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

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

1929 Ballot Discussion

1929 (July 4)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)
232 68.0 1909 Donie Bush-SS (1972)
164 50.4 1911 Tilly Walker-LF/CF (1959)
140 49.7 1912 George Cutshaw-2b (1973)
171 40.1 1912 Eddie Foster-3b (1937)
139 37.1 1916 Jim Bagby-P (1954)
144 34.2 1911 Fred Toney-P (1953)
124 32.7 1913 Reb Russell-P/RF (1973)
134 30.1 1911 Earl Hamilton-P (1968)
Negro Lg 1906 Bruce Petway-C (1941)
Negro Lg 1909 Spotswood Poles-CF (1962)

1929 (July 4)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star
52% 09-23 Spotswood Poles-CF (1889) #4 cf - 3 - 3*
44% 06-25 Bruce Petway-C (1883) #5 c - 1 - 7*
00% 09-23 Zack Pettus-1B/C (1884) - 0 - 2*

Note, I will be on vacation starting Saturday a.m., returning the following Saturday a.m.. I have no idea if I will be able to access the internet during that time. So I’ll probably just post the ballot thread Saturday morning before I leave, just refrain from posting to it until Monday - unless you too won’t be around . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 23, 2004 at 03:54 AM | 183 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Jeff M Posted: June 26, 2004 at 07:10 PM (#700050)
I noticed that Wallace has the highest rate of WS of any player at 3rd ever (among those listed in the WS book). 6.73/1000in.

Very odd. Much better than he looks at SS over 16,046 innings.

I wonder if that 3b number is a little off because we don't have actual innings for Wallace's career. James used estimates, and since Wallace played tons of SS and a significant amount of 3b, the lines are probably a little blurry.
   102. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 27, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#700981)
You know how a few elections ago I figured out the median opponents winning percentage for a couple pitchers? Well I just did it for Rube Waddell, he has a MOWP of .510, lower than Brown and Griffith, but higher than Welch, McGinnity, or Caruthers.

And as long as I'm thinking of it, I'm shamelessly plug my blog & mention that I put all the MOWP info on it here.
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: June 27, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#701265)
1929 Preliminary Ballot.

This will be my 27th HoM election, so this is the one-year anniversary of my active involvement with the HoM. I look forward to many more. Great project undertaken in the right spirit by a smart and careful group of people!

The ballot

1. Jimmy Sheckard. See my post late in the 1928 ballot thread for more, but Sheckard has the best combination of career, peak value, and peak ability on the ballot. Because a lot of his offensive value comes from walks, because fielding makes a major contribution to his overall value, and because his career shape is odd, Sheckard’s greatness doesn’t show up strongly on some measures. But WARP and WS both support a high ranking for him, and I think that’s the most reliable data we have.
2. Dickey Pearce. Once one accepts that he played base ball and that the 1860s fall within the scope of the project, it’s difficult to argue that Pearce shouldn’t be in the Hall of Merit. Clearly one of the top players of that decade. After 1865 he wasn’t the best hitter on his team (which was the best team around until Harry Wright put the Red Stockings together), but examination of later players shows that a shortstop who is the third best hitter on team often turns out to be its best player. With appropriate competition discounts applied, he looks to me to have similar value, overall, to Bobby Wallace. Given that he had a much greater impact in his time than Wallace did in his, Pearce ranks ahead.
3. Bobby Wallace. The best career value on the ballot compensates for his relatively weak peak. As with Sheckard, both WARP and WS support a high ranking of Wallace, so I have pretty high confidence in this placement.
4. Clark Griffith. Career value about equal to the just elected McGinnity. Peak was quite a bit lower, but it was harder for a pitcher to have a great peak in the 1890s. He was the fourth-best pitcher in that decade. He deserves induction.
5. Mickey Welch. The various arguments in favor of Welch that I find persuasive have been made in this year’s discussion thread already. I believe he was better than Keefe and Clarkson, contemporaries of his whom we’ve already elected, and who deserved election. Strictly by the numbers, he would deserve to rank higher yet, but I’m less sure of my assessment of pre-1893 pitchers than of any other group, and the 1880s are very well represented, so I rank Welch cautiously.
6. Lip Pike. People have mentioned his 155 OPS+ . . . He was a flat-out great hitter in the 1870s with a fabulous peak, and he looks to have been excellent in the 1860s, too. Career wasn’t long, but he was a regular longer than Hugh Duffy, Pete Browning, or Sam Thompson. The last serious 1870s candidate, he is the only player to have appeared on every ballot I have submitted since I started voting in 1903.
7. Hughie Jennings Best peak on the ballot among position players, and one of the best we’ve seen so far. Among position players eligible through 1929, only Barnes, G. Wright, Wagner, and Lajoie have higher peak rates than Jennings. During his 1894-1898 peak, he was the best player in baseball, and better than a pair of contemporary first-ballot HoMers, Billy Hamilton and Ed Delahanty, who were also at their peaks during these years. If you’re a peak voter, you ought to be supporting Jennings. Even if you’re not a peak voter, he merits support. It’s also worth noting that his team happened to win some pennants during his peak. . . . The fact that he has nothing special to offer outside his five-year peak holds him down, but I think he deserves induction on his merits.
8. Rube Foster. Hard to make a short case for the negro-league stars. The biggest star in black baseball in the aughts. Hurt in my rankings by the shortness of his career, but had more career than Ed Walsh, and nearly as good a peak.
9. Bob Caruthers The last 1880s star I support for induction at present. His case is very similar to Jennings’. He looks to have been one of the top 3 players in baseball over a five year stretch, and a good player for a couple years after that. He stays fairly low on my ballot because of lack of career value, play in a weak league, heavy representation of the 1880s already, and being a pre-1893 pitcher. But I can’t honestly say I’d put any of the players that make up the rest of my ballot into the HoM ahead of him, and his peak is high enough to merit induction.

------------IN/OUT LINE-------------
Everyone above this line seems to me clearly worthy of induction into the HoM, and I wouldn’t argue against anybody who ranks that player #1 or #2 on this year’s ballot. The rest of the players on my ballot (see next post) seem to me to fall slightly below the current standards of the HoM. They all should wait until after the next wave of all-time greats has passed, until we see if the standards of the HoM will need to lower just a touch as the game expands.
   104. Chris Cobb Posted: June 27, 2004 at 06:30 PM (#701284)
1929 Preliminary Ballot, continued

10. Hugh Duffy Outstanding peak and prime. If the Hall looks short a center fielder come, say, 1948, Duffy could get the call.
11.George Van Haltren Or it could be Van Haltren. Outstanding prime. Was an above average player for an exceptionally long time, but never one of the top players in the game. Although I place a lot of weight on career (Van Haltren has the second highest documented career value among eligible position players), he doesn’t quite have enough to be a must-elect on career alone, not as an outfielder.
12. Tommy Leach Hard player to get a handle on. A lot like Van Haltren in that he had a lot of above-average years, but no great peak.
13. Roger Bresnahan Top catcher of the aughts. Genuinely great player (his peak rate trails only (Jennings, Chance, McGraw, and Pike among eligible position players, and trails only Buck Ewing among all catchers so far eligible), but not enough playing time or defensive value to be a definite HoMer.
14. Bill Monroe Back on my ballot this year after a long absence. Great reputation, but the data on his hitting doesn’t justify placing him ahead of Leach, in my view, who was an outstanding defender at 3rd and in center, had a career as long as Monroe’s, and who was clearly an above average major-league hitter. I see Monroe as hitting about like Joe Tinker. His defense doesn’t match Tinker’s (Tinker was probably the most valuable defensive player of the aughts), but his productive career was three years longer, which puts him here.
15. Spotswood Poles Just makes my ballot in his first year of eligibility. See the Poles thread for (much) more detail, but I’ve decided to go with i9s MLEs reduced by 5% as the basis for my calculation of Poles’ value. This treatment of i9s fits his fragmentary actual numbers from‘Riley very well. Holway’s numbers are not quite as flattering, which is why I’ve decided to place him below Monroe. I9s sees Poles as nearly as good 1915-1917 as he was 1911-1914, which gives him an excellent seven-year prime, with good seasons in 1910 and 1919-21. My current MLE win shares for him: 348 career win shares, 63 total peak, peak rate, 1911-15 = 32.18 ws/162. Gets credit as an average player for 1918, which he missed for military service. Ultimately, career value is equal to Hugh Duffy’s, but more spread out, so he rates a bit lower than the Duffy/Van Haltren/Leach trio, whose value is almost exactly equal in my system. I’m hopeful that more actual data for his 1915-17 seasons will turn up to confirm this placement or make it clear that he should be dropped a bit.

No discussion for 16-40 in this post, but the players are

16-20. Larry Doyle, Cupid Childs, Charley Jones, Ned Williamson, Herman Long
21-30. Fielder Jones, Jimmy Ryan, Jake Beckley, Gavvy Cravath, Tony Mullane, Jim McCormick, Lave Cross, Frank Chance, Rube Waddell, Joe Tinker.
31-40. Johnny Evers, Addie Joss, Bruce Petway, John McGraw, Pete Browning, Roy Thomas, Sam Thompson, Billy Nash, Harry Wright, Mike Tiernan.

Comments on consensus top-ten candidates who don’t make my ballot

Beckley is a consensus top-ten candidate. He has no peak.

Sam Thompson is a consensus top-ten candidate. I accept the win shares evaluation of him, which does not suggest that he is worthy of election.

Comment on Bruce Petway, who enters my rankings at #33.

Petway lands in the low 30s in my rankings, making him the #2-ranked catcher among eligible players. He had a career shape pretty similar to the star catchers of the 1890s, guys like Zimmer, McGuire, Farrell: an early peak and a long career in which he was a light-hitting defensive specialist during the second half. During his prime, he hit well enough to have a better peak than the 1890s group, but not well enough to match Roger Bresnahan in value among post-1900 catchers. My ranking of him assumes that he was the defensive equal of Ray Schalk.

Comment on Bill “Zack” Pettus newly eligible this year.

Pettus doesn’t make my top 40, but he deserves a note in passing. One of the top 3 negro-league first basemen of the deadball era, trailing Ben Taylor and ranking around Leroy Grant. He got a late start with the top teams. Born in Texas, he began playing professionally in New Mexico; he played there and in California 1902-1908; he began moving eastward only in 1909. He played for Kansas City that year (long before the Monarchs), moving on the Chicago Giants (not Rube Foster’s team, but Frank Leland’s squad) in 1910 and to New York teams in 1912. He died of tuberculosis in 1924, shortly after his playing career ended.
   105. Jeff M Posted: June 27, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#701374)
<This will be my 27th HoM election, so this is the one-year anniversary of my active involvement with the HoM.</i>

And we are glad you are on board. You've added a ton to the process. :)

John Murphy, what do you think the formal anniversary date of HoM should be? I'd ask Joe, but he's on vacation.

Should it be (1) the anniversary of the first election or the first ballot discussion, or (2) the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, or (3) the date upon which Joe posted "Something Better" and got you and I and Marc and a few others to head over to "www.mostlybaseball.com" to start talking?
   106. Jeff M Posted: June 27, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#701380)
Sorry about that italics thing. I should slow down.
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:11 AM (#702477)
John Murphy, what do you think the formal anniversary date of HoM should be? I'd ask Joe, but he's on vacation.

So I get to play interim commissioner? :-)

Should it be (1) the anniversary of the first election or the first ballot discussion, or (2) the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, or (3) the date upon which Joe posted "Something Better" and got you and I and Marc and a few others to head over to "www.mostlybaseball.com" to start talking?

Good question, Jeff. I'd probably go with the day of the first election.
   108. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:40 AM (#702603)
I made a post about the anniversary of the first day of the first ballot (in April, I believe), which was met with what fantasy bidders call "crickets."
   109. Jeff M Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:50 AM (#702652)
I made a post about the anniversary of the first day of the first ballot (in April, I believe), which was met with what fantasy bidders call "crickets."

I celebrated privately. :)
   110. TomH Posted: June 28, 2004 at 12:53 PM (#703253)
Responding to Kelly in SD re: Rhoderick John "Bobby" Wallace:

If you're big on "peak", Wallace might get left off your ballot; I offer no defense for him in this case.

Looking at career value, here are (from Sinins Baseball Encyclopedia) the leaders in runs created above (positional) average for Bobby's main offensive years, 1897 to 1910:
RCAP RCAP
1 Honus Wagner 885
2 Nap Lajoie 712
3 Elmer Flick 380
4 Ed Delahanty 353
5 John McGraw 321
6 Frank Chance 304
7 Sam Crawford 259
T8 George Davis 255
T8 Fred Clarke 255
T8 Ty Cobb 255
11 Roger Bresnahan 238
12 Jesse Burkett 226
T13 Sherry Magee 223
T13 Mike Donlin 223
15 Harry Davis 218
16 Bobby Wallace 215
T17 Mike Grady 158

Now, how to account for defense? Wallace made fewer errors most years than the avg shortstop; saving about 6-7 runs per year. Quantifying his range at SS is tougher, but let me conservatively estimate he was 5-6 runs better in getting to the ball as well, making him 12 runs per year better than average. Adding 12 r/yr times 14 years gives him an extra 168 runs, moving him from 16th on the above list to 3rd, behind Honus and Lajoie.

For those who like traditional stats, he finished in the top 10 in RBI 8 times in this period; not bad for a shortstop.

Not considering his pitching, he has enough markers on career value to glide into our HoM.
   111. Jeff M Posted: June 28, 2004 at 01:40 PM (#703269)
So I get to play interim commissioner? :-)

Yes. You are like Faye Vincent. Or the first runner up in the Miss America pageant ("if for any reason Joe Dimino is unable to fulfill his duties"). Or Mr. Spock.

The question is, who is "Bones"? :)
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2004 at 02:48 PM (#703336)
The question is, who is "Bones"? :)

Ely? :-)
   113. andrew siegel Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:06 PM (#703523)
I'd love to hear people's comparative evaluation of Bresnahan vs. McGraw vs. Chance (you can throw Jennings in for good measure if you wish). These guys had relatively similar amounts of plate apperances (Jennings had about 10% more) and defensive values that (with the exception of Jennings) are hard to compare to each other. I was going to put Bresnahan at the bottom of my ballot this time (and I have Jennings around 6th) but I'm finding it hard to justify putting him on while leaving off Chance (who I had 19th) and McGraw (who had fallen off my radar screen). Any thoughts?
   114. OCF Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:21 PM (#703545)
I just dug up one of my older methods: R*, which is actual runs scored, adjusted for season (including, implicitly, season length) and run environment but not for team (or park) context. Admittedly, it's a toy, and we have less use for it in the 20th century now that the stats we have to a better job of explaining how runs are scored. But I'm interested in celebrating leadoff hitters, and "to score runs" is the definition of the leadoff hitter's job.

In this system, 100 isn't average - it's a mark of distinction, often among the league leaders. It's something like what you should think when you hear that someone scored 100 runs. Black ink in run scoring clusters around R* 115, although there are years when it is higher and lower.

I updated the leagues through 1932. In so doing, I found the two highest R* numbers other than Ross Barnes 1876: Ty Cobb 1915 and Babe Ruth 1928, both 141.5.

I did a handful of 20th century players. I've got career totals and two different versions of peak/prime: the sum of amount by which the player exceeded 90 each year, and the same but above 75. The one player that really leaps out at me is George Burns, who is a dead ringer on all three measures for Billy Hamilton.

Burns isn't eligible yet. I really did this to look at Donie Bush, and to check in on Roy Thomas and Topsy Hartsel. On both peak measures, Thomas falls into the same range as Duffy and Ryan, but with less total career.

Most of the players near where Donie Bush is on the peak measures on R* have been elected - people like O'Rourke and Burkett, and Bush's career total, although lower, is still reasonably comparable to Hines and McPhee. Bush had a great run scoring year: 133 in 1909, and also a 121, a 111, and a 107.

How about a different 19th century comparison for Bush: he scored runs, at his peak, like Abner Dalrymple, and had several more productive years than Dalrymple had.

Dalrymple got to bat leadoff in front of a powerhouse lineup that included Anson, Gore, and Kelly. Bush got to bat leadoff in front of Cobb and Crawford. The comparison seems fair.
   115. OCF Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#703557)
More on Bush: in the NBJHBA, James says that Bush had exceptionally low double play rates for a shortstop, and attributes that to not keeping up with the times and the increased need for middle infielders to turn two. James singles out the lowest rung of teams for (double plays) - (expected double plays) and says that that rung consists of teams that lost 100 games, and Bush's Tigers, who mostly went about 80-74.
   116. OCF Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#703588)
andrew: The following is about offense only, so I don't know how much it will help you. It's a home-brewed version of Runs Created above average, equalized to the same (rather high) run environment. Although it looks like a counting stat, it turns out to be relatively insensitive to playing time issues and behaves a little more like a rate stat. (All four of these guys have playing time issues.) These are year-by-year numbers, sorted best to worst.

Chance      88 73 71 58 47 33 30 28 25 13  9  8  4  2  0  0
Bresnahan   62 49 46 42 28 26 21 20 19 10  7  6  1  0 -2 -6 -6
Jennings    59 56 46 39 14  5  4  3  1  1  0  0 -4 -5-15-21
McGraw      72 68 48 36 34 32 29 25 11  5  3  2  1  0
   117. DavidFoss Posted: June 28, 2004 at 05:54 PM (#703604)
Thanks OCF... I might drop Jennings due to that post. His peak is nice, but its quite a bit shorter than other high-peak, short-career candidates.
   118. andrew siegel Posted: June 28, 2004 at 06:35 PM (#703669)
Thanks, OCF, but David's reactions shows the problem with those numbers. Going season by season for these guys leads to significant potential mistakes because their playing time WITHIN SEASONS was so spotty. Jennings actually had the most plate apperances of the four, about 5-12% more.

On the other hand, adding the numbers up (which basically solves that problem) gets you Chance in the 490's; Bresnahan around 320; Jennings around 290; and MCGraw around 385. Jennings is still the lowest of the bunch, way behind Chance.

Assuming OCF's metric is correct, Jennings's gold glove SS defense easily makes up Bresnahan's 30 run offensive advantage and very likely makes up McGraw's 95-ish run offensive advantage. Does it make up Chnce's 200 run offensive lead? Well, Chance was mostly a 1B but he was a very good 1B, played a bunch of catcher, had all sort of undocumented pluses as a player, and spread a similar number of PA's around over a larger number of seasons (seemingly picking his spots to some degree). It's a heckuva a lot closer than I thought.

I'm going to keep Jennings a good bit ahead of Chance for the following reasons:

(1) Most other offensive metrics have the two a lot closer than this one does.
(2) Despite a similar career length, I think Jennings deserves some peak points for having been arguably the best player in the game over a 4-year period.
(3) Chance played at a time and at a position where his short career was more anomolous than the other 3.

Still, Jennings moves down a few spots and Chance enters my ballot instead of Bresnahan. I'm going to wait a few days to vote, but right now I have it:

(1) Sheckard
(2) Van Haltren
(3) Wallace
(4) Childs
(5) Ryan
(6) Jennings
(7) Jones
(8) Caruthers
(9) Pike
(10) Williamson
(11) Chance
(12) Thompson
(13) Duffy
(14) Griffith
(15) Doyle
   119. DavidFoss Posted: June 28, 2004 at 07:59 PM (#703779)

Thanks, OCF, but David's reactions shows the problem with those numbers. Going season by season for these guys leads to significant potential mistakes because their playing time WITHIN SEASONS was so spotty. Jennings actually had the most plate apperances of the four, about 5-12% more.


Well, I'm not entirely sold on OCF's metric, but the shape of Jennings' career-value curve serves as a bit of a sanity check for a peak voter like me.

As a peak voter, its in my nature to rate players like McGraw, Chance, Bresnahan and Jennings higher than most. Jennings had four and a half outstanding seasons, but he has practically no value outside his peak -- even as a part-timer. His career OPS+ is "only" 117 which is very low for a short-career, high-peak candidate. Just as some career voters become wary of a peak-less player who somehow amasses 300 WS, I too sometimes because wary of the high-peak player who just doesn't at that level long enough.

OCF's chart showed that McGraw, Chance & Bresnahan all had significantly longer peaks than Jennings did which seemed remarkable as these are all short-career candidates.

A second glance at the raw numbers show that the above three do -- as Andrew points out -- have significant in-season playing time issues during their peaks whereas Jennings was an iron man during his four peak years. I don't recall Chance playing as long as OCF suggests, but I'll check that later.

Still not sure what I'm going to do. Currently I have them at Mack-6th, Hughie-9, Roger-13, Frank-off... with a subjective bonus to Roger for positional shortage.
   120. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 28, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#703907)
JeffM, in the 1929 election thread asked:

Chris J (or anyone else):

I'm trying to conceptualize your RSI metric a little better and put it in context. Suppose a pitcher has a lot of wins and the RSI shows that he was not the beneficiary of extraordinary run support. But suppose the ERA+ numbers or linear weights numbers show that his ERA was only about 10-15% better than the league on average (so in terms of ERA he wasn't dominant).

How did he get all the wins? Does it mean he was doing just enough to win? Does it mean his teammates were hitting just well enough to win?

Put another way, if he has average run support and his ERA is 10-15% better than the league, shouldn't he realistically win only about 10-15% more games than average? If he wins more, how?

Could it be that he rarely won in a blowout, but instead, got relatively consistent, though not extraordinary, run support? Do your numbers allow you to calculate the standard deviation of the run support a pitcher received?

I'm not reacting to your ballot with this comment. Seeing your name just prompted the lingering question.

One answer I could think to give is here where I discuss how I adjust W/L records.

Basic answer is that I don't answer it accept to acknowledge that some pitchers win more games than they should & other lose more than they should. I have no answer for it because I'm only adjusting for run support with RSI & this "third factor" as I call it is not about run support.

Is it pitching to the score? Luck? A result of how the manager handles the pitcher? Sun spots? I have no idea accept to lamely suggest that it isn't always the same thing for all pitchers.
   121. DavidFoss Posted: June 28, 2004 at 09:43 PM (#703952)
Is it pitching to the score? Luck? A result of how the manager handles the pitcher? Sun spots? I have no idea accept to lamely suggest that it isn't always the same thing for all pitchers.

When we get to the retrosheet era (1970+) we can start doing game-by-game analysis of starters. For instance, Blyleven 1973 has always looked like a hard-luck pitcher season. 2.52 ERA with a decent offense behind him... how did he lose 17 games?

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/Kblylb0010041973.htm

A closer look at the game log shows that he's got a very bizarre run-game distribution. Nine shutouts, but also shelled a few times in there as well. I think he still projects to lose 16 games with average run support.

I'm sure there were bizarre cases like Blyleven's back in the eras we are considering as well. I'm not sure how to distinguish this type of year, from a poor run support year.
   122. karlmagnus Posted: June 29, 2004 at 01:17 PM (#704371)
Probably everyone else has done this, but I just looked at the career leaderboard for triples, which in the deadball era are to some extent equivalent to home runs, and it runs (for those with 200 or more) Crawford-Cobb-Wagner-Beckley-Connor-Speaker-Clarke-Brouthers. That's awfully fancy company Jake's keeping, and tends to justify those of us who have him near the top of our ballots. He wasn't mediocre for 15 years, he was very good indeed for 15 years -- it's a big difference.
   123. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2004 at 06:14 PM (#704737)
For those who, like me, hadn't been paying attention to this:
We are electing two more year every single year from 1924 to 1957 - EXCEPT 1931 (mercifully, when we elect only one more straggler).

I'm assuming those facts on the "how many electees per year" are accurate...
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 30, 2004 at 04:22 AM (#706164)
Does anyone here think we need a discussion page set up for Dave Brown (eligible in '31)?
   125. Jeff M Posted: June 30, 2004 at 04:40 AM (#706176)
Well, it doesn't look like to me Brown has a legit shot at the HoM (he only has 7 years in the NeL and doesn't appear to be as good as Wickware), but it <u>would</u> be an interesting discussion, since he had more than a few legal problems (including killing someone in a barroom fight).
   126. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 30, 2004 at 04:50 AM (#706184)
Well, it doesn't look like to me Brown has a legit shot at the HoM (he only has 7 years in the NeL and doesn't appear to be as good as Wickware),

I forgot about Wickware. Brown appears to have had a more impressive peak, but Wickware played twice as long. Both of them don't look like they'll hit my ballot, but possibly we're missing something about them.

BTW Jeff, good stuff with Petway and Poles. The former will not make my ballot, but the latter may still have a chance.
   127. Jeff M Posted: June 30, 2004 at 04:56 AM (#706187)
Are you, as interim commissioner, able to set up a separate discussion thread? I had no idea that the number two man had such power. :)

I'm thinking of posting something very controversial this week (don't know what yet), just so you have some issues to resolve during your "reign".
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 30, 2004 at 05:29 AM (#706199)
Are you, as interim commissioner, able to set up a separate discussion thread? I had no idea that the number two man had such power. :)

Actually, I don't, though Joe at one time was going to give me access to the HoM Plaque Room. In fact, that still might be a good idea since he's doing ten things at once all the time.

I'm thinking of posting something very controversial this week (don't know what yet), just so you have some issues to resolve during your "reign".

Then you'll find out I'm just a paper lion! :-)
   129. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 02:38 PM (#706390)
Just for conversation, here is my current rankings by position (all players active through 1928). Please note that Negro Leaguers are only included as they become eligible, or at least near it, as that is when I begin to look into them...

HoMers, not yet eligible.

Pitchers

Johnson
Young
Mathewson
Alexander

Rusie
Nichols
Walsh
Clarkson
Radbourne
Plank
Keefe
Galvin

Mays
Coveleski

Cicotte
Faber
McCormick
Shocker
Griffith
Bond
McGinnity
M. Brown

Foster
Whitney
Pennock

Catchers

Kelly
White
Bennett
Ewing

Santop
McVey
Petway

1St Base

Connor
Brouthers
Anson

Sisler
Start
Beckley
Konetchy

2nd Base

Collins
Lajoie
Hornsby
Barnes
McPhee

Monroe
Richardson
Childs

3rd Base

Collins
Baker

Nash
Groh
Williamson
Cross
McGraw
Sutton

Shortstop

Wagner
Dahlen
Glasscock
Davis

Jennings
Wright
G. Johnson

Pearce
Wallace

Left Field

Delahanty
Burkett
Clarke

Sheckard
Kelley
Veach
J. Jackson
Ryan

Centre Field

Cobb
Speaker

Hamilton
Hines
Gore

F. Jones
Van Haltren
Carey

Right Field

Ruth
Keeler
Flick
Crawford

Thompson
Hooper
Heilmann


Multiple Position (although some players listed above fit this category as well)

Ward
Spalding

caruthers
O'Rourke
Pike
Stovey
Seymour
   130. Jeff M Posted: June 30, 2004 at 03:23 PM (#706460)
Max, where did you have Frank Grant?
   131. Max Parkinson Posted: June 30, 2004 at 03:29 PM (#706466)
Behind Childs. He started out there, then I gave in to peer pressure and raised him, then slowly he faded back to where he started.
   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 07:36 PM (#709763)
Thinking ahead:

Does anyone think that Harry Hooper is ballot worthy? Much better than I thought he was before this project started, he'll still be off my ballot by a comfortable amount. Nice career, but his peak wasn't anything special. Too many outfielders with better credentials in front of him.

I don't see any newbies making my ballot until Santop caterpults near or all the way to the top in '32. What do you guys think?
   133. ronw Posted: July 01, 2004 at 07:48 PM (#709812)
John:

I will probably have Harry on the lower part of my ballot. He seems like a Jake Beckley of OF, never really the best at his position, but an All-Star for many years.

Besides Santop and Jose Mendez, the other newbies who may make my ballot before 1933 are George J. Burns and Wilbur Cooper, unless I decide to discount the teens NL.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 08:01 PM (#709841)
I will probably have Harry on the lower part of my ballot. He seems like a Jake Beckley of OF, never really the best at his position, but an All-Star for many years.

I think that's reasonable. I just have guys like Jimmy Ryan, Tiernan, Thompson, Roy Thomas, Pete Browning and Fielder Jones who I would look at first before I placed Hooper on my ballot.

I'm trying to see if there will be any newbies that will make any real impact before Santop and Mendez are eligible. If there aren't any, it looks like we'll definitely have five of the backlog in by '32 (with another one possibly that year).

Besides Santop and Jose Mendez, the other newbies who may make my ballot before 1933 are George J. Burns and Wilbur Cooper, unless I decide to discount the teens NL.

Cooper (or Adams) may make my ballot in '32. I don't see any of them sailing in their first year of eligibility, however.

As for Burns, I don't see him making my ballot. Very good player, but I don't think there will be any real buzz surrounding him.
   135. DanG Posted: July 01, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#709844)
Just for the record. I never got around to sending this to Joe. I think it's an interesting group.

Players Passing Away in 1928

Candidates
Age Eligible
87 1880 Al Reach-2B
71 1894 Pete Hotaling-CF
69 1899 Joe Mulvey-3B
64 1901 Tom “Oyster” Burns-RF
58 1902 Ed Stein-P
58 1908 Hughie Jennings-SS/Mgr
58 1912 Malachi Kittridge-C
56 1910 Jack Dunn-P/3B/Owner
54 1914 Jake Weimer-P
51 1916 Ed Killian-P

Future Candidates
39 1932 Jose Mendez-P
36 1933 Urban Shocker-P
   136. Michael Bass Posted: July 01, 2004 at 08:08 PM (#709867)
I haven't done a full analysis yet, but I suspect Hooper will be in the 5-10 range on my ballot. I'm a career voter, if you couldn't tell. :)

Santop will almost certainly be #1 when he shows up. Mendez will be on my ballot, too, but I'm less certain of his placement.
   137. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 08:14 PM (#709899)
I'm a career voter, if you couldn't tell. :)

No! Really? :-D
   138. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 08:42 PM (#710031)
Cooper (or Adams) may make my ballot in '32.

I did a little work on both of them. Cooper has an excellent shot to make the bottom of my ballot in '32, while Adams has no chance.
   139. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#710214)
Upcoming arrivals and my ballot:

Harry Hooper -- No. Lots of career value, but not enough to make up for low peak. Warp voters will like him better than WS.

George J. Burns -- Better peak than Hooper, but not enough to reach the ballot.

Bobby Veach -- Serious hitter, but too little career.

Louis Santop -- Possible #1, but I haven't worked him up yet.

Heinie Groh -- Keep an eye on this one. He'll make my ballot in 1931, and shouldn't be overlooked. Short career, but _great_ peak. Sunnyday2 will like him, I think.

Jose Mendez -- May make my ballot. Negro-League pitchers are just the hardest . . . reserving judgment until I look closely at his career

Jules Thomas -- Maybe.

Dobie Moore -- Maybe. Probably too short a career, but hard to say.

Wilbur Cooper -- Also maybe. Will need to study him closely, certainly. Standards for pitchers are about to change as we hit the lively ball . . .

Babe Adams -- Most likely not, but I haven't studied him closely yet.
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 09:41 PM (#710229)
Heinie Groh -- Keep an eye on this one. He'll make my ballot in 1931, and shouldn't be overlooked. Short career, but _great_ peak. Sunnyday2 will like him, I think.

Dan had him as eligible in '33 so that's why I missed him.

He should be high on my ballot. Definitely top ten.
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:01 PM (#710250)
He should be high on my ballot. Definitely top ten.

Now that I have done some work on him, I will have Groh no lower than #3 when he becomes eligible. Besides his great peak, his career was long when compared to others at that position.
   142. Kelly in SD Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:07 PM (#710261)
I just want to recommend SABR's Deadball Stars of the National League. It is a collection of 2-4 page biographies of various players/managers/officials involved in the National League. While some of the bios do have some numbers, the book is interesting because it gives you a more complete picture of the player and his career arc. There is good info about injuries, family problems, etc. Lots of comments about McGraw, his "system" (as we would call it today), and how he got players to fit the system. There are more bios of the Giants and Cubs (20+) than the others - as few as 10 for Boston to 17 for Pit and Phil.
Interesting bits include: Cravath talking about his "homefield advantage," watching the Cubs take shape, watching McGraw rebuild his club multiple times, the Philies were over .500 for the period until the 1919 season, and Jimmy Sheckard almost being blinded in his left eye when then-teammate Heinie Zimmerman threw a bottle of ammonia at his face and then tried to prevent any other Cub from helping Sheckard (explains his career low .231 avg a little).
Anyway, a great book to help provide a more-rounded view of many candidates.
No, I did not get paid for this post, nor did I write any bios.
   143. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:10 PM (#710268)
No, I did not get paid for this post, nor did I write any bios.

The same here and I recommend the book, too. I can't wait for the AL version.
   144. Jeff M Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#710276)
Cooper has an excellent shot to make the bottom of my ballot in '32, while Adams has no chance.

Cooper is one of the ten pitchers who gets his own essay in The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers.

Jimmy Sheckard almost being blinded in his left eye when then-teammate Heinie Zimmerman threw a bottle of ammonia at his face and then tried to prevent any other Cub from helping Sheckard (explains his career low .231 avg a little).

Zimmerman was a sweetheart, wasn't he?
   145. Kelly in SD Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:16 PM (#710285)
Re: Possible new players: George Burns 1931. I just looked at BBRef and was suprised to find his Black Ink/Grey Ink scores to be so good: 33/165. An excellent leadoff man for those voters who think that batting order position is shortchanged. But this will wait for another month...
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:16 PM (#710286)
Zimmerman was a sweetheart, wasn't he?

Yeah, but that was the only low point of his career, right?

Right? :-)
   147. Kelly in SD Posted: July 01, 2004 at 10:22 PM (#710303)
That was one sort-of-surprise from the Deadball Stars Book. There are a whole lot more baseball (star) players from the era who were not-nice (ok, they acted like the south end of a north-bound mule) than I would have expected. The various entries make it clear why Mathewson was so admired.
   148. Jim Sp Posted: July 02, 2004 at 12:38 AM (#710694)
Santop and Mendez look like good candidates in 1932. Del Pratt will be on my ballot somewhere I think.

Babe Adams is at best a bottom of the ballot filler vote. Other somewhat (but not really) interesting candidates that I probably won't vote for are Larry Gardner, Wilbur Cooper, Bobby Veach, and Jake Daubert. Hooper and Burns are nowhere close.

Oh...and don't forget Rube Marquard is eligible in 1931 and Ross Youngs in 1932!
   149. OCF Posted: July 02, 2004 at 12:45 AM (#710724)
Ross Youngs is a favorite case of many arguing what's wrong with the Hall of Fame. But he did have an actual offensive peak. I don't know what I'll do with him, but he at least gets a look.
   150. Chris Cobb Posted: July 02, 2004 at 02:29 AM (#711215)
Dan had him as eligible in '33 so that's why I missed him.

Unless it's confirmed otherwise, presume Dan is right and I am wrong. Probably a clerical error of mine somewhere moved him into an earlier year.
   151. Chris Cobb Posted: July 02, 2004 at 02:56 AM (#711416)
This is a response to dan b's ballot comment on Spotswood Poles. It's a bit long, so I'm posting here to avoid clutter.

dan wrote:

Since expert opinion is about all we have to go on with the early Negro Leaguers, where did all that support for Johnson and Grant come from (or go)? If it is from i9’s projections, who is Dan Levine and why should we give his input more weight than the afore mentioned experts?

The support for Frank Grant and Grant Johnson came from analysis of their fragmentary statistical record and of the shape of their careers, supplemented by recourse to expert opinion. In the case of Frank Grant, the fact that he was nearly universally acknowledged as the best black player of the nineteenth century carried weight with voters, I believe.

The i9s projections certainly played no role in Frank Grant's election, since they only cover the final three seasons of his career. They may have played a role in Johnson's election, but they were not a prominent part of the discussion.

Speaking only for myself, I made use of the i9s projections in calculating estimated peak and career values for Poles, but only after I checked them carefully to make sure that they fit the available data reasonably well. They seem to me, in fact, a bit generous.

Again, speaking only for myself, I prefer to place rely more on data than expert opinion, when data is available. Expert opinion is frequently contradictory and seldom explains its relationship to the historical record, so I mainly use it as an indicator of players who deserve to be examined carefully, unless it is really unequivocal.

In the case of Poles, it isn't. 52% of the CPPD experts selected Poles for the Hall of Fame. Hardly unanimous, though you are certainly correct that it is more support than Grant or Johnson received. Bill James ranks him as the #4 centerfielder. If we elect the top 4 players James has selected at each position, plus a proportional number of pitchers, we will elect 44 negro-leagues to the Hall of Merit. That seems unlikely, so a #4 ranking from James is hardly a strong endorsement. It's not a weak one, but it's hardly definitive.

I find it hard to take seriously your argument that we should be relying more heavily on expert opinion when your ballot suggests that you rely on expert opinion quite selectively yourself. Bruce Petway was selected for the Hall of Fame by 44% of the CPPD experts, and Bill James ranks him as the #5 catcher, a position that he claims was one of the strongest in the Negro Leagues in comparison to the white majors. You have Poles at #3, based on expert opinion, but Petway doesn't even make your top 20 or merit a passing note. This is the more surprising given that you rank Bresnahan #1!

So, I am left wondering how exactly you make use of expert opinion. If you want to raise support for Poles, make it clear why the expert opinion is valuable in his case, or show why the extant data should be interpreted more favorably.
   152. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:05 AM (#711942)
Bruce Petway was selected for the Hall of Fame by 44% of the CPPD experts,

To be fair, the poll in CPPD was who were the 27 best negro leaguers not then in Cooperstown, not who all the experts think should be there. If someone thinks the CPPD quota was too high, they can rely on experts picks & still be opposed to Petway.

Chris Cobb - while I'm thinking of it - do you have the CPPD book with you? In the HoF expert election, he has a special subcommittee of 10 experts on the early blackball stars. Can you say how guys like Poles did on that & who the leaders were? It'd be interesting to see.
   153. yest Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:30 AM (#711985)
In the case of Frank Grant, the fact that he was nearly universally acknowledged as the best black player of the nineteenth century carried weight with voters, I believe.

Besides Sol White and the Buffalo writer who thought he was the best player in Buffalo's history who else mentions this? The reason I'm asking is still not convised he was better then Bud Fowler or George Stovey?
   154. Chris Cobb Posted: July 02, 2004 at 05:11 AM (#712026)
Chris J. wrote:

Chris Cobb - while I'm thinking of it - do you have the CPPD book with you? In the HoF expert election, he has a special subcommittee of 10 experts on the early blackball stars. Can you say how guys like Poles did on that & who the leaders were? It'd be interesting to see.

I do have the book handy.

The full voting of the pioneers' panel isn't disclosed, but the candidates the pioneers' panel supported were

Ben Taylor 80%
Sammy T. Hughes 80%
Oliver Marcelle 80%
Pete Hill 70%
Spotswood Poles 70%

Why Sammy T. Hughes and Oliver Marcelle are under the Pioneers panel purview is unclear, but these are the results. This seems more significant "expert opinion" in favor of Poles.

yest wrote:

Besides Sol White and the Buffalo writer who thought he was the best player in Buffalo's history who else mentions this? The reason I'm asking is still not convised he was better then Bud Fowler or George Stovey?

I was referring to expert, not to contemporary, opinion. Since Sol White is shown -- by his ability to assemble great teams -- as one of the best judges of talent in Negro baseball in his time, his opinion carries considerable weight with me.

That said, here's the evidence on expert opinion from _Cool Papas and Double Duties_, which is what I was actually referring to.

In the expert voting, Frank Grant was selected by 16 of the 25 experts polled as worthy of the Hall of Fame. Here are the number of votes received by other black players whose careers were primarily in the 19th century:

Sol White -- 1
George Stovey -- 1
Fleet Walker -- 1
Bud Fowler -- 0

I interpret these results as meaning that Frank Grant is nearly universally acknowledged as the best black player of the nineteenth century by current Negro League experts.
   155. Chris Cobb Posted: July 02, 2004 at 05:19 AM (#712037)
An P.S. to my comment to dan b above:

I was reminded, in looking up the data that Chris J. asked for, that McNeil doesn't give a full report of the voting results: he only lists the players receiving 50% or more of the vote. So there's no overt indication that Bruce Petway received nearly as much support as Poles from the experts. ( I got the 44% figure by counting the votes, and put it in my Petway entry, but it's certainly in the fine print there, as it were.)

So I retract my criticism of inconsistency in your ranking practice, but I remain curious as to whether this information would materially affect your ranking of Petway, and, if so, how? I really don't have an idea of how I would use expert opinion to rank a player on my ballot, so if you have a system for doing so, I'd find it useful to see it.
   156. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 02, 2004 at 05:50 AM (#712057)
Del Pratt will be on my ballot somewhere I think.

I thought he would be on my ballot also, but he's the third best second baseman for his time. There's just so much room on my ballot...

Ross Youngs is a favorite case of many arguing what's wrong with the Hall of Fame. But he did have an actual offensive peak. I don't know what I'll do with him, but he at least gets a look.

I agree. We're not talking George Kelly here. IMO, he was legitimately (not the "everybody from the Giants and Cards during the twenties and thirties who played with Frankie Frisch" reality) on track for the Hall career-wise until he was stricken with Bright's Disease. Whether his peak and abridged career is HoM worthy is still open for discussion.
   157. Kelly in SD Posted: July 02, 2004 at 08:00 AM (#712107)
Since we seem to be making random comments about future eligibles ...

While I was inputting stuff into my eligibles spreadsheet, I again saw how amazing was Mr. Cobb. His Similarity Scores had Speaker the most similar with a 760. Anson (funny, huh?) was next at 664. From there it dropped down to Brett in 10th with a 521.

A unique player...
   158. DanG Posted: July 02, 2004 at 01:30 PM (#712177)
Dan had him as eligible in '33 so that's why I missed him.

While it is not unreasonable to call Groh's appearances in 1926 and 1927 token ones, our rules (as written and consistently applied) do not allow him to be eligible until 1933.
   159. PhillyBooster Posted: July 02, 2004 at 01:42 PM (#712192)
In 1935, I currently intend to not vote for Art Nehf.
   160. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 02, 2004 at 01:55 PM (#712208)
While it is not unreasonable to call Groh's appearances in 1926 and 1927 token ones, our rules (as written and consistently applied) do not allow him to be eligible until 1933.

No argument from me, Dan. I forgot what the rules were in regard to eligibility, to be honest with you.

In 1935, I currently intend to not vote for Art Nehf.

Okay, you twisted my arm, Matt. I'm on the bandwagon, too!
   161. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 02, 2004 at 03:35 PM (#712290)
A quick question regarding Pythagenport. My defense-independent WARP1 say that Ed Walsh's 1911 season (368 IP, 188 dERA+, 15.4 WARP) was almost as good as his 1910 (369 IP, 224 dERA+, 15.9 WARP). Using a replacement level of 1.25*league ERA, here is how I calculate it:

Year  LgRS WalshRA RepRA
1910   614     522   656
1911   777     678   829


If you use a flat 2 Pythagorean exponent, in both years, the league-average team with a replacement pitcher throwing Walsh's innings goes 76-86 in a 162 game season. 1910 Walsh's team goes 94-68, for 18 WARP, and 1911 Walsh's team goes 92-70, for 16 WARP.

However, if you use the Pythagenport formula, 1910 Walsh (in a lower run scoring environment) goes 92.2-69.8 against the replacement 76.3-85.7 (15.9 WARP), while 1911 Walsh goes 91.3-70.7 against the replacement 75.8-86.2 (15.4 WARP).

Is this right? Can a 224 ERA+ in a low run scoring environment be equal to a 188 ERA+ in a higher run scoring environment?
   162. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 02, 2004 at 03:49 PM (#712324)
Also, I'm still trying to figure out how to split credit for pitching and fielding to make my WARP system work. It seems to me what would make sense would be to figure out a replacement fielder at each position, and determine each pitcher's dERA using league-replacement fielders for BABIP (adjusted for the pitcher's BABIP performance in relation to his teammates). Then, that fielding value above replacement could be credited to fielders.

Does anyone have suggestions for figuring out replacement BABIP? My thought is, if you add up the BP alltime numbers you get 219 FRAR per 162 games. Using a non-HR hit = .8 runs (which I believe is the conversion for this, although I don't understand why because XR says the value is lower), that would mean 274 extra base hits. Arbitrarily giving 4.5 K/9 historically (don't know the real #), that would be 3645 outs on balls in play per season. With a league average .290 BABIP, that's 1489 hits on balls in play. Add 274 to that and you get a BABIP of .326.

What do you all think of the BP numbers? Does this approach seem reasonable?
   163. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#712367)
Just by contrast--James's Win Shares methodology for fielding seems real fishy to me, *but* the fact that it maxes out around 12 fielding WS seems right. By contrast, by my calculation, Joe Tinker's 84 FRAR in 1908 translate to about 29 fielding win shares, which seems ludicrous.
   164. PhillyBooster Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:12 PM (#712369)
As an alternate take on voting, here is Bill James's ballot, based upon his Player Rankings. Makes me wonder whether we are not being too balanced across positions. James has 3 third basemen, 3 second basemen, and 4 centerfielders on his ballot. Then, one of each other positions, except pitcher. His Top Pitcher is at #41 (Ed Cicotte):

1. Roger Bresnahan (C-16)
2. Hughie Jennings (SS-18)
T3. Larry Doyle (2B-20)
T3. Tommy Leach (3B-20)
T3. Hugh Duffy (CF-20)
6. Jimmy Sheckard (LF-24)
T7. Frank Chance (1B-25)
T7. Johnny Evers (2B-25)
T9. John McGraw (3B-26)
T9. Cupid Childs (2B-26)
T9. Jimmy Ryan (CF-26)
12. George van Haltren (CF-28)
T13. Roy Thomas (CF-29)
T13. Gavy Cravath (RF-29)
15. Cy Seymour (3B-30)
   165. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:48 PM (#712444)
More spam.

Davenport says he uses the .130 1899 Cleveland Spiders as his definition of replacement level (around 337 RS/963 RA per 162), although actual ML replacement level he says is .300-.350, I'll call it .300 (around 500 RS/800 RA per 162). Thus, the batters would score 150 runs below average, and the fielders would allow 150 runs above average. This seems quite simply to suggest a batting replacement level of (500/650)=77% of league average, pretty close to the .8 I've been using.
The defensive half is tougher. Using the strong DIPS formulation for convenience' sake, and dealing with the present for now, let's say that 72% of PA's result in a ball in play, so 28% of the defensive half (42 runs) is entirely pitching. The other 108 runs are the result of below-average fielding. 108 runs is 135 hits, which at 6.4 K/9 currently means a replacement BABIP of .310, or (.31/.29)= 6.9% above league average BABIP. Does this work?
   166. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 02, 2004 at 04:51 PM (#712454)
This leads to BP's positional values being cut neatly in half, BTW (eg league average shortstop 19 FRAR)
   167. yest Posted: July 02, 2004 at 05:22 PM (#712538)
what about Ray Schalk?
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 02, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#712615)
what about Ray Schalk?

Santop, Schang, Bresnahan, Farrell and McGuire go in before I even think of Schalk.
   169. sunnyday2 Posted: July 02, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#712685)
I think someone used my name in vain!? Oh, OK, not in vain, just in post #39.

Yes, Heinie Groh is definitely on my ballot. The Coop HoF did a grossly terrible job with dead ball N(ational)Lers, obviously with way too many unworthy FoFF instead of Sherry Magee, Larry Doyle and Heinie Groh. Given the position he played, I would take him ahead of Edd Roush. (I am taking this from memory, analysis to be revisted when needed.)

I like Veach and Burns better than Hooper, being a peak/prime voter, but none will make my ballot, nor even my top 30 or maybe even 40.

In 1932 I will (or expect to) have Mendez and Santop 1 and 2 in that order. There is an article about Mendez in the new National Pastime which just arrived today, and also an article about the N(egro)L World Series of 1903-04 (Philadelphia and X-Cuban Giantses).

Dobie Moore, at a glance, is a Hughie Jennings comp. A huge talent who was a HR Johnson for about 5 years then broke his leg and never played again. Being a peak/prime voter I expect to have him on my ballot, too. If I only looked at peak, he could be a top 3, throwing in some prime (and he had a short prime, not to even mention a short career) he probably drops to 5-10, and adding in career he probably drops to 10-15. But at his peak he was Jennings or HR Johnson or, well not quite, Hornsby. Cronin maybe. A massive talent.

Finally as to Poles. I think we are slightly undervaluing him so far, but just slightly. I see him as more or less a Pete Hill type player. It is Hill whose rating I do not get.

Matt, your list from James is shocking (shocking!) but how much of the seeming inanity of the rankings are due to a pattern of players that he might already have elected? And how much simply due to the uneven distribution of talent by position, especially catcher?
   170. OCF Posted: July 02, 2004 at 07:00 PM (#712752)
...Mr. Cobb. His Similarity Scores had Speaker the most similar with a 760.

Following the chain:
Cobb : Speaker (760)
Speaker: Waner (805) (you know which one)
Waner: Gwynn (864) (ditto - not Chris)
Gwynn: Wheat (882) and there it reflects.

For a trip in a different direction, start with Walter Johnson and just use similarity as pitcher (not hitter):

Johnson: Spahn (795)
Spahn: Nichols (865)
Nichols: Keefe (891)
Keefe: Welch (900)
Welch: Radbourn (910) and back to Welch.
   171. Jeff M Posted: July 02, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#712796)
This leads to BP's positional values being cut neatly in half, BTW (eg league average shortstop 19 FRAR)

Dan, some of what you are saying is a little over my head (at least the pitching part), but as I mentioned in an earlier post, Joe Dimino (with TangoTiger support) thinks the FRAA ought to be used instead of FRAR. That reduces positional values by more than half in many cases. Tinker would lose 5.7 WARP1 in 1908. Tinker's career would lose about 62.3 in WARP1, reducing him to 52 WARP1 for career.

I mentioned that I was nervous going that far (though it seems reasonable in the context of Tinker's 1908), so I basically average the FRAA and the FRAR. That doesn't cut the positional values in half, but it raises the replacement level significantly without raising it to average. Tinker's 1908 WARP1 would be reduced about 2.8 and his career WARP1 would be reduced about 31.2, for a 83.1 WARP1.

No matter what, Tinker seems to have had an unbelievable 1908 in the field. His actual fielding WS that year were 12.7, which is pretty close to the FRAA WARP1 number. However, the FRAA doesn't match as well in other years for Tinker. Tinker has 113.5 fielding WS for career, which puts him about halfway between my method and Joe's method (70% of (FRAR+FRAA)/2; 165% of FRAA)

Is it possible that Tinker's WARP1 FRAR, FRAA and (FRAR+FRAA)/2 translate to such a high number of WS because WARP has normalized to a 9 R/G context and James hasn't?
   172. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 05, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#717165)
I'm back . . .

"Is this right? Can a 224 ERA+ in a low run scoring environment be equal to a 188 ERA+ in a higher run scoring environment?"

Well, it isn't exactly equal . . . the 224 ERA+ guy wins .5 games more than the 188 ERA+ guy. But I don't think that it is unreasonable. Any of the "+" stats get screwy at really low or really high levels of offense, so it doesn't surprise me too much . . .

As for the anniversary date thing, let's just celebrate them all!

I'm trying to catch up, but I may not get everything, as I'm also doing my ballot tonight, and working. Any pressing issues that I need to chime in on or anything?
   173. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 05, 2004 at 04:22 AM (#717166)
Just to elaborate, the difference between a 224 ERA+ and a 188 ERA+ (36 points) is MUCH LESS than the difference between a 152 and a 188. And that is MUCH LESS of a difference than that of 100 and 136. The further up you go, the less a 1 point difference means . . .
   174. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 05, 2004 at 04:58 AM (#717176)
Just to elaborate, the difference between a 224 ERA+ and a 188 ERA+ (36 points) is MUCH LESS than the difference between a 152 and a 188. And that is MUCH LESS of a difference than that of 100 and 136. The further up you go, the less a 1 point difference means . . .

To better illustrate this, the 224 ERA+ is only 19% (or is it 41%?) greater than the 188 ERA+, while the 188 is 23% (69%?) greater than the 152.

The reason I'm not sure of the exact method is a 224 ERA+ means that the pitcher was 124% greater than average (the 188 ERA+ means that the pitcher was 88% greater than average). Either way, Joe's reasoning works.
   175. ronw Posted: July 05, 2004 at 06:21 AM (#717197)
Any pressing issues that I need to chime in on or anything?

Well, John Murphy went a bit wild as interim commish. Our little group is no longer called the "Hall of Merit," but rather "Mariano Duncan's Free Swingin' House of Love."

That, and it looks like Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro will take the 1929 election hands down.
   176. Kelly in SD Posted: July 05, 2004 at 10:17 AM (#717227)
Welch vs. Keefe - their records against teams and HoMers:
All these numbers are based on the starting pitchers listed for each game on Retrosheet. Totals may not add up to official career numbers b/c there were a few games where one pitcher didn't get a dec'n despite starting, but there was no other pitcher listed.
          Welch  Keefe
Galvin    26-11   8-6
Clarkson  12-5    9-10
Radbourn  17-10  14-10
Rusie      2-0    5-2
Nichols    0-1    3-3
Ward       4-7    3-7
Young      NR     0-2
totals:   61-34  42-40
          .642   .512


Against teams over/under .500 (don't have Welch's 1891 info in the next two entries (sorry)

            Welch    Keefe
over .500   129-130  147-150
             .498     .495
under .500  179-73   201-81
             .710     .712


Against teams by finish

    Welch  Keefe
1   22-30  30-38
    .423   .441
2   27-39  29-44
    .409   .397
3   48-23  33-21
    .676   .611
4   34-25  34-24 
    .576   .586
5   32-30  39-24 
    .516   .619 
6   39-20  54-23
    .661   .701
7   51-21  52-20
    .708   .722
8   59-14  50-25 or 8+ 77-34
    .808   .667        .693
9+   NR    27-9
           .750


Having looked at the above numbers, why is Keefe in the HoM and Welch isn't?
Welch had the same results as Keefe despite facing more HoMers, despite getting poorer run support (please see the Run Support Index in the Yahoo group, but I think Keefe's RSI was about 107 and Welch's was 102.5). Also, 19.6% of Keefe's starts were against teams 8th or worst. Only 13.3% of Welch's were.
Keefe has more WS b/c he pitched longer and had the big year in the second year of the AA. I don't know why WARP likes Keefe better. Is it all K/W ratio and WHIP?
I will repost this in the 1930 discussion thread also.
   177. Kelly in SD Posted: July 05, 2004 at 10:19 AM (#717228)
I'm sorry, Keefe's percentage of starts against teams 8th and worst should be 18.7, not 19.6. mea culpa.
   178. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 05, 2004 at 03:02 PM (#717280)
Well, John Murphy went a bit wild as interim commish. Our little group is no longer called the "Hall of Merit," but rather "Mariano Duncan's Free Swingin' House of Love."

That, and it looks like Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro will take the 1929 election hands down.


I hope you know, sir, that this means war. :-)
   179. Daryn Posted: July 05, 2004 at 03:22 PM (#717287)
I'll re-post this when the 1930 discussion goes up, but now that Andrew Foster will be a top 10 returnee, I'd like to hear from the naysayers -- did SABR get it wrong too?:

Rankings of Best Negro League Players, 1999
By The SABR Office


Rk Player Votes %
1 Paige, Satchel 85 100.0%
1 Leonard, Buck 85 100.0%
3 Bell, Cool Papa 84 98.8%
4 Charleston, Oscar 82 96.5%
5 Foster, Rube 81 95.3%
5 Gibson, Josh 81 95.3%
5 Lloyd, Pop 81 95.3%


Pretty nice company.
   180. OCF Posted: July 05, 2004 at 04:26 PM (#717316)
Dayrn, the list you're quoting had votes for a number of promoters/organizers/owners, so "Players" was a slightly misleading title. No one doubts Foster's enormous value on the promoter/organizer/owner side. The problem is figuring out what part of his value comes as a player.
   181. Daryn Posted: July 05, 2004 at 05:57 PM (#717375)
I did not know that OCF. Nevertheless, I think Chris Cobb and others have done a great job of documenting his playing career here on the site. It appears that only half of our voters are convinced he is even ballot worthy, which really surprises me.
   182. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 06, 2004 at 09:05 AM (#718848)
Random useful information that I'm not sure where to post:

For a given run scoring environment, the difference in runs between a league average team and a .300 level replacement team is equal to .16 times the league average runs scored/allowed per game plus 26. e.g.

League scores 4 runs/gm
Average team scores/allows 648 runs
(648*.16) + 42 = 146, so a replacement team going 49-153 would score (648-146) = 502 runs and allow (648+146) = 794 runs.
   183. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 06, 2004 at 01:35 PM (#718902)
Did I say 49-153? I meant 49-113. d'oh.
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