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Monday, December 06, 2004

1941 Ballot Discussion

I think we’ll have the most combined points for the two inductees this election, don’t you think? I’m sorry, but pet players such as Cupid Childs, Jake Beckley, or Donie Bush should not find themselves above Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby this “year!”

Two other newbies that will have considerable ballot impact are Pie Traynor and Dazzy Vance.

1941 (December 19)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

756 233.0 1915 Babe Ruth-RF/LF (1948)
502 151.1 1916 Rogers Hornsby-2B (1963)
274 80.3 1922 Pie Traynor-3B (1972)
241 81.4 1922 Dazzy Vance-P (1961)
245 62.7 1915 Sad Sam Jones-P (1966)
227 58.9 1925 Earle Combs-CF (1976)
184 57.5 1924 Max Bishop-2B (1962)
161 49.7 1918 Bob O’Farrell-C (1988)
141 33.0 1924 Hughie Critz-2B (1980)
129 32.5 1923 Larry Benton-P (1953)
119 36.8 1927 Lefty Stewart-P (1974)

1941 (December 19)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ - MVP - All-Star

12% 20-38 Andy Cooper-P (1896)2 - 6*
04% 21-35 Crush Holloway-RF (1896) - 0 - 1*
00% 22-35 Newt Joseph-3B (1899) #7 3b - 0 – 3*


Players Passing Away in 1940

HoMers
Age Elected

74 1907 Billy Hamilton-CF
70 1915 George Davis-SS

Candidates
Age Eligible

89 1898 Chick Fulmer-SS
75 1907 Joe Quinn-2B
73 1904 Matt Kilroy-P
71 1904 Red Ehret-P
69 1914 Chick Fraser-P
68 1905 Fred Klobendanz-P
64 1922 George McQuillan-P
63 1917 Patsy Dougherty-LF
62 1914 Spike Shannon-LF
52 1923 Tom Seaton-P
46 1936 Ira Flagstead-CF
44 1930 Charlie Hollocher-SS

Upcoming Candidate
30 1946 Willard Hershberger-C

Much obliged to Dan G and Chris Cobb for the lists again!

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 06, 2004 at 04:31 AM | 181 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:52 AM (#1002071)
hot topics
   2. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:54 AM (#1002081)
Hmmmm...

1. Arguably the best lefty hitter ever
2. Arguably the best righty hitter ever

This is a great holiday vacation ballot. Maybe a week or two early in that regard.
   3. karlmagnus Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:57 AM (#1002090)
Jake had MORE HITS and MORE TRIPLES than Babe! And Caruthers was a better pitcher! Also cal McVey was better looking and Joe Start spent more (alive) time in the HOM!
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:59 AM (#1002097)
Jake had MORE HITS and MORE TRIPLES than Babe! And Caruthers was a better pitcher! Also cal McVey was better looking and Joe Start spent more (alive) time in the HOM!

LOL
   5. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2004 at 04:05 AM (#1002124)
Among the Negro-League candidates, Andy Cooper deserves a careful look. He didn't have the peak of a Winters or a Rogan, but he was a very good pitcher for a long time. He's probably the #3 Negro-League pitcher 1920-1929 after Rogan and Winters, and where they were done as pitchers by 1930, he pitched another 8 years. I don't know much about his stats from the 1930s, which may be sketchy because the stats get a lot sketchier during the Depression after the Negro Leagues collapsed, but I'll see what I can find.

He should definitely get a thread.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 04:10 AM (#1002141)
He should definitely get a thread.

Will do, Chris.
   7. PhillyBooster Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:44 AM (#1002457)
pet players such as Cupid Childs, Jake Beckley, or Donie Bush should not find themselves above Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby this “year!”

A more interesting question, though, is whether there is any justification for putting Hornsby over Ruth.
   8. Brent Posted: December 07, 2004 at 06:37 AM (#1002606)
If I recall correctly, Max Bishop was with the Orioles for several years along with Lefty. Does he get enough credit for these years to merit some serious consideration?
   9. KJOK Posted: December 07, 2004 at 07:22 AM (#1002695)
Ruth should be listed as RF/LF/P.
   10. OCF Posted: December 07, 2004 at 07:25 AM (#1002703)
Suppose the post-season voted awards had been what they are now: MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year for each league; previous winners eligible; voters not limited to one player per team. What would Ruth have been voted?

My estimate: one AL RoY (1915); one AL CY (1916) and seven AL MVP's (1918, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926, and 1928).

As for the paleo-sabermetricians' carping about those hypothetical votes:

Popular as his 1918 MVP was, (such a great story and the Red Sox did win the pennant), was he really better that year than Walter Johnson?

But the year he got robbed was 1919 - the writers just weren't prepared to fairly evaluate what his hitting really meant. And giving it to Joe Jackson? Please!

Hypothetically, the voters would have picked Gehrig in 1927. (In reality, Ruth wasn't eligible, making the choice of Gehrig easy.) That was close enough anyway that we won't complain.

And yeah, he could have deseved a couple more after 1928 - but there were other reasonably worthy candidates in those years.
   11. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:59 AM (#1002891)
Sad to see Mickey Welch pass on without being elected. I wonder if the fans circa-1941 think of him the way some of us may be thinking of Bert Blyleven 30 years from now.

Not that I'm not guilty (I had him #23 this election), but he is the type of player that I could see me doing a complete about face on at some point.

***********

Hey, according to baseball-reference, Charley Jones is still alive (I mean now, not just in 1941; he celebrated his 154th birthday this past April. We'll have to call him if we ever elect him.
   12. TomH Posted: December 07, 2004 at 01:49 PM (#1002948)
Not relevant for our exercise, but for grins:

Babe Ruth was a hugely talented individual, but it looks to me like he took a large advantage of the time he played in. If he had come along 10 years earlier, he would have been a great pitcher who could also hit a ton, or possibly a superb hitting outfielder in the mold of Joe Jackson (only better). If he had come along 15 years later, he would have still been The Babe, but other sluggers would have come closer to matching him. But he hit his peak in 1920-30, when MLB did not recruit slow sluggers, and most hitters didn’t try that style. And so he dominated the game like no one else ever has.

My best guess is that in a neutral environment, Ted Williams (who ‘only’ has the 2nd-best-ever OPS+ career mark of 190) nudges past Ruth my ‘best hitter who ever lived’. But since Ruth has other markers over Ted, I still would take Ruth as the greatest Player who ever lived, with Mays or Wagner second. It’s too early for me to confidently place Barry Bonds; ask me in 2010.
   13. Rusty Priske Posted: December 07, 2004 at 02:20 PM (#1002961)
1. Arguably the best lefty hitter ever

Barry Bonds is on the ballot?
   14. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 02:41 PM (#1002978)
Barry Bonds is on the ballot?

That's what the "arguably" was for. :-)

207-184 OPS+ advantage for the Babe. Large baserunning advantage for Barry. Barry now has about a 1000 PA advantage as well.

OPS+:

BB: 275-262-260-231-206-205-191-186-182-177-170-170-168-162-161
BR: 255-239-239-227-226-220-219-219-211-208-201-194-194-182-176-161

(Baserunning not included)

Barry has needed each of these recent amazing seasons to get that close. League quality/dominance issues should swing things more for Barry, I would imagine, but I don't know how to measure that.
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: December 07, 2004 at 02:43 PM (#1002981)
Prelim. Pretty easy this year.

PHoM and HoM "Elect Me" are the same.

1. Ruth
2. Hornsby
3. Welch
4. Beckley
5. Rixey
6. Leach
7. Van Haltren
8. Sisler
9. Rice
10. Roush
11. Duffy
12. Sewell
13. Hooper
14. Ryan
15. Griffith

16-20. Childs, Monroe, Powell, Grimes, Doyle
21-25. Moore, Willis, Redding, McCormick, F. Jones
26-30. Burns, Mullane, Poles, White, Gleason
   16. karlmagnus Posted: December 07, 2004 at 02:51 PM (#1002986)
David, Barry can't pitch worth a damn. Ruth was a near-HOM pitcher as well, which is where his 1000PA went. Even without steroids, I'd still argue for Babe on "changed the game" considerations, with steroids it's not close, IMHO.
   17. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:08 PM (#1003000)
My question is this...

Is there anyone out there that won't but the Babe in first place? If there is I would love to hear the reasoning. Not to make fun of you or have an argument. I would just be really interested in why Hornsby, Vance, or whomever is above the Babe.

Also is anyone planning on putting Vance or someone above Hornsby? I just think it could be very interesting in that everyone might vote Ruth/Hornsby.

Oh, and I jsut hope we dont 'get embroiled in yet another European War, let them kill themselves! :-)
   18. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:12 PM (#1003004)
David, Barry can't pitch worth a damn. Ruth was a near-HOM pitcher as well, which is where his 1000PA went.

True. :-) Though, the argument was "best lefty hitter ever" so I left the pitching out. His stellar pitching a big point in the "best player ever" debate.

I just liked the symmetry of best-lefty & best-righty on the same ballot and inserted the "arguably"'s for cover. :-)

Anyhow, a hitting-only debate between Babe, Barry & Ted would be fun.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:53 PM (#1003066)
I just think it could be very interesting in that everyone might vote Ruth/Hornsby.

Can any player eligibile (other than Ruth or Hornsby) be considered the best at their position? No, so any voter placing a returnee, Vance or Traynor in an elect me spot should be grilled like nobody has been grilled before.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#1003077)
As of 1941, when this election is held, Traynor was considered by many the best ever 3B.

The "grilled like never before" is almost irresitably tempting. You KNOW I'd have put Caruthers above Hornsby!
   21. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#1003080)
My estimate: one AL RoY (1915); one AL CY (1916) and seven AL MVP's (1918, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926, and 1928).

Hornsby's an easy 1916 RoY if he's deemed eligible. How many NL MVP's do you have for Rajah?
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#1003101)
The "grilled like never before" is almost irresitably tempting. You KNOW I'd have put Caruthers above Hornsby!

I believe you, too. :-)

As of 1941, when this election is held, Traynor was considered by many the best ever 3B.

Only because they collectively forgot the guy who played the "hot corner" for Mack's championship teams of the teens.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:00 PM (#1003172)
Before constructing a prelim. I thought I would look by position, comparing the consensus 1940 ballot through #50 with my preferences.

C-Consensus Schang, Bresnahan. They look like the right guys but I have them in the opposite order.

1B- Consensus Sisler, Beckley, Taylor, Chance, Konetchy. Konetchy is not my #5 pick but the other four look just right.

2B- Childs, Doyle, Monroe, Pratt. Again, Pratt is not my #4-5 pick (what happened to Johnny Evers?), but the other three will slot right in behind the new guy.

SS- Sewell, Jennings, Moore, Maranville, Bancroft. I have Jennings, Sewell, Moore, Bancroft and Tinker.

3B- Leach, Beckwith, McGraw, Williamson. I have Williamson, Traynor, Beckwith, Leach but this is a tough group to peg. Also somebody mentioned Billy Nash as a Traynor comp, but I don't seriously see Nash ahead of Big Ed. This is a group that needs some work!

LF- Jones, Leach, Burns. Right.

CF- Van Haltren, Duffy, Browning, Roush, Ryan, F. Jones, Wilson, Poles. This is tough too, but I am somewhat comfortable with Browning, Roush, Duffy, Wilson, Van Haltren, Poles, Jones and Ryan.

RF- Rice, Hooper, Cravath. I would put the new guy first and I see just enough room between Rice and Hooper to slide Cravath into, except I would still also put Mike Tiernan, who is now in oblivion, ahead of all three of the holdovers.

Then, can't handle all the pitchers as once.

19C P- Consensus Griffith, Welch, McCormick. I've got Bond, McCormick, Griffith, Welch.

20C ML P- Rixey, Waddell, Grimes, Willis, Mays, Shocker, W. Cooper, Cicotte, Joss. Very difficult but I'll say Waddell, Vance, Rixey and who cares (OK, continuing with Joss, Cicotte, Willis, W. Cooper, Mays, Grimes, Luque and Shocker.

NeL P- Redding, Mendez. Yes, plus Andy Cooper and Nip Winters in that order.

There is a consideration set of about 55 guys, about 25 or maybe even 30 of whom have been or will be on my ballot someday.
   24. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:07 PM (#1003198)
So now OF-1B, and half of these at most will make my ballot.

1. Ruth
2. Sisler
3. C. Jones
4. Browning
5. Roush
6. Duffy
7. Wilson
8. Van Haltren
9. Poles
10. Beckley or Tiernan

C-IF, and all of these could make my ballot in 1941:

1. Hornsby
2. Jennings
3. Williamson
4. Sewell
5. Childs
6. Doyle
7. Traynor
8. Monroe
9. Moore
10. Beckwith

Pitchers, and half of these could make my ballot (for a total of about 20 serious contenders).

1. Bond
2. Waddell
3. McCormick
4. Vance
5. Rixey
6. Redding
7. Mendez
8. Griffith
9.-10. Welch, Joss or A. Cooper
   25. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:13 PM (#1003224)
According the Bill James the idea that traynor was the best 3B ever didn't come around until the 1950's. Everyone put Jimmy Collins at the top. And it is clear to me that Frank Baker was clearly the best ever pre-Matthews.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:14 PM (#1003230)
1941 Prelim.

1. Ruth
2. Hornsby--no, I can't imagine any way that they are not 1-2 and not in exactly this order. And 2 new PHoMers fer sere.

3. Jennings--still the best peak of any eligible position player...oh, wait a minute!* (* = PHoM)

4. Bond*
5. Sisler*
6. Williamson*
7. Waddell*
8. C. Jones*
9. McCormick
10. Sewell
11. Vance
12. Childs*
13. Rixey
14. Doyle
15. Traynor

Not sure Traynor is better than Leach, but if not it is more likely to be Monroe, Moore or Beckwith who moves up rather than Leach. Browning, Roush and Bancroft are the other two guys who are real ballot contenders.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#1003248)
Prelim:

1) The fat guy with the skinny legs
2) The guy who liked to gamble and piss people off
3) Traynor (already lowered him; still working on him because I'm not confident of my placement of him. I do think he has become so overrated that he has become underrated, however.)
4) Beckwith
5) Childs
6) C. Jones
7) Willis
8) York
9) Grimes
10) Beckley
11) Welch
12) Vance
13) Waddell
14) Mendez
15) Rixey
   28. robc Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#1003264)
The -s represent significant gaps between players. The number of dashes represent the size of the gap. I think the top 2 qualify as "no-brainers" and I think the order of them is a no-brainer too.

1. Babe Ruth
-----------------
2. Rogers Hornsby
---------------
3. Joe Sewell
--
4. Harry Hooper
5. Lave Cross
-
6. Fielder Jones
7. Bobby Veach
8. Jake Beckley
9. Del Pratt
10. Wally Schang
11. Pie Traynor
12. Tommy Leach
13. Eppa Rixey
14. Sam Rice
15. Rube Waddell

16. Dazzy Vance
17. Rabbit Maranville
18. Cupid Childs
19. George J. Burns
20. Ben Taylor
21. Clark Griffith
22. Ray Schalk
23. George VanHaltren
24. Hughie Jennings
25. Ed Konetchy
26. Jimmy Ryan
27. George Sisler
28. Willie Kamm
29. Mickey Welch
30. John Beckwith
   29. ronw Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#1003267)
I'll be voting Babe, Rajah, and then the rest.

I took a look at the WS numbers, since I had done it for Traynor/Groh. Here are the top 3 in the majors 1915-1934. (Traynor/Groh was just 3B.)

1915 - Cobb 48 (Alexander 43, Johnson 42) (RUTH 23 # 16 P, HORNSBY N/A)
1916 - Alexander 44 (Speaker 41, Cobb 40) (RUTH 37 #2 P, HORNSBY 28 #1 3B)
1917 - Cobb 46 (Alexander 40, HORNSBY 38) (RUTH 36 #2 P)
1918 - RUTH 40 (Johnson 38, Cobb 31) (HORNSBY 18 #4 SS)
1919 - RUTH 43 (Roush 33, 5T 32) (HORNSBY 26 #2 3B)
1920 - RUTH 51 (Speaker 39, Collins 38, HORNSBY 38)
1921 - RUTH 53 (HORNSBY 41, Faber 37)
1922 - HORNSBY 47 (Faber 31, Speaker 30, KWilliams 30) (RUTH 29 #2 LF, T#2 OF)
1923 - RUTH 55 (Luque 39, Heilmann 35, Speaker 35) (HORNSBY 26 #2 2B)
1924 - RUTH 45 (HORNSBY 38, Vance 36)
1925 - HORNSBY 36 (Cuyler 34, Simmons 34)
1926 - RUTH 45 (Goslin 33, Uhle 32) (HORNSBY 21 T#1 2B)
1927 - RUTH 45 (Gehrig 44, HORNSBY 40)
1928 - RUTH 45 (Gehrig 42, Manush 35) (HORNSBY 33 #1 2B)
1929 - HORNSBY 42 (Foxx 34, Simmons 34) (RUTH 32 #1 RF, #2 OF)
1930 - Gehrig 39 (RUTH 38, Grove 37)
1931 - Grove 42 (RUTH 38, Gehrig 36) (HORNSBY 20 #4 2B)
1932 - Foxx 40 (Gehrig 38, RUTH 36)
1933 - Foxx 41 (Gehrig 36, Berger 36) (RUTH 29 #3 RF, #4 OF)
1934 - Ott 38 (Dean 37, Gehringer 37) (RUTH 20 #3 RF, T#12 OF)

This year we'll be electing the major league win shares leader every year from 1918-1929 (Ruth 9, Hornsby 3).

I'm sure each will have detractors (era, lack of integration, lifestyle choices, etc.) but these are tremendous players. Especially Ruth, who even 70 years after he last played, is still known even by casual observers of the game.

Baseball history is full of potential and hypothetical. What would Ted Williams have done without WWII and Korea? What would Oscar Charleston have done in the majors? What would Mickey Mantle have done without his injuries?

George Herman Ruth was not a "potential" player, he actually performed his amazing feats. Sometimes when I was younger I wondered if he really existed, or was he fictional. (OK, sometimes I still wonder).

The Babe is simply the benchmark upon which all other players, before or since, are based. Whether you think he is the greatest player or not he is a unique individual talent, and all of us should be pleased to vote for such a historic personality and true representative of the sport of baseball.
   30. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 05:31 PM (#1003270)
If I recall correctly, Max Bishop was with the Orioles for several years along with Lefty. Does he get enough credit for these years to merit some serious consideration?

The "Camera Eye" will probably not make my ballot, but there are some way-cool links of the Oriole dynasty here

The O's do well in that top 100 rankings:

1919 - 35th
1920 - 9th
1921 - 2nd
1922 - 15th
1923 - 19th
1924 - 5th

... each team gets a nice write-up with pictures and stats. The 1925 team didn't make the list, but its often listed as part of the dynasty.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 06:02 PM (#1003343)
Chris, do you think Newt Joseph needs a thread? I don't see him as really comparable to Traynor or Beckwith, but I'm not that familiar with him yet.
   32. TomH Posted: December 07, 2004 at 06:07 PM (#1003354)
Could we have an early thread for Bill Terry (eligible next ballot, 1942)? I ask because the current ballot is easy, and I plan to make very little time to consider Terry's meritoriousness (meritorisity? meritousness?) between Dec 20th and January 3rd.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 06:09 PM (#1003359)
Could we have an early thread for Bill Terry (eligible next ballot, 1942)

Well, it is an easy election coming up, so why not? But no Vada Pinson and Darrell Evans threads yet! :-)
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#1003565)
Babe Ruth is one of 18 "Babes" to play in the majors, including Babe Adams, Babe Dahlgren, and Babe Pinelli.
Alas, the last "Babe," mediocre reliever Babe Birrer, wrapped up in 1958.

Didja know that Babe Ruth played first base in 10 different major league seasons? Not likely, because it was only for a total of 32 games.

Babe pitched in only five games for the Yankees - and won them all. He allowed 19 er in 31 IP (4 CG) in those games - talk about pitching in a pinch!

His 13 1st-place OPS and OPS+ finishes in a 14-year stretch (1918-31) has to make him worthy of consideration, no? Or traditionalists may prefer to focus on the 12 HR titles..
   35. Jim Sp Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:04 PM (#1003568)
Ruth, Hornsby. Vance on deck. Traynor #36. Combs, O’Farrell, Sam Jones, Bishop had nice careers but are not close to the ballot.

My PHoM selections Joss, Mendez, and Welch are off my ballot now. Looks like my PHoM has at least seven guys that will never make the HoM: Joss and Mendez, plus Doyle, Cravath, Monroe, Bresnahan, and Schang. Schang and Doyle will be on my ballot for a long time, I think.

1)Ruth--Yup.
2)Hornsby--And yup.
3)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). Yes, I am allowing for his switch to 3B at the end of his career.
4)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.
5)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
6)Beckwith-- Was Beckwith, in his prime, was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues? He played a considerable amount at the difficult end of the defensive spectrum. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his “unusual circumstances”. His selection as manager indicates to me that his intangibles weren’t all negative. Could be higher. I might regret this, but he made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
7)Vance--Best eligible pitcher, but it’s close.
8)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.
9)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.
10)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.
11)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
12)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
13)Bancroft--Adjusted him up…
14)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so he’s not quite as impressive as I thought at first glance.
15)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.

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.
Leach--Great fielder at both 3B and CF. Historically a unique player, if only he hit a little better. Or had stayed at 3B.
Van Haltren--Good player, part of the OF glut with Ryan and Duffy.
Hugh Duffy—Good hitter, great fielder. Duffy, Van Haltren, and Ryan are even in my estimation, but off the ballot. I'm not sure why Ryan has been the one of the three to fade in the voting.
   36. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:13 PM (#1003594)
I've always been interested in Babe's anomolous 1929 walk total. Anyone have an answer?

Ruth's BBs (Year/#/Rank in League)

1923-170-1
1924-142-1
1926-144-1
1927-137-1
1928-137-1
1929-72-10
1930-136-1
1931-128-1
1932-130-1
1933-114-1
   37. PhillyBooster Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:16 PM (#1003602)
Hey, according to baseball-reference, Charley Jones is still alive (I mean now, not just in 1941; he celebrated his 154th birthday this past April. We'll have to call him if we ever elect him.

At last count, there were about 350 "assumed dead" baseball players for whom no death date was available. By far the most prominent in terms of baseball accomplishments was certainly Charley Jones -- probably because his name was so common that once they lost the thread they couldn't find him again in the records. The most prominent for off-field accomplishments is Harry Decker, who "invented" the catcher's mitt.

What I found interesting, though, was of the 16,000 or so baseball players in Major League history over the past 135 years, we are only right now (within a handful of years either way of 2003), at the point where exactly half of every player in Major League history is alive -- about 8K alive and 8K dead.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#1003606)
Rogers Hornsby is one of 19 "Rogers" to play in the majors - as opposed to guys named Roger, or which there have been 55.
17 of the "Rogers's" have been last names, but there was a teen-age pitcher named Rogers McKee in the 1940s.

In 10 of Hornsby's 23 seasons, he played more games at positions other than his traditional 2B. His first five seasons, he was a SS, a 3B-SS-1B, a SS, a SS, and a 3B-SS-2B.

Hornsby's played 72 pct of his games at 2B.

His 10 1st-place OPS finishes in a 12-year stretch (1920-31) and 11 1st-place OPS+ finishes in a 13-year stretch (1919-31) has to make him worthy of consideration, no? Or traditionalists may prefer to focus on the 7 batting titles...
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:22 PM (#1003618)
Mostly easy prelim, just slotting three new guys in, thought it could be four.

1. Ruth
2. Hornsby
3. Long-suffering Van Haltren
4. Duffy
5. Poles
6. Mendez
7/8. Rixey/Vance: A neat encapsulation of peak and career here. But which goes where????
9. Burns
10. Roush
11. Jennings
12. Leach
13. W. Cooper
14. Childs
15. Beckwith
WILD CARD: Andy Cooper. Haven't got much of a handle on him yet

Traynor: He's not impressing me; a Beckleyesque career without Beckley's piles of stats nor his career total of WS. Among infielders, his peak/prime/career totals all reminiscent of Evers, Bancroft, Gardner, Nash, McKean, and Tinker. Pass.
   40. mbd1mbd1 Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#1003661)
prelim: I screwed around with my methods this week and got a little different picture of things. Most notably Bresnahan moves up while Doyle moves down. Shouldn't make a lick of difference on this ballot though.

1. Ruth
2. Hornsby
3. GVH
4. Duffy
5. Vance
6. Roush
7. Bresnahan, first time I've had him this high
8. Ryan
9. Sisler
10. Beckley
11. Waddell
12. Burns
13. Leach
14. Rice
15. Veach

followed by Rixey, Browning, Willis, Sewell, and Hooper.
   41. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:48 PM (#1003664)
Here's my top 22. 9 pitchers, 2 catchers, 4 blackballers and 2 innercirclers. Plus some white pickers and lumberers.

3 new ballot additions, and Traynor is just off.

1. Ruth – not much of a fielder, at least comparatively.

2. Hornsby – inner circle.

3. 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.

4. 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.
5. George Sisler – 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.
6. Sam Rice – close to Beckley – I’ve put him behind Beckley and Sisler in a nod to the intelligence of the consensus. Pretty close to 9000 hits in these three candidates and it looks like they’ll be side-by-side on my ballot for at least the next 15 to 20 years.

7. Burleigh Grimes – takes Faber’s spot on my ballot. I like the wins, don’t like the ERA+. Welch-lite. The beginning of pitcher/catcher row.

8. Eppa Rixey – back to his original spot in a dead heat with Grimes and Faber (the latter now elected).

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

10. Dazzy Vance – not much to choose between the career stats of Waddell and Vance. I give the nod to Waddell based on the ERA+. Wins and ERA+ are my two uberstats for pitchers.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. He is barely worse than Grimes and barely better than Mendez, Joss, Luque, Pennock, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin.

14. 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.

15. Joe Sewell – I’m assuming he was pretty good on defense. I don’t see him as a HoMer though. Beginning of infielders row.

16. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.
17. Pie Traynor -- just behind Leach. I think he would have been a multiple time all-star.

18. Beckwith – I’m assuming he was pretty bad on defence. The Beckwith thread is funny – Gadfly has him hitting .400 with 40HRs per year and Cobb has him at 297 career WS. I like him better than Monroe and Moore but I’m not sure he’s Hornsby-dark.

19. 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.

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

21. 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.

22. Schang – I’d like more catchers in the HoM, but this isn’t a cocktail party.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 08:51 PM (#1003667)
Prelim revision:

1) The fat guy with the skinny legs
2) The guy who liked to gamble and piss people off
3) Beckwith
4) Childs
5) C. Jones
6) Willis
7) York
8) Grimes
9) Traynor (moving down some more...)
10) Beckley
11) Welch
12) Vance
13) Waddell
14) Mendez
15) Rixey
   43. robc Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:26 PM (#1003775)
It looks like consensus scores may be back up this year. :)
   44. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:57 PM (#1003892)
Placements for non-shoo-in newcomers:

Dazzy Vance -- He's starting out at #5 on my ballot, could move up or down slightly. His peak was awesome: I think for short peak he was the best pitcher of the 1920s. Career is short, but his career totals still aren't bad. I figure his RSI would have been about 2% higher per season if he had been an average hitter. His fielding support stunk. He ought to be a very serious candidate for election in 1942.

Pie Traynor -- Not as good as Joe Sewell, and Sewell doesn't make my ballot. One goal for this easy-election week is to look again at infield candidates like Sewell and Traynor to see if my system is being unfair to them, when it tends to land them in 40th or 50th place among eligibles.

Andy Cooper -- Not sure where he'll place yet. I should have data on him up tonight, and you'll see the Depression has taken a big bite out of his career record. I'll analyze his 1920s pitching record to see if filling the hole could make a difference or not. I'm doubtful he's ballot-worthy. My guess is that he is Dolf Luque at best, Waite Hoyt at worst. But I'll have to see the numbers.
   45. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:57 PM (#1003894)
His 10 1st-place OPS finishes in a 12-year stretch (1920-31) and 11 1st-place OPS+ finishes in a 13-year stretch (1919-31) has to make him worthy of consideration, no? Or traditionalists may prefer to focus on the 7 batting titles...

The six consecutive sabermetric triple crowns (1920-25) always leaps out for me. (AVG/OBP/SLG)

In terms of anomalous seasons, his off season in 1926 has always been a bit of a curiosity. He was still the winning World Series manager that year though. Maybe one of the few championship managers to get traded in the following off-season as well.
   46. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:10 PM (#1003947)
In the 1920s, only 4 people led a major league in OPS, with Ruth and Hornsby pulling in 18 of those 20 titles.
   47. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:13 PM (#1003957)
Same for OPS+, by the way.
   48. OCF Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:17 AM (#1004906)
Hornsby's an easy 1916 RoY if he's deemed eligible. How many NL MVP's do you have for Rajah?

I tried estimating this, but threw up my hands in the end. He did win a voted award in 1925, and it seems he would have had to have won in 1922, but other than that - ? He certainly could have won a bunch, but would he have won? His team is by and large not winning pennants, and is often finishing far out of the race - the winning team bias is going to come into play. And how good was his relationship with the writers? Would it have been a case like Albert Belle where they would have looked for excuses not to vote for him?
   49. Cblau Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:08 AM (#1005030)
Probably no one else will post about Hughie Critz, so here goes:
His last name rhymes with "rights." A+ fielder per Win Shares.
   50. Cblau Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:16 AM (#1005043)
Charley Jones: According to Peter Morris, he was believed by Lee Allen to have died in 1912 or 1913.

Rogers Hornsby: Off year in 1926 because he was playing hurt most of the year.
   51. Cblau Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:17 AM (#1005046)
Howie- Another player with that first name was Rogers Lee (Bobby) Brown.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:17 AM (#1005263)
"And it is clear to me that Frank Baker was clearly the best ever pre-Matthews."

Doesn't matter much, but I think it's pretty clearly Ezra Sutton. Both on career and peak value. I don't think it's close really.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:21 AM (#1005283)
"Can any player eligibile (other than Ruth or Hornsby) be considered the best at their position? No, so any voter placing a returnee, Vance or Traynor in an elect me spot should be grilled like nobody has been grilled before."

I agree if Ruth/Hornsby aren't 1/2 the voter has some serious explaining to do. Not to discourage that if it's what a voter truly believes, but be ready to defend your selection if that's the way you go :-)

I could see someone voting Hornsby #1 I suppose, but even that is pretty tough to justify.
   54. KJOK Posted: December 08, 2004 at 07:09 AM (#1005536)
Doesn't matter much, but I think it's pretty clearly Ezra Sutton. Both on career and peak value. I don't think it's close really.
Not to rehash the Ezra argument, but only if you don't include Sutton's 1878-1880 seasons could he rank ahead of Baker.
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 08:47 AM (#1005737)
What? How can he get negative credit for 1878-80. I don't get that at all. How can any player ever get negative credit. If the manager chooses to play him, at worst he should get a zero.

Anyway, in 1880 he played SS/3B with a 93 OPS+, which is well above an average player even.

In 1879 as a SS/3B (about 60% SS), he posted an 82 OPS+, which probably about the level of an average to slightly below average player. His team managed to win 64% of their games with him at in this key role.

Buffalo's SS, Davy Force put up a 56 OPS+; Chicago had John Peters (74); Cincinnati had Ross Barnes (108); Cleveland had Tom Carey (77); Syracuse Jimmy Macullar (62); Troy Ed Caskin (94); Providence had George Wright (122).

The simple average of the other 7 teams' SS was an 85 OPS+. Sutton was better than 4 and worse than 3; two of which are HoMers.

Looking at 3B; Providence Bill Hague (61); Buffalo Hardy Richardson (130); Chicago Ed Williamson (151); Cincinnati King Kelly (184, but only 1/3 time at 3B) and Will Foley (56); Cleveland Fred Warner (81); Syracuse Red Woodhead (14 not a typo) & Hick Carpenter (50); Troy Herm Doscher (63).

Sutton was better than all but Richardson, Williamson and Kelly. He was an above average player in 1879, which was for him quite an off-year (career OPS+ 119, 1879 - 82).

He definitely had an off-year in 1878, with his 68 OPS+ as a 3B.

Around the league Cal McVey (143); Bill Hague (43); Frank Hankinson (97); Ed Williamson (90); Will Foley (104). He was 5th of 6 and average for his position was 95.

Again, I don't see how this gets him negative value. His team still managed to win the pennant by 4 games, in a 60 game season. I see that as no worse than a zero.

When Baker wasn't able to play in 1920, the Yankees had to suffer with Aaron Ward and his 79 OPS+ at 3B and they lost the pennant by 3 games. Does Baker get negative credit for this?
   56. TomH Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:40 PM (#1005904)
If I were to attempt to justify Hornsby #1, I would go about it like this:

Neither played great defense or was a great baserunner.

1920s 2Bmen were about average hitters (OWP just a tick over .500). OFers were just over .600.

Ruth's OWP does not exceed Horsnby's by .100; ergo, Hornsby was more valuable.

A study was done in 2002 that compared players' OPS in their best 10 consecutive seasons to the positional average for those years. Highest ranked players ever by this method are

Hornsby +42.2% over average
Wagner +41.5%
Ruth +38.9%
Williams +36.9%
Mantle +34.4%
Cobb +32.2%

See, Rogers is #1!

But....I don't believe it for a moment.
   57. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:50 PM (#1005924)
I think that the more defensible move would be to have Jennings, GVH, Vance, whomever above Hornsby than to have Hornsby above Ruth. The only player in history who compares to the Babe, at least in my 'rankings' is Barry and, well, his chances of passing the Babe are less today than they were a week ago.
   58. OCF Posted: December 08, 2004 at 04:56 PM (#1005989)
If Eddie Collins were somehow still eligible, my order would be 1. Ruth, 2. E. Collins, 3. Hornsby. I acknowledge that Hornsby was a better hitter than Collins, but give Collins enough edge in other things to make it up. For reference, when it mattered, I once submitted a ballot that had 1. Cobb, 2. E. Collins, 3. Speaker. How would I rank Speaker and Hornsby? I'm just glad I don't have to. Which puts my combined 1934/1941 ballot order as 1. Ruth, 2. Cobb, 3. E. Collins, 4 & 5. Hornsby and Speaker in some order.

Of course, there's no question about the top two on the 1941 ballot.
   59. jhwinfrey Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:05 PM (#1006029)
Here's my preliminary ballot and current take on the newbies:

1. As my talking dog used to say: Ruth! Ruth!
2. The Rajah--much closer to Beckley than to the Babe.
3. Jake Beckley
4. Mickey Welch
5. Ben Taylor
6. Burleigh Grimes
7. Carl Mays
8. Eppa Rixey
9. Jim McCormick
10.Tommy Leach
11. Dick Redding--one of several negro league candidates to get a bump up this year. I just didn't feel like I was giving these guys enough support. Unfortunately, my ballot is still too crowded for Beckwith, Petway, Winters, Marcelle, Poles and Monroe to make it.
12. Jose Mendez
13. Vic Willis
14. Rabbit Maranville
15. Edd Roush

16. Pie Traynor--he'll be on my ballot in '42.
24. Sad Sam Jones--Cheer up, Sam, you do pretty well in my system!
49. Dazzy Vance--A lot like Rube Waddell. I like the K's, but not the career length.
70. Earle Combs--Just ahead of Ken Williams.
88. Andy Cooper--Probably too low. I still need to get a handle on him.

Max Bishop ranks just out of my top 100. The newcomers bump several guys out of my top 100: John McGraw, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Gavvy Cravath, and Ross Youngs. Sayonara.
   60. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#1006189)
What? How can he get negative credit for 1878-80. I don't get that at all. How can any player ever get negative credit. If the manager chooses to play him, at worst he should get a zero.

That's the problem I had with TPR years ago and (to a much lesser extent) WARP. I don't understand the reasoning either, Joe. It's one thing to give Sutton neglible credit for those years (but, as you showed, he was close to being an average player at his position for those years), but negative credit? I'll never buy that.

I can see the argument for Baker as better than Sutton if you're a timeliner, but I would go along with Joe that Sutton is better (though Baker beats him peak-wise).
   61. Michael Bass Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:08 PM (#1006202)
Not much to say about the prelim.

1. Ruth
2. Hornsby
3. Vance - As I said in his thread, a better Waddell. And my system loves Waddell.
4. Jennings
5. Veach
6. Mendez
7. Waddell
8. Browning
9. Sewell
10. Schang
11. Moore
12. Redding
13. Beckwith
14. Poles
15. F. Jones


Other newcomers....Traynor is below Harry Hooper, but above Jake Beckley. None of these guys have any prayer of ever making my ballot. The others are even lower than that. I have not placed Cooper yet, but I can't see him cracking the top 15. I'd be stunned if he even topped Nip Winters, who is well off my ballot.
   62. andrew siegel Posted: December 08, 2004 at 08:28 PM (#1006619)
Prelim plus a bonus exercise:

(1) Ruth (new)
(2) Hornsby (new)
(3) Jennnings (2nd)
(4) Van Haltren (4th)
(5) Childs (5th)
(6) Chance (6th)
(7) Jones (7th)
(8) Vance (new)--Might be as high as 5th.
(9) Beckwith (unranked)
(10) Roush (11th)
(11) Duffy (8th)
(12) Rixey (9th)
(13) Grimes (10th)
(14) Sewell (12th)
(15) Willis (13th)

16-31 in position order: Bresnahan, Schang, Beckley, Sisler, Monroe, Doyle, Moore, Bancroft, McGraw, Leach, Ryan, Veach, Welch, Griffith, Mendez, Redding.

I've looked ahead and don't think anyone ranked below 20th or 21st in the current group ever has any chance of making my ballot. Going through my large consideration set each week is becoming too burdensome. For those reasons, I am planning on dropping anyone outside my current top 31 from my consideration set (with the option to readd them if anyone strong new information becomes available). (I was shooting for 30, but 31 was a more natural break given my current calculations.)

If anyone wants to make a pitch for my keeping one of their favorites in my consideration set, now is the time. However, if you want me to keep somebody, you need to give me a couple of candidates to cut as well.
   63. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#1006657)
Not to rehash the Ezra argument, but only if you don't include Sutton's 1878-1880 seasons could he rank ahead of Baker.

Actually, KJOK didn't say negative. Joe and John have done the anti-negative value rant pretty well here. I'll try the other one.

The other way that Ezra's seasons could have hurt his value is by using career rates as a large part of the rating. This also is wrong. A player who is playing, even significantly below his career rate, is more valuable than the guy who is sitting at home, retired.

There are two valid ways that I know of to calculate career rates fairly for comparison. One is to divide the career value of both guys by the larger number of games played (giving the guy with the short career zero credit for the missing games that he didn't play). The other is to accumulate the best rate seasons of the long career guy until reaching the career length of the short career guy, and comparing the rates at that point. This doesn't penalize the long career guy for making a living when no longer at his best.
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#1006767)
Fibonacci numbers possibly could work, Jim. For example: BA (quality) times Hits (quantity).
   65. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#1006821)
If a bad season causes the career-rating number to go down, then it's wrong. Making a living can't erase what's already been accomplished.
   66. TomH Posted: December 08, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#1006912)
Agree, but with rare exceptions. If you suddenly LOSE IT, when your employer has reasonable expectation of you helping the team so they keep throwing you out there hoping you'll come back, and you cost the team games more than a replacement player, I would give negative credit. But the only guy I can think of off-the-cuff to whom this could apply is Steve Blass, whose 89 IP of 9.85 (!) in 1973 (after two fine seasons previously) probably cost the Pirates a division title.
   67. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 11:21 PM (#1007173)
so they keep throwing you out there hoping you'll come back

I think that that is management's fault, not the player's fault.

The only case I can think of where it's the player's fault is when he's deliberately dogging it.
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 12:28 AM (#1007338)
The only case I can think of where it's the player's fault is when he's deliberately dogging it.

Agreed.
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: December 09, 2004 at 01:11 AM (#1007440)
The topic of negative value relates to the question of what to do with WWII. In an 8 team, 154 game league, there are only 1,848 WS to go around. If you zero out the negative pitcher hitting WS (I don't think there are any other negative WS), then they ought to come out of somebody's hide, not pile up to more than 1,848.

Now as a practical matter, who really cares? But at some level, no, there can't be more than 1,848 WS.

So, WWII. The fact is that the caliber of play in the league was weak, just like the AA in 1882, and it is appropriate for us to discount it, I would say 15 percent. That leaves just 1,571 WS to distribute (per league).

1. I am guessing that no more than 1/3 of the MLers those years were real MLers. They get their WS minus 15 percent.

2. 2/3 then were "replacements" playing in the ML only because 2/3 of the real MLers were off fighting a war. Discount them by 30 percent.

3. And that leaves you with the 2/3 who woulda been in the MLs except they were off fighting the war. I give them half credit. I mean, they didn't actually play. A 50 percent penalty sounds steep, but on the other hand they're getting 50 percent credit for something they didn't do. A fair compromise. 50 percent credit to 2/3 of the players amounts to the other 1/3 of WSs, but at full (not discounted) value, not discounted because if they had played, then guess what, the quality of ball would have been 100 percent, not 85 percent, of expectation.

So in other words 1/3 each of the WS are discounted zero percent, 15 percent and 30 percent. And it is fair that Ted Williams gets no competitive discount because he's already getting a 50 percent discount for not actually having played. It is fair that Lou Boudreau takes a 15 percent discount because that's the only discount he gets and in fact his numbers are inflated by the weak competitive environment.

So anyway, the "bigger" question is whether there should ever be more than 3 x G WS, and the even "bigger" question is whether to create a surfeit of WS during the war years. I say no.
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: December 09, 2004 at 04:58 AM (#1007779)
This is a issue that will be more pressing in 1942 than it is in1941, but this is a matter I hope can be debated thoroughly, despite the holidays.

There appears to be a significant possibility that Joe Sewell will be elected in 1942, unless both Dazzy Vance and Bill Terry place higher than him among this year's and next's year's newcomers or someone like Rixey or Griffith or Jennings or Beckley overtakes him. I'm not a supporter of Sewell, but I see some possibility that I'm underrating infielders, so I'm not pushing my opposition too hard.

EXCEPT

that it appears to me that there is a very serious argument to be made that there are two eligible infielders who are exact contemporaries of Sewell who should be ranked higher than he is, namely John Beckwith and Dobie Moore.

Obviously, there's more uncertainty about the NeL candidates than about Joe Sewell. But how certain are you that Sewell was better than these guys?

Both of them look better to me. I'm not arguing that either of them should necessarily be elected in 1942 (they are not likely to be in elect-me spots on my ballot, though both are going to be moving up on mine based on recent information), but I think that electing Sewell ahead of them would be a very problematic choice.
   71. KJOK Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:18 AM (#1007955)
While I certainly can't argue that there isn't SOME "value" for a player just showing up and playing, obviously I disagree with measuring for HOM inclusion/exclusion by using any 'over replacement' measure.

Just as an example, when Sandy Koufax retired, what was the most likely replacement the Dodgers would have the next year - a 'replacement level' starter, or a 'league average' starter? I would strongly argue the answer is 'league average', for a variety of reasons.
   72. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 09, 2004 at 05:35 PM (#1008581)
Expanding on Chris C.'s point about Moore and Beckwith....

Chris's analysis is also applicable to Traynor. Traynor bears a striking similarity to Sewell in their peak/prime/career WS totals (adjusted to 162 game schedules):

NAME 3YR 5YR 10YR 15YR CAREER
JS 88 138 245 291 291
PT 84 130 240 288 288

From a WS point of view, anyone whose got Sewell on their ballot should probably have Traynor too, and anyone who has Moore and/or Beckwith above Sewell should probably also have the pair above Traynor. And of course, Bancroft (and Evers!) is in this same mix, so the same would apply there.

[disclaimer: each voter's system might very well return different values and rankings if they use other tools than WS.]
   73. robc Posted: December 09, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#1008622)
Koufax's replacement was Bill Singer, who in 1967 was +19 PRAA. For his career, though, he was -5 PRAA, so maybe he wasnt an above average replacement. Of course, because of Sandy's retirement, they didnt get to use Singer in the bullpen. Plus, he had the best ERA of the 4 Dodgers starters, so really Don Sutton was the replacement for Koufax. He was -8 PRAA.

I dont buy the whole "average long term replacement level" argument because there is way to much "positional" flexibility, even amongst pitchers (counting starting, relieving and closing as separate positions).
   74. OCF Posted: December 09, 2004 at 06:59 PM (#1008769)
I think we’ll have the most combined points for the two inductees this election, don’t you think?

Probably not. With 56 voters in 1934, even though 2nd place was far from unanimous, Cobb + Speaker accounted for 2436 points. We've had just 51 voters in the last couple of elections, and 51 voters being absolutely unanimous about 1st and 2nd would account for only 2397 points.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:41 PM (#1008877)
I forgot we had that many back then, OCF.

But I think we may be able to do it because:

1) Ruth and Hornsby should get all the elect me votes and

2) Since this ballot is one of the easiest (if not the easiest) to create ever, we may find some old voters coming back (or lurkers who won't mind getting their feet wet for this election). It will be hard passing up the chance to vote for the Behemoth of Bust and the Rajah.

I agree it won't be as easy as I thought it would be, though.
   76. Al Peterson Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:26 PM (#1008989)
it appears to me that there is a very serious argument to be made that there are two eligible infielders who are exact contemporaries of Sewell who should be ranked higher than he is, namely John Beckwith and Dobie Moore.

Obviously, there's more uncertainty about the NeL candidates than about Joe Sewell. But how certain are you that Sewell was better than these guys?


So we have exact contemporaries of Sewell being Beckwith and Moore. Of the other highly rated NeL SS, we also have who? Dick Lundy, Willie Wells both, right? I assume they would stack up nicely versus Sewell. Even Joe Cronin barely misses matching up with Sewell, coming into SS as Sewell made the switch to 3B.

Maybe I'm too eager to elect Negro Leaguers. Anyways, Sewell at the doorstep to the HOM leaves me a little uneasy.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#1009034)
Maybe I'm too eager to elect Negro Leaguers. Anyways, Sewell at the doorstep to the HOM leaves me a little uneasy.

I also agree since I stopped drinking the Sewell Kool-Aid. :-) There are just too many of his contemporaries that are similar. Yeah, he was the best major league shortstop all of those years (plus a season at third in the AL), but only by default. If Beckwith, Moore, Wells, Lundy, and J. Johnson had been allowed to play with the white players, would Sewell have been the best any year? I don't know, but I would think half (at the very least) of those seasons would have gone to Negro Leaguers.

Once I can compare Traynor to Johnson and Dandridge, I assume Pie will plummet, too.
   78. jimd Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:48 PM (#1009049)
Just as an example, when Sandy Koufax retired, what was the most likely replacement the Dodgers would have the next year - a 'replacement level' starter, or a 'league average' starter? I would strongly argue the answer is 'league average', for a variety of reasons.

If the Dodgers did nothing, they would get a replacement-level player from the minors or the bull-pen.

If they had unusual depth, they might have an above-replacement level player waiting for the opportunity to play. (To get this unusual depth, they had to expend organizational resources in scouting and development, so that they would have above-replacement spare parts available.)

If they did not have unusual depth, they might obtain an above-replacement level player from another organization. To do that they would expend organizational resources to compensate the other team for using a replacement-level player in place of the player obtained by the Dodgers.

Good organizations expend resources to replace good players with other good players. To demonstrate that long-term replacement is average, please use examples that show that bad organizations typically replace bad players with average players.

If long-term replacement was average, teams like the 1918-1948 Phillies wouldn't happen. Teams would have to work hard at being bad, and would get back to average by simply ceasing all the deliberate efforts to be bad. Sorry, but "average" just doesn't happen; it requires resources; it has value.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:54 PM (#1009065)
I should add I could live with Sewell as a HoMer. He was a very, verry good player.
   80. Chris Cobb Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:57 PM (#1009071)
I think Traynor will stack up pretty well against Judy Johnson, who was pretty comparable to Oliver Marcelle as a hitter, I believe. Lundy is going to be interesting; I have no idea from the numbers I've seen whether he'll look better than Sewell and Traynor, or about the same, or a bit worse.

Given the likelihood that we'll be electing a 20s infielder in 1942, I'm going to go ahead and put together the data on Lundy, Johnson, and Jud Wilson, who was a 3B/1B type, like Beckwith. They'll all be eligible soon (Wilson not until 1947, but he was a rookie in 1922), and it would be helfpul to have a clearer idea of who the best players in this group really are. I think we can leave Wells out of the picture. He entered his prime in the late 20s, so he's more a contemporary of Joe Cronin, and he won't be eligible until 1953. Dandridge is even later -- He broke in in 1933 and will be eligible in 1959. He's more a contemporary of Stan Hack.
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 09:57 PM (#1009185)
Dandridge is even later -- He broke in in 1933 and will be eligible in 1959. He's more a contemporary of Stan Hack.

Correct, but he was a contemporary of Sewell for a couple of seasons, so that's why I mentioned him.
   82. karlmagnus Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#1009213)
Let's not assume we're going to elect a 20s infielder, there are several better candidates than Sewell. I propse a 90s infiender instead -- we have 3 high on the ballot to choose from. Certainly I can see no justification for putting Sewell in before Beckley, and very little for pushing him ahead of Childs.
   83. OCF Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:26 PM (#1009281)
I propse a 90s infiender instead

Is Chris Truby eligible?
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:54 PM (#1009345)
OCF, you will burn for even mentioning his name!
   85. Al Peterson Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:59 PM (#1009357)
I should add I could live with Sewell as a HoMer. He was a very, verry good player.

If Sewell joins the HOM it will go by with a shrug of my shoulders in the end. At least he was a better selection than Pike :)
   86. karlmagnus Posted: December 09, 2004 at 11:48 PM (#1009451)
The difference is that we will still be discussing Pike, Pearce and Caruthers on the 2006 ballot, whether or not we've elected them; each of them holds a unique position in the game. Sewell on the other hand, will be forgotten as soon as we elect him. It's a very good argument for including a bias in favor of 40-year veterans of the ballot. (Sewell would thus become one for the 1980 election, by which time we would have considered him properly.)

Having said that' I'd take him over Dazzy Vance, who looks to me like Waddell minus the jokes.
   87. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 09, 2004 at 11:59 PM (#1009471)
!This news on Babe Ruth just in!

Photographs and other primary source documents retrieved from the Baseball Hall of Fame Library and from the Babe's own estate strongly suggest that the Sultan of Swat used two stimulants commonly known as Folgers and Lipton, known by insiders as the drip and the steep, to enhance his play by giving his body a jolt of a naturally formed and easily absorable metabolism booster whose side effects include jitteryness, irritiable bowels, insomnia, hyperactivity, depression, and psychological and physiological addiction.

Members of the Babe's family have thus far declined comment, but MLB commissioner Bud Selig insists that baseball will investigate these allegations thoroughly and punish the Babe posthumously if any incidence of wrongdoing can be found.

Homerun champion Henry Aaron called the Babe's actions "wrong" but also admitted that he may, himself, have once accidentally accepted a beverage known as "SunT" that may also have contained the performance-enhancing substance.

In this ever-widening scandal, authorities are now also checking on Aaron's claims, which, if proven true, may also implicate former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Don Meredith. Meredith was described by an anonymous source as as introducing hundreds of thousands of Americans, including children under 10, to "SunT" in the 1970s and early 1980s.

A spokesman for Meredith said the charges are baseless and assured the public that "SunT is not some Dr. Frankenstein potion. It is what is has always been: a cool, refreshing repast that tastes like summer ought to."
   88. Cblau Posted: December 10, 2004 at 12:35 AM (#1009547)
jhwinfrey wrote: 49. Dazzy Vance--A lot like Rube Waddell. I like the K's, but not the career length.

Carl Mays pitched only 55 more innings than Vance, but you have him in 7th. Since Vance had a much better ERA+ despite much worse fielding support (per Chris J's site), how do you explain their rankings?
   89. OCF Posted: December 10, 2004 at 01:34 AM (#1009703)
My prelim:
1. (obvious)
2. (obvious)
3. Van Haltren
4. Vance
5. Sewell
6. Doyle
7. Beckwith
8. Rixey
9. Beckley
10. Traynor
11. Childs
12. Duffy
13. Roush
14. Sisler
15. Waddell
--
16. Mendez
17. Chance
18. Bresnahan
19. Ryan
20. Redding
21. Jennings
22. Schang
23. Rice
24. Cravath
25. Maranville
--
Near that: Luque, Leach, Poles, Taylor, Willis, Welch, Burns, Griffith, Wilson.

I'll be ready to post on Monday.
   90. Paul Wendt Posted: December 10, 2004 at 02:19 AM (#1009795)
Let me warn in advance that my theoretical argument does not provide any support for KJ's position.

jimd #78
If the Dodgers did nothing [after Koufax retired in Fall 1966], they would get a replacement-level player from the minors or the bull-pen.

plus the difference between Koufax' salary and the stipulated minimum salary --unless one or more pitchers, expecting a greater role in 1967, refused to re-sign for his 1966 salary . . .

minus the net revenue generated by Koufax fans --who, by definition, valued Koufax beyond his impact on games and pennants alone . . .

minus the hassle of explaining why they were doing nothing after losing the cornerstone of back to back pennants . . .

It is commonplace to cut this Gordian knot by abstracting from monetary expenditure and revenue, from management labor and leisure, and focusing on baseball value alone: runs, games, pennants (or playoff appearances?). Some HOM participants interpret "Merit" as such an abstraction, pure baseball value.

So I don't readily accept argument in terms of general "organizational resources" even where it is reasonable.

. . . To get this unusual depth, they had to expend organizational resources
. . . [To] obtain an above-replacement level player from another organization . . . they would expend organizational resources

. . .
If long-term replacement was average, teams like the 1918-1948 Phillies wouldn't happen. Teams would have to work hard at being bad, and would get back to average by simply ceasing all the deliberate efforts to be bad.


That particular argument is wrong. The Phillies probably received net cash in their player transactions. Phillies management maybe enjoyed more leisure. The cash award for a 4th place finish was small and the marginal probability of winning a pennant was nil, so no player transaction was worthwhile . . .
   91. Paul Wendt Posted: December 10, 2004 at 02:23 AM (#1009807)
It took me a while to say that well (if indeed I did) and it doesn't contribute much to this thread. Sorry.
   92. jhwinfrey Posted: December 10, 2004 at 04:34 PM (#1010820)
Carl Mays pitched only 55 more innings than Vance, but you have him in 7th. Since Vance had a much better ERA+ despite much worse fielding support (per Chris J's site), how do you explain their rankings?

Here's my rationale behind my rankings:
First of all, there's not much of a gap betwen #7 and #49 on my ballot. It doesn't take much to jump 10 or 20 spots.
I give Mays and Vance basically equal value for production (Win Shares), dominance (gray ink), and raw pitching ability (ERA+, IP).
Where Mays gets the edge is in career length, fielding, and especially hitting. I rate pitchers' career length based not on innings pitched, but on the number of seasons they were a productive member of their team's pitching staff. I think this limits my bias toward the 19th century guys. I give Mays credit for 13.5 seasons, and Vance credit for 11.5 seasons.
Mays has a significant edge in fielding, based on range factor vs. the league. Mays is roughly a HOM-average fielder, while Vance is closer to a league average fielder.
Mays' biggest asset over Vance, to me, is his hitting. While Vance hit like a typical pitcher, Mays was a legitimate 9th man in the lineup. He wasn't in the lineup every game, of course, but he was more productive with his bat than Rabbit Maranville, for example.

It's possible that incorporating fielding support data would swing the data in favor of Vance, but I don't think so. And I'm not willing to go back to adjusting for fielding data in only a few cases, as I was doing on my early ballots, when I simply wasn't being consistent as a voter.

Ok, Cblau, there's my brand of dime-store sabermetrics. Feel free to tear me apart! :)
   93. Brad G Posted: December 10, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#1010831)
Hey, Dr. Chaleeko- Nice expose article... I know a model who as a little girl was in a Lipton commercial with Dandy Don. Where is he now?
   94. DavidFoss Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:06 PM (#1010873)
Dandy Don. Where is he now?

He's recently co-starred with Peter Falk in a movie directly by his son.

movie

"Six Anton Chekhov short stories set in modern day Cleveland during a three day rain storm."
   95. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#1010952)
Dandy Don and Anton Chekhov are among the least likely couplings I could have possibly imagined for the cinema. Maybe Dandy Don and Susan Anton....
   96. PhillyBooster Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:54 PM (#1010962)
Where Mays gets the edge is in career length, fielding, and especially hitting.

I agree. Vance leads Mays in ERA+ by 125 to 119, or six points (actually 124.6 to 119.2, or 5.4 points), so they are not that far apart in pitching.

Now, taking the bb-ref runs created formula, Mays created 120 runs as a hitter, while Vance created only 42. This difference of 78 runs is magnified when you realize that runs were scarcer during Mays's career than Vance's.

Let us incorporate Mays's hitting into his pitching by subtracting 78 earned runs from his career total. Compensating for those marginal runs that he "got back" for his team as a hitter after losing them as a pitcher drops his career ERA from 2.92 to 2.68. More imporantly, it lifts his ERA+ to 130 (129.7).

When looked at that way, Mays's ERA+ is not 5.4 points lower, but 5.4 points higher!
   97. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 10, 2004 at 06:17 PM (#1011015)
While Vance hit like a typical pitcher,

He was actually a very bad hitting pitcher for his era.
   98. Chris Cobb Posted: December 10, 2004 at 06:40 PM (#1011085)
It's true that taking account of Mays' superiority to Vance as a hitter closes the gap between the two.

It's also true, however, that taking account of the fielding support that Mays and Vance received reopens that gap again, in Vance's favor. Mays received outstanding fielding support throughout his career. Vance received below average fielding support throughout his career.

This is reflected in WARP's DERA, which I've converted to DERA+ so that it value eyeballs more easily for those of us used to seeing ERA+.

Vance ERA+ 125
Mays ERA+ 119

Vance DERA+ 129
Mays DERA+ 110

If you don't trust the black box of WARP, I add the following corroboration. I've calculated defensive effeciency for all the teams Mays and Vance pitched for, and I find that, May's teams were above average in fielding every season Mays pitched, while Vance's teams were below average in 8 of 11 seasons he was a full-time starting pitcher. Mays' teams, in his 11 seasons with most innings pitched, were 295 RSAA, when Mays (not inconsiderable) ability to suppress hits on bip (a typical spitball effect) is factored out. Vance's teams, in his 11 biggest seasons, were -142 RSAA, when Vance's modest hit suppression is factored out. Prorating these totals to the pitchers' IP, Mays' fielders saved him 53 about runs above average, while Vance's cost him 25 runs below average.

So when fielding support is factored out, Vance gains 78 runs on Mays. By a bizarre coincidence that's precisely the same number Mays gains on Vance when hitting is factored in.

My conclusion: ERA+ accurately represents the difference in quality between Mays and Vance, not because it is accurate, but because the difference in fielding support it implicitly fails to capture is equal and opposite to the difference in batting value that it explicitly does not include.
   99. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:42 PM (#1011200)
Re: Mays's defensive support.

I figured that, by my defensive adjustment, Mays had the best FWS/1000 IP of any live ball pitcher that I've figured the defensive adjustment for.
   100. PhillyBooster Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:51 PM (#1011216)
So when fielding support is factored out, Vance gains 78 runs on Mays. By a bizarre coincidence that's precisely the same number Mays gains on Vance when hitting is factored in.

Ah, but do you consider in the fielding effects the fact that Mays was, in fact, a far superior fielder to Vance? Perhaps a reason that Vance's teams were always inferior defensively was that Vance's teams always had Vance playing instead of Mays.

Just looking at the raw defensive numbers:

Assists: Mays 1138; Vance, 570

Mays teams not only had nine batters in the lineup, but had nine defenders in the field.

Here, I think Win Shares gets it right: Mays 256, Vance, 241.
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