player selection years and were named 1st or 2nd on every ballot.

This is also the 5th straight year we've elected someone born in PA.
   12. Sean Gilman Posted: April 22, 2004 at 11:31 PM (#524063)
The HOM game this year (by popular demand) features the Brooklyn Robins and Washington Senators.
   13. Marc Posted: April 22, 2004 at 11:44 PM (#524064)
>This is also the 5th straight year we've elected someone born in PA.

This has to stop.

As for the Shoeless one, I will be boycotting in 1926 but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was elected without my help, and then you'll never know how I would have rated him! ;-)

Seriously, his career is only #3 among the 12 ML LFers I evaluated who are eligible through 1939 (after Wheat and Magee), but he did have the #1 peak and the #1 prime. I have him pretty even with Sam Crawford--better peak, obviously not as good a prime or career. Not sure if I would have him ahead or behind and won't have to worry about it now. And I have him a little ahead of Sam Thompson who has been the fully documented (statistically) position player at the top of my ballot over a fair period of time, sort of the standard other position players have to top. Joe does.

If he is eligible (not already elected) in 1927 I would have to decide where he goes compared to Caruthers and Pearce. Otherwise, he da man.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 23, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#524065)
John, how did you rank Elmer Flick? Jackson's career is Flick-like, though it ended early for different reasons.

My point isn't that he doesn't belong on our ballots (he does), but that he shouldn't sail in as if he were the inner circle guy he could have been. It took Flick a few years; it should take Jackson a few, too.
   15. Marc Posted: April 23, 2004 at 08:52 PM (#524067)
Jackson's position depends (after the boycott) on whether you're a peaker or a careerist.

Comps (Career)
   16. Daryn Posted: April 23, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#524068)
But most of us are a combo of peak/career, so a combo of Flick and Speaker is pretty darn good. I'll have him top 5 in 1926.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 23, 2004 at 09:11 PM (#524069)
But most of us are a combo of peak/career, so a combo of Flick and Speaker is pretty darn good. I'll have him top 5 in 1926.

As I will in '27 (because I will boycott him in '26).
   18. Marc Posted: April 23, 2004 at 10:44 PM (#524070)
Granted his age comps are "okay." But pick a career comp other than Flick. Now how does he look?
   19. Paul Wendt Posted: April 23, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#524071)
Perhaps I should resist comment, but for Similarity Score fans:
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 23, 2004 at 11:39 PM (#524074)
Next, he has more PA's than either Browning or ONeill and he doesn't have the AA discount that they have.

Browning (9.5 seasons) actually played a greater percentage of his teams' scheduled games than Jackson (8.7) did (O'Neill was less at 7.8).
   21. jimd Posted: April 24, 2004 at 01:25 AM (#524075)
First off, 879 is pretty low for a top-similarity... implying quality.

Not necessarily. It really implies uniqueness. And his uniqueness was in combining being pretty similar to Paul Waner until getting banned for life.

Comparing him to Tris Speaker means, what, he hit like a Gold Glove center fielder while being at best an average glove at a corner spot himself (James rates him C+; BP rates his as 101 in RF, 96 in the more demanding LF). Please, he's not Tris Speaker, even at Joe's best.

I see the Win Shares comparison to Flick; they're pretty close. WARP sees them differently, with Flick about 12% better, about one extra top-notch season, a significant difference (Jackson's war-work will make up part of that, but I have to decide how much, if any, to dock him for 1919/1920).

I haven't rated his peak yet, but unless he can top Cobb and Speaker, he looks like another candidate for the glut, just more romantic than most due to the might-have-beens for his career.
   22. Marc Posted: April 24, 2004 at 10:21 PM (#524077)
2 comments. 1) ed, he said if Joe's peak is not in the Cobb/Speaker range then he won't rank too highly. I think that is a fair position (though I disagree) given his short career. Like Caruthers, with his short career, if his peak isn't Ruthian, etc. etc. 2) David, once you get past Browning and Flick, the rest of his career comps are decidedly unflattering and comps being what they are (approximate), most people look at all 10 before seeing a pattern. The pattern I see is not so hot.
   23. Marc Posted: April 25, 2004 at 02:13 AM (#524079)
David,I don't really disagree with you. I guess the main point was just how different the two lists are (career versus age comps). Being a peaker, Joe will be high on my ballot in his 2nd year!
   24. Marc Posted: April 25, 2004 at 02:36 AM (#524082)
>Yes Marc, I understand what jimd meant.

Except that you went on to express something entirely different than what he said: If your career is only half as long as Cobb or Speaker, then you better have a (forget Cobb and Speaker), you better have "a really high peak."

The question is whether he IS better than 10 guys on the ballot.

That's all he said (with euphemism for "really high.").
   25. Daryn Posted: April 25, 2004 at 02:50 AM (#524083)
This is probably obvious to everyone, but sim scores are not relevant for someone like jackson because they inevitably compare him to people who put up the same career numbers in many more years of play -- they are not comps at all. His comps are the flicks and puckett's of the world who were great for ten years and suddenly stopped playing for one reason or another.
   26. Marc Posted: April 25, 2004 at 03:28 AM (#524084)
I promise, I will never ever post a sim score ever again.
   27. Marc Posted: April 26, 2004 at 12:08 AM (#524086)
>I understand that someone with Joe Jackson's short career length better have a high peak (duh!),

OK. I think we all agree!
   28. Marc Posted: April 26, 2004 at 12:43 AM (#524087)
Just for the record, how does Jackson's peak stack up? This is against a 73 man consideration set of ML position players eligible through 1939.

adjWS 3 year consecutive----adj to 162 game season--Pike 149 Cobb 136 Speaker 132 Jackson 8th at 112. The adj to 162 games means that the 19th century guys do real well on this measure.

adjWS 5 year non-consecutive--Cobb 230 Pike 217 Speaker 210 Jackson 6th at 183.

adjWARP1 3 year consecutive--adj by the WARP ^1/2--Jennings 53.0 Speaker 47.6 Cobb 45.7 Jackson 8th at 38.4.

adjWARP1 5 year non-consecutive--Collins 83.5 Jennings 81.5 Cobb 79.4 Jackson 10th at 59.0. It is worth noting that Cobb doesn't dominate everything.

AdjLWTS 3 year consecutive--adj by ^1/2 (LWTS per TB7)--Speaker 22.4 Jennings 20.7 Collins 20.5 Jackson 5th at 19.9.

AdjLWTS 5 year non-consecutive--Speaker 35.4 Cobb 34.9 Collins 34.7 Jackson 5th at 28.3.

So his peak is very good by every measure but even at his best he was certainly not Cobb or Speaker or Collins or even Hughie Jennings.

Still among ML with statistical documentation (so, not including Pop Lloyd or Dickey Pearce who may rank higher, and maybe there are 1-2 others, I don't know), I have Jackson overall behind only Cobb, Speaker and Collins and about equal to Frank Baker and Harry Heilmann (and including--i.e. better than--everybody already eligible) between now and 1939. IOW a N-B after the boycott.
   29. jimd Posted: April 26, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#524088)
In my opinion it is sorta like saying that Edgar Martinez or Albert Belle should not be in the HoM if their peak doesn't match up with Barry Bonds'.

No it is not, at least for Edgar, who has a long respectable career. Belle's argument (like Jackson's) will be a peak argument, and so I will evaluate him in part by placing him in the context of his contemporaries, which includes Bonds.

Doing that for Jackson, well, Cobb and Speaker are his direct contemporaries. When Joe's at his peak, he's the third best outfielder and maybe the 6th best player in MLB. (Eddie Collins and Walter Johnson complete the big 4 of 1911-15 and then there's a big gap.) Jackson is competitive with Baker, young Alexander (getting better), and a fading Wagner. When the time comes, I'll also compare absolute values for peaks amongst everybody on the ballot, but that's only worth so much, because the peak values decline over time.

He's nowhere near the best player in baseball, or even the best outfielder in baseball. We're ignoring some guys who can brag about being such (Jennings, Caruthers, Bond for best player, King as best pitcher, Williamson, Dunlap as best infielder, Fielder Jones, Lip Pike, Dave Eggler as best outfielder) because they also had short careers.

Why the double standard? (If you don't already have a healthy sampling from the above-mentioned players on your ballot; if you do and support Jackson, well we just differ about measuring his peak value then.)

"euphemism for "really high.""

Marc and ed, you're both right, depending on which portion of my system is involved. In my ballot comparitive portion, he'll have to have a "really high peak", better than the other guys on the ballot, to score well there, to help make up for the short career. In my "contemporaries" portion, Jackson has to beat out his contemporaries to score well for peak, even though they happen to be Speaker and Cobb and Johnson and Collins.

John Murphy had a bit to say about how it was easier to be a 200 game winner in the 1880's; does he have anything to say about how easy it was to be an all-time top-10 great in the oughts/teens/twenties? (John, I hope you don't take this wrong; I sincerely enjoy reading your point of view on issues and debating with you because, like me, I know you don't take things personally. ;-) 7 of the top 11 by Win Shares are active then, so I'm not quite as reverential about them setting "impossibly high" standards. I look at it more as the period when the overall quality was still low enough to make domination easier (like 19th century baseball) but the game's stability, etc. made longer careers easier (as in later decades).
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2004 at 07:17 PM (#524089)
John Murphy had a bit to say about how it was easier to be a 200 game winner in the 1880's; does he have anything to say about how easy it was to be an all-time top-10 great in the oughts/teens/twenties?

How do I answer this? I think it was easier for position players to have longer careers during the beginning of the last century than during the 19th century. I also think it was easier for position players to achieve and maintain their peaks during the "oughts/teens/twenties" than the previous century's stars could.

I have stated here that I thought that Jackson belonged in the top-five. Doing some more work on him, I'm not so sure anymore (for the reasons stated in the last paragraph). There's no doubt in mind that, if he hadn't derailed his career, he would be an inner circle "no-brainer" peak and career selection. However, his career was very short for his time and position. That was his fault and we shouldn't reward for his role in the Black Sox scandal by extrapolating his career numbers.

IOW, I'm having a tough time figuring out where to place him. :-)

(John, I hope you don't take this wrong; I sincerely enjoy reading your point of view on issues and debating with you because, like me, I know you don't take things personally. ;-)

I have read this about me a few times now, but I always worry that I come off as an ornery cuss most of the time in my posts. I'll give myself points for tenaciousness, though (Ezra Sutton and Dickey Pearce second that). :-D
   31. Chris Cobb Posted: April 26, 2004 at 07:34 PM (#524090)
fwiw, without some sort of game-throwing penalty (about which I still haven't made up my mind, Jackson would enter my ballot in 1927 around 5-7, depending upon who gets elected in 1925 & 1926, below Sherry Magee and Frank Grant, around Lip Pike, Clark Griffith, Hughie Jennings, and Hugh Duffy.
   32. OCF Posted: April 26, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#524091)
I wrote a piece for a few friends of mine about four years ago comparing Joe Jackson (at considerable length) to Darryl Strawberry. Using non-timelined relative statistics, Jackson did rise to a higher peak than Strawberry. BPro's "translated batting statistics" have Jackson at .342/.410/.594 in 5315 AB to Strawberry's .278/.377/.562 in 5352 AB. But I still find the parallels fascinating. Both came up young and were superstars - or at least billed as superstars - virtually right away. Each ultimately destroyed his own career, albeit in different ways. Even though they both suffered from impoverished backgrounds and weak educations, I don't find pointing that out to be particularly ennobling.

It seems unlikely that Strawberry could be a fictional character in the literature of the 2030's in the way that Joe Jackson appeared in W.P. Kinsiella's novel - but you never know.
   33. jimd Posted: April 27, 2004 at 01:15 AM (#524092)
I look at it more as the period when the overall quality was still low enough to make domination easier (like 19th century baseball) but the game's stability, etc. made longer careers easier (as in later decades).

Just to expand on this a little bit. The top guys of this era get to have the stratospheric peaks of the 19th century guys because the competition is still not at the level we'll arrive at in the late 30's when the farm systems are funnelling all available (white) talent into MLB. OTOH, they also appear to have the long primes and career length that the later guys have due to whatever it is, advances in training methods or team stability or fan appreciation for established stars, or none of the above. The result is a relatively large number of players with the combination of unusually high career value due to the multiplicative combination of long-prime/high-peak, all playing at the same time.

Win Shares has 7 of the top 12 playing nearly simultaneously (Young and Ruth do not overlap). There is a similar interlude during the 50's with 5 of the top 13 all active. Bonds is the true outlier, transcending his era like maybe noone has done before (more analysis needed here). WARP sees it pretty similarly, though dropping Mantle in favor of Lajoie due to league quality.
   34. Marc Posted: April 27, 2004 at 01:32 AM (#524093)
jimd, this is just a theory but having done some research on physical education and public health...

I think that in the 19th century there was very little appreciation of the link between nutrition and health, except at the extreme (the low extreme, that is, where obviously it was understood that poverty and poor health were related). But the wealthy and even the middle class, such as it was, adopted conspicuous consumption to the point where obesity was a sign of status. Baseball players as early as the '70s made pretty good money and the temptations of food and drink were powerful, more so even than today, becuase there was no counter-acting philosophy or science about what made for good health.

The public health movement began to take shape around the turn of the century and was influential by the time of WWI. The immediate impact was in the area of sanitation, however, not immediately on such personal vices as gluttony and drunkenness. But even so we saw a dramatic increase in life expectancy around this time as certain illnesses became less and less common. There were an awful lot of baseball players who died young in the 19th and early 20th century. Later the Ross Young's and Lou Gehrig's became a little more unusual. But that is only the grosser effect.

It was probably even later, though, that an appreciation for physical conditioning and even eating and drinking habits took hold, maybe even after WWII from a mass culture standpoint.

Then there is the issue of mental illness. It seems to me that there was a lot of it in baseball in the 19th century. Not just drunkenness, etc., but even more grossly self-destructive behaviors, murder, suicide, etc.

And of course household accidents.

The reduction of all of which indeed had, as jimd says, a multiplicative effect on health, conditioning, etc., of all Americans, including professional athletes. If anything, however, I would guess that, just like today, professional athletes--young men coming into money--perhaps even lagged rather than led the improvements in health in certain respects, drunkenness foremost among them.
   35. karlmagnus Posted: April 27, 2004 at 12:52 PM (#524094)
Spalding's 1889 baseball guide (now available on the net from the Library of Congress at memory.loc.gov/ammem/spaldinghtml) says that the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (Caruthers' team) came second instead of third in 1888 because of an outbreak of drunkenness on their competitors in the middle of the pennant race. There was obviously a lot of it about.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.2610 seconds
68 querie(s) executed