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Monday, October 04, 2004

1936 Ballot

Newbie Pete Alexander appears to be the top candidate this year, while Smokey Joe Williams looks good for the second spot. Will newly eligible candidates Harry Heilmann, Dave Bancroft, or George Sisler spoil it for one of those two?

Other returnees include Cristóbal Torriente, Heinie Groh, Stan Coveleski, Lip Pike, Jake Beckley, Max Carey and Rube Waddell.

Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 01:53 PM | 167 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Buddha Posted: October 08, 2004 at 09:20 PM (#905697)
For those who put Williams ahead of Alexander, on what basis?

In general, for any of the Negro League players, what evidence are you using to determine their value that isn't anecdotal?
   102. Jim Sp Posted: October 08, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#905772)
the overwhelming majority of Negro League "legends" were hitters

Does anyone have a good explanation of this phenomenon?

I could speculate that the usage patterns in barnstorming circuit caused the pitchers' arms to be overused, shortening careers, or maybe in the absence of a complete statistical record there's a systematic bias in our evaluations favoring the hitters over the pitchers.
   103. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 08, 2004 at 10:39 PM (#905884)
Buddha,

There is a discussion of this, featuring me in your position, in the ballot thread, aroudn the 150-160 mark. I dont' really want to revisit the debate not do I want to get the ire of those I was in disagreement with again.

I guess just check it out, but I agree with you and the other side is something like, "If we always take the guy for which we ahve th stats we will underrate NeL players, causing of lack of them in the HOM." Except more eloquent.
   104. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 08, 2004 at 10:39 PM (#905887)
have the stats, not ahve th stats.

I really need to start editing my BTF posts...
   105. Buddha Posted: October 08, 2004 at 11:45 PM (#906079)
jschmeagol:

I saw that after I posted. I had been asking repeatedly for any type of information statistics wise for Negro Leaguers but no one ever responded.

I just kind of went along with the flow on my ballot vis-a-vis the NeLers considering the anecdotal evidence offered, but I doubt I will do so in the future. And any suggestion of Williams being #1 and Alexander #2 I have to take with a great deal of skepticism. To ignore the achievements of Negro League players is one thing, to fawn over them excessively strikes me as a bit peculiar.

And any suggestion of you "breaking any rules" was horseshit, IMO. There's no reason for a PC sympathy vote for players.
   106. Michael Bass Posted: October 09, 2004 at 12:04 AM (#906147)
I was almost able to let this go, but I can't...

And any suggestion of you "breaking any rules" was horseshit, IMO. There's no reason for a PC sympathy vote for players.

If objecting to a "tie goes to the white guy" methodology is PC, then I'm guilty as charged.

I also want to make clear (I didn't do a good job of it when it was brought up initially): I do not object to Alexander being ranked ahead of Williams. There is obviously a very strong argument for that, and the vast majority of the voters agree with it. I do object to the specific methodology of rating them even, then giving it to Alexander because he was fortunate enough to not have been excluded from the major leagues.
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2004 at 12:22 AM (#906242)
I do object to the specific methodology of rating them even, then giving it to Alexander because he was fortunate enough to not have been excluded from the major leagues.

Besides, there are stats for most of the Negro Leaguers in question. How those stats should be interpreted is another thing, but the same exact thing can be said for the white major leagues.

I feel, based on my interpretation of the statistics, that Alexander was better than Williams. However, I think one can make a case for Williams based on his stats. The guy was a monster pitcher for his time. It's not just a matter of setting up a quota (which I don't agree with for this project).
   108. Chris Cobb Posted: October 09, 2004 at 12:40 AM (#906320)
I had been asking repeatedly for any type of information statistics wise for Negro Leaguers but no one ever responded.

There are no good sources for Negro League statistics on line. The best print sources that I know of are (1) Riley's _Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, (2) Holway's _Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues_, and (3) one of the 1980s editions of the Macmillan _Baseball Encyclopedia_, which has some Negro League stats. I'm not sure which one it is.

Apparently a new, better statistical encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues is in preparation, but it looks like it will be released too late to help us.

It's to compensate for this lack of available data on line that we have individual threads on the major Negro-League candidates, to which people can post data from print sources. So the real answer to your question is that the best on line source for stats is probably the HoM.

The data posted here is what I use.

Many of us find the major-league equivalent projections at http://www.i9s.org helpful, though they need to be handled with care. KJOK has uploaded his MLE calculations for many Negro-League hitters to the HoM yahoogroups site, from which they can be downloaded.

And any suggestion of you "breaking any rules" was horseshit, IMO. There's no reason for a PC sympathy vote for players

jschmeagol's approach to ranking Negro-League players was clearly not breaking any rules. Nevertheless, there are substantive arguments against it. We're rating players on their merit as ballplayers, not on their ability to compile their careers exhaustively in statistics. To use the approach jschmeagol had proposed penalizes Negro-League players. It's not a big penalty, so it probably wouldn't have much effect on the elections, but it could have some effect.

Myself, I rank Negro-League players where my best interpretation of the data puts them. It's just as likely that fragmentary data shows them as worse than they actually were as it is that it shows them as better than they were.
   109. jimd Posted: October 09, 2004 at 01:51 AM (#906468)
Ballot for 1936

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

The greatest players are those who combine a high peak with longevity. However, a player can demonstrate greatness for a shorter period of time and then be unable to follow through with the longevity, which is partly a function of luck (amongst other things such as genetics and discipline). OTOH, a player can demonstrate longevity but not demonstrate "greatness" (no high peak).

Both of these types of players are flawed, but I think both have a place in the HOM, because there are not enough truly great players available to fill the HOM quota. I try to balance the two types, not leaning one way or the other. Although it may seem like my ballot caters to peak players, it only looks that way because the majority of voters here tend to elect most of the good career players (high peak or no) while leaving most of the great-peak/short-career guys behind.

1) G.C. ALEXANDER -- !

2) S.J. WILLIAMS -- !

3) H. JENNINGS -- Using rolling 5-year peaks for WARP-3, of those eligible, only he can claim to have been the "best player in baseball" (excluding those in the upper slots). All of the others have already been elected or are not yet eligible; elected to my PHOM over a decade ago.

4) H. HEILMANN -- Defense notwithstanding, too good an offensive peak to ignore, particularly on this ballot.

5) C. TORRIENTE -- !

6) M. CAREY -- Enough extra career over Hooper (by Win Shares) to land mid-ballot.

7) S. COVELESKI -- Very strong peak.

8) J. RYAN -- Here comes the glut. Much better peak than Van Haltren. Best outfielder of the late 1880's; not great after the train wreck.

9) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; looked at new WARP and liked what I saw.

10) F. JONES -- Reached the top of the OF heap before he walked away.

11) N. WILLIAMSON -- My system rates him just ahead of Groh at 3B.

12) H. GROH -- See above.

13) G. VAN HALTREN -- Not much more to say.

14) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's.

15) H. HOOPER -- Long solid career.

Just missing the cut are:
16-18) Bobby Veach, Tommy Bond, Silver King,
19-21) Herman Long, Jim Whitney, Jim McCormick,
22-24) Jose Mendez, Del Pratt, Gavy Cravath,
25-27) George Sisler, Hugh Duffy, Rube Waddell,
28-30) Spotswood Poles, Lip Pike, Clark Griffith
   110. OCF Posted: October 09, 2004 at 02:59 AM (#906656)
Although it may seem like my ballot caters to peak players, it only looks that way because the majority of voters here tend to elect most of the good career players (high peak or no) while leaving most of the great-peak/short-career guys behind.

Interesting point of view there. Just two comments about it:

1. I could understand, based on that sentiment, ignoring both Hooper and Beckley. I'm not so sure I understand Hooper on the ballot while Beckley is out of sight.

2. Can I interest you in the case of Frank Chance?
   111. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2004 at 03:35 AM (#906744)
Myself, I rank Negro-League players where my best interpretation of the data puts them. It's just as likely that fragmentary data shows them as worse than they actually were as it is that it shows them as better than they were.

That happened to me on a number of occasions, too.
   112. sunnyday2 Posted: October 09, 2004 at 04:02 AM (#906751)
The question of Alexander vs. Williams (which was better) is a separate question from whether a given method of rating NeLers is discriminatory or PC. I mean, obviously there is an intersection between the two, but they are still separate questions.

As to 1. We know that Alex won 373 games (well, actually, I don't *know* that right at this moment since I don't have the data in front of me, but I thik he won 373 games). Meanwhile, we have projections of 330 to 470 for Williams, but hell, for all we know it could be 200 ot 600, really. But it's more likely that it was 330 to 470. But is it more likely, then, to be halfway between, at 400? Or 330? Or 470? Which brings us to question 2.

Is it PC to say that it was (or should be interpreted as equivalent to) 470? Is it discriminatory to say 330? Is it PC to say 600, and/or discriminatory to say 200?

I think there is enough of 1) uncertainty, and 2) faithful effort that I would very seriously hesitate to say any of those things about anybody here.

But seriously, I have used Heisenberg's principle in this HoM exercise on many occasions, it's just that in the old days it was used as a way of comparing two white guys. Now it's different? I don't think schmeagol's method is unfair at all, just so long as (as has been said) it is used as sort of a tie-breaker. If OTOH you have two guys who seem as if they *might* be equal, whatever that means, and to us Uncertainty to ballot them at 5 and 15, that would be excessive.

Finally, buddha has been asking repeatedly for information statistics-wise? No wonder you didn't get a response ;-)

But yes, check the individual threads for individual NeL players, lots o' stuff.
   113. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2004 at 05:04 AM (#906769)
A question related to Buddha's query about NgL stats.

It seems like i9s.org is, somewhere in the 1940s, going to peter out in terms of being useful to us. They appear to have stopped posting projections for players whose careers they estimate as having begun after 1921. This bums me out both on the institutional level since the HOM makes good use of them, and also on a me-first level because I enjoy working with their projections, and I'm personally learning a frickin' ton about Negro League players by exploring this site.

Does anyone know whether i9s will be posting any more projections? Or whether they have completed projections for latter-day Negro Leaguers---and if so whether the HOM might be able to access those unposted projections in some way?
   114. Brent Posted: October 09, 2004 at 05:58 AM (#906783)
I use WS with various adjustments, for example, to give more weight to defensive excellence. I prefer to focus on great seasons rather than on career statistics.

1. Pete Alexander: He’ll be the number three pitcher in the HOM.

2. Smokey Joe Williams: A great pitcher – strong peak and long career. Not far behind Pete.

3. Cristóbal Torriente: Outstanding hitter and defensive center fielder. His turn is coming.

4. Hugh Duffy: Why do I have Duffy rated above Heilmann? Compare WS (adjusted to 154-game seasons) for their 8 best seasons; we see that Duffy has a clear advantage:

Duffy:
39, 33, 31, 29, 29, 29, 27, 25
Heilmann:
35, 32, 30, 30, 28, 27, 25, 24

Other considerations also tend to support Duffy:
- An A+ defensive outfielder.
- Duffy’s teams won 5 pennants.
- Duffy was a star in postseason play, 23 for 47 (.489) with 16 RBIs in 11 games.
- The one-league 1890s are under-represented in the HOM.

5. José Méndez: Bumped him up a little based on Chris Cobb’s latest findings. For about 5 years in the early teens he could match any pitcher not named Walter.

6. Hughie Jennings: If we’d like the 1890s to be fairly represented in the HOM, Jennings should be included.

7. Mickey Welch: The 1880s was a period when pitchers were unusually important, so I’m willing to find room for another great pitcher from that decade.

8. Spottswood Poles: With a high batting average, great speed, good fielding ability, and a good peak in a relatively short career, I see him as comparable to Duffy, so this seems to be about the right spot for him.

9. Stan Covaleski: I took another look and bumped him up a little; a good HOM candidate.

10. Harry Heilmann: I think he’s probably HOM-worthy, but close to the margin. Definitely not one of the top 100 players; I wouldn’t be unhappy if he had to wait a while for admittance.

In the debate over Heilmann’s defense, one point worth making is that during his prime, fielding – especially range – was an area of weakness for Detroit, which in other respects was usually a competitive team. While there are legitimate concerns about measuring individual fielding performance from the available statistics, team-level fielding statistics do provide reliable measures of performance, similar in quality to batting statistics. Here are Detroit’s rankings relative to the other teams in the AL for 1919-27:

Fldg Pct
5, 5, 5, 3, 4, 3, 2, 5, 6
DER
5, 7, 7, 7, 4, 6, 6, 8, 5
Fldg WS
5, 6, 8, 7, 7, 5, 6, 7, 5
   115. Brent Posted: October 09, 2004 at 05:59 AM (#906784)
11. Tommy Leach: I’ve only recently become aware of the extent to which Leach was respected while active and, indeed, considered a star. To some degree our images of early players tend to be shaped by batting lines in the encyclopedia, so it’s hard to picture these players the way the fans of the time did. But Paul Wendt’s SABR Deadball Era site presents some contemporary all-star teams selected by Baseball Magazine (for 1908-19) and by the League Presidents (during 1905). Leach appears as the NL 3B on the 1905 team and an NL OF on the 1909, 1910, and 1913 teams. Leach is definitely not just a product of The Glory of Their Times.

12. Vic Willis: Had several excellent seasons. Best pitcher in league for 1899 and 1901.

13. Max Carey: Lou Brock, plus a center fielder’s arm. Second-best fielder among HOM-eligible outfielders, after Tris Speaker.

14. Heine Groh: A fine player with some great seasons and a very good defensive 3B. His peak seasons were better than Leach’s, but his career didn’t last as long and he didn’t have quite as much glove skill.

15. Clark Griffith: I decided the next-best pitcher of the 1890s belongs on my ballot.

Other new players: I have Sisler ranked highest among 1B, but that’s still only good enough for # 27. Bancroft, who would have come close to making my ballot 5 years ago, is ranked at # 40. I’ve always been sympathetic to Cy Williams and the other struggling Phillies of the 1920s, but if Williams was their best player it’s no wonder that they often lost 90-100 games.

Not on my ballot:

Jake Beckley: I thumbed through my copies of TNBJHBA and Win Shares looking for other position players with at least 318 WS and close to 21.6 WS/162G. Some of the names I ran across were Willie Davis, Vada Pinson, Sam Rice, and Ernie Banks. Banks, of course, had a strong peak that Beckley is lacking. Davis, Pinson, and Rice, on the other hand, were all fine players, but not HOMers. I don’t understand the popularity of Beckley’s candidacy.

Lip Pike: Looking at the whole picture, not just OPS+, I don’t see the evidence of dominance.

Rube Waddell: I had him on my ballot for a while until I compared him to Willis.
   116. Andrew M Posted: October 09, 2004 at 12:27 PM (#906852)
I am honored to be able to cast my first ballot. Somewhat abridged from what I posted on the discussion thread a few days back.

1. Pete Alexander. One of the best ever, etc.

2. Smokey Joe Williams. Possibly the all-time best Negro League pitcher. Don't know whether he was as good as Alex, but he may have been.

3. Cristobal Torriente. Ahead of Heilmann b/c evidence suggests he was faster, a better fielder, and seems to have played at his peak longer. (HH's first 6 years in the ML don't look all that special to me.) Also, seems often to be described with superlatives you don't often here about Heilmann (e.g. "If I should see Torriente walking up the other side of the street I would say 'There goes a ball club.'")

4. Harry Heilmann. OPS+ of 148. 4 years of 30+ WS. Maybe the 2nd best OF in MLB 1923-27. Lots to like. Too bad about the fielding.

5. Heinie Groh. I may be over-valuing position scarcity, but the best NL 3B for a half dozen years, best MLB 3B 1917-20, MVP candidate 1917-19. Excellent fielding. (OK, I know it's a flawed stat, but his lifetime fielding pct. at 3B is an astounding .967) Short career, but not as short as Childs or Jennings.

6. Hugh Duffy. I've stared at the stats for contemporaries Duffy, Ryan, and Van Haltren and all I can conclude is that they look very similar. I've listed Duffy first for his (mostly) higher peak numbers, black ink, and defense measured by defensive WS per 1000 and Rate 2 score. Rapid decline at 33, but by then he'd accumulated 6500 or so ABs and that's enough for me.

7. Geo. Van Haltren. Long career. Enough peak. 13 WS seasons above 20, 2500+ hits, plus 700 innings of decent pitching.

8. Lip Pike. I buy the arguments in his favor. Dominant slugger (7 times in Top 10 slugging pct.) for the 2000 ABs we know about. 155 OPS+. Played almost every position on the field (though some not often or well.) Fast enough to outrace a horse and, presumably, other animals as well. I wish there was more hard evidence to go on, but I am comfortable placing him somewhere in the top 15.

9. Larry Doyle. A WARP3 casualty. I have Doyle ahead of Childs because I perceive him to be a more dominant and versatile offensive player (e.g. his gray ink is in things like HRs and slugging pct. while Childs's is in walks and OBA), he has 900 more ABs, and I agree with those who have written that his defense cannot have been that bad, right?

10. Jimmy Ryan. I like him slightly less than Van H. because of what look to me like slightly less impressive WARP3 totals and fewer games in CF. On the other hand, Ryan's got better OPS+ numbers and BP's "translated batting statistics" credit him with the equivalent of 415(!) HRs, though I don't know how they calculated this.

11. Cupid Childs. See comment on Doyle. Best 2B between McPhee and Lajoie. Got on base a lot. Relative to his ABs, his WARP3 score is comparable to Groh's.

12. Bobby Veach. Best player who was born or died on my birthday (Aug. 7). Outstanding peak between 1915-21 when he looks to me like the best AL OF not named Cobb, Jackson, Speaker, or Ruth. Would have legitimate HoM claim if only he could have played as long as, say, Max Carey.

13. Rube Waddell. Not only terrific peak numbers and lots of Ks, but also top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years, etc.

14. Ben Taylor. .334 lifetime BA (per Riley), by reputation a good fielding 1B who began as a pticher. WS and i9s estimates convince me he is a notch or two ahead of Sisler or Beckley.

15. Max Carey. Initially had him 5th, but became progresively less impressed (for now.) Very good at stealing bases and playing CF, and I suppose doing that for 9500 ABs is worth something. Not quite sure what to do with him yet. Does have the late-career surge so many of these guys don't.

16-20: Leach, Coveleski, Sisler, G. J. Burns, Shocker.

Required disclosure:
Jake Beckley. Just not enough peak for me.

Thanks guys.
   117. Chris Cobb Posted: October 09, 2004 at 02:39 PM (#906880)
Does anyone know whether i9s will be posting any more projections? Or whether they have completed projections for latter-day Negro Leaguers---and if so whether the HOM might be able to access those unposted projections in some way?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know that they have updated their postings at least once since we started drawing on their site around the beginning of 2004: they added new position players and expanded their pitching projections substantially. So they're still working. But I suspect that they are moving through time more slowly than we are, so we'll probably have to assess the Negro-League players who debuted after 1920 without the benefit of their views.
   118. ronw Posted: October 09, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#906974)
Way back when, I joined the i9's replay league, in part to get some background behind the projections. However, I have never played a game and have had very little information. I have no information on the projections beyond what is on the site.

I do know that the commissioner is busy with graduate school. I don't know if or when the league (and stats) will pick up.
   119. favre Posted: October 09, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#907332)
1.Grover Cleveland Alexander
2.Joe Williams
3.Cristobal Torriente
4.Harry Heilmann

Williams may have been better than Alexander, but only two other pitchers in the history of the majors have more than 373 wins, so I’ll give Pete the edge.

Give a 5% i9’s discount to Torriente, and he created 1435 runs; Duke Snider created 1436. There’s all sorts of difficulties with that comparison, but I like the analogy: Torriente’s Snider to Cobb’s Mantle and Speaker’s Mays. Heilmann was a tremendous hitter for a long time but, like many voters, I’m placing Torriente higher because of his defense.

5.Lip Pike
6.Jake Beckley

If Torriente was the Duke, then Pike was Dick Allen: outstanding hitter at an important defensive position, fairly short career, underrated by his peers because he was huge pain in the butt.

I understand why Beckley is as welcome to peak voters as the Dixie Chicks would be at the Republican National Convention. But I’m not really a peak voter, and Jake’s a good career pick. He has 316 unadjusted Win Shares, which modified for schedule length would be, what, 330-340 WS? Not a lock, but hardly an embarrassment to the HoM. His WARP3 career score is good (87.1). He had 13 seasons with an OPS+ of 123 or higher. His career grey ink is good, and he has very good counting stats; I know we have to take the 90s level of offense into account, but 2900 hits/1600runs/1500 RBI certainly doesn’t discourage me from putting him high on the ballot. His era is underrepresented as it is, and I can’t imagine inducting another first baseman who played between 1897 and 1915. I’m sold.

7.Stan Coveleski
8.Clark Griffith

I see these two as very comparable players; Coveleski pitched more innings compared to his contemporaries, so I’ve placed him above Griffith.

9.Heinie Groh
10.Tommy Leach

Leach has 324 career WS. We’ve elected every position player with more career Win Shares except Van Haltren (and now Carey), and Haltren’s WS (344) are distorted by his pitching stint. He played near flawless CF/3B and hit in a low offense era. I’m more and more convinced that he belongs. Groh was an even better player than Leach in his prime, and moves ahead of Tommy.

11.George Sisler
12.Rube Waddell

Cap Anson and Roger Connor retired in 1897, so we currently have a forty-year-and counting gap of first basemen in the HoM. Gehrig will reduce that to thirty; if we elect Beckley, the gap will be twenty years. Sisler, in his prime, looks a lot like Sam Thompson to me, although with a better batting average and less power. I’m also old school enough to be impressed by a guy who once hit .420.

Rube Waddell led the AL in K/IP for eight years, and was 2nd in another year. The lack of home runs reduces the value of strikeouts, but each K was an out that his defense didn’t have to record, and defenses were pretty lousy back then. He has three ERA+ titles. On the other hand, it appears he allowed a lot of unearned runs, his W-L records aren’t great…Waddell drives me crazy, which, given his life story, seems fitting.

13.Ned Williamson
14.Hugh Jennings
15.Pete Browning
16. Cupid Childs

Like Leach, Williamson was an excellent fielder and decent hitter, but played in more offense-friendly and overrepresented era. I now have Jennings ahead of Childs. Childs has more career value, but not by a huge amount, and Jennings’ peak is so much better. If you give Browning a healthy AA discount (obviously a matter of contention), then he was also a comparable player to Sam Thompson: relatively short career, not much defense, but a very good hitter.

17.Larry Doyle
18. Mickey Welch
19.Spotswood Poles
20.Max Carey
21.George Van Haltren
22.George Burns
23.Mike Tiernan
24.Jimmy Ryan
25.Jose Mendez
   120. Buddha Posted: October 09, 2004 at 09:32 PM (#907492)
Thanks for the information regarding the Negro League stats! I was looking all over the place for stuff like that. It's much appreciated.
   121. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2004 at 10:37 PM (#907661)
At this moment, I have 37 ballots submitted.
   122. Howie Menckel Posted: October 10, 2004 at 01:47 AM (#908252)
1936 ballot

1. JOE WILLIAMS - I 'elected' Joe last year. Best Negro League pitcher ever. Basically, a 400-game winner major league level. "In exhibition games against major leaguers, Williams compiled a 22-7-1 record with 12 shutouts. In 1915 he struck out 10 while hurling a 1-0 three-hit shutout over Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Phillies."
2. GROVER CLEVELAND ALEXANDER - I can't prove Smokey Joe was better, but that's my gut feeling. See 1936 ballot discussion thread for more on GCA's personal background. GCA in 1915: 31-10, 1.22 ERA, 225 ERA+. Not bad when you lead the league in ERA, ERA+, and innings!! Also may be one of 10 greatest pitchers ever.

3. HARRY HEILMANN - Harry's 1921-30 decade of hitting is inner-circle type stuff, but arthritic wrists prevented the spectacular ride from lasting just a little longer. We'll need to be careful not to be too dazzled by 1920s and 1930s stats, but when they're like Harry's, we also need to recognize that some of them ARE that spectacular. Not convinced that his defense was way below mediocre.
4. CRISTOBAL TORRIENTE - If you think the Smokey Joe No. 1 vote was charity, well, note that the wondrous Cristobal rates here below Heilmann. No great excluded players need any pity from us. I like the Clemente reference; but in both cases they were a little more fun to watch than they were accomplished - and that's not even a tiny insult. Did some quality LH pitching, too, for bonus credit. "When he joined the Chicago American Giants in 1919, Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston moved from centerfield to left field." In the 12 documented years that Torriente played in the Cuban League, he hit .352.
5. PETE BROWNING - Deserves a LONG second look from those overlooking him. Spectacularly good hitter, and his 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time. Has been discounted too much for AA numbers, and I'm not a big AA fan at all. But I'm more convinced that his fielding was awful than I am Heilmann's.
6. MICKEY WELCH - Pitching was extremely important in the 1880s in my mind, and this is the last one we need to close the books. I'm still convinced we got a little off-track in the Keefe-Welch-Clarkson discussion; OK if we rate Welch third in that bunch, but not sure how he got THIS far behind. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.
7. HEINIE GROH - He's above my HOMer line, thanks to positional consideration. But just barely. I think he may be a HOMer, but I'm happy to see him stew a while til we make sure.
8. GEORGE SISLER - Barely outperforms the pitching twins. I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer peaks while also providing a significant added portion of a career.
9. CLARK GRIFFITH - A personal favorite, and gets a pitching 'quota' bonus. It's remarkable how much better he was than the teams he pitched for. I think he was a brilliant strategist long before he became a manager, and it showed in his pitching.
10. STAN COVELESKI - I buy the idea that these two are very close, after another look at Stan's career. A bit of a transitional time for pitchers, which makes them tougher to compare across eras than hitters, I think.
11. TOMMY LEACH - Returns to my ballot after another look. The half-career at 3B and his overall defensive skills don't get enough credit; we may have to be careful in general not to underrate the 'hybrids.'
12. JAKE BECKLEY - I'm now firmly convinced that no one will ever explain what Keeler has that Beckley doesn't. And he's better than many here give him credit for.
13. HUGHIE JENNINGS - The yang to Beckley's yin hangs in, on the theory that a four-year megastar is better than entire careers of most of these balloteers. Enough peak for me to ask for not so much more, yet he supplies almost nothing else - and even plays so many games at 1B rather than SS. Tough call.
14. CUPID CHILDS - The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on this ballot. But I can't say I'm sure he belongs.
15. LIP PIKE - The Dick Allen comparisons seem apt. A little odd that he didn't get to play much with 'the big boys' at a time when they seemed to seek each other out, but the hitting numbers are damn good. My main trepidation is the murmurs about his ethics, but I voted Shoeless Joe No. 1. Or maybe we have enough 1870s guys.

JUST MISSED
JOSE MENDEZ - Best pitcher not on the ballot.

TOP 10 SNUBS
MAX CAREY - The SBs/pct puts him ahead of Hooper, but Harry didn't get much time in on my ballot. I'm not sure yet what to do with Max, though. WS overrates him.
RUBE WADDELL - I think the electorate is starting to realize that a lot of strikeouts and a wacky backstory do not a HOMer make.
   123. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2004 at 03:05 AM (#908365)
For Howie:

A short list of things that Keeler has that Beckley doesn't.

1) A real peak. Keeler's top 5 EQA are .341, .319, .314, .313, .312. Beckley's are .325, .312, .304, .303, .301. When you add in the fact that Keeler's defensive peak coincided with his offensive peak, he was one of the best players in the league during his peak. Beckley can never claim that distinction.

2) Career defensive value. Keeler was 125 fielding runs above average for his career. Beckley was 46.

3) Stronger competition. Beckley did his best work in the two-and-three team conditions prior to the demise of the AA, and in the NL of the aughts, which was the weaker league. Keeler had his peak in the one-league environment of the 1890s, and while Beckley was racking up his career stats in the weaker NL, Keeler was doing the same thing in the stronger AL.

Although their career stats are quite similar if you look at hits or OPS+ or even career EQA, there are many factors that each put Keeler a bit ahead of Beckley. When all of them are taken into account, it's clear that he was not a bit better than Beckley, but much better than Beckley.
   124. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 10, 2004 at 03:32 AM (#908389)
Minor note/gratuitous self-promotion, finally got up all the Notes section up on Rube Waddell on my site.
   125. Howie Menckel Posted: October 10, 2004 at 03:35 AM (#908392)
Thanks, Chris C!
I will consider each of those points in my next round of voting.
   126. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: October 10, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#908408)
1936 ballot:

1. Grover Cleveland Alexander: One of the best ever. I have on more than one occasion when watching Jeopardy! said, “Who is Alexander?” when the correct question was “Who is Grover Cleveland?” Quizzical looks from my wife have ensued. Fortunately, I’ve never confused Mr. McLish with a president or an emperor.

2. Smokey Joe Williams: Also one of the best ever. I’ve never confused him with a bear or a boxer.

3. Mickey Welch: The only “smudge” I see on Welch’s record is that pesky ERA+. Everything else I see says HOM. (PHOM 1929)

4. Cristobal Torriente: Terrific hitter. Also a top defender. The next 2 outfielders weren’t so good at the latter.

5. Harry Heilmann: Poor defense, but what a bat. I’ve always pictured him as a hulking behemoth, but 6’1”, 195 (if accurate) isn’t that hulking, and his triples totals indicate decent speed. A grade D rightfielder, but except for King Kelly, all the RFs so far that are on my list are C+ or lower.

6. Pete Browning: Mr. Peak. Monster hitter. Shorter career version of Heilmann. (PHOM 1927)

7. Jake Beckley: Mr. Career. Like the gray ink & counting stats. (PHOM 1926)

8. Stan Coveleski: I find him roughly comparable to Griffith, but with more good seasons, so he’s ahead.

9. Roger Bresnahan: The HOM needs catchers. (PHOM 1932)

10. Heinie Groh: More career at 3b and a better WS rate than Leach. HOM needs thirdbasemen, too.

11. George Sisler: Practically a perennial all-star before the illness, good but not great after.

12. Clark Griffith: Solid, long career. A top pitcher in the offense-heavy 90s.

13. Tommy Leach: A+ defense at two important positions, solid offense for the era.

14. Larry Doyle: Good offensive credentials. Defense? Well, McGraw was apparently happy with him at 2b.

15. Max Carey: Tremendous base-stealer, A+ defense, long career. My first impression was to slot him even higher, but it didn’t turn out that way. At the top of the horde of outfielders.


Formerly on the ballot, now waiting in the wings (’35 top 10ers in bold): Carl Mays, Ben Taylor, Hugh Duffy, Jose Mendez, Bill Monroe, Cupid Childs, Rube Waddell, Spots Poles, and Lip Pike.

New people of note:
Oliver Marcelle: By reputation, the best fielding 3b ever in the Negro Leagues. Falls in just behind Groh & Leach on my 3b depth chart.
Dave Bancroft: Like him a lot, but there’s only so many spaces on the ballot. Tops my ss depth chart.
   127. OCF Posted: October 10, 2004 at 04:38 AM (#908425)
At this moment, I have 37 ballots submitted.

I concur, with the proviso that Howie and Don make 39.
   128. Brian H Posted: October 10, 2004 at 07:05 AM (#908452)
1936 Ballot for Brian H.
1.GC Alexander - More interesting question is where Ole’ Pete ranks among all Pitchers all time. I am fairly confident he trails Johnson, somewhat confident he is behind Grove.... after that (Young, Matty, Clemens and the top Negro League hurlers) it becomes much more difficult..

2. Smokey Joe Williams – I feel bad about his placemen but my lack of insight into his greatness (caused largely by the paucity and unreliability of the existing Stats) makes it impossible for me to put him above the previous four. He may well have been the greatest Pitcher ever but “may” just won’t cut it against Alex. I still feel compelled to view him on a parallel ranking system as either the best or second best Negro League Pitcher. Where that places him among the top major League Pitchers is problematic to say the least. Either way he is plainly HOM material and its unfortunate (but understandable) that he didn’t get in sooner.
3. Cristobal Torrienti – My understanding is that in his prime he was every bit as good as Oscar Charleston but that his prime (and his career) were much shorter. If he had Charleston’s (or Cobb’s) legendary intensity he could very well lead this list. For that matter if he had the certain paycheck and organized major leagues to play in he might have also equaled the famously undisciplined Babe Ruth.

4Hugh Jennings – (3 AS + 2 MVP) His peak is among the highest ever at SS. He was not merely the top SS of an era abundant with outstanding shortstops. – the one-league 1890’s.. James (a peak fan) ranks Jennings 18th , just above Dahlen among all SSs... Jennings was an integral part of the “Old Orioles” dynasty of the ‘90s.

5. Frank Chance (7 AS, 1 MVP) Chance was the was the premier 1B in baseball for several years (weak years for the position). Conversely, I have Beckley as the top 1B for only a few years. Very valuable on the bases.....Chance could rank higher if: (A) He was accorded credit for managing the Cubs; or (B) He was more durable player and put up career numbers like his longtime nemesis Fred Clarke.
6. Roger Bresnahan (4 STATS AS)– Yes I am bringing him back on ballot in a Big Way. Here’s why:
Obviously his (primary) position is seriously under-represented; we have elected no Major league who played after Buck Ewing and don’t figure to until Hartnett/Cochrane. This is nothing new to the voters. But while trying to place Sisler I stumbled across a ranking in the STATS All-Time Source Book. placing Bresnahan as the #1 all-time Catcher in Relative (to league) Runs Created at 150 (topping Cochrane by some fraction). While IROD or Piazza may very well have passed him up since this book was issued after the 1997 season it did cause me to revisit Bresnahan and move him from just under the ballot (around 18-20 perhaps) all the up to #6.

7.Hugh Duffy –(2 AS, 1 MVP) Duffy was integral part of Boston’s “team of the 90’s”. He had an exceptional peak and enough of a career that I can’t call it a fluke. Renowned as a heads-up player and a top-notch fielder.

8.Cupid Childs (5 AS) – I had him above McPhee based on his peak and strength of competition (as does James). I also think he hit a bit better than Bid (although his fielding was clearly inferior). Terrific player from the underappreciated (by us at least) 1890's.

9Harry Heillmann (7 AS) - Top flight hitter during a hitter’s era. For now I’ve got him here but I’m starting conservatively.

10.George Sisler (1 MVP, 6 AS) – Overrated yes but not THAT overrated. Strong peak before sinus problems and a few years of accumulating numbers. Renowned as a great fielder – the stats disagree. His slugging is weaker than Heillmann and his pennant impact pales next to Chance’s.

11.Heinie Groh (4 AS) – Better than I thought he would be.... The best 3B on the Board right now. His career gives him the edge over Mugsy.
12..Carl Mays (6 STATS AS) – Unfortunately one pitch forever tarnishes his legacy. My sense is that even with the election of Smokey Joe Williams we will still be under representing Pitchers. Certainly that is true if one views the HOF as a decent baseline. Mays probably threw the most effective rising fastball ever (because he threw from down under his heater actually could have risen). One of these heaters got away (at least that’s my take) and accounts for Major League Baseball’s sole fatality. This notorious “one that got away” also may have played an often unacknowledged role in the end of the “dead ball” era..

13..Mickey Welch – Well I’ve always had a soft spot for him (see earlier ballots)... His 300+ Wins are legit. I wonder why James leaves him off his top 100 but lists Mullane (whose career numbers need to be depreciated somewhat since he played in the AA) instead.

14.Stanley Covalevski – One of the dominant Pitchers of his era he passes Griffith (getting by Welch requires further analysis.) I’m comfortable listing him above Waddell and Joss when I factor in their gaudy dead ball numbers.

15. Clarke Griffith – Among the top Pitchers for the (in my opinion) underappreciated 1890's. For his day I do not see him as quite as strong as either Covaleski or Mays. The comparison between him and Smilin’ Mickey is a bit tougher for me, but I’m still leaning towards the 300 game winner based on some of the arguments advanced over the past few “years”.
   129. Brian H Posted: October 10, 2004 at 07:06 AM (#908453)
Brian H. 1936 Continued:


off-ballot-
Max Carey – even with more “timelining” credit than I am generally comfortable with James ranks him four notches below Duffy. I doubt anyone could have ever argued that he was the best of his time even at his position. He ranks 16.

Pete Browning (8 AS !) – A better AA hitter you will not find. Not as good all around as Stovey – a much better career than O’Neill . His early AA years are discounted. I think he’s made my ballot every year he’s been eligible until now. I’m sure he’ll be back.

Rube Waddell – (3 AS, 1 CY + 1 MVP) – one of the greatest strikeout Pitchers of all time. If he had the legendary savvy of Griffith, for example, he probably would have won 300 games and become a first ballot HOMer.

Addie Joss – His truncated career leaves him off. I don’t believe his contributions were ever quite up to the bar for the HOM for such a short career (as established by Caruthers and Jennings, for example).

Lip Pike – I guess the ultimate explanation for why he falls behind guys is that I hold his era in relatively low esteem and I don’t really believe he was dominant enough to overcome that.

Van Haltren (VH) - Strong career but not up to what I look for in a peak for his position.

Jimmy Ryan – I like his peak a bit more than VH’s career but neither approaches the list with the 7 new entries. His train accident may be what keeps him out of the HOM.... as I recall he had quite a career going until that time.

Jake Beckley – Same as VH above only much more so. I believe we are selling short (especially relative to the 1900's and 1880's). As a 1B he rates well-below Chance and just below Ed Konetchy (Sp ?).

Dobbie Moore – While I do feel it is important to have positional balance in the HOM – I do not believe that is it imperative we have positional balance in out Negro League inductees. The Negro Leagues players generally were far more likely to play many
   130. jonesy Posted: October 10, 2004 at 01:08 PM (#908488)
Randy Johnson throws left and bats right. Rube Waddell threw left and batted right.

In Mid-May 1910, Waddell, while batting, was hit on his (exposed)left (pitching) elbow in Boston with a pitch thrown by Eddie Cicotte. The initial report was that the elbow was shattered. A later diagnosis in fact found that no bones were broken. Waddell missed significant time and did not pitch effectively again - ever - in his major league career; though he did have a couple of good seasons in the minors (at least one 20-win season at Minneapolis if I recall correctly).

I ran across this interesting story while reading the 1910 Sporting Life. I don't recall if Alan Levy's bio on Waddell touched on this.

While based on his 1909 season Waddell appears to have been on the decline, it would not be totally unexpected that though - minus the timing of the Cicotte/elbow incident - he rebound for a little more career value.

I am not advocating any credit for assumed value but had this career-ending event happened recently to someone like Randy Johnson, it would never be forgotten. Waddell, like many pre-WW II stars - both white and black - are victims of the historical time-line.
   131. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 10, 2004 at 03:13 PM (#908523)
Brian H,

I find what you said about Bresnahan very interesting. He is curretnly just off my ballot (#17) but if he ranks above Bench and Berra in RCAP he should probably be on the ballot. Right now there are seriously 19 guys that I want on my ballot but I will take another look at Roger.
   132. OCF Posted: October 10, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#908559)
The offensive number I play it isn't exactly RCAP - it's more related to RCAA. In that, I have Bresnahan about halfway between Cochrane above him and Schang below him. Some others that I have very similar in offensive value to Bresnahan at other positions are: Hooper, Carey, Veach, Frisch.

But, you say, what about measuring him against position? Weren't there a lot of terrible-hitting catchers in his day? Yes there were. But there's always a complication with Bresnahan: in his best offensive years, he wasn't a catcher, he was an outfielder. The numbers I'm citing above include his offensive value as an outfielder.
   133. karlmagnus Posted: October 10, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#908561)
Brian H, you forgot Wally Schang, who we get next year. MUCH better than Bresnahan for much longer; he will be well above Groh on my ballot and I'd be surprised if we haven't elected him by 1940.

Chris Cobb, your anti-Beckley rant cannot stand uncorrected. Beckley played 1152 games in the single-league period of 1892-1900, compared to Keeler's 952. There is agreement that the NL of the '10s was the weaker league, there is no such agreement about the NL of the '00s, which won 4 World Series to the AL's 2.
   134. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 10, 2004 at 05:11 PM (#908588)
1. Smokey Joe Williams (2) - (420-256 conservative estimated record). Just a monster pitcher. At worst the 3rd greatest pitcher of his generation (after Johnson and Alexander).

2. Pete Alexander (n/e) - (369-212 CJ) I was going to vote Alexander #1, but how can I justify that based on the numbers I'm quoting?

3. Harry Heilmann (n/e) - The Gary Sheffield of his era. A monster hitter with a questionable glove. Easy choice at #3 for me.

4. Cristobal Torriente (4) - Chris Cobb projects him around 375 WS, with 5 seasons over 30. Amazing that this is only good enough for 6th place this year . . .

5. Clark Griffith (5) - (231-152 CJ). His aWARP3 is best on the ballot aside from McCormick, and his two best years show as more valuable than McGinnity's (though McGinnity had 4 such years total). I'm having a tougher time with keeping Griffith this high . . . I'll hold off on moving him for a week.

6. Jake Beckley (6) - Very good player for a very long time, much better than an average player. Good for 22-25 WS a year for about 13-14 years. That has a lot of value in my opinion. I also believe that 1B defense was more important in his time, and that gets him a subjective nudge forward from where modern methods place him. I see him as more Rafael Palmeiro than Harold Baines.

7. Lip Pike (7) - He was a great hitter. 155 OPS+ do not grow on trees . . . major bump, as his mainstream statistically documented career doesn't include his accomplishments before age 26.

8. Bill Monroe (8) - Still not convinced he was better than Grant or Johnson, but I am confident he should be ranked near Pike and Jones.

9. Heine Groh (9) - Another great peak, but it wasn't as great as Jennings'. Groh has more meat on the bones of his resume, but it was still a short career, and I'm conservatively ranking Jennings higher right now. I don't see how Groh can't rank ahead of Williamson. He's actually quite comparable to a player like Ryne Sandberg - with less power, but on base a lot more.

10. Charley Jones (10) - Top 7 in OPS+ in the league every year he played from 1876-85, and he played some CF too. Wow. Was better than I realized.

11. Mickey Welch (11) - (302-215 CJ). He comes out basically a little below McGinnity, Willis, et al. Throw in some timeline, and he's below them. But Chris J. has mentioned that he was generally matched up against the other teams's best pitchers, so that gives him some bump. He compares better to the top pitchers (Clarkson 299-207 CJ, Radbourn 292-212 CJ, Galvin 361-313 CJ) of his era than I previously thought. I've been convinced that it doesn't make sense to rank them highly and not Welch - and I ranked them highly.

12. Stan Coveleski (12) - (212-145 CJ) Outstanding pitcher, career reminds me of Mike Mussina's.

13. Max Carey (13) - I'm not sure about him - he wasn't as good a hitter as Hooper, but he was a great defensive CF and a blazing runner. Is baseball reference correct that he was 51/53 as a basestealer in 1922? Wow. He's basically the Lou Brock of the 10s and 20s, but playing good CF instead of shaky LF (Brock made about 15 errors a year).

14. Hughie Jennings (14) - Great peak, but it was just 5 years, there's not a lot on the resume besides that. His career number turned out higher than I expected (on the strength of those 5 great seasons), and when you throw in the peak, well, here he is.

15. George Van Haltren (15) - Nice, long, consistent career, very good player for a long time. Not a bad fielder, but not a great one either, pretty good hitter. Never had a monster year, he didn't make any Stats All-Star teams, but he also played mostly in a one-league era, where only 3 All-Star OFs were named per year, not 6.

Sisler and Bancroft are just off my ballot right now. I need to take a good look at Bancroft's defense but I could see moving him up next year.
   135. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 10, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#908637)
In Mid-May 1910, Waddell, while batting, was hit on his (exposed)left (pitching) elbow in Boston with a pitch thrown by Eddie Cicotte. The initial report was that the elbow was shattered. A later diagnosis in fact found that no bones were broken.

On May 10th, in his next-to-last career start, he went up against Boston, who had Cicotte. EC didn't start, but he did have 6 relief appearances.
   136. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2004 at 07:45 PM (#908833)
Chris Cobb, your anti-Beckley rant cannot stand uncorrected. Beckley played 1152 games in the single-league period of 1892-1900, compared to Keeler's 952.

I did not claim that Keeler played more games than Beckley in the single-league period; I claimed that Beckely's best seasons did not come in the single-league period, while Keeler's did.

Beckley's OPS+ 89-91, 01-05, best to worst
152, 144, 138, 131, 127, 126, 126, 112

Beckley's OPS+ 92-00, best to worst
133, 128, 127, 126, 124, 122, 112, 105, 102

Considering that Beckley's 2-league seasons came when he was 21-23 and 33-37, while his one-league seasons came at the ages of 24-32, it seems a fair inference that Beckley's best seasons derive a small part of their luster from weaker competition.

There is agreement that the NL of the '10s was the weaker league, there is no such agreement about the NL of the '00s, which won 4 World Series to the AL's 2.

There may not be consensus, but the position that the AL was the better league from 1902 on has been strongly argued on this site, and I find the case convincing. The NL was not _much_ weaker than the AL during these years, but weaker it was.
   137. Cblau Posted: October 10, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#909002)
Per Chris J.:
On May 10th, in (Waddell's) next-to-last career start, he went up against Boston, who had Cicotte. EC didn't start, but he did have 6 relief appearances.

And that was one of them. Per the Chicago Tribune, Cicotte's pitch shattered Waddell's elbow.
   138. Adam Schafer Posted: October 10, 2004 at 09:56 PM (#909003)
I'm back...I don't think anyone has posted my ballot from the discussion thread here yet.

1. Pete Alexander (n/a) - A no brainer, especially when everyone already knows I have a tendency to vote for pitchers anyway.

2. Smokey Joe Williams (3) - Simply amazing that someone so good had to wait so long to get in.

3. Harry Heilmann (n/a) - I love the peak, career and consistency, I wish I could've had him at #1.

4. Mickey Welch (4) - These recent ballots sure hurt his #1 and #2 ranking I've been keeping him at. I'm beginning to realize that he's probably never going to get elected. He'll stay near the top of my ballot every year even if I'm the last one voting for him.

5. George Sisler (n/a) - This is going to be an unpopular vote I know, but his peak was great, and there's enough career for me put him this high. What George has really done, is convinced me to move Beckley up on my ballot again.

6. Clark Griffith (5) - Same old story for Clark

7. Stan Coveleski (6) - I initially had him ranked 17th on my ballot, but since then I've read everyone's comments on him and have decided that I had him way too low.

8. Jake Beckley (12) - Not far off from Sisler.

9. Rube Waddell (7) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

10. Cristobal Torriente (8) - EXCELLANT player, just not in Pop or Smokey Joe territory



-----------------------My PHOM line-----------------------------------------------------------

11. Lip Pike (9) - I bump him ahead of a couple others this year as I am convinced he was a bigger stud than I was willing to let myself believe. I can see him finally getting in one of these days.

12. George Van Haltren (10) - Moves ahead of Beckley and Bresnahan.

13. Jose Mendez (11) -

14. Max Carey (13) - Not much peak, but enough career to scratch in at #13

15. Roger Bresnahan (14) - It's no secret that I love catchers. I would've ranked Roger higher had he caught more and played the OF less during his peak years.

16. Carl Mays (15) - People may laugh that he made my ballot, but Carl could pitch. With Sisler and Welch so high, I already have two unpopular votes, so what's one more for them to laugh at?

17. Hughie Jennings (16) - Nothing new to add

18. Heinie Groh (17) - One of the best thirdbasemen to date. Not enough career value for me to seriously consider him.

19. Bobby Veach (18) - Not enough career for him to merit a higher ranking on my ballot, but enough peak to grab a lower spot.

20. Jimmy Ryan (19) - A watered down Van Haltren

21. Eddie Cicotte (20) - Underrated in my opinion. May not be HOM material, but underrated nonetheless.

22. Urban Shocker (21) - 8 good pitching seasons. Nothing spectacular, but a respectable career.

23. Hugh Duffy (22) - Back onto my ballot. No new thoughts on him

24 Harry Hooper (23) - nothing overly impressive about his career. I originally thought he would rank much higher than this on my initial ballot, but he just doesn't meet the qualifications in my mind that everyone above him does.

25. Jim McCormick (24) - He's no Mickey Welch
   139. Jeff M Posted: October 11, 2004 at 01:39 AM (#909301)
1936 Ballot

1. Alexander, Pete – I can’t imagine how good he would have been if he hadn’t been a lush. Among all the other accomplishments, third highest Wins Above Team of all time, behind Young and The Big Train.

2. Williams, Smoky Joe – I’ve got him at about 400 WS, which is a great career number, but is spread out over 23 years, which gives him only a modest peak. Definitely the best pitcher on the ballot and definitely a HoMer.

3. Heilmann, Harry – A fairly dominant hitter, but his defense keeps him from the elite If not for this project, it would never have occurred to me he played 17 games at 2b.

4. Torriente, Cristobel -- I’ve got him around 380 WS (using Puckett as a defensive comp), putting him shy of Smoky Joe, which I think is about right. Fairly even with Heilmann, but I always break the ties with the player for whom we have more data. I think he belongs in the HoM.

5. Coveleski, Stan – Negatively affected by not pitching as long as some of the other pitchers under consideration, so his career numbers are not as impressive. Every other player who scored as high in my system has been elected.

6. Browning, Pete -- I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. One of the best hitters we've evaluated or ever will evaluate. An outfielder in the early years, so I doubt his suspect defense detracts much from his overall value. Would have been in the majors earlier if not for the ear problem.

7. Groh, Heinie – Excellent fielder with a high extended peak. Would fare better on my ballot if he played a bit longer and had some more grey or black ink. But still damned good.

8. Monroe, Bill -- Alleged comp is Jimmy Collins. He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe.

9. Sisler, George – Thought he would come in higher, but has poor defensive scores and WARP doesn’t like him much. Also doesn’t have the typical HoM RBI and runs scored numbers.

10. McGraw, John – The guy’s OBP was .466! I would prefer a longer career, but among the backlog, I think he deserves some recognition. Plus, we aren’t too deep at 3b in the HoM. Groh is more deserving.

11. Jones, Charley -- No additional credit for blacklisted seasons. He hit about as well as McVey, with power, but with a smaller WS peak and fewer WS per 162 games. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning because of the relatively short career and lack of notoriety. Also, he was a bit chunky.

12. Griffith, Clark -- An excellent win pct on some bad teams. I boost his win totals and win pct by approximately 1/2 of his WAT. Has a nice career Linear Weights total also.

13. Duffy, Hugh -- Some good counting stats, good grey ink and scores well on WS and WARP1 measures.

14. Mays, Carl – Better peak than career, and WS looks better than WARP1. A couple of MVP caliber seasons, and several other All-Star caliber seasons. Probably won’t make my PHoM, but is right on the edge.

15. Bresnahan, Roger -- In my system he was quite a bit better as a hitter than Charlie Bennett, though certainly not as good defensively (and not a full-time catcher). If you stack Bresnahan's WS and WARP1 numbers against the catchers actually elected to the HoF, he looks very solid. But then again, he wasn’t a full-time catcher.

Required Disclosures:

Waddell, Rube -- Comparable to Griffith, but win totals are far less impressive. Can't see putting him ahead of Griffith, unless you overvalue strikeouts. He floats on and off my ballot. Currently #16.

Carey, Max – Excellent defender and a good, but not great hitter. Defense only counts so much in the outfield. It doesn’t make up for the difference between his hitting and the centerfielders we tend to elect. He’s #18 in my system, behind Bobby Veach (barely) and ahead of Tommy Leach.

Beckley, Jake – All career. Not much peak as HoMers and HoFers go. Only ordinary in black ink and Keltner tests. He’s #20 in my system, behind Tommy Leach and ahead of Tony Mullane.

Pike, Lip – Gut tells me he doesn’t quite belong. I’ve explained aplenty, so I won’t say more here. He’s #35 in my system, behind Urban Shocker and ahead of Hughie Jennings. Less than half of us think he’s top 10.
   140. Esteban Rivera Posted: October 11, 2004 at 01:49 AM (#909327)
Third straight year where two inner circle types get elected to the Hall of Merit.

1. Pete Alexander - Edges Williams for the top spot. One of the five greatest pitchers in history in my opinion.

2. Smokey Joe Williams - If the sketch being drawn of Smokey Joe's career is almost Alexander, that is something to behold. Finally gets his due induction.

3. Cristobal Torriente - An absolute gem of a ballplayer. I will feel very honored to have been a part of giving this gentleman his due when he is inducted into the HOM.

4. Harry Heilmann - A fantastic hitter. Edged out by what I feel is the more complete player in Torriente.

5. Lip Pike - One of the best players in early baseball. The pre-NA numbers confirm what I have believed about his early career.

6. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the Player's League.

7. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of "years" have made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

8. Rube Waddell - Was a special picher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was jettisoned because his managers did not know how to deal with his unique personality.

9. George Sisler - Put up enough career with a very good to great peak that he goes above Beckley.

10. Clark Griffith - The more that I look at him the more I realize I have been underestimating his accomplishments. The fourth best pitcher of the 90's should be in.

11. Jake Beckley - The career man. What he accomplished during his career is enough to offset the lack of peak, so to speak.

12. Stan Coveleski - So far what I have seen has me inclined in his favor. How he compares to his contemporaries will decide whether he's in or out.

13. Hughie Jennings - A historical monster for five years.

14. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. However, I feel his peak gives him the edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

15. Bill Monroe - Keep gaining confidence in him. Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.


Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Max Carey - Bumped by George Sisler. Will be back soon.
Heinie Groh - Just edged out by Max Carey. Most likely back in the next three years.
   141. Ken Fischer Posted: October 11, 2004 at 03:28 AM (#909379)
1936 Ballot

1-Grover Cleveland Alexander 476 WS
No-brainer…one of the all-time greats

2-Smokey Joe Williams
Smokey Joe rates ahead of Paige on some all-time charts. Johnson, Foster and maybe Mathewson are his only rivals for the best pitcher we’ve voted on.

3-Cristobal Torriente
Torriente was a five tool player elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 (first class). He played well against white major leaguers.

4-Harry Heilmann 356 WS
Heilmann deserves to be in the top 5 on this ballot. He never has gotten his due since he played in the offense crazy 20s. But topped only by Ruth & Hornsby in Win Shares during the decade.

5-Max Carey 351 WS
It’s hard to ignore Max’s win shares. In the 60s he was asked by Sport Magazine (I think it was Sport) who was the best Center Fielder of all-time. He named himself. I guess he wasn’t impressed by Mays & Mantle. Max was helped by live ball era but it’s hard to ignore the 738 lifetime steals.

6-Pete Browning 225 WS
Grey Ink looks favorable. The Players League year removes the AA discount as an obstacle for me. His defense takes a lot criticism. But he had a lot of merit besides being the original Louisville Slugger and a great story.

7-Lip Pike
Great numbers even though he was in the twilight of his career during the NA days. I believe Pike will eventually make the HOM. He’ll probably have to wait until the automatics of the mid-30s clear out.

8-George Van Haltren 344 WS
Van played with Ryan briefly in the 1880s and was a teammate of Ed Williamson and Christy Mathewson at different times in his career. The fact he was traded to Pitt for an HOM caliber player (J. Kelley) is one more reason he deserves election.

9-Jimmy Ryan 316 WS
Ryan saw success early with the White Stockings then never tasted a pennant again after 1886. Leaving the MLB scene for 1901 hurt his career stats.

10-Mickey Welch 354 WS
His win shares numbers show he was more than just the 1885 season. McCormick, Mullane and Mathews also deserve another look from the 19th Century.

11-Jake Beckley 318 WS
Like his career value. Connor, Crawford and O’Rourke and Clarke are all comps. Jake will eventually make into the HOM.

12-Jose Mendez
John Holway says some records credit Mendez with a 44-2 record in 1909. He was considered the best black pitcher of his time.

13-Carl Mays 256 WS
Penalized for Chapman incident and pitching in a high run-producing era. Mays was hard to get along with but was a gamer. Had strong numbers for 3 teams spread out across his 15 year career.

14-Rube Waddell 240 WS
Despite short career Waddell still makes the A’s all-time top 30 list for Win Shares. Mack signed Rube out of the coast league in 1902. The big cities of the east must’ve been quite a site for Rube.

15- Roger Bresnahan 231 WS
His numbers don’t match up well with the top catchers outside his era but well within his own time. The Deadball era appears to have been tough on backstops.

Coveleski & Groh are in my top 25 but don’t crack the ballot. I rank Waddell’s feats ahead of Stan…Waddell meant much more for his decade (1900s) than Coveleski did in his (1920s). I still don’t catch the wave on Groh. I’ll continue to research him. Right now I'm holding fast to the several 19th Century guys on my ballot. Besides having what I consider other valid reasons to keep them on the ballot, Browning, Van and co. need to stay aboard so we don't forget about them.
   142. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 11, 2004 at 03:56 AM (#909422)
Just for the record, here's a rough breakdown of HoMers by league for the 1902-1910 period (# of years as regular or semi-regular)
NL:(9) Clarke, Wagner, Mathewson, Sheckard, (8) Brown, (7) Dahlen, (6) Magee, (5 1/2) McGinnity, (4 1/2) Kelley, (1) Keeler, Crawford, Wheat

AL: (9) Lajoie, Plank, Wallace, Young, (8) Crawford (7) Keeler, Flick (6) J. Collins, Davis, (5) Walsh, Cobb, (4) Burkett, (3) Johnson, E. Collins (2) Delahanty, Baker, Speaker (1/2) Kelley, McGinnity

Hmmm, actually looking at it, I'd tend to say that while the AL had more HoMers in that era, a fair amount of them were 1890s NLers still sticking around (at varying rates of effectiveness), and the stars of the 1910s getting their feet wet.

Compare what I'd think of as the top 8 in each league:
NL: Wagner, Mathewson, Clarke, Brown, Dahlen, McGinnity, Sheckard, Magee
AL: Lajoie, Crawford, Davis, Plank, Young, Flick, Wallace, J. Collins

Granted, that helps the NL because that's most of what they have and it leaves out Cobb, but I think I'd give an edge to the NL there. YMMV, but I think I'd agree with karlmagnus' conclusion in post #133.
   143. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 11, 2004 at 04:51 AM (#909458)
Well, due to this being a bad time of year at work (one more week to go), I didn't really do much reviewing of existing candidates, so the ballot really didn't change much. I'll do better next time.

Alexander and Williams make my HoM this year.

1. Grover Cleveland Alexander (new) Hey, if ESPN wants to keep making sports movies, maybe they could do his story semi-right? The last guy to play him made out pretty well...

2. Smokey Joe Williams (3) Underappreciated even by Negro League standards, given his numbers.

3. Harry Heilmann (new) A truly impressive hitter, and I tend to agree that his defense couldn't have been that horrible if he played that much. I wonder if the pitchers who had to work with the Fothergill-Heilmann combo have unusual records in any way.

4. Cristobal Torriente (4) Another great player who has a decent argument as the HoF's biggest omission. Could rank ahead of Heilmann, was also overshadowed by a truly amazing talent (Ruth/Charleston)

5. Lip Pike (5) Seems to be among the best 5 or 6 players in baseball for almost a decade, which no one below him on the ballot can say. And I think I'm voting for Dick Allen as well. Made my PHoM in 1919.

6. Heinie Groh (6) I only see Leach as even close to him among eligible 3Bmen. McGraw doesn't have enough career length, Williamson just isn't that great, Cross just played forever at an OK level. Further ahead of Leach on peak than behind him on career; similarly, his offensive advantage is bigger than Leach's defensive. Similar to Childs in a lot of ways, but slightly better.

7. Cupid Childs (7) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. His career is on the short side, but he was the best second baseman of the 1890s, whatever you feel that's worth. Made my HoM in 1932.

8. Bill Monroe (8) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Have him close to Childs, but I'm just less certain he was really good enough to make the HoM. Well ahead of DeMoss.

9. Jimmy Ryan (9) The new WARP pushes Van Ryan back closer to Griffin and Duffy, but I still think they're a little bit better. Very good players for a reasonably long time, but don't think they were ever great.

10. George Van Haltren (10) Behind Ryan, because Ryan's peak is just a little better and I don't think the pitching should help Van Haltren that much. Either way, they're close enough that I don't understand why GVH is significantly ahead in the balloting.

11. Tommy Leach (11) Comparison to Groh shows I've been underrating him some. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter.

12. Jose Mendez (12) A very good pitcher who had some excellent seasons. Part of me isn't sure he's better than every eligible white pitcher, but then I look at those guys and go "eh".

(12A Sam Thompson)

13. Max Carey (13) There's a lot of CF on the ballot, but his combination of offensive and defensive value is better than the corner OFs. Not a great peak, but it's not as poor as Beckley's. And for all the beating WS is taking about his rating, he does come out clearly ahead of non-immortals on WARP as well.

14. Stan Coveleski (14) Maybe I listen to WARP too much on pitchers, but there was an excellent post comparing him to Griffith, and he comes out a little ahead in a lot of areas.

(14A Rube Foster)

15. Spotswood Poles (15) His numbers seem similar to Monroe's, but he's an OF instead of a 2B. His defensive reputation appears good.

16. Hughie Jennings (16) Not too sure that his peak is so important anymore.
17. Clark Griffith (17) I don't think he was hugely better during the 90s than the non-HoMers, but he did stay around a lot longer.
18. Ben Taylor (18) Not sure I have a handle on him yet, but he's a little better than Beckley to me for now.
19. George Sisler (new) His peak is good, but doesn't stick out like Jennings', and his career value isn't anything special. A little ahead of Beckley, but they're both limited candidates.
20. Bobby Veach (19) Has good peak value and a halfway decent career value. Seems like a good fielder for a corner OF.
21. Del Pratt. (20) WARP likes him a LOT more than Win Shares does. More well-rounded than Doyle.
22. Harry Hooper (21) Similar to Wheat in some ways, but not as good. Pretty low OPS+ for a corner OF candidate.
23. Mike Griffin (22) I love the guy and so does WARP, but doesn't quite match up to the other OFs. Wish he hadn't retired when he did.
24. Jake Beckley. (23) There is a TON of career value. But when your best 5 years by WARP3 are below Lip Pike, that's a lack of peak.
25. Dave Bancroft (new) Not a major embarassment to the HoF (and James said as much), but not much to seperate him from the Pratt-Doyle-Long MI glut.
26. Jim McCormick (24) Not that far behind the other 1880s pitchers.
27. Larry Doyle. (25) Seems to be Hornsby lite (very good hitter, lousy fielder).
28. Mickey Welch (26) Still won't put him ahead of McCormick. New WARP hates him! (that's a comment, not an argument)
29. Oliver Marcelle (new) An outstanding fielder, although not much of a hitter. Certainly a very good player.
30. Herman Long (28) Not that interesting a candidate, this is where the numbers put him.
31. Vic Willis (28) He had a lot of very good years, and might still move up.
32. Dobie Moore (29) I do see him as pretty similar to Jennings, but it's a tight ballot.
33. Charley Jones (30) Had some excellent years, but we may be underestimating the boost from a weak AA.
34. Rube Waddell (31) I don't see what gets people so excited. Strikeouts are nice to look at, but outs are outs
35. Carl Mays (32) Has an impressive W-L record, but doesn't bring much else to the table. Not impressive on ERA+, SNWL, or Chris's Pythag W-L.
   144. EricC Posted: October 11, 2004 at 01:00 PM (#909615)
1936 ballot.

Season-by-season ratings for each player determined by rate of performance relative to peers in the same season, based on win shares per plate appearance (for batters) or ERA+ (for pitchers), corrected for league strength. The best string of consecutive seasons (the "prime") is then determined for each player. Final ratings are based on a combination of the strength and length of the prime.

1. Pete Alexander (N) Similarity scores say that Mathewson was the most similar. I say that Kid Nichols was the most similar. If that's the kind of argument that you inspire, then you'll have no problem getting past the HoM bouncers.

2. Joe Williams (N-5-3 last year) Long career of excellence.

3. Harry Heilmann (N) Dominated RF so much over such a stretch that he easily makes the top half of my PHoM.

4. Stan Coveleski (N-6-4) Perhaps the litmus test of how deep we will go in 1910-1930 era pitchers. While part of me realizes that it's unfair that legal spitball pitchers such as Shocker, Coveleski, and Faber do so well in my system, I have to like Coveleski's 3082 IP and 127 ERA+.

5. Cristobal Torriente (N-7-5) I would think that he would have to be elected to Cooperstown eventually. His career stats look like those of a HoFer who was kept out of the major leagues.

6. Roger Bresnahan (3-8-6) Best catcher of the 00s.

7. Jake Beckley (4-9-7) Considering that 1B was not a hitter's position for much of his career, he did have enough peak to make him HoM-worthy. As far as his defense, more chances and putouts than any other player, at any position, ever.

8. Harry Hooper (6-11-8) Longevity, defense, and AL strength. Players like Hooper and Schalk are not the most appealing, but there is a consistent logic that shows them as ballot-worthy and not the obvious HoF mistakes they've been made out to be.

9. Jose Mendez (11-X-10) Add Holway's W/L data from 1910 to 1913 and Mendez was 59-19, and he was still capable of dominating a decade later.

10. George "Rube" Waddell (5-10-9) 142 ERA+; 3 ERA+ titles; 6 consecutive strikeout titles. Not many pitchers have a resume like that.

11. Ray Schalk (12-14-12) Does well in longevity, defense, and league strength. Possibly more (over)correction for catchers in my system than in most (Schang will be #1 next year), but he does make baseballreality's MLB timeline as the best ML catcher during his prime.

12. Eddie Cicotte (7-12-11) 3223 IP; 123 ERA+; 1 ERA+ title, came in second twice to Walter Johnson, and once to Babe Ruth(!).

13. Urban Shocker (13-X-13) He never had a losing record or an ERA below league average. There is greatness in consistency.

14. Heinie Groh (8-13-14) Great 3B at his peak. Career not as long as I'd like, so I have him slightly lower than most, but a pat on the back to the electorate for recognizing his excellence.

15. George Van Haltren (9-15-15) Pitching value and the fact that he played more centerfield lifts him just above Ryan.

Lip Pike. Knocked out by recent strong newcomers; should return to my ballot in weaker years.

Hughie Jennings. I like Hughie, and I'm slowly tweaking my ratings to make them more peak-friendly. That will help him.

Clark Griffith. Next best 1890s pitcher. Could return to ballot in a weak year.

Max Carey. I don't think that 351 Wins Shares is equal to the sum of its parts in this case. I analyze players in "real" time, so I don't know which "modern" players are equivalent to the ones we are voting on, but he seems similar to Brett Butler.

George Sisler. Somewhere around 33rd. Career through 1922 has a length and value similar to that of John McGraw's, who I rate similarly. Career after 1922 does not increase his standing among the all-time greats.

Dave Bancroft. Also in the 30s. If the HoM were 50% larger, I'd find room for Sisler and Bancroft. Sewell will be the next SS to make my ballot.
   145. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 11, 2004 at 02:13 PM (#909670)
1. Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander
3rd greatest pitcher in MLB history, IMO, after the Train and Cy Young.

2. Smokey Joe Williams
When Satchel Paige said "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you," he could easily have been talking about his stature in the annals of Negro League pitchers. Second to one.

3. Harry Heilmann
An absolute behemoth with the bat. 10 or so hits away from hitting .400 4 times. A nudge over Torriente for a more complete record.

4. Cristobal Torriente
Nothing like the first three, but a definitive HOM'er. Such a shame he was disqualified from the majors for having "kinky hair."

5. Heinie Groh
Great six-year peak with another six years of strong play, plus timeline, gets him here.

6. Charley Jones
Short seasons understate his greatness, he was extraordinarily good in 1879 and dominated the early AA as well. Blacklist years not his fault.

7. Clark Griffith
ERA+ makes it seem that Griffith had one dominant year in 1898 and was just above average elsewhere. In fact, he was just as good in 1899 (look at K, BB, HR, and BABIP/Teammates' BABIP), was a reliable workhorse, and pitched at an All-Star level for a decade. You can't see his greatness on the surface, but look deeper into the numbers and from 1896-1901 he was a genuine superstar.

8. Stan Coveleski
I have him in a dead heat with Griffith; advantage to Clark based on 1890's NL.

9. Lip Pike
Obviously a truly dominant player in the NA and 1876 NL, played many years pre-1871 at a very high level.

10. Pete Browning
1890 showed us he was for real, so his knock-em-dead years in '82, '85 and '87 have to be taken seriously. More career value than the “career” guys GVH/Beckley by my measure, and a true dominator for three or four seasons. Hopefully I can drum up some support for him; he really deserves it.

11. Cupid Childs
Offensive juggernaut at a scarce position with often excellent leather for eight years. A bona fide superstar in '90, '92, and '96, and a strong All-Star in '93 and '97. Didn't play forever but so good that he accumulated more career value than the "career guys" IMO. We don't have anyone from his era at his position, and he played in a stronger league than his comps by my estimate.

12. Max Carey
A great player, but never an MVP candidate really.

13. Addie Joss
Joss had a remarkable ability to prevent hits on balls in play, allowing a BABIP 31 points lower than his teammates' for his career (.238/.269). He had six seasons where he was absolutely one of the best in the biz, including 1908 which was particularly standout. His rate stats were so good that even despite his innings problem, he still comes out mid-ballot on both career and peak.

14. Hughie Jennings
So good for five years that he was more valuable than guys who played for three times as long.

15. George Sisler
Gotta respect the peak, but not good enough for long enough.

Left off
Rube Waddell
Rube’s taken a big hit with my reevaluation. I *love* the K's, but now that I can see that deadball pitchers really could prevent hits on balls in play, he stands out less than he did before. It's worth nothing that his 1903 season was just as good as his much more highly regarded '04--almost as many innings, same BB/K/HR rates, similar propensity to giving up line drives (BABIP 5% higher than teammates' in '03, 6% in '04). '02 was really his best season though. One of the best pitchers in baseball from '02-'05, but not an otherworldly dominator and not enough career to push him further up the ballot or into my revised PHoM.

Eddie Cicotte
He really was a premier, superstar pitcher from 1917-19, and was serviceable in 1913 and 1920. A slightly above league average pitcher for the rest of his career.

Jimmy Ryan
He doesn’t fare that well in my system, but I do have to give respect to his near-ballot-topping career value and he did at least have two great years in 1888 and 89.

John McGraw
He didn't play long enough to make the HoM, and rarely played full seasons even when he did. But man, was he good--an on-base machine the likes of which the game has rarely seen since.

Vic Willis
Just kept churning out those innings at an above-average level. The Beckley of pitchers, but a more valuable career than Beckley and at least a genuine All-Star once or twice.

Dave Bancroft
A historically great defensive SS. Could be a mid-ballot pick in a weak year.
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 11, 2004 at 02:34 PM (#909690)
Still missing ballots from Kelly from SD, dan b, Guapo, MichaelD, BryceB/Tanketra, Max Parkinson, KJOK, Brad Harris, The Good Samaritan, Eric Enders, RMc and Sean M.

I have 48 ballots at this time.
   147. Guapo Posted: October 11, 2004 at 05:08 PM (#909925)
I didn't find time to evaluate the newbies, so I'm sitting this election out. See you in '37.
   148. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: October 11, 2004 at 06:24 PM (#910099)
I'm also sitting this one out due to time considerations, so don't wait up for me.
   149. dan b Posted: October 11, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#910321)
Win shares are my metric of choice. My composite ranking = 5 x Career + (3 best years)/3 + (5 best consecutive years)/5 + (8 best years)/8 + (10 best consecutive years)/10 + WS per 162. I then make adjustments justified by individual components with a touch of subjectivity thrown in. I use the same system for hitters and for 60’ 6” era pitchers. I also look at WS w/o defense for a hitting only ranking. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)


1. Alexander (1)
2. Williams Best player to wait 3 years for induction
3. Torriente best player to receive no “elect me” votes on his first ballot.
4. Heilmann (1) Best hitter on ballot.
5.Groh (4) Eventual PHoM.
6.Duffy (2). PHoM in 1912. 2nd in 8 and 10 year peaks.
7.Griffith (3) 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM in 1913.
8.Jennings (13) – PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar.
9.Waddell (4) I like his peak and K’s. 2nd best LHP to date. PHoM 1926.
10.Leach (7) 6th in 8-yr peak, 4th in career. PHoM 1926.
11. Carey (5) 2nd in career, 8th in 10 year peak.
12.Willis (2) – 2nd in career, 3rd in 3-year peak. By WS, best NL pitcher in 1899 and 1901, 2nd best in 1902 and 1906.
13.Coveleski (5) 6th best pitcher on the ballot. Compared to the P ranked above, doesn’t stand out either peak or career.
14.Burns,GJ (3) 3rd in 8 and 10 year peaks. 3rd best hitter.
15.Bresnahan (27) Big position bonus to fill the void behind the plate. HoM will be flawed if we do not induct at least one Major League catcher who played between Buck Ewing’s retirement in 1897 and Gabby Hartnett’s debut in 1922. Dead ball era committee has him #1. PHoM 1928
16.Sisler (14) – 2nd best hitter on ballot.
   150. KJOK Posted: October 11, 2004 at 10:24 PM (#910592)
Sorry, had to go out of town Friday. If not too late, ballot will be posted in a few minutes...
   151. KJOK Posted: October 11, 2004 at 10:53 PM (#910624)
Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers.

1. PETE ALEXANDER, P. 524 RSAA. 408 Neutral Fibonacci Win Points. 135 ERA+ in 5,190 Innings. One of the best pitchers ever.

2. SMOKEY JOE WILLIAMS, P. Comps close to Pete Alexander & Christy Mathewson, which puts him about 7th all-time among all P’s.

3. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low.
4. HARRY HEILMANN, RF. .706 OWP. 469 RCAP. 8,960 PAs. Def: POOR. Similar to Browning, only with longer career.

5. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. .745 OWP. 478 RCAP. 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball’s premier hitter in the 1880’s. Much better hitter than Van Haltren or Duffy.

6. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890’s. Great offensively and defensively.

7. STAN COVELESKIE, P. 282 RSAA! 225 Neutral Fibonacci Win Points. 127 ERA+ in 3,093 Innings.

8. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. .651 OWP. 282 RCAP, 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Best Catcher between Ewing and Cochrane/Dickey, except for maybe Santop.

9. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. .720 OWP. 308 RCAP. 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was MUCH more important defensively.

10. RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 134 ERA+ in 2,961 innings.

11. Cristobal Torriente, RF. Comps near Dwight Evans and Enos Slaughter.

12. CUPID CHILDS, 2B. .609 OWP. 354 RCAP. 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890’s.

13. HEINIE GROH, 3B. .598 OWP, 216 RCAP, 7,035 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Only Frank Baker was better in 1910’s era.

14. BILL MONROE, 2B. Estimated 115 OPS+ over 8,276 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are Hack, Alomar, and Sandberg.

15. DAVE BANCROFT, SS. .498 OWP, 157 RCAP, 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Similar to Bobby Wallace. Better hitter than Ozzie Smith while almost as good with glove.





LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:

NEWBIES:

GEORGE SISLER, 1B. .611 OWP, 205 RCAP. 9,013 PAs. Def: FAIR. Jake Beckley comp but with higher peak. Just misses ballot.

OLIVER MARCELLE, 3B. Estimated 104 OPS+ over 6,540 Estimated Equiv. PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Comps are Tim Wallach, Johnny Evers.

CY WILLIAMS, CF. .576 OWP, 97 RCAP. 9,013 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Falls BELOW the OF glut of OF’ers off the ballot.

RETURNEES:

CLARK GRIFFITH, P. 256 RSAA, 199 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 121 ERA+ in 3,385 innings. He’s really not all that far away from McGinnity, but not that far from Silver King either. Moving up to just off ballot due to comparison with contemporaries.

MIKE TIERNAN, RF. .678 OWP, 350 RCAP. 6,722 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Compared to Van Haltren’s .620 OWP, 167 RCAP, and average defense, Tiernan looks superior.

JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. .596 OWP. 245 RCAP. 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A very good for a long time player. Not as good as Sisler due to peak differences.

LIP PIKE, CF. Perhaps best hitting CF of the 1870’s. Similar to Hack Wilson.

Max Carey, CF .556 OWP, 49 RCAP, 10,770 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Some very good years, but overall not enough offense for the HOM ballot.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. .620 OWP. 167 RCAP. 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. A notch below Tiernan.

MICKEY WELCH, P. 179 RSAA, 225 Neutral Fibonacci Win Points, 113 ERA+ in 4,802 innings. I don’t see the basis for all the support he seems to be getting. Even if you GRANT he somehow “pitched to the score” where others didn’t (highly dubious) the adjustment for the few games where that MIGHT have happened can’t bridge the large gap in performance between Welch and the already elected pitchers.

HUGH DUFFY, CF/LF. .623 OWP. 154 RCAP. 7,838 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Just not in the elite OF class offensively.

JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF. .609 OWP. 205 RCAP. 9,114 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not quite up to top OF hitters, and only average defense won’t move him up.

JOSE MENDEZ, P. Similar to Smoky Joe Wood. Like Wood, has some really great years early in his career, and like Wood changed positions due to arm problems (age 25 for Wood, 27 for Mendez, OF for Wood, SS for Mendez) and was never really a star player after that. I don’t think his best years were quite as good as Wood’s, and not sure he was really better than teammate Dolph Luque, so he falls short on the ballot.

TOMMY LEACH, CF/3B. .552 OWP, 121 RCAP, 9,051 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT – 3B, VERY GOOD – CF. Just slightly below Collins defensively, and he played longer. Basically did everything well, but doesn’t have the one outstanding area to get noticed.

LARRY DOYLE, 2B .632 OWP, 273 RCAP, 7,382 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Best hitting 2B between Lajoie and Hornsby. Won MVP in 1912, finished 3rd in 1911. Finished in Top 10 in OPS+ 8 times

TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,531(!) innings. He could hit a little too. Had a very good career AND some really good individual seasons. AA discount keeps him from being on ballot.
   152. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2004 at 12:08 AM (#910734)
As if you guys didn't know already, the winners are Alexander and Williams.
   153. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2004 at 12:18 AM (#910750)
If anyone has a ballot counter, please send me a copy at my e-mail address so I can get the election thread up by tomorrow morning. Thanks!
   154. OCF Posted: October 12, 2004 at 12:26 AM (#910771)
Followed by numerous close pairs. I have Heilmann over Torriente 835-826, Groh over Coveleski in 5th-6th at 486-485, then Beckley, Carey, Pike, Van Haltren. Waddell and Jennings tied for 11th, Griffith 13th, then Welch and Sisler tied for 14th.

Highest possible consensus score 26; highest actual consensus score 21, average consensus score 15, lowest consensus score -1 (the only person to leave Torriente off the ballot.)
   155. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2004 at 12:34 AM (#910799)
Followed by numerous close pairs. I have Heilmann over Torriente 835-826, Groh over Coveleski in 5th-6th at 486-485, then Beckley, Carey, Pike, Van Haltren. Waddell and Jennings tied for 11th, Griffith 13th, then Welch and Sisler tied for 14th.

Agreed.
   156. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: October 12, 2004 at 12:59 AM (#910859)
I have Welch by 1 point over Sisler, 259-258, otherwise the same as OCF. Likely my mistake if John & OCF agree.
   157. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: October 12, 2004 at 02:04 AM (#911008)
Yep, my mistake. 259 all.
   158. jimd Posted: October 12, 2004 at 06:22 PM (#912052)
The AL superiority over the NL in the early Oughts was based on the following fact: when the dust had settled in 1904, the AL had 56% of the regulars from 1900, the NL only 44% (40-31).

Naturally, this advantage declined as these players were replaced. The AL superiority of the Teens was based on signing most of the no-brainer HOMers of the next generation.
   159. KJOK Posted: October 12, 2004 at 10:54 PM (#912607)
The AL superiority over the NL in the early Oughts was based on the following fact: when the dust had settled in 1904, the AL had 56% of the regulars from 1900, the NL only 44% (40-31).

This may not be a good measure. The NL had players like Christy Mathewson and 3-Finger Brown in 1904, who weren't regulars in 1900, but were probably better players than most of those AL 1900 veterans....
   160. jimd Posted: October 13, 2004 at 12:26 AM (#912780)
Everybody's opinion is different. Conceded that Mathewson is better than most players overall, but the AL was also adding players, and newcomer Eddie Plank arguably had a better season.

Look at the holdover list. The AL has a 9-6 lead in HOMers there, and, well, Kelley was done, and Sheckard had a tough season, both in the NL. The other HOMer regulars were Magee and Brown, who were rookies with non-stellar starts.

1900 holdovers in 1904
BRS CYOUNG, JCOLLINS, DFarrell, KSelbach, LCriger, BDinneen,
    CStahl, JTannehill, BFreeman
NYY WKEELER, DMcGuire, JPowell, JWilliams, JChesbro, JGanzel
ChW GDAVIS, FJones, NCallahan, BSullivan, DGreen
Cle NLAJOIE, EFLICK, BBradley, RDonahue, CHickman, BBernhard
PhA LCross, MCross, RWaddell
SLB BWALLACE, JBURKETT, EHeidrick, MKahoe
Det SCRAWFORD, BLowe, JBarrett
Was PDonovan, BClarke, BMcCormick
xAx AOrth

NYG BDAHLEN, JMCGINNITY, DMcGann, FBowerman, SMertes
ChC FChance, JSlagle, JMcCarthy
Cin JKELLEY, TCorcoran, HSteinfeldt, HPeitz, NHahn
Pit HWAGNER, CRitchey, GBeaumont, SLeever
SLC KNICHOLS, JBeckley, MGrady, JTaylor
Bro JSHECKARD
BoB FTenney, VWillis
PhP KGleason, RThomas, CFraser, HWolverton
xNx JDoyle, SBarry, MDonlin
   161. DavidFoss Posted: October 13, 2004 at 02:35 AM (#913202)
Look at the holdover list. The AL has a 9-6 lead in HOMers there, and, well, Kelley was done, and Sheckard had a tough season, both in the NL. The other HOMer regulars were Magee and Brown, who were rookies with non-stellar starts.

These studies are tricky. Its a good idea, though.

As far as HOM-ers go, Ed Walsh was a mediocre rookie reliever for the White Sox in 1904. Brown was 3rd in ERA in 1904.

One of the top hitters for the AL in 1904 was Harry Davis who missed the contraction cut for the NL in 1900 because he stunk. :-)

Donlin and Bresnahan don't make the list for the NL. Bresnahan's probably too young in 1900.

AL ERA champ Joss doesn't make it for the AL.

Jesse Burkett was about as done as Joe Kelley was in 1904. Sheckard's tough year was sandwiched between two of his better ones.

Ned Garvin's an odd case... he pitched great for Brooklyn most of the year but they let him go on waivers to the AL. Probably best to keep him off.

Anyways, I don't disagree that the AL was stronger in 1904... but the above nitpicking just means that its a tough problem.
   162. KJOK Posted: October 13, 2004 at 05:07 AM (#913535)
My point was you're talking about a difference of 9 ballplayers, whose quality may or may not have been better than the 9 corresponding non-holdovers in the NL.

Frank Chance would be another NL player not a regular in 1900, and he had a great 1904....
   163. KJOK Posted: October 13, 2004 at 05:10 AM (#913538)
Conceded that Mathewson is better than most players overall, but the AL was also adding players, and newcomer Eddie Plank arguably had a better season.

Look at the holdover list. The AL has a 9-6 lead in HOMers there, and, well, Kelley was done, and Sheckard had a tough season, both in the NL. The other HOMer regulars were Magee and Brown, who were rookies with non-stellar starts.


Wouldn't the fact that Mathewson, Brown and Magee DIDN'T have great seasons argue for the NL being TOUGHER and not EASIER?
   164. karlmagnus Posted: October 13, 2004 at 11:49 AM (#913654)
Also, this originally started with a sneer at Beckley versus Keeler, but of course Keeler in his best years had the advantage of playing for one of the only 2 decent teams in the '90s NL (thus not having to face Oriole pitching) whereas Beckley didn't have that advantage.

Someone who puts up good numbers for lousy teams, as a hitter as well as a pitcher, should be given extra credit, because if you play for a lousy team you have to face all the good pitchers and fewer of the lousy ones.
   165. Chris Cobb Posted: October 13, 2004 at 02:41 PM (#913838)
Also, this originally started with a sneer at Beckley versus Keeler, but of course Keeler in his best years had the advantage of playing for one of the only 2 decent teams in the '90s NL (thus not having to face Oriole pitching) whereas Beckley didn't have that advantage.

Guess I'd better "sneer" at Beckley some more by discussing the evidence . . .

1) The Orioles were not a decent team, they were a great team, but they didn't have great pitching -- none of the top pitchers of the decade pitched for the Orioles. They had great _fielding_, which the voters who are continuing to underrate Hughie Jennings should keep in mind. This is a team that generally was #1 or #2 in fewest runs allowed, but that had none of the great pitchers of the 1890s. Every analysis of their fielding that we have gives the largest share of the credit for the team's great defense to Jennings. That's a pretty good argument that he was an historically great defensive shortstop.

Someone who puts up good numbers for lousy teams, as a hitter as well as a pitcher, should be given extra credit, because if you play for a lousy team you have to face all the good pitchers and fewer of the lousy ones.

2) Beckley didn't play for lousy teams. Washington, Louisville, St. Louis/Cleveland were the lousy teams in this era. Beckley played for decent teams, which tended to be around the median in runs allowed. There was not a huge difference in their offensive contexts.

3) That said, certainly Keeler did have an advantage over Beckley in offensive environment, and there are a couple of ways that we can take that into account.

First, we have two offensive metrics that factor this difference into their calculations: OPS+ at br and EQA at bp. The differences in OPS+ that I listed above take this difference into account already. I note that since I was using OPS+ in the comparisons I made, I was not hiding the fact that Keeler was hitting in a more favorable offensive context: I was using a stat that took that into account.

Second, we can look directly at runs allowed to get a rough quantification of Keeler's advantage. I went through to find the difference in run environments for Beckley and Keeler, 1894-1900, which are the years in question here. I took league runs allowed and subtracted out the the RA for Keeler's teams to find his run environment, did the same for Beckley to find his. During that time, Keeler played in a run environment that increased scoring by 1.25% over the run environment in which Beckley played. Some fraction of that would be accounted for by the superiority on offense of Keeler and his teammates to Beckley and his teammates. So if you are using win shares or counting stats to compare Beckley to Keeler, it would be reasonable to dock Keeler 1-2% when comparing his stats to Beckley's.
   166. karlmagnus Posted: October 13, 2004 at 03:05 PM (#913875)
That sounds reasonable. I don't argue that Beckley was hugely better than Keeler, I argue that they were very close in value, with Beckley playing a slightly more diffiicult defensive position and having more power, while Keeler hit for a somewhat higher average. The point is that Keeler went into the HOM with quite a lot to spare (in the sense there were at least half a dozen elections in the 20s when he'd have made it, if he hadn't made it when he did) whereas Beckley's still waiting.

Beckley suffers from his career being like Warren Spahn's or Eddie Collins' (yes, both greater players, I quite grant you)-- high level of production with few peaks and valleys for a very long period.
   167. jimd Posted: October 13, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#914237)
On the AL vs NL: Using individual examples, one can argue any point of view, because there are always individuals who had a good season in one year and bad season in the other.

Examine ALL the players. The AL wound up with more of the regular players of 1900 (the best players of a contraction season) in 1902, 1903, 1904, ... until the sample is too small to care about (1908 NL 19 AL 15; 1909 NL 9 AL 11). Look for biases: the NL retained better players (no), younger players (no).

This doesn't prove that the AL was better than the NL, but it certainly helps support Davenport's case.

Wouldn't the fact that Mathewson, Brown and Magee DIDN'T have great seasons argue for the NL being TOUGHER and not EASIER?

I wouldn't read a lot into the fact that a 20 year-old rookie and future marginal HOMer didn't have a great season in less than 100 games, or a 24-year old All-Time Great didn't have a GREAT season (just a very good one).
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