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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, May 24, 2004

1927 Ballot Discussion

The top new candidates (thanks DanG and Chris Cobb!):

WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)
287 73.1 1907 Ed Konetchy-1b (1947)
227 52.6 1908 Dode Paskert-CF (1959)
205 50.7 1910 Hippo Vaughn-P (1966)
189 48.4 1908 Slim Sallee-P (1950)
180 42.2 1910 Duffy Lewis-LF (1979)
161 44.9 1911 Ray Caldwell-P (1967)
155 38.0 1909 Dots Miller-1b/2b (1923)
143 37.9 1911 Lefty Tyler-P (1953)
106 28.8 1914 Braggo Roth-RF (1936)

Negro Leaguers
HF%—from expert voting in _Cool Papas and Double Duties_
BJ—Bill James positonal ranking in _NBJHBA_
MVP—Sum of Bill James’ best player and best pitcher awards and John Holway’s MVP and best pitcher awards
All-Star—number of times player designated as seasonal all-star by John Holway

HF% Career  Name-pos (born)          BJ    MVP All-Star
68% 1901-25 Pete Hill-CF/LF (1880)  #4 lf   2     5*
08% 1909-21 Frank Wickware-P (1888)         2     1*
00% 1914-21 Horace Jenkins-OF       (??)    1     2*

Players Passing Away in 1926

HoMers
Age Elected
75 1914 Cal McVey-C/1B
50 1924 Eddie Plank-P

Candidates
Age Eligible
66 1901 Bill Hutchison-P
64 1899 George Pinkney-3B
63 1900 Danny Richardson-2B
60 1903 Lou Bierbauer-2B

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 24, 2004 at 10:12 AM | 387 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 24, 2004 at 10:34 AM (#642015)
Anyone know how I can make the pre font bigger for the Negro Leaguer Chart - I don't want anyone to think I'm slighting them or anything - the chart just looks a lot better formatted.
   2. EricC Posted: May 24, 2004 at 11:32 AM (#642017)
No 1926 results yet, so no prelim, but as for the newly eligibles:

Pete Hill will make the top half of my ballot. A consistently excellent hitter at his peak, I think that he would have been a perennial MVP candidate (that is, in the top ten of a MVP vote) in the mid-1900s. His decline probably means that he would have retired in his mid-30s in the major leagues, but having done enough to be a HoM-contender.

Ed Konetchy and Hippo Vaughn deserve recognition for being very good players, but neither of them will make my ballot.
   3. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 12:25 PM (#642023)
Just curious: Why is Pete Hill eligible? Did he have too few at-bats in '23, '24 and '25?
   4. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 12:39 PM (#642025)
Since the positional threads aren't working yet, I'm posting here something extraordinary that I've never heard before about catchers.

In "Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train" by Henry Thomas (p.34):

"In 1895...It was the custom at that time for the catcher to move into the infield with no runners on base and fewer than two strikes on the batter. Pitches would go straight through to the backstop, and the umpire was responsible for retrieving the ball. But [umpire Joe] Cantillon refused to go along with that system, insisting that the catcher come back to get the ball each time, until eventually [Ban] Johnson issued an edict requiring catchers to stay behind the plate. Games moved along at a quicker pace and the practice was gradually adopted by the other leagues." Emphasis is mine, not the author's.

Has anyone heard of this before? Where did the catcher stand when he was in the infield? How might this affect catcher fielding stats? How might it affect the chances of an adjacent fielder? How long did it take the NL to adopt the practice of the catcher staying behind the plate?
   5. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 01:58 PM (#642044)
Re Pete Hill's eligibility:

It's the age-45 rule. The rule is that Negro-League players become eligible after they turn 45, unless they are still active at that time, in which case they become eligible after they have been retired one full year. Hill was born in 1880, last active in 1925. He was retired one full year in 1926, so he becomes eligible in 1927.

It's because of the age-45 rule that I include birth data in the Negro-League listings.
   6. DavidFoss Posted: May 24, 2004 at 02:25 PM (#642066)
Pete Hill:

"Perenial MVP candidate in the 1900's... a decline that would have led to his retirement in his mid-thirties."

So, is this like Sherry Magee? I'm trying to figure out where to rank this guy. Particularly against contemporaries Magee & Sheckard.
   7. Michael Bass Posted: May 24, 2004 at 02:42 PM (#642099)
I'll make a new request for Hill, and reiterate a request for Monroe...

Someone, I forget who, broke down Rube Foster's career by rating his seasons as "average", "good", "excellent", etc. While I know it isn't perfect, such a description really gives me a feel for the player's career. I'd love to see something like that about Hill and Monroe (on whom I'm still fuzzier than I'd like to be) from someone more knowledgable about the pair than I.

For now, I'm inclined to start Hill toward the middle/bottom of the OF glut (in the 8-10 range overall), just to be cautious with him, but I'm hoping to have a more concrete picture of him by the time I cast a ballot next week.
   8. PhillyBooster Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#642126)
Anyone remember the rule on when the winner can be "revealed"?
   9. DavidFoss Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:06 PM (#642132)
Usually the end of the day on Monday. Several ballots usually trickle in from people who only post at work.
   10. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:20 PM (#642160)
Two questions if anyone's got the info handy:

1)I found 2 years yesterday where Bob Caruthers didn't lead his league in Pitching Win Shares, but did in overall Win Shares. Are there any other examples that people know of (either for pitchers or hitters)?

2)I keep a list for myself of HoMers by team and position. I think I have it right for Home Run Johnson, but I haven't checked it in a good reference book yet. Here's what I have:
1894-1898 Page Fence Giants
1899-1902 Columbia Giants
1903-1904 X Giants
1905-1906 Philadelphia Giants
1907-1909 Brooklyn Giants
1910 Leland Giants
1911 Chicago American Giants
1912-1915 Lincoln Giants

I also have him as a SS from 1894-1911 and a 2B for 1912-1915. Does anyone spot anything wrong?
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:23 PM (#642166)
Here's a long analysis of Pete Hill, with seasonal breakdowns as Michael requested in the next post.

Hill's career requires careful assessment because his hitting was pretty clearly at two different levels. He was a great hitter in the first decade+ of his career, and an average hitter at best during the last decade+ of his career.

Here are the key numbers from Holway

Through 1910
63-165 .381 vs. black teams
25-79 .316 vs. major league competition

1912-13
89-248 .359 vs. black teams

1914-25
45-139 .323 vs. black teams in 2 championship series and 1919, when he is listed as
35-96

Career totals, for play vs. black teams
466-1555 .300

Clearly, Hill has done much better in the seasons for which Holway lists specific hit and at bat totals than in the seasons for which he is not listed. That isn't surprising, since many of those hit totals are drawn from the league-leader lists that Holway has created.

Here are the seasons from which the missing at bats are drawn:

1904 listed as batting .545 for Phil Giants
1905 for season listed at .583 for Phil Giants
1909 listed as batting .253 for Leland Giants
1911 listed as batting .244 for Chicago American Giants;
1914 listed as batting .228 for Chi American Giants;
1915 listed as batting .255 for Chi American Giants;
1916 listed as batting .287 for Chi American Giants;
1917 listed as batting .217 for Chi American Giants
1918 listed as batting .187 for Chi American Giants;
1920 .284 for Detroit Stars; good power numbers
1921 .357 for Detroit Stars; 5th in league
1923 .243 for Milwaukee Bears
1924 .214 for Baltimore Black Sox
1925 .750 in utility role for Black Sox

It seems reasonable to assume that 85-90% of the missing 1003 at bats come from seasons after 1913, since so many more seasons are recorded here, and the records for the earlier seasons are in every case sketchier.

The Chicago American Giants played in an extreme pitchers' park, and featured an extreme small-ball style of play under Rube Foster, so some of Hill's decline comes from these factors; he rebounds strongly for the Detroit Stars 1919-1921. He appears among the league batting average leaders in 1919 and 1921. However, Hill was nowhere near the offensive player after 1913 that he was before. The age 34 season is a typical point for a great player's decline to begin.

It looks to me like Hill was about a .370 hitter against other black teams through 1913. I'm using .85 as the discount for this play, so Hill looks like a .315 hitter in the majors during this period, which is consistent with his .316 average in at bats against major-league competition during this period.

Sam Crawford, who was the same age as Hill, hit .315 from 1901-13. Crawford was the greatest power hitter of his generation, so I'm going to assume that Hill was not quite the hitter Crawford was, but this is still good company. Since he played center field and left field to Crawford's right and was a great baserunner (according to Riley), these make up the difference between the two in typical value during their primes. Crawford had 1 1/2 seasons prior to 1901 and two great seasons plus 1 1/2 decline seasons after 1913. Hill doesn't have those earlier seasons (though one might give him rookie credit for 1900), and his decline starts sooner. Had he played in the major leagues, he might have lasted anywhere from 16 years to 21 years. I give him 18, slightly longer than Sheckard and Magee and slightly shorter than Crawford among the 1900-1920 outfield cohort.

I estimate Hill at about a .240 MLE average over a 5-year decline phase, which gives him a .294 average overall, just above Magee's .291, clearly behind Crawford's .309, and well ahead of Sheckard's .275 (though Sheckard's walks should be recalled).

Independent data from Riley about Hill's play vs. all competition in 1910-12 and 1914 supports this construction of Hill's career. Riley has Hill hitting .428, .400, .357, and .302 in these seasons, which, adjusting for park and competition, comes out to MLEs of .315, .295, .263, and .222.

l place Hill behind Crawford but ahead of Sheckard and Magee. He looks like a better hitter than both of them, and was comparable to Sheckard as a fielder and baserunner. Given the rest of the players available, he will probably receive the #1 slot on my ballot.
   12. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:25 PM (#642170)
Here's a rough season-by-season breakdown for Pete Hill:

1900 – minor-league or rookie season
1901-1903 above average or better (virtually no data available)
1904-07 outstanding peak; probably the best hitter in black baseball; some seasons at .350 MLE or better.
1908-1913 above average but not consistently great, looks to have had great years in 1910 and 1911, an above average year in 1912, an average year in 1913. For 08-09, there's little data available.
1914 slump year; below MLE average hitter
1915-16 recovers to hit about MLE average
1917-18 serious decline, well below MLE average (I estimate his ML career ends here)
1919-21 Detroit Renaissance; average rises back to about major-league average, serving as player manager so his playing time probably declined.
1922-1925 part-time player as player-manager, negligible major-league value as player.

KJOK's projections for blackball players are available for download on the yahoogroups site; www.i9s.org also has projected ML stats for early blackball stars.
   13. mbd1mbd1 Posted: May 24, 2004 at 03:29 PM (#642177)
Konetchy comes in around 20 for me; Vaughn is 25-ish. Hill will probably end up somewhere in the top half of my ballot.
   14. Michael Bass Posted: May 24, 2004 at 04:18 PM (#642233)
Thanks a ton Chris!

Based on this data, I think I would slot Hill just ahead of Sheckard (which would be 4th on last year's ballot, I have no idea who won, so it could be higher). 6 years of "great/outstanding", 9 years of "average" or "above-average" (with the noted difficulties from the 01-03 and 08-09 lack of data) sound better than any of the other OFs on this ballot.

I'd love to hear a counter-argument from a knowledgable voter as to why Hill may not be as good as Chris decribes him.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2004 at 04:20 PM (#642237)
Hill is going to make my top ten (leaning toward the top half). Konetchy was a nice player, but falls short. I haven't truly analyzed Hippo Vaughn yet.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2004 at 04:24 PM (#642241)
Going over Vaughn's numbers confirm that he won't make my ballot.
   17. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 05:43 PM (#642331)
Using the Integrated 9s MLEs (with KJOK's MLE rbi and runs totals) for Pete Hill, I get the following Similarity Scores (Top 15 only) for those of you who are interested in such things:

BECKLEY, JAKE (901)
CRAWFORD, SAM (862)
WAGNER, HONUS (851)
FRISCH, FRANKIE (840)
DAVIS, GEORGE (814)
WANER, PAUL (813)
COLLINS, EDDIE (813)
ANSON, CAP (807) *heavy on irony here
RICE, SAM (806)
LAJOIE, NAP (800)
CAREW, ROD (798)
WHEAT, ZACK (796)
MOLITOR, PAUL (794)
CLARKE, FRED (793)
RYAN, JIMMY (785)
   18. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 05:48 PM (#642336)
There's an old TangoTiger article on his web site -- produced when WS first came out -- about how to convert Linear Weights to Win Shares (for batting). I don't understand the underpinnings of the formula and I cannot verify its accuracy, but here's what he said the converter is:

Batting WS = ((LWTS Runs/10) + (Outs/100))*3

Visit his Web site if you want to read more about his initial assessment of Win Shares.

Here are Pete Hill's batting WS using (1) TangoTiger's converter, (2) the Integrated 9s MLEs and (3) Pete Palmer's LWTS:

1901.....7.9
1902.....13.2
1903.....14.7
1904.....18.6
1905.....28.0
1906.....24.8
1907.....21.0
1908.....12.8
1909.....17.7
1910.....29.5
1911.....16.5
1912.....26.8
1913.....25.2
1914.....16.5
1915.....11.1
1916.....11.2
1917.....10.4
1918.....9.3
1919.....4.9
1920.....3.9
   19. DavidFoss Posted: May 24, 2004 at 06:08 PM (#642369)
This was the dead ball era though, so the simple version of Tango's formula is going to be off. I think the "10" is going to change.

Was there a spike in offense in the early 1910's in the negro leagues as well?

Sorry to be a stickler, but these coming ballots are *very* thin. Negro Leaguers tend to get glowing write-ups to show that they were indeed MLB-caliber. I'm already sold on that.

I guess I'm trying to guage how good these candidates are compared to the deluge of excellent Negro Leaguers entering the ballot in the next 10-15 years. That said, we are in a backlog at the moment and there is a deluge of excellent MLB candidates coming in the next 10-15 years. Again we are coming down to the Pete Hill vs. Magee/Sheckard comparisons.
   20. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 06:26 PM (#642392)
I'm trying to figure how many fielding WS to give to Hill.

Based on the Integrated 9s MLEs, Hill had 10,707 plate appearances. Assuming approximately 4.1 PAs per game, that gives Hill about 2,611 games played. I don't know how many of those were in the outfield and how many were at 1b, so for the sake of argument lets say he played 85% of his games in the outfield. At about 8.75 innings per game played, that would give him approximately 19,400 innings in the outfield.

Looking at the WS per 1,000 IP of long-career outfielders in the majors (plus a few others mentioned in this thread), might allow us to approximate Hill's fielding WS:

Sheckard....3.65 WS/1000 (LF)
Magee.......2.71 WS/1000 (LF)
Crawford....2.37 WS/1000 (RF)

Cobb........3.20 WS/1000 (CF)
Speaker.....4.11 WS/1000 (CF)
Milan.......3.21 WS/1000 (CF)
Ashburn.....3.95 WS/1000 (CF)
Mays........4.11 WS/1000 (CF)
L.Waner.....4.33 WS/1000 (CF)
Maddox......4.18 WS/1000 (CF)
Cedeno......3.35 WS/1000 (CF)

The average HoF RF has 2.54 WS/1000
The average HoF LF has 2.72 WS/1000
The average HoF CF has 3.72 WS/1000.

So if you were to give Hill about 3.95 WS/1000 (making him as good as Ashburn), you'd get 76.6 fielding WS to add to Hill's totals, which would push him over 400.
   21. DavidFoss Posted: May 24, 2004 at 06:26 PM (#642393)
I'm sorry... the Batting Win Shares totals and the similarity scores... all going through MLE's... Very impressive. Sorry if I didn't sounds immediately appreciative. I guess I'm jumping too quickly to where PHill should go on to my ballot.
   22. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#642395)
This was the dead ball era though, so the simple version of Tango's formula is going to be off. I think the "10" is going to change.

Sure. I'm just putting the numbers up...not advocating their accuracy. Everyone can make their own adjustments.
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#642400)
I keep a list for myself of HoMers by team and position. I think I have it right for Home Run Johnson, but I haven't checked it in a good reference book yet. Here's what I have:
1894-1898 Page Fence Giants
1899-1902 Columbia Giants
1903-1904 X Giants
1905-1906 Philadelphia Giants
1907-1909 Brooklyn Giants
1910 Leland Giants
1911 Chicago American Giants
1912-1915 Lincoln Giants


Here's what Riley's _Encyclopedia_ says:

In 1894, Johnson played for the Findlay Sluggers, a semi-pro team in Findlay, Ohio.
In 1895, he and Bud Fowler founded the Page Fence Giants. The team folded after the 1898 season.
In 1899, Johnson joined the Chicago Columbia Giants.
In 1900, he switched to the Chicago Unions.
Riley gives no record of his teams in 1901 and 1902.
In 1903-04, Johnson played for the Cuban X-Giants.
1905-06 Philadelphia Giants
1907-09 Brooklyn Royal Giants
1910 Leland Giants -- switches to second base this season to play opposite John Henry Lloyd, and apparently stays there.
1911-13 New York Lincoln Giants
Riley lists no teams for 1914-15
1916 New York Lincoln Stars

Holway's listings are mostly in agreement, but he lists Johnson with several different teams 1911-13, suggesting that Johnson may have jumped around a bit during these seasons.
   24. ronw Posted: May 24, 2004 at 07:40 PM (#642497)
Brief 1927 Ramblings:

Pete Hill - He's going to be #1 on my ballot. There just isn't anyone else.

Ed Konetchy - Either he or Daubert gets the teen's title of the best 1B. May be the only other person from this class to eventually get a vote from me (not this year). If he had lasted 5 more seasons, he might be Jake Beckley. Never an MVP candidate, All Star Candidate 1908-1913, 1915-1917, 1919-1920. (11 HOM seasons)

Hippo Vaughn - Decent career. To be honest, I don't see much between him and Cicotte. 2 Cy Young seasons (1918-1919) All-Star seasons 1910, 1914-1917, 1920. (8 HOM seasons)

Duffy Lewis - Missed 1918 due to the war. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1910-1917. (9 HOM seasons, with war credit)

Frank Wickware - I don't have much on Frank, but he did get some votes in the Cool Papas book.

Dode Paskert - Excellent fielder. All-Star candidate 1910-1913, 1916-1918, 1920. (8 HOM seasons)

Slim Sallee - Solid pitcher on a few pennant winners (1917 NYG, 1919 Cin). Not listed in the military service database, but only pitched in 18 games in 1918. All-Star candidate 1911-1914, 1916-1917, 1919. (7 HOM seasons, no war credit.)

Ray Caldwell - I'm surprised he was on the ballot, but he had a decent career. All-Star candidate 1911, 1914-1915, 1917-1918, 1920. (6 HOM seasons)

Lefty Tyler - Also pitched on a few pennant winners. Cy Young candidate 1918, All-Star candidate 1913-1914, 1916-1917. (5 HOM seasons)

Horace Jenkins - I think this is the Fats Jenkins who was a Globetrotter. Supposedly a great player, but short career.

Dots Miller - Missed 1918 in the Marines. All-Star candidate 1908, 1913-1915. (5 HOM seasons, with war credit.)

Braggo Roth - According to Harry Hooper, he and Ruth nearly killed Harry with their fielding "exploits" in 1919. All-Star candidate 1916-1918, 1920 (4 HOM seasons)

Bill Killefer - Pete Alexander's personal catcher. Despite what is said in Deadball Stars of the National League, does not deserve a HOF plaque. All-Star candidate 1917-1919 (3 HOM seasons).
   25. ronw Posted: May 24, 2004 at 07:46 PM (#642510)
Whoops. Horace Jenkins is NOT Fats Jenkins. Please disregard the comment above, except the part about the short career.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2004 at 07:49 PM (#642513)
Hippo Vaughn - Decent career. To be honest, I don't see much between him and Cicotte.

Same here.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2004 at 07:57 PM (#642526)
Bill Killefer - Pete Alexander's personal catcher. Despite what is said in Deadball Stars of the National League, does not deserve a HOF plaque.

Yup. Not even close. Chief Myers, Hank Gowdy and Ivy Wingo were much better than him in the NL and I can't see them (except for Myers) sniffing around the HoM.
   28. sunnyday2 Posted: May 24, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#642573)
OK, I'll bite...with the alt-POV re. Pete hill. Now maybe I'm kidding myself but I consider myself a FONL and a AOPH. But #1 on one's ballot? Here is where I am at with the LFers. (I am cutting and pasting some of this so my apologies if the formatting gets lost. And, OK, I'm not sorry this is a long post.)

1. Joe Jackson--#1 peak, #1 prime, #3 career among the current consideration set. Only the#8 career by adjWARP1, and only the #5-6 prime by adjWARP1 (years, total value, rate). And his peak is not as dominant as I expected except according to LWTS. WARP really doesn't like him a whole lot. But then many don't like him: I'll be
boycotting in '26 but in '27 he'll be in the top 2-3, I think, if he's still eligible.

2. Charley Jones--#2 peak, #4 prime, #5 career. Trails Jackson for 3 year adjWARP1 peak by just 38.4-38.2 and for 5 year non-consecutive adjWS just 183-182. WARP prefers Jones for 5 non-consecutive years and by a fair margin, 66.5-59.0. And I don't even give Charley any extra credit for his blacklist years.

3. Jimmy Sheckard--#3 peak, #5 prime, #4 career. #1 for career adjWARP1 with 136. Second longest prime but fairly low prime rates.

4. Sherry Magee--#5 peak, #2 prime and #1 (tie) career. His prime rates are better than Sheckard.

5. Pete Hill--okay, what gives. Shouldn't Hill be up higher? He is generally regarded as the #4 Negro League LFer, (the Pittsburgh Courier even had him #2 on its famous 1952 all-time Negro League team) and he probably is.

But consider that from 1910-1913, for which we happen to have some numbers, at age 30-33 he hit .371. Not bad, you say? But Spot Poles, at age 20-23, hit .435, and Grant Johnson, at age 36-39, hit .389 while playing in the middle infield.

I've seen MLE projections for RC at 1800 (comp. Jesse Burkett) and 1441 (comp. George Davis). The same projections show him hitting .308. His
OPS projection of 868 comps Bill Dickey (#83 all-time) and his OPS+ of 140 ties Burkett, Wally
Berger, Tip O'Neill and Reggie Jackson for #56 all-time. His comp of 2,985 hits is pretty
damn good, comping Sam Rice. His R and RBI comp Jimmie Foxx and Tony Perez at #17 and #18 all-time.

In other words, these comps cannot be trusted. But OTOH, discount them 20 percent and he still comps Enos Slaughter (#84) for RC, Roger Connor (#70) for RBI and Billy Williams (#68) for R.

James says he was a left-handed line drive hitter, and captain of Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants from 1911 to 1918. When Foster created a second team (the Detroit Stars), Hill became their first manager. Cum Posey said he was "the most consistent hitter of his time," and he was often compared to Ty Cobb.

My impression, and it's not a terribly well-informed one, I admit, is that like his mentor, Foster, his reputation rests in part on his leadership qualities, his likeable personality, his integrity, the respect that people had for him, and his managerial contributions. I just don't see a guy who hit .371 in four prime years,
while Grant Johnson, 6 years older, was hitting .389 and Spot Poles, starting out as a 20 year old, was hitting .435, as Ty Cobb or Jesse Burkett.

Sheckard or Magee (or Enos Slaughter) is more like it. Which is still not bad. And everybody listed here so far, except Jackson, is close enough to one another that they are either all HoMers or all not HoMers. I'm not entirely sure which.

Except that Sheckard and Jones are already in my HoM and Shoeless goes in this year. The big question is whether I can squeeze five LFers on to my ballot.

Hill may (or may not) make my PHoM some day, but I don't see him as better than Sheckard and Magee, nor in the caliber of the class of '34 (Lloyd, Torriente and Joe Williams, all of whom are first-ballot type players even though they won't be) and certainly not a first-ballot-must-elect sort of player.
   29. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 24, 2004 at 08:55 PM (#642595)
Chris, thanks for the information. I was working from the stats at the integrated 9s website, which have Johnson's team for 1901-02 as "CUG" and 1912-15 as "NLG". Not that it's really important, but what would you consider to be his last significant season - probably 1916?
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#642597)
Turns out three of the players new to my rankings fall within a few spots of one another. Here's how I see the three.

45. Ed Konetchy (n/e) I'd take him over Daubert as the best first baseman between Beckley and Sisler. Better peak than Beckley, but not nearly as much career.

46. Eddie Cicotte (n/r) He needed two more very good seasons to become a good candidate. With full credit for his accomplishments, he would place between Waddell and Joss in my rankings (IOW, between 28 and 32) With a 20% penalty to his 1919 and 1920 seasons, he ranks here.

48. Frank Wickware (n/e) Career, 1910-21, but his 1921 team very weak, so he probably would have been out of the majors. Started brilliantly in 1910 on the Leland Giants, displacing Foster and Pat Dougherty as staff ace; best black pitcher in the West at that time (Joe Williams was in the East) and probably the best pitcher in black baseball. He was 6-0 vs. black teams and 18-1 in recorded games. I give him an MLE season of 25-13 for this year. He was considered a top pitcher for the next four seasons. He was the best pitcher in Cuba in 1911 (going 10-4), was courted by both the Chicago American Giants and the New York Lincoln Giants for their championship series in 1913, and jumped between four teams in 1914. His record against black teams for those years is 14-12, so his performance may not match his reputation. I give him credit for a great year in 1911 and very good years 1912-1914. In 1915-16 his extant record vs. black teams is 8-8. He led the West with an RA of 3.18 in 1916, which works out to about a major-league average ERA, so he gets average pitcher credit for 1915 and 1916. His recorded decisions drop off starting in 1917. Riley's bio says his career was in decline due to heavy drinking. He served in the army in 1918, so I give him avg. seasons for 1917 and 1918, with decline years 1919-20, and no MLE credit for 1921. Estimated WS totals: 222 cws; 71 total peak, peak rate, 10-14 = 34.00 ws/365 ip. These are very good totals, but they just get him into the top 50.
   31. sunnyday2 Posted: May 24, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#642621)
Prelim Ballot

One of the new guys wrote (sorry i don't recall who) that ranking a fresh consideration set every year is just too hard. Amen to that. That's what I've been doing, and I'm glad I did, especially because reconsidering the 19th century guys every year introduced me to a lot of players I didn't know much about. But now I thik I'm overrating the 19th century in some cases. Besides, I'm more comfortable with the 20th century and re-ranking every year just happens to be getting to be too much, all at the same time. Though getting comfortable with the Negro Leaguers will still be a big job.

But anyway, all of that leads to the fact that I am looking at a new ranking system, which will undoubtedly be in flux for several years. Right now today, here's where I'm at.

1. Pearce (4-4-2-1-1 last year)
2. Caruthers (3-3-3-3-2)--not much change at the top
3. Jackson (ne-boycott)--end of boycott
4. Jennings (12-10-11-13-10)--returning to my roots as a peak voter
5. Harry Wright (5-7-4-2-3)
6. Thompson (6-8-5-4-4)--still not a lot of changes, but wait...
7. McGinnity (15-13-x-x-x)--if still eligible
8. Charley Jones (7-9-7-5-6)--still no X-credit for blacklist
9. Tommy Bond (last on ballot 1917)--big comeback
10. Childs (13-15-8-9-8)--big 2B logjam, worse than LF
11. Larry Doyle (x-not listed)--traditionally I always liked him (and Sherry Magee) and I'm going back to my roots with a lot less attention to WS and WARP
12. Hugh Duffy (not since 1908)--see Larry Doyle
13. Sherry Magee (x-13)--see Larry Doyle though I had already weakened on Sherry last year
14. Sheckard (9-6-9-11-9)--gets to keep his slot in my PHoM, however
15. Williamson (11-11-6-6-7)--like Childs, a guy I wouldn't have rated this highly before the HoM, but whom I now see as Jimmy Collins (Childs I see as better than Larry Doyle)

16. (in case one of the above gets elected which is likely) Pete Browning (x-15-x)--always around #16
17. Jim McCormick
18. Bobby Wallace--again, going back to more peak, so he drops all the way from #5
19. Lip Pike
20. Jim Whitney--moves up

21. Bill Monroe
22. Fred Dunlap
23. Frank Grant--the rest of the 2B logjam
24. Mickey Welch--moves up
25. Rube Waddell

I'm still looking at Pete Hill and Rube Foster, and there are some earlier Negro Leaguers that I want to learn more about though that may not happen right away. Walter Ball, Jap Payne and a few others. But, was Foster better than Waddell? Was Hill better than Pike or Browning or Van Haltren or Ryan? I expect to read some more. The info above on Hill is great but not clear-cut that he's a no-brainer.

Also under consideration: Cicotte, Mullane, Joss and Tiernan.

Guys I still don't get: Bresnahan and Beckley.
   32. Chris Cobb Posted: May 24, 2004 at 10:09 PM (#642709)
Sunnyday2,

A few quibbles with your analysis of Pete Hill:

1) he was a center-fielder, not a left-fielder, at least for the majority of his career. Cottrell's biography of Rube Foster has Hill in centerfield at least as late as 1916, and Riley's entry in the _Encyclopedia_ describes Hill primarily as a centerfielder. So he belongs in a different comparison set in the first place, but in the second place, he was almost certainly a more valuable fielder than any of these guys, Sheckard being the only one who might be nearly equivalent in fielding value.

2) If you're looking at peak/prime, you need to be giving more consideration to Hill's play back around 1903-07. This is where his peak was, although his prime continued through 1913.

3) When looking at Hill's extant batting averages, as you do, which average out to .371, you need to note that those are for 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1914, so they're really his 30-32 and 34 seasons, not his 30-33 seasons. For ages 30-32, his average batting average is .395. In 1914, he hit only .302, and his batting was clearly slipping. This may seem a fine distinction, but when you're attempting to work out Hill's prime, it's important to see that he hit for a much higher average at the beginning of this five-year stretch than at the end.

4) In 1911, the re-named Chicago American Giants moved into a new ballpark, which would be their home for many years, Schorling Park. This was a spacious ballpark which played as a pitchers' park throughout its history. It contributes something to the decline of Hill's batting average; even at age 39, when he moves to the Detroit Stars, he appears among the batting average leaders again. When you compare his numbers from this period to those of Poles, Johnson, and Lloyd, the park needs to be factored in.

So guessing at a 5% discount to Hill's batting average in 1911, 12, and 14 due to Schorling Park and using a .7 multiple to convert averages versus all competition to MLEs, (and using his 1913 avg. from Holway vs. black teams only (.329 in 152 ab), adjusted for 5% park discount and using a .85 multiple to get an MLE, we have Hill hitting,

.300, .294, .263, .294, .222

in his 30-34 seasons, with a league average of around .268
That's a BA+ of about 102

Sheckard hit .255, .256, .278, .245, .194

in his 30-34 seasons 1909-1913 (his last 5 seasons), with a league average of .267 over the five year period.
That's a BA+ of about 92 (Sheckard, of course, has walks, so his offense isn't strictly BA-driven)

Magee hit .314, .280, .241, .279, .298

in his 30-34 seasons, 1914-1918 (played one more season), with a league average of .256 over the five-year period.
That's a BA+ of about 111.

A close examination of these numbers makes it inconclusive that either Sheckard or Magee was better than Hill at this stage in their careers. I think it _does_ show that the three had rather comparable career progressions.

5) It's fair to say that Hill's career was lengthened, and his reputation helped, by the fact that he was highly regarded; he functioned as an assistant manager for Foster, and he left to player-manage the Detroit Stars. But he reputation _as a player_ was established long before that time.


So, overall, given that Hill was a centerfielder of excellent reputation, a hitter who looks very comparable to Sheckard and Magee, and has a much longer career than Charley Jones or Joe Jackson, I would still place him as first in the consideration set sunnyday2 has placed him in. But he was a centerfielder, and I think the best outfielder eligible in 1927.
   33. Jeff M Posted: May 24, 2004 at 10:09 PM (#642710)
Estimated WS totals: 222 cws; 71 total peak, peak rate, 10-14 = 34.00 ws/365 ip. These are very good totals, but they just get him into the top 50.

I think that's pretty generous, but what do I know. I don't think he had any above average seasons after 1914. For comparison's sake, I've got him at 146 WS, with a three year peak at 67, five year consecutive peak at 99, seven year peak at 129 and 24.8 ws/365 IP.

It's all speculative anyway. )
   34. Michael Bass Posted: May 24, 2004 at 10:55 PM (#642743)
Thanks, Marc! Much appreciated analysis.

I'll say this...for those of us who have Sheckerd and Magee ranked relatively highly, for even the "anti" analysis to put Hill around them kind of helps makes the case that he deserves a high placement on this (weak) ballot.
   35. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 24, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#642754)
Can anyone tell me what is known about Bill Monroe's defense? Also, what is the consensus here about the Integrated 9's projections? Are those MLE's or higher? They have Hill looking pretty darn good. I guess what I want to know is, are any of you trying to translate Hill's record (and Monroe's, and Foster's) into MLE stat lines that you can then evaluate? If so, what are they? Thanks, Dan
   36. EricC Posted: May 24, 2004 at 11:47 PM (#642783)
[Pete Hill: "Perenial MVP candidate in the 1900's... a decline that would have led to his retirement in his mid-thirties."]

So, is this like Sherry Magee? I'm trying to figure out where to rank this guy. Particularly against contemporaries Magee & Sheckard.


First of all, I'm not a Negro Leagues expert, so take anything I say about them with the appropriate dosage of salt.

In rating NLer's, I am doing a comprehensive comparison of players in Holway's book using a methodology similar to how I rate major leaguers, and blending the results with ratings derived from expert's opinions. Finally, I determine comparable major league players, and describe my opinion of the NLer in terms of these players.

For Pete Hill, I see the arc of his career as a blend between Joe Kelley and Sherry Magee, though Hill was more a CF than a LF. (As an aside, I suspect that integrated 9s is overstating the likely MLE of Hill et al.)

I see Bill Monroe as similar to Danny Murphy and Jimmy Williams. Perhaps this underrates him. On the other hand, 2B could be a historically weak position for HoM candidates both within and outside the major leagues, and at least I'm consistent in having few 2B on my ballots.

Rube Foster? Maybe his career would have looked something like Hippo Vaughn's.
   37. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 12:01 AM (#642799)
are any of you trying to translate Hill's record (and Monroe's, and Foster's) into MLE stat lines that you can then evaluate? If so, what are they? Thanks, Dan

KJOK does this, and he has posted some of his spreadsheets to the Hall of Merit group at Yahoo. When I looked at his MLEs for Pete Hill, they were comparable to the I9s, but slightly different.

<i>Can anyone tell me what is known about Bill Monroe's defense?i>

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues says "A versatile and exceptionally adept fielder, he had good hands, great speed and played all infield positions with grace. When playing at the hot corner, he excelled at fielding bunts and was considered to be a better fielder and hitter than his white contemporary at third base, Jimmy Collins."
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: May 25, 2004 at 12:08 AM (#642803)
Chris, well, I missed that--that Hill was more CF than LF!? But then I don't have Holway and I've gone by Bill James and the very good info I get here, but I don't remember seeing that Hill was a CF. Both James and the Pittsburgh Courier rated him as a LFer, but that might be because people remember him that way because he finished up that way.

But I thnk you and I are in general agreement--Hill is comparable to Sheckard and Magee. It's just that I have him slightly below, you perhaps slightly above.

But anyway, as if there wasn't enough of a glut in CF, the question becomes where he ranks among that glut. Here is where I am at in CF. Note that I do not have Pete on this list (yet), and note also that for this list I am including my whole list of guys eligible through 1939, for reasons that will become obvious.

1. Harry Wright--the 3rd best player of his lifetime, which would be very similar to the position of, say, Anson, Brouthers, CONNOR or Young, Nichols, RUSIE or Wagner, Lajoie, CRAWFORD or Cobb, Speaker, COLLINS or...Mantle, Mays, SNIDER in later generations.

2. Lip Pike--#2 peak, #4 prime, #7 career without even counting 1866-70.

3. Cristobal Torriente--only the #3 Negro League CF but sometimes ranked as highly as the #3or #4 OFer. KJOK's MLE's have him at .335 and .504 SA, which is somewhere between Burkett and Delahanty. I would discount that a bit (Chris, you discount 15%, is that right? I might say 20...), but
still.... He and Oscar Charleston were teammates for awhile and Charleston moved to left field
because Torriente had a better arm! A lefty line drive hitter with power to all fields.

4. Pete Browning--#1 peak, #3 peak, #2 career. WARP likes him a lot but WS and LWTS do, too, just not so much. #1 adjWARP1 peak at 37.3 for 3
consecutive years and 59.3 for 5 non-consecutive.

5. Max Carey--#6 peak, #1 prime, #1 career. I had sorta lumped Carey among the medium level HoFers--not Cobb, Speaker, Mantle or Mays. But guess
what? He's not Edd Roush or Earle Combs either. #1 in adjWARP1 career at 143 (to Van Haltren's 130) and a 15 year WARP prime worth 133.2 to Van's 125. Apparently a great glove, and a great and today almost unsung player. He was Roy Thomas for twice as long as Thomas was.

6. Spot Poles--generally regarded as the #4 Negro League CF after Charleston, Bell and Torriente. We happen to have some data from 1910-1913. Poles, age 20-23, hit .435. Pop Lloyd, age 26-29, hit .408. Pete Hill, age 30-33, hit .371. 'Nuff sed.

The HoM in/out line might be about here.

7. Edd Roush
8. George Van Haltren
9. Jimmy Ryan
10. Hugh Duffy

I am seriously reconsidering Duffy, BTW. But the obvious question is where Hill fits on this list, specifically relative to Torriente and Poles. You'll note I have Poles above my HoM in/out line. Most people will have Hill between the two (I'm thinking). I'm not sure I don't prefer Poles but like Hill vs. Sheckard and Magee, it is close.

So in sum--Hill, Sheckard, Magee, Poles, even Torriente, Max Carey--these are all strong candidates. They're not even Edd Roush or George Van Haltren, they're stronger than that. So my "knock" on Hill is that he is a part of this group (which is a compliment), but not a #1 on a 1927 ballot that has Joe Jackson and Dickey Pearce on it.
   39. sunnyday2 Posted: May 25, 2004 at 12:15 AM (#642809)
PS. There have been a couple of comments about Bill Monroe, which is a good thing! I have him as extremely comparable to Frank Grant, and even ahead of Grant. I am the biggest pain in the dupa as it relates to timelining. I hate it. But I use a timeline of sorts myself, as in this case. Here are two players who are indistinguishable by any means that I can think of or any data I have seen. So in this case the timeline is the only tie-breaker I can think of. Like all such comments I take the "better than Jimmy Collins" with a grain of salt, but at a minimum it puts him into a class/caliber of players for further evaluation.

Rube Foster has not yet made my ballot, I guess I am getting comfortable. For a guy who has Harry Wright on my ballot, why would it be a problem if I thought he (Rube) was more of an organizer and promoter than player? My sense is that he is the black Rube Waddell, though maybe that is just the power of suggestion. But Rube Waddell has not made my ballot either. I guess when all is said and done, I can't process a 56-1 record, so I am uncomfortable what to do with him. But he clearly deserves consideration and he is among my top 10 pitchers.
   40. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:05 AM (#642883)
I have him as extremely comparable to Frank Grant, and even ahead of Grant. I am the biggest pain in the dupa as it relates to timelining. I hate it. But I use a timeline of sorts myself, as in this case. Here are two players who are indistinguishable by any means that I can think of or any data I have seen. So in this case the timeline is the only tie-breaker I can think of.

Agree 100%. To quote from my ballot: "He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves a bit more credit."
   41. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:23 AM (#642906)
Grant's been on the ballot for around 20 years. Monroe entered at the same time as HR-Johnson. Its possible that Monroe suffered from being compared to Johnson. I'm not saying its right, but it might explain why he's gotten so much less support than Grant.
   42. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:51 AM (#642938)
Provisional Ballot (changed comments only):

1. Joe Jackson (ne-4) -- Had him 4th last year while discounting both his 1919 & 1920 seasons. Joe Dimino's suggestion to skip the war credit as a way of discounting his 1919 season seems far to me. Adding in the two seasons and skipping the war credit and I cannot put him lower than #1. I'm a peak voter.
2. Lip Pike (5-4-2-1)
3. Sam Thompson (8-7-5-3)
4. Joe McGinnity (9-8-6-5)
5. Jimmy Sheckard (13-9-8-7)
6. Pete Hill (ne) - Starting him just below Sheckard to be conservative, may move up before the ballotting comes out.
7. Richard J. "Don't Call Me Dickey" Pearce (11-11-9-8)
8. Rube Foster (nr-nr-10-9)
9. John McGraw (10-10-11-10)
10. Gavvy Cravath (ne-11)
11. Charley Jones (nr-nr-13-12)
12. Bobby Wallace (12-13-12-13)
13. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14)
14. Bob Caruthers (nr-14-15-15)
15. Clark Griffith (nr)
   43. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:14 AM (#642964)
Re: Pete Hill.

There's a gotta copy of the Macmillan 'cyclopedia in the reference section of my local library that has negro league data in it. I copied down all his year-by-year stats in the old Negro Leaguers thread, but I assume, like all my long posts, it got eaten in the Great Primer Move of '04.

Have neither the time nor inclincation to re-write it all now, nor a caclulater to quickly sum it up, but here's the best I can do.

From 1904-13 he was fantastic Just great. From 1914-7 he stunk. He hit .231, .220, .278, & .207. Sure it was a hitters ballpark, but I compared him to his teammates listed in the book from those years & he was routinely outhit by them - & this is from an OFer whose main claim to fame is his bat. Then he recovered & hit over .300 for 5 straight years (including a .391 in 44 games in 1921) before sliding down.

What to make? Hard to say - for me, he'd be a (small voice) no-brainer(/small voice) top-end of the ballot guy without it, but it's there. It's just long enough & has enough impact on his career to throw him towards the OF pack, & since I believe in starting newbies low, I'm going to end up having him far lower tham most of you apparently. He'll probably rise up in '28, but I still don't know if I'll have him as high as the rest of you. This'll likely be my first ballot without any negro leaguers on it.
   44. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#642970)
Provisional Ballot, Part I - newbies (to me) are #s 2, 19, 28, 33, & 34.

1. Jimmy Sheckard (2). Those Cubs remind me of the Beatles. A bunch of tremendous talents all in their primes together - but when those glory years were done, the decline phases of the different members wasn't nearly as strong as one would've guessed. Sheckard's the only exception. He's the only guy to not only have a strong prime, but also a heckuva career. Strong offense & great defense.

2. Joe Jackson (new to me). Could freakin' hit! Normally more of a career guy, but I do put some emphasis on prime & this guy has the best prime on the ballot. Another year or two & he'd be over Sheckard, as is Sheckard's 50% advantage in seasons as a starter keeps him above the shoeless one.

3. Joe McGinnity (3). More quantity than quality, but he rates high with both. No one here could dominate a league like Iron Joe. Once ranked 3rd in the leauge in ERA+ while pitching 20% more innings than anyone else. Not bad. Only pitched ten years, but backed enough into those ten years to end up this high.

4. Bobby Wallace (6). The things who learn in the HoM. . . . This guy wasn't even on my radar, but his defensive value - though hidden because he split time between SS & 3B was very high both in terms of peak & career value. He was to SS offense what Beckley was to 1Bman offense. And he could pitch a little. I keep going back & forth between if he or Jake was better. Today, I'm leaning toward Bobby.

5. Jake Beckley (5). Began as the best non-ABC first basemen in the league & remained the best of the very good for almost two full decades as a starter. Even with his non-peak he was the best 1Bman in baseball at the turn of the century for a few years. 1 OPS+ under 100 in his first 18 seasons.

6. Dickey Pearce (7). Best player of his day, a defensive whiz, & he lasted forever. All good signs to me & I think the HoM can house another 1860s player.

7. Mickey Welch (8). Thank you retrosheet. Turns out he earned those 300 wins. Offensive support only gave him 3-4 wins. Defensive support, though a little above average, was actually worse the defensive support of all major non-Galvin pitchers in the 1880s. Usually matched up against tougher opposing pitchers when he & Keefe were on the same team. In 1885, against the Cubs, he faced off against John Clarkson 7 times & won every game.

8. Sam Thompson (9). Could hit a little. And Fred Astaire could dance a little.

9. Tommy Leach (10). Mutlitalented player. Terrific defense at two positions & he was a good hitter. Fine player for a long time.

10. Bob Caruthers (11). In his favor: His great W/L percentage, the fact that even adjusting for his run support leaves him with a great W/L record, & his bat. He could dominate. Downside: an innings problem - both in seasons (where he rarely ranked that high) & career IP; his opponents had a low median winning percentage, & he pitched in the AA. Pluses get him on the list, but negatives keep him low on it.

11. Clark Griffith (12). Personal favorite 1880s pitcher. Nice career, nice prime. The median winning percentage of his opponent is the highest of the four pitchers I've got on the ballot.

12. George Van Haltren (13). Very good player for an extended period of time who could do numerous things well. Nice career. Nice peak. Could pitch.

13. Jimmy Ryan (14). GVH without the ability to pitch.

14. Cupid Childs (17). Looking at him again & I think he's better than the infielders I was putting just above him. Good fielder who had a great run & is very impressive (for a 2Ber) OPS+ undervalues his offense because he's so OBP-centric. The D & OBP keep him above Larry Doyle.

15. Joe Tinker (15). The secret weapon on those great Cubs teams. Best glove on the ballot bar none. And an above average hitter for a SS. If he'd had a normal decline for a player with his prime, he'd be in the top third of my ballot.
   45. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#642971)
16. Herman Long (16). Only SS whose glove rivals Tinker's.
17. Larry Doyle (18). Don't have much time this or next week to take a closer look, so I'm leaving him here - he could move up when I have the time to really look at him more.
18. Charlie Jones (19). Great hitter for a while. First really good Deep Southerner (first Deep Southerner of any type?) I get the feeling he would have been an NA standout from 1871/2 if he'd been born in Pennsylvania.
19. Pete Hill (new). I believe in starting slow with newbies. Did my year-by-year listing of his stats transfer in the Negro Leagues thread? If not, he was a great great hitter in his 20s, then sucked for 4 years in his early 30's, then recovered & was a solid hitter for a few more years. Cum Posey, who was around all blackball from 1912 onward, said Pete Hill was the most consistent hitter he ever saw. Cum musta missed those four years. Good player who has a very good chance of making future ballots.
20. Gavvy Cravvath (20). Toughie to figure. The late start of this CAer reminds me of the late start of the above NCer. Gets some minor league credit, but loses some due to park factors (a homer champion hitting all his homers at home? Sure you could argue that it shows he's really taking full advantage of his home park, but I'd like to see my sluggers be able to hit the ball in other parks also.
21. Tommy Bond (21). With pre-93 pitchers, I'm willing to look more at peak, because I worry that a guy with better career numbers might just be some rubber-armed Steve Traschel (like Bobby Mathews). Best remaining player from the 1870s.
22. Silver King (22). Another pre-'93 pitcher with a strong peak/primer.
23. Bill Monroe (23). A see more sizzle than steak, but he seems to have been a good player.
24. Pete Browning (24). Could freakin' hit. But not long enough.
25. Addie Joss (25). Could freakin' pitch. But not for enough innings.
26. Ed Williamson (26). Very good third baseman. Similar, though clearly inferior, to Jimmy Collins.
27. Rube Waddell (30). The king of unearned runs - & considering how important his ERA+ is to his candidacy, that really hurts. Entry of Vaughn & Cicotte helps him.
28. Eddie Cicotte[/b} (new to me). Decent prime, but not as good as Waddell, with only a slightly longer career & similar RA+s.
29. Johnny Evers (27). Another of those Cubs whose career fizzled out too soon.
30. Jack Clement (28). My choice for best cather available. Bresnahan was a better hitter, but Clement did more hitting at catcher.
31. Rube Foster (29). He turned into the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man too quickly for me to see him as a HoMer.
32. Hugh Duffy (31). Needs either better rate stats or more games. He's a tweener - in a bad way.
33. Hippo Vaughn (new). Nice prime, but that's it, & it wasn't a great prime.
34. Ed Konetchy (new). Jake Beckley-lite, which is a serious problem because Beckley's entire candidacy rests on the fact he's Jake Beckley-heavy. Not enough career nor peak nor prime. Nice fielder.
35. Charlie Buffinton (32). A very good pitcher during his time.
36. Roger Bresnahan (33). Not enough games at catcher to get in as a catcher & not nearly enough games to get in as anything else.
37. Lave Cross (34). OK for a long time. Great defense, but banal offense.
38. Harry Davis (35). My choice for best 1Bman from the 1900's.
39. Lip Pike (36). I prefer longer careers from my semi-documented. What happened to him at age 33?
40. John McGraw (37). Great peak, but not nearly enough games.
41. Tony Mullane (38). Very good in a weak league. Never dominated. Voluntarily sat out a year so gets no bonus points for that from me.
42. Hughie Jennings (39). Five great years & not much else - lands you this low on my ballot.
43. Frank Chance (40). Best peak of any 1Bman between ABC & Sisler.
44. Roy Thomas (41). There was an OBP God & he lived in Philly, but not for long enough.
45. Jim McCormick (42). Good pitcher for a while.
46. Vic Willis (43). Banal W/L record despite average run support & some very good defensive support.
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:49 AM (#642995)
1927 Prelim Ballot

Electees were pulled out of my #5 & #6 slots, so it's a bit crowded at the top of the ballot this year.

Leading Candidates


1. Pete Hill (n/e) The last big star of the aughts to become eligible. Among outfielders whose careers were approximately 1900-1920, Hill ranks behind his exact contemporary Sam Crawford and ahead of Sheckard and Magee. See separate study for full argument, but I see his MLE career as about 18 seasons, in which he hit .294 (to Magee's .291) with good power, excellent baserunning, and excellent outfield defense. His prime years were 1901-1913, during which he averaged about .316 MLE, with top seasons of .340-.350. He's thus #1 on my ballot this year. Not a slam-dunk #1, but nevertheless #1.
2. Dickey Pearce (1) Slips behind Hill, who I see as one of ten best players of the aughts.
3. Jimmy Sheckard (2) No respect for defense? Magee elected while Sheckard and Wallace wait in line.
4. Joe McGinnity (3) Best eligible pitcher. McGinnity's durability was both a talent and a skill: his submarine motion and varied arm angles helped to keep him from getting fatigued. If it hadn't been advantageous for him to throw all those innings, wouldn't John McGraw have been shrewd enough to come up with a better alternative? Yes, inning for inning Joss and Waddell and probably Foster were better pitchers, but not enough to make for the difference in innings pitched.
5. Bobby Wallace (4) Low peak places him just below Sheckard and McGinnity.

Good Candidates.

6. Mickey Welch (7) I now see not electing Welch as a major oversight. He ranks third among 1880s pitchers, behind Galvin and Radbourn. Might move up in the course of the week.
7. Lip Pike (8) great player; 1870s underrepresented.
8. Clark Griffith (9) Fourth-best pitcher of the 1890s. Being underrated by the electorate.
9. Hughie Jennings (10) sixth-best 1890s infielder, with one of the best peaks on record. Among position players eligible in 1927, only Barnes, Wright, Wagner, and Lajoie have higher peak rates than Jennings. Peak rate, 94-98 = 41.19WS/162.
10. Hugh Duffy (11) Edges VH on peak.
11. George Van Haltren (12)
12. Tommy Leach (13). VH plays third for half a career instead of pitching a bit?
13. Rube Foster (14) Foster's career: ML-avg. pitcher in 1902, six-year peak, 1903-08, excellent in 1909 before breaking his leg, slightly above avg. ML pitcher in 1910-11, and a somewhat below-avg. ML pitcher in 1912-14. He places on my ballot about where Walsh and Brown would be.
14. Bob Caruthers (15) Second-best 1880s candidate remaining.
15. Joe Jackson (n/r). Jackson enters my ballot at the bottom, with a discount to his 1919 and 1920 seasons. That represents just enough win shares to ensure that his team wouldn't win it all. Without discounts his 318 CWS, 112 total peak, peak rate, 11-20, 37.10 would place him at #7. I see him as an electable candidate, but I think those who are ranking him at #1 and #2 are overrating him.

Fair Candidates.

16. Roger Bresnahan (16)
17. Bill Monroe (17)
18. Larry Doyle (18)
19. Cupid Childs (19)
20. Ned Williamson (20)
21 – 30. Charlie Jones, Herman Long, Fielder Jones, Gavvy Cravath, Tony Mullane, Jim McCormick, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Rube Waddell, Jake Beckley.
31-40. Frank Chance, Addie Joss, John McGraw, Harry Wright, Jimmy Ryan, Lave Cross, Pete Browning, Roy Thomas, Sam Thompson, Billy Nash.
   47. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:02 AM (#642999)
I answered my 1st question from way up above myself, and here's the information if people are interested. The question was which players have been #1 for a season's Overall Win Shares without being 1st in Batting Win Shares or Pitching Win Shares (since those are the easy-to-reference lists at the back of the book).

First, here are the players who had more total Win Shares, with the "component" leader in parenthesis and the total Win Shares for both:
1889 AA: Bob Caruthers 46 (Silver King 44)
1891 AA: Jack Stivetts 46 (Sadie McMahon 39)
1893 NL: Frank Killen 42 (Amos Rusie 41)
1900 NL: Honus Wagner 34 (Elmer Flick 32)
1905 NL: Honus Wagner 46 (Cy Seymour 42)
1912 NL: Honus Wagner 35 (Heinie Zimmerman 34)
1914 AL: Tris Speaker 45 (Eddie Collins 43)
1918 AL: Babe Ruth 40 (Walter Johnson 38/Ty Cobb 31)
1919 NL: Edd Roush 33 (George Burns 32)
1922 AL: Tris Speaker/Ken Williams 30 (George Sisler 29)
1925 AL: Al Simmons 34 (Harry Heilmann 30)
1927 AL: Babe Ruth 45 (Lou Gehrig 44) - yeah, Babe was NOT the best offensive player in the AL in 1927.
1928 NL: Paul Waner 34 (Rogers Hornsby 33)
1929 AL: Jimmie Foxx/Al Simmons 34 (Babe Ruth 32)
1931 NL: Wally Berger 31 (Bill Terry 29)
1937 AL: Joe Dimaggio 39 (Lou Gehrig 36)
1939 AL: Joe Dimaggio 34 (Ted Williams 32)
1941 AL: Pete Reiser 34 (Dolph Camilli 29)
1942 NL: Enos Slaughter 37 (Mel Ott 35)
1943 AL: Luke Appling 40 (Charlie Keller 36)
1945 NL: Stan Hack 34 (Phil Cavaretta 30)
1950 AL: Phil Rizzuto 35 (Larry Doby 30)
1954 NL: Willie Mays 40 (Duke Snider 39)
1967 AL: Ron Santo 38 (Roberto Clemente 35)
1968 AL: Carl Yastzremski 39 (Frank Howard 38)
1970 NL: Johnny Bencg 34 (Willie McCovey 33)
1973 NL: Joe Morgan 40 (Willie Stargell 36)
1974 NL: Mike Schmidt 39 (Joe Morgan 37)
1976 AL: George Brett 33 (Rod Carew 30)
1977 NL: Mike Schmidy/Dave Parker 33 (George Foster 32)
1979 AL: Fred Lynn 34 (Ken Singleton 32)
1983 AL: Cal Ripken, Jr. 35 (Eddie Murray 31)
1983 NL: Mike Schmidt 35 (Pedro Guerrero 32)
1984 AL: Cal Ripken, Jr. 37 (Eddie Murray 33)
1984 NL: Ryne Sandberg 38 (Tony Gwynn 35)
1987 NL: Tim Raines 34 (Jack Clark 33)
1992 AL: Roberto Alomar 34 (Frank Thomas 33)
1996 AL: Alex Rodriguez 34 (Mark McGwire 29)
2000 NL: Jeff Kent 37 (Barry Bonds 32)

Of course, the majority of those are within the "confidence interval" that James sets of less than 3 Win Shares, but there's the info if anyone wants it.

And just to be complete, here are the guys who tied for best Overall Win Shares without leading in a component
1876 NL: Al Spalding
1887 AA: Bob Caruthers
1918 NL: Charlie Hollocher
1932 NL: Mel Ott
1938 AL: Hank Greenberg
1950 NL: Stan Musial
1959 AL: Nellie Fox
1960 NL: Willie Mays
1962 NL: Willie Mays
1963 AL: Carl Yasztremski
1975 AL: Fred Lynn/Ken Singleton
1979 NL: Mike Schmidt
1985 NL: Willie McGee
1989 AL: Robin Yount
1991 AL: Cal Ripken, Jr.
1991 NL: Ryne Sandberg
1997 NL: Mike Piazza
1999 AL: Roberto Alomar/Derek Jeter
   48. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:09 AM (#643002)
OK... I've seen similar posts for undocumented Negro Leaguers... so here goes on for DICKEY PEARCE.

Take the data for what its worth... from Marshall Wright's NABBP book:

-------------------------------
Dickey Pearce -- Brooklyn Atlantics (1857-1870) (later NA/NL play well documented)

1857 -- SS
-- Team Record: 7-1-1
-- Competition -- Bkn/NYC teams
-- Hitting -- 3rd on team in Runs at 28 (Price 30, P. O'Brien 29)
1858 -- SS
-- Team Record: 7-0
-- Competition -- Bkn/NYC/New Brunswick, NJ
-- Hitting -- 6th on team in Runs at 21 (Price32, P.O'Brien28, Boerum26, etc)
1859 -- SS
-- Team Record: 11-1
-- Competition -- Bkn/NYC/Bronx (NYC+ for short)
-- Hitting -- 1st on team in runs at 44 (Oliver 41, P.O'Brien39, Hamilton 38)
1860 -- SS-C
-- Team Record: 12-2-2
-- Competition -- NYC+/ New Brunswick, NJ
-- Hitting -- 3rd on team in runs at 37 (CSmith 40, Price 38)
1861 -- C-SS
-- Team Record: 5-2
-- Competition -- NYC+/Newark/New Brunswick
-- Hitting -- 1st on team in runs at 37 (10 games?) (CSmith 33, Oliver 24)
1862 -- C
-- Team Record: 2-3
-- Competition -- NYC+
-- Hitting -- 1st on team with 13 runs (P OBrien 11, CSmith 11... Start 6)
1863 -- C
-- Team Record: 8-3
-- Competition -- NYC+/Newark/Princeton/Philadephia
-- Hitting -- 2nd on team with 30 runs (CSmith 33, Start 23, Crane 23)
1864 -- C-SS-OF
-- Team Record: 20-0-1
-- Competition -- NYC+/NJ/Philly/Rochester/Woodstock, ON
-- Hitting -- 2nd on team with 94 runs (CSmith 100, Chapman 88, Crane 85, Start/Galvin 82)
1865 -- C-SS-2B
-- Team Record: 18-0
-- Competition -- NYC+/Philly/Wash/Newark
-- Hitting -- 5th on team with 64 runs (Start 82, Crane 71, CSmith 70, Chapman 67)
1866 -- SS-OF
-- Team Record -- 17-3
-- Competition -- NYC+/NJ/Philly/Cambridge MA/Albany
-- Hitting -- Last on team among position players with 41 runs (Start/Chapman 69, SSmith 50)
1867 -- SS-3B-C-OF
-- Team Record -- 19-5-1
-- Competition -- NYC+/NJ/Philly/Albany
-- Hitting -- T2nd on team with 83 runs (Crane 88, Start 83 (in only 19G), Mills/Ferguson 82)
1868 -- SS-OF
-- Team Record -- 47-7
-- Competition -- NYC+/NJ/Philly/Wash/Cincy/Chicago/Boston/Milw/Det/Syr/Alb/Bal/Cle
-- Hitting -- played 45 of 56 games
----Runs -- 2nd on team with 4.24 R/G (Start 4.52, CSmith 4.24)
----Hits -- 2nd on team with 4.11 H/G (Start 4.48, Chapman 4.04)
----TB -- 6th on team with 4.93 TB/G (Ferguson 6.12,CSmith 5.65,Chapman 5.57,Start 5.44)
1869 -- SS
-- Team Record -- (40-6-2) (Pro: 15-6-1)
-- Competition -- NYC+/NJ/Bal/Wash/Cincy/Alb/Philly
-- Hitting (all games):
---- Runs -- 4th on team with 3.70 R/G (Start 4.41, CChapman 4.10, Pike 4.02)
---- Hits -- 4th on team with 3.72 H/G (Start 4.41, CChapman 4.10, CSmith 4.00)
---- TB -- 6th on team with 5.02 TB/G (Start 7.41, Pike 6.77, CChapman 6.52)
1870 -- SS
-- Team Record -- (41-17) (Pro: 20-16)
-- Competition -- NYC+/Rockford/Philly/Bal/Wash/Cincy/Cle/Chi
-- Hitting (pro only):
---- Hits -- 2nd on team with 2.50 H/G (Start 2.75, JChapman 2.39, Pike 2.33)
---- TB -- 4th on team with 2.94 TB/G (Pike 4.25, Start 4.14, JChapman 3.31)
   49. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:15 AM (#643004)
I believe in starting newbies low, I'm going to end up having him far lower tham most of you apparently. He'll probably rise up in '28, but I still don't know if I'll have him as high as the rest of you. This'll likely be my first ballot without any negro leaguers on it.

Chris J, can you explain this approach to me? I don't mean it in an argumentative sense, and I don't care where you rank Pete Hill. I just genuinely don't understand a methodology of intentionally starting a player low and anticipating moving them up on the ballot in later elections. How is that possible?

I understand starting a player at a certain position and then discovering new information that moves them up or down. That happens all the time. But starting them with the anticipation of moving them up later sounds like strategy rather than player evaluation.
   50. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:16 AM (#643005)
OK... so obviously Dickey was a great player in the early-to-mid 1860's. Arguably the league MVP in '59 , '61 , '64.

Note the strength of schedule, though... didn't play Philly until '63, no Washington until '65, national schedule starting in '68. If someone wants to timeline early 60's vs late 60's I can understand that viewpoint.

Solid play though throughout the whole period. He had no extra base power, but that's understandable considering his age and position. Decent "hits" numbers.

He's on my ballot and has been for a while. The longevity is impressive... too bad his peak was before the schedule expanded or he would be a slam dunk.
   51. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:17 AM (#643006)
Thanks, David!

I'm not sure what I make of Pearce's numbers yet, but Joe Start sure shines from 1865-1870, doesn't he?
   52. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:17 AM (#643009)
I'm still having trouble figuring out where to put the Negro Leaguers. Using KJOK's MLE's in a 1955-2003 NL offensive context, I find that Bill Monroe (considered to be 10 FRAA in his prime) accumulated 117.5 WARP3 with 9 straight years above nine WARP, and Pete Hill (considered an average CF?) amassed an enormous 143 WARP3 (comparable to Hornsby and Anson). This can't be right...how much should I discount these WARP totals? 1955-2003 NL is a .73 raw EqA and .115 R per PA, and these MLE's are supposed to be normalized to that...
   53. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:25 AM (#643014)
Just a reminder... those are only numbers compared to other Brooklyn Atlantics. Schedules varied so much that comparisons of his numbers to Reach & McBride would not make much sense. Teammates faced the same opposition I figured and the Atlantics were the best team in several of those years.
   54. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:26 AM (#643015)
I think KJOK's MLE's may already have some discounts in there, but I applied another 10% discount for the sketchiness of the data (no reflection on KJOK) and Hill still amassed 360 WS. I don't know the WARP3 equivalent, but it's probably a pretty big number (though not quite Hornsby and Anson-like).
   55. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:45 AM (#643024)
Another 10% would reduce Hill to 129 WARP3, which is still ahead of Roberto Clemente. Was this guy really just that good?

Chris Cobb, you seem to be the authority on these things, so I'd like to tap into your fount of wisdom here...you say that Hill was a superstar from 1904-7, and my calculated WARP bear that out, with over 41 WARP those four years. But KJOK's MLE's also have him at 12 WARP in 1910 (Cobb had 13), 10.5 in 1912 (Baker had 10.8), and 10.1 in 1913 (Joe Jackson had 10.4). What is your take on Hill in these years? Was he really at the level of these all-time greats in their peak seasons?
   56. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:57 AM (#643030)
Don't think this has been mentioned yet, by Holway's "Blackball Stars" lists "Cum Posey's All-Star Team", which is a single team named by Negro League star Cumberland Posey.

Pete Hill is named as the all-time best Left Fielder on this team. As a player and then owner from 1910 until near the end of the Negro Leagues, Posey would have seen a lot more players than most.
   57. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:04 AM (#643034)
Also, for people who like to see whom they are voting for Preston "Pete" Hill at bat in 1909 for the Leland Giants.
   58. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:29 AM (#643044)
Chris J, can you explain this approach to me? I don't mean it in an argumentative sense, and I don't care where you rank Pete Hill. I just genuinely don't understand a methodology of intentionally starting a player low and anticipating moving them up on the ballot in later elections. How is that possible?

I understand starting a player at a certain position and then discovering new information that moves them up or down. That happens all the time. But starting them with the anticipation of moving them up later sounds like strategy rather than player evaluation.


Combination of two things: 1) belief in starting cautiously & 2) confusing terminology on my part.

Part I: When I player first enters my ballot, I'll look to see where he first belongs. Obviously, this isn't an exact science, & you end up thinking that Player A could go anywhere from about 7-10th place (we all know how tight these ballots are, right?). When I guy first comes on, I'll put him about where I think he belongs, but shade him to the lower end while I take a longer time to sort over where he belongs.

One of the biggest dangers here, it seems to me, is getting too excited over the newest shiniest thing that comes on the ballot (just ask the people who put Sol White in their PHoM). That's a problem I suffer from in this project & in life - I think my natural inclination is to overestimate the newbies & so I hedge against it. It ain't a "strategy" because, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is about where I think they belong.

With Pete Hill the problem gets exagerrated because the info's less precise. Was he Joe Jackson in his prime or just George Van Haltren? How bad was his dead spot? These things give me pause & shake my confidence in him. If I thought the absolute best of him, then maybe I'd put him in the top 3, but I don't feel I have enough info on him currently to make that big an assumption.

Part II: sloppy terminology. I was thinking 2 things: maybe he'll move up next election after I mull him over more & maybe he'll move up THIS election as I reconsider him more. Frankly, even based on my thoughts on him over the last few hours, he'll probably make my ballot. 10 very strong years, 4 weak years, 5 good years? That puts him closer to GVH & Jimmy Ryan than Charley Jones. Maybe I'll put him a little over them, I dunno.
   59. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2004 at 05:09 AM (#643061)
Chris Cobb, you seem to be the authority on these things, so I'd like to tap into your fount of wisdom here...you say that Hill was a superstar from 1904-7, and my calculated WARP bear that out, with over 41 WARP those four years. But KJOK's MLE's also have him at 12 WARP in 1910 (Cobb had 13), 10.5 in 1912 (Baker had 10.8), and 10.1 in 1913 (Joe Jackson had 10.4). What is your take on Hill in these years? Was he really at the level of these all-time greats in their peak seasons?

First, I should discount any claim to authority. Esp. when it comes to matters of MLE, others know _much more_ than I do. My work with statistics is certainly less thorough than KJOK's and most likely much less thorough than yours.

My interpretation of the available data is that Hill was a better player 1904-1907 than he was 1910-1913. During this period, Spotswood Poles, Louis Santop, John Henry Lloyd, and possibly Grant Johnson were all superior players in the Negro Leagues to Pete Hill. I don't think any of them were as good as Cobb during this period. I think Poles and Santop were probably, as hitters, pretty close to Frank Baker during these years. Santop probably compares pretty well to him, as he was a power hitter at an important defensive position; Poles was more of a slap hitter with great speed. Their low-end comparison is probably Clyde Milan. I think Lloyd ws probably around Clyde Milan as a hitter (as a great defensive shortstop his value would have been a good bit higher), who had some very fine seasons during these years. His low-end comp as a hitter would be Wildfire Schulte. Hill was probably around Schulte, who had two great years and two average ones.

That's how I see it, for what it's worth.
   60. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:02 AM (#643075)
Another 10% would reduce Hill to 129 WARP3, which is still ahead of Roberto Clemente. Was this guy really just that good?

Dan, how are you calculating the WARP3 number for Hill? Between WARP1 and WARP2 there's a lot of strange stuff goin' on at BP in that process...it certainly doesn't appear to be linear. Have you figured out how to get from WARP1 to WARP2?

Also, maybe the extra 10% discount (or some discount) should be applied to the underlying numbers (hits, etc.) before WARP is calculated. It would probably result in more than a 10% drop in the WARP number, wouldn't it?
   61. Brad Harris Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:26 AM (#643092)
Last year's left-overs (with new additions added in)...

1. Joe Jackson
2. Bob Caruthers
3. Jimmy Sheckard
4. Pete Hill
5. George Van Haltren
6. Eddie Cicotte
7. Gavvy Cravath
8. Larry Doyle
9. Addie Joss
10. Sam Thompson
11. Dickey Pearce
12. Cupid Childs
13. Lip Pike
14. Bobby Wallace
15. Ed Konetchy

I will be reviewing Jake Beckley (especially in light of Konetchy's entrance to the ballot), Rube Waddell and Jimmy Ryan among others. I am already expecting Lip Pike and George Van Haltren to move closer to each other on my ballot.
   62. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 11:25 AM (#643109)
A team with Addie Joss would almost certainly give up fewer runs than a team with Joe McGinnity. Yet Joe McGinnity continues to get much more support than Addie Joss. Can somebody please give me a reasoned explanation for this that goes beyond “McGinnity pitched more innings, and that makes the difference?”

Over his best eight year stretch (his first eight years), McGinnity averaged 368 IP. Over his best eight years (his first eight), Joss averaged 277.3 IP. A team with 368 innings of McGinnity would almost certainly give up more runs than a team with 277.3 innings of Joss and 90.6 innings of any other contemporary pitcher. McGinnity averaged 108 earned runs allowed over his first eight years (155 runs, if you prefer that). Joss averaged 58 earned runs allowed (87 runs). The difference is 90.6 innings and 50 earned runs (68 runs). It would take a 4.95 ERA pitcher pitching those 90.6 innings to make Joss into McGinnity’s equal in terms of runs prevented. I challenge anyone to find a contemporary of these two gentlemen who pitched more than three years of full-time service while compiling an ERA of 4.95

This was no fluke of defense or ballpark. Using the Hardball Times/TangoTiger FIP formula without including the constant, (13xHR + 3xBB - 2xK)/IP, Joss is clearly superior. McGinnity comes out at .3 for those eight years, which is a very nice score. Joss comes out at -.22. That’s a half of a run per game of difference, which is fairly significant. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to use FIP for early 20th century pitchers, but at the very least it gives you a sense of how homers, strikeouts and walks differ between the two pitchers.

Here’s a further breakdown of those 8-year averages:
...........Win...Loss..GS..CG..SH...IP.....H....R....ER..HR..BB...SO...ERA....FIP
McGinnity...27....15...41..36...3..368....224..155..108...5..90..112..2.65...0.29
Joss........19....12...31..28...5..277.3..346...87...58...2..43..109..1.87..-0.22
Difference...8.....3...10...8.(-2)..90.6..122...68...50...3..46....3..4.95...1.85

(ERA and FIP are not the difference between them, but rather the scores that a pitcher who pitched poorly enough to make up the difference between these gentlemen would have to achieve)

Joss had more strikeouts than McGinnity in four of the eight years, despite pitching a combined 217.3 fewer innings during those four years.

Joss’s last half-season was not much better than league average. McGinnity’s last two seasons were worse than that. If either of these pitchers belongs in the Hall of Merit, it’s on the basis of his first eight years. Joss seems to me clearly superior during his first eight years than McGinnity was during his.

What are you seeing about McGinnity that I’m missing?
   63. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 12:42 PM (#643118)
Very convincing Zapatero. Three weeks ago I had McGinnity 4th and Joss 33rd; last week I had them 6th and 18th; right now, I plan on putting them 8th and 14th this week. I'm studying further and could push them even closer or flip them.
   64. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:29 PM (#643138)
Zapatero:

Directly from baseball reference (I use career because I'm too lazy to do the 8-year averages, but suffice to say they aren't that different, because neither went much over 8 years):

League ERA

Joss: 2.68
McGinnity: 3.20
   65. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:33 PM (#643141)
Getting slightly less lazy, the "league ERA" for each year of the 8 (comparing McGinn's 1899 to Joss's 1902, etc.):

(Joss, McGinnity)

Year 1: 3.43, 3.96
Year 2: 2.84, 3.84
Year 3: 2.54, 3.88
Year 4: 2.62, 3.36
Year 5: 2.61, 3.33
Year 6: 2.51, 2.73
Year 7: 2.39, 2.93
Year 8: 2.54, 2.60

So to answer your question, besides "just" innings (which is a pretty big "just"), Joss pitched in a significantly lower scoring environment than did McGinnity.
   66. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2004 at 01:35 PM (#643142)
The unprecendented 3rd post in a row on the same subject, because I'm a doofus and keep posting too soon...

I should note that "league ERA" adjusts for park, not just leaguewide run scoring. It's the performance of an average league pitcher adjusted for the park played in.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:24 PM (#643183)
If one runs Zapatero's math with Michael's data (more or less), one finds that, if one converts Joss to McGinnity's run environment (using career numbers, not best 8 seasons), Joss allows 570 fewer runs in 1114.3 fewer IP.

For a second pitcher to give up 570 runs or fewer in those 1114.3 IP, he would have to have an RA of 4.60, which, given an average ratio of RA to ERA during McGinnity's career of 1.44, would mean finding a pitcher with an ERA of 3.19. Since we are in an environment in which the league ERA is 3.20, that means the team would need to have another league-average pitcher on hand to make up the difference.

If one converts McGinnity into Joss's environment, the results are similar: a 2.63 ERA is needed in a 2.68 environment.
   68. Brad Harris Posted: May 25, 2004 at 02:57 PM (#643235)
Joss had a park-adjusted ERA that was 42% over league average. McGinnity's park-adjusted ERA relative to league average is 21%. In other words, Joss' ERA was twice as impressive as McGinnity's!

Addie Joss had a 1.87 ERA in his first 8 years (1902-1909) in a league environment of 2.73. McGinnity's ERA of 2.63, in his first 8 years, in a league environment of 3.26 (1899-1906). Without adjusting for park effects, that would make McGinnity's ERA 24% better than the league average while Joss' was 46% better than league average.

Not that McGinnity wasn't a high quality hurler, but rather he just wasn't as valuable as Joss.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:01 PM (#643246)
I have McGinnity as the best major league pitcher for 1900 and the best NL pitcher for 1903 (almost tied for best major league pitcher) and 1904. Joss was never the best pitcher in the majors or in the AL, IMO.
   70. Brad Harris Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:03 PM (#643247)
Incidentally, I was calculating Fibonacci Win Points for the pitching candidates but doing it based on their Support-Neutral W-L records. Oddly enough, if you subtract the NA, negro pitchers and J.M. Ward, what that leaves us with is, ironically, that the top 11 spots on the list (from 583 NFib to 243 NFib) are the pitchers we've elected so far -- without exception.

The top remaining candidates:

240 Tony Mullane
229 Jim McCormick
225 Mickey Welch
222 Rube Waddell
209 Eddie Cicotte/Vic Willis
208 Joe McGinnity
201 Silver King
199 Clark Griffith
195 Addie Joss
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:12 PM (#643254)
We just can't ignore the fact that Joss didn't pitch anywhere near the number of innings that McGinnity did. If Addie had, that would have made a huge dent in his ERA+ and his other rate stats. Joss was "coddled" while McGraw cracked the whip on McGinnity.
   72. Carl Goetz Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:14 PM (#643257)
I see people talking about Joe Jackson's War credit for 1918. He only played 17 games that year. Did he fight or are we just talking about crediting him for the short season? I guess I'm wondering if anyone knows why he missed about 100 of the Whitesox' games that year.
   73. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:24 PM (#643270)
While Joss+AveragePitcher may approximate McGinnity, if we elect Joss, he'd have to go in alone. He can't take his friend in with him to bail him out.

Actually:

The truth is that Value over Replacement is really 2 separate concepts that we conflate. They need to be teased apart. Joss only pitched for 9 years. In 1911, he had to be replaced, and we can assume that his replacement would, on average, be an average (or slightly below average) replacement. [If every retiree were replaced by a "replacement level" player, league quality would plummet!] So, when comparing him to a theoretical Joss12 who is like Joss in every way, but pitched exactly three more years, I would add Joss12's value over average for those 3 years to Joss's value to determine the added value.

But what we are talking about is not Joss versus Joss12, but Joss versus McGinnity. McGinnity's career was not much longer, but he pitched many more innings per year. Those extra innings in the years that Joss pitched would not be picked up by an average pitcher, but by the marginal pitcher who has to pitch those extra innings.

The "facts on the ground" bear this out.

Compare Joss versus Joss12 (a mythical figure who was the staff ace for Cleveland from 1902-13, instead of 1902-1910, with the same 142 ERA+).

In the real world, Cleveland got Joss until 1910. When he left, they replaced him with Vean Gregg, a new major leaguer who led the team with a 189, 133, and 136 ERA+ in those years. That's what you do when you lose your ace -- you go out and try to find another one. The short career length hardly hurt Cleveland at all!

But compare Joss to McGinnity, who was routinely pitching almost 100 innings more than Joss. In 1904, McGinnity pitched 408 innings of 169 ERA+. Joss pitched 190 innings of 160 ERA+. Because of that low total, Cleveland was forced to throw out 175 innings of Bob Rhoades (89 ERA+).

In 1903, McGinnity pitched 434 innings at 137 ERA+, while Joss pitched 284 innings of 130 ERA+. That low total required 101 innings of Gene Wright (49 ERA+).

When a player retires, you lose the player, but you gain the resources expended on him (annual salary, etc.). You can use those resources to go sign a Vean Gregg. When a player is on your roster, but not playing, you lose the player, but you don't gain any resources to replace him. So you need to replace him with a replacement level player.

If McGinnity's career arc was like my hypothetical Joss12, but with McGinnity's 121 ERA+ instead of Joss's, I could see the argument that Joss+averageplayer=McGinnity. But since the two have nearly the same career arc, the real comparison has to be Joss+replacementplayer. And that doesn't get anywhere near McGinnity-level.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#643282)
Good job, Matt.
   75. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:38 PM (#643296)
I'm a huge fan of Joss and really don't like McGinnity, but the new system I am going to use loves Joe (has him fourth) and hates Addie (20th), before considering Negro Leaguers.
Of course, Addie comes out high on peak ERA+ and career ERA+ (for which I am using career ERA+ minus 80 (replacement level) times full seasons in the bigs). He's also slightly above average on this ballot in my modified Ink tests (which count ERA, WHIP, and K as 3 points, IP, W, SV, and CG as 2, and GS, W-L%, and SHO as 1). But he's not as high as you think in these categories. I count him with a 161 ERA+ for his five best years, which is 0.73 standard deviations above the mean for this ballot. That's high, similar to Waddell's and Cicotte's best, but far from an outlier. Similarly, while his 142 career ERA+ is tops for a pitcher on this ballot, he threw so few innings that he's just plus-0.30 SD for career ERA+. His Ink, which you would think would be a major strong point since I am counting ERA and WHIP so highly, come in at just .19 (black) and .39 (gray) SD above average, again, probably because he didn't pitch that long and was in the same league as some other great arms.
Meanwhile, he gets KILLED in the counting stats. Both WARP and WS are just not impressed with him. I don't know how WS is calculated, but the relevant stat here at BP is Pitching Runs Above Replacement--how many runs you saved for your team below a replacement pitcher. If replacement level is a 5 ERA, you save 34 runs by having a 2 ERA in 100 innings and the same 34 runs by having a 3.5 ERA in 204 innings. Yes, you can argue that the lower-ERA, less-durable pitcher is more valuable because you can use him in high-leverage situations, but I believe this is a minor factor, changing the equation by a max of 5% or so (anyways, we know that managers can't be trusted to use ace relievers late in tied games anyway). He was between 55 and 85 PRAR every year--compare that to, say, Walsh, who had 4 seasons over 110 maxing out at 137, or, in our case, McGinnity, who racked up 115 in 03-04, 90 in '99, and mixed in three seasons in the 60's (Joss only had three seasons better than 60 PRAR). It is just mathematically true that McGinnity's durability (especially in the years where he did post a high ERA+) made him more valuable than Joss's per-inning brilliance.
As a result, *even in his five best years*, Joss was .5 SD below average for WARP and .7 below for Win Shares compared to the 5-year peaks of the other players on the ballot. And of course, he's left in the dust for career WARP and WS--1 SD below average for the former, and 1.73 below on the latter (worse than anyone I am considering except Slim Sallee). I used to be a huge Joss supporter, but with more careful consideration, I have to join the consensus that he is really not a HoM'er.
   76. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:38 PM (#643297)
I see people talking about Joe Jackson's War credit for 1918. He only played 17 games that year. Did he fight or are we just talking about crediting him for the short season? I guess I'm wondering if anyone knows why he missed about 100 of the Whitesox' games that year.

My source has Jackson working in a factory in Delaware to support the war effort.
   77. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#643305)
Jeff M--I am not adjusting the WARP at all, because KJOK says that his MLE's are normalized to a 1955-2003 NL context. Anyone playing after 1961 in the NL has only a token adjustment from WARP1 to WARP3.
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2004 at 03:52 PM (#643324)
Re Phillybooster/Matt in #73:

I agree completely; thank you for following out the implications of my McGinnity = Joss + 1114.3 innings of an average pitcher claim more coherently than I could have done.

Re Dan Rosenheck #75

More great stuff.

re Brad Harris:

Joss had a park-adjusted ERA that was 42% over league average. McGinnity's park-adjusted ERA relative to league average is 21%. In other words, Joss' ERA was twice as impressive as McGinnity's! . . .

Not that McGinnity wasn't a high quality hurler, but rather he just wasn't as valuable as Joss.


You're confusing impressiveness with value. Joss may have been twice as impressive by this measure, but he was only 17% more valuable. And that's inning for inning. See above for various cogent analyses of the importance of McGinnity's durability as a part of his value that is missed by ERA+.
   79. Jeff M Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:00 PM (#643337)
Dan -- Do you have a spreadsheet with the WARP formula in it? Would you mind posting it or e-mailing it to me? I have the EqA formula (somewhere) but I don't know how to convert it to WARP.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#643358)
I used to be a huge Joss supporter, but with more careful consideration, I have to join the consensus that he is really not a HoM'er.

I'm confident that, if Joss hadn't died so young, we would have elected him already. Since he didn't pitch that many innings, he probably would have had Plank-like career length with much more impresive rate stats. The shortness of his career holds him back.
   81. Carl Goetz Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#643359)
'My source has Jackson working in a factory in Delaware to support the war effort.'

Interesting. I think I may give him slight War Credit for that. It seems to fall under the same criteria as someone who actually fought in the war. ie he didn't not play because he couldn't play; rather, he missed the time due to an outside emergency beyond his control. One can assume if he picked up a bat during his factory time, he would have been the same Joe Jackson as he was in 1917 or 1919.
   82. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#643365)
Jeff M--what's your email address?
   83. Daryn Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:18 PM (#643372)
Prelim -- I have Gavvy at 18 and Konetchy at 23.

1. Joe Mcginnity (p) – Led league in wins 5 times, averaged 25 wins a year, led league in IP 4 straight years. Don’t get election shy now – I’d like him off my ballot this year.

2. Joe Jackson (of) – really only had 9 years, but 9 years in the top five of OPS and OPS+. That’s good. I like the .356 batting average too. 170 OPS+ outrageously good even considering he missed his decline phase.

3. Andrew Foster (p) – While his legend is a bit enhanced by his managerial and executive accomplishments, he was a truly great pitcher. Wagner said he might have been the best. McGraw and Chance said similar things. Career spanned 1897-1912. Undeniably great from 1902 to 1907 – four 50 win seasons, at least. Likely also great but without opportunity to prove it 1899 to 1901 and great but in a self-imposed reduced role from 1908 onwards. There is a lot of info on this site supporting Rube’s candidacy.

4. Mickey Welch (p) – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data is helping Welch, not hurting – those wins are real. Welch is the last person on my ballot that I really care about being in the Hall of Merit; and sadly he looks like the person on my ballot who has one of the worst chances of making it in.

5. Preston Hill – I am putting him in Sherry Magee’s spot on my ballot. Magee, Sheckard and Beckley seem to be good comps. I’d like to take this opportunity to nominate Chris Cobb as Most Valuable Voter – he simply adds another dimension to this process and I take my lead from him on all of the underdocumented players. We seem to agree on Welch too.

6. Jake Beckley (1b) -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. My type of hall of meriter. The Beckley supporters have done some pretty good analysis of how strong his career was, even absent a real peak. Baseballreality.com has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time.

7. Sam Thompson (of) – 8 dominating years, great ops+, lots of black ink in multiple categories. Only poor defence keeps him this low.

8. Bob Caruthers (p/of) – nice Winning
percentage, great peak, short career, surprisingly low era+, 130 ops+ as a hitter . I am convinced that this guy should be in (which was my original thought in any event). This is also my cut-off line – people below this could make the Hall of Merit, but it doesn’t matter to me.

9. Dickey Pearce (ss) – likely the best or second best player in the 1860s and played well for an old shortstop for about 5 of his 7 years post-1870. If I knew he were one of the top 2 players in the game in the 1860s he’d be placed a little higher. The uncertainty used to keep him off my ballot but now places him here – plus, I’m still not really sure it was “baseball” when Pearce was in his 20s. Nothing in the Constitution seems to suggest we should only consider players who had significant post-1870 careers.

10. Roger Bresnahan (c) – Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor.

11. Bobby Wallace (ss) – like Sheckard, too many Win Shares to ignore, but unless he was a great defender (and people seem to think he was, .34ws/1000 from an A) he doesn’t belong close to this high.

12. Jimmy Sheckard (of) – I can’t ignore 339 win shares and he did walk a lot – throw in above average defense, a home run title and strong seasons 8 years apart and I guess I wouldn’t be embarrassed if he got in.

13. Tommy Leach (of/3b)– slightly inferior to Sheckard, better fielder, worse hitter. I don’t like either of them really. Apparently I like peak a little more than I thought. Going into this I thought that 300 WS would make a candidate an easy choice.

14. Lip Pike (of) – 4 monster seasons, career too short. I re-evaluated him (he was as high as 9th on my ballot) – I was giving him too much credit for his age 21 to 25 years. His is the kind of peak I can support.

15. Bill Munroe – I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I’ll take McGraw’s word for it.
   84. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#643376)
Re:#81 -- True. Personally, I was skipping the war credit as a bit of compensation for throwing the Series. Not punishment, but acknowledgment that trying to lose may negate any 'pennants added'. I think Joe D suggested this as a possible voter action last.

He's still #1 on my ballot, though.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#643394)
David Foss:

Your Pearce numbers confirm my impression of him. A very good hitter with outstanding defense, plus a long career to boot.
   86. DavidFoss Posted: May 25, 2004 at 04:50 PM (#643416)
Took me a while to type all that in. :) I was hoping someone had put all those online somewhere, but I guess not. I'm not asking for inclusion in baseball-reference, but you know, sometimes minor league data is out there.

If anyone has any other player requests. Either for a candidate or just as an attempt to put Pearce's numbers into context... let me know.
   87. Rusty Priske Posted: May 25, 2004 at 05:03 PM (#643439)
Prelim:

All of them deserve to be in the HoM. Not finalized but it looks like my PHoM entries will be Pete Hill and Dickey Pearce.

1. Bobby Wallace (2,2,3)
2. Jimmy Sheckard (3,3,4)
3. George Van Haltren (4,7,9)
4. Bob Caruthers (5,5,6)
5. Mickey Welch (9,9,12)
6. Jake Beckley (7,10,10)
7. Dickey Pearce (8,12,14)
8. Pete Hill (new)
9. Rube Foster (11,13,11)
10. Jimmy Ryan (10,11,13)
11. Joe Jackson (x)
12. Joe McGinnity (12,14,15)
13. Bill Monroe (14,x,x)
14. Hugh Duffy (15,x,x)
15. Tommy Leach (13,15,x)
   88. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2004 at 05:14 PM (#643450)
New guys:

Hill - Looking good on my ballot, the comparisons to Sheckard/Magee seem apt. For now, he slots right in behind Sheckard.

Konetchy - Looks like an inferior Beckley to me. Since I don't like Beckley much, that puts Ed 28th, which is still higher than I thought he'd be going in.

Vaughn - Seems to deserve the tail end of the pitcher glut. He's 29th right now.


Moving up on my ballot:

Jackson - I was not giving him any war credit; he gets a 3 slot bump relative to the returners. I now have a ridiculous 7 outfielders in a row on my ballot, but I'm thinking it is justified.

Monroe - Makes the ballot for the first time, still could move up, but I'm just having a hard time seeing him as better than Childs, so he is kinda stuck.

Waddell - Not on the ballot yet, but could/should get there. I now think he's the best of the pitchers not on my ballot.

Joss - Don't know why I was underrating him; I think McGinnity was better, but the discussion of the pair shows that at worse they are pretty close. McGinnity's not on my ballot, so Joss isn't either, but he's moved up quite a bit.

Moving Down:

Cicotte: Overrated him for reasons I'm not even sure of on his first ballot, now down to 24th and unlikely to ever get in my top 15.

Likely ballot:

1. Wallace
2. Caruthers
3. Sheckard
4. Hill
5. Van Haltren
6. Ryan
7. F. Jones
8. Thompson
9. Jackson
10. Griffith
11. Foster
12. Pike
13. Childs
14. Monroe
15. Leach

16-20: Beckley, Waddell, Willis, McGinnity, McGraw
21-25: Bresnahan, Jennings, Joss, Cicotte, Browning
26-30: Chance, Pearce, Konetchy, Vaughn, Doyle
   89. jimd Posted: May 25, 2004 at 05:31 PM (#643485)
My source has Jackson working in a factory in Delaware to support the war effort.

IIRC, "war work" was an acceptable reason for a draft deferment during WWI. Naturally, playing baseball wasn't.

David, does your source also mention Jackson's holdout at the beginning of 1918? If so, does it mention when it ended? Neft+Cohen's "Sports Encylopedia: Baseball" marks him as a Hold-out for 1918, and their general notes say that these annotations are only made if they were at least 30 days long.
   90. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:12 PM (#643570)
PhillyBooster –

“The real comparison has to be Joss + replacement player”

First of all, choosing 1903 and 1904 for the example is pure cherry picking. 1904 is the smallest inning total of Joss's career except for the year he got sick, and it happens to coincide with McGinnity’s best ERA+ year. Likewise 1903, when Joss's ERA+ was 12 points below his career average, and McGinnity's was 16 points above his. These were not typical years.

Why not choose 1906? Joss pitched 282 IP, 151 ERA+; McGinnity 339.7 IP, 115 ERA+. The difference is 31 earned runs, 47 runs allowed, and 57.7 IP. Almost nobody in 1906 gave up 31 earned runs in 57.7 IP. The replacement pitcher would have had to have an ERA of 4.84 to bring him and Joss down to McGinnity’s level. And in comparison to the 8 year averages posted above at # 62, 1906 was far more typical.

I think it’s a lot more honest to use the 8 year averages to compare them. I’ve done that above. Tossing out McGinnity’s two league average years and Joss’s half of a league average year is fair, since nobody makes it into the Hall on the basis of their league average years. Each of these guys effectively had 8 year careers as HoM-caliber pitchers. Let’s use those numbers instead.

It’s too bad you chose to cherry-pick, because you make some good points. Still, if the real comparison is “Joss + replacement player,” I think I’ve proved pretty convincingly up at post 62 that Joss + replacement would have given up fewer runs than McGinnity. 4.95 ERA is not replacement in the 1900s – almost nobody (other than Gene Wright) had an ERA like that. 4.0 is extremely high at the time. Using the 8 year averages, Joss plus a 4.00 ERA schlub off the end of the bench would give up 98 runs in 368 innings. In 368 innings, McGinnity alone gives up 108. Joss plus pretty much any pitcher at the time is better than McGinnity. Well, maybe not Gene Wright. That guy must have had compromising pictures of somebody. But he was far worse than replacement-level.

I’ll also add that Joss was much more consistent than McGinnity. Consistency goes a long way in my book, since it helps eliminate the chance that any particular season was a fluke. McGinnity's 169 ERA+ in 1904 stands out like a sore thumb in the range of 78 to 137 ERA+ years that bracket it on either side for three years. Joss's best year, a 205 ERA+ mark in 1908, is bracketed by 114 (the year he got sick), 137, 149 and 151.
   91. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:20 PM (#643581)
OK, the difference between the leagues is a big deal. That really makes a huge difference. That alone is a big "thing that you're seeing that I'm not." I hadn't been taking that into account at all. I'll have to think hard about that one. Joss wouldn’t have done as well in the NL at the time McGinnity pitched there, and McGinnity would have done better against the AL pitchers Joss faced. I’ll come back with some new numbers after I account for that, but they’re pretty clearly closer than I thought.

John -- Joss was #2 in innings pitched in 1908 and #1 in ERA and ERA+ (ahead of Cy Young in both). His 1908 season is the #8 ERA season of all time and the 29th best ERA+ season of all time. Walsh and Mathewson had a lot more innings (Mathewson in a tougher run environment), but I think you're holding Joss to an unfair standard if 325 innings of 1.16 ERA ball isn't good enough because Big Ed threw 464 innings of 1.42 ERA ball. 325 innings with 77 runs, 42 of them earned, is pretty special no matter what era. It's not Joss's fault that Young, Mathewson and Walsh were contemporaries (I won't mention Brown, since Joss was pretty clearly better than Brown at peak. Brown made it in on his career numbers anyway, so that’s apples to oranges). He might not have been #1 in value that year, but he was certainly an extremely capable pitcher.

I don't go for the coddling argument either -- we can't know what kind of pitchers they would have been if they'd switched and we can’t go mentally changing managers for everyone we consider. Joss proved he could handle 338 innings in 1907, and it didn't wear him out -- he had his best year the next year. We can't know what McGinnity would have been without McGraw because he only had one year with another manager, and it looks just about the same as every other year from him. All we can go by is what we've got.
   92. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#643598)
(that should be McGinnty would have done better against the AL hitters Joss faced)
   93. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:30 PM (#643603)
It’s too bad you chose to cherry-pick, because you make some good points.

My point was not to cherry-pick to make my case artificially better, but to explain my reasoning, and then illustrate it with some vivid examples to demonstrate thate "replacement player", not "average player" was the correct addition. Of course, the difference will be less in some other years. Some years every pitcher on the team is above average, and some players who retire are replaced by dreck. The point is the theory.

The flaw in your reasoning in Post 61 (aside from failure to adequately adjust for park factors) is this:

"I challenge anyone to find a contemporary of these two gentlemen who pitched more than three years of full-time service while compiling an ERA of 4.95."

My point was that in comparing Joss to Joss12, we can look for your pitcher "who pitched more than three years of full-time service." To compare Joss to McGinnity, we need to compare McGinnity to Joss + a collection of 8 or 9 guys who weren't nearly good enough to pitch three years of full-time service.
   94. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#643614)
I'm reconsidering a number of players, particularly pitchers, and this is still a very rough sketch. Here's where I am right now:

(1) Joe Jackson (boycotted)-- Very, very similar to Elmer Flick, who would rank ahead of all the other players on the ballot. As I see it, the AL of the 1910s was the easiest league in the history of the game in which to identify the HoM-level position player: the top 5 guys year in and year out were Cobb, Speaker, Collins, Baker, and Jackson. As a prime-oriented voter who has chosen to apply no further penalties for the 1919 fix, I think Jackson is an easy number one.

(2) Jimmy Sheckard (1st)-- I remain uncomfortable ranking him this highly, but my numbers put him here and every time I put him head to head against someone else on the ballot he fights them at least to a draw.

(3) Pete Hill (new)-- Probably should rank number 2 based on my promise not to use confidence intervals to knock down excluded players from where my assessment of their skills would put them. My problem with Hill is that I think there's a 50% chance he was Sam Crawford, a 40% chance he was Jimmy Ryan, and a 10% chance he was Dummy Hoy. I'll have a longer post on the confidence interval issue later in the week.

(4) George Van Haltren (3rd)-- Has consitency over Jimmy Ryan, career length over Hugh Duffy, and quality over Jake Beckley.

(5) Cupid Childs (4th)-- Like a broken record, I will continue to ask how an offensive stud who was an above-average defensive 2B and dominated his position for a decade during the hardest era ever for middle infielders doesn't register on 2/3 of the ballots?

(6) Hughie Jennings (7th)-- Returning to my roots as a voter who values peak and prime, I've got to give props to the best player of the mid-1890s.

(7) Bobby Wallace (8th)-- Hard to peg how much WS underrates his defense; this is my best guess, but if the correct answer is higher he belongs in the "elect-me" spots.

(8) Joe McGinnity (6th)-- I feel like I was bumping him up simply as the best pitcher on the ballot; on further review, he remains my top-rated pitcher but the fall-off if you replaced him with Joss, Griffith, Waddell, Willis, or Cicotte just wouldn't have been that high.

(9) Charley Jones (9th)-- I encourage all other prime voters to take a look at his run.

(10) Jimmy Ryan (10th)-- Similar stats to VH but earned a percentage of them while bumping along at league-average or below.

(11) Lip Pike (13th)-- Pre-1871 stats give him a bump; certainly a better player than Pearce from 1868-1870.

(12) Hugh Duffy (12th)-- Love that prime; however, the prime is the career.

(13) (N)ed Williamson (11th)-- Career remains a bit short even for my tastes.

(14) Bill Monroe (14th)-- His glove puts him ahead of Doyle; his longevity ahead of Dunlap.

(15) Addie Joss (unranked/18th)-- Can't disregard him b/c/ of the low IP but can't ignore them either. Probably had less career value than McGinnity but it's a lot closer than I once thought.

16-25: Bresnahan, Dunlap, Doyle, Griffith, Griffin, Thompson, Browning, Cravath, Pearce, Caruthers.
26-40: Waddell, Beckley, Tiernan, Welch, Foster, F. Jones, Chance, Tinker, Willis, Nash, Long, Konetchy, Evers, Leach, Vaughn.
   95. sunnyday2 Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:44 PM (#643626)
The Joss-McGinnity discussion is so confusing. Two questions:

1. Why would Addie Joss be given credit (or penalized) for what some other pitcher did, and/or for what his manager or general manager did (i.e. by not pitching Joss more often)? If we elect Addie Joss on this analysis, do we have to elect Addie Joss + Bill Armour + Bill Bernhard? Is vote splitting allowed? Can I vote for a platoon some day? Maybe a whole pitching staff? Maybe Jim Palmer AND Earl Weaver?

2. If we're going to use rate stats, what is the threshold? 10 years? 1000 career innings, 2000, 3000? 9? Does a perfect game = the highest peak ever? Is a "rate" a "value"? Or would a value = rate (quality) X quantity?

My poor brain.
   96. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:45 PM (#643631)
So it turns on the definition of replacement, I guess. You seem to be saying that the worst pitchers are replacement -- the 8 or 9 guys not good enough to stick around are at that level. That hasn't been my understanding of what replacement means.

When calculating DIPS, Futiltity Infielder uses 1.25*ERA (ERA+ of 80) for his replacement level. That would give an ERA of about 3.35 for Joss's career. I don't see any reason why Cleveland couldn't have found a pitcher who could manage at least a 4.00 ERA in some obscure minor league. Guys like Gene Wright who are below replacement have existed in baseball as long as the game's been around. It doesn't change the fact that replacement is much better than them. 4.00 ERA is a very generous guess for replacement, which was probably less than 3.5. 5.00 is anachronistic.
   97. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#643639)
sunnyday, i certainly think value = rate times quantity
   98. Zapatero Posted: May 25, 2004 at 06:59 PM (#643651)
Sunnyday -- I'll simplify what I'm saying.

1) McGinnity and Joss each pitched 8 good years. (McGinnity had 2 more at about league average, Joss had a half season more at about league average).

2) Joss was demonstrably more valuable for his 8 good years than McGinnity was for his. McGinnity threw more innings, Joss's fewer innings were of much higher quality. The whole replacement player thing is just a way to measure the relative value of quantity versus quality. The question is, what happens if you take McGinnity's IP - Joss's IP and give all those innings to a lousy pitcher? In this case, Joss's quality is so much higher that it turns out that even paired with a lousy pitcher, fewer runs are scored against his team than the team with McGinnity.

3) If you think that 8 years is just not enough, I respect that. In an era that gave us Christy Mathewson and Cy Young, it's pretty clear that guys like McGinnity and Joss are nowhere near as good. But if you do think 8 good years is enough to bring McGinnity in, then I don't see why Joss -- who was more valuable over his 8 good years than McGinnity in his -- doesn't get placed higher on the ballot.

4) The Manager/GM thing is John Murphy's idea that McGinnity's ERA would have been lower if he'd pitched fewer innings, like Joss did. In other words, having John McGraw as a manger made McGinnity's ERA go up. I'm not convinced.

PS -- I still haven't accounted for league, so this is all subject to change.
   99. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:02 PM (#643655)
To further confuse things, value equals rate times quantity, but merit doesn't necessarily equal value.

To repeat a series of conversations from months ago,

(1) Career value is rate times quantity with appropriate (though likely minor) adjustments made for shape of career (and effects that shape has on lieklihood of winning a pennant).

(2) Peak value asks a different question-- it asks who you would pick if all the players of all-time were playing at their highest established level (measured usual by best three or five years, sometimes taking into account particualr consistency or inconsistency, injury likelihood, etc.).

Some large minority of the voters here are career value voters; no one here is a pure peak voter; most of us use wildly varying combinations of peak and career value. There is no right answer.

[We'll save for another day peak's bastard cousin, "prime."]
   100. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#643658)
In the above post, I probably should have referred to peak's "born out of wedlock cousin."

I can't believe my child is going to grow up in a world where discourse is so blithely censored.
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