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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, December 19, 2004

1942 Ballot Discussion

The ballot thread will be posted one week later than normal (Jan.3).

Bill Terry is the only position player this “year” that should make any impact on our ballots. As for pitchers, Firpo Marberry had a unique enough career that he may show some considerable strength as a candidate.

1942 (January 2)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

278 83.8 1924 Bill Terry-1B (1989)
205 64.2 1919 Tom Zachary-P (1969)
196 52.1 1921 Bing Miller-RF (1966)
211 56.6 1923 Travis Jackson-SS (1987)
177 52.2 1924 Firpo Marberry-RP (1976)
193 54.1 1924 Fred Lindstrom-3B/CF (1981)
198 38.0 1918 Charlie Grimm-1B (1983)
156 42.3 1926 Alvin “General” Crowder-P (1972)
130 42.9 1927 Watty Clark-P (1972)
122 29.8 1928 George Earnshaw-P (1976)
114 34.8 1928 George Blaeholder-P (1947)
096 26.3 1928 Bill Walker-P (1966)
095 25.2 1930 George Watkins-RF (1970)
103 20.6 1926 Mark Koenig-SS (1993)
092 34.5 1928 Ray Benge-P (1997)
016 03.8 1931 Buzz Arlett-RF (1964)

1942 (January 2)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ - MVP - All-Star

04% 21-36 Sam Streeter-P (1900)1 – 0*
00% 20-36 Bill Riggins-SS (??) #5 SS - 0 – 0*
00% 20-38 Clint Thomas-CF (1896) #6 cf - 0 - 3
00% 16-36 Chaney White-OF (??) #7 cf- 0 - 2*
00% 20-36 Ed “Huck” Rile-P/1B (??) #8 1b - 1 - 0*

Players Passing Away in 1941
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

84 1890 Tommy Bond-P
82 1897 Mickey Welch-P
76 1904 Jack Clements-C
75 1904 Bill Joyce-3b
65 1915 Frank Isbell-1B
58 1929 Bruce Petway-C
51 1931 Howie Shanks-LF/3b
50 1931 Ivy Wingo-C
45 1941 Andy Cooper-P

Upcoming Candidate
37 1944 Lou Gehrig-1B

My favorite ballplayer of all-time, it always pains me to read this even though he died 24 years before I was even born.

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

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 02:36 AM | 266 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 04:25 AM (#1035235)
I understand what you're doing now, Jim. So an Inside Baseball Era first baseman was roughly 3% better than the average throughout baseball? I can buy that. The durability factor is what really helps out Beckley in the long run, though. It's still not enough to place him in ABC/thirties first basemen territory.
   102. Kelly in SD Posted: December 22, 2004 at 10:13 AM (#1035655)
Max,

Yes, I do use the leaderboards. Leach is also an all-star twice in the outfield based on 3 top scores for an all-star team. Leach is adjusted up from the raw scores in my system for a couple of reasons: 1. ability to play both 3rd and center - both at all-star caliber 2. I think he was an integral part of why the Pirates were able to use an amazing number of pitchers and get great results from them from 1900-1915. His career totals are good too.
Regarding the leader boards. I'm up to 1949 on the catchers - figured a good year to stop with Berra and Campanella coming into their own. I don't know if people realize what a quantum leap in longevity and performance was performed by Hartnett and Cochrane. I should post it sometime Wed AM.
Pitcher leaderboards are available on the 3rd page of the pitcher positional thread. I don't remember where the firstbase section is posted so I can repost that here as well.
My copy of Win Shares is annotated year-by-year with all-stars, but since they list every l/c/rf as an OF, it is too time-consuming to reference bb-ref for a breakdown and I haven't downloaded either the Lahman database b/c I don't have the right software or paid for the Sabermetric Encyclopedia, yet.
   103. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 22, 2004 at 12:39 PM (#1035680)
Tom H, a ways back, regarding Rixey, "His W-L record in 1917 was 16-21." His ERA+ was 124, I think there may be a run-support issue there. Chris J's RSI has him at 20-17. And in 1919, after a year and a half off, it took him some time to get up to speed go figure. He was considered so washed up after 1920 that he was traded for a 25-year old Jimmy Ring coming off a 17-16 season (86 ERA+, but I'd imagine Ring was regarded more on his W-L), and Greasy Neale who was a regular RF the year before (though admittedly, he wasn't very good). The next 9 years kind of back up this theory some :-) Cincy was a very good team at the time and was competitive into the mid-20s, and Philly wasn't. Looks like the better management thought he still had something in the tank.

I like both players, Griffith and Rixey, but I think Rixey is a much better choice if only one can be chosen. Rixey's IP advantage, when you throw in the missing season and a half especially is enormous in his time and place, relative to Griffith. Average starting pitchers are very valuable, RSAA severely underrates the long-career guys.

I just can't see voting Griffith over Rixey, and I really like Griffith.
   104. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 22, 2004 at 12:40 PM (#1035681)
"John, you can't adjust the 90s IP downwards without taking account of the shorter careers that 90s pitchers"

Is that what happened to Cy Young and Kid Nichols?

:-)
   105. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 22, 2004 at 12:42 PM (#1035682)
"Everyone keeps arguing that there must be some reason that the best 1B from that era looks so average in retrospect. That the position must've had extra importance, even if the voter has no actual reason why it would have been more important. And thus Beckley gets a bonus for this unknown factor. But if he gets this bonus, why aren't the parade of mediocrities he's being compared to getting this bonus? I mean, if Beckley is in the top 5 on your ballot due to some phantom position bonus, you have to be arguing that at least one or two of these other guys are in your top 50."

Ed Konetchy.
   106. Michael Bass Posted: December 22, 2004 at 03:14 PM (#1035722)
Beckley was gone by the time Konetchy became a regular. And besides, the way the argument for Beckley was drawn (10 years on either side of his birth) excluded Konetchy and Chance.
   107. karlmagnus Posted: December 22, 2004 at 03:36 PM (#1035765)
Konetchy misses my top 50, but only just; he's #51 on my provsional 1942 ballot. Chance isn't, but because his career was far too short -- two of him side by side would certainly be high on the list (and still not have as long a career as Beckley.) We let Keeler in fairly easily; I don't see why his value, all concentrated in a few years in the mid/late 90s, is more than Beckley's, which came in several bursts, the earliest in 1890, the latest in 1904.
   108. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#1035776)
But if he gets this bonus, why aren't the parade of mediocrities he's being compared to getting this bonus? I mean, if Beckley is in the top 5 on your ballot due to some phantom position bonus, you have to be arguing that at least one or two of these other guys are in your top 50."

Konetchy is #12 on my ballot, while Chance is in my top 25. You're right, if you're going to give a bonus, it has to be across the board.
   109. Michael Bass Posted: December 22, 2004 at 04:18 PM (#1035839)
But my point is that he is not being compared to Chance and Konetchy (in the particular argument with which I am disagreeing). He is being compared to those guys in Post 67 (whom I think everyone can agree are flotsam).

Like I said before, I'm not arguing (for now ;) ) against Karl's specific stance (that his career totals make him one of the top players on the ballot). And as for your stance, as exemplified by the 850 OPS 1B going in before the 1500 OPS RFs...we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Different view of what the HOM is.
   110. jhwinfrey Posted: December 22, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#1035843)
Here's my prelim:
1. Jake Beckley
2. Mickey Welch
3. Eppa Rixey -- I'm really hoping for a Beckley-Rixey ticket this year, though I fear a Vance-Sewell win.
4. Burleigh Grimes
5. Ben Taylor
6. Tommy Leach
7. Bill Terry
8. Carl Mays
9. Dick Redding
10. Jose Mendez
11. Jim McCormick
12. Rabbit Maranville
13. Edd Roush
14. Vic Willis
15. Pie Traynor

Other newcomers:
54. Tom Zachary--Just below Herb Pennock
77. Travis Jackson--Just below Harry Hooper
Bing, Firpo, and the rest don't make my top 100. And Charlie Buffington drops out of my rankings this year.
   111. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#1035865)
And as for your stance, as exemplified by the 850 OPS 1B going in before the 1500 OPS RFs...we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Different view of what the HOM is.

Hey, if there was total consensus between all of us, how fun would this project be? :-)
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 04:34 PM (#1035883)
But my point is that he is not being compared to Chance and Konetchy (in the particular argument with which I am disagreeing). He is being compared to those guys in Post 67 (whom I think everyone can agree are flotsam).

In my system, Beckley is compared to Chance (and loses) in the aughts. In fact, I only have one season where Jake was the best player at his position. He makes my ballot for being the Indestructible Man.

Like I said before, I'm not arguing (for now ;) ) against Karl's specific stance (that his career totals make him one of the top players on the ballot).

I don't think anyone is going to convince him otherwise. :-D
   113. sunnyday2 Posted: December 22, 2004 at 05:11 PM (#1035971)
Prelim ballot.

1. Bill Terry (new, PHoM 1942). Yeah, yeah, I know. Overrated. Saint Bill says so. I flatter myself that I value IF defense more than, well, Bill James and WS, but a solid hitter is still what really makes the game great. And on a ballot with no NBs, Terry's peak/prime as a hitter is, well, not bad.

2. George Sisler (4 last week-5-3, PHoM 1938). See Terry.

3. Hughie Jennings (3-1-1, PHoM 1927). The highest peak of any eligible position player.

4. Rube Waddell (5-10-6, PHoM 1932). When all is said and done, ERA+ is the closest thing to an answer to the question, how effective of a pitcher was he? Multiply by IP, stir (don't shake).

5. Dazzy Vance (6-x, PHoM 1942). See Waddell.

6. Ed Williamson (8-12-7, PHoM 1924).
7. Pie Traynor (10-x). Infield defense, infield defense. Not that Traynor was the best, but more valuable than the current mix of borderline OFers because of the infield defense. (Williamson was the greatest of his day.)

8. Pete Browning (x). Not on my ballot since 1938, before than 1933.

9. Addie Joss (13-x). See Waddell.

10. Charley Jones (11-9-5, PHoM 1921). This is with NO x-credit for blacklist years.

11. Joe Sewell (12-8-13). Probably a PHoMer but certainly not inner circle-NB type.

12. Larry Doyle (x-11-x). Doyle, Childs, Monroe? Monroe, Childs, Doyle? Basically, pick 'em. This week I picked Larry.

13. Dobie Moore (9-14-14). I said Jennings had the highest peak, but Moore was probably even better. Value versus skill.

14. John Beckwith (14-15). I'm confident that it's Moore, then Beckwith, then Monroe (then Redding, then Mendez).

15. Edd Roush (x-6). Obviously can't make up my mind.

Dropped out: Rixey (7) and Griffith (15) as I continue to agonize over the pitchers.

16-20. Bancroft, Childs, McCormick, Bond, Monroe.
21-25. H. Wilson, Griffith, Bresnahan, Duffy, Cicotte.
26-31. Leach, Redding, Veach, Mendez, Rixey, Van Haltren.

I am sure I have been underrating Joss, Cicotte, Griffith and Cicotte and overrating McCormick and Bond. Rixey remains in the middle/muddle.
   114. Daryn Posted: December 22, 2004 at 06:04 PM (#1036115)
I'm a beckley suporter and I respect john murphy, but I have to say the greatest thing I disagree with in player evaluation on this project is the idea behind those that prefer John's 850 OPS firstbaseman to the 1500 OPS rightfielder(s). It almost makes my head explode. You guys have put so much thought into this and appear at most times to be so bright yet are accepting, in my humble view, an entirely illogical idea which place value over replacement uber alles. I just could never come to that conclusion.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 06:18 PM (#1036146)
I'm a beckley suporter and I respect john murphy, but I have to say the greatest thing I disagree with in player evaluation on this project is the idea behind those that prefer John's 850 OPS firstbaseman to the 1500 OPS rightfielder(s).

I didn't state it exactly that way, Daryn. Have I done anything like that in the voting so far? No, because my hypothetical is what it is - a hypothetical! There has never been a season where every rightfielder has hit at an identical astronimical rate, so we're not talking reality here. If it actually did happen, the odds are that something had dramtically changed at that position that it would be unrecognizable to us.

But there is no way, to my knowledge, that anybody can disprove my point that the first baseman is helping his team to win more games than that mega-star rightfielder in that Bizzaro world (and winning games is the ultimate form of merit, isn't it?). If anybody can do it, I'll be the first person to say that I'm wrong.

But I don't see it happening. :-)
   116. TomH Posted: December 22, 2004 at 08:39 PM (#1036464)
"disprove my point that the first baseman is helping his team to win more games than that mega-star rightfielder in that Bizzaro world"

** It is disproved IF the 1B and RF were virtually interchangeable fielders (a whole bunch of Ryan Kleskos), but the RFers merely happened to play RF that year

"(and winning games is the ultimate form of merit, isn't it?)"

** AN ulitmate form. Ability beats winning sometimes, if you can show just cause: military service, blacklist, incredible home park advantage that wouldn't work anywhere else, etc.
   117. Paul Wendt Posted: December 22, 2004 at 08:39 PM (#1036466)
Seaons's Greetings to all!

Cblau #33
By 1909, I'm sure they were taking it seriously. OTOH, there are also rumors about the 1914, 1918, and 1921 Series; any others?

1917. But was it contemporary rumors, or contemporary players in middle or old age, or a modern opinion? Don't know. The source? Don't know, but my best guess is Donald Dewey in person, pertinent to Hal Chase and John McGraw, when he presented The Black Prince of Baseball in NYC.

Brent #41
The 1892 league championship series should not be lumped together with the Temple [or] Chronicle-Telegraph Cup series.
True, and I shouldn't have overlooked 1892 above.
The 1892 season was played under a split season arrangement - first-half winner against second-half, and as far as I am aware, everyone agreed that the pennant was at stake in the series. That arrangement had its own set of problems, with charges that Boston may have slacked off after winning the first half, so the split season playoff was dropped after that year.

Do you know whether Boston would have won the pennant by winning the second half?
(Even if so, Boston may have slacked off, or that may have been a plausible suspicion.)

In 1981, a first-half division leader who repeated in the second half would have faced the second-half runnerup (or overall runnerup?) in a Mini-Series. I'm sure that undermined the incentive to repeat, not sure it turned any second-half race.

--
#73
paraphrase: former player Jake Stahl was placed in a Boston AL 1912 management position by "backers"; later forced out by Jimmy McAleer.

IIRC, former player McAleer was placed in more than one management position by "backers" - in contrast to partners, meaning that McAleer's stake was quite small.

--
jimd #97
relative OPS+ by fielding position by decade.

Is this measure weighted by plate appearances, in turn estimated by games played at each position? If so, then the non-pitcher measures can be calculated, given the pitcher share of league PAs.

--
Dr. Chaleeko, are you a lapsed SABR member from Southern NH? If so, your old eddress bounces.
Everyone: nonmembers are welcome to attend the meeting of SABR's Boston Chapter, Jan 15, 10-4pm, Commonwealth Ave #211 (Boston University). Food & drink permitted and there will be intermission.

--
Howie Menckel, I am unlikely for Dec 27-30 in Manhattan. Maybe the 27th. Keep me/us posted here.
Perhaps you will not be unmasked this year.

--
Kelly from SD.
I think the lists of annual all stars by Win Shares should be on the web (moreso than this is the web). If you are willing, I might post them. If they are posted elsewhere, I will link to them from 19c and Deadball Era websites.
   118. karlmagnus Posted: December 22, 2004 at 08:44 PM (#1036483)
The 1914 WS has come under suspicion as well as 1917. In the Rothstein biography it appears that Boston's Sport Sullivan had experience with rigging World Series, and that's the other one that the heavy favorite lost. May have been a motivation to Connie Mack for breaking up that As team, too.
   119. TomH Posted: December 22, 2004 at 08:51 PM (#1036498)
Joe D, discussing Rixey, wrote "Average starting pitchers are very valuable, RSAA severely underrates the long-career guys."
--
I suppsoe we'l disagree on 'severely', but assuming Joe's main point is correct, how much would one have to adjust RSAA to 'RSAR' to bring Rixey up to Griffith, given that Rixey is about 9th in RSAA in his time period and Grifith is 4th in his? And once you did, you'd still have to account for Griffith's poorer defense behind him affecting his RSAR negatively, and then add in that he won more games than his RSAR would indicate. I simply can't see putting replacement level that low.
   120. Paul Wendt Posted: December 22, 2004 at 08:52 PM (#1036504)
sunnyday,
If you are reasonably satisfied with the pair of measures </b>{ERA+, IP}</b>, try plotting pitchers in two dimensions as an alternative to any calculation (yours is linear but I mean any). Use different colors or an equivalent device if you wish to distinguish pitchers by epoch, or to show both full careers and sums of prime years, etc.

About a decade ago, I plotted 1Bmen and OFs of my time (perhaps expansion-era debuts) by On-Base and Slugging averages {OBA, SLA}. A different color ink for CFs or something like that. It was instructive. MS Excel may be able to do it with modern flexibility, given the data in its format.
   121. Kelly in SD Posted: December 22, 2004 at 09:00 PM (#1036525)
Catcher All-Star list. Part 1. Compare the totals and number of times these catchers are on the list with the catchers in part 2. Cochrane and Hartnett really destroyed the expectations for achievement and consistency.
      National League
1876: Deacon White 13
1877: Cal McVey 14
1878: L. Brown 12
1879: Deacon White 17
1880: E. Gross 12
1881: Charlie Bennett 15      American Association
1882: Charlie Bennett 19      Jack O’Brien 14
1883: Charlie Bennett 18      Jack O’Brien 19
1884: Buck Ewing 21           Fred Carroll 14
1885: Buck Ewing 19           Doc Bushong 15
1886: Buck  Ewing 17          Fred Carroll 22
1887: Jim O’Rourke 13         Sam Trott 9
1888: Buck Ewing 27           Jim Keenan 10
1889: Buck Ewing 23           Jocko Milligan 17   Players League
1890: Jack Clements 18        Jack O’Connor 21    Buck Ewing 20
1891: Jack Clements 19        Jocko Milligan 21
1892: Chief Zimmer 18
1893: Jack Clements 12 
1894: Wilbert Robinson 15
1895: Jack Clements 18
1896: Deacon McGuire 14
1897: K Douglass 15
1898: E Grady/E McFarland 17
1899: E McFarland 20
1900: E McFarland 14         American League
1901: H Peitz 11             B Clarke 12
1902: Johnny Kling 17        Oskar Schreckengost 13
1903: Pat Moran 17           Oskar Schreckengost 10
1904: M Grady 17             J Sugden 13
1905: Roger Bresnahan 19     Oskar Schreckengost 14
1906: Roger Bresnahan 29     Oskar Schreckengost 15
1907: Johnny Kling 19        Nig Clarke 17
1908: Roger Bresnahand 27    B. Schmidt 15
1909: George Gibson 24       B. Carrigan 12
1910: George Gibson 18       T. Easterly 15
1911: Chief Myers 19         I. Thomas 13  
1912: Chief Myers 23         B. Carrigan/J. Lapp 10
1913: Chief Myers 20         Wally Schang 13       Federal League
1914: Myers/Hank Gowdy 16    Wally Schang 19       A. Wilson 27
1915: Pancho Snyder 24       Ray Schalk 18         Bill Rariden 25
1916: Hank Gowdy 17          Ray Schalk 16
1917: Ivy Wingo/Bill Killefer 16  Ray Schalk 20
1918: M Gonzalez 12          Steve O’Neill 13 
1919: Wingo/Killefer 13      Wally Schang 19
1920: M. O’Neil 12           Steve O’Neill 25
1921: Frank Pancho Snyder 16 Wally Schang 20
1922: Bob O’Farrell 26       Ray Schalk 22
1923: Bob O’Farrell 25       Muddy Ruel 23
1924: Gabby Hartnett 19      Johnny Bassler 21
1925: Gabby Hartnett 19      Muddy Ruel 18
1926: Bob O’Farrell 23       Muddy Ruel 18
1927: Gabby Hartnett 21      Mickey Cochrane 23
1928: Gabby Hartnett 26      Mickey Cochrane 22
1929: J. Wilson 16           Mickey Cochrane 27
1930: Gabby Hartnett 29      Mickey Cochrane 31
1931: Shanty Hogan 18        Mickey Cochrane 28 
1932: Gabby Hartnett 19      Mickey Cochrane 30 
1933: Gabby Hartnett 21      Mickey Cochrane 26
1934: Gabby Hartnett 24      Mickey Cochrane 23
1935: Gabby Hartnett 26      Mickey Cochrane 24
1936: Gus Mancuso 20         Bill Dickey 25
1937: Gabby Hartnett 25      Bill Dickey 33
1938: Ernie Lombardi 24      Bill Dickey 27
1939: Harry Danning 27       Bill Dickey 27 
1940: Harry Danning 21       F Hayes 17
1941: Ernie Lombardi 13      Bill Dickey 17
1942: Lombardi/Walker Cooper 16   Bill Dickey 11
1943: R Mueller 24           Bill Dickey 20
1944: R Mueller 26           F Hayes 18 
1945: Lombardi/B Salkeld 18 F Hayes 18
1946: A Seminick/P Masi 15   A Rombardi 19
1947: Walker Cooper 23       Jim Hegan 13
   122. Kelly in SD Posted: December 22, 2004 at 09:14 PM (#1036550)
Catcher list part 2.
Bench is the first catcher to have the most win shares for position players in a season. Ted Simmons is definitely underrated by history. That is what happens when you play for a team when it has its second decade since the teens without a World Series, the "savior" manager trades you and then the team wins, and you are seen as a clubhouse lawyer/attitude problem, etc. And wasn't defensively well regarded.

If someone has the 2002 leaders, please input them or email, thanks.
1948: Roy Campanella 12   Yogi Berra 18
1949: Roy Campanella 24   Yogi Berra 21
1950: Campanella/Seminick Yogi Berra 32
       Westrum 22
1951: Roy Campanella 33   Yogi Berra 31
1952: Roy Campanella 22   Yogi Berra 29
1953: Roy Campanella 33   Yogi Berra 28
1954: Del Crandall 17     Yogi Berra 34
1955: Roy Campanella 28   Yogi Berra 24
1956: Stan Lopata 26      Yogi Berra 31
1957: Earl Bailey 17      Yogi Berra 23
1958: Del Crandall 22     Berra/ Sherm Lollar 21
1959: Del Crandall 20     Berra/Lollar 23
1960: Del Crandall 23     Berra/Earl Battey 16
1961: John Roseboro 20    Elston Howard 29
1962: Burgess/Dalrymple 19  J Romano 26
1963: Joe Torre 20        Elston Howard 28
1964: Joe Torre 28        Elston Howard 32
1965: Joe Torre 23        Earl Battey 22
1966: Joe Torre 29        J. Romano/Bill Freehan 16
1967: Tim McCarver 30     Bill Freehan 30
1968: Tom Haller 27       Bill Freehan 35
1969: Johnny Bench 28     Bill Freehan 20
1970: Johnny Bench 34*    Thurman Munson 26
1971: Manny Sanguillen 24 Bill Freehan 25
       2nd Simmons 20
1972: Johnny Bench 37     Carlton Fisk 33
       2nd Simmons 23
1973: Joe Ferguson 29     Thurman Munson 25
       2nd Simmons 28
1974: Johnny Bench 34     E Rodriguez 18
       2nd Simmons 21
1975: Johnny Bench 30     Gene Tenace 32
       2nd Simmons 28
1976: Ted Simmons 20      Thurman Munson 24
       2nd Bench 19
1977: Ted Simmons 28      Carlton Fisk 30
       2nd Carter/Tenace 25
1978: Ted Simmons 30      Carlton Fisk 31
1979: Gary Carter 27      Darrell Porter 31
1980: Gary Carter 30      Rick Cerone 21
       2nd Simmons 22
1981: Gary Carter 17      Jim Sundberg 17
1982: Gary Carter 31      Lance Parrish 24
1983: Carter/Kennedy 24   Carlton Fisk 26
1984: Gary Carter 30      Lance Parrish 19
1985: Gary Carter 33      Carlton Fisk 24
1986: Gary Carter 23      Rich Gedman 18
1987: Brenly/Scioscia 18  Matt Nokes 20
1988: LaValliere/Pena 17  Nokes/Bob Boone 17
1989: Craig Biggio 18     Boone/Mickey Tettleton 20
1990: Mike Scioscia 20    Lance Parrish 24 
1991: Craig Biggio 20     Mickey Tettleton 27
1992: Darren Daulton 31   Mickey Tettleton 24
1993: Mike Piazza 31      Chris Hoiles 26 
1994: Mike Piazza 21      Terry Steinbach 15
1995: Mike Piazza 28      4 tied with 16
1996: Mike Piazza 33      Ivan Rodriguez 21
1997: Mike Piazza 39*     Ivan Rodriguez 26
       tied with T Gwynn 
1998: Mike Piazza 33      Ivan Rodriguez 27 
1999: Mike Piazza 21      Ivan Rodriguez 28 
2000: Mike Piazza 28      Jorge Posada 29
2001: Paul LoDuca 28      Jorge Posada 23
2002:
2003: Javier Lopez 30     Jorge Posada 28
2004: Jason Kendall 25    Ivan Rodriguez 22
   123. Kelly in SD Posted: December 22, 2004 at 09:17 PM (#1036555)
Paul,
These lists are not posted anywhere else. You are welcome to post the lists - email me through the profile page and let me know what you want to do.
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#1036738)
** It is disproved IF the 1B and RF were virtually interchangeable fielders (a whole bunch of Ryan Kleskos), but the RFers merely happened to play RF that year

Let's try not to make an admittedly absurd scenario understandable. It's not. It's only there to illustrate that the first baseman is steering the team into victory. When the season comes that matches Bizarro world's setup, I'll give everyone here a million dollars that I don't have. :-)

** AN ulitmate form. Ability beats winning sometimes, if you can show just cause: military service, blacklist, incredible home park advantage that wouldn't work anywhere else, etc.

No disagreement there, Tom.
   125. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 12:24 AM (#1037063)
Since we are discussing firstbasemen, I just finished reformatting the firstbase list including players back to 1876 and starring those who were the best position player in the league.

part 1
      National League
1876: Cal McVey 16
1877: Deacon White 16*
1878: Joe Start 10
1879: Cal McVey 13
1880: Cap Anson 20
1881: Cap Anson 22*       American Association
1882: Dan Brouthers 20*   Guy Hecker 17
1883: Dan Brouthers 24*   Harry Stovey 25*
1884: Dan Brouthers 22    Dave Orr 27* tied w/Charley Jones
1885: Roger Connor 30*    Dave Orr 27
       tied w/ Gore
1886: Roger Connor 36*    Dave Orr 23
1887: Dan Brouthers 26    Reilly 18 (Hecker 30 b/t 1st/P)
1888: Roger Connor 32     Reilly 25
1889: Dan Brouthers 28*   Tucker 30*             Players League
       tied w/Teirnan      tied w/ O’Brien
1890: Dave Foutz 27       Werden 20              Roger Connor 25
1891: Roger Connor 23     Dan Brouthers 29
1892: Dan Brouthers 34*
1893: Jake Beckley 17
1894: Dan Brouthers 21
1895: C LaChance 19
1896: J. Doyle 17
1897: Nap Lajoie 21
1898: B Joyce 25
1899: Fred Tenney 25
1900: Jake Beckley 21
1901: J Kelley/ Beckley 18  Freeman 24
1902: Fred Tenney 25     Harry Davis 19
1903: Frank Chance 31    Hickman 21
1904: Frank Chance 29    Harry Davis 21
1905: Frank Chance 25    Harry Davis 26
1906: Frank Chance 35    Harry Davis 31
1907: Frank Chance 23    Harry Davis 21
1908: Chance/Bransfield 20 Rossman 23
1909: Ed Konetchy 24     Jake Stahl 23
1910: Ed Konetchy 27     Jake Stahl 19
1911: Ed Konetchy 26     Delahanty 24
1912: Ed Konetchy 22     Stuffy McInnis 24
1913: Vic Saier 26       Stuffy McInnis 26        Federal League
1914: Vic Saier 24       Stuffy McInnis 21        Agler / Beck 17
1915: Jake Daubert 27    Jack Fournier 28        Ed Konetchy 27 (FL)
1916: Ed Konetchy 26     George Sisler 25
1917: Fred Merkle 19     George Sisler 29
1918: Fred Merkle 22     George Burns 24
1919: Konetchy/Luderus 18  George Sisler 24
1920: Jake Daubert 24    George Sisler 33
1921: Fournier/GKelly 24   George Sisler 27
1922: Grimes 29          George Sisler 29  
1923: Jack Fournier 27   Joe Hauser 22
1924: Jack Fournier 34   Joe Hauser 21
1925: Jack Fournier 29   Sheely 20
1926: Jim Bottemley 23   Lou Gehrig 30
1927: Bill Terry 27      Lou Gehrig 44
1928: Jim Bottemley 30   Lou Gehrig 42
1929: Bill Terry 24      Jimmie Foxx 34*
1930: Bill Terry 32      Lou Gehrig 39*
1931: Bill Terry 29      Lou Gehrig 36
1932: Bill Terry 32      Jimmie Foxx 40*
1933: Bill Terry 21      Jimmie Foxx 41*
1934: Ripper Collins 32  Lou Gehrig 41*
1935: Ripper Collins 28  Gehrig / Hank Greenberg 34*
1936: Johnny Mize 26     Lou Gehrig 38*
1937: Johnny Mize 34     Lou Gehrig 36
1938: Johnny Mize 28     Foxx/ Greenberg 34*
1939: Johnny Mize 33*    Jimmie Foxx 30
1940: Johnny Mize 33*    Hal Trosky 27
1941: Dolph Camili 29    Jimmie Foxx 20
1942: Johnny Mize 32     Fleming 29
1943: Fletcher 22        Rudy York 26
1944: Frank McCormick 29  Nick Etten 25
1945: P Cavaretta/A Galan 30  Joe Kuhel 25
1946: Stan Musial 44*    Mickey Vernon 33(Greenberg 32
1947: Johnny Mize 32*    George McQuinn 24
1948: Johnny Mize 30     Ferris Fain 21
   126. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 12:30 AM (#1037075)
part2

1949: Gil Hodges 21       Mickey Vernon 21
1950: Earl Torgeson 32*   Walt Dropo 21
      tied w/ Musial
1951: Gil Hodges 26       Fain/Eddie Robinson 19
1952: Gil Hodges 26       Ferris Fain 28
1953: Gil Hodges 25       Mickey Vernon 29
1954: Ted Kluszewski 33   Mickey Vernon 24
1955: Stan Musial 29      Vic (Real Ultimate) Power 26
1956: Stan Musial 26      Moose Skowron/ Vic Wertz 21
1957: Stan Musial 30      Vic Wertz 24
1958: Stan Musial 21      B Boyd 15
1959: Frank Robinson 25   Vic Power 19
1960: Joe Adcock 25       Moose Skowron 24
1961: Orlando Cepeda 29   Norm Cash 42
1962: Orlando Cepeda 26   Norm Siebern 27 
1963: Orlando Cepeda 30   Norm Cash 23
1964: Bill White 26       Bob Allison 25
1965: Willie McCovey 29   Norm Cash 24
1966: Willie McCovey 34   Norm Cash 27
1967: Orlando Cepeda 34   Harmon Killebrew 38
1968: Willie McCovey 34*  Mickey Mantle 24
1969: Willie McCovey 39*  Boog Powell 27
1970: Willie McCovey 33   Carl Yastrzemski 36*
1971: Hank Aaron 33       Norm Cash 24
1972: Nate Colbert 28     Dick Allen 40*
1973: Tony Perez 32       John Mayberry 31
1974: Steve Garvey 27     Allen/Yastrzemski 24
1975: Steve Garvey 25     John Mayberry 33* 
                         (tied w/ Lynn, Singleton)
1976: Bob Watson 31       Rod Carew 30
1977: Keith Hernandez 24  Rod Carew 37*
1978: Steve Garvey 25     Eddie Murray 28
1979: Keith Hernandez 29  Eddie Murray 25
1980: Keith Hernandez 28  Cecil Cooper 27
1981: Keith Hernandez 20  Cecil Cooper 22
1982: Jason Thompson 27   Cooper/Murray 29
1983: Darrell Evans 28    Eddie Murray 31
1984: Keith Hernandez 33  Eddie Murray 33
1985: Keith Hernandez 27  Don Mattingly 32
1986: Keith Hernandez 29  Don Matttingly 34
1987: Jack Clark 33       Mark McGuire 30
1988: Will Clark 37*      Mark McGuire 28
1989: Will Clark 44*      Fred McGriff 30
1990: Eddie Murray 31     Cecil Fielder 29   
1991: Will Clark 34       Fielder/Pameiro 26   
1992: Jeff Bagwell 29     Frank Thomas 33
1993: Gregg Jeffries 28   John Olerud 37*  
1994: Jeff Bagwell 30*    Frank Thomas 25*
1995: Eric Karros 25      Frank Thomas 28
1996: Jeff Bagwell 41*    Rafael Palmeiro 30   
1997: Jeff Bagwell 32     Frank Thomas 39*  
1998: Mark McGwire 41*    Mo Vaughn 25
1999: Jeff Bagwell 37*    Jason Giambi 30
2000: Todd Helton 29      Jason Giambi 38*  
2001: Jeff Bagwell 30     Jason Giambi 38*
2002: Ryan Klesko 31      Jim Thome/Giambi 34
2003: Todd Helton 34      Carlos Delgado 32
2004: Albert Pujols 40    David Ortiz 25


There have been 3 periods of dominant play by first basemen. 1880-1895, 19030s, 1990s to now. Why those periods?

What happened after 1893? There were great hitters, but with the retirement of ABC things changed. Was there something different about the game for awhile so that great hitters did not play first?
   127. Guapo Posted: December 23, 2004 at 12:49 AM (#1037110)
Jumping out on that list: Keith Hernandez was one hell of a ballplayer.
   128. Max Parkinson Posted: December 23, 2004 at 01:12 AM (#1037149)
It looks like we won't elect an NL 1B Win Shares leader between 1901 (Kelley tied) and 1927 (assuming Terry will get in at some point). That's a terribly long time, 26 years!

Maybe there's something wrong with the way we look at the position during that era. That's got to be it. Or maybe not.

Compare the same 22 year gap in the AL between 1945 (Greenberg tied) and 1967 (Harmon Killebrew). Should we boost Mickey Vernon and Norm Cash until they look like HoMers?
   129. jimd Posted: December 23, 2004 at 01:48 AM (#1037222)
What happened after 1893? ... Was there something different about the game ...

Well, pitching was completely revamped in 1893. The pitching box at 50 feet became a pitching mound at 60'6"; the pitcher was required to keep his foot on the rubber instead of having the freedom to deliver the ball from anywhere inside the pitching box.

At the same time, there was an epidemic of bunting (for a hit, not primarily for sacrifice, though advancing the runner was quite acceptable). Batters would drop bunts down the line until one stayed fair; there was no penalty because foul balls were not strikes. This resulted in another rule change the following year to make strikes out of foul bunts (keeping the game moving at least.)

Maybe these things are related. Maybe the mound change increased the value of a defensive 1b-man.

Someone else here has proposed another reason (I don't remember who, unfortunately), though this reason doesn't become valid until after 1902. In that year, the foul strike rule was adopted (foul ball is a strike unless it would be strike 3, though existing foul strike rules on bunts and tips are unaffected), which is credited with dampening down the offense a lot and creating the classic dead-ball era with its incessant sacrificing and base stealing. This proposal was that big, slow sluggers clogged up the basepaths to a degree that managers found intolerable, and stopped playing the sluggers. It would require a good simulator to determine whether the managers made the right decision.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2004 at 01:50 AM (#1037227)
Compare the same 22 year gap in the AL between 1945 (Greenberg tied) and 1967 (Harmon Killebrew). Should we boost Mickey Vernon and Norm Cash until they look like HoMers?

Try doing that last line less sarcastically, Max.
   131. jimd Posted: December 23, 2004 at 01:58 AM (#1037242)
Forgot to point out that the big slow sluggers don't return until the classic dead-ball game with its stolen bases and sacrifice bunts is dead, killed by the home run and the uppercut hitting technique.
   132. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 02:16 AM (#1037287)
TITLE: Bill Terry and the other 6 Dwarves:

Seattle, WA - So with HoM electors still buzzing about frantically over being unable to elect Lou Gehrig before he dies, there is a bit of a gathering around Bill Terry. Terry is the next in a long line candidates to join the Hall of Merit first base club and break a 30 yr dearth of new members.
This year's election promises to the most heated since those long-ago days of the Backlog Years as there are a number of very-well qualified stars on the horizon for years to come.
Frankie Frisch, Mickey Cochrane, Oscar Charleston, Bill Foster, Judy Johnson, and Dick Lundy come eligible next year. Lou Gehrig, Goose Goslin, Kiki Cuyler, and Wes Ferrell come up in 1944. 1945 looks to be a catch-up year for some those from the previous 2 years, while 1946 gives us Al Simmons, Earl Averill, Wally Berger, Turkey Stearnes, and Mule Suttles. Recent retirees Lefty Grove and Gabby Hartnett come up for balloting in 1947.
Even though there is a War on, President Roosevelt has given his blessing for the Hall to continue their elections as it provides much enjoyment and comfort to this country of baseball fans without using up precious war-related material.
Bill Terry has similar qualifications to many other eligible first basemen and it is difficult for this reporter to understand the fascination with this player over the others. Yes, he played in the Big Apple, but lets not have them make all the taste decisions, now.
Looking at a variety of measures gives us the following:
Players in bold are HoMers, Players in italics are not yet eligible

Career Win Shares (unadjusted for career length)
Gehrig 489
Anson 381
Connor 363
Brouthers 355
Beckley 318
Sisler 292
Konetchy 287
Terry 278
Judge 270
Bottemley 258
Chance 237
Fournier 231

Career Win Shares (adjusted for season length on straight line method)
Anson 545
Connor 470
Brouthers 455
Gehrig 489
Beckley 348
Sisler 298
Konetchy 292
Terry 278
Judge 275
Bottemley 258
Chance 243
Fournier 231

Obviously, it is not career totals.
Maybe it is All-Star appearances:
Anson had 3 with 1 time best position player in the league
Connor 4 with 2 times best
Brouthers 8 with 4 times best
Gehrig 9 with 4 times best
Beckley 3
Sisler 6
Konetchy 7
Terry 6
Bottemley 1
Chance 6
Fournier 5

Well, he doesn't stand out from that list, except he is the most recent.

How about in 3 consecutive year peak? (unadjusted for sched length then adjusted numbers)
Anson 78 - 110
Connor 89 - 118
Brouthers 84-106
Gehrig 118
Terry 93 - 93
Sisler 89 - 90
Fournier 90 - 90
Chance 89 - 89
Bottemley 79 - 79
Konetchy 77 - 77
Beckley 59 - 63

Terry does have the slightest advantage here, but is this sufficient reason to vote him #1?

How about over their best 7 years?
Anson 170 - 245
Connor 196 - 250
Brouthers 201 - 248
Gehrig 278 - 278
Terry 197 - 197
Sisler 189 - 195
Chance 177 - 180
Fournier 178 - 178
Konetchy 171 - 171
Bottemley 170 - 170
Beckley 141 - 152

Again, Terry squeeks by Sisler by the barest of margins.

How about per 648 PAs for their career (all unadjusted for schedule length)
Gehrig 33.2
Chance 30.8
Brouthers 30
Connor 26.6
Terry 25.8
Fournier 25.4
Anson 24.5
Konetchy 22.1
Sisler 21.5
Bottemley 20.4
Beckley 20.0

Here, Terry shows up well.

Lastly, some fielding info.
Ranking by win shares and number of gold gloves
Terry A+ and 5
Connor A and 6
Konetchy A- and 5
Beckley B and 4
Chance B and 0
Anson B- and 4
Gehrig B- and 4
Brouthers B- and 2
Bottemley C+ and 0
Fournier C- and 0
Sisler C- and 1

Now this chart is incomplete because there are 3 or 4 active players to be rated as well. 2 look like they are at the end of their careers while 2 more are serving Uncle Sam. Their careers are incomplete, but it is safe to say that Foxx is almost as good Gehrig, Greenberg and Johnny Mize were on their way to the HoM before the War, and Dolph Camili has his backers as well.

So, after all of this what have we learned?
1. Bill Terry has a good argument to be seen as the best of the eligible first basemen.
2. Terry is so close to several other candidates that if he is highly placed by an elector, the elector probably has other first basemen as well.
3. Terry in an elect-me spot on a ballot without several other first basemen on a ballot does not make sense and needs a lot of explaining.
4. Terry is not the best retired first baseman.
5. Terry was not the best first baseman of his era. (Gehrig)
6. Terry was not the 2nd best first baseman of his era (Gehrig and Foxx)
7. Terry was not the 3rd best first baseman of his era (Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg)
8. Terry would be the weakest first baseman in the Hall of Merit be a substantial degree.
9. The players most similar to Terry are NOT Hall of Merit enshrinees and for the most part have never been close to Hall of Merit enshrinees.

If there is another reporter, with another viewpoint or uses another method (I have heard about this WARP, but I am not familiar enough to use it.), then please post your analysis as well.
   133. Cblau Posted: December 23, 2004 at 04:24 AM (#1037402)
jimd wrote:
Well, pitching was completely revamped in 1893. The pitching box at 50 feet became a pitching mound at 60'6"; the pitcher was required to keep his foot on the rubber instead of having the freedom to deliver the ball from anywhere inside the pitching box.

As far as I know, there were no mounds in 1893; Washington had one in 1897 and it was regarded as unusual. Starting 1887, pitchers had to keep their back foot on the back line of the box, which was 55'6" from home.

Someone else here has proposed another reason (I don't remember who, unfortunately), though this reason doesn't become valid until after 1902. In that year, the foul strike rule was adopted (foul ball is a strike unless it would be strike 3...
NL adopted the foul strike rule in 1901; AL in 1903.
   134. DavidFoss Posted: December 23, 2004 at 05:24 AM (#1037469)
Kelly RE:Terry

If there is another reporter, with another viewpoint or uses another method (I have heard about this WARP, but I am not familiar enough to use it.), then please post your analysis as well.


Hey, I hear ya... Except that saying Terry is the equal of Sisler/Beckley places him about 60 points out of an elect-me slot. Saying that he's better than Sisler/Beckley may push him in first ballot. I mean, no one was really that crazy about Faber either, but he showed up on 44 ballots and snuck in.

I have Terry just ahead of Sisler in the 8-10 range on the ballot.

Good thing we have an extra week this time. :-)
   135. KJOK Posted: December 23, 2004 at 06:18 AM (#1037556)
We shouldn't forget about Ben Taylor here either. With all of the "flaws" that Chance, Beckley, etc. have, Taylor may have been the best firstbaseman in all of baseball for an extended time period (no short career flaw like Chance, and no peak flaw like Beckley either...)
   136. KJOK Posted: December 23, 2004 at 06:45 AM (#1037589)
If there is another reporter, with another viewpoint or uses another method (I have heard about this WARP, but I am not familiar enough to use it.), then please post your analysis as well.

Terry is basically Frank Chance if you add 3 very average season's to Chance's career. As you'll expect, I don't see the logic to saying Terry is HOM worthy but Chance isn't when a vote for Terry is a vote for "Chance WOULD have been a HOM player if he had just had 3 very ordinary years tacked on to his career..."
   137. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 07:35 AM (#1037661)
Addendum: This Just In - Ben Taylor Dropped From Analysis.

Adding Ben Taylor to the mix using the Win Shares analysis provided in the Taylor thread would make the various lists look like this.

Career Win Shares (unadjusted for career length)
Gehrig 489
Anson 381
Connor 363
Brouthers 355
Taylor 326
Beckley 318
Sisler 292
Konetchy 287
Terry 278
Judge 270
Bottemley 258
Chance 237
Fournier 231

Career Win Shares (adjusted for season length on straight line method)
Anson 545
Connor 470
Brouthers 455
Gehrig 489
Beckley 348
Taylor 326
Sisler 298
Konetchy 292
Terry 278
Judge 275
Bottemley 258
Chance 243
Fournier 231

How about in 3 consecutive year peak? (unadjusted for sched length then adjusted numbers)
Anson 78 - 110
Connor 89 - 118
Brouthers 84-106
Gehrig 118
Terry 93 - 93
Sisler 89 - 90
Fournier 90 - 90
Chance 89 - 89
Bottemley 79 - 79
Konetchy 77 - 77
Taylor 76 - 76 includes one of his pitching years
Taylor 72 - 72 while as a hitter only
Beckley 59 - 63

How about over their best 7 years?
Anson 170 - 245
Connor 196 - 250
Brouthers 201 - 248
Gehrig 278 - 278
Terry 197 - 197
Sisler 189 - 195
Chance 177 - 180
Fournier 178 - 178
Konetchy 171 - 171
Bottemley 170 - 170
Taylor 170 - 170
Beckley 141 - 152

How about per 648 PAs for their career (all unadjusted for schedule length)
Gehrig 33.2
Chance 30.8
Brouthers 30
Connor 26.6
Terry 25.8
Fournier 25.4
Anson 24.5
Taylor 23.2 (total guess based on 4.25 PA per game)
Konetchy 22.1
Sisler 21.5
Bottemley 20.4
Beckley 20.0

Defensively, Taylor was credited as an "A-" so
Terry A+ and 5
Connor A and 6
Konetchy A- and 5
Taylor A-
Beckley B and 4
Chance B and 0
Anson B- and 4
Gehrig B- and 4
Brouthers B- and 2
Bottemley C+ and 0
Fournier C- and 0
Sisler C- and 1

So this is where Ben Taylor slots in based on the info from his thread. If one of our Negro League experts has a better read on the situation, please post. I am definitely swimming in the deep end on this one - any help is welcome.
   138. karlmagnus Posted: December 23, 2004 at 03:11 PM (#1037885)
IF you believe the Negro League conversions, which I am increasingly not doing.
   139. robc Posted: December 23, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#1037935)
Primary methodology is career W3+peak w# (best 5 non-consec) plus positional and other adjustments.

Top tier for this ballot, but not near no-brainer status:
1. Joe Sewell

Deserving of HoM status:
2. Bill Terry
3. Lave Cross
4. Harry Hooper
5. Fielder Jones
6. Bobby Veach
7. Dazzy Vance

Returning to my ballot after a long absence, better than the mass below even if my system misses him:
8. Pete Browning

The Hall of Very Good:
9. Wally Schang
10. Tommy Leach
11. Del Pratt
12. Pie Traynor
13. Eppa Rixey
14. Rube Waddell
[I am considering putting Arlett right here - or maybe not in my top 30 at all - havent decided yet]
15. Rabbit Maranville

16. Jake Beckley
17. Sam Rice
18. George J. Burns
19. Clark Griffith
20. Ray Schalk
21. Ben Taylor
22. Cupid Childs
23. George VanHaltren
24. Jimmy Ryan
25. Hughie Jennings
26. Willie Kamm
27. John Beckwith
28. George Sisler
29. Hugh Duffy
30. Dave Bancroft
   140. Michael Bass Posted: December 23, 2004 at 04:58 PM (#1037991)

Terry is basically Frank Chance if you add 3 very average season's to Chance's career. As you'll expect, I don't see the logic to saying Terry is HOM worthy but Chance isn't when a vote for Terry is a vote for "Chance WOULD have been a HOM player if he had just had 3 very ordinary years tacked on to his career..."


This only holds if you ignore Chance's lack of durability when he was actually playing. Given that I don't ignore that, Chance is nowhere near my ballot, and Terry is #2.
   141. Max Parkinson Posted: December 23, 2004 at 08:21 PM (#1038508)
John,

re: #30.

Please believe me when I say that I did not mean to sound nearly as much like a #### as I did in that comment. Combination of typing instead of speaking, and a pretty rough day at the office.
   142. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2004 at 09:01 PM (#1038674)
Please believe me when I say that I did not mean to sound nearly as much like a #### as I did in that comment. Combination of typing instead of speaking, and a pretty rough day at the office.

It's okay, Max. My nerves are usually frayed around this time due to holiday stress. I also lost my patience around the same time last year, so I'm probably being a little hyper-sensitive on my part.

As for your question, I've done some preliminary work regarding Cash and Hodges (a NLer who you left off who belongs in the discussion), but they're not coming off as strong enough candidates to make my ballot at the moment. The same goes for Vernon, but those missing WWII years are a wild card for me at the present time (though I suspect that it still won't be enough).

I will say that whatever I ultimately decide to do with them will be based on the same reasoning that I used with the Inside Baseball guys.
   143. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#1038738)
The importance of this election has been stated often enough. I was hoping every voter would detail their ranking system. Win Shares focusing on career, Win Shares focusing on prime or peak, WARP1 or 3, ERA+, some mixture. What factors do you use? Durability to echo Michael Bass, all star appearances?

I am not asking for full descriptions of every player on your ballot, just how you make your decisions and order.

Thank you.
   144. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2004 at 09:50 PM (#1038743)
Here's what I always post at the top of my ballot, Kelly:

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).
   145. Michael Bass Posted: December 23, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#1038749)
For me:

Mostly WARP3.

A mix of career and bonuses for what I consider to be "star" or "superstar" level seasons. This ends up resulting in my ballot looking like a peak ballot, though that's not necessarily intentional.

I give bonuses to positions I feel are not fairly rated in my system, pitchers and catchers. May eventually add a 3B bonus, at least for early years, not sure. I also tend to downgrade OF a little in my system, perhaps unfairly. Gut feel seems like I'd otherwise have too many of them on my ballot.

I do not use WARP3 pre-1890. Some WARP1, but mostly more traditional stats like ERA+ and OPS+, along with playing time measures.

While I do not use Win Shares generally, I base most of my Negro League evaluations on Win Shares, at least to get a feel for the player. I sort of convert the WS into WARP in my head to rank players, but it's not an exact science.

-------------------------

Having typed all that out, it appears there has been yet another change in WARP. More specifically, it seems much fairer to early baseball players than it did in the last few versions. I also am getting motivated to start my PHOM, which will require a full examination of the early days. Since we have extra time before this election, I may have a completely different set of rankings by the time my ballot comes around. Though I can still say "WARP3 career with bonus for star/superstar seasons" will be an accurate decription for the basis of my ballot.
   146. jimd Posted: December 23, 2004 at 10:02 PM (#1038758)
As far as I know, there were no mounds in 1893; Washington had one in 1897 and it was regarded as unusual.

Thanks for this info, cblau. The question was asked about 40-45 "years" ago, "When was the mound introduced?", and nobody here had an answer for it (I'm sure that was before Paul Wendt started sharing his knowledge of the era). The mound makes no sense when there was a 4'x6' pitching box (exact size depends on the year), and there was no rule that required a mound. In 1903 a rule was added regulating the height of the mound - it's first mention in the rulebook. The assumption was that it came in with the 60'6" distance.

Starting 1887, pitchers had to keep their back foot on the back line of the box, which was 55'6" from home.

Forgot about that rule.

As established in 1881, the front line of the box was 50 feet from the center of the plate (then a 12" diamond, the 5-sided shape of today was introduced in 1900), with the back line 5'6" feet further away at 55'6" (also 1887). However, the new 60'6" pitching distance was measured from the outer corner of the plate (where the foul lines meet), not the middle. So translating between the two measuring systems to get a direct comparison, the 1887-1892 distance was 56'2.5" measured from the corner (or the new distance was 59'9.5" measured from the center).

NL adopted the foul strike rule in 1901; AL in 1903.

I knew that, but "averaged" it into one date, 1902.

Sorry about that. ;-)
   147. Ardo Posted: December 23, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#1038759)
My first-draft 1941 ballot:

1 (3) George Sisler: How many position players on this ballot have a 124 ERA+ in 111 innings of pitching? Remember, he once beat Ruth in a 1-0 shutout.

2 (4) Dazzy Vance: See TomH's post, #34 in the Dazzy Vance thread. Overwhelming power pitcher with bad run support.

3 (5) John Beckwith: About where I would put Dick Allen, who I see as a roughly comparable player for both his offensive production and his hot temper.

4 (9) Tommy Leach: His exemplary defensive value and timely hitting in a low-scoring era is worthy of HoM induction.

5 (new) Bill Terry: A stronger version of Don Mattingly, with a higher OPS+ (136 to Don's 127) in a similar-length career. His 10-year consistency at 1B impresses me.

6 (6) Jimmy Ryan
7 (7) George Van Haltren

Both of these high-average hitters comfortably cross my PHoM line. Ryan is ahead because of his 104 to 96 edge in ERA+ ;)

8 (12) Dick Redding: Arguably one of the top 5 Negro League pitchers (Williams, Paige, Rogan, and B. Foster were better). I still may move him higher.

------ PHoM line -----

9 (8) Clark Griffith: Adjusted well to the post-1894 distance. His career record compares favorably to HoM inductees McGinnity and Coveleski.

10 (10) Jake Beckley: I compared Beckley to another long career type, Harold Baines:

Beckley 2930 hits, 125 OPS+
Baines 2866 hits, 120 OPS+

Baines falls into the Hall of Very Good; Beckley, then, is a borderline case.

11 (new) Ed Williamson: Why did Ezra Sutton earn so much more love from the voters than ol' Ned? His OPS+ compares well (Ed 113, Ezra 119) and Ed was as good or better than Ezra on defense.

12 (13) Cupid Childs: Half of Eddie Collins' career, to whom he is most similar by age throughout his career. Is that enough for the HoM?

13 (14) Dobie Moore: The Negro-Leagues equivalent to Hughie Jennings, but an even better hitter.

14 (new) Roger Bresnahan: His ability to reach base is eye-popping in any case, and he spent half his games as a catcher!

15 (new) Rube Waddell: The Rubester sneaks his way onto the bottom. Dazzy Vance-lite in a lower scoring era, with reliability issues.

Totals: 4 pitchers, 1 catcher, 2 middle IFs, 2 3Bs, 3 1Bs, 2 OFs, 1 3B/OF (Leach).

Jennings' non-peak career was too short. Sewell and Traynor were good-not-great and just miss the ballot. Hugh Duffy and Mickey Welch round out my top 20.

Eppa Rixey: Doesn't belong at the top of anyone's ballot. Red Faber was a doubtful pick; Rixey would be a worse pick. Look at the ugly "residue" careers obtained by subtracting Vance's or Griffith's statistics from Rixey's career total.
   148. Ardo Posted: December 23, 2004 at 10:09 PM (#1038764)
Pardon y'all, 1942 ballot.

Also, the 1B sub-thread has convinced me to re-examine Ben Taylor.
   149. Ardo Posted: December 23, 2004 at 10:54 PM (#1038807)
Sneak preview of next year's ballot (players ranked as-if on the 1942 ballot)

Frankie Frisch: 3
Mickey Cochrane: 2 (catcher bonus)
Oscar Charleston: 1
Bill Foster: 6
Dick Lundy: 10 (better than Ned)
Judy Johnson: off ballot
   150. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 10:54 PM (#1038808)
Since I asked for it, I should post as well:

In order by importance - I look at Win Shares over the best 7 years of a player's career, their best 3 consecutive years, career win shares, and just slightly less, win shares per 648 PA. For the first 3 figures I adjust win shares up to 154 games a year on a straight line adjustment. I know that inflates very early players, but it is better than not adjusting.
I compare the total figure with a mythical pitcher / position player in order to slot pitchers with players. Then I consider all-star appearances, black ink, grey ink, run support, defensive support, fielding, domination of their era AND against whom they played (not listed in any particular order).
I slot Negro League players in by using the MLEs generated on various threads and slot the player in using those numbers, similarity scores, and comparable talents.
I am usually very cautious with new players. I think we recently have been extremely exuberent in our placement of new players. Better to make a player wait a year, than to look back and think that we just established the floor that position.
I don't deal with WARP much because I am not familiar with it like I am with James' measures. I haven't read the yearly Prospectus though I have gone through the on-line glossary and methods sections. I am not confidant with the year-to-year and league-to-league adjustments are made.
   151. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 11:07 PM (#1038820)
Oh, since we will be dealing with players who played in WWII soon, how do people adjust for those who missed time - Greenberg missed 4.5 years - and those who didn't go - Joe Gordon a couple of all-star years during the War.

A post from a couple of weeks back pointed out some issues - If we credit people for time while in the War, do we need to reduce the credit for those who did not go to War? If we credit, are they mythical credits that do not have to be removed from other players? Do voters credit by using the player's career average? - or the average of their performance before the War? And any difference between pitchers and position players.

My thoughts - I give credit for time served. I am thinking of giving credit at an average of the 3 years previous to service. I don't know how to credit pitchers b/c we have the whole "well if they didn't pitch, they couldn't be hurt pitching factor." The credit is mainly mythical. I am thinking of reducing the war-time credit like this: 1941 - 0% (though I give credit if the player missed this season by being drafted) 1942: 5-10%, 1943 10-20%, 1944 15-30%, 1945 15-25%.
I really don't know how to account for the War so if other voters have thought about it, please post. Your input matters.
   152. sunnyday2 Posted: December 23, 2004 at 11:26 PM (#1038843)
Max #41, did you by any chance mean to say "twit"?

;-)
   153. Kelly in SD Posted: December 23, 2004 at 11:36 PM (#1038854)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus to you and yours.
   154. sunnyday2 Posted: December 23, 2004 at 11:42 PM (#1038863)
I prefer WS to WARP and I prefer a solid peak/prime. I abhor the idea that active players have negative value, but I still need to see a nice peak to really get excited about putting a player on my ballot. Peak means 3 to 5 years, prime is however long a player can maintain within, say, 20 percent (WS) of established level of play.

My focus on peak was meant to approximate what I imagined Pennants Added to do/be. Now that we have seen PA for 20th century players, I have to admit that PA is not where my head is at. So my new terminology is that my answer to "What is the Hall of Merit? What is merit?" is that we are the Hall of Greatness, not the Hall of Value. We are here to honor those players who were the best player on their fields of play more often than other players. And a player cannot accumulate enough value to become great, no matter how long they play and how much value (BRAR, etc. etc.) they accumulate, if they were never the best player on the field.

I also segment players by position because the measures for each position (pitching, 2B, etc.) and for different types of positions--positions that are primarily offensive, and positions that are primarily defensive--and for different eras and environments. E.g. right now my final lists prior to my final list are these:

Best NeLers--Moore, Beckwith, Monroe, Redding, Mendez

Best 19th century position players--Jennings, Williamson, C. Jones, Childs, Browning

Best 20th century position players--Terry, Sisler, Sewell, Doyle, Roush

Best ML pitchers--very much in flux in recent weeks but today--Waddell, Vance, Bond, Joss, Rixey, Cicotte, Griffith, Mullane, Grimes, Welch

If I had to pick one quick measure it would be (ERA+ x IP) for pitchers, peak/prime WS (with 2X defensive WS) for position players, and Chris Cobb's ballot for NeLers ;-)
   155. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 12:55 AM (#1038967)
One more example of the holes in ERA+ (which is the same hole as in ERA).

Here are the big three of the 1930 Philadelphia Athletics.

The teams are listed in order of runs scored.

Grove pitched:

1. 16.2 innings against NY.
2. 46.2 innings against Washington.
3. 48.0 innings against Cleveland.
4. 56.0 innings against Detroit.
5. 34.1 innings against StL.
6. 35.2 innings against Chicago.
7. 53.2 innings against Boston.

Earnshaw pitched:

1. 32.2 innings against NY.
2. 33.3 innings against Washington.
3. 56.0 innings against Cleveland.
4. 46.2 innings against Detroit.
5. 47.2 innings against StL.
6. 38.2 innings against Chicago.
7. 41.0 innings against Boston.

Walberg pitched:

1. 54.0 innings against NY.
2. 52.1 innings against Washington.
3. 20.1 innings against Cleveland.
4. 17.0 innings against Detroit.
5. 38.1 innings against StL.
6. 19.0 innings against Chicago.
7. 08.2 innings against Boston.


Grove ERA+ 184
Earnshaw ERA+ 105
Walberg ERA+ 100

Someone sure took a bullet for the team, and I don't think it was Lefty.

The IP totals do not match up exactly to offical figures. I added them from TSN bosxcores.
   156. DavidFoss Posted: December 24, 2004 at 01:18 AM (#1038988)
jonesy: Someone sure took a bullet for the team, and I don't think it was Lefty.

From "Lefty Grove: American Original" by James Kaplan:

"April 15 [1930]: Grove beat the Yankees' George Pipgras, 6-2, with Henry Johnson pitching mop-up for the losers. Starts against New York, however, and quickly became the exception rather than the rule. When Mack decided to rest Grove in games he might conceivably lose, Lefty pitched just 38-1/3 innings against the Yanks in 1930-31."

Very strange that Mack would do this... Lefty did have problems with the Yanks in 1928, but he had seemed to have sorted that stuff out by the big pennant years. Yankee Stadium is a great park for LHP's after all. Anyways, it is true that the A's won the pennants with room to spare those two years.

Grove's still a total shoo-in of course... too many great seasons. I've always pictured him as more of a fighter, though. The paragraph above doesn't sound like the same guy who came back after his arm went dead to win ERA titles as a lefty control pitcher in Fenway Park.
   157. Jim Sp Posted: December 24, 2004 at 01:25 AM (#1038993)
Maybe Mack figured that Grove wouldn't injure himself kicking water buckets if he won all the time.

Half kidding...though come to think of it, maybe the curse of the Bambino would still be going if the Yankees used that philosophy with Kevin Brown.
   158. jimd Posted: December 24, 2004 at 01:37 AM (#1039010)
One more example of the holes in ERA+ (which is the same hole as in ERA).

Actually, the hole in ERA+ is that it only accounts for one of the defensive dimensions, errors. It assumes that everybody has a defense with the same range abilities. That when a pitcher gives up a hit pitching for the Browns, it would also have been a hit if he'd been pitching for the Yankees.

The hole that jonesy is pointing out afflicts any pitching measurement system that does not look at the pitcher's opponents. Even when managers do not manipulate their rotations to gain or avoid certain matchups, there is still the problem that a sample of around 35 starts is not large enough for the opponent quality to even out.
   159. Howie Menckel Posted: December 24, 2004 at 01:43 AM (#1039017)
I love the details of Grove's intriguing career I've seen here and over the past few years.

Before those, I used to think that factoring in his minor-league prowess, he was the best pitcher ever. He wasn't, although he's still a first-ballot quality HOMer....
   160. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#1039055)
When Grove was with the Red Sox he pitched, for the most part, outstandingly against the Yankees. Much better in fact, than he did with the Athletics.

The Browns, though,-- of all teams -- beat the crap out of Lefty in 1935 and 1936, causing Cronin to do the same thing -- alter the rotation so Grove didn't have to face them.
   161. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 02:59 AM (#1039092)
Here is Grove in 1935 and 1936:

1. 2.61 ERA in 100.0 innings vs Detroit.
2. 3.18 ERA in 87.2 innings vs Cleveland.
3. 2.39 ERA in 86.2 innings vs NY.
4. 2.59 ERA in 76.1 innings vs Washington.
5. 2.14 ERA in 75.2 innings vs Philadelphia.
6. 2.11 ERA in 59.2 innings vs Chicago.
7. 5.13 ERA in 40.1 innings vs StL.

I have no idea how often this holds true, but I would imagine throughout history pitchers who played on the best teams in the league had several advantages over the pitchers on middle-of-the-pack teams. (Besides the obvious ones like better run support and defensive support.)

In the 1929-31 years, Mack could -- for whatever the reason -- pick and chose spots for Grove. On the other hand, Cronin had to rely on Grove to face the better teams -- Detroit and NY -- more often in order to make up ground in the standings.

A guy like Wes Ferrell -- always on a middle of the road team -- was more often at this disadvantage than Grove, Gomez, Hubbell or Dean. A desperate manager is more likely to hurl his ace against a better team, maybe even on short rest.

While Ferrell worked a higher percentage of his innings against weaker teams in '35 and '36 than Grove, it was because he pitched about 50 more innings each season. He didn't pitch any less against NY or Detroit than Grove did, but did work harder against the lesser teams.
   162. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 03:33 AM (#1039125)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus to you and yours.

Back at ya, Kelly (and to everyone else here!)
   163. DavidFoss Posted: December 24, 2004 at 04:34 AM (#1039205)
While Ferrell worked a higher percentage of his innings against weaker teams in '35 and '36 than Grove, it was because he pitched about 50 more innings each season. He didn't pitch any less against NY or Detroit than Grove did, but did work harder against the lesser teams.

Well, Ferrell's performance took a nose-dive in 1937 at the ripe old age of 29 and was never the same after that. Those IP titles may not have been just a great idea in retrospect.

Grove's '35 & '36 ERA titles were after his breakdown with a workload that was still good for 6th place in IP each year. Grove still had another great season at full workload in 1937 and then two more ERA titles at 2/3 workload after that.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#1039236)
Well, Ferrell's performance took a nose-dive in 1937 at the ripe old age of 29 and was never the same after that. Those IP titles may not have been just a great idea in retrospect.

He probably would have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago if he had shaved a few of those innings off per year..
   165. yest Posted: December 24, 2004 at 05:14 AM (#1039264)
Frankie Frisch on December 24, 2004 at 12:14 AM

1. Rube Marquiad
2. George Kelley
3. Fred Lindstrom
4. Travis Jackson
   166. OCF Posted: December 24, 2004 at 08:04 AM (#1039448)
Cupid Childs: Half of Eddie Collins' career, to whom he is most similar by age throughout his career.

Is that bbref's similarity scores, which are based on raw data, unadjusted for context? Had Collins in his early career played in a 7 RPG league, or had Childs played in a 3.5 RPG league, they sure wouldn't look similar.

I'll repeat my own context-adjusted findings: Larry Doyle was a better hitter than Childs.

Frankie Frisch on December 24, 2004 at 12:14 AM

1. Rube Marquiad
2. George Kelley
3. Fred Lindstrom
4. Travis Jackson


Frankie - we've got rules in this organization. We don't invoke them very often, but you do realize that we're going to have to challenge your ballot, right? Something about irrational choices and obvious bias.

Actually, Frankie would probably have picked both Sisler and Terry ahead of Kelly. Maybe Traynor ahead of Lindstrom as well.
   167. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 01:14 PM (#1039564)
But the big question becomes did pitchers like Earnshaw, Walberg and Ferrell suffer statistically because of being Grove's teammates?

In 1930 Walberg certainly took one for the team by pitching all of those innings against Washington and New York. Earnshaw started consecutive games (not both ends of the DH) five times that year.

Was Mack reshuffling the rotation in order to avoid using Grove against NY?

It appears so. Kaplan discussed Grove's foul behavior when he lost a game, and I have found numerous examples of it on my own. If Grove lost a game, and it didn't matter to what team, he often withdrew emotionally, and sometimes his funk lasted for weeks.

Lefty started the first two games that NY and Philly played in 1930. He won the first game but was knocked out in the third inning of the second game. He never started again that year vs NY despite the fact that it was then still April! His next two appearances against the Yanks were mop-up roles in which he could not have possibly had an impact in the outcome of the game. Was Mack trying to rebuild his confidence?

In Boston, Grove hated Cronin (So did Ferrell) and, as Elden Auker said, "Lefty pitched when Lefty wanted to pitch, not when Cronin wanted him to."

Most observers of the day felt that Cronin was a horrible handler of pitchers. Ferrell started 8 more games than Grove each year and about a total of 100 more innings over 1935 and 1936. Why? Grove was healthy. What reason would Bobby Cox have had for starting Glavine 8 more times in a season than Maddux if both were healthy? Did Brenly start Schilling 8 more times than Johnson when the Diamondbacks weere WC a few years ago?

Cronin reshuffled like Mack did. When Grove went into a funk in '36, Cronin announced that Ferrell would start every third day (that's two days rest) while Grove rested for a big match-up with the Yanks, which was ten days in the future. Ferrell was blasted each time he started on two days rest, usually after going OK for five or 6 innings.

Cronin started Ferrell on two days rest a total of 11 times in '35 and '36. Cronin started Grove on two days of rest just once, and that was after a start in which Grove lasted but two innings. Ferrell often started on short rest after a complete game.

So the whole point, I guess, is that there is a lot of other factors that affect the statistical record, and in order to truly evaluate history, we need to be on the lookout for them.
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 03:42 PM (#1039593)
Is it OK if I still vote for Grove in an elect me spot when he's eligible? :-)
   169. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 03:44 PM (#1039594)
This actually looks like a good place to take a survery.

Each of you is the manager of a team in which the owner has spent millions of dollars to acquire players. Though you don't really have a team capable of winning the pennant, there is a lot of pressure for you to do so. Let's just say you're the Red Sox competing with the Yankees.

You are told you can have one of the two following pitchers for the next three seasons. You are assured that they will give you the following results:

Pitcher A. He will complete 81 of 110 starts with a 62-40 record and a 4.11 ERA in 878.2 innings.

Pitcher B. He will complete 53 of 76 starts with a 46-33 record and a 3.31 ERA in 665.2 innings.

Pitcher A is willing to start consecutive games for you once, go 11 times on two days of rest and 36 times on three days of rest. He will require four days of rest 19 times and five or more days seven times.

Pitcher B is willing to start on two days rest once and 27 times on three days of rest. He will require four days of rest 11 times and five or more days 19 times.

With these numbers a sure bet, who do you take?

Oh yeah, since you in a league where the pitcher bats.

Pitcher A will hit .308 in 396 at bats, score 64 runs and bat in 82. He will contribute 17 doubles, 2 triples, and 17 homers. He will be your best hitter and best pinch-hitter.

Pitcher B will hit .116 in 215 at bats, score 11 runs and bat in 13. He will contribute 6 doubles, one triple and one home run.

You're the manager and you job rests on winning bal games. Who do you take?
   170. karlmagnus Posted: December 24, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#1039607)
I'm Harry Wright, and I take Pitcher A. No reason why pitchers should hit so badly -- there must be something wrong with this B guy. A has a better W/L and I don't hold with this new-fangled ERA nonsense.
   171. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 06:21 PM (#1039635)
Posted by John (Don't Call Me Grandma) Murphy on December 24, 2004 at 09:42 AM (#1039593)


"Is it OK if I still vote for Grove in an elect me spot when he's eligible? :-)"



Grove is a no-brainer. Anyone who doesn't vote for Lefty shouldn't be allowed to cast another ballot here ever again.

I just expect to see some support from you North Carolina boys when Wes Ferrell is on the ballot.
   172. Michael Bass Posted: December 24, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#1039649)
Ferrell looks like an even better version of Vance to me. Considering Vance is #1 on my ballot for the moment.... :)
   173. DavidFoss Posted: December 24, 2004 at 06:37 PM (#1039655)
As you said before, the numbers don't line up exactly because the boxes aren't in sync with the encyclopedic totals, but it looks like you compared Grove to Ferrell in their first three years with the Sox 1934-36. This includes Grove's horrible breakdown year (1934) but not Ferrell's (1937).

In year four:

Pitcher B goes 17-9 in 262 IP with a 3.02 ERA

Pitcher A goes 3-6 in 73 IP with a 7.61 ERA and is traded on June 11th with Mel Almanda and his brother for Bobo Newson and Ben Chapman.
   174. karlmagnus Posted: December 24, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#1039667)
I like Ferrell a lot more than I do Vance, partly because of his hitting. Also a better W/L. Vance doesn't belong in the HOM, IMHO, Ferrell probably does, just.
   175. jonesy Posted: December 24, 2004 at 07:18 PM (#1039687)
David,

I used the exact three years that Grove and Ferrell were teammates. From the end of May/start of June 1934 (when Ferrell joined the Red Sox) until the start of June 1937 (when Ferrell went to Washington.) Those are the real numbers the two contributed while teammates.

I would prefer to exclude Ferrell's '33 season and Grove's '34 season when comparing. Two things stop me.

1. Ferrell had a great first half pitching season in '33, despite hurting his arm in the his first game of the season. As a matter of fact his season, had he stopped pitching when Walter Johnson likely asked him to, would look a lot like Pedro's aborted season with the Red Sox (his third year, I think, without looking.) Grove's arm went bad before the '34 season started.

Ferrell kept pitching because he knew next year's contract -- unlike the contracts in Pedro's time -- was based on how many games he won. As a matter of record, Clevleland did cut his contract. In 1933 he was paid $12,000 based on his winning 23 games in 1932, but offered just $5,000 for 1934. This cause him to holdout in '34, eventually forcing the trade to Boston.

2. When Grove's arm went dead in 1934, he had no value to the team. Ferrell was still the best power hitter the Indians had in 1933.


Good to see a couple of converts.
   176. robc Posted: December 24, 2004 at 07:46 PM (#1039717)
A has a pretty horrible marginal ERA. In the extra 213 innings he has an ERA of about 6.6. What's the league context? Thats got to be above replacement level. Then again, using a quick calculate A is worth 61 runs more with the bat [(R+RBI)/2 diff]. Subtracting those runs from his marginal pitching runs give a marginal ERA of ~4.0.

I will take A. Now to scroll up and see who is who. :)
   177. OCF Posted: December 24, 2004 at 08:38 PM (#1039763)
Back to eligible candidates:

Tom Zachary: RA+ PythPat equivalent record 183-165 (considerably better than his actual record). Low IP/decision; low IP/season. Never more than 16 equivalent wins in any one season, but a long, if nomadic, career. A very good pitcher. About as good as Al Orth or Rube Marquard, but with less peak than either of them.

Travis Jackson: in offense only, pretty good - slightly below Bancroft, slightly above Tinker. Offensively inferior to Wallace or Sewell.
   178. Cblau Posted: December 26, 2004 at 04:13 AM (#1040787)
Back in post #36, KJOK wrote:
We're talking about the 1920's where players still hit a lot of triples and some inside-the-park home runs. It's not even clear that DIPS-type methodologies work as well for this era....

Tom Tippett has an excellent article at http://www.diamond-mind.com/articles/ipavg2.htm
which studies DIPS from 1913-2003. It seems to be just as true, or not true, in the earlier years.
   179. Thane of Bagarth Posted: December 27, 2004 at 11:08 PM (#1042726)
I think Kelly from SD’s request that voters explain their “systems” is reasonable, so I will attempt to elucidate my player-ranking thought process in advance of posting my preliminary ballot for 1942. I was going to post a preliminary ballot today, too, but the WARP #s changing again will probably throw everything off...why do their numbers change so often?!!

In theory, I try to weigh Win Shares and Baseball Prospectus’ stats evenly, though, in reality I probably lean on the BP stats a little bit more. I would describe myself as a peak-voter, but I have tried to become more balanced over the “years.”

For hitters I create a weighted average for WARP3 and WS. (Note: I apply the season length and league strength timeline adjustments from BP to WS.) Each of a player’s top 5 seasons counts slightly more than double that of a non-top 5 season. Then, I “average” the two weighted averages to get a pretty good outline of where the players fall. At this point I throw in some subjectivity, nudging players up and down depending on the extent of their peak, relative standing at their position, career totals in WARP3 and adjusted WS, etc.

For pitchers I adjust WS by the BP league/era timeline factors and Translated IP. Again, I put lot of value on peak performance (top 5: PRAA, PRAR, WS), plus rate stats DERA & ERA+. Totals for WARP3 and adjusted WS weigh in, too. I find it quite difficult to compare pitchers with hitters…I do this partially based on WARP3 and WS totals, but also a lot of “eyeballing” the #s. I’m not sure how I will incorporate relief specialists as they become more prevalent.

I try to match Negro Leaguers to Major Leaguers who seem similar. I also weigh the “expert” opinions, existing data, and projections/translations. My default resource is Riley’s Encyclopedia.
   180. karlmagnus Posted: December 27, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#1042747)
I look at hits, wins, OPS+, ERA+ and W/L pct. I then listen to everyone else's fancy stats and try and figure out whether they're convincing or even comprehensible. I then mark candidates down a bit for the first year and towards the consensus a bit after that.

Does this mean I get thrown off the voter list? You've got a lot of recalculating to do, back to 1900, if you invalidate all my past ballots :-))
   181. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 28, 2004 at 12:13 AM (#1042793)
There is no real 'system' for me as i do not think I could ever come up with a number to really rank these players. but I do use certain tools.

I use both Win Shares and WARP, leaning more heavily on Win Shares and using WARP as a way to balance things out.

I have four methods ranked like this:

1. peak
2. prime
3. seaons above average
4. career

There is no real set percentage on these however.

For peak I add up all WS (schedule adjusted) that a player earns over 25 in a season.

For prime I add up all Win Shares a player earns above 15 in a season

For seasons above average I use the total seasons where a player records at least 15 WS

Career=Career WS

I do the same for WARP, except that I use 4.0 for average and 7.0 for peak.

Catchers have a different scale.

I am also trying to come up with positional averages for each position each year in order to better compare players across positions. As it stands, CFers look amazing in my system. However, this is very time consuming. Does anyone know where I can get positional averages for WS? Also, as I am using that infernal WS book, the year by year section makes no distinction between outfield positions. Anywhere I can find this without painstaking looking through bith Win Shares AND Total Baseball?

I chose 15 as average because a) I had to pick a number, b) it is a round number and I am simple minded, and c) I thought I was setting the bar high, which is preferrable to setting it low. But my initial studies are showing me that I should use 16 or 17 as average. This would make peak guys look even better.

I also take into account years as best at position/league and certain other boosts, like for say Minor League credit and 1890's infielders.

For Negro League guys I use I9's, Win Shares, real stats, and smart people's opinions.
   182. Guapo Posted: December 28, 2004 at 03:57 AM (#1043005)
I think anyone who uses WARP in their ratings should also have to explain to us exactly how WARP is calculated. ;)
   183. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 28, 2004 at 04:12 AM (#1043019)
LOL
   184. robc Posted: December 28, 2004 at 04:40 AM (#1043049)
People seem to make that warp comment a lot, but I dont think there is any part of Warp1 that hasnt been published at some point. The adjustment from 2 ->3 is also well known. The only part in question is the league strength adjustment from 1 to 2, right?

The formula for EQA is known. Replacement is .230 EQA. Fielding has been explained to BP books. From BRAR to BRARP should be easy to figure out. PRAR comes from the same place as the fielding, they are done in tandem. I think there have been some subtle adjustments in the fielding/pitching calculations since they last published it, but it aint that far off.

Personally, I have much more of a clue how to calculate WARP than I do WS. But I havent bothered to buy the book or read any websites or etc. Im lazy and think anyone who uses it should explain it to me. :) Personally, based on past correspondence, I trust Clay Davenport more than Bill James to design a system that stands up to scrutiny. Especially since BJ isnt actively tinkering with his system (at least not publicly).
   185. Ardo Posted: December 28, 2004 at 06:30 AM (#1043158)
A quick question: what was Hugh Duffy's defensive skill level? Unless Duffy's defense was very good-to-great, he's staying off of my ballot.
   186. Ardo Posted: December 28, 2004 at 07:12 AM (#1043178)
Revised 1942 ballot [1941 rank in brackets]

1. Sisler [3]
2. Vance [4]
3. Terry [new]
4. Beckwith [5]
5. Leach [9]
6. Ryan [6]
7. Van Haltren [7]
8. Redding [12]
9. Griffith [8]
10. Roush [off] - he seems better, particularly on defense, than Ryan or VanH. This placement is cautious.
11. Ed. Williamson [off]
----- PHoM line ------
12. Sewell [11] - I re-examined the whole ML middle infield crew (Childs, Doyle, Sewell, Jennings, Maranville, Traynor). Sewell was firmly in the lead.
13. Beckley [10]
14. Dobie Moore [14]
15. Waddell [off]
----------------------
16. Bresnahan
17. Ben Taylor
18. Duffy
19. Childs
20. Joss
----------------------

Gone from 1941: Childs (was 13), Traynor (was 15).
   187. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2004 at 12:31 PM (#1043282)
taking pitcher A without blinking jonesy. not a question in my mind.

I wish I could reply to the other stuff, but too busy right now. Hopefully I can check in later . . .
   188. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2004 at 12:32 PM (#1043283)
But that doesn't mean I'm taking Ferrell over Grove. There's a lot more to their careers than those 3 seasons.
   189. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2004 at 12:38 PM (#1043284)
"Tom Tippett has an excellent article at http://www.diamond-mind.com/articles/ipavg2.htm
which studies DIPS from 1913-2003. It seems to be just as true, or not true, in the earlier years."

Allowing that this is true (if it is, I'm not convinced), since no one struck anyone out, the BB element (and the HR element, to a lesser extent) were much more important than the K element in this time period. Vance may have the highest K+, but his raw K over average per inning wasn't nearly as high as the stars of today, making the actual benefit of his great K+ lower than one would think on the surface.

Alos, I'll be shocked if pre-spitball ban (1920 IIRC) that DIPS holds. Tippett really didn't look all that close at the 1913-1920 period, IIRC - no time to read it all right now.

James and Neyer are very convinced in the What They Threw book (forget the real name) that almost everyone threw some kind of spitter before 1920. I'd imagine this gave all of them something similar to a knuckle-ball effect.
   190. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2004 at 12:42 PM (#1043285)
"Personally, I have much more of a clue how to calculate WARP than I do WS. But I havent bothered to buy the book or read any websites or etc. Im lazy and think anyone who uses it should explain it to me. :)"

I've studied them both, though WS much more than WARP. I'd say one should use both - after adjusting them for their flaws. I wouldn't use either out of the box. At a minimum you have to fix the replacement level in both systems and adjust for their biases. Neither is acceptable out of the box IMO.

Really, I look for agreement between the two systems (after adjusting them, can't emphasize this enough) then you know you are on the right track. When they disagree, I look for a 'why?' and then adjust accordingly.

And just for a kicker - I trust what Tango says about both systems more than Davenport or James.
   191. Chris Cobb Posted: December 28, 2004 at 08:08 PM (#1043729)
Ardo,

It's pretty certain that Duffy was excellent defensively. His reputation was excellent; win shares sees him as excellent (A+ letter grade) and WARP sees him as excellent (100 Fielding runs above average for his career).

Given the uncertainty surrounding the evaluation of early fielding, all these assessments could be off a bit, but Duffy was undoubtedly very good, and he was probably a great defensive outfielder.
   192. jimd Posted: December 28, 2004 at 09:05 PM (#1043809)
Really, I look for agreement between the two systems (after adjusting them, can't emphasize this enough) then you know you are on the right track. When they disagree, I look for a 'why?' and then adjust accordingly.

Can't agree more.

"Tom Tippett has an excellent article at http://www.diamond-mind.com/articles/ipavg2.htm
which studies DIPS from 1913-2003. It seems to be just as true, or not true, in the earlier years."


I messed around with some DIPS studies throughout baseball history a couple of years ago. (Warning: I'm not a trained statistician, so they may be fatally flawed, though I replicated Voros work to my own satisfaction.)

The DIPS effect (little year-to-year correlation on hits on BIP) seemed to be just as strong in the deadball era as it is now. The year-to-year correlations did get stronger in the 1890's and even more so in the 1880's, though this might just be due to the smaller sample sizes (pitching staffs are smaller with higher turnover/injury rates).

I did notice that the year-to-year correlation of home-run rates disappeared before WWII. This might be due to the random variations becoming more important. (Not as many sluggers and parks that were much more variable meant that who a pitcher pitched against and where could become more important to his overall total.)
   193. Rick A. Posted: December 28, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#1044025)
Methods:

I mostly use WS although I keep an eye on WARP. I evaluate players based on peak, prime, above average value and career value. I tend to lean a little heavier on peak and prime values than career value, although a player with outstanding career value can make my PHOM. I also seem to value career value and above average value higher in pitchers than in positional players, probably since pitchers tend to break down easier.

I also give a bonus for times a player is among the top players at his position. I give a bonus for catchers and if a player had an unusually long career. I also give double defensive value to players, which helps outstanding defensive players. I also look at when a player is in the top 5 in various statistics, such as OPS+, ERA+, IP, etc.

Prelim Ballot:
1. Charley Jones
2. Pete Browning
3. Cupid Childs
4. Hughie Jennings
5. Eppa Rixey
6. Dazzy Vance
7. Vic Willis
8. Hugh Duffy
9. Bill Monroe
10. Dobie Moore
11. George Sisler
12. John Beckwith
13. Wally Schang
14. Tommy Leach
15. Jose Mendez

16-20 Roush, Grimes, McGraw, Terry, Taylor
21-25 Redding, Williamson, Cooper, Bond, Waddell
26-30 Mays, Griffith, Poles, Tiernan, Bresnahan
31-35 Van Haltren, Doyle, Sewell, Traynor, Chance
36-40 Burns, Bancroft, Griffin, F. Jones, McCormick
41-45 Wilson, Long, Welch, R. Thomas, Konetchy
46-50 Fournier, Beckley, Cravath, Mullane, Tinker
51-55 Schalk, Evers, Maranville, Veach, Luque
   194. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 29, 2004 at 03:37 AM (#1044254)
I like to call this ballot-building. It's not definitive, it's part numbers, part guts, and part listening intently to the HOMbodies' arguments.

To make a long story shorter, I deal with WS, and I had a terrible roto-style method for a few years. After searching for an improvement, I decided on this inelegant but practical solution.

For position players (with exceptions noted below) I:
-prorate all WS to a 162 schedule on a season-by-season basis.
-adjust WS for league quality (discounting early NL, early/late AA, and FL specifically)
-enter seasonal WS into an excel worksheet for his primary position and sort highest to lowest
-figure the best nonconsecutive three, five, ten, fifteen WS as well as career
-input how many times he led the league or finished among the top offensive players.
-comapre the player to others at his position and rank him against all eligible comers at that position.

Then I start building my ballot by comparing the best eligibles at each position.

For catchers I've added a bonus system. In any season where a catcher fails to total 525 PAs, I add a 30% WS bonus to all WS earned as a catcher (figured as G at C / G * WS for that season). I chose 30% because it was a number that I saw HOM voters using. I could probably neaten this up just a bit, but it suffices for the moment because all I'm really trying to do is understand how well a player dominated his own position.

For Negro Leaguers I depend quite heavily on the information that Chris, Gadfly, Gary, KJOK, etc provide. My main information source offline is the Riley book, and I use it as a touchstone for the player's reputation and legend. If Chris provides WS projections, I use those in the same way that I use them for other players. In the absence of projections, I then shoot from the hip and try to ask as many questions of the group as I can to see if anyone has an answer that might shed light on how to rank the guy.

Concerning military service.... For WWI I've mostly just been giving it out willy-nilly, but as we approach WW2, I'm going to revisit this. I do believe that enlisting before being drafted hurts the team, and that giving credit for it is a moral judgement that I am uncomfortable making. I think that when I do offer credit, Sunnyday's system looks as reasonable as any, and I'll probably adopt it either in-whole or with some smallish modifications.

Concerning minor-league credit...to be given very carefully but to be given when it's abundantly evident that such credit is appropriate. I'm still struggling with this one, and I think Ken Williams, Jaques Fournier, and Gavy Cravath are each being shafted on my ballot as a result.

For pitchers, my system is really up in the air. One of my main frustrations with pitching is the influence of workload on the amount of WS a guy gets. So what I tried to do was something that allows me to make cross-era comparisons. I looked at a season of 30 WS as being a theoretical historically average league-leading total and 20ish as a typical fifth-place score. (It's very likely closer to 27...and 20.) Then I go season-by-season in each league and figure an adjustment factor that will bring the leading score up or down to approximate this theoretical league leaderboard. This doesn't mean that a league-leader must always have 30, it floats a little more than that. Then I apply this factor for each season to a given pitcher's actual WS to.

This way the leaders remain the leaders, but I get to measure every pitcher against the same scale, mitigating the changes in workload. This allows me to assign them a preliminary pitching-only rank. It hasn't worked too well with pitchers 1870-1890 yet and still needs some refinement....

When I finally start putting a ballot together, I then check out their RSI and other numbers on Chris J's outstanding website. [thank you! thank you! thank you!, Chris J.!!!] If I find any information there that suggests I should revise my rankings, I do so, and I stick them on my final ballot.

It ain't rocket science, but I failed intro to physics....

That said...I am having problems with guys like N/Ed Williamson and Fred Dunlap. I'm simply uncertain about the quality of play during certain portions of their careers, and I'm not sure what to think about ideas of era quotas.
   195. Michael Bass Posted: December 29, 2004 at 06:40 AM (#1044441)
Speaking of Fred Dunlap, another question for the group: Which players (if any) do you think have undeservedly fallen off the HOM radar?

-------------------------------

I'm in the midst of my complete reconsideration (very early, in fact, working my way through the 1890s right now). I find myself wondering where there love is for Fred Dunlap, especially from peak voters like myself.

Using a slightly played-with version of WARP1, I have Dunlap as one of the 10 best players in baseball for 6 of 7 years from 1880 to 1886. And the one year he didn't make it was his expidition into the Union Association, where it is quite possible that I'm hitting him too hard.

Admittedly, he has little outside of that, so career voters won't find much to like. And Win Shares seems to disagree entirely. But still, I find myself, at the moment, liking Dunlap a lot.

Some quick numbers:

.305 lifetime EQA. Probably more like .300 with an appropriate discount of the UA season. 133 OPS+, probably more like 128ish with the UA discount.

127 fielding runs above average. Also given an A- fielding rating by Win Shares. The former probably needs a UA discount, maybe to 115-120 FRAA.

So we have a .300 EQA second baseman who was an excellent fielder. No, 2B was not as important defensively then as 3B, but it still was on the tough side of the spectrum. Feels like Win Shares dropped the ball on this one to me.

Like I said, I see why career voters don't love him. But for peak/prime voters, he's got that in spades.

--------------------------

So as not to be a complete shill, I'm interested in hearing a "second look" pitch from others. Not about players already getting some serious number of votes. We probably bicker about them enough already. But someone getting no votes or close to it, who we should make sure not to forget.
   196. sunnyday2 Posted: December 29, 2004 at 04:37 PM (#1044757)
jonesy (#75) used the 3 years that Grove and Ferrell were teammates. Why? Because it was favorable to Ferrell's case. Next question?

Many of our discussions become very excessively focused on marginal info. I mean, Lefty was 300-141, 148 ERA+. Ferrell 193-128, 117. I don't care who Lefty and/or Wes pitched against (assuming ML), what their run support was, what their defensive support was, or how well or poorly they hit. All of that is marginalia (in this case), and all of this marginalia cannot make Ferrell into Grove.

Then you've got Rube Waddell who gave up (we are told) an excessive number of UER, about 300 of them in 2961 IP, or 1 UER per 10 IP. Meanwhile, Grove gave up about 250 in 3940 IP (1 per 16) and Ferrell gave up about 200 in 2623 IP (1 per 13). OK Rube gave up more UER per IP. But does that in any way negate Rube's 135-117 edge over Ferrell in ERA+ in 600 more IP? I sure don't see it. It's not as if Rube gave up 300 UER and Ferrell none.

But sometimes we get so focused on the eureka factors that we lose sight of the underlying reality. Certainly we should moderate that reality a bit, but sometimes we throw away the underlying reality that, e.g., Rube Waddell was a better pitcher than Wes Ferrell (or insert your own choice of names here).
   197. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#1045220)
the year by year section [of _Win Shares_] makes no distinction between outfield positions. Anywhere I can find this without painstaking looking through bith Win Shares AND Total Baseball?

baseball-reference presents <b>games played by outfield position</i> in a table for each team-season. See Team Fielding; Outfield.
   198. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2004 at 08:13 PM (#1045343)
Cblau #78
"Tom Tippett has an excellent article at http://www.diamond-mind.com/articles/ipavg2.htm
which studies DIPS from 1913-2003. It seems to be just as true, or not true, in the earlier years."


JoeD #89
I'll be shocked if pre-spitball ban (1920 IIRC) that DIPS holds. Tippett really didn't look all that close at the 1913-1920 period, IIRC - no time to read it all right now.

Soon after Tom Tippett's presentation at the 2003 SABR Convention (see the article Cblau cited), I wrote to him re Deadball Era and grandfather spitball pitchers. I guessed that he would find low rates of hits on balls in play, as he found and presented re modern knuckleball pitchers led by Charlie Hough. He then hoped to do more work on the deadball era soon.

At a glance, Johnson, Alexander and Vance are the only early pitchers featured in the first study by name. The scope is 1913-2002 because Tom had complete BFP data (Batters Faced, for pitchers) beginning 1913.

James and Neyer are very convinced in the What They Threw book (forget the real name) that almost everyone threw some kind of spitter before 1920.

James emphasized the fact in their "What They Threw" presentation, also at the 2003 Convention. It isn't a big deal in The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, probably because the main point is what each pitcher used frequently.
   199. PhillyBooster Posted: December 29, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#1045468)
So as not to be a complete shill, I'm interested in hearing a "second look" pitch from others.

My favorite "no vote" candidate is Roy Thomas. Came on the ballot the same year as Cy Young, so no one was actually paying attention down ballot much. He is ranked at the #29 all time CF by Bill James, and is favored by WARP-1 with a 91.9.

His 123 OPS+ is right up there with other centerfielders who get more votes, like van Haltren (121), Duffy (122),Ryan (124), Roush (126), and Hack (119). He loses out a little on career lenght, but if you are a "prime voter" (Top 7-10 years, say), he's hard to ignore.
   200. OCF Posted: December 29, 2004 at 10:24 PM (#1045558)
PhillyBooster - I've always taken Thomas seriously. I like leadoff hitters, and I like guys who score runs. But my offensive system doesn't show me that Thomas was any better than Edd Roush, and it doesn't make him as good as Van Haltren/Duffy/Ryan. He was a better leadoff hitter than Max Carey; choosing Carey over Thomas was all about longevity and defense.

One minor issue: a 125 OPS+ in low-scoring times isn't worth quite as much in terms of wins as a 125 OPS+ in high-scoring times.

There's a particular problem with evaluating Thomas's offense. He was a leadoff hitter, and his job was to score. What can a leadoff hitter do? It falls into two categories: getting on base, and advancing yourself after that. As brilliant as Thomas was at the first task, getting on base, he was miserably poor at self-advancement. For his own time, he was nothing special as a basestealer, and to say he lacked power would be an understatement. I would imagine his teams spent an awful lot of outs moving him from first to second.

I have voted for Thomas in the past. I don't keep my candidates below #25 in any organized way, but if I did, I'd problaby have Thomas around #30 or 35. That's too far down to have any real hope that he'll make it back up.
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