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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

1931 Election Results - Congrations John Mur . . . uh Dickey Pearce!

At long-last Dickey Pearce has been elected to the Hall of Merit.

In the first election (1898), Pearce, a star in the not very well organized/documented 1860s received one 15th place vote - finishing tied for 29th. He was behind 16 players that are still not HoMers in that inagural tally.

At the time of his death in 1908 (he was 72) his support had grown - but his election still appeared quite unlikely. He had finished 19th in the most recent election, named on just 12 of 42 ballots. Nine future HoMers were ahead of him; as were 9 others who still haven’t been elected, including: Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, Cupid Childs, Mike Tiernan, Pete Browning, Lip Pike, Ed Williamson, Mike Griffin and Jim McCormick.

In 1925 his candidacy got a shot in the arm, he was named on 7 additional ballots (there were two new voters), up from 19 to 26. From there it’s been a steady rise to the top - he was named on 40 of 53 ballots this year.

Dan Greenia cast that lone vote for Pearce in 1898, but the most fervent support has come from John Murphy. If not for this early shred of light but intense support, Pearce likely would have slipped into obscurity. Now he’ll be the example people point to when they have a ‘pet’ candidate. More importantly he’s a great example of how this group will listen to the case for anyone, if someone is willing to make the case and it makes sense.

Rube Foster shot from #8 to #2 this week, the biggest such one-year jump (to near the top of the ballot) that I can remember. George Van Haltren finished 3rd, just two points behind Foster.

Clark Griffith moved past Lip Pike and Jake Beckley into 4th place. Pike moved past Beckley as well and into 5th.

Hughie Jennings, Cupid Childs, Roger Bresnahan and Jimmy Ryan rounded out the top 10.

RK   LY  Player             PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1    3  Dickey Pearce      661   40  12  5  3  2     2  3     3     1  4  2  2  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2    8  Rube Foster        616   41   5  5  2  4  6  2  2  1  4     4     2  2  2
 3    4  George Van Haltren 614   41   5  6  4  2  2  2  3  1  4  3  4  1  1  1  2
 4    7  Clark Griffith     549   41   2  4  3  1  2  3  4  4  4  2  3  1  4  4
 5    6  Lip Pike           533   34   4  5  5  2  2  2  2  5  2  1        1  2  1
 6    5  Jake Beckley       511   33   3  3  8  3  3  2     2  2     2  2  1  1  1
 7   10  Hughie Jennings    500   33   3  2  3  3  5  3  3  4     3     3        1
 8   13  Cupid Childs       472   40      3  2  1  3     5  2  4  2  4  4  4  4  2
 9   11  Roger Bresnahan    446   35      1  2  2  3  6  3  4  2  3     2  3  2  2
10    9  Jimmy Ryan         446   32   3  2  2  4  2  1  2  3     5  2  1  1  2  2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   15  Hugh Duffy         427   32   3  1  2  2  2  1  3  3     3  7     1  3  1
12   14  Rube Waddell       426   30      1  5  4  4  1  5  3  1  1        4     1
13   12  Mickey Welch       407   28   5  2  1  6     1     1     1  2  3  3  1  2
14   16  Pete Browning      361   25   1  4  1  6     2     1  4  2        2     2
15   18  Tommy Leach        324   26   1  1     3     1  1  3  4  3  4  3  1     1
16   17  Bill Monroe        287   24   1  1        3  1     1  3  5  2  3  3     1
17   21  Spotswood Poles    264   25      1        1  1  3  2  2  2  1  2  4  4  2
18   20  Larry Doyle        255   19   2  1  1        1  2  2  2  4     3        1
19  n/e  Harry Hooper       233   19      2  1  1  2  2     2  1           4  4
20   19  Charley Jones      220   15   1  1  1  2  1  3        1  2  3
21  n/e  Bobby Veach        217   19         1     3  1  1  1  3  2     2     3  2
22   23  Frank Chance       176   15      1  1     1  2  1  1     1  1  2  1  1  2
23   22  Ed Cicotte         148   11      1  2     1  2        1     2     1  1
24  n/e  George J. Burns    134   14                  1  2        2  2  1  1  2  3
25   24  Gavy Cravath       134   12         1  1     2  1        1     1  1  3  1
26   25  Ed Williamson      127   11               1  1     3  1  1  1  1  1  1
27   27  Addie Joss         126   11               1  2  1  1  1  1     1  1  1  1
28   26  John McGraw        124    9   1     1  1     2              2  1        1
29   28  Fielder Jones       88    7               1  1  1  1     1  1  1
30   30  Vic Willis          70    7                  2                 3     1  1
31   34  Ed Konetchy         65    6            1        1  1           1        2
32   31  Lave Cross          64    6               1              2  1  1     1
33   32  Jim McCormick       57    6                        1  1     1  1     1  1
34   36  Herman Long         46    5                           1     1  2        1
35   35  Tommy Bond          46    4            1        1                 1  1
36   33  Mike Tiernan        44    4               1           1     1           1
37   29  Del Pratt           42    3         1           1           1
38   38  Tony Mullane        38    6                                          2  4
39   37  Bruce Petway        38    4                     1              2        1
40   43  Mike Griffin        36    4            1                             1  2
41   39  Silver King         24    2               1                       1
41   41  Donie Bush          24    1   1
43   40  John Donaldson      20    2                     1                       1
44   45T Fred Dunlap         19    2                           1              1
45   42  Tom York            16    1               1
46   48  Joe Tinker           9    1                                    1
47T  45T Jake Daubert         8    1                                       1
47T  49T Billy Nash           8    1                                       1
47T  51T Roy Thomas           8    1                                       1
47T  51T Bobby Mathews        8    1                                       1
51   49T Levi Meyerle         7    1                                          1
52T  44  Harry Wright         6    1                                             1
52T  45T Jimmy Williams       6    1                                             1
52T  51T Jim Whitney          6    1                                             1
52T  --  Johnny Evers         6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: R. Chapman (51T).
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:55 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:36 AM (#772896)
hot topics.
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:05 AM (#772958)
While I feel unqualified to actually vote for anyone, I find this entire area of the website fascinating. You're discussing guys I'd never heard of until a year ago -- Start, Grant, Barnes, McVey, HR Johnson. The process where Pearce got only one vote in 1898 and was actually elected 33 years later is a tribute to the power of persuasion based on factual research and reasoned debate. This is brilliant!!!
   3. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 01:09 PM (#773022)
Congrations John Mur . . . uh Dickey Pearce!

Obviously, there is a typographical error in the title. It should read ConFLAgrations.
   4. Carl Goetz Posted: August 03, 2004 at 01:22 PM (#773037)
I apologize to John. I couln't access the site last night to vote. Fortunately 'our guy' got in anyway. I will try to post earlier next time so this doesn't happen again.

ps Pete Hill is my personal HoM entrant for 1931.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 01:37 PM (#773051)
I apologize to John. I couln't access the site last night to vote. Fortunately 'our guy' got in anyway. I will try to post earlier next time so this doesn't happen again.

Obviously, there is a typographical error in the title. It should read ConFLAgrations.

That's only if Van Haltren had moved ahead of him yesterday (I could have lived with Foster). :-)

No problem, Carl. BTW, I e-mailed anyone that hadn't voted even if they weren't a FODP. I don't want to be accused of electioneering. :-)

Dan Greenia cast that lone vote for Pearce in 1898

Dan deserves the credit (or the blame) for igniting my interest in him.
   6. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 01:46 PM (#773061)
The Bill James Player Rankings 1931 inductee is . . . Larry Gardner! The 29th ranked 3rd baseman of all time! (van Haltren [CF-28] and Joe Kelley [LF-28] where inducted in 1930.) Gardner just nips Gavy Cravath and Roy Thomas, who were also #29s, but I break ties with the tougher defensive position.

The electorate gave Gardner a combined 0 votes. He is the 16th player to make the BJPHoM, but not the HoM (yet). No other player (except maybe 1929 inductee Johnny Evers) has received less support from the electorate.

Does Bill James know something that we don't?
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 02:07 PM (#773086)
Does Bill James know something that we don't?

James' crappy timelining technique distorts his rankings. Even if it were proper timelining (which I don't have a problem with outside this project), many of us don't use it for our picks.
   8. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#773112)
So, I was noticing that way back in 1925, when I ranked Rube Foster 5th on my ballot, only one other voter had him as high or higher. With a mental image of myself now as a FORF, I only skimmed lots of the positive comments about him. Now I see, however, that my 5th place vote in 1931 put me as just one of 22 voters to rank him 5th place of better.

I guess whether your a FO or EO depends just as much on where others rank a player than where you rank him yourself! I had better re-consider my rankings to avoid being pushed off the back end of the bandwagon!
   9. Rick A. Posted: August 03, 2004 at 03:23 PM (#773198)
In addition to John and Dan G, I believe that David Foss (and Marshall Wright) also deserve credit for Pearce's election, giving a statistical outline to his largely undocumented career.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 03:37 PM (#773228)
I believe that David Foss (and Marshall Wright) also deserve credit for Pearce's election, giving a statistical outline to his largely undocumented career.

David was the guy who gave Pearce enough "gravitas" to be electable here. I don't think Pearce would have made it otherwise.
   11. karlmagnus Posted: August 03, 2004 at 03:42 PM (#773239)
Absolutely agree; thank you David. Vague statements about "great player before 1871" weren't enough to get him on my ballot, but your stats convinced me that he was the best of the 4 pioneers, and then the importance of those pioneers forced him onto my ballot and up it.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: August 03, 2004 at 04:14 PM (#773294)
Thanks guys. I had been sitting on that Marshall Wright book for over ten elections before finally posting collections of data from it. For some reason, I thought you guys had all that information already. :-)

One day some of the vague pro-Pearce arguments finally got to me and I decided to dump all the information the book had about him and anyone else others were interested in. Eventually Pearce ended up in an elect-me slot on my ballot, but it took a few years to get there. The data certainly doesn't scream "elect Pearce" -- in fact some have used the data against him -- but it does paint an interesting picture of the expansion of the NYC club play of the 40s-50s to what became the NA. The data from the book probably removes any doubts about the Start and GWright's elections.

The Marshall Wright book is available at amazon. Its quite overpriced, but the "used & new" link usually has some 3rd party vendors willing to unload it for less than half the sticker price. It would be nice to see a 2nd edition of that someday as I'm sure box scores are popping up here and there from time to time. Also, a database version of data like that would be interesting as well.

After seeing my posts, Paul Wendt pointed me to the 19th-Century SABR committee mailing list. That is an impressive group of people! Those interested can ask Paul about all the resources they have there.
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#773924)
Congrats to Dickey Pearce. Nobody can say the guy didn't run the freakin' gauntlet. As did his near-contemporaries Joe Start and Al Spalding. The continuing discussion of the very early days has led me to one change of heart--how did I ever think to rate Ross Barnes ahead of George Wright?

But anyway, Pearce ran the gauntlet. The one HoMer that really got a free pass IMO was Pete Hill. I doubt that I will ever understand that one, now that that conversation is over. Or maybe somebody will take on the task of helping us with Spot Poles by way of comparison with Pete.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:35 PM (#773935)
The continuing discussion of the very early days has led me to one change of heart--how did I ever think to rate Ross Barnes ahead of George Wright?

I would take Wright over Barnes still, but I admit I underrated him in '98.
   15. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:11 AM (#774781)
Well, John can disclaim credit all he likes, but here's what I remember. Pearce got to a certain level on my ballot, but I kept moving people past him because I didn't really feel certain he was worth honoring. Then about 1918 John made some point (I forget exactly what it was) that forced me to sit up and decide - Yes, he absolutely deserves to get in. So if nothing else, he got Pearce in my PHoM several years before he would have made it otherwise.
   16. DanG Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:47 PM (#775569)
"Dan Greenia cast that lone vote for Pearce in 1898"

Dan deserves the credit (or the blame) for igniting my interest in him.


Why did I vote for Pearce in 1898? IIRC, the main reasons.

1) I tend to be a career guy and only Start had a longer career among the candidates. I believe that "longevity is a hallmark of greatness", and Pearce's NA stats seemed consistent with greatness in his younger days.

2) The uncertainty factor. Many have said they'd rather vote for a player who may have been dominant rather than those they are certain were not.

3) Era representation. I had already figured out that we were likely to elect a ton of guys born in the 1850's and very few born before then.

The popular candidates whom I did not vote for (O'Neill, Jones, Welch, Dunlap), fall back using the above criteria.

Most of the discussion before the first ballot ignored the early stars. Since we were planning to start with the 1906 election, focus was on the A-B-C firstbasemen and others like Clarkson, Rusie, Ewing, O'Rourke, etc. The last minute decision to back up eight years was critical in bringing scrutiny to Start, McVey and Pike as well as Pearce.
   17. Paul Wendt Posted: August 04, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#776139)
David Foss:
The Marshall Wright book is available at amazon. Its quite overpriced, but the "used & new" link usually has some 3rd party vendors willing to unload it for less than half the sticker price.

Books-a-Million put it on sale sometime last year and I reported it here, I think. (I don't really now how to search and I admire those who maintain a private list of links to specific HoM articles.)

It would be nice to see a 2nd edition of that someday as I'm sure box scores are popping up here and there from time to time. Also, a database version of data like that would be interesting as well.

I hope that the 19c research committee, SABR (we) will undertake a box scores and statistics project or two, covering 1854/57 to 1870/83. There is some inertia or bad history to overcome. Marshall Wright is a loner who probably collected all of his own box scores. Yes, more boxes are known and more can be found. (Wright evidently uses Howe Sports Data for his other books, most of which feature prominent minor leagues.)

After seeing my posts, Paul Wendt pointed me to the 19th-Century SABR committee mailing list. That is an impressive group of people! Those interested can ask Paul about all the resources they have there.

Not what we should have.

David refers to 19cBB, a Yahoo Group. There is a limited guest period for most SABR non-members.

If you might try SABR membership, note that you will get 18-20 months for the price of one year if you join October 1. (Only one year's bound publications.)

Re a Hall of Merit research presentation at the Annual Convention, I recommend featuring career MLB players as illustrations of some original research and new perspectives generated by the project. Rather than pre-1876 and black players. Although you have learned a lot about those players, the HoM innovation is mainly procedural: considering careers that HOF ignores. It may be possible to do a poster and a traditional "theater" presentation; on the other hand, a traditional proposal might be accepted (only) as a poster.
   18. OCF Posted: August 06, 2004 at 05:40 AM (#780730)
Had 1931 been an elect-two year rather than an elect-one year, and had all of the votes been the same, the two people elected would have been Pearce and -- Van Haltren.

The vote totals for #2 through #10 under those assumptions would have been as follows:

#2  Van Haltren     638
#3  Foster          636
#4  Griffith        565
#5  Pike            553
#6  Beckley         523
#7  Jennings        508
#8  Childs          484
#9  Ryan            454
#10 Bresnahan       450

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