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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

1927 Ballot

Sorry it’s late . . . unexpectedly out of town for a few days - pesky holidays getting in the way of important Hall of Merit business . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 01, 2004 at 03:05 PM | 205 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2004 at 08:20 PM (#659204)
if Pearce invented the SS role, after the game had been played for about 20 years, it suggests that it wasn't at first anything like as essential as it later became.

Before Pearce came on to the scene, shortstop was the easiest position on the field. Almost overnight, he changed it into the second most important position (this includes pitchers, BTW)* after catcher.

* Jim Creighton started to changes things during the early 1860s
   102. DavidFoss Posted: June 04, 2004 at 08:28 PM (#659223)
I would also put GWright ahead of Pearce... The magnitude of his dominance over his teammates in his Cincy days just floored me. Also, Union Morrisania and Wash National went in the tank not long after he left showing that he was a major factor in their success.

I'm a peak voter though. GWright's big numbers only go back to 1866 or 1867.

I have little statistical mini-recaps of the pro-era seasons 1869 & 1870 ready for posting later. Fun to see Ezra Sutton and Deacon White show up as Clevelands best hitters that last year. In fact, there is a lot of overlap between the 1870 & 1871 players. The players of the NA were for the most part the same bunch of guys that players in 1870.
   103. Jim Sp Posted: June 04, 2004 at 08:29 PM (#659226)
"sunnyday2", I don't really have the energy right now for trading snide comments. If you're trying to drive me off this project you just might be succeeding.
   104. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 04, 2004 at 08:36 PM (#659250)
Missing the cut:

16. Mike Tiernan (.44). Average everywhere (within 0.15 SD of the mean in six categories), slightly above in OPS+ (z=.53 peak, .45 career).
17. George Van Haltren (.32). I thought he was indistinguishable from Ryan and Sheckard, but while he is third overall in career WS (z=1.58), he really never had a peak worth writing home about, while the Jimmys both had their share of really strong years.
18. Charley Jones (.01). As a peak voter, I’ve gotta give Charley his props, as he scored a Z of .9 on Peak OPS+. But he gets killed on career WARP and WS. Man was he good in 1879, though.
19. Clark Griffith (-.47). Subpar Ink, average elsewhere. Was great in 1898, but too few superstar seasons to bump him up.
20. Bill Monroe. KJOK says he comps to Doerr, who would finish here.
21. Bobby Wallace (-1.62). WARP goes nuts for this guy's defense, and he dominates the ballot in career WARP (z=2.43) while coming out very strong in career Win Shares (z=1.46) as well. But he's just putrid in the OPS+ categories, peak Win Shares, and Gray Ink. I just haven't seen enough to believe Wallace was really the Ozzie Smith of the deadball era.
22. Hughie Jennings (-1.71). WARP just goes gaga about Jennings' peak, preferring it even to Caruthers' best 5 (!) for a Z of 2.83. WS is less enthusiastic although still impressed with Hughie's best 5 (z=.66). However, lackluster OPS+ marks, career WS, and Ink totals are all well below the ballot averages and drop him this low.
23. Ed Konetchy (-1.99). The career voters should give him a long look, as all three of his career categories (OPS+*Years, WS, and WARP) are about average for this ballot. But he just didn't peak like the other guys here.
24. Cupid Childs (-2.36). WARP is a fan, with z=.72 for his best 5 and .55 for his career. Comes out below average everywhere else, though. The title of "best 2B of the 1890's" only gets you so far.
25. Addie Joss (-2.77). I used to adore Joss for his shiny career ERA+. But I now think he was so high in part because his career was so short (coddled, no decline phase, etc.). I am certainly a peak voter, but Joss' best five years don't really stand out--he's over .5 SD below the mean for Peak WS and WARP. My system likes McGinnity's, Waddell's (especially), Cicotte's and Griffith's peaks over Addie's. Joss was very, very good, but his only real knock-'em-dead year was '08. And needless to say, he's near the bottom in career WARP and WS. I've really reevaluated Addie, and have joined the consensus that he just doesn't have what it takes.
26. Hippo Vaughn (-4.05). Vaughn actually put up some nice Ink marks, once leading his league in ERA, WHIP, and Wins, and twice in K's and IP (Black ink z=.61). But none of his stats match up with the competition here.
27. Larry Doyle (-4.22). Not too much to recommend--career WS and Gray Ink are solid, I suppose. Like Childs, the fact that he was the best at his position in his league just reflects that there weren't any really HoM-worthy 2B in the NL in the teens.
28. Frank Chance (-5.92). Peak OPS+ and WS are near ballot averages; nothing else is.
29. Roger Bresnahan (-9.48). Yes, he was the best catcher of his era, when he caught, which was only half the time. No, he wasn't a HoM player, and I'm not convinced he was any more than good. Fares atrociously in every single category.
30. Slim Sallee (-11.49). I thought he was worth considering. I was wrong. He doesn't measure up anywhere.
   105. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#659266)
I would also put GWright ahead of Pearce...

I definitely agree. Wright was Wagner to Pearce's Barry Larkin.

"sunnyday2", I don't really have the energy right now for trading snide comments. If you're trying to drive me off this project you just might be succeeding.


No need for that, Jim. Marc lets his passion for his arguments get the better of himself sometimes. I haven't been perfect in that regard myself.

Besides, you have Pearce on your ballot and he needs all the help he can get. :-)
   106. jimd Posted: June 05, 2004 at 01:17 AM (#659976)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

The greatest players are those who combine a high peak with longevity. However, a player can demonstrate greatness for a shorter period of time and then be unable to follow through with the longevity, which is partly a function of luck (amongst other things such as genetics and discipline). OTOH, a player can demonstrate longevity but not demonstrate "greatness" (no high peak).

Both of these types of players are flawed, but I think both have a place in the HOM, because there are not enough truly great players available to fill the HOM quota. I try to balance the two types, not leaning one way or the other. Although it may seem like my ballot caters to peak players, it only looks that way because the majority of voters here tend to elect most of the good career players (high peak or no) while leaving most of the great-peak/short-career guys behind.

1) B. CARUTHERS -- As documented last ballot, Caruthers had a "longer" career relative to his peer group (1880's pitchers) than Jackson did to his (1910's outfielders).

Jackson's career was 9 seasons as a regular outfielder. According to BP, during those 9 seasons he was 505 BRAA (batting runs above average) and -18 FRAA (fielding). Meanwhile, Caruthers was 149 BRAA, 34 FRAA, and 205 PRAA (pitching) during his 7 seasons as a regular pitcher.
BRAA FRAA PRAA Total
 21    5   29    55  Caruthers per season as regular pitcher (7 seasons)
 56   -2    0    54  Jackson per season as regular outfielder (9 seasons)

Some will say, what about the AA discount? Yes, but Caruthers was also playing when the typical season was 140 games. Adjusting his totals upwards 10% for the shorter season would more than cancel out any discount to AA stats at its peak. Could he have pitched a few more games each year? He pitched from 2 to 8 additional post-season games in 4 different World Series, going 7-8 with 1 Save (and 1 complete game tie) against the NL champion of the given season (they had a composite WPCT of .669).

So Caruthers had a relatively longer career than Jackson and was a (slightly) more valuable player even when a 10% AA discount (stronger than is warranted) is applied.

Why isn't Jackson higher on my ballot? Because Caruthers was a better player in the context of his time. At his peak, Jackson was no better than the 5th best player and the 3rd best OF. OTOH, Connors, Caruthers, and Clarkson were in a virtual 3 way tie (in 5 yr WARP-3 value, which is how I measure these things) for the best player in baseball. Apparently, it was easier to dominate baseball during Jackson's time.

2) B. WALLACE -- Made my PHOM in 1921, instead of Collins, though Jim has made it since. Wallace appears to be a victim of Bid McPhee syndrome; some voters refuse to believe the D.

3) 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 glut. In my revised PHOM, instead of Joe Kelley (who is now also in).

4) H. JENNINGS -- Using rolling 5-year peaks for WARP-3, only he and Tommy Bond, eligible for this ballot, can claim to have been the "best player in baseball" without question. All of the others have already been elected or are not yet eligible; elected to my PHOM over a decade ago.

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 rate 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. If the banned players of the 1910's deserve sympathy, how about Tom; he didn't even appear to do anything wrong, just be great at the wrong time for the wrong rule change.

7) R. FOSTER -- Legendary peak for a short time in the oughts. Very good pitcher for some time afterwards. Those who vote peak should re-examine him. Still a lot of questions, but he has the potential to get a #1 vote, depending on the answers.

8) P. HILL -- Treating him cautiously for now; at least as good as the glut.

9) J. RYAN -- Here comes the glut. Much better peak when compared with his contemporaries, but not up to Sheckard's level either.

10) G. VAN HALTREN -- He and Wallace have the best careers left on the current ballot, now that the really good career players have been inducted. Wallace has the better peak, though that's not difficult to do. GVH is the Beckley of outfielders, though better, unless Jake deserves more defensive credit than I'm giving (via WARP).

11) S. KING -- Not likely to go anywhere soon, but this is where he rates. Good writer, too ;-)

12) N. WILLIAMSON -- Need some infielders on this ballot; the best not in either the HOM or PHOM.

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 will work on my ballot.
   107. jimd Posted: June 05, 2004 at 01:17 AM (#659978)
15Tie) J. JACKSON -- Penalizing him for 1919 (why play the season and then toss the championship?) and 1920 (the indictments and suspensions came down with the Sox in 2nd and trailing by 1 game with 3 games to play; disruptive ain't a strong enough word). Substituting 1919 for 1918 to give credit for war work; Jackson played a number of benefit games to raise money for the Red Cross while hitting .393 in the Bethlehem Steel League; somehow, that doesn't seem like a good season for him so he may be getting too much credit.

15Tie) J. MCGINNITY -- Close enough to not be worth explaining why not.

Just missing the cut are:
17-20)
Jim Whitney, Fred Dunlap, Herman Long, Cupid Childs,
21-25)
Gavy Cravath, Jim McCormick, Lip Pike, Lave Cross, Rube Waddell,
26-30)
Hugh Duffy, Jake Beckley, Roy Thomas, Charlie Buffinton, Billy Nash
   108. sunnyday2 Posted: June 05, 2004 at 02:36 AM (#660230)
karl, what I said (or meant to say) was that Pearce had the most accumulated career value as of the founding of the NA. I think your chart or table (post 99) suggests that Start performed at a higher rate and/or had a higher peak. Maybe.

But as for total career value as of 1870, I would note:

1. Pearce had played 14 years by then, Start 11.

2. Pearce played for the "Yankees" (OK the Atlantics, but by analogy the same thing) all 14 years, while start played for "Columbus" (the Enterprise) for 2 years, then the "Yankees" for 9.

3. As teammates on the "Yankees" from 1862 to 1864 Pearce was their #1, 2 and 2 hitter (and SS), Start was #8, 3 and 5 (and 1B).

So by 1864 Pearce and Start were, ah, Jeter and Nick Johnson. After that Pearce continued to be Jeter (not intended as a comment on his fielding ability since as best as we can tell he was pretty good, but with a little bit of Bill Dickey or Yogi or Ellie Howard or Jorge Posada on his resume just for spice) while Start blossomed into something just short of Lou Gehrig maybe or at least Tino Martinez.

But anyway, by 1870 Pearce had 14 years under his belt (as already noted), 8 of them as the "Yankees" #1 or 2 hitter (10 years as #1, 2 or 3) while Start had 9 years in the "majors," just those 6 as the #1 hitter, the same 6 as #1 or 2, and 7 as #1, 2 or 3. And I would guess that overall Pearce (as C and SS) had at least an equal defensive value per year as Start at 1B.

So I'm not saying Start didn't have a higher peak. I'm not sure he did, but he might have (Pearce also might have had a higher peak). And I'm not saying that by 1880 or so that Start hadn't had the better career. But I think for career value as of 1870 that Pearce seems to be a pretty clear leader.

This post concerning itself, as it does, with the 1860s, most have long since stopped reading it, so it is probably useless to add that DavidFoss added much new info on the 1860s generation. Given that the 1860s are the dark ages, maybe the concept of hits and runs and total bases in the 1860s just doesn't compute. Did they really have stuff like hits and runs back then? Otherwise, how can we keep on reading that we don't know anything about the 1860s? I don't know.

But please, BTW, don't anybody change your ballot based on this post, otherwise I'll get my butt reamed and toe tagged yet again and I can't take it. (But do change it on the basis of DavidFoss great work which shows that Pearce and Pike were clearly and now *documented* stars in actual games of baseball before the NA.)
   109. DavidFoss Posted: June 05, 2004 at 02:55 AM (#660274)
Sheesh sunnyday2... tone down the sarcasm a little bit. You are actually going to turn people off when it comes to evaluating your candidates. I mean, we're all objective but when it comes down to giving candidates the benefit of the doubt or any sort of subjective boost when determining ballot position little things like this might just matter. You don't want voters rolling their eyes when they see a candidate's name.

Last I checked, Dickey Pearce was the #6 returning candidate and gaining momentum. His induction is by no means a guarantee, but that's what makes this project so much fun.
   110. DavidFoss Posted: June 05, 2004 at 03:06 AM (#660283)
Oh and thanks for all the appreciation for my inputting the pre-NA "data" into the discussion thread... but I should probably take this time to remind everyone of the real source of this info:

"The National Association of Base Ball Players, 1857-1870" by Marshall D. Wright.

I just look up numbers in the tables... (do a little division sometimes because they use cricket-style average-and-over reports 10/3 = 3-1, 22/8 = 2-6... but they have the raw data too) and dump the numbers into wordpad.

I encourage interested others to get this book (to make sure I haven't made any typos :-) )... and point out any other sources of this data that might be out there.
   111. EricC Posted: June 05, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#660387)
Jackson's career was 9 seasons as a regular outfielder. According to BP, during those 9 seasons he was 505 BRAA (batting runs above average) and -18 FRAA (fielding). Meanwhile, Caruthers was 149 BRAA, 34 FRAA, and 205 PRAA (pitching) during his 7 seasons as a regular pitcher.

You seem to have accidentally overlooked the fact that the league average runs per game was 5.78 for Caruthers 7 seasons and only 4.09 for Jackson's 9 seasons.
   112. EricC Posted: June 05, 2004 at 04:34 AM (#660421)
Ray Chapman SS - I don't think there is any argument that Chapman was the best shortstop of his generation before he died

I dunno. Maranville and Peckinpaugh were both weaker with the bat but stronger with the glove and could probably enter into an argument about who was the best shortstop.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 05, 2004 at 05:17 AM (#660534)
Ray Chapman SS - I don't think there is any argument that Chapman was the best shortstop of his generation before he died

I dunno. Maranville and Peckinpaugh were both weaker with the bat but stronger with the glove and could probably enter into an argument about who was the best shortstop.


I'll take Art Fletcher over all of them up to 1920.
   114. karlmagnus Posted: June 05, 2004 at 10:39 AM (#660875)
I have to say though Chapman is by far the best case in history for a "Benny Kauff" extrapolation of an non-existent second half of his career. It's one thing to be a victim of (very questionable) injustice, it's another to be dead. His early career is better than Kauff's IMHO.
   115. EricC Posted: June 05, 2004 at 11:10 AM (#660876)
I have to say though Chapman is by far the best case in history for a "Benny Kauff" extrapolation of an non-existent second half of his career.

But would his extrapolated career have been HoM-worthy? Based on what he did before he died, I'd estimate only about a 25% chance of that.
   116. karlmagnus Posted: June 05, 2004 at 11:19 AM (#660877)
I would agree, but if one extrapolates (which I don't, or not to that extent) he should clearly be on the bottom third of this fairly weak ballot.
   117. Chris Cobb Posted: June 05, 2004 at 02:26 PM (#660913)
jimd wrote:
Jackson's career was 9 seasons as a regular outfielder. According to BP, during those 9 seasons he was 505 BRAA (batting runs above average) and -18 FRAA (fielding). Meanwhile, Caruthers was 149 BRAA, 34 FRAA, and 205 PRAA (pitching) during his 7 seasons as a regular pitcher.

EricC wrote:
You seem to have accidentally overlooked the fact that the league average runs per game was 5.78 for Caruthers 7 seasons and only 4.09 for Jackson's 9 seasons.

Eric, you may be overlooking the fact that the "runs" jimd is citing have already been adjusted for runs per game context.

jimd will know better than I, but it's certainly my understanding that in calculating "runs above average," the WARP system from which he is citing normalizes different offensive contexts to a standard run environment, just as win shares does when it converts actual runs into wins. Otherwise the system would not show a fairly constant ratio of runs above replacement to wins above replacement.
   118. EricC Posted: June 05, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#660943)
Eric, you may be overlooking the fact that the "runs" jimd is citing have already been adjusted for runs per game context.

I honestly don't know. As of right now, I can't find any explanation of the WARP numbers, let alone a full explanation of how they were calculated.
   119. Dolf Lucky Posted: June 05, 2004 at 05:05 PM (#660956)
1 (1)Sam Thompson
2 (2)Joe Jackson--The two best hitters on the ballot. Jackson was more talented, and had the higher peak...Thompson had 1000 more ABs, despite playing in a shorter season environment. Decision goes to Thompson based on his ricockulous run production.

3 (4)Bob Caruthers
4 (3)Bobby Wallace--It's so tough to distinguish between the ultimate career guy and the ultimate peak guy. Caruthers was so dominant, Wallace was so steady...tough to say which one you take if you're a prescient GM.

5 (5)Jimmy Sheckard
6 (6)Eddie Cicotte
7 (7)Hughie Jennings--Obviously not a ton of movement in my ballot this year. Jennings and Cicotte are relatively high because of their peaks. Jennings has the highest consecutive 5 year WARP score of anyone on the ballot. Cicotte had a better peak than the other pure pitchers who are legitimate candidates. Sheckard looks like the total package, but holds back a tad due to lackluster black/gray ink totals as compared to Jackson and Thompson.

8 (9)Joe McGinnity
9 (10)Rube Waddell--Taken on WARP's face value, Waddell's the better candidate, but with the Iron Man, I'm a bit in awe of a guy who can average 25 wins a year for 10 years in the modern era.

10 (12)Herman Long
11 (11)Jimmy Ryan
12 (14)Cupid Childs
13 (13)George VanHaltren
14 (15)Jim McCormick
15 (-)Silver King--The bottom two first...McCormick was a workhorse in the McGinnity vein. King's peak was amazing. Ryan and VanHaltren played longer than the outfielders above, but just weren't as good. Childs was IMO better than Frank Grant, but I don't think he should be enshrined. If Long had played about 5 more years, his numbers would be pretty similar to Wallace I think, so slotting him here seems right. Not sure that I'd ever advocate Long's induction, however.

Top 10 ommissions: Dickey Pearce--I wholeheartedly recognize that my ommission of Pearce is probably "unfair". That were he born 15 years later, he'd be a no-brainer. Too bad. Competition matters, and Pearce played his peak years before the major ramp up of timeline quality. I can't compare him with a straight face to Joe Jackson or even Cupid Childs who excelled in fully professional leagues that more or less drew the best talent available. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the guys with the "real" stats everytime.

Lip Pike--This one is tougher, but here's my thought: If Pike had been born 5 years later, so that his full career was "documented" would his numbers be any better than Charley Jones's, a player with very little support? Even if you don't timeline, you have to regress Pike's numbers when comparing him to players from the 10's and 20's. There's no way that Pike would have had OPS+ of 200 in a couple of those seasons had his season length been tripled or doubled.
   120. Chris Cobb Posted: June 05, 2004 at 05:33 PM (#660984)
I honestly don't know. As of right now, I can't find any explanation of the WARP numbers, let alone a full explanation of how they were calculated.

The (inadequate) glossary has been lost in the last site upgrade. But a batter's EQA and WARP1 statistics say above the whole set "adjusted for season," which implies pretty strongly that they are normalized for scoring environment. EQA certainly is -- that's part of its point. The WARP2 statistics say above the whole set "adjusted for all-time," so those include a competition adjustment.
   121. DavidFoss Posted: June 05, 2004 at 05:46 PM (#661005)
FWIW, here is the inadequate glossary:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/glossary.shtml
   122. EricC Posted: June 05, 2004 at 07:54 PM (#661137)
But a batter's EQA and WARP1 statistics say above the whole set "adjusted for season," which implies pretty strongly that they are normalized for scoring environment.

FWIW, here is the inadequate glossary:

Thanks. If the BP RAA numbers are properly corrected for offensive level, then my post #111 added nothing to the discussion. I still have my doubts, however, about how WARP treats individual offense in a team context and about how WARP rates the offense of above-average players in high-scoring eras. It's unfortunate that the BP WARP glossary is inadequate, because we can't even move the discussion toward common understanding of possible flaws in WARP.
   123. Chris Cobb Posted: June 05, 2004 at 09:00 PM (#661199)
I still have my doubts, however, about how WARP treats individual offense in a team context and about how WARP rates the offense of above-average players in high-scoring eras.

If EricC (or anyone else) wants to explore this question by looking at WARP numbers organized on a team basis, you can check out WARP numbers for every team from 1871-2003 at bp.

The url

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/

will bring you to an index that begins with links to pages for every team, followed by links to every player page. This index page takes a long time to load if you're using dialup. The team pages don't seem to be linked to the public side of the site in any way, so I think one is sort of an uninvited guest when looking around there. I'd love to go exploring there myself, but don't have time at present.
   124. dan b Posted: June 06, 2004 at 12:17 AM (#661352)
Win shares are my metric of choice. I start with a composite ranking = 4 x Career + (3 best years)/3 + (5 best consecutive years)/5 + (8 best years)/8 + WS per 162. I then make adjustments justified by individual components with a touch of subjectivity thrown in. I use the same system for hitters and for 60’ 6” era pitchers. I also look at WS w/o defense for a hitting only ranking. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)


1.McGinnity (1) Elected to my HoM in 1916.
2.Jackson (1) Bill James in HBA prefers Omar Moreno, but he is not eligible and we are not worried about the integrity of The Game.
3.Jennings (6) – elected to my HoM in 1908. 1st in 5-year peak. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar.
4.Hill I expect about 25 Negro Leaguers in my PHoM. Pete Hill is the first.
5.Duffy (2). 2nd in 5-year peak, 2nd in 8-year, elected to my HoM in 1912.
6.Sheckard (3) 1st in career, 3rd in 3-year peak, 3rd in 8-yr peak, 3rd best hitter on ballot. Personal HoM in 1921.
7.Griffith (3) 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, elected to my HoM in 1913.
8.Chance (12) – ranks 2nd on hitting alone behind Jackson. 5 times one of the top 12 players in the NL, 4 times one of the top 5 hitters. Best 1B of the era. NHBA rank of 25 puts him in the BJHoM. My HoM in 1921. The Peerless Leader merits more attention here.
9.Waddell (4) I like his peak and K’s. 2nd to Joss in WS/IP. Hall worthy.
10.Leach (5) 4th in 8-yr peak, 3rd career.
11.Browning (16) – Jackson drops him to 2nd in WS/162, elected to my HoM in1906.
12.Caruthers –Use NHBA rankings to build BJHoM and Parisian Bob was inducted in 1898.
13.Doyle (10) NHBA rank of 20 put him in BJHoM in 1926.
14.Bresnahan (21) 1st catcher to appear on my ballot since Ewing elected.
15.(tie)Wallace (17) – 6th in career.
15.(tie)Joss (11) 1st in WS/IP. Great pitcher belongs on more ballots.
17.Ryan (4) – 4th in career.
18.Tiernan (11) 5th best on hitting alone.
19.Thompson (15) 11th in 8-year peak
20.Willis (4) – 1st in career, 2nd in 3-year peak.
   125. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#661666)
Top 10 ommissions: Dickey Pearce--I wholeheartedly recognize that my ommission of Pearce is probably "unfair". That were he born 15 years later, he'd be a no-brainer.

Mark, why would Pearce be a Homer fifteen years later but not during the time that he played? If I'm interpreting your comments correctly (which I may not be), if the major leagues had become as "good" as semipro ball during the past twenty years, would that negate the greatness of a Bonds or a Maddux (those two being as great as they were actually in real life)? I don't see how it could.
   126. Guapo Posted: June 06, 2004 at 06:56 PM (#662008)
Here is my first “official” ballot:

1. Joe Jackson- The best corner outfielder of his time.
2. Pete Hill- The analysis on this board validates the opinions of those who saw him play. No reason to believe he was anything but an all-time great.
3. Larry Doyle- Obvious pick for me. Finished in top 10 in league in OPS+ 7 times- there aren’t many on the ballot who can top that, plus he’s a 2Bman. I’d be shocked if his defense was bad enough to nullify that kind of offense.
4. Rube Foster- Was benchmarked throughout his career by observers to guys like Rusie, Young and Waddell. His performance throughout the oughts was remarkable- I can’t hold it against him that he didn’t have the career arc of an Eddie Plank.
5. Joe McGinnity- A fair number of the other deadball pitchers have already gone in, but he’s the only other eligible pitcher I want to elect.
6. Gavvy Cravath- Impressive peak, but his career is relatively short even by my low standards, so I’m a little uncomfortable putting him this high.
7. Ed Konetchy - The best first baseman of his time, largely forgotten because of the era and teams for which he played.
8. Bill Monroe- Rube Foster reportedly described him as the greatest player he ever saw. Long career, certainly comparable to Grant- so could rank higher.
9. Frank Chance- Bill James compared him to Keith Hernandez in the first Historical Abstract- that always stuck with me. An OBP stud who was an offensive star, albeit for a short time.
10. Roger Bresnahan- Benefits from a big positional boost. Very unique career makes him difficult to compare to others, and so ranking him is a challenge.
11. Lip Pike- Could rank higher. The premier outfielder of the early 1870's.
12. Tommy Leach- Excelled at both 3B and CF.
13. Fielder Jones- The best centerfielder in baseball between Hamilton and Cobb.
14. Levi Meyerle - Can’t justify ranking him much lower than Pike- his career doesn’t seem that much shorter, and he’s got a much better peak. Yes, it’s a short career, but welcome to the 1870's.
15. Hughie Jennings- Great player for a short period of time. Could rank higher.

Notable omissions:

Bobby Wallace: I get that the long career is impressive, but I don’t believe he was ever really a “great” player, which is my threshold standard. If Bobby Wallace was the best player on your team, would you expect that team to win the pennant?

Jimmy Sheckard: Very good player, but I see him as the third-best leftfielder in his not-particularly deep league for most of his career, behind Clarke and Magee. Might make the bottom of my ballot some day, but unlikely (he’ll probably be elected before that happens)

Sam Thompson: Ranks similar to Sheckard in my mind.... a good player, but I would rank him behind a bunch of his late 80's-early 90's peers (including Tiernan).

Bob Caruthers: I took another look at Caruthers, but still can’t see him on my ballot. He was a dominant player for a short period of time; I tend to like pitchers who were great for longer periods of time, and there are a lot of pitchers from the 1880's who meet that description. Will continue to ponder his credentials though.

Dickey Pearce: Dropped from my preliminary ballot. My doubts about whether he was a great offensive player for his time continue to deepen. May move back into the mix if more information becomes available. No-brainer for the Pioneers wing, though.

Jake Beckley: A personal fave, but he was the fourth best 1B for most of his career, whereas Konetchy and Chance were the best of their eras.

George Van Haltren: I’ve gone back and looked at him, but I see him as well behind his contemporaries Duffy and Ryan. Will never make my ballot.

Jimmy Ryan: I’d take Jimmy over GVH based on peak. Ryan’s not a bad candidate, but there’s a limit to how many 1890's outfielders I can support.

Rube Waddell: Another great, but probably about the seventh best pitcher of his era behind a lot of guys who’ve already been elected. I would rank him around where I’d rank Hippo Vaughn.
   127. baseball fan Posted: June 06, 2004 at 07:06 PM (#662068)
Dropped from my preliminary ballot. My doubts about whether he was a great offensive player for his time continue to deepen.

What changed your mind, Guapo? If anything, there has been more evidence (thanks to David Foss) that he was a terrific batsman for the position. I hope you reconsider since you appear to respect that era of baseball.
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2004 at 07:14 PM (#662113)
baseball fan:

Will you be submitting a ballot?
   129. baseball fan Posted: June 06, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#662169)
No John, I'm just a lurker who doesn't have the time to create a ballot. I'm interested in 19th century baseball and agree with you that the amateur era should be represented. I'm happy to see Pearce with as much support as he has received.
   130. KJOK Posted: June 06, 2004 at 11:26 PM (#662603)
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, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low.

2. JOE JACKSON, LF/RF. .780 OWP. 449 RCAP. 5,690 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Best hitter of his generation except for Cobb. Had “MVP-type” years 1911-1913.

3. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. .745 OWP. 478 RCAP. 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball’s premier hitter in the 1880’s. Much better hitter than Thompson.

4. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890’s. Great offensively and defensively.

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

6. RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 134 ERA+ in 2,961 innings.

7. JOE McGINNITY, P. 238 RSAA, 208 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 121 ERA+ in 3,441 innings.

8. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. .720 OWP. 308 RCAP. 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was more important defensively. Leader of one of the greatest teams in history, and the next inductee from that team should be Chance.

9. CUPID CHILDS, 2B. .609 OWP. 354 RCAP. 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890’s. Best remaining 2nd baseman.

10. BOBBY WALLACE, SS. .522 OWP (.546 thru 1910). 195 RCAP (211 thru 1910). 9,612 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Hung around ala Pete Rose after 1910. Also outstanding defensive 3B in the 2 years he played there. Not quite the player Jennings was.

11. TOMMY LEACH, CF/3B. .552 OWP, 121 RCAP, 9,051 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT – 3B, VERY GOOD – CF. Just slightly below Collins defensively, and he played longer. Basically did everything well, but doesn’t have the one outstanding area to get noticed.

12. LARRY DOYE, 2B .632 OWP, 273 RCAP, 7,382 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Best hitting 2B between Lajoie and Hornsby. Won MVP in 1912, finished 3rd in 1911. Finished in Top 10 in OPS+ 8 times.

13. BOB CARUTHERS, P/RF. 179 RSAA. 177 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, 123 ERA+. .668 OWP. 243 RCAP. 2,906 PAs. Only shortness of career keeps Caruthers from being an “inner circle” superstar.

14. SAM THOMPSON, RF. .684 OWP. 387 RCAP. 6,510 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not the hitter Browning was, but still an offensive force.

15. DICKEY PEARCE, SS. He WAS basically, along with Harry Wright, the old guy in the league 1871-1877, and his fielding was still league average, but didn’t hit nearly as well as Harry (who played CF). May have been Ozzie Smith, but hard to tell for certain. However, I’m finally convinced there is enough evidence to place him in the top 15.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:
JIMMY SHECKARD, LF. .626 OWP. 135 RCAP. 9,117 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Another player who was good but not great offensively, played a long time. Don’t see why so much love for him. He was a great defensive LFer, but in era with fewer fly balls. Similar to Hugh Duffy.
TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,531(!) innings. AA discount puts him off ballot until I finally get around to my AA vs. NL study.
LIP PIKE, CF. Perhaps best hitting CF of the 1870’s, but short career puts him off ballot.
JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. .596 OWP. 245 RCAP. 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Another good for a long time player who is just below elite status.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. .620 OWP. 167 RCAP. 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. A notch below the elite OF’ers both offensively and defensively.
PETE HILL, CF/LF. . Right now looking like Dale Murphy/Andre Dawson, so is just off the ballot.
ED KONETCHY, 1B. .603 OWP. 180 RCAP. 8,664 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Excellent defensive 1Bman in era when that mattered, so he edges just ahead of Jimmy Ryan.
JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF. .609 OWP. 205 RCAP. 9,114 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not quite up to top OF hitters, and only average defense won’t move him up.
   131. Jeff M Posted: June 07, 2004 at 12:23 AM (#662641)
KJOK:

Two questions:

1. How do you calculate OWP? I'm sure you've said before, but I can't find it. Looks like it might be pythagorean, using the player's RC/27 and the league RC/27. Or something close to that.

2. Why is McGraw ranked higher than Jackson and Browning? Based on the criteria you set forth and the stats appearing on your ballot, he looks no better than #3. For instance, if Browning's OWP is 17 points higher, and he has 29 more RCAP and 400 more PAs, how does McGraw come out higher? Defense is not more than 1/3 of the game, so I don't see how McGraw being average at third and Browning being poor in the outfield would make up the difference.

Just curious.
   132. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: June 07, 2004 at 01:23 AM (#662680)
1927 ballot:

1. Joe McGinnity: Terrific career, a bit short in years. 2CYA, 5 STATS AS, workhorse, led league in wins 5 times, innings 4 times.

2. 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.

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

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

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

6. Larry Doyle: No questions about his offensive credentials. There are some about his defensive ability, but if he were substandard, wouldn’t McGraw have moved him elsewhere?

7. 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.

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

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

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

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

12. Hugh Duffy: Solid WS and WS/162, excellent defense in CF. Warp3 doesn’t like him as well. The LWTS-type rating in the new Encyclopedia despises him. Big deductions for defense, which I don’t buy.

13. Pete Hill: Appears worthy, but I’m not sure where to slot him. He’s been compared to Magee, whom I rank highly, and Sheckard, whom I don’t. Goes here for now.

14. Clark Griffith: Solid, long career, McGinnity-like stats but spread out over more years.

15. Lip Pike: In his first 7 NA-NL seasons, I make him a first- or second-team all-star every year.

In 1926 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.

Dickey Pearce: The first real shortstop, portrayed in Nineteenth Century Stars as an intelligent player who overcame his physical limitations to excel. Also portrayed as the best shortstop pre-Wright. He was the best in a pretty small universe. He did play forever, which helps him in my book.

Joe Jackson: I may have been dense or the biggest idiot ever, but I had thought, until last year’s ballot discussion, that one could permanently boycott game-throwers. Apparently, what I thought the constitution said was not what it meant. So, reluctantly, I consider Jackson, but I can’t ignore the 1919 series or the 1920 season. It’s clear from Eight Men Out that the remaining conspirators were still under the thumbs of the gamblers in ’20. I’ll give him some credit for war work in ’18, but he was also a holdout that year, was perceived as a slacker (see Guapo #336 in the discussion thread), and it was a shortened season, besides. The net result puts him off my ballot, but he may creep on later if he’s not elected.
   133. KJOK Posted: June 07, 2004 at 04:29 AM (#662824)
1. How do you calculate OWP? I'm sure you've said before, but I can't find it. Looks like it might be pythagorean, using the player's RC/27 and the league RC/27. Or something close to that.

A player's Offensive Winning Percentage equals the percentage of games a team would win with nine of that player in its lineup, given average pitching and defense. The formula is the square of Runs Created per 27 Outs, divided by the sum of the square of Runs Created per 27 Outs and the square of the league average of runs per game.
   134. KJOK Posted: June 07, 2004 at 04:36 AM (#662828)
2. Why is McGraw ranked higher than Jackson and Browning? Based on the criteria you set forth and the stats appearing on your ballot, he looks no better than #3. For instance, if Browning's OWP is 17 points higher, and he has 29 more RCAP and 400 more PAs, how does McGraw come out higher? Defense is not more than 1/3 of the game, so I don't see how McGraw being average at third and Browning being poor in the outfield would make up the difference.

It's mostly defense, with McGraw Average at a valuable defensive position and Browning Poor at a less valuable defensive postion easily worth more than the 17 runs advantage Browning has on offense.
   135. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 07, 2004 at 05:57 AM (#662875)
I'm taking tomorrow off of work, but that just means I can stay up later on Sunday night doing my ballot. Willie Keeler and Frank Grant make my PHoM this year.

1. Lip Pike (1) 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 played important defensive positions. The new information from Marshall Wright via David Foss compares him favorably to his compatriots already enshrined. Made my PHoM in 1919.

2. Dickey Pearce (2) Actually may have a more solid argument than Pike for induction, unless you don't value pre-1869 baseball at all. It's clear from the Wright info that he was the best player of his time. His NA numbers are not worthy of induction, but they aren't inconsistent with his being a great player earlier in his career. Made my PHoM in 1920.

3. Joe Jackson (4) Has a great peak early in his career, but didn't quite maintain that level. He was consistently among the best of the AL players during his career. Made my PHoM last year.

4. Bobby Wallace (3) 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. Not the best SS of his era, but he had a pretty darn good peer group. Made my PHoM in 1925.

(4A Willie Keeler, 4B Frank Grant)

5. Bob Caruthers (6) As always with Freedom Bob, this could change dramatically in the coming years. For now, I think he was more dominant at his peak than any other pitcher on the ballot.

(5A Sherry Magee)

6. Jimmy Sheckard (8) Had an odd career path and much of his value is hidden, but he was a quality player. A lot of defensive value for a corner OF.

7. Pete Hill (new) Part of me feels I'm being too conservative, but I'm not as certain as I was with Johnson and Grant(eventually). Definitely could move up if he's still around.
(7A. Miner Brown)

8. Joe McGinnity (9) He still doesn't have a strong career argument in this group, but there's no measurement where he does particularly bad.

9. Hughie Jennings (11) Still a more impressive peak than anyone else on the ballot. Also see Childs.

10. Bill Monroe (10) A good player, but I haven't seen any good argument to have him as high as Johnson or Grant.

11. Cupid Childs (14) He could hit the ball pretty good for a 2B and his defense was decent. People have been talking about a lack of 1890s CF, but there are more "hitters" (OF & 1B men) than "fielders" (C, 2B, SS, 3B) in that decade, so given players on a comparable level, I'm going with the fielders.

12. Jimmy Ryan (12) He and Van Haltren need a nickname. How about the "Pyrite Dust Twins"?

13. George Van Haltren (13) Ryan 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. Sam Thompson (16) First time on my ballot since 1913. Short career, hitter's parks, lousy fielder. I don't find his numbers that convincing. They look nice, though. (If he gets in because of this, furniture may fly.)

15. Jim McCormick (17) Every time I look at the pitchers, they come up slightly different.

Off ballot:
16. (18) Tommy Leach. Great fielder, OK hitter. Not a huge peak.
17. (15) Clark Griffith. I kinda think 1890s pitchers are underrepresented, but not enough to get behind him.
18. (21) Mike Griffin. Great defensive player, I really wish I could justify him in the top 15.
19. (26) Charley Jones. A hell of a hitter, another one I wish I could support more.
20. (23) Larry Doyle. Sure, an excellent hitter for a 2Bman, but the defensive numbers are bad, and his career wasn't as long as some people are trying to argue.
21. (20) Mickey Welch. The 300 wins are a selling point, but the peripherals are weak.
22. (22) Jake Beckley. A good player who was occasionally very good, but never great. I'm not worried about position scarcity in this case.
23. (28) Pete Browning. See Charley Jones.
24. (24) Gavvy Cravath. I'm willing to give him some credit for his minor league play, but that only gets him to the Jones-Browning tier.
25. (19) Eddie Cicotte. WARP likes him, but I don't think I do.
26. (32) Herman Long. Another member of the "very good but never great" fraternity.
27. (29) Hugh Duffy. Pass.
28. (27) 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.
29. (new) Ed Konetchy.
30. (37) Frank Chance. The effects of my 1B survey have them reasonably close to Beckley. When Jennings gets in, we can talk about Chance's peak.
   136. Philip Posted: June 07, 2004 at 06:38 AM (#662895)
1. Pike (3-3-2-1-1) – I hope Pike’s support is finally gaining momentum and that newcomers value him as one of the premium players of the early years. He should appeal to both peak and career voters. Especially his peak is one of the highest of this group. And his 13 year career should not be considered short for the early days (longer than Thompson and effectively just as long as Duffy and Stovey). Also, he shouldn’t be considered part of the outfield glut since half his value comes at second base. Pike has been sitting in my HOM since 1908 and is now the only player left who is been on all my ballots since 1898.
2. Wallace (7-8-7-5-4) – Exceptional career value. Maybe a little overrated by WARP, but not too shabby win share totals either.
3. Pearce (5-6-5-3-2) – MVP of the 1860’s. Highest placement on my ballot to date.
4. Sheckard (11-9-8-6-5) – Good in all categories without excelling in one. Best of the Cubs’ position players .
5. Hill (new) – I’m convinced he was as good as Sheckard. Don’t know if he was better.
6. McGinnity (9-11-10-8-6) – Great, albeit short, peak and compiling many win shares along the way.

Not to be overlooked:
7. Jackson (14) – Like Jennings he had a great peak, but also an awfully short career for a corner outfielder. To be at the top of my ballot he should have been the best player in baseball for a while. He wasn’t.
8. Van Haltren (18-16-16-11-9) – Benefits as I lean a little more toward Win Shares rather than WARP.
9. Ryan (17-18-18-12-10) – So close to Van Haltren. A bit higher, but shorter peak.
10. Griffith (10-12-13-11-11) – I think he is underrated by this group. Maybe he is too all-round, not really excelling in either career or peak. Rating just as high in peak, prime and career in my system, mr. Consistent has never ranked higher than 10th or lower than 14th on my ballot.
11. Monroe (21-20-24-16-15) – I’m convinced he deserves to be on the ballot.
12. Bresnahan (20-30-28-27-26) – So hard to rank catchers, but giving him some new credit he lands on my ballot for just the second time.
13. Jennings (12-14-14-15-13) – Collected enough career value in his short peak.
14. Long (13-13-11-18-17) – I think he’s underrated, although I no longer think he will make my personal HoM. Both WARP and win shares like him. Maybe his lack of a great peak hurts him but most of his value came from playing defense, which is generally more constant from year to year. I don’t believe it’s wrong to have a high percentage of shortstops in the hall, after all it’s the toughest and most important defensive position to play (just like there are more QB’s, centers and strikers considered the best players in their respective sports)
15. Leach (29-29-27-23-22) – I look to see one more thrid baseman making my ballot. Gradually climbing in my system.

16. C Jones (15-15-15-9-7)
17. Caruthers
18. Childs
19. Duffy
20. Williamson
21. Foster
   137. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 07, 2004 at 07:22 AM (#662915)
Major reshuffle this week as I took another look at anyone that made the ballot in 1926.

Ray Chapman did not receive a vote from me, but I do want to say that were he not hit by Carl Mays on that fateful day, he would have had to have had an enormous dropoff from the normal career arc to have missed the Hall of Merit. Whether or not he was recognized as such, he was a first tier star, a great hitter for his position.

I'll refer back to this ballot in future years, to keep the ballot thread managable. But this year you get the full explanation . . . there are many players to rank here. If you spot something that looks illogical (like how could you have Doe #X and Smith #Y, when Smith was directly comparable and better) please speak up, I easily could have mis-slotted someone despite my careful reconsideration.

1. Bobby Wallace (1) - I see him as basically slightly below Alan Trammell. Outstanding offense, from a very good defensive SS, with a fairly high peak to boot.

2. Pete Hill (n/e) - What to do, what to do. Everything I've read shows him as the star hitter of his generation/league. His career wasn't super-long, but I have to rank him ahead of Ryan.

3. Jimmy Ryan (7) - Good, not great defensive CF, which is probably why he was eventually shifted to RF. One heckuva hitter though. I can't see ranking Sheckard ahead of Ryan. After some more analysis, he was better than I thought. I've moved him up accordingly.

4. Jimmy Sheckard (9) - He's close to Kelley or Keeler - but closer to (and a notch behind) Ryan. If he was a little better or played a little longer he might have been #1. I can't see ranking him ahead of Ryan, but I have pushed him past Beckley.

5. Joe Jackson (boycotted) - Obviously a great player, but career was short enough that he slots in just behind a couple of hitters that weren't as great but played much longer.

6. Sam Thompson (3) - Great hitter, lousy fielder. Would rate higher if he had left carpentry a few years earlier. His greatness is overstated by having his best years in high offense leagues, but man could he mash, his SLG in the context of his leagues is outstanding (.505 vs. .376). Dropped behind Ryan and Sheckard after some tinkering/review.

7. Jake Beckley (4) - Very good player for a very long time, much better than an average player. Good for 22-25 WS a year for about 13-14 years. That has a lot of value in my opinion. I also believe that 1B defense was more important in his time, and that gets him a subjective nudge forward from where modern methods place him. I see him as more Rusty Staub than Harold Baines.

8. Joe McGinnity (5) - Three very good iron man years where he pitched a ton of innings, but he had a short career and just two years with an ERA+ over 140. But most of the pitchers we're comparing him to had short careers, and he pitched enough innings that he didn't have to be the best pitcher (per game) in the league to have enormous value. Nice career, great player for a short span.

9. Bill Monroe (6) - Still not convinced he was better than Grant or Johnson, but I am confident he should be ranked near the Thompson level.

10. Ed Williamson (10) - I'm really serious about taking a second look at everyone. His career is quite comparable to Jimmy Collins'. Both had a 113 career OPS+, and Williamson's was more OBP driven than Collins'. Leach's career OPS+ was only 109 and like Collins, not OBP driven. Both Collins and Williamson were great defensive players, Williamson was actually better, good enough to play about 3 1/2 years as a SS (wheras Leach's non-3B time was spent in CF).

Why is Collins ahead of Williamson? I agree that a pennant is a pennant (I may have even coined the phrase?), but I do timeline slightly (if you don't, your HoM will have too many 'old' players - because it was easier to dominate); basically as a tie-breaker, and that's why I rate Williamson behind Collins, who's career is basically 20 years post-Williamson. It's entirely justifiable to rate Ed ahead of Jimmy though, I wouldn't fault anyone there. He shouldn't have fallen as far of the radar as he did. Neither are in Ezra Sutton's class, and that's probably why it was easy to lose site of him.
   138. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 07, 2004 at 07:25 AM (#662919)
11. Dickey Pearce (11) - Pearce was a great player, the only question for me was whether or not his career fell under the scope of this project. His NA/NL career clearly shows that he was comparable as a hitter from age 35-41 as other great shortstops, and I take that as positive evidence in evaluating his case. Could possibly be convinced to rank him much higher.

12. Charley Jones (--) - Top 7 in OPS+ in the league every year he played from 1876-85, and he played some CF too. Wow. He had fallen out of my view as well. Was better than I realized.

13. Rube Waddell (12) - Not quite as good as Joss at his best, but he pitched about 2 more
seasons, enough to edge him forward.

14. Ed Cicotte (boycotted) - I line him up with Griffith, and I see him as better. More big
years, similar length of career. Likewise, I see Waddell, though he had a slightly shorter career as having had many more big years.

15. Clark Griffith (14) - Like McGinnity I've been won over that he's better than I thought. Was never as good as Waddell, McGinnity or Joss (each had 3 years better than Griffith's best year, according to Chris Cobb's data), but still pretty good and he was effective longer than all of them.

He's ahead of Joss only because of his longer career.

16. Larry Doyle (15) - Very comparable to Ron Santo. Wasn't as durable and played one fewer season, but he was great hitter for the position, even when you consider that 2B wasn't nearly as important defensively as it is now. He wasn't as good defensively as Santo either, but he's ballot worthy, it's just too deep of a ballot!

17. Mike Tiernan (--) - Relatively short career, but he could hit. How did he and Williamson just
vanish from most ballots?

18. Lip Pike (27) - He was a great hitter, not a long a career. Testament to the deepness of the
ballot that he's this low. Major bump this week - as 155 OPS+ do not grow on trees . . .

19. Gavvy Cravath (13) - I ran a little quick and dirty WS comparison on Cravath at age 32-34 to find similar players, and four turned up - Bret Boone, Sam Crawford, Gary Sheffield and Billy Williams.

The others are slam dunk Hall of Famers (if Sheffield ages like Cravath, Crawford or Williams he will be one), except for Boone these guys averaged:

Age 28 - 25 WS
Age 29 - 30 WS
Age 30 - 26 WS

Of course, cravath could've been a late bloomer, like Boone. At 27, Boone had 10 WS, Cravath 12 (in limited playing time 20 projected to a full season). From age 23-26 and 28-30 Boone compiled 82 WS. I could see this as a conservative estimate for Cravath. I could also see giving him credit for 39 WS age 23-26 and 81 WS age 28-30. I think that's what I'll do for now - it's not perfect, but it's a reasonable estimate of where Cravath might have been had he not been held back. That would peg him as a 320 WS player, which about where I see him. Carefully worked out opinion is the best we can do sometimes.

I'm not quite as comfortable projecting this as I was though - so he slips.

20. Bob Caruthers (16) - I'm still not really sure where he should be - the toughest player we've had to rank to date.

21. Addie Joss (17)</b> - A truly great pitcher, in the Koufax/Dean mold. It takes a lot to get me on board with a 'peak only' candidate, but Addie's got the goods. He never had a year where he wasn't at least a very good pitcher, and if it wasn't for his death, he'd be talked about with greatest of the great. He doesn't get any extra credit for dying young or anything, just saying that he was a truly great pitcher.

22. George Van Haltren (18)</b> - Nice, long, consistent career, very good player for a long time. Not a bad fielder, but not a great one either, pretty good hitter. Never had a monster year, he didn't make any Stats All-Star teams, but he also played mostly in a one-league era, where only 3 All-Star OFs were named per year, not 6. Moved him up a little a few years back, I don't think I was giving him enough credit for his pitching.

23. Roger Bresnahan (19) - An incredible hitter for a catcher. Lots of walks, but he really didn't play all that much. He's a tough one to rank, like Frank Chance, this is an incredibly tight group of candidates. Questions about the quality of his league, as well as his inability to stay in the lineup have caused me to drop him some this week.

24. Tommy Leach (20) - One of the best 'slash' players of all-time. When you consider his defensive contribution, career length and that he had some pop (career SLG + .021), it's a nice package. Well-rounded players always tend to be underrated. I wish I could rank him higher.
   139. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 07, 2004 at 07:30 AM (#662921)
25. Hughie Jennings (21) - Great peak, but it was just 5 years, there's not a lot on the resume besides that. I will recalculate the pennants added thread soon, allowing for the fact that WARP probably adds 2 extra wins per full season, because of the low fielding replacement level. That may give the high peak short career guys a little boost. I suppose that I could be considered having a double standard here with Waddell and Joss higher on the ballot, but they all had more than 5 years as great players, peaks that were almost as high, and at least some 'bulk' to their careers.

26. Mickey Welch (--) - He's back into my consideration set. Really only had 3 big years, but he was a very good pitcher, shouldn't have dropped off my radar screen.

27. John McGraw (--) - If only he could have stayed healthy. An incredible OBP machine when on the field, and played key defensive positions to boot. But his career was more than a full season shorter than Jennings, for example. Just 7 seasons where he played the modern equivalent of 100 games.

28. Roy Thomas (26) - Really good player, but no power at all. He was a great defensive player. I absolutely love the type of game he played.

29. Mike Griffin (28) - Amazing defensive CF and a pretty good hitter too.

30. Cupid Childs (--) - Another one to rejoin my consideration set, but I don't see how you can compare him with Doyle and have Childs come out on top. I'm all ears if you want to try to convince me.

31. Lave Cross (22) - Another very good player for a very long time. Had big years in 1894, 1898, 1899 and 1902.

32. Joe Tinker (23) - Another one that's kind of tough. I believe he was a historically great
defensive player, along the lines of Ozzie Smith. His offensive was very good for a shortstop (better than Ozzie's). His career was short, or it wouldn't be a question. If it's March 1898, and I know in advance that I can have either Chance or Tinker I think I'd take Tinker. I could easily be convinced to flip-flop there, but for now I'm going with Tinker slightly ahead.

33. Johnny Evers (24) - Man these poem guys were good, it's amazing that none of them had a long
career. All 3 had high enough peaks to warrant a spot near the top (Evers had 6 WARP1's over 9.0),
but they just didn't play long enough.

34. Frank Chance (25) - Great player, short career and wasn't durable during his short career, decreasing the impact he could have on any one pennant race. What a great team, the most similar team to the 1996-2000 Yankees that I can think of, in terms of balance vs. superstars. The antithesis of the current Giants.

NOTE: I swear it just worked out that these 3 are 32-33-34 (and in correct poetic order!), it's not
for effect . . . just the way I see it.

35. Herman Long (--) - Pretty good player, long career, but to move him higher, I'd have to be
convinced that his defense was historically great.

36. Jim McCormick (--) - Very good pitcher, a couple of big years, and never a bad one, until his final year.

37. Pete Browning (--) - Back on the board, but I don't see him as a great player. Short career, weak competition, questionable defense. Just not enough there. I see him kind of like Jim Rice - some spectacular surface numbers, but when you look at the context, many holes begin to emerge, and nearly all of the necessary adjustments dock his raw numbers.

38. Rube Foster (30) - I see him as not as good as Joss, and his playing career was short too.

39. Tony Mullane (--) - Tough to rank, but his best years were in weak leagues, or he'd be higher. One of the best pitcher/hitter combinations of all-time.

40. Hugh Duffy (32) - He had a nice career, but his 2nd best year was in a weak AA (1891), and
distorts his eyeball peak value a little bit. I'd take the career of Mike Griffin over Duffy's. It's close, but he's at the bottom of the Hamilton-Stovey-Thompson-Griffin-Duffy logjam. I'd almost take Tom York, but Duffy had a better peak, and even a modest timeline adjustment seals the close race.

Easily the most overrated player by the group. Convince me why I might be wrong, please, I'm just not seeing it.

41. Vic Willis (29) - I could rank him higher, but I don't see greatness. I see very goodness. He's Dennis Martinez compared the guys on the ballot being Dave Stieb, David Cone or Tom Glavine.

42. Levi Meyerle (--) - Short career, awful defensive player, in an era where defense mattered most. He could hit though.

43. Fielder Jones (31) - Very good player, mid-glut I suppose, I have him ranked a little below
Griffin, who was a little better in a shorter career. Similar to Thomas, but not as good.

44. Miller Huggins (33) - valuable little player, getting on base and playing a solid 2B for a very
long time.
   140. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 07, 2004 at 07:50 AM (#662930)
I forgot to slot Konetchy. He'd be #35, in-between Long and Chance. Not as good as Beckley and a shorter career by 3 1/2 years.
   141. Jeff M Posted: June 07, 2004 at 01:46 PM (#662993)
Joe:

Why Wallace #1 and Long #35? See post #132 on the '27 Ballot Discussion thread. Long looks to be better on defense than Wallace, and with equal or better peaks and per/162 numbers. Wallace obviously accumulates some additional stats because he played forever.
   142. PhillyBooster Posted: June 07, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#663047)
Posted by Esteban Rivera on May 29, 2004 at 08:22 PM (#651030)

Hi everyone. I'm going to be off the island for the next week or so and I do not know when I'll have computer access again. Therefore, I'd like to post a provisional ballot for this election in the discussion thread, if it's alright with you guys.
If I don't post again by Friday, would you please count the following as my ballot for 1927? Thanks and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

1. Joe Jackson - With the one year boycott done, Jackson debuts at number one. Granted, I understand he was not one of the dominant superstars of his time( i.e. Cobb, Cpeaker, Collins, etc.), but none of them are on this ballot. Jackson's tenure edges the eligible field.

2. 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?

3. 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.

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

5. 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.

6. 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.

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

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

9. 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.

10. Mickey Welch - Flip flops with Griffith this week as I begin to feel that I may have overreacted earlier in his downgrading.

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

12. Jake Beckley - The career man makes it back on my ballot. There is a definite dearth of long career's at first.

13. Bob Caruthers - Head for the hills! It's Parisian Bob! The combo man finally reappears on my ballot. Let's see if its to stay.

14. Roger Bresnahan - Hanging by a thread. 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. Will most likely wait until he can be properly placed alongside Santop and Petway.

15. Pete Hill - . I see Hill as a worthy candidate. Seems to be a very good defensive player and his hitting for the first half of his career seems to be great. However, the second half of his career seems to be an adventure in park effects. Until the "mess" is sorted out, Hill starts here.

Jimmy Scheckard is next in line but the addition of Hill (who I place above Sheckard) and Jackson still keep him off ballot.. After him are Wallace (long consistent career but not the best at his postion so he does not yet get on my ballot), Williamson, and Van Haltren( another one with consistency but not the best at postion). 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 20th.
   143. Max Parkinson Posted: June 07, 2004 at 03:11 PM (#663116)
1. Hughie Jennings – still the only eligible player to be the best player in the game. The arguments against giving him this credit rest on Ed Delahanty being a better hitter than Jennings, ignoring that Jennings was the best defensive SS in the world, and Delahanty was an adequate corner outfielder. Craig B used to post about the Orioles fantastic runs against numbers year in and year out during the ‘90s, and their decidedly average pitching. Infield defense had to play a pretty large role, no?

2. Bob Caruthers – flipping back and forth with Thompson at 2/3. I think that discussion here has passed the point where I can be useful…

3. Sam Thompson – The best hitter on the board. Someone please convince me that Joe Jackson was a better player than Big Sam, because I just don’t see it.

4. Jimmy Sheckard – The good bat, great glove man. Lots of bags in the aughts, when that was oh so important, and could still belt the ball enough to finish on power leaderboards. To be fair to Pete Hill, he’s just slightly behind Sheckard on my list, although the tightness of the ballot makes that 4 spots.

5. Bobby Wallace – Poised for a decade-long run as the best shortstop in the game, and then Pittsburgh converted their right fielder to the middle…

6. Dickey Pearce – He made the MP HoM last year, and this position is my best compromise between my two prevailing opinions on him: 1. He was one of the best players in the world for damn near a decade. 2. He still wasn’t as good a player as most of the others on this ballot.

7. Lip Pike – We’ve elected everyone better than him from the NA (and a couple who weren’t as good). Are we done with ‘70s players?

8. Pete Hill – based on everything I’ve read, I’ve put him just a little behind Sheckard. That gets him in this year as far as my HoM is concerned.

9. Ed Cicotte – Above Joe Jackson, you ask? Well, yes. Cicotte had a longer career, their primes were similar, but Cicotte’s was a few years longer, and Eddie gets a lot more MVP points than Joe. (2nd in 1917 and 3rd in 1919, as opposed to Jackson’s 4th place in 1911.)

10. Joe Jackson – If you only play for 10 years (regardless of the reason), you better have a couple of MVP-type seasons if you want to get up the ballot.

11. Fielder Jones – The best defensive outfielder that the game saw until Speaker, and a pretty good hitter in his own right. Note that no credit is given for his “blacklist” years.

12. Jim McCormick – Again, I’ll take the player who has the legitimate claim as Best in the Game ahead of the player that doesn’t, in this case McGinnity and Griffith.

13. George Van Haltren – A long and good, if rarely great, career in centre, with some pretty good pitching to boot.

14. Clark Griffith – The fourth best pitcher of the ‘90s just ekes out…

15. Joe McGinnity – the fourth best pitcher of the ‘00s. The other 5 (Young counts twice) are all automatics, and Griffith has already made my personal HoM. McG has a pretty good shot to get in before 1933.

16-20. Bond, Beckley, Monroe, Nash, Ryan
21-25. Williamson, Whitney, Cross, Foster, Buffinton
26-30. Konetchy, McGraw, Waddell, King, Seymour
31-35. Long, Force, Jimmy Williams, Childs, Duffy
36-40. Willis, Tannehill, Tenney, Doc White, Griffin
   144. OCF Posted: June 07, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#663378)
48 ballots so far. If it ends here, highest consensus score belongs to RMc, 3 points ahead of Chris J, who in turn is 2 points ahead of anyone else.
   145. DavidFoss Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:04 PM (#663654)
OK... I was good and waited until 5PM EDT to ask...

Who won?
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#663660)
Who won?

We'll climb that Hill when we get to it. Until then, you don't know Jack, son. :-)
   147. DavidFoss Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:20 PM (#663662)
Hmmm....

Thanks, John... :-)
   148. Seaver1969 Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:22 PM (#663665)
I've spent the last week catching up with you guys. Even though this is just my second week voting, I simulated my own elections up to 1920 so far.
Anyway, here is my '27 ballot, using the scoring method I explained last week (which I will probably tweek before the '28 ballot). Scores are in (parenthesis). I won't go into as deep of an explanation for players I explained last week.

1: Jack Beckley (136): Nearly 3,000 hits, Beckley was consistently GOOD for a very, very long time.

2: George Van Haltren (134): Another terrific career player who burnt out slightly earlier than Beckely, but put up better numbers.

3: Jimmy Ryan (126): Yet another career player, Ryan had 14 solid seasons. Great at getting on base, pretty good OPS for a player in this era that lasted so long.

4: Sam Thompson (113): Pretty short career, but he made the best of the years that he played. Career OPS nearly .900, he peaked on and off throughout his career.

5: Pete Hill (113): Best negro leaguer on the ballot, Hill had a great, long career. Everything that I heard about this guy was positive. He had sevarel great years, and a whole lot of good ones. Tied with Thompson, but finished with less 10 point seasons on my scale.

6: Joe Jackson (112): Amazing player, probably one of the best to ever play the game. You can't argue with his performance on the field, he loses points for not being allowed to finish his career.

7: Hugh Duffy (107): Amazing player, he had probably THE best single season in baseball until Ruth arrives. Short career, but he dominated the league while he played.

8: Addie Joss (104): Best pitcher on the ballot, dominated hitters during his rather short career. Career WHIP under 1.00

9: Rube Waddell (98): Another great pitcher, very rare for a guy to get a hit off of him. Good 11 full season career, amazing for the times.

10: Ed Konetchy (97): Good 15 season career, Ed was dependable. Never great, but he was nearly always good. Very consistent.

11: Eddie Cicotte (96): Great pitcher, decent seasons are balanced out by great seasons. Nearly 13 straight seasons of pitching in the upper 200s.

12: Jimmy Sheckard (95): 15 solid seasons, this guy could draw walks like no one else. Decent hitter average and power wise, but his long career and ability to get on base gets him the #12 spot on my ballot. Tied with Doyle on total points, A seasons, B seasons, but he pulls ahead on C seasons.

13: Rube Foster (95): The negro leaguer that could do nearly everything. Good long career, I wish this guy could have been allowed in the majors, he would've put up some great stats.

14: Larry Doyle (95): Fairly short career, and not enough full seasons, but he was one of the best 2Bs on the ballot, and he could hit for average, power and draw walks at a good rate.

15: Bobby Wallace (94): Wow, what a career. 16 full seasons, 25 overall. Peaked a bit early, but he was a decent hitter for the second half of his career as well. Amazing for a SS.

Just missed: Cupid Childs, Vic Willis, Herman Long, Pete Browning, Lave Cross

Joe McGinnity: Numbers don't do it for me. Gave up too many hits to truly stand out as a HoMer.

Bob Caruthers: Too short of a career for someone who gave up a ton of hits. Just misses my top 20.

Dickey Pearce: Don't buy the arguments, this guy played against people who weren't even played to pay, how good can the competition be?

Lip Pike: Too short of a career, good hitter, but not great enough to make my ballot following such a short career.


Was 5:00 the cutoff? I tried to rush some explanations because I thought it was. If you can't count my ballot because it was late, rules are rules, I'll turn it in earlier next time...still getting the hang of this site, I won't make this mistake again.
   149. ronw Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:23 PM (#663667)
I have 48 ballots, top ten as follows:

Winners:
860 - Joe Jackson
690 - Pete Hill

Also-rans:
663 - Joe McGinnity
636 - Bobby Wallace
565 - Jimmy Sheckard
522 - Sam Thompson
494 - Bob Caruthers
470 - Dickey Pearce
434 - Lip Pike
353 - Jake Beckley

Enjoy. Let me know if I am wrong.
   150. ronw Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:26 PM (#663670)
OK, here's what I am actually submitting to Joe, thanks to seaver1969's late ballot:

Winners:
875 - Joe Jackson
706 - Pete Hill

Also-rans:
663 - Joe McGinnity
642 - Bobby Wallace
574 - Jimmy Sheckard
539 - Sam Thompson
494 - Bob Caruthers
470 - Dickey Pearce
434 - Lip Pike
377 - Jake Beckley
   151. jimd Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#663671)
20. Bob Caruthers (16) - I'm still not really sure where he should be - the toughest player we've had to rank to date.

Joe, I know you use WS; I know you have an understanding of WARP. Please read my ballot entry for Bob Caruthers above (click here). No arguments here with fuzzily defined "replacement levels"; this is done with RUNS ABOVE AVERAGE, and it shows that Caruthers was a more valuable player in his time and place than Joe Jackson was in his. If you want to timeline Bob away, so be it, but then timeline away all of the others on your ballot from Bob's generation, also.
   152. Michael Bass Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:30 PM (#663676)
I have 619 Wallace, 582 Sheckard...perhaps one of us transposed a 4th place vote?
   153. OCF Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#663697)
My tally agrees with Michael Bass in #152. I just noticed Seaver1969 and haven't put it in yet. Did it come in in time?
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:49 PM (#663700)
Dickey Pearce: Don't buy the arguments, this guy played against people who weren't even played to pay, how good can the competition be?

While I would disagree with you, it would be one thing to say that Pearce just wasn't that good. I can understand that argument. But what does his competition have to do with his greatness or non-greatness? I have heard this argument long before David Foss showed his numbers last week and I still don't understand it.

As I mentioned (my sentiments, that is) in a post to Mark/Dolf Lucky, Barry Bonds is going to be equally great playing against major league competition, double A ball or a bunch of guys that play like me. Same goes against little leaguers. If someone can refute this, please do so.
   155. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:51 PM (#663703)
Did it come in in time?

I thought the deadline was 5 PM Pacific.
   156. OCF Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:52 PM (#663706)
With Seaver1969, I agree with 8 of the 10 lines in Ron Wargo's #150 but have Wallace 625, Sheckard 591.
   157. karlmagnus Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#663707)
We've run on 5pm EDT the last several elections, so I suggest we stick to it. Doesn't matter this time, but it would be good to avoid an election where it does.
   158. Michael Bass Posted: June 07, 2004 at 09:55 PM (#663709)
Yeah, ruling needed on seaver's ballot.

jimd - I'm sure I'm an idiot for asking, but I will anyway. Where did you get BRAA information? I can find FRAA and PRAA, but for the life of me, I cannot find the batting equivalent in the BP reports.
   159. OCF Posted: June 07, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#663724)
My homegrown version of RCAA (calculated from the data in a printed Stats, Inc. handbook) does suggest a raw RCAA for Caruthers in the same neigborhood as what jimd has - but note that that's all in a very high run environment, with an extreme conversion between runs and wins. Scaled to a neutral run environment, I would characterize Caruthers's RCAA and big-season bonuses as something like half of John Titus, or 2/3 of Wildfire Schulte, or slightly below George H. Burns.
   160. karlmagnus Posted: June 07, 2004 at 10:17 PM (#663730)
OCF, if your figures are telling you that Caruthers' peak is like 2/3 of Wildfire Schulte, you've done the math wrong. The middle 1880s was a fairly high run environment, but nothing like 1893-94, or the late 1920s. Using OPS and ERA+, his peak for three years was equivalent to babe Ruth's 1917-18; only extreme timelining, a heavy and unjustified discount for the AA or sheer blind prejudice can get you away from this fact.
   161. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 07, 2004 at 10:28 PM (#663741)
Using OPS and ERA+, his peak for three years was equivalent to babe Ruth's 1917-18;

Are you wording this right, karlmagnus? Caruther's best three seasons are comparable to Ruth's best two seasons? That makes sense to me, but I don't think that is what you were trying to say since that doesn't place Caruthers in the best light peak-wise.
   162. OCF Posted: June 07, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#663763)
The middle 1880s was a fairly high run environment, but nothing like 1893-94, or the late 1920s.

What I said about Caruthers was offense only - nothing about pitching or defense, and nothing about strength of league. In 1887, Caruthers was in a 6.58 R/G league, with a 106 park factor. That's right there with '93-'94. Sam Thompson's '94 run environment - 7.31 league R/G, 95 park factor - is no higher. The 1920's never reached that many R/G.

What I was saying by bringing in Schulte and Burns was that while Caruthers was a very good hitter, his case has to be made a a pitcher who could also hit, not the other way around.
   163. jimd Posted: June 07, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#663764)
Michael, you are far from an idiot. BRAA is not there (though I don't understand why it isn't; it would be nice if it was).

I estimate BRAA from the info on those sheets. A .260 EQA is average (by definition). And .230 is where replacement level lies (usually).

I found a number of players with .260 EQA and came up with the following estimated conversion:

BRAA = BRAR - (.045 * OUT)

It may be off by a run in individual seasons for various reasons (chiefly rounding or if replacement isn't at .230), but those errors should tend to cancel out when summed over a career.
   164. Rick A. Posted: June 07, 2004 at 11:00 PM (#663776)
With seaver's ballot, I have the same numbers as OCF in #156.
   165. jimd Posted: June 07, 2004 at 11:09 PM (#663784)
His case is made not as a pitcher or as a hitter but as a ballplayer, whose total value contribution is that of 7 pitching seasons at the same rate as a McGinnity and effectively 5 hitting seasons at the same rate as a Stovey. Cram all of this into a short career and you get a very high peak, rivaling a Connor or a Clarkson (or a Jackson), due to the density of putting 12 very good player seasons worth of value into 8 seasons of real time.

It's like trying to evaluate a hitter by examining the HR and the BA, each in isolation. Neither stat may be impressive on its own, but doing well at both at the same time is an explosive combination; the contributions must be combined together to get the total picture.
   166. ronw Posted: June 07, 2004 at 11:33 PM (#663798)
Third time's a charm.

I now agree with OCF and Michael Bass:

Winners:
875 - Joe Jackson
706 - Pete Hill

Also-rans:
663 - Joe McGinnity
625 - Bobby Wallace
591 - Jimmy Sheckard
539 - Sam Thompson
494 - Bob Caruthers
470 - Dickey Pearce
434 - Lip Pike
377 - Jake Beckley
   167. EricC Posted: June 07, 2004 at 11:37 PM (#663802)
It's like trying to evaluate a hitter by examining the HR and the BA, each in isolation. Neither stat may be impressive on its own, but doing well at both at the same time is an explosive combination; the contributions must be combined together to get the total picture.

I know you've thought deeply about this, but let me frame one of my counterarguments in extreme form: Consider pitcher A and B. Pitcher A pitches 34 complete games in a season and pitches a shutout every time (ignore what credit goes to the defense vs. the pitcher. Assume that the runs saved are totally credited to the pitcher.) Pitcher B also pitches 34 complete game shutouts. Now say that pitcher A bats like Bill Bergen and pitcher B hits like Barry Bonds (hey, same initials). Who has more value? The standard sabermetric formulas, would rate pitcher B much higher than pitcher A. But, why? In fact, the two pitchers have exactly the same contribution toward helping their teams win . While no real life example is this extreme, the case of Bob Caruthers in 1886-1887 does reach the point where his hitting in the games that he pitched matters less than standard sabermetric analyses such as WARP would have you believe.
   168. jimd Posted: June 07, 2004 at 11:46 PM (#663808)
In fact, the two pitchers have exactly the same contribution toward helping their teams win .

No, they didn't. The hitting pitcher contributed more. Without any offense, the non-hitting pitcher is only keeping the game tied at 0; somebody has to contribute some offense to convert the tie to a win, and those people get some share of that victory (as doled out by Win Shares, WARP, whatever). The non-hitting pitcher gets none of that credit, the hitting pitcher gets plenty.
   169. EricC Posted: June 08, 2004 at 12:52 AM (#663840)
No, they didn't. Yes, they did. In a 162 game schedule, where both teams are 64-64 in games where other pitchers start, the teams end up with identical 98-64 records (recall, I said complete game shutouts in every case). If the pitchers were traded, the teams would have the same records. How could one pitcher have contributed more? Think about it.
   170. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 08, 2004 at 12:56 AM (#663845)
Because what if it's scoreless through 9? This is an absurd argument.
   171. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 08, 2004 at 12:58 AM (#663847)
If everyone's saying that Hill is comparable to Sheckard, why did we elect Hill and leave Sheck so far behind?
   172. EricC Posted: June 08, 2004 at 01:34 AM (#663862)
Because what if it's scoreless through 9? This is an absurd argument.

Be careful about calling somebody's argument absurd, especially when it isn't.

If the game is scoreless through 9, it goes into extra innings. Extra inning games are a little more likely for the crappy-hitting pitcher, but you can add that to the equation, calculate how many extra innings the poor hitting pitcher will likely pitch given normal run-scoring environments (not that many), how many additional runs he will get credit for in traditional sabermetric analyses (not very many) and whether it will make up for the additional batting runs that good-hitting pitcher gets credit for (not even close). Conclusion: unchanged.
   173. Jeff M Posted: June 08, 2004 at 01:42 AM (#663867)
If everyone's saying that Hill is comparable to Sheckard, why did we elect Hill and leave Sheck so far behind?

I hear what you are saying, but the votes say Hill was better. I think Hill was better, based on the numbers we have...but who knows. I had Hill as comparable to Magee, but I had Magee quite a bit ahead of Sheckard.

Sheckard was very very good, and steady, but he was never a star, IMO, which leaves him a notch behind.
   174. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 08, 2004 at 01:49 AM (#663870)
EricC: Are you really arguing that if you have two pitchers who are equally good (doesn't matter how good), while one has a 1.000 OPS and one has a .450 OPS, they are equally valuable? If so, you're crazy. If not, I don't see what your point is.
   175. DavidFoss Posted: June 08, 2004 at 01:51 AM (#663873)
Yeah... it is an absurd argument. Most statistical models blow up at the extremes. A player with a 1.000 OBP will have a 1.000 OWP as well.... the all-walks player is just as valueable as the all-homers player if you look at it that way. Of course if you put those two players in a with 8 other more realistic guys and you get a much different answer.

These pythagorean stats do have diminishing returns at the top of the spectrum though because no matter how good you are, you can't get more than one win per game. (100 ERA+ == .500, 200 ERA+ == .800, 300 ERA+ == .889, 400 ERA+ == 0.941, etc)

At the core of this question is whether WARP numbers add up. Looks to me like they have too many replacement values added together. A two-way star like Caruthers will have more replacement values added in than other players do. I could be wrong though... I personally don't like using WARP for inter-position comparisons for this reason.
   176. jimd Posted: June 08, 2004 at 02:06 AM (#663883)
Sorry, Eric. You didn't add all those qualifiers to your original scenario; if you had, I would have reacted like Dan. Nobody wins any game single-handedly; nobody hits the only home-run for the only RBI, while making all 27 put-outs.

My answer still remains the same; the hitting pitcher gets more credit because the other hitters on his team get less credit for their share of those wins. Unless you don't think that hitters deserve any credit for any wins; if hitters have no value why are there any hitters
on your ballot? Caruthers is his own DH, and earned all credit that a DH with his stats would have earned in his games in addition to his pitchers credit. The overall team record may stay the same but the offensive credit is distributed differently.
   177. jimd Posted: June 08, 2004 at 02:08 AM (#663886)
Looks to me like they have too many replacement values added together. A two-way star like Caruthers will have more replacement values added in than other players do.

That's why I used RUNS ABOVE AVERAGE for my example on my ballot above, to avoid the "replacement level" debate.
   178. EricC Posted: June 08, 2004 at 03:15 AM (#663940)
Look, I used an extreme case to illustrate my main point, so that I could explain it without having to deal with pythagorean win percentages and other tedious mathematical details, but my point still holds in less extreme circumstances: Two players can have the exactly the same value (trade one for the other and each of their teams will win the same number of games as before), yet WARP or Win Shares might rate one higher than the other because of the way that it combines offensive and defensive contributions of the same player. Nobody has refuted this argument, because it is true.

Caruthers is his own DH, and earned all credit that a DH with his stats would have earned in his games in addition to his pitchers credit.

Actually, the two cases are not the same. The reason that sabermetrics works pretty well in assigning value to a DH is because the number of wins it attributes to him is more or less related to the number of marginal wins that he would create DHing for a typical distribution of pitchers centered on a 0.500 pitcher. The difference with Caruthers being his own DH (that is, his batting contribution in the games that he pitches) is that he is not in fact DHing for a distribution of pitchers, but for only one pitcher, himself. Because his teams already have a better than 0.500 chance of winning because of his pitching, the effect of diminishing returns kicks in, and fewer marginal wins are created by his batting.

In any case, calm down. None of the above provides a conclusive reason to vote for or against any particular candidate.
   179. jimd Posted: June 08, 2004 at 03:41 AM (#663954)
I see what you're getting at theoretically with the "diminishing returns" thing, though I doubt that it's a non-trivial factor in this case. If it was, then all offensive players on great pitching/fielding teams (team ERA+ of 125+) should be discounted in the same way. Similarly, all defensive players on great hitting teams. Win Shares does this automatically because of the decrease in available win shares (though not correctly for great pitching/fielding teams because the offense/defense split is linear, not pythagorean; as usual in Win Shares the defense gets screwed by the offense at the theoretical extremes), though these effects really aren't noticeable until the team gets close to .800 WPCT or so. Half a dozen great Boston and Chicago teams before 1886, that's about it.
   180. KJOK Posted: June 08, 2004 at 07:40 AM (#664029)
Actually, the two cases are not the same. The reason that sabermetrics works pretty well in assigning value to a DH is because the number of wins it attributes to him is more or less related to the number of marginal wins that he would create DHing for a typical distribution of pitchers centered on a 0.500 pitcher. The difference with Caruthers being his own DH (that is, his batting contribution in the games that he pitches) is that he is not in fact DHing for a distribution of pitchers, but for only one pitcher, himself. Because his teams already have a better than 0.500 chance of winning because of his pitching, the effect of diminishing returns kicks in, and fewer marginal wins are created by his batting.

Is this really true?

Let's suppose we have a team that would normally score and allow 5 runs per game, which makes them a .500 team, right?

Now let's say that when Caruthers is on the mound (ignoring his hitting contribution for now) the team would still score 5 runs per game, but would only allow 4, for a win% of .601 per pythag.

Now let's add Caruthers hitting to the lineup, and say he contributes a very generous 0.5 runs to the offense.

So, his offensive contribution without his pitching would result in a team that scores 5.5 runs and allows 5.0 runs, for a winning % of .543 (an increase of .043).

His offensive contribution with HIMSELF on the mound results in a team that scores 5.5 runs and allows 4.0 runs, for a winning % of .642 (an increase of .041).

Looks like it's true, but not really a material difference at the "normal" team level?
   181. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 08, 2004 at 09:41 AM (#664043)
We should count Seaver's ballot - when in doubt, count a ballot, especially if the results aren't official yet - seems like a good policy on the surface.

5 PM PST is nice because it gives left-coasters a chance to sneak their ballot in before work ends, and I'm asleep at that time anyway usually, so it doesn't delay anything. If the counters have an issue with that, their voice should rule the day, since they are doing the work . . .

Caruthers - I've expressed my opinions on him before (he only dropped this time because I added guys like Charlie Jones and Mike Tiernan back in). I give a very signifcant AA discount - I don't think it was ever the equivalent of the NL, though it was closest in Caruthers' years. I think Prospectus discounts are reasonable, and generally stick to those.

I would calculate his contribution as:

BRARP (remember though, 'RP' - replacement position - for a pitcher is what the average pitcher in the league hits, because pitchers aren't selected for their hitting ability - the Prospectus number doesn't account for this I don't think, so their BRARP for him is going to overstate his contribution, as does his WARP scores, which are based off this I believe)

+

PRAR

+

FRAA (again, fielding replacement level, especially for pitchers is generally average)

I've run this by Tango (not the part about WARP, but the part about how to figure the contribution), and he agrees with me, so it'll take some doing to convince me this is wrong, but please try if you think it is!
   182. EricC Posted: June 08, 2004 at 11:45 AM (#664059)
KJOK- which pythagorean formula did you use in #180?
   183. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 08, 2004 at 03:53 PM (#664311)
Re:Caruthers

I have always combined his offense with his pitching/defense when comparing him to other pitchers during his era. For HoM discussion, I don't know how anyone could do otherwise. His offensive contributions are a huge part of what makes the Parisian One a viable candidate, IMO, and just can't be ignored.
   184. karlmagnus Posted: June 08, 2004 at 04:09 PM (#664343)
John (post 161)

Caruthers, 1885-87

Pitching 99-36, ERA+148
Hitting 905 AB, OPS+ 151

Ruth 1916-18

Pitching 60-32, ERA+136
Hitting 576AB, OPS+168.

Ruth's a better hitter, but Caruthers is a better pitcher, and Caruthers did more of both -- it's the whole season that matches, not 2/3 of it. 1916-18 is not Ruth's peak, but it's well up the mountain range leading to it. If your best 3 years match up favorably to 3 near-peak years of the transitional Ruth, you're a HOM'er, IMHO.
   185. jimd Posted: June 08, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#664520)
the Prospectus number doesn't account for this I don't think,

I think it appears to. When Caruthers was primarily a pitcher, he got extra BRARP (compared to BRAR). When Caruthers was primarily an OF, he got less BRARP. When Caruthers was a "slash", the pitcher credit and OF debit mostly cancel out.

I've expressed my opinions on him before

I know, Joe; I'm trying to change them. Nothing in your post indicates that you even read my ballot, never mind giving the argument any thought, so I won't bother anymore. (Is that a promise, jim? ;-)
   186. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 08, 2004 at 08:27 PM (#664757)
If your best 3 years match up favorably to 3 near-peak years of the transitional Ruth, you're a HOM'er, IMHO.

Thanks for clarifying your post, karlmagnus.

My problem is that I wouldn't vote for Babe Ruth if he had the other nine years of Caruther's career (relative to his competition) combined with Ruth's 1916-18.
   187. karlmagnus Posted: June 08, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#664789)
John, theer we'll have to disagree. A peak at that level, and only one other real comp to his talents in this history of baseball (and that the best player ever), signifies a very special player. Like you with Pearce, I believe that specialness at that level deserves enshrinement. Statistically, I am firmly convinced we should enshrine Beckley, for example, but I don't have a philosphical commitment to his enshrinement the way I do to Caruthers'.
   188. KJOK Posted: June 09, 2004 at 03:01 AM (#665716)
KJOK- which pythagorean formula did you use in #180?

The Bill James one, but with a 1.83 exponent.
   189. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 09, 2004 at 04:46 AM (#665951)
I'm not sure if it matters, and I don't have the time to calculate it right now, but the pythag exponent that should be used in 180, is (R+OR)^.286. This exponent makes a big difference as run enviroments change, it's really important when evaluating pitchers, because the run environment is drastically different with a star pitcher on the mound.
   190. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 09, 2004 at 06:47 AM (#666211)
"'I've expressed my opinions on him before'

I know, Joe; I'm trying to change them. Nothing in your post indicates that you even read my ballot, never mind giving the argument any thought, so I won't bother anymore. (Is that a promise, jim? ;-)"

Well Jim, I've moved Caruthers from off my ballot to the middle. I read your ballot.

I disagree with a few things. I give Jackson credit for 1918, it doesn't seem like you do. So you're shorting him 9-10% of his career (roughly) right off the bat.

Also, I don't use BRAA, I use BRARP, which is going to hurt players with short careers (Caruthers and Jackson both, despite what you say about Bob). I don't buy into the replacement rises to average over time theory at all.

"'the Prospectus number doesn't account for this I don't think,'

I think it appears to. When Caruthers was primarily a pitcher, he got extra BRARP (compared to BRAR). When Caruthers was primarily an OF, he got less BRARP. When Caruthers was a "slash", the pitcher credit and OF debit mostly cancel out."

I'm saying that the pitcher credit is too strong.

From the glossary:

"BRARP
Batting runs above a replacement at the same position. A replacement position player is one with an EQA equal to (230/260) times the average EqA for that position."

That's flat wrong for pitchers, and as such, they are all overrated by the method.

Additionally, they should be computing replacement level as an average of the 3 worst regulars, not as a percentage of the average player. If you don't do it that way, you'll be thrown off by star gluts at a position any given year.

Sorry for the digression . . . The problem we're discussing is that replacement level for a pitcher is what an average pitcher hits. I don't believe Prospectus properly accounts for that, I think they consider an average hitting pitcher (compared to other pitchers) as above replacement, which is flat wrong, and causes all pitchers to be overrated by their system, relative to position players.
   191. DavidFoss Posted: June 09, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#666908)
28 discussion is weird for me at the moment... testing...
   192. jimd Posted: June 09, 2004 at 06:41 PM (#666949)
Joe, my argument goes as follows:

1) Caruthers and Jackson both have short careers. Jackson has no advantage in career length because Joe ranks lower in career length for 1910's OF'ers than Caruthers does in 1880's starting pitchers despite comparable population group sizes. Giving Joe credit for 1918 with no penalty for 1919 or 1920 just closes the gap. Neither would qualify for the HOM on career value alone; their respective cases rest on a peak value argument.

2) When measured in RUNS ABOVE AVERAGE Caruthers and Jackson have comparable average value each full-time season of their careers. I used RAA to avoid getting into the morass of replacment level calculation details (the handling of which we disagree about anyway). Caruthers pulls further ahead due to season-length adjustments which more than compensate for the AA discount.

3) Relative to the other stars of his time, Caruthers has a case as the best player of the late 1880's. 1885-1889, WARP-3 has Connor slightly ahead, Clarkson slightly behind (54.8, 54.2, 53.3). Jackson has no such case, being clearly behind the big 4 of Johnson, Collins, Cobb, and Speaker and contending with Alexander for 5th place during Joe's peak from 1911-1915 (Jackson is 45.9; the big 4 range from 58.7 to 69.9; he isn't close.) To those who say those 4 are all "All-Time Greats", I say that when too many of them occur at once, it raises the suspicion that it may have been easier to be an "all-time great" during that era.

The only argument I see in favor of Jackson vis-a-vis Caruthers is a timeline steeper than BP uses, or an argument that WARP-3 is clearly wrong about something at a magnitude of at least 20 runs per season.
   193. KJOK Posted: June 09, 2004 at 10:44 PM (#667542)
I'm not sure if it matters, and I don't have the time to calculate it right now, but the pythag exponent that should be used in 180, is (R+OR)^.286. This exponent makes a big difference as run enviroments change, it's really important when evaluating pitchers, because the run environment is drastically different with a star pitcher on the mound.

Joe, first I'm not sure what you mean - using .286 instead of 1.83 certainly doesn't work. Regardless, I'm skeptical that it will make any difference.

The Best Win% Estimator is probably:

win% = .91 * (RS-RA) / (RS+RA) + .500

but even that one won't make much of difference in this analysis.
   194. DavidFoss Posted: June 09, 2004 at 11:04 PM (#667575)
He means use (R+OR)^0.286 as the exponent. 1.83 is the expoenent that results from (R+OR) = 8.27.

That exponent is fine for most real-life cases, but for the pedagogical examples we often cite to prove our points, (R+OR) can vary greatly from realistic values.
   195. KJOK Posted: June 10, 2004 at 03:17 AM (#668378)
He means use (R+OR)^0.286 as the exponent. 1.83 is the expoenent that results from (R+OR) = 8.27.Ah, OK, that makes some sense. I think Tango had thrown that out before, but since I use win% = .91 * (RS-RA) / (RS+RA) + .500 when I want accuracy I didn't take time to figure out what it meant.

So, using (R+OR)^0.286 as the exponent results in .543 becoming .539 (a .039 difference over .500) and .642 becoming only .627 (a .026 difference).

The result is the same, but I'd have to admit that Joe may be correct as a .013 difference in win% might add up enough over several years of games to be significant, although the assumption that Caruthers would add 0.5 runs offensively over an average pitcher may be a bit high, and lowering that number will lower the difference back down....
   196. jimd Posted: June 10, 2004 at 03:47 AM (#668429)
A .013 change in WPCT works out to 4 wins in 300 decisions. One Binomial Standard Deviation is about 8 wins over the same span. It's not a large effect.
   197. TomH Posted: June 10, 2004 at 12:21 PM (#668591)
"Caruthers and Jackson both have short careers......Neither would qualify for the HOM on career value alone; their respective cases rest on a peak value argument."
===
I'm a career value guy, although I use a 'replacement level' of slightly below average; and Jackson IMHO qualifies under this definition. Joe Jackson accumulated 79 WARP(3) in 9 seasons. Even without giving him credit for the lost 1918 year, he is a smidge above my PHOM line. Caruthers achieved 71 WARP(3) in 8 years; a notch below The Shoeless One.
   198. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 10, 2004 at 03:10 PM (#668741)
"When measured in RUNS ABOVE AVERAGE Caruthers and Jackson have comparable average value each full-time season of their careers. I used RAA to avoid getting into the morass of replacment level calculation details (the handling of which we disagree about anyway)."

Runs were a lot easier to come by in Caruthers day than Jackson's. If the two had the same number of RAA or RAR, Jackson would be the more valuable player, because it took fewer runs to swing a win in his era.

This expands (me) or narrows (Jim) the gap further, which probably explains my difference of opinion a little more, at least. You can't just use runs, you've got to convert those runs to wins. For a player in the late 1880s vs. the 1910s, this is a major adjustment that needs to be accounted for.

I'm working on making all of these adjustments for 1928, I hope I can get it finished.

The results for 1927 will be posted soon too.
   199. jimd Posted: June 10, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#668825)
For a player in the late 1880s vs. the 1910s, this is a major adjustment that needs to be accounted for.

Joe, you're not paying attention. EricC make the same objection above, to which Chris Cobb provided the answer. These are BP derived numbers; they are already normalized to a 4.5 RPG environment. I'm comparing apples to apples as best I can, with no attempt to mislead.
   200. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 10, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#668888)
"Joe, you're not paying attention."

No I hadn't read every comment. I work nights, so it's about 11 p.m. in my world right now, and I just skimmed really quick while posting the results and wanted to reply to your latest post. I tend to read fully when I'm at work.

I've gone back and read the comments, which were posted Saturday when I was drunk at a wedding :-) - I'm sorry I missed them when I was catching up this week, but I've been kind of busy . . .

I completely forgot about that actually. Would have saved me a ton of time with this spreadsheet I've been working on - much unnecessary work, though I suppose it's set up for when I want to use a non-WARP related method as the foundation (runs created?). Do they adjust to 4.5 R/G for WARP1 too? I assume they do, just double checking. As Eric says, it's not explained anywhere that I can find on their site.

Didn't ever accuse you of trying to 'mislead', I just thought we may have had a different interpretation, that's all.
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