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Monday, August 02, 2004

1932 Ballot Discussion

1932 (August 15)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

266 65.1 1913 Wilbur Cooper-P (1973)
215 70.4 1913 Hooks Dauss-P (1963)
243 60.1 1909 Babe Adams-P (1968)
227 51.1 1910 Stuffy McInnis-1B (1960)
206 59.6 1918 Ross Youngs-RF (1927)
142 38.5 1914 Everett Scott-SS (1960)
134 37.0 1912 Hank Severeid-C (1968)
157 32.0 1914 Jimmy Johnston-3B/RF (1967)
106 25.8 1914 Bill Wambsganss-2B (1985)
105 28.2 1916 Whitey Witt-CF/SS (1988)
120 27.2 1916 Carson Bigbee-LF (1964)
Negro Lg 1910 Louis Santop-C (1942)
Negro Lg 1908 Jose Mendez-P (1928)
Negro Lg 1920 Dobie Moore-SS ()

Thanks to DanG for the necrology:

Players Passing Away in 1931

HoMers
Age Elected

75 1905 Hardy Richardson-2B/LF
73 1903 Roger Connor-1B

Candidates
Age Eligible

79 1894 Jack Burdock-2B
79 1890 George Bradley-P
74 1896 Joe Hornung-LF
72 1900 Charlie Comiskey-1B/Mgr
66 1904 Jimmy McAleer-CF
62 1913 Jack McCarthy-LF
57 1915 Jack Chesbro-P

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 02, 2004 at 10:17 AM | 328 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. OCF Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:41 PM (#773457)
Hint: Eligible 1958. :)

117 IP for the Browns at the age of 46 in 1953, a token appearance a dozen years later - are you sure that's not eligible 1959?
   102. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:41 PM (#773458)
He has my vote, but he is not a "no-brainer" (TM).

I meant ballot worthy. Obviously, he wasn't Spahn or Johnson.

Take out 1944 and 1945, and he's got a 153-132 career mark with an ERA+ a lot closer to 120.

Of course, we shouldn't remove those years. He wouldn't have been as dominant if DiMaggio, Williams and the rest had been in baseball uniforms instead of military uniforms, but he would have still been great regardless.
   103. Michael Bass Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#773463)
I was just adding 5 to 1953...is it 5 full years after? If so, my bad, 1959. And yeah, I'm assuming the token appearance won't affect his eligibility.
   104. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:55 PM (#773483)
The better comparison is with the pitchers who got their start in the 60s and lasted through the 80s: Carlton, Seaver, Perry, Niekro, Sutton, Ryan, Jenkins, Blyleven, John, and Kaat.

I feel the sixties pitchers benefited from that era, so I wouldn't vote all of them in. If they had pitched ten years later, many of them wouldn't have made 300, IMO.


But, on the other hand, if we inducted ALL ten of these pitchers, PLUS Palmer and Tiant as David suggests (Hunter didn't make it to the 1980s), then we would elect 12 pitchers between 1988 (Tiant) and 1999 (Ryan), we'd be electing 12 pitchers over a 12 year period, when we will be electing 34 players total (3 for every year except 1988 and 1992), which is just a pitcher over 1/3 of the total.

Extend back and induct Catfish Hunter in 1985 too, and it's 13 out of 42 (30%) (or don't induct him, and it's 12 out of 42, or 28% -- practically where we are now). So, even in the "glory days of the pitcher", if we elect the Top 13, the best we are going to do is barely match the Hall of Fame in percentage of pitchers?

I'm willing to bet that as we progress and realize how low our percentage of pitchers has fallen, we will reconsider, and come back for the Welches and Willises before we extend down to the 12th best pitcher of the 1970s.
   105. Kelly in SD Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#773484)
Definitely, Mr. Mystery for 1959 will get in first ballot. However, Mr. Spa ... oops Mystery for 1971 is outside of the prospective draught.
   106. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 03, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#773489)
To take up Kelly in SD's question during a slow work day...

Seaver = Clarkson (the best in each era)
Carlton = Radbourne (1972 meets 1884)
Palmer = Keefe (seems to fit)
P. Niekro = Galvin (Knucksie pitched a long time in front of a lot of bad teams, just like Galvin)
G. Perry = Welch (300-win mystery men: Just how did Welch win all those games? Just what was Perry throwing?)
Hunter = Will White (short peak followed by sudden dead arm)
Blyleven = Mullane (Mullane 284 wins; Blyleven 287)
Jenkins = Whitney (284-226 in 4500 INN; 264-232 in 4326 INN)
Tiant = Buffinton (229-172 in 3486 INN; 233-152 in 3404 INN)
and last but not least

D. McClain = Jim Devlin
   107. karlmagnus Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:08 PM (#773501)
Genetically engineered clone of Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter = Caruthers (though actually caruthers on the numbers is considerably better than Hunter.)
   108. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:08 PM (#773502)
"Definitely, Mr. Mystery for 1959 will get in first ballot. However, Mr. Spa ... oops Mystery for 1971 is outside of the prospective draught."

Right, I was just really looking at major league players, but Satchel Paige is definitely a first balloter. Besides Warren Spahn, I also haven't mentioned Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Ted Lyons and several others who will make the top of my ballot before 2000.

My point is that the players in the "glut" years don't make up for the lack of players in the "drought" years (and the rest in the "normal" years), so if we don't start electing more pitchers (including, for starters, Foster, Welch, and Mendez), we're going to have one lopsided Hall of Merit by the time we're done.
   109. OCF Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#773535)
Babe Adams:

Didn't get a full shot in the majors until he was 27; as a rookie in 1909 was lights-out in a swingman role for a great team (213 RA+ in 130 IP). Settled in as a starter the next year.

RA+-equivalent records from 1909 through 1915:
11-3, 16-11, 22-11, 11-8, 23-12, 18-13, 15-13. Total for the 7 years: 115-71.

Arm goes bad. 73 poor innings in 1916 (2-6); not in majors 1917, comes back for 22 brilliant innings in 1918.

Restored to regular status, 1919 (already 37 years old).
RA+-equivalent records for the next five years: 20-9, 19-11, 12-6, 12-7, 9-9. Total for the 5 years: 71-41.

Fades into the sunset over the next three years. Spends his last five seasons as the oldest man in the league, retiring at 44.

By RA+-equivalent record, best season is a tossup among 1911 (293 IP at RA+ 148), 1913 (314 IP at RA+ 146), and 1919 (263 IP at RA+ 166). Reached that peak both before and after the arm troubles.

Extreme control pitcher with spectacularly good WHIP; led league in WHIP 5 times and in top 5 on 5 other occasions.

It's only 3000 IP, but I like his career ahead of Cooper's 3500 innings because of the RA, the WHIP, the multiple very strong seasons. Might well have been WS MVP in 1909 if they'd had such a thing.

He's still behind Waddell for me, but he'll make my ballot.
   110. Al Peterson Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:39 PM (#773547)
While "All Star Team" is a little strong, the problem with this argument is that he played on exactly the same teams as Pete Hill during his peak. They played from the Cuban X-Giants in 1903 (and beat Frank Grant and the Philadelphia Giants for the Negro League Championship), and then they moved to the Philadelphia Giants in 1904 (and 05 and 06), where they beat the Cuban X-Giants for the Negro League Championship. Then they joined the Chicago Leland Giants (which Foster managed) and won there, too.

Saying Foster pitched for All-Star squads seems about right to me. Just a quick internet search of some of the "documented" records of teams he was on.

1905: 132-21-3
1907: 110-10
1908: 64-21-1
1910: 123-6
1912: 112-20
1914: 126-16

Over time he played with all the greats: Hill, Lloyd, Johnson, Petway. That helps the pitching a little bit.
   111. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:42 PM (#773556)
Any idea why a Miami Heat ticket outlet would be advertising on Babe Adam's -- a career Pirate's -- BB-ref page?

Adams looks solid, but I need a story. Before age 27 was he starring in California, or tearing up Minneapolis, like Cravath? A victim of anti-Cuban "racism," like Luque? Was the Mexican-American War in there somewhere?

If I could justify giving "extra credit" for the pre-1909 years, then I could see his making my ballot. As it is, he's got to go sit on the Sam Thompson bench for players who started late for no good reason so get docked for low career value. And that drops him well below #15.
   112. andrew siegel Posted: August 03, 2004 at 06:46 PM (#773569)
I've been away for 5 days and am still absorbing the wonderful rush of writings. Before going away, I did some major revising and decided that, though I had the order right, I'd been overrating VH and Ryan and underrating Beckley and Leach. I also readjusted a number of players, returning a bit more towards my prior emphasis on peak.

As for the newbies, Santop strikes me as a clear #1; I originally had Mendez #2, but that was based on lots of credit for his position play--without that he's mid-ballot at best; though I've got Jennings #3, I'm not drinking the Dobie Moore koolaid (for reasons I'll explain on the ballot); I kind of like Wilbut Cooper, but that's top-35 like, not top 15-like.

Welch is up, Griffith down. Willis and Cicotte are up massively but still off-ballot. Foster, Poles, and Monore hover just off the ballot--need to do a subtle-racism check later.

Here's my prelim as of now:

(1) Santop (new)
(2) Childs (2nd)
(3) Jennings (3rd)
(4) Pike (5th)
(5) Van Haltren (1st)
(6) Ryan (5th)
(7) Duffy (8th)
(8) Jones (6th)
(9) Chance (7th)
(10) Beckley (15th)
(11) Mendez (new)
(12) Bresnahan (10th)
(13) McGraw (12th)
(14) Welch (off/24th)
(15) Griffith (11th)

Still under consideration: Griffin, Doyle, Foster, Dunlap, Williamson, Poles, Cicotte, Willis, Leach, Cravath, Monroe, Browning, Veach.
   113. Kelly in SD Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:01 PM (#773612)
I agree Philly

My point is that the players in the "glut" years don't make up for the lack of players in the "drought" years

and I hope people who are taking an in-depth look at the pitchers from the 10s-through-30s will keep the earlier pitchers in mind as well.

If John can keep the faith for Pearce for 30+ Ballots, I can do the same for Welch.
   114. Kelly in SD Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:17 PM (#773647)
Adams history:

1882: Born Tipton, Indiana
1898: Goes to live with Lee Sarver, a farmer in the northwest corner of Missouri where Adams pitched for high school and town teams.
1904: Adams is beaten badly by a team from Lamoni, Iowa and its shortstop, Walter Steckman, shows him "how to grasp the ball for the different twists and to let loose the whirlers which had so mystified the boy." (love how they wrote back in the early 1900s) He practices a lot and an umpire recommends Adams to a team from Parsons, KS of the Missouri Valley League.
1905: Adams arrives in Parsons so early that he helps build the grandstands while waiting for other teammates to arrive. He pitched a one-hit shutout in his first game and won 30 total. The Cardinals purchase his contract.
1906. Debuts w/ Cardinals. April 18. Pitches four innings, gives up 8 runs to Cubs. Sent down to Louisville of American Assoc, which sent him to Denver of Western League.
1907: Still Denver. Leads league with 23 wins and .657 winning percentage. Pirates purchase for $5,000. Four games pitched for Pittsburgh at end of season.
1908: Loaned back to Louisville. Goes 22-12 with 40 walks in 312 innings.
1909: Sticks with the Pirates out of camp.
   115. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2004 at 07:21 PM (#773652)
Lots of interesting stuff on pitchers! Too much to digest all at once, but a few comments.

1) I agree with Chris J. on Welch vs. McCormick. They're not that close. I have Mullane over McCormick, myself, but he's not that close to Welch, either.

2) Pitching talent does seem to go in cycles, so we won't have the same percentage of pitchers from every era. However, in my view, we have a quite strong group of pitchers to look at for the 1920s after a mini-drought for the 1910s. A lot of great pitching careers ended about 1915, but Cicotte was the only serious pitcher candidate to become eligible between 1923 and 1932, and he's there only because he was banned after 1920. We should (and probably will) elect more pitchers with careers centered on the 1920s than on the 1910s.

3) In looking at this new crop of pitchers, esp. those who peaked mostly after 1920, we need to be sensitive to the effect of the lively ball on pitcher usage. An average full-time starter, 1904-1909, threw 278 innings a year. An average full-time starter, 1924-29, threw 218 innings a year. Usage drops gradually during the 1910s and faster after 1920. The drop in the number of innings a pitcher could throw in a season doesn't show up much yet for our 1932 newly eligibles, but by 1936 it'll be having a pretty significant effect. It won't affect career value too much, because pitchers will tend to last a bit longer, but it will depress peak value a bit: nobody will pull an Ed Walsh again.
   116. yest Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:39 PM (#773832)
If John can keep the faith for Pearce for 30+ Ballots, I can do the same for Welch.

I've been doing it since 1913
so can all voters please put Welch on this years ballot so I don't have to wait as long as John did :)
   117. PhillyBooster Posted: August 03, 2004 at 08:57 PM (#773865)
Hey, at least you fans of Welch have your player moving in the right direction.

I've got Jake Beckley #1, so I've got to go make up some junk stat to show how Beckley is better than karlmagnus thinks before he regresses any further!
   118. Rick A. Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:05 PM (#773878)
1932 Preliminary Ballot.

Very difficult ballot this year, probably because of the number of Negro Leaguers, who I'm never sure I'm evaluating correctly. Still haven't placed Dobie Moore, but I'll evaluate him as the week goes on.

1. Louis Santop
2. Charley Jones
3. Lip Pike
4. Pete Browning
5. Rube Foster
6. Ed Williamson
7. Cupid Childs
8. Hughie Jennings
9. Bill Monroe
10. Hugh Duffy
11. George Van Haltren
12. Tommy Leach
13. Clark Griffith
14. Jose Mendez - Not sure of his placement, seems to be between Foster and Waddell, but could move up with more info.
15. Spotswood Poles.
   119. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#773901)
I agree that we have been somewhat hard on borderline pitchers and not as hard on borderline cases at, er, ah, well, say, LF, for example.

I also believe that this is in part because we tend to view pitchers as "products of their times" or as part of what someone called (I can't find it now) a "rules-induced" as opposed to a "natural" cluster.

1. Well, surely, all players are products of their times. In a value-oriented world this wouldn't matter, in a skill or tools-oriented world it would matter a lot. I guess the rules make certain skills more or less valuable at different times. To me the question is "who exploited that opportunity to create unusual value to his team?" And if we end up with more 1880s pitchers and more corner OF from some other time and more SS from another, so be it.

2. Or, alternatively, why not judge position players as also being products of their times, too.

But I don't see how we can uniquely penalize pitchers who seem to be a product of their times. Was Mickey Welch (or Jim McCormick) more valuable than Dazzy Vance, or was he not?

But anyway, my real point is that I need to give more consideration to all the borderline pitchers. OK, some of the borderline pitchers.
   120. yest Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:19 PM (#773904)
does anybody else notice that there are 9 primerly shortstops ,and 9 primerly left fielders in the hom while there are only 14 pitchers
   121. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:39 PM (#773945)
Prelim

1. Jennings--but was he better than Dobie Moore?
2. Santop--interested in re-checking my relative order among Negro Leaguers--see my Mendez comment and please help! Could drop below Bill Monroe, also could easily move ahead of Jennings to #1.
3. Pike
4. R. Foster
5. Mendez
6. C. Jones
7. Bond
8. Doyle
9. Browning
10. Dobie Moore--the black Hughie Jennings? More like the black Joe Cronin at his peak.
11. Childs
12. Monroe--almost surely should be higher, as good as Grant, but was he better than Childs or Dunlap? I've always ranked 2Bs too low because I can't seem to choose among them.
13. McCormick--I'm trying to be more generous to borderline pitchers, though I don't think this is generous at all...
14. Waddell--this OTOH might be generous
15. Poles
16. Duffy
17. Bresnahan
18. Dunlap
19. Leach
20. Joss

21. Welch
22. Van Haltren
26. Griffith
31. Ryan
36. Beckley
   122. Michael Bass Posted: August 03, 2004 at 09:51 PM (#773971)
OK, as best I can tell, Moore is basically a Jennings-lite. As a FOHJ, that's enough to get Moore on my ballot. I don't think his peak was as good as Jennings; I also don't think I can rank him above Poles. His peak wasn't as good, but Poles has more career (I'm disinclined to get a whole lotta credit for his army playing days; some, but not much).

Santop, I still feel is an easy 1. He was a great hitter, had a good peak, a long enough career, and was a catcher. Mendez, as I said in his discussion thread, is basically Waddell with a little more offense.

With the addition of these 3 guys, it's my opinion the candidate drought has ended a year early. I actually have guys falling off my ballot rather than dipping further into the backlog at the bottom of my ballot! That's a major step up from the last several votes.

1. Santop
2. Foster
3. Jennings
4. Duffy
5. Griffin
6. Veach
7. Poles - Moves up slightly; my comparison of him to the group was before the double reconsideration; and he'd moved down more than he should have in relation to the group.
8. F. Jones
9. Mendez
10. Waddell
11. Van Haltren
12. Moore
13. Cross
14. Childs
15. Monroe

16-20. Hooper, Ryan, McGraw, Bresnahan, Thomas
21-25. Tiernan, Griffith, Pike, Leach, Burns
26-30. Beckley, Browning, Willis, Bond, Buffinton
   123. yest Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:25 PM (#774215)
my list of best eligible Negro League players and HoMers
in my PHoM
1. Pete Hill
2. Rube Foster
_______________________________________________________
3. Jose Mendez a bit more information might put them on my ballot
4. Luis Santop
5. Spotwoods Poles
6. HR Johnson
7. Dobie Moore
_______________________________________________________
8. Bud Fowler I don’t see any thing in them to put them in my top 100
9. George Stovey
10. Bill Monroe
11. Frank Grant
12. John Donaldson
13. Sol White

am I missing anybody?
   124. jimd Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#774226)
Wheat vs Hooper.

WARP-2 sees them as essentially equivalent, Hooper 95.7, Wheat 95.2.


I've got issues with WARP then.

Actually, WARP-2. WARP-1 pretty much agrees with your position (and Win Shares') wrt to career totals. WS has it Wheat 380, Hooper 321. WARP-1 has it Wheat 126.1, Hooper 108.8 (multiply by 3, 378-327). So the main issue is probably the league quality transform.

Hooper had an extra year roughly.

Actually, Wheat played two extra years, 1926-27. They are considered to have the same baseball age, though Hooper is 9 months older. Hooper played about 100 more games while they were both active (basically in 1909 and 1923). Wheat turned that margin around in his two extra years.

Wheat play LF and Hooper RF. I realize Hooper was an exceptional RF, but is an exception RF worth that much more than a good LF?

Every extra ball that is caught takes away a single, or often extra bases. Not captured in the OF stats is cutting off hits, reducing extra-base hits to singles. I remember my surprise when I first saw zone-rating estimates of runs saved by OF'ers. OF defense is more important than it is sometimes given credit for.

Wheat got about 400 more hits in his career, about 100 of them during the extra playing time. Another 50 go away when league/park differences are accounted for. (I think that's an underestimate but that's another discussion.) If Hooper converted 250 more fly balls into outs over 2300 games (about 0.1 extra on a normalized Range Factor), the two would roughly balance. It's within the realm of possibility then, but to verify... Trying to normalize Range Factors between RF and LF and account for pitching staff tendencies, L/R, ground/fly, that's more than I can handle.
   125. dan b Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:29 PM (#774234)
I echo Al Peterson’s concerns about Rube Foster’s jump to “elect me next” status. Way too much emphasis is being placed on imaginary numbers based on a handful of known results against questionable competition. Consider instead how other attempts to evaluate Negro League talent have viewed Rube Foster, the pitcher:

Pittsburgh Courier 1952 Poll – named Foster 1st team manager. A total of 22 pitchers were named to 5 teams – no Rube Foster. Jose Mendez was named 4th team utility and listed as a pitcher “also receiving votes”, so presumably the poll would allow Foster’s placement as both manager and player and he received no votes as a pitcher.

Cool Papas and Double Duties poll of experts seeking to identify an All Star team – A total of 19 pitchers share 89 votes cast by 23 experts – Foster received just one vote.

Foster’s HOF plaque emphasizes his role as manager and league founder and president over his playing career.

I put no stock in the i9’s projections, but if I did, I would note that using rate stats such as ERA, WHIP, and Cmd, Foster was not as good as other dead ball era pitchers Mendez, Donaldson or Williams. To reach that conclusion, look just at i9 projections through 1919:
ERA:
Williams 2.10
Mendez 2.48
Donaldson 2.58
Foster 2.58

WHIP:
Williams 1.07
Mendez 1.11
Donaldson 1.12
Foster 1.18

Cmd (k/bb):
Williams 2.75
Donaldson 2.72
Mendez 2.41
Foster 2.35


Electing Foster as a pitcher, giving him no credit for managing or league forming as per HoM parameters, only makes sense to me if we want 20% or more of the HoM to be Negro Leaguers. Can we slow down the Foster Express and let him be measured against the more highly regarded Negro League talent to come on the ballot over the next few years?
   126. KJOK Posted: August 03, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#774344)
But, I believe that clustering does occur at positions at times without explanation. Witness catcher in the 70s: Bench, Fisk, Carter, Simmons, Munson, Porter, Boone, and you could count Parrish. By Bill James rankings (by no means perfect, but I have the book handy), that is 7 or 8 of the best 21 catchers ever who were active at the same time.

Actually, I think this should be a RED FLAG anytime you see something like this. It's highly UNLIKELY that 40% of the best catchers ever would be active at the same time. What is much more likely is that the CONDITIONS OF THE GAME have changed. In this case, the conditions may have changed so that catching was not quite as physically demanding, so players in that position could put up better offensive numbers relative to those at other positions, both in season and over their careers, so that they APPEAR to be better.

Same thing for other positions, such as Pitchers. If there is a "clustering" of 1960's pitchers who seem to be great, it's again likely that the CONDITIONS (modern medicine, decreased offense) changed rapidly enough for these players to have longer and seemingly better careers.
   127. Kelly in SD Posted: August 04, 2004 at 12:53 AM (#774685)
It's highly UNLIKELY that 40% of the best catchers ever would be active at the same time. What is much more likely is that the CONDITIONS OF THE GAME have changed. In this case, the conditions may have changed so that catching was not quite as physically demanding, so players in that position could put up better offensive numbers relative to those at other positions, both in season and over their careers,

How could playing catcher in the 1970s be easier than catching in the 50s or 60s, let alone the 20s, 40s, or 1990s? This was the height of the stolen base revolution and Astroturf. So catchers actually needed a throwing arm and play defense in addition to be able to hit. And they had to play on more games this decade on artificial turf than any generation before or since. A turf that is both more unforgiving than grass so tougher on the knees and other joints AND holds the heat (witness the gametime turf temperatures on the turf in Cincinnati or StLouis of over 140 degrees). Also, these catchers caught more games than any group before or since - witness 7 of top 11 in games caught played in the 70s. These are changes in conditions that make it easier to be a catcher?
And yet these catchers played more games and produced more than any group of catchers before or since.
With no running game now, defense is not as important, and almost no turf, yet we don't have a great group of catchers right now.
From another angle on just clustering. Talent in baseball is not spread out evenly nor does it arrive equally. Look at Speaker, Collins, Cobb, and Johnson arriving within 4 years of each other in the American League. Look at the National League in the 19th c. with Anson, Brouthers, and Connor at first base. Or 1st base in the American League in the 30s with Greenberg, Foxx, and the Iron Horse. Or the lack of great first baseman with longevity from 1895 to 1920-5. Or the grouping of Trammell, Ripken, Yount, and Smith in the 80s at short or garciaparra, Rodriguez, Jeter, Vizquel, and maybe Larkin in the mid90s forward.
   128. KJOK Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:14 AM (#775134)
Also, these catchers caught more games than any group before or since - witness 7 of top 11 in games caught played in the 70s. These are changes in conditions that make it easier to be a catcher?
First, it's easier because of advances in medicine, equipment, training, etc. have closed the gap between the physical demands of catcher and other positions, so the pool of players who are considered for catcher has increased.

Second, the fact that the 1970's group played more than any group before them proves my point. As for playing more than the group since, well, obviously, the current group is still playing and will increase their number, PLUS the "1980's" group of Carter, Pena, Sundberg, Parrish all surpassed the "1970's" group except for Boone and Fisk.

I'm not arguing talent is distributed 100% evenly across eras and positions, but that whenever you see these "clusters" it's highly likely that SOMETHING ELSE WITHIN THE GAME/LIFE is driving that.

Or the grouping of Trammell, Ripken, Yount, and Smith in the 80s at short or garciaparra, Rodriguez, Jeter, Vizquel, and maybe Larkin in the mid90s forward. Again, I think modern medicine and conditioning is increasing the pool of players who can play SS. Throughout history, SS's have been generally light hitting because the body type required for the position was extremely rare. Seeing Rodriguez, Jeter, Garciappara, etc. all coming at about the same time should be a RED FLAG that the GAME ITSELF is changing.

Same thing for 3Bmen - Why were all 3rd basemen before the 1930's/40's light hitting? Because 3rd base was more of a 2nd SS defensively, so the pool of players who could play there was less than the modern pool of players.
   129. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:46 AM (#775206)
dan b asked:

Can we slow down the Foster Express and let him be measured against the more highly regarded Negro League talent to come on the ballot over the next few years?

While I disagree with dan b's reasoning, I agree with his conclusion: more scrutiny of Foster's record would be desirable.

I would like to see

a) more analysis checking the construction of his career that we're working with (I'll try to do some myself) and

b) more analysis comparing him to his major-league peers and to the current eligibles.

I see Foster as probably worthy of election, but I don't think the case has been made for him yet as fully as it ought to be.

Having said that I agree with dan b on that point, I should address some points of disagreement.

1) The Courier poll as evidence that Foster should not be highly regarded as a pitcher. This was a 1952 poll. Nearly 50 years had passed since Foster's prime and 40 since his retirement from playing, and there was no available statistical record. How many were left who had seen him play? I don't think this poll provides useful evidence for players of Foster's generation. How well did the HoF of the 1940s do at picking the best players of the 1890s? That's exactly the historical remove we are dealing with when we look at the Courier Poll, but with even less information available to those voting.

2) Foster's absence of support from voters for the _Cool Papas_ all time Negro-League team. It has been noted in the past that all-time teams tend to be skewed against early players, both in the major leagues and the Negro Leagues. Foster played his entire career before 1920. How many players received strong support for the all-time team who played the _majority_ of their career before 1920: 1 -- Pete Hill. Again, I don't think this poll provides useful evidence for players of Foster's generation. In the case of both this poll and the Courier poll, I trust the evidence of incomplete results achieved versus questionable competition (and it's not true in Foster's case to say we have a "handful of results" -- we have nearly complete won-lost records from several of his peak seasons and 50% complete records from a couple of late seasons) and efforts to interpret it over the results of polls in which there is no evidence that those polled had access to as much information about the player in question as we do, nor that they analyzed it and debated as thoroughly as we have.

3) The fact that his HOF plaque stresses his role as manager and league founder and president over his role as pitcher. If Rube Foster had been a much better pitcher than he was, his plaque would still stress his role as manager and league founder and president. His work in that capacity is the single most impressive achievement in the annals of baseball administration and a great service to black baseball players shut out of the major leagues. He was a shoo-in as a manager and executive.

4) Citation of rate stats to show that Foster was not as good as other negro-league deadball pitchers, for example ERA:

ERA:
Williams 2.10
Mendez 2.48
Donaldson 2.58
Foster 2.58

There are two problems with this case. First, Foster had a whole career through 1919. He threw a lot more innings in his career than Mendez or Donaldson to begin with, and this comparison cuts out their decline phases but not his. It doesn't show either of these pitchers as definitely as good as or better than Foster. Second, there's this parallel data from the major leagues.

ERA
Mathewson 2.13
McGinnity 2.64

The fact that Joe McGinnity wasn't nearly as good as Christy Mathewson didn't keep him out of the HoM, although it slowed his entry considerably, as it should have. The fact that Rube Foster wasn't nearly as good as Joe Williams doesn't tell us much about his HoM case, except that he's not a first-ballot HoMer.

I'd like to see a careful study comparing Foster to McGinnity. He was the last pitching contemporary of Foster's elected, and had the least support among the group of Mathewson, Plank, Walsh, and Brown.
   130. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 03:20 AM (#775259)
yest wrote, re a list of Negro-League players eligible

am I missing anybody?

Among serious candidates, Bruce Petway, though if you don't plan to put Louis Santop on your ballot this year, you're not likely to think much about Petway.

If you'd like to see a more comprehensive list of eligibles, there's a post I made with a year by year list through the mid 1930s on the new eligibles thread.

I'm not sure what your reasoning is for having Pete Hill in your PHOM but not having Santop on your ballot. There's more data available on Santop than Hill, and it shows Santop to be a better hitter than Hill was.
   131. PhillyBooster Posted: August 04, 2004 at 03:21 AM (#775261)
Pittsburgh Courier 1952 Poll – named Foster 1st team manager. A total of 22 pitchers were named to 5 teams – no Rube Foster. Jose Mendez was named 4th team utility and listed as a pitcher “also receiving votes”, so presumably the poll would allow Foster’s placement as both manager and player and he received no votes as a pitcher.

I think you are over-interpreting this. The likely answer is that voters could place a player anywhere, but wouldn't put one player in two places. Some people placed Mendez is the "Pitcher" category, and some in the "Utility" category, but everyone put Foster as "manager" he was viewed as the best manager. Once he's there as clearly the best manager, you don't need to put him somewhere else.
   132. Kelly in SD Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:28 AM (#775367)
KJOK-
We are just going to have to agree to disagree. We see different factors and causes for the same events. If I understand you correctly, you see exterior factors and changes in game conditions as more highly significant cause, while I see fluctuations of ability as the more highly significant cause.
Movin' on...
   133. Michael Bass Posted: August 04, 2004 at 12:39 PM (#775522)
Isn't the shortstop thing just caused by people realizing that the orthodoxy that you needed a small, quick guy to play the position wasn't always right? Before Ripken, guys like A-Rod would have been moved elsewhere no?

This is less based on fact and more on my speculation, but isn't it possible that strong hitters were moved away from catcher before Bench? And that Bench's success encouraged teams to let guys who could defend the position and still hit stay there?

My point: fluctuations in ability at a position don't have to be random, there can be an explanation for them, too. There was no scientific or equipment advance that allowed A-Rod to be a SS, there was just a realization that he could play the position.
   134. yest Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:14 PM (#775543)
There's more data available on Santop than Hill, and it shows Santop to be a better hitter than Hill was.

the thing that keep Santop down is the fact that I don't have a big enough sample size to make a acurrate assesment of his ability.
   135. jhwinfrey Posted: August 04, 2004 at 01:52 PM (#775572)
Thanks to TomH and Chris J. for the info on Welch vs. McCormick--there's no easy answers in this project, which is what makes it fun. I try to keep things simple by just looking at the basic stats sometimes, but that can leave out important details, like fielding support. I've got a few days to chew on things yet...

As far as the HoM's pitching contingent, I'd definitely like to see more pitchers inducted. But I think we'll give the guys from the 20's and 30's at least as much support as the second-tier 1880's pitchers. Eppa Rixey, for one, is a guy I've liked for a long time. And I might even muster up a few votes for Urban Shocker. I guess I'd rather wait and see how things play out.
   136. Philip Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:08 PM (#775596)
does anybody else notice that there are 9 primerly shortstops ,and 9 primerly left fielders in the hom while there are only 14 pitchers

Since shortstop is the most difficult defensive position to play I have no problem with that.
I lump leftfielders and rightfielders together, so I don't really have a problem with that either.
But true, we may be a little short on pitchers.
   137. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:10 PM (#775602)
yest, I don't want to beat this into the ground, but the Constitution requires us to give _full_ consideration to the Negro League players. If you are leaving a player off your ballot because the sample size of his record is too small, then you are penalizing him for something that's not his problem, but history's.
   138. yest Posted: August 04, 2004 at 02:28 PM (#775629)
how I rank Negro leaugers is I place them as low down on the ballot as I feel they could acuratlly belong and therefore the less rate stats they have record for the less sure I'm of them.

also I would like to know more a bought Santop's, Mendez's, Petway's and Poles barnstorming numbers.
   139. DavidFoss Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#775755)
My 1933 ballot (subject to 1932 inductees).

1. Johnson
2. Santop
3. Pike
4. Wheat
5. Foster
6. Groh

-- Mendez, I'm not sure what to do with yet.

-- The Foster express is chugging along. I'll admit he'll suffer for the mid-30's insurgence of ballot talent, but so will Van Haltren, Beckley and Pike. I'm open to arguments against him.

-- I took a look at Wheat. He's looking good. He hit significantly better than Hooper/Burns. WS likes his fielding much better than WARP, any ideas what the cause is for the discrepancy?

-- I'm comfortable rating Groh ahead of McGraw (who I rank high compared to the electorate).

I'll be looking for jumping-the-gun arguments on Wheat and Foster (who would I rank ahead of them). Also looking for pro-Mendez words.
   140. DavidFoss Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:08 PM (#775768)
Oh... and we're certainly on track to make Santop a 1st ballot inductee. Those translated numbers by Chris in the Santop thread are mighty impressive for a 1910s backstop.

Any Santop-naysayers should speak up and let us know if we're overrating him.

... OK... gotta do some real work today. :-)
   141. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:17 PM (#775782)
Happy birthday Jake Beckley. He was #1 on my ballot last year, but he won't be this year (it'll be Santop).
   142. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 04, 2004 at 04:32 PM (#775809)
1905: Adams arrives in Parsons so early that he helps build the grandstands while waiting for other teammates to arrive. He pitched a one-hit shutout in his first game and won 30 total. The Cardinals purchase his contract.
1906. Debuts w/ Cardinals. April 18. Pitches four innings, gives up 8 runs to Cubs. Sent down to Louisville of American Assoc, which sent him to Denver of Western League.
1907: Still Denver. Leads league with 23 wins and .657 winning percentage. Pirates purchase for $5,000. Four games pitched for Pittsburgh at end of season.
1908: Loaned back to Louisville. Goes 22-12 with 40 walks in 312 innings.


Am I correct in assuming this would be in one of the better minor leagues (that fact that Louisville's in it makes me think so). If so, that should help Adams a bit for me - can you imagine a player nowadays tearing up the high minors like that for 3-4 years before getting a good shot?
   143. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#775917)
WS likes [Wheat's] fielding much better than WARP, any ideas what the cause is for the discrepancy?

As usual, the difference probably lies in the way that OF fielding is rated. WS says that an OF is an OF, and grades on plays made, period. WARP treats each of the three OF positions independently, which may allow them to make adjustments for pitching-staff handedness, etc., the kind of things which Win Shares does do for the infield.
   144. DanG Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#775988)
Am I correct in assuming this would be in one of the better minor leagues (that fact that Louisville's in it makes me think so). If so, that should help Adams a bit for me - can you imagine a player nowadays tearing up the high minors like that for 3-4 years before getting a good shot?

I don't see that.

Parsons in 1905 definitely sounds like low minors.

Louisville sent him out to Denver in 1906, the Western Lg was presumably a cut below the AA.

Denver in 1907, very fine year. Was $5,000 purchase price indicative of a hot prospect at that time?

Louisville in 1908 makes ONE year of tearing up the high minors, although I wonder what the length of the schedule was, the team's record and other pitchers on the staff.
   145. OCF Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#776002)
Chris J., my inclination is not to give Adams any credit for his minor league performances. He was developing (or already developed) in the minors, and he was in a structure where the major league team with his rights could have called him up earlier, and just didn't. Those Pirates had a marvelous pitching staff: Willis, Phillippe, Leever, Leifeld, Camnitz. When Adams was unimpressive in 1907 in three starts, who can blame the team for not thinking they needed him? His story is really no different than that of a hundred other people who came up through the minors with someone ahead of them blocking the position at the major league level. A hole opened in 1908 when Phillippe went sour but a 21-year-old named Nick Maddox filled in nicely.

But one thing you can say: Adams was sure ready to contribute in 1909! I like him anyway for what he did do in the majors.
   146. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:55 PM (#776009)
Sent down to Louisville of American Assoc
Am I correct in assuming this would be in one of the better minor leagues

IIRC, same league as Minneapolis (Gavy Cravath).

1907 ... Pirates purchase for $5,000.
can you imagine a player nowadays tearing up the high minors like that for 3-4 years before getting a good shot?

$5000 is a star player salary for a year, a not inconsiderable sum (though, even adjusted for inflation, not what a star makes today). Buying good players from the top minors is not the same as what we mean by "replacement player" today;
the top minors are independent organizations trying with all their resources to win their own pennants, (in some respects the major-league/top-minor-league relationship back then is like the large-market/small-market relationship is now). There is considerable overlap between minor league stars and major league journeymen; the best players aren't always in the majors.
   147. favre Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:57 PM (#776013)
I asked this question on the Mendez thread and was ignored, so I'll see if I have better luck here.


It seems to me that Mendez brings up an important question: to what extent can we use career records that did not occur in North America or against North American teams? I'm on vacation and don't have any numbers in front of me, but I know that Mendez was considered a big star in Cuba. If Cuban league numbers are out there, to what extent can they be part of the analysis? This will be a considerable factor for a number of candidates--Mendez, Dolf Luque, Martin Dihigo, Minnie Minoso. Luque had a couple of excellent peak years in the U.S, but was a bigger star in Cuba. At first glance, Dihigo's record in the Negro Leagues isn't overwhelming (though closer analysis could certainly prove that he was a great player); his play in Cuba and Mexico greatly enhances his candidacy. Minoso didn't play in the U.S. until he was 28, but was a star in Cuba long before then.

I suppose a broader question is this: does the HoM only honor play in North America or against North Americans---i.e., Japanese players with no MLB experience are not part of the consideration set? It seems that's what the constitution says: "All major league players are eligible for the Hall of Merit. Also eligible are all excluded players, most notably Negro Leaguers, and pre-MLB players."

Anyway, what do you think?
   148. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#776018)
Was $5,000 purchase price indicative of a hot prospect at that time?

McGraw paid $10,000 for Marquard, which IIRC was a record at the time.
   149. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#776020)
Compare with the 1880's when $10,000 got you John Clarkson or King Kelly, and $5,000 got you Fred Dunlap.
   150. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:02 PM (#776024)
Doh. Forgot to mention that they were already established stars at the time (Dunlap, etc.)
   151. PhillyBooster Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:09 PM (#776035)
Denver in 1907, very fine year. Was $5,000 purchase price indicative of a hot prospect at that time?

Brooklyn bought Zack Wheat from Mobile after the 1908 season for only <a href="http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/displayPhoto.pl?path=/pnp/bbc/2000/2060&topImages=2063br.jpg&topLinks=2063bu.tif&botImages=2063ft.gif&botLinks=2063fr.jpg,2063fu.tif&displayProfile=3&dir=ammem&itemLink=D?bbcards:4:./temp/~ammem_fD8j::">$750</a?
   152. PhillyBooster Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#776036)
Sorry.

Brooklyn bought Zack Wheat from Mobile after the 1908 season for only $750
   153. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:25 PM (#776063)
It was 11,000 for Marquard.
   154. sunnyday2 Posted: August 04, 2004 at 07:50 PM (#776191)
favre, I responded to your post #47 above on the Mendez thread. In a nutshell, anything that paints a fuller picture of these players is fair game. And thanks to Gadfly for info re. the fact that the Cuban teams beat the tar out of AAA Louisville and the black army Wreckers pounded on PCL teams. Great stuff.
   155. KJOK Posted: August 04, 2004 at 10:58 PM (#776480)
Louisville sent him out to Denver in 1906, the Western Lg was presumably a cut below the AA.
I would disagree. The American Association and the Western League were both the highest classification minor leagues (A). Pitching well in Denver was an impressive feat.
   156. KJOK Posted: August 04, 2004 at 11:00 PM (#776484)
...Cuban teams beat the tar out of AAA Louisville... Just a note that AAA didn't exist until 1946.
   157. ronw Posted: August 05, 2004 at 12:06 AM (#776716)
Players Passing Away in 1931

Charlie Comiskey-1B/Mgr</b>

Is it hot where you are, you cheap bastard?

-Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Buck Weaver, Chick Gandil, Swede Risberg, Lefty Williams, Happy Felsch, and Fred McMullin

<i>1915 Jack Chesbro-P


Rest in peace, Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro. I'll make sure to ask if you won the HOM elections, right after I ask about myself.

-Rube Marquard
   158. jimd Posted: August 05, 2004 at 01:16 AM (#777053)
Is it hot where you are, you cheap ####?

Mack and Griffith were also notorious. I'm sure some contemporary NL owners could be added to that list. The Robison brothers in St. Louis, Soden et al (the "Triumvirs") in Boston, come to mind from the period of the AL/NL war.

The scandal has made Comiskey into an arch-villian but he was probably pretty typical.
   159. EricC Posted: August 05, 2004 at 01:17 AM (#777060)
Santop might not make my ballot. How is this possible, when I am the person who had Bresnahan highest on his ballot in the last election? I rate Bresnahan highly because I am quite certain that he was the dominant player at his position over a period of years, a factor which is important to me, and which plays a role in my votes for players such as Childs and Chance. Looking at the big picture, Santop just looks less dominant to me. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that Santop should even rate ahead of Doc Wiley among Negro League catchers of that era.
   160. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 03:07 AM (#777815)
Eric,

How do you see the big picture?

As I see it, Santop was the dominant player at his position in the Negro Leagues and the majors for seven years, from 1916 to 1922, after having been a power-hitting outfielder during the early teens (the parallel to Bresnahan is interesting). Wiley was great from 1912-1915, but the rest of his career is undistinguished and not very long. After that it was all Santop until Biz Mackey came on the scene. This is seven years as the best catcher (and he has an argument to be the best for ten years: 1915-1924) in the middle of 15 years as one of the better hitters in black baseball.

As for white catchers, Chief Meyers was great for a few years in the early teens. At his best, he might have been Santop's equal as a hitter, but he was not a great defensive catcher. Schalk was Santop's contemporary, and he was a great defensive catcher, but he was not close to Santop as a hitter or in overall value. Wally Schang was a good hitter but not Santop's equal and no great shakes defensively, so he also clearly falls short. Hartnett would come on the scene about the same time as Mackey.

To make the comparison to Bresnahan, he shifted to catcher full time in 1905, and was the best catcher from then through 1908 for sure and maybe 1909, though his playing time dropped way off when he started managing, and Meyers came on the scene. I like Bresnahan, but I don't see how he was dominant at his position longer than Santop, at his best he was no better than Santop at his best, and the rest of his career around his dominant catching period was not as distinguished.

How do you see this picture differently?
   161. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#777911)
The scandal has made Comiskey into an arch-villian but he was probably pretty typical.

The scandal has made Comiskey into an arch-villian but he was probably pretty typical.

Agreed. Now if you want to talk about real pond scum, Andrew Freedman has to top the list easily.
   162. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 04:45 AM (#778027)
To take a little break from the Negro League newly eligibles, I've started to look at the three major-league pitching candidates, Wilbur Cooper, Babe Adams, and Hooks Dauss.

I've just finished reading Chris J's excellent studies of all three (thank you!!), and I have a question about his findings, to see if I am following their implications correctly. Here's Chris J's career findings for each

Pitcher -- RSI -- W/L support-adjusted -- Def adj. -- opp WP
Cooper -- 99.69 -- 221-173 -- +11.1 -- .507
Adams -- 99.74 -- 193-141 -- +12.8 -- .494
Dauss -- 113.49 -- 204-200 -- -11.3 -- .500

If I understand Chris J's numbers correctly, W/L support-adjusted includes only run-support. To include the defense adjustment to get a fully support-neutral, one would have to add or subtract the defensive adjustment.

Doing that one gets
Cooper 210-184
Adams 180-154
Dauss 215-189

If these three pitchers were totally average with average support on offense and defense, their records would have been:

Cooper 197-197
Adams 167-167
Daus 202-202

So each of these three pitchers eligible this year is, by Chris J's analysis, 13 games better than an average pitcher for his career.

That's pretty amazingly similar, if I've interpreted Chris J's findings correctly.

Not that the three pitchers are equal in value -- there's differences in peak, in innings pitched, in quality of opposition.

Pending careful study of those matters, I'm inclined to rank the three as Cooper, Dauss, Adams.

But I doubt that any pitcher only 13 support-neutral games above 500 for a career will make my ballot. Most of the pitchers we've voted in have been at least 30 wins better than average. Gonna do a bit more study to see how my findings compare to Chris J's before I rule these three out, though.

Btw, My estimate of Mendez's MLE career puts him at 31 support-neutral wins above 500 for career. That puts him in contention, in my view, but is not decisive.
   163. OCF Posted: August 05, 2004 at 06:50 AM (#778226)
Doing that one gets
Cooper 210-184
Adams 180-154
Dauss 215-189


Just from the RA+, IP, and nothing else, I had
Cooper 220-166
Adams 201-132
Dauss 192-185

A couple of things I'm seeing here: Adams must have a slightly low number of unearned runs (maybe becuase he never walked anyone?) and Dauss has a high number of actual decisions for his IP. That, and Adams may be a little unlucky in actual W/L.

In my system, actual run support is irrelevant. Defensive support is quite relevant and I haven't corrected for it. It does seem reasonable to estimate Cooper and Adams downward for playing in front of excellent defenses. However, the size of the adjustment seems a little large to me.

Chris: I remember that you ranked Three-Finger Brown lower than nearly anyone else. That was the Cubs; this is the Pirates - and the issues are very much the same.
   164. OCF Posted: August 05, 2004 at 08:00 AM (#778257)
Agreed. Now if you want to talk about real pond scum, Andrew Freedman has to top the list easily.

I don't know if we'll ever have an owners/executives/etc. hall - and if we did, I'd probably be more interested in just talking rather than actually voting on anything. As these quotes make clear, we're just as fascinated by the worst of them as the best. There's no such thing as the worst player, because someone who washed out of the majors in a hurry could still be a monster in the West Texas/New Mexico League - but there can be such a thing as a worst owner.

The category should, of course, include a generous definition of "etc." - after all, John M. Ward (Freedman's nemesis?) very much belongs in that discussion. Marvin Miller, too.
   165. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 02:57 PM (#778458)
It does seem reasonable to estimate Cooper and Adams downward for playing in front of excellent defenses. However, the size of the adjustment seems a little large to me.

Having just finished running my numbers on Cooper's defensive support (Adams next), I agree. Chris J, using win shares, finds that Cooper gained 11.1 wins from defensive support; my study of defensive effeciency claims that it was more like 7.2 wins, so my system sees Cooper as about 16.8 wins above average, which is just about even for career with Eddie Cicotte, who's at 16.6.

Season-by-season study also shows that Cooper's dreadful 1915 season pulls his career numbers down quite a bit: his prime is quite nice: 26.3 W+ from 1916-1923. He doesn't have any monster seasons in there, but he has several excellent ones. I'm not totally finished studying him, but I'm certain I would rank him higher than Eddie Cicotte, even if I were ranking Cicotte without a penalty for throwing games. Cooper will still probably not make my ballot, but he should make the top 30 at least; I can certainly see him gathering some ballot support.
   166. mbd1mbd1 Posted: August 05, 2004 at 03:47 PM (#778587)
Interesting class this year...I have Santop at 3, Mendez at about 12, and Cooper is around 20 or so.
   167. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 05, 2004 at 04:45 PM (#778761)
If I understand Chris J's numbers correctly, W/L support-adjusted includes only run-support.

Yes. I have a method of adjusting W/L by the defensive thing, but I ain't so sure how well it works (round to nearest 3 win shares & adjust accordingly). I do have W/L records adjusted for both RSI & Def Adj listed here if you like that W/L better. FWIW, on the last ballot whenever Joe Dimino used a "Chris J W/L" he was using the kind that was adjusted for both defense & offense.

So each of these three pitchers eligible this year is, by Chris J's analysis, 13 games better than an average pitcher for his career.

That's pretty amazingly similar, if I've interpreted Chris J's findings correctly.


No. I guesstimate 3 win shares (that's what the Def Adj is - win shares) per win because the stat is set up as 3 win shares available for every win. I may very well be underestimating it though - as I said, I'm not really thrilled with DA which is why I use only the RSI W/L instead. Also, offense, & defense aren't the only things that affect a pitcher's record. There's also that "third factor" that I intentionally don't define. Near the bottom of all those pithers' notes section it says "Wilbur Cooper won 10 fewer games than would have been expected" or words to that effect.

Chris J, using win shares, finds that Cooper gained 11.1 wins from defensive support

No. He had 11.1 more win shares worth of defensive support than would be expected. I reckon that out to be worth four wins.

It's confusing - I'd like to rename the Def Adj but the problem is that the title of a post becomes part of the url for that post & if I rename the stat I'd have to redo about 200 links, which I really don't want to do. Sorry for the confusion, but the DA is based on win shares, not wins.
   168. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 05, 2004 at 04:53 PM (#778794)
I'll probably give Babe Adams a little bit of credit for his minors. Apparently was very good for two years in the high minors before getting a real chance. I gather that part of the reason for his late start was the less efficient system of minor leaguer recruitment back then.
   169. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 05:25 PM (#778889)
No. He had 11.1 more win shares worth of defensive support than would be expected. I reckon that out to be worth four wins.

Ah, I was confusing win shares with wins in the display. In that case my system sees his defensive support as slightly more valuable than yours does: 7 wins vs. 4 wins.

Dealing with fielding sure is tricky. By my count, we have 5 methods available for determing support-neutral won-lost records for pitchers, and there may be more out there in use among the electorate than I know of:

1) Applying the pythagorean method to ERA+
2) Applying the pythagorean method to RA+ (OCF's system)
3) Applying the pythgorean method to BP's DERA
4) Applying Chris J's RSI & fielding WS above average
5) Applying Chris J's RSI & my def efficiency analysis

It would be interesting to line up the five results for each pitcher to see how they compare to one another, and to the WARP and WS comprehensive metrics.
   170. OCF Posted: August 05, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#779002)
One way to put defense into an ERA+ or RA+ system would be to create for each team a "defense factor" that acted like a park factor. Say, a team playing in a 98 park has a 95 defense, which is really good. Then you could multiply 98 by 95 to get a combined park/defense factor of 93. Of course, these factors don't exist and would be a lot of work to create, but if they did, they could be used seamlessly.

Of course there would be flaws in such a simplistic system. Most notably, Robin Roberts and Tommy John would not experience the same defense, and if you could have a great CF or a great SS but not both, it matters which pitcher we're talking about. But that's already true of park factors: RHP/LHP and FB/GB pitchers already have different experiences of the same parks. I'm usually comfortable with one-size-fits all park factors. It's the argument that even if Gavy Cravath took unique advantage of his home park, the result had real value.
   171. andrew siegel Posted: August 05, 2004 at 07:00 PM (#779465)
We need to figure out just how bad the 1910s-1920s NL was and do so pronto or we are going to have some problems. If you treat the league as a full major league with no discount, Larry Doyle is one of the strongest candidates on the ballot and George Burns is not far behind (hence their Bill James ranks). That I've known for awhile. However, what I just realized is that if you try to do a counting of how many seasons a pitcher was the best in his league, top 3, top 5 , etc. to compare them across eras, Wilbur Cooper and Hippo Vaugh outrank almost any other pitcher on the ballot. We obviously are employing some visceral discounts. Does anybody quantify their discount?
   172. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2004 at 07:17 PM (#779569)
Completely unrelated to the teens-twenties pitching dicussion. Since I'm kind of new, I might have missed this when previously discussed.

I9s lists Jules Thomas's career as ending in 1925 which would have made him eligible for consideration by HOM last year. Is 1925 an accurate date for his retirement? Or was it later?
   173. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2004 at 07:51 PM (#779801)
Forgot to say thank you in advance to anyone who can provide the information on Jules Thomas. Thanks!
   174. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#779928)
I9s lists Jules Thomas's career as ending in 1925 which would have made him eligible for consideration by HOM last year. Is 1925 an accurate date for his retirement? Or was it later?

Since i9s is creating major-league career _projections_, it is not a reliable source for starting and ending dates of careers for negro-league players. They start players late and end them early based on their own decisions about which teams are top teams and how players' development and decline typically progress.

Eligibility dates for negro league players, so far, have been determined based on the information in Riley's _Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues_. Riley's entry for Thomas shows his last year with a top team as 1928, so he will be eligible in 1934. There's a post somewhere in the 300s on the New Eligibles thread that lists all the possibly significant Negro League candidates year-by-year through 1935 (I should be putting together a list through the mid-40s soon).

Jules Thomas was a very good player. I don't know why he doesn't have a stronger reputation -- from his statistical record, it's not obvious to me that he isn't as good as Spotswood Poles, and he's clearly better than outfielders like Jimmy Lyons and George Shively. I haven't done a full analysis of him yet, however, since he won't be eligible for two more years.

There was a little bit of discussion of Thomas a while back in conjunction with Spotswood Poles: I think it's in the Poles thread.
   175. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2004 at 08:22 PM (#779971)
Andrew Siegel wrote:

what I just realized is that if you try to do a counting of how many seasons a pitcher was the best in his league, top 3, top 5 , etc. to compare them across eras, Wilbur Cooper and Hippo Vaugh outrank almost any other pitcher on the ballot. We obviously are employing some visceral discounts. Does anybody quantify their discount?

I suspect a second factor with Cooper and Vaughn may be more significant than NL discounts (I don't use one myself, but I'm sure you're right that many voters apply one, hence the rankings of Doyle and Burns): comparison of these pitchers to the greats of the aughts, who, if you look in terms of innings pitched in top seasons (and thus peak value), era+ in seasons or in career, look significantly better than Cooper and Vaughn: in pitcher rankings, they're back behind Waddell and maybe Joss in a lot of cases in addition to Griffith and Foster.

Your "best of period" study filters out the effect of more favorable conditions for pitchers enjoyed in the aughts and places them in a better light.

I haven't answered your question at all, but your comments made me think that there was a second issue involved, too.
   176. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2004 at 08:25 PM (#779990)
Thanks Chris Cobb! Thomas will definitely be first-ballot HOMer since he'll have almost no competition in 1934. ; )
   177. DavidFoss Posted: August 05, 2004 at 09:09 PM (#780200)
Vaughn's performance fell off a cliff in 1921 and he abruptly retired. Sorry if this has already been covered, but anyone know why?

The Neyer/James Pitcher's guide mentions that 1920 was a watershed year for pitchers. Virtually every pitcher was doctoring the ball in the late teens and the abolition of those practices spawned an era of experimentation and adjustment in the 1920s. Was the shift from dead-to-live and doctored-to-clean balls similar to the shift in pitching distance in 1893? There was a shortage of HOF pitchers in the mid-1890s, will we again see that in the early 1920s?

Wilbur Cooper seemed to take the change of the rules a bit better and had some solid seasons in the early 1920s.

Anyone have a list of those who were "grandfathered" and thus allowed to throw spitballs past 1920?
   178. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2004 at 09:19 PM (#780230)
Try this page, David.
   179. DavidFoss Posted: August 05, 2004 at 09:32 PM (#780291)
Thanks John!

Contrary to what I had guessed, Cooper's not on the list.

Coveleski is a mini-fave of mine though. Not sure how to view a list like this. They weren't breaking any rules, I guess, but it seems like an advantage. Its the value-ability argument again, I guess.

Anyhow, all this came from Chris's remarks about 00's pitchers having an advantage over pitchers from the next generation. It does appear that the 00's pitchers were more successful and I'm not sure if there is anything we can do about it.
   180. OCF Posted: August 05, 2004 at 11:20 PM (#780429)
Was the shift from dead-to-live and doctored-to-clean balls similar to the shift in pitching distance in 1893?

The effect was smaller. Here's a mini-study I did, focusing just on usage. (Well, "study" is giving it more credit than it deserves.) Look at the top 10 pitchers in the 1892 NL (all of whom had over 400 IP), plus John Clarkson (not far from the IP list and still a big name). How old were they in 1892, and how many more games would they start in the rest of their careers? Now do the same for the top 10 pitchers in the 1919 AL (IP all the way down to 256), plus Urban Shocker, and ask the same questions. Here's what I found:
1892 pitcher    Age in 1892   GS after 1893
Hutchison         32           114
Rusie             21           224
Weyhing           25           202
Killen            22           161
Nichols           23           415
Young             25           714
Baldwin           28            40
King              24            57
Stivetts          24           163
Chaberlain        24            51
Clarkson          30            43

1919 pitcher    Age in 1919   GS after 1919
Cicotte           35            35
Shaw              26            36
Williams          26            38
Johnson           31           237
Coveleski         29           287
Sothoron          26           137
Mays              27           200
Quinn             35           259
Shawkey           28           184
Dauss             29           170
Shocker           26           338

So what does that show (other than that Shaw was "Grunting Jim", and ?who? is that sponsoring Coveleski's bbref page)? There's a pretty striking difference in age. The 1892 pitchers included Young and Nichols, who were just getting started, and Rusie, who would be quite effective from 60 feet, and Stivetts, who retained his effectiveness on both sides of the divide. But saying that Weyhing pitched many more games after 1892 hides the fact that he did so with a sharply worse ERA+ than previously.

For the 1919 pitchers, Cicotte is, well, his own story, and Shaw and Williams went nowhere, but many more of them had substantial careers after the changes than did the 1892 pitchers, despite being older to begin with. For quite a few of them, 1919 simply falls in the middle of their prime: good before, good after, with no obvious pause.
   181. EricC Posted: August 05, 2004 at 11:47 PM (#780459)
We need to figure out just how bad the 1910s-1920s NL was.... Does anybody quantify their discount?

I do. My NL discount relative to the AL is something like 0.5 win shares per 100 plate appearances. More fun is naming names- if I didn't discount, Leach, Doyle, and Cravath would be on my ballot instead of Waddell, Cicotte, and Hooper. Among marginal candidates in the coming years, I'll have Groh and Bancroft lower than I would if I didn't discount.
   182. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2004 at 12:04 AM (#780467)
We need to figure out just how bad the 1910s-1920s NL was.... Does anybody quantify their discount?

I don't have faith in the Davenport numbers for the Deadball Era. For the eras that are in sync with Dick Cramer's study (which doesn't show any NL weakness during the Deadball Era) from years ago, then I use a discount.
   183. EricC Posted: August 06, 2004 at 01:15 AM (#780508)
Eric,

How do you see the big picture? [Santop vs. other catchers]


As I see it, in cases like Santop's, you shouldn't just look at their numbers and draw a conclusion, but rather think carefully through a series of questions like the following:

(1) How does Santop compare with others at his position that we've seen in the Negro Leagues so far, such as Clarence Williams, Chappie Johnson, Doc Wiley, Bruce Petway, and Biz Mackey?

(2) How does Santop compare with major league catchers that we've seen so far, such as EWING, BENNETT, (WHITE), (McVEY), Schang, Bresnahan, Schalk, McGuire, Kling, Zimmer, Meyers, and Clements?

(3) Once you have a pecking order among the catchers that you're satisfied with, how do you integrate those ratings with those for other positions?

As for me, I have Schang (not yet eligible) and Bresnahan at the top of the pecking order for catchers now. I'm not sure who belongs third, or if the third best unelected catcher should be in my top 15.

None of this is a rebuttal of any of your good arguments in favor of Santop above. It's not even original- I know that Marc and others have made pecking-order type arguments in the positional threads. Still, from time to time, it helps to think about the alternatives, and to go through the above exercise.
   184. DanG Posted: August 06, 2004 at 02:03 AM (#780530)
For those who like to give credit for minor league performance, I happened across Rube Waddell's record in my old 1981 copy of Daguerreotypes. It might be worth consideration.

1899: In addition to his 7-2 mark in 79 IP in the NL, Rube was 27-13 in 330 IP in the American Lg for "Col.-Grand Rapids".

1900: In addition to his 8-13 mark in 209 IP in the NL, Rube was 10-3 in 129 IP for Milwaukee in the American Lg.

1902: In addition to his 24-7 mark for the A's in 276 IP, Rube was 12-8 in 178 IP for Los Angeles in the PCL.

1910: I addition to his 3-1 mark for the Browns in 33 IP, Rube was 5-3 in 97 IP for Newark in the Eastern Lg.

1911: Was 20-17 in 300 IP for Minneapolis in the AA.

1912: Was 12-6 in 151 IP for Minneapolis in the AA.

1913: was 3-9 in 84 IP for Virginia in the Northern Lg.
   185. DanG Posted: August 06, 2004 at 02:11 AM (#780542)
Speaking of minor league stats, I found out where Jimmy Ryan was in 1901. He played in 108 games, 443 AB for St. Paul in the Western Lg. He had a .323 BA, 77 R, and 21 SB. His extra base hits were only 13-6-5 = 24 total.

The Senators were impressed enough to make him their centerfielder at age 39 in 1902, where he played pretty well.
   186. Kelly in SD Posted: August 06, 2004 at 07:03 AM (#780756)
I posted a Rusie breakdown by HoMer/ opponent finish/ over-under .500 for reference/comparison sake in the pitcher thread. Other HoMer to follow, probably in reverse order of decisions.
   187. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 06, 2004 at 03:04 PM (#780938)
Happy birthday Sherry Magee.
   188. DavidFoss Posted: August 06, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#781144)
I don't have faith in the Davenport numbers for the Deadball Era. For the eras that are in sync with Dick Cramer's study (which doesn't show any NL weakness during the Deadball Era) from years ago, then I use a discount.


John, is Dick Cramer's study online somewhere?

There were some tables of Davenport corrections posted which related to AA discounts. I specifically remember a discussion about the AA-1882 discount being more than the UA-1884 discount (explained by it being second expansion). Anyhow, it was in one of the more threads from the last couple of years, but I can't find it.

Sorry to press this, but I agree with Andrew's comment about deadball NL league discounts, we should try to decide soon if they are needed. Zack Wheat is a potential first ballot inductee next year and there have been some complaints about candidates like Wheat sneaking in without having weeks of discussion.

I checked the vs-league numbers for a number of stats for players from 1910-1929. Sure, the AL had more stars in this time period that stood out, but they stood out vs their own league... Cobb, Speaker, Jackson and Ruth don't need correction factors to look better than Wheat, Burns, Magee. Its possible that the AL stars may not have affected the "base-level" of play for the league. Is there any evidence that would support that the AL also had more weak players and weak teams... not enough to reverse the discount, but enough to balance things?

I don't think removing the correction factors is going to cause guys like Burns to fly into the HOM, he's still a corner outfielder with a career OPS+ of 114.
   189. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2004 at 04:41 PM (#781165)
John, is Dick Cramer's study online somewhere?

Not that I know of, David.
   190. DanG Posted: August 06, 2004 at 04:56 PM (#781209)
Regarding the "deadball NL discounts". This has long been an important issue for candidates such as Jake Beckley. Now that he is so near to the top, it becomes critical that we assess this correctly.

Beckley had one of his top three years at age 36 in 1904-- but did he? He was piling up good numbers in the NL throughout his mid and late 30's around that season. Was this for real, a genuine late career sprint? Or was it artificially aided by a weak league?

It's very doubtful that Beckley would've been in MLB a decade earlier. Besides having to adjust to the 1892-93 transition at an advanced age, there was also a relative scarcity of jobs.
   191. DavidFoss Posted: August 06, 2004 at 04:56 PM (#781211)
Thanks John, I did some googling and found the HOM 1914 and 1916 discussion pages. That's happening quite a bit of late for me.
   192. OCF Posted: August 06, 2004 at 05:05 PM (#781236)
1911: Was 20-17 in 300 IP for Minneapolis in the AA.

1912: Was 12-6 in 151 IP for Minneapolis in the AA.


That's at least of some interest, becuase Minneapolis was a very, very good team in a good league. Of course, that may possibly be a W/L percentage worse than team. Waddell was 34 and 35 years old at the time. In 1907-8-9 he was still reasonably effective in the majors: RA+ of 106, 120, 104, and he was still striking people out.

On the one hand, we know that it was common practice for players to continue playing baseball in the minor leagues after their major league careers were over. In general, I don't think we want to make a practice of considering that. But on the other hand, Waddell was such a unique character ... Some of the pitchers of the next generation, (Rommel, Mullin, Pennock, Hoyt for example) were allowed to hang around in the majors for a very long time pitching a reduced number of innings per year; even some of Waddell's generation did so (for instance, White and Bender). That probably wasn't an option open to Waddell, who wouldn't have fit into the "wily veteran" model.
   193. DanG Posted: August 06, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#781282)
OCF:

1900: In addition to his 8-13 mark in 209 IP in the NL, Rube was 10-3 in 129 IP for Milwaukee in the American Lg.

1902: In addition to his 24-7 mark for the A's in 276 IP, Rube was 12-8 in 178 IP for Los Angeles in the PCL.


I think these years are also of some interest. The AL in 1900 was at least as good as the 1882 AA or the 1884 UA, IMO. Many former NL players were exiled there.

The PCL was already playing at a high level in 1902, IIRC. Of course, they had a very long season--look at Rube's season totals: 36-15, 454 IP! Looks like 1908 Walsh.

Your point about his disposition is important, of course. All this jumping around was due to his teams' inability to harness Waddell. Mack and Schreckengost eventually had some measure of success at this.
   194. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2004 at 06:14 PM (#781412)
Thanks John, I did some googling and found the HOM 1914 and 1916 discussion pages. That's happening quite a bit of late for me.

What's been happening quite a bit of late for you, David?

BTW, if you want me to work on those discussion pages, could you link those cached pages for me here? I can't find them myself.
   195. DavidFoss Posted: August 06, 2004 at 06:24 PM (#781458)
What's been happening quite a bit of late for you, David?


Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that I would search the internet for some topic related to analytica baseball history and HOM discussion threads would be at the top of the list. Sort of a compliment to the discusion here I guess.
   196. DavidFoss Posted: August 06, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#781495)
Oh... and when I search... I think I'm getting the cache for the discussion pages post-conversion which probably isn't what you are looking for.

Wait... I just found this

which has some interesting Cramer study information in it related to the AA (but not deadball era).

It a pre-conversion cache, and its got a hot-topics-like sidebar from the old site, but it may not be what you are looking for.
   197. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#781644)
What I meant was that I would search the internet for some topic related to analytica baseball history and HOM discussion threads would be at the top of the list.

Gotcha.

Oh... and when I search... I think I'm getting the cache for the discussion pages post-conversion which probably isn't what you are looking for.

If it says BTF, you're rigt. If it says Hall of Merit, then the Google cached page can be used.

It a pre-conversion cache, and its got a hot-topics-like sidebar from the old site, but it may not be what you are looking for.

I have all the numbers from "The Hideen Game of Baseball." According to that section of the book, there's basically no difference between the two leagues during the first two decades of the last century (except for the early AL, of course).
   198. Daryn Posted: August 06, 2004 at 07:23 PM (#781650)
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. Santop – I’ll start him low. I’m prepared to be convinced he deserves the Number 1 spot -- but I'm not sure you'll get the chance.

4. 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.

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.

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

7. Rube Waddell -- 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. Jose Mendez – somewhere between here and Waddell seems right.

13. Cupid Childs – nice obp.

14. 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.

15. Spotswood Poles – Van Haltren seems like a good comp. Recent info posted on the new blackballers seems to suggest he might've been better that this so I’ll let him have the ballot spot this week.

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

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

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

I'm looking forward to the end of the drought. There are only three people on this ballot I'd be happy to have in the Hall.
   199. Kelly in SD Posted: August 06, 2004 at 07:27 PM (#781662)
Is there any evidence that would support that the AL also had more weak players and weak teams

I looked up totals of .350 teams (100 loss), .300 teams (108 loss) in each league for each year. I chose those two numbers because .350 and .300 seem to be popular "replacement" rate/performances.
year AL .350Tm   .300Tm   NL .350Tm   .300Tm
1910   Was .305             Bos .346
1911            StL .296             Bos .291
1912   StL .344             Bos .340
       NY  .329 
1913                        StL .340
1914   Cle .333
1915            Phi .283
1916            Phi .235
1917                        Pit .331
1918
1919            Phi .257    Phi .343
1920   Phi .312    
1921   Phi .346             Phi .331
1922                        Bos .346
1923                       (Bos .351)
                            Phi .325
1924                        Bos .346
1925   Bos .309
1926   Bos .301
1927   Bos .331             Phi .331
1928                        Bos .327 Phi .283
1929

AL had 12 teams below .350, 4 of which were under .300. NL had 13 teams below .350, 2 of which were under .300

Next: totals of .500 or better and .600 teams vs. under .500 / .400 each year.
year AL .600/.500+/.500-/.400 NL .600/.500+/.500-/.400
1910    1 / 3 / 3 / 1      1 / 3 / 3 / 1
1911    1 / 5 / 1 / 1      1 / 4 / 2 / 1
1912    1 / 3 / 2 / 2*     3 / 0 / 3 / 2
1913    1 / 4 / 1 / 2      1 / 3 / 3 / 1
1914    1 / 3 / 3 / 1      1 / 3 / 3 / 1
1915    3 / 1 / 2 / 2      0 / 3 / 5 / 0
1916    0 / 6 / 1 / 1      1 / 3 / 2 / 2
1917    1 / 3 / 2 / 2      1 / 3 / 3 / 1
1918    0 / 3 / 5 / 0      1 / 3 / 3 / 1
1919    2 / 2 / 3 / 1      2 / 2 / 2 / 2
1920    3 / 0 / 3 / 2      1 / 3 / 4 / 0
1921    2 / 2 / 3 / 1      1 / 4 / 2 / 1
1922    2 / 3 / 2 / 1      1 / 4 / 1 / 2
1923    1 / 2 / 5 / 0      1 / 4 / 1 / 2 
1924    0 / 3 / 5 / 0      1 / 4 / 1 / 2
1925    1 / 4 / 2 / 1      1 / 3 / 4 / 0
1926    0 / 6 / 1 / 1      0 / 4 / 3 / 1
1927    1 / 3 / 2 / 2 #    2 / 2 / 2 / 2
1928    2 / 1 / 4 / 1      2 / 4 / 0 / 2
1929    1 / 3 / 2 / 2      1 / 3 / 3 / 1

* 2 AL teams were within .008 of .600
# 1 .700 team 

AL 24 teams over .600 and 24 teams under .400.
NL 23 teams over .600 and 25 teams under .400.

Record of 7th and 8th place teams - how bad is last?
 
year AL 7th AL 8th    NL 7th NL 8th
1910  .437   .305      .412   .346  
1911  .416   .296      .427   .291
1912  .344   .329      .379   .340
1913  .377   .373      .418   .340
1914  .455   .333      .448   .390
1915  .375   .283      .461   .454
1916  .497   .235      .392   .392
1917  .370   .359      .464   .331
1918  .437   .406      .427   .395
1919  .400   .257      .394   .343
1920  .396   .312      .408   .405
1921  .403   .346      .418   .331
1922  .422   .396      .373   .346
1923  .448   .401      .351   .325
1924  .435   .431      .364   .346
1925  .448   .309      .444   .442
1926  .403   .301      .434   .384
1927  .386   .331      .390   .331
1928  .403   .373      .327   .283
1929  .388   .377      .429   .364
   200. DanG Posted: August 06, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#781666)
This question is bothering me this week. Can someone explain the gulf that separates Mickey Welch from Vic Willis? To me, they come off as quite similar when you adjust for era differences.
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