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

Monday, November 01, 2004

1938 Ballot

Eddie Rommel is the only newbie this election cycle who is a viable candidate. Can he or any returnee stop the Heinie Groh/Stan Coveleski Express?

Other returnees are Max Carey, Lip Pike, Jake Beckley, Hughie Jennings, Rube Waddell and George Sisler.

Vote early and vote often!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 01, 2004 at 03:35 PM | 150 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. favre Posted: November 06, 2004 at 04:32 AM (#956005)
1.Lip Pike

Pike:
a)averaged about 34 aWS per season during an eight-year stretch (275 aWS in 10-year documented career; -5 WS for two token appearances; 270/8=33.85). While I concede the difficulties of adjusted win shares for the NA era, that’s still quite a prime.
b) His career OPS+ of 155 is higher than anyone on the ballot except Browning.
c) was the best outfielder—not centerfielder, but OUTFIELDER-- in baseball in 1871, ’74, ‘75’ and ’76.
d) was a star for five years before the NA, one of the first players to be paid, probably the best second baseman in the game during 1869-1870

2.Jake Beckley

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.

3.Stan Coveleski
4.Clark Griffith

I took some time to compare Coveleski to his contemporaries who will be appearing on the ballot in the next few years, and I am still impressed. Five seasons with an ERA+ over 144, four more with an ERA+ over 120, six of those seasons in a hitters era. A welcome addition to the HoM. Like other voters, I see Griffith as a very comparable player; Coveleski pitched more innings compared to his contemporaries, so I’ve placed him above Griffith.

5.Heinie Groh
6.Tommy Leach
7.Edd Roush

Leach has 324 career WS. We’ve elected every position player with more career Win Shares except Van Haltren and 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.

I’m surprised that I have this Roush this high; I thought he would end up near the CF glut off the ballot. He was clearly one of the best players in the NL from 1917-1921—an impressive prime, even with a small NL discount-- and was a good player from ’23-26.

8.George Sisler
9.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 hit over .400 twice.

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.

10.Ned Williamson
11.Hugh Jennings
12.Pete Browning
13. Cupid Childs
14.Wally Schang
15.Larry Doyle

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. Doyle was a comparable hitter to Childs, but there are more questions about his defense. 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.

Schang is an interesting “in-between candidate”. He stacks up well against his competitors from 1895-1925: McGuire, Schalk, Petway, and, yes, Bresnahan (Bresnahan has a higher peak, but Schang has 500 more games at catcher and a thousand more PA). However, he does not look good when compared to catchers who played after ’25: Hartnett, Cochrane, Dickey, Mackey. For now, that lands him at the bottom of the ballot.

Great arguments in the Mickey Welch thread, guys.

16.Mickey Welch
17.Spotswood Poles
18.Max Carey
19.George Van Haltren

Carey was a fine player, but he was a contemporary of Cobb, Speaker, Charleston, Torriente, and Roush, and I’m not sure the sixth-best CF of his era is a good pick. Van Haltren was merely a good hitter in a high offense era, and I think his WS totals are distorted by his pitching stint.
   102. Howie Menckel Posted: November 06, 2004 at 06:24 AM (#956039)
Is there a "career voting points" tally? I fell off the counting wagon about six 'years' ago.

And a 'most ballots posted' among our HOM voters?

And a list of "HOMers not in HOF" vs "HOFers not in HOM"?

What the heck, three chances for our elite posters to scratch itches of mine....
   103. Paul Wendt Posted: November 06, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#956344)
DanG #85
5) Max Carey . . .
He missed most of the 1919 season due to injury or illness (sources conflict). Why did his career suddenly nosedive after 1925?


1919 - SABR Deadball NL biographer says "injury-plagued"

1926 - 36 years old.

Captain Carey lost his job in Pittsburgh because he led the rebellion against minor owner Fred Clarke, who sat on the bench (meddled?).

Carey's 1925-1926 decline in OPS+ is sharper than any I can recall: one-year, 125 to 58; 3-yr, about 117 to 78. Range factor implies that he lost batting skill without losing speed. Caught stealing, no data after 1925 [baseball-reference].

His decline affected his career average more than usual, because he continued to play fulltime.

Is there any reason to doubt the conclusion that he was a scintillating fielder?

I don't think so. Leftfield in Pittsburgh was big or enormous. Manager Fred Clarke had played there himself, forever; thus he made Carey his successor. I suppose that he overrated left in comparison with center.

Maybe Pittsburgh 1912-1915 was the least regular centerfield in the majors, in the aughts and teens. It was the least regular by one of my 2001 measures. Whose in Center?, "each NL team"
   104. Paul Wendt Posted: November 06, 2004 at 09:04 PM (#956354)
Dan Rosenberg #89
It's worth noting that [Rube Waddell's] 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 . . .

In a sense, Waddell was one of the best pitchers in baseball by 1900, if not before. But there were mitigating factors. He started 14 games in the minor American League, mid-season 1900. He played one month for a semipro team in 1901. 1902-1905 is one piece of the legend of Connie Mack.
   105. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 06, 2004 at 11:30 PM (#956423)
Here’s what I have for HOM vs. HOF. I think it’s complete through last year, I’m sure you’ll let me know if it’s not. :-)

HOM not HOF:

P: Bob Caruthers
C: Charlie Bennett, Cal McVey, Louis Santop, Deacon White
1B: Joe Start
2B: Ross Barnes, Frank Grant, Hardy Richardson
3B: Ezra Sutton
SS: Bill Dahlen, Jack Glasscock, Grant Johnson, Dickey Pearce
OF: George Gore, Pete Hill, Paul Hines, Joe Jackson, Sherry Magee, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Stovey, Cristobal Torriente

HOF not HOM:

P: Chief Bender, Jack Chesbro, Stan Coveleski, Clark Griffith*, Addie Joss, Rube Marquard, Rube Waddell, Mickey Welch, Vic Willis
C: Roger Bresnahan, Ray Schalk
1B: Jake Beckley, Frank Chance
2B: Johnny Evers
3B: John McGraw*
SS: Hughie Jennings, Joe Tinker
OF: Max Carey, Hugh Duffy, Harry Hooper, Tommy McCarthy, Harry Wright*, Ross Youngs

*Griffith and H. Wright were inducted as Pioneer/Executives, McGraw as a Manager, but all have had support here as players. There are several HOFers in those categories who have been eligible but haven’t had support, like Cummings, Huggins, Comiskey, ...
   106. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 06, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#956438)
Well, I found two of my own mistakes already. I left out Roush and Sisler from list 2. I'll keep looking.
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2004 at 12:13 AM (#956455)
George Kelly is another HoFer, but not HoMer.
   108. DavidFoss Posted: November 07, 2004 at 12:18 AM (#956457)
I left out Roush and Sisler from list 2.

Bancroft from list 2 as well. GKelly joins this year.
   109. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 07, 2004 at 12:34 AM (#956462)
I had spotted Kelly, but left him off. Didn't want to jinx his chances for election. ;-)
   110. Brent Posted: November 07, 2004 at 04:59 AM (#956610)
With last year’s induction of two great outfielders and no major new candidates arriving, this is a quiet ballot year. I’ve decided to change the format of my comments by drafting “plaques” for my PHOM players.

1. Hugh Duffy – CF/LF/RF
Chicago (NL) 1888-89; Chicago (PL) 1890; Boston (AA) 1891; Boston (NL) 1892-1900; Milwaukee (AL) 1901; Philadelphia (NL) 1904-06
Cap: Boston Beaneaters (NL)
The top hitter for the pennant-winning Beaneaters teams of 1892-93, Duffy was also renowned as a superb defensive outfielder. He is probably best known for his Triple Crown season in 1894, when he set single-season records for batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, and total bases, tied the single-season record for extra base hits, and led the league in home runs and RBIs. Although most of the records were subsequently surpassed with the arrival of the live-ball era in 1920, his season record for batting average (.440) remains intact and unthreatened 110 years later. Duffy’s outstanding accomplishments, however, were not limited to the season of 1894; he also led the league in runs scored and hits in 1890, in RBI in 1891, and in home runs in 1897. Duffy’s most important statistic, however, was the five pennants won by his Boston teams in the NL (1892-93 and 1897-98) and the AA (1891). He was also a star of post-season play, hitting 23 for 47 (.489) with 16 RBIs in 11 games in 1892 and 1897. According to win shares, he was most valuable position player for 1894, tied for MVPP in 1893, an All Star (that is, one of the top 3 outfielders in his league) for 5 seasons (1890-94), and a 4-time Gold Glove outfielder for 1890, 1892, and 1898-99.

2. Hughie Jennings – SS/1B
Louisville (AA) 1891; Louisville (NL) 1892-93; Baltimore (NL) 1893-98, 1899; Brooklyn (NL) 1899-1900, 1903; Philadelphia (NL) 1901-02; Detroit (AL) 1907, 1909, 1912, 1918
Cap: Baltimore Orioles (NL)
One of the greatest defensive shortstops ever, Jennings also was an outstanding hitter and base runner and the captain of the great Orioles teams that won 3 pennants and placed second twice during 1894-98. From 1895-98 his batting averages were .386, .401, .355, and .328, with OPS+ statistics of 143, 152, 146, and 149. At about the same time, Jennings was the Win Shares Gold Glove shortstop for 1894 and 1896-97, and his career rate of 7.68 fielding win shares per 1000 innings at shortstop is one of the highest ever. His style of play was famously intense, perhaps epitomized by his still unbroken career record for times hit by pitch (287). In 1899 Jennings moved to first base and, playing for Brooklyn, was part of teams that won pennants in 1899 and 1900. He was the Win Shares Most Valuable Position Player for 1896 and the Win Shares All Star shortstop for 1894-96 and 1898.

3. José Méndez – SP/SS
Almendares Blues, 1908-16; Brooklyn Royal Giants, 1908; Cuban Stars, 1909-12; Stars of Cuba, 1910; Kansas City All Nations, 1912-17; Chicago American Giants, 1918; Detroit Stars, 1919; Kansas City Monarchs, 1920-26
Cap: Almendares Blues (Cuban Winter League)
One of the greatest pitchers in the history of Cuban baseball, the Black Diamond had excellent control as he wielded a fearsome fastball that was delivered with an “easy” motion and a hard-breaking curve. Méndez rose to fame in Cuba in 1908 when he pitched 2 shutouts and 25 consecutive scoreless innings against the touring Cincinnati Reds. He subsequently continued to pitch well against other top major league teams, winning victories over Jack Coombs, Christy Mathewson, and Eddie Plank. From 1908-14 Méndez dominated the Cuban Winter League, with a 59-18 cumulative record against strong opponents that were largely composed of top North American Negro Leaguers and white Cuban major leaguers. He led his Almendares Blues to pennants in 1908, 1910-11, and 1914. In 1914 Méndez suffered an arm injury and moved to shortstop or outfield, while occasionally pitching. In 1920 he became playing manager of the great Kansas City Monarchs of the new Negro National League. His pitching ability gradually recovered and he contributed as a pitcher while leading the Monarchs to pennants in 1923-25. In their 1924 World Series victory over Hilldale, Méndez was 2-0 with a 1.43 ERA, winning the deciding game with a 3-hit shutout. His career Negro League record was 40-14.

Additional comparisons – in their comments, I notice that a number of voters have paired Méndez with Waddell, which seems reasonable considering that they were both hard throwers whose HOM credentials are based on peak performance. However, I see several reasons to prefer Méndez:
a) Length of peak – he apparently was a dominating pitcher for 6 years (1908-14), compared to 4 for Waddell.
b) Batting – In a 1913 article in Baseball Magazine, Ira Thomas of the Philadelphia Athletics described Méndez’s hitting as “hard and timely”; he was a good enough hitter to play shortstop and outfield for top Negro League teams. Waddell was, at best, an ordinary hitter for a pitcher.
c) Fielding – Fielding average, range, and BP statistics all confirm that Waddell was below average as a fielder. Thomas, in the same 1913 article, describes Méndez as “a most excellent fielder,” a description that is reinforced by his subsequent success at shortstop.
d) Intangibles – Roberto González Echevarría in The Price of Havana said Méndez was “well-spoken, intelligent, had good manners, and was a gentleman”; he had the leadership ability to serve as player manager of a championship team. Waddell’s famous eccentricities, on the other hand, may have been a distraction to his teammates.
   111. Brent Posted: November 07, 2004 at 04:59 AM (#956612)
4. Mickey Welch - Three great seasons and six more good ones are enough to move him near the top of the pitchers.

5. Tommy Leach – 3B/CF
Louisville (NL) 1898-99; Pittsburgh (NL) 1900-12, 1918; Chicago (NL) 1912-15
Cap: Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
A multidimensional National League star of the Deadball Era, Leach was an renowned fielder at both third base and center field. He was the Win Shares Gold Glove third baseman for 1902 and 1904 and a WS Gold Glove outfielder for 1907, 1909-10, 1912, and 1914. He is among the all-time leaders in fielding win shares per 1000 innings at both positions: 5.76 at third base and 4.64 in the outfield. Leach also contributed with the bat and on the basepaths, leading the league in triples and home runs in 1902 and in runs scored in 1909 and 1913. His lead in home runs (and two second-place finishes) reflected his speed as much as his power, since most of his homers were hit inside the park. Leach was an important contributor to Pittsburgh teams that won pennants in 1901-03 and 1909 and finished in second place 4 times. He was the STATS All Star for 1902 at third base and an outfield All Star for 1907 and 1913; Win Shares confirms the All Star awards for the same years, while adding ties at third base for 1903 and 1904.

6. Spottswood Poles - Batting average, speed, fielding, and a good peak; I see him near the top of the outfield glut. What’s happened to his support?

7. Stan Coveleski - One of the best pitchers during 1917-20, and a good pitcher for several years after that; a good HOM candidate.

8. Roger Bresnahan - After looking at the comparison with Schang, I’ve decided that Bresnahan and Santop were the best catchers of their generation.

9. 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 the same glove skill.

10. Dick Redding - I see his career path as quite similar to Coveleski’s, with three or four great years in the mid-teens followed by several years as a good pitcher.

11. Vic Willis - Had several excellent seasons. Best pitcher in the NL for 1899 and 1901.

12. Max Carey - A great glove man who ran well and contributed with the bat. Second-best fielder among HOM-eligible outfielders, after Tris Speaker. Many years ago Bill James coined the “[Bobby] Bonds line,” which he described as “the level of unquestioned excellence but marginal greatness.” I think Carey fits that description pretty well.

13. Clark Griffith - Great pitcher, but seldom among the leaders in IP.

14. Fielder Jones - I guess you can probably see the pattern - I like multi-dimensional players who contributed with both glove and bat.

15. George Van Haltren - Back on my ballot after several “years” off.

New players: I ranked Rommel at # 40, below Mays and Shocker and just above Shawkey. Bill James’s rankings of George Kelly and Lu Blue (# 65 and 77 among all first basemen) seem about right to me.

Not on my ballot:

Lip Pike: A power hitter during an era when power hitting was less valuable and fielding skill was indispensable, Pike was not an outstanding fielder. I place him at # 26, below Charley Jones and above Tiernan.

Jake Beckley: I evaluate players on the basis of seasons that were good enough to have helped a pennant contender win. Beckley doesn’t do well on that score; he’s dropped out of my top 40.

Rube Waddell: I think his contemporary, Vic Willis, was better. I rank Waddell at # 29.

George Sisler: His peak wasn’t quite strong enough or long enough. I have him at # 25.
   112. Brent Posted: November 07, 2004 at 05:37 AM (#956632)
A correction: The book by Roberto González Echevarría should have been The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball.
   113. Brian H Posted: November 07, 2004 at 06:17 AM (#956642)
Brian H

I am largely a "Peak Voter" and am also concerned with some degree of chronological and positional balance. Generally I value James and STATS more than the WARPs -- largely because I am unclear on exactly what the mathematic formulae behind the WARPs are (even though I acknowledge I might not be able to follow them anyway at this point in my life). Anyway.....1938:

1.Hugh 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.

2. 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.

3 Roger Bresnahan (4 STATS AS)– We have elected no Major League Catchers who played after Buck Ewing and don’t figure to until Hartnett/Cochrane (or perhaps Schang ?). This is nothing new to the voters. 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).

4.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.

5Hugh 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. The fielding edge keeps him ahead of “Slug” – at least for now.

6.Harry Heillmann (7 AS) - Top flight hitter during a hitter’s era. Not much of a fielder. No meaningful pennant impact either.

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

8..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.

9..Mickey Welch – . 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.

10..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.

11. 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”.

12.Ed Rousch – Strong centerfielder – I like him more than Carey less than Duffy (since I favor peak).

13.Walter Schang – Not nearly good as Bresnahan in the context of his era in my book.

14.JJ McGraw – Also, back on the ballot. A true winner as a player with the Old Orioles and then as a Manager. His On Base numbers are still among the highest ever
15.Rube Waddell – Also, Back on the ballot... Very strong peak — great Strikeout Pitcher. If he weren’t somewhat of a “loon” (probably there is a more sensitive PC way to put it), he would probably have won 300 games.

Others of note:
Max Carey – even with more “timelining” credit than I am generally comfortable with James ranks him four notches below Duffy in the CF category. I doubt anyone could have ever argued that he was the best of his time even at his position.

Lip Pike – The ultimate explanation for his (lack of) placement 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. 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. As a 1B he rates well-below Chance and just below Ed Konetchy (Sp ?).
   114. OCF Posted: November 07, 2004 at 06:55 AM (#956662)
6.Harry Heillmann

Brian - you can't vote for Heilmann, since he's already been elected. Please amend you ballot; don't make us guess what to do with it.
   115. Brian H Posted: November 07, 2004 at 07:43 AM (#956688)
OOPS !
For some wierd reason I thought Groh got in...
So:
1.Hugh 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 -- he was one of the top players period.... Jennings was an integral part of the “Old Orioles” dynasty of the ‘90s.

2. 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.

3 Roger Bresnahan (4 STATS AS)– We have elected no Major League Catchers who played after Buck Ewing and don’t figure to until Hartnett/Cochrane (or perhaps Schang ?). This is nothing new to the voters. 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).

4.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.

5Hugh 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. The fielding edge keeps him ahead of “Slug” – at least for now.

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

7. 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.

8.Heinie Groh (4 AS) – Better than I thought he would be.... The best 3B on the Board right now. His career gives him the (slight) edge over Mugsy.

9.Mickey Welch – . 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.

10..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.

11. 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”.

12.Ed Rousch – Strong centerfielder – I like him more than Carey less than Duffy (since I favor peak).

13.Walter Schang – Not nearly good as Bresnahan in the context of his era in my book.

14.JJ McGraw – Also, back on the ballot. A true winner as a player with the Old Orioles and then as a Manager. His On Base numbers are still among the highest ever.

15.Rube Waddell – Also, Back on the ballot... Very strong peak — great Strikeout Pitcher. If he weren’t somewhat of a “loon” (probably there is a more sensitive PC way to put it), he would probably have won 300 games.

Others of note:
Max Carey – even with more “timelining” credit than I am generally comfortable with James ranks him four notches below Duffy in the CF category. I doubt anyone could have ever argued that he was the best of his time even at his position.

Lip Pike – The ultimate explanation for his (lack of) placement 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. 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. As a 1B he rates well-below Chance and just below Ed Konetchy (Sp ?).
   116. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#956884)
At this point, I have 40 ballots accounted for.
   117. Andrew M Posted: November 07, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#956885)
1938 ballot:

1. Heinie Groh. I'm somewhat uneasy putting him this high because of the relative brevity of his career. Very good per at bat WARP and WS numbers. Best 3B in MLB 1917-20. MVP candidate 1917-19. Outstanding fielder. Name sometimes spelled “Heine” for reasons not clear to me.

2. Hugh Duffy. Both Duffy and Van Haltren benefit from my attempts to devise a unified Win Shares number that balances peak and career. Impressive peak numbers, black and gray ink, and defense. Rapid decline at age 33, but that's not unusual for the players on this ballot.

3. George Van Haltren. Not much new to add. Long career with some peak. Very consistent--13 win shares seasons above 20. Plus almost 700 innings of OK pitching.

4. Lip Pike. Dominant slugger for the 2000 ABs we can document. 155 OPS+, 7 times top 10 in slugging pct. Played almost every position in the field. I wish there was more hard evidence to go on, but I feel comfortable placing him here.

5. Stan Coveleski. Best of a similar-looking group of pitchers. Not quite Waddell's peak, but pitched in a more difficult era and was more consistent. 127 ERA+, 3.71 DERA.

6. Larry Doyle. I see a lot to like here. 2B consistently in top 10 in HRs and slugging pct. Captained world series teams. Won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. Questions about his fielding apparently raised during his playing days as well.

7. Cupid Childs. Best 2B of the 1890s before Lajoie. Similar EQA and OPS+ to Groh. 20% more plate appearances than Jennings.

8. Max Carey. Both BP and WS suggest he was not as good a hitter on a per AB basis than the other outfielders here, but he does have 10770 PAs, which, even as a peak voter, I recognize has some value. Very good at stealing bases and playing CF. Has an impressive late career peak between ages 31-35 where his WARP1 averages about 9.5.

9. Rube Waddell. Not only lots of strikeouts, but Top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Slipping on my ballot as concerns grow about his general effectiveness at winning games.

10. Clark Griffith. Though I have some reservations about ranking him above Mays or Cicotte, he pitched more innings, won more games, and has a lower DERA and better peak and career WS.

11. Edd Roush. Presents some of the same ranking problems as Hugh Duffy. Very good 3 and 5 year peak numbers. MVP caliber years in 1919 and 1920. 126 OPS+. Decline about age 33.

12. Roger Bresnahan. 288 EQA, 126 OPS+ compare favorably to the OFs on my ballot. Both WARP and WS suggest he was a very productive hitter per AB. Would rate higher had he caught more than 974 games.

13. George Sisler. His WARP numbers are pretty unimpressive, but he’s back on the ballot this week because I am convinced his peak really was something special, and some of his career numbers (.285 EQA, 124 OPS+) are comparable to others on this ballot who did not play as long. I recall seeing somewhere that his home stats are significantly better than his road stats, but I have been unable to document this.

14. George J. Burns. Lead-off hitter ranked this high for his combination of durability, consistency, and peak. Top Win Shares, NL position players 1913-1919: Burns 191, Groh 176, Cravath 171, Fletcher 156, Wheat 151. Only 20th century player ever to lead the league in walks, OBA, stolen bases, and runs in a single season (1919).

15. Ben Taylor. .334 lifetime batting average (Riley), by reputation a good fielding 1B who started career as a pitcher. Win shares and i9s estimates convince me he belongs somewhere on the ballot.

Next 5:
16. Wally Schang
17. Dick Redding
18. Tommy Leach
19. Carl Mays or Jose Mendez
20. Fielder Jones or Jimmy Ryan

Required Disclosures:
Jake Beckley. Not enough peak. I’d rather have Frank Chance for half the years.
Hughie Jennings. Peak not quite high enough for career this short.
   118. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 07, 2004 at 09:54 PM (#957018)
1938 ballot:

1. Mickey Welch: Kelly in SD made the case for him better than I ever could – see post 96 in the 1933 ballot thread. (PHOM 1929)

2. Pete Browning: Mr. Peak. 8 STATS AS. Monster hitter. Shorter career version of Heilmann. (PHOM 1927)

3. George Sisler: Practically a perennial all-star before the illness, good but not great after – was the STATS all-star 1B in 1925, and a probable runner-up to Gehrig in ’27, which is sort of like being Twice a Prince in the ’73 Belmont. Good black & gray ink. I’d think peak voters would really like him. Looks like some do, some don’t. (PHOM this year)

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

5. Stan Coveleski: I find him roughly comparable to Griffith, but with more good seasons, so he’s ahead. (PHOM this year)

6. Heinie Groh: More career at 3b and a better WS rate than Leach. The HOM needs thirdbasemen.

7. Roger Bresnahan: The HOM needs catchers, too. (PHOM 1932)

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

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

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

11. Dick Redding: Similar in different ways to some on- and off-ballot pitchers: Coveleski, Griffith, Cooper.

12. Max Carey: Tremendous base-stealer, A+ defense, long career.

13. Wally Schang: See Bresnahan. More career at C than the Duke, behind him offensively.

14. Hugh Duffy: Solid WS and WS/162, MVP in ’94, excellent defense.

15. Rube Waddell: Just makes it on. Terrific ERA, ERA+, strikeouts, but the W-L is worse than what you’d think given those.

Formerly on the ballot, now waiting in the wings: Carl Mays, Ben Taylor, Jose Mendez, Bill Monroe, Cupid Childs, Spots Poles, and Lip Pike.


Required explanations:
Pike: Was on my ballot in some of the recent lean years, I don’t see him making it back on anytime soon.
Jennings: Exceptional peak, but not much else. I like some of both.

Not required this year but since he might be back in the top 10 sometime, I’ll keep this handy:
Van Haltren: Still don’t see why he’s been getting the level of support he has. Good career, not a standout player. As someone else noted, there is no greatness here.

New people:
I don’t see any of them ever making my top 15.
   119. OCF Posted: November 08, 2004 at 12:51 AM (#957109)
At this point, I have 40 ballots accounted for.

I've been commenting on posts like this; after this, just assume that if I don't say anything, I agree. In this case, I agree (42 now).
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2004 at 12:55 AM (#957113)
I've been commenting on posts like this; after this, just assume that if I don't say anything, I agree. In this case, I agree (42 now).

That's fine, OCF. I only post it just in case somebody has a different number than I.
   121. Patrick W Posted: November 08, 2004 at 12:59 AM (#957116)
9 of 15 on the ballot are now enshrined in the personal HOM. Haven’t really re-examined the top of the ballot in a while, but I’m happy with the order; career guys are still on top, I’m still Fielder’s biggest fan, OF’s over P’s, etc. Comments are still a work in progress, but I’m trying to bring ‘em back.

1. Max Carey (2), Pitt. (N), CF / LF (’10-’29) (1937) – Top of the mere-mortal portion of the ballot.
2. George Van Haltren (3), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Adjusted WS break the tie with Ryan.
3. Jimmy Ryan (5), Chic. (N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926)
4. Harry Hooper (6), Bost. (A), RF (’09-’25) (1931) – More emphasis on offense over defense for the OF’s gives Hooper the jump over Fielder.
5. Fielder Jones (7), Chic.(A), CF / RF (’96-’08) (1930) – Criminally underrated here. Not the best on the ballot, but 5 votes?? OPS+ isn’t everything folks…
6. Ben Taylor (8), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – Similar to Beckley and Beckley’s in the P-Hall.
7. Stan Coveleski (9), Clev (A), SP (’16-’28) (1938) – I’d recommend to anyone here checking out the minor league ballpark named after him in South Bend, IN.
8. Jake Beckley (10), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) (1929) – Solid numbers forever.
9. Rube Waddell (11), Bost. (N), SP (’97-’09) – Top of the pitcher glut.
10. Heinie Groh (12), Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) – Looks like I’ll put him in a year or two later than y’all.
11. Urban Shocker (13), St.L (A), SP (’16-’27) –
--. Joe Start, Atlantic-Bkn (NABBP)-N.Y.Mut.(NL), 1B (‘60-’86) –
12. Wally Schang (14), Phila. – NY (A), C (’13-’31) – Small difference between him & Bresnahan, but a) clearly Wally is the better in my mind, and b) there are many evenly ranked players near the same overall value that create quite a distance between the two on my ballot.
13. Cupid Childs (15), Clev. (N), 2B (’90-’01) –
14. Eddie Cicotte (--), Chic. (A), SP (’08-’20) (1930) – Now that the obvious honorees have been taken care of, the pre-’34 crowd is back.
--. Mordecai Brown, Chic. (N), SP (’03-’16) –
15. Clark Griffith (--), Chic. (N) - NY (A), SP (’91-’14) – The pitchers at the bottom here look better to me than Eddie Rommel.

Lip Pike – Too many other worthies have arrived (and will continue to) and rank ahead of him. Doesn’t look likely that he’ll ever make it to the ballot.
Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to overcome the career guys.
George Sisler – Jennings had the better career

Pike, Jennings & Sisler were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   122. Ken Fischer Posted: November 08, 2004 at 01:45 AM (#957145)
1938 Ballot

1-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.

2-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.

3-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.

4-Dick Redding
Dick would be in the other hall if the annual Negro league picks started in 1995 had continued for a couple more years. The Cannonball shut out Smoky Joe Williams twice in 1920…including a 5-0 win at Ebbets Field.

5-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.

6-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.

7-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.

8-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.

9-Heinie Groh 272 WS
I’m finally sold on the best third baseman of his time (in the NL) argument. Prior to 1938 there weren’t a lot of great ones.

10-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.

11-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. He had strong numbers for 3 teams spread out across his entire 15-year career.

12-Wally Schang 245 WS
Wally had an interesting career that spanned the dead ball era into the middle of the live ball era. Played with World Series winners with A’s, Red Sox and Yanks…including the last Red Sox WS win and the first WS win for Yanks. He was a starter for several years followed by years of part-time work. Despite being a part-time for the last 7-8 years he earned 245 career win shares as a catcher…impressive.

13-Stan Coveleski 245 WS
Stan finally makes my ballot but I still have four pitchers ahead of him. Perhaps I haven’t been fair to him…he straddled two eras…great 1920 World Series…only Johnson and Alexander had better ERAs during his time.

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.
   123. dan b Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:52 AM (#957351)
Taking a close look at how pitchers rate against their contemporaries has led to significant changes to my ballot. Big gains for Coveleski, Mays and Cooper, falling are Waddell and Willis.

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.Coveleski (4) Johnson and Alexander the only pitchers of his era clearly better, Coveleski has best 5-year peak and 2nd best 3-year, 8-year and 10-year peaks of all other ML pitchers in his day. PHoM this year.
2.Groh (4) PHoM this year.
3.Jennings (13) – PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar. 1st in 3 and 5-year peaks.
4.Duffy (1). PHoM in 1912. 1st in 8 and 10-year peaks.
5.Leach (7) 6th in 8-yr peak, 3rd in career. PHoM 1926.
6.Griffith (2) 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM in 1913.
7.Roush (2) Composite rank better than any single component.
8. Carey (5) 1st in career, 8th in 10 year peak.
9.Bresnahan (28) 19th in WS/162, but 3rd in WS/600PA. 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
10.Redding This feels right.
11.Cooper (5) Compares favorably against Grimes, Faber, Rixey etc.
12. Mays (6) ditto.
13.Burns,GJ (4) 2nd in 8 and 10 year peaks. 2nd best hitter.
14.Sisler (15) – Best hitter on ballot. Future PHoM.
15.Waddell (3) I like his peak and K’s. PHoM 1926. We have already elected 7 of his peers, but that isn’t close to our 1880’s saturation. We should find room for Rube.
   124. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:59 AM (#957359)
Getting it in before the clock strikes midnight.

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Hughie Jennings - A historical monster for five years in all aspects of his time's play.

5. 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. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder. I feel his peak gives him the edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

6. 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.

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

8. 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.

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

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

11. Max Carey - Defense and stolen bases. How much will that carry him in the future?

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. Jose Mendez - Consider him to be the best negro league pitcher available and could hit and play the field too.

14. Roger Bresnahan - Edges out Schang and Shalk as my top catcher available. Have moved him back up because I believe his versatility is a major plus in his case. I can understand not giving him credit if you think his playing time at other positions was worthless but when he was an outfielder he was one of the best ones in the league. Not many players in history would be able to pull that of.

15. Frank Chance - The opposite of Beckley. Was the standard for excellence at his position but injuries did him in. Tragic that it was the "competitive" nature of his opposition that caused him part of his career and shortened his life.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Heinie Groh - Is number 16. Still hovering close as I am still undecided if there is enough meat to his career.
   125. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:25 AM (#957674)
Uh-oh, ran out of the obvious choices. Finally got around to an overdue pitcher re-evaluation, but it doesn't make me eager to put anyone on the ballot who wasn't already there. PHoM choices are Groh (easy) and Coveleski (hard)

1. Lip Pike (3) Seems to have been among the best 5 or 6 players in baseball for almost a decade, which no one below him on the ballot can say. Made my PHoM in 1919.

2. Heinie Groh (4) 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. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Cupid Childs (5) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. I'd say his defensive advantage outweighs Doyle's offensive one. 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.

4. Stan Coveleski (13) Big beneficiary of my re-evaluation; when you look at everything, he's got a superior resume to everyone else. Really, I'm not just trying to go along with the crowd here. Makes my PHoM this year.

5. Bill Monroe (7) 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.

6. George Van Haltren (9) Passes Ryan, but not by much. Either way, they're close enough that I don't understand why GVH is significantly ahead in the balloting. I know he was a CF, but he only made the top 10 in OPS+ 3 times, and was 10th twice (in 1888 and 1901) and 7th once (in the 1891 AA). That doesn't seem like a HoMer to me.

7. Dick Redding (11) If he's really the #5 Negro League pitcher, maybe he should be higher, but a lot of other people seem skeptical. Could keep going up.

8. Tommy Leach (10) Comparison to Groh shows I've been underrating him some. The 1900s seem underepresented to me, but I can't pull the trigger on him yet. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter.

9. Jimmy Ryan (8) Drops behind GVH after another look at his post-accident dropoff. He and George were very good players for a reasonably long time, but I don't think they were ever great.

10. Max Carey (6) And he slides back down below Van Ryan. His peak is not great, but it's not much worse than any of the other CFs on the ballot. He looks pretty close in value to Mike Griffin with a few average (and a few below-average) seasons tacked on. And after my comment on GVH, he never made the top 10 in OPS+, although he was a leadoff man.

11. Hughie Jennings (15) His peak still leaps out at you, but there's just not much around it.

12. Jose Mendez (12) A very good pitcher who had some excellent seasons.

(12A Sam Thompson)
(12B Rube Foster)

13. Spotswood Poles (14) His numbers seem similar to Monroe's, but he's an OF instead of a 2B. His defensive reputation appears good. Does anyone like him as much as Bill (might make his Top 100) James?

14. Bobby Veach (19) Has good peak value and a halfway decent career value. Seems like a good fielder for a corner OF

15. Clark Griffith (16) Came out behind Waddell in my simple re-evaluation, but I'm still convinced he's better than Rube.

16. Ben Taylor (17) Not sure I have a handle on him yet, but he's a little better than Beckley and Sisler to me for now.
17. Larry Doyle. (18) Amazingly similar to Ed Konetchy, but definitely a worse fielder. Is the 2B offense better than the 1B Defense?
18. Dave Bancroft (23) 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.
19. Jake Beckley. (24) 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.
20. Harry Hooper (22) Similar to Wheat in some ways, but not as good. Pretty low OPS+ for a corner OF candidate.
21. George Sisler (21) His peak is good, but doesn't stick out like Jennings', and his career value isn't anything special. A little behind Beckley now, but they're both limited candidates.
22. Del Pratt. (20) WARP likes him a LOT more than Win Shares does.
23. Rube Waddell (35) Big move up - it's not just the K's and gaudy ERA+
24. Mike Griffin (26) Doesn't quite match up to the other OFs, but it's close. Wish he hadn't retired when he did.
25. Jim McCormick (26) Not that far behind the other 1880s pitchers.
26. Charley Jones (33) Have trouble making up my mind on him. Wish he'd been treated fairly.
27. Herman Long (30) Not that interesting a candidate, this is where the numbers put him.
28. Edd Roush (29) Just not a lot there to get me excited.
29. Mickey Welch (27) Still won't put him ahead of McCormick.
30. Dobie Moore (34) Good year for peak-ers.
   126. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:27 AM (#957676)
God damnit 6387 characters. C'mon with the character limits guys, Jesus Christ.

My ballot will be up shortly. Man I'm pissed.
   127. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:46 AM (#957683)
Okay, sorry about my lack of participation the last few weeks, just have a lot going on and this schedule sucks. I'll be around more now.

I was very disappointed by the showing of Wally Schang and Dave Bancroft last time, so I'll elaborate a little there.

1. Jake Beckley (3) - 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. His time has come.

2. Lip Pike (4) - He was a great hitter. 155 OPS+ do not grow on trees . . . his mainstream statistically documented career doesn't include his accomplishments before age 26.

3. Bill Monroe (5) - Still not convinced he was better than Grant or Johnson, but I am confident he should be ranked near Pike and Jones.

4. Heine Groh (6) - 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. He's actually quite comparable to a player like Ryne Sandberg - with less power, but on base a lot more.

5. Charley Jones (7) - 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.

6. Clark Griffith (8) - (231-152 CJ). Finally takes the plunge - I think I was overrating him a bit. His two best years show as more valuable than McGinnity's (though McGinnity had 4 such years total).

7. Mickey Welch (9) - (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.

8. Wally Schang (10) - The best catcher we've seen in quite some time. 117 OPS+ that was OBP heavy (career .393 OBP) and he lasted 19 years, though he never played more than 134 games in a season.

Elaborating a bit, since it's been suggested he's comparable to Schalk:

Schang beats Schalk solidly on Win Shares, 245-191. This is with Schalk outpointing him 98-61 defensively.

I just don't see how it's possible to look at the two and see Schalk as close.

Taking the defensive advantage into account, I could see ranking them even through 1922. Comparing them seasonally, with Schang listed first:

1912: 0-3
1913: 13-13
1914: 19-17
1915: 17-18
1916: 12-16
1917: 15-20
1918: 10-7
1919: 19-17
1920: 20-21
1921: 20-11
1922: 18-22

Total 1912-22: Schang 163, Schalk 165 head to head seasons, not counting 1912, Shalk, 5-4-1.

Schalk was basically done as a productive player after 1922 (he was decent in 1925), totaling just 26 WS. Schang was Fisk-like in how long he was able to maintain his offense, rolling up 82 WS after 1922.

Schang was 39 years old in 1929, caught 55% of his teams games and still posted a 105 OPS+. Schalk had an OPS+ of 105 exactly once in his career, 1915.

Schang is miles ahead of Schalk, and as far as I can tell, any catcher of the era 1910-30 era.

9. Stan Coveleski (11) - (212-145 CJ) Outstanding pitcher, career reminds me of Mike Mussina's.

10. Max Carey (12) - 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).

11. Dave Bancroft (13) - Great defensive SS, and an average hitter (for a hitter, good hitter for a SS). I like his extra years just a tad more than Jennings' monster years. Bancroft's 1921, 25, 26 were great offensive seasons for a SS.

Bancroft had 103 dWS, a great total. Ozzie Smith had 140, for perspective. Ozzie played 2511 games at SS, Bancroft 1873.

Offensively, picture Steve Sax, only if he played 4-5 years longer, and at a slightly better level (Sax 95 OPS+, Bancroft 98). That's a heck of an offensive player for a SS who was close to Ozzie Smith's defense. Bancroft was a great player.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Jimmy Ryan (--) - Great player from 1888-92, and a very good player during the remainder of his long career.

15. Edd Roush (--) - Great player from 1917-1920. His peak was every bit as good as Sisler. Sisler 1916-1922: 189 WS. Roush's best 7 seasons 191 WS. Sisler, one season over 30 WS. Roush three. The remainder of their careers isn't close. I can't see voting Sisler over Roush.
   128. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:47 AM (#957684)
Not quite on the ballot at this point (in no particular order): Sisler, Harry Hooper, Cupid Childs, Dobie Moore, Mike Tiernan, Spotswood Poles, Rube Waddell, Carl Mays, Urban Shocker, Vic Willis, Eddie Rommel, Cannonball Redding.

Rommel was a really good pitcher, better than I realized. He'd be an easy choice with 3 or 4 more seasons, but since they don't exist, I have him a touch behind Shocker.

I see Childs as similar to Ken Boyer or Ron Cey - a notch below a guy like Santo, so he's close, but not close enough, I just need a little more career for a player with the defensive responsibility of a modern 3B and a 119 career OPS+, even if it is somewhat OBP heavy.
   129. mbd1mbd1 Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:31 PM (#957787)
1938 ballot. None of the newcomers come close (Rommell is in the 40s), so everyone slides on up. The Class of '34 shook things up for a while, but now we're back to the usual suspects plus a couple of recent additions to the backlog. I'm primarily a career voter, with some positional and rate considerations. I made some slight adjustments to try to be more equitable to pitchers this go around, and a lot of positional guys got bumped around.

1. Max Carey (3) - I hope he gets there eventually. He's a smidgeon ahead of the GVH/Duffy/Ryan trio in my opinion.
2. George Van Haltren (6) - GVH is back in an elect-me spot, after a short exile.
3. Hugh Duffy (4)
4. Jimmy Ryan (8) - It's like deja vu all over again with these three. I'm not sure they are all HoM worthy, but they're at the top of this group.
5. Edd Roush (12) - Nice long career, but nothing to get excited over.
6. Tommy Leach (14) - I've liked him from the start.
7. Harry Hooper (15) - Hooper has been all over the place on my ballot. I love his long career, but he has no black ink at all.
8. George J. Burns (7) - All these outfielders are so similar.
9. Jake Beckley (9) - He's gotta be pretty high on the list of total votes received.
10. Heinie Groh (10) - Obviously I don't have him as high as the consensus. He'll be a nice addition to the HoM anyways.
11. Bobby Veach (13) - YAO. Yet another outfielder.
12. George Sisler (5) - George dropped a few spots....I think he's belongs closer to the back end than the front end of the ballot.
13. Larry Doyle (11) - Just a bit better than Childs in my opinion.
14. Vic Willis (NA) - Willis has been on and off my ballot, and when he was off, I felt bad about it.
15. Stan Coveleski (NA) - Finally makes it onto my ballot just in time to get elected.


next five: Browning, Waddell, Bresnahan, Konetchy, Griffith. Pike is way down my list of OF. Hughie Jennings doesn't appeal to the career voter in me and is around 30 or so on my list.
   130. Brad G Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:46 PM (#957806)
Running a bit late this week.
Here's 1938:

1.Max Carey- the best eligible CF, in my book, and I’m a big fan of the position. I also tend to favor the career guys.

2.Stan Coveleski- Looks like the best eligible pitcher.

3.Heinie Groh- Not the longest career, but a terrific peak and very nice Career WARP numbers.

4.George Sisler- Monster Career stats: Runs Created = 1477, Black Ink = 29, Gray Ink = 198. Second look makes him even more impressive.

5.Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 Centerfielder of all time.

6.Rube Waddell- Career Win Shares = 240; WS5 = 145.

7.Edd Roush- Looks great across the board: Career Win Shares = 314, WARP1 = 111.4, WARP3 = 82.3. Too bad he’s a CF. Conservative ranking, this is.

8.Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers’ 1445.

9.George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344, WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286.

10.Bobby Veach- Career WARP1 = 98.6, WARP3 = 82.1, Black Ink = 22, Gray Ink = 170.

11.George J. Burns- Had a real nice career. Career WARP3= 63.3, Black Ink= 33, Gray= 165.

12.Pete Browning- Put up some monster offensive numbers, led by the 162 OPS+. Not so long ago, he was ahead of the likes of Pearce and Caruthers in balloting.

13.Clark Griffith- Excellent Win Share pitcher: Career WS = 266, WS3 = 96, WS5 = 143.

14.Jimmy Ryan- Career WS = 316, Career WARP1 = 119, Career WARP3 = 84.5, Career Runs Created = 1338, B+ WS Defender. Awesome career.

15.Tommy “The Rifle” Leach- Career Win Shares = 329, WARP1 = 113.7, WARP3 = 74.8

16-20: Bresnahan, Jennings (constantly on the brink of breaking through), Childs, Cravath, Doyle

No Lip!: Way too many CFs to fit Pike in here. Still around #24.
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2004 at 05:22 PM (#957866)
We're still missing ballots from robc, Chris J., jimd, MichaelD, Tanketra (he's been gone for a while), Max Parkinson, Brad Harriss, The Good Samaritan, Eric Enders, RMc (another one who hasn't been here in a while) and Sean M.
   132. Howie Menckel Posted: November 08, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#957905)
We already have an "OCF" voting.
Can we change mbd1mbd1's name to "OF," based on his ballot?

Just clowning around ;)
   133. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2004 at 06:19 PM (#957959)
Can we change mbd1mbd1's name to "OF," based on his ballot?

Are you trying to say he likes outfielders? :-)
   134. robc Posted: November 08, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#957985)
I made some minor changes to my ballot on friday but lost them over the weekend. It only affected the guys at the bottom of the ballot, so it shouldnt cuase a problem. With have 2 weeks to redo that work. Anyway, on with the ballot:

1. Max Carey - Moves to the top with all the no-brainers out of the way.
2. Heinie Groh - Best of the underrepresented third basemen.
3. Lave Cross - 2nd best of the underrepresented 3rd basemen.
4. Harry Hooper - 2nd best career value on ballot.
5. Bobby Veach - nice peak with okay career value.
6. Fielder Jones - good peak, good career, not gettin the love.
7. Ben Taylor - pales (no pun intended) in comparison to our recent negro league inductees, but still deserves it himself, eventually.
8. Stan Coveleski - Best pitcher on the ballot. For me, pitchers seem to fall into 2 categories, top of ballot and off of ballot. He is one of the weird ones that gets to slowly move up thru a ballot over time.
9. Jake Beckley - will never get the votes from the peak guys.
10. Cupid Childs - main beneficiary of me losing my new calculations. Will probably fall a few spots next time.
11. Wally Schang - Easily the best catcher on the ballot.
12. Dave Bancroft - Just a bit better than Tinker, but at this point, a bit can be 20 or 30 places.
13. Rube Waddell - Below my point of HoMers.
14. Tommy Leach - If it wasnt for all those other outfielders, he might be higher. Start of the glut?
15. Mike Tiernan - Older glut.

16. George VanHaltren
17. Hughie Jennings - Peak will eventually get him back on my ballot.
18. George J. Burns
19. Jimmy Ryan
20. Del Pratt
21. Billy Nash
22. John McGraw
23. Joe Tinker
24. Ray Schalk
25. Ed Konetchy
26. Clark Griffith
27. George Sisler - Not a HoMer. But a nice peak.
28. Vic Willis
29. Pete Browning
30. Lip Pike - back into my top 30 after a long absense.
   135. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 08, 2004 at 07:32 PM (#958105)
Well, I can't provide Howie with complete voting totals, but I can be egotistical and give him my top 15.
1. LIP PIKE 624
2. Dickey Pearce 479
3. Charlie Bennett 398
4. HUGHIE JENNINGS 316
5. JIMMY RYAN 254
6. Joe Start 237
7. BILL MONROE 234
8. Frank Grant 233
9. Bob Caruthers 221
10. Cal McVey 219
11. Harry Stovey 214
12. Ezra Sutton 207
13. CUPID CHILDS 204
14. GEORGE VAN HALTREN 191
15. Pud Galvin 167
   136. Daryn Posted: November 08, 2004 at 07:35 PM (#958110)
Where's the 1939 ballot thread? I need people to convince me why my first three picks shouldn't be pitchers.
   137. mbd1mbd1 Posted: November 08, 2004 at 07:53 PM (#958137)
I know.......
   138. Howie Menckel Posted: November 08, 2004 at 08:18 PM (#958172)
Sorry, Devin.
I meant how many voters voted in how many elections?
And I think Wargo has a spreadsheet with "career ballot pts" of players..
   139. ronw Posted: November 08, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#958365)
And I think Wargo has a spreadsheet with "career ballot pts" of players..

Nope, not me.

I have something along Don F's list of HOMers not HOFers, and HOFers not HOMers. My count (adding the players mentioned in subsequent entries, plus Miller Huggins, Wilbert Robinson, and Connie Mack) on those is 22 (soon 23) HOMers not HOFers and 36 (soon 35) HOFers not HOMers.

After 1942, we'll probably have no more HOMers not HOFers for a while, Negro Leagues excepted. In fact, it looks like Lip Pike will be the only other electee to meet this category until several Negro Leaguers are up for election in the late 40's - early 50's (Suttles, Jud Wilson, Mackey.)

On the HOFer not HOMer list, McCarthy and the Frisch boys will soon be joined by:

1. Eppa Rixey (1939)
2. Red Faber (1939)
3. Rabbit Maranville (1939)
4. Joe Sewell (1939)
5. Sam Rice (1940)
6. Burleigh Grimes (1940)
7. Herb Pennock (1940)
8. Hack Wilson (1940)
9. Pie Traynor (1941)
10. Dazzy Vance (1941)
11. Earle Combs (1941)
12. Bill Terry (1942)
13. Travis Jackson (1942)
14. Freddy Lindstrom (1942)
15. Jim Bottomley (1943)
16. Judy Johnson (1943)
17. Chick Hafey (1943)
18. Jesse Haines (1943)
19. Kiki Cuyler (1944)
20. Waite Hoyt (1944)
21. Heinie Manush (1945)
22. Tony Lazzeri (1945)
23. Earl Averill (1946)
24. Dizzy Dean (1946)
25. Ted Lyons (1948)
26. Lefty Gomez (1948)
27. Lloyd Waner (1948)
28. Chuck Klein (1949)
29. Rick Ferrell (1951)
30. Red Ruffing (1953)
31. Billy Herman (1953)
32. Ernie Lombardi (1953)
33. Al Lopez (1953)
34. Hilton Smith (1954)

So with 1939 (2), 1940 (1 or 2 if Rogan isn't automatic) and 1942 (2), we'll only have 5-6 players selected out of the existing backlog plus the first 14 above.

In 1941 and 1943-1955, we have the following quick prediction, all newcomers not listed above:

1940 or 1942 - Bullet Rogan (1940)
1941 - Babe Ruth (1941)
1941 - Rogers Hornsby (1941)
1943 - Oscar Charleston (1943)
1943 - Mickey Cochrane (1943)
1945 - Frankie Frisch (1943)
1944 - Bill Foster (1943)
1944 - Lou Gehrig (1944)
1945 - Goose Goslin (1944)
1946 - Turkey Stearnes (1946)
1946 - Al Simmons (1946)
1947 - Gabby Hartnett (1947)
1947 - Lefty Grove (1947)
1948 - Charlie Gehringer (1948)
1948 - Cool Papa Bell (1948)
1949 - Carl Hubbell (1949)
1950 - Paul Waner (1950)
1950 - Martin Dihigo (1950)
1951 - Joe Cronin (1950)
1951 - Jimmie Foxx (1951)
1952 - Josh Gibson (1952)
1952 - Mel Ott (1952)
1953 - Bill Dickey (1952)
1953 - Willie Wells (1953)
1955 - Hank Greenberg (1953)
1954 - Arky Vaughan (1954)
1954 - Joe Medwick (1954)
1955 - Buck Leonard (1955)

In 1949, Biz Mackey (1949) will likely join Carl Hubbell. Mule Suttles (1946) and Jud Wilson (1947) could also sneak in.

The moral: Enjoy these backlog years, they are not likely to return until the 1960's 3 man elections start up again.
   140. DavidFoss Posted: November 08, 2004 at 11:20 PM (#958394)
The moral: Enjoy these backlog years, they are not likely to return until the 1960's 3 man elections start up again.

Thanks Ron!

My backlog is growing, and I'll have to change my system to allow for my personal rankings to extend far past #15. Its going to be challenging to keep track of the growing backlog until the 3-man elections open the gates a little wider (at least for me it will be).
   141. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 01:40 AM (#958532)
Ballot for 1938

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) 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". All of the others have already been elected or are not yet eligible; elected to my PHOM a quarter-century ago.

Thought experiment: Suppose a young player 26-29 did what Barry Bonds has done the last four years instead of Barry doing it, after showing flashes of excellence; suppose then that something happened (he pulled a George Sisler of some kind). Would he be a HOMer? This is Hughie Jennings' career, as viewed by WARP-1.

2) S. COVELESKI -- Very strong peak.

3) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's. Trying to integrate a prime measure; Childs and Dunlap do well.

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

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

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

7) H. GROH -- See above.

8) G. VAN HALTREN -- Better prime than Ryan.

9) 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.

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

11) H. LONG -- Great defensive player on a great defensive team.

12) B. VEACH -- Good peak relative to great competition. Deserves votes, though not inclusion (at least yet).

13) H. HOOPER -- Long solid career.

14) H. DUFFY -- Underrated.

15) J. WHITNEY -- He's back.

Just missing the cut are:
16-18) Jim McCormick, Dick Redding, Tommy Bond,
19-21) Jose Mendez, Del Pratt, George Sisler,
22-24) Gavy Cravath, Rube Waddell, Spotswood Poles,
25-27) Lip Pike, Clark Griffith, Jake Beckley,
28-30) Roy Thomas, Silver King, Roger Bresnahan
   142. Max Parkinson Posted: November 09, 2004 at 01:46 AM (#958538)
1938 Ballot…


1. Hughie Jennings

In these relatively lean years, Jennings gets the bump of “best player in the game”. For 5 years, he was that – the 3rd best offensive player (in no small part due to the HBPs) behind Delahanty and Hamilton, and the best defensive shortstop on the planet. I’ll attempt to stay away from the WARP/Win Share arguments here; the ‘90s Orioles consistently led the one-team NL in Runs Allowed with a very mediocre pitching staff. This staff never finished top in the league (and rarely top half) in Ks or BBs allowed. This has to suggest that the defense was extraordinary, no?

2. Heinie Groh

The best 3rd sacker in the game for a good 10 year stretch from 1915-1924, both defensively and offensively.

3. Stan Coveleski

Peak value means a lot to me, especially in pitchers, and Stan has that on every pitcher on the ballot.

4. Lip Pike

The best OF of the NA, and best player from those years that we haven’t elected. Is this where we draw the line? I kind of hope not.

5. Harry Hooper

Not a great player, but good for a long enough time to overcome that. Terrific defensively; if you think that playing RF in Fenway is tough now, look at the dimensions from the 1910s. It was massive, and having an extra centre fielder is probably one of the reasons the Sox won so much that decade.

6. Bobby Veach

The best LFer of his time, with a pretty good peak. He doesn’t get tons of credit for being the top OFer in any year, but that’s kind of tough when you play in the same league as Cobb and Speaker. Again, terrific defensively.

7. Dick Redding

With the blackball players, we just do what we can and extrapolate. I figure that Redding was better than every eligible pitcher except Covaleski, so he winds up here.

8. Rube Waddell

Waddell was a pretty big beneficiary of the BP data update, and he was also helped by my correction for my possible overpenalising of poor-hitting and poor-fielding pitchers, of which he was both.

9. Ed Konetchy

10. George Sisler

Konetchy over Sisler? Wha? Well, at their best Sisler was better, but at their worst Sisler was worse. Konetchy was much steadier, and was really good defensively for a long time, winning 6 GGs in 8 years (’08-15), while I have Sisler only winning 2.

11. Clark Griffith

I think that as the 4th best pitcher of the 1890s, Griffith should be a lot closer to election than someone who is the 7th or 8th best of his time (being generous). Especially when the other 3 are inner-circle types…

12. Fielder Jones

13. Max Carey

Very close here, and a gave the tie to the better defender. Jones was the best CFer the game saw until Tris Speaker. Carey, although he was good, was rarely if ever better than Speaker.

14. Carl Mays

Again with the peak candidate, but I think that when you have a lot of pitchers pretty close together in pitching value, using hitting and fielding as a tie-break is more than fair. Mays was phenomenal at both, winning 4 GGs (only Cy Young had more), and 2 Silver Sluggers.

15. George Burns

Another beneficiary of the BP update (the 1910s NL is not punished anywhere near as harshly as it used to be). A career .286 EqA, and well-above average defense.


Other notables:

Jake Beckley – OK player for a long time. Has been close to my ballot in the past, although I forget if he’s ever actually cracked it. Falling away as more and better candidates become eligible.

Mickey Welch – I’ve spoken to my objections here on his personal thread. He wasn’t as good during his time as the guys we’ve elected, and there’s already lots of representation from ‘80s pitchers. He’ll become more viable once we’ve elected the deserving from the ‘90s and the ‘10s.
   143. OCF Posted: November 09, 2004 at 02:19 AM (#958567)
I have 53 ballots cast, and 63 players who received votes. There's no doubt about who the two winners are, even though I have them tied for 5th in number of 1st place votes received. There's plenty of doubt about who is likely to be elected in 1939. Preliminary run of consensus scores (pending the inevitable correction of data entry errors) has an average of -4.4 and a range from -18 to +6, with a best possible of +14. That's lower than 1931. There was not much of a consensus to agree with.
   144. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 02:20 AM (#958569)
A little bit more on Jennings:

4 year consecutive offensive peak using EQA, descending:

.331 .329 .322 .313 -- Hughie Jennings, age 26-29 (1895-1898)
.333 .324 .318 .315 -- Alex Rodriguez, age 25-28 (2000-2003)

He hit as effectively as ARod (actually more like Nomar before the wrist operation, though more OBP due to the HBPs and less slugging), and was a better fielder than ARod. (Note that EQA is adjusted for league scoring context and park.)

122 121 115 112 -- Hughie Jennings, age 26-29 (1895-1898)
111 108 107 107 -- Alex Rodriguez, age 25-28 (2000-2003)

This is an era when infielder fielding was much more valuable than now. The 1890's have a much lower percentage of strikeouts than any era after sidearm was legalized, and the OF's don't make any more plays than they do today. BP judges this combination (SS hits like ARod, better fielder) to accumulate as much WARP-1 as Barry Bonds does.

No matter what happened afterwards, is this peak worthy of the HOM?

Best player in baseball in 1895, 1896, 1898.
1897, missed by a whisker (.2) to George Davis because Hughie missed 20 games.
1894, 2nd-team SS behind Bill Dahlen, 10th best season in baseball.
   145. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2004 at 02:25 AM (#958575)
Election is over: it's Groh and Co!

I'll have the election thread ready sometime tonight.
   146. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 03:10 AM (#958608)
A little bit more on Jennings: (reposted from the 1938 ballot thread)

4 year consecutive offensive peak using EQA, descending:

.331 .329 .322 .313 -- Hughie Jennings, age 26-29 (1895-1898)
.333 .324 .318 .315 -- Alex Rodriguez, age 25-28 (2000-2003)

He hit as effectively as ARod (actually more like Nomar before the wrist operation, though more OBP due to the HBPs and less slugging), and was a better fielder than ARod. (Note that EQA is adjusted for league scoring context and park.)

122 121 115 112 -- Hughie Jennings, age 26-29 (1895-1898)
111 108 107 107 -- Alex Rodriguez, age 25-28 (2000-2003)

This is an era when infielder fielding was much more valuable than now. The 1890's have a much lower percentage of strikeouts than any era after sidearm was legalized, and the OF's don't make any more plays than they do today. BP judges this combination (SS hits like ARod, better fielder) to accumulate as much WARP-1 as Barry Bonds does.

No matter what happened afterwards, is this peak worthy of the HOM?

Best player in baseball in 1895, 1896, 1898.
1897, missed by a whisker (.2) to George Davis because Hughie missed 20 games.
1894, 2nd-team SS behind Bill Dahlen, 10th best season in baseball.
   147. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 03:12 AM (#958611)
Aaargh...

Sorry about that; can't even repost right.
   148. Brent Posted: November 09, 2004 at 05:17 AM (#958751)
Joe Dimino wrote:

...since it's been suggested he's [Schang's] comparable to Schalk:

Schang beats Schalk solidly on Win Shares, 245-191...
Total 1912-22: Schang 163, Schalk 165 head to head seasons, not counting 1912, Shalk, 5-4-1.

Schalk was basically done as a productive player after 1922 (he was decent in 1925), totaling just 26 WS. Schang was Fisk-like in how long he was able to maintain his offense, rolling up 82 WS after 1922...

Schang is miles ahead of Schalk, and as far as I can tell, any catcher of the era 1910-30 era.


I am one of those who sees Schang as comparable (only a little better than) Schalk. Joe's discussion overlooks a few considerations.

(1) Although they played about the same number of games over their careers (1842 for Schang, 1762 for Schalk), Schalk spent a lot more of them catching (1727 for Schalk, 1435 for Schang). Schang also played 167 games in the outfield, 60 at 3B, and 1 at SS, leaving (if my math is correct) about 179 games spent as a pinch hitter. In 1915 Schang played 43 games at 3B and 41 in the OF, while catching only 26 games, and in 1916 he played 61 in the OF while catching 36. He also spent quite a bit of time at other positions in 1917-18 and 1920. Schalk never played a position other than catcher, and apparently was a pinch hitter for only about 35 games.

Obviously these differences reflect and reinforce the perception of Schang as a good hitter and Schalk as a good defensive catcher. But the more important point is that if you think that playing catcher merits a positional bonus (my own positional bonus for the 1913-22 period is about 30 percent) then Schang merits a smaller positional bonus. Schang's 12 win shares in 1916 would have been ok for a catcher, but it really wasn't very good for a left fielder. Making that adjustment, I think we can agree that during their primes, Schalk was clearly slightly ahead of Schang.

(2) While I agree with Joe that Schang was certainly better than Schalk after 1922, I think Joe's comparison to Fisk is really overselling the quality of his play during those years. Over the 9 seasons from 1923-31, Schang only once caught more than 85 games. For 3 seasons (1925, 1930-31) he was the backup catcher (WS were 4, 2, and 1), and in 1923 with an OPS+ of 84 and only 81 games caught, his WS total was only 8. For the other 5 seasons he was a somewhat valuable catcher, but not a league leader:

1924 16 WS (tied for 3rd in league)
1926 14 (tied for 3rd)
1927 12 (tied for 3rd)
1928 14 (2nd)
1929 11 (3rd)

{During these years, the league's top catchers were Bassler (1924, 21 WS), Ruel (1926, 18), and Cochrane (1927-29, 23, 22, 27).}

I tend to be a "total peak" voter (see Chris Cobb's post # 76 in the 1938 ballot discussion), so I tend not to give much credit for seasons that are average or below average.

Joe's comparison of Schang to Fisk is misleading. After his age 32 season (1922), Schang caught another 637 games; after his (1980), Fisk caught 1,236 games. After age 32, Fisk had a number of seasons that were far better than anything Schang accomplished at that stage: 1982 (19 WS), '83 (26), '85 (24), '89 (18), and '90 (22).

A final note - Joe pointed out that during their 10-year primes (1913-22), Schang earned 163 WS compared to 162 for Schalk. By comparison, Bresnahan during his 10-year prime (1902-11) earned 190 WS. While it's true that Bresnahan was primarily an outfielder during 2 of those years, as I've observed, Schang also played other positions (and not as effectively). In addition, the information on catcher usage on the Catcher thread suggests strongly to me that catcher was a much tougher position during the aughts than during the teens. That's why Bresnahan makes my ballot, while both Schang and Schang are well off.
   149. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 09, 2004 at 07:18 AM (#958938)
Brent, thanks for the response.

Win Shares already gives Schalk credit for catching, and Schang credit for catching and playing some outfield. No extra credit is needed when comparing them heads up, Schalk has already been given a lot more defensive Win Shares than Schang. Schang's offense was on another level entirely, and that's why he rates so much higher. If anything, I think WS overrates the catchers it considers good defensively, and underrates the catchers it considers bad defensively. I don't think the 'spread' on catcher defense is all that great, most of the value is just in being back there in the first place.

As for Fisk, I said he was Fisk-like in his ability to retain his offense. Schang had a 103 OPS+ from age 33 on; Fisk 109 (and Schang's was more OBP driven).

For Schang, this was catching 637 games, he played OF in 3 games after age 32. I was just saying that he was an incredibly valuable 2/3 time player in his mid-late 30s, and it's easy to forget that. With Bresnahan and Schang, their prime is all they have going for them, and it isn't enough. Schang is comparable (a bit behind Bresnahan) in the prime phase and dwarfs them outside of it.

It's enough, when tacked on to a pretty high peak (for a catcher) to make him an extremely viable candidate in my opinion, much moreso than Schalk. To me, it's like comparing Bill Freehan to Jim Sundberg, which is about where I'd have the spread between Schang and Schalk.
   150. Rick A. Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:59 PM (#959691)
Is there a "career voting points" tally? I fell off the counting wagon about six 'years' ago.

Howie, sorry, I've been away from my PC for a few days. Here is the career points tally as of 1938.

Pike        12381
Thompson    12349
Bennett     11503
Caruthers   10704
Duffy       10064
Van Haltren 9928.5
Stovey      9576
Jennings    9415
Browning    9117.5
Beckley     9033
Ryan        8990
Start       8378.5
McGinnity   8232
Pearce      8073
McVey       7985.5
Grant       7969.5
Waddell     7372
Griffith    7315
Childs      6797
Welch       6652
Galvin      6585
Sheckard    6377
Sutton      6070
McPhee      5921
Wallace     5808
J. Collins  4895
Bresnahan   4877
Radbourn    4558
Spalding    4449
Richardson  4077
Williamson  3886
Kelley      3861
C. Jones    3548
Torriente   3544
Groh        3515
Monroe      3377
Leach       3278
HR Johnson  3118
SJ Williams 3066
Foster      3062
McCormick   3047
Glasscock   2878
Coveleski   2748
Keeler      2739
Tiernan     2672
TF Brown    2578
E. Collins  2308
Lloyd       2179
Doyle       2166
G. Wright   2145
McGraw      2062
Flick       2041
Crawford    2010
Joss        1976
Heilmann    1966
Chance      1827
Burkett     1722
Keefe       1719
Plank       1706
Carey       1687
Griffin     1684.5
Mendez      1430
Willis      1401
Poles       1358
Cobb        1334
Magee       1309
W. Johnson  1296
Jackson     1285
Cicotte     1279
F. Jones    1264
Mullane     1220
Cravath     1215
Alexander   1193
Wagner      1152
Santop      1126
Cross       1105
Speaker     1102
Hooper      1091
Lajoie      1091
Young       1080
Mathewson   1065
Delahanty   1015
G. Davis    1011
Brouthers   1005
Sisler      1001
Nichols     997
Wheat       997
Connor      984
Dunlap      952
Dahlen      939
Veach       939
Baker       932
Clarke      920
Anson       900
H. Wright   878
Hamilton    877
Whitney     876
Walsh       822
O'Neill     791
Long        772.5
Clarkson    756
Ewing       752.5
Rusie       720
P. Hill     706
O'Rourke    699
D. White    657
Hines       654
K. Kelly    625
Ward        617
Bond        582
Burns       582
Redding     556
Gore        553
Roush       550
Barnes      476
Konetchy    459
York        453
Taylor      401
Shocker     348
Mays        340
Schang      329
S. White    297
Meyerle     287
King        280
Clements    265
Nash        234
Moore       202
Cooper      199
Bush        176
Pratt       163
Fowler      157
Petway      149
Hutchison   141
Foutz       136
Schalk      127
Mathews     124
Farrell     120
McGuire     119
Lyons       114
Bancroft    87
R. Thomas   87
Orr         86
Tinker      80
Leever      79
Youngs      64
Seymour     60
Donaldson   57
Phillippe   57
Evers       55
J. Williams 53
Zimmer      51
G. Stovey   43
Fournier    38
Daubert     37
Joyce       36
Latham      36
Chapman     35
H. Davis    31
Dalrymple   31
Creighton   29
Stivetts    24
E. Smith    21
Hoy         20
DeMoss      19
McKean      17
Chesbro     14
Beaumont    13
H. Vaughn   13
Cuppy       10
Larkin      10
J. Thomas   9
Hahn        8
Gleason     7
Marcelle    7
Tannehill   7
Buffinton   6
O. Burns    6
Rommel      6
J. Powell   6
Hartsel     6
Selbach     6
Werden      6
Weyhing     6
McCarthy    6
Clapp       6
Nichol      6
Sunday      4
C. Welch    3
Cummings    1
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