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Monday, February 21, 2005

1946 Ballot Discussion

1946 (February 27)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

375 106.6 1924 Al Simmons-LF (1956)
280 81.9 1929 Earl Averill-CF (1983)
241 72.3 1930 Wally Berger-CF (1988)
181 65.9 1932 Dizzy Dean-P (1974)
170 57.1 1927 Willis Hudlin-P (2002)
170 48.3 1930 Gus Suhr-1B (2004)
161 47.1 1925 Billy Rogell-SS (2003)
145 48.2 1929 Lyn Lary-SS (1973)
151 39.4 1931 Pepper Martin-CF/3B (1965)
142 42.4 1922 Syl Johnson-P (1985)
127 36.6 1934 Zeke Bonura-1B (1987)
139 31.7 1928 Red Kress-SS (1962)
097 31.0 1932 Oral Hildebrand-P (1977)
098 29.3 1932 Tex Carleton-P (1977)

1946 (February 27)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

HF 23-41 Turkey Stearnes-CF (1901) #1 lf - 3 - 12*
88% 23-44 Mule Suttles-1B/LF (1901) #2 lf - 3.5 - 8*
52% 22-44 Newt Allen-2B (1901) #2 2b - 0 - 8*
00% 20-41 Bill Holland-P(1901) 1 - 1*
00% 24-40 Frog Redus-LF (1905) #9 lf - 0 - 2*
00% 24-40 Dewey Creacy-3B (??) #10 3b - 0 - 3*

Players Passing Away in 1945
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

83 1900 Paul Radford-RF
79 1909 George VanHaltren-CF
77 1907 Elmer Smith-LF/P
72 1912 Sam Mertes-LF
67 1916 George Stone-LF
57 1931 Bobby Veach-LF

Thanks to Dan and Chris for the lists!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 21, 2005 at 04:45 PM | 178 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 25, 2005 at 02:53 PM (#1165190)
What Michael said...

Sisler did play a lot of games after 1922, but they add next to nothing in my system. The part of his career that gets him onto my ballot in most years (he looks to be just off in 1946) is what he did between 1915-1922.

And I didn't compare Sisler's career length to that of Jennings. I just said that if you don't have much career value you will need a Jenning's like peak to make it high on my ballot.
   102. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 25, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1165205)
Guys who might be HOFs in the bizarro non-stats world...

Frank Howard
Fred Lynn
Jim Rice
Andre Dawson
Bill Mazeroski (oops!)
Bob Boone
Frank White
Ken Boyer (and Clete?)
Willie Wilson
Vince Coleman
Willie McGee
Terry Pendleton
Keith Hernandez
Mark Belanger
Garry Maddox
   103. jingoist Posted: February 25, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1165648)
Brent, to follow up on your idea about statistics affecting current HoF balloting... how about guys who now have a chance to get into the HoF because the stats folks have made a significant enough impression on the BBWAA:
R.A. Blyleven - by all that is fair and good in this world this man should be in both the HoF and the HoM;
R.A. Allen - (I guess I like guys with first & middle initials of RA) Another no-brainer based upon ststs, OPS of .912; OPS+ of 156; 2200+ runs+RBIs generated from only 1850 hits.

Neither guy was particularly liked by the press but the SABRE crowd will hopefully make enough noise to get them both into both halls.
   104. Daryn Posted: February 25, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1165831)
Jack Morris (already mentioned) and Joe Carter (to add to the Bizarro HoF list).
   105. sunnyday2 Posted: February 25, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1165953)
Somebody made the point that the Coop HoF IS the bizarro HoF through the dead ball era, at least--probably beyond. E.g. Lloyd Waner, Rick Ferrell, Phil Rizzuto....
   106. DanG Posted: February 25, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1165957)
jingoist-

Actually, in bizzaro world, Blyleven IS a hall of famer. He often made hitters look silly, and he was tough to score on. He looked Mahvelous.

It is the focus on the wrong statistics that have kept him out of the Cooperstown museum.

Whose Hall is it Anyway?, where the points don't matter.
   107. Howie Menckel Posted: February 26, 2005 at 02:27 AM (#1166793)
Reviving the "Top 20, Most seasons with HOM teammates"
played a lot beyond 1900 in CAPS

player listed, then # of HOM teammates, then 'total seasons with those teammates'
minimum 10 G


SEASONS WITH HOM TEAMMATES
O'Rourke 19 for 78
White 15 for 63
Ward 14 for 51
Connor 12 for 50
Brouthers 17 for 49
Kelly 19 for 47
Ewing 13 for 47
Gore 14 for 44
Richardson 13 for 43
Keefe 8 for 43

Wright 10 for 40
E COLLINS 9 for 39
Anson 11 for 38
YOUNG 10 for 38
Hines 15 for 36
Thompson 10 for 35
Barnes 9 for 35
Start 8 for 35
Clarkson 13 for 32
BURKETT 8 for 31


Negro Leaguer seasons with HOM teammates
Hill 6 for 25
R Foster 4 for 22
Lloyd 5 for 21
HR Johnson 5 for 17
Santop 6 for 13
Williams 5 for 12
Charleston 4 for 6
BFoster 2 for 3
Grant 2 for 2
Torriente 1 for 2
Rogan 1 for 2

The latter two are tied for last overall; everyone has at least 1 HOMer teammate and at least 2 'seasons.'
Odd that Bill/Willie Foster doesn't appear yet to have any of his Chicago American Giants seasons with a HOMer teammate, but it's early!
   108. Paul Wendt Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:42 AM (#1167003)
Ron Wargo #40:
Now, they have also elected:

Roger Bresnahan
Hugh Duffy
Hughie Jennings - partly as a manager
and Wilbert Robinson as a manager.

Just elected, and also members of our HOM are:

Fred Clarke
Dan Brouthers
Jimmy Collins
Ed Delahanty
King Kelly
Jim O'Rourke


They were not elected as players, managers, etc, but classified much later --according to Bill Deane, probably classified by Bill Guilfoile when he arrived.
(as PR VP?).

Daryn #46:
Dean came within 14 innings of not qualifying for the Hall of Fame. Was the Hall of Fame big enough by 1940 that it caused him to pitch that last ineffective year to qualify? He is lucky he had that start as a 20 year old, or his Hall of Fame qualification would be depending on the one inning in 1941 and the 4 innings in '47.

The 10-year rule was adopted in 1956, along with the list of all eligible players (in place of the list of last year's tally). Those rules first governed what we call the 1958 election.

DanG #86:
>>I wonder what the HoF would look like if no individual player statistics were kept, and voting was only based on observation.<<

This is actually the approach used by more than a few voters for the Cooperstown hall.


Au contraire, I suspect that voters have always relied on statistics. If Bobby Mathews were credited with 300 wins, he would be in. Frisch probably used statistics to argue that Sunny Jim Bottomley was as good as Peerless Frank Chance.

KJOK #
Sure enough, they picked defensive stars on championship teams -- Jennings and McGraw...

Actually, they DIDN'T put McGraw in as a player, but as a manager, plus McGraw was an OFFENSIVE star at a defensive position, not a defensive star. Jennings was an OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE star....


Neither as a player nor as a manager (see above). Yes, yes, re Muggsy and Hughie as players.

Dr. Chaleeko #102
Guys who might be HOFs in the bizarro non-stats world...

Daryn added Jack Morris and Joe Carter.

The obvious way to interpret this discussion is that people thank statistics for keeping the named players out of the Hall of Fame (or keeping out on the Doorstep some who might be in the Foyer).

I'm not buying.
   109. Paul Wendt Posted: February 26, 2005 at 06:02 AM (#1167025)
Dr. Chaleeko #50
Wally Berger is a favorite of mine for being so good for such a bad 1935 team.

One of the best illustrations to make Win Shares look bad.

jschmeagol #68
Al Simmons, much like Max Carey, has a very interesting 'real' name

Szymanski, Carnarius, and Kowalewski are birth names, not real names. For an overview of Biographical Cmte data including names, see the newsletter 19c Notes #2004.1, page 3-4. 19th Century Resources
   110. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 26, 2005 at 04:04 PM (#1167178)
Paul,

Why would Berger's 1935 season make Win Shares look bad? According to Win Shares Berger would have the same value on the 1935 Braves or the 1935 Tigers, except if one team really over or under perfomred their pythag. Explain.

And sorry if my post about Carey's and Simmons BIRTH names offended anyone. I always found it interesting to learn that certain players anglicised (?) their names. Found it fun to learn the BIRTH names. Is there a difference between real name and birth name?
   111. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1167215)
Szymanski, Carnarius, and Kowalewski are birth names, not real names.

As someone who does genealogy for my family, I see your point, but isn't it a semantic one, Paul?

My maternal grandfather always went by his Anglicized first name for all of his life, but if you had asked him what his real name was, he would have told you the Italian proper name that was on his baptismal certificate made in Little Italy.
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1167258)
Revised Prelim:

1) Al Simmons
2) Turkey Stearnes
3) John Beckwith
4) Mule Suttles
5) Roger Bresnahan
6) Cupid Childs
7) Hugh Duffy
8) George Van Haltren
9) Jake Beckley
10) Wally Schang
11) Pie Traynor
12) Burleigh Grimes
13) Eppa Rixey
14) Buzz Arlett
15) Mickey Welch

16) Frank Chance
17) Charley Jones
18) Tony Mullane
19) Ed Konetchy
20) Vic Willis

I'm still trying to figure out how much minor league credit to give Averill.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1167426)
Okay, I have Averill slotted at #16 now, so he'll wind up on my ballot at some time.

I appreciate Brent's work regarding Averill and Arlett. It helped me greatly!
   114. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 27, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1167610)
Other than finalizing Stearnes and Suttles, this is my last prelim:

1) Al Simmons
2) Turkey Stearnes
3) John Beckwith
4) Mule Suttles
5) Roger Bresnahan
6) Cupid Childs
7) Hugh Duffy
8) George Van Haltren
9) Jake Beckley
10) Jack Quinn
11) Wally Schang
12) Pie Traynor
13) Burleigh Grimes
14) Eppa Rixey
15) Mickey Welch

16) Earl Averill
17) Buzz Arlett
18) Frank Chance
19) Pete Browning
20) Charley Jones

I guess I have to agree with Jim now about Quinn and Rixey. :-)
   115. jimd Posted: February 27, 2005 at 12:32 AM (#1167630)
LoUC ;-)
   116. Howie Menckel Posted: February 27, 2005 at 02:17 AM (#1167813)
HOM pitching tandems. Did I miss any (min 10 games pitched that year)?

1881-82 PRV NL Ward and Radbourn
1888-89 BOS NL Clarkson and Radbourn
1890-91 BOS NL Clarkson and Nichols
1890----NYG NL Rusie and Burkett (!)
1892----STL NL Galvin and Caruthers
1892-94 CLE NL Clarkson and Young
1895-96 CLE NL Young and Wallace (!)
1902-08 NYG NL Mathewson and McGinnity
1925-26 WAS AL WJohnson and Covaleski
1931 HOME GRE Williams and BFoster
   117. EricC Posted: February 27, 2005 at 02:28 AM (#1167833)
Why would Berger's 1935 season make Win Shares look bad? According to Win Shares Berger would have the same value on the 1935 Braves or the 1935 Tigers, except if one team really over or under perfomred their pythag. Explain.


I'm a user of Win Shares, and I don't bother trying to correct them in the relatively rare cases where they're out of whack, but I think the point is that Win Shares can not correctly give enough offensive Win Shares to a good player on a very bad team because it avoids giving (deserved) negative Win Shares to teammates.

As evidence for Berger 1935, I checked for all player seasons 1876-1945 where a player had an OPS+ of 147. Of 30 such seasons, Berger '35 had the lowest Win Shares per plate appearance of all. Instead of the 21 WS that Berger actually got, he might have gotten 26 or so on a decent team.

I see no evidence, however, that Berger was significantly shortchanged in any other season.
   118. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 27, 2005 at 02:43 AM (#1167864)
That a decent explanation. My next question is then, Did the '35 Bravos underperform their runs scored and runs allowed? If so by how much? I kow that WS doesn't make an allowance for this, nor should it if it wants to do what it was created to do. Could this be the reason?

And that team couldn't have been too bad! They had the greatest player ever!
   119. Howie Menckel Posted: February 27, 2005 at 03:21 AM (#1167902)
I picture Elbie Fletcher telling 19-year-old teammate Del Crandall in 1949 that he broke in playing with Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville, and Crandall laughing in his face.
And then Crandall telling 23-year-old teammate Sam McDowell in 1966 that he broke in with a teammate who had played with Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville, and McDowell laughing at the Babe Ruth part and wondering who the hell Rabbit Maranville was...
   120. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 27, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1168517)
Did the '35 Bravos underperform their runs scored and runs allowed?

Yes.

If so by how much?

By 12 games, IIRC.
   121. DavidFoss Posted: February 27, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1168610)
By 12 games, IIRC.

True. They won 38 while expecting 50. Off by a whopping 24%.
   122. Gadfly Posted: February 27, 2005 at 11:36 PM (#1168827)
From Gadfly to Anyone:
How do I get to vote in these elections? I just saw the Dobie Moore thread listed on the day's hot topics one day and added my two cents, then switched over to the Beckwith thread. I have never actually voted.

From John Murphy to Gadfly:
Just give us a prelim on the Ballot Discussion thread first: your top fifteen eligible players with some notation for each, plus an explanation for why you left off any players that were in the top-ten the prior election.
Looking forward to your ballot, Gadfly!

Here is my preliminary ballot. I choose to rely more on Wins Shares rather than WARP because I think it is a better, more inclusive system. But basically I am looking for both peak and length of career and will consider any circumstances, outside of a player’s control, that affected either.

1946 PRELIMINARY BALLOT BY (by Gadfly)
RANK/PLAYER/[Rank in 1945 Ballot]
CAREER excluding partials/(YEARS)/Win Shares or Comps
ML=Major/NL=Negro/MN=Minors

1) Norman (Turkey) Stearnes [NEW]
NL 1923-1941 (19) Best Major League Comp: Stan Musial
Comment: Better than Suttles in every way but one.

2) John Beckwith [3]
NL 1920-1934 (15) Best Major League Comp: Rogers Hornsby (more power/less speed)
Comment: Better hitter at his peak than Stearnes or Suttles.

3) George (Mule) Suttles [NEW]
NL 1923-1941 (19) Best Major League Comp: Hank Greenberg (w/o career interruptions)
Comment: More power than Stearnes.

4) Richard (Dick) Redding [20]
NL 1911-1930 (20) Best Major League Comp: Amos Rusie (with second half of career).
Comment: Would have won 300 in Majors easily.

5) Al Simmons [NEW]
ML 1924-1939 (16) 375 WS
Comment: Very comparable to Stearnes at his peak but career faded badly in the 1930s.

6) Edd Roush [13]
ML 1914-1931 (18) 314 WS
Comment: Fine outfielder with several monetary related career interruptions.

7) Richard (Dick) Lundy [24]
NL 1917-1936 (20) Best Major League Comp: Frankie Frisch (more power/less speed)
Comment: Great shortstop for a long period of time.

8) Eppa Rixey [4]
ML 1912-1933 (22) 315 WS
Comment: Good Pitcher for a very long time.

9) Tony Mullane
ML 1881-1894 (14) 399 WS
Comment: 19th Century discount but very good pitcher with several career interruptions.

10) George Sisler [9]
ML 1915-1930 (16) 297 WS
Comment: Easy election without injury, almost has the length anyways.

11) Earl Averill [NEW]
ML 1929-1940 (12) WS 280
Comment: Very good outfielder with a somewhat truncated career.

12) Roger Bresnahan [19]
ML 1901-1915 (15) WS 231
Comment: Perhaps overrating him, but best catcher of his time

13 Charley (Benjamin Rippay) Jones [21]
ML 1876-1887 (12) WS 161
Comment: Would have had a much greater career in any other time and place.

14) Russell (Buzz) Arlett
MN 1923-1937 (15)
Comment: Quite comparable to Averill in value, just has whole career submerged in the Minors.

15) William (Bill) Monroe [26]
NL 1896-1914 (19)
Comment: Great player, quite comparable to Lundy, much better than Newt Allen.
   123. Gadfly Posted: February 27, 2005 at 11:38 PM (#1168829)
Comments on top 15 from 1945 Ballot not on my ballot:
FINISH/NAME/(WIN SHARES)
5 Clark Griffith (273), other contemporary players that are better
6 Hughie Jennings (214), career cut short by injury, not enough length
7 Wes Ferrell (233), career cut short by bad arm, not enough length
8 Joe Sewell (277), fine player but needs more peak and length
10 George Van Haltren (344), timeline discount, needs more peak
11 Jake Beckley (318), timeline discount, needs more peak
12 Hugh Duffy (295), timeline discount
14 Rube Waddell (240), has the peak but not the length
15 Tommy Leach (328), wouldn’t have been as good at any other time
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2005 at 12:59 AM (#1168936)
Looks A-OK to me, Gadfly. BTW, you only had to give an explanation for last election's top-ten players not on your ballot, not top-fifteen.
   125. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: February 28, 2005 at 04:21 AM (#1169424)
It's been dozens of years since I've posted a ballot. I've been too busy with school, work and other things to take the time and due diligence to hair-split a few dozen marginal candidates. But now I'm able to jump into the fray now that there are plenty of strong candidates on the ballot. I am a peak/prime voter who uses adjusted Win Shares for all players and ERA+ for pitchers. My timeline threatens pretty much all of the remaining 19th-century candidates. I'll leave it to the HOM veterans to guess who I am.

The position player candidates are a Murderer's Row this year.

Changes from my first preliminary ballot: Earl Averill goes from 16th to 6th upon reevaluation of his PCL career. That and moving Beckwith to 5th slides Arlett from 5th to 7th and Suttles, Jennings and Waddell one place down.

Poles goes from 11th to off of the ballot. The remaining issue is Arlett v. Suttles. Arlett's plate discipline makes me more confident that he was more likely to excel in the majors than Suttles.

1. Turkey Stearnes - Was 2nd on my ballot until I saw he was primarily a center fielder. Amazing player.

2. Al Simmons - Ninth all-time among major-league left fielders, ahead of Jesse Burkett and behind Tim Raines.

3. Dobie Moore - Tremendous, tremendous player. More career value than I thought and his peak value places him light-years ahead of Sewell. Possibly one of the ten greatest shortstops ever.

4. Dick Lundy - A prime/career candidate in the Davis/Dahlen/Luke Appling class of shortstops.

5. John Beckwith - Tremendous hitter. Probably the player who has benefitted the most from the HOM process, other than Dickey Pearce. May move him ahead of Arlett.

6. Earl Averill - High-prime player who had more value than I originally thought. Helped by re-evaluation of his PCL career.

7. Buzz Arlett - In awe of Brent's yeoman work on Arlett. More confident of his "superstar" status than I am for guys like George Sisler and George Van Haltren.

8. Mule Suttles - Probably the best hitter on this ballot, but too many holes in his game to fare better against stiff competition.

9. Hughie Jennings - The Sandy Koufax of infielders. Fourth best peak of all-time among major-league shortstops, behind Honus Wagner, Slappy McBluelips and Arky Vaughan.

10. Rube Waddell - When runs were scarce and a ball in play could lead to a game-deciding error, having a pitcher who could blow 'em away was an advantage.

11. Addie Joss - Very strong peak. The phrase "cut down in the middle of his prime" was made for him.

12. Clark Griffth - One-league era and peak value get him the edge over Rixey.

13. Wes Ferrell - I feel like I have a good handle on how he compares to the other pitchers on the ballot.

14. Eppa Rixey - 4500 innings of 115 ERA+ is just more #### valuable than the rest of the field.

15. Dizzy Dean - It takes every ounce of his outstanding peak for him to get on my ballot. Much like the NCAA Tournament, Dean's appearance will likely be one-and-done.

Consensus top 10 and other players
Edd Roush - His closest comp for career value is Cesar Cedeno.
George Van Haltren - Nice prime, but not enough to make up for his lack of peak, which lags behind Averill and Roush.
George Sisler - Decent peak, but his performance after 1923 makes the whole body of work underwhelming.
Joe Sewell - Solid player, but being in the Long/Bancroft range isn't enough to make a loaded ballot.
Jake Beckley - Hopefully, I'll never have to give an explaniation for him ever again.
   126. Howie Menckel Posted: February 28, 2005 at 04:35 AM (#1169470)
Welcome, gadfly! Your observations will help the electorate's efforts, for sure...
   127. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2005 at 04:41 AM (#1169497)
Glad to see that you're back, James...er, I mean, flaxseed! :-)
   128. OCF Posted: February 28, 2005 at 05:35 AM (#1169634)
Thanks for the clue, John. Flaxseed (I'm not going to write all of that out) has made a few changes since he last voted. The support for Jennings, Waddell, and Griffith is consistent, but when he last voted, he had Chance ahead of all of three of them, and he didn't vote for Joss back then.
   129. Rick A. Posted: March 01, 2005 at 02:27 AM (#1171667)
1946 Prelim ballot

1. Turkey Stearnes
2. Al Simmons
3. Charley Jones
4. Pete Browning
5. John Beckwith
6. Mule Suttles - Placed here right now. May move up or down with new info.
7. Cupid Childs
8. Hughie Jennings
9. Eppa Rixey
10. Vic Willis
11. Bill Monroe
12. Wes Ferrell
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Edd Roush
15. Dobie Moore


Earl Averill just misses my ballot.
Wally Berger not as good as Averill, not on my ballot
Dizzy Dean career is just too short for me
Newt Allen Not placed yet, need more info.
   130. TomH Posted: March 01, 2005 at 04:44 PM (#1172652)
nominees now open for the Oscar category "best MLB hitter not elected to the HoM thru 1845":

Highest OWP, minimum 4000 PA:
Browning .745
McGraw .727
Chance .719
Cravath .709
Donlin .707

Highest RCAP among those eligible for the HoM:

Browning 478
McGraw 459
Joyce 367
Tiernan 350
Sewell 346

(yes, I know RCAP takes into account posiiton played....) Is Pete Browning is the best hitter we have not honored? Maybe, but there are valid questions about league quality.

I nominate John McGraw. I know, I'm a lone voice howling into the wind. Aahhooooooow.....
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1172717)
Brent or whoever else with the time and patience to do this:

Could an MLE for Cravath be made up for him? It would be greatly appreciated.
   132. andrew siegel Posted: March 01, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1172760)
I have to say that I have abandoned John McGraw for no apparent reason, but the RCAP numbers show him miles ahead of anyone else. True, Browning is ahead on raw numbers, but he moves behind McGraw on league adjustment alone and then has to deal with the fact that for half of his career he was an atrocious fielder. Joyce and Tiernan are 100 runs behind with the bad and were legendarily bad fielders.
   133. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1172804)
I'm interested in McGraw's case, but the RCAP numbers and the OWP numbers, by focusing on career value above average, advantages short-career players who avoided a long decline phase. It's surely not coincidental that this profile fits pretty much every player on both lists.

How far is McGraw's total ahead of the _prime_ totals for other eligibles? Is it possible to show McGraw's totals against either top 1100 consecutive games or top 8-9 consecutive seasons or top 5000 consecutive plate appearances for other candidates? Use whatever way seems fairest to account for differing season-lengths and different levels of durability. If it's clear that other candidates aren't losing ground on this measure for several seasons of above-replacement but below-average play, I might take McGraw's case more seriously.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1172839)
Use whatever way seems fairest to account for differing season-lengths and different levels of durability.

Taking both of those into account, I still only have McGraw in the mid-forties on my ballot. His career was just too short any way that you slice it.
   135. OCF Posted: March 01, 2005 at 06:44 PM (#1172938)
Also don't forget that McGraw's peak coincided with an era of extreme high offense, in which each of those runs above average had less value than in a lower-scoring era. By the modification of RCAA that I use, McGraw does indeed look impressive, but not nearly as impressive as Chance. Then comes the career-length reality check, which leaves Chance struggling to find the bottom of my ballot in slack years, with McGraw (and his even shorter career) nowhere to be seen.
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1173206)
Then comes the career-length reality check, which leaves Chance struggling to find the bottom of my ballot in slack years, with McGraw (and his even shorter career) nowhere to be seen.

That's exactly where I have both of them, too.
   137. andrew siegel Posted: March 01, 2005 at 09:01 PM (#1173302)
Is there a simple chart anywhere with the average runs per game by league by season?
   138. Brent Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:03 AM (#1173980)
Could an MLE for Cravath be made up for him?

I'd like to tackle Cravath after I finish a study I've got underway on PCL league quality during the 1920s. To get the league and team info will require a library trip and some microfilm photocopying. I may get to it in a couple of weeks.

Of course if anyone else wants to try their hand at calculating MLEs, you're certainly welcome to. :-)

nominees now open for the Oscar category "best MLB hitter not elected to the HoM"... I nominate John McGraw.

1100 games is a short career, but I've always supported Jennings. My problem with McGraw is with the irregularity of his play -- there were only 4 seasons in which he played at least 80 percent of his team's games. The Orioles were able to deal with it because they had had a deep bench, but having a star player miss a lot of games is generally not a recipe for success. If McGraw had been able to pack the same career statistics into 8 or 9 seasons playing 90 percent of his team's games, I'd rank him in the top half of my ballot.
   139. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 02, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1174472)
Andrew Siegel,

Baseball-reference.com has a chart listing various stats for each league season for each league which is pretty simple to dump into an excel spreadsheet (just use the "text to columns" feature). Included among the stats is R/G.
   140. Jim Sp Posted: March 02, 2005 at 09:54 PM (#1175660)
The Veterans committee didn't elect anyone, again:

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/history/2005/050302.htm


Gil Hodges (52, 65.0%)
Ron Santo (52, 65.0%)
Tony Oliva (45, 56.3%)
Jim Kaat (43, 53.8%)
Joe Torre (36, 45.0%)
Maury Wills (26, 32.5%)
Vada Pinson (23, 28.8%)
Luis Tiant (20, 25%)
Roger Maris (19, 23.8%)
Marty Marion (16, 20.0%)
Ken Boyer (15, 18.8%)
Joe Gordon (14, 17.5%)
Carl Mays (12, 15.0%)
Minnie Minoso (12, 15.0%)
Dick Allen (12, 15.0%)
Curt Flood (10, 12.5%)
Wes Ferrell (9, 11.3%)
Mickey Lolich (9, 11.3%)
Don Newcombe (8, 10.0%)
Sparky Lyle (7, 8.8%)
Elston Howard (6, 7.5%)
Bobby Bonds (4, 5.0%)
Rocky Colavito (4, 5.0%)
Thurman Munson (2, 2.5%)
Smoky Joe Wood (2, 2.5%).
   141. DavidFoss Posted: March 02, 2005 at 10:15 PM (#1175707)
No HOM-not-HOF were in the consideration set. That list is getting fairly large these days.

These are the only players eligible for the HOM who made the list.


Carl Mays (12, 15.0%)
Wes Ferrell (9, 11.3%)
   142. Jim Sp Posted: March 02, 2005 at 10:15 PM (#1175708)
Their process is I guess better than it used to be, but it's still crazy. If they ever elect someone I imagine it will be Hodges and not Santo, just to spite the statheads I guess.

When they cut the list to 200 they forgot Hardy Richardson and Sherry Magee.

On the final ballot cut to 25, they kept Marty Marion and Curt Flood, but dropped a bunch of guys who were much better candidates. Here's a sample of guys that got cut, I would take each of them way before Gil Hodges...

Bill Dahlen (what kind of timeline would one need to have Marion ahead of Dahlen? might as well just declare Dahlen ineligble.)
Reggie Smith
Wally Schang
Vern Stephens
Bob Elliott
Bill Freehan
Bob Johnson
Norm Cash
Larry Doyle
Stan Hack
   143. Chris Cobb Posted: March 02, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1175740)
It's nice to know that we're still needed . . .
   144. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 02, 2005 at 10:43 PM (#1175802)
Ex Big leaguer and HOM member shunted again

NEW YORK--In news related to the non-election of the Vets committee, Bill Dahlen was contacted by seance for his reaction. His medium, Madam Jujubee Desiree Hrothgar, speaking by phone as and for Mr. Dahlen said "I [Dahlen] am not rolling over in my grave, in fact, I'm feeling pretty good since those chuckleheads couldn't even figure out that me and Ez Sutton and Harry Stovey ought to at least be on the 25-man final ballot."

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, head of the Vets Committee, responded to Mr. Dahlen's assertion that the VC didn't know what it was doing. He defended the committee's members, saying "We've got 83 guys on this committee, all of whom are great baseball players, otherwise they wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame and on this committee in the first place."

When it was pointed out that some committee members had, in fact, never played baseball, Morgan bristled, "Look, I know that, some of them were writers and broadcasters, which I am also now, and they're just as good as former great baseball players like me, except that they didn't play baseball. They didn't play baseball because they were lousy players to begin with, which is why they weren't ever great at baseball. You gotta be great at baseball to be a great baseball player."

When specifically asked why Dahlen and Sutton failed to make the final ballot, Morgan assured the public that every candidate had been screened thoroughly in composing the 25-man final cut. "I saw almost all these guys play, and I know they were all great baseball players, or at least almost great, otherwise they would have been in the Hall of Fame, which, as you know, is full of great baseball players. And that's why we're here."

Asked if he'd ever heard of Bill Dahlen, Mr. Morgan conceeded that he'd, in fact, "only seen his name on candidate-review lists a couple times," but maintained that his lack of knowledge of Dahlen's playing career did not present any obstacle in sifting the turn-of-the-20th-century shorstop out of the process: "When you're a great player, you know what greatness looks like. It's that simple. If he was so great, how come no one talks about seeing how great he was? Greatness is easy to see, especially once you've been there and seen what it looks like to be great."

The VC will reconvene in two years for another election.
   145. karlmagnus Posted: March 02, 2005 at 11:00 PM (#1175847)
No Parisian Bob on the list either. Idiots!
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1176034)
The Hall of Fame: What a bunch of maroons!
   147. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 03, 2005 at 12:46 AM (#1176041)
I really hate this new system. It is going to lead to a small hall for the generation now being looked at, which isn't fair since players form the 20's, 30's, and 40's have a lot of representatives.
   148. Kelly in SD Posted: March 03, 2005 at 08:35 AM (#1176780)
I am so damn tired of the timing out #### when you try to submit a post after previewing it. Don't tell me the site is busy at 11:30 pm pacific time. ####.
   149. Kelly in SD Posted: March 03, 2005 at 08:43 AM (#1176785)
Oh yeah that goes through without a problem. ####.

Short version.
John - Cravath MLEs. Minor league numbers not in Daguerrotypes. Library of Congress website scans of various Spalding Guides. Here are Minneapolis stats from 1910 and 1911.
Guide only listed players with a .300 average or better. RBI not an official stat yet so no info.
Bold numbers are where he led among over-.300 hitters. Slugging not listed, but assume he led in that.

year Gms ABs Run Hit 2b 3b HR SH SB Avg. Slg.
1910 164 612 106 200 41 13 14 41 25 .326 .505
1911 167 608 147 221 53 13 29 29 33 .363 .637

In 1910, he was top 5 (again just of the over-.300 crowd in runs, triples, and sacrifices (I assume these include sac flies).
1911: 3rd in runs, sacrifices. 2nd in triples, stolen bases.
   150. DavidFoss Posted: March 03, 2005 at 09:27 AM (#1176834)
I really hate this new system. It is going to lead to a small hall for the generation now being looked at, which isn't fair since players form the 20's, 30's, and 40's have a lot of representatives.

Historically, this has sometimes backfired. In the past, whenever they've had trouble inducting people for an extended period of time, its resulted in the pendulum eventually swinging in the other direction. This might be a bit cynical, but look to them revamping the system in a few years with a resolution to "make up for lost time".
   151. Kelly in SD Posted: March 03, 2005 at 11:50 AM (#1176894)
Just got lucky. The 1906 Spalding Guide lists every player who played in 15 games or more in the PCL so I was able to put the following together for Cravath and a profile of the league.

Here are team by team batting totals:
Team Games AtBats Runs Hits Avg. R/game
Sea    208   6851  681  1632  .238   3.27
LA     218   7089  766  1672  .236   3.51
Por    207   6676  667  1548  .232   3.22
SF     230   7290  838  1660  .228   3.64
Tac    219   7107  718  1604  .226   3.28
Oak    228   7337  687  1580  .215   3.01
Lg Avg: 218  7058  726  1616  .229   3.33


The Guide lists extra base hits / stolen bases / sacrifices for all players in 15 or more games played so approx totals of extra base hits are possible (Seattle had several players who split time on other teams so I’ll divide their totals in half by team. Best I can do without any games by team.) I’ll also give the approx at bat totals for those players and the official team total for runs.
team by team totals added from individual player stats.
Team ABs  Hits  2B  3B  HR   SBs  SAC  Runs  SLG
Sea 6634  1563  222  49  11  360  270  681  .289
LA  6890  1635  280  43  27  376  256  766  .302
Por 6497  1547  278  41  16  300  261  667  .301
SF  7187  1637  255  50  10  415  315  838  .281
Tac 7021  1599  290  36  36  326  290  718  .295
Oak 7290  1585  255  52  11  363  201  687  .271

Oakland is not even that good. They shared 3 players with Seattle and I split them equally, but I think Seattle should get more of their stats, but I have no idea how to split them. But the idea is there.

Fielding Totals:
Team  PO     A      E     FPct.
Tac   5815   2842   384   .958
LA    5931   2996   439   .953
SF    6284   3066   473   .952
Por   5482   2734   466   .946
Oak   6144   3146   538   .945
Sea   5525   2476   467   .945
Lg Avg: 5864 2877   461   .950 


I don’t know, it’s late so I am not checking, maybe those are good numbers. Only Tacoma had fewer than 2 errors per game.

Only two hitters played in more than half their teams games and hit over .300. Blinkenship of Sea in 106 games hit .311 and Brashear of LA hit .303 in 189 games.

Cravath:
Gms ABs Hit 2b 3b HR SB SH Avg. Slg.
204 703 182 33 09 09 44 44 .259 .370

Fielding:
Gms POs As Es Pct.
204 227 33 14 .957
He had the 8th best fielding percentage of an outfielder who played in at least half his team games in the outfield. I assume a corner spot from his PO totals compared to other full time outfielders (a few with 350-450).

Among players with at least 150 games, his average was 12th. He finished one spot ahead of Van Haltren, who played for Oakland.

Van Haltren
Gms ABs Hit 2b 3b HR SB SH Avg. Slg.
220 860 220 18 10 02 47 17 .255 .307

Cravath’s place in various totals:
Home runs: 2nd in league with 9 to Eagan of Tacoma who hit 21. Only 2 other players were over 5.
Triples: 7th with 9. League leaders were 2 with 11, Nealon and Hilderbrand for SF, then 4 with 10.
Doubles: 13th tied with 33. League leader was Nordyke with 57. Totals down to Cravath: 57, 50, 49, 49, 44, 41, 40, 39, 39, 39, 35, 35
Stolen Bases: 20th or 21st with 44.
Batting Average: 12th among players with 150 games played. If half of team games is sufficient, he finished 13th.
Slugging: I figured the slugging for hitters with BA over .250.
Player Team Games   Slug  BA Isolated Power
Eagan    Tac  210  .430  .278  .152
Nealon   SF   207  .405  .287  .118
Brashear LA   189  .397  .303  .094
Blnknshp Sea  106  .394  .311  .083
Nordyke  Tac  219  .381  .271  .110
Dunleavy Oak  227  .375  .264  .111
Cravath  LA   204  .370  .259  .111
Houshldr P/SF 210  .358  .267  .091
McLean   Por  180  .355  .280  .075
Hldrbrnd SF   225  .345  .264  .081
Dillon   LA   216  .340  .272  .068
Waldron  SF   196  .332  .279  .053
Vn Hltrn Oak  220  .307  .255  .052
Irwin    SF   226  .304  .266  .038


Cravath was 6th or 7th depending on the minimum appearances. Only one person looks to have appreciably more power.

Oh, his team won the post season championship 5 games to 1, but I don't know how he did in the series.
   152. jimd Posted: March 03, 2005 at 09:00 PM (#1177953)
Here are players with the same names getting tryouts in the majors around the same time. Whether they are the same players, you're guess is probably better than mine. Age is the age of their MLB tryout (first season).
                                       Name   Years   Age   GP OPS+
Eagan    Tac  210  .430  .278  .152  ? Truck  1901    (23)   9   2
Nealon   SF   207  .405  .287  .118  ? Jim    1906-07 (21) 259 103
Brashear LA   189  .397  .303  .094  ? Roy    1902-03 (28) 130  95
Blnknshp Sea  106  .394  .311  .083  ?
Nordyke  Tac  219  .381  .271  .110  ? Lou    1906    (29)  25 101
Dunleavy Oak  227  .375  .264  .111  ? Jack   1903-05 (23) 231  88
Houshldr P/SF 210  .358  .267  .091  ? Ed     1903    (33)  12  31
McLean   Por  180  .355  .280  .075  ? Larry  1901-15 (19) 862  86
Hldrbrnd SF   225  .345  .264  .081  ? George 1902    (23)  11  64
Dillon   LA   216  .340  .272  .068  ? Pop    1899-04 (25) 312  78
Waldron  SF   196  .332  .279  .053  ? Irv    1901    (25) 141 106
   153. Brent Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:30 AM (#1179039)
The text of the Spalding Guide lists the following players moving to the majors after the 1905 season.

"The following players graduated into either the National or the American League: Nordyke of Tacomo to St. Louis Americans; Sheehan of Tacoma to Pittsburg; Keefe of Tacoma to New York Americans; Graham of Tacoma to Boston Americans; Whelan of San Francisco to New York Americans; Hitt of San Francisco to New: York Americans; Nealon of San Francisco to Pittsburg; Schlafley of Portland to Washington; Byrnes of Oakland to Philadelphia Americans; Moskiman of Oakland to Pittsburg, and Bennett of Seattle to St. Louis Nationals."

I located most of them on bbref, but none of them did much in the majors. It seems doubtful that the league quality of the PCL in the aughts reached what we now think of as Triple AAA level; determining the appropriate league quality adjustment will complicate any attempt to do MLEs for Cravath.
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:59 AM (#1179129)
Thanks, Kelly! I can at least add those years to Cravath's resume and see where that leads me next election.

It seems doubtful that the league quality of the PCL in the aughts reached what we now think of as Triple AAA level; determining the appropriate league quality adjustment will complicate any attempt to do MLEs for Cravath.

I hope there's some way of massaging those numbers so that we can use them.
   155. jimd Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1179228)
It seems doubtful that the league quality of the PCL in the aughts reached what we now think of as Triple AAA level;

I think that conclusion might be premature. Following are the ones that were identified positively. They were somewhat similar to Cravath in the PCL, and both were respectable against ML pitching.
                                       Name   Years   Age    GP OPS+
Nealon   SF   207  .405  .287  .118    Jim    1906-07 (21)  259 103
Nordyke  Tac  219  .381  .271  .110    Lou    1906    (29)   25 101
Cravath  LA   204  .370  .259  .111    Gavy   1908-20 (27) 1220 150
   156. KJOK Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:23 AM (#1179255)
I'm interested in McGraw's case, but the RCAP numbers and the OWP numbers, by focusing on career value above average, advantages short-career players who avoided a long decline phase. It's surely not coincidental that this profile fits pretty much every player on both lists.

Sorry, of course can't pass this up...

RCAP and OWP do 'advantage' players who avoid a long decline phase, but that's what great players do - they generally DON'T HAVE a long decline phase. So, what you're almost saying is that if McGraw (or Chance) had played more seasons at a mediocre level, they'd be HOM worthy, but since they played few seasons but at a very high level, they're not?! I don't think this is logical.

It's surely not coincidental that this profile fits pretty much every player on both lists

I'd say it's symptomatic that the electorate is undervaluing players who cleary demonstrated that they were HOM worthy during their peaks but because of injuries, etc. they didn't have long careers.
   157. Chris Cobb Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:01 AM (#1179463)
RCAP and OWP do 'advantage' players who avoid a long decline phase, but that's what great players do - they generally DON'T HAVE a long decline phase.

I am doubtful of the truth of this proposition. What's the evidence? My sense is that great players decline about like everyone else, some individuals faster, some slower but a) they start at a higher level, so they can still be above average once they begin to decline and b) they decline at a later age.

So, what you're almost saying is that if McGraw (or Chance) had played more seasons at a mediocre level, they'd be HOM worthy, but since they played few seasons but at a very high level, they're not?! I don't think this is logical.

Well, if I were saying exactly that, it might not be logical, but since I'm not, does it matter?

Let me make the case more fully and (I hope) clearly:

If McGraw in an alternate universe (call him McGraw B) had had a career that included his actual career in this universe and that also included three more full time seasons as an average player, McGraw B would be more HoM worthy than McGraw. If a player was basically average for a career of the same length as McGraw B's, he would be less worthy than our McGraw is even without those extra seasons that help out McGraw B.

The value of being an average player is significant. Being average is not in itself sufficient to make a player HoM-worthy, but being average for a season adds to a player's worthiness. At the very least, an average season certainly shouldn't detract from a player's worthiness as achieved by other seasons of above-average play. There's the rub with comparisons based on career OWP or RCAP. The career OWP of a player with a high peak _will_ be lowered from his OWP during that peak if the player plays several seasons as an average player after his peak is over, won't it? RCAP will be lowered by seasons as a below average player. Therefore, these measures cannot tell us how high a level of play was achieved by players with significant amounts of playing time at a level below their peak/prime level, and that's what we need to know to compare a player of this career shape to a player with McGraw's career shape.

To use these measures to show the superiority of, say, McGraw to, say, Leach, we should compare McGraw to the best McGraw-length segment of Leach's career. Then we can really see just how much more meritorious McGraw really was than Leach in terms of peak achievement, and weigh that merit against the value that Leach added to his teams in the additional seasons of his longer career.

I'd say it's symptomatic that the electorate is undervaluing players who cleary demonstrated that they were HOM worthy during their peaks but because of injuries, etc. they didn't have long careers.

This is a plausible argument, but comparing the career OWP and RCAP of short-career players to long career players can't prove it. Presenting a career-segment comparison would go some way to convincing me, at least, that these selected short-career players may indeed be more worthy than some of the longer career players who are currently doing much better in the balloting.
   158. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:15 AM (#1179497)
Eons ago, Connie Mack said:

"If I had all the men I?ve ever handled, and they were in their prime, and >there was one game I wanted to win above all others, [Chief] Bender would be my man."

I think I just figured out why Connie Mack would make this rather odd choice. (scroll down to the notes section. It's the main topic in that part).
   159. jimd Posted: March 04, 2005 at 08:14 AM (#1179593)
Chance made 3135 outs in his career. Take the 9 best seasons of Beckley's career; he made 3182 outs in those seasons. Chance had a 135 OPS+ for his career. Beckley had a 136 OPS+ for those 9 seasons.

What does this prove? Who knows. The better "half" of Beckley's career was as productive at the plate as Chance's whole career was. The other half of Beckley's career drags his career rates down; the other half of Chance's career might have done the same but we'll never know for sure because it was spent not playing at all.
   160. KJOK Posted: March 04, 2005 at 08:58 AM (#1179647)
I am doubtful of the truth of this proposition. What's the evidence?

Well, you can start with Babe Ruth, then Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, etc., etc. They all DECLINE, but none of them have a "long decline phase" in their careers - maybe relative to THEIR OWN HIGH STANDARD, but not relative to the league/other players.

If McGraw in an alternate universe (call him McGraw B) had had a career that included his actual career in this universe and that also included three more full time seasons as an average player, McGraw B would be more HoM worthy than McGraw.

This is where we really disagree - playing three more mediocre seasons does not make him a better player, or make him any more or less "HOM worthy". How does adding 3 season's of Jeff Cirillo average seasons bring him UP to HOM status from where he already is? To me, that's just not logical.

The value of being an average player is significant. Being average is not in itself sufficient to make a player HoM-worthy, but being average for a season adds to a player's worthiness. At the very least, an average season certainly shouldn't detract from a player's worthiness as achieved by other seasons of above-average play.

Sure, there's VALUE in being an average player, but I don't see how that should advance a player TOWARDS being selected as one of the GREATEST PLAYERS ever? I wouldn't argue that an average season should detract from a player's "worthiness", but I might argue in some cases that below average seasons indicate a player's "unworthiness", depending on the value of other seasons, etc.,

To use these measures to show the superiority of, say, McGraw to, say, Leach, we should compare McGraw to the best McGraw-length segment of Leach's career. Then we can really see just how much more meritorious McGraw really was than Leach in terms of peak achievement, and weigh that merit against the value that Leach added to his teams in the additional seasons of his longer career.

We're in agreement here.

McGraw's RCAPs, OWP's:
100, .866
71, .776
58, .813
45, .830
45, .655
   161. KJOK Posted: March 04, 2005 at 09:09 AM (#1179671)
I am doubtful of the truth of this proposition. What's the evidence?

Well, you can start with Babe Ruth, then Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, etc., etc. They all DECLINE, but none of them have a "long decline phase" in their careers - maybe relative to THEIR OWN HIGH STANDARD, but not relative to the league/other players.

If McGraw in an alternate universe (call him McGraw B) had had a career that included his actual career in this universe and that also included three more full time seasons as an average player, McGraw B would be more HoM worthy than McGraw.

This is where we really disagree - playing three more mediocre seasons does not make him a better player, or make him any more or less "HOM worthy". How does adding 3 of Jeff Cirillo average seasons bring him UP to HOM status from where he already is? To me, that's just not logical.

The value of being an average player is significant. Being average is not in itself sufficient to make a player HoM-worthy, but being average for a season adds to a player's worthiness. At the very least, an average season certainly shouldn't detract from a player's worthiness as achieved by other seasons of above-average play.

Sure, there's VALUE in being an average player, but I don't see how that should advance a player TOWARDS being selected as one of the GREATEST PLAYERS ever? I wouldn't argue that an average season should detract from a player's "worthiness", but I might argue in some cases that below average seasons indicate a player's "unworthiness", depending on the value of other seasons, etc.,

To use these measures to show the superiority of, say, McGraw to, say, Leach, we should compare McGraw to the best McGraw-length segment of Leach's career. Then we can really see just how much more meritorious McGraw really was than Leach in terms of peak achievement, and weigh that merit against the value that Leach added to his teams in the additional seasons of his longer career.

We're generally in agreement here.

McGraw's RCAPs, OWP's/Leach:
100, .866/ 37, .662
71, .776 / 29,.680
58, .813 / 23, .634
45, .830 / 21, .601
45, .655 / 17, .655
42, .709 / 17, .598
39, .706 / 12, .594
38, .651 / 10, .535
8, .636 / 9, .570
7, .660 / 5, .445
6, .729 / -1, .507

That's 11 seasons, or 1 more than the current HOF rules require for induction. McGraw had a couple more seasons, and Leach had more additional ones than McGraw, but none above 0 RCAP.

Plus, McGraw should get some adjustment for slightly shorter seasons...
   162. Kelly in SD Posted: March 04, 2005 at 12:10 PM (#1179808)
KJOK,

I don't understand your chart and was hoping you could explain something about the RCAP numbers.

For what does RCAP stand? Is it Runs Created Above Position? Does it mean Runs Created Above an average performer at that position? Is it league specific or does it include both AL and NL? Does it include defense?
I ask because I thought some of the totals were high for McGraw so I checked Baseball Reference for McGraw. It said his runs created totals per year, from highest to lowest, were as follows:
1894: 98
1899: 95
1898: 93
1893: 86
1895: 78
1897: 68
1900: 66
1901: 54
1892: 33
1902: 21
1891: 14
1896: 12
Well, that didn’t make sense with the RCAP numbers you provided so I checked the STATS All-Time Handbook and found different numbers.

I thought I would look at the other starters for the other teams during McGraw’s five biggest years and see how they performed and compared. This is done using the BBRef listing of fielding qualifiers.
1894:
Player RC / Games at 3rd / total games
L Cross 126 // 100 / 119
Joyce 117 // 99 / 99
G Davis 132 // 122 / 122
McGraw 139 // 118 / 124
D Miller 100 // 52 / 127
Nash 113 // 132 / 132
Latham 114 // 127 / 129
Irwin 103 // 67 / 128
Shindle 85 // 116 / 116
McGarr 79 // 128 / 128
Lyons 60 // 71 / 71
Denny 34 // 60 / 60

Runs Created Attributable to the Position (RC * games at 3 / total games)
Cross 106
Joyce 117
G Davis 132
McGraw 132
D Miller 41
Nash 113
Latham 113
Irwin 54
Shindle 85
McGarr 79
Lyons 60
Denny 34
That averages 89 runs created per player. Would McGraw have 43 RCAP then? Just trying to understand. If RCAP is league specific, then how would McGraw fare without the four worst? Average 110, McGraw is 22 RCAP. Looking at runs created per game expreseed in McGraw’s games played: average 89 rc in 99 games or .9 per game. In 118 games, an average third baseman would create 106 runs. McGraw would be 26 runs better.

Just looking at his other years over 100 in the SATH:
1893:
McGraw 123 RC / 113 RC attributed to postion // 117g at SS / 127 games
Long 121 / 116 // 123 / 128
McKean 120 / 120 // 125/ 125
Dahlen 107 / 81 // 88 / 116
O’Rourke 105 / 52// 61 / 123
Glasscock 98 / 98 // 114 / 114
Allen 90 / 90 // 124 / 124
J Sullivan 70 / 70 // 128 / 128
Corcoran 68 / 68 // 115 / 115
Fuller 67 / 67 // 130 / 130
G Smith 64 / 64 // 130 / 130
(only 11 because Glasscock had the most starts for 2 teams)
Averages to 85 runs created per player while at third. McGraw would be 28 runs created above average at position. Without the 3 worst, the average is 94 and McGraw is 19 runs better. Average shortstop created 85 runs in 114 games or .75 runs a game; in McGraw’s number of games, 88. McGraw is 25 runs better by this measure.

1895:
McGraw 111 RC / 110 attributable to third // 95 g at third / 96 total
Joyce: 126 / 126 // 126 / 126
Everitt: 117 / 114 // 130 / 133
G Davis: 114 / 83 // 80 / 110
Nash: 108 / 108 // 132 / 132
Latham: 90 / 87 // 108 / 112
Shindle: 87 / 87 // 116 / 116
Cross: 78 / 78 // 125 / 125
D Miller: 73 / 28 // 46 / 121
Collins: 66 / 47 // 77 / 107
McGarr: 61 / 59 // 108 / 112
Clingman: 56 / 56 // 106 / 106
Averages to 82 runs created per player while at third. McGraw would be 28 runs created above average at position. Without the four worst, the average is 99 and McGraw is 11 runs better. Average third baseman created 82 runs in 104 games, or .79 per game. In McGraw’s number of games, 75 runs created. McGraw is 35 runs better by this measure.

1898:
McGraw: 136 RC / 130 attributable to third // 137g at third / 143 total
Collins: 126 / 126 // 152 / 152
Wallace: 93 / 85 // 141 / 154
Cross: 91 / 90 // 149 / 151
McCormick: 70 / 70 // 136 / 137
Hartman: 68 / 68 // 123 / 123
Clingman: 67 / 34 // 79 / 154
Irwin: 59 / 59 // 136 / 136
B Grey: 48 / 48 // 137 / 137
Lauder: 44 / 44 // 97 / 97
J Smith: 41 / 29 // 47 / 66
Shindle: 28 / 28 // 120 / 120
Averages to 68 runs created per player at third. McGraw would be 62 runs created above average at position. Without the four worst, the average is 84 and McGraw is 46 runs better. Average third baseman created 68 runs in 121 games, or .56 per game. In McGraw’s number of games, 77 runs created. McGraw is 53 runs better by this measure.

1899:
McGraw: 134 RC / 134 attributable to third // 117g at third / 117 total
J Williams: 148 / 148 // 152 / 152
Collins: 94 / 94 // 151 / 151
Cross: 75 / 55 // 103 / 141
Lauder: 71 / 71 // 151 / 151
Casey: 69 / 69 // 143 / 143
Wolverton: 65 / 65 // 98 / 99
Leach: 67 / 51 // 80 / 106
Sullivan: 46 / 37 // 101 / 127
Irwin: 41 / 36 // 78 / 90
Atherton: 28 / 28 // 63 / 65
Hartman: 21 / 21 // 50 / 50
Averages to 67 runs created per player at third. McGraw would be 67 runs created above average at position. Without the four worst, the average is 86 and McGraw is 48 runs better. Average third baseman created 67 runs in 107 games, or .63 per game. In McGraw’s number of games, 74 runs created. McGraw is 60 runs better by this measure.

In short form: In McGraw’s 5 biggest runs created seasons (as listed in the STATS All-Time Handbook), these are my results for three different measures of Runs Created Above Position (since I don’t know exactly what it is.)
Year #1 #2 #3
1893: 28 19 25
1894: 43 22 26
1895: 28 11 35
1898: 62 46 53
1899: 67 48 60
where #1 is runs created above an average player at McGraw’s position
where #2 is runs created above an average of the best 8 at McGraw’s position (to match with the 20th century players)
where #3 is runs created above an average player at McGraw’s position in McGraw’s games played at the position.

So, I don't know where your numbers come from. My figures make sense to me. (If they do to anyone else, that is another story.) I think you are making a good point, I just don't know where the numbers are coming from. Your help is greatly appreciated.
   163. Thane of Bagarth Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:58 PM (#1179954)
Kelly,

KJOK's numbers are from the Sabermetric Encyclopedia.

Here is the definition of RCAP and RCAA:

RCAP--Runs created above average at his position. It's just like RCAA (see below), except the comparision is to players at his position.

RCAA--Runs created above average. This is my own creation. It's the difference between a player's RC total and the total for an average player who used the same amount of his team's outs. A negative RCAA indicates a below average player in this category.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:10 PM (#1179985)
Well, you can start with Babe Ruth, then Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, etc., etc. They all DECLINE, but none of them have a "long decline phase" in their careers - maybe relative to THEIR OWN HIGH STANDARD, but not relative to the league/other players.

Sure, but the immortals usually pack it in when they start to appear to be mortal. All of those players you mentioned could have hung on to extend their careers, but they were afraid to sully their reputations and rate numbers.

Mickey Mantle left the game when he probably was the best first baseman in the AL, but he probably didn't want to damage his BA any more than he already had. Yeah, he was in pain, but he was in pain for most of his career, so he could have stayed longer.

IOW, I don't buy your premise. :-)
   165. DavidFoss Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1180155)
KJOK's numbers are from the Sabermetric Encyclopedia.

Yes, you can see RCAP's derivation if you use the encyclopedia to do a single-league, single-season by position (determined by season not career). Report both RCAA & RCAP from your search.

Summing the RCAA's for the league and dividing by the number of teams creates value for the (RCAA-RCAP) shift.
   166. OCF Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1180213)
I've got a homegrown number I've been using, calculated from some information is a Stats Handbook. It's roughly RCAA, no positional adjustments, but adjusted for the meaning of runs in context. Here are that number (in an arbitrary unit that's something sort of like wins) for McGraw, Beckley, and Chance, given year-by-year, and sorted from best year to worst year:
McG  Beck Chance
7.2  3.8  7.8
6.6  3.6  6.6
4.6  3.4  6.6
3.6  2.9  5.2
3.4  2.9  4.1
3.4  2.7  2.9
3.1  2.4  2.7
2.7  2.0  2.4
1.0  2.0  2.3
0.5  2.0  1.2
0.3  1.9  0.8
0.2  1.9  0.7
0.1  1.5  0.4
0.0  1.5  0.2
     1.3  0.0
     1.0  0.0
     0.8 
     0.4 
    -0.8 
    -1.1 

Make of that what you will. The flaws are exactly the flaws of RCAA as already discussed here.
   167. OCF Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:17 PM (#1180457)
More comments on that last chart. McGraw's top 5 years by this are, in order, 1899, 1898, 1900, 1895, 1897. Beckley's top 5 (not that it much matters) were 1900, 1904, 1890, 1899, 1902 - clustered around 1900 except for the 1890 early outlier. For Chance, 1906, 1903, 1905, 1904, 1907 - a consecutive 5-year run.

Decline is a funny thing. I suppose Henry Aaron gradually and smoothly declined, but it's usually a pretty jerky process. Both McGraw and Chance had extended internships before blossoming as stars, and then didn't so much decline as start playing less and less until it was so much less that it didn't matter any more. We have a number of examples of biphasic or multiphasic careers: after a certain point, he was a different (usually lesser) player and then continued as that player: Jennings, Sisler, Baker. We'll face some of that with some recent players, like Boggs and Raines. There's no general rule of evaluation that applies to all of these cases.
   168. Kelly in SD Posted: March 04, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1180970)
Thane, David,

Thank you for your responses. I just don't see in what season McGraw could be 100 runs created above position when it is runs created above the average player at that position.

Maybe after finals I'll look into getting the Sabermetric Encyclopedia and try to figure it out for myself. Back to studying.

K
   169. karlmagnus Posted: March 04, 2005 at 11:36 PM (#1181029)
Shows the problem of these fancy sabermetric measures. The reason Beckley appears to peak late, by RCAA, is that until 1895 he had 3 of the all time great 1st basemen to compete with. McGraw and Chance had nothing equivalent to compete with (Chance overlapped only with Beckley's late years, and anyway average far less distorted by 1 out of 16 than by 3 out of 12.) By OPS+ Beckley's greatest seasons were 1888 and 1890, otherwise he was remarkably consistent except for problems/injuries in 1892 and 1896.

Beckley's 3 great competitors also suppress his RCAA, making it a throughly unfair comparison. Anyway, RCAA assumes that only average or better seasons have value, which I thought we'd rejected as a theory.
   170. KJOK Posted: March 05, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1181102)
Anyway, RCAA assumes that only average or better seasons have value, which I thought we'd rejected as a theory

That's certainly not what RCAA assumes. RCAA assumed a .500 baseline - which is totally different from "value" which is an economic term anyway.
   171. karlmagnus Posted: March 05, 2005 at 12:37 AM (#1181141)
If you measure RCAA, you are assigning value, or "Merit" only to average and above seasons.
   172. DavidFoss Posted: March 05, 2005 at 12:38 AM (#1181143)
The reason Beckley appears to peak late, by RCAA, is that until 1895 he had 3 of the all time great 1st basemen to compete with.

There appears to be confusion

RCAA -- Compares against entire league
RCAP -- Compares against others at same position

I like RCAP in theory, but often it can do some strange things because the comparison set is so small.

By OPS+ Beckley's greatest seasons were 1888 and 1890

1888 is a half season for Beckley.
   173. sunnyday2 Posted: March 05, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1181284)
karl, you're kidding right? about fancy sabermetric measures? I mean I always agree with you to some degree. But if the alternative is citing a rate stat without any reference to frequency, then I'll take RCAA.

IOW as David says Beckley played 71 of PitN's 139 games that year. And it's not Jake's fault that PitN went 23-112 in 1890, and the N wasn't as bad as the AA, but that year deserves a nice little discount too.
   174. sunnyday2 Posted: March 05, 2005 at 02:24 AM (#1181286)
And as for Chance and McGraw, they are Exhibits A and B re. rate stats. Nice rates but at their peaks they didn't stay in the line-up enough, for whatever reasond.
   175. OCF Posted: March 05, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1181292)
David Foss understood what I meant. karl - Beckley appears to peak late because he did peak late. Those seasons around 1900 are his best offensive seasons.

I'll also mention that I am also considering career length and durability issues, and my current ranking is Beckley > Chance > McGraw, with Beckley on my ballot, Chance just off it, and McGraw out of sight.

Frankly, karl, a ranking that has Beckley > Simmons is just weird.
   176. karlmagnus Posted: March 05, 2005 at 03:02 AM (#1181314)
I don't know why beckley> Simmons is weird, I really don't. Beckley had 10470 PA at OPS+ of 125, Simmons 9515 at 132, Beckley played a more valuable defensive position, and Beckley needs adjusting for short seasons and for his home park homers being truned into triples, suppressing his SLG. I agree it's "arguable" rather than a slam dunk, but you can certainly make the case, which you can't for Simmons being #1 and Beckley off the ballot.

Simmons is more famous, but that's because Beckley retired just before all the good baseball writers came along (class of 1911, according to Bill James) and he wasn't an Old Oriole. In terms of the leaderboard at retirement, Beckley was #2 in hits, XBH and TB and #1 in triples (twice as many tripes as Connor had homers) whereas Simmons was only around the bottom of the top 10.
   177. Gary A Posted: March 05, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1182596)
Brent,

You should check out a new book, *The Early Coast League 1903-57*, by Carlos Bauer. It's got PCL batting and pitching stats for the PCL, mostly from guides, but a few seasons have also been reconstructed from box scores, and players with fewer than 10 or 15 games have generally been included, too. It does NOT have fielding stats, unfortunately, though it does give positions for players. It's basically the same format as Marshall Wright's McFarland books on the IL, AA, TL, and SA.

It is a little pricey, but they also send it to you pretty fast.

You can find ordering info here.
   178. Brent Posted: March 05, 2005 at 10:23 PM (#1182668)
Thanks, Gary. I'll check it out.
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