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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

1942 Results: Hall of Merit Voters Were “Dazzled” by Vance; “Memphis Bill” Also Left an Impression!

With a record 65 candidates who earned a spot on a ballot, 1920’s strikeout king Dazzy Vance placed first for induction to the Hall of Merit in his second year of eligibility.

In his first year as a candidate, New York Giants’ star Bill Terry gained admission to the HOM by winning enough votes for the second spot.

Eppa Rixey was a very close third, while John Beckwith made a huge jump in the rankings by moving from last year’s #13 to this year’s #5.

Rounding out the top ten were: Clark Griffith, Joe Sewell, George Van Haltren (back in the top ten), Tommy Leach, Hughie Jennings and Jake Beckley.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1    3  Dazzy Vance              719   41   9  8  2  2  2  3  4  3  2  2  1        3   
 2  n/e  Bill Terry               571   42   3  3  5  1  2  2  4     6  2  2  2  5  3  2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    4  Eppa Rixey               527   37   3  3  2  1  4  7  1  2  2     3  3  3  1  2
 4    5  Joe Sewell               475   33   3  4  4     5     1  3  1  1  1  2  2  3  3
 5   13  John Beckwith            463   31   5  2  3  4  2     2  2  1  2     1  1  2  4
 6    6  Clark Griffith           456   30   3  3  3  2  1  4  2  2  1  2  3  2  1  1   
 7   11  George Van Haltren       436   27   7  2  1  2  2  2  2  2        1     3  2  1
 8    7  Hughie Jennings          430   26   3  6  2  2  2  1  1     2  1  4     1     1
 9    8  Tommy Leach              424   33   1  1  1  4  3  2  1  4  1  5  3  1  1  3  2
10   10  Jake Beckley             402   27   3  3  1  3  1  2     2  4  3  1  1  1     2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11    9  George Sisler            399   28   3  1  4  2     2  3  2     1  3  3  4      
12   12  Rube Waddell             338   26   1  1     3  1  1  5  1  3  4     2  1  2  1
13   14  Hugh Duffy               333   24      2  2  4     4  2  3     1     3        3
14   19  Edd Roush                296   24      1  1     1  3  4  3  1  2  2     4  1  1
15   15  Cannonball Dick Redding  293   24      1  1  1  1     3  1  5  4  2  1  3  1   
16   16  Cupid Childs             289   22      1  3  4  1     1  2  3     1     2  2  2
17   17  Mickey Welch             279   15   5  2     2  1  2     1  1           1      
18   18  Pete Browning            273   19   1  1  5     1  1  1  2  2        3  1     1
19   20  Burleigh Grimes          237   17      1  1  2  3  3  1  1     1  1        3   
20   22  Larry Doyle              222   17   1  1  1  2     2     2  1  1     2  1     3
21   21  Roger Bresnahan          190   17         2        1  1     3  3  1  2  1  2  1
22   23  Jimmy Ryan               190   15      1  1  1  2     1     2  2     3     1  1
23   26  José Méndez              189   16         1  1  3  1     2     2     2     1  3
24   24  Charley Jones            187   12   1  2  3     1              2     2     1   
25   25  Wally Schang             168   12   1  2        1        1  2     3     1  1   
26   28  Bill Monroe              154   14            2  1        1     2  3  1  3     1
27   27  Sam Rice                 143   11         1  1  2  2        1     2     1     1
28   31  Dobie Moore              131   13               1        1  2  2  2     1  4   
29   29  Pie Traynor              119   10         1     1  1  2        1     1  2     1
30   32T Harry Hooper             118   11            2        1  1     2        1  3  1
31   30  George J. Burns          110   10                     2  1  2  1     3     1   
32   34  Vic Willis                74    7            1  1  1                       2  2
33   37  Ben Taylor                72    6               2     1           1  1     1   
34   35  John McGraw               68    5            1     1  1  1           1         
35   32T Bobby Veach               66    6                  1     1  1     1  1     1   
36   38  Wilbur Cooper             64    6            1        1           1  1  1     1
37   45  Rabbit Maranville         63    7                        1        2  2        2
38   49  Addie Joss                63    6      1                    1           2     2
39   42  Urban Shocker             59    6                        2        1     2  1   
40   44  Spotswood Poles           58    5         1           1  1                 1  1
41   40  Carl Mays                 57    5                     1  2           1  1      
42   43  Hack Wilson               54    5                  1        1     2        1   
43   41  Gavy Cravath              54    4            1  1           1        1         
44   46  Ed Williamson             46    4                  1           2     1         
45   39  Frank Chance              43    5                              1     2     2   
46   36  Fielder Jones             35    4               1                          1  2
47   48  Ed Cicotte                35    3            1              1                 1
48   47  Ed Konetchy               31    3                  1                 1     1   
49   51  Lave Cross                29    2         1                    1               
50   50  Dave Bancroft             24    3                                 1     1     1
51   60  Jim McCormick             24    2                     1           1            
52   54T Fred Dunlap               23    2               1                          1   
53  n/e  Buzz Arlett               20    2                     1                       1
54   54T Del Pratt                 16    2                                 1           1
55T  53  Dolf Luque                16    1               1                              
55T  52  Tom York                  16    1               1                              
57   54T Donie Bush                15    1                  1                           
58   54T Sam Leever                14    1                     1                        
59T n/e  Tommy Bond                10    1                                 1            
59T  58T Duke Farrell              10    1                                 1            
59T  58T Jack Fournier             10    1                                 1            
62   61  Ray Schalk                 9    1                                    1         
63   63  Jack Quinn                 8    1                                       1      
64T n/e  Herman Long                6    1                                             1
64T  62  Ross Youngs                6    1                                             1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 12:14 AM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1071027)
hot topics
   2. OCF Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:26 AM (#1071082)
Average consensus score -9.0. Range of consensus scores -21 to + 2. Just two positive consensus scores: jschmeagol at +2 and me at +1. (Relatively, the highest I've ever been.)

Gotta run now. I'll be back with more details later this evening.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:31 AM (#1071094)
My consensus score was probably dead last.
   4. OCF Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:34 AM (#1071104)
John, at -17, you didn't even make the bottom 5.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:41 AM (#1071113)
Wow! I'm honestly surprised, OCF.
   6. EricC Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:44 AM (#1071119)
Gee, if I had known Bill Terry was going to win, I might have argued more strongly against him. :-)

Bill Terry is to the 1920s-1930s what Sam Thompson was to the 1890s.
   7. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:03 AM (#1071134)
Terry didnt' make my PHOM of Merit this year, but I did have him fourth. It is a weak year and he just stuck out. No other first baseman had as good a peak or prime (and it wasn't really close)in my system and I am a peak/prime voter.

I am glad that Vance is in. I think we elected the rigth 1920s pitchers in Coveleski, Faber, and Vance. If Rixey (and he is the only other one that will make my ballot) makes it I won't be too mad but i think I would draw the line between them.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:21 AM (#1071179)
Bleh.
Mr. "highest consensus score" just saw two candidates elected that he didn't even have on his ballot.

Funny, I wondered if anyone could put Terry ahead of Sisler AND Beckley, or how anyone could put Vance ahead of Jennings.
I guess I found my answer!

These guys sure picked a hecukva year to become eligible.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1071239)
Top 20 Vote Pts Leaders through 1942
Pike 13399
Thompson 12349
Bennett 11503
VAN HALTREN 11416.5
DUFFY 11295
JENNINGS 11130
Caruthers 10704
BECKLEY 10612
BROWNING 10239.5
RYAN 9672
H Stovey 9576
GRIFFITH 9020
WADDELL 8741
Start 8378.5
McGinnity 8232
Pearce 8073
McVey 7985.5
Grant 7969.5
CHILDS 7946
WELCH 7806

Top 20 Active Vote Pts Leaders through 1942
VAN HALTREN 11416.5
DUFFY 11295
JENNINGS 11130
BECKLEY 10612
BROWNING 10239.5
RYAN 9672
GRIFFITH 9020
WADDELL 8741
CHILDS 7946
WELCH 7806
BRESNAHAN 5664
LEACH 4752
C. JONES 4274
WILLIAMSON 4040
MONROE 3951
McCORMICK 3119
DOYLE 2931
TIERNAN 2686x
SISLER 2599
MCGRAW 2351
x - no votes in 1942
   10. Ardo Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:23 AM (#1071466)
I'm happy with both our inductees this year - a good thing, for the 1942 backlog won't see many "elect-me" votes in many years.

With Oscar Charleston, Bill Foster, Dick Lundy, and Judy Johnson appearing on the 1943 ballot, I'm going to review my placements for all the Negro League candidates (Mendez, Monroe, Dobie Moore, Taylor, Redding, Beckwith) along with the 4 newbies.
   11. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:52 AM (#1071500)
Wow, I'm floored that Terry was elected. Absolutely floored. Might be our worst work yet.
   12. Michael Bass Posted: January 11, 2005 at 06:13 AM (#1071537)
I'm reasonably sure this is the first and only time my "elect me" players in a controversial election will actually be elected. I'll bask in it. :)
   13. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 07:03 AM (#1071667)
Joe,

Al Spalding disagrees.
   14. Kelly in SD Posted: January 11, 2005 at 09:25 AM (#1071943)
Joe,

In total agreement. He can go with Faber and Wallace to take tickets. Terry joins the growing group of players who gained entrance through retiring in the right year in combination with a lack of two strong candidates so that broad but weak support enabled enshrinement.

Terry finished tied for 7th in elect-me votes.
Vance 12
Van Haltren 9
Jennings 9
Beckwith 7
Welch 7
Sewell 7
Beckley 6
Griffith 6
Terry 6
(listed in order of elect-me votes, then first-place, then alphabetically.)

Points per vote (everyone w/ 15 votes) [position]:
Welch 18.6 [17]
Vance 17.5 [1]
Jennings 16.5 [8]
Van Haltren 16.1 [7]
Griffith 15.2 [6]
Beckwith 14.94 [5]
Beckley 14.88 [10]
Sewell 14.39 [4]
Browning 14.37 [18]
Sisler 14.3 [11]
Rixey 14.2 [3]
Duffy 13.9 [13]
Grimes 13.9 [19]
Terry 13.6 [2]
Childs 13.1 [16]
Doyle 13.1 [20]
Waddell 13 [12]
Leach 12.8 [9]
Ryan 12.7 [22]
Roush 12.3 [14]
Redding 12.2 [15]
Mendez 11.8 [23]
Bresnahan 11.2 [21]

So how did Terry make it in?
Terry dominated the 9-15 spots on ballots where 22 of his 42 votes came from. The next highest finish by a player with 50% of their votes from the bottom half of the ballot was Waddell - 12th. The next most votes from 9-15 was Redding with 16.
He did have broad support in top half as well with 20 votes 1-8. But it was his support at the back half of the ballot that put him in. 5 more 12th place votes would have put Rixey in. Terry and Sewell both had 20 votes 1st - 8th. 9-15 Terry had 22, Sewell 13. If Sewell matched Terry's performance on the back half, he would be in.

To Many Voters,

Thank you for taking the time to explain, in some way, your voting method/system.
   15. karlmagnus Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:07 PM (#1072035)
We should severely increase the first year penalty on our ballots, like the HOF used to do, otherwise we appear to elect people by accident. Personally I regret Vance much more than Terry, but there were several more deserving long standing candidates than either. We are also biasing far too much towards recent players. My PHOM is now 14 away from consensus, and of those 14, I would regard about half as serious mistakes, who wouldn't make my PHOM if it was treble the size.
   16. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:14 PM (#1072041)
I think Terry shows the advantage of our system. We are electing people with broad based support across many different systems - peak, prime, career, ws, warp, traditional stats, etc. Much better to elect him than someone who a small group of electors think is the tops - although the Welch voters may disagree.
   17. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:23 PM (#1072049)
Let me propose a thought experiment, someone better at probability could actually calculate the result. Lets take 500 players and absolutely rank them from 1 to 500. We know the order they belong in. Now, lets randomly distribute their retirement years across the history of baseball. Every year, lets "vote" based on this absolute rank. When we finish electing the 210 or so guys, how many of them will have been elected in their first year on the ballot?

How many of the 210 elected are outside the top 210?

If you were to penalize a first year ballot player by adding 50 to their rank arbitrarily for that year, wouldnt you end up electing more or at least worse outside the top 210 players?
   18. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 11, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1072059)
For those of your who think that Terry is one of our worst electees, how many like Sisler? I guess I understand why peple would vote for Beckley, i.e. a fetish for long careers. I really don't think Beckley shoould get elected but I understand it. But in my system, Terry is solidly above Sisler.

Terry's Win Shares numbers in my system are much like those of an outfielder. This may not sound convincing, but if I went solely on my win shaares numbers, 7 of my top ten guys (maybe more) would be outfielders, I don't think that is very realistic. Win Shares seems to overrate outfielders.

Now Terry didn't make my PHOM, somaybe I am nto the guy who should defend him. But I do think he would have been a much better selection than say, Joe Sewell.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1072069)
Well, this doesn't exactly knock "shiny new toy" out of the box, does it?
I think the high number of 9th to 15th place votes are in some cases a matter of voters not being sure what to do with him on the first try, so it's 'a compromise' - one that got him elected.
   20. Al Peterson Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1072093)
Wow, I'm floored that Terry was elected. Absolutely floored. Might be our worst work yet.

I'll agree with you that Terry is borderline. Then again all the people on the 1942 ballot were borderline - thus they were backlog candidates. We did the best we could and thus Bill Terry makes the HOM.

As for complaints that Terry got in by being on many ballots but in the lower half, we can have that or the Lip Pike syndrome. In 1940 he got elected while being on 26 of 50 ballots. So the half of us who thought he was a bogus selection bit the bullet then. Others can do the same now.
   21. PhillyBooster Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1072104)
Wow, I'm floored that Terry was elected. Absolutely floored. Might be our worst work yet.

The "problem", if there is a problem, comes in the way we tabulate votes, not in the ordering of any particular -- or group of -- ballots. The group has a whole has been fairly consistently good in ranking according to their personal values.

However, in this case we've got a bunch of people on all of our ballots, down bottom, who we probably wouldn't want to actually elect.

Suppose we kept our same scoring system, but voted for only 5 people per ballot:

1. Vance -- 502
2. Beckwith -- 320
3. Sewell -- 316
4. Jennings -- 312
5. van Haltren -- 298
6. Terry -- 280
7. Rixey -- 258

Or, if we just ranked our Top 5, 5-4-3-2-1

1. Vance -- 89
T2 van Haltren -- 52
T2 Beckwith -- 52
4. Jennings -- 51
5. Sewell -- 48
6. Terry -- 46
7. Griffith -- 41

Either of those scoring methods pushes Terry down to sixth place.

Kelly made a valiant mid-ballot attempt to dissuade people from voting for Terry. The problem was that it is likely that he was about sixth best -- and people conservatively placed him 10th or 12 (like I did), but the scoring method put him back on on top.

If you personally think Beckwith or van Haltren would have been a better inductee than Terry (and many do not), then the criticism should be with the scoring method, not with the voters.
   22. karlmagnus Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:41 PM (#1072123)
Any voting system has its glitches. I have both Beckwith and van Haltren off my ballot, below Terry but above Vance. Griffith or Beckley are the two in the Top 10 who were above Terry, but your voting system changes do nothing for them.

Changing the system doesn't help, but being cautious about newbies is essential. Even more essential is not to get bored with older players, allowing them to slip slowly down ballots as new toys appear, which is what seems to be happening.
THAT looks to me the real problem.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:47 PM (#1072131)
I'm not going to beat up on Terry since somebody here could beat up on a player that I trumpeted. Somebody's borderliner is another's HOMer.

Was he at least a borderline candidate? Yes. Did he have an impressive peak? Yes. Do any of us need to hold our noses? No.

Welcome, Bill.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:52 PM (#1072138)
Joe,

Al Spalding disagrees.


Spalding was the greatest pitcher of his era, while Terry wasn't close to being the best first baseman for his. Spalding was the greater impact player.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1072143)
Changing the system doesn't help, but being cautious about newbies is essential. Even more essential is not to get bored with older players, allowing them to slip slowly down ballots as new toys appear, which is what seems to be happening.
THAT looks to me the real problem.


Very well said, karlmagnus.
   26. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 03:59 PM (#1072155)
I see no evidence of the "shiny new toy" or boredom effect. If anything, the Terry result might be due to people being cautious with him. There could be a number of people who had him about 5-8 but showed first year restraint and voted him 9-15 instead. My system of restraint had him below Sewell in 2nd instead of his natural 1st. The combination of a good but not great career value with a very nice peak pushed him to near the top of my ballot and onto a lot of other ballots.

I think the elections of Terry and Pike are both proof that are system works. In down years you can be elected by being a strong candidate amongst 50% of the voters or by being a ballot candidate amongst 80% of the voters.
   27. Chris Cobb Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:02 PM (#1072159)
Phillybooster's analsyiss of the system is cogent, but I believe that there is a voter psychology factor involved as well as a systemic voting factor.

I agree with those who point out a tendency for new players to get more down-ballot support than they will receive in the next year or two, which then plays into the working of the voting system. I think voters should be aware of the tendency to let new candidates onto the ballot and try not to do it.

I would ask the voters to ask themselves: Are there features of my voting system that may unfairly privilege new candidates (for instance in how the consideration set is constructed)? If my approach to ballot construction is designedly subjective, am I giving new candidates unearned privilege?
   28. Michael Bass Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1072173)
I cannot disagree more about a "first ballot penalty". We are called on to rank players to the best of our ability. That means we should be careful not to experience "shiny new toy syndrome", but it certainly doesn't mean we should be dropping new players arbitrarily.

I further disagree that the voting system is a problem. We've actually got a pretty solid voting system if it's one that can elect Pike and Terry despite such disparate ways into the HOM.

And finally, I sort of resent the implication that, as one of the 6 people who had Terry in an "elect me" slot, I got somehow dazzled by his newness on the ballot and overrated him. He is/was exactly where the mathematical formula I use slotted him on my ballot. I sometimes make adjustments to that formula for pitchers and catchers, as it does not handle them well, but in this case I made none. If Terry had not been inducted, then 20 elections later, he still would have been over everyone else on this ballot with the possible exceptions of Vance (who is a pitcher, which I'm always ending up messing with, and who was very close to Terry this election) or one of the NLers (where subjective evidence could theoretically convince me that they deserve a higher ballot position).
   29. PhillyBooster Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:10 PM (#1072180)
robc's point is also a good one.

The fact that Terry had a lot of "down ballot" support could just as easily be an artifact of a lot of people who would otherwise have given him "up ballot" support being conservative. I know I dropped him a few "subjective" points, as I do with many new candidates who I don't have a good comfort level with.

Without letting us vote on his again in 1943, we won't know whether he was a shiny toy or a victim of restraint.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1072200)
As I have mentioned before, I don't believe in the "shiny new toy" theory, but I do think we need to be very careful with the newbies.

My system originally had Sewell at the top of my ballot a few elections back, but I had made some mental mistakes with him. Was I "blinded" by the jug-eared shortstop who retired years before I was born? Of course not. I just made a mistake.

Remember: if Terry hadn't made it, some of us would be complaining about another inductee. It just wasn't a good crop this "year," relative to other elections.
   31. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1072264)
John,

Spalding might have been the greatest pitcher of his era if he had shown up for the second half of it. Posting a goose egg for the last half of his era knocks him down a bit.

I find it interesting that I picked Spaldings name, considering he was on my ballot when he got elected and eventually made my PHOM while guys like Pike got elected while only vaguely sniffing at my ballot. I still think Lip was a better choice than Al.
   32. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:49 PM (#1072273)
I agree with EricC that Terry is reminiscent of Sam Thompson - and neither one is currently in my PHoM. The careers weren't really that long, they played in big-scoring eras so their raw numbers look more impressive than they really are, and they were never really the best players in their leagues. But they certainly had solid careers, and I don't really think they're indefensible picks.

I'll also add that there's been a lot of criticism of Sewell's case because there wasn't a lot of competition at shortstop in the 20s. But the opposite argument can be made for Terry - he wasn't the best first baseman of his era, but you don't have to be as good as Gehrig and Foxx to be worthy of election.
   33. Dolf Lucky Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1072277)
Whoever got elected this year for the 2nd spot would have competed for "worst electee ever" title. Carrying under 50% of the total possible points guarantees you get lumped in that discussion. That means that if instead of Bill Terry, Rixey or Beckwith or Beckley or Welch or whoever got elected, they would be on many people's minds when thinking of the worst HoMer to date. It was an extremely weak ballot.

I was going to post something else, but I got distracted by something shiny...
   34. andrew siegel Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1072289)
I had Terry 11th, one spot ahead of Chance, four ahead of Beckley, and five ahead of Sisler. By the numbers, he would have been 6th or so, but I exercised caution based on (1) his newness and (2)the fact that there is a bunch of first baseman with roughly similar credentials.

That having been said, Terry was a very good player with a particularly impressive prime. He had a run of seven years in a row with an OWP over .700 and nine years in a row with an OWP over .670, and was one of the greatest defensive first basemen of alltime. I didn't do a systematic study but through quick rummaging I couldn't find a single 20th-century player with seven consecutive OWP's over .700 who we won't be a strong candidate for election.

Terry is not yet in my PHOM, but he would be if I voted straight-up on the numbers this year and, as is, he's fifth in line for election, which means he will probably sneak in the door sometime in the distant future. Even if he doesn't, he's at worst a borderline candidate. Since each of us have a few guys we think are ridiculous picks, I don't understand the whinning.
   35. robc Posted: January 11, 2005 at 04:58 PM (#1072296)
Dolf,

Was it Oscar Charleston? He is '43s shiny new toy.

Charleston, Cochrane, and Frisch - lots of shiny new toys. Surely no more than 1 or 2 of those 3 belong on the ballot?
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1072300)
Speaking as somebody who had Spalding, Pike and Terry all in elect-me spots, I could gloat. But I have to admit to some embarrassment at being part of a controversial "consensus" (many ballots, few elect-me's) selection like Memphis Bill. I usually specialize in the other kind of controversy (the few ballots but skewed high) candidate.

I think as we go forward, we will elect many Spaldings, Pikes and Terry's that some voters don't like. I personally think Pud Galvin and a couple-too-many-LFers are our worst choices, but the fact is we will do worse than any of these guys someday. I mean, just think about electing three every year in the not too distant future, and working our way down to today's backlog again doing it.

As the consideration sets get bigger and our ballots more fragmented, there will also be many very close calls. And the fact is that we will have more Terry's than Pikes in the future. That is because our system has a small but potentially decisive bias toward consensus--to wit:

Elect-me bonus = 4 points
Off-ballot penalty = 6 points

Compare #2 Terry and #3 Rixey e.g. Assume Rixey makes 5 more ballots, so that each has 42. And assume that one of Rixey's is a first and four are 15ths. Now they have the same number of ballots and Rixey has one extra elect-me, for a total of 575 points to Terry's 571. That would be fair--i.e. Rixey getting elected, if he had the same total number of ballots and one more elect me.

Now delete Rixey from one ballot, one lousy little 15th place. He now has one extra elect-me, but Terry one extra ballot. And Terry wins 571-569.

Or take G. Van Haltren who is second this year in elect-me points. He needs a whole 'nother 15 ballots to match Terry's 42--well, assume he has them and they're all bottom of the ballot, an 8th and 2 each from 9th to 15th. Now he has the same number of ballots as Terry and 3 extra elect-me's. Add 139 points for VH and he beats Terry 575-571.

Now delete one 15th place, same as with Rixey. He's still got 3 extra elect-me's but one fewer ballot and he loses 571-569.

Now obviously Rixey and VH could also win these match-ups with a slightly different distribution of placements. But who's to say that scenarios like this won't happen randomly. I say they will and more than once.

So anyway, Bill Terry is in and some voters disagree, saying he may be one of our worst choices. Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
   37. Dolf Lucky Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1072322)
Was it Oscar Charleston? He is '43s shiny new toy.

He's black though, so I'm not sure he counts.

*cough* Pete Hill *cough*

I think it's ok to vote Cochrane high, but Frisch may need to be hit with some caution, perhaps as a penalty for sneaking in some of his friends to the Hall of Fame.

Perhaps we can form a committee that would recommend which new candidates should be artificially held back, and which are OK to vote high. Any volunteers?
   38. Chris Cobb Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1072336)
Here's a somewhat peculiar statement, but it's an attempt to express my analysis of the outcome. The strength of support for Terry suggests that if he had not been elected this year, he probably would have been elected in the future. At present, I don't agree with the electorate's choice, but it's possible my view of Terry will change in future.

I cannot disagree more about a "first ballot penalty". We are called on to rank players to the best of our ability. That means we should be careful not to experience "shiny new toy syndrome", but it certainly doesn't mean we should be dropping new players arbitrarily.

I agree that we shouldn't drop new players arbitrarily, but we need to be sure we aren't favoring them arbitrarily, either.

I further disagree that the voting system is a problem. We've actually got a pretty solid voting system if it's one that can elect Pike and Terry despite such disparate ways into the HOM.

The voting system is not a problem: it has shown itself over the years to be a highly satisfactory mechanism for selection. Nevertheless, its design will favor certain configurations of voter support over others. It is useful for us to be aware of the system's influence.

And finally, I sort of resent the implication that, as one of the 6 people who had Terry in an "elect me" slot, I got somehow dazzled by his newness on the ballot and overrated him. He is/was exactly where the mathematical formula I use slotted him on my ballot.

If it makes you feel any better, my concerns about the electorate as a whole favoring new candidates excessively are directed at rankings in the bottom third of the ballot. I'm pretty sure that the folks who ranked Bill Terry #1 or #2 saw him, in their systems of value, as a clear HoMer. I disagree with that evaluation, but I'm sure it's a fully considered choice.

Since each of us have a few guys we think are ridiculous picks, I don't understand the whinning.

This is the challenge that Terry would have gone through if he'd placed third insead of second in his first year on the ballot. When the people who supported Terry write and defend their choices, it helps to verify that the outcome of the vote does indeed reflect the electorate's considered judgment.
   39. Chris Cobb Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:20 PM (#1072354)
Sunnyday2,

Great comments!
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1072357)
It seems to me that 20C ML position players would be the easiest group to get our arms around. I mean, pitchers are hard, and the 19C is hard and the NeL is hard. So here is our pecking order of 20C position players. Does this look right?

4. Sewell
9. Leach
11. Sisler
14. Roush
20. Doyle

21. Bresnahan
25. Schang
27. Rice
29. Traynor
30. Hooper

31. Burns
35. Veach
37. Maranville
42. H. Wilson
43. Cravath

45. Chance
46. F. Jones
48. Konetchy
50. Bancroft
53. Arlett

54. Pratt
57. Bush
59. Fournier
62. Schalk
64. Youngs

Now each of us will find something there to disagree with, but they're grouped in 5s so that I can at least ask the question of whether anybody is at a grossly inappropriate level.

1st 5--I'm kind of surprised to see Leach with that group myself. 2nd 5--career guys, generally, who are not high on my list, but all (other than Bresnahan) somewhat comparable. 3rd 5--nobody there that excites me, they could be lower but probably not higher.

4th 5--Chance and Bancroft seem to be at least two groups too low, and Chance has never even been on my ballot. But if these rankings seem a bit out of whack at all, it is Chance and Bancroft seeming to be too low.

Otherwise I would just observe that the 20C position player backlog seems pretty weak. I think the division between Tier 1, inner circle, NBs and everybody else is so well established, that everybody who is not Tier 1 seems weak by comparison. I wonder if we are not underrating the whole lot of them a little bit. They are 25 players out of 65, 5/13ths, 40 percent, and maybe that is right. But I think the relative certitude that we have about the pecking order of this particular group of players, compared to the pitchers, the 19C and the NeLers, works to the disadvantage of all the non-NBs on this list.
   41. DavidFoss Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1072405)
*cough* Pete Hill *cough*

I think this was the first election where I thought a non-shoo-in flew in first ballot with relative ease. That's 1927. Fifteen ballots ago.

I have no problem with Pete Hill's induction. There were four backlog elections immediately after 1927. The top NINE candidates from that year have all been inducted, so he was destined to make it anyways.

The point is that we've known about this "decent-candidate-in-a-backlog-year" effect for quite some time now. We were careful to run Groh & Wheat through the gauntlet in 1933 as one of them was likely to be inducted with little debate. We knew Faber flew in with very few elect-me votes just a couple of years ago. We all knew that there were many shoo-in's becoming eligible starting in 1943 and this was last backlog election for a while. We had the Terry thread up a 'year' early for extra debate and with the extra week for the holidays, its hard to imagine us thinking of him as a new toy since there were 47 posts there, but none since December 9th. There was mention in the discussion threads about the need to carefully examine Terry because he could easily be inducted in this backlog year. We should all know by now that you cannot wait until someone finishes 3rd in the voting before you state your case against their candidacy... because they just might finish higher.

I think Terry earned this. Welcome Bill.
   42. Mike Webber Posted: January 11, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1072442)
Sunny Day;

I sorted my ballot from last year, and we seem to match up. You have Arlett and I have Combs, but otherwise the top 25 position players are the same.

You like the catchers more than I do, I like Maranville and George Burns more. Burns is probably a mistake on my part. Bancroft would be our biggest disagreement, I have him as a borderline bottom of the ballot guy, but you see a lot of people more deserving than Beauty.
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: January 11, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1072464)
Beckwith surged to 5th with support on only 57% of the ballots. He leads in #15 votes and ties for the leads in #14-#15 votes. That hints at relatively strong support just off-ballot, unless #15 votes are tokens.

The Beckwith thread boomed during 1940 and again during 1942, following major articles by Chris Cobb (Nov 30 and Dec 27 real time). Near silence during 1941 set the stage for his big jump in the 1942 election.

--
I expected that Sewell, Rixey or Beckwith would be elected. But I knew that someone without strong support would be elected. I think almost everyone knew that.

Terry benefited here by retiring before a boatload of first and second magnitude stars retired (and perhaps from the particular age that was selected to stand in lieu of retirement for Negro League elders). But that is true of everyone who was eligible in 1942.

The true first-year effect may be that people who feel strongly, and can make a good case, that Terry does not belong in the HOM on January 1, 1943, were not warned of his imminent election. In contrast, the corresponding "enemies" of Rixey, Sewell and Vance were warned. For Sewell, I think the warning was decisive; he would have been elected if his very strong showing had not stimulated some latent critics to give focus on him now.
   44. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 11, 2005 at 06:08 PM (#1072469)
sunnyday, I don't know that I'd read much into placement on the bottom half of the ballot. There are so few votes there that it's hard to say they're reflecting the overall opinion of the electorate. For example, I would guess that, on the whole, people tend to have Dave Bancroft ahead of Hack Wilson, Gavvy Cravath, and Fielder Jones, but for the large majority of them, none of them show up on the ballot.
   45. OCF Posted: January 11, 2005 at 06:43 PM (#1072579)
I had Terry 6th on my ballot. I had Van Haltren, Sewell, and Beckwith all ahead of him (along with my pet cause, Larry Doyle), but I did see him as clearly the best available first baseman, ahead of Sisler, Chance, and Beckley (and Fournier and Konetchy), so I'm not complaining about his election. In my opinion, his case is much stronger than Sam Thompson's. In particular, in the offensive system I use, Terry's top two offensive years match Sisler's nearly exactly, and then every year below that Terry is clearly better.

Yes, the accident of the order we are considering candidates matters. If Terry had stayed on the ballot, he might have stayed on the ballot while Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg were all elected ahead of him. I'd have to put Greenberg ahead of Terry.

Mr. "highest consensus score" just saw two candidates elected that he didn't even have on his ballot.

I can understand being a little confused by post #7, but jschmeagol had Vance 2nd and Terry 4th on his 1942 ballot.
   46. OCF Posted: January 11, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1072603)
The average consensus score was -9.0, beating the previous low of -8.5 set in 1939. They will be substantially higher in 1943 as a number of new candidates gain broad ballot support.

Here's a 5-year update. This list is sorted by average score over those five years, with appropriate context adjustments for incomplete lines.

Voter          1938 1939 1940 1941 1942
jschmeagol       6    0   -1   12    2
Chris Cobb       4   -1    1   12   -2
Tiboreau         4   -1    1   10   -1
Howie Menckel    2    1    4    9   -4
Ardo                           11    0
favre            2   -3    0   12   -3
OCF             -2   -2   -1   11    1
DanG             1   -2   -4   10   -3
Brad G           3   -6   -3   12   -4
Andrew M.        2   -4   -1    8   -4
Adam Schafer    -1    0    0    9   -8
Dan Rosenheck    1   -5   
Devin McCullen   1   -5   -2    9   -4
daryn           -2   -2    0    8   -7
Buddha           4   -3  -11   12 
Tom H            2   -4   -4    8   -5
Esteban Rivera  -3   -4   -1    7   -7
dan b            2   -5   -3    5   -8
Rob Wood        -4   -5   -3    6   -5
Don F            0   -7   -5    8   -7
Andrew Siegel   -3   -8   -3    6   -5
Al Peterson     -2  -10   -4    8   -5
SWW             -2   -4   -4    6  -10
Max Parkinson   -2   -5   -5    3   -7
Philip          -2   -7   -7    6   -7
David Foss       0  -11   -4    5   -9
Rusty Priske    -3   -5  -10    8   -9
Ken Fischer     -3   -7   -4    2   -8
Joe Dimino      -2   -6   -9    6  -10
Rick A          -5   -7   -5    5  -13
Sean Gilman     -2  -10   -7    3  -12
sunnyday2       -3  -11   -9    6  -12
jimd           -10   -9  -10    6   -7
mdb1mdb1       -11  -10   -7    6  -10
Jeff M          -5  -15  -10    5   -8
Thane of Bagarth -9 -14   -7    3   -7
Michael Bass    -4  -14  -14    4   -7
Dr. Chaleeko    -6  -16   -9    4  -10
Patrick W      -11  -13  -12    4   -6
PhillyBooster  -10   -6  -11    3  -13
Jim Sp         -13  -15   -7    5  -10
Brian H         -9  -11   
Ron Wargo      -14  -13   -8    4  -11
yest           -13  -10  -15    5   -9
John Murphy     -4  -12   -7   -2  -17
Brent           -7  -16  -11    3  -13
Bleacher                           -13
KJOK           -12  -12  -10    1  -15
Dolf Lucky      -7  -15  -18    1  -15
Kelly from SD  -11  -17  -10    1  -20
Mike Webber                    -1  -16
karlmagnus     -12  -14  -19   -1  -19
robc           -13  -17  -17   -4  -17
jhwinfrey      -18  -17  -13   -2  -18
EricC          -14  -14  -18   -2  -21
Guapo          -17  -21  -20   -6  -19


One could get a high consensus score by being a follower or by being a leader. I don't think there's any doubt that Chris Cobb is a leader - his posts probably make him the single most persuasive voter.
   47. Paul Wendt Posted: January 11, 2005 at 07:13 PM (#1072659)
David Foss #41
its hard to imagine us thinking of [Terry] as a new toy since there were 47 posts there, but none since December 9th. There was mention in the discussion threads about the need to carefully examine Terry because he could easily be inducted in this backlog year. We should all know by now that you cannot wait until someone finishes 3rd in the voting before you state your case against their candidacy... because they just might finish higher.

I didn't see this (or any of #31-42) before posting #43. In observing that Terry's latent critics "were not warned of his imminent election" I did mean not warned by his strong showing at the polls --close but no cigar-- as latent critics of Joe Sewell were warned (cf Rixey, Vance).

Terry's latent critics . . . were not moved by his imminent election, as Joe Sewell's were.
   48. PhillyBooster Posted: January 11, 2005 at 08:01 PM (#1072786)
Does this look right?

4. Sewell
9. Leach


I'll start out with the Top 2 -- which I guess are the most important to get right -- and say "No".

Holistic ubermeasures:
WARP1
Leach: 114
Sewell: 102

Win Shares:
Leach: 329
Sewell: 277

Bill James Ranking
Leach: BJ Rank #20 3B
Sewell: BJ Rank #23 SS

Piece by piece:

Offensively, they both are turning in a 109 OPS+, although Leach gives us an extra 253. Offensive advantage Leach for the same performance in 1.5 more season's worth of games.

Defense: Both played "important" defensive positions
Marginal Differences in Games Played by At Important Def. Positions:
Leach: 996 G @ CF; 312 G @ 3B
Sewell: 1152 G @ SS

FRAR:
Leach: 584
Sewell: 511

FRAA:
Leach: 120
Sewell: 101

Other: Postseason (2 world series each)

Leach: 18 for 58 with 4 2B, 4 3B, and 9 RBI. .310 BA., .866 OPS
Sewell: 9 for 38 with a double and 3 RBI. .237 BA, .619 OPS.

Other: "Peak"

WS/162
Leach: 24.72
Sewell: 23.58

Top 3 WS:
Leach: 87
Sewell: 84

Top 3 WARP1:
Leach: 29.1
Sewell: 31.7

Pennants Added 2.0:
Leach: .778 -- third all-time for third basemen, clearly among the HoMers (Sutton, Baker, Leach, Collins, Groh)
Sewell: .627 -- tenth all-time for shortstops, after 7 HoMers (Wagner, Davis, Dahlen, Wright, Glassock, Wallace, Ward), and 2 non-Homers (Jennings and Long).

So, by what measures does Sewell top Leach? Marginally in Top few WARP-1 seasons. Maybe in "defensive importance" if 1150 games at SS trumps 1300 games in center and third.

In my mind, this one isn't really that close. It's Leach by a country mile.
   49. jimd Posted: January 11, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1073214)
So, by what measures does Sewell top Leach?

I have both players high on my ballot, but I have Sewell (2) ahead of Leach (7).

A couple of factors not included in PhillyBooster's excellent analysis:
1) The bulk of Leach's career is played in the weaker NL of the 00's/10's; Sewell is playing in the dominant AL of the 20's. (WARP-3: Leach 82.0 Sewell 88.5) This also boosts Sewell's peak ahead of Leach's.
2) Sewell was often the best SS in MLB during the 20's (WARP has him #1 5 times, 23-6,28); Leach was rarely the best at his position of the year (only once, 1908).
   50. Bleacher Posted: January 11, 2005 at 10:31 PM (#1073218)
Since he sailed into the HoM (with only an 11th place vote from me), and we're not likely to discuss him much more, let me add a brief anecdote to Bill Terry.

I was living in the Bay Area in 1981-82, going to a lot of games at the Stick, which had the names of several great Giants of the past on the OF wall, including Matty and McGraw, as well as Mays, McCovey, and Marichal. But no Bill Terry.

I wrote the Giants owner (then Bob Lurie) in the offseason and said that he was missing the boat in not having Terry's name out there, since he was the last NL guy to hit .400 and won 3 pennants and a WS as manager. He wrote back thanking me and said they'd do something about it.

Well, they put his name and number on the OF wall the next year (I think it was '82 or '83). And Terry even showed up for the ceremony. He was about 85 or so at the time. When they asked he how he felt about being honored, the cantankerous old fart said that it was long overdue!
   51. PhillyBooster Posted: January 11, 2005 at 11:02 PM (#1073324)
2) Sewell was often the best SS in MLB during the 20's (WARP has him #1 5 times, 23-6,28); Leach was rarely the best at his position of the year (only once, 1908).

By my calculations (combination of WARP, WS and personal judgment), Leach was the best NL third baseman in 1901, 1902 and 1908, and the best NL centerfielder of 1913. I also see him as the second best NL third baseman of 1903, and the second best NL centerfielder of 1907 and 1914. Feel free to disagree with any individual year, but if you like someone else, then Leach was a very close second.

I do not deny that Sewell was also frequently the best, but the margins (for both players) were relatively narrow. Neither towered over the quivering masses below. Any advantage to Sewell on that count (and there may be a small one) I consider marginal and in no way decisive.
   52. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 11, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1073389)
Great story, Bleacher. Of course, you probably should have suggested Buck Ewing, but nobody cares about 19th century baseball, anyway. ;)

Anyway, I killed some time this afternoon by trying to analyze which eras are getting the most support in the voting for this year. What I did was, for each year, to add up the points for every player. So 1875, for example, has Charley Jones (187)+Tommy Bond (16)+Tom York (10).

The results: The totals slowly climb up through 1886 (1021), then go up steeply through 1891 (3224). They basically plateau (actually goes down a little) through 1897, then go up to a peak in 1900 (3921). After 1903, there's a sharp dropoff, bottoming out in 1908 (1881). They starts climbing again in the teens, getting back to the previous level by about 1915. There's a peak in 1920 at 4572.

If you don't count the honorees, that's the high point, staying steady through 1925 and heading down from there. If you do count Vance and Terry, it continues up, peaking in 1923 (5574). It parallels the other line from there on out, with a steady decline and a big dropoff after 1933.

To me, the big surprise was the large dip, basically between 1903 and 1913. It might be that we're undervaluing that era, it might be that we're satisfied we've handled it fairly. It's hard to say if it's a lack of candidates from that era or just a lower rating of the candidates we have. The average pts/candidate are definitely higher in the 1890s. From about 1905 to 1922 they're at roughly the same level. They go back up during the 1920s, reaching the level of the 90s if you include Terry and Vance.
   53. jimd Posted: January 12, 2005 at 12:06 AM (#1073495)
Leach was the best NL third baseman

I don't distinguish between the two leagues. The probability of the 2nd best player at a position being in the same league as the best player is close to 50% (7/15 or 47%). Jimmy Collins, Bill Bradley, and Frank Baker are part of the mix.
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 12, 2005 at 12:29 AM (#1073552)
He was about 85 or so at the time. When they asked he how he felt about being honored, the cantankerous old fart said that it was long overdue!

Well, he was blunt, I've heard. :-)
   55. EricC Posted: January 12, 2005 at 01:39 AM (#1073651)
Counterarguments to #48;#51

1. Comprehensive measures that take into account league strength , such as this week's ;-) version of WARP3, show that Sewell had more career value than Leach, in fewer games. #48 completely ignores this point. Now one may choose not to believe in AL-NL differences, but WARP, my system, World Series results, All Star game results, and HoF voting patterns all show a pretty clear pattern of AL superiority in this era.

2. CF and 3B are central positions on the defensive spectrum, while SS is on the right. Lumping them all together as "important defensive positions" is OK, but somewhat misleading.

3. Even if Bill James's ratings are true, it is entirely possible that the 23rd greatest SS in history belongs in the HoM, while the 20th greatest 3B doesn't. It's not like people are flocking to induct James' 15th greatest 3B (Traynor).

4. As jimd pointed out, a player can lead a league and not be among the 2 best players at his position. As ranked by Win Shares per plate appearance, corrected for league strength, Sewell was among the top 1/2/3 at his position 3/8/9 times. All eligible players at least this dominant at their positions have been inducted except for Frank Chance and Wally Schang. Leach was among the top 1/2/3 positions at his position 0/2/4 times. This is a Larry Gardner, Dave Bancroft, Hall of the Very Good level.

Look, I appreciate Tommy Leach, but he belongs in the Hall of the Very Good, not the HoM. He was Bill Bradley lite in his 3B days and Clyde Milan lite in his CF days. Win Shares blows it because it does not take into account league strength. Pennants added is essentially WS/430 at this Sewell/Leach level and merely repeats the WS mistake.
   56. jimd Posted: January 12, 2005 at 02:14 AM (#1073714)
Well, he was blunt, I've heard. :-)

And sarcastic too, as James noted in one of his historical abstracts. I'm sure most here are familiar with the story of his "Is Brooklyn still in the league?" comment.

(For those who aren't, IIRC it went something like this: Between the 1933-34 seasons, as manager, he was giving his assessments of the various NL contenders to the press. The above comment was his notorious reply when asked about the Dodgers. The final two games of the season found the defending champion Giants tied with the Cardinals and hosting the Bums. The two teams had a fratricidal version of the Yankee-RedSox rivalry, so Brooklyn players and fans took extra-sweet delight in winning those two games while the Gas House Gang swept the last place Reds.)
   57. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 02:27 AM (#1073736)
EricC,

1. Didn't Sewell play in an era with fewer great shortstops? Like none in the majors? I would say that Leach contemporaries Collings and Baker were quite good 3B. This would make a straight comparison of Leach's times at the top of his position and Sewell's times at the top of his misleading.

2. Before 1920, 3B was a more important defensive position. I believe it was more like 2B today. So saying they both played important defensive positions isn't as misleading as you asy it is.
   58. EricC Posted: January 12, 2005 at 02:56 AM (#1073775)
Didn't Sewell play in an era with fewer great shortstops?

Yes, I agree; Sewell played in an era with few great ML shortshops, just as Traynor played at a time with few great ML 3B. On the other hand, real wins result when you have a player that's the best at his position. There's a fine line between rewarding a player for having weak competition and punishing him for it.

Before 1920, 3B was a more important defensive position.

OK, point taken. I'll just note that Leach played more games at CF than 3B.
   59. Brent Posted: January 12, 2005 at 03:50 AM (#1073818)
EricC wrote:

On the other hand, real wins result when you have a player that's the best at his position.

I've heard this argument made many times in various threads, but I don't think the argument is really valid. Why should it matter that one team has the best shortstop, if another team can beat them by having the best left fielder, or another team can beat them by having the best pitcher? Teams don't play each other position by position, it's one lineup against the other.

In 1921-23 New York was able to beat Cleveland despite Sewell's dominance at shortstop by having an even more dominant outfielder; in 1924-25 Washington was able to use a dominant pitcher and a left fielder to beat Cleveland's dominance at shortstop. I really don't think the argument that dominance at a position relative to other weak players should carry any weight in HOM decisions.
   60. EricC Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:15 AM (#1074370)
I've heard this argument made many times in various threads, but I don't think the argument is really valid. Why should it matter that one team has the best shortstop, if another team can beat them by having the best left fielder, or another team can beat them by having the best pitcher?

You are assuming the premise in order to argue against the premise.

Naming names, Joe Sewell was not as dominant at his position as your examples Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson were at theirs, and may not have been as dominant as your third example Goose Goslin.

And, in complete consistency with the premise that there is value to having a player who is the best at his position, I rate Ruth, Johnson, and Goslin higher than Sewell.
   61. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 12:18 PM (#1074403)
"Whoever got elected this year for the 2nd spot would have competed for "worst electee ever" title."

I don't think Rixey would be on that list.

I never said it was a problem, I just didn't like the choice, that's all. I don't think there's anything wrong with our system. I agree with whoever said that it's a positive that you need broad support, and a small minority can't get someone elected (which is by design). I just don't like the way it worked out this year, that's all.
   62. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:09 PM (#1075655)
Of course Hughie Jennings was the best at his positions for five staright years against what I believe to be to tougher competition at SS. ELECT JENNINGS WHEN WE CAN!!! 1951? 48?

Sorry for the plug.
   63. ronw Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1075777)
Anyone have a year-by-year total ballots cast listing? We don't seem to put it in our results table.
   64. Patrick W Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1075872)
Year   # Ballots
1898    29
1899    31
1900    35
1901    35
1902    42
1903    44
1904    43
1905    41
1906    43
1907    41
1908    42
1909    43
1910    44
1911    42
1912    42
1913    42
1914    41
1915    44
1916    44
1917    45
1918    45
1919    47
1920    46
1921    48
1922    46
1923    48
1924    46
1925    48
1926    50
1927    49
1928    47
1929    48
1930    51
1931    53
1932    51
1933    54
1934    56
1935    52
1936    50
1937    52
1938    53
1939    53
1940    51
1941    53
1942    53
   65. EricC Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:29 AM (#1075874)
Congratulations, Jim Sp and Kelly from SD! Your 1942 ballots had no players in common. This may be the first time this has happened in a HoM election. (but it probably won't be the last).
   66. robc Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:10 AM (#1076153)
Somehow they both beat me in consensus scores. Then again that makes sense, I probably have 1/2 a ballot in common with both. Damn you, Lave Cross. BTW, support for Cross has doubled, who is the other sucker, errmmm, I mean highly perceptive individual?

Are there really 30 ballot worthy candidates?
   67. robc Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:19 AM (#1076173)
That last comment was a joke considering 65 different players got votes this year. Of those, 41 are on less than 1/4 then ballots. Those are crazy votes by nutjob voters (note: I think 6 of them are on my ballot - hmmm, that may explain the low consensus score). Some were worried that when we hit the ballot nadir that the vote would be split to widely. Looks like we have avoided that. 24 candidates got most of the votes, which seems reasonable. In 1898, there were 18 candidates on at least 1/4 the ballots. That number has barely increased.
   68. DavidFoss Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:27 AM (#1076192)
Are there really 30 ballot worthy candidates?

:-)

30 different candidates got top-3 votes. 24 of those got elect-me votes. 17 of those got #1 votes.
   69. OCF Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:48 AM (#1076477)
Congratulations, Jim Sp and Kelly from SD! Your 1942 ballots had no players in common.

So: an examination of voter-to-voter agreement. The scale runs from 0 to 100, and the score for Kelly from SD and Jim Sp is 0. The average over all pairs is 40.8, or 41.9 if you include the self-agreement scores of 100. The highest scores:

84 Daryn & Adam Schafer
83 Andrew M & Tiboreau
79 OCF & Rob Wood
79 Michael Bass & Thane of Bagarth
77 jschmeagol & Tiboreau
76 Sean Gilman & David Foss
75 Michael Bass & Max Parkinson

The lowest:

0 Kelly from SD & Jim Sp
3 Kelly from SD & Dolf Lucky
5 karlmagnus & Dr. Chaleeko
5 KJOK & Brad G
6 Kelly from SD & Eric C
7 karlmagnus & Mike Webber
8 Esteban Rivera & Mike Webber
9 karlmagnus & Brent

What does a score of 3 represent? The only candidate in common between Kelly from SD and Dolf Lucky was George Burns - 9th on one ballot, 12th on the other.

Everyone's agreement with me was at least 27 - the highest minimum score out there. (The 27 was with karlmagnus.)

Looking to Chris Cobb as the bellwether voter, agreement with him ranged from 17 (karlmagnus) to 73 (Dan G, Howie Menckel, with some other 71's and 72's.)
   70. Michael Bass Posted: January 13, 2005 at 08:10 AM (#1076506)
Hmm...I'm most the only one twice on the "most in agreement" list. I must be the ultimate follower. ;)

Oh, and rob, I am the other Cross voter. He's been on and off my ballot since we started, but he's at a high water point for now (well, until this year's class knocks him back a bit). Long career, couple good years in there to mix with the many averagish years, some catching bonus for good measure. What's not to love? :)
   71. OCF Posted: January 13, 2005 at 08:53 AM (#1076543)
Well, Michael, your 11 with Rusty Priske wasn't all that far from the other list.
   72. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:13 PM (#1076709)
Karlmagnus,

We appear to be locked in a peculiar HOM dance where I never vote for Beckley and you vote for many fewer NgLs than me. Too bad I have two left feet!

Here's to another 60 years of waltzing!

; )
   73. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1076716)
I voted Terry at number 14 without qualm. I didn't think at first that he would make my ballot, but as I compared him against other candidates on my ballot (and off), I kept coming back to two things:
1) He was better than Sisler, and George isn't all that far from my ballot
2) His stats were close to Childs'.

Childs is on the bottom of my ballot now (13th last year), having slid down over the years. He's on there because of a nifty peak. His only real peak advantage over Terry comes on a three-year basis. He and Terry intersect or Terry very slightly exceeds him at the other intervals I look at. Initially, therefore, I put Terry above him. However, I ultimately retained Childs at 13 and put Terry 14th because I felt that 2B was a more valuable defensive position in the 1890s than 1B was in the 1930s.

As for my number 15, it was Bill Monroe about whom I have been wavering for years and years. Monroe ceeded a variety of peak and prime advantages to Terry, and his career advantage wasn't enough, in my mind, to overcome my doubts about the sketchiness of the information available about him.

Does that sound like shiny new toy? I don't think it does, but maybe I'm wrong?

I'm much more concerned that I got Vance wrong than Terry because I had/have trouble figuring out whether Vance's 2900 innings are more meritorious than Rixey's 4 jillion.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:55 PM (#1076761)
84 Daryn & Adam Schafer
83 Andrew M & Tiboreau
79 OCF & Rob Wood
79 Michael Bass & Thane of Bagarth
77 jschmeagol & Tiboreau
76 Sean Gilman & David Foss
75 Michael Bass & Max Parkinson

The lowest:

0 Kelly from SD & Jim Sp
3 Kelly from SD & Dolf Lucky
5 karlmagnus & Dr. Chaleeko
5 KJOK & Brad G
6 Kelly from SD & Eric C
7 karlmagnus & Mike Webber
8 Esteban Rivera & Mike Webber
9 karlmagnus & Brent



It's good to see that my ballot was eccentric enough that I wasn't lumped in with the conformists, but not too eccentric to be thrown in with the radicals. :-D
   75. karlmagnus Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1076780)
Dr. Chaleeko, we agree on essentials. I had Terry 13 and you had him 14; only a sabermetric metric could call that violent disagreement :-))
   76. ronw Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1077232)
One rudimentary view of the five most divisive elections:

1. 1940 Lip Pike
26 out of 51 ballots (51%) - lowest ever
7 1st, 5 2nd (12 elect-me) out of 51 ballots (23.5%)
496 points out of 1226 possible (40.5%) - lowest ever
Divisive Index (1-avg of 3 % above) - 61.66

2. 1939 Max Carey
37 out of 53 ballots (69.8%)
8 1st, 2 2nd (10 elect-me) out of 53 ballots (18.9%)
580 points out of 1272 possible (45.6%)
Divisive Index - 55.24

3. 1942 Bill Terry
42 out of 53 ballots (79.2%)
3 1st, 3 2nd (6 elect-me) out of 53 ballots (11.3%) - tied for lowest % ever with Faber
571 points out of 1272 possible (44.9%)
Divisive Index - 54.85

4. 1932 Rube Foster
40 out of 51 ballots (78.4%)
2 1st, 4 2nd (6 elect-me) out of 51 ballots (11.8%)
595 points out of 1224 possible (48.6%)
Divisive Index - 53.73

5. 1939 Red Faber
44 out of 53 ballots (83%)
1 1st, 5 2nd (6 elect-me) out of 53 ballots (11.3%) - tied for lowest % ever with Terry
589 points out of 1272 possible (46.3%)
Divisive Index - 53.12

No one else is over 50. Other high indexes include:

1931 Dickey Pearce - 49.97
1930 Bob Caruthers - 45.18
1929 Sam Thompson - 44.99
1942 Dazzy Vance - 44.68
1926 Sherry Magee - 43.28
1927 Pete Hill - 42.57
1929 Bobby Wallace - 42.16
1928 Joe McGinnity - 41.46
1916 Harry Stovey - 41.07
1930 Jimmy Sheckard - 40.90
1938 Stan Coveleski - 40.83
1921 Charlie Bennett - 40.83
1926 Frank Grant - 40.56
1905 Hardy Richardson - 40.24 (lowest # of elect-me, 5 (3 1st, 2 2nd)

These just show that there was disagreement over electing players in any particular year. They do NOT show that the election was a mistake. In my opinion, it is not easy for this group as a whole to make a glaring mistake.

Ten lowest Divisive Index scores are obvious:

1917 - Cy Young - 0
1923 - Honus Wagner - 0
1933 - Walter Johnson - 0
1941 - Babe Ruth - 0
1924 - Sam Crawford - 0.06
1902 - Dan Brouthers - 0.10
1936 - Pete Alexander - 0.19
1934 - Ty Cobb - 0.84
1922 - Nap Lajoie - 1.12
1922 - Christy Mathewson - 1.18
   77. OCF Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1077387)
1934 - Ty Cobb - 0.84

And Speaker, 1934, not making this particular list.

But looked at in a broader perspective, 1934 was our least divisive year. Cobb wasn't unanimous 1st and Speaker wasn't unanimous 2nd. But ask any of us who had Cobb-Speaker-Collins-Lloyd-Williams as our top 5 votes but not in that order (for instance, I had Cobb-Collins-Speaker-Williams-Lloyd) and we'd all have said, of course, all 5 of them are HoMers, as fast as we can elect them.

Ranking elections as "most divisive" by average consensus score, I get:

1942 -9.0
1939 -8.5
1940 -7.0
1938 -4.5
1931 -3.4
1929 -0.5
1930 -0.4
1926 +0.9
1932 +1.1
1927 +3.3

The other end of the scale looks like this:
1934 21.9
1923 15.8
1935 15.8
1936 15.3
1922 14.9
1924 13.2

1941 was double-unanimous at the top, hence a zero on Ron's metric, but still scored only a +5.2 average consensus score, hinting at the division to come in 1942.

My records start with 1921, so I'm missing several earlier years that Ron mentioned. It's a different metric and ranks the years differently than what Ron did, but still tends to turn up most of the same years.

Ron's way of looking at it is focused on the candidates; mine is focused on the voters.
   78. Jim Sp Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1077391)
Congratulations, Jim Sp and Kelly from SD! Your 1942 ballots had no players in common.

I can only assume that Kelly from SD feels as honored as I do. Apparently the voters in Enron-by-the-Sea are quite polarized.
   79. DanG Posted: January 13, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1077753)
Number of HoMers on each ballot:

1898 14
1899 16
1900 16
1901 15
1902 16
1903 16
1904 15
1905 14
1906 12
1907 12
1908 11
1909 12
1910 11
1911 12
1912 11
1913 9
1914 11
1915 12
1916 12
1917 13
1918 11
1919 11
1920 11
1921 11
1922 12
1923 14
1924 13
1925 12
1926 11
1927 10
1928 9
1929 7
1930 5
1931 3
1932 3
1933 4
1934 9
1935 8
1936 8
1937 6
1938 4
1939 3
1940 2
1941 3
1942 2
   80. OCF Posted: January 13, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1077868)
1929 7
1930 5
1931 3
1932 3
1933 4


Is it possible that it there was an unfair disadvantage to reaching the ballot in those years? I'm not saying that is the case; it probably wasn't. But any candidates who might have survived initial scrutiny to at least remain candidates were then shoved off the back of the ballot in 1934; it's the class of 1934 that makes things tough for them.

Without further commentary, here are some players who entered the ballot then.

Bruce Petway
Spot Poles
Del Pratt
Jake Daubert
Larry Gardner
Harry Hooper
Bobby Veach
George Burns (the good one)
Rube Marquard
Dutch Leonard
Dave Brown
Wilbur Cooper
Hooks Dauss
Babe Adams
Ross Youngs
Dobie Moore
Jose Mendez
Roger Peckinpaugh
Urban Shocker
Bob Shawkey
Jack Fournier
Ray Schalk
   81. DavidFoss Posted: January 13, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1077949)
1929 7
1930 5
1931 3
1932 3
1933 4

Is it possible that it there was an unfair disadvantage to reaching the ballot in those years? I'm not saying that is the case; it probably wasn't.


The 1933 Ballot is worth looking at. The top three were all new eligibles. #4 was Pike who would eventually make it in a close vote. After that, the backlog at the time was:

5. Van Haltren
6. Beckley
7. Griffith
8. Jennings
9. Waddell
10. Welch
11. Childs
12. Duffy
13. Breshnahan
14. Browning
15. Ryan
16. Mendez
17. Leach
18. Monroe
19. CJones
20. Doyle

Looks like "newbies" Sewell, Rixey & Beckwith have inserted themselves above the older backlog and Sisler, Roush, Redding and Grimes have been inserted into the middle of it. Leach has made a bit of a rally in the last 10 years.
   82. Kelly in SD Posted: January 13, 2005 at 11:18 PM (#1077974)
I am deeply honored to know I may be the most idiosyncratic voter. I will work hard to maintain this lofty status (though karlmagnus is close behind.) :P

Odd things having to do with elections seem to follow me this year: I left San Diego in Sept and the city almost gets a write-in mayor (and would have if the people writing in Donna Frye had checked the write-in box on their ballot!!) for Seattle, WA where we have the Gregoire-Rossi I win, no I win, you concede, no you concede thptptpt.
I was nowhere near FL in 2000, honest.

Next: why Judy Johnson and Jim Bottomley deserve your elect-me votes this year...

On a more serious note.
OCF's last post probably explains my lack of agreement as I had Poles, Mendez, Cooper, Burns, and Moore on my ballot and Fournier and Veach have seen it recently. "Shiny new toy" syndrome? I don't think so. I didn't start to vote for most until after the mid30s deluge. How about "Found-older-toy-in-back-of-closet-where-it-may-have-been-forgotten-for-awhile toy?" or "Showing-signs-of-wear-but-still-loved toy?"
This is opposed to my fascination with Welch and early outfielders which could be "It-is-not-junk-it's-a-classic-and-will-be-worth-something-someday toy."
(Yes, I do not want to read for class today.)
   83. Paul Wendt Posted: January 14, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1078202)
OCF on number of 1943-0101 HOMers on the ballot:
[
1925 12
1926 11
1927 10
1928 9 ]
1929 7
1930 5
1931 3
1932 3
1933 4

Is it possible that it there was an unfair disadvantage to reaching the ballot in those years?


I don't think it's true. This is one numerical representation of electing backlog candidates rather than new ones for several years. If you formulated this statistic in advance of that ballyhooed decade of opporutnity, and asked people to predict its trend, they would have predicted it well.
   84. jimd Posted: January 15, 2005 at 07:16 AM (#1081285)
The highest vote getter in a yearly election that has not yet been elected:
(1st column is 1942 current vote ranking)
44 Williamson: 1898
18 Browning: 1899-1906
13 Duffy: 1907-1915, x1909
22 Ryan: 1909
12 Waddell: 1916-1922, x1920
08 Jennings: 1920, 1938
10 Beckley: 1923-1929, x1925; 1934-1937
07 VanHaltren: 1925, 1930-1933
04 Sewell: 1939-1940
03 Rixey: 1941-1942

The above players are those which had significant support at some time, often ahead of somebody later elected (true for every election 1898-1936, x1934). In a sense, the lower-ranked of these players are the core of any reconsideration set.

HOMers that finished behind a non-HOMer in an election:
(1st column is count of # elections behind someone not elected)
30 Pike
25 Pearce
12 Caruthers
08 RFoster
07 Thompson
07 Grant
04 McVey
02 Galvin
02 Carey
01 Start
01 McGinnity

These are the HOMers whose merit was often not immediately apparent and required time and persuasion to get elected.

These lists represent one way of mapping the in-out line between HOMers and non-HOMers, based on the electoral ebb and flow.
   85. Cblau Posted: January 20, 2005 at 04:17 AM (#1089739)
Now I'm going to be a real troublemaker. The constitution reads: Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot... Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.
I see several voters indicating that they don't think certain players on their ballots should be elected. Why then don't they submit a ballot with fewer than 15 names? Maybe they aren't aware of this rule. Or they just want to fit in.
   86. jimd Posted: January 20, 2005 at 05:14 AM (#1089830)
Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

Maybe they aren't aware of this rule.

I was not aware that this clause is in the Constitution.

IIRC, this clause contradicts what was agreed to in the original election process threads (see posts #12, #14, #20, scruff being Joe Dimino). We're using the MVP ballot as the basic model, so this should not be allowed, unless an official MLB MVP ballot is also allowed to be a "bullet" ballot.
   87. EricC Posted: January 20, 2005 at 10:01 AM (#1090134)
Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

I had Vance #14 on my 1942 ballot. Suppose that I preferred that Rixey or Sewell win, and therefore submitted a ballot with only 13 names. This would be constitutional, but would violate the spirit of the rule against strategic voting.
   88. robc Posted: January 20, 2005 at 01:37 PM (#1090238)
Agreeing with JimD here. At one point it was agreed that all ballots would have 15 players. The only exception was allowing ties in the 15th place spot. Fortunately, that isnt happening anymore.
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 20, 2005 at 03:26 PM (#1090325)
Now I'm going to be a real troublemaker. The constitution reads: Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot... Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

It's wrong, Cliff. Since the beginning of the project, it was understood that you have to have 15 players on the ballot. Joe must have missed that part when going over the Constitution at the time.

I'll have it corrected some time today.

The only exception was allowing ties in the 15th place spot. Fortunately, that isnt happening anymore.

I agree, Rob.

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