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— 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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   101. Paul Wendt Posted: September 17, 2004 at 01:26 AM (#859666)
Marc #98, jimd #99
How does anybody explain more 1B [assists] as time goes by. 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). . . .


I agree with that and with much that I deleted.

The comparison period presented here is 1871-1875, not pre-1893 or pre-1930s. No 1Bman used a glove (first known, Al Spalding 1877). At the same time, the four infielders covered a wider field, because any ball that landed fair was fair before 1877. (And because grounders naturally curve from fair territory to foul. Thus the fair-foul hit.) The new foul ball rule was advanced so that infielders would move closer together and shrink the holes, and Henry Chadwick advocated ten players (with three basemen and two shortstops, in effect) for the same purpose.

Didn't someone present the same data for a few points between 1875 and 2000, such as 1893 and 1930? I suspect significant change already between 1871-1875 and 1881-1885.

NOTE. The 3-6-3 doubleplay was a novelty in the 1890s, when Fred Tenney reached the majors and established it as a play that his team practiced. (I don't say he invented it.)

--
Tom H, I wouldn't treat league-season DP/game as a normal random variable. But your conclusion may be right.
   102. TomH Posted: September 17, 2004 at 11:50 AM (#860162)
I wouldn't treat league-season DP/game as a normal random variable. But your conclusion may be right.
--
I agree, Paul - there may be many other real Reasons that DP/g were up in 71 and 73. I think the conclusion of "null hypthesis" only shows that maybe so many things changed so quickly, making year-to-year variation high enough that we can't pass a stat test. Certainly dp/g don't change much year-to-year these days :)
   103. TomH Posted: September 17, 2004 at 11:56 AM (#860163)
trying to place Max Carey on my ballot
Best comparisons (other long careers, mostly OF/1Bmen)
Comp1: Hooper. Hit ("hit" includes his baserunning) almost as well, fielded better, same career length. Small edge to Max.
Comp2: Leach. Hit better, almost as valuable in field. Edge to Max.
Comp3: Beckley. Hit almost as well (incl. some league quality), and a good deal more defensive value. Small edge to Max.
Comp4: Groh. Not as good a stick, not as valuable a glove. Extra years won’t do it. Edge to Heinie.
Comp5: VanHaltren. Not nearly as good a stick. Edge to VanH.
He looks to land 10-12 on my ballot.
   104. DanG Posted: September 17, 2004 at 12:03 PM (#860164)
OCF, re Ken Williams minor leagues. This is a shorter version of a post that disappeared.

The conclusion from the longer post was that Ken maight deserve some credit for his performance in 1917 with Portland in the PCL. His line reads 192 G, 737 AB, 117 R, 231 H, 43-8-24 XBH (led league in HR), .313 BA. In the OF he had 34 A, 18 E (led league), .966 FA.

The above was his age 27 season. In 1918 he spent the year in the military, except for two games with the Browns. He deserves some credit for that season, as well.

Williams was born and died in Grant's Pass, Oregon. His minor league play is all in the Pacific northwest and Canada. His first line in the book is playing for Regina in 1913 at age 23. It would be useful to know why he had such a late start to his career.

Was he born in 1890? Some earlier sources list him as 1893. That's probably his time-honored "ball-playing age", but again it would help to know the story here.
   105. Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2004 at 01:23 PM (#860205)
baseballlibrary.com on Ken Williams, not a lot of help

"He had a pleasant, gap-toothed smile and was popular with teammates and fans.
"He was the only ballplayer among six brothers whose mother had been a logging-camp cook and later operated an all-night restaurant serving the train crews when Grants Pass was a junction point on the railroad.
It took him a while to make it. After a two-year trial with Cincinnati, he was returned to the high minors, spent most of 1918 in the military, and began to see action with the Browns in 1919."

He was picked up by the Yankees in 1930, but released before the season started.
   106. Chris Cobb Posted: September 17, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#860603)
I found in my old files a copy of one of the posts from jimd that I was asking after earlier. This fills out part of the picture sketched by his earlier post.

All comments below are from jimd's original post.

Posted 7:11 p.m., August 6, 2003 (#87) - jimd
% Breakdown of put-outs by half decade:

----- SO's C-SO Infd Outf -- SO's C-SO Infd Outf
71-75 02.7 13.2 63.6 20.4
76-80 08.8 09.9 62.6 18.7
81-85 13.6 06.1 61.1 19.2 -- 13.0 07.4 61.6 18.0
86-90 13.5 05.7 61.0 19.8 -- 14.2 05.0 61.0 19.8
91-95 09.9 05.4 62.6 22.1
96-00 08.7 05.1 63.2 23.0
01-05 13.3 04.5 61.3 20.8 -- 12.8 04.1 62.2 20.9
06-10 13.3 04.6 60.7 21.4 -- 14.6 03.9 62.2 19.4
11-15 14.1 04.2 58.9 22.8 -- 15.2 04.0 60.0 21.1
16-20 12.0 04.0 60.6 23.4 -- 12.0 04.2 60.6 23.2
21-25 10.2 03.6 60.3 25.8 -- 10.5 03.8 60.4 25.3
26-30 10.7 03.2 59.7 26.4 -- 11.1 03.7 60.0 25.4
31-35 11.8 03.3 58.3 26.5 -- 12.3 03.6 58.5 25.6
36-40 12.9 03.2 58.8 25.0 -- 13.3 03.2 57.4 26.1
41-45 12.3 03.3 58.7 25.7 -- 12.9 03.2 57.7 26.1
46-50 14.1 03.0 56.9 26.0 -- 14.0 02.7 56.6 26.7
51-55 15.6 02.6 56.6 25.2 -- 15.2 02.6 56.3 25.9
56-60 18.9 02.2 54.8 24.1 -- 17.9 02.4 55.3 24.4
61-65 21.2 01.9 55.0 21.9 -- 21.0 01.9 54.1 23.1
66-70 21.7 01.9 54.6 21.8 -- 21.7 01.8 53.9 22.6
71-75 19.7 01.6 54.6 24.0 -- 19.2 01.7 54.3 24.8
76-80 19.0 01.6 54.6 24.8 -- 17.3 01.6 54.8 26.3
81-85 19.9 01.4 54.4 24.3 -- 18.3 01.3 53.6 26.8
86-90 21.7 01.1 52.6 24.5 -- 21.1 01.0 52.0 25.9
91-95 22.7 00.9 51.9 24.5 -- 21.5 00.9 51.8 25.8
96-00 25.1 00.7 50.6 23.5 -- 23.4 00.9 50.6 25.2
00-02 25.4 00.8 50.0 23.7 -- 23.5 00.9 50.5 25.1

1st column group is NA and NL; 2nd column group is AA and AL (1891 AA not included.) The "C-SO" column is catcher putouts after strikeouts have been removed.

Notes:

1880's pitching get's just as many K's per game as deadball or 30's/40's pitchers. They didn't issue as many walks (not shown) - probably because it takes 5-9 balls - but their fielders more than make up for it with free passes on errors (also not shown).

Catchers used to make a LOT more putouts. There are rule changes that may have had major impacts during the late 1870's/early 1880's. (I'll have to check whether they match the yearly data.) But there is a steady decline since 1885 that has little to do with any rule changes that I am aware of. Less pops to the catcher? Less plays at the plate? Anybody know? (I know that James commented on this in the Win Shares book but had no conclusions to share.)

Infielders used to make more than triple the PO's of outfielders; it's now only about double. The outfield percentage has stayed pretty constant but that's actually remarkable when one considers how the strikeout percentage has grown.

The 1960's strikeout surge came at the expense of the outfielders. Since then, the OF has got back it's PO's while the IF'ers have been steadily losing to the pitchers.

The AL is the "flyball" league; its OF PO percentage has been greater than the NL since the late 1930's.

I'm sure there's plenty more stuff in here that I'm not noticing. All comments on the data are welcome.
   107. karlmagnus Posted: September 17, 2004 at 06:20 PM (#860726)
Interesting. Thus for example in the 1890s infielders were responsible for about 20% more outs than today, outfielders about the same. If WS doesn't make this adjustment, we need to add about 20% to infielder fielding WS from that era (e.g. Beckley, of course, but also Childs) to correct for this.
   108. jimd Posted: September 17, 2004 at 07:29 PM (#860800)
Thanks Chris. I was looking for that post amongst my various notes but couldn't find it. (Must have given the file an non-mnemonic name.)
   109. jimd Posted: September 17, 2004 at 07:43 PM (#860818)
we need to add about 20% to infielder fielding WS from that era

WARP already similar adjustments. The reaction by some is that BP is "overrating" the infielders.
   110. DavidFoss Posted: September 17, 2004 at 10:00 PM (#861038)
we need to add about 20% to infielder fielding WS from that era

Yes, this needs to be thought through, though.

Much of the correction, strikeouts, I believe is taken into account by Win Shares. Could be wrong.

As far as OF vs IF, I am under the impression that the number of OF assists has changed quite a bit over the years. When a play has an assist, its almost guaranteed that the IF-er will get the putout, but we should be careful to give outfielders credit for these plays.

This isn't to say I disagree with the notion that IF-ers were more valuable 100 years ago... I'm just interested in getting the magnitude of the adjustment correct.
   111. karlmagnus Posted: September 17, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#861096)
Also, we need to look at the 1B/2B/3B/SS split over time, as there's no obvious reason why putouts should have remained in the same proportion between infielders -- for one thing, hasn't there positioning changed somewhat?
   112. jimd Posted: September 18, 2004 at 12:45 AM (#861531)
Much of the correction, strikeouts, I believe is taken into account by Win Shares. Could be wrong.

Much of it's potential impact is negated by the straight-jacket that fielding Win Shares is subjected to (see the fine print on pp 32-33, particularly 33) for great fielding teams such as Boston 1890's and Chicago 1900's. This gives the shares back to the pitchers if the fielders are getting "too much".
   113. DanG Posted: September 18, 2004 at 02:56 AM (#862088)
Excellent bio of Max Carey at the SABR BioProject.
Max Carey at BioProject
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: September 18, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#862432)
As far as OF vs IF, I am under the impression that the number of OF assists has changed quite a bit over the years.

I also think that is true: if we could see assist-data that would match the put-out data jimd calculated, we'd be in a better position to evaluate the changes in defensive importance.

Much of it's potential impact is negated by the straight-jacket that fielding Win Shares is subjected to (see the fine print on pp 32-33, particularly 33.

I second jimd on this point. In addition to the fine print jimd points out, the fact that pitchers' claim points for walks and home runs allowed are normalized in relation to league average means that these two aspects of pitching (which strongly affect the actual distribution of defensive responsibility) are treated in a way that entirely eliminates historical variations in their importance. Only strikeouts are allowed to shift freely, and James's handling of them also mutes the differences in historical variation somewhat.
   115. Chris Cobb Posted: September 18, 2004 at 04:03 AM (#862445)
1935 Prelimary Ballot

After the best entering class of all time, we have only one ballot-worthy candidate this year, so most everybody moves up as we work on clearing out the “all-time great” glut. Ranking of outfielders may be affected by current discussions about the value of outfield defense before I submit my final ballot.

1. Eddie Collins. (3). A shoo-in this year.
2. John Henry Lloyd. (4) Ditto.
3. Joe Williams. (5) A shoo-in next year.
4. Cristobal Torriente. (6) A shoo-in for 1937.
5. Stan Coveleski. (7). Best pitcher eligible after Joe Williams. He’s not a shoo-in pitcher like Johnson, Williams, Alexander, and Grove will be, but he’s the best of the rest between 1910 and 1930. I think an apt analogy for Coveleski’s position relative to the four shoo-in pitchers is Frank Baker to Eddie Collins. With Vance and Grimes still to be studied, I have the 1920s major-league pitching cohort ranked as follows: Alexander, Coveleski, Rixey, Faber, Shocker, Cooper, Mays, Luque. I’m still considering how much, if any, credit to give Luque for his Cuban pitching prior to sticking with Cincinnati and waiting to see Chris J.’s analysis of the quality of these pitchers’ opponents, but I’ve seen enough to be fully convinced of Coveleski’s merit.
6. Max Carey. (n/e) Fabulous defensive outfielder, formidable base-stealer, long career with just enough offense to edge Van Haltren among available outfielders. There may be a good deal of debate about Carey, but I think he’s a solid HoMer. I have him below Wheat (elected) and Heilmann (elect in 1937, with Torriente), but above Roush and Hooper.
7. Clark Griffith. (8) Best remaining player from the still-underrepresented 1890s. I think he was better than Rusie. My system shows him at 33.5 support-neutral wins above average. Like Van Haltren he lacks the high peak that appeals to some voters, but, also like Van Haltren, he was consistently above average, not just average. Griffith and Van Haltren will be back in the electable mix 1938-40, once the glut has gone in.
8. George Van Haltren (9) All-around, consistent talent; just the sort of player who has been underrated in traditional discussions of merit. As Andrew Siegel has stressed, while he doesn’t have a peak that is very high, he was consistently well above average: he didn’t accumulate his value by stringing together the 18-20 ws seasons; he was consistently stringing together 25-30 ws seasons. That makes him significantly more valuable, in my view, than folks like Ryan, Beckley, and Cross, who were consistently putting up the 18-20 win-share seasons.
9. Mickey Welch. (10) 8th-10th best player of the 1880s. Like Griffith, 33.5 support-neutral wins above average. Accomplished this feat against weaker competition in much easier conditions for pitchers, so despite higher career value, he ranks below Griffith.
10. Heinie Groh (11) . I’m pleased that he seems to be getting his due from the electorate.
11. Hughie Jennings (12) The third 1890s star still featured on my ballot. While I see why some favor Childs over Jennings, I’m just not convinced that the “best second baseman” argument matters, and Jennings, at his best, was the best position player of the era, a point on which WARP and win shares agree. During his 1894-1898 peak, he was the best position player in baseball, and better than a pair of contemporary first-ballot HoMers, Billy Hamilton and Ed Delahanty, who were also at their peaks during these years.
12. Tommy Leach (13) Last star of the aughts who is a serious candidate for election in my view. Comparison to Groh pointed out that I had been underrating him a little.
13. Lip Pike. (14) Still around; makes my ballot for the 33rd consecutive election. He had a great peak, however one adjusts for era.
14. Urban Shocker (15) A very underrated player; he might well be a HoMer. He had a couple of great seasons in 1920 and 1921, and he was above average every single year he pitched. He and Mendez are very close in value as my system sees it, but Shocker is slightly ahead. In comparing Shocker to a pitcher like Waddell, the electorate should keep in mind that average innings pitched for a starting pitcher dropped from an average of 277 for 1900-1909 to 230 for 1917-1926 as conditions for pitchers became increasingly difficult. In that context, Shocker’s innings-pitched totals are as good as Waddell’s, and he was a more consistently effective pitcher.
15. Spotswood Poles (16) Back on the ballot. His peak was short, but strong in relation to his contemporaries. He’s stayed in the mix without having a vocal champion; I think he’ll rise to serious contention in time. He’s at the top of a group of second-tier stars from the 1910s – Poles, Mendez, Hooper, Doyle – whom I may be underrating.
   116. Chris Cobb Posted: September 18, 2004 at 04:09 AM (#862463)
1935 Off-Ballot

16. Jose Mendez (17) Mendez was lights-out during his peak, which is better than that of any eligible pitcher aside from Johnson. After 1914 he didn’t pitch much, but he remained a highly effective in a limited role. Work with Dolf Luque has provided a new source of information on quality of play in Cuban baseball. I’ll be using this info to take a new look at Mendez – he could move substantially before 1935 balloting begins.
17. Harry Hooper (18). jimd's arguments about league quality have convinced me to reassess Hooper as the best of the 1910s Hooper/Veach/Cravath/Burns group.
18. Larry Doyle (19). Last of the possibly-underrated teens group.
19. Hugh Duffy (20). Like the four above, bumped off the ballot by the great class of 1934. He will probably be back around the bottom of my ballot in five years or so.
20. Wilbur Cooper (16) A consistently fine pitcher for 8 years. A Griffithesque career, but not quite as high a peak, and a couple of bad years outside his peak, which Griffith never had. Could move up or down significantly as I continue to study his contemporaries. He might be a worthy HoMer in his context, though the distance between his achievements and those of Shocker and Coveleski are making upward movement on his part look less likely than it did two years ago.
21. Rube Waddell (17) See Shocker comment above for more on how I compare Waddell to later pitchers. Waddell was a great talent, and he was one of the greatest characters in the history of major-league baseball. He’s thus deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame, but I think his value is just below the threshold for Hall of Merit induction.
22. Carl Mays (n/e). Without accounting for run support and defense, he looks a lot like Coveleski, but when you account for run-support and defense, he loses almost 20 wins above average, leaving no comparison between him and Coveleski at all. An excellent hitter for a pitcher. That raises his value almost to that of Wilbur Cooper and Rube Waddell, but not quite. I don’t think he’s a HoMer, but I’m still not done studying 1920s pitchers, so he could yet move up into contention or down out of the top 40. He’s not getting any breaks for good citizenship, but I’m not penalizing him, either.
23. Ben Taylor (23)
24. Bobby Veach (24)
25. Roger Bresnahan (25)
26. Jimmy Ryan (26)
27. Cupid Childs (27).
28. Fielder Jones (28)
29. Dobie Moore (29)
30. Gavvy Cravath (30)
31. Herman Long (31)
32. Tommy Bond (32)
33. George J. Burns (33)
34. Charley Jones (34)
35. Bruce Petway (35)
36. Bill Monroe (36)
37. Babe Adams (27)
38. Jake Beckley (38) Like Childs, Beckley just doesn’t appear outstanding in comparison to his contemporaries. Lack of better first-basemen could give him a positional boost, but right now I don’t see the justification for a positional bonus for first base.
39. Frank Chance (39)
40. Tony Mullane (40)

Dropped Out of Top 40

None. Carey and Mays replace Cobb and Speaker, after a fashion.

Other new eligibles worthy of mention:

Jules Thomas – Thomas was eligible last year, but I didn’t have time to do a full study, so I’m ranking him now. A star centerfielder for the New York Lincoln Giants and the Brooklyn Royal Giants, in his prime from 1913 to 1921 he was the third-best Negro League outfielder of the teens, after Torriente and Poles but ahead of George Shively and Jimmy Lyons. He doesn’t make the top 40, but places solidly in the top 100. Without competition adjustments for era, he ranks at #67, just behind Clyde Milan.

Ken Williams – Without competition adjustment but with credit for 1 season MLE in the PCL and 1 season missed due to WWI he just misses the top 100 eligible, landing at 101, between Jimmy Williams and Stuffy McInnis. Comparable to Kip Selbach and Chick Stahl, but better than both because of a stronger peak. A great player for a few years, but he’s about five good years short of being a serious candidate.

George H. Burns – The other other George Burns, he neither played outfield nor told jokes for a living. Among teens/twenties first basemen, trails Sisler, Taylor, Konetchy, Fournier, Daubert, Pettus, McInnis. Not close to the top 100.

Dizzy Dismukes – A good pitcher who might have won 20 games a couple of times if he’d pitched for a good major league club, but there’s no data that supports ranking him in the top 100 eligible.

Bingo DeMoss – Didn’t hit nearly enough to have been a star in the majors. Probably would have had a Bobby Lowe-type career, which doesn’t get him into the top 100 eligible. Bill James has him as his #1 second baseman, but I think he’s forgotten that you want to have a second baseman who can hit. I think DeMoss probably ought to rank among Negro-League second basemen about where Chacon ranks among Negro-League shortstops: around 10.

Pelayo Chacon – Like DeMoss, didn’t hit enough to have been a star in the majors. The evidence suggests he was a better hitter than DeMoss. I9s makes DeMoss out to be a substantially better hitter; either they’re giving DeMoss a reputation bonus, they think playing for Chicago put an immense drag on his batting average, or they’re treating data for DeMoss’s play vs. all competition as his play vs. Negro-League competition. Chacon had a nice career, but he was never a big star. Doesn’t make my top 100 eligible.

Charlie Blackwell – An Irish Meusel, Casey Stengel-quality player. Reasonably good hitter, fairly short career. Again, not top 100 material, but if I had a top 200 constructed, he (as well as DeMoss and Chacon) would have a chance of making it.

Bernardo Baro is also eligible this year, but I haven’t had time to study him yet. I’m pretty sure he’s not as good as Jules Thomas, but I could be wrong.
   117. Paul Wendt Posted: September 18, 2004 at 04:13 PM (#862736)
NA/NL distribution of all putouts; of non-strikeouts; of Infd+Outf
_______ SO's C-SO Infd Outf __ Catc Infd Outf __ Outf
1871/75 02.7 13.2 63.6 20.4 __ 13.6 65.4 21.0 __ 24.3
1876/80 08.8 09.9 62.6 18.7 __ 10.9 68.6 20.5 __ 23.0
1881/85 13.6 06.1 61.1 19.2 __ 07.1 70.7 22.2 __ 23.9

1896/00 08.7 05.1 63.2 23.0 __ 05.6 69.2 25.2 __ 26.7
1901/05 13.3 04.5 61.3 20.8 __ 05.2 70.8 24.0 __ 25.3

1921/25 10.2 03.6 60.3 25.8 __ 04.0 67.2 28.8 __ 30.0

1946/50 14.1 03.0 56.9 26.0 __ 03.5 66.2 30.3 __ 31.4

1966/70 21.7 01.9 54.6 21.8 __ 02.4 69.7 27.8 __ 28.5

1976/80 19.0 01.6 54.6 24.8 __ 02.0 67.4 30.6 __ 31.2

1996/00 25.1 00.7 50.6 23.5 __ 00.9 67.6 31.4 __ 31.7 (AL, 33.2)

Changes are not generally uniform during intervening years. For example, almost half of the 25-year increase in strikeouts, 1976/80 to 1996/00, occurred between the early and late 1990s.

The CATCHER share of non-strikeouts decreased more than 60% in 30 years from the late 1960s to the late 1990s! In percentage terms [measuring change in the game, not in HOM-pertinence] that is greater than the decrease from 1890s to 1960s, close to the decrease from early 1880s to 1960s.

The INFIELD share of non-strikeouts has been relatively constant.

The designated hitter accounts for most of the AL-NL difference, not shown.
   118. Paul Wendt Posted: September 18, 2004 at 05:11 PM (#862789)
In #117, I selected about 1/3 of jimd's data for extension, partly because I can't slip his table into a spreadsheet deftly. The chosen 5-year time periods are notable.

Yes, it would be valuable to extend every time period, to cover the distribution of putouts to all nine fielding positions, to cover the distribution of assists.
   119. OCF Posted: September 18, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#863017)
What's shocking in that data is how consistently and how far catcher putouts have gone down. It's now 0.7%? Wow! Maybe the time has come for more teams to take their hitters of no particular defensive value (their Cliff Johnsons) and force them into the lineup at C.
   120. OCF Posted: September 18, 2004 at 06:54 PM (#863033)
What about actual runs scored? Here's that old gimmick of mine, R*, for some selected players of interest. R* is runs scored normalized so that 100 in a season is a mark of excellence, often among the league leaders. In the list below, the first nmber is career R* (all-time leader so far, Cobb, 2187), the second number is career total of R* over 90 in a season, and the third number is career total of R* over 75 in a season.

Name             Total    >90    >75
George J. Burns  1248     171    317
Billy Hamilton   1273     169    308
Donie Bush       1296     143    277
Jesse Burkett    1400     103    266
Max Carey        1515     115    257
Abner Dalrymple   966     136    228
Hugh Duffy       1168      96    193
Jimmy Ryan       1377      78    192
Roy Thomas        990      81    182
Geo. Van Haltren 1265      56    181
Fielder Jones    1103      54    149


I was doing this mostly to look at Carey. He lasted a very long time and was quite good at scoring runs. As a peak rate, he wasn't scoring runs like Burns or Bush. I've got a different offensive measurement that says he was only a little better than Fielder Jones, and well behind Duffy/Ryan/Van Haltren, but he was so much better at scoring runs than Jones that I think that means something. He'll probably make my ballot somewhere.

Baseball-reference gives his name as Max George Carey. The Stats Handbook says he was Maximilian Camarius.
   121. Chris Cobb Posted: September 18, 2004 at 07:49 PM (#863117)
Maybe the time has come for more teams to take their hitters of no particular defensive value (their Cliff Johnsons) and force them into the lineup at C.

Well, there are catcher assists and passed balls to consider before we conclude that the 21st century catcher doesn't actually have much defensive value. Whatever the defensive value, the strain of the position takes a toll on most catchers' hitting, so it might not be the optimal position for someone you want in the lineup solely for his bat.

The Stats Handbook says he was Maximilian Camarius.

My 1984 MacMillan _Encyclopedia_ says Carey was born Maximilian Carnarius.
   122. OCF Posted: September 18, 2004 at 11:30 PM (#863248)
Carnarius it is. In the battle of bifocals versus fine print, the fine print wins that round. (I should have known that "m" didn't make any sense.) Could that be a Lithuanian name?
   123. jonesy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 01:29 AM (#863286)
"Dazzy Vance pitched the first four innings of an exhibition game for the Dodgers in New Orleans on April 3. He fanned seven and did not allow a hit. Wes Ferrell went the full nine, giving seven hits and six walks. He did not strike out a batter. Cleveland won the game 3-2. 'Ferrell is another Christy Mathewson,' raved Brooklyn manager Max Carey after the game. 'That means he is one of the greatest pitchers I have ever seen. He has the same stuff that made Matty well nigh invincible, and if his arm does not go back on him he ought to develop into the best right-hander the American League has ever produced. The secret of Ferrell's success is that he knows how and what to pitch to each hitter. Coach Casey Stengel was just as impressed, remarking 'Jeez, that guy gets in my hiar. He makes pitching look so easy."
   124. TomH Posted: September 19, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#863353)
gotta give Carey a few pts for his only World Series appearance - 11 hits, including a star performance in game 7 against Walter Johnson.
   125. OCF Posted: September 19, 2004 at 04:31 AM (#863383)
That's a heckuva qoute. His own guy has 7 K's in 4 innings, and the other guy has a (Bill James's toy) game score of about 59 and he raves about the other guy? And what is that "... he ought to develop into the best right-hander the American League has ever produced" stuff? What does Walter Johnson have to do to get a little respect?
   126. jonesy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 11:08 AM (#863430)
"Next up were the visting Yankees who fell 6-3 to Ferrell on June 11. Babe Ruth hit a two-run shot in the first frame and New York added an unearned run in the second, but from that point on Wes allowed just two hits and fifteen consecutive New Yorkers went down in order after Bill Dickey's fourth inning double. 'His fast ball fairly hummed,' noted Cobbledick. 'His curve ball broke with a snap you could almost hear and his control - afer he had walked Combs in the first inning - was all but perfect.' The Tribe was unable to score until Wes opened the fifth with a single. He laid down a key sacrifice in the eighth when Cleveland scored their final two runs.

"The Ferrell-Peckinpaugh issue was reopned after the game, and it came via a compliment from the Yankees' manager. 'Why, this Ferrell is another Matty!" Joe McCarthy exclaimed. I realized last year he was a great pitcher, but not until Saturday, when he shut us out after the second inning, did I appreciate the mental side of his skill. That young man knows how to pitch. The way he maneuvered to make each batter hit the ball where he wanted him to increased my admiration two fold."
   127. jonesy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 11:19 AM (#863431)
"An AP story on April 12 quoted Walter Johnson as saying Wes had just talked himself out of being the greatest pitcher in baseball. 'Ferrell was a great pitcher, and still is for that matter, but he just talks too much for his own good,' said Johnson citing a rift between Wes and the Cleveland front office over the incentive clause in the 1933 contract. 'There's one thing I wish would be straightened out, and that is that Ferrell did not lie down on the job last year,' said the Big Train. 'He likes to win like all of us, even more so than some of us, and wanted to pitch his regular turn last year, but with his arm in bad condition, and there is no doubt in my mind that he did have a bad arm, he could not take his regular turn. This he thought came from the front office, but I was the one who believed it would be hurting him and the club for him to pitch with his arm like this.' Johnson went on to say that Wes was an ideal player, 'never drinking or getting out of condition. I hate to see a fellow like that out of baseball."
   128. jonesy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 11:33 AM (#863433)
"The third-place Red Sox were within eary range of the Yankees for the top spot in the league, and the Boston Globe opined, 'everyone in the American League will freely admit that if Grove were Grove the Red Sox would be today be setting the pace in the American League.' Joe Williams of the New York World-Telegram agreed. 'To put it briefly,' he penned, 'Lefty, in shape, would have the Red Sox on top at this momment...'

"Williams then switched to Wes. 'So the Indians figured they could give up Ferrell and still have plenty of pitching strength, and besides, there was no way to tell whether Ferrell would come back with a recovered arm or not. Well, it turns out that the Indians' pitching is not very strong this year and could use a man like Ferrell - I mean a Ferrell who was both recovered and content.

"It would be somewhat ironic, wouldn't it, if it should develop that the Indians' failure to deal with Ferrell in the spring cost them the championship? I happen to know that Walther Johnson, the manager, didn't exactly relish the idea of letting go.

'Ferrell is still a great pitcher,' Johnson told me at the basebal writers' dinner last winter. 'He would make the Yankees a sure pennant winner, and he help any club that could pay him what he thinks he's worth.'

"Johnson spoke not only from close critical observation but from actual clinical experience. He had warmed up with Ferrell just before the season closed, and the pitcher had shown him all of his old time stuff.

"This being so, you find yourself wondering why the Indians didn't give the temperamental young man a decent contract and go along with him for another season. You don't pick up pitchers like Ferrell every day. Or even every year, either, for that mattter."
   129. jonesy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 11:56 AM (#863436)
"Grantland Rice discussed the up-and-coming baseball stars who whold soon be replacing Babe Ruth and the old guard in a June 1931 issue of Collier's. 'The first nomination,' he wrote, 'is a 23-year-old pitcher named Wesley Ferrell. Built along the lines of Matty and Walter Johnson, Ferrell in certain particulars is a reminder of both in their earlier years. Like Matty in his younger days Ferrell has speed, a fine curve and first-class control.

'Like Walter Johnson the young Cleveland star is extremely quiet, but pleasant and courteous if you have questions to ask. If there is any tlaking to be done, you will have to open the conversation.
'Ferrell is a big, strong, smart, cool, serious pitcher who keeps in condition and who, before his heyday is over, may even top the winning records of Mathewson, Johnson and Alexander.'

"The October issue of Baseball Magazine also had high praise for Wes.

'The mantle of the lamented Christy Mathewson has fallen upon the shoulders of this stalwart North Carolina hurler. Where others acquire pitching finesse by years of toil and painful experience, Ferrell is a pitcher by divine right. He has everything, great speed, a sweeping curve, a tantalizing change of pace, air-tight control and the cap-stone of the pitching ace - cool self-confidence.
'Much of this great record has been made while Ferrell was not in the best of condidtion. In the latter half of last season he pitched with a sore arm. His arm has been sore this year. Some season when he is feeling in the flush of health, when his long right arm is unkinked and the hop of his fastball is riding high, Ferrell should make a name for himself to be remembered."
   130. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2004 at 01:41 PM (#863447)
Anyone want to make the slam-dunk case on Lloyd vs Williams, thereby helping to get their guy into the HOM a year earlier?

I'm leaning Williams..
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 02:19 PM (#863455)
For the time being, the Hall of Merit Plaque Room is closed for repairs. It appears that it can handle only a certain amount of words before it starts to spit them out. There is an extended page area for further information, but for some reason it is not allowing xhtml formatting.

I have created a new Plaque Room, but I need time to transfer the old comments over to it. Unfortunately, it appears we're still going to have this word limit problem down the road. Either the plaques will have to be drastically slimlined or we split it up between A-M and N-Z. I can probably do the latter, while still keeping the information contained in one area by using hypertext. We'll work it out.
   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2004 at 02:21 PM (#863456)
BTW jonesy, are you David Jones?
   133. OCF Posted: September 19, 2004 at 10:05 PM (#863972)
All those quotes are a few years early for our consideration of Ferrell, but what do we see in them?

There's that favorite obsession of both writers and players in the first quarter or half of the century with "scientific baseball": admiration for those who played the game the "right way", conflation of athletic prowess, intelligence, and moral character. In this mindset, the gold standard of excellence, the closest thing to a perfect pitcher, was Mathewson. That, with a little New York bias thown in, was always a little unfair to Johnson and Alexander (sons of the Plains who didn't pitch in New York.) With Ferrell, they saw command of several pitches and poise at a young age, and something reminded them of Mathewson - maybe even a little bit of "Gee, he's smart even though he's a Southerner." Once that comparison was made, once someone saw Matty in the kid, the quotes fed on themselves and reinforced each other.

But when we consider Ferrell, what will we have? We have to ask not just what promise he had, what tools he had, what they thought of him when he was young, but what was it that he actually accomplished? He was a terrific pitcher for 8 years, from age 21 through 28, then a below average pitcher for a couple of years, then mostly gone. He's not the DIPS hero. For one thing, in his career, he had more BB than K. That wasn't terribly uncommon in his time. I looked at a dozen or so good pitchers who were his approximate contemporaries. Hildebrand, Crowder, and Hadley also had more BB than K, and Harder and Blaeholder just barely more K than BB. But quite a few others - Gomez, Syl Johnson, Bridges, Rowe, Ruffing - had a comfortable excess of K over BB. His HR don't look unusual in either direction.

In the RA+ PythPat equivalent record system, I have him at 168-124. That's a very good pitcher, to be sure. If we were picking a Hall with 420 members instead of 210, he'd probably be a candidate, along with Chesbro, Vaughn, Rucker, Haines, and some others. We can find other pitchers like that, but it's still not a common level of accomplishment. In addition, Ferrell was a terrific hitter, with a career OPS+ of 100 and evidence that he was frequently used as a PH. But still - for the size of Hall we have, it's not enough.

Howie: I'm where you are, leaning toward Williams. Last year I voted Williams 4th, Lloyd 5th. What I've seen about Lloyd as a hitter suggests he was an "A" hitter but not an "A+"; not an offensive game and league dominator like Wagner. Williams was a dominating pitcher for a very long time. I'd probably put him behind Alexander but ahead of Mathewson. But I'm not 100% sold on the order I have, so I'm not your slam-dunk case.
   134. OCF Posted: September 20, 2004 at 12:46 AM (#864126)
Ross Youngs (born in the celebrated brewery town of Shiner, TX) was a regular outfielder at 21. He played 95 games in his age 29 year, then died a year later without playing again. Ken Williams had some earlier trials without sticking, then played 65 games in his age 29 year. Williams became a regular outfielder the next year, then played until he was 39.

What if you just splice together the two careers, ignoring Williams's early trials? It doesn't really work in terms of raw numbers, becuase that would double-count the early 20's, but if we did it in terms of offensive value, we'd have a HoMer for sure. We'd have a player who could be fairly compared to Clarke or Heilmann.

But we've got to stick with what we have. I would put Youngs ahead of Williams because of the higher peak. (But naturally, the peak should lie with the player in his 20's rather than his 30's.) Neither of them has enough career value to make my ballot. Leading the PCL in HR for a year (Williams) is good, but he needs more than that.
   135. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 12:51 AM (#864135)
"In a performance that he referred to as his most memorable game, Wes Ferrell began the 1935 season with a brilliant 1-0, two-hit shutout in Yankee Stadium on April 16...

"The Yankees,' wrote Mel Webb in the Globe, 'could not fathom that delivery, only once they swung and missed but in this fastest of starting ball games, Ferrell had almost innumerable strikes called for him. His control was marvelous.'

"Ferrell still pitches as Matty did - with no exaggerated motion, no fuss and no effort, but with plenty on the ball,' wrote Frank Graham. 'It was not precisely pleasant to sit by and see him take a decision over Vernon Gomez and throw the Yankees for a loss, but it was interesting for anyone who has an appreciation of the fine art of pitching. His smoothness, his control and the ease in which he turned ball all of the Yankee hitters, save Selkirk in the fourth inning and Gehrig in the seventh, compelled you admiration...

"A pitcher can be so good that he simply cannot loss, not even in a close fought contest as that of Yesterday, and Ferrell was that good..."
   136. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:00 AM (#864141)
"The contrast between Ferrell and Dean is interesting. Both had come from rural America, bursting upon the scene with unbridled talent, and both pitched beyond the limit of their physical endurance, causing their arms to burn out before the age of 30. Cincinnati scribe Tom Swope, writing about Dean in The Sporting News in 1931, observed that the major league managers who had seen the Dizzy One considered him the 'most promising young pitcher to come into the majors since the advent of Wesley Ferrell.'

"Bt most currently accepted statistical evaluations, Dean and Ferrell had similar peak value with the edge going to Wes for sustaining his career longer. Yet Dean, and for that matter Lefty Gomez as well, are in the Hall of Fame while Ferrell reamins outside the sanctum. Why is that? Dean and Gomez were fortunate enough to play in New York and St. Louis, on great teams that provided them with World Series and more media exposure, but were they really better pitchers than Ferrell? They, like Wes, had their peccadilloes. Dean was not especially liked by his teammates. Gomez had, while an active player, an alcohol problem that put a strain on his marriage. Both though, understood the role of the media and were adept at playing the clown, - thus "Dizzy and Goofy" - something they clearly were not. Wes wasn't capable of that, wearing his competitive heart on his sleeve for all to see, and is incorrectly remembered historically as a hothead and a troublemaker."
   137. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:15 AM (#864151)
"F. C. Lane penned an article in the September 1935 issue of Baseball Magazine titled 'That Contradictory Character - Wes Ferrell.' 'A strange bundle of contradictions is Wesley Ferrell of the Boston Red Sox,' he wrote. 'With a rigid regard for training rules and an almost asetic outlook upon life, Ferrell has suffered, far most than most players, from lack of condition. A young man of blameless character and of the highest principles, he has been embroiled with two major league managers - Roger Peckinpaugh and Walter Johnson. With a determination to succeed in his chosen vocation that amounts almost to a passion, he has been branded as something of a troublemaker...

"Perhaps a certain fault in temperament is his. Ferrell is of a stern, uncompromising breed. When he thinks he is right, he will not yield an inch. Stubborn, some managers have thought him, and to that, a thoughtless public has added the epithet, swell-headed. Inflexibility of purpose may seem quite like stubbornness, and an unwavering faith in one's ability may well pass for egotism.

"Ferrell's faith in himself has never wavered. He knows he is a great pitcher and he is quite as simple and straight forward in expressing that opinion, as he would in discussing the weather. To him it is but simple frankness and honesty, the recognition of a fact that is something quite foreign from boasting. And isn't Ferrell right?"

"John Kieran, writing in the New York Times in August, noted that Wes would never be confused with a diplomat. 'He isn't a mixer or boon companion of all and sundry. He doesn't bother to cultivate friendship or even acquaintances. He does his work, goes about his business and likes to be left alone...

"Joe Cronin and Tom Yawkey say underneath everything he is a great fellow. Maybe he is. Two years of trying to find out left this observer badly baffled. To an invertigator with a friendly turn of mind, he was decidedly cool, merging on the chilly. But leaving that aside, which probably where it belongs, he stands out as the greatest pitcher-hitter combination in baseball history, a remarkable figure in a diamond setting."
   138. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:22 AM (#864154)
"When Wes signed to manage Lynchburg for 1946, The Sporting News reported the 1942 incident and erroneously, or at least misleadingly, stated that Ferrell had drawn a 'suspension for an attack on an umpire.' When Wes died in 1976, this 'umpire attack' was repeated in his obituary in The Sporting News.

"The name of Wes Ferrell, wrote Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Walter 'Red" Smith in 1945, 'is good for a hundred stories because, when he was one of baseball's greatest pitchers, he was also one of the fiercest losers.' Smith was certainly correct, but while Ferrell's greatness has been forgotten with the passage of time, the stories - often embellished - have not."
   139. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:39 AM (#864185)
I guess the issue here is that most stat-oriented historians measure greatness by value. While Ferrell did not have the career value of the upper echelon of the pitchers - Matty, Clemens, etc. - he clearly had the the same peak greatness. Huggins (who saw but one year of Wes before his death), Mack, McCarthy, Stengel, Carey, Simmons, Grove, Honus Wagner, Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg, among many others, all said so.

Unfortunately Ferrell picked that absolute worst time and place - the 1930s American League - to prove that. He played on very mediocre teams that surely would have been sub-.500 clubs without. He often played on the worst fielding teams in this league, in hitters parks in a hitters league. Certainly not the weaker-sister hitting National League that Hubbell and Dean toiled in.

Ferrell certainly earned the right to be considered in the same historical class that pitchers like Waddell, Vance, Dean and Koufax are in.
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:52 AM (#864198)
Ferrell certainly earned the right to be considered in the same historical class that pitchers like Waddell, Vance, Dean and Koufax are in.

What about Lon Warneke? He was about as highly regarded as those guys, yet he's more forgotten than any of those four. In fact, as of this moment, I have it as a tie between Ferrell, Tommy Bridges (another forgotten pitcher) and Warneke, then Dean.

How about Bucky Walters? At this point of my analysis, I like him better than those other thirties pitchers above.

Lefty Gomez? I don't see him on my ballot. Helluva pitcher, though.
   141. Chris Cobb Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:58 AM (#864200)
I guess the issue here is that most stat-oriented historians measure greatness by value.

Well, I think that's pretty much true of the HoM electorate as well, but most consider peak value as well as career value. If Ferrell had a great peak, he'll get some support here.

While Ferrell did not have the career value of the upper echelon of the pitchers - Matty, Clemens, etc. - he clearly had the the same peak greatness. . . . Unfortunately Ferrell picked that absolute worst time and place - the 1930s American League - to prove that. He played on very mediocre teams that surely would have been sub-.500 clubs without. He often played on the worst fielding teams in this league, in hitters parks in a hitters league.

If this is true, I think we have the analytical tools -- Chris J.'s RSI data, OCF's RA+ pythpat records, BP's analysis of defense-independent earned-run average, a couple of home-grown ways of measuring how much a pitcher was helped or hurt by fielding -- to pick up on this.

Ferrell certainly earned the right to be considered in the same historical class that pitchers like Waddell, Vance, Dean and Koufax are in.

Putting Ferrell in this class doesn't necessarily recommend him for HoM election . . . Waddell looks unlikely to be elected; early remarks on Dean haven't been favorable, and Koufax will be heavily debated. Little commentary yet on Vance. My guess is that he and Koufax will win election; Dean and Waddell won't. Which pair will Ferrell match up with?

In the RA+ PythPat equivalent record system, I have him at 168-124.

If Ferrell accomplished this with signficantly below-average defensive support, he'll have a case, especially when his value as a hitter is added in also, which isn't reflected in a record derived from RA+. It'll be interesting to see what comes out of a thorough study of his career.
   142. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 02:10 AM (#864213)
Ferrel's better than Waddell, not as good as Mays, IMHO -- his hitting is what pushes him ahead of Waddell. His Caruthers-combo value in 1931 and 1935 is nice, though, particularly 1935. Pity it wasn't a couple of years later; they had the pitching in '35 and some, with Grove and Ferrell, but no Foxx till '36 and no Ted till '39. Adjust those 4 birthdates/Soxdates a little, and the post '18 drought would only have been 20 years instead of 86!
   143. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 02:30 AM (#864232)
All very fair observations. Having looked at every game Ferrell pitched, I was amazed by his poor fielding support and also the number of home-field scoring decisions I ran across. Scoring was very erratic back then. Passed balls and wild pitches were often ruled errors. Frequently runs coming after errors were charged as earned when they (by my reasoning/understanding) shouldn't have been.

"Eddie Collins and Tom Yawkey's biggest rebuilding decision to date had brought Joe Cronin over from Washington to replace Bucky Harris as the Red Sox manager following the 1934 season. Cronin was under a lot of pressure, for not only was he expected to produce a contending team, he was also anticipated as the team's hitting and fielding leader. The broken wrist he suffered the previous season was still giving him toruble, and had been aggravated by a bad sprian in spring training.

"Lefty Grove dropped his second start of the season, 10-5 at home on April 26. Only two of the runs were earned, for his infield - lead by Cronin's three miscues - made five errors. The Boston Post said that 'Cronin looked like guy with an iron glove trying to catch a tennis ball.'

"Wes took his next turn on April 28 and the Post said he pitched a beautiful game. His 'masterly control and an assortment of pitches were, in the main, completely mustifying the Senators.' Ferrell allowed five hits through eight innings and took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but two errors by Cronin on routine grounders led to four unearned runs and a 5-3 loss. The Washington ninth consisted of a Cronin error, a single back through the box, a sacrifice bunt, another error by Cronin, a clean play by Cronin that produced at out, a hit-snd-run single through the vacated shortstop hole, a single between first and second and a single to right. 'Tempermental Wes was rightfully pretty sore by this time,' wrote the Globe. He was stomping around the mound and Cronin, no doubt feeling pretty down, had to rush in and steady Wes who looked like he was about to walk off the field. Joe calmed him down and Wes retired the final batter on a fly ball. 'Cronin has had a terrible time of it,' noted the Globe. 'Under the big pressure he has lost, for the time being, his easy going manner in the short field, and his nonchalance."


This scene was repeated time and time again in 1935 and 1936. Ferrell's other big season - 1930 - also saw him suported by the worse fielding AL team. Five guys put in significant time behind him at shortop in 1930 and none of them did a very good job.

I don't have a way to gauge how this might have happened to other pitchers, but Ferrell's career 17 shutouts would be closer to 30 if one adds the complete games he had without allowing any earned runs. He had but one shutout in 1930 but three other complete games in which he did not allow any earned runs. So of the four total (unearned-less run games) two were against the first place Athletics and two against the second place Senators.

Grove gets ink for tossing a shutout against the Yankees, who hadn't been shutout over several years (I don't recall the specifics. In 1933 I think) but Ferrell would have snapped the string in 1931 but for an unearned run.
   144. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 20, 2004 at 03:54 AM (#864328)
He often played on the worst fielding teams in this league,

My Defensive Adjustment puts him at +6.9 Fielding Win Shares. He only had negative years (when pitching a good chunk) 1930, 1931, & 1938. His worst DA was -0.5 in 1931. That ain't that bad.
   145. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 20, 2004 at 05:55 AM (#864362)
"early remarks on Dean haven't been favorable, and Koufax will be heavily debated."

Not that I care a ton about it, but does anyone think that our group will be taken less seriously if we don't send Dean in at all and Koufax in immediately? I just wonder, I imagine many people will dismiss the HoM out of hand if that were the case.

Again not that I care, and it shouldn't alter any votes or anything, but I was wondering if anyone else had thought about that . . . am I off base for thinking that?
   146. Rusty Priske Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:16 PM (#864479)
Prelim:

1. Pop Lloyd
2. Eddie Collins
3. Smokey Joe Williams
4. Max Carey
5. George Van Haltren
6. Mickey Welch
7. Jake Beckley
8. Cristobel Torriente
9. Lip Pike
10. Jimmy Ryan
11. Harry Hooper
12. Tommy Leach
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Heinie Groh
15. Bill Monroe

16-20. Childs, Griffith, Powell, Moore, Poles
21-25. Doyle, F.Jones, Mullane, White, Willis
26-30. Gleason, McCormick, G.J. Burns, Cross, DeMoss
   147. DavidFoss Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:21 PM (#864481)
Not that I care a ton about it, but does anyone think that our group will be taken less seriously if we don't send Dean in at all and Koufax in immediately? I just wonder, I imagine many people will dismiss the HoM out of hand if that were the case.

We often make these flippant predictions for players who won't be eligible for ten years... but we always do take that final close look through the magnifying class when eligibility comes around.

A glance at baseball-reference's ERA+ infers that Koufax had a higher peak, but Win Shares likes Dean more than I expected.

Sandy -- 35-33-32-24-20-15-09-09-07-06-03-01
Dizzy -- 37-31-31-24-22-17-09-07-01-01-01-00

They're are not even remotely contemporaries, though. It'll come down to how the competition plays out the week of their eligibilities and how they perform on other metrics.
   148. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:22 PM (#864483)
I don't think Dean not getting elected would shock people.
A Koufax struggle would confuse them, but it might well be a "Gee, I'm curious why they did that?" rather than a "These guys are clueless."

When you're electing players from the 1860s and Negro Leaguers from the 1890s, I doubt many baseball fans are going to think, "Gee, these guys don't know much about baseball."
   149. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:37 PM (#864486)
Joe Dimino,

I think you might be right that there's people who will not take any HOM without Koufax or Dean seriously. Some folks will never be persuaded no matter how hard we try and how many facts or well argued ideas we've got to back it up.

But I also think that anyone who takes the time to look at the work going on here will see passionate people; focused discussion; close scrutiny of all the major and many of the minor candidates. They can disagree with some of the outcomes, but the process is sound and credible.

There's always some people who are so set in their ways that they are unreachable, and they may chose not to see the process, only the outcome. And as you implied, that's their loss entirely.
   150. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 01:51 PM (#864494)
Not that I care a ton about it, but does anyone think that our group will be taken less seriously if we don't send Dean in at all and Koufax in immediately? I just wonder, I imagine many people will dismiss the HoM out of hand if that were the case.

They might, but who cares? We have a ton of players in our Hall who have far more legitimate credentials for immortality than Dean or Koufax have who have been deemed unworthy of HOF induction. Besides, when we start electing Rube Marquards or Highpocket Kellys, then we have something to worry about.

I suspect Koufax will make it (but probably not on the first ballot). As for Dean, I doubt it, but you never know.
   151. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 02:16 PM (#864508)
As John knows, I was worried a few years back that after 1934 this would get boring, with a lot of technical sabermetric analysis of players one had barely heard of, swapping one lot of such for another lot of such in the HOF. But if we're going to go around zapping players who are REALLY FAMOUS like Dizzy Dean then that, as far as I'm concerned, will give the whole exercise a lot more interest.

Fame is a funny thing, anyhow; I think in the entire 37 "years" of this project we have yet to mention Stan Musial, who got more MVP shares than any other player (yes I know he's not yet relevant, but nobody's compared anyone to him, for example.) Koufax and Dean are far more famous than Musial, yet I assume nobody here would argue they were more Meritorious.
   152. DavidFoss Posted: September 20, 2004 at 02:59 PM (#864538)
Fame is a funny thing, anyhow; I think in the entire 37 "years" of this project we have yet to mention Stan Musial, who got more MVP shares than any other player (yes I know he's not yet relevant, but nobody's compared anyone to him, for example.) Koufax and Dean are far more famous than Musial, yet I assume nobody here would argue they were more Meritorious.

Musial has come up recently in how much to discount great war seasons (43-44). In his case, its not interesting because he's a shoo-in, but stuff like that will matter for guys like Newhouser and Stephens.

Contemporaries *loved* Musial. He's got a very high number of MVP-Shares. Fans who are old enough simply adore the man. But he pales in both performance and "colorfulness" to a direct contemporary at the same position. He's a lot like Tris Speaker in that regard. Both Musial and Speaker also have the rings that Cobb & Williams don't have as well.
   153. PhillyBooster Posted: September 20, 2004 at 03:35 PM (#864562)
So, I'm usually an early voter, but I'm hung up on my complete inability to place Max Carey.

On the one hand: 351 Win Shares. If he doesn't get elected, that'd put him on the top of the WS list, if you exclude 1880s pitchers (Mullane, Welch).

On the other hand: 107 OPS+. Not too hot. Less impressive than Harry Hooper, who is not on my ballot. Of course, defense is a real thing that needs to be given due weight, and he was the best center fielder of his era.

On the third hand: <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/statzji01.shtml">. You remember Jigger, right? Eligible in 1934. Part of that line of immortals: Cobb, Speaker, Collins, Statz . . . Yeah, well. As best I can tell, Statz was at least as good a centerfielder as Carey was. Jigger couldn't keep hold of a major league job, though, and ended up playing the majority of his career in Los Angeles (Statz held the record for pro game played -- between the Majors and the PCL -- until recently. He's now third after Rose and Aaron.) Anyway, if Jigger's 87 OPS+ wasn't good enough to hold down a major league job, how can I rationalize Statz+20 points of OPS+ being a HoMer?
   154. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 03:55 PM (#864577)
Win shares every now and then produces a funny result, and I think Carey's an example. As with Hooper, it seems to overvalue just-above-average outfielders who played forever. I think it probably gives them too much credit for occupying center field for many years without obviously disgracing himself. For Carey, I prefer to trust numbers I undertand (hits) or can see as fairly "hard" with obvious benchmarks (OPS+). Looking at those two metrics, I can see no reason whatever to put him anywhere near Beckley, who has 10% more hits (20% if you adjust for season length) played a more difficult position and had a 123 OPS+ compared with 107. By putting Carey where his WS would indicate, you're placing an awful lot of credence on a useful but artificially-derived metric.
   155. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#864586)
Here's a AL vs NL vs Negro Leagues HOM roundup, 1901-09 (minimum 10 G; non-regulars or players appearing in both leagues have an asterisk. E Collins already given his entry on this list):

1901
NL (15) - Hamilton, Delahanty, Nichols, Burkett, Davis, Dahlen, Clarke, Flick, Keeler, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Crawford, Wallace, Sheckard
AL (5) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, McGinnity
Negro (2) - Grant, Hill

1902
NL (7.8) - Dahlen, Clarke, Keeler, Kelley*, Mathewson NY NL, Wagner PIT, Crawford CIN, McGinnity*, Sheckard
AL (10.2) - Delahanty, Burkett, Davis, Young, Flick, Kelley*, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, McGinnity*, Wallace
Negro (3) - Grant, Hill, Foster

1903
NL (8) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (10) - Delahanty*, Burkett, Young, Flick, Keeler, JCollins, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Wallace
Negro (4) - HRJohnson, Grant, Hill, Foster

1904
NL (10) - Nichols, Dahlen, Clarke*, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (11) - Burkett, Davis, Young, Flick, Keeler, Walsh*, JCollins, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Wallace
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster

1905
NL (10) - Nichols, Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (12) - Burkett, Davis, Young, Flick, Keeler, Walsh*, JCollins, Lajoie*, Crawford, Plank, Wallace, Cobb*
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster

1906
NL (9) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (11) - Davis, Young, Flick, Keeler, Walsh, JCollins*, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Wallace, Cobb
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster

1907
NL (8) - Dahlen, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (13) - Davis, Young, Flick, Keeler, Walsh, JCollins, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Wallace, WJohnson*, Cobb, ECollins*
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster

1908
NL (9) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley*, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, McGinnity, Sheckard
AL (13) - Davis, Young, Keeler, Walsh, JCollins, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Wallace, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker*, ECollins
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster

1909
NL (8) - Dahlen*, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Sheckard, Wheat*
AL (14) - Davis*, Young, Flick*, Keeler, Walsh, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Baker, Wallace, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (3) - HRJohnson, Hill, Foster
   156. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2004 at 04:06 PM (#864590)
Here's a AL vs NL vs Negro Leagues HOM roundup, 1910-19 (minimum 10 G; non-regulars or players appearing in both leagues have an asterisk. E Collins already given his entry on this list):

1910
NL (8) - Clarke, Keeler*, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Sheckard, Wheat
AL (13) - Young, Flick*, Walsh, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson*, Baker, Wallace, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (4) - HRJohnson, Hill, Santop, Foster

1911
NL (8) - Young*, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Sheckard, Wheat
AL (11) - (Young), Walsh, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson, Baker, Wallace, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (4) - HRJohnson, Hill, Santop, Foster

1912
NL (6) - Mathewson, Wagner, Brown*, Magee, Sheckard, Wheat
AL (10) - Walsh, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson, Wallace, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (4) - HRJohnson, Hill, Santop, Foster

1913
NL (6) - Mathewson, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Sheckard, Wheat
AL (11) - Walsh*, Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson, Baker, Wallace*, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (4) - HRJohnson, Hill, Santop, Foster

1914
NL (4) - Mathewson, Wagner, Magee, Wheat
AL (10) - Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson, Baker, Wallace*, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
FL (1) - Brown
Negro (3) - Hill, Santop, Foster

1915
NL (4) - Mathewson, Wagner, Magee, Wheat
AL (7) - Lajoie, Crawford, Jackson, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
FL (2) - Plank, Brown
Negro (3) - Hill, Santop, Foster*

1916
NL (5) - Mathewson*, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Wheat
AL (10) - Lajoie, Crawford, Plank, Jackson*, Baker, Wallace*, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (4) - HRJohnson*, Hill, Santop, Foster

1917
NL (3) - Wagner*, Magee, Wheat
AL (8) - Crawford*, Plank*, Jackson, Baker, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (2) - Hill, Santop

1918
NL (3) - Magee, Wallace*, Wheat
AL (6) - Jackson*, Baker, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (2) - Hill, Santop*

1919
NL (2) - Magee*, Wheat
AL (6) - Jackson, Baker, WJohnson, Cobb, Speaker, ECollins
Negro (2) - Hill, Santop*

Wheat is the only NLer we have elected so far who played in the 1920s.
Cool trivia: Two of the five 1915 HOM SPs played in the Federal League, compared to one each in NL, AL, Negro.
   157. DavidFoss Posted: September 20, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#864597)
OPS+ does not include basestealing... and Carey is one of the few who get a sizeable bonus from SB/SB%

Unadjusted EQA:

Carey - .284
Hooper - .285

This doesn't count the extra CS information that retrosheet has for Carey (favorable). Years without CS data hide the value of those with high SB%'s. In my opinion Hooper/Carey were about the same offensively.
   158. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 04:24 PM (#864616)
According to the stats I have, in the 8 years for which CS data is available, Carey stole at just over an 80% rate (these seem randomly distributed about his career, not just the last years.) I have always understood that 70% is breakeven. Thus Carey stole 738 bases in 922 attempts; at breakeven he would have stolen 646. 92 extra bases is about 1.3% of his total bases, raising his OPS to 109 from 107. Still nowhere near enough -- what have I missed?
   159. TomH Posted: September 20, 2004 at 06:18 PM (#864860)
Karl, it's not only the 92 extra bases - it's 92 outs, plus removing a runner on first. Changing 92 outs to 'reached base' ads .009 to his OBA.

I also suspect the breakeven point was a bit higher in the 1910s. Plus, maybea dd a bit for the value of speed in the deadball era.

Comparing Hooper to Carey, Hooper has 12 more offensive Win Shares (266 to 254 - I got this from the NHVBJA, it may be off 1 or 2). That sounds fair. Even if CF is over-done by the WS method, I would give Carey much more added defensive credit than 12 win shares as compared to Hooper.
   160. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 06:42 PM (#864889)
I have Carey above Hooper, but it still doesn't get him on my ballot -- he's still below Duffy, Ryan/Van H, even when you correct for OPS - .009 on OBA is still only about 2 points of OPS+, slightly more than my back-envelope calc of 1.3 but not enough to make a big difference.

Hooper, in my view, is also overrated by WS.

Thanks for semi-confirming my envelope -- it's helpful to see what adjustments need to be made.
   161. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 07:22 PM (#864974)
To say Carey "didn't disgrace himself in CF" is certainly generous. And BTW, .284 is Chris Cobb's MLE for Pop Lloyd... Aloong with 2665 H, he walked more than 1000 times, quite a bit for that era (unless your name was Ruth).

But as for that defense:

Chances per game--8th, ahead of Speaker
Putouts--3rd behind Mays and Speaker, ahead of Cobb, Rickey and Richie
Assists--7th
DPs--3rd behind Cobb and Speaker

A product of his times, yes, but so were a bunch of other guys not on these lists. Max probably had as much value not reflected in OPS as anybody.
   162. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 07:25 PM (#864979)
Oh, and as for Wes Ferrell, he's on the consideration list. But praising one singular ballplayer without a comparative reference to his peers is not persuasive. We all know that there are 500-maybe 750 players who sound like HoFers when you talk about their strenghts without making reference to their weaknesses or the comparable strengths of their peers.
   163. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 07:41 PM (#865012)
Hooper, in my view, is also overrated by WS.

I disagree, karlmagnus. The problem is that while his career WS are being highlighted at this site, his WS per 162 games (which weren't standout) are being ignored. IOW, the misinterpreting of his WS numbers is what is overrating him by some.

Bill James has Hooper as only the 43rd best rightfielder in baseball history. Unlike Sutton, McPhee, Glasscock, etc., Hooper doesn't have the schedule problems that James missed with the 19th century players, while a correction to James' "timeline" system would still keep Hooper outside of HoM consideration, IMO.
   164. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#865051)
Win Share seasons of 10 or more.

Ferrell: 35,32,28,27,25,25,18,18,14.

Dean: 37,31,31,24,22,17.

Koufax: 35,33,32,24,20,15.

Waddell: 35,33,32,27,21,20,18,17,16,12.
   165. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 08:14 PM (#865072)
"Oh, and as for Wes Ferrell, he's on the consideration list. But praising one singular ballplayer without a comparative reference to his peers is not persuasive. We all know that there are 500-maybe 750 players who sound like HoFers when you talk about their strenghts without making reference to their weaknesses or the comparable strengths of their peers."

Geez, that's why I posted Mack, McGraw, Johnson, Huggins, McCarty and Carey's opinion. One might think that they knew a little more about pitching in the 20s and 30s than the group assembled here. Oh, excuse me. Sorry I realize that those men, without such tools as ERA+, Win Shares, TPR and DIPS, could not possibly have known how to rate a great pitcher when they saw one.
   166. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 09:08 PM (#865194)
Oh, excuse me. Sorry I realize that those men, without such tools as ERA+, Win Shares, TPR and DIPS, could not possibly have known how to rate a great pitcher when they saw one.

Okay, that has to be Dode Paskert's #1 fan speaking. :-)
   167. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 20, 2004 at 09:21 PM (#865230)
I have always understood that 70% is breakeven.

Not an expert on this, but I think the breakeven rate varies depending on the league R/G average. The lower the R/G average, the lower the breakeven rate (& thus the Deadball Era would have the lowest breakeven rate of any era) as playing for 1-run gets more & more important.

My vague memory is that the b-e rate was around 55-60% on that, though that's anything but an authoritative figure there.
   168. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#865237)
That's right, the true deadball era, the 1900s, would have a much lower break-even, but Carey's 10s and 20s. In modern baseball b/e is more than 70% but I can't offhand remember what -- 70% was I think conservative. Clearly if the breakeven's 60 it adds 4 points to his OPS+, putting it at 111. Still doesn't cut it, though at 111 he'd be fairly close and might make the ballot in a weak year.
   169. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 10:06 PM (#865277)
Mr. (not wanting to refer to you as Grandma) Murphy, Dode Paskert's Number 1 fan is a lot smarter than me. My views, though deep on my favorite subjects, are very limited. I could have gone with another alias I liked, but "Murph" seemed to be taken.
   170. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 10:11 PM (#865281)
Now that I think about it, Dode Paskert's number 1 fan is a lot younger than me, a lot taller than me and has a hell of a lot more hair than I do. The bastard.
   171. Chris Cobb Posted: September 20, 2004 at 10:25 PM (#865293)
Geez, that's why I posted Mack, McGraw, Johnson, Huggins, McCarty and Carey's opinion. One might think that they knew a little more about pitching in the 20s and 30s than the group assembled here. Oh, excuse me. Sorry I realize that those men, without such tools as ERA+, Win Shares, TPR and DIPS, could not possibly have known how to rate a great pitcher when they saw one.

A reporter's hypothetical question to Connie Mack: "Mr. Mack, we'd like you to provide a rank-ordered ballot of the top 15 players eligible for the Hall of Merit in 1935, including Negro-League players excluded from the major-leagues, and giving consideration to the full careers of everyone who played major-league baseball since the formation of the National Association in 1971."

Mr. Mack: "Harry Davis was the most scientific ballplayer I ever saw."

No, seriously, if Connie Mack or John McGraw or any other notable judge of talent in this era had provided an evaluation of Wes Ferrell in this context, I expect it would be better than the one I will make. The problem is, when they made evaluative statements about players, they weren't doing it in the kind of context that we must take into account when preparing a ballot.

It's therefore no disrespect at all to their judgment to say (I believe rightly) as Sunnyday2 said: We all know that there are 500-maybe 750 players who sound like HoFers when you talk about their strenghts without making reference to their weaknesses or the comparable strengths of their peers. We're putting together rank-ordered, everybody-to-date-is-eligible ballots, and in that context, general statements about greatness, no matter how wise the source, are simply not all that helpful.
   172. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:10 PM (#865345)
Thanks, Chris.

And apologies to jonesy. When He was handing out diplomacy, I said, what the hell is that. And He gave it all to John and Chris.

But like I said, Wes is on the list and a quick and dirty WS comparison shows him in the ballpark with Diz and Sandy and Rube. If he only had a nickname. But seriously, some people don't think we're gonna elect any of the three though as a peak voter I think they will make my PHoM and oughta make the HoM.

Recently (1933) I constructed a list of pitchers eligible or coming eligible before Pearl Harbor. Among the 20C group, I had:

1. Walter Johnson (PHoM and HoM 1933)
2. Grover Alexander (PHoM and surely HoM 1936)
3. Smokey Joe Williams (PHoM 1935, HoM '35 or '36)
4. Joe Rogan
5. Rube Waddell (PHoM 1931)
6. Rube Foster (HoM and PHoM, I forget when)
7. Jose Mendez (possibly overrated)
8. Addie Joss
9. Dazzy Vance
10. Stan Coveleski (#15 on my ballot 1935, ahead of Joss BTW, a clear case of Polish bias)

11. Eppa Rixey
12. Eddie Cicotte (who has never been on my ballot)
13. Dick Redding
14. Wilbur Cooper (not on my ballot)
15. John Donaldson (has moved downward since)
16. Burleigh Grimes
17. Nip Winters
18. Red Faber
19. Andy Cooper
20. Hippo Vaughan

HM. Shocker, Mays, Willis, Chesbro, Luque.
Not even close. Bender, Pennock, Marquard.

In addition to these, Bill Foster becomes eligible in 1943 and will go between the two Joes--Smokey and Bullet. Then Wes Ferrell becomes eligible in 1944(?). Right now I have him just behind Vaughn and ahead of Shocker.

The catch is that the above list is mostly based on career records and I'm known as a peak voter. I have only completed my peak analysis of pitchers eligible through 1939, which leaves several unaccounted for. So Wes, with that big 35 WS peak, has a shot. I like Diz, Rube is in my PHoM and Koufax is an NB, so maybe Wes makes it. OTOH Joss and Koufax are very comp at face value, but in context I see Sandy as an NB and Joss has not yet made my ballot. But Addie never earned 35 WS in a season. So who knows?

But I also agree with John, who said (?) that Bucky Walters will present a strong case for us peak voters, too. We'll be seeing some strong candidates through about 1950, the way I see it, but there will be lots of opportunity for guys like Bucky and Wes in the '50s. Stay tuned.
   173. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#865353)
PS. I got criticized for quoting Henry Chadwick praising Harry Wright and Dickey Pearce. Now it's not like there's a lot of statistical info about Wright and Pearce, which is why I thought some qualitative information would be helpful. OTOH it's clear that qualitative commentary about Pop Lloyd has been influential. But here's another guy for whom the statistical record is, well, somewhat incomplete but thoroughly not easily comparable with that of ML players. But here we've got a guy, Wes Ferrell, whose statistical record is easily compared to his peers. So in this context, I would be surprised if the qualitative or subjective record will carry a lot of weight. I am speaking now from my experience with this whole group, though obviously I also agree with that in this case. I'm not even too crazy about the subjective info about Pop Lloyd because, frankly, it is at odds with the statistical record to some degree.

So anyway, it's the age-old (since 1898 anyway) problem of what credit to give qualitative info, and again my experience is that this group won't give it much.
   174. OCF Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:15 PM (#865355)
For instance, as someone suggested, what about Tommy Bridges? Support issues (offensive and defensive both) can offer surprises, but I'm not expecting any big swings between them. The career IP are essentially the same. Bridges has better K/BB data, and a big advantage in ERA+, 126 to 117. OK Bridges couldn't hit and Ferrell could. That's what we've got to do around here. We can't just look at Ferrell without also looking at Bridges (and Coveleski, and Shocker, and ... )
   175. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:17 PM (#865360)
And finally, speaking as a Minnesota Twins fan, read what they're saying about Johan Santana, who is having a hot streak of truly historic proportions, right now, today. Then come back in 50 years and ask yourself--are these comments applicable to his entire career record as a whole? Right now, who knows? Maybe. But if indeed his current hot streak is one of historic proportions, then the likelihood is he will not sustain it for 10 years, and the comments made today will turn out to be overstated as career evaluations.
   176. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:20 PM (#865372)
And OCF, then there is the obvious issue of the shape of the career, specifically the peak/prime. So there's a lot of analysis to do. Ferrell is on the list...along with about 20 guys whose primes came in the '20s and '30s.
   177. OCF Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:21 PM (#865373)
I posted that without seeing sunnyday2's #72. Bridges won't be eligible until 1949, and sunnyday2 was making a list of those eligible through about 1941. I'm sure there will be others to consider as well.
   178. jonesy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:48 PM (#865436)
"Wes ran his record to 9-3 with a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in Detroit on June 3. 'Ferrell's game was a stirring duel between the Cleveland star and Tommy Bridges, the Tigers' slim right-handed youngster, and Wes' edge was in his bat rather than his pitching arm,' wrote the Plain Dealer. 'He was hit freely, but always he had that little extra juice to turn on when another base knock would have meant a run - and a run in this game was more important thatn three or four in the nightca.' Detroit scored the first run of the game with two out in the third inning on their only free pass of the day, an infield single and a clean single. 'Thus Wes was facing a one-run deficit when the Indians came to bat in the fifth inning. Here also there were two out before the excitement, in the form of a single by Eddie Montague, began. Then Ferrell stepped to the plate and blasted one over the scoreboard in left center."
   179. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2004 at 11:52 PM (#865448)
jonesy:

Sorry for the confusion. David Jones actually was a member of the HoM at the start, but never actually submitted a ballot (though he did help create a few reports for the group). The surname and certain words of yours led me to believe that you were one and the same. As you have pointed out, being mistaken for him is not really an insult. :-)

Have you thought about joining the group yourself? Your posts have been very informative and have added much to the discussion, so you certainly appear to be knowledgeable about baseball history.

BTW, has anyone seen David at Primer?
   180. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:01 AM (#865472)
"The ninth inning was something to behold. Pete Fox led off with a double before Grove retired Gee Walker on strikes and Gehringer on a fly ball. Greenberg, the league's RBI leader with 110, came to the plate and with the left-handed hitting Goslin next in the batting order, Cronin opted to walk him. Grove was not happy with this strategy and told Joe so. He wanted to face Greenberg, whom he felt he could strike out.

"Neither of Cronin's aces were happy with their managers input.

"Word from Boston,' noted The Sporting News, 'that the two veteran pitching stars of the Red Sox, Bob Brove and Wes Ferrell, have not been taking any too kindly to Joe Cronin's instructions on how to pitch to certain hitters. Having been around the American League for quite a spell, they feel they should know a little more about the weakness of opposing hitters than young Joe.'

"Grove followed instructions and walked Greenberg. Goslin and Rogell followed with singles and Detroit was back up by a run. Ray Hayworth - Detroit's right-handed hitting cathcer - had been lifted for a runner in the eighth innings, so Cochrane, who rarely faced left-handers, was up next. He doubled to score Goslin and Rogell was cut down at the plate for the final out.

"Grove was livid, heaving his glove into the crowd as he walked toward the dugout, and clawing at his uniform blouse. For a finale, he picked up one of Cronin's game bats and smashed it to pieces on the edge of the dugout.

"Cronin led off the last of the ninth and the fans let him have it with a chorus of boos. Unfazed, he rapped out his third hit of the day. Werber followed with a single and Dahlgren laid down a sacrifice bunt. Boston now had runners on second a third with one out. A single could tie the game

"Wes Ferrell came up to pinch-hit for Grove. First base was open and Cochrane decided to walk him. Bridges argued with his manager, wanting to face Wes. They had history, squaring off three times as opposing starts thus far in their careers with Ferrell winning them all and blasting homers off the Detroit righty in each contest. Bridges told Cochrane he would handle Ferrell. Cochrane deferred to his pitcher. It was a bad move for Wes sent the first pitcher over the left-field wall on to Landsdowne Street for a three-run, game winning homer."
   181. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:05 AM (#865487)
When He was handing out diplomacy, I said, what the hell is that. And He gave it all to John and Chris.

Well, at least Chris received it anyway. :-)

We'll be seeing some strong candidates through about 1950, the way I see it, but there will be lots of opportunity for guys like Bucky and Wes in the '50s.

The key is to compare them to their peers. I haven't fully done that with Ferrell yet, so I still might support his candidacy (though definitely not as a first-balloter).
   182. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:09 AM (#865495)
"St. Louis was in town next and Wes started against Dick Coffman the following afternoon. The Browns had been in last-place all season but had just taken three of four from the faltering Yankees in New York. Coffman, despite 15 years in the majors and a couple of World Series appearances, is best remembered for his 1-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931 that snapped Grove's 16-game winning streak.

"Coffman allowed eight hits and Wes seven as the game went to the last of the ninth knotted at 1-1. On a one and two count, Wes launched his second concecutive walk-off homer. The ball, which landed on the roof of a building across Landsdowne street, was hit so hard that the Browns' left fielder didn't even move.

"Leave it to the great Wes Ferrell to furnish the fans at Fenway park with their meed of thrills!' wrote the Boston Post. 'Leave it to the Red Sox pitching ace to show the rooters that his offensive value is nearly as great as his cleaverness and experience on the mound!'

"A Flesh and blood Frank Merriwell - that's Wesley Ferrell, pitching and hitting star of the Boston Red Sox,' was how the New York World-Telegram started off their recap of Ferrell's weekend."
   183. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:15 AM (#865506)
"Boston dropped the next two games to St. Louis before traveling to Philadelphia where Cronin started Grove and Wes in a doubleheader on July 27. The first game was a 7-6 Philadelphia victory in 15 innings. Grove went the distance, allowing 21 hits and six walks. The Red Sox didn't do much offensively although Rick Ferrell had three hits. Grove, never proficient with the stick, hit a bases-loaded home run in the second inning. Lefty drove in just five runs in 1935 and four of them came on this one swing.

"Johnny Marcum, the Athletics' ace, faced Wes in the second game and Mack's only lineup change was a different catcher. Rick Ferrell, who caught all 24 innings for Boston, handled his brother's 2-0 three hit shutout. Wes was dominant, allowing only infield single through the first seven innings. He scored the only run he would needed when he came around after starting the sixth inning with a single."
   184. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:22 AM (#865527)
"Wes' last game of the month was on July 31 in Washington's Griffith Stadium. He gave up four runs on 12 hits but offset those numbers with his bat, belting a three-run homer into the 'distant left field bleachers' in the fourth inning and a solo shot in the seventh. 'So hard hit,' was the second ball, 'that left fielder Henie Manush didn't even deign to watch as it passed over his head and landed near the top of the concrete stands.' Both blasts came off Bobo Newsome. The final score was 6-4.

"Griffith Stadium was not an easy place to hit home runs and only 30, sans three inside-the-parkers, were it there during the entire 1935 season. Only four members of the home club managed to hit a ball over the fence in Griffith all year. That's four men hitting one homer each! A list of home runs hit there by visiting players reveals the expected names. Gehringer led all hitters with three. Lou Gehrig, Foxx, Tony Lazzeri, Hal Trosky and Wes Ferrell hit two. Hank Greenberg, the league's co-leader in home runs that year, didn't hit any. Ferrell was the only man to hit two in one game."
   185. OCF Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:28 AM (#865555)
Ferrell had 38 career home runs, 16 of them while he was playing for the Red Sox. His best offensive year was 1935 (the year I suspect most of these quotes are coming from): 179 PA, .347/.427/.533, OPS+ 140. He has 7 HR that year, and 32 RBI (out of his career 208). An interesting contrast is Rick Ferrell's 1935 line: 536 PA (full-time catcher), .301/.388/.413, 3HR, 61 RBI, OPS+ 102.

I always knew that Grove was a hothead, but publicly busting up Cronin's bat? How long a Primer thread would that have been worth the next day?
   186. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:29 AM (#865559)
1929

"The finest change of pace in the country today!' wrote Same Murphy, 'That's what the players say of Wesley Ferrell of the Indians...

"Ferrell's most brilliant achievement this year was on last Saturday when he stilled the Athletics, letting them down with four hits. It was Ferrell's slow ball that halted Simmons and made Foxx look bad.'

"There was a time that the older batters detected Ferrell's sudden switch from his slow ball to his fast ball, but of late he has masked that motion and that is the reason for his steady climb up to a place among the leading hurlers if of the circuit.'

"I wish I had,' said Connie Mack of Ferrell after the game. 'He's the finest looking young pitcher I've seen in years. A terrific amount of stuff, good control, plenty of nerve and, I'd be willing to bet, a pretty good noodle. He acts and pitches like a fellow who's thinking about the job."
   187. jonesy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 12:38 AM (#865604)
Mack speaking late in 1930 when he was getting a lot of grief for refusing to start Grove against Ferrell. Ferrell and Ted Lyons started against each other three times in 1930 but Mack never started Grove against either one of them all season. The press noted it often.

"The Cleveland media took this as a slight and put Connie on the spot, asking him if he said that Ferrell was overrated of that Peck picked his spots. 'If such an article appeared,' Mack exploded, 'It would be fake - pure and simple. I have repeatedly said that I believe Ferrell is a great pitcher, one of the greatest younsters I have ever seen. His record proves conclusively that he doesn't need to have his spots picked for him. I have admired him deeply ever since I first saw him pitch, and I have expressed my admiration so often that I am surprised credence should be given to such a ridiculous statement as you say was attributed to me.'

"Suppose they did meet in Sunday's game,' continues Mack, 'What would it prove? They are both great pitchers, but one of them would have to lose. That wouldn't make him any less great.."
   188. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 21, 2004 at 01:00 AM (#865686)
BTW, has anyone seen David at Primer?

He's been there a few times only as David C. Jones. Posted in the Reagan's death thread & one or two others, but that's it since the changeover.
   189. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 21, 2004 at 01:02 AM (#865696)
Thanks, Chris.
   190. DavidFoss Posted: September 21, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#866729)
Is it too early for a thread on Oliver Marcelle?
   191. Howie Menckel Posted: September 21, 2004 at 11:19 PM (#867397)
Might as well get this out of the way now:

What years are we listing for Lloyd, Williams, and Torriente, in terms of fulltime, parttime, and token appearances, and for what teams?


David, I had just started looking at Marcelle myself (hmm, why did a mime just pop into my head?).
   192. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 21, 2004 at 11:46 PM (#867462)
You all were right about my coming up with a cockamamie conclusion on the Dean/Koufax/Newhouser topic. Can’t say what planet I was on. So I started again, trying to get a handle on the peaky candidates by finding comparison groups, this time with some win shares added. The comparison groups are clusters around the career innings totals of the peak pitchers in question with 200 innings (higher or lower) as thresholds for inclusin in a cluster—just picked that number out of the air because it seemed reasonable to allow for about a one-season difference between pitchers. And since we’re talking about Wes Ferrell now as well, I created a cluster around him. Interestingly, these clusters all overlap:

DEAN: 1767 – 2167
KOUFAX: 2125 – 2525
FERRELL: 2423 – 2823
NEWHOUSER: 2793 – 3193

Within each cluster, I selected all the pitchers whose ERA+ was 115 or higher that I could locate. I used 120 previously, but since Ferrell’s ERA is 117, I moved the bar a little lower. In a couple cases, I did include pitchers, whose innings were a tad shy of the Dean threshold or over the Newhouser threshold, and I added one pitcher whose ERA+ was lower than 115 (Don Newcombe 114). In Newc’s case I included him because I think a reasonable case could be made that his ERA+ would have been higher if not for the color barrier and/or his military service. John Smoltz made the survey, but I’m not at all certain he should, despite falling within my pre-determined boundaries. Ditto Bobby Shantz. Stats through 2003 only.

Here’s the pitchers in each cluster, listed with their ERA+ and then some other info on the group as a whole.

DEAN: Harry Brecheen (133), Dizzy Dean (130), Sal Maglie (126), Mel Parnell (125), John Tudor (124), Mort Cooper (124), Jose Rijo (120), Bobby Shantz (119), Johnny Antonelli (116), Jim Maloney (116), Preacher Roe (116), Bill Hands (115), Frank Sullivan (115).

The average member of this cluster hurled 1865 innings with an ERA+ of 121. They earned 145 WS. To get a flavor for how they might all stack up in a modern rotation, I figured their WS/250 IP. These men averaged 19 WS per 250 innings pitched. They were typically the best pitcher in their league .6 times in their careers, among the top three .9 times, and a top pitchers 1.2 times. 48% of their WS were concentrated in the 3 best seasons, and 72% of their value was concentrated in their 5 best seasons. Their best seasons averaged 28 WS, and three different pitchers among them had a 30 WS season. Dean was the only to have two.

KOUFAX: Koufax (131), Lefty Gomez (125), Andy Messersmith (121), Ron Guidry (120), Dean Chance (119), Thornton Lee (119), Mike Garcia (117), Eddie Lopat (116), Curt Davis (116), Don Newcombe (114).

The members of the Koufax cluster averaged 2301 innings with an ERA+ of 120. They averaged 169 WS. These men averaged 18 WS per 250 innings pitched. They were typically the best pitcher in the league 1.0 times, among the top three .6 times, and among the top five 1.6 times. 44% of their value was concentrated in their 3 best seasons, and 65% of their value in their five best. Their best seasons averaged to 31 WS, and five of them had 30 WS or more in a season. Only Koufax did it more than once.

FERRELL: Bret Saberhagen (126), Dizzy Trout (124), Urban Shcoker (124), John Smoltz (124), Jimmy Key (122), Kevin Appier (121), Eddie Rommell (121), Lon Wareke (119), Ferrell (117), Virgil Trucks (116).

The Ferrell contingent averaged 2641 innings, sported a 121 ERA+, and earned 210 WS. These men averaged 20 WS per 250 innings pitched. They were typically the best in their league .8 times, in the top three 1.4 times, and the top five 1.2 times. Their best three seasons accounted for 37% of their total value, and their best five for 55%. This group’s best season was about 30 WS. Four different pitchers in this group record 30 WS seasons, and Trout posted a 42 WS season during the War. Of the group only Ferrell topped 30 twice.

NEWHOUSER: Newhouser (130), Stan Coveleski (127), Tommy Bridges (126), Dazzy Vance (125), Dave Stieb (122), David Cone (120), Carl Mays (119), Bob Lemon (119), Steve Rogers (116), Bucky Walters (115), Chuck Finley (115).

Prince Hal’s bunch averaged 2970 innings, a 121 ERA+, and 231 WS. These men averaged 19 WS per 250 innings pitched. This group averaged 1.5 instances of being the league’s best pitcher, 1.4 finishes among the top three, and 1.8 among the top five. It’s three-year peak accounted for 35% of its value, and its five-year peak accounted for 54% of its value. The group’s best season averaged out to 30 WS. Six of its eleven members recorded 30 WS seasons, and Walters, Newhouser, Mays, and Vance each tossed more than one.

This time around, my only exclusionary practice was to eliminate pitchers who did the bulk of their work before 1920. I left the war-era guys (Mort Cooper, Brechen, and Trout) in there this time because most of the ones who dried up by 1947 missed the innings cut-off anyway, and the cases of those who did make it aren’t cut and dried. I should probably also note that there’s another unrepresented cluster at roughly 1300 – 1700 innings which includes the likes of Joe Wood, Harry Coveleski, Ellis Kinder, Ewell Blackwell, and others. I did not include it in my study because it seems that the HOM’s own tolerance for brief careers is somewhere around Dean’s, but not much lower.

(continued)
   193. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 21, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#867491)
(continued)

One thing I wanted to know was how much a peakish pitcher dominated his peers. So I put their raw, unadjusted season-by-season Win Shares into a spreadsheet, noting when their season total either led all starting pitchers in their league, placed them among the top three starting pitchers in the league, or placed them in the top five starting pitchers in the league. The bold is for emphasis on their role because many relievers placed among the top five in their leagues in Win Shares, and I did not count relievers. I then scored them by cooking up a quick junk stat where I give them 1 point for a being in the top five; three for being in the top three; and seven for being numero uno.

Here’s the top ten scores among the 46 pitchers I looked at:

NAME(PEAK SCORE, #1s, Top 3s, Top 5s)
Hal Newhouser (34: 4, 2, 0)
Bob Lemon (30: 3, 2, 3)
Dave Stieb (26: 3, 1, 2)
Bucky Walters (25: 3, 1, 1)
Dazzy Vance (25: 3, 1, 1)
Dizzy Dean (24: 2, 3, 1)
Wes Ferrell (22: 1, 5, 0)
Sandy Koufax (21: 2, 2, 1)
Bret Saberhagen (18: 2, 1, 1)
Lefty Gomez (16: 2, 0, 2)
Ron Guidry (16: 2, 0, 2)

Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, all of the top-five finishers are in the longer-career Newhouser group. But the exemplars of each group are also in there. Newhouser really shines looking at it this way.

Looking at it by group, here’s the top three from each cluster:
DEAN CLUSTER
Dizzy Dean (24: 2, 3, 1)
Mort Cooper (15: 2, 0, 1)
Mel Parnell (14: 1, 2, 1)

KOUFAX CLUSTER
Sandy Koufax (21: 2, 2, 1)
Lefty Gomez (16: 2, 0, 2)
Ron Guidry (16: 2, 0, 2)

FERRELL CLUSTER
Wes Ferrell (22: 1, 5, 0)
Bret Saberhagen (18: 2, 1, 1)
Lon Warneke (14: 1, 2, 1)

NEWHOUSER CLUSTER
Hal Newhouser (34: 4, 2, 0)
Bob Lemon (30: 3, 2, 3)
Dave Stieb (26: 3, 1, 2)

In a similar vein, here’s the top three in each cluster in WS/250 innings to give a flavor for what they all might look like at the head of a modern rotation.

DEAN GROUP
NAMEWS/250 INN
Dean23
Brecheen23
Shantz21

KOUFAX GROUP
Koufax21
Newcombe20
Messersmith19

FERRELL GROUP
Ferrell 22
Smoltz21
Shocker21

NEWHOUSER GROUP
Newhouser22
Mays 21
Walters21


Here also are the top three in each group for how much value was concentrated in the 3 and 5 year peaks. There’s not too much different between the 3 and 5, but I figured it was worth getting on paper.

TOP THREE SEASONS

DEAN GROUP
NAME3 YR WSTOTAL WS%OF TOTAL
Dean9918155%
Cooper8115154%
Parnell7614154%

KOUFAX GROUP
Koufax10014452%
Chance7310449%
Guidry7210546%

FERRELL GROUP
Ferrell9523341%
Warneke8621041%
Trout9222840%

NEWHOUSER GROUP
Newhouser10626440%
Walters10225840%
Coveleski 9024537%


TOP FIVE SEASONS

DEAN GROUP
NAME5 YEAR WSTOTAL WS% of TOTAL
Rijo10512882%
Parnell11614182%
Dean14518180%

KOUFAX GROUP
Koufax14419474%
Chance10414870%
Garcia11116169%

FERRELL GROUP
Ferrell14823364%
Warneke12721060%
Shocker12822557%

NEWHOUSER GROUP
Newhousr15826460%
Walters14925858%
Coveleski 14224558%


What I don’t know is exactly how diffuse the value of 5 year peaks are among longer term players.

Interesting to compare this information to two hitting candidates, Childs and Jennings, whose candidacies are extremely peak-dependent. Jennings’s five year peak accounts for about 70% of his value, while Childs’s best five are almost 60% of his value. Don't quite know what to make of that last sentence, I just thought it was interesting.

Anyway, I hope this information is helpful in sizing these guys up or might lead to other ways of looking at them. Is there anything that I'm missing? I’m not going to draw any grander conclusions about this data because that’s when I get myself into trouble! ; )
   194. DavidFoss Posted: September 22, 2004 at 02:23 AM (#868191)
David, I had just started looking at Marcelle myself (hmm, why did a mime just pop into my head?).

Yeah, he's got 80% next to his name... He plays 3B... and I had never heard of him.

Looking forward to some translations to see how he rates compared to Groh, Doyle, Childs.
   195. ronw Posted: September 22, 2004 at 06:16 AM (#868476)
Perhaps a Wes Ferrell thread can be set up for jonesy to post to his heart's content. It doesn't really fit with this thread. The quotes are nice, and will be helpful, but we've got at least nine elections until Wes is eligible. That means we won't even consider Wes Ferrell until February or March of 2005.

jonesy, detailed contemporary quotes about Jim McCormick, Addie Joss, or Wilbur Cooper would fit this thread well. If you have contemporary quotes about George Zettlein, Asa Brainard, Jose Mendez, Harry Buckner, or John Donaldson, that would be even better, since we don't have the greatest statistical analysis of those candidates.
   196. PhillyBooster Posted: September 22, 2004 at 02:11 PM (#868600)
With each passing year, it becomes more and more clear that there will never be a major league baseball player born on my birthday (9/22/73).
   197. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 22, 2004 at 02:55 PM (#868660)
PhillyBooster,

But is it really such a blessing if the guy born on your birthday is Kelly Dransfeld? (4/16/75)
   198. karlmagnus Posted: September 22, 2004 at 03:03 PM (#868679)
But Dr. Chaleeko, at least you've got a HOFer and probable HOMer born on your birthday in 1903 (Paul Waner, the Pittsburgh Beckley) whereas Phillybooster and I (7/15) have no potential HOMers born on our birthday in any year!
   199. DavidFoss Posted: September 22, 2004 at 03:24 PM (#868718)
But is it really such a blessing if the guy born on your birthday is Kelly Dransfeld? (4/16/75)

I have Steve Sinclair (8/2/71)... I just missed Travis Driskill and Chris Sexton by one day on each side.

Oooh... the baseball talent that was entering the world that week! Gives me goosebumps!
   200. TomH Posted: September 22, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#868733)
I was born the same day as Andy Van Slyke. Not only was he a better ballplayer than me, he was way more quotable as well.
Roger McDowell, too, FWIW.
I've been waiting for Spanky's bbref page sponsor to expire so I can pick him up.
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