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

Thursday, June 24, 2004

1928 Results - Home Run and Iron Man elected

Frank “Home Run” Baker and Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity have been elected to the Hall of Merit. Baker was elected in his first year of eligibility, winning easily with 932 points. McGinnity edged Bobby Wallace for the 2nd spot, 685-647.

The order of the returning top 10 was unchanged from 1927.

One minor change - to save time for the tiebreakers I only used the named on more ballots criteria. With the new thread it’s tougher to search to track who was named on more ballots. If the tie were for an election spot, I would go through the full procedure.

Also, I counted Kelly’s ballot. I know it was late, but it was his first ballot, his computer crashed, and it didn’t change anything significant. It gives us a more accurate picture for next week, so I included it in the tally. Yeah, I’m a softy . . .

RK   LY  Player             PTS  Bal     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  13  14 15
 1  n/e  Frank Baker        932   46    25  2  4  2  4  4  1     2        2           
 2    3  Joe McGinnity      685   44     3  7  4  6  4  2  4  1  2  2  2  1   1   2  3
 3    4  Bobby Wallace      647   40     6  3  7  3  8  1  2     2  2         1   2  3
 4    5  Jimmy Sheckard     601   36     1  7  4  5  5  6  1  1     4  1      1       
 5    6  Sam Thompson       526   36     1  6  5  4  1  1  2     2  3  2  3   3   1  2
 6    7  Bob Caruthers      488   34     5  2  2  1  5  1  1  1  2  3  3  1   4   1  2
 7    8  Dickey Pearce      433   30     1  5  3  2  1  3  3  1     2     2   3   2  2
 8    9  Lip Pike           415   29     1  3  2  3  3     3  4  3        3   3      1
 9   10  Jake Beckley       405   28     1  1  2  5  3  4  3  1  2  1  1  1       2  1
10   11  George Van Haltren 375.5 30        2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  1  3  3.5 2.5 3  1
11   12  Jimmy Ryan         318.5 25           2  4  1  1  3  2  3  1  2  2.5 1.5 2   
12   15  Clark Griffith     282   24        1  1        1  3  3  5  2  1  2   2   1  2
13T  13  Rube Waddell       267   22           1  1  1  4  2  2  3  2  1      1   2  2
13T  16  Roger Bresnahan    267   22           2  2  1        5  2  2  4  1   1   1  1
15   19  Rube Foster        231   18        2           2  1  4  1  4  1  1   1      1
16   20  Mickey Welch       231   16     1  2  2     1  2  1  2           1   2   2   
17   14  Hughie Jennings    226   18     1        3        1  1  3  4  2  1   1   1   
18   18  Hugh Duffy         218   21                 3  2     2  1  1  1  2   3   3  3
19   23  Cupid Childs       214   21        1           1     3  2  1  2  4       4  3
20   17  Bill Monroe        187   17           1     1     2  2  1     4  2   1   3   
21   21  Larry Doyle        168   14        1  2  1        1     1  1     3   1   2  1
22   22  Pete Browning      171   12        1  1     2  3     1  1  1  1          1   
23   24  Tommy Leach        149   15                    1  1  1  1  1  3  2   2   2  1
24   25  Eddie Cicotte      146   12        1     1     1  2     2  1         2      2
25   27  Charley Jones      140   12              1  1     2  1  1  2  2             2
26   26  Gavy Cravath       115   10                    3  1  1     1  1      2      1
27   29  Addie Joss          83    8                    1        2  1     3          1
28   28  Ed Williamson       78    9                       1              3   3   1  1
29   30  Fielder Jones       78    8                       1  1     1  1  1       3   
30   32  Frank Chance        71    7                          2     1  2      1      1
31   33  John McGraw         64    5     1                    1  1        1          1
32   31  Ed Konetchy         54    5                       1  2               1      1
33   34  Vic Willis          41    4                       1        1     1       1   
34   35  Jim McCormick       39    4                                1  2      1       
35   36  Tommy Bond          27    3                       1                      1  1
36   38  Lave Cross          24    3                                   1      1      1
37   40  Silver King         17    2                                   1          1   
38  n/e  Donnie Bush         17    1              1                                   
39T  37  Herman Long         16    2                                   1             1
39T  39  Mike Tiernan        16    2                                   1             1
41   42  Tom York            15    1                    1                             
42   43T Tony Mullane        10    1                                   1              
43   --  Sol White            8    1                                          1       
44T  41  Levi Meyerle         7    1                                              1   
44T  46T Johnny Evers         7    1                                              1   
44T  --  Hippo Vaughn         7    1                                              1   
47T  43T Ray Chapman          6    1                                                 1
47T  45  Harry Wright         6    1                                                 1
47T  46T Jimmy Williams       6    1                                                 1
47T  --  Joe Tinker           6    1                                                 1
Dropped Out: none.
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2004 at 06:06 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2004 at 06:19 AM (#695723)
moving this to the hot topics
   2. Kelly in SD Posted: June 24, 2004 at 06:42 AM (#695738)
Thank you for counting my vote. I'm glad it did not change the results.
   3. Jeff M Posted: June 24, 2004 at 12:43 PM (#695793)
I screwed up and deleted Bill Monroe from my ballot somehow. Must have gotten lost in a cut and paste maneuver. He was #5 on my ballot in '27 and I did not intend to omit him in '28,

He'll be back in '29, probably as #3.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 24, 2004 at 03:13 PM (#695959)
That's two off my ballot. Unfortunately, that won't be the case for the next election...

...but Dickey Pearce is still making his inexorable climb to the top (and I'm not being facetious anymore!)
   5. Sean Gilman Posted: June 26, 2004 at 02:56 AM (#699384)
The HOM Game this year features two of the top NL teams in 1928, the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs.
Larry Benton starts for the Giants, backed by an offense of Mel Ott, Freddy Lindstrom, Travis Jackson, Lefty O'Doul, and Bill Terry.
They're matched up against the Cubs' Sheriff Blake, Hack Wilson, Kiki Cuyler and Gabby Hartnett.
   6. Michael Bass Posted: June 26, 2004 at 03:13 AM (#699410)
As a stat geek, I'd like to request a stat update. :)

Things like...

Most Votes/Points Received, Lifetime
Teams with most HOMers
Innings Played by Position

etc. If you have the time. :)


I'm also curious, what real-life HOFer has done the poorest in HOM voting? Is it Evers/Tinker who get about one voter per election? Or is there someone not even showing up on the general radar?
   7. jimd Posted: June 26, 2004 at 03:19 AM (#699416)
Somebody gave Tommy McCarthy a token #15 vote once so he wouldn't feel left out. I don't think anyone even went that far with Jack Chesbro. That would be the record, though it may be tied before we're through.
   8. EricC Posted: June 26, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#699448)
I don't know if Chief Bender ever got a HoM vote. His list of Most Similar Pitcher by Age is remarkable, though.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: June 26, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#699552)
Senor Bass, I had all-time points leaders updated every year right up until the "improvement" of the site. Like Linus in the Great Pumpkin Patch, I optimistically await the day when those files are restored.
I do have "teams with most HOMers," however. This is with my 10-game minimum, and lists where those teams finished..


TEAMS WITH SIX HALL OF MERIT MEN
1874-75 Bos NA White Barnes O'Rourke Wright Spalding McVey FIRST/FIRST
1876 Chicago NL White Barnes Hines Anson Spalding McVey FIRST
1887-89 NY NL Gore O'Rourke Ward Keefe Ewing Connor 4TH/1ST/1ST
1891 Boston NL Kelly Clarkson Nichols Stovey Kelley Bennett FIRST
1891 New York NL Gore O'Rourke Ewing Connor Glasscock Rusie THIRD
1892 New York NL Gore O'Rourke Ewing Rusie Richardson Keeler EIGHTH

TEAMS WITH FIVE HALL OF MERIT MEN
1873 Boston NA White Barnes O'Rourke Wright Spalding FIRST
1877 Chicago NL Hines Barnes Anson Spalding McVey FIFTH
1879 Providence NL Hines O'Rourke Ward Wright Start FIRST
1881-82 Prov NL Hines Ward Wright Radbourn Start SECOND/SECOND
1881-84 Buff NL White O'Rourke Brouthers Richardson Galvin 3/3/5/3
1885-86 NY NL O'Rourke Ward Keefe Ewing Connor 2ND/3RD
1889 Boston NL Kelly Clarkson Brouthers Radbourn Bennett SECOND
1890 Boston PL Kelly Brouthers Radbourn Richardson Stovey FIRST
1890 New York PL Gore O'Rourke Keefe Ewing Connor THIRD
1893 New York NL Kelly Ward Connor Rusie Davis FIFTH

TEAMS WITH FOUR HALL OF MERIT MEN
1871-72 Bos NA Barnes Wright Spalding McVey 3RD/1ST
1879 Cincinnati NL White Barnes Kelly McVey FIFTH
1884-86 Chicago NL Gore Kelly Clarkson Anson 4TH/1ST/1ST
1885 Buffalo NL White Brouthers Richardson Galvin SEVENTH
1886-88 Detroit NL White Brouthers Richardson Bennett 2ND/1ST/5TH
1890 Boston NL Hines Clarkson Nichols Bennett FIFTH
1892 Boston NL Kelly Nichols Stovey Bennett FIRST
1892 Cleveland NL Clarkson Burkett Davis Young SECOND
1892 Philadelphia NL Keefe Connor Hamilton Delahanty FOURTH
1893-94 Cleveland NL Clarkson Ewing Burkett Young 3RD/6TH
1894 New York NL Ward Connor Rusie Davis SECOND
1895 Louisville NL Brouthers Glasscock Clarke Collins TWELFTH
1900 Brooklyn NL Dahlen Keeler Kelley McGinnity FIRST
1910 Cleveland AL Young Flick Lajoie Jackson FIFTH

Top 10 in
SEASONS WITH HOM TEAMMATES
O'Rourke 19 for 78
White 13 for 58
Ward 14 for 51
Connor 11 for 49
Ewing 13 for 47
Kelly 18 for 46
Brouthers 16 for 45
Gore 13 for 43
Richardson 12 for 40
Keefe 7 for 40
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: June 26, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#699554)
Damn, in the preview those teams all come out on one line. but not so in the actual comment.
   11. Jeff M Posted: June 26, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#700058)
Question: Is it possible to create a table in Word (with everything lined up, etc.), save it in HTML format, view the source, copy the source and post it in the blog...and have it turn out nice and lined up?

I'm just curious, b/c I don't know how Chris Cobb, Joe and others get everything lined up so neatly.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: June 26, 2004 at 08:31 PM (#700384)
Testing:
 
llllll     1     1     1
MMMMMM     8     8     8
   13. DavidFoss Posted: June 26, 2004 at 08:37 PM (#700401)
Yeah... the are using the "pre" tag. As in '<''p''r''e''>' (without the single quotes). End these breaks with '<''/''p''r''e''>'.

Everything in between turns into a fixed-width fond so things will line up.

Also try "View Source" on the web page if you like the formatting of a specific entry. (Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't)
   14. DavidFoss Posted: June 26, 2004 at 08:42 PM (#700419)
Sheesh... That should read "they are using" and "fixed-width font" :-)

... and remove all the quotes (some of the double-single-quotes looks like double quotes.

Fixed-width fonts can be ugly for text, because a lower-case L takes up the same width as a Capital M, but character columns automatically line up with these fonts making them good for hand-made tables.
   15. Jeff M Posted: June 26, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#700423)
I can't get "View Source" to work in IE since the changes to this web site.

I'll try the '<"p"r"e">' code...I'm a novice at this. Thanks for the info.
   16. Patrick W Posted: June 26, 2004 at 10:01 PM (#700506)
I don't keep a total points score, as unadjusted points are not fair to smaller-voter seasons. ;^) But I hope this helps answer some of your questions Michael.

I have an average score for every player-year, based on percentage of a perfect score [Score / (24*Ballots)].
Baker's Final Score is 82.6%, since this was his score in his only year of eligibility. Joe Jackson has a Final Score of 54.3% (Avg. of 34.2% in '26 & 74.4% in '27). Players get a Score of 0.0% in a year when they recieve no vote (so not getting a vote every year continues to lower your average). Make sense?

Results

149 players have received a vote from 1898-1928.

The top scores in my system are the shoo-in first balloters:

Rk.--Player-------Score
 1T--C.Young-----100.0%
 1T--H.Wagner----100.0%
 3 --D.Brouthers--99.7%
 4 --K.Nichols----98.9%
 5 --N.Lajoie ----98.8%
 6 --E.Delahanty--98.4%
 7 --C.Mathewson--96.5%
 8 --G.Davis------95.7%
 9 --D.White------94.4%
10T--P.Hines------94.0%
10T--J.O'Rourke---94.0%


The top scores of players who were involved in at least 2 elections (Led by the guys who were first eligible alongside a shoo-in):

Rk.--Player-------Score--Ballots
14 --S.Crawford---89.3%--2
17 --J.Burkett----85.4%--2
23 --E.Plank------75.8%--2
27 --J.Glasscock--73.2%--4
28 --T.Keefe------70.7%--3
30T--G.Wright-----68.4%--4
32 --B.McPhee-----64.9%--9
33 --E.Flick------63.5%--3
34 --W.Keeler-----62.9%--4
35 --C.Radbourn---62.9%--8


Everyone who has received an average score of 40.0% or greater is in the Hall of Merit, except for B.Wallace (49.6%, #49), J.Sheckard (43.9%, #53), and S.Thompson (40.7%, #55). The lowest HoM Score to date is F.Grant (40.7%, #54). Pearce (18.6%, #66) will blow this mark away if he gets elected before '32; he averaged only 7.1% in his first 10 elections and has been playing catchup ever since.

About 1/3 of players receiving HoM votes have an average score less than 1.0%. The real life HoFer who has scored the worst is Candy Cummings (0.0%), who received a 1/6 of a vote in 1898.

Tommy McCarthy (0.0%) has done better than only 4 other players in HoM voting (B.Sunday, C.Buffinton, C.Welch, C.Cummings). Tinker (0.4%, #113) & Evers (0.6%, #104) are fairing relatively well compared to Tommy. Happy Jack Chesbro (0.1%, #127) grabbed a HoM vote also.

For most total points, a best guess is average score times a count of ballots.

Rk.--Player-------Score--Bal--Total---HOM
 1 --C.Bennett----48.9%--23---1124.8-- X
 2 --S.Thompson---40.7%--27---1098.0--
 3 --H.Stovey-----53.9%--18----970.3-- X
 4 --B.Caruthers--30.0%--30----899.0--
 5 --J.Start------57.5%--15----862.9-- X
 6 --C.McVey------47.7%--17----811.5-- X
 7 --L.Pike-------24.3%--31----754.1--
 8 --J.McGinnity--49.1%--15----736.0-- X
 9 --F.Grant------40.7%--18----732.2-- X 
10 --P.Galvin-----51.7%--13----672.6-- X


And finally, the top ten returning:
Rk.--Player-------Score--Bal--Total---HOM
 1 --S.Thompson---40.7%--27---1098.0--
 2 --B.Caruthers--30.0%--30----899.0--
 3 --L.Pike-------24.3%--31----754.1--
 4 --H.Duffy------30.4%--22----668.7--
 5 --P.Browning---20.1%--30----602.9-- 
 6 --D.Pearce-----18.6%--31----575.4-- 
 7 --J.Ryan-------28.4%--20----568.6--
 8 --G.VanHaltren-26.8%--20----536.8-- 
 9 --H.Jennings---24.8%--21----520.6--  
10 --B.Wallace----49.6%---9----446.8-- 
   17. Michael Bass Posted: June 26, 2004 at 11:04 PM (#700551)
Cool stuff! Thanks, Patrick
   18. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: June 27, 2004 at 02:31 AM (#700752)
Test

Year Player Number
1922 
Him     0871
1924 
Other   0111 
   19. Jeff M Posted: June 27, 2004 at 05:31 PM (#701061)
For those of you who strongly support Lip Pike, would you mind summarizing your arguments for him? I'm taking another look.

My concern is that in the NA, he was often not even the best position player on his team (based on WS)...and those should have been his prime years.

In addition, he played somewhere from age 21-25 and I've given him the same sort of season length-adjusted stats he had in 1871 for those five years. The WS and WARP (and counting stats) he accumulates get him on the bottom of my ballot, but I'm inclined to discount those numbers because (1) they are purely speculative and there ought to be an uncertainty discount, (2) it assumes he would do at ages 21-25 what he did at age 26, even though historically those are less productive years than age 26 and (3) he was playing in a fairly loosely organized league and against regionally-narrow competition (not to be ignored, but discounted at least).

He's 24th on my ballot right now. I'm not arguing against him...just reevaluating objectively.
   20. Sean Gilman Posted: June 27, 2004 at 08:45 PM (#701883)
My concern is that in the NA, he was often not even the best position player on his team (based on WS)...and those should have been his prime years.

What are you using for NA Win Shares?
Here's what his teams look like to me from 1871 on:

1871: hits .377/.400/.654. i don't think there's any doubt he's the best player on his team.

1872: hits .292/.299/.441. both Davy Force (.432/.438/.495) and George Hall (.336/.344/.464) have beter years.

1873: hits .315/.331/.462. HOMer Cal McVey is the best player on the team, Everett Mills's batting numbers are better than Pike's, but Pike still leads the team in total bases and stolen bases.

1874: hits .355/.368/.504. leads the team in most offensive categories.

1875: hits .346/.352/.494. no one else on the team hits over .250.

1876: hits .323/.341/.472. leads the team in every significant offensive category except walks and runs.

1877: hits .298/.321/.420. Charley Jones and Jack Manning have better years, but Pike still leads the team in Total Bases, Times On Base and Home Runs.

1878: hits .324/.342/.372 for Cincinnati, but only played half the season there and his career totally falls apart after moving to Providence. His rate stats in Cincy are worse than Charley Jones, about a match with McVey and Deacon White.

So, I've got him as the best player on his team in 1871, 1874, 1875, 1876. 3rd best in 1872, 1873, 1877, and 1878.
   21. Sean Gilman Posted: June 27, 2004 at 08:49 PM (#701890)
In addition, he played somewhere from age 21-25 and I've given him the same sort of season length-adjusted stats he had in 1871 for those five years. The WS and WARP (and counting stats) he accumulates get him on the bottom of my ballot, but I'm inclined to discount those numbers because (1) they are purely speculative and there ought to be an uncertainty discount, (2) it assumes he would do at ages 21-25 what he did at age 26, even though historically those are less productive years than age 26 and (3) he was playing in a fairly loosely organized league and against regionally-narrow competition (not to be ignored, but discounted at least).

for Pike's pre-NA numbers, I'd refer to the stats David Foss posted which show Pike as much the same as the player he was in the 1870s: lots of power, lots of speed.
I wouldn't worry about comparing him to an age-26 peak either, seems to me that players peaked earlier in the 1870s, though that could just be an illusion.
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: June 27, 2004 at 09:11 PM (#701917)
I haven't studied the 1870s, but in the early 1910s I have found that the best players were more likely to be under 26 than over 26. My inference is that, prior to the lively ball era, batting average was a larger component of offensive value than it later became, so that the young-player skills of bat speed and foot speed were typically more important than the old-player skills of power-hitting and plate discipline. Or rather, those skills were still important, but they were not nearly so widely recognized and systematically cultivated as they would be later, so fewer players developed them, so players declined on offense earlier, on average. Folks with databases at their disposal could probably confirm or refute this hypothesis conclusively.
   23. Kelly in SD Posted: June 27, 2004 at 09:20 PM (#701926)
test

< pre >
player team hits
jeff padres 1432
bob mets 987
chris As 56
< pre >
   24. Kelly in SD Posted: June 27, 2004 at 09:23 PM (#701929)
test

player   team   hits
bob      padres 1234
phil     mets    567
chris    as       89
   25. Kelly in SD Posted: June 27, 2004 at 09:24 PM (#701930)
Yeah, I can figure this internet thing out.
   26. Jeff M Posted: June 27, 2004 at 11:25 PM (#702077)
What are you using for NA Win Shares?

I've calculated WS for 1871-1873 (and about half of 1874...still working on it).

Here are Pike's numbers for 1871-1873, and the position players on his team with equal or better WS.

1871: 6 WS (tied with Steve King)

1872: 8 WS (Tom York has 10, George Hall has 9, Dick Higham has 8, and John Radcliff has 8)

1873: 8 WS (Davey Force has 11, Tom Carey has 9, Cal McVey has 9, Tom York has 10 and Everett Mills has 8)

So he's tied for best position player on the 6th place NA team, tied for third best position player on the 3d place NA team, and tied for fifth best position player on the 3rd place NA team. Of the comparison players, only McVey has been elected.

We'll see what 1874 and 1875 bring in WS (if I ever get around to it) -- I know they were better. And certainly he also had a very good 1876. But the foregoing is a concern for me when projecting backwards his accomplishments, because those are three significant years during a peak (ages 26-28).

Maybe you are right...he was outstanding from 21-25, decent from 26-28, and then outstanding again 29-31, but that's a very odd pattern.
   27. Jeff M Posted: June 27, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#702126)
I haven't studied the 1870s, but in the early 1910s I have found that the best players were more likely to be under 26 than over 26.

Based on WS by age:

1. Players born 1890 and before, WS ages 20-25:

Average = 8.80 WS

2. Players born 1890 and before, WS ages 26-31:

Average = 10.91 WS

3. Players born 1880 and before, WS ages 20-25:

Average = 9.52 WS

4. Players born 1880 and before, WS ages 26-31:

Average = 11.29 WS

5. Players born 1870 and before, WS ages 20-25:

Average = 9.78 WS

6. Players born 1870 and before, WS ages 26-31:

Average = 11.05 WS

None of this includes NA Win Shares, of course. Also, it does include pitchers, who probably have a different maturity level.

However, based solely on the information above, it appears that players born before 1890 have essentially the same career progression, age-wise, as players throughout MLB history.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 12:46 AM (#702368)
My concern is that in the NA, he was often not even the best position player on his team (based on WS)...and those should have been his prime years.

Well, I'm using a modified version of BP's stats (any negative values are converted into zeroes) using BRAR, FRAR and PRAR) for Pike's NA years. I have Pike as the best rightfielder in 1871 and 1873 and the best centerfielder in 1874 and 1875.

For the NL, (using WS * WS per 162 games) I have him as the best centerfielder in 1876. When you add his pre-NA performance, that's enough for me to place him high on my ballot.
   29. Jeff M Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:12 AM (#702478)
I have Pike as the best rightfielder in 1871 and 1873 and the best centerfielder in 1874 and 1875.

In 1871 and 1873, where does he rank among all outfielders? For instance, if he's the best rightfielder those two years but the 5th best outfielder overall, that wouldn't be as impressive. If you don't have the information handy, that's okay. I'm just curious.

In WS for 1871, he's tied for 3rd among all outfielders (with George Hall) and behind King and Treacey.

In WS for 1872, he ranks 5th among all outfielders. He's behind York, Eggler, Cuthbert and Leonard.

In WS for 1873, he ranks 5th or 6th among all outfielders (depending on whether you include Spalding in the outfielders...he was mostly a pitcher, but has almost as many hitting WS as Pike). He's behind York, Eggler, Gedney and Fisher.

When you add his pre-NA performance, that's enough for me to place him high on my ballot.

Can you elaborate on this a little bit? All I have is David Foss' data which seems to indicate he wasn't much better than the 3rd best position player on his team from 1866-1869 (though 1867 is confusing b/c he played on two teams, so I ranked him based on his combined R/G). He was behind (or comparable to) guys like McBride, Hayhurst, Wolters, Hunt, McMahon, Swandell, Devyr and Start.

Anyway, I'm pretty clear that he was a top player in 1870, 1875 and 1876 (and I'm not sure about 1874). But what I'm struggling with in all of the above is (1) he doesn't appear to be even the second best position player on his team from 1866-1869 and 1871-1873 (7 of his 11 documented years) and (2) virtually every position player he trails (or is comparable to) in those years is someone that we haven't seriously considered for the HoM.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:22 AM (#702520)
In 1871 and 1873, where does he rank among all outfielders? For instance, if he's the best rightfielder those two years but the 5th best outfielder overall, that wouldn't be as impressive. If you don't have the information handy, that's okay. I'm just curious.

I have him as second best in '71 (extremely close to Fred Treacey) and fifth in 1873 (York and Gedney were truly better, while Pabor and Eggler were basically equals with Pike).
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:34 AM (#702578)
Can you elaborate on this a little bit?

To be honest, I haven't used David's numbers for Foss yet. I've been giving him credit for roughly half a usual league leading performance in my system. I thought it was a conservative way of giving him credit for those years since (at the time) I didn't really know how great he was before the NA.

If anything, David's numbers would probably help him some (though not enough to move up one more slot on my ballot).

But what I'm struggling with in all of the above is (1) he doesn't appear to be even the second best position player on his team from 1866-1869

He was a third baseman for 1866-67, a leftfielder in '68 and a second baseman for '69-70, so his offensive numbers were created while he was at more demanding positions than he played later on. If he had been playing right field the whole time, then I think you would have a good point about him.
   32. Sean Gilman Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:57 AM (#703226)
I just had a long post about Pike disappear into cyberspace. That sucks.

The basic gist of it was that the WARP numbers make the difference between Pike and his teammates look either smaller or non-existent compared to the WS numbers Jeff posted.

And also that the players Pike trailed in those offseasons (1872-1873 are his worst NA years) were pretty good players. Especially McVey, York and Force (who had two phenomenal years, his only two good years, when he was Pike's teammate).
Most of them just didn't play long enough (2, 5, 7 seasons as opposed to Pike's 13) to earn HOM consideration.
   33. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: June 28, 2004 at 03:59 PM (#703420)
I haven't studied the 1870s, but in the early 1910s I have found that the best players were more likely to be under 26 than over 26.

This is interesting. Through now, I've been skeptical about giving Pike too much credit for his pre-NA years because I figured he wouldn't have been as good those years as he later years, but if this is true, I'll have to considerably increase my estimation of him. Even with the new numbers now available for him I've been skittish on giving him too much credit because I wasn't sure due to quality-of-competition concerns.

My inference is that, prior to the lively ball era, batting average was a larger component of offensive value than it later became, so that the young-player skills of bat speed and foot speed were typically more important than the old-player skills of power-hitting and plate discipline.

Makes sense. Pike might make my ballot yet. Maybe not this year, but by 1932. . . . Reading on, Jeff M's post #27 seems to contradict this, so I'll have to just take it under consideration for now. . . . But I'm more willing to buy into how good he was prior to the NA.
   34. Rick A. Posted: June 28, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#703956)
Senor Bass, I had all-time points leaders updated every year right up until the "improvement" of the site.

Howie,

I just remembered that I was keeping a running tally of points for each year. I just had to total them up and here they are.

Through 1928

Thompson    11720
Bennett     11503
H. Stovey    9576
Caruthers    9429
Start        8378.5
McGinnity    8232
McVey        7985.5
Grant        7969.5
Pike         7943
Duffy        7080.5
Galvin       6585
Pearce       6232
Ryan         6129
Browning     6115.5
Sutton       6070
McPhee       5921
Van Haltren  5826.5
Jennings     5606
Wallace      5105
Sheckard     5007
Collins      4895
Beckley      4673
Radbourn     4558
Spalding     4449
Richardson   4077
Waddell      3874
Kelley       3861
Childs       3615
Griffith     3343
Welch        3280
Williamson   3145
Johnson      3118
Glasscock    2878
McCormick    2806
Keeler       2739
Brown        2578
Tiernan      2459
G. Wright    2145
Flick        2041
Crawford     2010
Bresnahan    1954
C. Jones     1808
Burkett      1722
Keefe        1719
Plank        1706
Monroe       1548
Griffin      1513.5
Magee        1309
Jackson      1285
McGraw       1180
Wagner       1152
Joss         1144
Lajoie       1091
Young        1080
Mathewson    1065
Mullane      1061
Delahanty    1015
G. Davis     1011
Foster       1005
Brouthers    1005
Nichols      997
Connor       984
Leach        982
Dahlen       939
Baker        932
Clarke       920
Chance       908
Anson        900
Hamilton     877
H. Wright    852
Whitney      852
Willis       829
Walsh        822
Dunlap       794
O'Neill      791
Clarkson     756
Ewing        752.5
Cross        730
Rusie        720
Hill         706
O'Rourke     699
D. White     657
Hines        654
Kelly        625
Ward         617
F. Jones     601
Long         597.5
Gore         553
Barnes       476
Doyle        464
Cravath      372
Cicotte      371
York         321
Bond         308
S. White     287
Clements     265
Meyerle      264
Nash         213
King         167
Fowler       157
Hutchison    141
Foutz        136
McGuire      119
Konetchy     115
Lyons        114
Mathews      96
Orr          86
Farrell      82
Thomas       67
Phillippe    57
Seymour      53
Zimmer       51
G. Stovey    43
Evers        40
Joyce        36
Latham       36
Tinker       34
H. Davis     31
Dalrymple    31
Williams     30
Creighton    29
Stivetts     24
Chapman      22
E. Smith     21
Hoy          20
Bush         17
McKean       17
Chesbro      14
Cuppy        10
Larkin       10
Hahn         8
Vaughn       7
Tannehill    7
Gleason      7
Buffinton    6
Leever       6
Powell       6
Hartsel      6
Beaumont     6
Selbach      6
Weyhing      6
McCarthy     6
O. Burns     6
Clapp        6
Nichol       6
Sunday       4
C. Welch     3
Werden       1
Cummings     1
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2004 at 10:23 PM (#703981)
Cool.
So active leaders are thus...
I had a hunch many 'years' ago that Thompson would be the perfect storm of good, but not good enough.

Through 1928
Thompson 11720
Caruthers 9429
Pike 7943
Duffy 7080.5
Pearce 6232
Ryan 6129
Browning 6115.5
Van Haltren 5826.5
Jennings 5606
Wallace 5105
Sheckard 5007
Beckley 4673
Waddell 3874
Griffith 3343
Welch 3280
Williamson 3145
McCormick 2806
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 10:36 PM (#703991)
I had a hunch many 'years' ago that Thompson would be the perfect storm of good, but not good enough.

Looks like in a few years (unless something drastic happens) he'll be good enough.

But, you never know.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2004 at 12:01 PM (#704343)
(hyperbole alert!)

Well, Murph, if Thompson ever DOES get elected, he'll still have thrown a number up there that will make 755 look like child's play!
   38. andrew siegel Posted: June 29, 2004 at 12:07 PM (#704345)
When we reach the end of the project, Lip Pike will have the most points. Or maybe not.
   39. Rick A. Posted: June 29, 2004 at 03:44 PM (#704517)
My money's on Bob Caruthers. Very difficult to evaluate and controversial pick.
   40. Michael Bass Posted: June 29, 2004 at 03:55 PM (#704532)
Put me down for Pike. Caruthers and Thompson will get in eventually (possibly next year), Pike is a bit iffy.
   41. karlmagnus Posted: June 29, 2004 at 04:07 PM (#704552)
What about Beckley? It would be sort of appropriate if he bumbled along never getting elected, but accumulating points each year, and ended up top, given that's what his career was like.
   42. Rick A. Posted: June 29, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#704566)
Caruthers and Thompson will get in eventually

I doubt it. If it looks like Caruthers will get in, the enemies of Freedom Bob will unleash a smear campaign that would make our political parties look like pikers. We'll be seeing references to Saddam Hussein, Monica Lewinsky, WMD, Watergate, 9/11, hangovers, rude cab driver's and stubbed toes. ;-)
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 29, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#704567)
Unfortunately, I think Pike is the guy, too. Hope I'm wrong.
   44. DavidFoss Posted: June 29, 2004 at 04:25 PM (#704575)
Caruthers' unique career would make him a popular candidate years down the road (if he doesn't get elected).

Not so sure about Thompson and Pike. I like them (#1-#2 on my ballot) but I have a feeling similar players will be eligible in the future which will water down their support.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#704730)
I'll go Beckley as well..
   46. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 12:49 PM (#706295)
Jeff M,

Just catching up to this thread. As to your question about Pike vs. all outfielders...

For this type of analysis, I use WARP2 basic numbers (as we are comparing within a season, so timelining is not a problem, only league quality, and I've yet to be convinced that anyone does a better job contrasting league quality than Davenport. But please convince me. Really.) extended out from the teams actual games played to 162 at the 2/3 power, like the old BP instead of the adjusted. For position players I sum BRAR+FRAA, and I also sum BRAA+FRAR, and take whichever number is greater. Now, for 99% of players it is the first number, but I don't want to shortchange anyone. For OF, I sum up their performance at all 3 positions.

As to Pike, I have him second among all OF in 1871 (to Fred Treacey), off the ballot in '72. He is third in both '73 (to Count Gedney and Tom York) and '74 (to Cal McVey and John McMullin). He is the best OF in the game in both '75 (by a lot over Tom York) and '76 (by a liitle over Paul Hines and Dick Higham).
   47. Jeff M Posted: June 30, 2004 at 01:18 PM (#706305)
...and I've yet to be convinced that anyone does a better job contrasting league quality than Davenport. But please convince me.

I can't do that, but I can explain my concerns. I have two primary concerns with the translation from WARP1 to WARP2:

1. I don't know what the formula is. Which part is timelining and which part is league quality? As you said, right now the timelining issue is not as big, but league quality is. And soon, timeling will be a significant issue because we've got some lingering early 19th century players who will be compared to 20th century players and will be injured by the timeline.

2. The league discounts are, in my opinion and best I can tell, too large. And without knowing how they were arrived at, I'm skeptical. Example: Pete Browning has his WARP1 value chopped in half in the transition to WARP2. That just seems inappropriate for a guy that we all KNOW could hit in any league against any pitching. He played in the PL -- a stronger league -- at the end of his career and was a dominant hitter.

Maybe those league quality adjustments are right, but I have a natural tendency to not apply a discount, statistical method, etc., without having a grasp on how it was developed.

As to Pike, I have him second among all OF in 1871...[etc]

Those rankings appear reasonable, though a little more favorable than WS for 1871-1873. My concern, as mentioned, is that when you look at his relative rank in the pre-NA years as well, there's always someone (or two or three) who are better on his team (and often at his position), and most of those people aren't being considered for the HoM.

John Murphy made a good point about the pre-NA years and Pike playing 2b, and I don't have the data to rank him among second basemen during that time. But he was rarely better than third best on his team in the pre-NA years.

Anyway, I've got him in the mid-20s because his career doesn't scream HoMer to me.
   48. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 01:36 PM (#706320)
Jeff, it doesn't matter which part is timelining, because we are comparing players inside of a year (ex. all LF from 1873), so the timeline affects all players equally. Moreover, at this time, there's just one league, so league quality can't be a concern.

That's why I put "for this type of analysis".

All of that said, I don't think that ranking Pike in the mid 20s is unreasonable at all. I've got him top 10 myself, but I'm swayed by players who were the best at their positions for a chunk of time (in Pike's case, 5 of 6 fully documented years, plus more before 1871).
   49. Jeff M Posted: June 30, 2004 at 03:20 PM (#706454)
Jeff, it doesn't matter which part is timelining, because we are comparing players inside of a year (ex. all LF from 1873), so the timeline affects all players equally. Moreover, at this time, there's just one league, so league quality can't be a concern.

I guess I'm confused a little. I thought in #46 you were asking for reasons we might not trust the league quality discounts in WARP2, so that's why I said what I said in post #47.

I agree that if you are only comparing Lip to his teammates and other players in the league in the same year, it doesn't hurt to use WARP2. But in that case, what advantage do you see in using WARP2 over WARP1 if the adjustments don't matter? He ought to rank the same in WARP1, WARP2 and WARP3 vis-a-vis Treacey in '71, Gedney in '73, etc. (By the way, do you think Gedney was actually a "count"?)

Anyway, I'm not sure we're really disagreeing about anything. For the record, I adjust WARP1 for season length using a .75 exponent, which is close to your 2/3. So I approximate WARP3, without the interim adjustments made from WARP1 to WARP2. Also, I don't apply season length adjustments to WARP and WS for pitchers in the early years when they are pitching practically every game and probably getting too much credit for "starting the action".
   50. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 03:34 PM (#706479)
I don't think that we're disagreeing either. I jumped on the "timeline" part of your response, while your league quality response was precisely what I had just invited.

For the record, another key reason that I use WARP2 is because that's the only way that batting stats are available by position. One of my longer-term projects is to convert my postional hitting data to WARP1 numbers, so that I can replicate my current model using all WARP1 numbers (adjusted my way). That hasn't become necessary yet, but if I see my rankings move over time to the point where a decent '40s player ranks ahead of an 1880s or '90s star, I'll make the switchover from WARP2 to WARP1.
   51. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#706548)
Jeff,

In case you respond to either of the two conversations that we've got going, I'm now out for the weekend. Got a tournament in Bowling Green, OH (woo!), and tomorrow is Canada Day anyway...
   52. EricC Posted: July 01, 2004 at 02:33 AM (#708433)
For those of you who strongly support Lip Pike, would you mind summarizing your arguments for him? I'm taking another look.

No arguments for or against Pike here. Just wanted to point out that I've found a great biography of him at
SABR's Baseball Biography Project

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