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

Monday, April 26, 2004

1925 Ballot

Two more join the club this year . . . who will they be?

Thanks to DanG for the death list . . . Frank Chance is the only person that received votes last year to have left us. No HoMers died. Active player Jake Daubert died in the offseason, he’ll be eligible in 1930.

Age Eligible
75 1898 Candy Cummings-P
73 1898 John Peters-SS
70 1898 Pop Snyder-C
67 1898 Fleet Walker-C
65 1898 Ed Swartwood-RF
65 1898 George Wood-LF
48 1918 Pat Moran-C/Mgr
47 1917 Frank Chance-1B
44 1917 Doc Gessler-RF
Upcoming Candidate
40 1930 Jake Daubert-1B

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 26, 2004 at 10:06 AM | 266 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rusty Priske Posted: April 26, 2004 at 12:31 PM (#524096)
I have heard some concern that we overrank first time candidates. That may be so, but I just can't find any way that Magee doesn't come out first for me. That said, I won't be disappointed if pretty much anybody on my ballot gets elected at this point. They all deserve it.

1. Sherry Magee (new) Inducted into my PHoM this year.
   2. karlmagnus Posted: April 26, 2004 at 12:40 PM (#524097)
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.

Ballot finally thinning out a bit, will thin out more. Magee better than Sheckard, but not much, and with a shortish career not as good as Duffy/Ryan/Van H. Hal Chase tempting, but maybe not.

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-2-1) Bob Caruthers 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Walsh (Caruthers won 23 more games than Walsh and lost 27 fewer, pitching about 100 fewer innings in his career -- and Walsh had a career OPS+ as a hitter of 50.) As a batter TB+BB/PA .483, TB+BB/Outs .793, so better than Nap and close to Stovey. If he?d just concentrated on pitching, added 50% to his career length, and gone 327-149, he?d have been in on the first ballot. Magnificent peak: 1886-87 59-23 and an OPS+ of 180 on 681AB beats anyone (Ruth?s best 2-way years, 1917-18, he was 37-20 and OPS+ of 182 on 440AB.) Compare with Ward, whose TB+BB/PA was .374 and TB+BB/Outs .545 and W-L was 164-102 (ERA+118) Caruthers was a better hitter and much better pitcher - so why have we elected Ward and not Caruthers?

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-2-2-4-5-4) 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.

3. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5) 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-9-13-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Back on ballot, and therefore on results table. 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.

15. (N/A) 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. Moved him back on the ballot in a tie-breaker -- McGuire's not going anywhere in '25.

OFF BALLOT:
   3. Marc Posted: April 26, 2004 at 01:15 PM (#524098)
Ah, the dreaded drought! Though Happy Jack apparently doesn't dread it too much. About ten of the following have a good chance (and their last chance) of being elected in the next 8-9 years. I have now reconsidered IF (incl. C) and OF, not yet pitchers.

Top of ballot: Players who are already in my PHoM or clearly just as good as those who are. (Well, there are lots of guys who could be just as good as these guys given the guesswork involved with Pearce and Johnson, but none who are clearly as good. Hey, it?s a backlog year.)

1. Dickey Pearce (1-3-4-4-2 last year)
   4. RobC Posted: April 26, 2004 at 02:05 PM (#524099)
1. Bobby Wallace - Clearly the best career on the ballot now.
   5. OCF Posted: April 26, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#524101)
Five ballots so far, and five different #1's. Also 3 different people getting #2 votes but not #1. I fearlessly predict that the overall "agreement with consensus" scores will run lower this year than they have for the last three.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2004 at 04:04 PM (#524102)
Looking forward to seeing everyone's Dickey Pearce comment! :-)
   7. Daryn Posted: April 26, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#524103)
To please John, I have a new Pearce comment to go along with his first appearance on my ballot.

1. Joe Mcginnity (p) ? First time at the top of my ballot. 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. Slightly better than Brown, maybe. 5 pitchers in my top 10.

2. Mordecai Brown (p) ? 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.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#524104)
To please John, I have a new Pearce comment to go along with his first appearance on my ballot

:-)
   9. Marc Posted: April 26, 2004 at 04:50 PM (#524105)
daryn, you are a gentleman and a scholar.
   10. KJOK Posted: April 26, 2004 at 05:00 PM (#524106)
Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers.

1. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. 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:
   11. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 26, 2004 at 05:15 PM (#524107)
When he retired, he ranked 12TH all-time in Plate Appearances by 3rd basemen:

Considering that the length of the schedule was constantly being altered (almost always increased) from 1871-1905ish, I really don't see this as being particularly impressive.
   12. Rob Wood Posted: April 26, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#524108)
I am mostly a career-value voter. My 1925 ballot:

1. Sam Thompson -- great run producer (somebody had to be #1)
   13. Al Peterson Posted: April 26, 2004 at 06:38 PM (#524109)
John Murphy,

Since I don't see him mentioned on your ballot, does Sherry Magee ever equate to the best at his position based on your metrics? I'm leaning on a higher ranking on him than most but would be interested on how he shakes out from your material. Thanks.
   14. Jim Sp Posted: April 26, 2004 at 06:42 PM (#524110)
Magee starts at #3, Leach makes my ballot for the first time.

1) Brown--Brown went 127-44 with an ERA of 1.42 in 1461 IP from 1906-1910. Although I appreciate the quality of the Cubs' defense, and the low run context of the era, that's quite a run.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2004 at 06:53 PM (#524111)
Since I don't see him mentioned on your ballot, does Sherry Magee ever equate to the best at his position based on your metrics? I'm leaning on a higher ranking on him than most but would be interested on how he shakes out from your material. Thanks.

I have him as the best leftfielder in the majors for 1907 and 1910, the NL leftfielder for 1905 and 1906, plus the NL centerfielder for 1915.

BTW, I'm honored that you feel my rankings are worthy (or at least somewhat worthy)! :-)
   16. Al Peterson Posted: April 26, 2004 at 07:15 PM (#524112)
I have him as the best leftfielder in the majors for 1907 and 1910, the NL leftfielder for 1905 and 1906, plus the NL centerfielder for 1915.

BTW, I'm honored that you feel my rankings are worthy (or at least somewhat worthy)! :-)


Five mentions in 14 full length years for Magee. That's about what I had figured.

The people who put plenty of time into discussions and debate all have input which should be considered. I might not always agree with it, but at least it makes for a good read :-)
   17. ronw Posted: April 26, 2004 at 08:15 PM (#524113)
1925 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. Grant Johnson At SS, 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.

2. Frank Grant It is a shame that Johnson came along to eclipse him. I believe he should have been elected by now. Deserves a high ranking when considering the dearth of outstanding 2B candidates playing in 1890-1915 (Lajoie excepted).

3. Dickey Pearce Fans of Bob Caruthers will be upset, because he would have made my ballot without two reconsiderations. Until this election, I had been considering the project to run from 1871, with pre-1871 contributions only available to those players who made significant post-1871 contributions. However, someone (John Murphy?) pointed out that the literal language of the constitution requires us to consider pre-1871 players. Especially given my career slant, I am still sorting out whether I should have Dickey Pearce #1.

4. Joe McGinnity Part of me wonders if I shouldn't have a "pitcher bonus" similar to a "catcher bonus" for my system. McGinnity ends up here due to an pitcher bonus, that I haven't quite applied to all pitchers. If I did, then McGinnity would still be here, but Willis, Mullane and Brown would probably be higher on my ballot. I think McGinnity is very comparable to electee Walsh, and has been on the ballot long enough. MVP Candidate 1899-1900, 1903-1904. All-Star candidate 1901-1902, 1905-1907. (9 HOM seasons)

5. Jake Beckley Every year, as fewer 1B come along to challenge him, Beckley looks more and more unique. In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons)

6. Jimmy Sheckard If Sheckard and Magee were 15 and 16, I would tie them at 15. Because I have to pick one, I?m going with the person who has been on the ballot longer. MVP Candidate 1901, 1903, 1911. All-Star candidate 1899-1900, 1902, 1905-1907, 1909-1910, 1912. (12 HOM seasons)

7. Sherry Magee - Nearly identical in value to Sheckard. MVP Candidate 1906, 1907, 1910, All-Star Candidate 1905, 1908-1909, 1911-1915, 1918. (12 HOM seasons)

8. George Van Haltren I think he stands ahead of 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)

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

10. 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)

11. 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)

12. 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)

13. Roger Bresnahan Not as high as I once had him, but I think this unique talent belongs on the ballot, and should eventually be enshrined. MVP candidate 1906, 1908 All-Star candidate 1903-1905, 1907, 1911, 1914. (8 HOM seasons)

14. Vic Willis He keeps showing up on my list. Barely ahead of the pitcher glut (Brown, Mullane, Welch, Caruthers, Waddell). MVP Candidate 1899, 1901-1902. All-Star Candidate 1898, 1903-1904, 1906-1909. (10 HOM seasons)

15. Tommy Leach Displaces Rube Foster from the ballot. Sometimes I think people tend to short-change multi-position players, because they don?t rank at the top of their respective positions. Never an MVP Candidate, All-Star Candidate 1901-1909, 1913-1914 (11 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT

Lip Pike ? Number 16 on my ballot, but will be below both Joe Jackson and Larry Doyle next year, so will stay here in 1926.

Bob Caruthers ? Poor Bob just misses again, but I don?t have an irrational bias against him. He just doesn?t measure up on my career-weighted system. MVP candidate 1885-1889, All-Star candidate 1890-1892. (8 HOM seasons)

Mordecai Brown - I have him just below Caruthers and Mullane among the unranked pitcher candidates. MVP candidate 1906, 1908-09. All-Star candidate 1904-05, 1907, 1910-11, 1915. (9 HOM seasons)

Sam Thompson ? Some of the top returnees are just missing my ballot, and may make it later in the 20?s. Thompson is probably not one of them. I see Thompson as below Pike, Tiernan, Griffin, Thomas, Charley Jones, and the OF on my ballot, so he may not quite get there. MVP candidate 1887, 1895, All-Star candidate 1886, 1889-1894. (9 HOM seasons)

Rube Waddell ? I?m shocked he rates just below Jack Powell and barely ahead of Doc White and George Mullin in my raw system. Only personality and subjective ?formula correcting? gets him ahead of Powell. Still, he?s behind McGinnity, Willis, Caruthers, Mullane, Brown, and Welch on my board. MVP candidate 1902, 1905, All-Star candidate 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1906-1908. (9 HOM seasons)

Hughie Jennings ? With 15% of my system going to peak, he?ll probably never get close to my ballot. MVP candidate 1895-1897, All-Star candidate 1894, 1898. (5 HOM seasons)
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2004 at 08:26 PM (#524114)
Especially given my career slant, I am still sorting out whether I should have Dickey Pearce #1.

We'll take him at #3 for now!

I'm starting to think that there's a possibility (where there was none before) that he won't be on my ballot in 2020.
   19. EricC Posted: April 26, 2004 at 11:04 PM (#524116)
1925 ballot

1. Roger Bresnahan. Among the best Win Shares rates of any eligible player. Only reasonable catcher candidate between Ewing and Schang.

2. George "Rube" Waddell. Multiple strikeout and ERA+ titles show him as a true great. W/L shows him as hard luck.

3. Sherry Magee. Sometimes a fine line separates a HoMer from a non-HoMer, and I see Magee as clearly above that line. If anybody from the Cooperstown veteran's committee is lurking, I suggest that they put Magee, along with Bill Dahlen, on their short list.

4. Mordecai Brown. Extremely similar to Waddell as I see it.

5. Bobby Wallace. Good enough for long enough.

6. Jack Beckley. His nearly 3000 hits compiled in large part in an era of relatively short seasons could be the sound bite that gets him elected.

7. Lip Pike. One more for the 1870s.

8. Dickey Pearce. Perhaps greatest pre-NL player.

9. Hughie Jennings. Very dominant 5-year peak according to Win Shares. Hard to believe he played in 12 or so other seasons.

10. Addie Joss. Played at a level for 8.5 years that few other pitchers did.

11. John McGraw. Greatly underrated by the consensus. Highest OBP before Ruth.

12. Jimmy Ryan. Top of the CF glut as I see it.

13. Sol White.

14. Frank Grant. Serious question, not rhetorical: could somebody explain the basis on which they rate Frank Grant above Sol White? The available information on them makes them appear about equally good. Some speculation on these rankings, as too much data is lost to history.

15. Frank Chance. Well, if Bresnahan doesn't get elected to give some catcher representation from his era, we could always vote in Chance!

Others.

Sheckard. Close to my ballot, but he may be below the fine line as Magee is above.

Thompson. If Win Shares is correct, deserves Hall of Very Good, not HoM.

Johnson. Was good, still trying to figure out how to flesh out his sketchy statistics in a way that brings him more in line with consensus opinion.

McGinnity. Actually don't endorse his candidacy for many of the same reasons that I don't endorse Caruthers.

Caruthers. As others have said, no irrational hatred at all. In fact, I knew about his combination of pitching and hitting before starting this project and assumed that his rating would come out great. In fact, I was so surprised that it didn't that I double checked and made sure that I gave him every benefit of the doubt with respect to his combination of hitting and pitching. But I just don't see it. For any specified number of years, I find other unelected candidates who were greater than Caruthers was over the same number of years. For example, Silver King and Jim McCormick, to name candidates from the 1880s who top him for 2-year and 5-year peaks. For very rational reasons, I don't see him as HoM-worthy.
   20. jimd Posted: April 27, 2004 at 12:10 AM (#524117)
For example, Silver King and Jim McCormick, to name candidates from the 1880s who top him for 2-year and 5-year peaks.

I'm curious: what metric?
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 27, 2004 at 12:59 AM (#524118)
Here's my ballot. Some changes from the provisional ballot, with far too many players listed, yet again:

1. Home Run Johnson (5,5,5,2) Seen strong evidence that he was a great hitter very early & very later in his career with no reason to think he was anything less (& likely much better) in between.

2. Sherry Magee (new). I believe in starting conservatively with newbies, but this really is as low as I can justify puttin him. Quick comparison of him & Joe Kelley (who I put at the top of my ballot a few times):
   22. jimd Posted: April 27, 2004 at 01:32 AM (#524119)
However, he's hurt by the fact that the teams he started against had a median winning percentage of .481

Doing a quick calculation: the expected WPCT of the teams that Caruthers would face is .481. IOW, his managers did not appear to employ any consistent strategy of using Caruthers against particular opponents, just all teams randomly no matter where in the standings.
   23. Marc Posted: April 27, 2004 at 01:39 AM (#524120)
If your team is in first place, would you maybe expect the rest of the league to have a win pct. of about .480? At least in an 8 team league, maybe not today?
   24. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 27, 2004 at 04:18 AM (#524123)
My 1925 ballot:

1. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown: 17th alltime in career ERA+. Tinker and Evers be damned, the guy could pitch--11 200-inning seasons, and his 187 ERA+ from 1906-10 is just one of the greatest runs ever. I don't normally pay attention to wins or win pct. but his .648 percentage is top 30 all-time too. A no-brainer.

2. Sam Thompson: Tops in black ink, second in gray ink and all-time-adjusted EqA, and third in OPS+ among eligible hitters (as far as I can see). A shortish career, but what a peak. Great RBI man, lowest OPS+ during his first 11 years was 122. A bit overshadowed by teammates Hamilton and Delahanty in the Phillies' 1894 three-.400-hitter outfield, but a superstar in his own right. Welcome to the Hall, Sam.

3. Rube Waddell: Why so little love? For those of us who believe in DIPS, Waddell is a beacon: from 1902-08, he struck out 1/3 more batters per 9 than the league's second-place finishers in K's per 9, including 1902 when he fanned hitters 82% more often than next-best finisher Jack Powell. If you do make the Tinker/Evers argument against Brown, you've gotta love Rube, who clearly got vastly more outs of his own doing than any of his contemporaries. His 1902, '04, and '05 seasons were ones for the ages (ERA+ of 179, 165, 179), and his career ERA+ of 134 is 22nd all-time. The 46 Black Ink just seal the deal. Rube and Dazzy Vance--as much or more even than Walter Johnson--were the two great strikeout kings of the pre-strikeout era, and neither is given their due. Both should rank high in the HoM.

4. Sherry Magee: At least he's getting the credit he deserves. 137 OPS+, strong black and gray ink, great peak years, long career.

5. Joe McGinnity: Strong 121 ERA+ backs up phenomenal black ink of 64, fueled mainly by his phenomenal durability. A few more seasons like '04 would make me more of a fan, but you can't argue with his record.

6. Pete Browning: Only a few fans of a simply extraordinary hitter. American Association my ass, you can't argue with a 162 OPS+ and .312 all-time-adjusted career EqA. A top-five hitter in his day (surpassed only by Brouthers, Kelly, Anson, Connor, IMO). He could flat out hit. Give credit where credit is due.

7. Addie Joss: So he died of meningitis. His 142 ERA+ is 8th alltime for a starting pitcher. As great as any pitcher of his era, and would be remembered that way if he had, well, stayed alive. Cooperstown was right to waive the ten-year rule and let him in, and so should we.

8. Bob Caruthers
   25. Marc Posted: April 27, 2004 at 01:07 PM (#524126)
Well, Dan doesn't say that he is projecting anything for Joss, just that he died. And he's got Caruthers and even poor ol' Charley Jones on his ballot. I don't know why anybody would have to explain that!? ;-)

Dan, welcome, and just kidding on my last comment. You do need to explain all 15 of 'em as well as what TomH said. (And in Caruthers' case you have to explain yourself twice.) ;-) again.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 27, 2004 at 02:39 PM (#524127)
Anyone who was top 10 last year, and who DOESN'T make your top 15 this year, deserves a short explanation of 'why not'.

I thought it was the top 10 returnees, so Pike and Pearce would have to be included. Anybody know which is the correct way?
   27. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 27, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#524128)
OK, now I know the etiquette. First, the rest:

8. Bob Caruthers: Because anyone who, over a career, posts a 123 ERA+ and 135 OPS+ deserves to be in my HoM, American Association be damned. In 1886, he led his league in OPS and was second in ERA. That's just astounding. He almost repeated the feat in 1887, when he was third in the league in OPS, while fourth in ERA and led in WHIP. He wasn't a great enough pitcher or a great enough hitter for long enough to pass guys like Joss and Browning, but his two-way excellence just has to be recognized.

9. Charley Jones: This is where I stop being uniformly enthusiastic. If he hadn't been blacklisted in 1881 or 1882 he'd be higher. I can't drop a 149 career OPS+ and .294 all-time-adjusted EqA any lower, but I can't put someone with such unimpressive career totals any higher.

10. Clark Griffith: He wouldn't make my personal HoM, but a 121 ERA+ and a career Pitching Runs Above Replacement equal to McGinnity and Waddell slips him into the top 10.

11. Hugh Duffy: I'm swayed by his very strong Black Ink (38), and the fact that the rising tide of 1894 lifted his boat WAY higher than anyone else's. But he wasn't the same player from 1896-1900. Lifetime 122 OPS+ is strong but not strong enough to bump him into top 10.

---
   28. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 27, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#524129)
ack-sorry for triple post--can someone take the repeats down?
   29. PhillyBooster Posted: April 27, 2004 at 04:06 PM (#524130)
After having slogged though all eligible players, making a Top 15 was surprisingly easy. There are numerous moderate positional adjustments as a result. Ed Williamson and Roger Bresnahan makes a strong gains. George van Haltren climbs onto the ballot, as does Dickey Pearce, who had been on before, and had always been in the 16-20 range anyway. I tried to be as conservative as humanly possible with Magee, but couldn't reasonably shove him any lower than 12th. My ranking landed Bill Monroe as only the 4th best second baseman (after Grant, Childs, and Evers), which was not enough to make my ballot. Everyone else from last year returns. This year, Brown and Beckley make my PHoM.

1. Frank Grant (3) -- Top 2nd baseman, top 19th century Negro League player. Has been on the top half of my ballot since 1909, and made my PHoM in 1914, but this is his first year in the top spot for me.

2. Bob Caruthers (4) -- Top pitcher by many measures, and with a great peak to boot (even if it's not "Ruthian"). To be top pitcher, all he had to be was better than Brown, and I think that case is not too hard to make. Made my PHoM way back in 1901. If he doesn't make it my 1932, I'm afraid my fingers will start typing his name in my sleep.

3. Home Run Johnson (6) -- Top shortstop, ranks higher than "Triples" Beckley. Made my PHoM in 1921.

4. Mordecai Brown (7) -- Makes my PHoM this year.

5. Jake Beckley (8) -- Maybe the biggest gap between best and second best remaining player at his position. A definite. Makes my PHoM this year.

6. Roger Bresnahan (12) -- Best catcher and highest ranked by Bill James at his position of any eligible (#16).

7. Joe McGinnity (9) -- Defining "peak" as "best at position" McGinnity cleans up in his era. Made my PHoM in 1921.

8. Lip Pike (10) -- Best remaining NA player and best remaining centerfielder, a position I no longer consider overrepresented.

9. Rube Foster (5) -- drops down on reconsideration of pitchers, but not much since I am more pro-pitcher overall than most.

10. Ed Williamson (15) -- best third baseman, and it's not close. Maybe we were more right in 1898 about him that we were in subsequent years?

11. Sam Thompson (13) -- the only right fielder worth considering.

12. Sherry Magee (n/e) -- there is no doubt that he is the best left fielder, looking at Jimmy Sheckard, Charlie Jones, et. al. I ranked him below all the other "bests," but putting him lower than 12th would be simply indefensible. If he doesn't go in this year, I will seriously reconsider moving him up.

13. Cupid Childs (14) -- best white second baseman on the ballot, and not too shabby a career either.

14. George van Haltren (off) -- even if it's just average pitching, the pitching counts and vaults the #2 centerfielder onto the ballot.

15. Dickey Pearce (off) -- best of his era, not just at his position, but his position didn't have very tough competition.

16. Jimmy Sheckard
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: April 27, 2004 at 04:29 PM (#524131)
In cts on Johnson/Grant/Pearce, Dan Rosenheck wrote:

Grant Johnson/Frank Grant/Dickey Pearce: I know the HoM Constitution says to include them, but it's just very difficult for me to put guys on my ballot for whom I have no quantitative data. As for Johnson/Grant, my understanding is that the Negro Leagues were equivalent to a high triple-A, which would mean that I would drop Josh Gibson's .391 with 962 HR to about .350 with 650-700 HR, making him one of the top handful of players ever. Does anyone have numbers for Johnson and Grant I could consider?

It is difficult to rank players without quantitative data, but lack of quantitative data is not a valid reason for excluding players -- to be fair to them, we have to make our best guesses, as it is not their fault that their careers lack quantitative documentation.

Although numbers for Frank Grant and Home Run Johnson are far from complete, a useful amount of data is available on both players. Most of the data, and quite a bit of analysis, are gathered on the "All-Time Negro League All Stars" thread. If you start reading at around post #90, you'll find a long series of posts with data and analysis on Frank Grant, and the Home Run Johnson posts pick up just as the Grant posts start to thin out. I'd strongly recommend reading that thread through from post #90 to the end, as it works through pretty much all the issues that might come to mind as one sets out to rank the early negro-league stars. There have also been some very important discussions of both candidates in various ballot threads. The Johnson ones should be fairly easy to find, since he's only been on the ballot for the last five years. I'll see if I can track some of them down, but I don't promise to have time to manage it.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 27, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#524133)
15 ballots

I have 16 as of right now.
   32. Al Peterson Posted: April 27, 2004 at 05:43 PM (#524134)
1925 ballot. One worthy new eligible to add to the ballot. Most everyone else is in the same general position.

1. Sam Thompson (2). Patiently waiting his turn. 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.

2. Joe McGinnity (4). Quanity of work for the 1900s impressive to say the least. Helped the team by taking the ball often which led to high value for those years. 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.

3. Jimmy Ryan (5). Giving credit of CF being more valuable than LF in terms of defensive spectrum. Being very good for long periods of time gets some points from me. I am probably Jimmy's biggest fan right now which makes me wonder. Then again these ballots aren't easy to sort through...

4. George Van Haltren (6). Similar arguments to Ryan, just a little less to them.

5. Sherry Magee (-). Better hitter than Sheckard, not as good a fielder. The batting numbers are good enough to nudge him over his fellow leftfielder.

6. Three Finger Brown (7). Has stood up pretty well to analysis of Cub defense, team quality questions. Don't forget his key stat - Wins per Finger.

7. Frank Grant (8). Still convinced we dealing with a quality player who deserves recognition. Was described as great ballplayer in the IL when the talent dispersion was down to the minor leagues more heavily than later eras.

8. Pete Browning (9). 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. Had a career .341 average in a league environment of .257 . Offensive Winning Percentage - .745. His guy was a WOW when hitting. He might not be the ideal multi-dimensional player but when you are this much an outlier at part of the game its going to get a bonus from me.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (10). Another well-rounded player, successful for the great Cub teams. The comparisons to Magee show them on the same plane - I have a harder time believing Sheckard was so awesome defensively, Magee so wretched.

10. Rube Waddell (11). His strikeout numbers were well ahead of his time. Suffered from inconsistent offensive support. Had the sizzle of a star player in contrast to the substance of Plank. Tragic end for a larger-than-life figure.

11. John McGraw (12). Limited playing time but what he did with it is nonetheless outstanding. Positional bump as well. Cons include just not playing enough but was on base all the time when participating.

12. Home Run Johnson (13). Weighed the evidence, can provide some ballot support. Probably ranking him mostly as SS even though he was moved to 2B when teamed with Lloyd.

13. Bob Caruthers (14). My tug-of-war with his value continues. I'm more sure now that if push came to shove Freedom Bob deserves in before the rest below him. Affected pennant hopes greatly per individual year with his play yet due to short career couldn't affect a large number of pennants.

14. Jake Beckley (15). Tougher and tougher to ignore with dearth of 1B for a number of years; career totals eventually add up to quite the player despite lack of peak. Not being one of the ABC trio at 1st base doesn't mean you were bad.

15. Hugh Duffy (17). Couple of great spikes to go with other uneven performances. Gets bump based on contemporary opinion as being one heck of a ballplayer. Win Shares love the D.

Fighting for position:

16. Dickey Pearce. Impressed by the fact he was a regular in the NA at an age that was very old compared to most players. Still unsure as to career arc - was he a Cal Ripken, Alan Trammell, Dave Concepcion, none of the above? The reviews from early baseball are glowing - the issue of competition level at an unorganized, evolving time is frustrating.

17. Tommy Leach. Career took off after Jimmy Williams exited Pittsburgh for the new American League.

18. Cupid Childs. Gotta change the name. Maybe Rocky Childs, sounds tougher. Stacks up well with the other 1890s 2B.

19. Bobby Wallace. Career is long, not enough peak to make the top candidate. We've have plenty of SS to consider (and elect) and I don't like him as much as some of the others above.

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

21. Roger Bresnahan. See the pros as solid hitting catcher with some versatility. Cons are OK, not great, in terms of durability, fielding is not Bennett level. Fielding numbers seem to be hurt in 1902-04 when he was all over the place with different positions. I'll wait for better catchers before force feeding an induction on the Duke.

22. Hughie Jennings. Were taking on SS's quickly - has short term excellence on his side.

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

24. Rube Foster. Fine pitcher. Should suffer the same sort of analysis questions as Three Finger Brown: If his teams were so great (and they were), does his performance get adjusted?

25. Charley Jones. Having a hard time ignoring the eye popping production. Blackballed years are recognized but not used to jump over many candidates.

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

27. Lip Pike. For the time of baseball before 1885 I'd prefer Pearce or Charley Jones over the Lipster.

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

29. Mickey Welch. Just win baby. Pitched a ton of innings - probably deserves more credit than I'm giving. Pitcher reevaluation is coming up and we'll see what's in store for this longtime ballot filler.

30. Ed Williamson. Got a good peak argument and we're thin at hot corner.

31. Lave Cross 32. Addie Joss 33. Frank Chance 34. Fred Dunlap 35. Bill Monroe
   33. OCF Posted: April 27, 2004 at 05:48 PM (#524135)
[Waddell's] 1902, '04, and '05 seasons were ones for the ages (ERA+ of 179, 165, 179)

FWIW, I have his RA+ in those three seasons as 170, 141, 169. Fine, fine seasons, but McGinnity in '03 and '04 had RA+ of 150 and 179 in rather more innings.
   34. Rick A. Posted: April 27, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#524136)
1925 Ballot
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: April 27, 2004 at 07:26 PM (#524137)
1925 Ballot

A long ballot this time: with so many candidates receiving renewed consideration, I've decided to show all of the key numbers that do the most to set the order of my rankings and to give explanations for players that are fairly far from the ballot.

Quick review of my system: My metric of choice is win shares. For position players these are season-adjusted, fielding adjusted, and competition-adjusted.

For pitchers, these are "homegrown" win shares calculated by finding the pitchers' wins above or below the wins an average pitcher would have achieved with the same run support and defensive support, with credit for these wins being added or subtracted to the win shares achieved by an average pitcher, based on my best guess of the percentage of defensive value that accrues to pitchers in general during a particular baseball era.

I look primarily at three measures: career win shares, total win shares above average during a player's career, and the player's win-share rate during his peak years. I also look at the number of seasons that a player was at or above average and at the number of seasons the player was among the top 5 position players in the major leagues, if applicable.

Leading Candidates This is the group that I'm clear should be elected. They all stand out one way or another, and they will all make my personal HoM, if they have not already.

1. Grant "Home Run" Johnson (2) . Excellent in 1895, excellent 1910-1913, excellent in Cuba, excellent in limited at bats against major-league pitching, played important defensive positions on the best black teams for 19 years. Record is fragmentary, but all fragments are in agreement on his quality.
   36. Marc Posted: April 27, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#524138)
Dan R., I'm with Chris. We've had some debates before and we've had voters drop out who were categorically opposed to considering qualitative data.

There is data for even the earliest Negro Leaguers that establishes some sort of level of play. Then, yes, you've got to connect those dots. I don't happen to have Frank Grant on my ballot though I have in the past, he's consistently around #12-18 for me. I don't see how he was better than Cupid Childs but I also don't see where he failed to exist or, more to the point, failed to establish that he was an elite athlete.

As for Pearce, study his decline phase in the 1870s. Look at what he did after age 35, then extrapolate back, adding in the fact that contemporary observations in the '60s routinely made him out to be one of the best players of the decade, both at shortstop and at catcher. Anybody who had his decline phase today would be recognized as a great player. In fact, compare his decline to Ozzie Smith's. In a dark room, you could not tell them apart.
   37. PhillyBooster Posted: April 27, 2004 at 07:42 PM (#524139)
I'm with Marc and Chris, and I think we have been consistent. There is no requirement to vote for any candidate, but there is a requirement to fairly consider all evidence of "non-traditional" baseball players, statistical and otherwise. Dan R.'s ballot, as posted, is clearly invalid under that requirement.
   38. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 27, 2004 at 07:46 PM (#524140)
I'll study up on Pearce and the early Negro Leaguers and see where they fit on my '26 ballot.
   39. Al Peterson Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:10 PM (#524141)
Let me also throw a tardy welcome to Dan R. also. Always nice to have more people involved.

Before we go around throwing out ballots let remember we're all trying to find our way thru the forest of players and pick the HOMer. It's only taken me twentysome elections to change my ranking criteria six times and I'm sure I'm not done.

We all wish there was perfect knowledge and unlimited time but then what would be the fun?
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:31 PM (#524142)
I don't have a major problem with Dan's reasoning concerning the Negro Leaguers (though I disagree with him not placing any on his ballot at this time). He doesn't sound close-minded on the subject to me and I would vote to have his ballot remain in that regard (unless he refuses to acknowledge non-statistical methods for these nontraditional players).

Dickey Pearce is a little different story, but he's not really doing anything out of the ordinary in this regard either (unfortunately). Since he has stated that he will research all three players for the next election (and since his ballot won't really change anything), I'd give him some slack.

As for Pearce, I just don't think baseball was baseball in the 1860's.

I bet Dickey would say the same thing about today's game. :-)

Seriously, 19th century baseball was just as valid as the contemporary version is, IMO. If the game of baseball goes through a radical change a hundred years from now, that doesn't mean that the pre-change players should be ignored.
   41. Brad G. Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:37 PM (#524143)
Hey! Dickey Pearce invented the bunt!
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#524144)
Before I respond to Al, let me say more fully "Welcome!" to Dan Rosenheck; your ballot and approach to the process seem thoughtful, and I'm glad you're joining the project.

Al Peterson wrote:

Before we go around throwing out ballots let remember we're all trying to find our way thru the forest of players and pick the HOMer. It's only taken me twentysome elections to change my ranking criteria six times and I'm sure I'm not done.

We all wish there was perfect knowledge and unlimited time but then what would be the fun?


While it is true that we are all far from perfect knowledge, it's important that the group maintain clear standards about the grounds on which we consider candidates for election as new voters join the process.

So far I think the process of bringing a new voter into the electorate has gone appropriately.

Dan R. submitted a reasonable looking ballot, but with incomplete explanations. We asked for more explanations covering all candidates and those in the top 10 missing. He supplied thoughtful and honest explanations, and when those explanations for Home Run Johnson and Frank Grant being off ballot turned out to be -- "I don't know how to rate these guys without data, so I didn't rank them," I said that that was not a valid reason not to rank them. Dan said he'd study up and see what he could do for 1926.

There's no reason he should have to put players onto his ballot he's not comfortable ranking, but it's also the case that his 1925 ballot is not valid according to the Constitution, and so it should not be counted.

It would be unreasonable if we asked new voters to provide a comprehensive "top 50 eligible players" list with thorough explanations for the placement of each one in order to ensure that they were voting knowledgeably and fairly, but I think it's both reasonable and necessary for a new voter to have a studied ranking for the top 10 returning candidates from the preceding election. That's a manageable task, and making sure that we all are doing at least that much every election is what "best practices balloting explanations" are for.

And in a close election (and we're likely to have more than a few of those in the next six to eight), would we want it to be the case that the difference in the election came from the ballot of a new voter who didn't rank a couple of the top eligibles because he didn't know enough about them yet?

If, after Dan R. reads through the Negro League All Stars thread, he decides that the evidence does not suggest that either Johnson or Grant merits placement in his top 15, I would be perfectly accepting of any reasonable argument to that effect. But leaving them out because of lack of quantitative evidence is not constitutional, and we shouldn't accept a ballot that doesn't conform to this minimal constitutional standard.
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:47 PM (#524145)
Before I respond to Al, let me say more fully "Welcome!" to Dan Rosenheck; your ballot and approach to the process seem thoughtful, and I'm glad you're joining the project.

Al Peterson wrote:

Before we go around throwing out ballots let remember we're all trying to find our way thru the forest of players and pick the HOMer. It's only taken me twentysome elections to change my ranking criteria six times and I'm sure I'm not done.

We all wish there was perfect knowledge and unlimited time but then what would be the fun?


While it is true that we are all far from perfect knowledge, it's important that the group maintain clear standards about the grounds on which we consider candidates for election as new voters join the process.

So far I think the process of bringing a new voter into the electorate has gone appropriately.

Dan R. submitted a reasonable looking ballot, but with incomplete explanations. We asked for more explanations covering all candidates and those in the top 10 missing. He supplied thoughtful and honest explanations, and when those explanations for Home Run Johnson and Frank Grant being off ballot turned out to be -- "I don't know how to rate these guys without data, so I didn't rank them," I said that that was not a valid reason not to rank them. Dan said he'd study up and see what he could do for 1926.

There's no reason he should have to put players onto his ballot he's not comfortable ranking, but it's also the case that his 1925 ballot is not valid according to the Constitution, and so it should not be counted.

It would be unreasonable if we asked new voters to provide a comprehensive "top 50 eligible players" list with thorough explanations for the placement of each one in order to ensure that they were voting knowledgeably and fairly, but I think it's both reasonable and necessary for a new voter to have a studied ranking for the top 10 returning candidates from the preceding election. That's a manageable task, and making sure that we all are doing at least that much every election is what "best practices balloting explanations" are for.

And in a close election (and we're likely to have more than a few of those in the next six to eight), would we want it to be the case that the difference in the election came from the ballot of a new voter who didn't rank a couple of the top eligibles because he didn't know enough about them yet?

If, after Dan R. reads through the Negro League All Stars thread, he decides that the evidence does not suggest that either Johnson or Grant merits placement in his top 15, I would be perfectly accepting of any reasonable argument to that effect. But leaving them out because of lack of quantitative evidence is not constitutional, and we shouldn't accept a ballot that doesn't conform to this minimal constitutional standard.
   44. Al Peterson Posted: April 27, 2004 at 08:55 PM (#524146)
Chris,

I don't disagree that we all should try and break down the worth of all players. I'm just having a hard time differentiating these two scenarios:

A Dan R. type ballot, new person with plenty of explanation and disclaimers that its not perfectly throrough and

A ballot received on Sunday, one line per player discussed, and when it comes to explaining Pearce comes up with the equivalent of the Bill James "Pass" statement.

We have no idea how much returning voters have researched Pearce, Grant, Johnson, etc either except for those in the Ballot Discussion trenches week after week. We go by people's good faith to the project.
   45. dan b Posted: April 28, 2004 at 12:33 AM (#524148)
Welcome Dan R. I've been voting since 1898 and participated in the conversation for over a year (real time) before the first election finally took place. I have yet to submit a vote for Grant or Pearce and see Johnson as a borderline candidate being overrated by the electorate. In earlier elections, this body has inducted players such as Spalding, Wright, McVey and Barnes without my vote. Others have disagreed with my low view of primitive baseball, but my ballot has never been threatened. Dan R's ballot is well reasoned and should be counted.
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: April 28, 2004 at 02:29 AM (#524149)
Welcome Dan R. I've been voting since 1898 and participated in the conversation for over a year (real time) before the first election finally took place. I have yet to submit a vote for Grant or Pearce and see Johnson as a borderline candidate being overrated by the electorate. In earlier elections, this body has inducted players such as Spalding, Wright, McVey and Barnes without my vote. Others have disagreed with my low view of primitive baseball, but my ballot has never been threatened. Dan R's ballot is well reasoned and should be counted.

dan b, you miss the point. You've made your assessment of these candidates and presented and held to your views. Dan R is welcome to reason out whatever views of the candidates he wishes. He indicates, however, not that he has a low view of two of the candidates in question, but no view, because he has been uncomfortable ranking candidates without quantitative data, of which we can provide some.

Here's what Dan R wrote, once again:

Grant Johnson/Frank Grant/Dickey Pearce: I know the HoM Constitution says to include them, but it's just very difficult for me to put guys on my ballot for whom I have no quantitative data. As for Johnson/Grant, my understanding is that the Negro Leagues were equivalent to a high triple-A, which would mean that I would drop Josh Gibson's .391 with 962 HR to about .350 with 650-700 HR, making him one of the top handful of players ever. Does anyone have numbers for Johnson and Grant I could consider?

He does say he doesn't see the 1860s game as real baseball, agreeing with dan b's view of it as "primitive baseball," I infer, and that's fine. But he has registered no opinion at all on Johnson and Grant in the absence of quantitative data. That, as he notes, doesn't square with the Constitution. And that's what we have to go by. It's by no means unconstitutional to leave Grant or Johnson off one's ballot, but it is unconstitutional to do so because one is not willing to rank them as part of the project. Dan R has expressed interest in more information on the players in question, more information is ready to hand, he'll review the information, and in 1926 he'll vote as he sees fit. I'm not trying to give Dan R a hard time (I hope, Dan R, that _you_ don't feel that I am -- if so I apologize for my failure to be completely civil in making my procedural points!), I recognize that voters new and old to the project will never be fully caught up on all candidates, but I think it is reasonable, and in keeping with both the letter of the Constitution and the spirit of the project, to make sure that new voters give full consideration to all serious candidates. If, after they give those candidates full consideration, they decline to vote for them, that's perfectly fine.

I don't want to clog up the ballot thread with a debate about this matter, so I won't post any more about it, but dan b made it sound as if I were unfairly objecting to the ballot simply because a candidate I favored had been excluded, and that is not the case.

I wish we had a simple ballot committee to handle procedural issues like this in a smooth way, but we don't, so the committee-of-the-whole gets to try to resolve the matter. I don't, so far, see a consensus, so perhaps it would not be amiss for Commissioner Joe to make the call?
   47. OCF Posted: April 28, 2004 at 03:11 AM (#524151)
I don't think this will be the final list.

Given the lack of explanation and the tagline at the end, I'm going to treat RoRRo's post as a rough draft that might one day grow up to be a ballot, but isn't a ballot yet.

But if it were a ballot, RoRRo's "agreement with consensus" score would be the third highest of all ballots posted so far, exceeded only by Chris J. and daryn. The largest disagreements are with the placement of Pearce and Sheckard.

Maybe he's too agreeable?

On the other hand, Dan Rosenheck lands in the bottom third (so far) in agreement with consensus, placing between karlmagnus and Marc. His disagreements on Johnson, McGinnity, Grant, Thompson, Waddell, Browning, and Joss are all larger than any of RoRRo's disagreements.
   48. Marc Posted: April 28, 2004 at 03:31 AM (#524152)
Anybody gets between me and karl is in for a rough ride!

I think Dan R's ballot is subject to review and a decision by Joe. The issue is crystal clear. I wonder what Shawn Weaver is thinking if he has continued to follow this process???
   49. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:01 AM (#524154)
Chris Cobb:
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:07 AM (#524155)
To recap: for me, the upside of Pearce is Herman Long and the downside is Roger Peckinpaugh and both are not in my top 15 so therefore neither is ol' Dickey.

The problem that I have is that Long or Peckinpaugh wouldn't have been the same players if they had been born at the same time as Pearce. For that matter, Pearce would be bigger, stronger and faster if he was born the same year as A-Rod. As far as I'm concerned, one's environment is just as important as including park factors in our analysis. Progress shouldn't be a penalty for the earlier players.
   51. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:13 AM (#524156)
<i>Posted 3:42 p.m., April 27, 2004 (#47) - PhillyBooster
   52. Marc Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:15 AM (#524157)
I'll bite. Who the hell is William Hung?

A straight line if ever there was one.
   53. OCF Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:23 AM (#524158)
Sherry Magee LF - I have him winning the MVP in 1910

I'd really like to see how the BBWAA would have voted, if just to get a sense of how strong the "winning team" bias really is. The voted awards started the next year. Magee led the league in BA, OBP, SLG, R, RBI - what more would you want? But Magee's Phillies were a just-over-.500 team 25 games out of first place. The Cubs ran away with the pennant by 13 games. So who do the Cubs offer as MVP candidates? The usual suspects - Tinker, Evers, Brown - had good years, but they don't look like MVP years. Brown, in particular, would have suffered in the vote from the comparison to his own 1908 and 1909 seasons. That's not fair, but the writers have behaved that way. The biggest stories on the Cubs would have been Solly Hofman, their best hitter (in rate terms at least), and King Cole, who came from nowhere to go 20-4 with a 1.80 ERA. Go take a close look at Cole's line, which screams "Fluke!" about as loudly as a pitcher's line can. How the heck can you issue more than twice as many walks as any of your teammates, 130 in 240 innings, and still have a 1.80 ERA? His hits were extremely - unbelievably? - low, and his strikeouts, while above average, were fewer than his walks. What kind of break was he getting on BABIP - often with runners on?

Oh - and when I get around to deciding some things about my ballot, and explain why I've never voted for Pearce and am not starting now, my explanation might just be "What ed said."
   54. Adam Schafer Posted: April 28, 2004 at 07:00 AM (#524160)
Don't feel bad Marc, I didn't have a clue who William Hung was either.
   55. Sean Gilman Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:03 AM (#524161)
1925

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

2. Home Run Johnson (3)--Look at KJOK?s translations and he?s a ?no-brainer?. Easily the best Negro League player we?ve seen so far. Chris Cobb said everything I could want to say about him in the Ballot Discussion Thread much better than I ever could. (1924)

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

4. Bobby Wallace (7)--Lack of a peak keeps him from the very 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.

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

6. Pete Browning (9)--AA discount and short career keeps him from being at the top of the ballot. The man could hit. We know Win Shares likes him better than Sam Thompson, but did you now the BP stats show Browning to be the better hitter? Thompson?s edge in WARP is only in fielding and pitching (remember Browning?s -37 PRAR?) and Davenport?s AA discount. Considering the problems Davenport?s had with 19th century OF fielding and the admitted anomoly with Browning?s pitching and the unknown natue of his AA discount, I don?t know how one could rate Thompson ahead based on WARP.

7. 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.

8. Dickey Pearce (11)--The best shortstop of his time ranks in the middle of the ballot.

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

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

11. Sherry Magee (-)--Not much seperates him from Sheckard, but he does look distinctly inferior in both career and peak value by both WARP and Win Shares (I use best 3 Seasons and Best 5 Consecutive Seasons BTW, though I?m planning to redo them all to try to be more comprehensive).

12. Roger Bresnahan (14)--Great rate stats, but he just didn?t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. Ranks ahead of Childs and Grant only because of the bonus I give him for being a catcher.

13. Cupid Childs (15)--Nice to see Cupid getting some love. . .

14. Frank Grant (-)--Back on the ballot. Still have him as not-quite-Cupid Childs.

15. Hugh Duffy (6)--I?ve been overrating Duffy, everytime I look at him vs. Ryan and Van Haltren, they all look the same. So why have Duffy high up and the other two off the ballot? Duffy?s got small (very small) edges on them in pennants added and win shares peak numbers, but not enough to justify the distance I had between them.

16. Charley Jones
   56. Rusty Priske Posted: April 28, 2004 at 12:30 PM (#524163)
Sigh.

Way to drive people away.

All of us reevaluate our ballots all the time. He says that right now he doesn't have enough to vote in a certain group of guys by will reevaluate next year, and you discard his ballot.

I'm sorry, but that is just unfair and heavy handed.
   57. Marc Posted: April 28, 2004 at 01:06 PM (#524164)
Rusty, I'm with Chris and Joe. If the rules are heavy-handed, that is by consensus, Joe just has to be the bad guy. We've chased people away before. Not that either Dan or RoRRo deserve to be chased away and hopefully they won't be. But the philosophy here is clear and it is correct (some might say politically correct, but if so, fine) that we are not trying to replicate the Coop. We want to know who the best players really are, whether there is a complete statistical record or not. As we get closer and closer to the present, I suspect that our number of voters may double or more, but as has been discussed Dickey Pearce could get elected in 1975, but not if we have 40 new voters by then who have never heard of him and don't care. Or pick another example: Dick Lundy or Ollie Marcelle or...you get the idea. Anybody can elect Josh Gibson, BTW, the pat themselves on the back, but we're going to do better than that.

So I hope that Dan and RoRRo would rather be a part of a club with some backbone than one that doesn't care.
   58. Philip Posted: April 28, 2004 at 01:30 PM (#524165)
I strongly agree with Joe, especially in a year where every one vote can make the difference.
   59. dan b Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#524169)
The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots. The committee will identify any obviously unintelligent or especially questionable votes (e.g., voting for Clay Bellinger). The committee would then email the voter asking him to re-submit an adjusted ballot. If the voter chooses not to do so, the ballot committee has the authority to exclude the voter?s entire ballot and/or the specific unintelligent or questionable votes.

That?s from our Constitution. Dan R?s ballot is certainly not ?obviously unintelligent?, nor does it contain any players that would be confused for Clay Bellinger. Every player on his ballot appeared on at least 4 ballots last year, while Johnson, Grant and Pearce were left off 7, 10 and 27 ballots respectively. I would argue that the lack of quantitative data is sufficient reason to rank Grant and Johnson below any of the players he has on his ballot. We know so much more about the Negro League players that followed them. Rejection of Dan R?s ballot, especially in a close election, smells similar to ?strategic voting?. Joe, please reconsider.
   60. OCF Posted: April 28, 2004 at 05:20 PM (#524170)
1925 ballot.

1. Grant "Home Run" Johnson (-, 11, 6, 5, 4) Probably not quite J.H. Lloyd, but probably not too far behind, either.
   61. PhillyBooster Posted: April 28, 2004 at 05:32 PM (#524171)
I would argue that the lack of quantitative data is sufficient reason to rank Grant and Johnson below any of the players he has on his ballot. We know so much more about the Negro League players that followed them. Rejection of Dan R?s ballot, especially in a close election, smells similar to ?strategic voting?.

There is a difference between ranking someone lower than 15th place and chosing not to rank. Dan wrote:

"I know the HoM Constitution says to include them, but it's just very difficult for me to put guys on my ballot for whom I have no quantitative data.

I interpreted this to mean that Dan chose not to include players in his consideration set. That is different from considering them and concluding that, given reasonable assumptions, they rank 18th or 180th.

It would be like saying, "I base my analysis on stats I got from Total Baseball. Unfortunately, I left my copy in the basement during the flood, and everyone from W through Z got water damage and I can't read the numbers, so I left them all off my ballot. Mickey Welch and Chief Zimmer might be the best players, but I don't have their stats, so I left them off."

There is nothing wrong with leaving Chief Zimmer off of your ballot. There is something wrong with simply not considering him.
   62. Rusty Priske Posted: April 28, 2004 at 05:33 PM (#524172)
Every time I see that Clay Bellinger reference, I have a little chuckle. Clay is the regular first sacker for the Ottawa Lynx this year. Go Clay!
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 05:46 PM (#524173)
Pearce was usually the best and most skilled player on the field in those games, but what did that really mean?

It meant he was the best at his position for a ten year period (and the best in baseball for a few of those years). How is that Long? What Long learned about shortstop was from what Peace showed could be done at the position (not unlike what Ruth did with the longball).

John, I don't know how you read my comments and interpret it as a "timeline" bias.

With all due respect, I still think it is. You're trying (and please tell me if I'm wrong) to compare them in a room after teleporting them from their respective times without examining their eras. It's the same thing as comparing a turn-of-the-last century player with the behemoths that are part of our time. Power-wise, today's player is going to destroy them on average, but that doesn't mean we should place the earlier generation on a lower tier of quality for this project.

BTW, I like your Bill Monroe comments. I'm glad to see my vote validated with your defense of him. I may move him up a little next time.
   64. RobC Posted: April 28, 2004 at 06:13 PM (#524174)
I support Joe's decision on DanR's ballot. Its not like he was told to go away, he said he would consider them for his '26 ballot. Doesnt look like "strategic voting" at all to me (of course, I havent looked at Joe's ballot to see where he has the Grants). Considering much of the talk about requiring new members to show knowledge of all player under serious consideration or to post prelim ballots on discussion thread and etc, the requirements we actually have are pretty light. Consider everyone, mention a ranking for guys in most recent top 10, discuss your top 15; when you get this done we will count your vote.

We would count DanR if he got it done this week, he said he wont, so we count his '26 ballot. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Oh, and welcome aboard Dan.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 07:38 PM (#524177)
I'm intrested in getting involved, but am totaly overwelmed.

Matt, weren't you here at the beginning of this project years ago?
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:10 PM (#524180)
Don't forget to register at the Hall of Merit group set thread, Matt.
   67. Marc Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:18 PM (#524181)
>William Hung...I assumed with him on the radio and
   68. OCF Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:33 PM (#524183)
TomH - there may be some things we disagree on, but for now, we're Clark Griffith's two best friends.
   69. Yardape Posted: April 28, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#524186)
<i>Don't feel bad Marc, I didn't have a clue who William Hung was either.
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 10:37 PM (#524187)
Why should Marc feel bad? I feel bad because I know who William Hung is.

I can understand the entertainment value of this guy on free TV, but anybody paying one cent to see him live or to buy one of his CDs (?) is out of his or her mind.
   71. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:12 AM (#524188)
whoa, didn't know I was going to start such controversy...
   72. ronw Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:42 AM (#524189)
We all thank you Dan! Well, everyone that is, except Frank Grant and his relatives.

Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro also notes that you may have neglected to consider him.

Finally, Frankie Frisch wants to remind all voters that several of his former teammates will soon be eligible, and they should receive your full support. After all, Jesse Haines won 20 games three times!
   73. OCF Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:48 AM (#524191)
Well, I'd take Dan R.'s ballot. To say quite as baldly as he does that he's deferring to the rest of our opinions - that sounds a little funny, but isn't the truth that many of us also do exactly that? I know I do.

This raises his "agreement with consensus" score to the lower middle of the pack, below TomH and above RobC. Of course, that's still a very rough estimate, as the consensus (or lack thereof) is still being defined.

Dan R. is currently the Best Friend of Addie Joss.
   74. RobC Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:56 AM (#524192)
I do it too. One of the factors I use is previous years rank. I use 16th for new players, applying a "dont rush to judgement" factor to new guys. Obviously, this factor has a low weight since Im in the lower middle of consensus.
   75. Marc Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:59 AM (#524193)
I would accept Dan R.'s ballot.

With all due respect to Matt R...Matt, this is not personal, it's about an issue.

That is, well, those "ancient" guys are still eligible.

As I wrote elsewhere, there will be many Matts in coming years. We could have 100 voters in 1975. Is there a cutoff when consideration of Dickey Pearce...and then Pete Browning...and then Cupid Childs...and then Frank Chance...and then Larry Doyle...and then Edd Roush...and then Hack Wilson, Earl Averill and Wally Berger...and then Joe Gordon...and then Gil Hodges...and then Ken Boyer...and then Catfish Hunter...will no longer matter?

I know what my opinion is. What's yours?
   76. Howie Menckel Posted: April 29, 2004 at 01:34 AM (#524194)
1. Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Still, I am swamped once again at least 'til the weekend. Tomorrow (Thurs) late afternoon tentatively another chance to see an HOM voter (under my real name, though) on national TV. Pete "Browning" offers the best clue among HOM candidates for the Trials and tribulations I've faced these last few weeks and months.

2. Welcome to the new voters! Don't be afraid of the dogs scampering about; the bark is worse than the bite. Think of it as an initiation, at worst. Lots of devil's advocates is another way to look at it; just respond with your best case, and it'll be properly respected. And a few months down the road, you'll initiate your own new voters! Just kidding.
   77. Chris Cobb Posted: April 29, 2004 at 01:49 AM (#524195)
I think Dan R's revised ballot fully meets constitutional standards; I wouldn't raise a question about it. I hope he'll change his mind about Frank Grant and Dickey Pearce in time. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussion of both as they continue to rise during the candidate drought.

And to put this controversy in perspective, it's been a pretty mild one. There was much more high-flown and impassioned rhetoric when Karlmagnus ranked Bob Caruthers ahead of Nap Lajoie a few years back. How time flies . . . Thanks to everybody for responding reasonably and moderately, especially Dan Rosenheck!
   78. karlmagnus Posted: April 29, 2004 at 02:32 AM (#524197)
yest, technically you should say why no love for Parisian Bob :))
   79. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 29, 2004 at 03:35 AM (#524199)
Happy Jack Chesbro had a lifetime ERA+ of 110. If he's a Hall of Meriter, then so is Tim Wakefield.

Why no love for Joss? Are you guys going to vote against Sandy Koufax too? His lifetime ERA+ was 142! He led his league in ERA twice and finished in the top 5 six times, and was top-five in WHIP eight times (and has the lowest career WHIP in history). What's not to love? Addie Joss did more in 9 years than Don Sutton did in 23, IMO.
   80. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 29, 2004 at 05:15 AM (#524200)
Why no love for Joss?

Well, couple things . . . .

First: Career vs. peak. If you're a career guy, Joss is a tougher sell for the obvious reasons.

Second: innings. Not only was he short on them over the course of his career, but in individual seasons he really wasn't racking them in. He finished in the top ten in innings twice. This makes Joss a question mark for some peak-ers. 1908 was really the only year he could be considered the best pitcher in the league, & that's not too impressive for a pitcher with such a short career. (This is also where comparisons to Koufax fall apart, as he was much more dominant in his league than Joss was in his).

Third: sometimes guys just get squeezed off & fall away. I actually had Joss on my ballot at first, but as more came on the scene & I examined more from the backlog, he kept falling & falling. That's just the way it works sometimes.
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 29, 2004 at 05:20 AM (#524201)
I accept Dan's ballot, also (but not his reasoning concerning Dickey Pearce :-)

<i%
   82. Chris Cobb Posted: April 29, 2004 at 12:26 PM (#524202)
Re: Why no love for Joss?

The factors Chris J identifies are important ones, but another factor that's influencing many of us, Dan, is the belief that fielders deserve a lot more credit for team defensive success in early baseball than has generally been assigned to them prior to the recent development of more reliable metrics for assessing defensive value. There's a substantial minority of voters (in which I place myself) who don't view ERA+ as a particularly reliable measure of a pitcher's value, in fact, because it is still heavily influenced by the quality of fielding behind the pitcher, and that's not something you are taking into account.

In explaining why you're leaving Bobby Wallace off of your ballot, you say that you're reluctant to assign value you can't see (i.e. fielding value), but when you take that step of leaving fielding value out of the picture, you are in fact letting that fielding value silently shift to pitchers. You have six pitchers, eight outfielders, and one infielder on your ballot, and the infielder is there as a nod to the consensus, not someone whom your own system identifies as a great player. You might consider whether it really is the case that, in a style of play where the share of putouts and assists taken by infielders was considerably higher than in the modern game, where (even in the 1900-1920 period) there were considerably fewer strikeouts (and fewer home runs), there really were so few infielders who were among the best players in baseball. So, you ask, why no love for Joss. I ask in response, why no respect for infielders?

That response doesn't address Joss's placement relative to other pitchers, but you yourself rank him behind Brown, Waddell, and McGinnity (and, I would guess, to place him fully in context, behind his already elected contemporaries Young, Mathewson, Plank, and Walsh). Some voters rank Rube Foster more highly than Joss also. So your favorable assessment of Joss still places him as the _eighth-best_ pitcher of his era. That's not particularly impressive. But as you rate pitchers from the era _in general_ extremely highly, Joss still places well on your ballot.
   83. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 02, 2004 at 10:34 PM (#615912)
Chris--great points. I myself am a DIPS devotee and am strongly persuaded by this logic. What I want to know is, if you are trying to isolate pitching value from fielding, park, luck etc., where you place someone like Rube Waddell, who got a vastly higher percentage of outs without defensive help than any of his contemporaries.

Also, as for infielders, I just think that most of the ones I would name are already elected--Wagner, Collins, Lajoie, etc.
   84. Sean Gilman Posted: May 02, 2004 at 10:52 PM (#615923)
i hope someone kept a complete tally for the ballots cast so far. . .
   85. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 03, 2004 at 12:31 AM (#615960)
Does anyone know if the deadline is being extended this week? (OK, this has more to do with my going to the 14-inning Phillie/Diamodback game than the site launch, but I'll take all the time I can get.)
   86. ronw Posted: May 03, 2004 at 01:17 AM (#615975)
I have kept a running complete tally, Sean.
   87. Jeff M Posted: May 03, 2004 at 01:24 AM (#615977)
Boy the site is slow.

A suggestion: On the ballot threads themselves, can we have a rule limiting comments to 15 players plus any mandated by our post-Constitution rule requiring comments on Top Ten-ers not on the ballot?

I don't mean any disrespect to anyone, but comments on players beyond #15 on our ballots probably ought to reside in the ballot discussion threads, rather than the ballot threads. Maybe as a substitute the poster could cross-reference on the ballot to relevant posts in the ballot discussion thread, if necessary.
   88. Jeff M Posted: May 03, 2004 at 01:36 AM (#615979)
1925 Ballot:

1. Brown, Mordecai -- Been waiting his turn. Unlike some, I didn't have him far behind Plank. If he had retired a year earlier, he would have been elected that "year".

2. Magee, Sherry -- A classic case of why we are engaged in this project. I noticed today that his percentage HOF vote is lower than Kent Hrbek's. I have Magee as the best leftfielder we've seen in a while...ahead of Joe Kelley. I thought he would be more mid-ballot, but he belongs at #1 or #2, and there's quite a distance in my system between he and Browning.

3. Browning, Pete -- Hasn't budged on my ballot in a long long time. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Caruthers, Bob -- WARP1 helped him leap higher on my ballot. Also, I stepped away from the numbers and looked at the big picture, and he was one hell of a baseball player. No way he's the best player eligible, though.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

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

15. Thompson, Sam -- 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.

Top Ten-ers Not on My Ballot:

Sheckard, Jimmy -- Currently ranked #16 in my system, ahead of Beckley.

Wallace, Bobby -- 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 #21 in my system, behind Willis and ahead of Chance.

The only other newcomer who fared well was Heinie Zimmerman. He won't ever make the ballot because he's too deep on the list, but he made the list, and that surprised me. A couple more top notch years (and a little more integrity) and he might be sniffing the ballot.
   89. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 03, 2004 at 01:56 AM (#615991)
I think we need a week extension on this ballot (I used to be Mark McKinniss), otherwise I won't be able to submit one this time around.
   90. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 03, 2004 at 02:03 AM (#615996)
I've got a fast cable connection & the site is loading very slowly. Could take hours to post a ballot. Is it safe to post one now? Many of them have partially disappeared.
   91. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 03, 2004 at 02:32 AM (#616005)
Saw a new ballot, hadn't refreshed before posting, maybe it's safe. The new site took 2-1/2 minutes to load my previous little post. It also took 2-1/2 minutes to just reload. Hoping for similar, or at least not ridiculous, results now...

Brown and Magee enter my PHOM this year, Grant, McGinnity and Johnson are already in.

1925 ballot:


1. Grant Johnson: A “5-tool” player, played a long time, all the best teams rushed to get him. The detailed case for him is by Chris Cobb at #251 on the discussion thread. Not quite as good as Lloyd is pretty darn good.

2. Mordecai Brown: Great pitcher, terrific run 1904-11, a big factor in the Cubs’ very-good-to-great teams those years. I don’t think he was just riding on the coattails of his offensive and defensive support.

3. Frank Grant: Best black player of the 19th century; his case was best made by favre several elections ago. Can’t find it right now, arrgggh!, but in summary, it was: all the evidence indicates he was a great player. Nothing suggests he wasn’t. To argue he wasn’t, you have to dismiss many or all of the points in his favor as meaningless.
He played 7 years in the mostly white, increasingly white minors. Never mind his determination and perseverance in the face of all the abuse he endured. Why did his teams keep him? There must have been pressure, internal and external, for them to stay or become all-white. That they didn’t indicates he was a special player, not just the best available, but the best by a big margin.

4. Joe McGinnity: As much as I’ve been supporting Joe, I have to give the 3-fingered one the edge on rate stats and contributions to more pennant winners.

5. Sherry Magee: The great forgotten player of the deadball era. It’s probably easier to be forgotten when there are people like Wagner, Cobb, Speaker, Crawford and Jackson catching the eye. Tops among current eligibles in win shares, good black and gray ink. STATS puts him on 8 all-star teams, I have him as a backup 4 more times. 12 is a lot: everybody to date with 10 or more is in the HOM except Beckley, who’s only on 3 starting squads(backup 7x).

6. Sam Thompson: MVP, 6 STATS AS. Strong Warp3, WS not so strong. While stats are somewhat bloated by the era, still a standout among his contemporaries.

7. Jake Beckley: At or near the top at his position for about 10 years. Long, steady career, lots of gray ink. 3 STATS AS.

8. Pete Browning: Monster hitter, even considering AA discount. 8-time STATS all-star.

9. Bobby Wallace: Long steady career like Beckley, good Win Shares. Only 1 AS but a backup 7 more times.

10. Bob Caruthers: Terrific pitching record, good hitter. A lot of value largely packed into 8 years. Short career and playing in the “wrong” league hurts his ranking some.

11. Hugh Duffy: Solid WS and WS/162, excellent defense in CF. Warp3 doesn’t like him as well.

12. Bill Monroe: Made 4 of Holway’s first 6 all-star teams, the last in his next-to-last year at age 37.

13. Rube Waddell: MVP/CYA in 1905, good ERA & ERA+, lots of strikeouts.

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

15. Roger Bresnahan: Looks like the best catcher post-Bennett and there’s nobody looming on the horizon to challenge him.

In 1924 top 10, off ballot:

Jimmy Sheckard: Win shares and Warp3 really like him. A few very strong seasons mixed with so-so ones. He’s not at or near the top in his position often enough to suit me.

Others in the mix, no particular order:

Childs, Pike, Ryan, Griffith, Foster, Chance, Willis.
   92. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 03, 2004 at 03:55 AM (#616014)
I'll assume that the new site'll load quicker once the bugs get worked out.

Real question: any plans to bring back the old HoM mainpage & if so any idea how long that'll take? Not trying to get pushy, & I understand that Joe's busy with real life, real job, & the Hardball Times. Just curious.
   93. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 03, 2004 at 05:02 AM (#616030)
Well, not only did the game run 14 innings, the Phillies won, it's a 2 hour drive, I got almost a lobster-level sunburn (because it was supposed to be cloudy and almost rainy), my mother wouldn't come and missed her free hat (because it was supposed to be cloudy and almost rainy), and I'm getting my ballot done later than I wanted. Oh well, at least the tickets were free. :)

Anyway, here's my ballot, which didn't change quite as much as I thought it might. Home Run Johnson and Bobby Wallace make my PHoM this year.

1. Lip Pike (3) A pretty clear #1 to me. He was one of the five or six best players of the '71-'77 era, combined power and speed, and we're pretty certain he was among the leading players in the 5 years before the forming of the NA. I feel safe in saying he was among the best players in baseball for a decade, and I don't know who else on this ballot you can say that about...

2. Dickey Pearce (4)...except Dickey, who very likely was THE best player in baseball for a decade. Yes, baseball wasn't really organized in that era, but his NA record is a strong indicator that he was a very good player in his prime. Even if he got a little chunky by the time they got around to measuring him.

3. Home Run Johnson (5) I'm convinced that he belongs. I have worried a bit about how closely his case is tied to John Henry Lloyd, but as...er...someone said, we've got evidence pointing to quality play over a 19-year period. He was clearly an excellent hitter.

4. Bobby Wallace (6) I don't buy the Beckley comparisons; he was never great but consistently very good. An excellent fielder and a servicable hitter who played for a very long time.

5. Frank Grant (7) The best black ballplayer of the 19th century, and there's enough evidence that he was comparable to good white players to make him worthy of recognition.

6. Sherry Magee (new) Add me to the list of people who find him difficult to separate from Sheckard; nudges ahead because we can be a little more certain of his true level.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (9) Had an odd career path and much of his value is hidden, but he was a quality player.

8. Miner Brown (8) I'm still not totally satisfied with my pitcher evaluations, but I'm also less concerned than some people with getting more 1900s pitchers inducted. His ERA+ is a strong argument, but there's enough questions about how much the Cubs' defense helped him that I can't put him any higher now.

9. Bob Caruthers (10) I keep thinking I'll make up my mind and move him to #3 or #23, but it hasn't happened yet.

10. Joe McGinnity (14) Finally breaks away from McCormick. He still doesn't have a strong career argument in this group, but there's no measurement where he does particualrly bad.

11. Bill Monroe (12) A good player, but I haven't seen any good argument to have him as high as Johnson or Grant.

12. Jimmy Ryan (16) He and Van Haltren need a nickname. Moves up because I think I was overvaluing infielders a skosh.

13. George Van Haltren (17) Version 1.1. Both guys were very good players for a respectable career, but don't rise to the level of greatness to make the Hall.

14. Hughie Jennings (11) My peak fandom is wearing off, perhaps. Now I see him as very close to Childs and Leach.

15. Cupid Childs (15) He could hit the ball pretty good for a 2B and his defense was decent, but he's another one who I don't quite see as great.

Off ballot:
16. Tommy Leach
17. Jim McCormick. Upon further review, his numbers are good, but not truly comparable with McGinnity.
18. Mike Griffin
19. Mickey Welch
20. Sam Thompson. Short career, hitter's parks, lousy fielder. I don't find his numbers that convincing. They look nice, though.
21. Clark Griffith
22. Charley Jones
23. Rube Waddell
24. Jake Beckley. A good player who was occasionally very good, but never great. I'm not worried about position scarcity in this case.
25. Rube Foster. I'm sure he was a good pitcher, but with his career length, to get high on the ballot he had to be a really great one at his peak, and I'm just not convinced that he was.
   94. Esteban Rivera Posted: May 03, 2004 at 06:10 AM (#616046)
A bit sleep deprived but hopefully it will get in on time.

1. 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?

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

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

7. 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.

8. Sherry Magee - Has a very good record for such an "unknown" player. Starts off here.

9. 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.

10. Bill Monroe - Keep gaining confidence in him. Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

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

12. 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.

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

14. 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.

15. Mickey Welch - Jumps back from the dark depths to reclaim a ballot spot. The past couple of weeks of discussion have been very kind to him.

Bob Caruthers is probably one election away from re-appearing on my ballot. He's 17th currently, sandwiched between Jake Beckley and Jimmy Scheckard. They will all be on my ballot in two "years" tops. Dickey Pearce,well, I still need to decide how much confidence I can muster in competition levels of the 50's and early 60's. With my current level of confidence, he's 22nd.
   95. Sean Gilman Posted: May 03, 2004 at 06:52 AM (#616053)
Posted by Ron Wargo on May 02, 2004 at 06:17 PM
I have kept a running complete tally, Sean.

I've got a tally up to my own ballot. There're at least two after that that seem to be cut off (OCF's and TomH's).
   96. Ken Fischer Posted: May 03, 2004 at 12:29 PM (#616086)
1925 Ballot (Ken Fischer)

Sorry it's so late. I'm a Netscape person. Last night I tried the new site. It didn't seem to work. The same thing happened this morning. Then I switched to Internet Explorer and things worked fine. My ballot is the same as last time as everyone moves up...with the exception of Sherry Magee being inserted into the number 6 slot. Magee along with Sheckhard are forgotten Dead Ball Era stars. Both missed the HOF list of 200 again. What a shame. I have Chase in the top 20 but he doesn't quite make the ballot.

1-Bob Caruthers 337 WS

2-Frank Grant

3-Home Run Johnson

4-Dickey Pearce

5-Rube Foster

6-Sherry Magee 354 WS

7-Bobby Wallace 345 WS

8-Mordecai Brown 296 WS

9-Jimmy Sheckard 339 WS

10-Joe McGinnity 269 WS

11-George Van Haltren 344 WS

12-Jimmy Ryan 316 WS

13-Sam Thompson 236 WS

14-Jake Beckley 318 WS

15-Hugh Duffy 295 WS
   97. Carl Goetz Posted: May 03, 2004 at 02:09 PM (#616106)
Please welcome Eddie Plank and Mordecai Brown to my Personal HoM.

1)Lip Pike- Great Peak. He's been in my PHoM since 1918.
2)Frank Grant-Best Negro Leaguer of the 1800s. He's been in my PHoM since 1919.
3)Dickey Pearce-Not alot of objective evidenc eon Pearce, but he played a long time and was considered a top ballplayer at the time. He also went in my PHoM in 1919.
4)Bob Caruthers-Had an amazing peak and carried several of his teams. Made it into my PHoM in 1920.
5)Mordecai Brown-Pretty stron gin both peak and career numbers. IMHO he's the only member of those great Cubs teams who should be enshrined by this group.
6)Sam Thompson-Best Hitter whose eligible and not already in. He'll be in my HoM soon.
7)Sherry Magee- I know alot of you have him higher, but this is where I'm comfortable with him at this point. I do think he belongs eventually, but not yet. His WS peak and career look too similar to the rest of the 'glut'(he's a little better than the others, but not by any statistically significant amount).
8)Rube Foster-Another with not alot of objective evidence. My gut tells me he should be elected eventually though.
9)Roger Bresnahan-Best Catcher for a pretty extensive time period. He's vastly bette rin career and peak than any of the others at his position at this point.
10)Home Run Johnson- See Rube Foster, but to a slightly lesser degree.
11)Jimmy Ryan-Edges out Hugh Duffy and Jimmy Sheckard for this spot. Their 3 career and peak totals are remarkably similar. I doubt the differences are very meaningful.
12)Ned Williamson-Still the best 3B-man on the ballot. Remember when some thought he was better than Sutton? I wasn't one of them, but he's still fallen of the radar when he most certainly should not have.
13)Jimmy Sheckard-Edges Hugh Duffy for my last OF slot. Duffy's career value was slightly below the other 2 while their peaks were almost identical.
14)Bill Monroe-Can any fans of Monroe give me a good reason to move him higher? This is where I'm comfortable now, but I admit, I don't know alot about him.
15)Bobby Wallace-Career-peak, Career-peak? I guess I'll go 'career' this time and go with Wallace; sorry Hughie. Seriously, these 2 are the defining argument of the career peak debate. I keep going back and forth trying to come up with and objective way to compare them without overweighing either peak or career. Hughie is 16th if its any consolation.

I think I've got all the top 10 in here, already.
   98. jimd Posted: May 03, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#616120)
Man, this new system is .....S.....L.....O.....W.....!

Sorry this is late, but I was locked out Thursday/Friday, away without access over the weekend, and the new system is having its troubles today.

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

<formation.

<b>12) N. Williamson</b> -- Deserves some reconsideration.

13) S. Thompson -- He's back, for longer than I thought.

14) F. Jones -- Reached the top of the OF heap before he walked away. Not enough peak for the peak voters to really get excited about and not enough career for the career voters. Some of each works for my ballot.

15) George Van Haltren -- What's the excitement about Sherry Magee? I don't think he rates as highly as this guy for career value. Magee's got a little extra in peak, but its not like he's Joe Jackson or anything (and I'm not that excited about Joe either).

Just missing the cut are:
Jim Whitney, Fred Dunlap, Joe McGinnity, Herman Long, Mordecai Brown,
Sherry Magee, Cupid Childs, Jim McCormick, Hugh Duffy, Lave Cross,
Rube Waddell, Lip Pike, Charlie Buffinton, Jake Beckley, Roy Thomas

Why aren't McGinnity or Brown higher?
I'm not sure why I should go crazy over these guys just because they pitched for some pennant winners with great defenses (amplifying their WS) while ignoring pitchers like Bond or King that were more dominant in their day and closer to being the best.
   99. jimd Posted: May 03, 2004 at 09:57 PM (#616126)
You've seen the first attempt. The 2nd and 3rd post don't seem to have taken at all. If at first you don't ...

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

<formation.

<b>12) N. Williamson</b> -- Deserves some reconsideration.

13) S. Thompson -- He's back, for longer than I thought.

14) F. Jones -- Reached the top of the OF heap before he walked away. Not enough peak for the peak voters to really get excited about and not enough career for the career voters. Some of each works for my ballot.

15) George Van Haltren -- What's the excitement about Sherry Magee? I don't think he rates as highly as this guy for career value. Magee's got a little extra in peak, but its not like he's Joe Jackson or anything (and I'm not that excited about Joe either).

Just missing the cut are:
Jim Whitney, Fred Dunlap, Joe McGinnity, Herman Long, Mordecai Brown,
Sherry Magee, Cupid Childs, Jim McCormick, Hugh Duffy, Lave Cross,
Rube Waddell, Lip Pike, Charlie Buffinton, Jake Beckley, Roy Thomas

Why aren't McGinnity or Brown higher?
I'm not sure why I should go crazy over these guys just because they pitched for some pennant winners with great defenses (amplifying their WS) while ignoring pitchers like Bond or King that were more dominant in their day and closer to being the best.
   100. jimd Posted: May 03, 2004 at 10:13 PM (#616130)
Is the ballot too long? Let's try pieces...

1) B. Caruthers -- Still the best pitcher available, measured by peak. Made my revised PHOM years ago. If you rate him solely as a pitcher, you're missing nearly half his value.

2) B. Wallace -- Made my PHOM in 1921, instead of Collins. Are we still in the "best-athlete" stage where they tend to play SS, resulting in a shortage of really good 3B and 2B players?

3) H. Jennings -- Using rolling 5-year peaks for WARP-3, only he and Tommy Bond, on this ballot, can claim to have been the "best player in baseball". All of the others have already been elected or are not yet eligible; elected to my PHOM a decade ago.

4) J. Sheckard -- Surprised me. The best NL OF'er of the early oughts, by peak. He didn't last as long as Clarke, which drops him to just above the gluts. In my revised PHOM, instead of Joe Kelley (who made it later).

5) D. Pearce -- Reflecting on him and his long career at a top defensive position in the undocumented dawn of the game, I think he belongs. (Basically, the Joe Start argument, with less documented evidence.)

6) T. Bond -- Both WARP and Win Shares places him as the best player in the game during the late 1870's. Career prematurely shortened by the rule change that moved the pitching box back 5 feet in 1880. You just don't modify at will the break on that "curved-ball" you've been throwing for five years.
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