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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 26, 2004

1931 Ballot

Harry Hooper, Bobby Veach and George Burns join the ballot for 1931. Also joining is real life Hall of Frischer . . . I mean Hall of Famer Rube Marquard, who wasn’t too deserving and doesn’t figure to get much support here.

We’re only electing one this year. Will it be one of the ones mentioned above or a top holdover like Dickey Pearce, George Van Haltren, Jake Beckley or Lip Pike?

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 26, 2004 at 07:12 AM | 198 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 26, 2004 at 07:19 AM (#755833)
Hot topics bound. My money is on Dickey Pearce finally getting elected. If he gets in, he'll be 95 years old at the time of his induction (too bad he died at 72 in 1908).
   2. Rusty Priske Posted: July 26, 2004 at 12:55 PM (#755887)
My PHoM inductee is Harry Hooper.

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

The back-log is making it seem like he actually had a chance to get in.

2. Rube Foster (4,7,9) PHoM 1929

The more I look, the more I like.

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

A perpetual bridesmaid.

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

His support is rising, but I imagine that it won't be enough to enshrine him.

5. Harry Hooper (new) PHoM 1931

Deserving of a spot.

6. Lip Pike (7,8,7)
7. Dickey Pearce (8,10,10) PHoM 1927

Pearce should get in this year. Will Pike join him. I don't think so.

8. Jimmy Ryan (9,9,8) PHoM 1913
9. Tommy Leach (10,12,14) PHoM 1921

With GVH starting to get decent support, one of these two is the most underrated on the ballot.

10. Bill Monroe (12,13,11)

From here down we have good candidates who have virtually no chance of getting in, imo.

11. Hugh Duffy (11,14,15) PHoM 1930
12. Spotswood Poles (14,11,x) PHoM 1929
13. Clark Griffith (13,15,x)
14. Cupid Childs (15,x,x)
15. Jim McCormick (x,x,x)

16-20. Mullane, Burns, Doyle, Powell, F.Jones
21-25. Willis, White, Cross, Konetchy, Gleason
26-30. Waddell, Milan, Cicotte, Bresnahan, Veach

For Top 10's not making it, that would be Jennings and Bresnahan. Considering they are #31 and 29 on my ballot, I don't think they deserve to be anywhere near the top 10. Neither have the career numbers to warrant a spot.

13.
   3. TomH Posted: July 26, 2004 at 01:52 PM (#755931)
voting early...but not often....this week

1931 Ballot
review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 13 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and maybe speed. I don’t believe in much extra value for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

Personally disappointed if we don’t honor:
1-Clark Griffith (1)
He Won Lots of Games, Pitching for Lousy Teams, even often Facing the Toughest Opponents. Where is the Love?

2-Lip Pike (2)
Even with WARP’s timelining, his adjEqA is .300 (better than most players on the ballot); not bad for a guy who played the infield as well as CF. WS and OPS+ love him. The more “very good” OFers who come along, the more Mister Pike stands out.

If I get more info that indicate his intangibles hurt his team, I may drop him lower.

After this, don’t much care either way:
3-George Van Haltren (4)
Hit. Ran. Played defense. Pitched. Long career. Played in one-league 1890s. Solidly on my ballot.
4-Rube Waddell (5)
Six time leader in KOs, 3 ERA+ titles. Unearned runs drag him down a bit.
5-Addie Joss (7)
Bonus points for his great pennant exploits.
6-Ed Williamson (8)
Decent hitter. Great defense. Underrepresented position, and many of the guys he played with and against thought he was the best. I don’t penalize him for his poor fielding when he was pressed to play shortstop.
7-John McGraw (9)
I’m a career voter, but Mugsy accomplished more in a few years than most others did in many. RCAP ain’t a perfect tool, but it can’t be THAT far off that McGraw gets no mention from us.
8-Andrew “Rube” Foster (off)
Probably the best black pitcher before 1920. Thanks for those who put efforts in this week to better quantify his career. Still could move up.
9- Roger Bresnahan (10)
A nod to position scarcity. A great player when he was on the field.
10-Hughie Jennings (11)
As great as he was in 5 years, it’s not like he suddenly appeared for those years and then disappeared. He didn’t help his teams when he played prior to 1898, and he didn’t help when he played after 1898.
11-Jake Beckley (12)
Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting the HoM, though.
12-Mickey Welch (13)
I’m partially (but only partially) convinced that his W-L record is more relevant than his comparatively poor ERA.
13-Frank Chance (off)
He lacks the big seasons if you use WARP or WS, since those measure rely on playing time to accumulate much value. But by RCAP in a run-starved environment, and taking into account his team’s performance, his peak, prime and career are all durn fine. May have played a few more games if he wasn’t managing.
14-Cupid Childs (14)
A fine hitting second sacker indeed, whose glove was okay as well.
15-Dickey Pearce (15)
Dominating a game in the N.Y. City area of the country while many guys are fighting a war and many others couldn’t give a hoot about pro baseball – well, I’m still on the fence. Looks like maybe next week I can get off the fence and on to a different one. Not at all my favorite candidate, but like Frank Grant, it’s tough to know how right or wrong I am.

Just missing at 16 is Harry Hooper (new)
Similar to Beckley. Good hitter, fine fielder, long time. Nice World Series stats as well; he can match Derek Jeter’s 4 rings.

Nearest to the ballot edge: Bill Monroe, Jimmy Ryan, Larry Doyle, H Duffy, C Jones

Jimmy Ryan sure looks similar to Hooper.

Bobby Veach – not quite there.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 26, 2004 at 02:07 PM (#755951)
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.

After 34 years on our ballot, it's about time.

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 1912). Best NL first baseman for 1909, 1912 and 1919.

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

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) 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.

15) Mickey Welch-P (n/a): I hope Smiling Mickey is smiling a little bit more since he finally makes my ballot after three decades of wandering in the wilderness. Best major league pitcher for 1885.



Van Haltren, Ryan, Jennings and Griffith are close.
   5. robc Posted: July 26, 2004 at 02:20 PM (#755966)
My system: primarily career Warp3, with a big adjustment for best 5 year peak (non-consec). Small adjustments for underrepresented position, win shares differences, other information people toss out, mood for the day, etc. I start from scratch each year, but tend to use the same system, so not much changes.

1. George VanHaltren - Moves to the top of my ballot for the first time. Ive had him in the top 5 for a long time, the rest of the pack is finally catching on. Or just waiting for everyone else worthwhile to get out of the way. Big advantage over the next group. Only solid HoMer on the ballot.
2. Harry Hooper - More career value than anyone else on the ballot, but with a weak peak. Borderline between "solid" and "good" HoMer.
3. Jimmy Ryan - Another good HoM candidate. The OF clump has moved to the top.
4. Jake Beckley - A dropoff from the Hooper/Ryan group.
5. Lave Cross - Okay career value, better peak than Hooper and we still need thirdbasemen.
6. Bobby Veach - nice peak, not Jennings nice, but with a longer career.
7. Del Pratt - Prefer him to Childs.
8. Hughie Jennings - Has anyone ever mentioned his peak?
9. Herman Long - Top of the ballot filler.
10. Clark Griffith - Have reevaluated him, has moved up a good bit. Still think we have enough pitchers already.
11. Cupid Childs - Good peak, prefer Pratt.
12. Jones, F - Have I mentioned we are in the filler section yet?

Below are players I had no interest in putting on my ballot, but I had to in order to get to 15. Worse than filler. But still good ballplayers.
13. Billy Nash
14. Mike Griffin
15. Roger Bresnahan

Guys I have to mention:
Pearce - 18, If he doesnt get elected this year, he may make my ballot like Bresnahan some day.
Pike - 22
Foster - 23
   6. andrew siegel Posted: July 26, 2004 at 02:40 PM (#756000)
(1) Van Haltren (2nd)--The era is wildly under-represented and he's the next best player. The kind of consistent, do-everything, long career guy that wins pennants.
(2) Childs (3rd)--If he had just a few more seasons, he would have been elected 25 years ago. As the ballot has thinned, his package has risen to the top and now stands out.
(3) Jennings (5th)--I thought his five years weren't going to be enough, but the ballot thinned out just enough to push him into my HoM. The top 3 are the only ones I think belong in the HoM.
(4) Ryan (4th)--Drops a notch due to poor rankings among OF's for half of his career. I have him fairly even with the next four guys and will likely move them around in coming weeks.
(5) Pike (11th)--The dominant power hitter of the 1867-1876 decade, with speed and the ability to play key defensive positions. Would have been better if he had a different personality, but damn good as is. I'd rather induct him than these other guys.
(6) Jones (9th)--Era over-represented but he's still the next best player on the ballot.
(7) Chance (10th)-- Despite his limited playing time, still ranks among the top 10 position players of the 1910s in raw WS. A truly great player, though only a very good career.
(8) Duffy (8th)
(9) Doyle (7th)--Got a bit ahead of myself last time.
(10) Bresnahan (14th)--Like Jennings and Childs, our sense that he was two years away from early-ballot induction shouldn't stop us from giving him love now that the ballot has thinned.
(11) Griffith (12th)--Only marginally better than a whole lot of other pitchers (Foster, Cicotte, Welch, Joss, Willis, McCormick) but-- on a tight ballot--that's worth a lot of places.
(12) McGraw (15th)--So very hard to tell whether Williamson's extra playing time makes up for McGraw's significant per game advantage. If push comes to shove, I think I'd grab McGraw's sick OBP and take my chances on finding a decent utility guy to run out there 40 times a year.
(13) Williamson (13th)
(14) Veach (new)--Maybe it's just that he's the shiny new toy, but I like his combination of offense and defense better than the guys who follow. When you're down to second-tier stars, more impressive to be second-tier vs. Cobb/Speaker/Crawford/Collins/Jackson than in virtually any other league in history.
(15) Beckley (NR/17th)-- The guys from 14th through 24th are about as closed to tied as can be. I think it would be a mistake to induct him over VH or Pike, but, if he sneaks onto my ballot, I'm not going to cheat to get him out.

I've reconsidered Foster and now have him in 16th or 17th place. I'm still working on him--I see his upper bound as McGinnity (who would be 4th on my ballot) and his lower bound as Willis (a very similar player to Iron Joe who is down at 29). Right now, I'm splitting the difference.

Pearce is somewhere around 30th. My case is simple: he doesn't dominate his tiny pool enough for me to think he would have been a superstar if more than a couple of hundred guys cared about baseball.

The rest of my consideration set, in rough order:

16-25: Poles, Foster, Griffin, Cravath, Dunlap, Monroe, Cicotte, Welch, Browning, Leach.

26-30: Joss, Hooper, Tiernan, Willis, F.Jones.

Also ran: Tinker, Long, Pearce, McCormick, Waddell, Burns, Nash, Mullane, Evers, Bond, Thomas, Konetchy, Petaway, Pratt.
   7. andrew siegel Posted: July 26, 2004 at 02:43 PM (#756006)
To be clear, that is Charley Jones in 6th place on my ballot.
   8. Daryn Posted: July 26, 2004 at 02:48 PM (#756017)
1. Andrew Foster – On the Foster thread Chris Cobb has a great detailed analysis of Rube’s career – 241-176 MLE, 314 MLE Win Shares. We have made those kind of pitchers first ballot HoMers. Plus, like Frank Chance and Roger Bresnahan, we are allowed/encouraged to take into account his managing as a player manager. Plus, he was a good hitter. Wagner said he might have been the best pitcher of his time. McGraw and Chance said similar things. Career spanned 1897-1912. Undeniably great from 1902 to 1907 – four 50 win seasons, at least. Likely also great but without opportunity to prove it 1899 to 1901 and great but in a self-imposed reduced role from 1908 onwards.

2. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data is helping Welch – those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe.

3. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. Baseballreality.com has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time.

4. Dickey Pearce – likely the best or second best player in the 1860s and played well for an old shortstop for about 5 of his 7 years post-1870. Nothing in the Constitution seems to suggest we should only consider players who had significant post-1870 careers.

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

In/out line for me – if I had the choice, my ballot would have 5 players this year. Pike was off my ballot before the drought.

6. Lip Pike – 4 monster seasons, career too short.

7. Major Reevaluation Alert – I have decided to move Rube Waddell from 22 to here (7). I’m not sure what I was looking at before but I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown). As part of the reeval, I have moved Joss from 23 to 10.

8. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

9. Bill Munroe – I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I’ll take McGraw’s word for it.

10. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. I don’t think his career is HOM worthy, but those below are really just ballot filler for me.

11. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected.

12. Cupid Childs – nice obp.

13. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson, who was 2nd on my ballot when elected.

14. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated.

15. Spotswood Poles – Van Haltren seems like a good comp.

The rest

16. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs.

17. Hugh Duffy – 10 strong seasons, good black ink.

18 and 19. Veach and Hooper – I don’t think they will make my ballot. But if one of them does I may defer to Hooper’s 321 Win Shares and 2500 hits.

20. Gavvy Cravath – I’m not sure how to treat his non-ML time, but I do think one of the purposes of the HoM is to take into account great achievers outside the majors. Baker Bowl issues keep him here.

21. Konetchy – 287 Win Shares, but nothing really impressive on his resume, particularly for a firstbaseman. Belongs in the Hall of the Not as Meritorious.

22. Larry Doyle – not a bad hitter for a second baseman and it wasn’t a particularly strong decade for NL second sackers.

23. Clyde Milan – nice willie wilsonesque career.

24-29. McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mullane and Mullin -- pitcher glut.

Next in line, in no order, but I’d be very reluctant to but them on a ballot (30 to 45)-- Burns, Daubert, Pratt, Gardner, Donaldson, Petway, Evers, Tiernan, Tinker, Jennings, Williamson, Meyerle, White, Thomas, Cross and Chance.
   9. Daryn Posted: July 26, 2004 at 03:05 PM (#756058)
Apparently, Joe says we are not allowed to take into account the managing of player managers, despite the wording of the Constitution. This does not change my ballot.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: July 26, 2004 at 04:24 PM (#756182)
1931 ballot
Caruthers and Sheckard finished 6-10 on my ballot last year.
early post to avoid breaking my voting streak due to pending vacation...

For the third time, I am looking at it this way: Almost anyone has a chance to get in for the next few years, so I have to more firmly than ever address the "which of these guys can I handle actually making the HOM, and which am I consigning to the Hall of Lesser Merit?"
And this time, I bump Pike well out of the top spot and do some other upper-ballot shuffling.

1. RUBE FOSTER - The MLEs only add to my growing sense that this guy belongs here. Ed Walsh walks right in, and Foster languishes this long?
2. CUPID CHILDS - Another big jump. The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on this ballot. Even ignoring his monster year, still he ranks this high.
3. MICKEY WELCH - Again moves up a coupla spots. I'm still convinced we got a little off-track in the Keefe-Welch-Clarkson discussion; OK if we rate Welch third in that bunch, but not sure how he got THIS far behind. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents. Yes, he had a very good team, but he lived up to that in the showdowns.
4. PETE BROWNING - Spectacularly good hitter, definitely better than Thompson, and his 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time. Has been discounted too much for AA numbers.
5. LIP PIKE - It bugs me a little that he didn't get to play much with 'the big boys' at a time when they seemed to seek each other out, but the hitting numbers are damn good. My main trepidation is the murmurs about his ethics, but I voted Shoeless Joe No. 1. Maybe we have enough 1870s guys.
6. CLARK GRIFFITH - A personal favorite. It's remarkable how much better he was than the teams he pitched for. I think he was a brilliant strategist long before he became a manager, and it showed in his pitching.
7. DICKEY PEARCE - Big jump last year, falls back a bit this year on reconsideration. Era just too rudimentary to grab a top 5 spot. Minor catching bonus.
8. FRANK CHANCE - His reputation and his team's results suggest to me that there's something we may be missing. Not so much 'leadership,' but those Cubs played the game in a way utterly foreign to us now, and I'm not sure even our advanced methods are undertanding it.
9. GEORGE VAN HALTREN - I'm just not a fan, and would rather see him not get in, but has enough peak years and longevity that I can't keep leaving him off the ballot. The early pitching carries him past Ryan, Duffy, and friends.
10. HUGHIE JENNINGS - Enough peak for me to ask for not so much more, yet he supplies almost nothing else - and even plays so many games at 1B rather than SS. Tough call.
11. JAKE BECKLEY - Deserves recognition, but doesn't have an "oomph" to bring to the HOM. Still, possibly no one will ever explain what Keeler has that Beckley doesn't.
12. LAVE CROSS - A relook at Cross after the Hooper comparison holds water in my book. Quite productive relative to his positional peers.
13. BILL MONROE - His timing was as wrong for HOM as it was in real life. But a really strong player and worth a ballot slot.
14. ROGER BRESNAHAN - Second time I've voted for him; weird career, but had outstanding years relative to other Cs and other OFs. Chance-ian problems with playing time start him this low.
15. TOMMY LEACH - Third time I've voted for him. Hurt by being a hybrid, but he was a darn good one. Not a HOMer, though.

JUST MISSED
HARRY HOOPER - Almost a nod to a remarkably long, good career, but not a HOMer, either.
RUBE WADDELL - Strikeouts are cool, but cooler if you know what to do with them. Refuse to believe that this scatterbrain failed to win games just by bad luck.
ED CICOTTE, JOHN MCGRAW, SPOTSWOOD POLES, HUGH DUFFY, LARRY DOYLE - One of them could climb in here someday.
   11. ronw Posted: July 26, 2004 at 04:25 PM (#756184)
1931 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. PHOM 1926.

2. George Van Haltren A reanalysis of CF defensive values moves a few more OF into the glut, and bumps Van H ahead of Beckley. 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) PHOM 1929.

3. 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) PHOM 1928.

4. Jimmy Ryan My system likes Jimmy about as much as Van Haltren. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1930.

5. Harry Hooper Its hard to support Beckley, Van Haltren and Ryan, and to ignore Hooper. MVP candidate 1918, All-Star candidate 1910-1917, 1919-20, 1922, 1924. (13 HOM seasons) Wow, he makes my PHOM this year.

6. George J. Burns I was surprised to see him so high. Perhaps I am overrating outfielders. I also don’t discount the teens NL, but I am actively researching whether I should. The teens Giants could be like the aught’s Cubs, many good players, not many HOMers. Seems the best NL LF in 1913-1915, 1917-1919, with 2nds to Wheat in 1916 and 1920. In 1921, he finished 1 WS behind Wheat and 3 behind Austin McHenry for the lowest ranking (3rd) in his starting career. After a move to CF in 1922, he finished 2nd to Max Carey among all NL CF. In 1923, after another move, this time to RF, he finished 2nd to Ross Youngs among all NL RF. MVP candidate 1917, 1919, All-Star candidate 1913-16, 1918, 1920-23. (11 HOM seasons).

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

8. Fielder Jones As a WS voter, Fielder rates right about here. Solid player will never make the HOM. Very comparable to Duffy, but played in the wrong offensive era. MVP candidate 1908 (his last real year). All-Star candidate 1896-1898, 1900-1907. (12 HOM seasons)

9. 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.

10. Tommy Leach Given my reevaluation of CF defense, Leach jumps here. 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)

11. Mickey Welch Solid pitcher is losing his luster as more 1880’s contemporaries join the HOM. He still rates here. MVP candidate 1884-1885, All-Star candidate 1880-81, 1883, 1886-1889 (9 HOM seasons)

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. Roy Thomas A new face. I’ve never voted for Roy, but my CF defensive reevaluation brings him on the ballot. I think he has been underrated by the electorate, but perhaps I am now overrating outfielders this year. MVP candidate 1899, 1905. All-Star candidate 1900-04, 1906-08. (10 HOM seasons)

14. 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.

15. Tony Mullane I don’t see much between Welch and Mullane. MVP candidate 1882-1884, All-Star candidate 1886-1893 (11 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT (new Veach #27)

16-20 – Monroe, Griffin, Doyle, Petway, Pike
21-25 – Milan, Gardner, Willis, Tinker, C. Jones,
26-30 – Smith, Konetchy, Long, Veach, Williamson.

Lip Pike – The CF reevaluation did not help Pike, because I focused on 1892-1930. Pre-1892 CF did not get discounted under my previous system. Number 20 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. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot. All-Star candidate 1894-1901 (8 HOM seasons)

Hughie Jennings – I just don’t put much stock in a five-year peak, especially for non-pitchers. Six years is a little better. Seven years would probably get you in (see Ed Walsh.) Five just doesn’t give me enough. Under my system through 1931, the only person who would make my ballot based on five consecutive years of excellence and nothing else has been Babe Ruth. Even Wagner and Cobb do not measure up when I isolate any five-year stretch of their career. MVP candidate 1894-1898. (5 HOM seasons)
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 26, 2004 at 05:42 PM (#756326)
. Jake Beckley (5,5,4,3,2). 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. I began this project as the #1 friend of Jake Beckley and now I'm happy to have him at the top of my ballot. 16.8 seasons worth of games by my reckonin'.

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

3. Clark Griffith (12,12,8,6,5). Personal favorite 1890s pitcher. Nice career, nice prime. The median winning percentage of his opponent one of the highest of the pitchers I've checked. Leaps ahead of BC as I'm more impressed by the level of competition he faced & his durability. Jumps past Welch due to both the overall quality of play in the 1890s & his Median Opponent W/L Pct.

4. Mickey Welch (8,7,6,5,4). 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. Rube Foster (29,31,32,33,32). A slight bump for him. New info about him this week convinces me that he was good enough long enough beforing tunring into the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. Plus he could freakin' hit.

6. Tommy Leach (10,10,9,7,6). Mutlitalented player. Terrific defense at two positions & he was a good hitter. Fine player for a long time (14.2 seasons worth of games by my reckonin').

7. George Van Haltren (13,13,12,9,7). Very good player for an extended period of time who could do numerous things well. Nice career. Nice peak. Could pitch. Played 14.2 seasons worth of games (including as pitcher) by my reckonin'.

8. Jimmy Ryan (14,14,13,10,8). GVH without the ability to pitch. Played 14.6 seasons worth of games, by my reckonin'.

9. Cupid Childs (17,15,14,12,10). 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. 10.5 seasons worth of games by my reckonin'.

10. Larry Doyle (18,18,16,13,11). 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. Played 11.5 seasons worth of games by my reckonin'.

11. Charlie Jones (19,19,17,14,12). 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. By my reckonin', he played 9.3 seasons worth of games.

12. Gavvy Cravvath (20,20,19,15,13). 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. By my reckonin' he played 8.1 seasons worth of games.


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

14. Bobby Veach (new). Very good player for a time. A little longer or a little better and he'd be considerably higher. 12.4 seasons worth of games by my reckonin'.

15. Spot Poles (18,15). 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.

Others:
16. Harry Hooper (new). Others compare him to Jake Beckley, but he reminds me more of Lave Cross. About 20-25 guys off the ballot were better players, but none had a better career. It's that value that merits his spot here. Played 15.2 seasons worth of games, by my reckonin'.

18. Lip Pike (36,39,29,19,17). 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. . ." By my reckonin', from 1871 onward he played in 7.5 seasons worth of games, so I'll figure he's worth about 11.5-12 seasons worth in his career.
29. Hughie Jennings (39,42,41,42,43). Five great years & not much else - lands you this low on my ballot. I reckon him at 9.2 seasons played.
30. Roger Bresnahan (33,36,36,37,37). Not enough games at catcher to get in as a catcher & not nearly enough games to get in as anything else. I reckon him at 9.5 seasons played - only 65% at catcher.
53. George Burns (new). . . . I don't get it. Not great counting stats nor great rate stats nor a great glove. Maybe this is where Sam Thompson's missing win shares ended up. I reckon him at 12.3 seasons played.
   13. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 26, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#756348)
My top two were elected in 1930, but among finally get my footing, determining a better method for ranking players, and clarifying some thoughts about certain issues on the ballot, I’ve had a fairly drastic rejigging of my ballot. Last year’s rank in parentheses.

1. Dickey Pearce (3): No one knocks me over on this ballot, but Pearce’s revolution at SS did create a major competitive advantage in his time. Being the second best player of the 1860s is meritorious.

2. George Van Haltren (7): Nice, long career helped him generate plenty of value, but flat peak keeps him out of the top spot. That said, he’s not as flat in peak as the likes of Beckley. Revising my ranking method to give more equal weight to career value boosts him considerably.

3. Bobby Veach (x): Nice peak/prime player, but once his NB contemporaries come due, he’ll be forgotten about. As someone said earlier, being second-tier in a league with Cobb, Crawford, Speaker, Ruth, Collins, ain’t worth sneezin’ at.

4. Cupid Childs (5): Best second baseman of 1890s, peak not as high as Jennings, but he had a career, not just a peak like Hughie.

5. Jimmy Ryan (10): Very close to Van H and to Veach.

6. Hughie Jennings (6): Hug(h)e peak, the best among position players, goes a long way to establishing value, and winning five 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.

7. Spotswood Poles (x): Poles seems like another member of the Van Ryanffy family, but after working closely this past week with the KJOK translations, I like prefer his contribution to Duffy’s and nearly as much as GVH’s and Ryan’s. I do give him credit for missing the 1918 season, though its effect is mild.

8. Clark Griffith (8): The sly old Fox ends up ahead of other peak/prime guys without heavy career value. Griffith benefits, in my view, from better strength of competition than his predecessors like Jim McCormick, but also surpasses successors like Waddell when career, peak, and prime are all taken into consideration.

9. Pete Browning (4): Flatter career trend line than Jennings, with slightly more career value. But although he was clearly a great hitter, I’ve come down on the side that says the 1880s were an easier time to dominate than subsequent decades/generations.

10.Duffy (11): 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.

11. Charley Jones (9): I had Jones higher on my 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 couple 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 on the ballot.

12. Bill Monroe (x): Working with the translations, he comes out as having the best career value among eligible second basemen, though less peak/prime value than Childs.

13. Rube Foster (x): Again, working through the translations, and also working with the Chrises’ research, Foster jumps above the Waddell/Cicotte bunch.

14. Lip Pike (x): Third best player of the 1860s-70s is, to my mind, a persuasive argument for Lipman. On the other hand, I’m not willing to put him anywhere near an elect-me spot without Pearce’s combination of performance AND visionary status.

15. Mike Griffin (x): Wonderful hitter, good glove, nice peak/prime during the 1890s, who never had a bad year. Walked away too early.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 26, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#756350)
Fell Off My Ballot
Chance (12): Giving a more equal representation to career weight pushes him off the ballot. Crowding the plate was his doing and his un-doing.

Cravath (13): 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 got him on the board last week, but, like Chance, he falls away this week due to the lack of total Major League career length.

Welch (14): Last week I wrote “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.” This week I feel more confident in my assessment of the Negro League candidates and clearer about my thoughts on the 1880s. Thus, Welch falls just off my ballot.

Mullane (15): Apollo’s Creed: Shoulda’ pitched in the NL in the 1890s.

Other Required Disclosures
Jake Beckley (x): I agree in large part with James Newburg’s assessment of Beckley, though I might substitute the likes of a less peaky Rusty Staub or even someone like Gil Hodges for Harold Baines. Becks Lite’s career length and totals ARE impressive, but the total lack of peak makes him seem like a background contributor, not a HOMer. An interesting question to ponder for me is How many players with 2900+ career hits will the HOM will ultimately deny? There seem likely to be only two or three players who could potentially fit that bill. Beckley is the first, and IMO his exclusion seems justified.

Roger Bresnahan (x): I’m going back and forth on him. Foster’s ascension to my ballot knocked Rog off of my preliminary ballot. I’m simply very divided on my feelings about his productivity rate versus his playing time, each being keenly important to his teams and his case for being a HOMer.

Rube Waddell (x): The second-best eligible Rube. Bubbling just below the ballot in a gang of similar players who had short careers with high peaks or long careers with low ones.
   15. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 26, 2004 at 08:50 PM (#756705)
Mrs. Lucky is past due to have the first Lucky child, so I'm posting this early so I don't miss a vote due to being at the hospital. Hopefully this won't ruin any early/late voting splits...

1 (4)Donie Bush--This spot is a matter of being pretty good in different categories. Pretty good career, pretty good peak, pretty good ink totals. No categorical weaknesses. What sets him apart for me is his 5 year consecutive prime is actually quite strong when you factor in defense.

2 (3)Eddie Cicotte--Of the eligible pitchers, Cicotte has the highest career WARP score by a significant margin. Peak was pretty good, to boot.

3 (5)Del Pratt--Better career, prime, and more dominant than Childs.

4 (6)Hughie Jennings--The peak stud. Not quite long enough of a career.

5 (-)Bobby Veach--Jimmy Ryan has better career stats, but not by much. Timelining, plus a better peak puts Veach slightly ahead.

6 (7)Rube Waddell--My general feeling is that if McGinnity got in, Waddell should too.

7 (8)Jimmy Ryan--Sheckard lite.

8 (-)Harry Hooper--Really very similar to Ryan in my opinion.

9 (9)George VanHaltren--Ryan lite. Actually, that's not entirely true, but VanHaltren's peak was pretty weak for an outfielder.

10 (10)Cupid Childs--Hanging around from the days that lots of 2nd basemen got props. Not really good enough to be hall-worthy

11 (-)Herman Long--I've like Long for some time, but doesn't quite stack up against the HOM Shortstops. No peak to speak of.

12 (11)Jim McCormick--Arguably the two strongest ballots we've had so far were in 1923 and 1924. Those were the only times Jim McCormick did not make my ballot.

13 (13)Silver King--I know that "everybody" did it, but I've got a thing for these pitchers who threw all the time, then exploded into oblivion. McCormick netted 265 wins in basically 9 years. King's 1888 may be the best season on the board.

14 (12)Clark Griffith--I'm starting to come around on Griffith. He actually compares fairly well to Cicotte, but has the disadvantages of playing earlier, and having a weaker peak.

15 (-) Jimmy Williams--Numbers not too far below those of Childs.

Dropping out: Gavvy Cravath, Hugh Duffy--Bit of a numbers game, and I didn't want six outfielders on my ballot.

Top 10 ommissions:
Dickey Pearce/Lip Pike--Too many questions about the quality of competition and superlatives of the early days to rank these guys now, against the "established" stars and semi-stars of the 1910s and 20s.

Jake Beckley--No peak. Less than no peak. If you are the GM of a team and Beckley is your best player, in the prime of his career, then you are the GM of a weak-ass team. Hoping against hope to nab a .500 record.

Rube Foster--The i9s website has shown to be fairly "accurate", albeit inflated, for the Negro League hitters. If we trust it for the pitchers, then Foster (translated to a major league career) projects to be a decent length career at a 113 ERA+. Take that number at face value, and you've got a borderline ballot candidate. Discount it at all, and it's clear that Foster does not belong.
   16. karlmagnus Posted: July 26, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#756777)
Weird, no Parisian Bob. This is probably our weakest ballot, since 2 decent new candidates in ’32 and only 1 elected. Hooper relatively poor OPS+ (significantly lower than other OF) so I’ve put him below the 90s trio and off the ballot. Childs also looks better than him, and than the pioneers, so I’ve jumped him. Veach at the bottom of the consideration set, not that far below Hooper. Burns is about 85% of Hooper, so off the bottom. There’s a moderate slope down between 1 and 4, then a substantial drop-off between 4 and 7, then a pretty flat plain down to about 16.

1.(N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2) Jake Beckley Makes #1 in his 19th year of eligibility. OPS+ 125 vs 114, 2930 hits unadjusted vs 2466, pre-1900 1B vs RF – he’s WAY better than Hooper. Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, over 3200 hits. 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.

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3) Mickey Welch Alas, still not a “money” slot, and will have a tough battle against Santop in ’32. - 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.

3. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4) 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.)

4. (N/A-15-N/A-5) 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

5. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6) 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 4 on this ballot, and would probably have elected him in 1930.) 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, in my view (Welch’s 1885 is much better than Griffith’s 1898.)

6. (N/A-11-12-10-7) 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.

7. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8) 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.

8. Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalisze him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B, and I’ve been undervaluing him, significantly.
   17. karlmagnus Posted: July 26, 2004 at 09:35 PM (#756779)
9. (N/A-9) 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. (N/A-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-10-8-11) 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-11-9-12) 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-12-13-11-13) 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-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14) 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-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15) 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.

OFF BALLOT
16. Spotswood Poles.
17. Deacon McGuire
18. Tony Mullane
19. 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.
20. Larry Doyle
21. 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.
22. Harry Hooper. TB+BB/PA .443, TB+BB/Outs .678, OPS+ only 114. OK, 2466 hits, which isn’t bad, but surprisingly, not much of a peak either. Firmly off the ballot, and below Poles, who I suspect was significantly better.
23. Bruce Petway.
24. Jack Clements
25. Sam Leever
26. Bill Monroe
27. Vic Willis
28. Chief Bender
29. Ed Konetchy
30. Hughie Jennings Short career, and think the Orioles already well represented with Keeler and Kelley. Too much of his value is fielding. metrics for which I distrust.
31. Jesse Tannehill
32. 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.
33 Bobby Veach – nice hitter, but not quite nice enough or for quite long enough.
34 Tommy Leach
35. Lave Cross
36. Tom York
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 26, 2004 at 10:00 PM (#756809)
Mrs. Lucky is past due to have the first Lucky child

Wow, a new child and possibly the owner of the lowest consensus score for this week. What more could anybody want! :-D

Seriously Mr. Lucky, congratulations!

BTW, the word length restriction must have been raised since I was able to post my whole ballot today without breaking it up into two.
   19. mbd1mbd1 Posted: July 26, 2004 at 10:01 PM (#756813)
1931 ballot: I usually procrastinate until the end of the week, but I'm leaving for semi-vacation tomorrow, so here goes. Hooper, Veach, and Burns all make my ballot. I made a minor adjustment to some of my methods in an attempt to be fairer to the tougher end of the defensive spectrum, although didn't really make much of a difference on this ballot.

1. George Van Haltren (1) - I'd have him first even if he hadn't thrown 700 innings with a 96 ERA+.
2. Jimmy Ryan (3) - Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, JR. Maybe you'll make it to an "elect-me" spot next year.
3. Jake Beckley (5) - I'm all about the career.
4. Harry Hooper (NA) - Steals the lead in career W3 from GVH. Does well in WS also. Played long, played well, and that lands you high on my ballot.
5. Hugh Duffy (6) - The first of my questionable candidates.
6. Vic Willis (7) - Tons of innings and Ink.
7. Bobby Veach (NA) - W3 likes him, otherwise he's JAO (just another outfielder).
8. Tommy Leach (8) - See above, except Leach played 3B too.
9. Rube Foster (9) - We're still all over the map with Rube, and I think it all averages out to the right spot.
10. George J. Burns (NA) - WS likes him, but he's a bit behind Veach overall.
11. Spotswood Poles (10) - Not much love for him out there.
12. Mickey Welch (12) - Another case of divergent opinions averaging to my ballot spot.
13. Eddie Cicotte (11) - And we're into filler territory now.
14. Clark Griffith (13) - Willis Lite to me. Why was Griffith 23 spots ahead of Willis in the last election?
15. Ed Konetchy (NA) - Makes it on my ballot for the first time, I think.

next 5, or, Where Are the Middle Infielders: Waddell, Doyle, Pratt, Childs, Bush.

top ten, left off my ballot: Pearce, Pike, and Jennings. Jennings is easy - he doesn't appeal to the peak voter in me, and he's about 25ish on my list. Pearce and Pike.....I've wrestled with their arguments over and over. I don't doubt that he was one of the best of his time, but I'm not sure that it's a HoM-worthy accomplishment. I guess you could say that my timeline is a step function. I won't be upset when he gets in - I think it's a credit to this project that a lot of effort has been put into researching the pre-NA stars.
   20. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 26, 2004 at 10:51 PM (#756889)
BTW, the word length restriction must have been raised since I was able to post my whole ballot today without breaking it up into two.

Nope. Still at 6000, where it's been for a while. I got nailed by it at mine & had to edit out 22 characters.
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 26, 2004 at 11:23 PM (#756974)
Nope. Still at 6000, where it's been for a while. I got nailed by it at mine & had to edit out 22 characters.

My ballot got nailed two weeks ago, but not this time (though it has almost the exact same number of words). Maybe I'm just special.

Nah.
   22. Jim Sp Posted: July 27, 2004 at 01:14 AM (#757448)
Veach around #30. Burns and Hooper aren’t close. No more comments on Caruthers and Sheckard, what a relief. I feel my consensus score flying up, up, up! Who would have thought it, I almost agree with karlmagnus on the #1 this week.

Lave Cross will be my plea for the week, he’s
worth taking another look at.

A lot of these comments are getting a little tired, but this isn't going to be the week for a rewrite...maybe next time.

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)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
9)Pearce—placement is quite subjective, putting him above Childs and McGraw feels right.
10)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.
11)Del Pratt--Well, if I like Doyle then of course I will like Pratt a little too. Good hitter and good fielder at 2B.
12)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.
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)Cicotte—Could rank higher, but I have no enthusiasm for that.
15)Childs—Steep discount for his domination of the 1890 AA, otherwise he would be higher.

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.
Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
   23. TheGoodSamaritan Posted: July 27, 2004 at 02:51 AM (#758010)
1931 Vote:
Most of my ballot are the same as last year except for newbie Harry Hooper making my ballot. I am away and I don't know if I'll have the time this week to come back and post, so this week's ballot is going to be short and sweet. I'll have fuller comments for next year's ballot, especially when the immortal Stuffy McInnis is going to appear at the top of my ballot :)
01. Bill Monroe 2B
02. Spotswood Poles CF
03. Jimmy Ryan CF
04. George Van Haltren CF
05. Mike Tiernan RF
06. Roger Bresnahan C
07. John Donaldson SP
08. Hugh Duffy CF
09. Rube Foster SP
10. Fielder Jones CF
11. Eddie Cicotte SP
12. Cupid Childs 2B
13. Harry Hooper RF - Good career numbers, but his peak is nothing special. Probably the best fielding RF of his era.
14. Clark Griffith SP
15. Addie Joss SP

noticeables off ballot: Pearce, Pike, Beckley, Bobby Veach
George Burns - It seems to me that Bill James really likes him and rates him highly. I don't see it.
Dave Brown - Career way too short. Disappeared after killing somebody.
   24. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:42 AM (#758058)
5. LIP PIKE - [snip] My main trepidation is the murmurs about his ethics

I missed the murmurs and am feeling lazy. If anybody knows offhand, what thread are they in? If not, I'll dig later.

Are murmurs about ethics like rumblings of mutiny, only softer? "Murmur, murmur, murmur. Ethics, ethics, ethics." [anybody else here get this reference?]
   25. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#758078)
And the ballots get thinner! I almost put Slim Pickens on this ballot because he would fit on here nicely. If he could have reproduced his Dr. Strangelove perfomace on the baseball diamond he would have earned a slot anyways.

Its easy become an FOLP/FODP/FOJM because I keep rating these guys highly, but this backlog is *thin* and who knows how the great injection of new talent in a couple of years will affect the balloting when the backlog finally returns in the late 30s.

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, also had excellent 'rookie' season on great Athletics squad in '66.
2. Richard J. "Don't Call Me Dickey" Pearce (11-11-9-8-7-6-3-2) -- Clawed his way finally to near to the top of my ballot. 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. Rube Foster (nr-nr-10-9-8-7-5-4) -- Great early pitcher. Peak was short, but white players peaks from this era (McGinnity, Brown, Walsh) were also short.
4. John McGraw (10-10-11-10-9-8-6-5) -- 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.
5. Charley Jones (nr-nr-13-12-11-9-7-6) -- Late start (for the era) and unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly.
6. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14-13-11-9-7) -- I like peak and boy does Hughie have peak. Short career, poor seasons outside his peak slip his career OPS+ down to 117.
7. Clark Griffith (nr-15-12-10-8)-- Long tail at the end of career is masking a solid prime from 94-01... a prime longer than many other current candidates. That would fill the late 90's pitcher shortage that's been reported, but I'm not giving him a bonus for that or anything.
8. Larry Doyle (nr-14-11-9) -- 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.
9. Cupid Childs (nr-15-12-10) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
10. Roger Bresnahan (15-15-nr-nr-13-11) -- 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.
11. Mickey Welch (nr-14) -- 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.
12. Spotswood Poles (ne-15-13) -- He was fast, yes, but a shorter career with not as much power as Pete Hill. Like others, would have benefitted from playing longer.
13. Pete Browning (nr-15) -- 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.
14. Gavvy Cravath (ne-11-10) -- Excellent five year peak.
15. Frank Chance (nr) -- Tough choice here. Went with the peak and the OBP for the great teams. 135 OPS+ is OBP heavy. Four seasons that top Beckley's career high in WS and a fifth that matches it.

Omissions:

Beckley -- Took a long look at him. Black Ink of 1. Top OPS finishes are 5-7-8-10. His 125 career OPS+ is actually SLG-heavy which is cause for a slight discount... probably explains why his career high in WS is only 23.
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.
Ryan -- Wow... have to explain him now. Falls into the giant glut of OF's... Van Haltren, Duffy, Veach, Hooper, Burns. A bit better peak than GVH or JB. Could have made the bottom of the ballot I suppose, but did not.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:02 AM (#758080)
I missed the murmurs and am feeling lazy. If anybody knows offhand, what thread are they in? If not, I'll dig later.

There were "murmurs" :-) that he was involved in some "hippodroming" late in his career, but there is no evidence of this. Since there is no evidence of wrongdoing on his part, I'm ignoring the whispers.
   27. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:23 AM (#758103)
I haven't posted a ballot in about 15 "years" or so. It's been fun researching and reading the threads to get back on the horse.

My System
First, I take Win Shares and adjust them for season length, defense and timeline. I give a "catcher bonus" based on the percentage of defensive games played, with a maximum bonus of 25 percent. I rank the players based on how much value they had "above average". Now, this does not penalize players who were mediocre for a few seasons as full-time players because I only consider seasons which meet the above average criteria. What you will see is that long-career, no-peak players like Jake Beckley, Harry Hooper and Jimmy Ryan won't sniff my ballot.

For Negro Leaguers, I take the i9s projections, run the numbers for offensive Win Shares, make a reasonable projection for defensive value and playing time, then give a 5 percent discount.

In cases where the numbers are close, I'll give the edge to Negro Leaguers and players who played more demanding defensive positions.

My Ballot
1. Dickey Pearce. One of the top two or three players of the 1860s. The way he revolutionized shortstop defense gave his teams a sustained competitive advantage over the oppostion. Arguably the greatest shortstop until the duo of George Davis and Bill Dahlen.

2. Frank Chance. I was surprised when I saw how highly Chance ranked in my system. Sure, he was injured a lot, but he was a dominant player in all facets of the game while managing and acquiring the personnel that steamrolled the National League in the middle of the 1900s.

(Addendum: After much deliberation about the "player-manager" clause in the Constitution, I have decided to keep Chance here on my ballot. Based solely on how I rate his playing value, he is inseparable from Waddell and Jennings. They're so close, I could pick them out of a hat in any order and be able to justify their placement. I give a tiny amount of credit to Chance for the value he had as a playing manager and general manager, which is enough for him to get second place by a nose.

I should note that I don't place too much credit on playing managers. Otherwise, I would have Fielder Jones would be up for ballot consideration. As it is, he's about 25th on my ballot.)


3. Rube Foster. Big tips of the hat to Chris Cobb and Chris Jaffe for their work on Foster. We don't know how dominant he was, but given why we don't know any better, I'm inclined to place him here. Gets a boost from his hitting ability.

4. Rube Waddell. An exemplar of the dominant frontline starter who could push his teams to a pennant. Seems to be a forgotten man in the HOM discussions, which is a real shame.

5. Hughie Jennings. Much like the climb up Alpe d'Huez, Jennings' peak is hors category. Stood tall as the best player in the only game in town.

6. Pete Browning. The guy could rake -- he's absolutely the best hitter eligible. I ignore the AA discount given that he was playing with an inner-ear ailment that drove him to alcoholism, insanity and an early grave.

7. Spotswood Poles. Fights his way onto the ballot because I give him full credit for the 1918 season, when he was fighting in World War I. Compares well with Hugh Duffy, though I see Poles as slightly better at the plate and on the basepaths while Duffy is superior in the field.

8. Lip Pike. Great player. Hit for a high average, fast, had light-tower power. But I just can't seem to pull the trigger and put him higher on the ballot.

9. Tommy Leach. Underrated, but hitting slightly above league average and playing Gold Glove-caliber defense for about 15 years has a way of sneaking up on you.

10. Roger Bresnahan. Played catcher for about 1,000 games and was an on-base machine. To quote the 2001 Baseball Prospectus, "two great tastes that taste great together."

11. John McGraw. Speaking of on-base machines, he's the biggest beneficiary of my ranking system. I want someone who I know was great for a relatively short period of time over someone who was pretty good for a while and filled a space the rest of the time.

12. Larry Doyle. The ballplaying ancestor of Jeff Kent. The best second baseman in National League history to this point.

13. Clark Griffith. Not much to say about him. Great peak from 1894-1901, spanning most of the one-league era.

14. Hugh Duffy. Spotswood Poles' white twin; Duffy's career stats are similar to my intrepretation of Poles' i9s stats. The AA season, Poles' 1918 season and my policy of giving Negro Leaguers the benefit of the doubt in close cases is what places the seven spots apart on a very tight ballot.

15. Gavy Cravath. My favorable interpretation of his minor-league career would have him fighting for one of the top five to seven spots on my ballot, but I can't trust that projection with enough confidence to do so. That puts him here.
   28. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:36 AM (#758119)
Consensus Top 10 players left off of my ballot
Jake Beckley. I feel very strongly that the electorate will be making a grave mistake if we elect Beckley, who was the Harold Baines of his time. He is credited as being the best first basemen outside of the Anson-Brouthers-Connor troika, but what kind of accomplishment is that, really? He was often the second or third-best position player on mostly mediocre teams.

Season W/L records for teams where Beckley was one of the three best position players, based on Win Shares:

66-68
61-71
60-68
55-80
65-65
71-61
76-56
83-67
62-77
52-87
70-70
75-79
58-96

854-945-----.475

Season W/L records for teams where Beckley was not one of the three best position players:

80-73
81-48
65-65* (average of NYG and PIT records in 1896; Beckley had 5 WS for each team)
92-60
74-65

392-311-----.558

Only three of Beckley's teams enjoyed winning records when he was one of their three best position players. Two more finished at .500. Both times that Beckley was the best position player on his team, the team finished with a losing record.

On the other hand, four of the five teams where Beckley was not among the top three position players had winning records -- the other team finished at .500 (see note above).

There were 12 seasons in which Beckley was one of the five best players on his team, pitchers included. Only two of those teams finished with winning records, the 1895 Pittsburgh Pirates, who finished 7th with a 71-61 record in the 12-team National League and the 1899 Cincinnati Reds, who finished 6th with an 83-67 record in the 12-team NL.

(Incidentially, both seasons ended up with exceptionally bad doormats in the National League. The 1895 season had the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Louisville Colonels far down at the bottom of the standings:

WSH-----43-85-----.336
STL-----39-92-----.298
LOU-----35-96-----.267

Those three teams alone were bad enough to allow the other nine to finish with a winning record, something which almost happened again in 1899. This time, it was the historically bad Cleveland Spiders that pushed most of the teams above .500 with a truly dreadful 20-134 (!) record, good for a .130 "winning" percentage. The Spiders finished 84 games out of first place and 35 games out of 11th place. Eight teams finished above .500 and the Washington Senators fell just two games short of that break-even mark.)

I would argue that every one of of HOM selections thus far, with the possible exceptions of Bid McPhee and Pud Galvin, could be the best player for a pennant-winning team. Jake Beckley doesn't come close to meeting that standard.

I think that the support for Beckley at this time comes from the fact that he, Van Haltren and Ryan (the new class of outfielders, too) are the only players whose records are fairly unambiguous. I gather that a lot of voters look at Beckley's .308 batting average, 2930 hits and 1575 RBI and see that as a fair representation of his ability. There are no questions that have to be grappled about whether or not the game he played was a recognizable form of baseball. There are no questions about how he would have competed at the highest level. There are no questions about what he would have done in a full career. He is what he is, which makes him appealing in comparison to other candidates whose abilities are shrouded by some type of uncertainty.

To me, what I know for certain about Jake Beckley is far less appealing and ballot-worthy than what I think I know about a lot of the other players (Pearce, Foster, Poles, Cravath).

George Van Haltren. Very good player for a long time, but gets pipped at the post by players who had higher peaks.

Jimmy Ryan. His counting stats are buoyed because he was mostly durable and mediocre for the last decade of his career, with the exception of 1898.

Mickey Welch. The Van Haltren of pitchers. He's ninth on my depth chart of eligible pitchers. A nice little career, but he didn't dominate the way his peers did.
   29. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:48 AM (#758130)
There were "murmurs" :-) that he was involved in some "hippodroming" late in his career, but there is no evidence of this. Since there is no evidence of wrongdoing on his part, I'm ignoring the whispers.

Hippodroming? Ah... yeah. Basically, he played so bad in his 5-game comeback in late 1881 for Worcester (.111/.273/.111 with 6 errors in 17 chances in CF) that they suspended him. Murmurs, yeah, but he was also three years removed from playing in the NL.

Cliff Claven fact of the day about Pike: He threw left-handed and spent substantial time in the middle infield. (!) This caught up with him later in his career and was the main reason why he was released by Providence in his final full season.

The fact that Providence & Cincy were the only teams loaded with OF's in that last year was quite bad luck on his part... he could have tacked a few years of numbers onto his career if he could have landed on one of the other teams. But, those are the breaks and most guys on this ballot have some of those too.
   30. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:37 AM (#758178)
"I feel very strongly that the electorate will be making a grave mistake if we elect Beckley, who was the Harold Baines of his time."

Welcome back James. I disagree here though. I'd call him the Rafael Palmeiro of his time. He's slightly behind Palmeiro IMO.

For one, Baines sat vs. many LHP over the second half of his career (which helps his rate stats). He also didn't play defense in the last 2/3 of his career.

Beckley played 1B when the position was much tougher and deserves a boatload of defensive credit that Baines doesn't. Beckley has better rate stats, despite playing vs. pitchers from both sides.
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:47 AM (#758189)
If you haven't already, make sure you all take a look at the Chris' (J. and Cobb) projections for Rube Foster before voting this week. They've certainly moved Foster up for me.

From what they've posted, and when you consider his hitting . . . he's got a pretty solid argument for being the top pitcher (if not player) on the ballot.
   32. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 27, 2004 at 01:58 PM (#758345)
Wow, a new child and possibly the owner of the lowest consensus score for this week. What more could anybody want!

I know.

Everyone: in honor of the prospective birth of my first son, please leave Dickey Pearce and Jake Beckley off your ballot this week.

Thank you.
   33. Adam Schafer Posted: July 27, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#758391)
After several years worth of ballots that have been almost identical, I've done some rearranging. The discussions in the thread have convinced me to move a few guys up, and have helped reestablish my belief that Welch should be #1.

1. Mickey Welch (2) - From all of the discussion that we've had on him, I can't see NOT ranking him #1. He's not quite as good as Keefe, but then again, Glavine wasn't quite as good as Maddux. That doesn't make Glavine's career any less impressive in my opinion.

2. Clark Griffith (10) - Big jump for Griffith. All of the talk on Welch has had me reevaluate Griffith. Turns out Griffith was much more valuable than I was giving him credit for.

3. Rube Waddell (3) - Indeed my top 3 spots do belong to pitchers. The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

4. Lip Pike (5) - I bump him ahead of a couple others this year as I am convinced he was a bigger stud than I was willing to let myself believe. I can see him finally getting in one of these days.

5. George Van Haltren (7) - Moves ahead of Beckley and Bresnahan.

6. Jake Beckley (2) - Big drop for a guy that would've been #2 on my ballot this year. I didn't find any reason to like him any less, I just found justification in moving several others higher than him.

7. Roger Bresnahan (4) - 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.

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

9. Bobby Veach (n/a) - Not enough career for him to merit a higher ranking on my ballot, but enough peak to grab the #9 spot.

10. Jimmy Ryan (8) - A watered down Van Haltren

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

12. Dickey Pearce (12) - 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 (13) - Back onto my ballot. No new thoughts on him

14. Harry Hooper (n/a) - nothing overly impressive about his career. I originally thought he would rank much higher than this on my initial ballot, but he just doesn't meet the qualifications in my mind that everyone above him does.

15. Rube Foster (15) - I've liked Rube, but haven't been real keen on voting for him. This weeks analysis has convinced me that he does indeed belong on my ballot, although there are no spots higher than this for him at the time being, he'll definately be moving up at some point.
   34. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:03 PM (#758450)
I disagree with the statement that SLG is less important than OBP, when you're dealing with the dead ball era, when slugging was so much less common. Beckley is still in 2004 fourth on the all time list for triples; he was a serious power threat in the way that other hitters weren't. In terms of total bases, for eligible players the leader board reads:

Wagner 4862
Anson 4574
Lajoie 4474
Crawford 4328
Beckley 4147
Delahanty 3791.

That is NOT someone who couldn't help his teams win. If A-Rod hadn't moved to the Yankees, would you claim he hadn't helped his teams win?
   35. andrew siegel Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:29 PM (#758473)
Thoughts on Beckley, based on perusal of available data at 2 AM (which I failed to write down).

He was only one of the top 10 position players in his league once according to WS, and only made the top 20 2 or 3 more times. Usually, he was 25th or 28th or 33rd or something like that (out of between 64 and 80 regulars).

For him to make your ballot, let alone the HoM, one of three things need to be true:

(1) Consistently ranking among the top 30-40% of major league regulars for 18 years makes you worthy: Under some of your systems this may be true, but I'm never going to buy it.

(2) WS greatly underrates Beckley in comparison with his contemporaries: I think it is probable that WS underrates 19th-century 1B defense, but his WS numbers are so low that tacking on a few per year isn't going to move him very far up the lists or give him much of a peak. Looking at the raw stats, I don't see any evidence that WS underrates his bat--during his prime he's treated as roughly equivalent to Ryan and Childs, a notch below Duffy and Van Haltren. WARP comes to roughly equivalent conclusions about his offense (though it like VH a bit less than WS and Childs a bit more). In short, I don't see a case that WS VASTLY underates him.

(3) A combination of the two: WS moderately underates him and (using his corrected rankings)
being in the top 20-30% of position players for 18 years makes you worthy: This is Beckley's best argument. I'm struggling with both the major premise (such a career makes someone worthy) and the minor premise (Beckley had such a career).

Thoughts?
   36. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#758487)
Add (4) WS is a completely inaccurate and cuckoo artifical metric, invented in 2001 and of no relevance to baseball in the 1890s.

I'd take a combination of 2,3 and 4.
   37. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 03:46 PM (#758496)
Well, the deadball era didn't really get started until 1904 or so, when Beckley was 36. The prime of Beckley's career was during the one of the highest offensive periods in history. How high does he rate in SLG+ anyways? (Or how much of high career totals are due to career length). His OBP+ is unimpressive. Both EqA and RC weight OBP more than SLG, is there a strong era dependence on that? I think the OBP weight does go up in high run environments, you are right about that.

A-Rod does have a .340/.375/.566 record in the playoffs... but I'll admit that we don't really want to go too far there. Plenty of great players played for poor teams. One of the purposes of this project is to get away from the "good-in-the-clubhouse, had-the-intangibles, class-act, knew-how-to-win" arguments.

A-Rod has been a perennial MVP candidate, the best SS in baseball from 1996-2003 against very steep competition. Beckley was First Team at 1B only once while having steep competition until 1894 and then a big dropoff. Now, I'm arguing a bit too much like an EOJB right now... but the point is that Jake Beckley is no A-Rod, he's no Ernie Banks either.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#758522)
Add (4) WS is a completely inaccurate and cuckoo artifical metric, invented in 2001 and of no relevance to baseball in the 1890s.

The problem is that he doesn't really stand out using conventional batting rate stats among his peers either.

What he does have going for himself was that he was extremely durable for his time and that the fielding responsibilities for that position in that era were probably greater than at any other time in baseball history. That's enough for me to place him on my ballot (albeit, at the tail end).
   39. andrew siegel Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#758560)
Well, hate to bring up another cuckoo and artificial 21st-century metric but I'd really love to see how Beckley ranks among position players in WARP. Have any of you (read those of you who do WARP all-star teams) come across or created a sortable WARP database or spreadsheet that allows me to compare all the players from one season?
   40. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:26 PM (#758564)
OK, take another nice traditional metric, RBI Leaderboard, again of HOM-eligible players:

Anson 2076
Wagner 1732
Lajoie 1599
Beckley 1575
Crawford: 1525
Delahanty:1464

Yes, I KNOW he had very little peak, but his career numbers, when you don't use 21st century metrics that are without question heavily distorting for his era, have him very high indeed among the elite,into "no-brainer" territory and well above dozens of people we've elected without a second thought.
   41. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:36 PM (#758582)
when you don't use 21st century metrics that are without question heavily distorting for his era

Why aren't the mid-19th century metrics like Runs and RBI distorting for era?

NL runs per game:
 1889  5.84 
 1890  6.88 (PL)
 1891  5.54  
 1892  5.10  
 1893  6.57 
 1894  7.36 
 1895  6.58 
 1896  6.03  
 1897  5.88 
 1898  4.96
 1899  5.24 
 1900  5.21
 1901  4.63 
 1902  3.98  
 1903  4.78  
 1904  3.91 


How are runs numbers from this era not going to heavily distort for era?
   42. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 04:41 PM (#758592)
On era, the 1890s was not a heavy hitting era, it was a high singles era; there was by modern standards very little slugging and SLG was no higher than mid-range even with the high BA (the average SLG in the 1893-97 NL was .397, compared with .409 in 1926-30, .367 in the nadir of 1964-68 and .423 in 1999-2003.) So a slugger like Beckley was especially valuable because those around him had relatively high OBP and no SLG -- a Beckley triple might not score himself, but it sure as hell cleared the bases of any flotsam ahead of him.

Given his poor teams and lack of quality teammates, his RBI number is particularly impressive.
   43. Max Parkinson Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:02 PM (#758613)
Andrew,

Based on my adjustments to WARP data (this is WARP 2 because that's the only way that Davenport lists offense by position - which is OK in this case, as we're comparing within a year, and within a league for the very most part):

Of all 1st Basemen, Beckley finishes -

1st: Once, 1901, ahead of Joe Kelley and Harry Davis.

2nd: 7 times; 4 times to Roger Connor ('90,'91,'93,'96). Also in '95 to Fred Cartwright, '99 to Fred Tenney and '00 to Dan McGann.

3rd: Once, 1904.

4th: Once, 1894.

5th: Once, 1889.


I'll leave it up to you to draw conclusions from that...
   44. Max Parkinson Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:04 PM (#758616)
Ed Cartwright. Dammit.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:20 PM (#758642)
Given his poor teams and lack of quality teammates, his RBI number is particularly impressive.

He played during the greatest era for producing runs in baseball history (even greater than the thirties or now). There is now way that you can compare his RBI totals to the deadball guys without factoring that in.
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#758659)
On era, the 1890s was not a heavy hitting era, it was a high singles era; there was by modern standards very little slugging and SLG was no higher than mid-range even with the high BA (the average SLG in the 1893-97 NL was .397, compared with .409 in 1926-30, .367 in the nadir of 1964-68 and .423 in 1999-2003.) So a slugger like Beckley was especially valuable because those around him had relatively high OBP and no SLG -- a Beckley triple might not score himself, but it sure as hell cleared the bases of any flotsam ahead of him.

I don't think this reasoning works. OBP is more valuable relative to SLG in the early game because defenses weren't as good. Despite the very large number of baserunners, not that many double plays were turned, runners were able to take a lot of extra bases (witness the stolen base totals), and there were large numbers of errors and passed balls. All this meant that, if you reached base, it was significantly easier to score without the help of your teammates than in the later game. (One might see the small-ball obsessions of the dead-ball era as a first reaction in offensive strategy to the significant improvements in fielding from about 1900. The rise of the modern power hitter would then be the second reaction.) The marginal value of extra-base hits decreases under these conditions because runners typically can advance without other hitters having to do much at all.

Given these conditions, it should be kept in mind that Beckley contributed less value as a baserunner than the outfielders to whom he is being compared. When you put his low stolen-base totals together with his unexceptional on-base percentage, I have to see Beckley as an above-average-but-never-outstanding offensive player.
   47. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:38 PM (#758689)
I disagree, Chris, I think it's the other way round. Lots of people reached 1B on errors, or advanced between the bases, but except for a passed ball it's much more difficult to score on a fielding error than advance the other bases -- the number of stealers of home has always been tiny. All those errors produced lots of flotsam on the bases, which Beckley then drove in.

Best 1B in the league once and second 7 times ain't chopped liver, and his career WARP totals must be up there.

Beckley WAS a deadball guy for the last 7 years of his career, whereas Anson and Delahanty weren't deadball at all.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#758708)
Beckley WAS a deadball guy for the last 7 years of his career, whereas Anson and Delahanty weren't deadball at all.

That is definitely in his favor there. That still doesn't replace the cheap RBI (relatively) that Beckley was able to accumulate during the '90s.
   49. Rick A. Posted: July 27, 2004 at 05:51 PM (#758719)
Everyone: in honor of the prospective birth of my first son, please leave Dickey Pearce and Jake Beckley off your ballot this week.

Dolf Lucky,

Whatever you do, please don't name him after the most likely winner (based on last year's results) of this year's election. A name like Dickey Lucky would scar a kid for life (or get him into a business you'd rather he avoid) :-)
   50. Rick A. Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:21 PM (#758793)
Seriously, I'm glad that we're taking a close look at Jake Beckley now, because I just don't see what others do about him. Yes, he has a long career, but he has no peak whatsoever. I'd take Frank Chance over him. (And Chance doesn't make my ballot either.) Beckley looks like the first player to make the HOM who probably won't make my ballot.
   51. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:24 PM (#758799)
Beckley WAS a deadball guy for the last 7 years of his career, whereas Anson and Delahanty weren't deadball at all.


Sorry... I just can't help nitpicking when the facts are being massaged a bit more than I like.

There was nothing dead about the ball in 1900, 1901 or 1903 at all. There was below-average offense in 1902, 1904-05, but the DBE didn't kick into full swing until 1906.

1900 -- 5.21
1901 -- 4.63
1902 -- 3.98
1903 -- 4.78
1904 -- 3.91
1905 -- 4.11
1906 -- 3.57
1907 -- 3.40
1908 -- 3.33

Beckley played half of 1906 and a quarter of 1907.

... And you know very well that Anson's numbers are brought down by playing much shorter seasons when he was in his 20's.

Sorry to sound like such an EOJB... just wanna get the facts straight. :-)
   52. andrew siegel Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:35 PM (#758831)
Max--

I appreciate your WARP numbers, but they don't tell me much about what I really need to know--how Beckley ranks against all comers.

We know he was the best 1B of his era. The question we are trying to answer is whether that is beacuse there was a dearth of quality at the position or because Beckley was damn good. WS clearly says the former, but that conclusion is pre-determined by a system that doesn't account for position offensively and (perhaps anachronistically) allocates very little defensive value to 1B. Hence, my desire to see if he rates similarly poorly in WARP. (And if he rates similarly by eyeballing traditional stats.)
   53. Chris Cobb Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#758835)
except for a passed ball it's much more difficult to score on a fielding error than advance the other bases -- the number of stealers of home has always been tiny. All those errors produced lots of flotsam on the bases, which Beckley then drove in.

Two problems with this view:

1) The advantage of a power hitter is that he can drive in runners from 1st and 2nd: if the runner has already reached third, a high-average singles hitter may be better at getting the runner home than a low-average slugger. BA, not SLG, is what matters once the runner gets to third.

2) It is harder to score from third than to advance to another base on a ball in play or an error, but nevertheless, the number by which runs exceed rbi prior to 1900 provides pretty conclusive evidence that baserunners were not stranded like driftwood once they reached third base if a batter failed to provide a hit or a sacrifice fly. There was plenty of scoring that didn't follow from a base hit driving the runner home. Here are two seasons, which I've picked because they happen to be the two biggest rbi years for Beckley and Raphael Palmiero:

1894 Pittsburgh 955 RS, 803 RBI, 84% of runs score on RBI
1894 NL 11678 RS, 9887 RBI, 85% of runs score on RBI

1999 Texas 945 RS, 897 RBI, 95% of runs score on RBI.
1999 AL 11725 RS, 11140 RBI, 95% of runs score on RBI.

If one were to pick any year from the 1880s or 1870s, the ratio of rbis to rs would be lower yet.

Slugging is still very valuable in 1894, but the defensive conditions make it somewhat less valuable than in the modern game, when it is significantly harder for runners to advance and score without the aid of a base hit.
   54. sunnyday2 Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:41 PM (#758845)
My backlog of PHoMers/not HoMers is shrinking rapidly with the election of Thompson, Wallace and Caruthers. And my backlog of HoMers/not PHoMers has shrunk, too, as I've PHoMered J. Collins, Grant and McGinnity the past two years. This list probably gets a little longer again this year, as Rube W....no, Foster enters my PHoM.

1. Dickey Pearce--played baseball. By 1870 there were maybe 4-5-half dozen guys with higher peaks, but nobody with more accumulated career value. He may also have had more career value at the time of his retirement than any living player. If
Dickey is elected, I will stop whining about the '60s. PHoM 1913.

2. Hughie Jennings--best peak of any post-NA, pre-20C position player. PHoM 1927.

3. Lip Pike--best of a huge CF glut. PHoM 1928.

4. Tommy Bond--a product of his times, sure, but aren't we all. Best peak pitcher between Spalding and Radbourn, at least. PHoM 1929.

5. Rube Foster--I think the MLEs posted here for Rube are probably too generous, but my POV affects his total career value more than his peak. As a peak voter, I find his peak to be plenty high. PHoM 1931.

6. Charley Jones--already elected too many LF, it's true, but I won't hold that against Ted Williams...or Charley Jones. Sans timeline, better than Sheckard, Hill, Kelley or Magee, IMHO. But not yet PHoM, while Magee is.)

7. Cupid Childs--whatever John says, I agree. Best of the "other glut" at 2B. PHoM 1925.

8. Larry Doyle--unless you think the NL was that baaaad.

9. Ed Williamson--still the best available at an underrepresented position.

10. Pete Browning--comp is Charley Jones.

(For PHoM purposes, LF glut of Hill, Kelley and Sheckard goes about here.)

11. Jim McCormick--Tommy Bond lite.

12. Bill Monroe--interchangeable with Grant, Sol White, Childs, Dunlap, but I've finally settled on Childs, Doyle, Monroe, Dunlap in that order among those not (yet) elected.

13. Spot Poles--as a peak voter, I don't see him as any different that Pete Hill.

14. Fred Dunlap--the White Grant. Or maybe the white Lou Whitaker.

15. Hugh Duffy--by my current calculations, will never make my ballot ever again. By 1938 the bottom six guys on my ballot will be supplanted by Groh, Mendez, maybe Wheat, Carey and more.

16. Waddell (16a. Plank), 17. Leach (Keeler is about here or maybe below Van), 18. Van Haltren, 19. Bresnahan, 20. Welch.

Van Haltren--better than Ryan or Beckley, not better than Pike, Poles, Browning. But, hey, #16.
Ryan--OK peak but weaker than Van otherwise. About #22.
Beckley--sorry, not enough peak. About #35.
Griffith--best remaining from the '90s, it's true, but not the impact of Bond, McCormick, Welch, Waddell, Foster, or even Mullane, Joss and Willis. About #30.
Bresnahan--even with a partial C bonus, will never quite make my ballot. #19 is probably as high as he will ever get.
Welch--call me Mr. In-between. On one side, 300 wins. On the other, lousy ERA+ and WARPs. #20 is about as high as he will ever get.
   55. Rick A. Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:46 PM (#758853)
Noticed that my PHOM inductees are drifting more and more from the consensus. Decided to write a little about them to drum up some support for them.

PHOM inductee
Ed Williamson - Don't see why he isn't getting more support. Above average hitter and excellent defensive third baseman. Not too far away from Jimmy Collins. Yes, his 27 home-run season was flukey, but as someone wrote, it's not like those HR's weren't helping his team. Also, remember that 3rd base was considered more like 2nd base is today.

1931 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. Elected PHOM in 1931
7.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average.
8.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.
9.Bill Monroe – Very good second baseman, but I can’t seem to rate him over Childs.
10.Hugh Duffy –. 82% of career is above-average. Great defense. Took another look at him and he moved up a couple of spots
11.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.
12.Tommy Leach – Good peak and decent career. May need to rank higher
13.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.
14.Spotswood Poles – Slots in just under Van Haltren
15.Vic Willis – Very close to McGinnity.

Required Explanations
17.Mickey Welch – Fresh look and new info bumps him up some.
23.Rogers Bresnahan – Moves up thanks to Kelly’s data on how he dominated catchers in his time period. Still wish he played a little more at catcher.
26.Jimmy Ryan - Good career value and prime value, but too many below average seasons to make it on the ballot. Only 60% of career value is above average.
29.Jake Beckley- I really like long careers. However his lack of prime value has him ranked lower than Van Haltren.

<b>Off the ballot
16-20 Tiernan, Welch, Waddell, Doyle, Griffin
21-25 McGraw, Chance, Bresnahan, Burns, Veach
26-30 Ryan, Long, Dunlap, Beckley, Mullane
   56. sunnyday2 Posted: July 27, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#758857)
Oops, forgot about Hooper, Veach and Burns, not that any of them would make my ballot. But Veach, in particular, had a very nice peak and would be in the 20-25 range for me. Burns maybe 25-30, while Hooper would be in Beckley territory, 30-35. Nice players, worth being remembered. Hall of Very Good.
   57. TomH Posted: July 27, 2004 at 07:55 PM (#758965)
re: Beckley

He was frequently in the top 10 in RBI, but his highest finish in runs scored was 10th one season. For a guy who played a lot of games and had a bunch of long hits, it doesn't seem that he got around the bases real well.

Similar to our high-peak little-career guys (Hughie J), Jake will be one of the more controversial candidates. Kind of like if we were to discuss whether or not Pete Rose is one of the 100 best all-time players :)
   58. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#759074)
You'd expect him to be much lower in runs scored than RBI, for two reasons

(i) Triples don't give you a run scored, unlike home runs -- take a modern slugger and make his HR triples, and his runs scored will fall off a cliff

(ii) With runs 15% greater than RBI, all the error-driven runs will presumably be more or less random, or possibly biased towards the fast running base stealers, so superior hitters like Beckley will, even if neutral between OBP and SLG, tend to shine less in runs than in RBI.

As you probably appreciate, I'm neither a particular peak or career voter, but I'm more impressed with strong arguments FOR someone than with the lack of arguments against them. I will thus tend to back controversial candidates. Sheckard and Magee didn't do it for me, Beckley and Caruthers do.
   59. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#759141)
Triples don't give you a run scored, unlike home runs -- take a modern slugger and make his HR triples, and his runs scored will fall off a cliff


They would drop more than his RBI's would. You can't drive yourself in from 3rd base, but you can score fairly easily.

With runs 15% greater than RBI, all the error-driven runs will presumably be more or less random, or possibly biased towards the fast running base stealers, so superior hitters like Beckley will, even if neutral between OBP and SLG, tend to shine less in runs than in RBI.


Probably more the batting lineup doing this. Its the Joe Carter / Robbie Alomar combination. Guys like Jake Stenzel probably batted in front of Beckley and not the other way around. This is why many prefer the 21st century cuckoo metrics over R and RBI in the first place.

As you probably appreciate, I'm neither a particular peak or career voter, but I'm more impressed with strong arguments FOR someone than with the lack of arguments against them. I will thus tend to back controversial candidates. Sheckard and Magee didn't do it for me, Beckley and Caruthers do.

Funny... whenever I almost put Beckley on my ballot is for the opposite reason. I can't think of anything bad to say about a guy who was pretty good for such a long time.... but nothing screams out and tells me he was ever one of the league's best players.

Anyhow, I appreciate the difference in opinion. :-) Sometimes your reasons for backing him are just a little too easy to shoot down though... which ends up polarizing me against Beckley when I really had nothing against his candidacy a week or two ago.

Anyhow, I'll try to count to ten before I start typing a reply next time. Lots of new research coming out about him at least. Similar to the Welch debates I suppose.
   60. DavidFoss Posted: July 27, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#759145)
They would drop more than his RBI's would.They would not drop more than his RBI's would.

Forgetting the word "not" is just about the worst word to forget. :-)
   61. karlmagnus Posted: July 27, 2004 at 09:42 PM (#759167)
DavidFoss, you're right on the runs/RBI point, although it obviously depends on the lineup. However, all those RBIs playing for weak teams is still impressive.
   62. Jeff M Posted: July 28, 2004 at 01:37 AM (#759962)
1931 Ballot

1. Browning, Pete -- I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. Easily one of the best hitters we've evaluated or ever will evaluate. He was an outfielder in the early years, so I doubt his suspect defense detracts much from his overall value. Would have been in the majors earlier if not for the ear problem. Elected to PHoM in 1908.

2. Monroe, Bill -- He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe. Elected to PHoM in 1921.

3. McGraw, John – The guy’s OBP was .466! I would prefer a longer career, but among the backlog, I think he deserves some recognition. Plus, we aren’t too deep at 3b in the HoM. Would have been elected to PHoM in 1910 if I had done it right.

4. Jones, Charley -- I give no additional credit for blacklisted seasons. He hit about as well as McVey, with power. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning because of the relatively short career and lack of notoriety. Elected to PHoM in 1926.

5. Bresnahan, Roger -- In my system he was quite a bit better as a hitter than Charlie Bennett, though certainly not as good defensively. If you stack Bresnahan's WS and WARP1 numbers against the catchers actually elected to the HoF, he looks very solid. Elected to PHoM in 1930.

6. Duffy, Hugh -- He has some good counting stats, good grey ink and scores well on WS and WARP1 measures. I was wrong to have him ahead of Thompson in prior years, but fortunately the electorate saw it more clearly. Elected to PHoM in 1929

7. Griffith, Clark -- An excellent win pct on some bad teams. I boost his win totals and win pct by approximately 1/2 of his Wins Above Team, which are outstanding. Has a nice career Linear Weights total also. Rosenheck’s posts on dERA are also in Griffith’s favor. Elected to PHoM in 1930.

8. Waddell, Rube -- Comparable to Griffith, but win totals are far less impressive. Can't see putting him ahead of Griffith, unless you overvalue strikeouts. If you are looking for unique, Waddell would qualify. Because of the backlog, makes the PHoM in 1931.

9. Veach, Bobby – A little more peak than career, but an excellent defender. Hit about 50% better than the league, and would be a legit HoMer if he had played longer. I’ve got him fairly even with Poles, but there’s a lot more uncertainty in the Poles data. Because of the backlog, he’ll make my PHoM in 1931.

10. Poles, Spotswood – Also moves up as a result of my outfield changes. It wouldn’t bother me if he wasn’t elected, because there are better players coming on the horizon.

11. Foster, Rube – Last week I dropped him to #16. This week I move him back up. I have a very difficult time separating his administrative reputation from his playing reputation. Seemed to have a short career, even by pitching standards.

12. Leach, Tommy -- His numbers are deflated by the era. I've got him with 7 gold gloves at two different tough positions. He played approximately half his games at 3b.

13. Beckley, Jake -- Watching the 1886 vintage game on ESPN, I saw with my own eyes the difficulty of playing 1b at the time. Very solid and long career, but I don’t quite see him as a HoMer, though I do see a significant gap between Beckley and Konetchy.

14. Mullane, Tony – Bounced around on my ballot so much, I don’t think I can keep track anymore. Solid WARP1, WS and Grey Ink, even after discounts for AA play. I don’t see the need to elect him, but this is where he’s slotted.

15. Burns, George J. – Bumps Welch from the ballot. Similar to Veach both on peak and career, but without the defense (though he seems to have been a very good defender). Didn’t quite have the pop in his bat that Veach did.

Required Disclosures:

Pearce, Dickey – He’s just off-ballot for me at #17, behind Welch and ahead of Larry Doyle. Just a hard guy to get a handle on. I don’t pretend that I have this right.

Van Haltren, George – Never the best player in the league and never a genuine All-Star. Virtually no black ink; poor grey ink. Maybe it’s because some of the counting stats during the 1890s are inflated by the high run-scoring environment, making him look better than I think he was. He is ranked #33 in my system, behind Cy Seymour and ahead of Jim McCormick. If elected, would supplant Bobby Wallace as the elected player that I have ranked the lowest.

Pike, Lip – Gut tells me he doesn’t quite belong. I’ve explained aplenty, so I won’t say much more here. He’s #25 in my system, behind Silver King and ahead of Hughie Jennings.

Ryan, Jimmy – He’s part of what I consider the glut (maybe a secondary glut), though he moved up more than 10 spots on my ballot after reevaluation last week. He’s #22 in my system, tied with Frank Chance, though I would put Ryan ahead of Chance if it came to that.

Jennings, Hughie – I’ve had him on the ballot before (at the bottom), but when I reduced the WARP fielding ratings away from the low replacement value used by BP, he plummeted. He’s #26 in my system, behind Lip Pike and ahead of Charlie Buffinton.
   63. Chris Cobb Posted: July 28, 2004 at 03:04 AM (#760337)
1931 Ballot

My, the backlog years are tough! But a few easy years are on the horizon, and the hard work we're doing now will stand us in good stead when we reach the next gap of shoo-in candidates in the late 1930s.

1. Dickey Pearce. (2) Back at #1, where he last stood on my ballot in 1926. The data posted by DavidFoss shows clearly that Pearce as the second-best player of the 1860s after Joe Start. Dick McBride may have had a better peak, but not by much, and Pearce’s career was significantly better. Hope he makes it this year!
2. George Van Haltren (3) The best remaining player from the underrepresented 1890s. Tenth best player of the 1890s. All-round, consistent talent; just the sort of player who has been underrated in traditional discussions of merit.
3. Clark Griffith. (4) I think he has an argument to have been better than Rusie. My system shows him at 33.5 support-neutral wins above average. Eleventh best player of the 1890s.
4. Mickey Welch. (5) 8th-10th best player of the 1880s. Like Griffith, 33.5 support-neutral wins above average. Accomplished this feat against weaker competition in much easier conditions for pitchers, so despite higher career value, he ranks just below Griffith.
5. Hughie Jennings (6) The third 1890s star now featured prominently on my ballot. While I understood those who favor Cupid Childs, I’m just not convinced that the “best second baseman” argument matters, and Jennings, at his best, was the best position player of the era. During his 1894-1898 peak, he was the best player in baseball, and better than a pair of contemporary first-ballot HoMers, Billy Hamilton and Ed Delahanty, who were also at their peaks during these years. Twelfth best player of the 1890s.
6. Rube Foster. (10) The biggest star in black baseball in the aughts. A more thorough study of his record shows him better than I realized, though I’m still being cautious about fully accepting the MLE projections I’ve calculated until the method has been tried on more pitchers and received more scrutiny. Significantly more career than Ed Walsh, and nearly as good a peak, so I think he ranks about where Walsh would for me. 13th best player of the 1900s.
7. Spotswood Poles (7) His peak was short, but strong in relation to his contemporaries, as is shown by his ranking above his near-exact contemporaries Burns, Hooper, and Veach. 15th best player of the 1910s.
8. Lip Pike. (9) Career wasn’t long, but he was a regular longer than Hugh Duffy, Pete Browning, or Sam Thompson. 7th best player of 1870s, but Bond now challenging for that spot (see #24 below).
9. Tommy Leach (8) He’s a borderline candidate, but that makes him mid-ballot in 1931. Slips slightly due to re-evaluation of Foster. 16th best player of the 1900s.
10. Larry Doyle (11). He’s a borderline candidate, but now I see him as just on the good side of my in-out line. 17th-best player of the 1910s. I like the Jeff Kent comparison!
11. Hugh Duffy (12). Thirteenth best player of the 1890s.
12. Jimmy Ryan (13) Fourteenth best player of the 1890s.
13. Gavvy Cravath (15). Further settling of 1910s stars moves him past Bresnahan this year. #18 among 1910s players. I give him substantial credit for his play in Minnesota in the AA (he was clearly good enough to start in the majors), and part-time credit for his last two PCL seasons.
14. Roger Bresnahan (14) Top catcher of the aughts. Genuinely great player (his peak rate trails only (Jennings, Chance, McGraw, and Pike among eligible position players), but not enough playing time or defensive value to be a definite HoMer. 18th best player of the 1900s.
15.Cupid Childs (16) Back on my ballot. #17 among 1890s players. Slightly higher than my system has him, but his strong positional argument sways me a little in his favor over Herman Long, whom too many other shortstop contemporaries outclass.

Consensus Top 10 players not on my ballot

Jake Beckley – see #25 below for comments.
   64. Chris Cobb Posted: July 28, 2004 at 03:07 AM (#760340)
1931 Off-Ballot

16. George Burns (ne) #19 among 1910s players. I don’t accept the WARP league-quality modifiers for 1900-1920, so Burns looks like the best of the major-league outfield trio of new candidates to me. Quintessential lead-off hitter.
17. Bill Monroe (17) #19 among 1900s players.
18. Herman Long (19) #16 among 1890s players.
19. Rube Waddell (34) #20 among 1900s players. Moves up in reconsideration of pitchers.
20. Harry Hooper (ne) #20 among 1910s players. Steady but unspectacular. His lack of peak hurts him.
21. Charley Jones (20) #18 among 1880s players
22. Fielder Jones (21) #19 among 1900s players
23. Bruce Petway (22) #21 among 1910s players
24. Tommy Bond (nr) #8 among 1870s players. Did my first really thorough study of Tommy Bond (after a year+ on the project, it was about time!) and he looks like a serious candidate, similar in value to Lip Pike. I’m going to be cautious with him this year, because I’m not sure that my system for evaluating pitchers works appropriately for pre-1880 pitchers, but if further study supports my current findings, he’ll move up, possibly onto the ballot. Most concentrated value of any player I’ve studied; his 1878 may be the most valuable season in major-league history. It was made possible by the short season, of course, but it’s still impressive.
25. Jake Beckley (23) Beckley is in the consensus top 10, but he just doesn’t appear outstanding in comparison to his contemporaries. Lack of better first-basemen could give him a positional boost, but right now I don’t see the justification for a positional bonus for first base. #18 among 1890s players.
26. Bobby Veach (nr) #22 among 1910s players. Very nice peak, but career was just too short.
27. Frank Chance (25) #21 among 1900s players.
28. Tony Mullane (26) #20 among 1880s players.
29. Dick McBride (27) 3rd best player of the 1860s. McBride looks to have been rather similar to Tony Mullane in career length and in versatility, so I think my new cross-period ranking system has produced a good result in pairing them up. #3 among 1860s players.
30. Lave Cross (28) #19 among 1890s players.
31. Ed Konetchy (29) #26 among 1910s players.
32. John McGraw (30) #20 among 1890s players.
33. Joe Tinker (31) #22 among 1900s players.
34. Johnny Evers (32) #23 among 1900s players
35. Ed Williamson (33) A significant casualty of the new system. Too many other better players in the 1880s for Williamson to look very strong. He, Cross, and McGraw may all deserve to rank a bit higher as third basemen, but I’m not sure how much, so no bonus for third-basemen yet. #21 among 1880s players.
36. Addie Joss (37) # 24 among 1900s players.
37. Tom York (24) #10 among 1870s players. Drops considerably in response to Bond’s jump into the top 40.
38. Eddie Cicotte (38) #29 among 1910s players
39. Jim McCormick (39) #22 among 1880s players.
40. Mike Tiernan (40). #22 among 1890s players.


Dropped out of top 40

John Donaldson (35) Full study of his career just doesn’t support a placement in the top 40.

Davy Force (36) #11 among 1870s players. Tommy Bond’s jump into the top 40 pushes Davy Force out. Need to look at the pre-1871 records of Force and York for next election to make sure I have them placed right in relation to each other.
   65. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 28, 2004 at 07:20 AM (#760439)
Hey guys! Prospectus fixed their numbers! Pete Browning no longer has -37 pitching runs for his 1/3 of an inning in 1884.

I'm going to have to redo my inputs and I'll post Beckley's rank (and others) in my adjusted WARP1 and WARP2 - hopefully later tonight.
   66. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 28, 2004 at 07:29 AM (#760442)
Another thing I noticed. The fielding all-time adjustments (just from Browning and Start, the first two I've input) seem to be a lot more reasonable. Anyone know what they changed?
   67. robc Posted: July 28, 2004 at 02:47 PM (#760644)
Ive only looked at some OFs so far, but the new BP numbers help Leach, Fielder Jones, Mike Griffin and hurt VanHaltren and Ryan. That whole group becomes even more indistinguishable.

I wont be changing my '31 ballot. But, I may have to consider some changes before 32.
   68. DanG Posted: July 28, 2004 at 05:35 PM (#760947)
I reposted the list of new eligibles for 1932-36 with updated WARP3 on the New Eligibles thread. Joe, can this be made to show up on the Hot Topics sidebar?
   69. DanG Posted: July 28, 2004 at 05:50 PM (#760974)
My #2 and #13 got elected. In 1931, we have our last “elect 1” year, as the corner OF glut swells with Hooper, Veach and Burns. Louis Santop looks like our next Negro league electee in 1932 (along with Foster?). In 1933 we slam dunk The Big Train, while Wheat and Groh contribute to the best newbie class in ten years.

1)Pearce (1,2,3)– Finally plows through over 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) Pike (3,3,4) –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 two, above my personal “Clearly deserving” line.

3) Van Haltren (4,5,7)—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

4) Leach (5,6,8) – 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

5) Griffith (7,8,10) – 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

6) J. Ryan (6,7,9)—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) Bresnahan (8,9,11) – 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

8)Hooper – Per adjusted win shares, his peak was better than Beckley’s. I see him at 34.5 for the abbreviated 1918 season. His 27.4 in 1916 is also better than Jake’s best, 26.6 in 1890. A couple bulk seasons at the end of his career in a weak NL give Beckley 28 more career AWS.
   70. DanG Posted: July 28, 2004 at 05:51 PM (#760976)
9)Beckley (9,11,14) – 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. Besides Anson (#1 all-time) there's Gehrig, Foxx, Murray, Palmeiro, Perez and Killebrew ahead of Beckley. McCovey and McGriff round out the top ten. Bagwell and Thomas figure to join this group next season.

10)Duffy (10,12,13)– 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 (11,13,15) – 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 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 (12,14,--) – 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) Mickey Welch (14,--,--) – Stays on my ballot, he’s among those due to be knocked back off in 1934. I really can’t discern any large value difference between him and other 1880’s pitchers McCormick and Caruthers.

14)McCormick (15,--,--) – 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

15)Rube Foster – Discussion of him earns a ballot spot; evidence points to a better career than Waddell. Rapidly rising support from the electorate – may pass the GVH-Beckley-Pike group for election in 1932.
   71. TomH Posted: July 28, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#761069)
Revised ballot alert!

I'm not beholden to WARP, but based on the new #s that BP have put out, I would like to revise my 1931 ballot, particuarly since Van Haltren and Foster, 2 guys who coudl possibly be in line for election this year, each move one spot. Please delete my previous ballot (post 3, which still incldues my comments) and substitute this one. So much for voting early....

1-Clark Griffith
2-Lip Pike
3-Rube Waddell
Moved one notch over GVH based on new WARP #s.
4-George Van Haltren
5-Ed Williamson
6-John McGraw
7-Andrew “Rube” Foster
8-Roger Bresnahan
9-Addie Joss
Lowered a bit by new WARP #s.
10-Hughie Jennings
11-Jake Beckley
12-Mickey Welch
13-Frank Chance
14-Cupid Childs
15- Dickey Pearce
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 28, 2004 at 06:57 PM (#761113)
Revised ballot alert!

ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Actually, it wasn't that big of a deal. :-)

After the new changes in WARP, I won't be surprised if there are more ballot revisions.
   73. Al Peterson Posted: July 28, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#761452)
1931 ballot. All these guys can go in the HOSM (Hall of Sorta Meritous). HOM though?

1. Jimmy Ryan (2). I'll keep this comment: At the end of the deadball era in 1919, Ryan was tied for 4th all-time in HRs. Not too shabby. Also, #30 all-time in runs scored. Must have had quite an arm - pitched sometimes and was a left-handed throwing SS on occasion.

2. Rube Waddell (3). 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. That's a lot of pitching. Unique in that he controlled the game, via strikeouts, at a time when the ball was always put in play (dead-ball era).

3. George Van Haltren (4). Guess who is #31 in runs scored behind Ryan? These guys are pretty well linked together...

4. Pete Browning (5). #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. 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

5. Hughie Jennings (11). I have a lot of career guys on the ballot but this is my nod to someone who put on a fine run of years at an important position.

6. John McGraw (6). 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 (7). 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. From that underrepresented period of the 1890s.

8. Jake Beckley (8).
Years ago I compared Wee Willie Keeler to Beckley and how their offensive numbers came out pretty close in the long run except for the adjustment bonuses of WWK being in the AL at the end of his career, Beckley in the NL. The right fielder was elected years ago and Jake is still looking in.

9. 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. 5'3" 161 lbs. - the bowling ball at SS.

10. Tommy Leach (14).
If Tommy Leach is a HOMer than so am I. But hey, we're supposed to list out 15 in order and my work shows him here...

11. Hugh Duffy (16). Couple of great spikes to go with other uneven performances. Gets bump based on contemporary opinion as being one heck of a ballplayer. Win Shares love the D.

12. Larry Doyle (12). 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. Roger Bresnahan (15). Getting positional consideration since catchers just can't play as often. Duke could hit with anybody all the same.

14. 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.

15. Tony Mullane (17). Another pitcher who was good with the stick. Pitched many innings with good rate stats. He won 284 games playing with some teams that weren't nearly the strength of other hurlers of the era. Remember he's missing a year (1885) when in a contract dispute or his numbers would have been better. Great nicknames as well - Count, Apollo of the Box.

Others:

16. Bobby Veach. Nice little career playing next to the Georgia Peach.
17. Spotswood Poles.
18. Rube Foster. OK, there are some simulation numbers out and they show me he's Vic Willis. Am I missing something? Also, for the Rube's time frame 1902-1915 here are the HOM, Eligible and not yet Eligible pitchers to compare to

IN: Mathewson, Walsh, Young, Plank, McGinnity, Brown
ELIGIBLE: FOSTER, Waddell, Joss, Willis
NOT YET ELIGIBLE: Johnson, Alexander, Smokey Joe Williams

I'm not rushing to get Rube Foster in there.

19. Mickey Welch.
20. Clark Griffith. If pretty sure I could juggle Foster, Welch and Griffith any which way and you still have three equivalents.
21. Mike Griffin.
22. Frank Chance.
23. 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.
24. Mike Tiernan.
25. Harry Hooper. Not drinking the long career Kool-Aid for this guy.
26. Ed Ciccotte.
27. Charley Jones.
28. Fielder Jones.
29. Addie Joss.
30. Vic Willis.
31-35: Cross, McCormick, Dunlap, Evers, Konetchy, Long
   74. EricC Posted: July 29, 2004 at 12:31 AM (#762063)
1 (4)Donie Bush

I don't get it. At least according to Win Shares, nobody very similar to Bush is in the HoM or even in serious contention. Why not, say, Joe Tinker or Herman Long instead? What am I missing?
   75. yest Posted: July 29, 2004 at 05:12 AM (#762719)
Bobby Veach make my pHoM this year
1. Mickey Welch finished in the top 10 in era, strikeouts and wins 9 times (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
2. Hugh Duffy only him, Ed Delahanty ,Rogers Hornsby and, Ted Williams ever hit 400/500/600 in 1 season (made my personal HoM in 1908)
3. Rube Waddell most strikeouts 6 times and strikeouts per 9 innings 8 times and the 7th lowest era for his career (minimum 2000 innings pitched) (made my personal HoM in 1917)
4. Pete Browning 341 batting avg. (13th total) and a 403 on base percentage (51st overall) (made my personal HoM in 1906)
5. Jake Beckley in the top 10 in RBIs 10 times (made my personal HoM in 1915)
6. Clark Griffith 619 winning percentage with sub 500 teams (made my personal HoM in 1912)
7. Addie Joss 1st in hits and walks per 9 innings for his career (made my personal HoM in 1918)
8. Lip Pike I think the NA still has a few viable candidates (made my personal HoM in 1910)
9. George Van Haltren 100 runs 11 times (made my personal HoM in 1925)
10. Jimmy Ryan has the 30th most (1642) runs ever (made my personal HoM in 1926)
11. Rube Foster Pitched from 1902-1926 (pitched semi pro from 1897-1901)reportedly had these records:
1902; 51-3
1903; 59-1 (I also saw 54 wins and 55 wins) rumored to have won 44 in a row
1904; 51-4
1905; 50-4
There’s a legend that in 1902 John McGraw was so impressed with his screw ball that he asked him to teach it to his pitching staff whether it’s true or not the Giants era+ went from 99 in 1902 to 113 in 1903
Honus Wagner said he was "one of the greatest pitchers of all time...smartest pitcher I've ever seen..."According to the stats in the Macmillan encyclopedia Foster hit .345 in 69 at bats(made my personal HoM in 1927)
12. Bobby Veach 3 rbi titles (makes my personal HoM this year)
13. Jake Daubert 2326 hits (made my personal HoM in 1930)
14. Gavy Cravath 6 HR titles (made my personal HoM in 1928)
15. George J. Burns most runs 5 times
16. John McGraw 4th in runs per game (made my personal HoM in 1930)
17. Cupid Childs 24th in on base percentage
18. Ginger Beaumont 1 of only 12 players to have the most hits 4 times
19. Charlie Buffinton 20 wins 7 times
20. Deacon Phillippe led in walks per 9 innings pitched 5 times finished in the top 3 in walks per 9 innings pitched 8 times
21. Vic Willis 20 wins 8 times
22. Bobby Mathews I think the NA still has a few viable candidates
23. Hugh Jennings led in hit by pitches 5 years in a row and has the most for his career
24. Tony Mullane 30 wins 5 times 284 total
25. Jack Chesbro his 1904 season helps him big
26. Tip O’Niell 326 batting avg.
27. Levy Meyerle I think the NA still has a few viable candidates
28. Tommy Bond 5th in hits and walks per 9 innings for his career
29. Jim McCormick 33rd in era with a 243 era
30. Jack Stivetts 297 batting avg. while his opponents had a 255 batting avg.
31. Mike Tiernan 392 on base percentage
32. Jesse Tannehill 629 winning percentage
33. George Mullin had a 262 batting avg. and 319 on base percentage
34. Will White 9th lowest era ever (minimum 2000 innings pitched)
35. Sam Leever highest winning percentage 3 times
36. Mike Donlin 333 batting avg.
37. Cy Seymour 303 batting avg.
Explanations for the missing players in the top
Dickey Pierce I use 1866 as a cutoff year that I consider it baseball
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 29, 2004 at 08:20 AM (#762882)
Wow. Back to new WARP. John Ward took a beating. Most players are getting bumped, but he got killed. Interesting. I'm about 2/3 with the new numbers, hopefully I finish tonight, probably tomorrow.

If I really get lucky, I'll have the time to convert these numbers to Pennants Added too. For now I'm just eyeballing it and giving the high peak guys a boost on my ballot.

Peak meaning seasonal value, not guys like Chance and McGraw, who didn't play enough in a typical season to have the significant pennant impact their rate stats would lead you to believe they did over their careers.
   77. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 29, 2004 at 08:44 AM (#762911)
More New WARP thoughts . . . Roy Thomas got a nice boost - perhaps they've changed something that gives OBP a bit more emphasis, either for this era, or overall?
   78. Brad G. Posted: July 29, 2004 at 03:36 PM (#763125)
The A's did it again! That's 5 World Series wins in 21 years... and they're liable to win the pennant again this year!

1931 Ballot:

1.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. The difference between him and Van Haltren is slight, but Duffy looks to be the better to me.

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

3.Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers’ 1445, and is, in fact, the most of anyone on my eligible list.

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

5.Rube Waddell- Career Win Shares = 240; WS5 = 145.

6.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.

7.Rube Foster- For me, it comes down to Rube vs. Rube, and I can’t quite place Foster over his namesake… yet.

8.Pete Browning- Put up some monster offensive numbers, led by the 162 OPS+. Lovin’ the outfielders (as usual)… best offensive numbers tend to be with them.

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

10.Gav(v)y 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.

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

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

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

14.George Burns- Had a real nice career, and the man wasn’t a stranger to Ink. Black= 33, Gray= 165. Barely edges Veach, and is perhaps underrated here. Plus, didn’t he live to be 100?

15.Larry Doyle- Sneaks his way onto my list this year. Another nice career, though his defense may not have been super for a 2B (C+ in Win Shares).

16-24: Veach, Petway, Poles, C. Jones, Pike (#6 on my CF list, but there’s a big drop from Browning to Poles) Cicotte, Pearce (#2 SS, between Jennings and Bush), Monroe, Welch.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#763134)
Brad, I'm pretty sure that you can't vote for a player twice. :-)
   80. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 29, 2004 at 04:22 PM (#763181)
I give my 1-15 votes, for a total of 199 points, to Charley Jones. That should put him over the top, don't you think?
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2004 at 04:45 PM (#763217)
I give my 1-15 votes, for a total of 199 points, to Charley Jones. That should put him over the top, don't you think?

It still wouldn't help him.
   82. Brad G. Posted: July 29, 2004 at 07:05 PM (#763535)
Brad, I'm pretty sure that you can't vote for a player twice. :-)

Ugh... Screwed that up didn't I? That's because Hughie should be #12, not Doyle.

***REVISED BALLOT (from post#78)***
1.Hugh Duffy
2.George Van Haltren
3.Jake Beckley
4.Jimmy Ryan
5.Rube Waddell
6.Roger Bresnahan
7.Rube Foster
8.Pete Browning
9.Clark Griffith
10.Gavy Cravath
11.Tommy Leach
12.Hughie Jennings
13.Cupid Childs
14.George Burns
15.Larry Doyle

Sorry!
Thanks John "fact-checkin' cuz" Murphy!
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2004 at 07:21 PM (#763583)
Thanks John "fact-checkin' cuz" Murphy!

I actually wanted to see if I could do the same for Pearce. :-)
   84. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 29, 2004 at 07:58 PM (#763729)
Elijah Quinn Lucky

7/29/04

4:57 AM

22"

8 lb, 7 oz

Shortstop.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#763745)
Elijah Quinn Lucky

7/29/04

4:57 AM

22"

8 lb, 7 oz


Congratulations for your strapping new son! I trust his mother is doing fine?

Shortstop.

Just like your idol Dickey Pearce! :-)
   86. BryceB (Radiation-Free Tanketra) Posted: July 29, 2004 at 11:03 PM (#764070)
OK, reposting from the discussion board ... (and changing the name back just to mess with DCMG Murphy's head :) ...)

1- Tommy Leach (PHoM 1930). Reading between the lines of the NBJHBA seems to suggest that a 300 WS career with 3 "Great Seasons" (30+ WS) would be the definition of a no-brainer Hall of Fame player. Of the folks eligible, Leach, Griffith, and Burns are the players closest to that standard, depending on how you view "closest". Not that some silly extrapolation of James is warping my thinking ... nah, I'd wager instead that my thinking is warped by a paranoid tendency to overrate third basemen to counter the underrating of third basemen (call it the Santo effect).
2- Clark Griffith (PHoM 1930). There's only so many ways I can look at things and try to figure out why it's telling me Griffith's the best pitcher available before I have to try the wacky theory that hey, Griffith's the best pitcher available.
3- George van Haltren (PHoM 1926). Dr. Career's hopeless attempt to bring balance to Mr. Peake's ballot before the cops break down the door to the lab.
4- Rube Foster (PHoM 1931). I have a tendency to drink the Kool-Aid when it comes to Negro Leaguers, and I'd like to play it a little conservative here. But I really am impressed by the arguments that have been made in his favor.
5- Hughie Jennings (PHoM 1919). I am perhaps too easily swayed by people able to put "best player, period" on their resume, even if it's for just one year. I'm seeking treatment for it, there are some new drugs available, but right now Ee-yah still makes my top 10.
6- Addie Joss (PHoM 1929). About comparable to half a season of an average Vic Willis ... in his worst season, pitching while being scouted by T.G. Reaper. OK, so I like me some peak, but there's no unpeak here. It's turtles all the way down. If he'd been alive to serve up utterly lousy pitching for 4 more years, I'd still be arguing for him here. And I don't even like Cleveland.
7- George Burns.
8- Bobby Veach.
I feel like I should have one of these guys up around 5, and one of them down around 11, but I can't figure out which is which. Burns looks a little better to me WS-wise, Veach looked a little better in the BB-ref vision-quest. Short of trying the latter again with actual controlled substances involved, I'll link the two together here for now.
9- Cupid Childs (PHoM 1921). I didn't really like Bid McPhee, for some reason, and I'd feel better about him if Childs had a seat next to him in Plaqueville.
10- Rube Waddell. Sort of the Georgia-in-"1776" slot: My gut sneers at simple W-L issues and says put him higher, other people seem to be saying "not so fast", I'm saying "not so fast" until I have the guts to sneer at them too.

11- Hugh Duffy. It seems like every time I come up with some sort of new system of fiddling with the numbers available to me, it churns out Duffy near the top of the list. Short of coming up with a huge discount for being Hugh Duffy, I can't put him much *lower* than this.
12- Dickey Pearce (PHoM 1913). On the one hand, the greater amount of snide in an argument, the less substance it eventually seems to have ... and Pearce has been the target of an awful lot of snideness. On the other hand ... I probably jumped the gun in my PHoM, and I'm mature enough to admit that--when they go to choose up sides for baseball in Riverworld, I don't have any *firm* confidence in how high he goes. Still ... this looks about right to me.
13- Roger Bresnahan. Probably overrated. Might drop down quite a bit when I see Santop's shadow. But I'm not sure I buy the "he played too much outfield" arguments, and he *was* a pretty damn good catcher.

(cont)
   87. BryceB (Radiation-Free Tanketra) Posted: July 29, 2004 at 11:06 PM (#764075)
14- Mickey Welch. A big thank-you to the people who left him off their ballot entirely, so I don't have to stay awake at night feeling guilty about if I've discounted him too much.
15- Pete Browning. I'm currently convinced he didn't make my PHoM yet just because I'm slamming AA years *too* reflexively. (OTOH, not sure if Greg Luzinski being one of my early faves has me giving Browning bonus points for his "legendary" fielding ...)

Off-Ballot Disclosures:
Spotswood Poles: 16th. Playing a game of flip-flop with Browning, Ryan, Pike, and Cravath on pretty much a daily basis as I try to figure out which set of question marks bother me the least.
Lip Pike: 17th. See Poles.
Jimmy Ryan: About 20th. No, I'm not real comfortable with the distance between Ryan and the other CFs (coughhiGeorgecough) that made my ballot, either. But there's nobody ahead of him I'm real comfortable bumping down to tighten the gap, either.
Harry Hooper: 22nd.
Jake Beckley: 24nd at the moment. He moves up about 1-2 spots every time I look at this. One season that makes the evil voice in my head stop whispering "Doug Mientkiewicz with a full career" would help a lot.
   88. Sean Gilman Posted: July 30, 2004 at 12:05 AM (#764206)
1931

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. According to WARP3, the best player on his team in 1871, 1874, 1875, and 1876. .2 WARP3 behind the team leader in 1872, second on the team in 1877. One of the top 2-3 players on the pre-NA teams he played for in his early 20s. Faster than a horse.

2. Pete Browning (3)--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 Davenport’s AA discount. Considering the problems Davenport’s had with 19th century OF fielding and the unknown natue of his AA discount, I don’t know how one could rate Thompson ahead based on WARP.

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

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

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

6. Roger Bresnahan (8)--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.

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

8. Hugh Duffy (10)--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.

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

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

11. Jimmy Ryan (13)--Gluterrific.

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

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

14.Rube Foster (16)---Paired with the other Rube, just don't think his peak was long enough to move him higher.

15. George Burns (-)--Joins the end of the glut. Not as good as Ryan, Van Haltren or Thompson, but ahead of Hooper and Beckley on peak and Cravath on career.

16. Jake Beckley (18)--Jumps ahead of Cravath after a reexamination of their respective peaks.

17.Harry Hooper (-)--The Beckley of the outfield.

18. Gavy Cravath (17)

19. Spotswood Poles (19)

20. Herman Long (20)

21. Clark Griffith (25)

22. Mike Tiernan (22)

23.John McGraw (23)

24.Bill Monroe (24)

25.Jim McCormick (21)
   89. Patrick W Posted: July 30, 2004 at 12:35 AM (#764253)
The new WARP will have to wait two weeks for my re-analysis.

1. Jimmy Ryan (1), Chic.(N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926) – My consensus scores have reached a new low.
2. George Van Haltren (3), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Decided that offense should be the tiebreaker with Ryan. They’re both in my HOM, so the order doesn’t mean that much to me.
3. Harry Hooper (n/a), Bost. (A), RF (’09-’25) (1931) – What can I say? I’m partial to long, good career types, especially those who are would-be civil engineers.
4. Jake Beckley (4), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) (1929) – Solid numbers forever.
5. Fielder Jones (5), Chic.(A), CF / RF (’96-’08) (1930) – For balance between offense & defense, no one compares to Jones among outfielders.
6. Eddie Cicotte (6), Chic. (A), SP (’08-’20) (1930) – Look at the numbers again - he’s better than Brown, despite the fact that you don’t like him.
--. Mordecai Brown, Chic. (N), SP (’03-’16) – He’ll make it.
--. Joe Start, Atlantic-Bkn (NABBP)-N.Y.Mut.(NL), 1B (‘60-’86) – Carry that weight.
7. Clark Griffith (7), Chic. (N) - NY (A), SP (’91-’14) – Griffith wasn’t killing his team at the plate like some other pitchers, and that vaults him to the 2nd best pitcher on the ballot.
8. Spotswood Poles (8), N.Y. Lincoln (--), CF (‘09-‘23) – MLE’s say he’s close to, but better than, Monroe in hitting. Right now, I’m not considering how he rates to Santop or Torriente (or others) since they are not eligible. But even if he doesn’t make it during this drought period, I don’t see him going away.
9. Bobby Veach (n/a), Det. (A), LF (’12-’25) – Maybe more valuable than the pitchers above, but my HOM doesn’t lack for outfielders, as can be seen above.
10. Bill Monroe (9), Phila. – Bkn. (--), 2B / 1B (‘96-‘14) – With no defensive numbers, does he rate above Poles simply for being a 2B? Not too far below Johnson & Hill.
11. Rube Foster (15), Chic. (--), SP (’02-’26) – Really uncertain of that 46 WS’s in 1903, but my concerns about his peak compared to Waddell have faded. Now wondering whether a major leaguer could have held on through the teens as Foster did, but I can’t penalize him for that.
12. Cupid Childs (10), Clev. (N), 2B (’90-’01) – Looks good under peak, even with fielding discount.
13. Rube Waddell (11), Bost. (N), SP (’97-’09) – In my opinion, Rube was the best pitcher among the eligible in terms of preventing runs, but because he didn’t last as long as the others Cicotte & Griffith pass him in overall value.
--. Joe McGinnity, NY(N), SP (‘99-‘08) –
14. Lave Cross (12), Phila.(N,A), 3B (’87-’07) – Love those fielding runs. Just beats out Long.
15. Pete Browning (13),Lou. (AA), CF / LF (’82-’93) – I’m a sucker for EQA and Browning is the poster child for EQA, even adjusted for competition. Just ahead of Pike.



Dickey Pearce – Not as worthy as the 15 above.
Lip Pike – It might be awhile for him to hit the 15 spot now.
Hughie Jennings – Is Pujols already in the Hall of Merit if he retires this year? Peak can top career in overall value, but it takes more than 5 years.

Pearce, Pike & Jennings are in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   90. Brad Harris Posted: July 30, 2004 at 03:08 AM (#764404)
1931 BALLOT
(1) Dickey Pearce - most impressive "best player at his position" of returning candidates.
(2) Lip Pike - last of the great NA/NL players.
(3) Eddie Cicotte - best pitcher; lost 2nd half of career to Landis' decision.
(4) Rube Foster - jumped way up the list to this spot over OF glut.
(5) Cupid Childs - dominated 1890s second basemen.
(6) Mickey Welch - the vs. opponents data has put him in a strong position on my ballot.
(7) Larry Doyle - best second baseman of the deadball era (after Collins/Lajoie).
(8) Ed Konetchy - best 1Bman of the 1910s.
(9) Rube Waddell - up over Addie Joss on this list now.
(10) George Van Haltren - overlooked star of 19th century.
(11) Tommy Leach - re-thinking my third basemen has put him on the ballot after years off it.
(12) Jake Beckley - career too strong not to be this high.
(13) Addie Joss - dominated while he played.
(14) Spotswood Poles - probably next best OF (over Jimmy Ryan now).
(15) Hughie Jennings - why I've never taken to this high-peak icon before is beyond me.
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 30, 2004 at 08:44 AM (#764676)
Congrats Mark!

As for the strapping thing - I was 8 lb, 9 oz and 21 inches and I turned out to be a whopping 5' 3" 140 . . . you never know!
   92. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 30, 2004 at 08:46 AM (#764679)
Also, I sprouted to this size. I put on about 50 pounds between birth and 7th grade. Yes, I weighed 59 pounds in 7th grade. We wrestled 9 other junior high's that year (which is why I remember my weight) and they couldn't get me a match at any of them. Last meet of the year, they let me wrestle a 68 pound kid on my team, just so my family would get to see me wrestle at least once that year . . .
   93. PhillyBooster Posted: July 30, 2004 at 03:04 PM (#764926)
1.Jake Beckley – My only “definite” left. Career AND peak. If you think he had no peak, then I don’t understand your definition of the word.

Most Extra Base Hits, 1885-1905, inclusive:

808Delahanty
777Beckley
726Ryan
652G.Davis
634Connor
626Thompson
602Dahlen
577Burkett
574Kelley
567Brouthers

2.-10. These are my “Maybes”. They all have some sort of deep flaw, but were so good in their own way that that I’d rather overlook their flaw and see their greatness, than vote for anyone 11 or lower, who was just “very good.”

2.Dickey Pearce – Best “career” player of his era. The problem is, who exactly was the second best player whose career extended from the 1950s to the 1870s? Anyway, I’d rather take the best of some low-quality era than the 25th best of a higher quality one.

3.Roger Bresnahan -- The best catcher of his era by rate, and its not close. The opposition is to his career length. Here are a list of total games played by all individuals between 1895 and 1915 who caught at least 800 games (Bresnahan caught 974).

1446Bresnahan
1275Dooin
1260Kling
1146Sullivan
1141Gibson
1105McGuire
1073Warner
1045Bowerman
1038Peitz

So compared to other catchers in his peer group, he had the best rate stats, and played in the most games. I can’t see what more could be asked of a player at the toughest defensive position on the diamond.

4.Mickey Welch – Is he as good as Tim Keefe or not? My view is that he was seen as better and placed in tougher matchups. A HoM that contains both Tim Keefe and Pud Galvin needs to also have Mickey Welch.

5.Rube Foster – Nice to see the stat translations on the other thread giving him the extra round of attention he deserves.

6.Gavy Cravath – Any reasonable consideration of his Los Angeles and Minneapolis years demands a ballot space.

7.Lip Pike – Most Extra Base Hits in the National Association, 1871-1875 total:

135Pike
130Barnes
122Wright
115McVey
97Meyerle
88Eggler
86Hall
85Craver
83Leonard
82O'Rourke
81Spalding

8.Cupid Childs – WARP1/162 games among all second basemen with at least 1000 games played:

Bid McPhee, 14.49
Nap Lajoie, 14.40
Hardy Richardson, 13.23
Cupid Childs, 12.06
Jimmy Williams, 11.40

9.Pete Browning – The greatest AA player not currently in the HoM.

10.Bill Monroe – Re-read his Biography in the Biographical Encyclopedia, and would prefer him as perhaps the #2 black player of his era to any of the non-best Caucasians.

11-15.Filler who will likely slide off my ballot in short order as the competition increases.

11.George van Haltren -- Excellent player who could pitch, but just the number 3 Centerfielder on my ballot.

12.Clark Griffith – Not among the best, but without a doubt among the best who are left.

13.Harry Hooper – the poor man’s Jake Beckley at a lesser defensive position.

14.Frank Chance – some good info on him presented this week. I could see re-considering him up to 11 by next week as an expansion of the “Maybe” category, but not higher.

15.Jimmy Ryan – I was wrong in the low rankings I had of him earlier (see, particularly, the Beckley chart), but I still don’t see him as any better than the 4th best Centerfielder left (in an albeit severely underrepresented position).

16-20.Poles, Williamson, Long, Jennings, McCormick
21-25.Petway, Veach, McGraw, Willis, Konetchy
26-30.Leach, C. Jones, Evers, Cross, Duffy
31-35.G.Burns, Mullane, Gardner, Doyle, Waddell
36-40.Tinker, Tiernan, Clement, Cicotte, S.White
41-45.F.Jones, York, O’Neill, Latham, Lyons
46-50.Bond, Joyce, Joss, McGuire, Meyers
51-55.Pratt, McKean, Dunlap, H.Wright, Whitney
56-60. Daubert, Kauff, R.Thomas, Mathews, Kling
61-65. O.Shafer, Hoy, Seymour, Orr, Davis
66-70. Foutz, Chapman, Tenney, Nash, J.Williams
71-75. Steinfeldt, E. Smith, Davidson, Bradley, W.Robinson
76-80.Wood, Donovan, Huggins, O.Burns, Stivetts
81-85. Selbach, Milan, Beaumont, Hall, Powell
86-90. Doughtery, Zimmer, Weyhing, Chase, Dalrymple
91-95. Vaughn, Tannehill, Hutchison, Denny, Hartsel
96-100. Lyons, Fletcher, Griffin, Zimmerman, Bush
101-105. Buffinton, Paskert, W.White, Larkin, Schulte
106-110. Chesbro, Reulbach, Mullin, Titus, Leever
111-115. Orth, Anderson, Gleason, Farrell, Daly
116-120. Meyerle, C.Welch, Miller, Mowrey, T.Brown
121-125. Milligan, Stahl, Wise, Donlin, Bender
   94. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 30, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#765040)
Mondo props to Brad G for a sly Pavement reference. So, Brad, how about Geddy Lee's voice, does he speak like an ordinary guy?
   95. Brad G. Posted: July 30, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#765072)
I know him, and he does!
   96. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 30, 2004 at 08:47 PM (#765474)
71-75. Steinfeldt, E. Smith, Davidson, Bradley, W.Robinson

Who's Davidson?
   97. PhillyBooster Posted: July 31, 2004 at 01:39 AM (#766726)
Er, surely you recall John Davidson, host of the 1980s TV hit show "That's Incredible!" featuring weekly motorcycle jumps over 15 tractor trailors?

Actually, my one typo. That's John Donaldson.

When you see my ballot incomprehensibly list "Kathy Lee Crosby" in a few weeks, you'll know that I meant to type "Ty Cobb".
   98. favre Posted: July 31, 2004 at 01:45 AM (#766754)
1.Dickey Pearce
2.Lip Pike

We’ve all seen them before, but here is a summary of the arguments for Pearce: 1. From 1859-1868, he was the first or second best hitter on the premier team of his time. 2. He reinvented the position of shortstop, giving him tremendous defensive value 3. He was still fielding at short in his ‘40s 4. His career lasted over twenty years. 5. He was highly regarded by his contemporaries. That’s a strong case for induction. Baseball was very popular even in the antebellum years, with leagues and national rules and publications and even draft deferments for players. Therefore, I have no difficulty honoring players from that era.

I’ve been one of Lip’s strongest supporters for years now, but some re-examination has convinced me to drop him behind Pearce. Pike’s NA and pre-NA numbers are similar: he was clearly a star for years, the best 2B of the 1860s and the best outfielder of the NA. However, Pearce was arguably the best player in baseball for a stretch (’59-’63). Pike cannot make that claim, and Pearce’s career was considerably longer.

3.Jake Beckley
4. Clark Griffith

Beckley has taken some hits on this ballot thread. I understand why voters who need a peak would offer Beckley as warm a welcome as the Republican National Convention would give the Dixie Chicks. But I’m not a peak voter, and Jake’s a good career pick. He has 316 unadjusted Win Shares, which modified for schedule length would be, what, 330-340 WS? Not a lock, but hardly an embarrassment to the HoM. His WARP3 career score is good (87.1). He had 13 seasons with an OPS+ of 123 or higher. His career grey ink is good, and he has very good counting stats; I know we have to take the 90s level of offense into account, but 2900 hits/1600runs/1500 RBI certainly doesn’t discourage me from putting him high on the ballot. His era is underrepresented as it is, and I can’t imagine inducting another first baseman who played between 1897 and 1915. I’m sold.

Between 1895-1901, Griffith never had a season ERA+ lower than 119 in a hitter’s era. In those seven seasons, Griffith was 154-87, .639 WP; his team’s WP was .449 without him.

5.Rube Waddell
6.Rube Foster

I had Foster above Waddell for several years, but as the ballots get thinner, Waddell’s strikeouts and three ERA+ titles impress me more and more. Great research on Foster this year.

7.Tommy Leach
8.Ned Williamson

Leach mixed great defense at CF and 3B with good hitting in a low offense era. Williamson was also an excellent fielder and similar hitter to Leach, but played in more offense-friendly and overrepresented era.

9. Pete Browning
10.Hugh Jennings
11. Cupid Childs
12.Larry Doyle

If you give Browning a healthy AA discount (obviously a matter of contention), then he was a comparable player to Sam Thompson: relatively short career, not much defense, but a very good hitter.

Jennings moves ahead of Childs on this ballot. Childs has more career value, but not by a huge amount, and Jennings’ peak is so much better. Doyle was a comparable hitter to Childs, but has questions about his defense.


13. George Van Haltren
14.George Burns
15.Mickey Welch
16.Mike Tiernan

Slots 12-16 are a bunch of Giants. Van Haltren’s candidacy resembles Bobby Wallace: long career, fairly good hitter, very-good-but-not-great defense-at-an-important-position. The offense of their respective eras and the importance of their respective positions gives Wallace a clear edge, but not by the 26 ballot spots I had before.

I know black/grey ink is not the most advanced method of sabermetrics, but I’m impressed by George Burns on the leader boards: top five in walks seven times (led league five times), hits six times, stolen bases seven times (led twice), total bases five times, and runs eight times, leading the league in five different seasons. Mickey Welch’s 300 wins finally gets him on the ballot; his peripherals keep him low.

17.Bill Monroe
18.Jimmy Ryan
19.Harry Hooper

Why Jake, but not Harry? Beckley played longer, had more defensive value, and is not overshadowed peers at his position. Jimmy Ryan had a nice prime in center field, but followed it with a number of mediocre years in the corners.

20.Bruce Petway
21.Roger Bresnahan
22.Charley Jones
23.Frank Chance
24.Spotswood Poles
25.Vic Willis
   99. jimd Posted: July 31, 2004 at 03:06 AM (#767019)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

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

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

Ballot for 1931

1) H. JENNINGS -- Using rolling 5-year peaks for WARP-3, of those eligible, only he can claim to have been the "best player in baseball". All of the others have already been elected or are not yet eligible; elected to my PHOM over a decade ago.

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

3) D. PEARCE -- Reflecting on him and his long career at a top defensive position in the undocumented dawn of the game, I think he belongs. (Basically, the Joe Start argument, with less documented evidence.)

4) J. RYAN -- Here comes the glut. Much better peak than Van Haltren. Best outfielder of the late 1880's; not great after the train wreck.

5) S. KING -- Not likely to go anywhere soon, but this is where he rates. This ballot is very thin.

6) G. VAN HALTREN -- He and Hooper have the best careers left on the current ballot, now that the really good career players have been inducted. GVH is the Beckley of outfielders, though better, unless Jake deserves more defensive credit than I'm giving (via WARP).

7) T. BOND -- Will probably drop some after I absorb the new WARP.

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

9) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; not great enough long enough.

10) B. VEACH -- Good peak relative to great competition. Deserves votes, though not inclusion (at least yet).

11) F. JONES -- Reached the top of the OF heap before he walked away. Not enough peak for the peak voters to really get excited about and not enough career for the career voters. Some of each will work on my ballot.

12) H. LONG -- Great defensive player on a great defensive team.

13) H. HOOPER -- Great defensive player on a great defensive team. If he had any real peak, I'd vote him to elect.

14) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's.

15) J. WHITNEY -- He's back...

Just missing the cut are:
16-18) Jim McCormick, Gavy Cravath, Hugh Duffy,
19-21) Del Pratt, Lave Cross, Spotswood Poles,
22-24) Jake Beckley, Clark Griffith, Lip Pike,
25-27) Rube Waddell, Tommy Leach, Charlie Buffinton,
28-30) Roy Thomas, Charlie Jones, Bill Hutchison
   100. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 31, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#767170)
When you see my ballot incomprehensibly list "Kathy Lee Crosby" in a few weeks, you'll know that I meant to type "Ty Cobb".

If Ty reminds you of Kathy Lee, you need serious help. :-)
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