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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

1930 Ballot

Sorry it’s late guys - I’m pretty sick right now, and I had some personal errands that couldn’t wait today (amazing how that always happens when you’re least up for it) and this completely slipped my mind . . . find me at SABR if you’re there and say hello . . .

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 12:29 AM | 222 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:00 AM (#731057)
hot topics post, sorry again for the lateness
   2. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:22 AM (#731098)
Impressed by Dan Rosenheck's work, but for now it doesn't have much impact on my ballot as I'll need more time to consider it, what Chris Cobb said in the discussion thread & I have a feeling that the replacement value was set a little too high (see my comment on that thread about Beckley).

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

2. Jake Beckley (5,5,4,3). Began as the best non-ABC first basemen in the league & remained the best of the very good for almost two full decades as a starter. Even with his non-peak he was the best 1Bman in baseball at the turn of the century for a few years. 1 OPS+ under 100 in his first 18 seasons.

3. Dickey Pearce (7,6,5,4). Best baseball player born during James Madison's lifetime.

4. Mickey Welch (8,7,6,5). Thank you retrosheet. Turns out he earned those 300 wins. Offensive support only gave him 3-4 wins. Defensive support, though a little above average, was actually worse the defensive support of all major non-Galvin pitchers in the 1880s. Usually matched up against tougher opposing pitchers when he & Keefe were on the same team. In 1885, against the Cubs, he faced off against John Clarkson 7 times & won every game.

5. Clark Griffith (12,12,8,6). Personal favorite 1890s pitcher. Nice career, nice prime. The median winning percentage of his opponent is the highest of the four pitchers I've got on the ballot. Leaps ahead of BC as I'm more impressed by the level of competition he faced & his durability. Jumps a little due to periodic reevaluation

6. Tommy Leach (10,10,9,7). Mutlitalented player. Terrific defense at two positions & he was a good hitter. Fine player for a long time.

7. George Van Haltren (13,13,12,9). Very good player for an extended period of time who could do numerous things well. Nice career. Nice peak. Could pitch.

8. Jimmy Ryan (14,14,13,10). GVH without the ability to pitch.

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

10 Cupid Childs (17,15,14,12). Looking at him again & I think he's better than the infielders I was putting just above him. Good fielder who had a great run & is very impressive (for a 2Ber) OPS+ undervalues his offense because he's so OBP-centric. The D & OBP keep him above Larry Doyle.

11. Larry Doyle (18,18,16,13). Don't have much time this or next week to take a closer look, so I'm leaving him here - he could move up when I have the time to really look at him more. Looking at him again, I'd say he's about as close to Childs as Ryan is to GVH, so they're now also yoked together.

12. Charlie Jones (19,19,17,14). Great hitter for a while. First really good Deep Southerner (first Deep Southerner of any type?) I get the feeling he would have been an NA standout from 1871/2 if he'd been born in Pennsylvania. Looks more like Sam Thompson every time I look at him.

13. Gavvy Cravvath (20,20,19,15). Toughie to figure. The late start of this CAer reminds me of the late start of the above NCer. Gets some minor league credit, but loses some due to park factors (a homer champion hitting all his homers at home? Sure you could argue that it shows he's really taking full advantage of his home park, but I'd like to see my sluggers be able to hit the ball in other parks also. In trying to weigh out the different factors, I'll give him enough credit for his minor league days to just get him on the ballot.

14. Bill Monroe (23,23,22,17). He looks better in comparison to the later negro league arrivals (Poles, Foster) than the initial ones (Johnson, Grant).

15. Spot Poles (18). For me, he needs a longer career and a better prime. I don't see any reason to get too excited about him. I don't see him being better than any of the outfielders ahead of him.

Off ballot productions present:
17. Lip Pike (36,39,29,19). Keeps rising & rising. Now stuck in a glut of OFers at the edge of the ballot that could best be described as: "If only they'd been that good for a few more years. . ."

32. Rube Foster (29,31,32,33). He turned into the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man too quickly for me to see him as a HoMer.

37. Roger Bresnahan (33,36,36,37). Not enough games at catcher to get in as a catcher & not nearly enough games to get in as anything else.

16-20: Pete Browning, Lip Pike, Joe Tinker, Herman Long, Addie Joss.
21-25. Eddie Cicotte, Ed Williamson, Lave Cross, Rube Waddell, Larry Gardner.
26-30. Hugh Duffy, Tommy Bond, Silver King, Bruce Petway, Johnny Evers.
31-35. Jack Clement, Rube Foster, Hippo Vaughn, Ed Konetchy, Del Pratt.
36-40. Charlie Buffington, Roger Bresnahan, Harry Davis, Jake Daubert, John McGraw.
41-46. Vic Willis, Tony Mullane, Hughie Jennings, Frank Chance, Roy Thomas, Jim McCormick.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2004 at 03:04 AM (#731238)
1930 Ballot

In My PHoM (or will be by next year--BTW, Jimmy Collins and Frank Grant go in this year)

1. Dickey Pearce--eligible for 33 years now, makes my ballot for the 24th time, #1 for the 6th straight year and 8th overall. Played baseball, and thanks to the info from DavidFoss he almost surely had the most accumulated career value of anybody as of the founding of the NA in 1871. That still may have been true even as late as his retirement in 1877, what with a 5 year head Start on Joe.

2. Bob Caruthers--eligible 32 years, on my ballot 22, peaked at #1. Nothing to add to his legend except that 1930 may be springtime in Paris.

3. Hughie Jennings--23-23-peaks at #3! Highest peak of any post-NA 19C position player.

4. Lip Pike--33-30-5. No Dickey Pearce but faster than a horse.

5. Rube Foster--8-2-peaks at #5. I'm late to his legend but contemporaries thought he pitched rings around Pete Hill.

6. Charley Jones--33-20-5. Major lumber.

7. Tommy Bond--33-15-6. Extreme peak.

Mix of guys not in PHoM but moving up, and guys in PHoM and moving down.

8. Larry Doyle--5-4-peaks at 8. Moving up as I continue to tweak my system to make better comparisons of 19C and 20C players without going overboard. Still out.

9. Pete Browning--32-14-5. Up from #15 last week. Charley Jones comp. Still out.

10. Cupid Childs--24-14-8. Decided he belongs below Doyle. In.

11. Ed Williamson--33-22-6. In.

The Outs, for now looking like the Hall of the Very Good

12. Bill Monroe--11-8-12th for the 3rd time. Avoid calling him Earl yet again. Out

13. Jim McCormick--33-18-4. A step behind Bond. Apparently a big step.

14. Rube Waddell--up from #20. Trying hard to do better with 20C pitchers.

15. Hugh Duffy--up from #19.

Dropped off--nobody, but Waddell and Duffy passed up Sheckard, Poles and Dunlap to make the ballot.

Close--16-20. Sheckard, Poles, Bresnahan, Dunlap, Leach. Hey, mostly 20Cs!

Projecting forward, this is almost my exact ballot again in 1938!
   4. DavidFoss Posted: July 13, 2004 at 03:28 AM (#731253)
Voting early this week.

1. Lip Pike (5-4-2-1-2-2-1) -- 155 OPS+ CF in the NA/NL. Solid pre-NA play includes time at 2B. Brooklyn's best slugger in '70, second to Start in '69. Another said he's the Monte Irvin of the NABBP/NA transition, not a bad analogy.
2. Richard J. "Don't Call Me Dickey" Pearce (11-11-9-8-7-6-3) -- True Pioneer. With Start, the star of the greatest team of the '60s -- Brooklyn Atlantics. Much of his value comes before the end of the Civil War when few played organized ball outside of NYC. The game got so much bigger starting around '66. He was not all peak, though, as he's still a decent hitter in 67,68 & 70.
3. Jimmy Sheckard (13-9-8-7-5-5-4) -- Fine peak seasons rank him ahead of OF glut. Good fielding outfielder for excellent defensive squad as well.
4. Rube Foster (nr-nr-10-9-8-7-5) -- Great early pitcher. Peak was short, but white players peaks from this era (McGinnity, Brown, Walsh) were also short.
5. John McGraw (10-10-11-10-9-8-6) -- 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. A look at Baker's short career and swift election should cause some to take a second look at Johnny Mack.
6. Charley Jones (nr-nr-13-12-11-9-7) -- Late start (for the era) and unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly.
7. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14-13-11-9) -- I like peak and boy does Hughie have peak. Short career, poor seasons outside his peak slip his career OPS+ down to 117.
8. Clark Griffith (nr-15-12-10)-- I took a second look at him and he compares well to McGinnity. Long tail at the end of career is masking a solid prime from 94-01 which would fill the late 90's pitcher shortage that's been reported.
9. Larry Doyle (nr-14-11) -- Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak, short career keeping him this low. Fielding was mediocre, but not as horrific as WARP suggests.
10. Cupid Childs (nr-15-12) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
11. Roger Bresnahan (15-15-nr-nr-13) -- Great five year peak at C. 126 OPS+ is OBP-heavy. Didn't appear to play full-time outside his peak though... getting a small subjective boost due to catcher shortage.
12. Bob Caruthers (nr-14-15-15-14-13-14) -- His peak value is impressive, especially on a ballot this thin. Interesting candidate. Like everyone else, would have been helped by playing a bit longer.
13. Spotswood Poles (ne-15) -- A very memorable name. He was fast, yes, but a shorter career with not as much power as Pete Hill. Like others, would have benefitted from playing longer.
14. Mickey Welch (nr) -- 300 game winner. Played for great teams in an easy era to win games, but new research is saying he did more to earn his W's than previously thought. Still, his meager 113 ERA+ is keeping him low on the ballot.
15. Pete Browning (nr) -- The man could hit. His 162 OPS+ is partly inflated by his great early AA numbers, but his great PL season almost makes you want to ignore the discount. His durability becomes an issue starting in '88.


Beckley... very close to the ballot (16th). Lack of peak at offensive position has kept him away so far, but look for him next year because the pickin's are getting slim.

Van Haltren... Two 10ths and an AA-7th in OPS+ is not what I look for in a HOM outfield candidate. Win Shares fielding rating of B. Looks like the Hall of the Very Good to me.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 04:36 AM (#731292)
No change from my last ballot:

I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

1) Dickey Pearce-SS/C (1): All-around player at the position and arguably the best player of his time. Considered the best before George Wright (1856-1866). Caught many games as a catcher (even was an All-Star at the position one year). Even with my conservative evaluation, he has to rank near the top. He played for over twenty years in the best leagues or on the best teams of the 1850s and '60s. Even though his NA and NL was meager (he was 35 in '71), he still had the most value after 35 until Dahlen and Davis, FWIW.              

According to our Constitution, he definitely falls within the scope of this project.

2) Cupid Childs-2B (2): Best second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.          

Childs was the best major league second baseman more times in a season than Doyle was the best NL second baseman. IMO, there's no way that the Laughing One goes above the Little Fat Man.

Cupid has the most seasons as the best player at his position who is not in the HoM and compares favorably in that regard with the majority of HoMers, IMO. I honestly don't think any other player that becomes eligible from this point on with as many seasons as the best at his position will have to wait anywhere nearly as long Childs has had to endure.That doesn't mean he belongs as high as I have him, but he should be hitting everyone's ballot somewhere. Please take another look at him.

3) Lip Pike-CF/RF/2B (3): Considered the fastest man of his time. Major star prior to the NA. Two things hold him back somewhat: durability and how good of a player he was at his position compared to his competition pre-NA (Pearce is not affected as much by the latter in my analysis, obviously). Best major league rightfielder for 1871 and 1873. Best major league centerfielder for 1874-1876.

4) Charley Jones-LF/CF (4): Like York below, he was playing a more difficult position than the one that it evolved into. I gave him a little more credit for his (unfairly) blacklisted years. Best major league leftfielder for 1877, 1879 and 1884. Best AA centerfielder for 1883. Best AA leftfielder for 1885 (close to being the best in the majors).

5) Tom York-LF (5): I know some here looking at his OPS+ must be saying to themselves "Murph has him over guys like Sheckard?!?" Fair question, but, IMO, York was a more dominating player at his position than Sheckard was during his time. Long enough career and many times as the best at his position (when left field was more like centerfield today) deserves a ballot spot.Best leftfielder of the 1870s. Best major league leftfielder for 1873, 1875, 1877 and 1878 (extremely close in 1872 and 1881).

6) Vic Willis-P (6): Why does this man receive such little respect? Willis and McGinnity are very close, IMO. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

7) Ed Konetchy-1B (7): Best first baseman of the Deadball Era, IMO. Best major league first baseman for 1910, 1911 and 1916 (very close in 1909 and 1911). Best NL first baseman for 1909, 1911 and 1919.

8) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (8): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop or Petway. The poor man's Buck Ewing (Johnny Kling was the poor man's Charlie Bennett) is still good enough to be here on my ballot. Slightly better than Noisy behind the plate, but the Duke played longer and at other positions. Best major league catcher for 1905, 1906 and 1908. Best major league centerfielder for 1903.

9) Rube Foster-P (9): Convinced he belongs at least this high thanks to Chris Cobb. High peak and long enough career allow him to fall in at #9.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 04:36 AM (#731293)
10) Bill Monroe-2B/3B (10): I think he's worthy. Long career and nice peak. Many considered him a better hitter and fielder than Jimmy Collins as a third baseman. McGraw said (I'm assuming somewhat hyperbolically) that Monroe was the greatest of all-time. This may be too low for him.

11) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (11): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league rightfielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

12) Frank Chance-1B/C (12): Best first baseman for the first decade of the 20th century. Even more so than Beckley, the Peerless Leader shouldn't be compared with the ABC boys or the post-1920 grouping of first baseman. The cream-of the-crop from Franklin Adam's famous trio. Best major league first baseman for 1903, 1904. 1905, 1906, and 1907 (close in 1908). Best NL first baseman for 1908.

13) Rube Waddell-P (13): If he had been a little more serious and quit the horse playing... Best AL pitcher for 1905.

14) Bob Caruthers (14): If he makes it this year, that's fine with me. While I still think his peak wasn't as historically great as others think and he did have a short career, I feel I have been shortchanging him (and other 1880s pitchers) a tad. Parisian Bob gets a nod from me. Best AA pitcher for 1889 and close to being the best AA pitcher for 1885 and 1886.

15) Jake Beckley-1B (15): Not much peak, but plenty of career. Better than his numbers suggest since first base was tougher during his time than during the ABC boys' era. Best major league first baseman for 1900.

Van Haltren, Sheckard, Ryan are close. Griffith is a little farther away, but there is a lot of competition down there....
   7. Adam Schafer Posted: July 13, 2004 at 05:36 AM (#731321)
Now that I'm posting in the correct thread...

Was very pleased to see my #2 and #3 guys on my ballot go in last "year".

1. Mickey Welch (2) - The arguments against him just don't stack up against the arguments on his behalf. He wasn't quite as good as Keefe, but really wasn't much worse at all. I like to think of it as something like Glavine was to Maddux. Not quite as good, but would've been the #1 starter on most any other team. They pitched in the same park in the same era for too long for their extremely similiar stats to be coincidental. Welch pitched much too long for his career to be considered all luck.

2. Jake Beckley (4) - Again, I'm a career lover

3. Rube Waddell (5) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. he's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

4. Roger Bresnahan (6) - It's no secret that I love catchers. I would've ranked Roger higher had he caught more and played the OF less during his peak years.

5. Lip Pike (7) - I can see him finally getting in one of these days.

6. Hughie Jennings (8) - Nothing new to add

7. George Van Haltren (9) - Still just a shade above Ryan

8. Jimmy Ryan (10) - See Van Haltren

9. Bobby Carruthers (11) - I'll give him a solid spot ahead of Griffith for now. I've been back and forth on whether to place him ahead or behind of Griffith, but have decided beyond a shawdow of a doubt to go with Bobby. I hope with Bobby's election soon, that Welch will garner more of the attention that he deserves.

10. Clark Griffith (12) - I love the guy, so I hate placing him this low, but this isn't about someone being our "favorite"

11. Eddie Cicotte (13) - Underrated in my opinion. May not be HOM material, but underrated nonetheless.

12. Dickey Pearce (14) - I'm not an easy person to convince, but I read a couple ballots that really struck me and made me reconsider placing him on my ballot. I don't want to overreact, so I'm keeping him low right now, but as I sort through my feelings on him a little more, I can see myself moving him up 4 or 5 spots.

13. Hugh Duffy (15) - Back onto my ballot. No new thoughts on him

14. Jimmy Sheckard (n/a) - Not a big fan of Jimmy. I'll give him props for being the 14th best choice on my ballot. THat does say a lot.

15. Rube Foster (n/a) - I've liked Rube, not enough to put him on my ballot, but I do see him as more deserving than anyone else. This last spot was a toss up between him and Cupid Childs. It is rather disappointing seeing these guys on my ballot though. That should be changing real soon though as we get some better quality players eligible.
   8. Kelly in SD Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:01 AM (#731387)
1930 Ballot

1. Mickey Welch: See my other posts

2. Jimmy Sheckard: 3rd most career WS among eligibles. 4th highest 3 cons yrs WS. 2nd highest 7 best yrs WS. 3 seasons with 30+ WS - best. Defense: WS "A" despite being a LF. 5 WS Gold Gloves (only Leach has more).

3. Bob Caruthers: Great peak. 5 straight years MVP candidate - 1st or 2nd in WS 1885-1889. 5 times WS AllStar. 5 straight years top 3 in fewest WHIP. Ranks 3rd in career win% behind a HoM and a teammate who started 100+ fewer games. In wins per 50 starts (pre1893 pitchers), only Spalding averaged more than Caruthers' 33. It was a short career, but it the peak was incredibly high.

4. Cupid Childs: Dominant Second Baseman of 1890s. 7 WS AllStars, 6 STATS AllStars. 2nd highest OBP among eligibles. 6th most WS in 1890s among position players. 7 top 10 in OBP. 11 top 10 in walks.

5. Pete Browning: Dominant LF/CF in AA. 5 WS AllStars, 8 STATS AllStars. He has the most WS/162g among eligibles - 31. 162 OPS+ is highest among eligibles. Even with large discounts, he is still in the middle of elected players at his two positions.

6. Dickey Pearce: Revolutionized/Created modern concept of shortstop. Top 2 player on team 1857-64. Hiccup in 1865-6. Top 3 hitter on team 1867-70 plus defensive ability. The above average fielding stats from 1871-78 at ages 35-41 indicate he must have been tremendous at earlier ages.

7. Jake Beckley: In contrast, a long career, that is either all peak that is really low or no peak at all. Still, 3 WS AllStars and 3 STATS AllStars. Also, 318 career WS is 5th among eligibles and his 280 batting WS is the best. Good ISO of .127. Great career totals among players retired by 1922: 6th most career hits behind 5 HoMers, 6th most XBH behind 5 HoMers, 11th most runs behind 8 HoMers and Ryan and GVH, 4th most RBI behind 3 HoMers, 5th most 2B behind 4 HoMers, 3rd most 3B behind 2 HoMers.

8. Hugh Duffy: 5th most WS 3 cons yrs, most WS 7 best yrs. "A+" defensive CF. 5 WS AllStars. Black Ink total is 2nd behind Cravath, Grey Ink is 2nd C.Jones. I know it was a hitters' era, but compared with all eligibles only McGraw scored more per game no one drove more in. Also, he had at least 7 top 10s in hits, runs, RBI, and total bases. I think he was a key reason (along with Nichols) that the Beanneaters were the best of the 1890s.

9. Charley Jones: Another power-hitting LF. His 30 WS per 162g is one of the highest among eligibles. 5 Stats AllStars and 4 WS AllStars despite having 2.2 yrs stolen by owners. Great Grey Ink - 162.

10. Tommy Leach: Maybe the best fielder eligible - WS "A+" at both 3rd and OF. 328 WS is one of highest available. 189 WS over best 7 yrs is 3rd best. Combined position totals: 3 STATS AllStars, 5 WS AllStars. 7 top 10 WS in National League.

11. George Van Haltren: So many CF, so many different ways to line them up. Pitching ability boosts over Thomas, Ryan, Duffy. Most WS among eligibles - 344. Most 20+ WS seasons among eligibles - 12. Best outfield arm of 1890s per NBJHBA.

12. Bill Monroe: Generally a middle of the order hitter per Riley. McGraw called him the best player ever per Riley. I wish I had more to go on. But McGraw's comment will lift him over Doyle for sure.

13. Lip Pike: Another CF (just throw a dart) [just kidding]. Great hitter it appears from OPS+ and the Black and Grey Ink tests. Excellent ISO of .144. I wish he ranked better on his teams pre-NA. Also, wish his outfield defensive numbers were more consistent.

14: Frank Chance: Best 1b of 1900s. Excellent 30 WS per 162g. 6 STATS AllStars, 6 WS AllStars, 4 WS best in majors 1B. Great speed. Excellent 135 OPS+. Per SABR's Deadball Stars book - stopped playing regularly b/c severe cumulative effects from beanings - 10 out of 11 years he was top 10 in HBP.

15: Konetchy: Best 1b of 1910s. 4 Stats AllStars, 7 WS AllStars, 3 WS best in majors. 5 WS Gold Gloves. Top 10 triples - 9 times, RBI: 7, XBH: 8. BA: 6 times, SLG: 5.

Top 10 Returnees Not on Ballot:
Ryan: Had a great early peak. But after being in a train wreck, he was not the same player. I don't think a HoMer should finish the last 10 yrs ranking among outfielders: 17/36, 21/36, 19/36, 23/36, 18t/36, 5/36, 19t/36, 20t/24, 11t/24, 22/24.

Griffith: I give that he is the best 90s pitcher available. His stats and WS numbers do not measure up to post93 HoM pitchers (including Rusie). Career WS-ahead of 2. WS 3 ConsYr-last. WS best7-tied last. WS/40st-ahead of 2. 20+WS seasons-tied last. 30+WS seasons-ahead 1. Stats/WS AllStar-last. ERA+-tied last.

Bresnahan: Career isn't long enough. I need more peak for a short career. Catcher was a tough position, but Bresnahan needed to play more catcher. Maybe move next election.

Foster: I need to know the quality of the teams he beat when he had his great record. How many were major league and how many were minor? Also, short peak. If there is a record of who he beat, I will be happy to reappraise.
   9. Kelly in SD Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:20 AM (#731388)
Further explanation cuz I was worried about post length:

Beckley was moved down because his lack of peak was a little more emphasized this time.

Foster is very tough. Sometimes I think his reputation as a player is conflated with his reputation as a team builder. Other times, I am wowed by his numbers. But, the fact that I don't know how many major league vs. minor league teams he beat in achieving his records force me to downgrade. If his numbers were against high quality opponents than he move to the middle of the ballot (6-11). Caruthers, in comparison, has short, high peak and its documented. If Foster had a long career, it would be different. But because his career is so concentrated, I want to know more that I haven't seen.

Bresnahan goes along with Jennings and McGraw for short career people I am not sold on. Caruthers and Chance are the only players on my ballot who have such a narrow peak-and Caruthers is on the ballot in part because of his unique combination of abilities. I like players who have a longer prime which is why I look at best any 7 yrs, rather than best 5 in a row or any 5. These players are just a tick below Chance among short career players.

Ryan's career just didn't have the back-half to go with the front. A HoMer should be better than that over the last 10 yrs of a career.

Griffith: I just need more than what he had. I understand he prevented a good number of runs, that his team wasn't that good and was excellent, and that the new WARP numbers really work to his advantage. But, he didn't have the peak (by WS) of his cohort group and his numbers don't quite meet what I feel are the standards of the HoM. Now, once we are comparing him to the pitchers of the late 10s/20s/30s I may and will reevaluate.
   10. Kelly in SD Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:26 AM (#731390)
Griffith's comment should read

that his team wasn't that good and HE was excellent,

   11. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:49 AM (#731396)
1930 ballot

See Ballot Discussion Thread for WARP methodology—if you’re skeptical about something, the spreadsheets are available in the Yahoo group. WARP totals are park-adjusted. I have discounted the 1882 AA 20%, 1883 and 1891 AA and 1914-15 FL 15%, 1884, 1889, and 1890 AA 10%, and 1888 AA 5%. I am referring to a five-year peak throughout this ballot.
As for worries about setting replacement level too high—it’s set at a .300 winning percentage player, every position, every year. Do you really think the best AAA team would go worse than 49-153? If so, then my replacement level is too high. If not, perhaps yours is too low! ?

Tier One (75+ career WARP)

1. Bob Caruthers (86.4 career WARP, 67.9 peak)
Further analysis leads me to conclude that the fact that Caruthers has not yet made it in is a travesty. Not only does he have by far the best peak value on the ballot (at the Ruth, Bonds, Wagner level), he has the best career value on the ballot. 86.4 wins above replacement for his career puts him below Plank (96.1) but ahead of Three-Finger Brown (84.8). An unprecedented and unparalelled dominator. Adjusting for season length, he's also second on the ballot to Welch in career season length-adjusted Win Shares (just nudging out Van Haltren) and obviously blows everyone away in peak season length-adjusted Win Shares. The closer I look, the more Caruthers looks to me like an inner-circle, no-doubt-about-it HoM'er. If he doesn't get in during this backlog I'm gonna vomit.

2. Charley Jones (79.3 career WARP, 51.8 peak)
Yes, I’m serious. Conservatively crediting him with 5 WARP for each of his blacklist years, he blows past everyone besides Caruthers on the ballot. I think the short season lengths he played in have caused people to sell him short… I'm a little dubious on BP's crediting Jones with 27 FRAA in the 85-game 1879 season. But even if he wasn't quite as good as that would suggest--17.3 WARP that year is the second-best season I've calculated, better by a good bit than Ty Cobb's best (13.8 in 1917)--he was still a force, making mincemeat of the 1883-85 AA along with Browning. Third-best peak on the ballot (after Caruthers and Jennings), third-best career total (Caruthers and Griffith). I would want to give him a little extra credit for having one of the greatest seasons in major league history in ’79, but he doesn’t need it. And it’s not just me—once you adjust BP’s WARP1 for season length, Jones finishes third on the ballot in peak. If you conservatively credit him about 80% of his (less than stellar) 1883 performance for his blacklist years, he’s first in career season-length-adjusted WARP1; if not, he’s still third or fourth. I would strongly encourage all of you to reevaluate him.

3. Clark Griffith (82.1 career WARP, 48.6 peak)
This is why I spend the time on this stuff--Griffith didn't even make my ballot when I started, and now he's rocking the top of my ballot. ERA+ makes it seem that Griffith had one dominant year in 1898 and was just above average elsewhere. In fact, he was just as good in 1899 (look at K, BB, HR, and BABIP/Teammates' BABIP), was a reliable workhorse, and pitched at an All-Star level for a decade. You can't see his greatness on the surface, but look deeper into the numbers and from 1896-1901 he was a genuine superstar. His 82.1 career WARP are a big jump ahead of anyone else. I'm the new Best FOCG—expect to hear a lot more from me about Griffith in the years to come.
   12. Max Parkinson Posted: July 13, 2004 at 12:12 PM (#731411)
John Murphy's Ballot:

8) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (8): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop or Petway.

Bruce Petway - not ranked.

   13. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2004 at 12:50 PM (#731422)
None of the new players seem worthy of a place, although all four of Pratt, Gardner, Daubert and Donaldson need to be thought about fairly carefully and aren’t far off the bottom of the extended ballot (though not close to hitting #15.)

I did however re-look at Browning, and while I did it looked at OPS+ of our OF glut, and including Charley Jones (thanks, Dan Rosenheck) which in descending order reads Browning 162, Pike 155, Jones 149, ex-glut Thompson 146, Tiernan 138, Ryan 124, Duffy 122, Van Haltren 121, Sheckard 120. Also, I recalculated Browning’s adjusted hits, adding in an adjustment for 1882 (his first season, but he seems to have played in pretty well all of it) which brings him up to 2,177 “normalized” hits, fairly close to Duffy’s 2,282. So Browning comes on well up the ballot, Tiernan and Jones onto lower middle, and Duffy, Ryan and Van Haltren drop, as their OPS+ for outfielders are nothing special (Duffy keeps a modest bonus for peak and fielding rep.). Pearce separates himself from the other 3 pioneers – Pike had a very short career and is at best another Elmer Flick, of whom I wasn’t a fan.

1.(8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1) Bob Caruthers - Still in first place. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Walsh (Caruthers won 25 more games than Walsh and lost 27 fewer, pitching about 100 fewer innings. As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so better than Nap and close to Stovey. If he’d just concentrated on pitching, added 50% to his career length, and gone 327-149, he’d have been in on the first ballot. Magnificent peak: 1886-87 59-23 and an OPS+ of 180 on 681AB beats anyone (Ruth’s best 2-way years, 1917-18, he was 37-20 and OPS+ of 182 on 440AB.) Compare with Ward, whose TB+BB/PA was .374 and TB+BB/Outs .545 and W-L was 164-102 (ERA+118) Caruthers was a better hitter and much better pitcher - so why have we elected Ward and not Caruthers?

2.(N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2) Jake Beckley Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap. After much internal debate, I have moved him marginally ahead of Welch, as we have seen more 307-win pitchers (8 others among currently HOM-eligible) than 2930-hit hitters (5 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut - but much of his career was played in the dead ball ‘00s, and 1B was a marginally more important fielding position than outfielder then. Played for un-famous teams. Better than Keeler, almost as good as Crawford.

3. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3) Mickey Welch - 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the short career dead ball era pitcher glut. 1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson’s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. Welch not as good as Clarkson, but not that far off. Better than the 00s pitchers, all of whom were pitching in favorable conditions, none of whom (other than Young and Matty) got near 300 wins.

4. (N/A-10-8-7-6) Eddie Cicotte. Never thought he’d get this high, but he deserves it. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.)

5. (N/A-15-N/A) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA

6. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7) Clark Griffith He’s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good (Rusie was my #12 the year we elected him, I’d have him about 5 on this ballot, just ahead of Cicotte.) 237 wins is not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice - but he doesn’t match up even close to Welch or Caruthers, in my view (Welch’s 1885 is much better than Griffith’s 1898.)

7. (N/A-11-12-10) Dickey Pearce Moving up, and separates from his 3 buddies, as I re-evaluate the outfielder glut downwards. Somewhat unimpressive in NA, but pattern recognition suggests that’s the tail end of a top quality career. Long and pretty good career in period before the leagues – best bit of it however was before 1865, when data is very sketchy indeed and competition was local to NY area. Probably the third best 1860s player, behind George Wright and Joe Start.
   14. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2004 at 12:51 PM (#731423)
8. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he’s way below Beckley on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though - and it’s ’94 not ’93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Significantly behind Beckley on counting considerations, and Browning on rate considerations.

9. (N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so no higher than the middle of this weak ballot. Does well against the 90s trio, whose OPS+ and rate stats are distinctly lower. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning (in an easier era for hitters).

10. Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF, but just below Tiernan

11. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8) Jimmy Ryan Counting stats similar to Van Haltren and better than Duffy, peak slightly better than Van H, not as good as Duffy, rate stats also not as good as Duffy. Hence, on balance should be below Duffy. TB+BB/PA .485, TB+BB/Outs .773.

12. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9) George van Haltren. Counting stats almost like Delahanty, but again need to be deflated for the 1890s. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s. No peak to speak of - what happened to him in 1893-95, when he should have been in his prime?

13. (9-12-12-11-9-10-10-13-12-15-14-N/A-12-13-11) Lip Pike - Like Start, give some credit for missing 1860s. However, normalize 1871-78 season by season and he gets 1,592 hits after 26 - not quite an obvious HOM-er. 4 “normalized 200-hit” seasons, but only just, whereas Meyerle’s 1871 peak normalizes to 320 (obviously a random fluctuation, but in the right direction!)TB+BB/PA .478, TB+BB/Outs .713. Drops behind (or stays behind) the four 80s/90s OF, and now Jones.

14. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike. Lower than Pike because not a huge pre-’71 career.

15. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13) Harry Wright - Better than Pearce in NA, but how good was he really compared to the rest? But I’m convinced by the anecdotal evidence that he has to have been at least as good as this. Lowest of the 4 pioneers, because pre-71 career not very distinguished.

16. Cupid Childs On looking at him again, I become more positive on his very high peak, even if it was the 90s. Should hit ballot in 31 and 32.
17. Spotswood Poles.
18. (N/A-15) Jimmy Sheckard Only 2,084 hits, but a walk machine. TB+BB/PA .440, TB+BB/Outs .691, but that's in the low scoring 00s.
19. Deacon McGuire
20. Tony Mullane
21. Rube Foster There’s not the strong feeling about him as a player that there is about some of the others; since we’re disregarding his managerial accomplishments, he fits about here.
22. Larry Doyle
23. Roger Bresnahan. Santop, not this guy, is by far the best catcher of the era. Short career, and only about half of it as catcher.
24. Bruce Petway.
25. Jack Clements
26. Sam Leever
27. Bill Monroe
28. Vic Willis
29. Chief Bender
30. Ed Konetchy
31. Hughie Jennings
32. Jesse Tannehill
33. Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak, but under 200 wins so probably not HOM-worthy. 193-143 not at all special (40 less wins) compared to Griffith or McGinnity. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive -- I don't buy it.
34 Tommy Leach
35. Lave Cross
36. Tom York
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:03 PM (#731428)
First, an explanation. I know that I don't contribute with as extensive write-ups that many of you do. That is because I really don't think I have anything new to add. My rankings come from a mixture of Win Shares an absorbing the great material provided in the discussion threads.

My PHoM this year: Rube Foster & Hugh Duffy

1. Jimmy Sheckard (2,2,2) PHoM 1919

I really thought he would get in last year and was surprised when he didn't. Easily the strongest candidate in an admittedly weak field, imo.

2. Bob Caruthers (3,3,4) PHoM 1919

It would be funny if they got inducted together since I inducted them together back in 1919.

3. George Van Haltren (4,4,3) PHoM 1912

He is my earliest inductee not yet enshrined in the HoM.

4. Rube Foster (7,9,9) PHoM 1930

I think he is starting to get a groundswell of support. Maybe he'll actually get in one day.

5. Mickey Welch (5,6,5) PHoM 1929

Speaking of groundswells, Welch is really jumping up on some rankings!

6. Jake Beckley (6,5,9) PHoM 1913

Beckley seems to be going the other way. He went from being a contender to an also-ran.

7. Lip Pike (8,7,x)

Who will get in first, Pike or Pearce? (I'm guessing Pearce.)

8. Dickey Pearce (10,10,7) PHoM 1927

9. Jimmy Ryan (9,8,10) PHoM 1914

Next to Van Haltren, the most underrated player on the ballot, imo.

10. Tommy Leach (12,14,15) PHoM 1921

11. Hugh Duffy (14,15,14) PHoM 1930

12. Bill Monroe (13,11,13)

13. Clark Griffith (15,x,x)

14. Spotswood Poles (11,x,x)

15. Cupid Childs (x,x,x)

Another backlogger sneaks on the ballot.

16-20. Doyle, McCormick, Powell, Mullane, F.Jones
21-25. Willis, Konetchy, White, Gleason, Waddell
26-30. Cross, Milan, Bresnahan, Cicotte, Long
   16. Rusty Priske Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:05 PM (#731429)
What happened to the rest of Dan's ballot?
   17. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:12 PM (#731434)
John Murphy:
Ed Konetchy-1B (7): Best first baseman of the Deadball Era, IMO. Best major league first baseman for 1910, 1911 and 1916 (very close in 1909 and 1911).

So he was the best first basemen in 1911 & nearly the best first baseman in 1911? I guess he really outplayed himself that year.
   18. Jeff M Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:40 PM (#731471)
Bresnahan goes along with Jennings and McGraw for short career people

Except Bresnahan was a catcher and the other two were middle infielders. Although he played some outfield, Bresnahan was primarily a catcher from age 26 to 36, which doesn't seem that short to me, although he didn't rack up massive amounts of PAs. Let's also not forget that Bresnahan had an OPS+ of 126.

If Van Haltren had caught from age 26 to 36, I bet we'd have to shave quite a bit off his OPS+ of 121 and those PA totals would go down quite a bit.

Somebody must have been a worthy catcher during that era.
   19. DavidFoss Posted: July 13, 2004 at 01:59 PM (#731496)
Somebody must have been a worthy catcher during that era.

Chief Meyers was won of the top contributors to the Giants' 1911-1913 mini-dynasty, but he got a late start to his career didn't rack up enough service time.

I've also been looking for reasons for voting for Breshnahan. His peak OPS+'s are quite a bit better than 126 as well. After leaving the Giants to manage the Cardinals, he just didn't play full time... even for a catcher. Maybe that's the problem. It looks relatively rare to catch 100 games in this era. That's a far cry from today's every-fifth-day-off types.
   20. DavidFoss Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:00 PM (#731497)
won one
   21. andrew siegel Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:23 PM (#731517)
(1) Jimmy Sheckard (1st)-- Surprised he didn't make it last year. I think his total package puts him a notch above the others on the ballot, but, to show you what we are left with, I only have him as the 51st best player we've considered (and he'd be our 57th or 58th HoMer).

(2) George Van Haltren (2nd)--1890s are vastly underrated but sorting out the HoMers from the close-but-no-cigar guys is difficult. I think WS nicely captures the value of the many things he did well. As one of the other voters already said, he leads the eligibles not only in WS but also in 20-WS seasons. That's very good quality and great quantity.

(3) Cupid Childs (5th)--Career was long enough for position and time and quality is unquestioned.

(4) Jimmy Ryan (4th)--Quite similar to GVH, but less consistent and ever so slightly less accomplished. Underrated by us thus far.

(5) Hughie Jennings (6th)--Strong portion of career very short but, when forced to choose by the diminishing ballot, I'll take short-term greatness over long-term mere goodness.

(6) Bob Caruthers (7th)-- Having crunched the numbers for 30 "years" I find his resume very similar to Hughie Jennings--a unique combination of offense and defense that made him one of the very best in the game for a wondeful five year period.

(7) Larry Doyle (15th)-- I've been underrating him too; he's the top second-tier candidate of the 1910s; ranks one step behind Childs but only one.

(8) Hugh Duffy (13th)-- Another underrated 1890s guy. I've been gradually increasing my reliance on WARP and decrearing my reliance on WS just b/c/ the WARP numbers are more accessible online. This ranking (and Doyle's) corrects for that silly methodological slide.

(9) Charley Jones (8th)-- Similar to Sam Thomspon, though probably a better player in his place and time than Thompson was in his. Could rate as high as 2nd, but the numbers suggest we've been overrating the 1870s and 1880s in comparison with latter decades. I'm now discounting the pre-1887 era 5% or so for the standard deviation issues John has often commented on. With that discount, he's here.

(10) Frank Chance (11th)-- Not thrilled to have him here, but I'd sooner induct him than everyone below. Accomplished a lot in an awful short time. Did more to help his team win than similar players like McGraw and Bresnahan.

(11) Lip Pike (9th)-- Like Jones, just not sure whether--when pushes comes to shove--there is room for another B+ player from a well-represented era. Also continue to have lingering suspicisions that his contemporaries (who were more privvy to his fielding, his effort, his team-jumping, and his possible game-throwing) would laugh at us if we induct him.

(12) Clark Griffith (14th)-- Here begins the Hall of the Very Good.

(13) Ed Williamson (10th)--Here continues the Hall of the Very Good.

(14) Roger Bresnahan (unranked)--When push came to shove, I decided to be consistent with my placement of Jennings, Caruthers, and Chance, and add Bresnahan and McGraw to the ballot.

(15) John MCGraw (unranked)--See above.

Next 10: Poles, Beckley, Griffin, Monroe, Dunlap, Tiernan, Browning, Joss, Welch, Fielder Jones.

Required disclosures:

Beckley is 17th. The gap between him and the Van Haltren/Ryan/Duffy set comes from my sense that they were considered in their time (and are considered by WS) to be better all-around players, while Beckley was more of a slugger (albeit a slugger whose glove was surprsingly good, a la Kent Hrbek). For a slugger, he just wasn't quite a good enough hitter.

Pearce is somewhere in the late 20s. I've got no problem giving credit for his pre-1868 play but I need evidence not just that he was the best player in a neighborhood game but that he would have been among the elite players if the game had been more broadly played. The gap between him and his now-forgotten contemporaries isn't large enough for me to make that extrapolation.

Foster is somewhere down around 35. I'll continue to look at him again, but I think his later fame has given him a bump ahead of some similarly talented contemporaries. Remember that I vote my best guess of excluded players rather than probabilistically. That system has helped Grant, Johnson, and Hill (who I ranked highly despite some lingering doubts) and hampered the likes of Monroe, Poles, and Foster (who I've kept low despite some real chance that they were as good as the others).

I also want to note that my ballot reflects a favoritism the all-around OF's (Sheckard, VH, Ryan, Duffy, Griffin, Fielder Jones) over the pure-hitting OF's (Thompson, Tiernan, Browning, Cravath). I'm 75% sure on my conclusion on this issue but would love to discuss it in further depth.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:23 PM (#731518)
Bruce Petway - not ranked.


He's ranked, but I haven't updated Roger's comments. I have Petway at #21. Sorry.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:28 PM (#731527)
So he was the best first basemen in 1911 & nearly the best first baseman in 1911? I guess he really outplayed himself that year. 7)

Yeah, I screwed up. Here it is again:

Ed Konetchy-1B (7): Best first baseman of the Deadball Era, IMO. Best major league first baseman for 1910, 1911 and 1916 (very close in 1909 and 1912). Best NL first baseman for 1909, 1912 and 1919.
   24. Max Parkinson Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:37 PM (#731533)
No need to apologize, John....

I wonder, though. If the Bresnahan comment is old, and you used to consider him inferior to Petway, what's changed? Did Roger jump in your mind, or did Petway fall?
   25. ronw Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:43 PM (#731540)
1930 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. I'll gladly incorporate WARP when they finally complete their fix.)

1. Dickey Pearce Until 1925, I had been considering the project to run from 1871, with pre-1871 contributions only available to those players who made significant post-1871 contributions. However, John Murphy pointed out that the literal language of the constitution requires us to consider pre-1871 players. Despite recent doubts, it seems that Pearce was a top player during the pre-statistics period for a long enough time to be deserving of enshrinement.

2. Jake Beckley Every year, as fewer 1B come along to challenge him, Beckley looks more and more unique. In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters, but I’m a career/prime man. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons)

3. George Van Haltren Stands ahead of the CF glut in my career/prime system. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons)

4. Jimmy Sheckard This spot should open
up next year. I think his defense makes him the equivalent of electee Sherry Magee. MVP Candidate 1901, 1903, 1911. All-Star candidate 1899-1900, 1902, 1905-1907, 1909-1910, 1912. (12 HOM seasons)

5. Jimmy Ryan My system likes Jimmy about as much as Van Haltren and Sheckard. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons)

6. Hugh Duffy Part of the now underrepresented CF block, but significantly below Van Haltren, Sheckard, Ryan. MVP candidate 1893-1894, All-Star candidate 1889-1892, 1895-1899. (11 HOM seasons)

7. Rube Foster The value he brought to his teams seems to surpass that of short-career contemporaries like Waddell and Joss, and seems akin to Walsh or Spalding.

8. Mickey Welch I realized that I had been substantially underrating some 1880’s pitching seasons. Welch benefits from a reevaluation. MVP candidate 1884-1885, All-Star candidate 1880-81, 1883, 1886-1889 (9 HOM seasons)

9. Spotswood Poles I’ve seen enough to have him join the OF glut. Seems similar to a Hugh Duffy, with a few big years, followed by some hanging around above average value. If anyone deserves war credit, it’s this man who won medals and Purple Hearts while serving a country that wouldn’t let him play in the majors.

10. Tony Mullane I don’t see much between Welch and Mullane. Yes, Mullane was dominant in the weak 1882-1884 AA, but a HOMer should be dominant in that weak league. After holding out for 1885, the Apollo of the Box went on to be among the top 6 pitchers in the AA of 1886-1888, which some say was on par with the NL. From 1889-1892, he slipped a bit, but was generally one of the top 15 pitchers in his league. This coincides to his move to the NL in 1890, but he was already on the decline in the 1889 AA. Finally, he had a decent swan-song year in 1893, despite the mound change. MVP candidate 1882-1884, All-Star candidate 1886-1893 (11 HOM seasons)

11. Bill Monroe There aren’t too many “best” black players we have considered at this point, but Monroe is consistently mentioned as among the top players, and has enough of a career case to warrant ballot placement here, ahead of fellow 2B Doyle and Childs, who were mentioned as the best 2B, but never really as the best players of their time.

12. Roger Bresnahan I think this unique talent belongs on the ballot. Benefits from my catcher bonus, which while substantial, has obviously not overrun my ballot with receivers. MVP candidate 1906, 1908 All-Star candidate 1903-1905, 1907, 1911, 1914. (8 HOM seasons)

13. Bob Caruthers – It looks like this spot will open up next year. I think ranking this proves I don’t have an irrational bias against him. He doesn’t quite measure up to Mullane on my career-weighted system, but his prime keeps him on the ballot. MVP candidate 1885-1889, All-Star candidate 1890-1892. (8 HOM seasons)

14. Fielder Jones As a WS voter, Fielder rates right about here. Solid player will never make the HOM. MVP candidate 1908 (his last real year). All-Star candidate 1896-1898, 1900-1907. (12 HOM seasons)

15. Tommy Leach The 1900’s baseball slash makes my ballot again. Solid player for many years, the HOM won’t be lacking without him. MVP Candidate 1902, All-Star Candidate 1901, 1903-09, 1913-14. (11 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT (new Gardner #19, Donaldson #20, Pratt #35)

16-20 – Doyle, Petway, Pike, Gardner, Donaldson
21-25 – Willis, Tinker, C. Jones, Konetchy, Griffin
26-30 – Long, Thomas, Tiernan, Williamson, Evers
31-35 – Childs, Bond, Griffith, Waddell, Pratt

Lip Pike – Due to reconsiderations of 1880’s pitchers, Number 18 on my ballot now. MVP candidate 1876 All-star candidate 1871-75, 1877-78. (7 HOM seasons)

Clark Griffith –Had a relatively short productive career, and didn’t have nearly the peak of a Caruthers, Walsh, or perhaps even Waddell. Had a good five year run from 1895-1899, bordered by two solid years in 1894 and 1900. Then he had a good 1901 in the new AL, but didn’t dominate the league like a Cy Young did. He slipped in 1902, rebounded to have a decent 1903, and then was used infrequently for the rest of his career. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 02:45 PM (#731541)
I wonder, though. If the Bresnahan comment is old, and you used to consider him inferior to Petway, what's changed? Did Roger jump in your mind, or did Petway fall?

When I initially typed those comments, I had no idea where Petway belonged. You have to remember that those comments were created in "'21." I usually update them, but that one slipped through the cracks. Thanks for picking that one up.
   27. PhillyBooster Posted: July 13, 2004 at 03:05 PM (#731568)
Rube Foster and Sam Thompson made my PHoM last year, this year it is Dickey Pearce and Mickey Welch, for an unfortunate introduction at the PHoM induction. (“Dickey, Mickey. Mickey, Dickey.”)

1. Bob Caruthers (1) -- It’s becoming almost rote to put his name up here. He made my PHoM in 1901. What’ll I do if he actually gets inducted? Become a huge booster of George van Haltren? That doesn’t seem nearly as fun.

2. Jake Beckley (2) -- Jake’s got peak. Jake’s got career. Jake’s been in my PHoM since 1925.

3. Dickey Pearce (4) A late convert, as late as 1925 Pearce was 15th on my ballot. If I must err, I’d rather err in picking the best or second best of his era than in picking the 21st or 22nd best. PHoM 1930 inductee.

4. Rube Foster (3) -- Great pitcher, shortish career. Ranking him any lower would be to penalize him for a lack of data that isn’t his fault. Made my PHoM in 1929.

5. Roger Bresnahan (5) -- Leave out Roger, and you’ve got a tiny catcher wing in your HoM. Made my PHoM in 1927.

6. Mickey Welch (8) -- The more I look, the more he is Tim Keefe without early AA numbers to prop up his wins and related stats. Distinctions between the two strike me more as rationalizations than justification. Makes my PHoM in 1930.

7. Gavvy Cravath (7) -- He’s Sam Thompson with half of his numbers hidden in the minors. Give reasonable credit, and he’s got well over 300 win shares. More like 350, I’d say, and there’s no doubting the peak. Made my PHoM in 1926.

8. George van Haltren (9) -- Top candidate outside my PHoM looking in, and the first of 3 centerfielders in the next 6 slots. It’s an odd group in CF, all with strengths and weaknesses. If the voters could coalesce around one, he’d be a shoo in. As it is, we’re splintered around van Haltren, Browning, Pike, and Ryan. I’d lean toward all 4 going in rather than all 4 staying out, although it looks like Browning might be the odd-CF out over the next century.

9. Cupid Childs (10) -- Best 2B on the ballot, following a strong class of 2Bers who already went in.

10. Pete Browning (12) -- He could hit a lot, and could have hit in the NL too.

11. Clark Griffith (15) -- Okay, he was a great pitcher. Just not Welch-great or Foster-great.

12. Frank Chance (13) -- High peak. Great teams made greater by his presence. Sometimes good luck is worth a few points in the voting.

13. Lip Pike (11) -- Moves down to #3 in the CF rankings after considering that after Pearce is inducted, a huge percentage of NA regulars will already be in.

14. Spotswood Poles (off) -- Fits somewhere between Hill and Sheckard, which is where #14 falls.

15. Hughie Jennings (off) -- Pulled both #14 and #15 from my “21-25” list from last year, rather than my “16-20” list, which goes to show how close everyone is down here once you try splitting the hair. With Wallace inducted, he is now the best SS not named “Dickey.”

16-20: Williamson, Monroe, Petway, Konetchy, Sheckard
21-25: Evers, Gardner, C. Jones, McCormick, Ryan
26-30: Doyle, Duffy, Willis, McGraw, Pratt

Excluded Top 10 returnees: A pair of Jimmys (or, as we call them in Philadelphia, “Sprinkles”) --Sheckard and Ryan. Both have great career values. But we have dipped pretty low in career-value choices. Their careers just weren’t as valuable as a lot of guy we’ve already let in. On the other hand, with Sam Thompson, we are starting to get into the high-peak guys, and for many of them, there just aren’t as many players with comparable peaks inside. On my ballot, I consider Beckley and Welch to be primarily “career” picks, and they both have HUGE career values. If I have to dip down, I’d rather take the Pike’s peak over Ryan’s career.
   28. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#731718)
It wouldn't let me post this morning after part I of my ballot!

Tier Two (65-75 career WARP, 40+ peak)

4. Lip Pike (72.1 career WARP, 46.8 peak)
I’ve given Pike a total of 19.2 WARP for his pre-ML 1866-70 career, an average of under 4 WARP a season, which I think is pretty conservative. There’s a glut of candidates with 45-48 peak WARP and 67-72 career, so Pike gets the edge because a) he has the most career WARP of the group and b) BP season-length-adjusted WARP1, when given the same pre-ML credit ratio as my WARP, likes him a little better than his peers. Obviously a truly dominant player in the NA and 1876 NL Also, gotta support the tribe of Israel here. Go Lipman Go--Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, and Shawn Green smile upon you. So does Doron Sheffer.

5. Pete Browning (70.7 career WARP, 47.5 peak)
Almost indistinguishable by season-length and league quality-adjusted WARP, BP WARP, and Win Shares from Childs, so his much better Ink scores get him the nudge. This guy really needs more support. 1890 showed us he was for real, so his knock-em-dead years in '82, '85 and '87 have to be taken seriously. More career value than the “career” guys GVH/Beckley by my measure, and a true dominator for three or four seasons. Hopefully I can drum up some support for him; he really deserves it.

6. Cupid Childs (67.2 career WARP, 45.3 peak)
Once again, someone I scorned gets massively reevaluated. Being "the best 2B of the 1890's" is not enough, but he was an offensive juggernaut at a scarce position with often excellent leather for eight years. A bona fide superstar in '90, '92, and '96, and a strong All-Star in '93 and '97. Didn't play forever but so good that, like everyone else in this group, he accumulated more career value than the "career guys." Since we don't have anyone from his era at his position, and because he played in a stronger league than the other guys on the ballot with similar WARP totals for career and peak, he gets my no. 6 vote.

7. Addie Joss (69.4 career WARP, 47.8 peak)
What a boomerang! I went from being a good FOAJ, to dropping him from my ballot altogether, and now moving him back up to 5th! Joss had a remarkable ability to prevent hits on balls in play, allowing a BABIP 31 points lower than his teammates' for his career (.238/.269). He had six seasons where he was absolutely one of the best in the biz, including 1908 which was particularly standout. His rate stats were so good that even despite his innings problem, he still comes out mid-ballot on both career and peak. Take a look inside the numbers and see for yourself.

8. Hughie Jennings (63.4 career WARP, 57.2 peak)
Just falls short of the career cutoff for Tier Two, but if you believe FRAA (averaging 47 FRAA/130 G in 95-96 is pretty nuts), the peak is so high you can’t ignore it. If there is reason to be skeptical of his defensive brilliance, he'll fall. But if not, he is a Caruthers type--so good for five years that he was more valuable than guys who played for three times as long. 4 years of 170-190 XR+ at the SS position, plus that defense, makes him HoM-worthy to me.
   29. Jim Sp Posted: July 13, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#731941)
Not much change, Pratt debuts at #12. Gardner would be around #25.

1)Doyle— Doyle is my #1, but with some misgivings. His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and the competition on the ballot is not strong. C+ defender by Win Shares, terrible by WARP. My rating of Doyle I think is out of sync with the electorate because I don’t discount the NL during this time, I treat 2nd base as a defensive bonus position until 1920, and I use Win Shares defensive ratings not WARP. Compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. Doyle’s 126 OPS+ at 2B is only exceeded by Hornsby, Lajoie, Collins, Morgan, Robinson, Richardson, and Dunlap. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
2)Beckley—I’m no longer Beckley’s best friend, but close. Keeler’s election convinced me to stop downgrading Beckley. Beckley is the better fielder, about the same as a hitter for his career, and at an underrepresented position with more defensive value. Behind the big 3, much better than any other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production.
3)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, striking out people at rate that is extremely high for the era. Each year allowing at least 20% fewer runs than an average pitcher, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. 134 ERA+ in 3000 IP is worthy, his W/L record isn’t impressive because his run support wasn’t impressive. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
4)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
5)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
6)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so that hurts him a bit.
7)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.
8)Lave Cross—great fielder. Caught some too. Only hit well in weak leagues, but still that’s a lot of career value…2645 career hits with a lot of defensive value. All time leader in Win Shares / 1000 innings at 3B.
9)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
10)Pearce—placement is quite subjective, putting him above Childs and McGraw feels right.
11)Welch— Better than Galvin. His 1885 season (44-11, 1.66 ERA, 492 IP) is a great peak year, he had 3 other great years (1884, 1888, 1889) plus another 6 good seasons. Welch played every year in the toughest league. He could hit a little (68 OPS+). Career 307-210…he deserves some of the credit for that.
12)Del Pratt--Well, if I like Doyle then of course I will like Pratt a little too. Good hitter and good fielder at 2B.
13)Leach--Great fielder at both 3B and CF. Historically a unique player, if only he hit a little better. Or had stayed at 3B.
14)Childs—Steep discount for his domination of the 1890 AA, otherwise he would be higher.
15)Cicotte—Could rank higher, but I have no enthusiasm for that.

Bob Caruthers— Short career, and AA discount hurts him. See also Tony Mullane, Silver King, Guy Hecker, Jack Stivetts, Dave Foutz, and Will White.
Sheckard--Not quite. On the top of the outfield glut, just off the ballot.
Lip Pike-- The quality of competition was not good. I think we’ve taken enough of the 1870’s crowd.
Van HaltrenGood player, part of the OF glut with Ryan and Duffy.
RyanI place him equal with VanHaltren, which puts him off the ballot.
Rube Foster--The discussion thread has convinced me that he was more like Joe Wood than Addie Joss. Definitely goes into the pioneer/executive wing, but as a player he faded too quickly.
   30. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 05:55 PM (#731947)
Tier Three (60+ career WARP, 40+ peak)
9. Jimmy Sheckard (71.6 career WARP, 40.2 peak)
A strange career. Much of his value in defense and walks, including an outlandish 147 in 1911, when he hadn't been particularly great in eight years. But it all adds up to a mid-ballot candidate as far as I'm concerned, just squeaking into the HoM. I do think there are much stronger candidates than election-favorite Sheckard on this ballot—Pike seems to have enough support that he could make a preferable alternative, IMO.
In-Out Line
10. Rube Waddell (66.6 career WARP, 40.9 peak)
Rube’s taken a big hit with my reevaluation. I *love* the K's, but now that I can see that deadball pitchers really could prevent hits on balls in play, he stands out less than he did before. It's worth nothing that his 1903 season was just as good as his much more highly regarded '04--almost as many innings, same BB/K/HR rates, similar propensity to giving up line drives (BABIP 5% higher than teammates' in '03, 6% in '04). '02 was really his best season though. One of the best pitchers in baseball from '02-'05, but not an otherworldly dominator and not enough career to push him further up the ballot or into my revised PHoM.
11. Eddie Cicotte (67.2 career WARP, 40.6 peak)
He really was a premier, superstar pitcher from 1917-19, and was serviceable in 1913 and 1920. A slightly above league average pitcher for the rest of his career.
The Rest
12. Jimmy Ryan (62.1 career WARP, 34.3 peak)
He doesn’t fare that well in my system, but I do have to give respect to his near-ballot-topping career season-length adjusted BP WARP1 and top 4 career WS, and he did at least have two great years in 1888 and 89.
13.John McGraw (59 career WARP, 40.3 peak)
Last guy on the ballot with 40 peak WARP, and almost as many career WARP as Ryan. He didn't play long enough to make the HoM, and rarely played full seasons even when he did. But man, was he good--an on-base machine the likes of which the game has rarely seen since.
14.Vic Willis (70.7 career WARP, 35.1 peak)
Just kept churning out those innings at an above-average level. The Beckley of pitchers, but a more valuable career than Beckley and at least a genuine All-Star once or twice. Can’t keep 70+ WARP off my ballot altogether.
15.Bill Monroe (n/a)
Decided I prefer him to Foster because it seems he played for a lot longer; Foster's subsequent organizational accomplishments are irrelevant.
   31. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 13, 2004 at 05:55 PM (#731948)
Top 10 Returnees Left Off:

Dickey Pearce: First of all, I don't think he was playing baseball, and secondly, I am very wary of subjective accounts of defensive brilliance. People said he was a good fielding shortstop. People say the same of Derek Jeter. I strongly don't think he deserves to get in. Please ask yourselves how reliable the reports are of his excellence before elevating him ahead of players with real stats. I know he was old, but he was a pretty awful hitter in the NA.

Jake Beckley: He wasn't an All-Star for 15 years. He was a slightly above average player for a long time, accumulating less career value than guys who played half as long. And of course he had no peak. Unless you think that replacement level in his era was so low that just playing in the majors meant a lot to helping a team win, he's really got no case. His best year (1899) was worse than Del Pratt in 1919. Also, yes I really do think he was barely better than a replacement player in 1889, when he hit .301. The ABC boys meant that the positional average XR/27 was 6.43, a notch ahead of his 5.79. Add in his zero defensive value (-3 FRAA) and you get one win above a replacement 1B.

George Van Haltren: People compare him to Sheckard? I see him as much more comparable to Beckley: identical, less-than-stunning career value (62.5ish WARP) and no peak whatsoever.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 06:08 PM (#731981)
First of all, I don't think he was playing baseball

Funny, (through a medium) that's what he thinks of baseball today.

   33. Kelly in SD Posted: July 13, 2004 at 07:56 PM (#732212)
One of my issues with Bresnahan is his limited playing time - which is due in part to his own decisions to play another catcher when he was StL manager.

Compared to National League contemporaries:
player   yrs  G at C Tot DefG OPS+  WS
RDooin  02-16  1195   1219     72   91
GGibson 05-18  1194   1195     81  113
JKling  00-13  1168   1206    100  155
RBresn  97-15   974   1375    126  231  **
BBergen 01-11   941    942     20   51
CMeyers 09-17   911    911    117  129
LMcLean 01-15   761    798     86   73
JArcher 04-18   736    804     80   74
PMoran  01-14   697    767     78   77
ASchlei 04-11   561    593     83   55
EPhelps 02-13   530    540     88   49
LRitter 02-08   410    438     67   27

American League
player   yrs  G at C Tot DefG OPS+  WS
BSulliv 99-16  1122   1133     63   77
OStanag 06-20  1074   1081     69   98
LCriger 96-12   984    996     72   92
OSchrek 97-08   751    855     90   98
BCarrig 06-16   649    666     94   71
GStreet 04-12   493    493     66   30
IThomas 06-15   450    452     82   44
BSchmid 06-11   447    449     79   40

** about 162-170 were at catcher.
I broke it down by games and chances at each position compared to total gams and WS. I got the numbers from BRef. If someone else has done a full season-by-season breakdown, please post.
Okay, I may have to reevaluate Bresnahan. He was only 7th in games at his position during his time, but he produced at a greater level than others. I'll think about it for next election and there is a good chance he'll make it.
   34. DavidFoss Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:18 PM (#732237)
Thanks for the Catcher breakdown, Kelly!

Catchers in this era just did not play that much. It was a 154 game season and many only played 80-90 games a year.
   35. Kelly in SD Posted: July 13, 2004 at 08:18 PM (#732239)
I definitely did not realize how much more productive per game Bresnahan was than other catchers.
The National League was definitely the catchers league for the first 15 years.
Da*n, Bill Bergen and his 20 OPS+. His defense was good, but no one with any career was close to that bad. Could he have been that bad if he batted left?
The five most similar players didn't even have an OPS+ worse than 47. If we ever did a HoNonMerit, Bergen would have to be on the first ballot.
   36. Jeff M Posted: July 13, 2004 at 10:53 PM (#732443)
Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so that hurts him a bit.

I don't understand why that hurts him. He had 162 OPS+ that year (1903). Obviously that number would be unbelievable for a catcher, but it's outstanding for anyone. I don't think I'd dock him points for that. He managed to earn a WARP1 of 8.8 and WS of 27, which are also good numbers.

WARP considers 1903 his third best season overall, as does Win Shares -- primarily because he played an easier defensive position. But 1903 was his best hitting year.
   37. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2004 at 11:36 PM (#732461)
Oops, forgot to explain my off-ballot guys, not that anybody seems to be enforcing anymore, which is OK.

Beckley--I'm a peak/prime voter, nuff sed. Would rank somewhere in the 35-45 range if I counted that high.

Van Haltren--I'm a...hey, wait a minute! Van had a lot more prime than Beckley, and more than his look-alike, Ryan. But who comped him to Sheckard? Sheckard didn't make my ballot either, but Van certainly had less prime than Jimmy. A "nice" prime and lots of career value, but just a bit short in both categories. In the 25-35 range.

Griffith--has never been high on my radar. I'm trying to tweak my evaluations a bit to be fairer to 20th century pitchers, be Clark ain't that either. Haven't found a methodology yet that ranks him higher than 30-40.

Ryan--like Van Haltren, lite. (30-35)

Bresnahan--moved up from 23 to 18 this year as I'm also trying to be fairer to C and 20C position players, but I don't think he'll ever be a PHoMer.

Welch--call me Mr. In-Between. Traditional stats (e.g. wins) say look at me. And the new info posted here by Kelly and several others do, too. But when I started this project ERA+ and WARP were king, and I can't get past that. Either the absolute master of pitching-in-a-pinch or the luckiest sumbitch of all time. And I haven't seen conclusive data for which it is, and as long as it could be the latter, he'll languish around 25-35 for me.
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2004 at 11:39 PM (#732464)
PS. IOW, Keefe and Welch did NOT have very similar stats. (OK, one.)
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2004 at 11:40 PM (#732465)
Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so that hurts him a bit.

I don't understand why that hurts him. He had 162 OPS+ that year (1903). Obviously that number would be unbelievable for a catcher, but it's outstanding for anyone. I don't think I'd dock him points for that. He managed to earn a WARP1 of 8.8 and WS of 27, which are also good numbers.

WARP considers 1903 his third best season overall, as does Win Shares -- primarily because he played an easier defensive position. But 1903 was his best hitting year.

I have him as the best in CF that year, so how can that be a negative? I'm with you, Jeff.
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2004 at 11:55 PM (#732472)
Re. Bresnahan in CF, I agree that that is not a negative thing. Rather, it diminishes the positivity of his accomplishment.

I've made the same pt. re. Ed Williamson's 27 HR in 1884. They're worth less than a lot of other 27 HR years, but they're not a negatory effect on the team.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 12:04 AM (#732495)
Re. Bresnahan in CF, I agree that that is not a negative thing. Rather, it diminishes the positivity of his accomplishment.

I might agree if he had hit around the same that he normally hit as a catcher, but he turned it up a notch in '03. Even with the sub par defense, it was a legitimately great year, IMO.
   42. Jim Sp Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:12 AM (#732751)
Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so that hurts him a bit.

...right, only compared to the very high spot I would give him if all his hitting was done while catching.

I didn't mean that his big CF year counts against him. The CF year is still a good year and he gets credit for it, but it makes his career stats a little misleading if you're thinking "catcher". If he had been catching while racking up his 1903-1904 numbers, then he'd already be elected I imagine.

Interesting that his comment gets attention now. I think I put that comment in when he came on the ballot. Before he came on the ballot I assumed he was always a catcher, that's the origin of the comment.
   43. KJOK Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:26 AM (#733215)
Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers.

1. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 BRUCE PETWAY, C. Best Negro Leagues Catcher of the 1910’s.

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

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

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

12. DEL PRATT, 2B. .541 OWP, 151 RCAP, 7,609 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Didn’t hit quite as well as Doyle or Childs, but did play better defense.

13. SPOTWOOD POLES, CF Oscar Charleston and Pete Hill the only Negro League contemporary outfielders that were better.

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

15. JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. .596 OWP. 245 RCAP. 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A very good for a long time player.


JIMMY SHECKARD, LF. .626 OWP. 135 RCAP. 9,117 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Another player who was good but not great offensively, played a long time. Don’t see why so much love for him. He was a great defensive LFer, but in era with fewer fly balls. Similar to Hugh Duffy.

LIP PIKE, CF. Perhaps best hitting CF of the 1870’s, but short career puts him off ballot.

TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,531(!) innings. AA discount puts him off ballot until I finally get around to my AA vs. NL study.

JOHN DONALDSON, P. The “black Waddell” was very good, but contemporaries Joe Williams, Joe Rogan, Dick Redding, Jose Mendez, and possibly even Andy Cooper and Nip Winters were better.

RUBE FOSTER, P. Great for awhile, but not sure how much he actually pitched in many years.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. .620 OWP. 167 RCAP. 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. A notch below the elite OF’ers both offensively and defensively.

JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF. .609 OWP. 205 RCAP. 9,114 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not quite up to top OF hitters, and only average defense won’t move him up.

CLARK GRIFFITH, P. 256 RSAA, 199 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 121 ERA+ in 3,385 innings. He’s really not all that far away from McGinnity, but not that far from Silver King either.
   44. Sean Gilman Posted: July 14, 2004 at 07:42 AM (#733311)

1. Lip Pike (1)--Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I’ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea. Played the infield, played the outfield. The greatest power/speed combination of his time. Great peak and a fairly long career for a 19th Century Outfielder. Dropping him in the rankings because he wasn't the best player on his team in the three seasons you happen to look at strikes me as the height of absurdity, BTW.

2. Jimmy Sheckard (2)--Looks pretty much identical to Keeler to me.

3. Pete Browning (4)--AA discount and short career keeps him from being at the top of the ballot. The man could hit. We know Win Shares likes him better than Sam Thompson, but did you know the BP stats show Browning to be the better hitter? Thompson’s edge in WARP is only in fielding and pitching (remember Browning’s -37 PRAR?) and Davenport’s AA discount. Considering the problems Davenport’s had with 19th century OF fielding and the admitted anomoly with Browning’s pitching and the unknown natue of his AA discount, I don’t know how one could rate Thompson ahead based on WARP.

4. Charley Jones (5)--Jones, Jackson and Browning look pretty interchangeable to me.

5. Dickey Pearce (6)--The best shortstop of his time. Maybe should rank ahead of the above outfielders. . .Makes My Personal HOM this year along with Pete Hill.

6. Bob Caruthers (7)--His WARP1 and 3 Pennants Added are essentially the same as Pete Browning’s, which is interesting. . .The concept of league discounts is really starting to bug me. At what point do you just say “a Major League is a Major League?”

7. Hughie Jennings (8)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder.

8. Roger Bresnahan (9)--Great rate stats, but he just didn’t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. Ranks ahead of Childs only because of the bonus I give him for being a catcher.

9. Cupid Childs (10)--Nice to see Cupid getting some love. . .

10. Hugh Duffy (11)--Everytime I look at him vs. Ryan and Van Haltren, they all look the same. Duffy’s got small (very small) edges on them in pennants added and win shares peak numbers.

11. George Van Haltren (12)--Just when I thought I was rid of the dreaded Outfielder Glut. . ..

12. Larry Doyle (14)--He’s no Cupid, but he’s not bad.

13. Jimmy Ryan (15)--Gluterrific.

14. Ed Williamson (16)--Not better than Ezra.

15. Rube Waddell (18)--Bumped ahead of Cravath for reasons of certainty and peak.

16. Rube Foster (19)
17. Gavy Cravath (17)
18. Jake Beckley (20)
19. Spotswood Poles (21)
20. Herman Long (22)
21. Jim McCormick (23)
22. Mike Tiernan (24)
23. John McGraw (25)
24. Bill Monroe (26)
25. Clark Griffith (27)
   45. Jeff M Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:22 PM (#733407)
Lip Pike (1)-- ...much better in the NA than Start, not as good before.

Guess it depends on how you are measuring. In WARP, Pike wins on all the peak measures but loses on career to Start. In WS, Pike loses on every measure to Start.

Dropping him in the rankings because he wasn't the best player on his team in the three seasons you happen to look at strikes me as the height of absurdity, BTW.

I assume this was aimed at my comments. If so, it is contrary to everything I've posted on this issue. I looked at every season Pike played to reach the conclusion you suggest. Take a look at David Foss' numbers. Pike was often not even the third best player on his team.

Pike was excellent in 1871 and top of the league in 1875 and 1876. Otherwise, I think he was just a very good, but not great, hitter (and a poor defender by all accounts). He was fast and has a memorable name, but I don't see any evidence that he was a top echelon star. I'm not entirely convinced he was better than Tom York.

It may be the height of absurdity to have him in the high teens on my ballot, but I can think of many other things better qualified for that dubious distinction.
   46. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:33 PM (#733425)
Meyerle was distinctly better than Pike in the NA, and had the much more difficult fielding position of 3B; the only reason to rank Pike ahead of Meyerle (and then not much) is Pike's strong performance in the prehistoric era. Ranked by OPS+, Meyerle's 241 in 1871 is better than Babe Ruth's 1921, and the fifth best season in baseball history. Pike has nothing like that on his resume.
   47. andrew siegel Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:44 PM (#733439)
From earlier discussions:

Meyerle was a terrible, terrible fielder who played 2B and 3B briefly only because he was too slow to play the OF. He had very little career pre-NA and a very short productive career in the NA/NL. He was the legitimate MVP of 1871, but that season is the classic example of how small sample sizes distort; as a hitter, he was very much on par with McVey and Pike-- he simply had his best 30 game stretch during a season that was 30 games long rather than buried in a longer season. Kevin Mitchell is a good modern comp. He's not in the top 75 playes eligible.
   48. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:48 PM (#733446)
Incidentally, does anybody know what happened on the 1877 Cincinnati Reds? They went 16-41, but had Pike managing them (part of the time), Cummings and Matthews pitching, and Meyerle and Charley Jones among the hitters. Meyerle played less than 1/2 the games,primarily at shortstop (which he wasn't very good at) in spite of an OPS+ of 148 and a batting avreage of .327, while he seems to have been placed in the 3B bench chart below a .190 hitter. I suspect there's a movie in this story, and I equally suspect from other references that Lip Pike isn't the hero of it.
   49. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:53 PM (#733453)
Also, the fact that Meyerle batted .492 in 1871 makes me skeptical as to how seriously to take that league. How bad of a fielder was he, btw? He had more errors that year (45, or 1.73 per game) than assists (39) or putouts (43), a fielding percentage of .646 (admittedly, the league was .701). If you deduct the 45 hits he gave up in the field (call them all singles) from those he generated at the plate, he would have hit .146/.159/.354, for an OPS+ of 25.
   50. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:55 PM (#733459)
Andrew, my post crossed with yours. It shines a light on 1870s managerial capabilities that if Meyerle was such a terrible fielder, they moved him to shortstop, rather than trying him at 1B. (1B for the 1877 Reds was Charlie Gould, lifetime OPS of 93, not a name to conjure with.)
   51. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:03 PM (#733471)
Dan,you should surely deduct only the INCREMENTAL errors above the league average fielder, an additional 7 errors, which would make him .439/.447/.647, still a pretty good year in any league. My point is, they appeared to have booted him out of the league at 31, after a season of 149 OPS+ during which he was made to play shortstop, admittedly badly. I'm coming to the conclusion that Meyerle deserves extra credit for the lost seasons of 1878-81 caused by total managerial incompetence on the part of others. He'd be one hell of a DH.
   52. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:03 PM (#733473)
Also, just a crazy thought--The league fielding percentage was .701. Of Meyerle's 66 outs, assuming he had average luck, he would have reached base on 29.9% of them, approximately 20. This means Meyerle got on base in 86 of his 132 plate appearances, a .652 error-inclusive OBP. Barry Bonds ain't got nothing on my man Levi.
   53. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:05 PM (#733475)
Or you could deduct every player's errors from their hits and then calculate a fielding-adjusted OPS. This wouldn't factor in range or arm, but would say a lot regardless, IMO.
   54. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:16 PM (#733491)
Interesting thought, Dan. Don't tell Murphy, but Dickey Pearce had 77 errors in 1873, and only 72 hits. More Jose Canseco than Ozzie Smith, I would have thought!
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:23 PM (#733501)
Ranked by OPS+, Meyerle's 241 in 1871 is better than Babe Ruth's 1921, and the fifth best season in baseball history.

I'm a rabid anti-timeliner as anybody here, but there's a huge difference between Meyerle's 1871 season and Ruth's best in 1921. While I think the NA in 1871 had legitimately great players, the rank-and-file was sub par. Combining that with the short schedule, it created greater outliers than at any time since the dawn of professional baseball. Meyerle still had a significant season, IMO, but it's very easy to place too much emphasis on it.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:29 PM (#733513)
Interesting thought, Dan. Don't tell Murphy, but Dickey Pearce had 77 errors in 1873, and only 72 hits. More Jose Canseco than Ozzie Smith, I would have thought!

The error amount wasn't that bad that year. George Wright actually had more and Pearce's FA was slightly above the league average.

No excuses concerning the offense, though. The years took their toll on his hitting.
   57. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#733516)
John (boy am I glad you didn't see my Dickey Pearce comment!) I agree entirely about sample size etc., but Meyerle's CAREER OPS+ was 164, tenth in baseball history, behind Ty Cobb but ahead of Jimmie Foxx. OK he didn't have a huge career pre 1871, but shouldn't we give him credit for potential post-31 play, given how good he still was in '77? I'm coming to the conclusion I may have been right about Meyerle the first time; he's another unique talent, much more so than Pike.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:39 PM (#733533)
I'm coming to the conclusion I may have been right about Meyerle the first time; he's another unique talent, much more so than Pike.

Pike's career was much more steadier than Meyerle's, plus had a longer career and better defense. Long Levi's OPs+ is not that much greater than Pike's, despite the fact that Lip is missing a significant portion of his career. I may be wrong, but I honestly can't see Meyerle anywhere near Pike (and I was Meyerle's only fan at one time at the beginning of this project).
   59. karlmagnus Posted: July 14, 2004 at 02:52 PM (#733559)
I don't know what you mean by steadier. Ignoring his two comebacks for a total of 6 games in 1881/87, Pike played 8 years, going 195/120/133/170/202/174/143/137. Meyerle played 7, going 241/147/141/181/150/164/148. Meyerle's only "unsteadiness" was that 241 in 1871; otherwise his lowest OPS+ was 141 whereas Pike's was 120. He appears to have been forced out of the game halfway through the 1877 season, possibly by Pike (as I said above, I know nothing about whatever soap opera was going on in Cincy that year.) If that's the case, we should consider granting credit for 1878-81, when he was 32-35, and would presumably have continued to put up 120-150 OPS+ seasons, especially if allowed to field 1B.

They're both short careers, however you cut it, and it would not be a travesty of the HOM if neither were elected. But I don't see the case for Pike and not Meyerle.

Incidentally, given the number of great players forced out of the league either temporarily or permanently (McVey, Pike, Meyerle, Charley Jones) maybe the NL 1878-81 wasn't so great after all -- I come back to the late '80s as the real early golden age.
   60. PhillyBooster Posted: July 14, 2004 at 03:57 PM (#733681)
I've got no problem with advocating love for Levi Meyerle, but I've got to think that any advocator would have to get through Pete Browning first, who had similar offensive numbers in approximately four times more games played. Even adjusting for season length, a 162 OPS+ in 1183 games has to trump a 164 OPS+ in 307 games.


Maybe I was sick the day we learned this, but who exactly has been calling John Murphy "Grandma"?
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:03 PM (#733694)
I don't know what you mean by steadier.

I meant more consistent.

He appears to have been forced out of the game halfway through the 1877 season, possibly by Pike (as I said above, I know nothing about whatever soap opera was going on in Cincy that year.)

Meyerle was definitely forced out by injury.

They're both short careers

But Pike did play considerably longer and was a greater player than Meyerle pre-NA.

I do disagree with Andrew about Meyerle not being in his top 75 eligible. He was a much greater player than that who has a very good peak argument in his favor.
   62. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:04 PM (#733698)
Pete Browning so deserves to get in. Duh.

My words of wisdom
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:08 PM (#733709)
Maybe I was sick the day we learned this, but who exactly has been calling John Murphy "Grandma"?

It's a reference to the great Yankee relief pitcher of the thirties and forties (not to mention Mets GM for the Miracle Mets!) Johnny "Grandma" Murphy. He's been one of my favorite players since I was a kid.
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#733718)
Even adjusting for season length, a 162 OPS+ in 1183 games has to trump a 164 OPS+ in 307 games.

The only thing in Meyerle's favor was that he played a tougher position than Browning. It's just not enough to place him before the Gladiator.
   65. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:25 PM (#733766)
A question to all--since I am using BABIP/Teammates' BABIP to take out the effects of fielding, I probably should not add in BP FRAA to pitchers' WARP, right? It just doubles the effect--whatever benefit their fielding has would be evident in their BABIP being lower than teammates.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:26 PM (#733768)
He's been one of my favorite players ever since I was a kid.
   67. DavidFoss Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#733805)
Incidentally, given the number of great players forced out of the league either temporarily or permanently (McVey, Pike, Meyerle, Charley Jones) maybe the NL 1878-81 wasn't so great after all -- I come back to the late '80s as the real early golden age.

This is somewhat true. The early NL was imploding. The 1876 Reds team was much worse (9-56) than the 1877 squad. The league had contracted from 8 teams in 1876 to 6 teams in 1877 and how the Reds managed to keep from folding is something I wouldn't mind reading about.

Charlie Gould played on the the great 1869-1870 Cincy teams... its possible that he was there due to that connection. Cuthbert and Mathews were veterans whose reputation was probably better than their recent performance. Common for teams to pick up guys like that, common for guys like that to fail. Cummings pitched well for Hartford the two years before and tanked for Cincy in 1877 and then retired. Evidence that Cincy had a crummy defense? Maybe. Anyhow, the team picked up WWhite, DWhite and KKelly the next season and became quite respectable.

Golden Age? There was no Golden Age. :-) Seriously, in almost all ages of history when the look at the writings of the people in certain "Golden Ages" that have existed, those writers are often quoted as talking about the "goold ole days" that preceded them.
   68. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: July 14, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#733855)

1 Bob Caruthers: Great pitcher, pretty good hitter. (I'm not giving up on him.)
2 Jimmy Sheckard: Drew lotsa walks, great defense. (Nobody noticed at the time, but…)
3 Jake Beckley: Consistent; a cut below the top contenders.
4 George van Haltren: Caruthers' evil twin.
5 Rube Foster: A legend…and he could pitch some, too, y'know…
6 Dickey Pearce: A great player, lost to the vagaries of time.
7 Lip Pike: If only he was ten years younger…
8 Hughie Jennings: Ee-Yah…!!
9 Rube Waddell: Great pitcher, mostly remembered as a punchline.
10 Mordecai Brown: Very comparable to Iron Joe; not quite as good.
11 Mickey Welch: 300 wins…howzabout some love?
12 Roger Bresnahan: Fiery!
13 Pete Browning: Gladiator or crazy drunk? You decide.
14 Spotsworth Poles: Should be a captian of industry with that name…
15 Harry Wright: "There wasn't any professional baseball. He invented it." -- Bill James
   69. Michael Bass Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:04 PM (#733892)
So you know we elected old Three-Finger several elections ago.
   70. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:05 PM (#733896)
Um, Brown is already in the HoM. I assume you want to move nos. 11-15 up one and put someone else on your ballot.
   71. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:08 PM (#733902)
Isn't it Spotswood Poles? Or Spotwood? I gotta say it's more of a porn star name than anything else.
   72. jhwinfrey Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:27 PM (#733959)
Here's my 1930 ballot. The biggest change from last year is probably that I now have Roger Bresnahan's name spelled right. He and Waddell join my PHoM.

1.Mickey Welch (1,1,1,1): I'll be putting someone else #1 soon, whether Welch gets voted in or not.

2.Dickey Pearce (7,4,3,3): I keep flip-flopping Pearce, Caruthers, and Beckley. Of the 3, I currently think Pearce was the more dominant player.

3.Bob Caruthers (4,5,4,2): I like unique players, and Caruthers is certainly that. His winning percentage doesn't get enough attention, IMO.

4.Jake Beckley (6,3,5,4): Just a biscuit below 3,000 hits.

5.Rube Waddell (5,8,8,6): Another unique player. His strikout numbers were mind-blowing for the era.

6.Roger Bresnahan (9,11,9,7): Whether he had much impact on protective equipment, he definitely had an impact as a player.

7.Rube Foster (9): We may look back on his low support in earlier elections as a big mistake.

8.Lip Pike (13,14,12,10): For me, he's the best of the outfielder bunch.

9.Spotswood Poles (11): And Poles is a close second to Pike.

10.Addie Joss (10,9,10,8): One of the few players to drop a few spots on this ballot. His short career is beginning to get to me.

11.Bill Monroe (15,nr,14,12): Great glovework and he played a mean banjo, too.

(In/Out line)

12.George Van Haltren (14,15,13,13): To me, Van Haltren is an "All-Star" but not a "HOMer."

13.Tony Mullane (12,13,11,14): I'm still his best friend. I'm unconvinced that there was that much difference between the leagues.

14.Bruce Petway (nr): With him making my ballot, I have 2 catchers on it for the first time.

15.Jim McCormick (nr): Another short career pitcher, but I think he's a small notch above Griffith.


16.Tommy Leach: He gets a positional bonus, and his range factors were significantly better than the league.

17.Jimmy Sheckard: I can't get past the 2,084 career hits. And he only led the league in a major category once. Still, he's very close to my ballot.

18.Clark Griffith: I'm coming around on him. The brevity of his career hurts him in my rankings.

19.Jimmy Ryan: The least of the center fielders.

20.Hugh Duffy: No national leaguer had more homers or RBIs in the 1890s. But it was mostly a handful of dominant/lucky seasons.

21-25: Doyle, Cravath, Willis, Konetchy, Browning
26-30: Daubert, Donaldson, Cicotte, Evers, Milan
31-35: Huggins, Childs, Gardner, Bond, Pratt
   73. PhillyBooster Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:38 PM (#733984)
I think if you look at Charley Jones's career arc, you'll see that his peak was really 1877-1879 -- his shorter seasons -- and that by 1880 he was 30 and on his serious downswing.

Consider this list of eligible players with an OPS+ over 140 and between 4000 and 7500 career PAs. (More than 7500 on this list is a first-ballot HoMers, less than 4000 we have not been considering seriously -- e.g., Dave Orr and George Stone.)

Name (Bold in HOM)OPS PAs
Joe Jackson......170.....5690
Harry Stovey.....143.....6832
Sam Thompson.146.....6502
Elmer Flick........149.....6414
Pete Browning....162.....5315
Tip O'Neill...........142.....4720
Gavy Cravath.....150.....4645
Mike Donlin........144.....4282
Bill Joyce...........144.....4149
Charley Jones....149.....4009

The early AA years give Jones the illusion of a double or extended peak, you'll see that his in his "real" peak he was 2nd or 3rd in OPS+ between such HoMers as P.Hines, D.White, and K.Kelly. Meanwhile, in 1883-1885, he was ranking 5th or 7th in OPS+ behind such non-HoMers as Swartwood, Browning, and Orr.

I understand the desire to extrapolate Jones's two missing seasons, but even doing so, his career doesn't match Browning's, and it just barely matches Gavy Cravath's career if you chose not to extrapolate time that Cravath was actually playing baseball.

Cravath and Browning will continue to make my ballot, and Charley Jones will not. I could see moving him above Tip O'Neill, but not much higher.
   74. PhillyBooster Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:39 PM (#733987)
Hm. I think I didn't put this is the discussion thread like I meant to. Sorry!
   75. yest Posted: July 14, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#734020)
my problem with Meyerle is I'm clueless to what he did in pre NA
   76. DavidFoss Posted: July 14, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#734038)
my problem with Meyerle is I'm clueless to what he did in pre NA

Not as much as his 1871 season would imply.

His data is posted in the yahoo group.

This is what I recall off the top of my head... please verify... In 1870, he played for Chicago and was half-decent, but nothing special. In 1869, he played for Philadelphia Athletic and was quite a poor hitter relative to his teammates. The two years before that, he played for minor teams (Philadephia Geary).

He did pitch some, but overall his performance pre-NA was mediocre at best.
   77. Michael Bass Posted: July 14, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#734090)
Complete reevaluation this year, as I try to balance true career value with other factors. I like my new system, which gives a lot of credit for star and superstar systems (arbitrarily defined by me). WARP3 is my main took from the mid 1880s forward, with WS, OPS+, and ERA+ also in the mix.

1. Andrew Foster (--,11,11,10,7) - Looking back at last week, I should have shot him up then, but lacked the guys. I believe his pure pitching peak was obviously HOM calibre, and that he adds more away from that peak than the next two guys (though admittedly that isn't saying much).

2. Hughie Jennings (--,--,--,--,--) - Heck of a debut on my ballot, eh? The argument I've been using for Caruthers all these years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long.

3. Bob Caruthers (4,3,2,2,2) - Moves down due to no fault of his own, just that I like the two guys above him better now. In fact, I was a little iffy on him before, now that my initial impression is confirmed by a second system, I'm completely confident that he is deserving of induction.

4. Jimmy Sheckard (5,4,4,4,4) - Really a strong career, not a half bad set of strong seasons to compliment it. Back on top of the OF pack.

5. Jimmy Ryan (7,6,6,5,5) - Similar to Sheckard, slightly less in the way of star-calibre season by my measure.

6. Cupid Childs (14,14,13,11,11) - Nice bump for Cupid. Strong career and 4 very strong seasons give him a quality boost.

7. George Van Haltren (6,5,3,3,3) - Suffers in comparison to the similar guys ahead of him because he simply didn't have the same number of high-calibre years to go with his long productive career. I still like him a lot, though.

8. Spotswood Poles (9) - Surprised he isn't doing better in voting so far, given the high praise he gets from so many sources. Then again, I seem to have most NLers higher than the curve, so maybe I shouldn't be too shocked. A slightly lesser Pete Hill. Doesn't move much from the last ballot

9. Fielder Jones (9,8,8,8,10) - Now that a second system confirms his placement, I'm pretty comfortable with Fielder here. I guess I like defense more than the group as a whole, but he had 4 really nice seasons in a nice career.

10. Clark Griffith (13,10,10,9,8) - Easily the best of the remaining MLB pure pitchers.

11. Bill Monroe (--,--,14,12,12) - Childs moves up, Monroe doesn't. I like to see more hitting and a better peak from my NLers than what I see from Monroe, but he still had a very nice career that is not to be overlooked.

12. Jimmy Williams (--,--,--,--,--) - Thus begins the infielder glut. Nice hitter for a middle infielder, particularly early in his career, and a quality (though not superstar) defender as well. Came from nowhere to impress me here.

13. Lave Cross (--,--,--,--,--) - A player I was overcorrecting for on my earlier ballots. Never a great hitter, but an amazing fielder at what was a critical position in his day. And he did this seemingly forever.

14. Dickey Pearce (--,--,--,--,13) - I have no problem saying he played baseball. 1866 is the dividing line for me though, before then the competition was so crappy that I'm reluctant to give too much credit for it. But taking his late 60s recorded production (when level of competition really wasn't any different than the better-documented early 70s) and giving him some credit, though not overwhelming, for the early 60s and you get him right about here.

15. Del Pratt (new) - Just manages to get on my ballot. Similar to Williams at the same position, just a little less peak with the bat.

Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

20. Lip Pike - My main problem with Lip is that his best years are clustered away from the late 60s years he needs credit for to get on my ballot. Not far behind Pearce, still, but this part of the ballot is closely grouped together.

18. Jake Beckley - Lotta career, but never really that great of a player. New system hammers him for that complete lack of peak.

25. Roger Bresnahan - I give a ton of catcher credit, I really do. And as much as I give Roger, he still only gets this high. Only way I can see him on a ballot is if you think we have to elect a catcher no matter what. I don't, so he's nowhere close. I think he'd be a massive mistake.

16-20: Long, Duffy, Beckley (--,--,--,14,15), Griffin, Pike (12,12,12,--,--)
21-25: McGraw, Dunlap, Thomas, Waddell (--,--,--,15,--), Bresnahan
26-30: Bond, King, McCormick, Huggins, Konetchy

33: Leach (15,15,13,13,14)
   78. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: July 14, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#734095)
Oopsie. Take 2:

1 Bob Caruthers: Great pitcher, pretty good hitter. (I'm not giving up on him.)
2 Jimmy Sheckard: Drew lotsa walks, great defense. (Nobody noticed at the time, but…)
3 Jake Beckley: Consistent; a cut below the top contenders.
4 George van Haltren: Caruthers' evil twin.
5 Rube Foster: A legend…and he could pitch some, too, y'know…
6 Dickey Pearce: A great player, lost to the vagaries of time.
7 Lip Pike: If only he was ten years younger…
8 Hughie Jennings: Ee-Yah…!!
9 Rube Waddell: Great pitcher, mostly remembered as a punchline.
10 Clark Griffith: Criminally underrated; a solid pitcher near the turn of the (last) century.
11 Mickey Welch: 300 wins…howzabout some love?
12 Roger Bresnahan: Fiery!
13 Pete Browning: Gladiator or crazy drunk? You decide.
14 Spottswood* Poles: Should be a captian of industry with that name…
15 Harry Wright: "There wasn't any professional baseball. He invented it." -- Bill James

*That's what my "Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues" sez...
   79. robc Posted: July 14, 2004 at 06:58 PM (#734147)
1. Jimmy Sheckard - Moves to the top of the ballot. Really doesnt excite me. I think we are at the ballot eligible nadir.
2. George VanHaltren - Another good outfielder. A cut above the rest.
3. Jimmy Ryan - see above. Closer to Beckley than VanHaltren.
4. Jake Beckley - career value.
5. Lave Cross - here I start my section of infielders that others dont find ballot worthy. If they move any higher, I may have to actually
make arguments for them.
6. Del Pratt - Career value higher than Childs. I expect to be the biggest FODP.
7. Hughie Jennings - Peak value infielder. You all actually vote for this one.
8. Bob Caruthers - Middle of ballot seems as good a place as any. Last of the guys I deem HoM worthy.
9. Herman Long - From here down is ballot filler. The order is the way it worked out in my system, no human adjustments at all. Childs, Tiernan, and Griffin have been higher in the past. Griffith has moved up some with a reevaluation. Not enthused about these guys in the least.
10. Fielder Jones
11. Cupid Childs
12. Clark Griffith
13. Mike Tiernan
14. Billy Nash
15. Mike Griffin

Others: Pearce 19, Pike 21, Foster 24. I think Pearce will be elected before he hits my ballot.
   80. OCF Posted: July 14, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#734166)
15 Harry Wright: "There wasn't any professional baseball. He invented it." -- Bill James

The only problem with using that quote is that it comes from a book about managers, rather than a book about players. It's a tribute to his innovative organizational skills.
Of course you are consistent in that you place Rube Foster quite high.

How many different spellings have you seen? Spotswood, Spottswood, Spotsford ... any others? Of course, like Shakspear, there's no doubt about the identity.
   81. Rick A. Posted: July 14, 2004 at 07:32 PM (#734200)
Mordecai Brown
Rube Foster

1930 Ballot
1.Dickey Pearce Best SS of 1850’s and 1860’s. 20+ year career, acknowledged the best by contemporaries, played on the best team (Brooklyn Atlantics) for much of that time. Elected PHOM in 1919.
2.Charley Jones – 96% of value is above average. Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
3.Lip Pike – 95% of documented career is above average. Fresh look at Charley Jones, Pike, and Browning made me change my order of them. Elected PHOM in 1918.
4.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
5.Rube Foster - Moved up due to re-evaluation and new info. Elected PHOM in 1930
6.Ed Williamson –Realized I was undervaluing him. We’re on track to elect 8 deadball pitchers, and I’m fine with that, but shouldn’t we elect the second best thirdbaseman from the 1880’s. Great defensive player and very good hitter.
7.Bob Caruthers – OK, the arguments for Caruthers have convinced me that he deserves a place on my ballot. Good-to-great pitchers who can hit the crap out of the ball are very rare indeed.
8.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average.
9.Hughie Jennings – 77% of value is prime alone. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got. Still that’s enough to get him this high. Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days.
10.Jimmy Sheckard – Just a step behind Keeler. 84% of value is above average.
11.Bill Monroe – Seems to fit between Grant and White.
12.Hugh Duffy – 82% of career is above-average. Great defense. Took another look at him and he moved up a couple of spots
13.George Van Haltren – I tend to really like steady careers like Van Haltren, Griffin, Beckley, but just can’t see him jumping over anyone on my ballot. Moves up because I forgot about his pitching.
14.Tommy Leach – Good peak and decent career. May need to rank higher
15.Clark Griffith –Won lots of games with bad teams. I’ve been convinced to move him over Waddell, may need to move him up some more.

Required Explanations
25.Rogers Bresnahan – Moves up thanks to Kelly’s data on how he dominated catchers. Still wish he played a little more at catcher.

28.Jake Beckley- I really like long careers. However his lack of prime value has him ranked lower than Van Haltren.

Off the ballot
16-20 Poles, Willis, Tiernan, Welch, Waddell
21-25 Doyle, Griffin, McGraw, Chance, Bresnahan
26-30 Long, Dunlap, Beckley, Mullane, Ryan
   82. DanG Posted: July 14, 2004 at 07:45 PM (#734226)
My #1 and #10 got elected. In 1930, Pratt and Gardner are the top newbies as we start scraping bottom in the candidate dead zone 1930-32. We have our last “elect 1” year in 1931, as the corner OF glut swells with Hooper, Veach and Burns. In 1932, Louis Santop looks like our next Negro league electee.

1)Pearce (2,3,3)– Finally plows through to the top. If the HoM is about respect for all eras, then Pearce is a “n-b”. Our Hall has only two players who played much before 1868 (Start and Wright). Unlike the Negro League Grants, we know that Pearce was a star of the first rank while playing at the highest level. The more I learn about him the more he seems like the Ozzie Smith of his time, a historically great defender, productive offensively, smart. Also similar to Bobby Wallace. If HoM voting had begun ten years earlier, electing one player per year, both he and Pike would already be in: 1888-Barnes, 1889-Wright, 1890-Spalding, 1891-McVey, 1892-Start (1st-ballot), 1893-Pike, 1894-Sutton (1st-ballot), 1895-Pearce, 1896-White (1st-ballot), 1897-Hines (1st-ballot), 1898-Gore (1st-ballot), 1899-O’Rourke (1st-ballot), 1900-Clarkson (1st-ballot).

2) Sheckard (4,6,6) – The recently released Deadball Stars of the National League by SABR isn’t terribly supportive of him…lotsa nice words about Cravath, though. Disregarding that for now. Discussion moves him to the top of the glut. Players with 2000 Times On Base 1901-1912:
1—2903 H. Wagner
2—2673 S. Crawford

3—2645 J. Sheckard
4—2457 N. Lajoie
5—2177 T. Leach
6—2168 F. Clarke
7—2098 B. Wallace

8—2090 T. Hartsel
9—2042 R. Thomas
10-2029 F. Tenney

3) Pike (3,4,4) – Recent NA research casts enough doubt to give Sheckard the Elect Now slot. If the HoM is about respect for all eras, then Pike is a “n-b”. Our Hall has only two 1870’s outfielders (Or none; Hines and O’Rourke had careers that actually centered in the 80’s). Charley Jones and Tom York are in a bit lower class, as well as a bit later era, having no pre-NA play. Extremely fast and perhaps the game’s top power-hitter for a decade. He had a higher OPS+ than McVey, 155 to 152. Also had a longer career at the highest level (1866-78) than McVey (1869-79). I don’t see any big difference that makes one a HoMer and the other bottom/off-ballot.

The rest of these guys wouldn’t be bad HoMers, but I can’t justify ranking any of them among the top three, above my personal “Clearly deserving” line.

4) Van Haltren (5,7,7)—As to why he rates above Ryan: he excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he has higher SB totals (35-40 vs. 25-30 per year in their primes), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan actually played more corner outfield. Players with 2500 times on base 1889-1901:
1—3392 B. Hamilton
2—3134 G. Van Haltren
3—3046 J. Burkett
4—3043 E. Delahanty

5—2840 H. Duffy
6—2837 D. Hoy
7—2774 C. Childs
8—2688 J. Beckley
9—2581 H. Long
10—2504 J. Ryan

5) Leach (6,8,8) – With 3B and CF lagging in HoM members, you’d think he’d get more attention. If you’re a FOBW, I don’t think you can ignore this guy. Question of league quality knocks him back a couple pegs, otherwise really close to Wallace. Had a better peak than Bobby, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). Outfielders with 2.0 PO/G 1905-14:
1—2.42 T. Speaker
2—2.40 T. Leach
3—2.39 D. Paskert
4—2.21 R. Oakes
5—2.18 F. Clarke
6—2.17 B. Bescher
7—2.02 S. Magee
8—2.02 C. Milan

6) J. Ryan (7,9,9)—Why didn’t he play in 1901? Most outfielder Assists, 1876-1917
1—375 J. Ryan
2—348 G. VanHaltren
3—348 Tom Brown
4—307 J. Sheckard
5—289 O. Shaffer
6—285 K. Kelly
7—283 S. Thompson

8—273 D. Hoy
9—270 J. Burkett
10- 268 T. McCarthy
10- 268 S. Crawford

7) Griffith (8,10,10) – The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Gets extra credit for excelling in the contraction years 1892-1900, an era lagging in number of HoMers. Could hit a little, too. Pitchers with highest OPS as hitters 1894-1903, minimum 500 PA:
1—.796 J. Stivetts
2—.696 A. Orth
3—.689 W. Mercer
4—.684 J. Meekin
5—.676 J. Tannehill
6—.673 N. Callahan
7—.650 C. Griffith
8—.646 F. Dwyer
9—.643 F. Killen

8) Bresnahan (9,11,13) – Catcher is the most poorly represented position in the HOM, a condition that may prove to be chronic. Could move higher, but I really like guys who play. Played half his teams’ games in only 11 seasons, averaging 71% of team games in those years. Still, his offensive production towers over other catchers of his era, so he deserves a vote. Lacking Bennett’s durability and longevity. Defense only C+. Players with OBP over .380, 1903-14 (minimum 3100 PA):
1—.424 T. Cobb
2—.420 E. Collins
3—.413 T. Speaker
4—.401 R. Bresnahan
5—.400 H. Wagner
6—.399 F. Chance
7—.396 R. Thomas
8—.386 N. Lajoie
9—.382 M. Huggins

9)Beckley (11,14,14) – He’s Joe Start, but without a peak and retired four years sooner. Grade B fielder, won four WS GG. The many triples are a product of a strange park in Pittsburgh; his other stats do not suggest good foot speed. Hit only 34 of 86 career homes at home. Firstbasemen with 950+ RBI through 1926:

1--2076 Anson
2--1575 Beckley
3--1322 Connor
4--1296 Brouthers

5--1060 McInnis
6--992 Konetchy
7--968 J. Doyle
8--952 H. Davis

Beckley's total is still the 8th best all-time among firstbasemen.
   83. DanG Posted: July 14, 2004 at 07:46 PM (#734227)
10)Duffy (12,13,11)– A WHOLE lot was context. Not a long career (12.4 yrs) for a corner OF, I’m coming around to the consensus view of him. Hit 82 of his 106 career HRs at home. Players with 1900 or more RBI plus Runs Scored, 1889-99:
1—2585 H. Duffy
2—2348 E. Delahanty
3—2141 G. Van Haltren
4—2135 B. Hamilton
5—2117 J. Beckley
6—2099 H. Long
7—2038 E. McKean
8—1939 G. Davis
9—1901 J. Ryan

11)Williamson (13,15,15) – Too similar to HoMer Collins to be too far off the radar. I think anyone who gives a bump for underrepresented positions needs to give (N)Ed a serious look. Players with 300+ walks 1879-88:

1—442 N. Williamson
2—415 G. Gore
3—344 R. Connor

4—339 Y. Robinson
5—329 D. Brouthers
6—323 K. Kelly
7—319 H. Stovey

8—312 J. Morrill
9—305 C. Anson

12)Jennings (14,--,--) – He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation. I’m still struggling with how to balance an awesome peak with an abbreviated career. I tried to find a retired player from the past 50 years with a similar career path, but there doesn’t seem to be one. I looked for players with 110 AWS in their top three years and less than 350 AWS for their career. Jennings top ten seasons in AWS, as I have it: 45-36-36/-35-30-/15-13/-12-11-10=242. Career total 254 AWS. For peak, I use a top-weighted seven-year average, which works out to 34.2 for Hughie.
Dick Allen was about the best comp I found. Ten best AWS: 42-41-35/-33-32/-29-29/-24-22-19=306. Career total 344 AWS. Peak 36.3. Ryne Sandberg is another: 38-37-34/-33-28/-28-22/-20-20-19=279. Career 346. Peak 33.5.
Those two are clearly HoMers. Just as clearly they are not good comps for Jennings, as they maintained a star-level of play (+18 WS) for many more years.
Is there any good evidence that Jennings’ defense wasn’t as brilliant as WS makes it out to be?

13)Caruthers (15,--,--) – Now #13, with a bullet! I’m not a born-again FOBC, but there are many here whose opinions I respect who see him as worthy. Anyway, who else is there? Not one of the big winners of his era. Pitchers with 200 wins, 1883-93:
1—319 J. Clarkson
2—300 T. Keefe
3—251 H. Radbourn
4—247 P. Galvin

5—246 T. Mullane
6—240 M. Welch
7—231 C. Buffinton
8—218 B. Caruthers
9—200 G. Weyhing

14) Mickey Welch – First time on my ballot, he’s among those due to be knocked back off in 1934.These last three have long been the 1880’s pitching remnant and I really can’t discern any large value difference.

15)McCormick – Back on my ballot after nine years off. We voted McCormick ahead of Welch 1905-16 and I think there were good reasons for it that no one remembers. Also, ahead of Caruthers 1909-13. Pitchers with 200 Wins 1871-88:
1—305 P. Galvin
2—297 B. Mathews
3—265 J. McCormick
4—263 T. Keefe
5—258 M. Welch
6—253 A. Spalding
7—251 H. Radbourn

8—234 T. Bond
9—229 W. White

Rube Foster – I’m obliged to comment on him. A very good player more renowned as a manager and organizer. I think the comparison to Harry Wright is apt. Uncertainty level is high for both.
   84. DavidFoss Posted: July 14, 2004 at 08:20 PM (#734294)
How many different spellings have you seen? Spotswood, Spottswood, Spotsford ... any others?

   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 08:37 PM (#734314)
Posted by Herman Munster on July 14, 2004

How many different spellings have you seen? Spotswood, Spottswood, Spotsford ... any others?

   86. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 14, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#734392)
1. Bob Caruthers: I’ve been trying to mix my own self-adjusted WS and WARP with a sprinkling of pennants added, looking at 3- and 5-year peaks plus 10 year prime and career value. Caruthers’s gigantic peak, even with the AA discount generates a ton of value in each system, but his short career means he’s not a slam dunk. As others have said: a unique talent.

2. Jimmy Sheckard: Unlike other OFs like Van Haltren, Ryan, et al., he had a peak. He’s not got one core strength nor any major weakness as a candidate. Is he Dewey c.1910? It might not be enough against stiffer HOM competition, but it vaults him over the rest of this thin ballot.

3. Dickey Pearce: Revolutionized shortstop position, but the haze of yesteryear prevents me from placing him in an elect-me slot. I need more time with the 1860s stats before I can move him up. I am, however, confident enough to rank him this highly, in part because I’m not particularly confident in other candidates.

Above this line, these guys seem like they would be good selections for HOM.
Below this line it’s getting iffy.

4. Pete Browning: Flatter career trend line than Jennings, but with slightly more career value. I’m not really a peak guy, nor a career guy, but in this instance, the cliff that Jennings fell off of makes me prefer Browning.

5. Cupid Childs: Best second baseman of 1890s, peak not high as high as Jennings, but he had a career, not just a peak like Hughie. But career not long enough to surpass Browning, though very close.

6. Hughie Jennings: Hug(h)e peak, the best among position players, goes a long way to establishing value, and winning five or six pennants. But being Ruthian for five years doesn’t mean as much when coupled to a near total lack of surrounding value, so I can’t get behind him any more strongly than this. I love the quirky value of all those HPB, though. If it were the 1910s, he’d have had to launder the tabaka juice from his shirts all the time!

7. George Van Haltren: Nice, long career helped him generate plenty of value, but flat peak keeps him out. That said, he’s not as flat in peak as the likes of Beckley.

8. Calvin Griffith: The sly old Fox sneaks up my ballot ahead of other peak/prime guys without heavy career value like Waddell. Griffith benefits, in my view, from better strength of competition than Jim McCormick.

9. Charley Jones: Here come the outfielders. I had Jones higher in my initial 1930 ballot, but I’m skeptical about the quality of play in 1871-1885, his salad years, so I had to drop him down a few pegs. He was either a great player in an easy league to dominate, or a pretty good player whose league context made him look awesome. I’ve got enough questions to move him down, but the stats are good enough to keep him in my top ten.

10. Jimmy Ryan: Less filling than Van Haltren, and just tastes OK.

11.Duffy: As OFs, put Duffy, Van H, and Ryan in a hat and draw a name. Van gets the extra credit for a little moundsmandship, but as regular nonpitchers, they are all extremely similar in terms of value with Duffy concentrating a little more of his into a couple peak years but not playing quite as long. The peaks just weren’t high enough, however.

12. Chance: I’m really having a tough time with Chance. It seems as though he’s got a good peak argument, but when I rank him against other peaks, it comes out kind of cloudy. In WS, he’s the 13th best 3 year (nonconsecutive) peak out there (adjusted for length of season). By WARP, however, he’s around 30. OK, how about 5 years? 9th by WS, part of a big cluster between 20 and 30 in WARP. Speaking of HPBs, too bad about all those concussions, more career value would have made him a very attractive candidate. As it is, he’s on the bottom of my ballot, if barely; if only there was a metric for chemistry….

13. Cravath: His career reminds me of a Hank Sauer or an Edgar Martinez in terms of the inability of clubs to see his value at an appropriately young age. Giving him credit for his minor league seasons in the lost years gets him on board, but the lack of total Major League career length keeps him from rising any further.

14. Welch: There seems to be quite a divide about Smilin’ Mickey, and I’m as divided as any one person could be. On one hand, the numbers not called Wins call him just a pretty-good player that should be off ballot. On the other hand, the discussion of his candidacy has illuminated a lot of points about his record that can only be attributed to two things: 1) an uncanny decade-plus run of luck or 2) the ability to pitch to the score and out of trouble. I concur with someone else out there who said in the ballot discussion that it is possible, even likely, that pitching to the score and “in a pinch” may have been a skill that pitchers owned and practiced before the uppercut came into vogue. In fact, logic suggests it. So my compromise is to place him near the bottom of my ballot beneath the candidates whose qualifications I feel more concrete about at this time, but just above equally mysterious candidates.

15. Mullane: Apollo’s Creed: Shoulda’ pitched in the NL. Seriously, though, Mullane was a tough customer on the mound. His hold out costs him in my book, as does the quality of competition in the AA: enough that he moves down to the very edge of the ballot. His sabrmetric numbers hoist him above Welch, but the concerns about his leagues and the lost year combined with my unsuredness about whether Welch could be much better than I’m crediting him (Welch) as being cause me to rank Mickey ahead of Mullane.
   87. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 14, 2004 at 09:34 PM (#734395)
Since I'm the new guy, I'll go out to twenty. And of course, the requireds.

16. Jim McCormick: Early NL star where strength of league is an issue, but put up a lot of value in his 10 years. Could move up my ballot with more reflection.

17. Spotswood Poles: Someday I want to name a cat Spotswood. Poles seems like another member of the Van Ryanffy family. A less reliable data set causes him to slip off my top 15.

18. Williamson: A dominant player of the early NL, but strength of league is an issue for me here which is why I’ve got him down ballot. Well, that and that the big fizzle at age 28.

19. Roger Bresnahan: In my initial take on a ranking system, I didn’t included any sort of positional bonus, so Bresnahan’s lack of playing time hurt him in every phase and landed him around 45th on my ballot. But one quality has saved him: the rate at which he accumulated value. Over his career, Bresnahan, according to my numbers, generated value at roughly the seventh highest rate of any member of this ballot—a rate similar to, but not quite as good as Chance. As I take a closer look at Roger, it makes sense that I should adjust him up somewhat to account for the rigors of catching in the 19aughts. I think adjusting him into the neighborhood of players like Pike and Jones feels adequate, but he’s someone whose case I will probably monitor more closely in the coming weeks.

20. Fielder Jones: The best of the second tier of CFs, including Roy “The Powerless Wonder” Thomas, Mike Griffin, and Ginger Beaumont. Good career value, so-so peak/prime value—this is where he belongs.

21. Lip Pike: Here’s another CF, but a very different one. I’m not nearly so inclined toward Pike as to Pearce, as Lipman lacks the revolutionary/visionary portion of Pearce’s resume, and without that, I’ve got a guy with good peak numbers in leagues whose quality I’m a bit suspicious of.

29. Rube Foster: Short career, nice peak, strikes me as a member of the Waddell/Joss/Cicotte gang but could move up with further consideration.

39. Jake Beckley: I’m impressed by the career value and consistency, but not at all by the “peak.” It’s possible my rankings are a bit too (inadvertently) peak-centric, but even so, he’d still be off my ballot.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#734407)
Welcome, Dr. Chaleeko! Your ballot looks fine (nice to see Pearce and Childs high on your ballot, BTW).
   89. Jeff M Posted: July 14, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#734408)
Welcome Dr. Chaleeko!
   90. Kelly in SD Posted: July 14, 2004 at 09:51 PM (#734412)
Good to have another voter. Welcome.
   91. ronw Posted: July 15, 2004 at 01:57 PM (#734984)
I for one am glad we have a licensed physician voting. Many of us have been complaining of mysterious ailments, and all the many lawyers have been able to do is say, "Well, you could sue someone."

Further, with Ross Youngs appearing on the ballot soon, perhaps Dr. Chaleeko can explain the effects of Bright's disease.
   92. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 15, 2004 at 02:17 PM (#734999)
I'm not a physician, but I play one on

But since Ron Wargo has now peaked my curiousity, here's what a google search lead to:
Bright's Disease in a Box

Apparently, the name of the disease is purely an historical artifact and would now be called "acute or chronic nephritis."

Based on the description below, I imagine Youngs was in quite a lot of discomfort.

"The symptoms are usually of a severe nature. Back pain, vomiting and fever commonly signal an attack. Edema, varying in degree from slight puffiness of the face to an accumulation of fluid sufficient to distend the whole body, and sometimes severely restrict breathing, is a very common ailment. The urine is reduced in quantity, is of dark, smoky or bloody color, and exhibits to chemical reaction the presence of a large amount of albumen, while, under the microscope, blood corpuscles and casts, as above mentioned, are found in abundance."
   93. Al Peterson Posted: July 15, 2004 at 02:28 PM (#735011)
1930 ballot. Not much in terms of changes. Get out of the way of the Caruthers and Pearce Express - I won't be joining their ride at the top of the ballot.

1. Jimmy Sheckard (2). If you had asked people of this era the reason for the Cubs success I'm sure Jimmy would have been listed behind a number of other players. Yet here he is.

2. Jimmy Ryan (3). At the end of the deadball era in 1919, Ryan was tied for 4th all-time in HRs. Not too shabby. Giving credit of CF being more valuable than LF in terms of defensive spectrum. Being very good for long periods of time gets some points from me.

3. Rube Waddell (4). Won six straight strikeout titles, top 10 in Ks per 9 innings 10 straight years - dominance you don't get everyday. His 1902 season: 12-8 out in LA to start season, brought back to Philly by Connie Mack in June and went 24-7. Unique in that he controlled the game, via strikeouts, at a time when the ball was always put in play during the dead-ball era.

4. George Van Haltren (5). Similar arguments to Ryan, just a little less to them.

5. Pete Browning (6). #18 on the SABR 19th century Top 40 players survey done in the late 1990s. Everyone above him, and 12 below him have been elected. Suffered not from injuries but suspensions brought about by alcoholism (related to his ear problems?); mangement of the time just didn't want to deal with situations like that. Browning lost time the following years, according to :

1888 - After missing a game on August 10 with a stone bruise on his heel, Pete Browning was suspended a second time and did not make an appearance again until September 23, when there were only three weeks left in the season.

1889 - the season ended abruptly on August 11 when he was suspended the remainder of the campaign (a career-best two months) for drunkenness. [That 1889 Louisville team, when Pete had his worst year, was a work of art - 4 managers combined for a 27-111 record.]

1893 - Among the league leaders with a .355 average, he was inexplicably released in early August, and played no more that year.

1884-1893 Leaders OWP 4000+ PA

1 Dan Brouthers .787
2 Roger Connor .748
3 Pete Browning .733
4 King Kelly .699
5 Tip O'Neill .695
6 Cap Anson .691
7 Harry Stovey .685
8 Sam Thompson .676
9 George Gore .660
10 Henry Larkin .657

6. John McGraw (7).
Limited playing time but what he did with it is nonetheless outstanding. Positional bump as well. Cons include just not playing enough but was on base all the time when participating.

7. Cupid Childs (8). He's always bounced between being on the ballot and off. I'm keeping a gap between him and Doyle as I feel he was the better of the two.

8. Jake Beckley (11). Tougher and tougher to ignore with dearth of 1B for a number of years; career totals eventually add up to quite the player despite lack of peak. Not being one of the ABC trio at 1st base doesn't mean you were bad.

9. Bob Caruthers (9). I'm more sure now that if push came to shove Freedom Bob deserves in before the rest below him. Affected pennant hopes greatly per individual year with his play yet due to short career couldn't affect a large number of pennants.

10. Dickey Pearce (10). Impressed by the fact he was a regular in the NA at an age that was very old compared to most players. The reviews from early baseball are glowing - the issue of competition level at an unorganized, evolving time is frustrating. I consider the game before 1865 questionable to say the least. David Foss sending out the numbers from those early years was interesting but hard facts?

11. Hughie Jennings (12). Being the best player in the game, even for just a couple of years, can squeak you on the ballot.

12. Larry Doyle (14). Between Childs and Dunlap, am more comfortable giving him a boost over the fielding numbers presented. He might have been a hack in the field but to stay at 2B that many years without somebody saying "Get that stiff outta there" would be tricky to do.

13. Gavvy Cravath (13). Get's a lift from noteworthy performance in minors between stints in the majors to go along with peak achievement at the major league level at an advanced age.

14. Tommy Leach (15). I'll follow a player deemed poor defensively with a very good gloveman. 3B and CF; what a weird combination.

15. Roger Bresnahan (16). See the pros as solid hitting catcher with some versatility. Cons are OK, not great, in terms of durability, fielding is not Bennett level. Fielding numbers seem to be hurt in 1902-04 when he was all over the place with different positions. I'll wait for better catchers before force feeding an induction on the Duke.


16. Hugh Duffy. 17. Tony Mullane. 18. Spotswood Poles.
19. Rube Foster. Fine pitcher. Shone brightly for a small time then got involved with helping prop up the Negro Leagues.
20. Clark Griffith. The many pitching metrics presented show he's in the mix as HOM worthy. His pitching pattern (sparingly in many years) means lower effect on individual pennant races. Not willing to forcefeed an 1890s Pitcher selection to meet any quota so I'm fine with him on the fringes.

21. Frank Chance. 22. Mickey Welch. 23. Mike Tiernan.
24. Ed Ciccotte. 25. Addie Joss.
26. Charley Jones. 27. Fielder Jones.
28. Lip Pike. For the time of baseball before 1885 I'd prefer Pearce or Charley Jones over the Lipster. Maybe even Harry Wright if push came to shove.
29. Lave Cross. 30. Vic Willis.
31-36: Griffin, McCormick, Dunlap, Evers, Konetchy, Long

Pratt, Gardner, and Daubert are in this 30-50 range, Pratt being the most likely to see a ballot someday.
   94. DanG Posted: July 15, 2004 at 05:40 PM (#735324)
Jimmy Ryan (3). At the end of the deadball era in 1919, Ryan was tied for 4th all-time in HRs. Not too shabby.

Time to run this list again.

From the Homerun Encyclopedia by SABR, 1996. The top 20 deadball and 19th century players in homeruns in road games:

Road Home
64 74 Roger Connor
59 42 Honus Wagner
56 41 Sam Crawford
56 50 Dan Brouthers
56 50 Mike Tiernan
56 66 Harry Stovey
53 34 Jake Beckley
46 55 Ed Delahanty
44 74 Jimmy Ryan
43 24 Ed McKean
43 39 Nap Lajoie
42 33 Jesse Burkett
42 84 Sam Thompson
41 51 Wildfire Schulte
40 25 Joe Kelley
40 44 Bill Dahlen
39 32 Buck Ewing
38 34 George Davis
38 45 Sherry Magee
37 37 Larry Doyle

In the above list, Thompson and Ryan got a boost from their home parks. Some others who enjoyed a decided home edge:

26 93 Gavvy Cravath
24 82 Hugh Duffy
26 70 Home Run Baker
29 67 Cap Anson
13 81 Fred Pfeffer
19 72 Herman Long
21 63 Fred Luderus
22 52 Jerry Denny
14 57 Bobby Lowe
18 51 King Kelly
18 47 Jimmy Collins
07 57 Ned Williamson
15 41 Charley Jones
   95. PhillyBooster Posted: July 15, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#735398)
I'm not exactly sure what to take from Dan's H/R homer splits chart above.

It is NOT like saying the players played in Coors, so their stats should be adjusted down for park factor. It is not even saying that their home park increased homers. If you look at, say, Sam Thompson in 1889, when he led the league with 20 homers, none of his teammates had more than 6 (Joe Mulvey). The rest of the team had 32 homers combined, and the pitching staff allowed 33 homers combined. Compare that to say, the Chicago club that year (that included sluggers Ryan and van Haltren), which hit 79 homers and allowed 71.

Similarly, when Cravath had 24 homers in 1915 to lead the league, the rest of his team hit only 34 combined, and his pitching staff allowed only 26 homers combined.

I can accept that certain players like Beckley had their power numbers hurt by playing in a non-homer-friendly park, or that players like Duffy and Ryan were helped a lot by playing in homer-friendly parks.

But the numbers you list don't distinguish between players who played in bandboxes where lots of homers were hit and players who could take special advantage of their home parks. The former should be adjusted for, but the latter should be considered a plus factor.

HR+HR allowed is only a rough estimate of a park's homer-propensity, but it seems to me that it is more telling about whether the hitter was contributing above a given baseline than just looking at that individual player's splits.
   96. Jeff M Posted: July 15, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#735437)
Suffered not from injuries but suspensions brought about by alcoholism (related to his ear problems?)

I know the comment above isn't new, but I thought I'd expand it a bit.

He definitely had an alcohol problem, which didn't seem to affect his on-field play but may have affected the length of his career (and did affect the length of his life). I don't know whether he drank because of the ear problem or whether he was just rowdy.

The ear problem was some sort of disease (whose name I can't remember sitting here at work). I believe this had an occasional deleterious effect on his play, but not so much that we should make an allowance for it (and this I say despite being the biggest Browning supporter among the electorate).

More significantly, the ear problem caused him to start playing professionally later than he otherwise would. I recall that in "The Beer and Whiskey League" he was a star in the Louisville area and had several offers to join the major leagues as early as age 16...because it was clear he was a masher. But his hearing problem was an embarassment to him, and he was socially awkward as a result. This was in an age where a guy would get a monikor like "Dummy" for such problems. He was considered nearly retarded by some, which probably also influenced why he was so poorly educated. He apparently spelled phonetically, one time leaving a note at the hotel for a teammate that said he was in room "ate oh ate."

Essentially, he was afraid to leave Louisville and join a major league team. So he declined major league offers and played locally. Then the AA came to town and he stayed there, comfortably (and with some horrible teams), until the PL in 1890. (Side note: the hitting leader boards in the PL were dominated by AA transfers like Browning, Orr, Shindle, Larkin, etc.).

His numbers may be somewhat inflated by the AA play, and his career was shortened by alcohol (on the back end) and his disability (on the front end), but even without making allowances, this guy was a major league hitter, no matter which league he was in. I would not be surprised if NL and AA players alike considered him the best hitter in the game during that time.
   97. Michael Bass Posted: July 15, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#735452)
Count me with PhillyBooster on the issue of home/road splits. It goes back to the talent vs. value argument we've had many times.

DanG's charts show talent; if you moved Cravath or Ryan or Thompson, they wouldn't have been as effective.

Adjusting by the overall run scoring environment (or alternately just the overall HR environment) shows value. A player uniquely suited to a park to a degree others aren't is not more talented than he would be elsewhere, but he has more value than he would elsewhere.
   98. Kelly in SD Posted: July 15, 2004 at 07:23 PM (#735482)
players who could take special advantage of their home parks. ... the latter should be considered a plus factor.

Deadball Stars of the NL makes the point that Cravath learned to hit to the opposite field while playing for Minneapolis in 1910. A right-handed hitter, he learned to take pitches to the opposite field because the Millers' home park was only 279' down the right field foul line with a 30' high fence.
He went to the perfect park because Philadelphia's right field foul line was only 272' with a high wall. Cravath took special advantage defensively and offensively. He played closer to the infield which helped him get assists on that otherwise would have been hits. We know about his homerun advantage already. But, as he pointed out to F.C. Lane, the fence was always in the same place. No one else took advantage of it like he did when he played. Also, he said, "that fence isn't always a friend to the home-run slugger. I have hit that fence a good many times with a long drive that would have kept right on for a triple or a home run if the fence hadn't been there. There are always two sides to every fence."

He had a ability to take advantage of his park and real wins resulted.
   99. Brad G. Posted: July 15, 2004 at 07:39 PM (#735503)
How 'bout them A's, huh?

1930 ballot:

1.Jimmy Sheckard- Career Win Shares = 339, WS3 = 96, Career WARP1 = 130.7, Career WARP3 = 93.5, Career Runs Created = 1067, Black Ink = 19, Gray Ink = 124. Earns a Defensive “A” in WS. Long, steady career; very good all-around player. My first place pick by far.

2.Bob Caruthers- 119 Wins over .500 in his career. Lifetime .282 hitter- one of the best hitting pitchers ever. Supposedly died of a nervous breakdown in 1911… about due for his posthumous HoM membershi.p.

3.Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 Centerfielder of all time.

4.George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344, WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286.

5.Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers’ 1445.

6.Jimmy Ryan- - Career WS = 316, Career WARP1 = 119, Career WARP3 = 84.5, Career Runs Created = 1338, B+ WS Defender.

7.Rube Waddell- Another pitcher who ended up very high in the Ink stats. Career Win Shares = 240; WS5 = 145.

8.Roger Bresnahan- A 15% Catcher Bonus puts him here. Easily the best eligible catcher right now, though Petway may have been at least as good in the field.

9.Rube Foster- The recent Foster sentiment is appropriate… could still go higher.

10.Pete Browning- Put up some monster offensive numbers, led by the 162 OPS+.

11.Clark Griffith- There’s a sizable pitcher drop-off after Griffith. Contributes some steady Win Share numbers.

12.Gavy Cravath- His Career OPS+ of 150 and Black Ink total of 46 actually exceed Sam Thompson’s scores in those categories (though Sam has much more Gray Ink). Good peak and prime, but short career.

13.Tommy Leach- Super Career numbers; the best 3B on the ballot.

14.Larry Doyle- I see him as the best eligible 2B, by a slim margin over…

15.Cupid Childs- Career WARP1= 108.4, WARP3= 76.4. B+ Win Share defender.

Dickey Pearce- Either 3rd or 4th on my 2B list (along with Monroe), would rank around 22 right now.
Lip Pike- My ballot is chock full of outfielders… Pike is my #5 CF right now, and would fall in at around #20.
   100. DavidFoss Posted: July 15, 2004 at 07:56 PM (#735539)
Dickey Pearce- Either 3rd or 4th on my 2B list (along with Monroe), would rank around 22 right now.

Pearce played SS. He played C a bit for a year or two as well, but predominantly SS.

Just an FYI, significant difference in the defensive spectrum there.... especially considering 2B was a more offensive position pre-1920.

He may still miss your ballot, but he should be on the SS-list and not the 2B list.
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