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

Monday, November 15, 2004

1939 Ballot

Strong crop of newly eligible players this “year”, though no no-brainers, IMO. They include Rabbit Maranville, Red Faber, Eppa Rixey, Joe Sewell, Nip Winters, Heavy Johnson and Jack Quinn. Strong returnees from last “year” include Lip Pike, Max Carey, Hughie Jennings, Jake Beckley, Clark Griffith, George Sisler, Rube Waddell and Mickey Welch.

As far as I am concerned, it’s a wide open election. I have no clue who will be the two candidates.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2004 at 06:30 AM | 149 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2004 at 03:50 PM (#966519)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but I doubt he'll make my ballot when he becomes eligible).


1) Cupid Childs-2B (1): Best second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.          

Childs was the best major league second baseman more times in a season than Doyle was the best NL second baseman. IMO, there's no way that the Laughing One goes above the Little Fat Man.

Cupid has the most seasons as the best player at his position who is not in the HoM and compares favorably in that regard with the majority of HoMers, IMO. I honestly don't think any other player that becomes eligible from this point on with as many seasons as the best at his position will have to wait anywhere nearly as long Childs has had to endure. That doesn't mean he belongs as high as I have him, but he should be hitting everyone's ballot somewhere. Please take another look at him.

2) Lip Pike-CF/RF/2B (4): Considered the fastest man of his time. Major star prior to the NA. Two things hold him back somewhat: durability and how good of a player he was at his position compared to his competition pre-NA (Pearce is not affected as much by the latter in my analysis, obviously). Best major league rightfielder for 1871 and 1873. Best major league centerfielder for 1874-1876.

3) Joe Sewell-SS/2B (n/e): Decided to play it a little more conservatively from my preliminary ballot. Terrific fielder who could hit (he rarely ever struck out). Extremely durable in the time he did play, plus played third base when it had a far greater defensive responsibility. Best shortstop of the twenties. Best major league shortstop for 1923, 1924, very close in 1925, 1926 and 1928. Best AL shortstop for 1921, 1922, 1925 and 1927. Best AL third baseman for 1929.

4) Dobie Moore (n/e): The best peak of any shortstop available, but the length of his career holds him back somewhat (though not as bad as Jennings). He might still deserve to go ahead of Sewell.

5) Charley Jones-LF/CF (5): Like York below, he was playing a more difficult position than the one that it evolved into. I gave him a little more credit for his (unfairly) blacklisted years. Best major league leftfielder for 1877, 1879 and 1884. Best AA centerfielder for 1883. Best AA leftfielder for 1885 (close to being the best in the majors).

6) Vic Willis-P (6): Why does this man receive such little respect? Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

7) Tom York-LF (7): I know some here looking at his OPS+ must be saying to themselves "Murph has him over guys like Carey or Roush?!?" Fair question, but, IMO, York was a more dominating player at his position than those two during their time. Long enough career and many times as the best at his position (when left field was more like centerfield today) deserves a ballot spot.Best leftfielder of the 1870s. Best major league leftfielder for 1873, 1875, 1877 and 1878 (extremely close in 1872 and 1881).

8) Jake Beckley-1B (8): Not much peak, but plenty of career. Better than his numbers suggest since first base was tougher during his time than during the ABC boys' era. Best major league first baseman for 1900.

9) Mickey Welch-P (9): I have to admit that the 1880s had some fine pitchers. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

10) Red Faber-P (n/e): Of all of the Black Sox pitchers, I'll take Faber over Cicotte any day of the week (comparable peak and much longer career). Best major league pitcher for 1921 and 1922.

11) Rube Waddell-P (10): If he had been a little more serious and quit the horse playing... Tied for best major league pitcher for 1902. Best AL pitcher for 1905.

12)José Méndez-P (11): Looks a lot like Waddell quality-wise, so I'll place him right here. Very impressive player.

13) Eppa Rixey-P (n/e): Before Spahn, he was the winningest lefty in the NL. Comparble to Faber, except Red had a better peak..

14) Ed Konetchy-1B (12): Best first baseman of the Deadball Era, IMO. The uber-stat systems don't measure first base well, so Konetchy is hurt by that. Best major league first baseman for 1910, 1911 and 1916 (very close in 1909 and 1912). Best NL first baseman for 1909, 1912 and 1919.

15) George Van Haltren-CF/P (13): Long career of quality play. Best NL leftfielder for 1889 and best AA leftfielder for 1891.



As for Carey, Jennings, Griffith and Sisler, they all have something going for them, but just not enough.

As for the newbies, I'm not crazy about Maranville. Quinn is not that far off my ballot - better than I thought.
   2. karlmagnus Posted: November 15, 2004 at 04:16 PM (#966544)
5 newbies, not in the order that WS would put them. Maranville a truly dreadful hitter, except for 1914, below Lave Cross and so not on ballot. Sewell much better, somewhat better than Groh in my view, so goes in his slot and would have been just above him. Faber slightly better than Willis, Rixey not quite as good, though it’s extremely close. Quinn a little below that.

1. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2-1-1-2-6-4-4-2-1) Jake Beckley. I have to say the refusal of half the electorate to put Beckley on their ballots at all is becoming more than a little irritating – leaving him off altogether while electing outfielder flotsam with 400 fewer hits and 20 points less OPS+ is, I am coming to think, not intellectually justifiable. Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, over 3200 hits, and OPS+ of 125 better than Van Haltren and slightly short of Wheat’s 129. Isolated power .127 vs “slugger” Wheat .135, in a less power-centered era. Marginally ahead of Welch, as we have seen more 307-win pitchers (now 10 others among currently HOM-eligible) than 2930-hit hitters (now 8 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707. Played for un-famous teams. Better than Keeler, almost as good as Crawford. More than a borderline HOMer, somewhere in the reaches well above the border but below the immortals.

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2) Mickey Welch. 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the 1920s pitcher glut. 1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson’s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. With 4802 IP, OK at an ERA+of 113 (but he never heard of ERA) he was far better than most of the 00s and 20s pitchers under consideration, none of whom (other than Young, Matty and Alex) got near 300 wins, and many of whom had ERA+s little better than Welch.

3. (N/A-6-4-3) George Sisler. 2812 hits, OPS+ 124 puts him just below Beckley and Welch but above Torriente, I think. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .748. Better singles hitter than Ichiro!, his record having been set in a 154 game season. And he had power too.

4. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) By a significant margin the best pitcher on the current ballot, much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity. Successfully cursed Red Sox for over 8 decades!

5. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8-9-7-5) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA

6. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6-5-5-7-11-9-10-8-6) Clark Griffith He’s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good. 3385 IP, 237 wins and an ERA+ of 121 not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice.

7. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7) Sam Leever. 194-100 is more career than 1720 hits, so Leever goes above Childs. That and an ERA+ of 123 also get him above Van Haltren and Ryan, there being no outfielder dearth. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Much better ERA+ than Tannehill, and W/L pct close to record territory, MUCH better than the 1920s glut. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

8. (N/A-9-8) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.
   3. karlmagnus Posted: November 15, 2004 at 04:17 PM (#966548)
9. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13-14-13-9) Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B, and I’ve been undervaluing him, significantly.

10. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15-15-14-10) Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF, and also on reflection above Tiernan

11. (N/A) Joe Sewell 2226 hits, TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .721, so not sure why OPS+ as low as 109. You could argue he’s better than Schang and Childs, you can’t argue he’s worse than Groh, especially as he was mainly a SS.

12. (N/A-11-12-11-11) Carl Mays Somewhat better W/L and WS than Coveleski, not quite as good an ERA+. He’s very close to Coveleski, I’m fairly sure he’s not as good as Leever. Hitting pushes him just above where Coveleski was, and above Faber/Rixey.

13. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-N/A-14) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he’s way below Beckley on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though - and it’s ’94 not ’93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Significantly behind Beckley on counting considerations, and Browning on rate considerations.

14. (N/A) Red Faber ERA+ of 119, IP 4086 and 254-213 record, just a bit better than Willis, in a more difficult era. Slightly better ERA+ than Rixey, but fewer IP and worse record.

15. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15) Vic Willis 249-205 and ERA+ of 118 get him here. Lots of IP – 3996 --, but W/L pct nothing special

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A) Eppa Rixey, 266-251 and ERA+ of 115, not quite as good as Willis, even though huge 4,494 IP. Stuffed this year by where end of ballot falls, will presumably get lucky in the future.

17. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so only on the ballot in weak years. Does well against the 90s trio, whose OPS+ and rate stats are distinctly lower. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning (in an easier era for hitters).

18. (N/A-11-14-N/A) Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak. 2961 IP, and W/L193-143 not at all special. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive – but he’s considerably better than Mendez, with ERA+ of 134 and moves up owing to pitcher dearth, although his unearned runs prevent him moving higher than this.

19. (N/A) Hughie Jennings OPS+ 117 and he was a shortstop and he had a superb peak, but only 1527 hits. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .671, so he’s not as good as Childs. Extra bonus for the peak, and by comparison with rather anonymous 20s players on ballot.

20. (9-12-12-11-9-10-10-13-12-15-14-N/A-12-13-11-13-13-15-N/A) Lip Pike - Like Start, give some credit for missing 1860s. However, normalize 1871-78 season by season and he gets 1,592 hits after 26 - not quite an obvious HOM-er. 4 “normalized 200-hit” seasons, but only just, whereas Meyerle’s 1871 peak normalizes to 320 (obviously a random fluctuation, but in the right direction!)TB+BB/PA .478, TB+BB/Outs .713.

21. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike. Lower than Pike because not a huge pre-’71 career.

22. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
23. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren.
24. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
25. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A) George van Haltren. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s.
26. Jack Quinn ERA+ of 114, and 247-218, not as good as Willis, Faber or Rixey.
27. Deacon McGuire
28. Tony Mullane
29. Jim McCormick
30. Dick Redding Not quite long enough career, not quite dominant enough. Either slightly above or slightly below Poles, I think.
31. Edd Roush TB+BB/PA .462, TB+BB/Outs.706, significantly better than Carey but streets below Sisler.
32. Max Carey. More hits than Hooper, lower OPS+ (only 107, though that’s lowered by a long decline). TB+BB/PA .433, TB+BB/Outs .658 very feeble, and it’s post-the real deadball era. SBs add a little, as he was about 75% successful.
33. Spotswood Poles.
34. Larry Doyle
35. Roger Bresnahan.
36. Harry Hooper.
37. Jules Thomas.
38. Wilbur Cooper
39. Bruce Petway.
40. Jack Clements
41. Bill Monroe
42. Jose Mendez
43. Chief Bender
44. Ed Konetchy
45. Jesse Tannehill
46. Bobby Veach
47. Tommy Leach
48. Lave Cross
49. Tom York
   4. Daryn Posted: November 15, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#966564)
I’m a big Redding fan. I think it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to only have 5 blackball pitchers in the HoM.

1. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data shows those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe. I like his oft repeated record against HoMers.

2. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. Baseballreality.com has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time. Crawford (HOMer) and Wheat (HOMer) are two of his three most similars.

3. George Sisler – how can you keep the guy who has the second best single season hit total out of the Hall of Merit? Hits impress me and he had a lot of them, plus a better peak than Beckley. I’ve put Beckley ahead of him because I’m a career voter.

4. Red Faber – both Faber and Rixey could get a little war credit if you are so inclined. Faber has a better peak. I have them slightly better than Coveleski was -- they were Coveleski plus a half dozen average years, as was pointed out by PhillyBooster. Quinn is not really far behind at 35th. If they were firstbasemen Faber would be Sisler and Rixey would be Beckley, which doesn’t explain why I have the orders reversed.

5. Eppa Rixey – Dead heat with Faber. These two (and Redding for that matter) could move as high as 2 and 3.

6. Rube Waddell -- I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown).

7. Lip Pike – 4 monster seasons, 4 more not too bad, plus 4 undocumented.

8. Roger Bresnahan – Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor. I like him better than Schang because he compared better to his contemporaries, if you count him as a catcher.

9. Redding – probably the 6th or 7th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams, Paige, Foster, Foster and Rogan), and that is good enough for me.

10. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. That being said, he is barely better than what is now a 10 person pitching glut.

11. Cupid Childs – nice obp.

12. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson, who was 2nd on my ballot when elected.

13. Joe Sewell – I’m assuming he was pretty good on defense.

14. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

15. Bill Munroe – I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I’ll take McGraw’s word for it.

16. Jose Mendez – somewhere between here and Waddell seems about right.

17. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. Could be below Duffy. Eight pitchers in my top 17.

18. Schang – I’d like more catchers in the HoM, but this isn’t a cocktail party.

19. Jennings – Big bump up from me (see the 1936 ballot thread about the Orioles’ pitchers not being very good) -- he may get more consideration from me a few decades from now, when Koufax starts to exist. But he was no Koufax.

20 to 25.
·Max Carey – I never thought 350 Win Shares could rank so low, but I don’t think he is much better than Van Haltren.
·George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.
·Spotswood Poles – Van Haltren seems like a good comp.
·Edd Roush – little difference between Carey, GVH, Poles, Roush, Ryan and Duffy.
·Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs.
·Hugh Duffy – 10 strong seasons, good black ink.

26. Maranville

27 and 28. Veach and Hooper – I don’t think they will make my ballot. But if one of them does I may defer to Hooper’s 321 Win Shares and 2500 hits.

29. Ben Taylor – Starting him low. I have him somewhere between here and Monroe.

30. Dobie Moore – about here; also could be as high as Monroe – I don’t have a very good handle on the second tier blackballers.

31. Gavvy Cravath – I’m not sure how to treat his non-ML time, but I do think one of the purposes of the HoM is to take into account great achievers outside the majors. Baker Bowl issues keep him here.

32. Konetchy – 287 Win Shares, but nothing really impressive on his resume, particularly for a firstbaseman. Belongs in the Hall of the Very Good.

33. Larry Doyle – not a bad hitter for a second baseman and it wasn’t a particularly strong decade for NL second sackers.

Somewhere between 16 and 43. Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin -- pitcher glut; any of these guys could make my ballot if it ever has fewer than 4 pitchers on it; not that I have an actual quota.
   5. PhillyBooster Posted: November 15, 2004 at 04:59 PM (#966595)
1. Red Faber -- I came into the week thinking Eppa would be #1, but I've changed my mind since.
2. Eppa Rixey -- But it's stil very close. These are the Top 2 pitchers of their era, and I consider both of them safely above Coveleski.

3. Jake Beckley -- Debating which of several near-identical shortstop are better is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. There are several first basemen, all of whom tower above the 11th, 12th, and 13th best shorstops to date. Beckley is the best of these. Ed Konetchy is #2.

4. Mickey Welch -- The total argument for Welch is completely opposite the total argument for Faber/Rixey/Beckley. The Top 2 were the best of their era. Welch was, at best, 5th or 6th best in the 1880s. But individual pitchers could have more of an impact in that decade, and Welch was often among the best. I'll take the #6 pitcher (if he is that low) over the #3 or 4 pitcher from a less pitcher-laden era. If we get down to the #11 pitcher, though, see the comments above on Beckley.

5. Jose Mendez -- Four of my top five are pitchers! Let's see anyone call me a non-friend of the pitcher after this week! Circumstantial evidence shows that he was good enough to play on some of the top teams in black baseball, even when he wasn't good enough to pitch. Call him Orel Hershiser will a huge peak and bat, if you want. That's good enough for me. I like him a lot.

6. Gavy Cravath -- Full credit for the nearly-half of his career that is buried in old PCL and AA stat-books. Even conservative estimages put him above 300 win shares -- probably over 350. He was among the best deadball sluggers ever.

7. Roger Bresnahan -- A highly-leveraged catcher. Look at his PA/G compared to his peers. Either he got lots of rest in blowouts, or, more likely, he was #1 off the bench on his days off. If you had a catcher who could hit like left fielder, wouldn't you try to get an extra PA out of him on his rest days? Amazing peak, and a long-enough career if you know who to compare him to.

8. Lip Pike -- Everyone thinks the 1870s are either deeply underrepresented (by number) or deeply overrepresented (by percent of ABs). That means it's probably about right, and wouldn't be harmed by one more superstar.

9. Max Carey -- Among all positions, centerfield has the most eligible players to be ranked by Bill James in the "Top 30" all time at their position, but not be in the Hall of Merit. Currently, Edd Roush (15), Hugh Duffy (20), Max Carey (23), Jimmy Ryan (26), George van Haltren (28), Roy Thomas (29), and Cy Seymour (30) are all eligible. Also eligible is Pete Browning (a surprisingly low 38), and Fielder Jones (41, but compared to right fielders).

In no other position are there more than 4 "Bill James Top 30" players still awaiting induction. Since the first 1898 election (Gore, Hines), he have elected two Negro Leaguers (Torriente, Hill), two of the greatest players of All-Time (Cobb, Speaker), and Billy Hamilton. Are we being too hard on center fielders? Now, I certainly don't agree with all of Bill James's rankings (obviously, since I have Carey but not Roush on my ballot.) But I don't think that there is a 'golden age of centerfielders' right around the corner. Perhaps we need some discussion on what, exactly, a Hall of Merit Centerfielder looks like, because all of the guys listed above have been hovering low on the radar, and they are looking to have a bunch of friends joining them soon.


10. Pete Browning -- see above.

11. Bill Monroe
12. Clark Griffith
13. Dick Redding
14. Vic Willis
15. Cupid Childs -- the bottom of my ballot looks just like it did last year. Two under-appreciated Negro Leaguers, three underappreciated pitchers, and the best of the 1890s second basemen. None of these guys have been lacking in discussion over the years. I expect that, as time goes on, more ballots will get "quirky" as the fans of the pitchers get a pitching backlog, a fan of the high-peak guys get a Jennings/Sisler backlog, etc. Actually, I'm surprised in hasn't happened more already.
---
16-20 Ed Konetchy; Ed Cicotte; George Sisler; Hughie Jennings; Ed Williamson;

21-25 Bruce Petway; Rube Waddell; Wally Schang; Tommy Leach; Ben Taylor
   6. andrew siegel Posted: November 15, 2004 at 05:03 PM (#966599)
I don't have the time or inclination to give spirited defenses of my picks, since the gap from number 1 to number 25 on my list is fairly small.

(1) Hughie Jennings (1st)-- I think his peaks was noticeably better than Moore's; quality of his fielding sometimes gets overlooked.
(2) Cupid Childs (2nd)-- Very similar in overall value to his contemporary Jennings and with enough big seasons to rank with him.
(3) George Van Haltren (3rd)-- In the end I believe the WS assessment of his value (i.e., consistent 25-30 WS performer with very high career total); Roush (a slightly weaker candidate) is only candidate with a similar profile who has been kept waiting more than a few years.
(4) Lip Pike (4th)-- Better in his time than any of the rest of the candidates were in there's; even with timelining, hard to vote a Duffy or Roush ahead of him.
(5) Hugh Duffy (7th)-- Played great for great teams in toughest league we've yet seen.
(6) Frank Chance (8th)-- I like the analyis someone did on the ballot list--a little bit better than Sisler before you start factoring in the intangibles and he's got the most intangibles we've seen yet.
(7) Charley Jones (9th)-- Similar argument to Pike, but requires a tad more extrapolation (blacklist, AA, etc.).
(8) Eppa Rixey (new)-- Other than Foster, I think the bottom 3 pitchers inducted so far (Covaleski, McGinnity, and Caruthers) are all worthy; he ranks just a smidge behind those guys in my book, which puts him awfully close to the line but probably still on the inside.
(9) Joe Sewell (new)-- One Hughie Jennnings season and a career that otherwise was marginally but noticeably better than Bancroft's. This feels about right.
(10) Edd Roush (10th)-- Very similar to VH, but played 7-10% less of his team's games every season.
(11) Vic Willis (12th)-- Belongs in the mix with the Rixey/Faber/ Grimes crowd.
(12) Jimmy Ryan (11th)-- Inconsistency drops him below guys with similar career totals.
(13) Red Faber (new)-- Ranks behind Rixey, Grimes, Covaleski, and Vance on my list largely because I put a lot of weight on pitcher's 5th, 6th, 7th best season; might need to reconsider that.
(14) Dobbie Moore (new)-- Embarrassed to say I never really took him seriously before. I think his peak trails Jennings by 3-5 WS per season--enough to justify this gap but not enough to keep him off the ballot.
(15) Clark Grifftih (new)-- Didn't pitch that much for his time and place and didn't have too many dominating seasons, but the gap between him and his unelected contemporaries tells me there is something wrong with my system (which had him about 25th).

Carey (14th) and Sisler (15th) are the next two, knocked off by my reassessments of Moore and Griffith.

Beckley is also right there (though I don't understand why many people have him ahead of VH).

Welch isn't that far behind, but slips a half-dozen slots or so into the 20's after this week's discussion convinces me that he is relying too heavily on 1884 and 1885, outlier seasons in every sense of the world.

Waddell may be out of my top 50; I just don't see the case for electing a pitcher who won less than 200 games while no-showing on a regular basis and requiring extraordinary babysitting. You take Waddell and give me Wilbur Cooper or Urban Shocker and I'm confident all other things equal, I'll finish ahead of you 7 times out of 10.
   7. ronw Posted: November 15, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#966625)
1939 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. All-Star candidate is roughly the top 16 pitchers and top 32 players. MVP candidate is anyone with double the WS numbers of the worst All-Star candidate in that season. I'll gladly incorporate WARP when they clearly tell me how they reach their numbers.)

1.Eppa Rixey My system rewards above-average seasons, hence Rixey’s placement and Faber’s nonplacement on my ballot. While Faber had two excellent seasons, too many of his years were average or below average. Rixey was consistently above average. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1916-1917, 1920-1925, 1927-1929, war credit 1918 (12 HOM seasons). PHOM 1939, with Bob Caruthers (yay! – karlmagnus).

2. George Van Haltren Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1929.

3. Jake Beckley In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters, but I’m a career/prime man. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons) PHOM 1928.

4. Max Carey Joins the long career, low-peak glut. MVP Candidate 1922-1923, All-Star candidate 1912-1918, 1920-1921, 1924-1925 (13 HOM seasons) PHOM 1938.

5. Jimmy Ryan My system likes Jimmy about as much as Van Haltren and Sheckard. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1930.

6. Joe Sewell Looks like the best of the available infielders to me. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1921-1929, 1931-1933 (12 HOM seasons).

7.Ben Taylor Ben’s lengthy, solid career belongs with the long career, low-peak glut.

8. Dick Redding It seems most difficult to rate Negro League pitchers. Had a longer career than Mendez, although probably not as high a peak.

9. Harry Hooper At the bottom of the long career, low-peak glut, which now takes up most of my ballot. MVP candidate 1918, All-Star candidate 1910-1917, 1919-20, 1922, 1924. (13 HOM seasons) PHOM 1931.

10. Wally Schang I am shocked that he rated this high, but I give significant catcher bonuses (bonii?) and favor long, steady careers. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1913-15, 1917, 1919-22, 1924, 1926, 1928 (11 HOM seasons)

11. Vic Willis I took a long look at Vic this week, and think he ranks up there with the solid (but probably not HOM) candidates. Some questions about league quality with all four of these pitchers. MVP candidate 1899, All-Star candidate 1898, 1901-1909 (11 HOM seasons)

12. Mickey Welch With the lack of 1890’s quality, I think he still rates here. MVP candidate 1884-1885, All-Star candidate 1880-81, 1883, 1886-1889 (9 HOM seasons)

13. Tony Mullane I still don’t see much between Welch and Mullane. I know this puts me in the minority. MVP candidate 1882-1884, All-Star candidate 1886-1893 (11 HOM seasons)

14. Wilbur Cooper Good career candidate, with questions about league quality. Never really an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1914, 1916-1924 (10 HOM seasons)

15. Hugh Duffy This week I decided he should rate below the pitchers. MVP candidate 1891, 1893-1894, All-Star candidate 1889-1890, 1892, 1895-1899 (11 HOM seasons)

LAST YEAR TOP TEN

Lip Pike – The last 1870’s holdover. MVP candidate 1876, All-star candidate 1871-75, 1877-78. Some credit for 1866-1870 (at least 10 HOM seasons)

Hughie Jennings – Even the greatest five year peak (Babe Ruth) wouldn’t make my ballot by itself. I need some above average play outside that peak. Six years is a little better. Seven years might get a player in my PHOM (see Ed Walsh.) Five just doesn’t give me enough. MVP candidate 1894-1898. (5 HOM seasons)

Clark Griffith –I think that he had a relatively short productive career, and didn’t have nearly the peak of a Walsh, Brown or perhaps even Waddell or Coveleski. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot. All-Star candidate 1894-1901 (8 HOM seasons)

George Sisler – A decent peak but surprisingly only one 30+ WS season. Probably deserves ballot placement in future seasons, but this is a deep ballot. MVP candidate 1917, 1920. All-Star candidate 1916-1922, 1925, 1927-1928. (10 HOM seasons.)

Rube Waddell - Fun man who needed to play longer. MVP candidate 1902, 1905. All-Star candidate 1901, 1903-1904, 1906-1908. (8 HOM seasons).

Others who I would not be upset to see on my ballot, by position, in general order:

P: Willis, Mays, Mendez, Faber
C: Schalk, Bresnahan, Petway
1B: Sisler
2B: Monroe, Childs, Doyle
3B: Leach
SS: Maranville
LF: Burns, C. Jones
CF: F. Jones, Browning, Thomas, Poles, Griffin
RF: Tiernan

Other upcoming RPW ballot contenders (retired 1934-1939):
P: Rogan, Foster, Ferrell, Grimes, Vance, Luque, Pennock
C: Cochrane
1B: Gehrig, Terry, Judge
2B: Hornsby, Frisch, Lazzeri
3B: Beckwith, Traynor
SS: Lundy
LF: Goslin, Manush
CF: Charleston
RF: Ruth, Rice, Cuyler
   8. Michael Bass Posted: November 15, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#966698)
WARP3 is the main tool (and this week's ballot accounts for the most recent changes). Also consider OPS+, ERA+, and the various playing time measures.

Newbies not on the ballot: Maranville was not nearly enough of a hitter. I think Ozzie's easily separable, with a stronger peak, 5 extra points of OPS+, better defense (the best in history), and nearly 300 extra SB with only 50 more CS. Faber and Quinn lack enough peak to get on my ballot. I do like them both, just not enough.


1. Hughie Jennings (1) - The argument I used for Caruthers all those years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long. First (probably of many times over the next 50 votes) time he's been #1 for me.

2. Bobby Veach (7) - Love his peak, was super-strong both offensively and defensively. Moves up big. I'm his best friend, so I should make sure to justify this. For 7 years (1915-1917, 1919-1922), he was simply a very, very strong player. Great defender in left by nearly every measure, strong OPSs with high peaks, and all this in the strong league.

3. José Méndez (4) - Very similar to Waddell pitching-wise. His hitting as a pitcher moves him to one spot above him, but he doesn't get credit in my system for his offensive rebirth (I don't think he'd have had it in the big leagues).

4. Rube Waddell (5) - Love the Ks, and his RA+ is very good (though obviously not as good as his ERA+, which is inflated). The intangibles argument holds no weight with me.

5. Red Faber (new) - If one buys WARP's measure of the differences between the leagues, and I do (because of their methodology), then Faber is essentially Rixey with two monster years. That's why Faber's on my ballot and Rixey isn't.

6. Pete Browning (6) - I reexamined the 3 "bat" candidates from the earlier days, him, Jones, and Pike, and Browning comes out on top. Just one hell of a hitter. If we elect Beckley before him, we should be embarassed.

7. Joe Sewell (new) - Same as Faber, gets a boost because of the league differences. Strong defender, even if not elite, with a very strong bat as well. One more year like 1923, and he'd probably have topped my ballot.

8. Wally Schang (--) - Should have been on my ballot before, not sure what I was thinking. Big time peak with the bat considering the position, and a long career for the position as well. Carlton Fisk lite is a good description, I think.

9. Dick Redding (9) - Of similar value to Mendez, but below him because of Mendez's bat, and Redding is a touch lighter on the peak.

10. Dobie Moore (10) - Really, anyone who has Jennings in their top 5 should have Moore somewhere on the ballot. I understand those who have neither, but Moore, while not Jennings, is close enough that there should never be more than 10 or so spots separating them. Probably a little more career than Jennings, a little less peak.

11. Spotswood Poles (8) - A slightly lesser Pete Hill. Worthy of election. With that said, I'd let him drift a little higher on my ballot than he should have been. Bat puts him down here.

12. Fielder Jones (--) - Just can't keep him off my ballot. Enough bat to go with his excellent glove to develop a peak and career mix.

13. Max Carey (--) - First time for him on my ballot. I'm not an enthusiastic supporter of his election, but he's got really strong career value and just a little bit of peak to keep him up.

14. Bill Monroe (12) - Was a hell of a hitter in the early days of the organized Negro Leagues, when he was already up in age. Could be vastly underrating him, don't think I'm overrating him. I'd rather have him than Grant, who we (and I) probably jumped the gun on.

15. Mike Griffin (--) - Like F. Jones, can't keep him off my ballot. Like Jones, not a superior career, not a superior peak, but strong enough in both to get him here. There may be something to a comment I read earlier today that we're underrating players who mix both rather than having all of one and none of the other.


Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

Pike - Think Browning is the better choice. My problem with Lip is that his big years are clustered on the wrong end of his NA career from the pre-NA years he needs credit for to make my ballot. With that said, I have no serious problem with his induction, I could easily be wrong.

Beckley - No peak. Never any better than an above average player. Would be a terrible choice for election.

Griffith - Behind Sisler, who is pretty far off my ballot. I still think Waddell is the correct choice of the long time ballot pitchers to be inducted.

Sisler - Peak isn't good enough for his short productive career. Only one season of the superpeak that he needed 3-4 seasons of to make it.

Welch - No longer strongly opposed to him. Not a supporter, but I acknowledge the case for him and that I could be wrong. With that said, I think people are making excuses for him because of his wins that they wouldn't make for a pitcher with 299 wins.

Childs - Falls off my ballot. I'm wrestling with second base, and if it truly was like 3B today, then he lacks some offense.

Van Haltren - Also falls off the ballot; is around #20. Too many OFs ahead of him on my ballot right now.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2004 at 07:34 PM (#966762)
Probably a little more career than Jennings, a little less peak.

Moore looks better to me on both fronts over Jennings. I think Dobie would have had more 30 WS+ seasons, a better extended peak and all (I believe) at short.
   10. Adam Schafer Posted: November 15, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#966837)
There is a lot of pitching on this ballot for me. Jack Quinn just doesn't cut it for me though.


1. Mickey Welch (1) - These recent ballots have hurt his #1 and #2 ranking I've been keeping him at. It's great to see him make his way back to his rightful spot of #1 :)

2. Red Faber (n/a) - More peak than Rixey

3. George Sisler (3) - 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.

4. Eppa Rixey (n/a) - Close call between him and Faber

5. Clark Griffith (4) - Same old story for Clark

6. Jake Beckley (5) - Not far off from Sisler.

7. Rube Waddell (6) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

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


8. Wally Schang (7) - Lots of career value for a catcher

9. Joe Sewell (n/a) - darn good shortstop, and you couldn't strike the guy out

10. Lip Pike (8) - 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.

11. George Van Haltren (9) - Moves ahead of Beckley and Bresnahan.

12. Jose Mendez (10) - I haven't been able to convince myself that he deserves a spot higher than this.

13. Max Carey (11) - Not much peak, but enough career to scratch in at a low spot

14. Roger Bresnahan (12) - 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.

15. Carl Mays (13) - 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?

16. Hughie Jennings (14) - Nothing new to add

17. Edd Roush (15) - Not quite as good as Max Carey

18. Dobie Moore (n/a) - I believe Dobie was great, there just isn't room for him higher than this yet. I'm sure he'll move onto the actual ballot soon enough.

19. Rabbit Maranville (n/a) - Only this high b/c he was a SS. No peak, and not even a good enough career value for me, and I'm a big career voter.

20. Vic Willis (24) - I'm beginning to think that I've highly underrated him. He'll probably be moving up my ballot next "year"

21. Eddie Cicotte (19) - Underrated in my opinion. May not be HOM material, but underrated nonetheless.

22. Bobby Veach (17) - Not enough career for him to merit a higher ranking on my ballot, but enough peak to grab a lower spot.

23. Jimmy Ryan (18) - A watered down Van Haltren

24. Urban Shocker (20) - 8 good pitching seasons. Nothing spectacular, but a respectable career.

25. Hugh Duffy (21) - Back onto my ballot. No new thoughts on him

26. Harry Hooper (22) - 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.

27. Dick Redding (23) - I much more impressed with Mendez

28. Ray Schalk (25) -

29. Cupid Childs (n/a) - still not impressed

30. Tommy Leach (n/a) -
   11. TomH Posted: November 16, 2004 at 02:38 AM (#967454)
ballot? No, I don't have no dadgum ballot ready. I feel like the elementary schoolkid who, after being given some time to do a math problem, told the teacher "I added these numbers four times...and here are my four answwers"
   12. Jim Sp Posted: November 16, 2004 at 02:41 AM (#967457)
Sewell #1, Rixey #5, Faber #9, Maranville #23, Bancroft adjusted up to #10, Schang moved up to #2.

1)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). On this ballot he’s comfortably ahead of the other eligibles by my reckoning.
2)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA. Stands out from the extreme lack of catching candidates recently.
3)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
4)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production.
5)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.
6)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
7)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
8)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
9)Faber—Takes Coveleski’s spot on my ballot. I have them about as equal as any two pitchers could be.
10)Bancroft--Adjusted him up…
11)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so he’s not quite as impressive as I thought at first glance.
12)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.
13)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
14)Mendez--I rate him right below Joss.
15)Ben Taylor--Not a lot of confidence in this placement.

Lip Pike-- Nothing to say that hasn’t already been repeated for 30 years.
Max Carey—Even with the fielding and baserunning, I don’t see that his hitting is enough to make the ballot.
Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
Sisler--I don’t see his case being very strong. His peak was not long enough to merit election, though he certainly was a great hitter for a few years.
Welch— I would have taken him instead of Galvin or Caruthers, but now that the ballot has some strength he’s fallen off the edge of my ballot.
Van Haltren--Good player, part of the OF glut with Ryan and Duffy.
Childs--Steep discount for his domination of the 1890 AA, otherwise he would be higher. Has been on my ballot several times, right now he’s just off the edge.
   13. Sean Gilman Posted: November 16, 2004 at 02:48 AM (#967463)
1939

1. Lip Pike (1)--Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I’ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea. Played the infield, played the outfield. The greatest power/speed combination of his time. Great peak and a fairly long career for a 19th Century Outfielder. According to WARP3, the best player on his team in 1871, 1874, 1875, and 1876. .2 WARP3 behind the team leader in 1872, second on the team in 1877. One of the top 2-3 players on the pre-NA teams he played for in his early 20s. Faster than a horse. (1919)

2. Pete Browning (2)--AA discount and short career keeps him behind Pike. The man could hit. We know Win Shares likes him better than Sam Thompson, but did you know the BP stats show Browning to be the better hitter? Thompson’s edge in WARP is only in fielding and Davenport’s AA discount. Considering the problems Davenport’s had with 19th century OF fielding and the unknown natue of his AA discount, I don’t know how one could rate Thompson ahead based on WARP. (1927)

3. Charley Jones (3)--Jones, Jackson and Browning look pretty interchangeable to me. (1929)

4. Hughie Jennings (4)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder. (1932)

5. Cupid Childs (5)--Nice to see Cupid getting some love. . .(1938)

6. Clark Griffith (9)--About as close to Covaleski as can be.

7. Dick Redding (10)--Peak not quite long enough to put him ahead of these other second-tier HOM-probable pitchers.

8. Joe Sewell (-)--Ahead of Leach in peak value just enough to edge Leach’s career advantage.

9. Tommy Leach (14)--Bumped up this week as [art of a general reevaluation for this very important election. Don;t know why he doesn’t get more buzz.

10. Dave Bancroft (-)--Totally overlooked him last year. Not quite Sewell, but very close.

11. Roger Bresnahan (7)--Great rate stats, but he just didn’t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. Drops in between the middle infielders this year.

12. Ed Williamson (13)--Don’t know that my opinion of any candidate has fluctuated more ove the last 40 years.

13. Larry Doyle (17)--Back of the mid-ballot, middle-infield pack. Peak good, but not great, career good but not great. May be underrated because of that.

14. Jose Mendez (18)--Bumping the pitchers up and the outfielders down this week as I think outfielders are overrated in general, while infielders and pitchers are punished for playing more physically demanding positions with lower career value scores (because of shorter careers, faster declines) and lower peak scores (because of less playing time in individual seasons). This makes a big difference when there’s so little seperating spots 10-40, like there is this year.

15. Rube Waddell (19)--Mendez looks eerily similar to Waddell to me. A trick of projected stats perhaps.

16. Hugh Duffy (11)
17. George Van Haltren (12)
18. Bobby Veach (20)
19. Edd Roush (16)
20. Jimmy Ryan (15)
21. Max Carey (21)
22. Jake Beckley (23)
23. George Sisler (25)
24. Rabbit Maranville (-)
25. Ben Taylor (24)
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: November 16, 2004 at 04:50 AM (#967564)
By the new definition, I'm more of a "prime" rather than "peak" voter. Some major changes to my ballot due to re-examine of SSs (thanks to Sewell, Bancroft, Maranville discussion) and Ps (thanks to Faber and Rixey added to the mix). All WS and WARPs mentioned are adj for season length. WARP is WARP1 adj for season length.

1. Hughie Jennings (1 2 weeks ago-1 last week-1 on prelim, PHoM 1927). Short 6 year prime but at 16 WARP/do WS level (adjusted) which is unheard of.

2. Tommy Bond (5-5-2, PHoM 1929). 7 year prime at 14 WARP/79 WS. The adjWS are for seasons normalized to 162 games but with 50 percent of James' WS assigned to fielders.

3. George Sisler (7-3-4, PHoM 1938). 9 year prime at 10 WARP, which is outstanding, and 24 WS, which is merely in the mix for this group. Needs timeline help to rate this high, but deserves it.

4. Lip Pike (6-2-3, PHoM 1928). Est. 8 year prime at 9 WARP/39 WS.

5. Charley Jones (8-7-5, PHoM 1921). 9 year prime at 11 WARP/31 WS.

6. Rube Waddell (x-8-6, PHoM 1932). 8 years at 8 WARP, which is good, 27 WS, which is very good.

7. Ed Williamson (13-14-10, PHoM 1924). 9 years at 10 WARP/33 WS. Moves up based on IF reevaluation.

8. Max Carey (9-6-7). 14 years at 9 WARP/23 WS.

9. Jose Mendez (11-11-13). Moves back up after pitcher re-eval. Little bit better peak than Redding.

10. Cupid Childs (12-12-11, PHoM 1925). 9 years at 11.5 WARP/28 WS.

11. Dick Redding (10-9-8). Drops behind Mendez, for now.

12. Red Faber (x-24). Moves up from my prelim as he seems to me to float to the top of the "rest" of the pitchers (after Waddell only among MLers).

13. Joe Sewell (x-9). Drops down from my prelim after remembering he only played SS for 8 years. 10 years at 10 WARP/24 WS.

14. Dobie Moore (x-30). Back on my ballot for the first time since 1933. Est. 10 year prime at possible 30 WS/year. The best eligible player, along with Jennings, at his peak, and more than just 7 years at peak/prime level.

15. Dave Bancroft (14-15-16). 11 years at 9 WARp/23WS. It was either that or Doyle: 12 years at 8 WARP and 23 WS. I think we are underrating defense generally and middle infielders specifically, and Bancroft represents the defensive part of the equation more so than Doyle.

Drops off--Pete Browning (x-10-12). Can never quite make up my mind about the Louisville Slugger.

Close 16-30. Browning, Doyle, Roush, Monroe, Rixey, McCormick, Griffith, Duffy, Leach, Bresnahan, Dunlap, Veach, Poles, Van Haltren, Joss. (I am probably underrating Cicotte and Willis more than anybody else. Will continue looking at pitchers!)

Required--Beckley #45, Welch #46, Van Haltren #29: no peak, poor ERA+, very good.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: November 16, 2004 at 04:58 AM (#967573)
Jennings WS level is not "do" but "30." Subtle distinction.

Forgot to mention that I am leaning toward Zack Wheat and Stan Coveleski for PHoM this year ahead of Carey and Mendez, the top two non-PHoMers on my ballot. But Wheat and Carey look virtually identical:

Carey 14 years 9 WARP and 23 WS
Wheat 16 years at 8 WARP and 22.5 WS

Coveleski is a fairly easy pick over Mendez if only on the basis of Heisenberg's Principle.
   16. DavidFoss Posted: November 16, 2004 at 06:13 AM (#967637)
Very tough ballot... thin enough that I think one or more of the new guys is going to make it in right away despite not being a shoo-in. Support for the returning candidates is thin.

1939 Ballot

1. Lip Pike (5-4-2-1-2-2-1-1-1-2-2-7-5-5-3-1) -- Pick Lip! Is this his year? Great 155 OPS+ CF in the NA/NL. Solid pre-NA play includes time at 2B. Brooklyn's best slugger in '70, second to Start in '69, also had excellent 'rookie' season on champion Athletics squad in '66.
2. Larry Doyle (nr-14-11-9-8-6-7-10-8-8-6-4) -- I think the electorate is underrating him. Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak, in fairly short career. Fielding was mediocre, but not as horrific as WARP suggests.
3. Charley Jones (nr-nr-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-5-6-11-9-9-7-5) -- Unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly.
4. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14-13-11-9-7-6-7-8-13-11-11-9-6) -- I like peak and boy does Hughie have peak. Short career, though. Unlike McGraw, poor seasons outside his peak slip his career rate stats a bit. Also unlike McGraw, he was quite durable inside his peak.
5. John McGraw (10-10-11-10-9-8-6-5-4-4-5-12-10-10-8-7) -- 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. Playing time issues -- even for this peak voter -- are keeping him below Groh.
6. Cupid Childs (nr-15-12-10-9-8-9-14-12-12-10-8) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
7. Mickey Welch (nr-14-11-11-12-15-13-13-11-9) -- 300 game winner. Played for great teams in an easy era to win games, but research here is saying he did more to earn his W's than previously thought. Still, his meager 113 ERA+ is keeping him low on the ballot.
8. Dick Redding (ne-12-10) -- 2nd best fastball of the 10's. Conservative early ballot placement for Redding here.
9. George Sisler (ne-14-13-11) -- Peak candidate... before the injury (184 RC+) is was a top-tier hitter, trailing only Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, Speaker, Jackson with a big gap down to the next group of Heilmann, Youngs and Roush (155 RC+). After the injury, he was quite mediocre (103 RC+). Peak is high enough to make the ballot. His peak is shorter and lower than JJackson's which is what keeps him relatively low.
10. Roger Bresnahan (15-15-nr-nr-13-11-10-10-11-15-15-14-12) -- Great five year peak at C. 126 OPS+ is OBP-heavy. Didn't appear to play full-time outside his peak though... getting a small subjective boost due to catcher shortage from his era.
11. Wally Schang (nr) -- Persuaded by arguments last week. This guy could hit and was the best catcher before the emergence of Hartnett/Cochrane.
12. Joe Sewell (ne) Better than I realized. Starting him conservatively, he could climb as high as #2
13. Tommy Leach (nr-15-13) -- Hard to rate due to mix of 3B & CF. Wouldn't make the ballot on CF alone, 3B play boosts him onto the ballot.
14. Clark Griffith (nr-15-12-10-8-7-9-10-14-nr-14)-- Long tail at the end of career is masking a solid prime from 94-01... a prime longer than many other current candidates. That would fill the late 90's pitcher shortage that's been reported, but I'm not giving him a bonus for that or anything.
15. Eppa Rixey (ne) -- I like his peak numbers better than Faber's. Cautious with these two. They almost look like Rick Reuschel. I flip and go with Joss or Waddell.

Omissions:

Beckley -- Took a long look at him. Black Ink of 1. Top OPS finishes are 5-7-8-10. His 125 career OPS+ is actually SLG-heavy which is cause for a slight discount... probably explains why his career high in WS is only 23.
Carey -- I'm not sure I understand the high level of support he's getting. I love the SB & SB%'s. Long career, too. But there just isn't enough bat for an OF candidate.
Waddell -- I love the strikeouts, I like the 3 of 4 year peak. Evidence several years ago shows that he gave up more than his share of unearned runs, though. Doesn't have the peak necessary for a "short" career induction. Could be swayed, I suppose.
   17. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2004 at 07:30 AM (#967718)
Not to pick on David - honest! But I noticed it somewhere else, I think on the Dick Redding thread, people being compared to Rick Reuschel as a negative.

Reuschel was a heckuva pitcher. He pitched in a bad environment for pitchers, Wrigley Field in the 70s. He had terrible teams behind him generally. He was very good when he came up in 1972 and followed it up with a big year in 1973. He had big years in 1977, 1985 and in 1987 he easily could have won a Cy Young Award (he probably deserved it - either he or 8-16 Nolan Ryan, which is wild) and finished 3rd that year.

From 1972-81 he had exactly 1 bad year. He lost his 1982 and 83 (basically), spent most of 1984 getting back into gear and was pretty damn good from 1985-90, with 1986 being his only shaky year.

His career fielding support is among the worst I've seen on Chris J's RSI site, -5.1 WS (most are around +5 to +10). And his adjusted record is 225-180, which is pretty strong - basically Jim Bunning's unadjusted record and they both have a 114 career ERA+.
   18. Kelly in SD Posted: November 16, 2004 at 11:03 AM (#968028)
I am not sure where to post this. I did a small comparison of the top pitchers from 1915-1934. Its purpose to look at which pitchers were the dominant pitchers in that period. I only looked at what a pitcher did in those years so Grove is only considered from 1926-1934 and Alexander from 1915-30, etc.

I looked at how pitchers did in several categories, top 10 and league-leading performance. Also, I determined which pitchers were in their league's top 4 for each year and who was the best in the league and the majors.

This is what I found:
All-Star Performances (pitcher, all-star seasons, league best, majors best)(in general chronological order)
Johnson   h 6 / 4 / 1 +
Alexander h 8 / 5 / 4 +
Vaughn      4 / 2 / 
Cooper      6 / 1 / 
Coveleski h 4 / 
Rixey       6 / 
Grimes      6 / 1 /
Mays        4 / 
Faber       2 / 2 / 
Shawkey     4 / 
Shocker     4 / 
Quinn
Rommel      2 / 
Luque       2 / 1 / 1
Hoyt       
Uhle        2 / 2 / 1
Pennock     2 /
Vance       4 / 3 / 2
Lyons       4 / 1 / 1 +
Grove       8 / 5 / 4 +
Ferrell     4 /       +
Hubbell     3 / 1 / 1 +
Dean        2 / 1 / 1 +
Warneke     2 / 1     +
h means HoMer, + totals do not reflect all seasons of career 


Also I looked at a number of statistics to see where the different pitchers ranked. Under each heading are two numbers - top 10 finishes, then first place finishes.
Chart II
pitcher      ERA   ERA+   Ks   Wins  W%age
Johnson   h  8-3   9-4   11-8   9-4   4-1  +
Alexander h 10-4   9-4    5-4   9-4   8-1  +
Vaughn       4-1   5-1    6-2   6-1   3-0  +
Cooper       5-0   6-0    5-0   8-1   3-0  
Coveleski h  9-2   8-2    6-1   6-0   4-1
Rixey        6-0   7-0    5-0   7-1   5-0 
Grimes       6-0   6-1    8-1  11-2   7-1
Mays         6-0   5-0    3-0   7-1   6-1
Faber        7-2   5-2          7-0   5-0
Shawkey      3-1   3-1    7-0   7-0   6-0
Shocker      8-0   6-0    5-1   7-1   6-0
Quinn        6-0   7-0    3-0   3-0   5-0
Rommel       5-0   6-0    1-0   4-2   6-1
Luque        6-2   4-2    5-1   3-0   4-2
Hoyt         5-0   4-0    7-0   7-1   7-0
Uhle         3-0   3-0    4-0   4-2   3-1
Pennock      5-0   4-0    4-0   6-0   9-1
Vance        5-3   4-3   11-7   6-2   3-0
Lyons        5-0   5-0          4-2   1-0  +
Grove        8-5   8-5    9-7   7-4   6-3  +
Ferrell      5-0   5-0    4-0   4-0   4-0  +
Hubbell      6-2   6-2    6-0   5-1   3-0  +
Dean         1-0   2-0    3-3   3-1   1-1  +
Warneke      3-1   3-1    3-0   3-1   2-1  +
where "h" is HoMer and + is more career than covered in study

Chart III
pitcher      IP   WHIP    H/9   BB/9  K/9
Johnson   h  9-2  10-4   10-2   8-1  11-4  +
Alexander h  9-4  12-5    8-2  13-5   4-1  +
Vaughn       5-2   1-1    3-1         6-2  +
Cooper       8-1   4-0    5-0   5-0   4-0  
Coveleski h  8-0   6-1    4-2   7-0      
Rixey       10-1   6-0    4-0   6-0   4-0 
Grimes      10-3   5-0    5-0   1-0   8-1
Mays         6-1   8-0    5-0   7-0   1-0
Faber        4-1   6-2    4-1   8-0  
Shawkey      4-0   6-0    6-1         7-0
Shocker      6-0   9-0    2-0   8-2   5-0
Quinn        3-0   7-0    1-0  13-2   1-0
Rommel       5-0   4-0    2-0   4-1  
Luque        5-0   7-1    6-3   1-0   3-0
Hoyt         5-0   6-1    3-0   6-0   4-0
Uhle         5-2   4-0    4-0   4-0   3-0
Pennock      3-1   6-2    2-0  10-3   3-0
Vance        7-0   8-3    9-4   4-1  11-8
Lyons        5-2   6-0    3-0   6-0        +
Grove        8-0   8-3    7-1   5-0   8-5  +
Ferrell      3-0   1-0    1-0   1-1   3-0  +
Hubbell      6-1   6-4    6-2   5-1   5-0  +
Dean         3-1   2-0    2-0   1-0   3-2  +
Warneke      3-0   3-0    3-0         2-0  +
where "h" is HoMer and + is more career than covered in study 


Conclusions: I don't know. The point of this was to provide some background to the discussion of pitchers.
Most of the comments regarding Rixey and Faber do not reference Johnson or Alexander or Grove and Lyons let alone Grimes and Vance and Luque and Pennock. There seems to be a very narrow focus - best pitcher between 15-25 or similar, but these candidates pitched for around 20 years. One of the big selling points is that they had a few big years and lots of average years - how does that compare to other pitchers? This time period has a tremendous number of long career pitchers whose value is tied to being average or slightly above average for a long time. Just want to make sure that we enshrine those who truly deserve it, and not just those who retired first.

The above charts ONLY consider what was done between 1915 and 1934 - I stuck in Hubbell, Dean, and Warneke even though they are barely contemporaries of Rixey, et al., because they were already putting up impressive performances in a short space of years - performances that are better peak than some of the pitchers who are or will be under consideration soon.
   19. Kelly in SD Posted: November 16, 2004 at 11:31 AM (#968073)
I think a major reason Rixey and Faber look so good is that a number of pitchers who had performed very well in the mid-teens and early 20s disappeared and there was a small talent vacuum until Grove and Lyons appeared.
Look at the pitchers who appeared on the list of top 4 pitchers (by win shares) for the years 1915-25.
Harry Coveleski appears in 1914, 1915, and 1916 - then arm falls off.
Babe Ruth: appears in 1916, 1917 - a little more talented as a hitter.
Cicotte: appears in 1917, 1919 - decides to throw the World Series
Hippo Vaughn: appears 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919 - loses some effectiveness and begins to pitch forever in the minors.
Fred Pfeffer: appears 1914, 1915, 1916, 1922 - late start, inconsistent after WWI.
Babe Adams: 1919, 1920. Lost middle of his career.
Johnny Morrison: 1922, 1923. Career pretty much over as a starter by age 30.
Ray Kremer: 1924, 1926. Did not make the majors until age 31. Still won 143 games. Played 7 years with Oakland in PCL and had a drinking problem.
Maybe this occurs all the time, but it seems to me that from 1914-1925, there were a number of pitchers who for a variety of reasons did not put up the careers they "could" have. I know "you can't predict a pitcher from year to year" and TINSTAAPP.
This makes comparing pitchers from 1915 to 1930 somewhat difficult because often the ones with a strong peak did not have the long career and the long careers did not have great peaks. You have Hippo Vaughn on one side (4 all stars + league leading figures) and Eppa Rixey (6 all stars + almost no league-leading performances) sort of in the middle and Jack Quinn on the other. All of them towered over by Alexander, Grove, and Johnson (then Vance and Coveleski)...
   20. Kelly in SD Posted: November 16, 2004 at 11:32 AM (#968076)
I screwed up on Luque in post 18. Actually, he made 3 National League All-Star staffs as measured by WinShares, not the 2 I listed.
   21. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2004 at 12:22 PM (#968115)
Kelly - if I were going to look at a pitcher and what he did in his career, I'd probably want to make the time frame 10 years on either end. So for Coveleski - whose career was 1916-26 (basically), I'd go with 1906-36 as my time frame for comparison. Of course, you have to adjust because you are crossing eras, but if you only compare a player to those that played within his timeframe, you run into a selective end points problem. Just food for thought.
   22. Rusty Priske Posted: November 16, 2004 at 02:25 PM (#968133)
Not much different for me this year as only one player I vote for was inducted. Two necomers make my ballot though.

PHoM: Eppa Rixey, Rabbit Maranville

(Can you guess who the new guys on my ballot are? :) )

1. Max Carey (1,2,4)
Still number 1. I think he has a pretty good chance of getting in this year.

2. Mickey Welch (2,6,8)
Most WS out of anyone making the ballot (and second out of all considered)

3. Jake Beckley (3,4,6)
Yes, I am a career voter and I consider lifetime awards (such as the HoF or HoM) automatically career measures.

4. Lip Pike (4,7,9)
Still hanging around.

5. George Van Haltren (5,3,7)
Incredibly udnerrated.

6. Tommy Leach (6,9,10)
Another overlooked man.

7. Eppa Rixey (new)
The best of the newcomers.

8. Edd Roush (7,8,x)
I'm constantly considering moving him down and off.

9. George Sisler (8,12,x)
Out performed his numbers, so to speak.

10. Jimmy Ryan (10,10,11)
Not GVH, but fairly close.

11. Hugh Duffy (9,13,13)
I'm surprised he is still on the ballot, but I haven't come up with an excuse to get rid of him.

12. Harry Hooper (12,12,12)
Still HoM worthy, even this low.

13. Rabbit Maranville (new)
Obviously my PHoM differs from the official one when my #13 debut makes my PHoM.

14. Clark Griffith (13,x,x)
Snuck back on in the lean years.

15. Bill Monroe (15,15,15)
Consistantly on the bottom, but still on the ballot.

16-20. Childs, Doyle, Faber, Powell, Mullane
21-25. Redding, Poles, Willis, McCormick, Moore
26-30. White, Burns, Quinn, Gleason, Jennings
   23. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: November 16, 2004 at 03:18 PM (#968168)
Reuschel was a heckuva pitcher. He pitched in a bad environment for pitchers, Wrigley Field in the 70s. He had terrible teams behind him generally. He was very good when he came up in 1972 and followed it up with a big year in 1973. He had big years in 1977, 1985 and in 1987 he easily could have won a Cy Young Award (he probably deserved it - either he or 8-16 Nolan Ryan, which is wild) and finished 3rd that year.

FWIW, his 1977 season had the worst RSI of any 20th century 20-game winner except Nap Rucker, and I've done about 2/3rds of the 20th century 20-game winning seasons.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#968192)
Joe:

Just so you know, I like Reuschel, too (though I'm not sure if he's HoM material yet). BTW, I also agree that comparing him to Redding when they played sixty years apart under different conditions doesn't make sense, either.
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#968219)
Sneaking this in between feverishly writing catalogue copy and before I fly off for a trade show....

I'm now a Win Shares voter. I understand its mechanics and flaws better than WARP's. I’m also balancing pitching and career with hitting and peak more than ever.

1. GVH: Best career total on a pretty mediocre board.

2. Duffy: Best peak (non-Jennings division) on the board.

3. Poles: Good combination of peak and career.

4. Mendez: Best pitching peak on the board, plus enough shoulder to make a career out of it.

5. Rixey: A long, productive, if not peaky, career; top five in league 6 times.

6. Burns: Really sweet peak/prime, not enough career to get higher, but enough to edge Jennings.

7. Roush: Could be swapped with Burns quite easily, and might be at some point because he was a CF.

8. Jennings: That peak is big enough to merit a mid-ballot position, but no higher.

9. Leach: The more I reexamine him, the more I like. He’s not peakless, and he’s got a nice, long career with plenty of value at two key positions.

10. Cooper: Like Leach, the more I see, the more I like, and perhaps he'll move up. Led his league’s pitchers in WS once and was in the top five another six times. He would be close to automatic if he’d had just a little more career value. As is, it’s quite possible that both I and the HOM are underrating him.

11. Childs: Nothing new to offer except to say he’s enough better than Dobie to make my ballot.

12. Monroe: He’s just a smidge better than Doyle, who is just off the end of the ballot.

13. Willis: Led his league twice in WS, finished top five three times, but underachieved his projected W/L record. A couple more years and he, too, would have been nearly an auto-pilot choice. Or else Mickey Welch.

14. Faber: I’d guess most people will have him higher than this, and probably higher than all the other pitchers on my ballot. It’s not like there’s scads of difference between any of them really. Something that seems telling about Faber is that he led the league in WS twice but finished among the top five only one other time. He combines a really nice peak with plenty of above-average value, value that’s important. But ultimately, his peak isn’t high enough to get him near Mendez, and his career value not quite as good as Rixey’s, and his prime’s not quite as good as Willis’s.

15. Griffith: Reconsideration upon reconsideration…. He’s in a clump with Faber and Willis. You could put them into a hat. I like Griffith’s prime, I don’t think his league was as tough as the 20s AL, and I don’t like his prime quite as much as Willis’s.

Falling Down….
I’m no longer convinced that Dick Redding was quite the pitcher I’d originally thought, with fewer big seasons than I’d like to see.

Top tens not on my ballot:
Max Carey: he’s just off the ballot, clumped with Ryan. His career is plenty long, his peak a little too soft, but he’s awfully close to #15.

Beckley: Lengthy career, no peak, never the best player in his league, perhaps not the best eligible 1B, not on my ballot.

Sisler: Good peak, but not historic. After 1922, he’s among the least-productive 1B in his league. No thanks.

Waddell: He’s in the group just off the ballot.

Welch: The weight of the evidence is overly contradictory for me to vote for him with any confidence. I think the in/out line is just to the north of Welch somewhere.
   26. DavidFoss Posted: November 16, 2004 at 04:27 PM (#968228)
Feel free to pick on my ballot if you like, its all part of the discussion.

Reuschel was a name that just popped out of my head. Long career (especially when adjusting for ERA), low winning percentage and forgotten compared to the giant names of his era. I'm certainly underrating him by doing this, but there are a lot of similar pitchers in the Hall of Very Good.

KELLY: This time period has a tremendous number of long career pitchers whose value is tied to being average or slightly above average for a long time. Just want to make sure that we enshrine those who truly deserve it, and not just those who retired first.

I agree with Kelly here. I'm being cautious with the new guys -- its true that its not entirely fair to be cautious in these backlog years -- but I've gone back in forth with these two all week and I just feel more comfortable rating Welch, Griffith & Redding ahead of them.
   27. Michael Bass Posted: November 16, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#968231)
I think Rusty and I may have set a record for most disparate ballots. His #1 is my #13, his #15 is my #14, and the other thirteen players on the ballots are different. Impressive!
   28. Al Peterson Posted: November 16, 2004 at 05:23 PM (#968319)
1939 ballot. Revenge of the Spitball!

1. Rube Waddell (1). Won six straight strikeout titles, top 10 in Ks per 9 innings 10 straight years - dominance you don't get everyday. In addition to major league service, he competed in PCL, AA, Western League throughout his career, having success but seemingly frustrating managers. One of the first AL superstars - his pitching was guaranteed to bring in a large crowd and help support the fledgling league.

2. Hughie Jennings (4). Peak-riffic. SS with plenty of glove and bat in his prime, albeit for a short stretch of time.

3. Pete Browning (3). Hitter with few rivals. Star of the AA which is alright - I don't give extreme discounts for that league.

4. Jimmy Ryan (6). Let's see: good hitting CF, longish career, decent fielder. Yep, I like that combo.

5. Edd Roush (7). Another CF to throw into the mix...

6. Bobby Veach (11). Maybe penalized him too harshly in the past due to tough OF competition in his career.

7. Dick Redding (10). Not so much a leap of faith on his results as maybe a mini-hop.

8. Red Faber (-). Good for a long time, part I.

9. John McGraw (9). Limited playing time but what he did with it is nonetheless outstanding. Positional bump as well. Cons include just not playing enough but was on base all the time when participating.

10. Jake Beckley (10). Still no 1B have jumped greatly ahead of him so that shows something about his worth.

11. Clark Griffith (17). Some tweaks to my pitcher rankings show him moving up amongst the populace. Is he HOM worthy is another question...

12. George Sisler (12). The seven-year peak should not be ignored. Average play after his return from injury just padded some statlines. Star college player who was highly sought after by many teams.

13. Cupid Childs (13). He's always bounced between being on the ballot and off. I'm keeping a gap between him and Doyle as I feel he was the better of the two. From that underrepresented period of the 1890s.

14. Eppa Rixey (-). Good for a long time, part II.

15. Mike Griffin (14). Still beating off challengers with a stick. Positions 10-25 are not that different valuewise but Griffin shows up well on my work. As always, the Mike Griffin Fan Club is taking new members.

What about me?:

16-20: Leach, Van Haltren, Duffy, Poles, Sewell
21-25: Mullane, Carey, Welch, Bresnahan, Mendez
26-30: Doyle, Tiernan, Schang, Willis, Taylor
31-35: Cravath, Pike, Moore, Dunlap, Hooper
36-40: Shocker, Chance, F Jones, C Jones, Mays

Needed statements:

Carey: Not as impressed with the SBs, defense as some others.

Pike: Don't much like his combination of hitting with not much fielding. Those 1870s still have some questions to me in terms of competitive balance and unbalanced schedules.

Welch: You ask "Standout pitchers from the 1880s" and you go awhile before mentioning Smilin' Mickey.

Van Haltren: Right there on the cusp. Don't really dislike him.

Sewell: I think we're dealing with a guy who came along in a mini-dip in SS talent, at least at the big league level. Had one very nice year, everything else is solid but unspectacular. Had only 8 years at SS, then moved to 3B when the position started its transformation to a hitting position. Joe is only 40 years old in 1939, let him cool his heels for awhile.

Maranville: Here's to a good showmen, probably better at that then winning ballgames. Still luv ya Rabbit!
   29. OCF Posted: November 16, 2004 at 06:02 PM (#968407)
ballot? No, I don't have no dadgum ballot ready.

I hear you, Tom. Mine is currently lying in fragments on the floor, with no estimated time of reassembly. Don't look for me to be early.
   30. Daryn Posted: November 16, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#968424)
Sean Gilman,

Did you forget Rixey and Faber, or did both miss your top 25? Just asking because you say your re-evaluation led to bumping up the pitchers.
   31. SWW Posted: November 16, 2004 at 06:26 PM (#968452)
Let’s see. Two weeks ago, I voted for a guy named Kerry. And he lost. I also voted for a guy named Carey. And he also lost. So logic dictates that I should stop voting for that particular homonym. And yet…

1938 Ballot
1) Max George Carey - "Scoops"
…here he remains. Great career, good prime, often among the best in his league, very nice black ink. A superb leadoff hitter, lots of runs scored, and he didn’t get all those Win Shares just by stealing bases.
2) George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
3) Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
Definitely flipsides of the career-prime argument, and this year, I’m leaning toward a career with some peaks in it. I think there’s merit to Beckley’s long and consistent service. But Sisler’s black ink gives him a crucial edge.
4) Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
Horrible nickname. He really did go back and forth between third and the outfield, didn’t he? Does anyone know why that is?
5) Hugh Duffy
When calculating prime vs. career, Duffy’s actually a lot more balanced than I expected. Prime is less than half of career. That was a surprise.
6) Joseph Wheeler Sewell
Consistently the top shortstop in the AL, with five Top 10 finishes in Win Shares. This placement is cautiously low.
7) Lawrence Joseph Doyle - “Laughing Larry”
My numbers like him better than Childs. I thought that was due to career length, but they have a similar peak, and Doyle has a slightly higher prime. So I’m sticking with Larry.
8) Edd J. Roush
Nice all-around numbers, and several MVP-type seasons. He’s not flashy, but I think he deserves a little more credit than he’s getting.
9) Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
There’s career with strong prime, and then there’s this guy. I think I’d rank him much higher if he’d had even another season or two of 10 WS.
10) Carl William Mays
James Vail’s standard deviations often help me to see how a player’s stats compare to his position and his era. By his figures, Mays stands out as one of the most successful pitchers of his day. Plus, he’s the highest-ranked eligible pitcher from Bill James’ list, so I’m willing to consider that he’s this good.
11) Urban Charles Faber – “Red”
12) Eppa Rixey
I’m giving the tiniest edge to Faber for a slightly better WS per season. But these two are surprisingly well-matched. And it’s nice to see some pitchers with long careers.
13) Roger Philip Bresnahan – “The Duke of Tralee”
I have no problem classifying him as a catcher, and certainly the best catcher currently eligible. But is he so great a catcher that he merits induction? I’m not so sure.
14) Harry Bartholomew Hooper
I’m not seeing a crying need to induct him at this phase. He appeals to my love of a long, consistent career.
15) Dick Redding – “Cannonball”
His projected numbers seem to put him squarely in the middle of a pitcher glut. I can’t decide if this is too low or too high. Which makes it look alright for now.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Lipman Emanuel Pike
I may not have to worry about this much longer. I’ve currently got four center fielders ahead of him, so he’s not really in striking distance of my ballot.
Clark Clavin Griffith
I’ve got pitchers with better careers, and pitchers with better primes. His is an interesting mix, but the overall picture is not outstanding one way or the other. I’ve got him right behind Welch.
George Edward Waddell – “Rube”
There’s something about his stats that I really don’t trust. I think it’s the fact that over 60% of his Win Shares comes from his 5-year prime. That’s more than any other pitcher in my consideration set.
Michael Francis Welch – “Smiling Mickey”
And he’s off again. Mainly, he’s just caught in a numbers game, pushed off by three newcomers. I’m in the process of comparing his Win Shares totals by season, just to see how much he really stood out from the crowd.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2004 at 07:11 PM (#968544)
Neglected to mention on my ballot that the Burns that appears there is the National League Burns (not Tioga George Burns of the AL).

Also, I didn't address a couple newbies.

Sewell: On the cusp, he's just not got enough career nor enough peak to seperate himself from the bottom-ballot glut that lurks beneath spot #15.

Maranville: Meet Bingo DeMoss's dream double-play partner. Love the clowning, don't love the peak.... His Fame is more arguable than his merit.

Jack Quinn: Is he a Charlie Hough for the teens and 20s? A good pitcher with decent career value and not too much else. Big year in the Feds doesn't impress me.

Winters: His comps seem to range from Thornton Lee (low-end) to Goofy Gomez (middle) to Dizzy Dean (high-end). The gap in career value between him and the glut pitchers is enough to keep him off the ballot.

Heavy Johnson: Short career, decent peak. He'd have to be a Hack Wilson/Wally Berger/Charlie Keller type to merit a ballot spot. Nothing seems to indicate he was, so he doesn't. I had hoped to use this space to make some kind of hip allusion to "I Want You/She's So Heavy," but somehow the Negro Leagues and the Beatles of Liverpool aren't jibing for me.... Alas.
   33. jhwinfrey Posted: November 16, 2004 at 07:12 PM (#968549)
1939 Ballot

My PHoM inductees this year are Carl Mays and Eppa Rixey.

1. Mickey Welch (1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,7,6,5,3,1) Still the best pitcher on the ballot. (1926)
2. Jake Beckley (6,3,5,4,4,3,3,4,8,5,4,2,2) No peak? No problem. (1927)
3. Ben Taylor (11,8,8,6,4) Nearly as good as Beckley, plus he pitched a little. (1938)
4. Max Carey (7,7,5,3) Above average hitter, excellent fielder, and a nice long career. (1938)
5. Carl Mays (9,10,9,7) Belongs in the HOM with Coveleski. (1939)
6. Eppa Rixey (ne) 4400+ IP of 115 ERA+ pitching. He put up 266 wins on mostly lousy Phillies and Reds teams. Just a steady, dependable arm--the kind every manager wants. (1939)
7. Tommy Leach (9,7,5) I can't really believe we inducted Heinie Groh ahead of Leach.
8. Jim McCormick (15,nr,13,15,nr,15,12,11,9) Pitched nearly as many innings as Rixey in half the years, with a 118 ERA+. Notched 265 wins while playing for the lowly Cleveland Spiders for most of his career.
9. Vic Willis (13,12,10) More wins than McCormick, but basically the same career shape.
10. Rabbit Maranville (ne) Not great on offense (though he still ranks 19th all-time in triples) but great with the glove and incredibly durable. If you think Ozzie Smith and Nellie Fox should go in, then Maranville belongs, too.
11. Edd Roush (8,6) Another solid career, just a notch below Max Carey.
(11a. Bobby Wallace)
12. Red Faber (ne) Another 4,000 IP guy, and he didn't get started until he was 25. Pitched 15 years for a lousy White Sox team.
13. Jack Quinn (ne) Not quite in the 4k club, but c'mon, he didn't quit pitching until he was 50!
(13a. Sherry Magee)
14. Jose Mendez (4,8,13,13,11,10,8) We shouldn't forget this guy--he should join Rube Foster in the HOM.
15. Dick Redding (13,11) Neck and neck with Mendez, and just "nips" Winters.

Obligatories:
24. Clark Griffith--I like Griffith, but he just didn't have the career of the pitchers on my ballot.
30. George Sisler--One of the better hitters eligible, but he doesn't quite fit my standards--not quite enough OBP, XBH, or seasons. And his average fielding at first keeps him out of the top 15.
52. Rube Waddell--Too much of a flash in the pan. I like his strikeouts, but not much else.
55. Lip Pike--I won't be upset if he gets inducted, but I'm just more confident about the players ranked above him deserving induction. After having him on my ballot for several years, I realized I was putting too much faith in his reputation.
59. Hughie Jennings--No career? Problem.
Mickey Welch--Oh wait, he's on my ballot. I'm just glad to see him back in the top 10!
   34. Rick A. Posted: November 16, 2004 at 10:08 PM (#968981)
Some changes in my evaluation this year. I've started giving bonus points for players who were among the best at their position for a given year as well as a career bonus. This helps resolve the mid-ballot 3b glut I was developing over the last few years. It also helps me to evaluate comparable players that have recently come on the ballot. (Such as Bresnahan-Schang-Schalk and Bancroft-Sewell) I've only done this with hitters so far, but hopefully I'll get to do this for pitchers in the near future.

PHOM
Hughie Jennings
Stan Coveleski

1939 Ballot
1.Charley Jones – Very good hitter, though. 96% of value is above average. Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
2.Lip Pike – 95% of documented career is above average. Fresh look at Charley Jones, Pike, and Browning made me change my order of them. Elected PHOM in 1918.
3.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
4.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average. Elected PHOM in 1938
5.Hughie Jennings – 77% of value is prime alone. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got. Still that’s enough to get him this high. Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days. Elected PHOM in 1939
6.Eppa Rixey – Like his consistent above-averageness over Faber’s brief peak.
7.Hugh Duffy – 82% of career is above-average. Great defense. Took another look at him and he moved up a couple of spots
8.George Sisler – Major jump up. I believe that WS undervalues his peak. Jumps up in my new evaluation.
9.Joe Sewell – Better offense than Bancroft, slightly less defense. Like him almost as much as Jennings.
10.Wally Schang – Took a closer look at Bresnahan and Schang. While Bresnahan was a better hitter, Schang played catcher more and was the top catcher of his time more often than Bresnahan was.
11.Tommy Leach – Good peak and decent career.
12.Bill Monroe – Very good second baseman, but I can’t seem to rate him over Childs. Re-evaluation moves him up.
13.Jose Mendez – Slotted between Foster and Waddell. Took a closer look with Redding on the ballot. Like his peak over Redding’s career
14.Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year peak.
15.Ed Williamson – Overvalued him in previous elections. Much closer to Groh and Leach than I thought. Still a damn good player, though. Elected PHOM in 1931

New eligibles
22.Red Faber – Good pitcher for a long time. Like Rixey’s consistency more. May be undervaluing him.

Required explanations
16.Clark Griffith – Just misses my ballot
20.Max Carey – Not as much peak as I thought. Seems kind of like Van Haltren. Like the SB’s. Slightly behind Roush.
31.Rube Waddell –Impressive SO ability, but his record should be SO much better than it actually is.
38.Mickey Welch – Never sure about Welch. Not far ahead of McCormick and Mullane in my mind, but I’m always re-evaluating these 3.
42.Jake Beckley - Lower peak than Van Haltren, in my top 50, but just barely.

Off the ballot
16-20 Griffith, Redding, Willis, Roush, Carey
21-25 Mays, Faber, Tiernan, Bresnahan, GVH
26-30 Poles, McGraw, Bancroft, Taylor, Cooper
31-35 Waddell, Bond, Doyle, Chance, Griffin
36-40 F. Jones, Long, Welch, R. Thomas, Burns
41-45 Konetchy, Beckley, Cravath, Fournier, Tinker
46-50 Schalk, Evers, Maranville, Veach, Ryan
   35. KJOK Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:51 AM (#969736)
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. For Position Players AND Pitcher, heavily weight comparison vs. contemporaries.

1. JOE SEWELL, SS. .549 OWP. 346 RCAP. 8,830 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Comp is Barry Larkin. One of the all-time great SS’s.

2. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890’s. Great offensively and defensively. SS defense and longer career value move him ahead of McGraw.

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. Plus led his team to 3 consecutive championships.

4. 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 any eligible outfielder.

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

6. WALLY SCHANG, C. .595 OWP. 271 RCAP, 6,422 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Not quite the hitter or fielder Bresnahan was, but played more games at Catcher, making him almost as valuable.

7. RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 134 ERA+ in 2,961 innings. He was a more effective version of Nolan Ryan (fewer walks)

8. 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. Top seasons blow away Beckley’s best. Perhaps best firstbaseman in the whole 1900-1920 time period.

9. RED FABER, P. 250 RSAA, 226 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 119 ERA+ in 4,087 innings. Comps are Ted Lyons and Jim Bunning.

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

11. BILL MONROE, 2B. Estimated 115 OPS+ over 8,276 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are Hack, Alomar, and Sandberg, which is a pretty high level.

12. 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 due to comparison with contemporaries.

13. EPPA RIXEY, P. 217 RSAA, 229 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 115 ERA+ in 4,495 innings. Closest comp is probably Red Faber!

14. DAVE BANCROFT, SS. .498 OWP, 157 RCAP, 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Much better hitter than Maranville. Similar to Bobby Wallace and Ozzie Smith, so surprised he’s not getting more votes.

15. 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.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:
NEWBIES:

JACK QUINN, P. 228 RSAA, 216 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 114 ERA+ in 3,920 innings. Closest comp is Waite Hoyt.

HEAVY JOHNSON, LF Comps would be Lefty O’Doul and Greg Luzinski.

JELLY GARDNER, RF Lesser hitter but better defender than Heavy. Comp might be Vic Wertz?

NIP WINTERS, P. 128 MLE Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 121 MLE ERA+ in 2,140 MLE innings. Good pitcher, but not as good as either Redding or Mendez, who don’t make ballot.

HIGH POCKETS HUDSPETH, 1B One of the better Negro League 1st basemen of the 1920’s, but was never noted as an overpowering hitter. Comp might be Harry Davis.

RABBIT MARANVILLE, SS .401 OWP, -61 RCAP, 11,256 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Way overrated. Luis Aparicio without the basestealing, or George Peckinpaugh comp.

RETURNEES:

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

EDD ROUSH, CF. .622 OWP, 205 RCAP. 8,156 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Edge of playing CF not enough to overcome Tiernan’s edge in offense.

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 much higher.

DICK REDDING, P. 183 MLE Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 114 MLE ERA+ in 3,556 innings. Comp is around Rick Reuschel.

JOSE MENDEZ, P. 154 MLE Neut Fibonacci Win Points. 114 MLE ERA+ over 3,001 MLE Innings. Similar career to Orel Hershiser perhaps. Had some really great years early in his career, then changed positions due to arm problems at age 27 and was never really a star player after that. Not sure he was really better than teammate Dolph Luque, so he falls short on the ballot.
   36. Sean Gilman Posted: November 17, 2004 at 12:24 PM (#970153)
Did you forget Rixey and Faber, or did both miss your top 25? Just asking because you say your re-evaluation led to bumping up the pitchers.


They just missed. I have Carl Mays at 26, with Faber at 27 and Rixey at 28.
   37. TomH Posted: November 17, 2004 at 02:09 PM (#970173)
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 13 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. I don’t believe in much extra value for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

On the one hand, I hate this ballot; I’m forced to make distinctions between #2 and #16 that I don’t feel good about at all.

On the other hand, I love this ballot; it means that we’ve inducted everyone (except Griffith) that I want inducted, which implies that either we’re doin’ a great job, or I have fallen into severe groupthink. I may never be truly ready to submit a ballot, but when election day comes, ya gotta pull one of the levers.

This year’s ballot includes 5 pitchers, 6- infielders, and 4+ outfielders.

It includes no 1Bmen, which concerns me, but I have three of them at 16-to-20th, so I guess if we had a larger ballot I would be a friend of first sackers :)

1-Clark Griffith (3)
As many voters give Welch credit for pitching to the score, they ought to do the same for Griffith!

“Hall of very good” starts right about here…
2-George Van Haltren (4)
Hit. Ran. Played defense. Pitched. Long career. No timeline discount for 1890s. Solidly on my ballot.
3-Lip Pike (6)
AdjEqA of .303. Fine WS and OPS+. He’s Larry Doyle, only better. Some concerns about his ethics’ affect on team performance
4-Max Carey (9)
Bonus for great World Series, bonus because stolen bases give more “wins per run” than some models account for, but un-bonus because WS and WARP overrate leadoff men IMHO, by giving them more credit for extra PAs, but not considering that #4 hitters PAs are more important per event.
Some have criticized Carey for his low WS/162games, but much of that is his truly poor performance in late career – drop the last few years off and he only loses 25 total WS, but his career rate goes way up.
Others have critiqued Carey’s low OPS (or other numbers that show he wasn’t a slugger). But his OBA, his speed, his great glove, his consistent and long career can overcome a lack of power.
5-Red Faber (new)
He was good. He pitched a long time. High quality league. 1917 World Series hero. Doesn’t stand out completely above the other pitchers, but enough that if we do elect him on the first try, I can’t see us regretting it later.
6-Joe Sewell (new)
Did I mention I like guys who have a good peak and a great career, who can hit and field, and who in general may not have any one stat that defines them but overall win lots of ballgames for their teams? Not quite Alan Trammell, but beats Dave Concepcion.
7-Roger Bresnahan (7)
A nod to position scarcity. A great player when he was on the field. Re-reading Bill James’ “Whatever happened to the Hall of Fame”, it’s amazing how he trashed the Bresnahan HoF selection so often in that book, and now Roger is #16 in his NBJHA. The truth seems to be somewhere in the middle.
8-John McGraw (5)
I’m a career voter, but Mugsy accomplished more in a few years than most others did in many. RCAP isn’t a perfect tool, but it can’t be THAT far off that McGraw gets no mention from us. Drops this ballot as I correct his RCAP for high league scoring in his era.
9-Tommy Leach (12)
As an infielder he’s solidly on my ballot. As an OFer he’s off. And so he lands here.
10-Ed Roush (15)
Easy to compare directly with Carey; and he loses by a hair. Also comparable to Beckley as a hitter, and he seems at least his equal.
11-Larry Doyle (10)
A 2Bman with such a high OWP deserves to be on the ballot.
12-Cupid Childs (13)
A fine hitting second sacker indeed, whose glove was okay too. Difficulty of playing a long career as an infielder in the 1890s gives him a few bonus points.
13-Rube Waddell (8)
Six time leader in KOs, 3 ERA+ titles. Unearned runs drag him down a bit. We’ve already elected 8 pitchers from his prime – that nudges him down a bit.
14-Addie Joss (11)
Bonus points for his great pennant exploits gets him on the edge. Also see Rube W comment above.
15-Mickey Welch (14)
I figure he was maybe 10 “wins” better than his ERA+/WARP/WS data suggests, or maybe an ERA that should be .25 better, based on his distribution of runs allowed. This is more credit than I had been giving him previously, so he moves up from 25th-ish to on the bottom of my ballot. Welcome, Smiling Mickey.

The hardest part is deciding what deserving player to leave off entirely. I want a 19 man ballot so I can include the next four:
Frank Chance
He lacks the big seasons if you use WARP or WS, since those measure rely on playing time to accumulate much value. But by RCAP in a run-starved environment, and taking into account his team’s performance, his peak, prime and career are all durn fine. Small bonus because I assess that he would have played a few more games if he weren’t managing. Another bonus for playing 1/7th of his career as a catcher. Yet another small bonus for his fine play in 4 World Series. And his rep was real good too. But in the end, his numbers aren’t QUITE there.
Jake Beckley
Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting into the HoM tho. Pretty directly comparable with Roush (good hitter, not much defensive value), and he loses by a hair, even if I give him more credit than WS/WARP for playing 1B.
Hughie Jennings
Great for 5 years. If we had a PEAK Hall of Merit, Hughie would be a shoo-in.
George Sisler
Great for 6 years. See above. If only his severe injury had been even one year later…

Bobby Veach could be in this group as well. Or Bill Monroe. Or Urban Shocker, W Schang, D Redding, H Duffy, C Jones, J Ryan, E Rixey
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2004 at 03:03 PM (#970195)
Joe Sewell is on my ballot. But one of the all-time greatest shortstops? A first ballot HoMer? An NB?

According to my exit polls...just kidding. I am not tabulating, I have no idea how Sewell is doing. But before we make him a first ballot HoMer:

• Sewell played SS for 8 years and for those 8 years he was not Honus Wagner or Joe Cronin

• He moved to 3B at age 31 and thereafter was a .284 hitter with about 40 walks and 25-30 XBH for about 16 WS/year

• IOW his case is 8 years as a ML SS, there is nothing in his 5 years at 3B that anybody would look twice at. I don't know what he did before and after his ML career, but Dobie Moore appears to have played just as much baseball as a much better hitter, at least. Lip Pike's documented career is just as long as a vastly better hitter.

Sewell 29-29-26-24-23-22-21-21-21-17-16-15-9-4=277
Player B 33-29-29-27-25-24-22-19-16-15-13-11-11-10-8= 292

Player B is better for the best 7 years and the worst 2-3 years of hangin' on, while Sewell was better for 5 average to below average decline years in between. It is hard for me to see that Sewell is better overall. Player B is George Sisler. Yet there is a clear perception that Sisler's peak was too short, his decline too long. How is Sewell vastly better than that?

Sewell in summary is a short prime borderline candidate.
   39. TomH Posted: November 17, 2004 at 03:23 PM (#970224)
Sewell... 96 91 91 88 87 78 67 63 57 51 49 45
Player B 130 80 80 73 73 64 63 46 30 27 19 07

Hmmm.... by this OTHER measure, Sewell trumps Player B EVERY YEAR except for B's best year (which was truly superb).

Sewell was almost as good a hitter (career EqA or OPA+ or OWP) as George, and he played an excellent shortstop. I have no idea how Win Shares sees Sisler as better.
   40. Al Peterson Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#970286)
Sewell in summary is a short prime borderline candidate.

That might be enough when everyone on the ballot is borderline. Joe Sewell just has that new car smell that intoxicates some.

Being the best SS in the twenties should be somewhat muted since in reality the best SS for that time were dealing with skin pigment issues (Lloyd, Moore, Willie Wells, Dick Lundy).
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:27 PM (#970303)
"and he played an excellent shortstop."

For 8 years (60 percent of his career).

Like I said, Sewell is on my ballot. I am just asking, "#1?"

I mean, I had Sewell at #8 on my prelim, until I realized he only played SS for 8 years. When everybody keeps saying Sewell was a SS, Sewell was a SS, Sewell was an excellent SS, I just hope everybody remembers (as I did not, initially) that he was a SS for 60 percent of his career, 8 years.

As for Sisler, he is just a comp chosen because he and Sewell both have a short prime. If you don't like the comp on other grounds, that's fine. My post was not pro-Sisler, it was "Sewell #1?" My point was:

"Sewell in summary is a short prime borderline candidate."
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:30 PM (#970307)
• He moved to 3B at age 31 and thereafter was a .284 hitter with about 40 walks and 25-30 XBH for about 16 WS/year

Injuries had taken their toll. If they hadn't, he would be a no-brainer candidate.

• IOW his case is 8 years as a ML SS

He was still good enough to be the best AL third baseman in 1929. He wasn't totally a journeyman player at that position.
   43. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#970309)
The comparison should be with Carey, whom we really are in danger of electing this year. Sewell had almost as long a career, was a better hitter, and at either shorstop or 3B played a considerably more valuable defensive position.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#970312)
Being the best SS in the twenties should be somewhat muted since in reality the best SS for that time were dealing with skin pigment issues (Lloyd, Moore, Willie Wells, Dick Lundy).

This is an excellent point. Moore certianly would have been the major league shortstop quite a few times during the twenties, for example.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#970321)
If you don't like the comp on other grounds, that's fine. My post was not pro-Sisler, it was "Sewell #1?"

The problem, Marc, is that question can be asked of every other player this "year," too. :-)

The comparison should be with Carey, whom we really are in danger of electing this year. Sewell had almost as long a career, was a better hitter, and at either shorstop or 3B played a considerably more valuable defensive position.

I don't disagree with you about who the better player was, karlmagnus, but Carey does have that career length and stolen bases to add some luster to his resume.
   46. TomH Posted: November 17, 2004 at 05:28 PM (#970379)
"Sewell had almost as long a career, was a better hitter"

Well, no, he wasn't. Sewell retired after age 34. Thru age 34, Carey had a better OWP and EqA (288 to 280) than Sewell. If you add in his down years, his stats are about equal, and then of course his career is much longer.
   47. DavidFoss Posted: November 17, 2004 at 05:46 PM (#970410)
Sewell was almost as good a hitter (career EqA or OPA+ or OWP) as George, and he played an excellent shortstop. I have no idea how Win Shares sees Sisler as better.

Using WS or WARP to compare players of different positions is quite risky, in my opinion. They have completely different philosophies in how to adjust for players position.

Some interesting Sewell comps are:

Sewell vs Traynor
Sewell vs McKean
   48. andrew siegel Posted: November 17, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#970415)
Sewell vs. Carey:

From ages 22 to 34, Sewell is clearly better--ever so slightly worse offensively, substantially more defensive value, and a better peak, all against better competition.

Carey was worthless from 36 on.

So the question is whether Carey's solid age 21 season and excellent age 35 season make up for Sewell's edge from 22-34.

In my book, they don't. Thus, I have Sewell 9th and Carey 16th (a very small gap in this group). However, the two are close enough that other assumption, methodologies, or priorities could cause a diffent result.
   49. ronw Posted: November 17, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#970437)
20 ballots:

13 different 1st place votes
15 different 2nd place votes

Already 52 players named on the ballots.

Hold on to your hats, this is a wild one!
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#970455)
Expanding on Ron's post, there are only a hundred points between first place and 20th. Nobody has at least 45% of the vote. In terms of dominating an election, Dickey Pearce looks like Honus Wagner compared to these guys !
   51. PhillyBooster Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:18 PM (#970470)
I assume that this means that 19 guys are all tied for second, 99 votes behind Red Faber?
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:22 PM (#970474)
Matt, you know what they say about assuming, don't you? :-D
   53. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#970490)
Taking Andrew Siegel's point, and never mind that Sewell played in the stronger league; this comparison demonstrates very clearly the shakiness of Win Shares as a value metric. The two players are very close to equal as hitters, Sewell played the more valuable defensive position, yet Carey has 351 WS to Sewell's 277. Anyone using WS as their primary decison-guider is thus in deep do-do.
   54. Max Parkinson Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:51 PM (#970520)
After weeks (months?) of updating data, I’ve incorporated the new BP numbers. The results: the 1900s to 1910s NL is not punished nearly as harshly as before, when it was essentially a minor league. This has helped players such as Max Carey, Ed Konetchy and George Burns (the good one). In addition, I’ve gone back and updated my MP HoM, and this change got Mordechai Brown, Sherry Magee and Zack Wheat in the door. My (hopefully) improved MP HoM contains only 4 discrepancies from the real thing:

Hughie Jennings vs. Ezra Sutton
Rube Waddell vs. Joe McGinnity
Clark Griffith vs. Frank Grant
Lip Pike vs. Pete Hill

On to the ballot… (MP HoMers in bold, this year’s inductees are Faber and Carey)

1. Hughie Jennings

Still crazy after all these years… Hughie remains the only player on the ballot with the “Best Player in the Game” belt. I’m not sure that a good chunk of you will ever be convinced of my argument, but I’d rather a superduperstar for 5 years, with a blah 6 or 7 than a pretty good player for 15. For those 5 great years, Hughie was more valuable offensively than A-rod in his prime, and was otherworldly in the field. 5 possible MVP years are much more than anyone else here can claim…

2. Red Faber

Faber 2nd and Rixey 12th? Well, Faber is slightly ahead on career totals, and somewhat ahead on the short prime (or peak) categories - 3, 5, 7 year totals. Rixey is somewhat ahead on the extended prime - Nth best year from 7-15, and 8-10 year totals. Most of the gap is in the “claim points” I give for awards; MVP, Harry Wright (best hitter), Creighton (best pitcher) and Pearce (best fielder). I have Faber winning the Creighton in both ’21 and ’22, and finishing 2nd and 3rd in the MVP in those years. Rixey never gets Top 3 in the Creighton or Top 5 in the MVP. That’s 2/3 of the difference between them, and combined with Faber getting credit for 2 pennant winners, while Rixey only gets one, there’s our gap. Without these “claim points”, they would probably be 5,7 or 7,8.

3. Lip Pike

The best player not yet elected from the NA. I’m not ready to call that decade done (Well, actually I am, as I’ve elected Pike to the MP HoM).

4. Max Carey

Welcome Mr. Carey. The new BP translations have been quite kind to his leagues, and I’m kinder (as I use ½ the WARP1-2 conversion) I’d rank the outfielders from Carey’s “era” as:

Cobb
Speaker
Heilmann
Torriente
Wheat
Jackson
Carey
Hooper
Burns (good)
Veach
Pete Hill
Roush
Poles
Youngs

5. Clark Griffith

As discussed in the Mickey Welch thread, Griffith is the best pitcher not yet inducted from a pretty damn good era of baseball, the one-league late ‘90s, where the other 3 are inner-circle types in Young, Nichols and Rusie. Contrast Welch, who would be at best the 7th best pitcher from his decade.

6. Ed Konetchy

Ahead of Sisler? Well, it’s close but yes. Whereas Rixey had the better extended prime than Faber, it wasn’t better by enough to overcome Faber’s peak lead. Here, Konetchy’s prime is better by enough to overcome Sisler’s peak. Take defense for example. Sisler was acknowledged as a great glove man, but it was really only true while he was young. Konetchy was as good as that for most of his career. Konetchy never had Sisler’s great few seasons, but he wasn’t nearly as bad at his worst.

7. Dick Redding

I think he slots in best here. But really, I’ve got a system that has a possible point range from 0 to 5950. The Babe is #1 with just over 4600, and 5 other players are above 3000. 14 more are better than 2000. I’ve got 46 players (retired and active) between Jennings (1618) and Eddie Cicotte (1420), a gap of less than 200 points. If I think Redding’s in this region, the margin of error puts him anywhere from 2 or 3 to 35 on this ballot.

8. Harry Hooper
9. George Burns

The next two outfielders from the teens (and 20s). I’ve got a question for the electorate: Why is Jake Beckley getting so much more attention than Hooper? 18 people voted for Beckley last year, while passing on Hooper, including 5 who voted for Beckley in an elect-me position!

I would think that most of Beckley’s supporters are Win Shares people, so let’s look at Win Shares. Granted, I use modified WS, but my 3 mods should help Beckley as compared to straight WS. First, pre-1893 I apportion 50% of Pitching WS to position players, more in fielding than batting. This helps Beckley but not Hooper. Next, I use a 2/3 power to account for shorter seasons (This is like old WARP, new WARP uses ½). Last, I use ½ of the league adjustment of BP between leagues of the same year. Beckley played in the best available league for his entire career save the last 6 years. Hooper played in the best league save for his last 2. Slight edge to Hooper.

Anyhow, here’s what I get from my modified WS

_________________JB____HH

Career__________352___337
Best 3___________73____85
Best 5__________116___130
Best 7__________156___171
Best 10_________215___231
5 Cons._________108___127
6 Cons._________127___147
7 Cons._________148___167
8 Cons._________167___188
9 Cons._________178___204
10 Cons.________195___226

Hooper’s best year is better than Beckley’s best. So’s his 2nd best. And 3rd, 4th, 5th right to 12th. Beckley then takes over, and his 13th best through 20th best is better than Hooper’s. But 15 Win Shares over a career is enough to have Beckley 1 and Hooper never heard of ya? When any look at peak or prime says that Hooper was better? Sorry to rant, but I just don’t get it.
   55. Max Parkinson Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:52 PM (#970523)
10. Rube Waddell

A beneficiary of my correction for previously overpenalising poor-hitting and poor-fielding pitchers. He was certainly both. But those K’s…

11. Bobby Veach

Peak was higher than Hooper, but prime not as long. Was the 3rd best OF in the AL a few times; not too shabby when the other 2 are Cobb and Speaker.

12. Eppa Rixey
13. Bill Monroe

I’ve probably been underrating Monroe…

14. George Sisler
15. Joe Sewell

Slightly behind Bancroft with the glove, and more than slightly ahead with the bat lands him here and Bancroft 23rd. C’est la vie, no?

Others:

16-20. D. Moore, F. Jones, Shocker, Maranville, Roush
21-25. Mendez, Mays, Bancroft, Cicotte, Duffy
26-30. Quinn, Leach, Seymour, Petway, Fletcher
31-35. Tinker, Rommel, Buffinton, Youngs, Willis
36-40. J. Bush, Stivetts, McGraw, Dauss, Williamson


Required:

Beckley – see Hooper’s comment. 41 on my ballot.
Welch – please see the Mickey Welch thread. Above 100 on my ballot.

Again, a question for those that vote for Mickey Welch, what does he have on Jim McCormick? During Welch’s best 7 year stretch, 1880-1886, McCormick was better, albeit slightly. Welch was never the best pitcher in any one season, McCormick was (1880). Welch’s career Win Share lead of 18 is built up entirely in 3 seasons (1882,1887 and 1891) where Welch was anywhere from below average to atrocious. I’m not in a rush to elect either pitcher, as we’re well-inundated with ‘80s pitchers, but when the time comes, McCormick should get in first.
   56. TomH Posted: November 17, 2004 at 06:52 PM (#970525)
It's deep doo-doo, not do-do, you doo-doo you :)

again, Carey's career WS are inflated by his age 20, 21, 35+ seasons; he has (I think) 285 if you take those away. Which means WS says

Carey was a slightly better hitter.
Carey was a better defender for his position.
Sewell played a more important position.

I can see it either way. Sewell played in the better league, Carey was the hero of the 1925 W.S.
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#970538)
The two players are very close to equal as hitters, Sewell played the more valuable defensive position, yet Carey has 351 WS to Sewell's 277. Anyone using WS as their primary decison-guider is thus in deep do-do.

karlmagnus, non-sabermetric methods could lead you to the same conclusions. I'm starting to think that Bill James stepped on your foot at one point without apologizing to you and now you're taking it out on WS. :-)
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#970549)
karlmagnus, the HOF, without any sabermetric tools at their disposal, picked Carey fifteen years before Sewell. I don't agree with this, obviously, but Bill James can't be blamed for the outcome.
   59. DavidFoss Posted: November 17, 2004 at 07:49 PM (#970612)
The two players are very close to equal as hitters, Sewell played the more valuable defensive position, yet Carey has 351 WS to Sewell's 277. Anyone using WS as their primary decison-guider is thus in deep do-do.

Again... using Win Shares to compare players of different positions... dangerous. I like the way that Win Shares is guaranteed to "add up" but its not going to necessarily produce positional balance.

Also don't underestimate the power of 2400 extra plate appearances and 600 extra defensive games to elevate ones career totals. A lot of us use Win Shares here, but I seriously doubt that any of us have a "Sorted by career WS" ballot.
   60. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2004 at 07:50 PM (#970613)
John I'm quite certain that Bill James (whom I've admired now for 20+ years), if he met me, would be furiously denouncing me within 5 minutes of meeting :-))

Max Parkinson, how can you POSSIBLY claim I use Win Shares to rank Beckley so highly. :-(( Quite wrong. I use HITS, of which Beckley has 500 more than Hooper in spite of playing shorter seasons. Also, in a oncession to modernity, OPS+, which for Beckley was 125 and Hooper was 114. By those measures neither Hooper nor, a fortiori, Carey are remotely close to Beckley.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#970728)
John I'm quite certain that Bill James (whom I've admired now for 20+ years), if he met me, would be furiously denouncing me within 5 minutes of meeting :-))

LOL

BTW, James doesn't use straight WS himself for his own rankings. He knows that, despite its merits, it still shouldn't be used that way. That's why he also uses WS per 162 Games and other peak measures.
   62. Max Parkinson Posted: November 17, 2004 at 09:07 PM (#970779)
Karl,

I used the word most! Most! I considered excepting you by name, but thought that it might be a little overblown. Apparently not :-)
   63. OCF Posted: November 17, 2004 at 09:09 PM (#970786)
Time to stop shuffling the cards and deal. It's not perfect, but ...

1939 ballot, with some big changes from previous ballots.
1. George Van Haltren (7, 5, 5, 5, 3) As "peakless" careers go, he's got substantially more offensive peak than the likes of Beckley or Hooper. Not much pitching value (and it was a whole lot easier to be a pitcher-hitter before 1893 than after), but what little pitching there is serves as a tiebreaker among similar candidates. I'm not completely convinced he's a HoMer, but then you can say that about everyone on the ballot.
2. Red Faber (new) I had Coveleski second on my 1938 ballot. I would place Coveleski ahead of Faber, and Faber ahead of Rixie, but the differences among the three of them in overall value are tiny.
3. Joe Sewell (new) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice. Come to think of it, I could say that about a lot of people, including Childs.
4. Larry Doyle (9, 7, 7, 3, 1) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time. I'm still his friend, but maybe not worth an "elect me" spot.
5. Eppa Rixey (new) A successful long-career inning-eater. No peak.
6. Jake Beckley (15, 14, 14, 13, 13) Not much peak, long career. All the first basemen step up for me this year.
7. Cupid Childs (-----) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
8. Max Carey (-, 12, 12, 9, 7) The Beckley of oufielders. The dominant base stealer of his times. His offense wouldn't put him this high, but he was also a superior defender.
9. Hugh Duffy (12, 10, 10, 8, 6) 33rd year on my ballot. Defense gets him this far.
10. Edd Roush (---, 10, 8) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey, but the nod goes to Carey's defense.
11. George Sisler (--, 15, 15, 15) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time.
12. Rube Waddell (13, 11, 11, 11, 9) The best one left from his generation. Value crammed into a very few years.
13. Jose Mendez (17, 16, 17, 15, 10)
14. Frank Chance (18, 17, 18, 12, 17) Huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
15. Roger Bresnahan (14, 13, 13, 12, 12) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
16. Jimmy Ryan (8, 6, 6, 7, 5) The victim of my shuffle. Not as much CF value as some.
17. Dick Redding (---, 23, 11) We've got lots of good pitchers, and are about to get more. Mendez and Redding belong in the discussion; exactly where is impossible to figure.
18. Hugh Jennings (- 25, --, 25) All he's got is 5 years.
19. Wally Schang (---, 14, 14) A much better hitter than most catchers. Not the hitter Bresnahan is, but closer to being a pure catcher.
20. Gavy Cravath (16, 15, 16, 16, 16) A big offensive peak. Yes, he took unique advantage of his park, but real wins resulted from that. Seriously lacking in bulk unless you also consider his work in Minneapolis.
21. Rabbit Maranville (new). I know he wasn't much of an offensive player, but 2500 game middle infield careers are a distinct rarity.
22. Tommy Leach (24, 23, 25, 19, 18) Not as much offense as either Groh or Carey, but not that far behind them, either. Those are the ones to compare him to.
23. Spottswood Poles (-----) Replaces Ben Taylor in this spot.
24. Vic Willis (22, 21, 22, 21, 20) I could reasonably have him right up there with Waddell.
25. Mickey Welch (20, 19, 20, 22, 21) 300 wins, but ERA and RA don't really support the record.
26. George J. Burns (21, 20, 21, 24, 22) A better leadoff hitter than Carey, but didn't last as long.
27. Clark Griffith (---, 25, 23) The third best pitcher of a time without many good pitchers - until Willis came along. Low number of IP for his number of decisions.
Lip Pike. That he spent time as an error-prone left-handed second baseman doesn't say good things about the level of competition he faced. Reputedly very fast, but I don't see that speed where it should show up in his offensive stats - in runs scored.
   64. OCF Posted: November 17, 2004 at 09:12 PM (#970795)
I'm keeping a running tally, and I have no idea who's going to win. None. Consensus scores may be heading for an average of around -9. It's not that there are a few voters who have wandered off the ranch - it's that everyone disagrees with everyone else.
   65. Michael Bass Posted: November 17, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#970831)
I'm keeping score, too, and this is wild. 22 votes in, and there are 6 people right in a scrum with each other on the top. Plus a 7th who I expect to climb back in the race as the ballots keep coming in. I never thought it would get more open than 1932, but obviously what's happened is that about 2/3 the electorate has kept their favorites from that year, while the other 1/3 has picked up new favorites from the 1933-present backlog and the newbies.

A mind-boggling 20 candidates have received "elect me" votes. Out of 22 votes, the most elect me votes for any players is...6. And that guy's in 5th place. The guy with the second most elect me votes is in 8th place.

Fun stuff.

(Hope I'm not giving anything away here, just marveling at the dividedness of the electorate)
   66. Evan Posted: November 17, 2004 at 10:47 PM (#971047)
With 39.6% of precincts reporting, BTF-HOM TV is prepared to call this election.

We go to poll reporter, John Kruk.

JK: Well, it's quite a scene down here, but we have managed to get the two projected winners here for their speeches. Let's go right to them now - first up, Happy Jack Chesbro!

HJC: I always knew this day would come. I'd like to thank the HOM electorate for validating my accomplishments, and letting this election be decided by true merit, rather than ugly mudslinging and new-fangled metrics. 40 wins ain't like dusting crops, you know.

JK: Well put. I thought you should have been elected in your first year of eligibility, after all, isn't the point of this to acknowledge winners? Isn't it all about winning? Now let's go to our second electee, George Kelly!

GK: It's nice to know that Frankie is still looking out for me. <Mumbles heard in background> What's that? He had nothing to do with this? I demand a recount! Oh, wait...


And there you have it. A most shocking end to this most unexpected election. Please join us next year for more post-election commentary.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2004 at 11:11 PM (#971106)
(Hope I'm not giving anything away here, just marveling at the dividedness of the electorate)

Michael, it's impossible to give anything away at this point. :-)

And there you have it. A most shocking end to this most unexpected election. Please join us next year for more post-election commentary.

...and then Evan woke up from his nightmare! :-)
   68. KJOK Posted: November 18, 2004 at 02:42 AM (#971380)
Joe Sewell Win Shares Per Year

YearBatFieldPitchSum
19202.51.14
192118.18.427
192213.47.921
192323.16.229
192414.57.322
192514.99.424
192619.39.729
192713.77.021
192815.47.723
192912.48.321
19306.13.410
193112.43.015
193211.45.717
193311.04.916
TOT188.290.00.0278
   69. KJOK Posted: November 18, 2004 at 02:44 AM (#971382)
Joe Sewell Win Shares Per Year

Year Bat Field Pitch Sum
1920  2.5  1.1  4
1921 18.1 8.4 27
1922 13.4 7.9 21
1923 23.1 6.2 29
1924 14.5 7.3 22
1925 14.9 9.4 24
1926 19.3 9.7 29
1927 13.7 7.0 21
1928 15.4 7.7 23
1929 12.4 8.3 21
1930 6.1 3.4 10
1931 12.4 3.0 15
1932 11.4 5.7 17
1933 11.0 4.9 16
TOT 188.2 90.0 0.0 278
   70. KJOK Posted: November 18, 2004 at 02:48 AM (#971385)
CAREER RCAP
1871-1933
SS

RCAP
1 Honus Wagner 926
2 Jack Glasscock 297
3 Joe Sewell 296
4 Bill Dahlen 281
5 George Davis 267
6 Hughie Jennings 264
7 Ed McKean 212
8 Joe Cronin 211
9 Travis Jackson 196
10 Bobby Wallace 168
11 Dave Bancroft 157
12 Frank Fennelly 142
13 Ray Chapman 134
14 Donie Bush 106
15 Glenn Wright 102
   71. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 18, 2004 at 04:40 AM (#971485)
From the comments, it looks like this is a very wild election. As soon as I finish this, I’ll fire up the ballot counter to see what’s happening.

It’s a very difficult year, both in slotting the new people and reconsidering the old. Heinie Groh is my #1 PHOM inductee, Joe Sewell is the hair’s-breadth choice for second.

1939 ballot:

1. Mickey Welch: The best candidate by the combined weight of the evidence. Kelly from SD has made the case for him better than I ever could – see posts 107-108 in this year’s discussion thread. (PHOM 1929)

2. Jake Beckley: Mr. Career. I like the gray ink & counting stats. No eye-popping seasons, but an all-star caliber player for 10 years.(PHOM 1926)

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

4. George Sisler: Practically a perennial all-star before the illness, good but not great after – still, was the STATS AL all-star 1B in 1925, and a probable runner-up to Gehrig in ’27. Good black & gray ink. I’d think peak voters would really like him. Looks like some do, some don’t. (PHOM 1938)

5. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, above-average offense for a middle infielder.

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

7. Wally Schang
8. Roger Bresnahan (PHOM 1932)
The HOM needs catchers. Wally edges the Duke on the basis of playing time & durability. Their defense is comparable, and Schang’s offense isn’t that much below.

9. Dick Redding: Similar in different ways to some on- and off-ballot pitchers: Griffith, Faber, Cooper. I’ve spotted him in-between, which seems about right.

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

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

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

13. Vic Willis: First time on my ballot, thanks, oddly, to Faber & Rixey. Their presence got me to take a second look, and Vic looks better to me.

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

15. Red Faber: Close call over Rixey. Edge on pure W-L & ERA+.

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

Required explanations:
Waddell: Terrific ERA, ERA+, strikeouts, but the W-L is worse than what you’d think given those. His odd behavior must have given the Tall Tactician a lot of headaches.
Pike: Was on my ballot in some of the recent lean years, I don’t see him making it back on anytime soon as the talent base gets ever larger.
Jennings: Exceptional peak, but not much else.

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.

Other new arrivals:
Eppa Rixey: Right behind Faber.
Jack Quinn: I have him behind Faber & Rixey in just about every respect, also behind at least Waddell, Mays, Mendez & Cooper.
Rabbit Maranville: I love durable long-career players, but I can’t persuade myself to put such a poor hitter on my ballot.
Heavy Johnson: Great bat, slow, poor defense. DH-type. Born too soon in every respect.
Nip Winters: The top pitcher in the ECL. Not enough career.
   72. Kelly in SD Posted: November 18, 2004 at 09:50 AM (#971759)
A comparison of Carey and Burns. I did this because I don't understand all the support even after reading the discussion from 1937 that compared him to Roush.

George Burns and Max Carey:

To fans of Max Carey, have you considered Mr. Burns? These two players were both fast leadoff men during the teens and 20s. Burns could make a 10s NL all-star team in the outfield and Carey a 20s NL all-star team. Neither one was in the realm of Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, Ruth. The biggest differnce to me is that Carey was faster, one of the best defensive outfielders of all-time, and played about 4 more seasons. I think their primes are about equal (see win shares breakdowns below), but Burns had a higher peak. Their offensive numbers are close, but there is an OPS+ difference because Burns did the majority of work in the 10s while Carey split his between the 10s and more hitter friendly 20s. Maybe defense and career length puts Carey on your ballot or at the top, but how far back should Burns be since they are so similar? How much weight does 5 seasons of slightly below to slightly above average have? I ask that you please consider George Burns as well as Max Carey.

These are their career numbers in seasonal notation: per 162
player  AB   R    H   2B  3B  HR   RBI    SB  BB  K    AVG   OBP   SLG   RC  WSh    
Burns  633  104  182  32   9   4    53    33  76  49  .287  .366  .384   88   25      
Carey  613  101  174  27  10   5    52    48  68  45  .285  .361  .386   85   23        


WARP1 (didn't fit on stat line)
Burns: 8.5
Carey: 8.6

OPS+
Burns 114
Carey 107

Other achievements:
20 Win Shares seasons: Burns 10, Carey 11
25 Win Shares seasons: Burns 4, Carey 5
30 Win Shares seasons: Burns 3, Carey 0
Stats All-Star (League only): Burns 2, Carey 1
Win Shares All-Star (Top 3 outfielders in league without regard for left/center/right): Burns 5, Carey 6
Win Shares Major League All-Star: Burns 3, Carey 1
Bill James Positional Rank: Burns 26th among leftfielders, Carey 23rd among centerfielders.

Black Ink: Burns 33, Carey 32
main categories:
Burns: runs 5 times: 1914, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920. Walks 5 times 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1923. Stolen Bases: 1914, 1919. OBP: 1919.
Carey: Stolen Bases: 1913, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925. Triples: 1914, 1923. Walks: 1918, 1922. Runs: 1913.

Grey Ink: Burns 165, Carey 148
Burns: Stolen Bases 7 times. Walks 4 times. Runs 6 times. Hits 8 times. Total Bases 7 times. Extra-base Hits 6 times. Doubles 6 times. Triples 4 times. OBP 4 times. AVG 4 times. SLG 3 times. OPS 3 times
Carey: Walks 10 times. Stolen Bases 5 times. Runs: 9 times. Hits 7 times. Total Bases 6 times. Extra-base Hits 4 times. Doubles 4 times. Triples 4 times. OBP 6 times. AVG 2 times. SLG 0. OPS 2 times.

Seasonal Win Shares from best to worst
Burns: 34 32 31 25 24 24 23 22 22 20 19 06 06 02 0
Carey: 29 29 26 25 25 24 23 22 22 20 20 17 16 14 13 11 7 7 1

Seasonal WARP1 from best to worst
Burns: 11.8 10.9 10.5  9.5 8.0 7.8 7.6 7.4 6.6 6.2 5.7 2.4 2.4 0.8 (neg 0.2)
Carey: 11.4 11.1 10.6 10.1 9.5 9.5 8.8 8.2 7.8 7.4 7.1 6.4 6.0 5.3 4.3 3.7 2.6 1.8 

Carey also has a 0.3 and 0.1 that don't fit at the end.

Okay, they have a lot of similarities.
Buuutttt....There always is one

Differences:
Career Length: seasons of 162 games – Burns 11.43, Carey 15.28
Defense: Win Shares rating: Burns “B-“, Carey “A+”
Gold Gloves (Win Shares, retro): Burns 1, Carey 10
Stolen Base %: Burns is 53%, while Carey is 80% for the seasons we have CS data.

Thank you for reading.
   73. EricC Posted: November 18, 2004 at 12:46 PM (#971815)
1939 ballot.

1. Wally Schang I've decided, without any deeper justification, that the number of catchers in my PHoM should be roughly the same as for other positions. I compute Win Shares per plate appearance to compare catchers within individual seasons. Because catcher usage is so variable, this means that what I consider the "best catcher" for a year may not be the one with the most WS. In any case, I have Schang as the top/in the top 2/in the top 3 catcher 5/8/9 times in a career of 19.3 equivalent seasons. Bresnahan ranked near the top 3/6/8 times (some of them as a CF), respectively, in a career of 16.9 equivalent seasons. Schalk was only near the top 0/2/3 times, but was generally one of the better catchers, and set the record (at the time) for games played at C.

2. Red Faber Suddenly, lots of high IP pitchers are becoming eligible in a short time. We have

Rixey 4495 IP; 115 ERA+; 266-251; NL
Grimes 4180 IP; 107 ERA+; 270-212; NL
Faber 4087 IP; 119 ERA+; 254-213; AL
Quinn 3920 IP; 114 ERA+; 247-218; mostly AL; 2 seasons FL

In spite of their similarities on the surfaces, my methodology shows significant differences. I rate pitchers on ERA+ and career length relative to standards for the era, apply league corrections, and apply "bonuses" for seasons with very high ERA+. Faber comes out on top based on his peak. In fact, his filler seasons did more to delay his induction into my PHoM then to add to his case. While rarely one of the best P in baseball, Rixey was good for so long that I rate him highly in spite of being a NL "enemy". Quinn was Faber without the standout seasons. The odd man out in my system is Grimes (eligible in 1940). The shortfall of 8 points of ERA+ and 315 IP that he has relative to Rixey is enough to knock him down toward Powell/Mullin territory. I don't see him making my ballot in spite of the W/L.

3. Joe Sewell I have Sewell as one of the top 1/2/3 (major league) SS 3/8/9 times (one 3B season included); Bancroft 2/4/6 in a career of similar length. Maranville was among the leaders 0/1/3 times in a significantly longer career. Overall, the differences are enough to put Sewell in my PHoM and relegate the others to the Very Good Hall.

4. Roger Bresnahan

5. Eppa Rixey

6. Harry Hooper Long career, "peakless" players are some of the hardest to rank. I consider career length and performance relative to peers at the same position as part of my rankings; thus Hooper and Beckley stand out more than, say, Lave Cross and Max Carey. I wouldn't be adamant about them belonging in the HoM, but I reject the extreme argument that having "no peak" is a fatal flaw for a candidate. Cooperstown has always been kind to the good but never dominant players that accumulated standout career totals. Why should we be different?

7. Jake Beckley

8. Jose Mendez Brilliant phase within a longer career; rating him near Waddell seems right.

9. Ray Schalk

10. George "Rube" Waddell The bottom half of my ballot is loaded with AL pitchers whose careers were not as long as the pitchers discussed above, but who had higher ERA+ and contended more often for ERA+ titles.

Waddell: 2961 IP; 134 ERA+; 193-143
Shocker: 2682 IP; 124 ERA+; 187-117
Cicotte: 3223 IP; 123 ERA+; 208-149

11. Jack Quinn
12. Urban Shocker
13. Eddie Cicotte

14. George Van Haltren A centerfield "career" pick from the 1890s. Beats Ryan because of more pitching value and more time as a CF.

15. Lip Pike As another 1870s player, would be one too many. But credit for 1866-1870 play puts him on my ballot.

Returning Top 10 omissions

38. Max Carey: NL discount hurts him. "Extra" plate appearances from hitting leadoff give him extra offensive "value" without extra "greatness". Will go into the HoM without my support.

21. Hughie Jennings: Definite greatness, but hurt by shortness of prime.

22. Clark Griffith. Next best 1890s pitcher.

35. George Sisler: Very good first half of career, but I don't see his prime as any greater than John McGraw's, who I rate similarly. Second half of his career adds little to his case.

52. Mickey Welch. I'd pick top-tier pitcher Tommy Bond from the 1870s before another second-tier pitcher from the 1880s. I also have McCormick ahead of Welch among pre-1893 pitchers.

20. Cupid Childs. Very good, the kind of player that my system would love, if only he could have maintained his prime for another season or two.
   74. Kelly in SD Posted: November 18, 2004 at 01:30 PM (#971820)
Ballot Time:
I finally finished adjusting win shares for scheduled season length for all players through 1903 to give a feeling for what the numbers meant for 154 game season. There were some surprises. And guys whose rep is built mainly on career got killed.
To recap, my rankings start with the four following numbers: career win shares, win shares in 3 consecutive years (peak), win shares in best 7 years (prime), win shares per 162 games or 40 starts. Prime is weighted the heaviest, then peak, then the two career measures. Then I adjust for number of times being best in league or majors (taking into account competition) and for black/grey ink (taking into account categories in which they led). I know there were differences in league quality over the years (AA early and late, NL for much of the early 20th century), but I don't know of a systematic adjustment that makes total sense to me. Another post for another time. Negro League players are slotted in by trying to find the white player with the most similar numbers and slotting the NeL'er in where the white player would go. Also, I try to follow the 8 Arguments for a HoMer from James' Politics of Glory/Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame.

1. Mickey Welch: Please see posts 107, 108 on the discussion thread for 1939 for my reasons.
Going over the GREAT list provided by Esteban post 199 in the 39 Ballot Discussion Thread, I noticed something that might be a clue as to why Welch's ERA+ is lower than other 80s pitchers. The following is the number of times each HoMer pitched for a team whose defense max'd out the Win Shares defensive percentage:
Spalding 1 time (the only year for which we have defensive win shares)
Ward: twice - 1880, 1882
Galvin: twice - 1879, 1885
Keefe: four - 1883, 1884, 1885, 1892
Radbourn: five - 1882, 1883, 1884, 1889, 1890
Clarkson: eight - 1885, 1886, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892 (both teams he pitched for this year), 1894
Caruthers: five - 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888
Rusie: once - 1894

and Welch ??: one time - 1885.

2. Pete Browning - The best hitter not enshrined. Adjusting for season length, he has the second most peak win shares (Jennings 1st), the most prime win shares, and the highest per 162 games. His OPS+ (162) is the highest among eligibles. Only Brouthers, Jackson, and Cobb have higher career OPS+ (170, 170, 167). 8 time STATS all-star. 5 time Win Shares all-star. 2 time major league all-star.

3. Charlie Jones - I don't know if he has ever been this high, but he has been on my ballot most every year. I give full-credit for his black-balled years (b/c he asked for his pay on the day it was due instead of waiting for the first day back at home after a road trip and he had a drinking problem). For his blackballed years, I credit him the average of the 6 years surrounding the suspension. Fourth best peak, 3rd best prime, tied for 2nd best per 162 games (Chance and McGraw). 5 STATS, 4 Win Shares league, 3 win shares majors all-star teams (not counting blackballed years). Third best OPS+ (149) among eligibles - only Browning and Cravath ahead.

4. Hugh Duffy - No, not just guys from the 1880s. 3rd highest peak (Jennings and Browning), 3rd highest prime (Browning, C. Jones), 6th highest career. A key member of the great Boston teams of the 1890s. An "A+" centerfielder - an integral part of one the most defensively dominant teams ever. 4 retro gold glvoes. STATS twice, Win Shares 5 times league and majors All-Star. Only Cravath has higher black ink score.

5. Cupid Childs - a slight drop. His numbers are not as impressive as some players below, but he was the best at his position for 7 years in 1890s, with a 2nd and two 3rds for good measure. His defense ranked as a "B+". Part of a defensive group in Cleveland that maxed out on win shares 5 times. He still has the 7th best peak (I know the 1890 AA was weak, but I don't know how much to discount), and 7th best prime.
His .416 OBP is second only to McGraw.

6. Tommy Leach - Maybe the best defensive player on the ballot. "A+" defense at both 3rd and CF with a combined 7 gold gloves. He and Wagner were key reasons that so many different pitchers could have great years pitching for Pittsburgh in the oughts. 5th highest career, 9th highest prime among eligibles. 3 time STATS, 5 times win shares all-star.

7. Big Surprise to me here - George Van Haltren - Not as high a peak or prime as Duffy, but the best adjusted career of any eligible. Highest career, 4th highest prime, 7th highest per/162 games. Could run well and win shares sees him as deserving 2 gold glvoes in outfield. Only 2 win shares all-stars, but he was competing against Hamilton, Delahanty, Burkett, Kelley, Keeler, and Duffy to name a few for one of 3 spots in the outfield.

8. George Burns (the Giant) - I just posted a comparison to Carey. I think Burns was a better leadoff man and had a higher peak and prime than Carey, if only by a bit. 11th best peak, 8th highest prime. 2 times STATS all-star, 5 times Win Shares all-star, 3 times Win Shares major league all-star. 10 seasons of 20 win shares, 3 seasons of 30. Fantastic at taking walks. 11 straight years without an off year.

9. Ed Roush - 8th highest career total, 13th best peak, 11th best prime. Win shares "A-" centerfielder with 5 gold gloves. 126 OPS+ is much higher than Carey's 107. 9 seasons of 20 win shares and 3 of 30. 5 time STATS and Win Shares league all-star, 2 time majors All-Star.
   75. Kelly in SD Posted: November 18, 2004 at 02:11 PM (#971822)
10. Fielder Jones - 10th in career, 13th in prime. 5 times a win shares league all-star. A+ fielder with 7 gold gloves. Left the game after his best year because he could not deal with Comiskey.

11. Vic Willis - another surprise - 4 times win shares league all-star. 8 years over 20 ws, 5 over 25, 2 over 30. Highest prime among eligible pitchers - post 1893. 2nd highest career (Rixey). One time best pitcher in league. 9 top 10s in wins and innings pitched. 5 top 10s in ERA and ERA+ with 2 firsts in ERA+.

12. Bobby Veach - 13th best peak, 12th best prime. 7 seasons with big year bonus as 3 were over 30. 2 time STATS all-star, 4 time league all-star competing with Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, Hooper, Ruth. Only Sisler has more grey ink. 127 OPS+ is among highest of eligibles.

13. Second Big Surprise - Hughie Jennings. I purposely have my prime at 7 years to prevent short career guys from being too high, but Jennings already had the highest peak before the adjustments. Highest peak and 5th highest prime slide him onto the ballot despite a poor career total. Great defender at short - key to the dominant Oriole defenses of the 1890s. 3 times best Shortstop by STATS and win shares.

14. Gahhh - Jack Fournier - Chance, Fournier, Konetchy, or Sisler - Chance 5 times best major league (03-07), Konetchy 4 times best majors (09-11, 16, and argue 12), Fournier 4 times best majors (15, 23-25), Sisler 5 times best majors (17, 19-22). Everyone had b/t 231 win shares - Fournier and 292 - Sisler. Chance had the best per/162 games. Fournier had highest peak. Sisler had highest prime. Sisler had longest career, but second hald was dreadful. Fournier was discarded because there were questions about his fielding and people didn't know about walks.

15. Jake Beckley - squeezes on - his entire career is prime. No peak, but amazing consistency. Based on adjusted for season length win shares, from 1888 - 1905 (18 years), Becks gave his team 18 - 24 win shares every year with a 17, two 16s, a 14 and 12. The totals are eerily consistent: 16, 21, 24, 18, 19, 20, 20, 21, 12, 17, 14, 20, 23, 20, 20, 19, 23, 16, 5, retire. If you asked a manager if he could have a first baseman for 18 years who would produce at all-star level most every year, they would take him. This is the biggest change from my results, but I think his power is special (125 OPS+) and his consistency is something rare indeed.

People not on Ballot:
Rube Waddell: I recognize the value of the strikeouts. Closer to the ballot than I thought he would be - closer than Rixey or Faber. Career didn't last long enough. If only he was easier to deal with, if he didn't get distracted so easily. Problems with unearned runs discolor some of the greatness, especially when you consider he was allowing fewer balls in play.

Max Carey - I don't understand the fascination with him. Adjusting for season length, Van Haltren has 33 more win shares - while playing most of his time in the one league 90s as opposed to the weaker of the two leagues. He was a great fielder - that's a given. He did have 11 years with 20 win shares, BUT NONE with 30. His Black ink is just about all stolen bases and I don't think they had much value in the 1920s. He did have 6 times as a win shares national league all-star. His OPS+ is only 107. Posters have commented that his numbers were better before his decline. That's true of every player. We are considering them based on their entire career. That's why Sisler and Ryan are not on my ballot. The bad balances out the good. I think there are much more deserving players.

Clark Griffith - damn close, at one point was at the bottom, but Willis pushed him off. The lack of BIG seasons in the 1890s hurts him - did his manager work him less than other big aces for a reason? He may go on next year.

Lip Pike - Despite my adjusting for shorter seasons, I still don't know how to balance the NA and pre-NA play where the quality of opposition was so uneven. I wish I had breakdowns for how he performed against the better teams in the leagues. I know he was great, but I have questions about his ethics. And why he moved about so much...

Newbies who didn't make it.
Maranville – Very far away from consideration. Very low 18.3 win shares per 162 games and peak and prime numbers leave down near the 60s or 70s. Career length by itself won't make my ballot.

Sewell - I was really surprised by this. He had great positional leader numbers - 8 times best in league, 5 in majors, but he didn't have the big years to stand out. Everything was very good, but nothing was standout. Maybe there were not a lot of great shortstops at this time. I think he may make a ballot soon because I am still tweaking the weights for various things.

Rixey - The closest of the 3 new pitchers. I like the 6 times top 4 pitchers in the league. Don't like never the best in the league. Prefer Willis' 4000 IP and 118 ERA+ to his 4000++ IP and 117 ERA+. I know he didn't have great defenses behind him, but my partial career breakdown seems to show he didn't face the heavy lifting - Alexander, Luque, and Donohue did that. If you mixed Faber's peak with Rixey, then you'd have a vote.

Faber - Not one of the top pitchers of his era. Just in his league, I'll take Johnson, Grove, Coveleski, Shocker, Mays, and Lyons (maybe Uhle also or Pennock). Including the NL, I'll take Rixey, Grimes, Cooper, Vance, and AlexanderHe had two great years, another very good, and then good, average, and filler. That is not enough prime, career, or per season. And other than his two big years, he wasn't a league leader among major categories.

Quinn - Long career, no peak or prime to speak of. Just spread over too much time without the great rate stats to compensate.
   76. PhillyBooster Posted: November 18, 2004 at 03:49 PM (#971887)
Re: Carey versus Burns

Win Shares All-Star (Top 3 outfielders in league without regard for left/center/right): Burns 5, Carey 6

And herein lies the difference -- I believe -- between the Burns voter and the Carey voter. What if you DO regard the left/center/right distinction?

George Burns: Best National League left fielder 3 times (1914, 1917, 1919) Second best 2 times (1918, 1920). Best NL Left Fielders of the era: 1. Wheat; 2. S. Magee; 3. G. Burns. If you include AL left fielders, the battle for 3rd place includes at least Joe Jackson and Bobby Veach. Burns might be as low as fifth best in the decade.

Max Carey: Best National League left fielder 2 times (1912 and 1915); Best national league center fielder 8 times (1916-1918, 1921-1925). Second best center fielder 1 times (1913). Best NL Centerfielder of the era: Max Carey (clear third, overall, however, to Cobb and Speaker, of course).

Carey was simply the best at his position in his league over 3 times as often as Burns was (ten times to three) and in the top 2 at his position over twice as often (11 times to 5).

In my rankings, that is the starting point, and I adjust from there. No minor incremental advantages on Burns's part comes close to overcoming that advantage. Being an "average" left fielder (3rd to 5th best in the league) certainly has value, but it adds nothing, in my estimation, to a player's HoM credentials.
   77. Kelly in SD Posted: November 18, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#972425)
PhillyBooster,
That is a good point. I didn't have access to that detailed a breakdown. Did you do that left/center/right breakdown yourself? - or find it on the web? I would like to use such information, but I do not have the time to go back and forth from baseball-reference to my winshares book year-by-year to create such a database.
Thank you.
   78. Max Parkinson Posted: November 18, 2004 at 08:04 PM (#972504)
Kelly ,

Shoot me an email - my address is in my profile - and I'll send you my database by position. It's only updated through 1940, but that should help you somewhat. Note that it's adjusted for season length at the 2/3 power, i.e. Win Shares from a 100 game season get multiplied by (162/100)^2/3. As well, I've adjusted for league quality at 1/2 the BP values. For example, BP considers the 1910 NL to be 2.5% weaker than the AL. I reduce 1910 NL Win Shares by 1.25%.
   79. PhillyBooster Posted: November 18, 2004 at 08:15 PM (#972534)
I do it myself -- so is therefore incomplete based upon my free time in a given month -- and is based on WARP-1, and informed by Win Shares. (I.e., if they agree, I go with it, if they don't, or are close, I use my own judgment.)

Here is the NL Outfield, 1910-1925. HoMers in Bold. Also, I overlooked in my post above that Burns was also the second best right fielder in 1923, which doesn't change the overall point, which is that I think the burden of persuasion should be on the party seeking to induct yet another left fielder from this era.

1910:
LF: Magee/Sheckard
CF: Paskert/Hofman
RF: Schulte/Mitchell

1911:
LF: Sheckard/Magee
CF: Bates/Snodgrass
RF: Schulte/Wilson

1912:
LF: Carey/Sheckard
CF: Wilson/Paskert
RF: Titus/Cravath

1913:
LF: Magee/Wheat
CF: Leach/Carey
RF: Cravath/Schulte

1914:
LF: Burns/Wheat
CF: Bescher/Leach
RF: Cravath/Stengel

1915:
LF: Carey/Killefer
CF: Magee/Williams
RF: Cravath/Hinchman

1916:
LF: Wheat/Whitted
CF: Carey/Kauff
RF: Cravath/Hinchman

1917:
LF: Burns/Whitted
CF: Carey/Roush
RF: Stengel/Cravath

1918:
LF: Wheat/ Burns
CF: Carey/ Roush
RF: Youngs/Wickland

1919:
LF: Burns/ Wheat
CF: Roush/ Myers
RF: Youngs/ Flack

1920:
LF: Wheat/ Burns
CF: Roush/ Myers
RF: Youngs/ Southworth

1921:
LF: McHenry/ Bigbee
CF: Carey/ Williams
RF: Youngs/ Southworth

1922:
LF: Bigbee/ Wheat
CF: Carey/ Williams
RF: Youngs/ Walker

1923:
LF: Meusel/ Duncan
CF: Carey/ Statz
RF: Walker/ Burns

1924:
LF: Wheat/ Blades
CF: Carey/ Williams
RF: Youngs/ Walker

1925:
LF: Wheat/ Blades
CF: Carey/ Roush
RF: Cuyler/ Walker
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 18, 2004 at 08:49 PM (#972635)
FWIW, using Win Shares, I have Burns as the best major league leftfielder for 1913, 1914 and 1917 and the best NL leftfielder for 1918 and 1919, while I have Carey as the best NL centerfielder for 1921, 1922, 1924 and 1925.
   81. jimd Posted: November 18, 2004 at 10:45 PM (#972918)
I have Burns as the best major league leftfielder for 1913

Jackson had 36 WS; Burns had 22 (in 150 games).
That's a hefty AL discount ;-)
   82. jimd Posted: November 18, 2004 at 10:47 PM (#972924)
Never mind; Jackson was still in RF...
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 18, 2004 at 10:56 PM (#972939)
Never mind; Jackson was still in RF...

Ahem!

:-D
   84. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2004 at 11:32 PM (#973000)
1939 ballot, which is our 42nd.
This definitely has been the most dramatic rose ceremony ever (wait, that's "The Bachelor" lingo, which my wife loves).
This definitely has been the most difficult ballot to fill out, ever.
I was tempted to wait a few more days to mull further, but I'm not going to get any smarter, probably. So here we go.

1. CLARK GRIFFITH - First time at the top of the mountain for me! His era clearly is underrepresented on the hill AND it was a time of rough competition, a double bonus which wins it for him. It's remarkable how much better his W-L 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.
2. MICKEY WELCH - If you look at the amount of lopsided scores AND compare them to the fewer and less lopsided losses by Keefe in yest's post in the Welch thread, the 'pitching in a pinch' circumstancial evidence is there. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.

3. HUGHIE JENNINGS - Crucial year for him. Here 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.
4. GEORGE SISLER - I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer's peaks while also providing a significant added portion of a career as well. Not clear on some of the anti-Sisler sentiment; overrated by the average fan, but a great half-career in particular.
5. EPPA RIXEY - Might have climbed all the way to the top if only he had that one mega-year. But a very nice long career slots him here.
6. RED FABER - Only five dazzling years, if that. Kind of an odd arc, too, harder to get a handle on him. Straight-up comparison to Griffith is instructive; fewer truly solid years. But Faber was facing tougher hitters than Rixey, should that trump everything? So, so close.
7. LIP PIKE - Another superstar hitter, and his uniqueness on the ballot is a hint of his relative greatness, I think. The Dick Allen comparisons seem apt.
8. DICK REDDING - Suddenly I'm a pitcher-lover; didn't see that coming. Definitely should be on more ballots. I will look at him even more next week.
9. TOMMY LEACH - 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.'
10. JAKE BECKLEY - Top 10 in RBIs TWELVE times. How many HOMers did that? I'm finally convinced that he really wasn't quite as good as Keeler after all, but he can still grab a ballot spot in this bunch.
11. 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.
12. PETE BROWNING - 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.
13. JOE SEWELL - Slugged exactly the league average in his career, split between SS and 3B. That's good, but not real exciting. We've already elected a lot of SSs, let's see if he measures up to a new crop of them. But status as best SS every year earns him a place on the ballot.
14. DOBIE MOORE - Hey, with Jennings and Sisler on my list, only fair to include Moore, too. Meteors don't last as long as stars, but they shine brighter while they're around.
15. MAX CAREY - The SBs/pct puts him ahead of Hooper, but Harry didn't get much time in on my ballot,either. WS overrates Carey, but I do dismiss those 'negative' end years, while others don't.

OMISSIONS
VIC WILLIS - Nearly got first vote ever from me. Tracks very closely with our other top pitchers; needed one more quality season to get big points, probably not a HOMer.
JOSE MENDEZ - Outside chance he had enough peak to be a legit HOMer, but part of me suspects he didn't quite do it for long enough. Still worth strong consideration, but I'm already pitcher-heavy this year.

RUBE WADDELL - Not a HOMer; the 'anti-Welch' was Mark Fidrych with a longer but not-long-enough career. Strikeouts are an indicator of ability, not production.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN - Beckley-Lite; lesser in everything except a little decent pitching thrown in.
   85. DanG Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:18 AM (#973426)
I've been out of the office, but there's a couple things I gotta get posted.

The Gray Area – Late 1930’s

Returning again to a favorite topic, the Gray Area, aka The Glut. This gets to the heart of what this project is about: sorting through the marginal candidates and identifying those who are worthy.

At this moment, there is a long standing group of twelve players inhabiting the Gray Area: Pike, Jennings, Beckley, Griffith, Waddell, Welch, Childs, Van Haltren, Browning, Duffy, Bresnahan, and Ryan. These have all been on the ballot for at least 19 elections. Recently, two others have established their presence in the glut, Carey and Sisler. Most of these players have been the leading non-HoMer at some time. Here is a complete list of the top two in each election who have not been elected yet. (First-year candidates are in bold):

1898-Williamson-O'Neill
1899-Browning-Williamson
1900-Browning-Williamson
1901-Browning-Williamson
1902-Browning-Williamson
1903-Browning-Williamson
1904-Browning-Griffin
1905-Browning-Tiernan
1906-Browning-Tiernan
1907-Duffy-Childs
1908-Duffy-Jennings
1909-Ryan-Duffy
1910-Duffy-Ryan
1911-Duffy-Ryan
1912-Duffy-Ryan
1913-Duffy-Ryan
1914-Duffy-Ryan
1915-Duffy-Ryan
1916-Pike-Waddell
1917-Waddell-Duffy
1918-Waddell-Pike
1919-Waddell-Pike
1920-Jennings-Waddell
1921-Waddell-Jennings
1922-Waddell-Beckley
1923-Pike-Beckley
1924-Pike-Beckley
1925-Pike-Van Haltren
1926-Pike-Beckley
1927-Pike-Beckley
1928-Pike-Beckley
1929-Pike-Beckley
1930-Van Haltren-Beckley
1931-Van Haltren-Griffith
1932-Van Haltren-Griffith
1933-Pike-Van Haltren
1934-Beckley-Pike
1935-Beckley-Pike
1936-Beckley-Carey
1937-Carey-Pike
1938-Carey-Pike

Looking at their individual support history, starting with the oldest.

Lip Pike (1866-78) – Retired 19 years before the HoM was founded, he was unquestionably a superstar in his time. Among HoMers, only Pearce and Start are older. Was the third highest vote getter among non-HoMers every election 1898-1906, before being overshadowed by newcomers. Since the mid 1920’s he has come back as a leading candidate and seems likely to maintain that.

Mickey Welch (1880-91) – After finishing fifth among non-HoMers in the first election, he faded, but always had a 6-7 voter core group. From 1905 to 1916 he trailed Jim McCormick. He finally began to gain traction in the late 1920’s, with evidence of success against HoMer pitchers helping him, peaking at sixth among non-HoMers in 1934. Some, especially new voters, will always be impressed by his 300 wins and similarity to Keefe, so look for him to stay in the glut. Election depends on how the pitcher shortage develops.

Pete Browning (1882-93) – The last of the seven big newbies of 1899 left out of the HoM. He was the leading vote getter among non-HoMers for eight years before getting shot down by the 1890’s OF glut. His standing faltered badly through the 1920’s but he always had a faithful core group about 11 strong. Lately he has picked up steam, passing Ryan in 1933, Duffy in 1934 and GVH in 1937. Perhaps the reasons he was rated behind these guys need to be carefully reexamined.

Hugh Duffy (1888-1901) – He looked like a sure HoMer in his early years, peaking at 5th in the overall balloting in 1913, ahead of four HoMers. Support began to wane in 1918, and since 1925 he’s dwelled in the lower half of the glut. A core constituency of about 15 staunch supporters figures to keep him on the radar.

Jimmy Ryan (1886-1903) – Debuted with a bang in 1909, the leading non-HoMer and ahead of four eventual HoMers. Support remained strong, but never separated much from GVH and Duffy. Precipitous decline began in 1931 for no apparent reason. Only about 7-9 voters now see him in the HoMer class, and he currently lies below the Gray Area.

George Van Haltren (1887-1903) – A player of broad skills, he lacks a “hook” to get voters excited about him. In many years he finished ahead of HoMers Caruthers, Pearce and Foster. Basically a mid-glut candidate his first 16 years, he finally blew past Duffy and Ryan in 1925. Climbed up to 3rd in the overall balloting in 1931-32. If the candidate gap had lasted one more year he probably would have been elected, but has since subsided to the bottom half of the glut.

Cupid Childs (1890-1901) – After a strong newbie boost, by 1915 ballot newcomers had relegated him to near the bottom of the glut. A core of about 7 loyal voters kept him on the radar and in 1928 he began a recovery that now has him ahead of Browning, Duffy, Bresnahan and Ryan. Seems to be a long shot for election, since even in his good years his support has been concentrated on the bottom half of the ballot. Might look much better in 30-40 years as the 2B situation shakes out.

Hughie Jennings (1891-1902) – After a strong initial showing he settled into the middle of the glut. A burst of support in the late teens vaulted him into the top non-HoMer position in 1920. This support gradually ebbed, bottoming out in 1928-29, leaving him 9th among non-HoMers at that time. Now enjoying a renaissance of support, it may be enough to elect him before the coming backlog.

Jake Beckley (1888-1907) – Like most of the twelve guys here, voters seek reasons not to vote him too high. But as Bill James pointed out long ago, the longer a guy is a candidate, the more his case comes to rest on the numbers; it seems likely that some year those big totals will push him into the HoM. He’s always been in the top half of the glut and recently attained his peak, 5th in overall balloting in 1930 and the top non-HoMer from 1934-36.
   86. DanG Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:19 AM (#973428)
Clark Griffith (1891-1906) – Unlike most here, he debuted near the bottom of the glut, drawing only five votes in the top ten his first year. Like GVH and Childs, his support is broad but not deep. During the candidate gap he showed up on so many ballots that he climbed to #2 (1931-32) among non-HoMers, despite thin support at the top of the ballot. Now back to his usual ranking in mid-glut.

Rube Waddell (1899-1910) – The leading non-HoMer in five of his first seven years, he began to fade in 1923 and hit bottom 1929-31, finishing tenth among non-HoMers. Has bounced back to the top half of the glut. The electorate is very divided on him, with about 20 seeing him as a HoMer and another 20 that seem unlikely to ever vote for him.

Roger Bresnahan (1901-1915) – After starting with two strong years, he settled into mid-glut for a decade (1923-32). Currently, he’s faded to below the Gray Area, splitting the “catcher vote” with Schang. Like Childs, he might look better in 30-40 years as the catcher situation plays out.

I think the thing to remember is that all of these candidates have had good cases made for election to the HoM. It’s often helpful to look back to earlier discussion threads to remember exactly what the evidence is. (Kudos to John Murphy for reconstructing old threads!)

There are so many Gray Area candidates now that the “attention affect” has grown strong. With focus naturally falling on newbies, voters sometimes forget why they were once strong supporters of these long-time candidates. When someone revives a candidate in the discussion, organizing the many arguments for a player in context with recent and upcoming candidates, it can cause a major boost in support, such as Chris Cobb did for Jennings.

Perhaps John could set up a couple threads to further explore the candidates from the underrepresented 1890’s. Maybe have one for outfielders Duffy, Ryan and Van Haltren, with Tiernan and Griffin, too. Have another for infielders Jennings, Childs and Beckley, adding maybe McGraw, Cross and Long.
   87. Rick A. Posted: November 19, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#973688)
On my ballot on post #34, referring to changes I made in my evaluation , I wrote :
I've only done this with hitters so far, but hopefully I'll get to do this for pitchers in the near future.

Well, I did find time recently to do this new evaluation for pitchers and it changes my ballot somewhat. No real big changes, but I'd like to substitute this ballot for the one I wrote in post #34. Sorry to make things difficult for the ballot counters.

No explanations are listed here. Refer to post #34 for explanations. Big winners are Vic Willis, who compares very well to Rixey and Faber, and Faber, who I admitted that I might be underrating.

1. C. Jones
2. Pike
3. Browning
4. Childs
5. Jennings
6. Rixey
7. Willis
8. Duffy
9. Sisler
10. Sewell
11. Faber
12. Schang
13. Leach
14. Monroe
15. Mendez
   88. mbd1mbd1 Posted: November 19, 2004 at 05:02 PM (#973702)
1939 ballot: Newcomers Faber, Rixey, and Sewell all land on the ballot, and Jack Quinn is within shouting distance. Most of the action is at the bottom of my ballot - where Groh and Coveleski left and the new guys entered. I'm still outfielder heavy.

1. Max Carey (1) - The most career of anyone on the ballot, and the only guy I feel strongly about his HoM worthiness.
2. George Van Haltren (2) - Still hanging in there.
3. Hugh Duffy (3) -
4. Edd Roush (5) -
5. Jimmy Ryan (4) - These four guys are nearly indistinguishable to me. The guys who are obvious HoM candidates usually have few comparable players on the ballot....and that's a mark against this OF glut.
6. Tommy Leach (6) - This next group of OF are a step below the others, and all similar to each other.
7. Harry Hooper (7) -
8. George J. Burns (8) -
9. Bobby Veach (11) - His career W3 actually went up slightly in the latest revision. Most others went down a bit, so he moved up a couple spots this week.
10. George Sisler (12) -
11. Jake Beckley (9) - Sisler's peak and Beckley's career are very close in my book. I like them both.
12. Red Faber (NA) - I have him slightly ahead of Rixey...he has fewer career WS but more career W3 so that's a wash. Faber has a slight edge in ERA+ but Rixey threw ~400 more innings. It's close.
13. Larry Doyle (13) - I like Doyle and would like to see him do better.
14. Joe Sewell (NA) - Sewell was a good hitter for a quite a while. I like the consistency.
15. Eppa Rixey (NA) - 4500 innings? Wow. For comparison, Clemens is right at 4500 as well.....but with an ERA+ of 141.

next five: Browning, Waddell, Willis, Konetchy, Mays. Pike is way down my list of outfielders. Hughie Jennings is all peak and doesn't appeal to the career voter in me. Griffith and Welch (and Quinn, and Redding) are in 20-25 territory; I like them, but I like Willis and Waddell more.
   89. yest Posted: November 19, 2004 at 08:11 PM (#974054)
1939 ballot
Joe Sewell and Rabbit Maranville make my personal HoM this year
I hope John is still OK after seeing this :~)

1. George Sisler Bill James’s biggest mistake (made my personal HoM in 1936)
2. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
3. Joe Sewell love the strikeouts (makes my personal HoM this year)
4. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
5. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
6. Rube Waddell most Ks/9IP 7 times in a row tying with Vance for the record led in it 1 more time (made my personal HoM in 1917)
7. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
8. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
9. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
10. Edd Roush323 batting avg (made my personal HoM in 1937)
11. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
12. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
13. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
14. Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie (makes my personal HoM this year)
15. Lip Pike 465 slugging percentage (made my personal HoM in 1910)
16. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
17. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
18. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
19. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
20. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
21. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)
explanation for players not on my ballot
Max Carey not a good enough hitter for me for an outfielder
Hugh Jennings is not enogh career
   90. Dolf Lucky Posted: November 19, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#974065)
1 (2)Rube Waddell--In a 9 year stretch from 1900 to 1908, Waddell led the league in K/IP 8 times. Finished 2nd the other time. WARP places his peak to a near Jennings level. High black ink totals. In other words--dominant.

2 (5)George Sisler--Not quite as dominant as I had thought, but that peak stacks relatively high.

3 (-)Red Faber--Considerably better than the guy who used to be the "career vote" pitcher on my ballot (Urban Shocker). Steady over a long time, and the peak isn't bad either.

4 (-)Joe Sewell--The first 4 here are razor-thin close. Any one of them could easily be #1 this year in my mind. Pretty large gap between 4 and 5.

5 (13)Bobby Veach--One of the biggest beneficiaries of the new, new WARP.

6 (4)Donie Bush--I backed off the Bush Kool-Aid somewhat, but keep in mind that Bill James blew it on this guy. See his comments in the NBJHBA, and then actually look at the numbers, and you'll realize that James doesn't make much sense.

7 (6)Max Carey--Best career value on the board.

8 (11)Del Pratt--Numbers-wise, may not necessarily be ballot-worthy, but an admitted positional adjustment gives a 2nd baseman a rare ballot appearance.

9 (14)George J Burns--I don't know that I can really explain how the outfielders are shaking out on this ballot yet. New, new WARP shuffled the deck a bit.

10 (-)Tommy Leach--Similar to Veach, another big boost from new, new WARP.

11 (9)Roger Bresnahan--The last time we had a catcher with an OPS+ this high, that had a career length in the high teens, that played several other positions with some regularity, we voted him in right away (Buck Ewing).

12 (8)Urban Shocker--More of a career vote than anything, since his peak can't compare with Cicotte or Waddell, Shocker was still very good for a pretty long time.

13 (7)Eddie Cicotte--Career and peak numbers synch up fairly closely to Waddell, but Cicotte lacked the dominance.

14 (-)Harry Hooper--The OF glut…

15 (10)Hugh Duffy--…is as muddled as ever.

Dropping out: Hughie Jennings, Clark Griffith

Top ten ommissions: Hughie Jennings and Clark Griffith were there last year, and--especially in the case of Jennings--may return again soon.
Lip Pike: Too long ago at this point to make up the time-line issues.
Mickey Welch: Made the bottom of my first 8 ballots, but probably never to return. Faces some of the same problems as Pike, in that the quality of competition comparisons by 1939 are too great to overcome.
Jake Beckley: A team with Jake as their best player at his absolute best would be hard pressed to play .500 ball.
   91. Evan Posted: November 19, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#974114)
29 ballots so far, with 15 different people receiving 1st place votes. And the person with the most first place votes (and 4 second place votes) has 5 times the first place votes of the guy with the most points so far.

Oh, and the guy in second is tied for the fewest elect-me votes among the top FOURTEEN candidates.
   92. OCF Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:37 PM (#974225)
You want to know how strange this year is? It looks like yest is going to have an above average consensus score, that's how strange.

I can't quite confirm what Evan said, since it looks like he and I have the identities of #1 and #2 reversed - probably a data entry error of mine, to be straightened out later.
   93. OCF Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#974289)
I'd missed Rick A's amended ballot in #87. Putting that in to replace #34 brings me into agreement with Evan's comment. Of course, all placements implied by that won't last past the next ballot anyway.
   94. DavidFoss Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:57 PM (#974306)
Oh, and the guy in second is tied for the fewest elect-me votes among the top FOURTEEN candidates.

Ah... the candidate everyone likes, but few people love. It was bound to happen sooner or later. :-)
   95. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 20, 2004 at 06:43 AM (#974860)
Ah... the candidate everyone likes, but few people love.

Posted by WillyLoman on November 20, 2004 at 12:42 AM (#974999)

He is liked, but he's not well liked.
   96. DanG Posted: November 20, 2004 at 06:46 AM (#974862)
My #4 and #9 were elected. New exhibits for Faber, Sisler, Roush, Schang and Jennings. In 1939 it’ll take some serious study to sort out the top of the ballot; Red Faber leads a big gob of glut that also includes Sewell, Maranville, Rixey and Quinn. The next year it’s more of the same with Grimes, Rice, Luque, et al, although Joe Rogan may top them all. In 1941 it’s the Ruth-Hornsby ticket in a landslide over Vance-Traynor.

1)Lip Pike (1,3,5) – His 42nd year on my ballot, stays at #1. If the HoM is about respect for all eras, then Pike is a “n-b”. IMO, his era is very underrepresented and he seems unchallenged as the best remaining candidate. Number of HoMers playing regularly during his career:
1866: 2 (Pearce, Start)
1867: 3 (the above 2 plus Wright)
1868: 5 (above 3, Barnes, Spalding)
1869: 7 (above 5, White, McVey)
1870: 8 (above 7, Sutton)
1871: 9 (above 8, Anson)
1872: 10 (above 9, O’Rourke)
1873: 11 (above 10, Hines)
1874: 11
1875: 11
1876: 10 (Pearce token)
1877: 9 (Barnes injured)
1878: 11 (Start, Wright, White, McVey, Sutton, Anson, O’Rourke, Hines, Bennett, Kelly, Ward)

In 1879 it explodes to 16; in 1881 it hits 20 and stays at 18+ until the late teens.

Slugging average .300+, age 30+, 1876-82, minimum 600 PA:

1—.420 Lip Pike
2—.387 Joe Start
3—.386 Jim O’Rourke
4—.378 Deacon White

5—.331 Bob Ferguson
6—.327 Ezra Sutton
7—.311 Andy Leonard
8—.302 George Wright

The rest of these guys wouldn’t be bad HoMers, but I can’t justify ranking any of them above Pike, above my personal “Clearly deserving” line.

2)George Van Haltren (2,4,6)—The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. For a while, anyway. Now in his 31st year eligible. As to why he rates above Ryan: he excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he had higher SB totals (35-40 vs. 25-30 per year in their primes), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan actually played more corner outfield. Players with 2500 times on base 1889-1901:
1—3392 B. Hamilton
2—3134 G. Van Haltren
3—3046 J. Burkett
4—3043 E. Delahanty

5—2840 H. Duffy
6—2837 D. Hoy
7—2774 C. Childs
8—2688 J. Beckley
9—2581 H. Long
10—2504 J. Ryan

3)Clark Griffith (3,5,7) – The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Gets extra credit for excelling in the contraction years 1892-1900, an era lagging in number of HoMers. Could hit a little, too. Pitchers with highest OPS as hitters 1894-1903, minimum 500 PA:
1—.796 J. Stivetts
2—.696 A. Orth
3—.689 W. Mercer
4—.684 J. Meekin
5—.676 J. Tannehill
6—.673 N. Callahan
7—.650 C. Griffith
8—.646 F. Dwyer
9—.643 F. Killen

4)Max Carey (5,7,9) – His career win shares and WARP3 are very similar to Heilmann’s, as his fielding and base stealing add enormously to his OPS+. He missed most of the 1919 season due to injury or illness (sources conflict). Why did his career suddenly nosedive after 1925? There seems little reason to doubt the conclusion that he was a scintillating centerfielder. Outfielders with 225+ assists, 1911-2004:
1—383 Tris Speaker
2—338 Max Carey
3—300 Harry Hooper
4—278 Sam Rice
5—276 Ty Cobb
6—266 Roberto Clemente
7—257 Mel Ott
8—247 Paul Waner
9—226 Cy Williams

5)Red Faber – Long career with a solid peak. That’s hard to find on this ballot. Pitchers with the most wins 1915-29:
1—277 P. Alexander
2—238 W. Johnson

3—224 B. Grimes
4—221 R. Faber
4—221 E. Rixey
6—213 S. Coveleski
7—207 C. Mays
8—192 W. Cooper

6)Tommy Leach (6,8,8) – With 3B and CF lagging in HoMers, you’d think he’d get more attention. Longevity, defense and speed rate him above Groh. Question of league quality knocks him back a couple pegs, otherwise really close to Wallace. Had a better peak than Bobby, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). Most Times On Base 1902-10:
1—2173 H. Wagner
2—1952 S. Crawford
3—1845 J. Sheckard
4—1843 N. Lajoie

5—1809 T. Hartsel
6—1772 R. Thomas
7—1754 F. Clarke
8—1736 T. Leach

7) Jimmy Ryan (7,9,10)—Played with St. Paul in Western Lg in 1901. Best Power-Speed Number, 1886-1920
1—184.0 J. Ryan
2—179.0 H. Duffy
3—177.2 H. Wagner
4—171.2 M. Tiernan
5—165.3 E. Delahanty
6—163.6 R. Connor
7—157.5 S. Thompson

8—155.5 H. Long
9—153.4 S. Crawford
10- 145.6 B. Dahlen


8)George Sisler (8,10,12) – Jake or George. I think Sisler is still among the top 220 players in history, which is clearly HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley, so he stays low on my ballot. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner (4 SB crowns), great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era? Firstbasemen with 990+ RBI through 1930:

1—2076 C. Anson
2—1575 J. Beckley
3—1322 R. Connor
4—1296 D. Brouthers

5—1175 G. Sisler
6—1060 S. McInnis
7—998 G. Kelly
8—996 W. Pipp
9—992 E. Konetchy

9)Edd Roush (10,12,ne) – Further study makes me confident he belongs up here. Most hits 1917-27:
1—2119 R. Hornsby
2—2040 G. Sisler
3—1992 H. Heilmann
4—1973 S. Rice
5—1939 T. Cobb
6—1925 T. Speaker

7—1777 E. Roush
8—1746 Z. Wheat
9—1742 E. Collins

10—1678 M. Carey
   97. DanG Posted: November 20, 2004 at 06:48 AM (#974865)
10)Wally Schang (11,13,ne) – A bit more sure about this ranking. Catcher bonus puts him here for now. Players with OBP of .380+, 1915-29, 5600+ PA:
1—.475 B. Ruth
2—.439 T. Cobb
3—.436 R. Hornsby
4—.435 T. Speaker
5—.427 E. Collins
6—.412 H. Heilmann

7—.399 J. Sewell
8—.398 W. Schang
9—.393 K. Williams
10-.381 G. Sisler

11)Roger Bresnahan (12,14,14) – Catcher is the most poorly represented position in the HOM, a condition that may prove to be chronic. Could move higher, but I really like guys who play. Played half his teams’ games in only 11 seasons, averaging 71% of team games in those years. Still, his offensive production towers over other catchers of his era, so he deserves a vote. Lacking Bennett’s durability and longevity. Defense only C+. Players with OBP over .380, 1903-14 (minimum 3900 PA):
1—.424 T. Cobb
2—.420 E. Collins
3—.413 T. Speaker

4—.401 R. Bresnahan
5—.400 H. Wagner
6—.399 F. Chance
7—.396 R. Thomas
8—.386 N. Lajoie
9—.382 M. Huggins

12)Hughie Jennings (14,--,--) – I think I’m getting a bit more peak-friendly. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation. I’m still struggling with how to balance an awesome peak with an abbreviated career. I tried to find a retired player from the past 50 years with a similar career path, but there doesn’t seem to be one. Is there any good evidence that Jennings’ defense wasn’t as brilliant as WS makes it out to be? Most TC/G, 1889-1904, minimum 750 games at shortstop:
1—6.68 H. Jennings
2—6.45 B. Dahlen
3—6.40 B. Wallace
4—6.40 G. Davis

5—6.37 H. Long
6—6.18 M. Cross
7—6.10 T. Corcoran
8—6.05 B. Ely

13)Eppa Rixey – Looks like the Beckley of pitchers. Only Grimes had more wins during the 1920s. Could move up.

14)Harry Hooper (13,15,15) – Hard to see why Beckley shows up on so many more ballots. Per adjusted win shares, his peak was better than Beckley’s. I see him at 34.5 for the abbreviated 1918 season. His 27.4 in 1916 is also better than Jake’s best, 26.6 in 1890. A couple bulk seasons at the end of his career in a weak NL give Beckley 28 more career AWS. Players with 2200+ Times On Base, 1910-20:
1—2907 Tris Speaker
2—2853 Eddie Collins
3—2800 Ty Cobb

4—2494 Harry Hooper
5—2476 Donie Bush
6—2349 Clyde Milan
7—2343 Joe Jackson
8—2219 Jake Daubert

15)Jake Beckley (15,--,--) – He’s Joe Start, but without a peak and retired four years sooner. Grade B fielder, won four WS GG. The many triples are a product of a strange park in Pittsburgh; his other stats do not suggest good foot speed. Hit only 34 of 86 career homes at home. Beckley's RBI total is still the 8th best all-time among firstbasemen. Besides Anson (#1 all-time) there's Gehrig, Foxx, Murray, Palmeiro, Perez and Killebrew ahead of Beckley. McCovey and McGriff round out the top ten. Bagwell and Thomas figure to join this group next season.

Rube Waddell – Just another of the old pitcher glut that includes Welch, Willis and McCormick. Often brilliant but unreliable. Had only two seasons as a regular with a Win % of .600+. His career seems to contain contradictions, mainly a won-loss record out of sync with his ERA. Perhaps he was a notorious hot/cold pitcher, getting raked over the coals after a couple shutouts. Can anyone do a study on this--is his standard deviation for RA higher than others? May deserve some credit for minor league performance. Most wins 1901-09:
1—236-109 C. Mathewson
2—211-127 C. Young
3—190-118 J. McGinnity
4—186-121 E. Plank

5—178-155 V. Willis
6—177-110 J. Chesbro
7—175-126 R. Waddell
8—156-134 G. Mullin
9—155-92 A. Joss
   98. Andrew M Posted: November 20, 2004 at 08:03 AM (#974949)
1939 Ballot

I have about 20 guys I’d like to put between 8-12 here, but none of them seem like they belong at the top of the ballot. As the rules don’t allow for a 15-way tie for 8th, here is the best I can do.

1. Geo. Van Haltren
2. Clark Griffith
I think the 1890s are slightly under-represented, so here are my two suggestions from that era. VH seems to be in a free fall since hitting third place in 1932, but he looks to me to be the best of the long career candidates. His 12 (284) and 15 (335) year WS totals are better than any other eligible position player as is his 13 seasons with 20+ WS. Plus almost 700 innings of OK pitching, for which I do give him some credit. Griffith has a claim to be the 4th best pitcher of that era and has a slightly better adjusted ERA and WS per season than either of the new guys (though in far few innings) and a 3 and 5 peak that isn’t that far off Waddell’s.

3. 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 what can you do?

4. Larry Doyle
A personal favorite. Hit like an outfielder, but played 2B (like an OF, some might say.) Higher career OPS+ (126) than 10 of the 15 second basemen in the Hall of Fame. (10 of 16 if you count Carew as a 2B.) Consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct. Also captained World Series teams and won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. I assume his fielding was adequate for the position.

5. Rube Waddell
Not only lots of strikeouts, but Top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134. Would be higher but for concerns about his general effectiveness at winning games and preventing unearned runs.

6. Edd Roush
7. Hugh Duffy
To my mind, the best of the high peak, 8000 plate appearance, 10-12 quality year outfielders, though Burns, Veach and Jones aren’t far behind. Both have very impressive peak/prime numbers, black and gray ink, CF defense, and MVP caliber years (1894 for Duffy, 1919 and 1920 for Roush). Rapid decline around age 33.

8. Tommy Leach
The long career part of the ballot begins here. I’ve undervalued him on past ballots for no good reason. EQA and OPS are similar to Carey, though his 6 seasons with 25+ WS is behind only Duffy on this ballot and suggests more peak than I realized. Given credit for 955 games of A+ defensive play at 3B.

9. Max Carey
When this project is finished, I would be surprised if there were many players with 130+ WARP or 350 WS not in the HoM. Not a great hitter, but got on base a lot, played an excellent CF. Has an impressive late career peak between ages 31-35 where his WARP1 averages about 9.5. Not sure what this means, but he and the good George Burns are 1 and 2 on the all-time NL list for steals of home.

10. Eppa Rixey
Throw out the years he was fighting in WWI and you have a stretch between 1916 and 1928 when he was averaging 275 innings and 21 WS per season with an ERA+ no lower than 109 (but for 1920) and as high as 143.

11. Red Faber
I like Rixey’s consistency more than Faber’s huge 1920-22 peak, though I am delighted to finally be able cast a ballot for the hero of the last White Sox team to win a World Series.
   99. Andrew M Posted: November 20, 2004 at 08:04 AM (#974950)
1939 Ballot, Pt. 2

12. George J. Burns
Like his teammate Larry Doyle, it’s Win Shares that gets him onto this ballot. Once he became a starter in 1913, he averaged 25.6 WS a year for the next 10 years, which, I think, is the highest 10 year stretch of any eligible position player (and is due in part to his remarkable durability. By my quick count he missed only 14 games in those 10 years.) In trying to get a better sense of what type of player he was, I came across this article from the New York Times, 11 June 1922, (“George Burns is Honored/Judge Landis and Crowd of 31,000 Pay Homage to Former New York Favorite”):

“George Burns may have looked a trifle queer in the trappings of Pat Moran's Redlegs, but to the fans he was the Burns of last October. It was a tremendous reception that Georgie got, almost as riotous and unrestrained as the ovation that Christy Mathewson received some years back when he brought his Cincinnati Reds to the Brush Stadium. Not even to Babe Ruth does George bow in the matter of ovations; there were more
people there to greet the Babe on May 20, but they didn't make any more noise.”

13. Joe Sewell
WARP3 loves him, WS make him look a lot closer to Bancroft and Evers. Better hitter than those two, but not as good as Doyle and Childs. Good glove, but not as good as Bancroft or Long. Very durable and played 150 plus games 9 straight years. I can see him moving up or down, but I am content to start him here.

14. Cupid Childs
High peak. Best 2B of the 1890s before Lajoie arrives. Moved down slightly this week because of my trouble seeing him as being that much above Jennings or Moore, both of whom I jumped from the 20s this week. Similar EQA and OPS+ to Groh. Short career but 20% more plate appearances than Jennings.

15. Dobie Moore
I had previously been more or less ignoring his 7 years in the army, without which he looks like Hughie Jennings (i.e. just not enough in too short a time.) Given even conservative credit for those, he begins to look more like the SS version of Cupid Childs or Heinie Groh. The one player on this ballot who I am pretty sure was a better player than I am giving him credit for, and probably better than Sewell or Childs, but this is as high as I can put him given what I know at this point.

Next 5 (more or less)
16. Vic Willis
17. Hughie Jennings
18. Bobby Veach or Fielder Jones
19. Roger Bresnahan
20. George Sisler

20-25: Wally Schang, Dick Redding, Jimmy Ryan, Ben Taylor, Frank Chance

Required disclosures:
Hughie Jennings. See Dobie Moore comment. I hadn’t picked up on this, but his best 3 and 5 year WARP numbers are more dominant than his corresponding 3 and 5 best WS numbers, which, when viewed non-consecutively are almost identical to those of Edd Roush. (Best 5 years (non-consecutive) WS: 150 in 2989 PAs for Jennings, 147 in 2971 PAs for Roush.)

George Sisler. Was on my ballot in previous years. Will probably come back again in the future. I go back and forth on my assessment of his pre-injury years. I spent a lot of time this week looking at Jennings’s peak so I am currently not as high on Sisler’s.

Mickey Welch. Like him, but I like a half dozen or so pitchers better.

Jake Beckley. Not enough peak for my liking. Behind Sisler, Chance, and Taylor at 1B. Unlike the other 3 guys here, I honestly don’t ever seem him making my ballot.
   100. Kelly in SD Posted: November 20, 2004 at 11:43 AM (#975188)
We seem to have a mini glut of first basemen between Anson, Brouthers, and Connor and Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg. Jake Beckley, Frank Chance, Ed Konetchy, Jack Fournier, and George Sisler all spent time as the best first baseman (okay Beckley is controversial even for that).

For the most part, first basemen did NOT put up BIG years, even when leading the league, in this period. Among league leaders from 1899-1925, there were 6 seasons out of 52 where the leader got 30 or more win shares. I would guess that every position, but catcher, would probably double that total. Only Chance 1903 with 31, Chance 35 and Harry Davis 31 in 1905, Perry 30 in 1918, Sisler 33 in 1920, and Fournier 34 in 1924 were awarded 30+ win shares.

So I got wondered what an average league leader does achieve at first base. The answer it turns out is about what the above guys did for most of the 20th century. Unless it was Gehrig/Foxx/Mize in the 30s/40s, McCovey, or the recent group, 30 win shares has not been common. The American League after 1941 turned in a succession of one-year leaders except for Norm Cash and Mickey Vernon until Eddie Murray showed up.

So are we asking too much of our 1stbase candidates? Are we comparing them with the 3 confluences of all-time greatness 1880s-90s, 1930s, 1980s-2000s? Are we judging them against the 10 best of all-time?


I thought I would post the top firstbasemen in each league up to 2001 here. AL is listed first if it existed.

1899 - Tenney 25
1900 - Beckley 21
1901 - Freeman 24, Kelley & Beckley 18
1902 - Harry Davis 19, Tenney 25
1903 - Hickman 21, Chance 31
1904 - Davis 21, Chance 29
1905 - Davis 26, Chance 25
1906 - Davis 31, Chance 35
1907 - Davis 21, Chance 23
1908 - Rossman 23, Chance & Bransfield 20
1909 - J. Stahl 23, Konetchy 24
1910 - Stahl 19, Konetchy 27
1911 - Delahanty 24, Konetchy 26
1912 - McInnis 24, Konetchy 22
1913 - McInnis 26, Saier 26
1914 - McInnis 21, Saier 24
1915 - Fournier 28, Daubert 27, Konetchy 27 (FL)
1916 - Sisler 25, Konetchy 26
1917 - Sisler 29, Merkle 19
1918 - Perry 30, Merkle 22
1919 - Sisler 24, Konetchy & Luderus 18
1920 - Sisler 33, Daubert 24
1921 - Sisler 27, Fournier & G. Kelly 24 (now Kelly deserves the HoF enshrinement)
1922 - Sisler 29, Grimes 29 (NOT Burleigh on a detour)
1923 - Hauser 22, Fournier 27
1924 - Hauser 21, Fournier 34
1925 - Sheely 20, Fournier 29
1926 - Gehrig 30, Bottemley 23
1927 - Gehrig 44, Terry 27
1928 - Gehrig 42, Bottemley 30
1929 - Foxx 34, Terry 24
1930 - Gehrig 39, Terry 32
1931 - Gehrig 36, Terry 29
1932 - Foxx 40, Terry 32
1933 - Foxx 41, Terry 21
1934 - Gehrig 41, R. Collins 32
1935 - Gehrig & Greenberg 34, Collins 28
1936 - Gehrig 38, Mize 26
1937 - Gehrig 36, Mize 34
1938 - Foxx & Greenberg 34, Mize 28
1939 - Foxx 30, Mize 33
1940 - Trosky 27, Mize 33
1941 - Foxx 20, Camili 29 (finally, I think he finished 2nd for 4 yrs in a row)
WAR
1942 - Freeman Cle 29, Mize 32
1943 - York 26, Fletcher Pit 22
1944 - Etten NY 25, McCormick Cin 29
1945 - Kuhel Wash 25, Cavaretta & Galan 30
Back to Reality
1946 - Vernon 33, Musial 44
1947 - McQuinn NY 24, Mize 32
1948 - Fain 21, Mize 30
1949 - Vernon 21, Hodges 21
1950 - Dropo 21, Torgeson Bos 32
1951 - Fain & E. Robinson 19, Hodges 26
1952 - Fain 28, Hodges 26
1953 - Vernon 29, Hodges 25
1954 - Vernon 24, Kluszewski 33
1955 - Power 26 (Real Ultimate, no less), Musial 29
1956 - Skowron & Wertz 21, Musial 26
1957 - Wertz 24, Musial 30
1958 - no one (actually B. Boyd Balt 15), Musial 21
1959 - Power 19, F Robinson 25
1960 - Skowron 24, Adcock 25
1961 - Cash 42, Cepeda 29
1962 - Siebern 27, Cepeda 26
1963 - Cash 23, Cepeda 30
1964 - Allison Minn 25, Bill White 26
1965 - Cash 24, McCovey 29
1966 - Cash 27, McCovey 34
1967 - Killebrew 38, Cepeda 34
1968 - Mantle 24, McCovey 34
1969 - Powell 27, McCovey 39
1970 - Yastrzemski 36, McCovey 33
1971 - Cash 24, Aaron 33
1972 - Allen 40, Colbert 28
1973 - Mayberry 31, Perez 32
1974 - Allen & Yastrzemski 24, Garvey 27
1975 - Mayberry 33, Garvey 25
1976 - Carew 30, B. Watson 31
1977 - Carew 37, K Hernandez 24
1978 - Murray 28, Garvey 25
1979 - Murray 25, Hernandez 29
1980 - Cooper 27, Hernandez 28
1981 - Cooper 22, Hernandez 20
1982 - Cooper & Murray 29, J. Thompson 27
1983 - Murray 31, Darrell Evans 28
1984 - Murray 33, Hernandez 33
1985 - Mattingly 32, Hernandez 27
1986 - Mattingly 34, Hernandez 29
1987 - McGwire 30, J. Clark 33
1988 - McGwire 28, W. Clark 37
1989 - McGriff 30, W. Clark 44
1990 - Fielder 29, Murray 31
1991 - Fielder & Palmeiro 26, W. Clark 34
1992 - Thomas 33, Bagwell 29
1993 - Olerud 37, Jeffries 28
1994 - Thomas 25, Bagwell 30
1995 - Thomas 28, Karros 25
1996 - Palmeiro 30, Bagwell 41
1997 - Thomas 39, Bagwell 32
1998 - Mo Vaughn 25, McGwire 41
1999 - Giambi 30, Bagwell 37
2000 - Giambi 38, Helton 29
2001 - Giambi 38, Bagwell 30
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