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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, September 13, 2004

1935 Ballot Discussion

Another very strong outfielder, Max Carey hits the ballot. Carl Mays is also on the docket for the first time, and the top new Negro Leaguer is Bingo DeMoss.

1935 (September 26)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

351 99.0 1911 Max Carey-CF (1976)
256 69.4 1915 Carl Mays-P (1971)
202 58.5 1915 Ken Williams-LF (1959)
200 46.7 1914 George H. Burns-1B (1978)
174 58.2 1916 Howard Ehmke-P (1959)
183 42.3 1915 Art Nehf-P (1960)
128 41.2 1921 Johnny Mostil-CF (1970)
111 30.9 1915 Wally Gerber-SS (1951)
118 30.4 1919 Jack Scott-P (1959)
118 32.2 1916 George Harper-RF (1978)
125 30.7 1916 Jack Smith-CF/RF (1972)
104 28.4 1920 Elam Vangilder-P (1977)
094 27.1 1920 Earl Smith-C (1963)
116 19.3 1917 Joe Dugan-3B (1982)

Negro League Candidates:
1935 (September 26)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

16% 10-30 Bingo DeMoss-2B (1889) #1 2b - 0 - 4*
04% 10-30 Dizzy Dismukes-P (1890) - 1 - 2*
04% 15-30 Bernardo Baro-OF (??) - 0 - 1*
00% 17-29 Tank Carr-1B (1895) #5 1b - 0 - 1*
00% 15-29 Charles Blackwell-OF (??) #9 cf - 0 - 2*
00% 09-31 Pelayo Chacon-SS (1889) #11 ss - 0 - 3*

I also have to add one thing - I play in a Diamond Mind League that started with the 1924 season (we are currently getting ready to open 1925). It’s pretty cool that guys from that league are coming on the ballot now. Many of our ‘scrubs’ were actually pretty good players for a couple of years, check out Johnny Mostil, George Harper or Earl Smith for example.

Howard Ehmke deserves a special mention. Ehmke went 30-0 as a starter for my New York Yankees in 1924. His final record was 30-2, he lost twice in relief. We had a great offense (Speaker, Heilmann, Goslin and Kelly); but this was truly an amazing season, and I feel that more than just the 14 people in the league should know about it.

Of course, he lost Game 1 of the World Series (to KJOK’s Cardinals) 2-1, pulled down a no decision in a 3-2, 10-inning Game 4 loss and left Game 7 trailing 3-2, before Goose Goslin hit a 2-run HR off Emil Yde in the bottom of the 8th (KJOK’s only words were, “Oh my God”). But man that year from Ehmke is something that I’ll never forget. If this were the real Hall of Fame vote, and I could just vote yes for him like people have done for Jim DeShaies, it would be a no-brainer :-)

Players Passing Away in 1934

Candidates
Age Eligible

71 1908 Wilbert Robinson-C/Mgr
70 1893 Jumbo McGinnis-P
64 1913 Monte Cross-SS
62 1914 Fielder Jones-CF
60 1909 John McGraw-3B/Mgr
60 1918 Nixey Callahan-P/LF
58 1914 Charlie Hickman-1B/RF
54 1914 Carl Lundgren-P
41 1930 Guy Morton-P

Thanks to Dan for the necrology!

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2004 at 12:52 PM | 262 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2004 at 12:53 PM (#851490)
Hot topics
   2. karlmagnus Posted: September 13, 2004 at 01:10 PM (#851500)
Mays is another of the very few pitchers whose hitting needs to be taken into account -- career OPS+ of 82. In particular the 1918 Red Sox were an interesting team; Mays has a 122 OPS+ that year (on only 104AB. but it was a short season) and of course they had another pitcher who could hit a bit, so although the team's hitting was nothing that special, they were effectively playing DH baseball 55 years before its time. The clippings book on the 1918 Sox (published in 2001 after another Sox letdown to console fans) is full of cheerful stuff about how the Sox batted 1 through 9 because Ruth and Mays were among their better hitters. I would imagine that this is a unique pattern post-1900, although obviously Caruthers and Foutz played a similar role for the 1885-7 Browns.
   3. PhillyBooster Posted: September 13, 2004 at 02:14 PM (#851542)
Eligible players by unadjusted Win Shares (excluding Cobb, Collins, and Speaker, two of whom will likely be inducted this year, and one next year.)

1. Tony Mullane -- 401
2. Max Carey -- 351
3. George van Haltren -- 344
4. Tommy Leach -- 329
5. Harry Hooper -- 321
6. Jake Beckley -- 318
7. Jimmy Ryan -- 316
8. Hugh Duffy -- 295
9. Larry Doyle -- 289

Just a shortstop and catcher short of a damned good team, there.
   4. PhillyBooster Posted: September 13, 2004 at 02:38 PM (#851572)
Oops! Omitted Mickey Welch from the list above. He's #2 with 354. Bump everyone else down one.
   5. jimd Posted: September 13, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#851600)
But man that year from Ehmke is something that I’ll never forget. If this were the real Hall of Fame vote, and I could just vote yes for him like people have done for Jim DeShaies, it would be a no-brainer :-)

I wonder, did Connie Mack have the same feelings about Happy Jack Chesbro and 1904?
   6. PhillyBooster Posted: September 13, 2004 at 03:17 PM (#851628)
Another look at WS ebbs and flows by decade:

Here's the Top 100 All Time WS leaders, by decade of retirement:

1890s: 10
1900s: 5
1910s: 11
1920s: 6
1930s: 7
1940s: 7
1950s: 3! (none between Mize, '53, and Ted Williams, '60)
1960s: 8
1970s: 10
1980s: 16
1990s: 12
2000+: 5
   7. karlmagnus Posted: September 13, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#851696)
Suggests that 1960-65 will be good years for the HOM backlog, which may by then be huge, particularly since those are the years in which we start electing 3 per year. There won't be many Negro leagues candidates arriving by then, either.
   8. ronw Posted: September 13, 2004 at 04:25 PM (#851699)
Slight digression:

Looking at PhillyBooster's list and the Hardball Times 2004 WS leaders, its amazing that despite the longer schedules, the DH, lowering of the mound, and other hitter-friendly adjustments, no one passed Honus Wagner for 3rd place in career WS (655) until last week.

The career WS list now:

1. Ruth - 756
2. Cobb - 722
3. Bonds - 658
4. Wagner - 655
5. Aaron - 643
6. Mays - 642
7. Young - 634
8. Speaker - 630
9. Musial - 604
10. Collins - 574

Mantle, with 565, dropped off. Only Johnson (560) and Williams (555) have more than 550 WS.

The list is really a testament to Wagner, by far the highest rated infielder ever. Its amazing that no one passed him. Its also a fun reminder that 3 of the top 10 career WS were eligible in 1934.
   9. DavidFoss Posted: September 13, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#851706)
Suggests that 1960-65 will be good years for the HOM backlog, which may by then be huge, particularly since those are the years in which we start electing 3 per year. There won't be many Negro leagues candidates arriving by then, either.

Possibly, but many of these guys will get some sort of war credit (Feller, Reese, Slaughter), and many great black players get some credit for slow integration (Irvin, JRobby, Doby?). Big- peaked Ralph Kiner is in the mix as well.

There were two very good reasons (WWII & integration) why players in the 50's didn't retire with high Win Shares totals.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: September 13, 2004 at 04:45 PM (#851727)
For the first time, I've tried to really work out a way to compare the pitching pool from Tommy Bond to Carl Mays, and I've decided that neither WS nor WARP, however much you want to tweak them, work for this purpose, what with the wildly different usage patterns, season lengths, career shapes, etc. It comes down to where the guy ranked against his peers on a seasonal basis, and for how many seasons. Only Bond and Waddell are in my PHoM. Williams goes in in 1935 (this year) and Coveleski will go in someday. Not totally sold on Mendez yet even though he is above Coveleski for the moment. Doubt that the others will ever get there though Jim McCormick was very very close at one time.

1. Smokey Joe Williams--I don't see him as Walter Johnson nor even Pete Alexander, but somewhere between Eddie Plank and Christy Mathewson. In other words, easily the best available.

2. Jose Mendez--has been comped to Rube Waddell, but I see him having a higher peak and more value outside the peak, but still comparable.

3. Tommy Bond--best of the pre-AA NL.

4. Rube Waddell--see Mendez.

5. Stan Coveleski--rates about as high as possible considering he was never "the best," but he was among the top 5 about as often as any of the current pool which has no ML NBs.

6. Clark Griffith--4th best of the '90s, 3rd best of the latter '90s.

7. Addie Joss--great rates but light workload for his time.

8. Eddie Cicotte--better than I thought.

9. Tony Mullane--see post #3 above but then remember the AA discount. Not among the top 5 of his time.

10. Jim McCormick--probably should rank higher but pre-Clarkson-Radbourn-Keefe-Welch, there was hardly anybody worth mentioning that he was better than. i.e. weak competition in the box.

11. Vic Willis--another who was never among the very best but among the very very good for longer than most.

12. Jim Whitney--the poor man's Parisian Bob.

13. Mickey Welch--sorry but there's that pesky ERA+...

14. Wilbur Cooper--Willis light.

15. Silver King--Whitney light.

16. Carl Mays--hall of the very good.

17. Urban Shocker--I was shocker-ed to find him ranking this high. Very good.

18. Hippo Vaughn--too short of a peak.

That's it.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: September 13, 2004 at 05:10 PM (#851802)
With all of that in mind, I am also adjusting my relative rankings of 19th and 20th C position players but with a smaller change. Assuming that Cobb and Speaker will advance in '34 (I am not tabulating, just eyeballing):

1. Eddie Collins (2, PHoM 1935)

2. Joe Williams (4, PHoM 1935)

3. Pop Lloyd (5, PHoM 1936)--at .284 MLE with 10,000 PAs, he is less a Honus Wagner, and more like halfway between Wagner and Maranville. Still a NB.

4. Hughie Jennings (6, PHoM 1927)---still the 2nd highest peak of any ML player available.

5. Heinie Groh (7, PHoM 1933)--2nd best 3B to date.

6. Lip Pike (13, PHoM 1928)--ok, trying to be more fair to 20th C OFers, I overreacted in moving Pike down to lucky 13 last year.

7. Cristobal Torriente (8, probably PHoM 1937)--below Clemente, above Max Carey.

8. Jose Mendez (9)--see previous post above.

9. Charley Jones (15, PHoM 1921)
10. Pete Browning (x)--funny that the three best hitters left from the 19th C were all "black sheep." Why was that?

11. Max Carey (new)--well above the glut.

12. Tommy Bond (11)--continues to move down due to better calibration of 19th vs. 20th C pitchers.

13. Rube Waddell (10, PHoM 1931)--I may have overrated the Rube in inducting him into my PHoM, but I really wanted another 20th C pitcher and the fact is he is still the best of the rest.

14. Cupid Childs (12, PHoM 1925)

15. Stan Coveleski (new)--probably a PHoMer some day, perhaps better than Waddell, maybe better than Max Carey. Time to think about it.

Drops out--Ed Williamson (14, PHoM 1924)--the latest casualty as I try hard not to overrate the 19th C guys with the gaudy adjWS to 162 games.

16-20. Doyle, Duffy, Griffith, Monroe, Dunlap
21-25. Joss, Poles, Veach, Leach, D. Moore
26-30. Williamson, Bresnahan, Van Haltren, Cicotte, Mullane
31-35. McCormick, Sol White, Willis, Whitney, Welch.
36-40. Tiernan, Fournier, Burns (NL), Chance, Ryan
41-45. W.Cooper, Long, Lyons, Ben Taylor, S. King
46-50. Tinker, Youngs, C. Mays, D. Orr, Evers
51-55. Beckley, C. Seymour, Beaumont, Clapp, L. Cross
56-60. H. Davis, Cravath, Petway, Shocker, Vaughn

I see Ben Taylor as better than Beckley but Beckley is #51. Kenny Williams is second 50 (great peak), the second George Burns is third 50 (overrated).

Bingo DeMoss is a brain-teaser. #1 Negro League 2B of all-time? Then how come the commentary about him is so underwhelming? Somewhere around #100. I'll take 7 years of Dobie Moore every time.

Oh, and P.S. There are almost surely other NeL candidates who should be among the top 50, though I can't tell you who they are. Only the cream of the NeL crop is getting noticed, and I can't tell which of the rest are more worthy of mention and so I haven't mentioned any of them who fall below the Ben Taylor/Bingo DeMoss/Sol White line. John Donaldson could be in my top 50 but I really have no idea. Or G. Stovey or C. Grant but I really have no idea.

So on the whole we are going to be honoring a very adequate number of NeLers but there are still those who will be receiving less notice than they probably should. Nobody's fault, BTW.
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: September 13, 2004 at 05:14 PM (#851816)
Oh, I didn't look carefully enough at the list of eligibles and I thought Pelayo Chacon was still a year or two away. Chacon is a guy who, from what I've read, is worthy of some recognition if not ballot-worthy. Recognition in the form of some discussion. I would see him as being comparable to Donie Bush (on average), probably not as valuable offensively as Bush at his peak, and probably much more valuable defensively for his entire career, but having a roughly similar total value package. Now, Bush is not even on my top 50 so what can I say, but that Chacon is one of those intriguing but barely known or even imagined candidates.
   13. PhillyBooster Posted: September 13, 2004 at 08:15 PM (#852115)
Here's the decade list again, expanded to all 165 players with at least 300 win shares. The number is parentheses are the number of inductees for that decade (plus six years):

thru1899: 12 (18)
1900s: 9 (12)
1910s: 13 (16)
1920s: 8 (19)
1930s: 11 (20)
1940s: 15 (20)
1950s: 5 (20)
1960s: 11 (21)
1970s: 19 (22)
1980s: 27 (26)
1990s: 21 (30)
2000+: 14

Assuming Max Carey is not inducted this year, we will have inducted 34 out of 42 eligible 300+ WS players.
   14. Michael Bass Posted: September 13, 2004 at 09:56 PM (#852285)
Can we get a DeMoss thread? I more or less assume he's the #1 Negro League 2B sort of by default (where the star infielders largely went to SS), but I'd like to make sure. Bill Monroe, for example, has often been on my ballot and may work his way back on in the long run. Is DeMoss better or worse?
   15. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 13, 2004 at 10:20 PM (#852302)
I'd say DeMoss was definatley worse. Slick fielding, good bunting - but lord he could not hit. IIRC, his Negro Leagues average was in the .230s. Sounds more like Tommy Corcoran than a HoMer.
   16. OCF Posted: September 13, 2004 at 10:43 PM (#852330)
George H. Burns may possibly pass through the system without picking up a single vote. I know he's not close to getting a vote from me. But he does have 200 WS, and he could have supporters. If you do plan to vote for him, I'd make one request: make it VERY PLAIN which person you're voting for, or else we'll count it as a vote for George J. Burns, the outfielder.
   17. OCF Posted: September 13, 2004 at 11:08 PM (#852362)
Ken Williams was the first 30-30 guy and very nearly the first 40-40 guy. His 39 HR and 37 SB in 1922 gave him a Power-Speed Number that stood as the single season record for 51 years, until 1973, and is still the 16th best of PSN of all time. The PSN record he broke belonged to Harry Stovey. Yeah, there's all kinds of context to be dealt with, and it's not an analytical stat - but it's fun to note.

So who does have the best all-same-name team: the Johnsons or the Williamses? Ken, good as he is, may not be able to crack the starting outfield. There are only two flank outfield positions (you have to have a CF, and that's Bernie), and Ted has one of those nailed down, so Ken is competing with Billy for the other starting job. With the Williamses, you'd ask whether we're playing in a DH league. If yes, you'd move an outfielder to DH; if no, you'd consider moving an outfielder to 1B.
   18. DavidFoss Posted: September 13, 2004 at 11:31 PM (#852383)
There's also Cy Williams. I always get Ken & Cy mixed up. Both early-live-ball sluggers.
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: September 13, 2004 at 11:43 PM (#852397)
Re Bingo DeMoss and Bill Monroe:

I'm with Chris J. on this one. DeMoss was a really weak hitter. I think he would have had a Corcoranesque career. Bill James's picking DeMoss as the #1 Negro-League second baseman is his least comprehensible pick in the whole Negro-League section. I doubt he'll break my top 100 eligible.

Pelayo Chacon, whom Sunnyday2 mentioned, looks to me like a better player than DeMoss.

I've collected data on DeMoss from Holway and Riley, which I can post in the usual fashion. If we have a DeMoss thread, I can post it there; otherwise I'll put it here.
   20. OCF Posted: September 14, 2004 at 12:06 AM (#852434)
Thumbnail guide to Williams OF:
Cy: 1912-1930. 2002 G, 2/3 of them in CF, otherwise mostly RF. Career 125 OPS+.
Ken: 1915-1929. 1397 G, mostly LF, with a tiny bit of CF mixed in. Career 137 OPS+.
Billy: 1959-1976. 2488 G, about 400 of them in RF/CF (mostly RF), with some 1B/DH at the end. Career 132 OPS+.
Bernie: 1991-present. 1656 G through 2003, almost all in CF. Career OPS+ through 2003 131.
Ted. Is Ted Williams. 'nuff said.

OK, 3 outfielders, a DH, and a 1B on the All-Williams team?
   21. Michael Bass Posted: September 14, 2004 at 12:59 AM (#852643)
OK, this is why I brought him up. .230 in the Negro Leagues, not thinking that's even in the galaxy of a HOMer. Thanks!
   22. DavidFoss Posted: September 14, 2004 at 04:03 AM (#853249)
Having trouble rating Carl Mays. Win Shares likes him much better than WARP. Looking forward to other views on him. Being conservative for now.

C -- Bresnahan-15, Petway
1B -- Chance, Beckley, BTaylor, Konetchy, Daubert
2B -- Collins-2, Doyle-8, Childs-12, Monroe
SS -- Lloyd-1, Jennings-11, Moore
3B -- Groh-6, McGraw-12, Leach, Williamson, Gardner
LF -- CJones-11, Poles, Veach, Burns, KWilliams
CF -- Torriente-4, Pike-5, Browning, Van Haltren, Duffy, Carey
RF -- Cravath, Hooper, Ryan
P -- SJWilliams-3, Coveleski-7, Welch-13, Griffith-14, Joss, Waddell, CMays
   23. OCF Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:00 AM (#853382)
Ken Williams was a Westerner (born in Oregon). He first appeared in the majors at the age of 25 but didn't stick for real until partway through his age 29 season. He then played well through his 30's, including a part-time .345/.409/.540 at the age of 39.

Question: does he have a PCL record we should know about?
   24. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 14, 2004 at 01:40 PM (#853757)
Quick random question, looking far far ahead--are you all going to vote for Sandy Koufax? He looks like Hal Newhouser minus four All-Star seasons to me.
   25. PhillyBooster Posted: September 14, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#853817)
He's definitely a "peak" candidate. I prefer to look at him at Hughie Jennings Plus rather than Hal Newhouser Minus. Jennings was 5 great years plus nothing. Koufax was 5 great years plus the equivalent of several more above average years. Jennings was 8th in 1933. I wouldn't surprised for Koufax to start out a few spots above that.

Also, Koufax is also the second winningest Jewish pitcher of All-Time. Would it be improbable to predict an all-Jew Koufax/Pike ticket in 1972?

BTW, Koufax hit .095?! Is that the worst ever for any player with that many at bats?
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 14, 2004 at 02:44 PM (#853838)
Quick random question, looking far far ahead--are you all going to vote for Sandy Koufax? He looks like Hal Newhouser minus four All-Star seasons to me.

I don't know what I'll do with him. I'm positive he wont be in an elect-me spot, but Koufax is really a product of the fifties generation and shouldn't be compared to the 300+ games generation. He wasn't Robin Roberts though.

Peak voters will (for good reason) love him.
   27. Brad Harris Posted: September 14, 2004 at 02:44 PM (#853840)
Mays never saw a baseball until he was 12. He spent most of the succeeding years pitching local and semipro teams to state championships in places like Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Utah. At the age of 21, he was signed by Portland of the Northwest League. His pitching arm died mysteriously on him overnight. He was such a good hitter, though, that he spent the season playing the outfield with a dead arm. He led the Northwest League in batting average, beating out teammate Harry Heilmann (.364 to .325) who finished third.

Mays used the season to rebuild his arm strength steadily by throwing underhand thanks to encouragement from his coach, Wild Bill Donovan (former major leauge pitcher). At the end of the season, he was transacted to Providence (Rhode Island) where he was the ace of the staff (now pitching completely underhanded) and led the Grays to the International League championship.

At the end of the season, Mays was called up (with teammate Babe Ruth) to the big league club, the Red Sox. Mays rode the bench that September, never seeing action, but collected a World Series check that fall (in 1914).

Mays was used primarily in relief his first "real" season (1915) and continued to both start and relieve throughout much of his career; the same usage pattern other ace starters were used in during that time.

Mays was arguably the ace of the Sox soon thereafter and was a major contributor to their World Championship teams through the end of the decade. In 1919, he was sold in mid-season to the Yankees and became the ace of that staff upon arriving.

Better known for the "Chapman incident" in 1920, Mays was a key figure on the Yankee championship teams of 1921-22 and only a feud with Miller Huggins cost him that same leadership in 1923.

Mays was sold to Cincinnati after the 1923 season and almost led the 1924 team to a pennant (he missed the last month of the season due to serious illness). In 1929, Mays was picked up by John McGraw as a reliever/spot starter for the Giants. He retired that fall.

The stock market crashed and Mays lost a small fortune he'd accumulated from saving all those years in baseball. Mays pitched a few years in the minors thereafter to support his family. His wife and mother died just a few years later. (His father died when he was a child.)

Mays eventually moved to Portland, Oregon during the Depression, remarrying and starting a baseball school for underprivileged kids. (Among other graduates of his academy is former all-star Johnny Pesky). Mays also spent 20+ years scouting for the Yankees, Indians and Giants.

Mays held a number of records, including most consecutive World Series innings without a walk, most consecutive complete games in World Series play, etc. He had the highest percentage of starts completed of any contemporary (with the sole exception of Walter Johnson) and collected 6 World Series checks during his career.

He mentored Waite Hoyt (who, as a youngster, roomed with Mays and gave Mays credit for his development as a "professional ballplayer" and a pitcher.)

Mays also pitched (and won) both ends of numerous double-headers throghout his career, most notably at the end of the 1918 season, in the pennant-clinching game for the Sox. Historically speaking, he was the ace of the last Red Sox championship team and the ace of the first Yankee championship teams.

Mays is the only 20th century pitcher with 200+ wins and a .600+ winning percentage who is not enshrined in Cooperstown. Mays has the best ERA+ (per Baseball-Reference) of any eligible pitcher with as many innings.

I wrote Bill James and Rob Neyer about Mays, asking if there was more info about him that wasn't in their excellent "Guide to Pitchers".
Bill James confirmed Mays' unique pitching style ("in that he threw so hard for an underhanded pitcher", "he threw a hard, underhanded curve...and a rising fastball from a low delivery." Rob Neyer echoed these sentiments by saying that Mays was probably the hardest throwing underhand pitcher in history until Byung-Yung Kim came along. (And Kim is not a starter like Mays was.)

Mays' closest comp is Stan Coveleski. In fact, the two are virtually identical in a superficially statistical way. Mays has all the "intangibles" or other pluses, however, that Coveleski does not.

A unique historical figure and a damn good pitcher. (And one of the top 10 hitting pitchers of the 20th century!)

I've been collecting info on Mays for research purposes for a while and thought I would shed a little light on the career of a guy who's better remembered for a single pitch.
   28. Brad Harris Posted: September 14, 2004 at 02:50 PM (#853847)
Tentative Ballot:

1. Eddie Collins
2. Pop Lloyd
3. Smokey Joe Williams
4. Christobal Torriente
5. Heinie Groh
6. Lip Pike
7. Clark Griffith
8. Rube Waddell
9. Larry Doyle
10. Ed Konetchy
11. Carl Mays - see last post
12. Stan Coveleski
13. Charley Jones - benefitted from second look
14. Jose Mendez
15. George Van Haltren
   29. andrew siegel Posted: September 14, 2004 at 03:08 PM (#853875)
Tentative ballot:

(1) Eddie Collins (2nd)
(2) Pop Lloyd (4th)
(3) Smokey Joe Williams (5th)
(4) Cristobal Torriente (6th)
(5) Cupid Childs (7th)
(6) George Van Haltren (8th)
(7) Hughie Jennings (9th)
(8) Heinie Groh (10th)
(9) Stan Coveleski (11th)
(10) Hugh Duffy (13th)
(11) Frank Chance (12th)
(12) Lip Pike (14th)
(13) Jake Beckley (15th)
(14) Carl Mays (new)
(15) Jimmy Ryan (not ranked/16th)

Still under consideration: Bresnahan, Doyle, Willis.

No real news here--Duffy jumps Chance based on playing time; Mays debuts somewhere between 13th and 16th (just behind Coveleski; just ahead of Willis); Carey debuts somewhere around 25 or 30 (too few All-Star seasons, not enough bat); Bingo DeMoss joins the Hal Chase/Hank Gowdy school of Bizarely Overrated Glovemen.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: September 14, 2004 at 03:09 PM (#853876)
Brad, thanks for the biographical background on Carl Mays: he's a much more complex character than he's usually portrayed to be.

I must, however, disagree with your comparison of him to Coveleskie:

Mays' closest comp is Stan Coveleski. In fact, the two are virtually identical in a superficially statistical way. Mays has all the "intangibles" or other pluses, however, that Coveleski does not.

They are virtually identical in superficial statistics. Mays may have intangibles that Coveleski doesn't (Coveleski certainly has an outstanding post-season resume, for instance), but he also had some tangibles that Coveleski didn't: tremendous run support (only some of which can be attributed to his own hitting) and great fielding support. When these matters are accounted for, Coveleski appears substantially ahead of Mays.
   31. OCF Posted: September 14, 2004 at 03:57 PM (#853953)
On the RA+ support-neutral PythPat system:
209-134 Coveleski
248-196 Willis (defense adjusted)
200-129 Waddell
201-132 Adams (not adjusted)
209-149 Cicotte
220-166 Cooper
263-225 Powell
203-146 Griffith
181-117 Shocker
161-098 Joss
189-137 Shawkey
189-146 Mays

Mays has just too many other pitchers to jump over to have a chance at my ballot. I really don't see how you could compare him to Coveleski (or Vance, Rixey, Faber, Luque, Ruffing).
   32. karlmagnus Posted: September 14, 2004 at 04:02 PM (#853962)
OCF, does that include credit for his hitting?
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 14, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#853999)
Prelim:

1) Collins
2) Lloyd
3) Williams
4) Childs
5) Groh
6) Coveleski
7) Torriente
8) Pike
9) C. Jones
10) Willis
11) York
12) Beckley
13) Welch
14) Waddell
15) Mendez
   34. OCF Posted: September 14, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#854027)
No it doesn't include hitting - but 20 fewer pitching wins and 20 more pitching losses is a bigger difference than the difference in their hitting.
   35. robc Posted: September 14, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#854043)
Prelim ballot, I made some major and minor changes.

1. Eddie Collins - flips with Lloyd. either way works for me, they are clearly 1-2 (in some order) this year.
2. Pop Lloyd
3. Joe Williams
4. Cristobal Torriente
5. Lave Cross
6. Max Carey - could move above Cross next year. Should be elected soon.
7. Harry Hooper
8. Heinie Groh
9. Bobby Veach - I had some errors in his numbers. Now corrected, he moves up.
10. Ben Taylor
11. Stan Coveleski - The last of the guys I think should be elected, eventually.
12. Jake Beckley
13. Cupid Childs
14. Fielder Jones - has moved way down. Ive moved all of the glut way down.
15. Bingo DeMoss - I think I may be overrating him, he may drop off the ballot before it is finalized.

16. Rube Waddell
17. Joe Tinker
18. Mike Tiernan
19. Hughie Jennings
20. Roger Bresnahan
21. George VanHaltren
22. Tommy Leach
23. George J. Burns
24. Del Pratt
25. Clark Griffith
26. Vic Willis
27. Jimmy Ryan
28. Billy Nash
29. Ed Konetchy
30. Herman Long
   36. andrew siegel Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:06 PM (#854065)
I'm convinced re: Mays, drop him off my prelim and make it (14) Ryan; (15) Willis.
   37. karlmagnus Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:10 PM (#854073)
Yes, but you're double counting (we had this question with Parisian Bob). If you correct for run support, you're subtracting the value of Mays' hitting, effectively giving every hit he got a negative value (because it increased his "run support.") From the daily accounts, Mays' hitting, when combined with Ruth's, was of crucial importance to the Red Sox' 1918 pennant.

You have to knock out Mays and replace him with an average hitting pitcher in your run support equation AND give his hitting an appropriate positive value, in order to compare him properly with other pitchers.
   38. karlmagnus Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#854080)
Andrew, you were convinced too quickly -- see my 37 above.
   39. andrew siegel Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:14 PM (#854082)
Thanks, Karl. I'll look into it again. I've still got almost two weeks to vote.
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 14, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#854087)
Mays, with the proper demerit for his teams' defense, but credit for his hitting, just misses my ballot. He has an excellent shot to make it in a few years though.
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 14, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#854171)
RE Koufax/Newhouser:

Since we're going to end up having to address this in about 5-10 "years".... ; )

Newhouser's got 650 more innings than Koufax, so he's probably not a great comp for Sandy. I've always thought of Dizzy Dean and Koufax in the same breath, but that might not be quite accurate either.

Dean: 150-83, 1976.3 innings, 130 ERA+
Koufax: 165-87, 2324, 131

Sandy's got a season or two worth of innings on Dizzy.

So I hunted and pecked b-r.com to make up an off-the-cuff list of pitchers with innings totals around Dean's and Koufax's and with an ERA+ of at least 120 [i didn't include winning% as a criterion] with the following exclusions; guys who:
-did all or most of their pitching in the 19th century
-pitched a lot during the wars or should get war credit (thus no Newcombe)
-were banned in mid career (if I knew about it).

I'm sure I missed a bunch.

NAME: W-L, INN, ERA+
Joe Wood: 116-57, 1436, 146
Jake Weimer: 97-69, 1473, 125
Russ Ford: 99-71, 1487, 124
Orval Overall: 108-79, 1535, 123
Max Lanier: 108-82, 1619, 125
Sal Maglie: 119-62, 1723, 126
Mel Parnell: 123-75, 1752, 125
John Tudor: 117-72, 1797, 124
Jose Rijo: 116-91, 1880, 120
Jim Scott: 107-113, 1892, 120
Dizzy Dean: 150-83, 1976, 130
Noodles Hahn: 130-94, 2029, 132
Nig Cuppy: 162-98, 2284, 127
Sandy Koufax: 165-87, 2324, 131
Addie Joss: 160-97, 2327, 142
Ron Guidry: 170-97, 2392, 120

If you expand the innings requirement just a bit, you also net these two:

Lefty Gomez: 189-102, 2503, 125
Bret Saberhagen: 167-111: 2562, 126

The preponderance of deadball guys makes me think that they should probably not be compared to post-Ruth pitchers since their workloads and pitching environments were somewhat different. Also I'd stratify Dean's and Koufax's comps separately due to the difference in innings. So...

Dean
Dizzy Dean: 150-83, 1976, 130
==============================
Sal Maglie: 119-62, 1723, 126
Mel Parnell: 123-75, 1752, 125
John Tudor: 117-72, 1797, 124
Jose Rijo: 116-91, 1880, 120

Koufax
Sandy Koufax: 165-87, 2324, 131
===============================
Ron Guidry: 170-97, 2392, 120
Lefty Gomez: 189-102, 2503, 125
Bret Saberhagen: 167-111, 2562, 126

Anyone else I should have added to my list(s)?

Back to the original point of Dan Rosenheck's question. Dean definitely looks like the best of the shortish career, high peak pitchers, so perhaps he should merit a little more attention despite his low career totals and lack of shoulder seasons suggest? Koufax is a little more mixed, his record isn't substantially better than Gomez's. His ERA+ is better, but it's in fewer innings. I don't see him as having as good a case as Dean for sure.

Luckily, we've got another 40 years to figure out how we feel about him!
   42. PhillyBooster Posted: September 14, 2004 at 06:58 PM (#854283)
Yeah. In my view, the hitting certainly closes the gap considerably, but it doesn't get Mays quite up to Coveleski.

That still leaves Coveleski fighting it out with Cicotte and Max Carey for 15th place on my ballot . . .
   43. Jim Sp Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:17 PM (#854329)
I have Carl Mays at #23, Max Carey and Ken Williams don't look particularly close. I haven't added Carey's SB in yet, that will move him up but I doubt it will be enough to get him on the ballot. Williams has a nice peak but not enough career.

1)Collins--#13 alltime.
2)Lloyd--.
3)Smokey Joe Williams--
4) Torriente --Big gap between Williams and Torriente, but still very well qualified.
5)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
6)Groh--I guess where you put him depends on how much you like third basemen. Compares pretty well with Collins, only Baker is clearly better among 3B.
7)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production.
8)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
9)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
10)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
11)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so he’s not quite as impressive as I thought at first glance.
12)Coveleski--I expect he will be waiting on the bubble for a while.
13)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.
14)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
15)Mendez--I rate him right below Joss.
   44. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#854340)
Sorry, I meant two all-star seasons, not four. Just to show the similarity:

5 best seasons:
Newhouser: 1374 IP, 171 ERA+
Koufax: 1377 IP, 169 ERA+

Newhouser's two "extra" All-Star seasons:
1947: 285 IP, 132 ERA+
1949: 292 IP, 124 ERA+

Rest of career:
Koufax: 947 IP, 107 ERA+
Newhouser: 1039 IP, 105 ERA+

Hence: Newhouser minus his excellent '47 and '49 equals Koufax.
   45. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#854369)
Dan R,

Very interesting!

Do you think that an appropriate discount for Newhouser's wartime seasons might push him behind Koufax?
   46. karlmagnus Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:33 PM (#854376)
Given the numbers, I don't see how Dean could be better than Koufax, who has 350 more innings and very similar other stats. Joss better than either; indeed, if we find ourselves close to electing either, we should look at Joss again very hard. Both are HOF mistakes, IMO, though Koufax is close -- without the ERA+ tool people thought their peak more outstanding than it really was. Any of Welch, Griffith, Leever, Cicotte, Covaleski, Willis, Waddell and Mays have a better claim.
   47. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:36 PM (#854388)
I'm not sure whether one should discount the wartime seasons, given that he was just as good in 1946. Nobody seems to discount Musial for his performance during those years. And I can't imagine the discount would compensate for his 1947 and 1949 seasons--that's nearly 600 innings at 128 ERA+.

Karlmagnus--that's what I think as well; Koufax isn't close to a HoM'er (or a HoF'er for that matter). But he has just been so canonized that I wonder whether people could psychologically accept an HoM without Sandy Koufax.
   48. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 14, 2004 at 07:55 PM (#854431)
Re: Carl Mays.

Based on what I've seen, he was helped by his teammates slightly less than Mordecai Brown was - & I knocked MB from the top of my ballot to the bottom third because of how his teammates helped him.

First defense, the DA I have on my site gives him the BEST fielding support per 1000 innings of any liveball pitcher. That ain't bad.

His RSI compared to that of other outstanding hitting pitchers:

Don Newcombe 120.44
Carl Mays 114.36
Bob Lemon 111.53
Bob Caruthers 111.34
John Ward 109.56
George Uhle 106.65
Early Wynn 105.52
Wes Ferrell 102.76
Don Drysdale 100.02
Tony Mullane 96.51
Jim Whitney 96.44
Walter Johnson 95.44

You're guess is as good as mine how much value of that is his bat - but his teams could hit. I'd say his adjusted RSI would be no lower than Uhle's & no higher than Caruthers's. Even with the conservative/Uhle estimate, it's an RSI a little lower than Jack Morris & Jim Palmer.
   49. DavidFoss Posted: September 14, 2004 at 08:27 PM (#854496)
Nobody seems to discount Musial for his performance during those years.

Musial often gets a discount for 43-44. Its only when compared to Bonds/Williams/Henderson that I've seen this discount mean anything though. He's flying into the HOM with little opposition.

Newhouser is a fun case, though. I've heard people rationalize that his stellar 1946 season was due to the returning major leaguers being "rusty". I'm not sure I buy that. Anyhow, many many years before we start worrying about these guys.
   50. PhillyBooster Posted: September 14, 2004 at 08:36 PM (#854516)
I'm not sure whether one should discount the wartime seasons, given that he was just as good in 1946.

If you look at the Top 10 in ERA+ in 1945, 9 out of 10 had a better ERA+ in 1946 than 1947. Without studying it closely, 1946 looks like it be a "get the lead out" kind of transitional year, where pitchers like Newhouser who pitched through are teamed up with other guys who haven't faced a major league hitter in three years.
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: September 15, 2004 at 12:38 AM (#855171)
Re. the short career/very high peak pitchers:

I think Dean has been somewhat overrated, Newhouser grossly underrated and Koufax rated about right.

The logic in post #41 seems wrong--i.e. Dizzy Dean was better than his comps (in the 17-18-1900 IP range) by a wider margin than Koufax was versus his comps (in the 2300 IP range). Ergo, Dean is better than Koufax.

Why not just compare them head to head? Koufax pitched an extra 350 IP at an insignificantly better (but decidedly not worse) rate. He sure looks better to me.

As to Newhouser, I agree that considering he dominated after the war, he was the real deal. But that is not the same as saying his '44-'45 years should not be discounted. Of course they should. Who is to say that '46 was not in fact his peak year, just against better competition?

But even with appropriate discounts in '44-'45, Hal was a Prince of a pitcher in my book, and a likely HoMer, especially considering the dearth of "great" (i.e. HoM) pitchers below the NB level 1920-1960.

Oh, but what is really missing in most of the above discussion is a seasonal analysis, including peaks. The career totals are just not very useful. i.e Koufax and Joss--yeah, the look a lot alike, but Joss' usage was pretty light for his day, while whenever healthy Koufax shouldered a heavy load. Joss was never even close to being the best pitcher of his time (3 or 5 year rolling peak totals) while Koufax was, obviously though not by a wide margin.
   52. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: September 15, 2004 at 12:52 AM (#855254)
On the RA+ support-neutral PythPat system:
209-134 Coveleski
248-196 Willis (defense adjusted)
200-129 Waddell
201-132 Adams (not adjusted)
209-149 Cicotte
220-166 Cooper
263-225 Powell
203-146 Griffith
181-117 Shocker
161-098 Joss
189-137 Shawkey
189-146 Mays


Please forgive my ignorance of the method, but why do all the pitchers here have different numbers of total decisions than what's in their actual record?

Mays & Joss have 2 more decisions, Shawkey & Willis 10 fewer, etc. The king of "lost decisions" is Griffith, who goes from 237-146 to 203-146. 34 decisions gone, and all of them wins! Where'd they go? [And who got them? They might really help somebody else's candidacy. :-)]

I often feel here that I'm out of my depth, and maybe should be posting as "Dylan'sMr.Jones" or some such. Just trying to learn a little something...
   53. OCF Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:08 AM (#855350)
Please forgive my ignorance of the method, but why do all the pitchers here have different numbers of total decisions than what's in their actual record?

Because it's based on IP, not decisions. The number of equivalent decisions in this method is IP/9.

The actual number of IP per decision for long-career pitchers in this time period clusters around 8.75, but Griffith is an outlier at 8.28 IP/decision. Some pitchers, including Cicotte and Mays, have slightly over 9.0 IP/decision.

The most likely explanation for a low IP/decision rate like Griffith, or Walter Johnson (8.50), is a high tendency to accumulate decisions in relief appearances.
   54. ronw Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:14 AM (#855385)
Max Carey really looks like he deserves induction.

1910 - 1 WS
1911 - 14 WS (5th NL CF, behind Bates 23, Snodgrass 23, Paskert 18, Oakes 15)
1912 - 22 WS (2nd NL LF, behind Bescher 23)
1913 - 20 WS (2nd NL LF, behind Burns 22)
1914 - 17 WS (6th NL LF, behind Burns 31, SMagee 29, Wheat 26, Connolly 25, Becker 22)
1915 - 16 WS (5th NL LF, behind Burns 24, Wheat 24, RKillefer 18, Schulte 17)
1916 - 25 WS (3rd NL CF, behind Paskert 27, Kauff 27)
1917 - 23 WS (T 3rd NL CF with Cruise, behind Kauff 30, Roush 30)
1918 - 22 WS (T 2nd NL CF with Roush, behind Paskert 23)
1919 - 11 WS (Injured?)
1920 - 20 WS (T 4th NL CF, behind Roush 33, Myers 27, Williams 24, Paskert 20)
1921 - 24 WS (T 1st NL CF with Powell)
1922 - 29 WS (1st NL CF)
1923 - 29 WS (1st NL CF)
1924 - 25 WS (1st NL CF)
1925 - 26 WS (1st NL CF)
1926 - 7 WS
1927 - 13 WS (6th NL CF, behind Wilson 31, LWaner 25, Douthit 16, Roush 16, FLeach 14)
1928 - 7 WS

With his late-career surge, he reminds me of Jimmy Sheckard, but Carey was probably a better fielder than Sheckard.

My ballot will be:

1. Lloyd
2. Collins
3. Williams
4. Torriente
5. Van Haltren
6. Beckley
7. Carey
8. Ryan
9. Taylor
10. Hooper
11. Groh
12. Duffy
13. Welch
14. Mullane
15. Coveleski
   55. EricC Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:28 AM (#855479)
Notable newcomers:

Carl Mays. Most similar pitchers: Clark Griffith, Mordecai Brown , Pud Galvin , Urban Shocker, Vic Willis, Tim Keefe , Eddie Cicotte, Mickey Welch. Similarity scores may say that Coveleski was his "most similar" pitcher, but their career shapes were nothing alike. I have him 23rd now, but he could make my ballot eventually. If he had only sustained his 1917-1921 performance a few more years, he'd be a "n-b". Mays could hit, too.

Max Carey. Most similar players: Tommy Leach, Jimmy Sheckard , Jimmy Ryan, George Van Haltren, Tom York, (Edd Roush). No peak to write home about. Perhaps hurt unfairly by comparisons to contemporary CFs Cobb and Speaker, but, even so, more of a borderline candidate than he may appear. 32nd on my ballot.

Ken Williams. Most similar players: Jack Fournier, Abner Dalrymple, Roy Thomas, Topsy Hartsel, Pete Browning, Charley Jones. All-star-type LF 1921 through 1925; not much else on the resume. Around 63rd on my ballot.

No new NeLers are likely to make my ballot.

1935 Prelim:

1. Eddie Collins
2. John Henry Lloyd
3. Joe Williams
4. Stan Coveleski
5. Cristobal Torriente
6. Roger Bresnahan
7. Jake Beckley
8. George Waddell
9. Harry Hooper
10. Eddie Cicotte
11. Ray Schalk
12. Heinie Groh
13. Urban Shocker
14. George Van Haltren
15. Jimmy Ryan
   56. Michael Bass Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:32 AM (#855505)
My prelim ballot, with comments as appropriate:

1. Williams
2. Collins
3. Lloyd
4. Torriente
5. Jennings
6. Groh
7. Coveleski
8. Poles - Moves up, I look again at his stats (As best as we have them), and I think he's simply the best hitter of the OF glut (exception noted below), and with a solid defensive value set as well.
9. Mendez
10. Waddell - Pitchers were too low on the last ballot, this is a correction.
11. Browning - First ever ballot appearance for me. I looked at him, C. Jones, and Pike, 3 guys who were better hitters than the OF glut, but have various questions in relation to timeline or outright competition. By my eye, Browning clearly comes out on top of these 3, and earns a ballot spot as a result.
12. Veach
13. Duffy
14. F. Jones
15. Griffin


Carey - Middle of the OF glut right now. I need to reevaluate the whole group at some point. Just off the ballot. I may revisit this later in the week. The whole group (Veach, Duffy, F. Jones, Griffin, Carey, Hooper, Van Haltren, Ryan, Thomas, Tieran; maybe toss in Poles) confounds me at the moment.

Mays - Unimpressed, and my system loved Caruthers, so it isn't punishing hitting pitchers.
   57. OCF Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:45 AM (#855576)
The most spectacular single season outlier in IP/decision I can think of off the top of my head was Bob Welch, 1990: 238 IP, 33 decisions (27-6), or 7.21 IP/decision. I haven't worked him into my system, but I suspect the year would come out as something like 16-10.

Now that's a real prize of a Cy Young award vote. The thing is: the writers knew that Welch wasn't the best pitcher in the league - they said so in their own columns - but they voted for him anyway.

Stuff like that can happen, but the fact that modern starters go 6 or 7 innings per start usually balances nicely with their tendency to pick up no-decisions doing so, and brings the IP/decision for them back to around 9.
   58. DavidFoss Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:58 AM (#855660)
OK... It's really starting to bother me that an HGH company is sponsoring Stan Coveleski's baseball reference page.

Is the stuff they are selling legal in MLB? And why target the grandfathered spitballer for their ads?
   59. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2004 at 03:04 AM (#855885)
Something's happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you Don F?

Ballad of a Thin HOMer

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody with a funky W-L mark
And you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so hard
But you don't understand
Just what you'll say
When you get home

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where the ERA+ is?"
And somebody points to you and says
"It's his"
And you say, "What's mine?"
And somebody else says, "Where what is?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone?"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

You hand in your prelim ballot
And you go watch the geek
Who immediately walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And says, "How does it feel
To be such a freak?"
And you say, "Impossible"
As he hands you a Win Share chart

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

You have many contacts
Among the stat hacks
To get you facts
When someone attacks your imagination
But nobody has any respect
Anyway they already expect you
To just give a check
To tax-deductible SABR organizations

You've been with the sabrmeticians
And they've all liked your looks
With great statheads you have
Discussed FRobby and Brooks
You've been through all of
Bill James's books
You're very well read
It's well known

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

Well, the HOM ballot counter, he comes up to you
And then he kneels
He crosses himself
And then he clicks his high spikes
And without further notice
He asks you if you like
And he says, "Here is your ballot back
Thanks for the votes"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

Now you see this Three-Fingered pitcher
Shouting the word "WARP"
And you say, "For what reason?"
And he says, "Orp?"
And you say, "What does this mean?"
And he screams back, "You're of the OPS+ ilk
Give me some milk
Or else go home"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?

Well, you walk into the room
Like Caminiti and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin' around
You should be made
To wear a batting helmet

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Don F?
   60. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 15, 2004 at 03:37 AM (#855919)
But Howie, now try it with Subterranean Homesick Blues! :-)
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2004 at 11:47 AM (#856173)
"Dimino's in the basement
Mixing up the Mets and Cin
Murph's on the pavement
Thinking about Lee Guetterman"

Ok, enough. This is a baseball thread...
   62. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 15, 2004 at 11:48 AM (#856175)
John Murphy's in the basement cookin' up discussion threads,
I'm on the internet, thinkin' 'bout replacement....
   63. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: September 15, 2004 at 11:49 AM (#856176)
God, that's hysterical! Brightened my morning.

Thanks!

...

I think.

...

Hey, wait a minute!!!
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2004 at 12:32 PM (#856204)
thanks for chuckling, Don!
cyberteasing can be misunderstood, and all. glad you liked it.
   65. PhillyBooster Posted: September 15, 2004 at 01:58 PM (#856251)
The most likely explanation for a low IP/decision rate like Griffith, or Walter Johnson (8.50), is a high tendency to accumulate decisions in relief appearances.

Couldn't this also result more easily from losing a disproportionate number of home games?
   66. SWW Posted: September 15, 2004 at 02:32 PM (#856310)
Hi there. I've been following these elections since just after the turn of the century, and with some rival hall being built in upstate New York, it seemed like a good time to try my hand at the voting. So please consider this provisional ballot for 1935. And if it's unacceptable, I'll try again next year.

1) Edward Trowbridge Collins
I’ll wager that 70 years from now, he’ll still be considered one of the best second basemen ever. Only Cobb and Speaker kept him out last year.
2) John Henry Lloyd - “Pop”
The NBJHA argues Lloyd might be the best ever at shortstop. I’m not sure if he was better than Wagner, but he had an exceptionally long career for the position, which is one of many examples of his quality. Plus, when the original Negro Leagues committee was handing out plaques, Lloyd was the only candidate to come from the beginning of the century. If such short memories remembered Lloyd, he must have been damn good.
3) Joseph Williams – “Smokey Joe”
By all accounts, the pre-eminent pitcher of the early Negro Leagues. Only ranked this low because of the sheer quality of the men listed 1-4.
4) Cristobal Torriente
Even though there’s a drop-off between 5 & 6, Torriente is still leagues ahead of the returning candidates.
5) Jacob Peter Beckley – “Jake”
A lot of hits. James Vail’s standard deviation scores indicate he performed significantly better than many of his Cooperstown brethren, both in era and position. I think the nature of his career may make him seem a less appealing candidate than is warranted.
6) Max George Carey
There are a lot of center fielders up for consideration, but he just stands out. Particularly the combination of career and prime, which I enjoy.
7) Henry Knight Groh - “Heinie”
Considering how rare it seems to be to have someone truly excel at third base in the past couple decades, I’m inclined to give him an extra push. Especially compared to…
8) Thomas William Leach – “Tommy”
If he’d stayed at third, his numbers would probably give him an edge over Groh. But right now, the split makes me place him here.
9) Hugh Duffy
Much better against his peers than contemporaries Van Haltren & Ryan. Similar careers overall, but higher black ink and grey ink point to a higher prime, which gives Duffy a slight edge.
10) Lawrence Joseph Doyle - “Laughing Larry”
I need to keep better track of my research, but some recent book on player rankings made a very convincing argument that he was significantly underrated among second basemen. He’s no Collins, mind you.
11) Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
I’m not typically a peak guy, but his peak is astounding. Unfortunately, his nickname makes me think of that damn OutKast song. (Not that I’ve factored that into my rankings.)
12) Bingo DeMoss
I really thought he would do much better than this. Even placing him here might be optimistic. I pick him over Bill Monroe primarily because of the stronger competition he faced. As befits the subjective nature of his candidacy, this is the pick I feel least solid about.
13) Harry Bartholomew Hooper
I like him a lot more than most seem to. He scores as the best of the eligible right fielders, although he probably won’t look so good when guys like Heilmann and Cuyler start appearing. Oh, and that Ruth fellow.
14) Roger Philip Bresnahan
I had him much higher due to his position, but a recent post – I think from either Howie or Max – made the very cogent argument that considering the remarkable skill of the Negro League catchers, it was ludicrous to consider Bresnahan as one of the best catchers of the day. He has been dropping steadily in my estimation, and may drop further.
15) Michael Francis Welch – “Smiling Mickey”
I’ve been going back on forth on him. I’ve decided to include him at this time, because pitching is poorly represented on my ballot, and his WS and grey ink place him way above the other contenders. And the wins. That’s a lot of wins for any era.

Other Top 10 Finishers:
Stanley Anthony Coveleski
Numbers strike me as similar to Rube Waddell, and Rube had a better peak. Part of a cluster of pitchers who strike me as Really Good (including Mays, Griffith, and Mendez) without being especially Meritorious.
Lipman Emanuel Pike
Just don’t know what to do with Lip. Most of his numbers are guesswork, but the numbers we have are quite good. Doesn’t have the pioneering skills that favored a Dickey Pearce or a Joe Start. For now, I have to err on the side of caution.
   67. karlmagnus Posted: September 15, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#856362)
Oh goody, another new voter, and one who understands the magic that was Jake Beckley :-)). Ballot looks fine to me; you'll need to post it again on the "ballot" thread next week. All subject to Joe Dimino, John Murphy and the people that run this splendid project, of course -- I'm just another grunt. But subject to them seeing something on the ballot I hadn't spotted, welcome!
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 15, 2004 at 03:57 PM (#856471)
Welcome, SWW! Your ballot looks fine to me.

All subject to Joe Dimino, John Murphy and the people that run this splendid project, of course -- I'm just another grunt.

While I do some "heavy lifting" around here, I'm still a grunt, too. Joe is still the Boss. He can take away my "keys" to the Plaque Room at any time. :-)

The only other "person" around here that has a certain amount of power is the whole electorate as a group.
   69. jimd Posted: September 15, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#856598)
Viewed by WARP, Carey, Hooper, and Wheat form a trio of comparable long-career, marginal-peak, OF'ers from the same era, with similar total value. Wheat was the best hitter of the trio, Carey the best defender, and Hooper played in the better league.
BRAR FRAR WARP-1 BRAR FRAR WARP-3
 746  385  124.0  610  205  93.0  Wheat
 612  371  108.8  509  324  95.7  Hooper
 632  604  135.7  497  370  98.9  Carey
Essentially, these three are the 2nd team OF'ers (by career value) behind the first team of Ruth, Cobb, and Speaker, for 1910-30. Jackson, Veach, and Heilmann would probably be the peak value alternatives for the 2nd team. (Did I miss anybody from MLB?)
   70. ronw Posted: September 15, 2004 at 05:14 PM (#856650)
jimd:

Here are a couple more, but a cut below Wheat, Hooper and Carey for Prospectus numbers.

BRARFRARWARP-1BRARFRARWARP-3
599427112.147624782.6Roush
514396100.140825576.1Burns
57730997.749323882.9Rice


Of course, it won't be long before we have to think about 1920-1940 (Goslin, Ott, Medwick, Paul Waner, even Manush, Cuyler and Wilson)

These and jimd's list of outfielders are in trouble. It also looks preliminarily like Wheat may have retired at just the right time.
   71. jhwinfrey Posted: September 15, 2004 at 05:15 PM (#856653)
1935 preliminary ballot:

1. Pop Lloyd
2. Eddie Collins
3. Smokey Joe Williams
4. Cristobal Torriente
5. Mickey Welch
6. Jake Beckley
7. Rube Waddell
8. Max Carey
9. Clark Griffith
10. Ben Taylor
11. Bill Monroe
12. Lip Pike
13. Bingo DeMoss
14. Jose Mendez
15. Cupid Childs
...
23. Stan Coveleski
26. Heinie Groh
27. Carl Mays
33. Dizzy Dismukes
54. Bernardo Baro
72. Ken Williams
74. Tioga George Burns
   72. jimd Posted: September 15, 2004 at 05:17 PM (#856660)
Actually, Heilmann belongs in the career discussion too.
BRAR FRAR WARP-1 BRAR FRAR WARP-3
 746  385  124.0  610  205  93.0  Wheat
 612  371  108.8  509  324  95.7  Hooper
 632  604  135.7  497  370  98.9  Carey
 849  187  112.6  766  119  99.0  Heilmann
Though never mistaken for a good glove, the man could HIT.
   73. ronw Posted: September 15, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#856666)
Let's try again:

BRAR  FRAR  WARP-1  BRAR  FRAR  WARP-3  Name
599      427      112.1      476      247      82.6        Roush
514      396      100.1      408      255      76.1        Burns
577      309       97.7       493      238      82.9        Rice
   74. mbd1mbd1 Posted: September 15, 2004 at 06:51 PM (#856870)
I did some fiddling and futzing around this week. I like Carey a lot, enough to put him ahead of the pre-'34 holdovers. He seems a lot like Hooper plus lots of Ink. Mays is in 20-25 range. Not sure on DeMoss yet, but I'll read his thread and look at the numbers. This is the first time that Cravath makes it onto my ballot, and Beckley falls a few spots - I'm becoming a bit more rate friendly. Here's the prelim:

1-4. Williams, Collins, Lloyd, Torriente
5. Max Carey
6-10. Duffy, GJ Burns, GVH, Willis, Veach
11. Gavvy Cravath
12-15. Ryan, Leach, Waddell, Beckley
16-20. Doyle, Browning, Coveleski, Groh, Hooper
   75. jimd Posted: September 15, 2004 at 07:10 PM (#856934)
Carey seems a lot like Hooper plus lots of Ink.

Ah, the benefits of playing in the other league, the one without Cobb, Speaker, and Collins.
   76. DavidFoss Posted: September 15, 2004 at 07:23 PM (#856980)
Ah, the benefits of playing in the other league, the one without Cobb, Speaker, and Collins.

Most of Carey's black ink comes from SB's. In 5 of his 10 SB crowns, he led both leagues. Plus, Carey's got the high SB%'s that the sabr crowd likes in an era where players didn't normally worry about high SB%'s.

With no league adjustment, they appear quite similar offensively. Carey's extra 500 PA's and SB's balancing out Hoopers 114-107 edge in OPS+. Carey's positional adjustment moves him ahead in my opinion. (Though neither make my ballot).
   77. OCF Posted: September 15, 2004 at 08:48 PM (#857235)
I am going to have to take another look at Carey. For one thing, those SB% are quite extraordinary for the times. (Did he really go 51-2 one year?) I'll check on his R.

To repeat a question I asked earlier: is there information about Ken Williams in the minor leagues that might be worth knowing?
   78. Thane of Bagarth Posted: September 15, 2004 at 08:54 PM (#857258)
Preliminary 1935 Ballot
No major changes from last year. Dunlap leap-frogged past Charley Jones and Dobie Moore to make it back on the ballot at #14.

1. Eddie Collins—It’s still a difficult choice to rank the top 3. I’ll rank the Negro leaguers conservatively and keep the same order as last week.
2. Smokey Joe Williams— Waiting for next year?
3. Pop Lloyd— The decision to have Collins #1 was easier to make than to put Williams ahead of Lloyd.
4. Lip Pike—Will his time ever come?
5. Stan Coveleski
6. Rube Waddell
7. Addie Joss
8. Pete Browning
9. Cristobel Torriente
10. Ben Taylor—“…was considered the best 1st baseman in black baseball prior to the arrival of Buck Leonard.”--Riley's Encyclopedia. From what I have seen and heard this was not a unique opinion. His longevity and high batting averages make him appear similar to Beckley, however, Taylor's reputation matters a lot and is the reason I have him much higher than JB. Despite the patchwork stats and quality of competition issues, I think Taylor is a much more HoM-worthy player.
11. Hughie Jennings
12. Roger Bresnahan—Still the best catcher out there, deserves to make it eventually.
13. Jose Mendez—Well below Smokey Joe, but still an excellent pitcher.
14. Fred Dunlap
15. Charley Jones

Top 10 Returnees not on ballot:
Groh just misses at #17. GVH—#38—doesn’t stand out enough from the other outfielders. Beckley, #52, had a nice career, but not enough to have him close to my top 15.
Notable newcomers: #26—Max Carey is close to Zack Wheat, whom I did not rank as high as most. His peak is not phenomenal, but his longevity gives him a boost. #54—Carl Mays would be much higher if I only looked at his WS. The BP stats are not all that friendly to him, hitting notwithstanding. He winds up somewhere in-between the extremes, still probably relatively low. #55—Howard Emke appears to be very similar to Mays by all the BP stats, but not that close in WS. I kept him right behind Mays. #75—Ken Williams was a good outfielder but he’s hurt by not getting regular playing time until he was 29.
   79. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 15, 2004 at 09:21 PM (#857344)
A quick question about Smokey Joe Wood, who is, of course, eligible, not that anyone's voting for him. He was, of course, a fireballer for his era. But to what extent should his knockout 1912 season, despite finishing 2nd in K/9, be docked for his defense? All three of the team's outfielders finished in the top 5 in the league in fielding WS (Speaker had 10), Larry Gardner was the best fielding 3B, Steve Yerkes was the 3rd best 2B, and Heinie "No, not *that* H. Wagner" Wagner was the no. 3 SS. With the no. 2 K rate in the league and that defense (and just 2 HR allowed), I'm surprised Wood's ERA+ wasn't *better* than 180.
   80. OCF Posted: September 15, 2004 at 11:15 PM (#857491)
Re: Wood 1912. For the most spectacular seasons, RA+ usually lags a little behind ERA+. Wood's 1912 fits the pattern, with an RA+ of 170 and an equivalent record of 17-11, or 36 equiv. FWP. Among the pitchers I've worked up, I've got 49 seasons of 30 or more equiv. FWP, but there are some very good pitchers who never had one. From what you've said, yes, I probably would want to discount that a little. Wood had a higher RA+ (211) in 1915, but on only 153 innings. I've got his career equivalent record as 99-60, which is very good (and beats Ruth's equivalent 80-55) but there's not enough there to make him a candidate even with his years as an outfielder added in.
   81. KJOK Posted: September 16, 2004 at 02:07 AM (#857912)
Newbie check:

I don't see any of the newbies making my ballot this year...

DeMoss, 2B - Bill Mazeroski comp (Maz will never see the top of my ballot)

Max Carey, CF - Great fielding CF, but CF wasn't quite as important then, and not enough offense when CF was a high offense position.

Ken Williams, LF- A very good fielding LF, and had some great offensive years, but didn't become a regular until age 30, so started too late in majors (or else the live ball came too late for him).

Carl Mays, P - Joins the crowd of "very good" pitchers. Have him below Mendez, Joss, Cicotte, Shocker, Willis, Silver King, Jim McCormick, Jack Stivetts, Will White and Tony Mullane - about even with Wilbur Cooper. That won't cut it
   82. Chris Cobb Posted: September 16, 2004 at 02:57 AM (#858036)
For those who are talking about the relative lack of importance of centerfield defense in this period, what's the evidence?

Here's the evidence I have. Carey and Speaker's chances per game (2.9 and 2.8) suggest that there is little difference between their contribution to team defense and the contribution to team defense made by later outstanding centerfielders like Ashburn (3.0, Robin-Roberts-assisted), Maddox (2.9), the brothers DiMaggio (3.0, 2.8, 2.8), and Willie Mays (2.65).

Chances per game isn't a sufficient stat for a total evaluation of defensive quality, but isn't it a pretty reliable indicator of the defensive importance of outfielders?

jimd has posted data (now long lost to the site change, I fear) that showed overall shifts in defensive responsibility. I'd like to see that posted again, if jimd would be so kind, and discussed before Carey's defensive brilliance is sold short.
   83. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 16, 2004 at 04:01 AM (#858129)
Fun facts I just came across about Carl Mays in Baseball Timeline:

July 17, 1923: Miller Huggins, angry at Carl Mays for a spring training argument & Mays's attitude in general, leaves him in to get shellacked 13-0 by the Indians. He allows 20 hits (why wait until July to do this? Best guess - 10 days earlier Frank Chance pulled a simliar stunt on young reliever Lefty O'Doul, who gave up 13 runs in one inning to that same Indians team en route to a 27-3 win (Cleveland not-so-coincidently underachieved on their pythag record that year).

December 11, 1923: Yanks sell Carl Mays to Cincinnati for $7500. manager Miller Huggins tells Red's president Garry Herrmann: "I may be sending you the best pitcher I have, but I warn you that Carl is a troublemaker and always will be a hard man to sign."

July 12, 1919: Mays annoucnes he'll never for Red Sox again stating: "I have pitched the best ball of my life, but I am not winning . . . The team just doesn win when I'm pitching so I'm going home to Pennsylvania." His RSI was a 78 at that time. The Yanks aquire him 17 days later, but Ban Johnson order s him back to Boston. Yanks refuse & Johnson tells the umps to prevent Mays to play for the Yanks. Goes to the courts & Mays ends up a Yankee.

Also, Joe - you're big on Howard Ehmke, right? In 1923 he nearly pitched back-to-back no-hitters. Got the first one, & in game two (against the Yanks) allowed on lead-off single in the first innings on a controversial call (a grounder was muffed & beaten out by the hitter). Ehmke retried the next 27 batters. 17 days later played those same Yanks - & got mauled 24-4. Baseball's a funny game sometimes.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 16, 2004 at 05:14 AM (#858229)
Dr. Chaleeko - great post, until the conclusion . . .

Koufax had marginal advantages of 15-4, with 348 extra innings and basically the same ERA+. How can you come to the conclusion that Dean should rank ahead of him, based on the fact that Dean dominated more when compared to a lesser group of pitchers than the ones you compared Koufax to?
   85. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 16, 2004 at 05:18 AM (#858232)
Welcome aboard SWW!

Looks like I'm going to have to bust out some of my anti- Hugh Duffy rants :-)

How's this one, from my recent ballots . . .

Duffy, on the rate stats alone barely compares with Ryan and Van Haltren. When you throw in the fact that, 1) his career was several years shorter, and; 2) his second best season was in an awful league (the 1891 AA), and; 3) his best year was in a monster hitter's park in a monster hitter's season (Boston, 1894) - I just don't see how he compares.

Mike Tiernan posted a 138 OPS+ (Duffy 122) in a career that was only a year and a half shorter. In basically the same era too.

Mike Griffin posted a 123 OPS+ (more OBP driven than Duffy as well), playing incredible defensive CF in a career two years shorter. He never had years as big as Duffy did in 1891 or 1894, but he never had years as bad as Duffy did in 1896 or 1899 either.

Those are the type of players Duffy is truly comparable to.
   86. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 16, 2004 at 05:19 AM (#858233)
Thanks for the Ehmke note Chris, pretty cool story.
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 16, 2004 at 01:54 PM (#858467)
Chances per game isn't a sufficient stat for a total evaluation of defensive quality, but isn't it a pretty reliable indicator of the defensive importance of outfielders?

Chris, think of centerfield as Wrigley Field. Before night baseball, Wrigley was more like a pitchers park. Once lights were added to the other parks, Wrigley transformed into a fine hitters park. However, while the other parks changed, Wrigley was basically the same as it always was until the late eighties.* Wrigley became a haven for offense only because the other parks became more difficult for hitting.

Centerfield may be the same as it was back then, but the infield positions were tougher back then than they are now (making centerfield look easier in comparison).

*This is probably not 100% correct, but the idea behind the analogy still works.
   88. Paul Wendt Posted: September 16, 2004 at 03:17 PM (#858574)
Brad Harris #27
At the end of the season, Mays was called up (with teammate Babe Ruth) to the big league club, the Red Sox. Mays rode the bench that September, never seeing action, but collected a World Series check that fall (in 1914).

If Carl Mays sat on the bench in Fenway Park during the World Series, he was a spectator, not a teammate, as the Braves won the first of Boston's three successive championships.

OCF
Wood's 1912 [W-L 34-5] fits the pattern, with an RA+ of 170 and an equivalent record of 17-11, or 36 equiv. FWP.

something wrong here. Nor does 27-11 match 36.

Chris J
Carl Mays in Baseball Timeline

The book by Burt Solomon? Is the quote material representative? That is similar to The Baseball Chronology, on the web at baseballlibrary.com
   89. Paul Wendt Posted: September 16, 2004 at 03:30 PM (#858594)
Defensive Win Shares, Outfield, Career
<u>WS, WS/1000</u>
117.8, 4.93 Speaker
103.6, 4.11 Mays
_94.8, 4.37 Carey
_82.6, 3.20 Cobb
_78.3, 3.88 Willie Davis
_75.1, 5.32 Curt Flood
_73.8, 3.95 Richie Ashburn
_72.5, 3.85 Doc Cramer
_72.5, 4.25 Amos Otis
_69.3, 3.32 Vada Pinson

Source: gleaned from Win Share, page 618

See another centerfield note:
#39 in 1934 Election Results
   90. OCF Posted: September 16, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#858660)
Wood's 1912 [W-L 34-5] fits the pattern, with an RA+ of 170 and an equivalent record of 17-11, or 36 equiv. FWP.

something wrong here. Nor does 27-11 match 36.


Sorry, Paul. Two things:

1. The typo. Yes, I did mean 27-11.

2. The roundoff. I compute the FWP before rounding off, not after, and the roundoff error in this case is particulary large. So 27.44-10.78 does give FWP of 36.36.
   91. jimd Posted: September 16, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#858685)
I'll see if I can find them, Chris. Here's one.

Changes in the distribution of defensive PutOuts:
(comparison between NA 1871-5 and NL 2000-2002)

Ca -3.83 (excluding K's)
1B -1.89
3B -1.18
2B -0.78
Pt -0.02
SS +0.17
OF +0.87 (all 3 combined)
Ks +6.52 (Strikeouts)

Note the average game has gotten .14 PO shorter. Strikeouts have replaced many IF putouts. Outfield PO's have grown from 20.6% of non-K defensive PO's to 31.9%.

Assists are down all over the diamond, except for 1B.
SS -.62, C -.42, 3B -.41, P -.38, OF -.21, 2B -.03, 1B +.48
(A/G peaks during the dead ball era and has declined since; modern teams are at 10.2 compared to 13.1 at peak and 11.8 in the NA.)

The team DP info is NULL in the Lahman DB so I don't know how DP's have increased, though it appears that they have roughly doubled. Individual data by position is available though.
SS +.44, 1B +.43, 2B +.31, 3B +.07, P +.05, C .00, OF -.04
********
However, another way of looking at the modern data is to remove the strikeouts, rescale onto NA (26.61 non-K PO/G), and then compare how the positions have changed: (this is done assuming that pitcher K's have little to do with fielding)

Ca -3.76 (excluding K's)
3B -0.95
2B -0.09
Pt +0.15
SS +0.68
1B +0.97
OF +3.00 (all 3 combined)

Within the fielders, C has lost 4 PO and 3B has lost 1; they've moved to SS, 1B, and the OF (3). I think this shift to the OF is significant WRT the defensive spectrum; this is a 55% increase in OF activity. (Whether this shift represents easy or hard plays, I have no idea.)

Now the assist pattern is much different:
C -.25, OF -.15, P +.03, 3B +.23, SS +.35, 1B +.70, 2B +.91
Baserunner kills (C,OF) are down, left-side infielders are up a little, right-side infielders are up a lot (almost an assist apiece). IMO, this reflects the increase in the left-handedness of the game (in the NA, switch-hitters are rare, left-handed hitters are not common, and left-handed pitchers are unknown, except for "Lefty" McMullin, #1 for Troy in 1871 and OF/occasional reliever thereafter), and the use of gloves.
   92. karlmagnus Posted: September 16, 2004 at 04:50 PM (#858746)
Jimd, those numbers look funny, at least the second set, with strikeouts removed. You've got 1B becoming more important in terms of putouts,m whereas without strikeouts removed it became a lot less important. I think the order of changes between the positions has to remain more or less the same, so if 1B is between C and 3B in the first table, it should still be between them in the second.

Also, equivalent data for say 1910-15 (first generation of modern gloves) and 1950-55 (modern equipment, but not modern conditioning and training)would be EXTREMELY helpful.
   93. jimd Posted: September 16, 2004 at 05:24 PM (#858806)
The first set of stats reflects the difference between a typical NA game and a typical modern game.

There are 8 less infield PO's, 1 less PO by 3B, 1 less by 2B, 2 less by 1B, and 4 less PO's by the catcher (mostly on fouls I suppose; catcher played 10 feet back of the plate and anything, including tips, caught on the fly or the first bounce was an out). These have been replaced by 7 K's and 1 additional OF fly. There is less infield activity at each position, also reflected in the assists, replaced mostly by K's and an extra OF fly.

The second set of stats reflects the relative changes in fielder activity, once we remove the Strikeouts.

It shows a somewhat different pattern, many more OF plays (50% increase), more PO's by SS (force at 2b?), an extra PO at 1B replacing one at 3B. Combined with the assist data, I'd interpret this as more successful long throws to 1B, replacing forces at the other bases (what we'd expect given the introduction of gloves).

Summarizing (one interpretation), the responsibilities of C have changed substantially, from being a prime defender with many PO's to a co-strategist with the P in inducing K's, meanwhile OF's have become substantially more important relative to IF's.

Other interpretations are welcome. I'll see if I can produce similar data for other eras.
   94. Paul Wendt Posted: September 16, 2004 at 06:12 PM (#858894)
DP, TP in National Association
146, 0 - 1871 - 127x2 games
180, 0 - 1872 - 183x2
245, 2 - 1873 - 199x2
220, 0 - 1874 - 232x2
350, 3 - 1875 - 345x2

Is the measured spike in 1873 plausible?

Paul Wendt
Source: five NA project reports, SABR 1995-1996
   95. TomH Posted: September 16, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#858998)
DP in NA yr games DP/game
146 - 1871 - 127 1.15
180 - 1872 - 183 0.98
245 - 1873 - 199 1.23
220 - 1874 - 232 0.95
350 - 1875 - 345 1.01
................mean 1.06
......sample sdev 0.12

Is the measured spike in 1873 plausible?
Answer: I sure think so.
   96. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 16, 2004 at 08:04 PM (#859079)
The book by Burt Solomon?

Yea.
   97. sunnyday2 Posted: September 16, 2004 at 08:42 PM (#859123)
This has been implied but not stated directly in the discussion of CF defense. OF are now catching more fly balls than they used to--a much higher pct. of BIP but among balls NOT hit in the air into the OF I don't think an OF is more valuable because they're Ks and not ground balls to the IF. So, anyway, they're catching a few more fly balls.

But in the old days, they got more As (baserunner kills). Now isn't that a more difficult and more variable and therefore more valuable skill?

IOW, Max Carey's defensive record (and Cobb's and Speaker's, though theirs don't really matter here any more) can't just be explained away by the lack of Ks. At least that's MHO based on the evidence so far.
   98. sunnyday2 Posted: September 16, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#859125)
Oh, and as a P.S. How does anybody explain more 1B As as time goes by. More tosses to the P that the 1B used to take unassisted?
   99. jimd Posted: September 16, 2004 at 09:12 PM (#859170)
More tosses to the P that the 1B used to take unassisted?

I'm sure that's part of it (see legends that Comiskey, Start, whoever, was the first to play off the bag). Part of it is also more assists in general, which can be attributed to good gloves that make catching the ball less error-prone, which allows fielders to take more chances attempting more plays on the assumption that their teammate will usually catch the ball, even if not in time. Today's off-balance gambling web-gem throws might be considered way too risky to even attempt in a bare-handed game.

Conversely, the decrease in ball-handling sure-handedness increases base-running gambling. It's justified because a good throw, in-time, also requires a good catch, which is much less likely bare-handed. Many more OF assists (baserunning failures) also implies many more successful attempts, assuming a similar success ratio due to similar break-even points.
   100. jonesy Posted: September 16, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#859191)
At the start of the 1914 season the Detroit Tigers owned the Providence team in the International League and the Red Sox controlled the Buffalo team. Providence had been the top Detroit farm team since about 1911 and many of the Detroit cup-or-coffee guys came from that team.

Midway through the 1914 season -- in order to better combat the Federal League -- Boston and Detroit swapped control of the Buffalo and Providence teams. Deroit had the option of taking one player off of the Providence team at the time of the deal (Ruth was the outright property of the Red Sox so he was not an eligible player for Detroit to take).

Mays was the ace of the Providence team (24-8 as I recall in 1914) but for some reason the player Detroit took was pitcher Red Oldham.

Mays was pretty much an extra arm for the Red Sox in 1915 but likely would/could have been at least the number three starter for Detroit.

I have long speculated that had Detroit taken Mays instead of Oldham then Detroit -- at 100-54 -- would have beaten out Boston -- 101-50 -- for the 1915 AL flag.

By the way, when Dizzy Dean was dazzling many that saw him in the early 30s, a poll of major league managers considered him the hottest pitching prospect "since the advent of Wes Ferrell."
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