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

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

1926 Results - Grant and Magee elected

After 27 elections without electing a Negro League player, The Hall of Merit elects its second in as many years in 1926. Frank Grant topped the voting with 736 points, moving past Joe McGinnity and Sherry Magee. Magee was elected as well, with 722 points.

Bobby Wallace finished 3rd with 653 points, edging McGinnity (651). McGinnity was the top returning vote getter, but slipped to 4th this time around.

Jimmy Sheckard finished 5th. Sam Thompson moved into 6th place, passing Bob Caruthers who finished 7th.

Completing the top 10 were Dickey Pearce, Lip Pike and newcomer Joe Jackson. Jackson was boycotted on several ballots due to his actions during the 1919 World Series, and should move up significantly in 1927.

RK   LY  Player             PTS Bal    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 1    5  Frank Grant        736  42.5  5 11  6  2  1  3  2  1  4  4  1     1     1.5
 2    4  Sherry Magee       722  46    8  1  3  2  6  6  5  7  1  1  1  1  2  2
 3    6  Bobby Wallace      653  41.5  5  5  4  5  4  3  3        3  3  1  2  1  2.5
 4    3  Joe McGinnity      651  43    2  5  6  4  5  3  3  2  4  1     2  2  2  2
 5    7  Jimmy Sheckard     581  39    1  5  3  5  3  3  4  3  3  2  1  3  1     2
 6    9  Sam Thompson       522  35    4  2  7  3  1  1  1  2  3  2  1  3  3  1  1
 7    8  Bob Caruthers      497  34    3  4  1  5  1  1  3  4  1  1  3  1  3  1  2
 8   10  Dickey Pearce      488  30    4  6  3     1  2  2  3  1  2  2  2  1  1
 9   11  Lip Pike           414  28    6     2  2  3  1  1  3  1        3  4  1  1
10  n/e  Joe Jackson        410  23    6  4  2  3  1  1  1  1              2  1  1
11   13  Jake Beckley       363  27    1     1  3  5  3  4  1  1  1     2  1  3  1
12   12  George Van Haltren 361  29       2  1  3  3  1  2  2  2  1  1  3  3  3  2
13   14  Jimmy Ryan         312  25          2  1  1  3  3  1  2  6  2  2  1  1
14   15  Rube Waddell       294  25          2  1  2  1  3     4  2  1  4  2  2  1
15   17  Roger Bresnahan    262  24          1  1  2  1  1  3  3     2  1  3  2  4
16   16  Hughie Jennings    231  20             3     1  1  1  3  3  4     1  3
17   19  Clark Griffith     223  22          1     1     1  2  2  1  4  3     5  2
18   18  Hugh Duffy         219  20                2  3        2  1  6  2  2  1  1
19   21  Bill Monroe        212  18    1  1  1     1  1     2  1  2     1  1  3  3
20   23  Rube Foster        195  17             2        2     4  3  3     1  2
21   22  Mickey Welch       175  14    2     1     1     1  1  1     1  1  2  1  2
22   25  Cupid Childs       172  17       1     1           2  1  1  1  2  1  5  2
23   20  Pete Browning      164  12       1  1     2  1  2  1        2  1        1
24   24  Tommy Leach        145  15                   2  1     1  2  1     4  1  3
25  n/e  Gavy Cravath*      134  12             1     2  1  2        2     1  1  2
26  n/e  Larry Doyle        134  12       1  1     1  1     1           1  1  2  3
27   26  Charley Jones      121   9             2     2  1     2     1  1
28   27  Ed Williamson^     112  12                      1  1     2  2  1  1  2  2
29   28  Addie Joss         112   9.5  1                 1     1  3  1  1     1  0.5
30  n/e  Eddie Cicotte       97   7       1           2        1  2  1
31   32  Vic Willis          56   6                   1        1        1     2  1
32   29  John McGraw         54   4    1                          2        1
33   31  Frank Chace         52   5                         2     1     1        1
34   30  Fielder Jones       46   5                         1        1  1  1     1
35   33  Harry Wright        39   3          1              1              1
36   36  Tommy Bond          32   2             1     1
37   35  Jim McCormick       31   4                                  1  1        2
38   34  Lave Cross          27   2                1              1
39   43  Mike Tiernan        25   2                1                    1
40   37  Herman Long         18   2                                     2
41   39T Tom York            16   1                1
42   38  Silver King         10   1                                  1
43   39T Tony Mullane         9   1                                     1
44  n/e  Ray Chapman          8   1                                        1
45T  42  Levi Meyerle         6   1                                              1
45T  --  Joe Tinker           6   1                                              1
47   --  Fred Dunlap          3   0.5                                            0.5
*Ahead on individual ballots 10-9. ^Ahead on individual ballots 11-10.
Dropped Out: Sol White 39T.
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:00 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:41 AM (#643082)
Oh yeah, and a big thank you to EricC, Ron Wargo and John Murphy for passing along their tallies!
   2. Brad Harris Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:47 AM (#643083)
Joe,

I count 50 ballots cast in 1926. Is that the HoM record for most ballots in a single year? (If not, what is the record?)

Also...what is the HoM record for the biggest jump from one year to being elected the next? I ask because Joe Jackson, 10th ranking candidate in 1926, could well be elected in 1927. That would seem like a pretty large leap to me. (Obviously Jackson has an "unusual" set of circumstances surrounding any such gain.) What is the existing "record"?
   3. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:02 AM (#643088)
Spalding went from 5th to 1st in 1906. Passing three guys -- Sutton, Galvin & McPhee.
   4. Sean Gilman Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:12 AM (#643097)
The HOM game this year is an all-St. Louis matchup as Rogers Hornsby's Cardinals take on George Sisler's Browns.

http://www.whatifsports.com/mlb/boxscore.asp?GameID=14905567&ad=1

I'm really interested to see what we think of Sisler when he becomes eligible. He's an oft-debated player at whatifsports (welcome seaver!).

(how do you post links here properly?)
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:40 AM (#643102)
Brad, I believe that is the record, though I don't know for sure.

Sean - no idea, sorry . . .
   6. Brad G. Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:49 PM (#643220)
Guys- Great job in getting the results posted so quickly!
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:50 PM (#643223)
(how do you post links here properly?)

Check the hypertext section here.
   8. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:35 PM (#643289)
Spalding went from 5th to 1st in 1906. Passing three guys -- Sutton, Galvin & McPhee.

Not our proudest moment.
   9. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:37 PM (#643292)
Magee and Grant -- in that order -- have the lowest points per eligible voter of players we've elected. Charley Bennett is 3d.

Magee has the lowest points per actual voter of players we've elected. Hardy Richardson is 2d and Harry Stovey is 3d.

I suspect these numbers will be challenged in the coming years.
   10. DanG Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#643338)
Elected With Lowest Percentage of Possible Points

60.2 Magee
60.9 Bennett
61.3 Grant
63.2 Stovey
66.5 Brown
67.1 Richardson
67.7 HR Johnson
68.1 Kelley
68.4 Barnes
69.2 Flick
   11. DanG Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#643377)
Among currently unelected players, their peak election with Highest Percentage of Possible Points

57.2 1921 McGinnity
54.4 1926 Wallace
51.1 1913 Duffy
49.4 1906 Thompson
48.4 1926 Sheckard
47.1 1898 Williamson
43.9 1919 Caruthers
41.3 1910 Ryan
40.7 1926 Pearce
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#643395)
I like those Dan G charts.
Time was when I had a few myself.
Anyone know if we will EVER get the archived material back? I was under the impression it would be missing only for weeks, not months. I'm talking about more than just the first line or two in ballot discussion threads.

If they all are toast, maybe I can start a partial rebuild (once I stop this annoying sighing. Sorry).
   13. DanG Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:57 PM (#643424)
Thanks, Howie. I have an Excel file with each years' voting results copied. I can attach it to an email, if you'd like.

More stuff:

Just a brief look at the top 24 holdovers for the 1927 election that were not newly eligible in 1926. I’m looking for who is gaining and who is losing support.

Biggest Gainers
Rube Foster – Percentage of possible points increased from 11.6% to 16.3%. Named on 17 of 50 ballots, up from 12 of 48 ballots. Passed Welch and Browning.
Jake Beckley - Percentage of possible points increased from 25.0% to 30.3%. Named on 27 of 50 ballots, up from 22 of 48 ballots. Passed Van Haltren.

Other Gainers
Wallace, Sheckard, Thompson, Pearce, Pike, Van Haltren, Bresnahan, Griffith, Monroe, Welch, Childs, Leach, Joss.

Biggest Loser
Hughie Jennings - Percentage of possible points decreased from 19.9% to 19.3%. Named on 20 of 50 ballots, down from 20 of 48 ballots. Passed by Bresnahan. Despite a weaker ballot, his five top votes decreased from 1-3-4-4-7 to 4-4-4-6-7.

Other Losers
McGinnity, Caruthers, Ryan, Waddell, Duffy, Browning, C.Jones, Williamson.
   14. Van Slyke Jr. Posted: May 25, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#643462)
Long time lurker, never voted because I lack the time and inclination to do all the necessary research (plus I have no idea what a WARP is). The HoM is always a fun and interesting read - keep up the good work.

Here's something that might interest you all; hope nobody thinks I'm intruding by posting it. In these "drought" years, there is seemingly a lack of strong candidates. I got to thinking, are these the weakest fields of candidates to date? And what were the strongest fields? One simple way to measure this is by counting the future HoMers that appeared on each ballot (including the player(s) that won that election.)

STRONGEST BALLOTS
13 HoMers: '99, '00
12 HoMers: '98, '01, '02, '03
11 HoMers: '04

The "strongest" ballots were the first ones - no surprise. It'll be interesting to see if any future ballots end up with this many. (1934?)

WEAKEST BALLOTS
2 HoMers: '26
4 HoMers: '20, '21, '25
5 HoMers: '13, '19, '22, '24

By the way I'm doing this, the most recent elections are going to be the "weakest". The outlier in this group is 1913 - suggesting that was the weakest field to date.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:01 PM (#643654)
I once used the term "no brainer" and somebody was offended because it implied that people who didn't agree with me had no brain.

Similarly, I am offended by "not our proudest moment," being of the opinion that the more difficult choices we make ARE our prouder moments. That would include guys like Spalding, HR Johnson, Frank Grant. I'm not patting myself on the back too much for electing Hans Wagner.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#643664)
I posted years ago, based on another project (DanG was there), that our consensus would get weaker and weaker and weaker over time. This is due to the SIZE of the pool, not the quality, IMO. I mean, sure, the quality of the top one or two players will vary. You don't have Wagner or Mathewson every year. But to assume or infer that the players who get elected with the lowest # or % of votes are therefore weaker players or poorer choices is a bad inference.
   17. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:22 PM (#643694)
Now here I agree with Marc. When there were just a few players comparable to George Gore, he got more votes. Now there are a lot of players like Sherry Magee, so the vote totals drop. That in no way means that Magee is a worse player than Gore, just that Gore didn't have to share the stage with as many competitors.

As the pool of players grow, players will be able to be elected merely be holding onto their vote totals, rather than increasing them. That does not make the players themselves any worse.
   18. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:25 PM (#643701)
Meanwhile, Marc never responded to my e-mail about religion, so I have to assume that he thinks I'm some sort of evil heathen.
   19. DanG Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:05 PM (#643771)
Marc posted:
our consensus would get weaker and weaker and weaker over time. This is due to the SIZE of the pool, not the quality

This is a big part of why I still believe we should go to a 20-man ballot in 1934. IMO, it is better if the players elected receive votes on a great number of ballots, more than if the players elected get there by garnering a lot of high (bonus point) votes. I think there is a greater possibility of a "mistake" occurring when a lesser number of rabid supporters can push their guy over the top.

Someone can construct a more concrete hypothetical than this, but if player A has a vote profile somehting like this:

50 votes
1-2: 15 votes
3-15: 10 votes
16-20: 0 votes
+20: 25 votes

and player B looks something like this:
1-2: 0 votes
3-5: 10 votes
6-10: 10 votes
11-15: 10 votes
16-20: 20 votes
+20: 0 votes

It looks like player A will be elected on a 15-man ballot. Is that an accurate expression of the will of the electorate? To me, that ain't right, when twice as many voters have player B in their top 20. Player B will be elected on a 20-man ballot.

OK, nothing that extreme is likely to happen, but it illustrates the sort of situation I don't think we want. To my mind, not extending the ballot to 20 is ignoring information that's there, for no good reason. Most ballots already list #16-20. Let's use this to more accurately reflect the voters' opinions.

Extending the ballot to 20 counteracts the problem of increasing pool size. It enables the voters to inject opinions about players that are presently being disregarded.
   20. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#643792)
I cast a tentative vote against expanding the project because I see two definite albeit small negative consequences (changing project in mid-stream looks arbitrary and arbitrary differences in some players' relative positions will occur when we switch from system A to system B) while there is no demonstrated need for such a change as yet. I fully expect three players who are not in my top 15 to earn election in 1930-1931 (Thompson, Caruthers, and Pearce) and have no problem with it-- I actually see those guys as more deserving than the next set of candidates (the Ryans, Van Haltrens, Beckleys, etc) who are likely to benefit from this change in system.
   21. DanG Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:30 PM (#643810)
Andrew,

I think you help make my point. You wrote

I fully expect three players who are not in my top 15 to earn election in 1930-1931....

This indeed makes it sound like you feel there are more than 15 eligible players deserving support for the HoM. Let's expand the ballot to enable you to express that.

You wrote:

changing project in mid-stream looks arbitrary

Why argue for the virtues of the status quo when there are easily-made improvements? It only looks arbitrary if you don't follow the logic.

You wrote:

arbitrary differences in some players' relative positions will occur when we switch from system A to system B

The differences are entirely in the direction of more accurately reflecting the rankings of the electorate.

You wrote:

I actually see those guys as more deserving than the next set of candidates (...) who are likely to benefit from this change in system.

Speculations as to which candidates might benefit or not are irrelevant, IMO.
   22. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:42 PM (#643828)
Dan:

Some fair points, but you misunderstood my big one: I am personally a fan of guys like Van Haltren and Ryan and am not a fan of guys like Thompson and Caruthers, but I think electing guys with the upper ballot strength of Thompson and Caruthers better reflects the will of the electorate than electing guys like Ryan and Van Haltren even if Ryan and VH were to pop up between 12 and 20 on ten more ballots between now and 1930. I think our current system nicely balances bonus points for being in the top 2 with bonus points for being on ballot and don't want to mess with out formulas.
   23. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#643833)
I agree with Andrew here, I'd rather elect people that 15-20 of us think oughtta be in, rather than people that no one thinks oughtta be in, but a lot of people think are the best of those that shouldn't be in.
   24. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 08:53 PM (#643851)
Dan,

Isn't there some infinite regress here?

I mean, if I recall correctly, your argument was made before, and carried the day. We expanded the ballot from 10 to 15 players.

We decided that there should be an "in the money" bonus (5 extra points) and an "off the ballot "penalty (6 fewer points).

Would your goal be equally met by removing the Top 2 Bonus?

Is it likely that, as in your hypothetical, the vote will be splintered at the top, but reach greater consensus in the low 20s?

It seems that your new system would just re-jigger the balance away from "Friends of" and toward "Enemies of", where a lesser number of rabid opponents can hinder a candidate by failing to name him on their top 20 (or 25, or 30 . . .)
   25. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 25, 2004 at 09:07 PM (#643874)
Sorry to interrupt the serious discussion with trivia (BTW, I'm not really in favor of expanding the ballot, mainly because I don't like changing the rules partway through the process unless there's a dramatic need), but here's an update on HoMer Similarity Scores - which HoMers and candidates have HoMers in their Most Similar list (by bb-ref.com). They're ranked by what% of the total top 10 sim score comes from HoMers*. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean anything.

1. Mathewson (Plank, Nichols, Clarkson, Keefe, Radbourn)
2. Plank (Clarkson, Radbourn, Keefe, Mathewson, Nichols)
3. Nichols (Keefe, Clarkson, Plank, Radbourn, Mathewson)
4. Clarkson (Radbourn, Plank, Nichols, Keefe)
5. Keeler (Burkett, Clarke, Hamilton, O'Rourke)
6. Burkett (Clarke, Keeler, Kelley, O'Rourke)
7. Radbourn (Clarkson, Plank, Keefe, Nichols)
8. Young (Galvin, Keefe, Nichols, Mathewson)
9. Keefe (Nichols, Clarkson, Plank, Mathewson)
10. Wagner (Lajoie, Anson, Davis, Crawford)
11. Clarke (Burkett, Kelley, O'Rourke, Keeler)

And the rest:
3 HoMers: Brouthers, Lajoie, Kelly, Connor, McPhee, Delahanty, Davis, Galvin, White, Anson
2 HoMers: Barnes, Dahlen, Ewing, O'Rourke, Hamilton, Kelley, Richardson
1 HoMer: McVey, Gore, Brown, Hines, Collins, Walsh, Ward (as hitter), Magee, Glasscock, Spalding, Crawford
None (by probability that there will be): Rusie, Sutton, Ward (as pitcher), Stovey, Flick, Start, Bennett, Wright, Johnson, Grant.

And here's the tops among others on the ballot:
1. Ryan (Clarke, O'Rourke, Connor, Magee, Burkett, Kelley)
2. Van Haltren (Clarke, Burkett, Kelley, O'Rourke, Keeler)
3. Welch (Radbourn, Keefe, Clarkson, Nichols)
4. Beckley (Crawford, Clarke, Connor, O'Rourke)
5. Long (Glasscock, Ward, McPhee, Dahlen)

*Example. The total of Mathewson's top 10 sim scores is 8068. The total of the 5 that are HoMers is 4130. That comes to 51.2% of the total.
   26. Carl Goetz Posted: May 25, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#643917)
I'm already having trouble deciding who to place 15th and Vic Willis(my 1926 15th place) is not an HoMer IMHO. We've still got more backlog to clear up as well. Also, we are electing more players in an average election then we were in the past. I just don't see the point in extending our ballots any further. I too, would rather see a guy elected that 10 of us thought belonged than a guy that all of us think is 16th best on that ballot. I would much rather have some sort of 'safety trigger' whereby we stay under the current system, but, if an electee is named on less than 50% of the ballots, we have a run-off, possibly running concurrent with the next election's discussion. Maybe have a 5-man run-off based on most points in the initial election where everyone just ranks those 5. I don't think this is necessary either, but it at least solves the problem. Going from 15 to 20 does appear arbitrary and is not likely to be the end of the issue. In 20 'years' will we extend to 25? To 30? Where does it end? Each number is going to be arbitrary. I don't see any scientific basis for selecting the number 20, which by definition is arbitrary.
To conclude, I don't think any change is necessary, but if we're going to change, lets do something thats going to solve the perceived problem and not just open the door for more expansion in the future.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#643938)
I say we stay with the status quo.
   28. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 25, 2004 at 09:59 PM (#643953)
Changing my tack slightly, I'd have no problem with an as-needed runoff like Carl's suggesting.
   29. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 10:03 PM (#643961)
Similarly, I am offended by "not our proudest moment," being of the opinion that the more difficult choices we make ARE our prouder moments.

Since you use "similarly" does that mean that you were offended by your OWN comment about "no brainers"? :) :) :) For the record, I wasn't offended by "no brainer" because I believe medical science has shown that people without brains are incapable of posting to the HoM boards (though I've seen some other sports sites where science has apparently been proven wrong). :)

Anyway, sorry to have offended you (though I'm a bit surprised, as I imagine you were when someone didn't like "no-brainer").

Spalding was a difficult choice and was elected, therefore in your view we should be proud of making a difficult decision. I wasn't attempting to address the issue of difficult candidates, because someone ALWAYS gets elected so I don't think electing difficult candidates ought to make us any prouder than electing anyone else.

In my opinion, Spalding is the worst player we have elected and he should not have been elected in 1906...he would be #16 on my ballot right now. But again, I'm wasting time because that's not the source of my comment.

If you'll recall that election, there was no new data or analysis presented to put Spalding over the edge. It was the same old stuff we had been talking about for "years." Then, he just suddently jumped, because his proponents happened to be extremely vocal at that time. I've always had a bit of a problem with the advocacy of candidates (as I've stated before) because I don't think it is particularly suited to a science-like project.

So anyway, Spalding rode a wave of momentum from 5th to 1st, which in my opinion was a phenomenon without justification and unsupported by new data or analysis. Of course, it wouldn't be the first time in history that momentum carried the day -- but I always thought he was elected that "year" just so we didn't have to listen to his "friends" preach anymore. :)

In sum, I personally don't think the WAY he was elected in 1906 is a model for what we do here. That's why I made the comment. Just my opinion.

Really no point in debating this since he was elected and he would have been elected a couple of years later -- but if he had been elected a couple of years later by moving up naturally on the ballot (or by the introduction of some new information or analysis, rather than the same old shouting), I would not have made the "proudest moment" comment.

Enough of that. :)
   30. OCF Posted: May 25, 2004 at 11:19 PM (#644061)
Some voter stats: the highest consensus score was +12, by Ken Fischer. The lowest was -18, by John Murphy. I was at 0 myself, hardly my usual neighborhood. The biggest problem was that it was hard to find a consensus to agree with - the highest possible score this year would have been a mere +19. The player about whom there was the most disagreement? No surprise there: Joe Jackson.

I haven't carefully proofread the following list, but I'll put it out there anyway:

Best friends 1926. (List is in 1925 ballot order with newcomers at the top):
Jackson (1) Brad Harris, Rob Wood, Dan Rosenheck, Sean M, Howie Menckel
Doyle (2) Jim Sp
Cravath (4) PhillyBooster
Cicotte (2) EricC
Chapman (13) TheGoodSamaritan
Kauff (retracted vote) Joe Dimino
McGinnity (1) Daryn, dan b
Wallace (1) Patrick W, TheGoodSamaritan, Joe Dimino, robc, DanG
Grant (1) Michael Bass, Ron Wargo, Don F, stephen
Magee (1) Chris J, Jim Sp, OCF, Jeff M, mdb1mdb1, Brad G, MichaelD
Sheckard (1) Andrew Siegel
Thompson (1) Al Peterson, TomH, Dolf Lucky, Esteban Rivera
Caruthers (1) karlmagnus, jimd, Ken Fischer
Pearce (1) sunnyday2, John Murphy, Chris Cobb, Rick A
Pike (1) David Foss, favre, Sean Gilman, Devin McCullen, Philip, Carl Goetz
Van Haltren (2) mdb1mdb1, Seaver1969
Beckley (1) Seaver1969
Ryan (3) Al Peterson, Seaver1969
Waddell (3) Dan Rosenheck, EricC
Jennings (4) KJOK, jimd
Bresnahan (3) Jeff M
Duffy (5) dan b, MichaelD
Griffith (3) TomH
Monroe (1) Yardape
Browning (2) Jeff M
Welch (1) Adam Schafer, jhwinfrey
Foster (4) Daryn, Ken Fischer
Childs (2) John Murphy
Leach (6) Yardape, MichaelD
C. Jones (4) John Murphy, Rick A
Williamson (7) sunnyday2
Joss (1) Zapatero
F. Jones (8) Michael Bass
McGraw (1) KJOK
Chance (8) KJOK, dan b
Cross (5) robc
Willis (6) John Murphy
H. Wright (3) sunnyday2
McCormick (11) sunnyday2
Bond (4)Yardape
King (11) jimd
Mullane (12) jhwinfrey
Meyerle (15) karlmagnus
Tiernan (5) Dan Rosenheck
Long (12) robc, Dolf Lucky
Dunlap (T15) Sunnyday2
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#644090)
The lowest was -18, by John Murphy.

I was figuring on it.
   32. jimd Posted: May 25, 2004 at 11:36 PM (#644121)
We chose this ballot format for a variety of reasons. Two of the most important reasons can be summarized as follows:
1) It is not the BBWAA HOF voting process
2) It gives extra weight to strong opinions

We elect a set number of candidates every year, whether or not there are any worth electing. Strong opinions get extra points; one first place vote is worth two ninth place votes, or four 15th place votes.

There have been a number of players elected that don't score well in my system; that's OK because I respect the collective opinion of the people voting here, and I know that I don't come close to knowing everything (despite how it may come off when I write; I often don't take the time to be as tactful as I might be in person). I express my opinion, and if the group disagrees, so be it, on to the next discussion.

I'd rather elect people that 15-20 of us think oughtta be in, rather than people that no one thinks oughtta be in, but a lot of people think are the best of those that shouldn't be in.

Hear, hear. Couldn't have said it any better.

The BBWAA HOF voting process is the ultimate in concensus building. It requires 75% approval to elect anybody. If we're trying to "build consensus" here then perhaps we should have adopted that model to begin with.

I say we stay with the status quo.

Agreed.

I also see no point in a runoff, unless there is a tie and Joe has run out of tiebreaker rules.
   33. EricC Posted: May 26, 2004 at 12:58 AM (#644306)
It has been mathematically proven that, given an election with more than two candidates, you can never eliminate the possibility of unfair results, no matter how you define "fair results". There's plenty of literature on this "Voting Paradox", but you don't have to look any further than the history of the college football BCS to understand the problem.

Given that, I see no point in expanding the ballots or having runoff elections.

Voluntary extended ballots do serve a useful purpose of keeping names in sight.
   34. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:36 AM (#644480)
The ballot ain't broke, so don't fix it.

And I should've been the best (only) friend of Joe Tinker.
   35. OCF Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:50 AM (#644537)
I'll vote for the keeping the status quo and the ballot of 15. I also disagree with Jeff M, who doesn't want to see our 16-20 or 16-30 votes. They are information, and they do keep names in view.
But I'll also urge those who are currently railing against the 5,000 character limit to use it for discipline: cut the padding, keep your ballot moving. Don't use the same length of comment for everyone - go shorter when it's reasonable.

Tinker (15) Chris J. - there!

Did we lose anyone because of the software changeover? Since many of us posted in 1925 before the change, the 1926 ballot is the first place for seeing who's missing. We may have lost three voters: Brian H., Max Parkinson, and yest. Brad Harris and Sean M. both returned after being gone since 1923, and jhwinfrey and Seaver1969 were brand new, with respective consensus scores of -5 and -6. (The average of all consensus scores was +1).
   36. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 02:50 AM (#644744)
Good discussion. The people have spoken. Let their will be law.
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 03:12 AM (#644804)
Re did we lose anyone?

Max appeared in person on the ballot discussion thread today, indicating that he'd simply been away last week, so he's accounted for.

yest and Brian H have been incommunicado since the changeover, to the best of my knowledge.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 26, 2004 at 04:05 AM (#644869)
The people have spoken. Let their will be law.

Dan, you sound like you're auditioning for a role in a remake of "The Ten Commandments." :-)
   39. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 26, 2004 at 05:17 AM (#644910)
Just when Dan was ready to give up -- I'd have no problem with expanding the ballot to 20.

Fifteen did the trick back in 1898 when the pool was much smaller. I never envisioned a scenario where there'd be more than 15 people on a ballot worth electing, but by 1933 (or is it 34?) we'll be there, which shocks me.

I don't think the argument that we'll elect people that everyone thinks are 15th as opposed to someone that 10-20 people want holds up.

If we increased the ballot to 20 (just adding 5 points to each current position and giving 10-9-8-7-6 for 16-20), a person receiving 50 15th place votes would get 550 points, Grant in this election would have been around 950, and he's a low scoring electee. The 550 would have been good for 14th in this election (after you give the others their extra points too - and that doesn't account for any of them getting 16-20th place votes).

The extra positions would just allow for room to express an opinion on a few more players and it would probably slow down the election of a player that a sizeable group does not think belongs.

Anyone else out there that agrees with Dan and I that isn't speaking up? If not, we'll let the voice of the people speaking reign for now, but it could be revisited down the line . . .
   40. Jeff M Posted: May 26, 2004 at 06:33 AM (#644955)
I also disagree with Jeff M, who doesn't want to see our 16-20 or 16-30 votes.

Two mistakes there.

First, I don't mind seeing the names of the players...I just don't want a full blown discussion. No one reads them. Wastes space. Wastes time. Makes me (and others) tune out, and therefore does not accomplish the goal of keeping their names in the spotlight. It just increases the risk we will all have a crippling carpal tunnel injury from using the scroll bar more vigorously. :)

Second, I only suggested we omit those players and comments on the ballots themselves. If you want to talk about them and keep their names out there, I think it should be done on the ballot discussion thread.

Why does anyone object to that?
   41. Jeff M Posted: May 26, 2004 at 06:37 AM (#644960)
Voluntary extended ballots do serve a useful purpose of keeping names in sight.

The extra positions would just allow for room to express an opinion on a few more players...

Is there some reason we can't do this on the ballot discussion threads? Why must we vote for them to express our opinions when there's a separate thread dedicated to that?
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:21 PM (#645046)
One mistake here . ..

<object to that?</i>

I wouldn't, if it were being done. It's not mandatory to post a preliminary ballot on the discussion thread, however, and I don't think more than 50% of voters are doing so, if that. There are probably a number of people out there who would say that double-posting their ballots (not to mention keeping and formatting two separate versions) is a waste of time. If everyone were posting ballots on the discuss thread, then the extra info on the official ballot would indeed be superfluous, but there's still a lot of information appearing in the "missed the ballot" sections that's not available elsewhere.

I would strongly encourage people to post preliminary ballots, as the information you provide is more useful to others when it appears there than when it appears on the ballot thread only, and I'd support OCF's suggestion that we use the 5000 character limit to discipline our presentations on the actual ballot thread. If only the server and my word processor counted characters the same way . . .
   43. sunnyday2 Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:34 PM (#645060)
First, my apologies for being snarky about the "quota." I can no longer post from my own computer. I use Netscape on a Mac, and the submit button on the log-in page is a graphic that my browser cannot "see." So I am at somebody else's computer and I don't have my HoM files in front of me, so I am slightly annoyed whenver I post right off the bat.

But anyway, the whole point was not about a quota. It was about consideration being given to "all" baseball players. The constitution has some sort of statement and certainly the spirit of this effort was that it be "global," that players (that is, groups of players from a particular time and place) who got the short end of the stick from Cooperstown would get cosideration here.

Certainly the Negro Leaguers, but equally certainly players from the pioneer era. Not "pioneers," but players from the pioneer era. I can't imagine anybody disagreeing with that as one of our purposes.

Now, one can disagree about the so-called quota. We are electing 4 times as many players in 2000 as we did in 1915. Does that mean the HoM should have 4 times as many players from 1980-2000 as from 1895-1915? I say no, some say sure. Or 1960-1980 versus 1860-1880? Again, I think the "spirit" of this project--that "all" elite baseball is within our purview--trumps the idea that a quota is somehow imperative.

So anyway, my ranting was stimulated by recent comments that "disdain bio-only (non-statistical) candidates" and that players before 1871 aren't worth a damn. The former is a clear violation of our constitution, the latter a gray matter, so to speak, though I am alarmed by the latter as well as the former.

That doesn't mean anybody HAS to vote for Dickey Pearce. And unlike Frank Grant, in fact, nobody is required to even consider Dickey, I guess, though consistent with our spirit, it is probably fair to say that people are "encouraged" to consider him.

Am i wrong?

As to the notion that people elected Al Spalding (or might elect Dickey Pearce) so that they wouldn't have to read any more of my posts in their favor is hyperbole, and I recognize that. But I'll say it anyway--you have to admit that the standard for stridency is not the campaign FOR Al Spalding but rather the campaign against Bob Caruthers. I don't post whole threads for my particular hobby horses.

But back to my main point--while I favor Caruthers over Mickey Welch, I am happy that people are debating Welch. I am not looking forward to the day when we have 100 voters, half of whom have never even heard of either one.
   44. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:43 PM (#645080)
Thanks for the support, Joe.

Jeff M wrote:

Why must we vote for them to express our opinions when there's a separate thread dedicated to that?

Because the voting shows certain players dropping off the radar more than should be expected when the quality of candidates increases. Look at Tiernan, Williamson and Griffin before and after about 1915 for evidence of this.

I think there is evidence that there is a kind of herd mentality that occurs here. Especially with new voters, they will often join with the consensus, particularly on players difficult to study (Negro Lgers and pre-NA).

Candidate's support rises and falls due to an attention effect. A major part of that is the nice chart we get after every election: where did this guy end up in the voting, what does the consensus say?

In 1934 we get about seven really good new candidates, after electing two guys. That means about five old candidates will suddenly see their support vanish. Some of these may gradually recover in the voting, while others, especially the pre-1900 retirees, will never recover. Unless they have someone to champion their cause, beating the drums repeatedly to resurrect their candidacy (like Caruthers), I don't believe the ballot discussion will give them the attention necessary to get a fair shake.

It also goes back to the issue of our open door to voters policy. Haven't we seen new voters tell us they waited to join because they didn't know anything about the older guys? Is that right?

I like the open door policy, and we don't want to make strict demands on voters. I think we do a good job of expressing the high expectations we have of our electorate, but vigilance in this matter is important.

And I promised myself I was going to let this issue rest. Oy.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: May 26, 2004 at 01:46 PM (#645083)
I can't find the comment right now, maybe it is on another thread, that I am below the curve on Lip Pike--i.e. he finished higher overall than he is on my ballot. I guess my point is that consideration (at least) for players from the 1860s and '70s is in the spirit of this project, if not required by the constitution. Below the curve, to me, is to dismiss such players out of hand without giving any consideration.
   46. PhillyBooster Posted: May 26, 2004 at 02:58 PM (#645180)
I never envisioned a scenario where there'd be more than 15 people on a ballot worth electing, but by 1933 (or is it 34?) we'll be there, which shocks me.

I agree that there may soon be more than 15 people worth electing, but that will be less the result of the voting structure and more the result of too many people voting for Jimmy Sheckard.

From 1933-35, the ballot will be flooded with 300+ Win Sharers Walter Johnson, Zack Wheat, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, and Max Carey, top Negro Leaguers Pop Lloyd, Joe Williams, Cristobal Torriente, and Bingo DeMoss, and additional maybe-ballot-worthies Heinie Groh, Stan Covaleski, and Carl Mays.

That's a maximum of 13 names, 6 of whom will be elected in those three years. We will have a carryover of 4 to 7 names from these three years.

I don't have a good grasp of who's coming after 1935. Are 1936-1938 weak years, or will more than 6 "first ballot" guys be showing up then too?

Before making any drastic changes -- which I am against in any event, but would defer to the view of the majority -- I think there should be more data on whether 1933 is a "watershed" dividing-line sort of year, or if it is just part of the normal flow after a long ebb.

The following list isn't accurate, because it ignores the "token appearance rule" and doesn't have any Negro leaguers, but I think it shows that, in general, there will be strong and weak years over the next decade. Some will have 2 "first ballot" guys, but many won't. I just don't see the top earlier guys all getting crowded out for lack of a 16th place.

On the other hand, if they ARE getting crowded into 16th place by George Kelly and Jesse Haines, then they won't be getting elected no matter how far down we let the ballot run.

1936: Pete Alexander, Dave Bancroft, George Sisler, Cy Williams
1937: Edd Roush, Wally Schang
1938: Harry Heilmann, George Kelly
1939: Joe Sewell, Eppa Rixey, Jack Quinn
1940: Sam Rice, Burleigh Grimes, Herb Pennock
1941: Babe Ruth, Sam Jones, Rabbit Maranville, Dazzy Vance
1942: Bill Terry, George Uhle
1943: Rogers Hornsby, Jim Bottomley, Pie Traynor, Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Jesse Haines
1944: Kiki Cuyler, Goose Goslin, Waite Hoyt
1945: Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Heinie Manush
   47. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#645264)
I'm close to being ready to post this in the usual format, here's how I have the upcoming new eligibles. Only the most obvious Negro leagers are included, I'll leave the rest to Chris.

1936: Pete Alexander, Harry Heilmann, Dave Bancroft, George Sisler, Cy Williams
1937: Edd Roush, Wally Schang, Dick Redding
1938: Eddie Rommel, George Kelly
1939: Joe Sewell, Eppa Rixey, Rabbit Maranville, Red Faber, Jack Quinn
1940: Sam Rice, Burleigh Grimes, Dolf Luque, Joe Judge, Herb Pennock, George Uhle, Hack Wilson
1941: Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Pie Traynor, Sam Jones, Dazzy Vance, Earle Combs
1942: Bill Terry, Travis Jackson, Firpo Marberry, Judy Johnson
1943: Jim Bottomley, Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Babe Herman, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Bill Foster
1944: Lou Gehrig, Kiki Cuyler, Goose Goslin, Waite Hoyt, Wes Ferrell, Jimmie Dykes, Red Lucas, Bullet Joe Rogan
1945: Tony Lazzeri, Heinie Manush
1946: Dizzy Dean, Earl Averill, Wally Berger
   48. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#645299)
Correction, make Rogan eligible in 1940. If what I have is correct, he played his last game in 1938 at age 49.
   49. DavidFoss Posted: May 26, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#645300)
For what its worth, Max Carey's candidacy doesn't hold up on a second look, unless those Godly stolen base percentages are doing more than I'm guessing they are or he's got a monster defensive contribution. Wheat & Roush have some issues as well.

There will be a thorough re-examination of the OF-glut, that's for sure.

I think we aren't giving enough credit to the newer voters. Baseball-reference.com is out there and easy to use. Eyeballing the OPS+ or ERA+ columns for a players doesn't take more than two seconds and those columns aren't grossly biased to era (subtleties aside here). Win Shares Digital Update goes back to 1876. Informed voters should be able to tell that Ryan & Van Haltren hit the ball a lot better than Max Carey did.
   50. Jeff M Posted: May 26, 2004 at 04:13 PM (#645335)
There are probably a number of people out there who would say that double-posting their ballots (not to mention keeping and formatting two separate versions) is a waste of time.

Yes, but it is wasting their own time, not the time of the other 49 voters. :) My whole point centers around being considerate of other people on the site.

I don't think dumping one's brain on the ballot is considerate. Just my opinion. Last election, one voter took 4 full posts to get in his 30+ candidates and comments.

I think there is evidence that there is a kind of herd mentality that occurs here. Especially with new voters, they will often join with the consensus, particularly on players difficult to study (Negro Lgers and pre-NA).

I agree with your assessment of the herd mentality, but I don't think describing candidates 15-40 on the ballot itself solves that. The true solution to that problem is secret balloting, which was discussed and dismissed in the early days, even though open ballots leave the possibility of strategic voting.
   51. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 04:39 PM (#645366)
For those interested in looking further ahead, here's an abbreviated list, as I currently have it, of the major Negro-League candidates, 1936-46. Only a few first ballot players.

Oliver Marcelle 1936
Dick Redding 1937
Chino Smith 1937
Heavy Johnson 1939
Nip Winters 1939
John Beckwith 1940
Bullet Rogan 1940
Andy Cooper 1942
Oscar Charleston 1943
Bill Foster 1943
Judy Johnson 1943
Fats Jenkins 1944
Dick Lundy 1945
Webster McDonald 1946

My dates agree with DanG's, except for Oscar Charleston.

Looks to me like 9-11 first-ballot types arriving between 1936 and 1946, inclusive, along with about 30 players in the borderline-to-good candidate range.
   52. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#645367)
P.S. I mean considering both major-league and negro-league players together, in case that wasnt' obvious.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2004 at 04:47 PM (#645386)
Still here, to some extent.

The one piece of my files I DO have deals with the number of HOMers per year, who their teammates were, etc.
What "years" should I list for Johnson and FGrant? I think Grant is 1885-1903, and Johnson sort of extends even longer. Any years in which it's clear they played, but only part-time (that has been in my calculating as well)?
Finally, what years would Johnson and Grant have been teammates?
   54. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 05:13 PM (#645431)
Howie,

Frank Grant was active and full-time in professional baseball 1886-1903. He was probably truly a minor-league player in 1886; if he were white, he might have broken into the majors in 1887.

Grant Johnson was active and full-time in professional baseball 1895-1913. He was active in some part-time capacity or not on top teams through 1917 or so.

They were teammates on the Page Fence Giants in 1898; that's it as far as I can tell from Riley's bios.

In case it becomes relevant, I'll add that Pete Hill was active and full-time from 1899-1921. He broke in with a top team in 1901. He was a part-time player/manager 1922-25. He was never a teammate of Frank Grant. He and Johnson were teammates 1905-06 on the Philadelphia Giants and 1910 on the Leland Giants.

Rube Foster was active and full time 1902-1914, with part-time play through about 1917, though he may have taken the mound occasionally even into the early 1920s. He and Johnson were teammates in 1903 on the Cuban X-Giants, in 1905-06 on the Philadelphia Giants, and 1910 on the Leland Giants. He and Hill were teammates on the Philadelphia Giants 1904-06, on the Leland Giants 1907-10, and on the Chicago American Giants from 1911 until either Foster's practical retirement after the 1917 season or Hill's departure for Detroit in 1919, depending how you want to count the end of Foster's career.
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2004 at 05:39 PM (#645476)
Great, work, Chris!
I'll make Grant 1886-1903 for now, and Johnson 1895-1913 (with token appearances for 1914-17).
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2004 at 05:40 PM (#645478)
(year fix on Grant..)

Great, work, Chris!
I'll make Grant 1887-1903 for now, and Johnson 1895-1913 (with token appearances for 1914-17).
   57. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 06:12 PM (#645558)
Chris gave these dates for NL eligibles:

Oliver Marcelle 1936
Dick Redding 1937
Chino Smith 1937
Heavy Johnson 1939
Nip Winters 1939
John Beckwith 1940
Bullet Rogan 1940
Andy Cooper 1942
Oscar Charleston 1943
Bill Foster 1943
Judy Johnson 1943
Fats Jenkins 1944
Dick Lundy 1945
Webster McDonald 1946

My dates agree with DanG's, except for Oscar Charleston.


Actually, we disagreed on Judy Johnson's year. Looking around a bit, my 1942 is not right, but I found him playing until 1938 in a couple sources.

You are right on Charleston, last playing in 1941 and turning 45 before 1943.

For Dick Lundy, a couple sources, including BBLibrary, have him retiring in 1937, indicating eligibility in 1943. We'll have to investigate him (and J.Johnson).

On a related question: IIRC, Joe's wording of the age 45 rule said they were eligible in their "age 45 season" (birthday before July 1) provided they were inactive for one year. If I'm correctly interpreting this, than I think Turkey Stearns and Mule Suttles are eligible in 1946, both born in the first half of 1901.
   58. Chris Cobb Posted: May 26, 2004 at 06:34 PM (#645594)
Dan G raised questions about eligibility dates for Dick Lundy and Judy Johnson.

I did more digging Dick Lundy, and Dan's date of 1937 for his last season was 1937 is correct, so he'll be eligible in 1943 also (that's going to be a deep year).

On Judy Johnson, Riley is unequivocal that Johnson retired early in the 1937 season, and there' no record in Holway of him playing either in 1937 or 1938. What sources do you have for him being active in 1938, Dan?

On a related question: IIRC, Joe's wording of the age 45 rule said they were eligible in their "age 45 season" (birthday before July 1) provided they were inactive for one year. If I'm correctly interpreting this, than I think Turkey Stearns and Mule Suttles are eligible in 1946, both born in the first half of 1901.

I thought we had resolved this to mean that they would be eligible in the first election after they turned 45; I don't have a preference, but if your interpretation is correct, I'll need to make some corrections.
   59. jimd Posted: May 26, 2004 at 06:45 PM (#645610)
We have elected 48 HOMers so far. If I've counted correctly, there were 24 first ballot HOMers. Of the remainder, 20 were "heirs apparent", those that were next in line if you ignore the possibility of new first ballot guys.

There are 4 upsets. They are:
1926: Frank Grant and Sherry Magee move ahead of Bobby Wallace and Joe McGinnity
1910: Jim Galvin moves ahead of Joe Start
1906: Al Spalding moves ahead of Jim Galvin and Bid McPhee.

Spalding overcame an 8 point deficit to move past two players. Galvin overcame a 9 point deficit, and was a former "heir apparent" now on the rebound. Sherry Magee is the biggest upset of all, overcoming a 46 point deficit to move past two players. Grant is probably second, overcoming a 31 point deficit.

If you'll recall that election, there was no new data or analysis presented to put Spalding over the edge. ... Spalding rode a wave of momentum from 5th to 1st, which in my opinion was a phenomenon without justification and unsupported by new data or analysis.

I haven't analyzed the 1906 election in complete detail, but there were two new voters that year (who are still with us and significant contributors) and they voted for Spalding #1. Given the 8 point deficit, that may have been all that was necessary.

So Jeff, where's your diatribe against the election of Sherry Magee? He went from 6th to 2nd, overcoming a much larger point differential in the process, and I don't recall any new data or analysis being presented that improved his case in my mind.
   60. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 07:06 PM (#645653)
Chris Cobb,

Judy Johnson's HOF plaque says 1937, the sources claiming otherwise are unreliable.

On age 45 eligiblity, his is from the thread “Should we change eligibility for Negro Leaguers?”

<objections noted.</i>

I believe our previous players in question were born later in the year or had no birth month listed. We can resolve this as previously understood, which is simpler, or we can go with what Joe wrote in Feb.
   61. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 07:10 PM (#645662)
Oops. Joe's quote should look like this:

This is from the thread “Should we change eligibility for Negro Leaguers?”

<objections noted.</i>
   62. DanG Posted: May 26, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#645665)
OK. How about this?

This is from the thread “Should we change eligibility for Negro Leaguers?”

Posted by JoeDimino on February 16, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#521868)
…deleted text…
Perhaps we could tweak the rule this way - Negro Leaguers should be eligible either 5 years after they retire, or the election that would be for their age 45 season (as long as they are retired for at least one year), whichever comes first. Does that work better? Basically it eliminates all or a portion of the waiting period for really old Negro League players.

Posted by JoeDimino on February 16, 2004 at 01:17 PM (#521877)
…deleted text…
Okay, looks like we'll go with this for 1921 as Chris suggested. Unless there's a big uproar or something, but the consensus seems to be for the change, with the objections noted.
   63. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 26, 2004 at 07:56 PM (#645751)
The people have spoken. Let their will be law.

Dan, you sound like you're auditioning for a role in a remake of "The Ten Commandments." :-)


Except that the people's will there was a golden calf.

The extra positions would just allow for room to express an opinion on a few more players and it would probably slow down the election of a player that a sizeable group does not think belongs/

WRT the first point - I don't think that's an issue. Anyone that wants to express an opinion with their 16-20s can already do that. No rule says you must have only 15 people mentioned on your official ballot.

Second point - I don't think it'll make much difference at all.

I think there is evidence that there is a kind of herd mentality that occurs here. Especially with new voters, they will often join with the consensus, particularly on players difficult to study (Negro Lgers and pre-NA).

(nods head) Was I am the only new voter who began by solely looking up the guys who received votes in the previous election -- & really only focusing hard on the ones with more than a handful of votes? Doubt it. At least hope not.

I don't have a good grasp of who's coming after 1935. Are 1936-1938 weak years, or will more than 6 "first ballot" guys be showing up then too?

Looked into this 1-2 months ago. Late thirties will be weak, but beginning with the arrivals of Ruth & Charleston we'll get a 20 year stretch where the guys elected will be extremely strong. I figure the early 1960s backload will be a deep as it'll ever get around here. (That being said, I was usually a year or two off on my info on Negro Leaguer eligibility).
   64. jimd Posted: May 26, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#645873)
I never envisioned a scenario where there'd be more than 15 people on a ballot worth electing,

Joe, check back to 1899-1900. Thirteen have already been elected from those ballots and three more are still in the top-10, each after periods of non-support. The current voting system is working just fine, thank you.

The only threat to the current system is a massive influx of new voters; it hasn't happened for Jackson so I doubt it will until we get to "modern" times - the players that people actually remember - if it happens even then. No extended depth of ballot can force a voter to consider particular players; that's a job for peer pressure, existing voters asking direct (but polite) questions about exclusions until the new voter opens his mind, develops a thick skin, or goes away.

The proposal dilutes the value of a first-place vote, which moves it closer to the BBWAA "consensus" ballot and further away from the MVP ballot ideal.

I think this is a solution in search of a problem, and if it ain't broke, then why fix it?
   65. PhillyBooster Posted: May 27, 2004 at 03:13 AM (#647128)
Thanks for the list, Dan (#47). If I had to predict, I would guess that by 1946, we'd have elected about 15 of those guys (out of 22 spots) leaving 7 spots for either the 1933-35 backlog or the pre-1933 backlog.

I fearlessly predict that at least one or two player who don't get elected in the "lean years" through 1932 (the Caruthers, Pearc, Pike, Beckley range, I guess) will be elected by 1946.
   66. Jeff M Posted: May 27, 2004 at 04:43 AM (#647262)
So Jeff, where's your diatribe against the election of Sherry Magee?

Methinks "diatribe" is a pejorative. :)

The answer: there was no incessant advocacy for Magee as there was for Spalding. Plus, I don't have any idea how you computed those numbers (and I'm not inclined to figure it out).

However, I see that Magee moved from 4th to 2nd after two players were elected and the one new quality candidate was boycotted from many ballots. That makes sense to me.

Spalding went from 10th to 1st in three years. In fact, Spalding was #8 in 1902, then dropped to #10 in 1903 when Connor and Anson came on the ballot. That makes sense.

In 1904, Rusie was the only quality candidate added, so it would make sense if Spalding moved to #9 after Connor and Anson were elected, but he moved to #7. We elected two more, and in 1905 McPhee was the only quality candidate added, so you'd expect Spalding to be #8, but he was #5. We elected two, and no one great came on the ballot in 1906, but instead of Spalding slotted at #6, he was voted in at the top spot. In three years his points per ballot went up 25%, and yet nothing new was discovered about him.

Anyway, that's a lot of talk about nothing, because I thought this was a dead issue. I know I tried to kill it. Can we put the toe tag on it now?
   67. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 01:35 PM (#647321)
'No extended depth of ballot can force a voter to consider particular players; that's a job for peer pressure, existing voters asking direct (but polite) questions about exclusions until the new voter opens his mind, develops a thick skin, or goes away.'

Remember, a voter has to explain why anyone in the top 10 returners from last year didn't make their ballot. If their explanation doesn't sound like the voter even considered the player, Joe can reject the ballot. Maybe we could add a rule that in your first ballot, you have to explain the top 20 or 25 returners. This would guarantee that a new voter at least considered these guys once. I think alot of us came into this project with pet players from the 'future' who we wanted to elect. I know I wanted to right the wrongs done to Santo and Blyleven, etc. I've been surprised at how much I've learned about these old time players, and some have come out of left field to be 'pet' players of mine(I argued more passionately for Joe Start and Ezra Sutton than I ever have for Blyleven and I hadn't even heard of either of them before I started this project). There's no way we can force future newbies to vote for old time players; all we can do is force them to tell us why they don't vote for them and, like jimd says, there's always peer pressure.
   68. DanG Posted: May 27, 2004 at 01:52 PM (#647336)
OK, one more pitch for a 20-man ballot.

Jimd wrote (#64):

The proposal dilutes the value of a first-place vote, which moves it closer to the BBWAA "consensus" ballot and further away from the MVP ballot ideal.

IMO, this is an improvement. I favor the consensus ruling the day rather than the extremists. The 1979 NL MVP vote is the sort of abomination that system can produce.

I think this is a solution in search of a problem, and if it ain't broke, then why fix it?

Because we shouldn’t pretend that we created the Best of All Possible Systems. We should be flexible and willing to make changes for the better. As we go along, we notice things that we can tweak; incremental improvements should be made.

People have objected to “drastic changes” and changing horses in midstream, and that’s the basis of the resistance to the 20-man ballot. The thing is, it’s not. Going to a 20-man ballot is a minor tweak; the implementation is nearly seamless and its effect will be largely unnoticed. I would not be in favor of any major changes at this point; this change is small.

Posting a 20-name ballot scarcely changes what voters are doing. 90% already rank #16-20. The only difference is careful consideration of #20 vs #21 rather than #15 vs #16.

In this scientific endeavor (as someone referred to it) isn’t it better to have more data rather than less? More is better. We have the data; we just want to incorporate it.

Is a 20-man ballot LIKELY to change whom we elect? No, I don’t see that at all. But it could, and by incorporating a broader spectrum of opinion I think we get a better result.
   69. Jeff M Posted: May 27, 2004 at 04:42 PM (#647562)
In this scientific endeavor (as someone referred to it) isn’t it better to have more data rather than less? More is better. We have the data; we just want to incorporate it.

Is a 20-man ballot LIKELY to change whom we elect? No, I don’t see that at all. But it could, and by incorporating a broader spectrum of opinion I think we get a better result.


I don't mind change (drastic or not) if there is an underlying justification. But I just don't understand why we have to vote for 16-20 solely to keep those people on the radar screen. It adds nothing to the process.

We aren't failing to incorporate thoughts about 16-20. We are just confining it to the discussion thread. If your mind is going to be changed, it should be changed on the discussion thread. Why can't that be the repository for information and have the ballot thread be about ballots.

Maybe it's because of the way I rank players, but I don't move them up and down subjectively each week. They get a ranking and they stay there until someone makes a point that causes me to reevaluate them and move them up or down. Those points, if any, should be made on the discussion thread where they can be fully explored and questioned. One sentence on the ballot ain't gonna do it.

Also, it's not like each of us generates new comments for old players each week. You acknowledge that there is only marginal benefit to comments on players 16-20 on the ballot...and that marginal benefit is probably limited to the first week we do it. After that, those comments will be rehashed from the prior week just like all the others. I don't even read comments on the ballots themselves, except for new players, because I've already read those comments a dozen times.

If you have something new to say about Clark Griffith, for example, why wouldn't you post it on the discussion thread where it will get attention? If you put it in your ballot comments, it's unlikely that 90% of the voters will even see it.
   70. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#647563)
Yes, but why is 20 better? Because its more? Why, then is 20 better than 25? Or 30? Or 50? My point is that even if you believe we need to expand the ballot(I don't), 20 is still an arbitrary selection. Perhaps 17 is the ideal number, maybe 22. Perhaps even 15 is already the ideal number. We shouldn't be avoiding 'major' changes and implementing 'minor' ones. If there's a logical reason to make a 'major' change, I would be the 1st to support it. What we should avoid are arbitrary changes.
   71. DanG Posted: May 27, 2004 at 05:42 PM (#647640)
Jeff and Carl,

You both argue that you see no reason for this change. OTOH, neither of you has any reasoning for how this will harm the process.

Therefore, simply grant that those of us who see it as a good thing see something that you don't.

Pardon my saying, but I don't see that you're understanding the change, as your responses focus on side issues.
   72. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:30 PM (#647739)
DanG,
I may be incorrect, but isn't the basic idea that there are more players eligible now and therefore more players who are theoretically HoM-worthy on each ballot. Support for these candidates will be spread thin and therefore the players who will be elected will be those who have rabid support from a small number of the electorate. Is there evidence for this? It seems more logical that the greatest backlogs would occur early in the process and not late. By the time we get to modern day, we'll be electing 4 players per year. I'm thinking that backlog isn't going to be a big problem at that point. Since electing the best players isn't going to be a problem in your scenario(they'll eventually get in, if they have to wait longer than they should), you must be most concerned with electing someone you don't feel belongs. I don't know offhand who you're worried about being elected (Dickey Pearce, Bobby Wallace, Sam Thompson, Hughie Jennings, etc.), but I don't like the idea that some people disagree with some of the players who are scoring high in our system and want to change the balloting as a result. I just don't see who is being helped by our current system. I see a bunch of guys garnering 5 to 8 1st place votes and the rest of their votes determining which one wins. That's exactly what would happen if we went out to 20 players. Both electees were named on at least 85% of ballots in 1926 and this is one of the foggiest elections we've had! In the top 10, Joe Jackson is the only player to be named on less than half the ballots and I'd think we'd all agree that he'll at least be on virtually every ballot in 1927. You have to go to Bresnahan at 15th place to find a guy who wasn't on at least half the ballots.
   73. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#647760)
You say that a 20-man ballot probably won't change who we elect, but will give us more information. I don't know about anyone else, but I still haven't had a 15-man ballot where I thought that everyone I named on it belonged in the HoM. How does my adding 5 guys to my ballot who I don't think belong in the Hall add any information? Would adding Clay Bellinger to the All-Star ballot add any more information?
   74. jimd Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:38 PM (#647762)
simply grant that those of us who see it as a good thing see something that you don't.

Dan, I'm sure you're a very nice person and the way I'm taking this is not the reading you intended, but when someone says "Trust me", that's when I want the reasons spelled out in detail.

If the relatives of Rube Marquard descend en masse and elect him, we can always charge "collusion" and redo the election.

Otherwise I'm afraid that I'm not understanding the problem.
   75. Howie Menckel Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:38 PM (#647763)
I don't see the reasoning for a change, either.
   76. PhillyBooster Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:43 PM (#647768)
Perhaps I am misinterpreting, so please correct me if I am wrong.

The rationale appears to be, as I understand it, that broad, deep support in better than strong, narrow support.

The practical implication, it seems, are that if Player X beats Player Y under the current system by 20 points, but under the new system Player Y earns a dozen 16-20 place votes and Player X earns none, then Player Y should be elected.

The relevant question, then, is who is Player Y likely to be? It seems to me that the primary requirement for a player to be a "Player Y" and pick up 16-20 place votes is failure to obtain 1-15 place votes.

Which players are most likely to fail to obtain 1-15 place votes? Players with strong, narrow support!

That this last election: Frank Grant was left off of 7 ballots, but got 16 first or second place votes (strong but narrow). Sherry Magee was only left off of 4 ballots, but received only 9 first or second place votes (weak but broad).

Now, assume we expanded the ballot to 20th place. Grant could have picked up points on 7 more ballots, but Magee could only have picked up points on 4. See, for example, Jim Sp's ballot "[Grant's] close to my ballot but not there yet"; KJOK's ballot (Grant listed 17th).

Now, it's possible that Magee would have been on all four 16-20 lists, and Grant would have been on none, but looking at the ballots to date, I see a strong tendency toward consensus, not stratification. If we ranked based solely on "number of ballots appeared on" and didn't even count "points," no one in the top 25(leaving aside Joe Jackson, for obvious reasons) would have moved more than one place in the final rankings, except for George van Haltren who would have moved two.

When players start appearing above half a dozen guys who are named on more ballots, the maybe we should worry about the "fanatics" gaining control, but when strength of opinion only gains you a single place in the rankings, I see this as the least of our problems.
   77. PhillyBooster Posted: May 27, 2004 at 06:59 PM (#647790)
To follow up on Carl's point, I believe that in every single election to date -- bar none -- you have needed to go down to between 14th and 16th place in order to reach a candidate not named on at least half of the ballots. This has been remarkably consistent.

I am not sure why, but even though consensus is breaking down as to who to rank #1, consensus on who to place in the Top 15 has remained unchanged.
   78. Al Peterson Posted: May 27, 2004 at 07:27 PM (#647836)
I don't know about anyone else, but I still haven't had a 15-man ballot where I thought that everyone I named on it belonged in the HoM.

I'm with Carl on that. I'd vote for a smaller HOM so maybe that's why I have trouble saying all 15 folks on a ballot should be in.

When people get elected I'm not overly sold on I give a shrug of the shoulders and say good for them. And if some of my top ballot folks never make it the sun will rise again tomorrow.

Stay with the 15 man ballot is my feelings.
   79. DanG Posted: May 27, 2004 at 07:35 PM (#647849)
Let's see.

First off, I don't suggest the change from the angle of which candidates benefit/do not benefit. This is irrelevant to me. It's simply to use the information available to more accurately place players. In fact, I wouldn't even advocate the change if the vast majority of voters weren't already going to the trouble of ranking past #15.

Second, whether or not there are enough candidates you believe are HoMers to fill your ballot is also irrelevant. The purpose of the system is to elect the best candidate. As we enter periods of weaker candidates, it becomes more important to accurately measure the opinions of the electorate. Adding spots 16-20 helps do this better.

Carl's suggestion of 25, 30 or 50 is great, except it tends to make the change more than minor.

So it's a little of what you all say. But I think it what it comes down to is by making this minor tweak we get better data and more precisely measure the will of the electorate. To quote Joe:

The extra positions would just allow for room to express an opinion on a few more players and it would probably slow down the election of a player that a sizeable group does not think belongs.

The ease of implementing the change, the negligible effect on most year's results and the lack of any downside make this a sensible way to go.
   80. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 07:39 PM (#647858)
The greater ease of staying the same, the lack of a problem to begin with, and the downside of this looking and feeling like we're making arbitrary changes midstream make the Status Quo an even more sensible way to go.
   81. PhillyBooster Posted: May 27, 2004 at 07:44 PM (#647862)
Speaking for myself, I find ranking the bottom of my ballot much harder than ranking the top. I list my post-15 choices as 16-20, 21-25, and 26-30. I look at them as pools of players, rather than specific ranking.

So, when I lost 2 players off my ballot to induction this year, and will only be adding Pete Hill this year, I needed to add a new #15. I will take that person from my 16-20 pool. That will be a difficult choice (I am favoring either Welch or Wallace now). For those of us who do not use mechanical calculations, I'm not really sure how much new information the rankings will give compared to the effort expended.
   82. mbd1mbd1 Posted: May 27, 2004 at 08:01 PM (#647895)
Back when this first came up before the changeover, I asked the question, how deep into the ballot would you have to look before the final result was determined? So I looked at all the election results so far and counted two things:

1. How many ballot spots were necessary to determine the electee(s) for that year?
2. How many ballot spots were necessary to determine the top three vote getters in order?

The most we'll elect in any one year is three (exception of the 1898 ballot) until 2011. I figure we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

There have been 29 elections so far. Only one election, 1913 when Bid McPhee went in, required all 15 ballot spots to determine the electee. We needed 14 in 1912(Burkett and Start), 1916 (Stovey), and 1925 (Brown and Johnson). The average number of ballot spots necessary to determine the electee(s) was 4.8 +/- 4.7.

As expected, it takes more spots to determine the top three vote getters. Five times we've needed all 15 spots: 1905 (Radbourn and Richardson), 1906 (Spalding), 1912, 1913, and 1926 (Magee and Grant). The average number of ballot spots necessary was 8.1 +/- 4.5.

I'm not sure what all of this means, since we don't have 20 deep results to compare our 15 deep results to. But I'm inclined to say that we're doing just fine with 15 for now, at least until 1958 when we elect three for the first time.
   83. Daryn Posted: May 27, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#647908)
This has been said many ways and mant times, but for the vast majority of us people at 15 and lower on our ballots are not, in our view, Hall of Meriters -- as a result it makes no sense to me to give credit for someone in 17th place, where for most of us that is credit for nothing -- we don't think he deserves to be in -- he does not have our support.

If a change were to be made, I'd like the option to stop putting people on our ballot when we don't support the inclusion of them in the Hall -- my ballot would stop at 11 this week.
   84. andrew siegel Posted: May 27, 2004 at 08:07 PM (#647909)
I would be in favor of switching to 20 person ballots in 1958 when we start elcting 3 players in many years.
   85. DanG Posted: May 27, 2004 at 08:41 PM (#647959)
Andrew,

By then the need should be obvious, even to the Luddites.
   86. Daryn Posted: May 27, 2004 at 08:59 PM (#647986)
Have we stooped to name-calling?
   87. Carl Goetz Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:12 PM (#648005)
DanG,
If its so obvious, so us some numbers as to why this is a problem instead of hinting at vague generalizations of a problem and belittling those who disagree with you. Your sole argument has been 'more is better', but like PhillyBooster pointed out, differences between 16-25 are very small, sometimes of minimal statistical significance. Its just the way the distributions work. There are a select few players who are HoM worthy(well about 200 over BB history) and alot more players in that 'Very Good but Not Enshrineable' category and even more in the Average to Good category. Making people rank the VGbNE players in rigid orders when differences may not exist to justify it may create the illusion of more information, but not more actual information. The reason I don't bother ranking my 16-25 like some others is that I'd usually have a couple 4 or 5 player ties. I just wouldn't be able to justify differentiating if the differences are insignificant or non-existent. That's why I sometimes list a few Honorable Mentions instead.
   88. karlmagnus Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:18 PM (#648009)
There's no doubt extending the balot makes a huge dfference to balance. Taking it from 10 to 15, for example, had we done that in 1926, would have favored Grifith, Duffy and Van haltren at the exense of Grant, Pierce and Ryan. I'm not sure that further in that dirction is the way we want to go, but whether or not it is, it's a change in voting emphasis that doesn't appear justified.
   89. karlmagnus Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:21 PM (#648010)
It works! Mis-spelled, and not rocket science, but that comment was filed through AOL. Thank you, thank you!
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#648017)
I think that changing the voting system in midstream is a bigger negative than the tiny benefit (that may or may not be) gained from bumping up to 20 votes.

- Howie "Luddite" Menckel
;)
   91. Sean Gilman Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:32 PM (#648037)
My opinion is that since it took over a year to come up with this ballot setup in the first place, we should go changing it without a compelling and obvious need. I see neither of those things at this time.
   92. Sean Gilman Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:32 PM (#648040)
*should not*
   93. karlmagnus Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:36 PM (#648046)
Had we gone from 10 to 15 in 1901 (25 years ago, an our firs close one) we'd have penalised by the extension Glasscock, Wright, Keefe and Radbourn and rewarded Browning, Williamson, Bennett and Caruthers.

The effect of extending the ballot's pretty clear; it penalises the top candidates and rewards mediocrity -- all 4 penalised were elected within 4 years, while 3 out of the 4 rewarded have still not been elected, 25 years later. (The Parisian one's not mediocre, of course, just controversial, but the general point's clear.)
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:47 PM (#648064)
The reason I don't bother ranking my 16-25 like some others is that I'd usually have a couple 4 or 5 player ties. I just wouldn't be able to justify differentiating if the differences are insignificant or non-existent.

I have the same exact problem, Carl. But what do us "Luddites" know. :-)

Best thing for this project is compelling data that will sway other voters. That's it.
   95. Michael Bass Posted: May 27, 2004 at 09:58 PM (#648075)
Several people above have hinted with my problem with expanding the ballot.

The lower you get on the ballot, the less the difference between the players on the ballot. This is a simple function of the pyramid shape of talent in pretty much any endeavor.

Our point system (and I'm assuming the basic structure would not change) treats the difference between the first two non-"winner" slots and 14th/15th place the exact same. There are some years that may fit, but over time, in the aggregate, I'm nearly 100% sure that you will find that the difference in most voters' mind between their aggregate first two non-"winnder" slots is much larger than the difference between their aggregate 14th/15th place teams.

Expanding the ballot does nothing to solve this problem (and I think any effort to solve it would come with more problems than solving it is worth). On the contrary it makes the problem worse. 19th/20th are going to have even less difference than 14th/15th, and comparing it to (in a 2-election year) 3rd/4th is laughable.
   96. jimd Posted: May 27, 2004 at 10:02 PM (#648082)
I've already made it clear that I'm against changing. I see no compelling reason for it; Dan only hints darkly; and it removes a lot of the fun from ballot statistics.

If we were to change (open Pandora's box), I would recommend two things. Fill in the gap (5,4,3,2,1 pts for 16-20); this would remove the rancor sometimes associated with leaving a candidate off entirely. It also gives these spots the points they deserve. Increase the reward for "votes to elect"; these are the most important votes, treat them accordingly.

There's an old thread somewhere in the archives where we debated this topic for months; I suggest rereading before we make any changes.
   97. Jeff M Posted: May 27, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#648143)
DanG, I don't think you've read my objections closely. Remember, I'm the guy that has annoyed everyone with trying to shorten the posts for the ballots. I'm not going to rehash those arguments here, but they were supported, even if you don't agree with them.

One of your arguments is that more information is a good thing. This isn't always true. Sometimes it oversaturates, and that's one of my main arguments vis-a-vis the ballots. It's already nearly impossible to keep up with everything on the HoM boards. I've taken to only glancing at the ballots, and really only at #1-#15 and the newly eligible candidates. I doubt I'm the only one.

More information is a good thing when that information is important/significant. I don't think voting for #15-20 adds anything to the information mix. If you want to keep a player on the group's radar screen, post some good information/analysis on the discussion threads. I'll read it there.
   98. dan b Posted: May 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM (#648239)
If player A were to eke out election over player B on the strength of his stronger showing on the 16 through 20 spots on the ballot, IMO we would be enshrining the wrong guy because I doubt any of us believe the 20th man on their ballot is a HoMer. I turned in a 1926 ballot with 27 players named, but would consider no more than 10 or 11 of them as more than a borderline candidate. I submit the longer list not to advocate enshrinement of a Mike Tiernan (19), but to show the friends of Sam Thompson that I like Tiernan better than their man, to let the friends of Pearce, Pike and Beckley know that their man is not likely to appear on my ballot anytime soon and to have a little bit of fun with John Murphy and his 1914 love affair with Tip O’Neill.
   99. Jeff M Posted: May 28, 2004 at 12:13 AM (#648261)
...John Murphy and his 1914 love affair with Tip O’Neill.

This is the sort of scandal that will cause me to omit Murphy from the first ballot year when he becomes eligible for enshrinement. I did not omit O'Neill from his first ballot, because I see him as an innocent victim of Murphy's wily ways.
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: May 28, 2004 at 12:16 AM (#648267)
Everybody needs to know that DanG is one of the smartest guys on this thread.

OK, I however like 15. I would rather have a guy elected with fewer/higher ballots than more/lower. It's that simple.

And everybody knows my bias as well as I do. The guys who might ever get elected with more/higher are going to be the early guys (pre-'93) or some "bio only" candidate (non-statistical) whom some disdain. Such candidates can barely be said to get a fair shake around here. 15 at least gives them a sliver of hope.

Granted, there may never ever be an election where it will actually matter. But there may, and if there is, I'm on the side of freedom, justice and the American way. Gimme another slice o' that apple pie, wouldja?
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