Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, August 16, 2004

1933 Ballot Discussion

1933 (August 29)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

560 197.9 1907 Walter Johnson-P (1946)
380 95.2 1909 Zack Wheat-LF (1972)
272 83.5 1913 Heinie Groh-3B (1968)
239 69.9 1912 Roger Peckinpaugh-SS (1977)
225 73.6 1916 Urban Shocker-P (1928)
223 65.5 1913 Bob Shawkey-P (1980)
231 50.9 1913 Jack Fournier-1B (1973)
191 62.7 1913 Ray Schalk-C (1970)
178 50.8 1915 Baby Doll Jacobson-CF (1977)
191 46.0 1915 Lee Meadows-P (1963)
179 40.9 1914 Jack Tobin-RF (1969)
146 42.0 1912 George Mogridge-P (1962)
151 34.4 1917 Dutch Ruether-P (1970)
156 36.9 1915 Jesse Barnes-P (1961)
137 36.1 1915 Sherry Smith-P (1949)
161 38.4 1918 Irish Meusel-LF (1963)
139 43.1 1914 Frank Snyder-C (1962)
141 36.5 1915 Billy Southworth-RF (1969)
107 26.6 1920 Aaron Ward-2B (1961)
100 33.2 1921 Johnny Bassler-C (1979)

HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star
04% 21-27 Pablo Mesa-OF (1902) - 0 - 0*
00% 16-27 Bartolo Portuondo-3B (??) - 0 - 3*


Not as good as the crop from 1934 (what other year is?), but this year’s candidates are a strong bunch in their own right. 


Players Passing Away in 1932

HoMers
Age Elected

74 1902 Dan Brouthers-1B

Candidates
Age Eligible

77 1895 John Morrill-1B
72 1903 Fred Pfeffer-2B
68 1898 Charlie Getzein-P
62 1911 Candy LaChance-1B
55 1914 Sammy Strang-3B/2B

Future Candidates
29 1937 Chino Smith-RF


Thanks to Dan G. for the necrology!

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 03:35 PM | 262 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 03:47 PM (#800316)
Even though voting isn't over till 8 Eastern tonight, can we go ahead and open a 1933 Discussion thread? As I recall, we've had them opened on Mondays in the past, and this would give us an outlet for our energies while awaiting those last few ballots.

Ask, and ye shall receive, Michael.

Dan, from now on, could you send me the necrology, too? My e-maill address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks!
   2. Michael Bass Posted: August 16, 2004 at 03:53 PM (#800329)
Starting with a basic question:

Almost all these guys were active during WWI. So who here is a candidate for war credit?
   3. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:06 PM (#800349)
Of course, no one needs to argue in favor of Walter Johnson. But since this is the only year he will be on the ballot, I couldn't let the occasion pass without some comment. OK, I admit it - this post is completely unnecessary, but I'm doing it because it's fun.

I tried a "what if." What if Johnson had pitched exactly as he did from the beginning of his career into the 1915 season, but had fallen ill halfway through 1915 and never pitched again? I chose this for a career length so that it would match Addie Joss as closely as possible. Joss had 8 1/2 years, from 1902 through half of 1910, and this arrangement gives Johnson 8 1/2 years, from 1907 through half of 1915.

In my RA+-equivalent system, Joss, whose actual R/L record was 160/97, comes out almost exactly the same: 161-98. Joss had three years with more than 20 "RA+-equiv FWP": 25-11 (32), 20-11 (23), and 23-15 (21). The equivalent W% of .623 was essentially as good as Mathewon (.625) and ahead of nearly every other pitcher on the ballot. But although Joss has had, and still has, enthusiastic supporters, the electorate's general verdict is that it's Not Enough.

So what does Johnson shortened to Joss's career length look like? For starters, it may be the same number of years but it's more innings. Johnson's "actual" record (I didn't look up the chronology of 1915, I just divided it by 2) was 193-122. That is a high ratio of decisions to innings (probably influenced by relief work). His RA+-equiv record? 198-92, for a W% of .683. He had 5 years with more than 20 "RA+-equiv FWP": 32-6 (53), 32-9 (47), 29-12 (38), 28-13 (34), and 23-12 (25), and was in 1915 halfway to what would turn out to be 27-10 (37).

That IS enough. Add 12-27 to that 198-92 and you have Ed Walsh. This version of Johnson has the highest peak of any post-1893 pitcher. The two best single seasons I have are Johnson 1913 and 1912.

But of course, Johnson didn't stop pitching in 1915. What about Big Train II, the older pitcher who started halfway through 1915 and pitched through 1927? My RA+-equiv. record for him is 228-139 (compared to an actual 224-157). It's not as rich in big years as Big Train I, but we do have equivalent records of 26-10, 26-15, and 21-10. Who does that resemble? It's Mordecai Brown - the raw records, not corrected for defense. It's the American League portion of Cy Young's career. Add 20-57 to get Willis. Subtract 28-10 to get Waddell. Add 47-85 to get Rixie.

I'd elect both of them.
   4. Michael Bass Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:13 PM (#800364)
Someone said this a few days ago, and I agree...

If you divided Big Train's career in half just perfectly, the two halves would be one and two on my ballot.
   5. TomH Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#800382)
Walter Johnson

another totally unnecessary but fun piece - here’s something interesting I found a few years ago about the Big Train.

Home / road splits, before and after the Live Ball era began in 1920:

Years… Home IP Home ERA Road IP Road ERA park factor league ERA
1907-1919 2054 ……...1.53 ….…2046 …..1.78 …..0.964 ……..2.82
1920-1927 ..996 ……...2.81 ……..828 ……3.96 …..0.906 ………4.11

The park in D.C. was a good pitcher’s park even in the deadball era, but when the home run became popular, its deep fences made it a hurler’s heaven. Walter Johnson had been an utterly dominant pitcher in the teens, but when the live ball came in, he became mortal (or else he was merely getting old). But in his home park, he maintained his excellence; it was on the road that he suffered. One could surmise that Johnson fogged the ball over the plate, and allowed the park to hold the ball when batters connected. This did not work nearly as well after 1920 in parks where home runs were a threat – he was merely average in 828 IP of these situations. One could then conclude that Walter took great advantage of his circumstances, in becoming what is commonly assessed to be the greatest pitcher ever; and so maybe, when discussing who was the best ever, this could be held against him.

Having said all of that, the analysis above is somewhat speculative, and the Big Train was SO good for SO long that I would still take him over Grove or Young or Seaver or Clemens. If I were drafting a team from scratch to try to win a number of World Series titles, including playoffs where an ace starter is so critical, it would be real tough to pass up taking Johnson.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:41 PM (#800432)
Having said all of that, the analysis above is somewhat speculative, and the Big Train was SO good for SO long that I would still take him over Grove or Young or Seaver or Clemens.

I'm not so sure about that, Tom, after taking care of context issues. I have Young and Spahn (without any WWII credit, mind you) as slightly superior to Barney. Grove is a little behind (no minor league credit added).

It's too early for Seaver and Clemens in my analysis, so you may be right there.
   7. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:47 PM (#800445)
It's not beyond argument, but I think that the best all-same-last-name team in history was the Johnsons, with a particular strength at the front end of the pitching staff. (The big sidearm righty and the big sidearm lefty.) After this election, we'll have two members of that team. We will need for Grant to play SS. The All-Johnsons also have the best NBA team.
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:52 PM (#800455)
Re wartime credit:

Of the top 8 candidates,

Johnson, Wheat, Groh, Shocker, Peckinpaugh, and Schalk did not miss time due to military service.

Shawkey was definitely in the service for 1918.

Fournier was mostly not in the majors at the time of the war; I haven't seen any record that he served, but I don't have any data that says he didn't. He was playing in the PCL in 1919, though I don't have stats for him. Anybody have more information on Fournier's activities 1917 - 1919?
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2004 at 04:55 PM (#800459)
For the record, here are the Negro League eligibles I have for 1933:

1933 (August 29)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star
04% 21-27 Pablo Mesa-OF (1902) - 0 - 0*
00% 16-27 Bartolo Portuondo-3B (??) - 0 - 3*

Neither look to be serious candidates, but if anybody has anything to tell about either player, I'd be happy to hear it.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#800482)
For the record, here are the Negro League eligibles I have for 1933:

I added them at the top of this thread, Chris. Thanks!
   11. PhillyBooster Posted: August 16, 2004 at 05:34 PM (#800517)
Turning to a candidate who will NOT be #1 on everyone's ballot . . .

I have no idea whether Heinie Groh is a top-of-the-ballot candidate, or an off-the-ballot candidate.

Here are the Top 10 Third Baseman -- which includes the four who are in (Baker, Sutton, Collins, White),and my subjective "Next Six": Cross, Gardner, Groh, Leach, McGraw, and Williamson.

First, by WARP-1, he looks good, but is his career was much shorter than Cross or Leach.

123.1Cross, Lave
117Leach, Tommy
104.2Collins, Jimmy
102Groh, Heinie
101.4White, Deacon
99.6Baker, Frank
90.4Sutton, Ezra
88.2Gardner, Larry
82.2McGraw, John
80.1Williamson, Ed


Now, by WARP(1)/162 games:

WARP/162
12.12McGraw, John
11.60Sutton, Ezra
10.80Williamson, Ed
10.53White, Deacon
10.24Baker, Frank
9.86Groh, Heinie
9.79Collins, Jimmy
8.79Leach, Tommy
8.76Cross, Lave
7.43Gardner, Larry

So, in terms of overall rate, he's really only a little better than Leach or Cross, but equally below Williamson.

Where he really stands out is in Double Plays per game at Third.

0.21Groh, Heinie
0.17Baker, Frank
0.17Williamson, Ed
0.15Gardner, Larry
0.14White, Deacon
0.13Collins, Jimmy
0.13McGraw, John
0.12Cross, Lave
0.12Sutton, Ezra
0.12Leach, Tommy

On the other hand, he finished a distant 8th out of 10 in put outs per game at third base (ahead of McGraw and Gardner) and assists per game a third base (last among eligibles), so it's unclear exactly how much that double play rate helped.

Overall, I think he definitely goes above Larry Gardner, who finishes 6th of the 6 top 3rd baseman, but how to arrange Groh in comparison to Williamson, Leach, McGraw, and Cross is a mystery.

My initial thought is that Williamson is first and the next four tied for second. Groh had a career WARP about 10% less than LEach and Cross, but played at a 10% better rate. His career WARP was about 20% higher than McGraw, but McGraw played at about a 20% better rate. Depending on your adjustments for Williamson's shorter seasons or his easier competition, I could see Williamson either a clear first or back in a 5-way tie with the others.
   12. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 05:57 PM (#800572)
On offense only (a modified scaled RCAA system) I have Groh in a cluster with Frisch and Leach. Groh has an advantage over both Frisch and Leach in big offensive years (especially 1917 and 1919), while he's behind both of them on a more longevity-dependent number. I'd rank that cluster Frisch, Groh, Leach. They're behind McGraw on this scale and clearly ahead of Collins and Traynor.

I haven't put Williamson's numbers on this scale; I'm not sure I can.

But that's offense only. I don't think Frisch was Groh's match on defense (besides being not eligible yet), and Leach spent only part of a career at 3B.

The rate of double plays per game changed rapidly between the dead ball days and the 20's, so there are huge timeline factors in any list of double play frequency.

I agree with the second paragraph of PhillyBooster's post. (I have no idea ... .)
   13. ronw Posted: August 16, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#800638)
My own 3B observations, only among eligibles:

White and Baker stand head and shoulders over everyone. White for 15 solid, some outstanding seasons; Baker for 4 MVP candidate seasons during the Cobb/Speaker/Collins heyday. Sutton is close to being above the glut if one gives credit for pre-NA play.

It's interesting how many of these candidates had 10-11 good seasons, and most generally had only one outstanding season. This applies to Baker, Williamson (1879), Gardner (1912), Sutton (1884), Leach (1908), and Collins (1898). Baker of course had more than one outstanding season.

Then, there are the outliers, McGraw (8 good seasons) and Cross (12 good seasons). Surprisingly, McGraw was almost never really outstanding, other than 1899, probably because he was injured so often. Cross never had anything remotely closs to an outstanding season. However, Cross' longetivity and McGraw's general short-season excellence fit them squarely in the glut.

With about 10 good seasons, our new entry Heinie Groh seems a perfect addition to the hot corner glut. However, unlike most of the glut, Groh had three outstanding seasons (1917, 1918, 1919). He was arguably MVP of the National League each of those years. A big issue will be how much one discounts the teens NL. Without a discount, Groh may be closer to Baker than to the 3B bunch. With a discount, I think Groh fits within the glut.

If Groh didn't decide to watch the Waner brothers play in 1927 (see TGOTT) and had hung 'em up a year earlier, I think he may have made the HOM in 1932. It seems like he may have to wait, as I do think Wheat had an equal peak, and a longer career. FWIW, it looks like Groh will debut at #7 on my ballot.
   14. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 06:44 PM (#800649)
On pitchers (mere mortals division):

I have Shocker and Shawkey both in a cluster with several other pitchers who were surely very good, but I haven't been voting for them. I have Shocker ahead of Shawkey, but both of them behind Adams, Ciccotte, Cooper and Powell. Joss is in that neighborhood somewhere. Reulbach, Leever, and Philippe would be if we didn't account for the defenses behind them.

Nothing against these two, but I'd rather wait for Ruffing, Coveleski, Rixie, Faber, and Vance, and I await some non-majors evidence for Luque.
   15. ronw Posted: August 16, 2004 at 06:53 PM (#800653)
Back to the immortal pitcher.

Here's my longer ballot comment on the Big Train. Now my actual ballot comment will be shorter.

1. Walter Johnson PHOM 1933. MVP candidate 1910-1918, All-Star candidate 1908, 1919, 1921-1926. (17 HOM seasons). As of this election, the best pitcher ever. How many times do we get to say that about a candidate? I count twice, first with Cy Young, now with Walter Johnson. He’s still the greatest pitcher ever in my estimation.

BTW Our probable current (through 1932) All-Time HOM list is:

P - Young
C - Ewing
1B - Anson, Brouthers, Connor, take your pick
2B - Lajoie
3B - Baker
SS - Wagner
LF – Delahanty
CF – Hamilton
RF – Crawford

By 1945, the list will change by 6 (or 7) positions, with only Baker, Wagner and maybe Delahanty surviving:

P – Johnson
C - Cochrane, with Gibson looming
1B – Gehrig
2B - ECollins or Hornsby
3B - Baker
SS - Wagner
LF – Delahanty, although one might want to move Cobb, Speaker or Charleston over
CF – Cobb, Speaker or Charleston
RF – Ruth

When we finish, the list may change by only 4 positions:

P – Johnson
C – Gibson
1B – Gehrig
2B – ECollins or Hornsby
3B – Schmidt
SS – Wagner
LF – Bonds or Williams
CF – Mays, Mantle, Cobb, Speaker or Charleston
RF - Ruth
   16. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 16, 2004 at 06:59 PM (#800657)
FWIW, I wrote the SABR bio for Zack Wheat, and this seems like an appropriate place to post it for interested HOM voters. After all, it ain't copyright violation if you own the copyright!

(Apologies for the length and for my presumptuousness...)


ZACK WHEAT

One of the few Deadball Era players to eschew slap-hitting in favor of the power produced by a mighty swing, Brooklyn’s Zack Wheat was probably the best National League batter of the 1910s. A heavy hitter, swift runner, and graceful fielder, he ranked in the league’s top ten in home runs and slugging percentage 11 times each, and he remains the Dodgers’ all-time franchise leader in hits, doubles, triples, and total bases.

Zachariah Davis Wheat (Not Zachary as is often erroneously reported) was born on May 23, 1888, at his family’s farm near Hamilton, Missouri, 60 miles northeast of Kansas City. Missouri was still a wild frontier then; just six years earlier, Jesse James had been murdered by a member of his own gang in nearby St. Joseph. Wheat’s mother was said to be a full-blooded Cherokee, while his father Basil was a descendant of Moses Wheat, one of the Puritans who fled England and founded Concord, Massachusetts, in 1635. Wheat’s father died when he was 16, and his mother moved with her three sons to Kansas City, Kansas, where Zack got his start as a second baseman with the semipro Union Club.

Zack was the eldest son, and with his family left nearly destitute, he set out to make a living as a ballplayer. In 1906 he went to Enterprise, Kansas, where he earned $60 per month playing for an independent team. That was followed by minor league stops in Fort Worth, Shreveport, and Mobile. Wheat quickly won a reputation as a top-notch defensive outfielder, but was a lackluster batter, posting averages of .260 in 1908 and .246 in 1909. (Wheat later claimed the poor batting averages were a result of malaria he suffered in the southern cities.) Traveling home from Mobile after the 1908 season, Wheat stopped in St. Louis on September 20 to attend his first major league game. It was a doozy: The Browns’ Rube Waddell set an American League record by striking out 17 batters and defeated Walter Johnson in 10 innings, 2-1. “After seeing those two pitchers, I wondered if I wanted to be a big leaguer and have to hit against pitchers like them,” Wheat remembered later. As it turned out, he wouldn’t have to worry about Waddell and Johnson, for Wheat was destined to be a National Leaguer. At Mobile he caught the eye of Brooklyn scout Larry Sutton, and the Dodgers purchased Wheat’s contract for a reported $1,200 on August 29, 1909.

“He is an Indian, but you would hardly guess it except from his dark complexion,” one newspaper reported shortly after Wheat arrived in Brooklyn. “He is a very fine fellow and a quiet and refined gentleman.” In his first full major league season, 1910, Wheat finally became the offensive threat he had never been in the minors, leading the Dodgers with a .284 average while ranking among the league leaders in hits, doubles, and triples. “I was young [and] inexperienced” in the minors, Wheat explained. “The fellows that I played with encouraged me to bunt and beat the ball out. I was anxious to make good and did as I was told. When I came to Brooklyn I adopted an altogether different style of hitting. I stood flat footed at the plate and slugged. That was my natural style.”

Nobody could argue with the results. Over the next several years, Wheat established himself as one of the N.L.’s greatest sluggers, ranking among the league leaders in home runs every year from 1912 to 1916. In 1914 five of his nine homers were of the over-the-fence variety, considered a remarkable achievement at the time. “The beauty of Wheat’s hitting is that many of his drives go for extra bases,” one newspaper wrote. Though he threw right-handed, Wheat was a natural left-handed hitter, and he “corkscrewed his spikes into the dirt with a wiggle which became his trademark,” one writer remembered. He also batted with his hands all the way down at the knob of the bat, refusing to choke up as most players of his era did. “There is no chop-hitting with Wheat,” another writer observed, “but a smashing swipe which, if it connects, means work for the outfielders.” Wheat was an outstanding first-ball hitter, and most pitchers in the league – except for Pete Alexander, practitioner of pinpoint control – soon learned to throw him junk on the first pitch. He was also so renowned as a curveball hitter that John McGraw reportedly had a standing order prohibiting his pitchers from throwing curves to Wheat.

Wheat was far ahead of his time in many aspects of hitting, adopting strategies that would not be widely accepted until decades later. He was sometimes criticized for his reluctance to bunt, but he argued that he was more valuable to the team by swinging away. He also came to favor a lighter bat than most (40 ounces), which enabled him to generate more bat speed. “I am an arm hitter,” he explained to F.C. Lane. “When you snap the bat with your wrists just as you meet the ball, you give the bat tremendous speed for a few inches of its course. The speed with which the bat meets the ball is the thing that counts.”

...continued....
   17. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 16, 2004 at 07:03 PM (#800661)
ZACK WHEAT, part 2 of 3

In 1914 Wheat’s baseball salary was raised to $6,500, which was augmented by the money he made raising stock each winter at his farm in Polo, Missouri. During World War I, he sold mules to the Army to serve as pack animals on the battlefields of Europe. “I am a ball player in the summer and a farmer in the winter time,” he said. “I aim to be a success at both professions.” He also used his second job as leverage in contract negotiations. Unless the Dodgers met his demands each spring, he was perfectly content to stay in Missouri and be a farmer. In an era when the balance of power rested entirely with the owners, the threat of a holdout was the only negotiating tool Wheat had. “I made him hold out each year for seven years,” Daisy Wheat later remembered, “and each time he got a raise.” In 1917, during one of Wheat’s most contentious holdouts, Charles Ebbets went so far as to travel to Wheat’s farm to negotiate. In 1923 Wheat staged a lengthy and bitter holdout when Ebbets refused his requests for a $500 raise (to $9,300) and a 2-year contract, but he eventually signed without getting either.) By 1926, his last year with Brooklyn, Wheat was making $16,000 as player and “Assistant Manager.” Because of his contract difficulties, trade rumors seemed to surround Wheat every winter. But the Dodgers never pulled the trigger, perhaps because Brooklynites loved Wheat so much that, as one local newspaper wrote, “they regard Zach and his wife and his two children as members of their own families.” In 1915, meanwhile, a real member of Wheat’s family joined the Dodgers: his younger brother Mack, who would eventually spend five years as a backup catcher with the team. The third Wheat brother, Basil Curtis, was also a ballplayer, serving as a longtime outfielder and catcher in the minor leagues.

Though Zack was reluctant to discuss his Native American background, his heritage was well-known in baseball circles, and in an era that also produced star native athletes like Jim Thorpe and Chief Bender, Wheat’s Indian blood was thought by some to be the primary reason for his excellence: “The lithe muscles, the panther-like motions of the Indian are his by divine right,” Baseball Magazine observed in 1917. Perhaps the most dramatic hit of Wheat’s career came at Ebbets Field on June 1, 1915, a two-out, two-strike homer in the bottom of the ninth that tied the game against Philadelphia. The hit was so exciting that one fan at Ebbets field, florist Chauncey Martin, suffered a heart attack and died as he was jumping up to cheer. Ironically, if Martin had lived only two more innings he would have been able to see Wheat win the game with a bases-loaded single.

In 1916 Wheat had a magnificent season, batting .312 while ranking among the N.L. leaders in virtually every offensive category. He also set a Brooklyn record by batting safely in 29 consecutive games. Even better, for the first time in Wheat’s career, the Dodgers found themselves in a pennant race. In the closing weeks of the season Wheat became so excited that he was unable to sleep at night. “I was thinking and dreaming and eating pennants,” he recalled. “I used to get up in the middle of the night and smoke a cigar so that I could calm down a little and get some sleep.” Brooklyn eked out the pennant, but Boston won the World Series handily as Red Sox pitchers held Wheat to a miserable .211 batting average, including 0-for-5 against Babe Ruth in Game 2.

In 1919 Wheat was appointed captain of the Robins, and that season marked a turning point for both Wheat and the game he loved. Over the last decade of the Deadball Era, Wheat compiled more total bases than any other National Leaguer, and in hits he ranked second only to his longtime teammate Jake Daubert. But as great a deadball hitter as he was, Wheat’s powerful stroke enabled him to take advantage of the new lively ball like few other players. In 1920 he led the Dodgers to the pennant while setting new career highs in hits, runs scored, and slugging percentage. In the first six years of the lively ball he averaged .347, enjoying a late-career renaissance that remained unmatched in baseball history until Henry Aaron came along. In 1923 and ’24 Wheat posted back-to-back .375 batting averages, and in 1925 he had one of the best seasons ever by a 37-year-old: a .359 batting average with 125 runs scored, 221 hits, and a .541 slugging percentage.

...continued...
   18. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 16, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#800663)
ZACK WHEAT, part 3 of 3

There was a subtle but longstanding friction between Wheat and manager Wilbert Robinson, stemming largely from Robinson’s belief that Wheat always seemed to be pursuing the manager’s job behind his back. When Ebbets died in 1925, new team president Ed McKeever pushed Robinson into the front office and named Wheat the new field manager. But McKeever caught pneumonia at Ebbets’ funeral, died soon afterward, and Robinson returned to the helm. In 1931 Steve McKeever, Ed’s brother, hired Wheat as a coach, leading to widespread speculation that he was being groomed for the manager’s spot. Robinson, whose job was being threatened by Wheat for the second time in seven years, treated his former star as coldly as ever. But as it turned out, much to his disappointment, Wheat would never manage again in the major leagues. Many years later, when Wheat was in his seventies, a reporter asked him why he hadn’t stayed in baseball. “Nobody asked me to,” he replied. To add insult to injury, Wheat’s 1925 managerial stint has never made it into the official records, although newspapers of the day confirm that he managed the Dodgers for two weeks that year.

In 1927 the Dodgers decided they no longer needed Wheat. In recognition of his many years of service, the club released him rather than trading him, so he could negotiate his own deal with whomever he chose. After being wooed by the Giants, Yankees, and Senators, Wheat signed a $15,000 contract with Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics. He batted .324 in part-time duty there, then signed to play with Minneapolis of the American Association in 1928. He batted .309 before suffering a bruised heel which put him on the shelf for the season and, as it turned out, forever. In the spring of 1929, Wheat decided to retire. At the time, his 2,884 hits were 10th on the all-time major league list, while his 4,100 total bases ranked ninth.

After leaving baseball Wheat turned to farming full-time, but the Great Depression lowered prices so dramatically that in 1932 he was forced to sell his 160-acre farm for just $23,000. He moved his family to Kansas City, Missouri, where he operated a bowling alley for a time before becoming a patrolman with the Kansas City Police Department. He nearly died on Easter Sunday 1936, when he suffered a fractured skull, dislocated shoulder, broken wrist, and 15 broken ribs after crashing his patrol car while chasing a fugitive. After five months in the hospital, Wheat moved with his family to Sunrise Beach, Mo., a resort town on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks, to recuperate. As it turned out, Wheat would spend the rest of his life in Sunrise Beach. Always an avid hunter, he opened a 46-acre hunting and fishing resort which became a popular destination for ex-ballplayers. One of his favorite activities was turning on his radio and television simultaneously in order to listen to two different ballgames at once. Occasionally, he and Daisy drove to Kansas City or St. Louis to see a game in person.

In 1957 Wheat was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, but there was only one problem: He was ineligible for election by the Veterans because he had been retired for less than the requisite 30 years. The committee rectified the mistake at its next meeting in 1959, when it unanimously elected the newly eligible Wheat. “That makes me feel mighty proud,” the 70-year-old Wheat said. “I feel a little younger, too.” Zack Wheat died on March 11, 1972, at a hospital in Sedalia, Missouri, near his home. Shortly before his death, he was asked if he had any advice for youngsters with ballplaying aspirations. “Yes,” he said. “Tell them to learn to chew tobacco.”

END

Text copyright 2003 by Eric Enders. Unauthorized duplication, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing.
   19. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 16, 2004 at 07:05 PM (#800666)
I mentioned this on the last thread, but since this is the appropriate thread & I just made some minor changes: [url=http://runsupportindex.blogspot.com/2004/06/urban-shocker.html]Urban Shocker[/ur;].

Any requests for any other pitchers?
   20. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 16, 2004 at 07:11 PM (#800675)
Goddammit.

Urban Shocker.
   21. mbd1mbd1 Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#800692)
Thanks for posting that, Eric - it was a great read.

Groh will probably catch the tail end of my ballot. I have Leach at 8ish
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#800695)
re: Deacon White

If he retired after his last season as a catcher, he would have a very good case for induction as a HoMer.

If his case rested on solely his third base play, however, he would have been long forgotten as a viable candidate.

IOW, don't ask me (and the Commish will back me up on this) about changing his primary position on his plaque. :-)
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:05 PM (#800698)
(Apologies for the length and for my presumptuousness...)

Don't apologize, Eric. Thank you for putting some flesh on Wheat's statistical bones.
   24. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#800705)
Anyone know what date Easter fell on in 1936? I say this because I'm starting a baseball history dates file so I can eventually set up a This Day in Baseball history website to go along with my TDiH website & that Zach Wheat anecdote is one I'd like to include.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:15 PM (#800707)
Easter:

1936 4/12

link

Calculator
   26. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:26 PM (#800717)
Neat, thanx, DF.
   27. PhillyBooster Posted: August 16, 2004 at 08:32 PM (#800721)
While trolling for potential lost causes . . .

Any thoughts on Lee Meadows? Here's a guy who just screams "better than his numbers".

He went 188-180, spending the first half of his career with some of the worst teams in baseball history. In 1919, he had the ignominy of being trade from the 7th best team in the NL to the 8th best! In the 8 years between 1915 and 1922, he was on the 7th or 8th place team 6 times!

In years where his team finished in the 2nd division, he went 84-116 (.420) while his teams went 319-513 (.383) in games he did not get a decision in).

In years where his team finished in the first division, Meadows went 103-63 (.621), while his team went 429-324 (.570) without him.

While difficult to find other good pitchers to compare him to on his "bad teams," he was teammates with Eppa Rixey in Philadephia, when the Phillies finished in last place in 1919 and 1920. Meadows was 24-24 for Philadelphia in those years, with an ERA+ over 130. Rixey was 17-34, with an ERA+ in the low 90s.

Meadows was also the ace of almost every team he was on, including the pennant-winning Pirates of 1925 and 1927.
   28. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 09:08 PM (#800748)
Jack (Jacque?) Fournier:
For him, that adjusted RCAA method puts him about even with Sisler in everything except for the career-oriented RC above 75% of average component. Versus Beckley, it's a nearly impossible peak vs. career component. Compared to Konetchy, I have Fournier with a large peak advantage. My formula puts 1B in this order: Terry, Chance, Sisler, Fournier, Beckley, Konetchy, Judge, Daubert, (the unspeakable one), McInnis. Throwing some outfielders into the mix, I see Fournier as about even offensively with Cravath and Burns, and a little ahead of Youngs, Hooper, and Veach. My gut feeling is to reverse the order and put Beckley ahead of Fournier, but I see that as a fairly close call.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2004 at 09:38 PM (#800772)
The baseballlibrary bio on Fournier is very interesting. It looks to me like he was a clear victim of the conventional wisdom being unable to appreciate the value of his hitting, because he was not a good fielder.

After leading the AL in slugging in 1916, he lost his staring job in 1917 to a nobody minor-league journeyman type, and didn't get back a starting job in the majors until 1920.

Like Cravath, he's a player who probably merits some credit for minor-league play during years when he was good enough to be starting in the majors but wasn't.
   30. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 10:15 PM (#800805)
After leading the AL in slugging in 1916, he lost his staring job in 1917 to a nobody minor-league journeyman type,

Off by a year: Fournier led the league in slugging (.322/.422/.491, also 3rd in OBP) in 1915, not 1916. He had fallen far off of that (.240/.328/.367) in 1916 when he apparently gave up his starting job to Jack Ness, whose 258 AB of .267/.310/.345 that year amounts to over 80% of his major league career. For 1917, the White Sox purchased Chick Gandil from Cleveland. We know where that story is going.

That was one snakebit team in 1915. They had the run margin of a 100-win Pythagorean team, which should have won the division by 5 games, but instead, they won only 93 and finished 3rd behind two 95-win-Pythag teams that won 100 each. Fournier and Shano Collins both played both 1B and outfield, but S.Collins had 153 G, 576 AB while Fournier had only 126 G, 422 AB. Fournier's leftover playing time may have been picked up by Bunny Brief, .214/.305/.318. That may even have been a platoon arrangement, although you'd shake your head at platooning a guy who is 2nd in the league in OPS.

The hole in Fournier's career, 1917-1918, covers his age 27-28 years. It would be interesting to see what he was hitting at the minor league level for those two years.
   31. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 10:21 PM (#800806)
I meant to say, "The hole in Fournier's career, 1917-1919, covers his age 27-29 years. It would be interesting to see what he was hitting at the minor league level for those three years."
   32. OCF Posted: August 16, 2004 at 10:36 PM (#800816)
Fournier had 1618 career secondary bases to go with his 1613 hits: BA .313, Sec. Ave. .310.

Sisler, his contemporary, had 1906 secondary bases and 2812 hits: BA .340, Sec. Ave. .231. Most of Sisler's advantage on Fournier in total secondary bases is in SB.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:08 PM (#800838)
from baseballlibrary.com, a couple of HOM pitching candidates mentioned here...

"As the years wore on, Johnson became a Washington landmark. He was tempted during the Federal League uproar, and actually signed with the Chicago Whales, but revoked the contract when penny-pinching Clark Griffith made an emergency trip to Kansas to up the ante and restore him to his pedestal. Finally, in 1924, with the shrewdest trades of his life, Griffith put together Washington's first pennant winner.
When his glorious career wound down, Johnson tried his hand at managing: Newark for a season, Washington (1929-32), and Cleveland (1933-35).

And on Wheat..
Wheat's last home run for Brooklyn signaled the end of his great Dodger career. He had injured his heel and, with only a few games to play in the 1926 season, was resting his aching legs. Sent in to pinch hit, he pulled a pitch to right field and raced down the line. As the ball cleared the wall, he got a charley horse. As he hobbled on, his other leg failed him, and he lurched into second base. He sat down on the bag as time was called. Robinson and the umpires consulted. Finally, Wheat got his to feet. With the crowd wincing with him on every step, he virtually crept over to third. It took him an estimated five minutes to finally score."
"Released by the Dodgers on New Year's Day, 1927, Wheat signed with the Athletics. He batted .324 his final season, pinch hitting and playing 62 games in the outfield for a Philadelphia team that had ten .300 hitters, including Ty Cobb (.357) and Al Simmons (.392)."
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:10 PM (#800843)
And Shocker..

"Shocker came late to the big leagues and did not even become a pitcher until 1913, his first professional season. Originally a catcher, he demonstrated such speed and accuracy in his throws that he was switched to the mound. He acquired a spitter, which he threw infrequently and as a breaking slow ball, and a variety of curves. His delivery was aided by a permanent crook in the end joint of his ring finger, suffered when he speared a ball while still a catcher. He always said the crooked finger improved his grip and thus the effectiveness of his pitches.
After the 1927 season he voluntarily retired (he did pitch three innings in 1928). His death at age 38 was attributed to an overstrained "athlete's heart."
   35. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:15 PM (#800852)
When all's said and done, I suspect that 1927 A's team will have more HOMers on it than any other:

Mickey Cochrane
Ty Cobb
Al Simmons
Zack Wheat
Eddie Collins
Jimmie Foxx
Lefty Grove

1928 was the same, except sub in Tris Speaker for Wheat. All should be first-ballot HOM guys except for Simmons.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:19 PM (#800864)
After the 1927 season he voluntarily retired (he did pitch three innings in 1928). His death at age 38 was attributed to an overstrained "athlete's heart."

Yes brothers, exercise will kill you! :-)

His obit states that he died of pneumonia and heart disease.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:21 PM (#800868)
All should be first-ballot HOM guys except for Simmons.

I like Simmons better than Wheat, personally. However, I agree all of the above will make it.
   38. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#800873)
I like Simmons better than Wheat, personally.

Except I said that about the 1928 bunch, which included Speaker instead of Wheat.

But Wheat's getting the second slot this year anyway, isn't he?
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:29 PM (#800883)
Except I said that about the 1928 bunch, which included Speaker instead of Wheat.

Sorry, Eric. I agree with you then.

But Wheat's getting the second slot this year anyway, isn't he?

I don't know. He won't from me.
   40. jimd Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:30 PM (#800887)
That was one snakebit team in 1915. They had the run margin of a 100-win Pythagorean team, which should have won the division by 5 games, but instead, they won only 93 and finished 3rd behind two 95-win-Pythag teams that won 100 each.

Their record in one-run games was 23-26, not a real issue. The real problem was that those White Sox couldn't beat the other good teams. Their record against the second division was 68-20 (.773) and against the winning teams was 25-41 (.379). They had a 6 game lead on July 1st (46-21). It was down to 1.5 when the Red Sox came into Chicago on 7/17 and took 4 of 5, knocking them out of 1st for good. On Aug 2nd, 1 game separated the three contenders, and then the Red Sox and Tigers turned on the turbos (each were over .750 in August), leaving the White Sox eating dust. (Thank you B-R.com and RetroSheet.)
   41. Chris Cobb Posted: August 16, 2004 at 11:46 PM (#800914)
But Wheat's getting the second slot this year anyway, isn't he?

I think he should, and will. Both new WARP (W1 and W3) and WS show Wheat as superior to Van Haltren on both peak and career. He also does very well according to traditional stats. Van Haltren will finish high this year, so seems pretty likely that Wheat will be elected in 1933.

To hold Wheat down you have to a) downgrade leftfielders because many have been elected already or b) downgrade Wheat because he was seldom the best leftfielder in the majors.

I'm not saying everyone should or will have Wheat at #2 on their ballots (though that's where he'll be on my ballot), I am saying that unless you take what I view as an extreme stance on positional balance or positional dominance, there's not any rationale for ranking Wheat below Van Haltren, and general ranking of Wheat above VH will probably enough to get him elected, unless Heinie Groh makes a big splash or Clark Griffith's candidacy continues to gain momentum.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:01 AM (#800949)
Prelim:

1) You know who
2) Childs
3) Groh
4) Pike
5) Jones
6) Wheat
7) Willis
8) York
9) Beckley
10) Welch
11) Waddell
12) Mendez
13) Konetchy
14) Bresnahan
15) Duffy
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#800950)
Speaking of Heinie Groh, I view his as the best third baseman available. Here's a WS view of the main eligibles, using totals that I have adjusted for season-length and differences in fielding value prior to 1930.

Heinie Groh – 308 career win shares
Seasons in order -- 40, 37, 37, 31, 27, 26, 20, 20, 20, 17, 15, 14, 2, 1, 1, 0

Tommy Leach – 374 career win shares
Seasons In Order -- 35, 34, 33, 29, 28, 28, 26, 23, 21, 21, 20, 19, 16, 15, 12, 8, 5, 2, 0

Lave Cross –- 352 career win shares
Seasons In Order -- 33, 29, 24, 21, 21, 21, 21, 21, 21, 20, 18, 18, 18, 16, 12, 11, 7, 7, 7, 3, 3

John McGraw -- 250 career win shares
Seasons In Order -- 38, 35, 32, 26, 26, 26, 26, 17, 8, 8, 4, 3, 1, 0

Ed Williamson –- 305 career win shares
Seasons in Order -- 37, 35, 32, 30, 30, 29, 25, 25, 21, 18, 16, 5, 2

Larry Gardner – 293 career win shares
Seasons in Order -- 32, 29, 25, 25, 25, 23, 23, 21, 20, 18, 17, 16, 15, 2, 2, 0, 0

Looking at seasonal achievements, Groh has the best peak. His peak rate stats would be a bit below McGraw's, but McGraw's fragility kept his seasonal totals a bit below Groh's.

Looking at career, Groh beats McGraw, Williamson, and Gardner. He's considerably behind Leach and Cross, so pure career voters may prefer these two. Cross has so few seasons above average that, in my view, Groh's peak clearly overgoes Cross's career advantage. Leach has the best argument to rank ahead of Groh, but since he extended his career by switching to the outfield, I place less weight on his career advantage. (A good outcome of Groh's arrival would be more attention for Leach -- he's pretty seriously underrated by the electorate.)

Williamson looks very close to but below Groh on both career and peak, but given the weaker competition of the 1880s, Groh clearly ranks ahead.

I'm not sure where Groh will fall on my ballot, but he'll be somewhere between 3 and 10.
   44. EricC Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:08 AM (#800966)
1933 prelim. Happy days are here again.

On this ballot, I'll expose some of the inner workings of my system. I use Win Shares rates and playing time as the basis for rating players, determine each player's prime, and then compute position- and era-adjusted "strength points" and "length points". Players are ranked by total points. Note the remarkable tightness of the lower-rated candidates, the difficulty of balancing strength and length, and the difficulty of rating catchers and pitchers.

1. Walter Johnson (N) 636 strength points + 561 length points = 1197 points. A class-A HoMer amongst a ballot of candidates who, shall we say, are not class-A HoMers.

2. Zack Wheat (N) 400 + 391 = 791. By the de facto standards that have applied so far to HoM corner outfielders, Wheat is a HoMer. Other position players may be more exciting, but, IMO, Wheat is the most meritous.

3. Roger Bresnahan (1 last year)) 539 + 238 = 777. Though the strength factor may look wacky, keep in mind that it is relative to other ML catchers of the time.

4. Jake Beckley (2) 363 + 394 = 757. Under my philosophy, not considering candidates like Beckley because they have no peak is like not giving Olympic medals to marathoners because they weren't running 4 minute miles.

5. George "Rube" Waddell (3) 500 + 250 = 750.

6. Harry Hooper (6) 345 + 405 = 750. Before participating in this project, I never would have had much appreciation for a career like Hooper's. But there is great value in preventing GM headaches by being able to fill a roster spot with average to above-average play for an exceptionally long time.

7. Eddie Cicotte (5) 438 + 308 = 746.

8. Heinie Groh (N) 454 + 287 = 741. Old Bottle Bat has the honor of being the highest HoF eligible/not in HoF player on my ballot, which is saying something given my tendancies not to rock the boat when it comes to voting for non-HoFers. Best ML 3B 4 times, but the rest of his career was not exceptionally long nor strong, so I see him as a borderline HoM candidate.

9. George Van Haltren (7) 362 + 375 = 737.

10. Jimmy Ryan (8) 381 + 352 = 733.

11. Jose Mendez (9) 730 estimated points.

12. Urban Shocker (N) 467 + 263 = 730. Similar to Mordecai Brown. Not the one that I voted very highly for at the time, but the one that I would rate a little lower now.

13. Frank Chance (10) 540 + 190 = 730.

14. Ray Schalk (N) 342 + 387 = 729. At his retirement, had the career record for most games caught and is still among the leaders. Not as good as Schang, though.

15. Lip Pike (12) 728 estimated points, strength dominated.

Falling off:

16. Hughie Jennings 654 + 74 = 728. Based on peak, Jennings is the only eligible candidate who I think could conceivably be rationally rated above Johnson. I hope, however, that nobody does this.

17. Cupid Childs 464 + 264 = 728.

18. Hugh Duffy 433 + 295 = 728.

19. Clark Griffith 427 + 294 = 721.


Never on:

Mickey Welch 381 + 295 = 676. Numbers don't look so hot, but this (1) reflects the fact that he's in a pack of 1880s contemporaries that includes Keefe, Clarkson, McCormick, Galvin, Caruthers, Radbourn, Mathews, Corcoran, King, and Mullane, and (2) reflects the difficulty in comparing pre-1893 pitchers with post-1893 pitchers.

Newcomers for the Hall of the Very Good:

Roger Peckinpaugh: reincarnation of Herman Long

Jack Fournier: The kind of one-dimensional slugger who typically gets overrated by conventional stats.

Bob Shawkey: comparison is Babe Adams.
   45. yest Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:31 AM (#801044)
All should be first-ballot HOM guys except for Simmons.
why not Simmons?
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:37 AM (#801065)
why not Simmons?

He's not really an inner circle guy like Grove, Foxx, Cobb, Speaker, Collins or Cochrane. They can all be argued as the best at their positions either peak, career or both. Simmons can't.
   47. PhillyBooster Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:49 AM (#801108)
To hold Wheat down you have to a) downgrade leftfielders because many have been elected already or b) downgrade Wheat because he was seldom the best leftfielder in the majors.

I'm the first to deride the left-field glut, but I won't be taking in out on Wheat, who looks to be (at least) in the top half of my ballot. The fact that lesser leftfielders have been elected shouldn't be held against him.

In terms of (b), I'll have to look at that more closely, and it'll partially determine whether I have Wheat 2nd or 8th, but that range looks pretty solid.
   48. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:10 AM (#801160)
Chris J., would you be willing to calculate Lee Meadows' RSI? I'd like to at least give him a look.

Also on pitchers, I have them in the following order at present

Johnson
Griffith
Welch
Shocker
Mendez
------ ballot line
Cooper
Waddell
Bond
Adams
Mullane
McBride
Joss
------ top 40 eligible
Cicotte
Vaughn
McCormick
Donaldson

Shawkey will be down in the 80s. He ranks ahead of Hooks Dauss, but he's not close to my ballot.

Lee Meadows needs consideration; I also am going to reassess Waddell and Joss this year in comparison to the teens and twenties crowd.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:12 AM (#801167)
To hold Wheat down you have to a) downgrade leftfielders because many have been elected already or b) downgrade Wheat because he was seldom the best leftfielder in the majors.

I think a) is a silly reason, but b) has some merit (but only up to a point).
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:16 AM (#801180)
Chris C., you don't have Willis in your top 16?
   51. yest Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:18 AM (#801185)
He's not really an inner circle guy like Grove, Foxx, Cobb, Speaker, Collins or Cochrane

either was Clarke, Walsh, Baker, Santop, Hill ext who all went in on their first ballot
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:30 AM (#801218)
either was Clarke, Walsh, Baker, Santop, Hill ext who all went in on their first ballot

Baker is on peak and Santop may be, too (obviously you disagree on the latter :-).

The rest didn't have great competition, so that explains how they got in quickly.

If his last year is considered to be '43, he'll have Hubbell as competition. I have no idea what carry overs will be on the ballot at that time to mess Simmons up.
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:32 AM (#801225)
Baker is on peak and Santop may be, too (obviously you disagree on the latter :-).

Let me rephrase this better: Baker has an argument as the best third baseman on peak, while Santop is probably up there overall on the catchers list (hard to say).
   54. karlmagnus Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#801309)
Chris C -- isn't Leever somewhere on your pitchers' list?
   55. yest Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:19 AM (#801312)
I agree with you on Baker it's just a matter of how big your inner circle is
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:41 AM (#801361)
it's just a matter of how big your inner circle is

True.

I know Simmons will be high on my ballot, so I'm definitely a FOAS.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:15 AM (#801390)
Chris C., you don't have Willis in your top 16?

No.

Chris C -- isn't Leever somewhere on your pitchers' list?

No.

Longer answers --

Willis has lots of innings, but his per inning value was a lot lower than his contemporaries, so he doesn't make the top 16. I've recently tweaked my method for rating pitchers, so I'm going to run him again. It's possible he'll place in the top 16, but I doubt it: neither Joss nor Waddell moved much when I looked at them in the new system.

Leever had a nice career, but he had fabulous offensive and defensive support for practically all of it, and he pitched only 300 innings more than Joss. I'm going to have another look at him, but he's unlikely to break my top 16.


On Simmons: if he's eligible in 1949, he'll be going up against Biz Mackey as well as Carl Hubbell. It'll be an interesting election! I think I'll have The Meal Ticket in the #1 slot, but no idea yet about Mackey vs. Simmons . . .
   58. yest Posted: August 17, 2004 at 04:29 AM (#801434)
how do you deal with conflicting records of the same player between different sources like total baseball, baseballreference.com, the baseball encyclopedia ext?
   59. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:07 AM (#801462)
In situations where they disagree, Total Baseball is usually assumed to be correct unless shown otherwise. But almost all of the discrepancies have now been cleared up, unless you're using a 12-year-old encyclopedia or something. BB-Ref would be (IMO) the second-most reliable source after TB.

The sources do disagree on some non-numerical matters, such as what the criteria to qualify for a retroactive ERA title should be. But they now agree on almost all of the actual numbers.

Mackey vs. Simmons is going to be an interesting call. Maybe I'll actually be voting by then and thus have an excuse to study it further.
   60. Thane of Bagarth Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:30 AM (#801498)
George Burns vs. Zack Wheat
In the 11 seasons from 1913 to 1923, George Burns outperforms Wheat in WARP3 8 times (Total WARP3: 72.4 for Burns, 62.4 for Wheat) and WS 6 times with one tie (276 WS for Burns, 244 for Wheat). In a quick check, I think Burns leads all NL leftfielders in WARP3 for 6 of those seasons.

If you compare Burns and Wheat by age from 23 yrs. old to 33 yrs. old (same seasons for Burns, 1911-1921 for Wheat) Burns comes out ahead 6 times in WARP3 (Total: 72.4 for Burns, 61.6 for Wheat) and 7 times in Win Shares (276 for Burns, 244 for Wheat).

I'm not pointing this out to argue that Burns is better--the Zack had other good seasons, esp. in '10 (21 WS), '24 (27 WS) & '25 (15 WS) at the ages of 22, 36 & 37--but Burns doesn't seem to be light-years behind Zacker. Burns appears to have finished 24th with only a dozen or so people voting for him in the 1932 election while el Zackarino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing) looks like a top five(HoMer?) finisher for '33.

I think I'm going to have to move George up in my rankings, but I don't even know if he'll make my ballot.
   61. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 17, 2004 at 10:17 AM (#801538)
Is there any argument besides pure timeline *against* the Train as the greatest pitcher ever? He had the highest peak ever--190 ERA+ for the decade of the teens, leading MLB in innings pitched over that span--and the most valuable career ever (unless you set replacement level *really* low, in which case it would probably be Cy Young).
   62. Rusty Priske Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:32 PM (#801557)
Prelim:

My support for GVH can not withstand the onslaught of two newcomers.

1. Walter Johnson (new)
2. Zach Wheat (new)
3. George Van Haltren (1,1,3)
4. Jake Beckley (5,3,6)
5. Mickey Welch (4,4,5)
6. Lip Pike (6,6,7)
7. Tommy Leach (8,9,10)
8. Jimmy Ryan (7,8,9)
9. Hugh Duffy (11,11,11)
10. Harry Hooper (10,5,x)
11. Clark Griffith (14,13,13)
12. Bill Monroe (13,10,12)
13. Spotswood Poles (12,12,14)
14. Cupid Childs (15,14,15)
15. Dobie Moore (9,x,x)

16-20. Doyle, Powell, Burns, McCormick, Willis
21-25. Mullane, F. Jones, Veach, Mendez, White
26-30. Waddell, Gleason, Cross, Konetchy, Groh
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:56 PM (#801566)
Devil's advocate:
Not worried about it this year, but I see GVH as a potentially dreadful HOM selection. He got close only because we almost ran out of players, but he just doesn't belong. I'm afraid some people will just keep voting for him up high, even when a tidal wave of better players comes along in the next 2-3 years.

It's one thing to believe that Jennings' peak is HOM-worthy. None of the other 'not-elected right aways' can match his 4-5 yr peak. But I think plenty of newcomers match or beat GVH's peak/career combo.

Ok, now someone talk me out of that opinion!
   64. Daryn Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:16 PM (#801575)
Sorry, Howie, I completely agree.
   65. karlmagnus Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:49 PM (#801606)
Beckley has always looked to me like GvH plus 15%. And 15% is a LOT. Welch, too, appears to me well above him. Pike or Foster, one's never sure, because figures are so doubtful. But all 4 have a decent case to be lifted above the "Hall of very good" whereas I can't see Van H's.

This is presumably next relevant in 1938 or so, however, by which time much may have changed.
   66. andrew siegel Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:51 PM (#801608)
The short case for Van Haltren: He's got 344 unadjusted WS, pushing 400 if you adjust for season length. If you want to take out some portion of those b/c/ you think average pitching racks up too many WS pre-1894, then he's down at about 350-360. And, unlike the few 350+ WS guys we might leave out of the HoM, he didn't do it by stitching together 18 WS seasons, but rather by racking up a substantial number of 25-30 (adjusted) WS seasons and a fabulously consistent run of 20+ seasons. And he put up those numbers mostly in the one-league NL, a tough place to shine. It's true that WS likes him better than some other metrics, but I haven't seen any good explanation of why he is inappropriately favored by WS. (And his raw counting stats are similarly worthy.) He's got lots of small advantages over the similar guys (better baserunner, more games in CF, slightly higher career EQA/OWP/OPS, a couple of seasons more than most, his pitching) and those add up.
Take a sheet of paper and pull out your encyclopedias and try and makes a list of the 210 or so best players of All-Time. Van Haltren is clearly behind 160 or 170 guys, but when you need to make your last 40-50 picks, Van Haltren's name will keep popping up.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 01:51 PM (#801610)
Howie,

As a GVH supporter, I'd say there's no likelihood of his getting elected in the next five years, so yes, there are at least 10 candidates coming up -- Johnson, Wheat, Cobb, Speaker, Collins, Lloyd, Williams, Torriente, Heilmann, Alexander -- who are all obviously better.

After that, however, he'll become a competitive candidate again in 1938-40, prior to the arrival of Ruth and Hornsby in 1941. Who will the top outfield arrivals after 1934 besides Heilmann? Max Carey in 1935, Edd Roush in 1936, Sam Rice and Hack Wilson in 1940. I don't think they obviously outclass Van Haltren.

Top infielders available through 1940? Heinie Groh, George Sisler, Dave Bancroft, Wally Schang, Joe Sewell, Rabbit Maranville, plus returnees Beckley, Jennings, and Childs.

Top pitchers? Stan Coveleski, Carl Mays, Red Faber, Eppa Rixey, Burleigh Grimes, Dolf Luque, plus some returnees, of whom Griffith has most support.

Top Negro-League players? Ben Taylor, Bingo DeMoss, Oliver Marcelle, Dick Redding, Nip Winters, Joe Rogan, John Beckwith.

It's quite possible that, with this pool of players to choose from, Van Haltren will not win election, but I don't think, in the context of this talent level, that Van Haltren appears to be a dreadful HoM selection.

A great deal turns, doesn't it, on how you deal with the level of competition VH faced during the 1890s? If you don't make any adjustments, VH is obviously comparable to the best in this group. If you use WARP3, I think you'll find that VH still looks comparable to the best in this group.

Here are the major-league eligibles listed above by career WARP3. (VH looks better in WS, probably similar in W1).

99.0 Carey
87.8 Sewell
87.1 Beckley
86.7 Rice
86.6 Van Haltren
86.5 Maranville
85.4 Faber
83.5 Groh
81.4 Roush
80.6 Coveleski
78.5 Rixey
76.9 Schang
76.9 Bancroft
74.7 Childs
72.0 Grimes
71.6 Jennings
71.2 Griffith
68.3 Mays
68.1 Sisler
67.6 Luque
63.6 Wilson

This list doesn't include peak evaluations, of course, but as one sorts out peak vs. career, weighs quality of play in the 1890s vs. 1910s NL vs. 1920s AL, adjusts for season length, etc., it's easily possible that Van Haltren would remain at or near the top of this list. Win Shares would show the same thing. Whether we elect VH or not in 1938-40, I don't think he could be called a dreadful HoM selection if we do.
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:05 PM (#801619)
Not worried about it this year, but I see GVH as a potentially dreadful HOM selection.

I don't have him on my ballot (though he's close), but I wouldn't argue that, Howie. He has a terrific career argument, so I wouldn't be upset seeing him in the HoM. Nowhere near the George Kelly or Rube Marquard line of no peak or career advantage.
   69. andrew siegel Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:12 PM (#801626)
Prelim:
(1) Johnson (new)--A tip of the hat.
(2) Wheat (new)-- I don't really see the case for keeping him out. Take the case I made above for VH and multiply everything (career totals, peak seasons, prime seasons) by 10-15%.
(3) Childs (2nd)--When you adjust for season length and longevity at each position over time, he is right there with or perhaps even slightly ahead of the Richardson, McPhee, and Grant troika.
(4) VH (3rd)--See post in defense of him above.
(5) Jennings (4th)-- Not thrilled to have him this high, but don't like what anyone else is selling.
(6) Chance (6th)-- Rate stats, intangibles, and peak all there. Would rather induct him than those who follow.
(7) Duffy (8th)-- If current WARP numbers had been in place a year ago, we would have elected him 10-20 "years" ago. Then again, we might have made a mistake.
(8) Pike (7th)-- Nothing to add. Still think his contemporaries would have laughed at us.
(9) Groh (new)-- Great run, particularly for someone at his position. Might be as high as 5th or as low as 14th when I finish my analysis.
(10) Beckley (9th)-- Wish I better understand defensive value of 1B during the 1890s?
(11) Ryan (5th)-- I moved him up about 5 years ago b/c/ I didn't think the gap between him and VH could be justified, but someone had a great post last year showing how the little things add up. Back where my gut had him originally.
(12) Bresnahan (10th)-- Going to leave my ballot next year but likely to reappear sporadically for years. The last guy on this ballot who I can say that for.
(13) Doyle (11th)-- I've got them Wheat, Groh, Doyle, Burns, about evenly spaced but am still trying to figure out the NL peaking order.
(14) Jones (12th)--A very good defensive OF when young and a top-tier bat for awhile, he has a lot of chits. But he didn't make the bigs until late, played mostly corner OF, and loses about 15 EQA points to league adjustments. In the end, similar to Hugh Duffy if you give him full credit for the blacklist years. I give him 75% credit or so, since he WAS a pain in the #### for management.
(15) Willis (14th)-- The next pitcher, though well behind those we've elected. HoF was right to elect him in 1995, given their standards. Based on our standards, he just misses.

Next 10 in rough order: Veach (15th), Welch, Dunlap, Williamson, McGraw (13th), Cooper, Griffin, Mendez, Monroe, Browning. (Griffith is 26th; Waddell is around 35.)

Shocker is between 25 and 30 (3 more good seasons or 2 more excellent seaons off ballot). None of the other newbies are top 50, though Schalk, Shawkey, and Peckinpaugh would all be top 100 if I kept track that far down.
   70. jhwinfrey Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:13 PM (#801628)
Here's my preliminary rankings.

1. Johnson

2. Welch--big gap between #1 and #2, of course.
3. Wheat
4. Beckley--another gap after the top 4.

5. Griffith (up a bit)
6. Waddell
7. Pike
8. Mendez (down a bit)
9. Monroe
10. Childs (up a bit)
11. Bresnahan
12. Van Haltren
13. Poles
14. Petway--I don't think we're in any danger of over-representing the negro leagues.
15. McCormick

All 3 of my shiftings in the rankings are due to learning more about the candidates. That information helped Griffith and Childs, and hurt Mendez. The next best, in order:

16-20: Leach, Joss, Donaldson, Mullane, Hooper
21-25: Willis, Ryan, Duffy, Doyle, Cravath
26-30: Tiernan, Burns, Konetchy, Browning, Mathews
31-35: Groh, Daubert, Cicotte, Evers, Milan
36-40: Cooper, Thomas, Shively, Lyons, Buffinton
41-45: Huggins, Gardner, Veach, White, Bond
46-50: Pratt, Adams, Peckinpaugh, Bush, Jennings
51-55: Shocker, McInnis, Shawkey, Fournier, Dauss
56-60: Vaughn, Marquard, Schalk, Brown, Youngs
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:34 PM (#801657)
(15) Willis (14th)-- The next pitcher, though well behind those we've elected. HoF was right to elect him in 1995, given their standards. Based on our standards, he just misses.

I think your standards for pitchers mirror my old ones at the beginning of this project. Way too hard on them, Andrew, IMO.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:40 PM (#801667)
31-35: Groh, Daubert, Cicotte, Evers, Milan

I have Groh as the best third baseman in the majors six times. I really can't see an argument for him not to be on a ballot, but I have said the same thing about Childs and he still struggles every "year."
   73. PhillyBooster Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:51 PM (#801683)
George Burns vs. Zack Wheat
In the 11 seasons from 1913 to 1923, George Burns outperforms Wheat in WARP3 8 times (Total WARP3: 72.4 for Burns, 62.4 for Wheat) and WS 6 times with one tie (276 WS for Burns, 244 for Wheat). In a quick check, I think Burns leads all NL leftfielders in WARP3 for 6 of those seasons.


Based on my analysis (informed by, but not based on WARP or WS), Burns was the best Left fielder in the NL in 1914, 1917, and 1919. He was the second best LF in the league in 1918 and 1920, and the second best RF in 1923.

Wheat is also about 25% higher on career measures.

In my calculation, "peak" isn't based on having X Win Shares, but on being the top in your position in baseball. Wheat's 9 times as the best or second best give him a good peak advantage over Burns's six, and the career differential on top leads to their not being close at all on my ballot.

Wheat was the best LF in the NL in 1916, 1918, 1920, 1924, and 1925. He was second best in 1913, 1914, 1919, and 1922.

Among contemporaries, that's 3 firsts and 3 seconds for Burns, and 5 firsts and 4 seconds for Wheat.
   74. PhillyBooster Posted: August 17, 2004 at 02:54 PM (#801688)
Er, let me try that again with the paragraphs in the right order . . .

Based on my analysis (informed by, but not based on WARP or WS), Burns was the best Left fielder in the NL in 1914, 1917, and 1919. He was the second best LF in the league in 1918 and 1920, and the second best RF in 1923.

Wheat was the best LF in the NL in 1916, 1918, 1920, 1924, and 1925. He was second best in 1913, 1914, 1919, and 1922.

Wheat is also about 25% higher on career measures.

In my calculation, "peak" isn't based on having X Win Shares, but on being the top in your position in baseball. Wheat's 9 times as the best or second best give him a good peak advantage over Burns's six, and the career differential on top leads to their not being close at all on my ballot.

Among contemporaries, that's 3 firsts and 3 seconds for Burns, and 5 firsts and 4 seconds for Wheat.
   75. andrew siegel Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:29 PM (#801752)
John--

I've become harsh on pitchers for a reason.

Given the number of guys who play the position of "pitcher" every year, the ability of even a no-shot candidate to dominante for short periods of time, the injury rates for pitcher, the ability to make up for being just above average by pitching a long time, etc., the bell curve evens out very fast at that position. I suppose we could make some very subtle distinctions and induct 15 of the 150 guys who are going to be essentially tied at the end of this project, but (1) that is kind of arbitrary and (2) I don't think that reflects the fact that it is harder to come up with a Van Haltren or a Beckley than a Joss or Waddell or Griffith.

I've got the pitchers who've been eligible so far (minus Spalding and Ward who are special cases) classified mentally in the following way:

The very best--Johnson, Young, probably Matthewson, maybe Nichols.

Next tier--maybe Nichols, Walsh, probably Clarkson, probably Rusie.

Run-of-the-mill HoMers: Plank, Galvin, Radbourn, Brown, probably Keefe.

Half-notch below them and half notch above the horde: Caruthers, McGinnity.

The next set: Willis, Welch, Cooper, Mendez, Foster, Griffith, Shocker, Cicotte, Vaughn, Joss, maybe Mullane, maybe Waddell, maybe McCormick, maybe Bond.

After them comes about another dozen guys (Whitney, Powell, Adams, Shawkey, Leever, Bender, Chesboro, etc.) who are closer in value to the Willis-Griffith set than that set is to the run-of-the-mill HoMers.

All the pitchers who we've elected are in my personal HoM except for Caruthers who is the next returning player I'd induct and Foster who I think was a mistake. I'd draw the line behind Caruthers.

Right now, I see Williams and Alexander joining the top group, Coveleski joining the McGinnity-Caruthers group, and Mays probably in the Willis-Griffith horde. Still working on where the long career 1920s guys go.
   76. Daryn Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#801756)
Pre Lim

1. Walter Johnson – Best. Black Ink. Ever. (Pitcher Division).

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

3. Zack Wheat – slightly better than Beckley, but doesn’t blow me away at all, even with all those Win Shares.

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. Crawford (HOMer) and Wheat (soon to be HOMer) are two of his three most similars (and, yes, I know it is a very crude tool - just saying).

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 to be inner circle, but I am giving credit pre-1871, which distinguishes him from Jennings (plus I only see three monster years for Jennings).

Ballot Filler

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).

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 my list below Pike is 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. Heinie Groh – hard for me to analyze – I know he is not better than Leach in my mind and he is definitely better than Cravath (at 22). He could go up or down.
   77. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#801757)
31-35: Groh, Daubert, Cicotte, Evers, Milan

I agree with John Murphy that 31 is too low for Groh, especially in a system that puts Childs at #10.
   78. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:32 PM (#801759)
Chris J., would you be willing to calculate Lee Meadows' RSI? I'd like to at least give him a look.

Already have. Any pitcher who eiter: started at least 400 games, won or lost at least 200, is in the HoF, or is in the BJ Top 100 pitchers list, is on my site.

Lee Meadows. Now MOWP or notes on him yet, but I got the rest.

diEE:
Mackey vs. Simmons is going to be an interesting call. Maybe I'll actually be voting by then and thus have an excuse to study it further.

When do you plan on starting? The reason I ask is that next year is as good a year to start voting as anyone's ever going to see as half the ballot falls into, "well, duh!" category & there's likely to be 1-2 good holdovers from this year, leaving only 6-7 backloggers on it.

Long as I'm thinking of it - John Murphy or Joe Dimino - one of youz may want to put a link for the 1934 discussion thread over on clutch hits because that's probably going to be the easiest tmie for new voters to jump aboard.
   79. PhillyBooster Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:34 PM (#801760)
I have Groh as the best third baseman in the majors six times.

I agree, he was the best from 1915-1920, contingent on how you rank him against Rogers Hornsby, who playd 3rd in 1919. (It was close either way, but I give it to Groh). He was also second best to Andy High in 1924.

Against him, we have Ed Williamson, who was #1 in 1884, and 1888 (at shortstop), and #2 in 1878 (to HoMer McVey), 1879 (to HoMer Kelly), 1882 (to HoMer Ewing), 1885 (to HoMer Sutton). So five of six years, he was either first or second to a HoMer playing out of position at Third Base. [Also consider, if you want, 1880 and 1881, when he finished as the 3rd best third baseman behind TWO HoMers, three of whom were out of position -- Connor and Richardson in 1880, Sutton and O'Rourke in 1881].

The two look very close to me. I had Williamson in my #16-20 category in 1931. I still don't know what I'm going to do with Groh, but currently my barrier to ballot-worthiness is whether I can justify moving him over Williamson.
   80. Chris Cobb Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:46 PM (#801779)
In considering Groh vs. Williamson, their peak rank within their position is similar, but if you look at where they rank relative to the best position players overall, Groh is clearly ahead.

According to WS, Williamson placed in the top 5 position players once, in 1879, when he tied for 5th, competing within one eight-team league. According to WS, Groh placed 4th in 1917 and 1918, competing against 16 teams worth of players. Considering the National League only, Groh was second to Hornsby in 1917 and first in 1918. If differences in quality of competition don't set Groh apart from Williamson in one's ranking system, height of peak might also do it.
   81. yest Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:52 PM (#801791)
among the players not named walter Welch looks the best
1. Mickey Welch
2. Jake Beckley
3. Pete Browning
4. Rube Waddelle
5. Hugh Duffy
6. Addie Joss
7. Zack Wheat
8. Clark Griffith
9. Ray Schalk
10. George Van Haltren
11. Jimmy Ryan
12. Lip Pike
13. Bobby Veach
14. Jake Daubert
15. John McGraw
16. Gavvy Cravath
17. George J. Burns
18. Ginger Beaumont
   82. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 17, 2004 at 03:56 PM (#801796)
Now MOWP or notes

Should say "No" not "Now."
   83. PhillyBooster Posted: August 17, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#801837)
In considering Groh vs. Williamson, their peak rank within their position is similar, but if you look at where they rank relative to the best position players overall, Groh is clearly ahead.

That's reasonable, but is 3B really the same position in 1878 and 1918? Weren't 3Bs in Grohs time expected to be more of an offensive contributor? Sutton got some votes on the "3B was more like 2B" theory. If the same goes for Williamson, then maybe the proper comparisons for total value for all position players are Miller Huggins, Johnny Evers, and George Cutshaw, not Heinie Groh.
   84. DavidFoss Posted: August 17, 2004 at 04:48 PM (#801906)
That's reasonable, but is 3B really the same position in 1878 and 1918?

Third base is one of the hardest positions to judge... and it looks like it might continue to be that way until WWII.

Its true that 3B and 2B swapped places in the defensive spectrum at some point between 1910 and 1950, but when and how is still up in the air.

Baker & ECollins were a great tandem, but their historical reputations support the modern idea for the positions (ECollins quick and agile, Baker the slugger). But 3B was still more on the defensive end of the spectrum, no? Was Baker more of a defensive star of the two?

Hornsby is an interesting data point. His career looks to progress like this: SS->3B->2B
in the late teens and then looks to drift back towards 3B in his 30s token appearances. Was the "spectrum shift" in the 1920s? Just one data point.

Of the reasons I've seen given for the shift, the increase in the number of double plays is the most important one I've seen (2B needs more "agility"). A decrease in bunting in the live-ball era may be another. Also, larger talent pools may have decreased the premium on the throwing-arm necessary to make the throw from 3B? Not sure about that last one.
   85. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:02 PM (#801948)
diEE:
When do you plan on starting? The reason I ask is that next year is as good a year to start voting as anyone's ever going to see as half the ballot falls into, "well, duh!" category & there's likely to be 1-2 good holdovers from this year, leaving only 6-7 backloggers on it.


I would start voting now, except that I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to set aside for the HOM in the future. What do you guys think -- are intermittent voters (who vote in, say, 50-75% of the elections) frowned upon? If they are, I'll have to remain on the sidelines. If they're not, I'm prepared to start voting right now.
   86. Jim Sp Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:10 PM (#801972)
Don't worry about not having time to post, once you start you'll be hooked and things like getting your work done won't seem so important.
   87. ronw Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:13 PM (#801982)
Eric Enders:

Intermittent voters are not frowned upon, but they are subjected to random "Dickey Pearce!" shouts from John Murphy.

They are asked to debate Karlmagnus' proposed theory that Jake Beckley's triples were more valuable than Babe Ruth's home runs. The intermittent voters have to side with the Holy Roman Emperor, while the rest of the electorate gets to express its outrage.

Also, since you're in Cooperstown, as your initiation you have to surreptitiously go over to that other Hall, remove certain plaques, and replace them with plaques of Joe Dimino's construction. You may give the old Hall plaques to existing HOM voters. I'd like Tommy McCarthy's plaque for my living room.
   88. karlmagnus Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:16 PM (#801985)
LOL :-))
   89. mbd1mbd1 Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#802042)
prelim:

1. Walter Johnson
2. Zack Wheat
3. George Van Haltren
4. Jake Beckley
5. Jimmy Ryan
6. Harry Hooper
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Tommy Leach
9. Vic Willis
10. George J. Burns
11. Bobby Veach
12. Spotswood Poles
13. Jose Mendez
14. Clark Griffith
15. Heinie Groh

I've been on the GVH train for a while, but I can't justify him over Wheat.
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#802058)
LOL :-))

Double LOL :-)
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#802074)
Don't worry about not having time to post, once you start you'll be hooked and things like getting your work done won't seem so important.

Seems that way sometimes, Jim. :-)
   92. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#802095)
Third base is one of the hardest positions to judge... and it looks like it might continue to be that way until WWII.

Third base appears to have been more defense-oriented until Mathews comes on the scene. I think there was a transitional stage between the retirement of Traynor until the early fifties, though I think it's still closer to the older model of 3B than now.

Weren't 3Bs in Grohs time expected to be more of an offensive contributor?

No (or during Traynor or Stan Hack's time either).

I agree, he was the best from 1915-1920, contingent on how you rank him against Rogers Hornsby, who played 3rd in 1919. (It was close either way, but I give it to Groh). He was also second best to Andy High in 1924.

I have Hornsby winning in 1916 (arguable since Hornsby played quite a bit at short) and Groh beating out High in '24.
   93. OCF Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:22 PM (#802114)
A request of voters: when you vote, could you at least make sure you say something about "significant" newcomers, just so we know you considered them and aren't accidentally overlooking anyone? I'd find that more important and more useful than your 13th repetition of why you aren't voting for Beckley. I'm saying this because it didn't seem right for yest to cast a ballot that never mentioned the existence of Santop. In particular, a late-in-the-week voter should be aware if someone is drawing broad support from the earlier voters.
   94. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:25 PM (#802125)
Intermittent voters are not frowned upon, but they are subjected to random "Dickey Pearce!" shouts from John Murphy.

We regular voters, of course, receive regularly scheduled shouts of "Dickey Pearce!" from Grandma, er, John Murphy
   95. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#802131)
A request of voters: when you vote, could you at least make sure you say something about "significant" newcomers, just so we know you considered them and aren't accidentally overlooking anyone? I'd find that more important and more useful than your 13th repetition of why you aren't voting for Beckley. I'm saying this because it didn't seem right for yest to cast a ballot that never mentioned the existence of Santop. In particular, a late-in-the-week voter should be aware if someone is drawing broad support from the earlier voters.

I agree. We'll use this thread for the poll and if the majority agrees with us, then we'll start doing it this election coming up. Polling ends at the end of the week.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:30 PM (#802133)
We regular voters, of course, receive regularly scheduled shouts of "Dickey Pearce!" from Grandma, er, John Murphy

Unfortunately, "Pearce" may become "Groh." Just wait until Marc joins the discussion. :-D
   97. DavidFoss Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#802148)
Unfortunately, "Pearce" may become "Groh." Just wait until Marc joins the discussion. :-D

Well, I'm already sold on Groh. Groh's time is quite a bit more documented, so another Pearce-like candidacy where word-of-mouth support builds for three decades is unlikely. :-)
   98. karlmagnus Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:38 PM (#802153)
We could institute a requirement that returning voters each "year" have to find a DIFFERENT reason for not voting for Beckley. That would keep things interesting :-))

Otherwise I agree with the new requirement, provided it's only applied to the obvious like Santop -- I see no reason why I should have to justify not voting for borderline candidates like Groh (ducks!)
   99. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:52 PM (#802178)
I am sorry to report that karlmagnus has been taken to the emergency room after being struck in the head by a mysterious assailant wielding a bottle-shaped baseball bat. Detectives believe alcohol was involved.
   100. Daryn Posted: August 17, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#802183)
Can we have threads for Williams, Torriente and LLoyd? I'd like to figure out where to put them on next year's ballot. Taylor too, I guess. According to the Mendes thread, Williams is probably equivalent to 400+ wins, which would put him second on my ballot. I'm also interested to hear from the people who will have Cobb anywhere other than first next year -- there seem to be a few of them, which surprises me.
Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Martin Hemner
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 1.0169 seconds
49 querie(s) executed