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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, March 21, 2005

1948 Ballot Discussion

1948 (March 27)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

383 125.2 1926 Charlie Gehringer-2B (1993)
312 106.7 1924 Ted Lyons-P (1986)
245 63.6 1927 Lloyd Waner-CF (1982)
218 71.9 1929 Larry French-P (1987)
192 59.3 1928 Sam West-CF (1985)
185 59.5 1930 Lefty Gomez-P (1989)
162 55.6 1933 Billy Werber-3B (living)
162 50.5 1934 Red Rolfe-3B (1969)
138 36.9 1932 Bruce Campbell-RF (1995)
111 42.3 1934 Harry Danning-C (living)
116 40.8 1930 Clint Brown-RP (1955)
118 40.5 1934 George Selkirk-RF/LF (1987)
120 39.3 1933 Elden Auker-P (living)
101 32.8 1934 Hank Leiber-CF (1993)
085 32.4 1935 Babe Phelps-C (1992)
099 20.5 1930 Eric McNair-SS (1949)

1948 (March 27)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

HF 22-46 Cool Papa Bell-CF (1903) #3 cf - 1.5 - 8*
04% 29-42 Leroy Matlock-P (1907) 3 - 3*
04% 25-42 Bobbie Robinson-3B (??) 0 - 1*
00% 23-46 Nat Rogers-LF/RF(1893) #10 rf - 0 - 3*

Players Passing Away in 1947

HoMers
Age Elected

87 1904 Jack Glasscock-SS
68 1930 Jimmy Sheckard-LF

Candidates
Age Eligible

74 1916 Bob Ewing-P
74 1917 Harry Davis-1b
72 1917 Kitty Bransfield-1b
71 1916 Vic Willis-P
71 1919 Johnny Kling-C
66 1916 Orval Overall-P
65 1923 Johnny Evers-2B
64 1925 Hal Chase-1b
62 1923 Mike Mowrey-3b
61 1927 Ed Konetchy-1B
46 1943 Jimmie Wilson-C
43 1942 George Blaeholder-P

Upcoming Candidate
35 1952 Josh Gibson-C

Thanks Dan and Chris!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 21, 2005 at 12:39 AM | 114 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2005 at 02:16 AM (#1210364)
Gehringer will go in '48. Lyons and Bell will be the ones to watch.
   2. DavidFoss Posted: March 22, 2005 at 02:20 AM (#1210372)
162 55.6 1933 Billy Werber-3B (living)
120 39.3 1933 Elden Auker-P (living)


Our first living candidates! Lets give them a call!
   3. DavidFoss Posted: March 22, 2005 at 02:28 AM (#1210379)
Danning died on November 29th
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2005 at 02:33 AM (#1210385)
Our first living candidates! Lets give them a call!

That is way cool! Unfortunately for them, they don't have a chance.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: March 22, 2005 at 03:54 AM (#1210474)
Werber is 96.
He played with Ruth, Gehrig, Dickey, Lazzeri, Ruffing, Gomez, Pennock, Hoyt, Grove, Bob Johnson, Ernie Lombardi, Al Simmons, Berger, Walters, Vandermeer, poor Hershberger...

If he's in his right mind, please tell me his neighbors are asking him for stories about the good old days!
   6. jimd Posted: March 22, 2005 at 04:08 AM (#1210491)
With the passing of Jack Glasscock, Cy Young is now the oldest "living" HOMer (as of 1947). Cy will be 80 on March 29, 1947.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 22, 2005 at 04:20 AM (#1210507)
If he's in his right mind, please tell me his neighbors are asking him for stories about the good old days!

He did a book a few years back called IIRC Memories of a Ballplayer. Not a bad read at all, especially for a guy who played 70 years before it was written.
   8. jimd Posted: March 22, 2005 at 04:34 AM (#1210521)
Catching up on the competition
(recently elected to the HOF):

Old-Timer's Committee:
1946 - HOM - Burkett, Walsh, Plank, McGinnity
1946 - candidate - Griffith, Waddell
1946 - ? - Chance, Chesbro, Evers, McCarthy, Tinker

BBWAA:
1947 - HOM - Cochrane, Grove
1947 - not yet eligible - Hubbell
   9. yest Posted: March 22, 2005 at 05:36 AM (#1210635)
1947 - HOM - Cochrane, Grove
Frisch
   10. Rusty Priske Posted: March 22, 2005 at 02:41 PM (#1210914)
Prelim. I want to put Bell higher. It doesn't seem right to me to have him this low.

I have done some re-figuring on some guys. The primary ones are John Beckwith and Jud Wilson (along with Gabby Hartnett).

PHoM: Charlie Gehringer and Gabby Hartnett

1. Charlie Gehringer (new)
2. John Beckwith (new for me)
3. Mule Suttles (3,9,x)
4. Eppa Rixey (4,3,4)
5. George Van Haltren (2,2,3)
6. Jake Beckley (6,4,5)
7. Mickey Welch (7,5,6)
8. Tommy Leach (8,6,7)
9. Edd Roush (9,8,8)
10. Jud Wilson (new for me)
11. Cool Papa Bell (new)
12. Ted Lyons (new)
13. Hugh Duffy (10,11,9)
14. Sam Rice (12,12,12)
15. George Sisler (11,10,11)

16-20. Lundy, Ryan, Averill, Moore, Monroe
21-25. Mullane, Powell, Griffith, Childs, Streeter
26-30. Sewell, Doyle, Grimes, White, Gleason
   11. jimd Posted: March 22, 2005 at 04:30 PM (#1211019)
1947 - HOM - Cochrane, Grove
Frisch


Thanks. Don't know how he got omitted.
   12. jhwinfrey Posted: March 22, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1211193)
1948 Preliminary Ballot

My PHoM inductees are Hartnett and Gehringer.

1. Jud Wilson
2. Charlie Gehringer--Once again, Wilson gets the edge due to career length.
3. Jake Beckley
4. Mickey Welch
5. Eppa Rixey
6. Burleigh Grimes
7. Mule Suttles
8. John Beckwith
9. Dick Lundy
10. Cool Papa Bell--Speed, defense, and career length only get you so far.
11. Tommy Leach
12. Dick Redding
13. Jose Mendez
14. Carl Mays
15. Ted Lyons--I'm very happy he made the top 15. Probably gets my vote for the best pitcher hardly anyone's ever heard of.

Other newcomers:
24. Lloyd Waner--I'm curious to see how much support he'll get. His low gray ink totals and fairly short career keep him off my ballot.
63. Larry French--A pretty good pitcher. I have him rated just behind Urban Shocker.

The newcomers push Marty McManus, Dizzy Dismukes, and George Shively out of my top 100.
   13. OCF Posted: March 22, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1211210)
Gehringer is going to be elected this year. Lyons is an attractive candidate, but I don't think he'll be elected this year. Bell is a legend - when you only knew the names of about five Negro League players, wasn't he one of them? - but I don't think he's going to be elected this year. I think we need to talk about Lefty Gomez, but he's not going to be elected this year. There's a pretty broad consensus that Lloyd Waner is a HoF mistake.

So that means we will be electing one of Wilson, Beckwith, or Suttles this year. Although last year's results put Wilson in the the lead, that order is not beyond further discussion.

I think we need to focus in for this year on the merits of Wilson, Beckwith, and Suttles compared to each other.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 22, 2005 at 07:56 PM (#1211323)
OCF,

I think your point is fairly taken. I will hold out a little for Bell until we have a fuller set of numbers and WS because I want to be sure that we've got him right, but until then, I see it this way. The question comes down to position.

Beckwith played SS and apparently didn't embarass himself. As others have said, he's probably a 3B in the big leagues.

Wilson was entering the league at a time when 3B, 2B, and 1B were each in transition. I suspect that Wilson would have moved to the right side of the infield either to be a Doylesque 2B (unlikely) or a 1B (much more likely) in the Fournier mode.

Then Suttles who obviously would have been a RF or 1B, probably with lackluster defense.

So I'm looking at it like this:

-In an integrated league, if Beckwith played SS in MLB, he would have been an annual All-Star given the weak crop of SS. In fact, he and Moore would have both been. More likely, however he would play 3B, and would have been the best in the majors.

-If Wilson plays 1B, he does well compared to his league in his first few years, probably an All-Star a couple-three times but then along comes F,Ge,Gr, Bottomley, Terry. The big bombers are much better players, so if he's in the NL, he's close to the best or the best in many seasons, but in the AL, it's not close.

-Suttles in RF or at 1B suffers by the same comparison set as Wilson, while also catching Heilmann, Goslin, Youngs, Manush, and probalby the tail ends of Speaker, Cobb, as well as the beginnings of Joe Medwick. I don't think he's likely to be the best in the league at his position in too many seasons, though maybe a couple times.

Now I've often argued against Sewell that being the best of a weak lot isn't a great thing, but I believe Beckwith would have been miles ahead of his fellow left-side infielders at either 3B or SS, and dominance like that is indicative of specialness. That's how come I rank Beckwith first. Wilson and Suttles seem both to be well suited to big-league ball, Wilson with his walks and line-drive power and Suttles with just plain power. I think Wilson's slightly longer career, better glove, and OBP-heavy production is a little more impressive, so he comes in second.
   15. TomH Posted: March 22, 2005 at 09:52 PM (#1211596)
wow, two prelims in, and Lyons trails Welch and Rixey in both. I already posted my take on Ted in his thread (so I won't repeat it here), but Rusty and jh, can you 'splain why Ted is below Eppa and Smiling Mickey?
   16. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:05 PM (#1211633)
I think we need to talk about Lefty Gomez, but he's not going to be elected this year.

Your wish: my command. Po-tay-to: po-tah-to.

I can't actually get the write up to appear on my computer, but I'm 99% sure that it's just because it's a lousy computer. Let me know if there's a problem for the rest of ya.
   17. jhwinfrey Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1211642)
For me, the biggest difference between Lyons, Rixey, and Welch is in their gray ink scores. Lyons simply wasn't a dominant pitcher in his league the way that Eppa and Mickey were. And no, Rixey and Welch weren't exactly "dominant" either. But I feel that they're significantly better than Lyons by comparison. Only 11 slots separate them--just a sliver of difference on a highly competitive ballot.
   18. sunnyday2 Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1211730)
Prelim, subject to change by the time we go live. How disappointing to realize Josh Gibson is already gone!

1. Charlie Gehringer (new, PHoM 1948). Best "glove" (i.e. C-2B-SS-3B) eligible after Hornsby and through 1960.

2. Hughie Jennings (4 last year-3-2, PHoM 1927). Still the best position player peak on the board.

3. Dobie Moore (5-4-4, PHoM 1942). Moves ahead of Jud Wilson. What a crop of NeLers, and from a peak/prime perspective Moore is right there in that group. Definitely deserves credit for play with Wreckers. His offense is in the ballpark with Wilson, Beckwith et al, and he played shortstop.

4. Jud Wilson (3-x, PHoM 1948). Moves down one slot, I had forgotten he was only 2/3 3B. I agree with OCF, we are going to elect Wilson or Suttles (Beckwith now a longshot). Wish more people liked Dobie Moore better, but Wilson rates ahead of Suttles and Beckwith for me.

5. George Sisler (6-5-3, PHoM 1938). Still appears to me that he is not getting credit from career voters for his entire career because of its odd shape. I keep hearing how an average player has value, except for Sisler.

(5A. Dazzy Vance gets the next available backlog slot from me. Still considering him for 1948 ahead of Wilson.)

6. Rube Waddell (7-7-5, PHoM 1932). Prime ERA+ 152 still one of the two best available (Lefty Gomez is the other!).

7. Edd Roush (10-9-11). More and more comfortable with Edd as the best available from the CF glut.

8. Mule Suttles (9-6-x). Still a bit unsure. He will probably look a lot better after we elect Wilson and/or Beckwith.

9. Lefty Gomez (new). Not entirely comfortable, but as a peak pitcher he is right up there with Waddell and Joss, way ahead of Diz.

10. Tommy Bond (8-8-6, PHoM 1929). Drops a slot behind Lefty, at least preliminarily.

11. Larry Doyle (11-10-8). We're still a little light on "gloves."

12. Dick Lundy (15-x). Warming up to him, now convinced he is the best of the SS with a more conventional career shape-length (i.e. best SS not named Jennings or Moore, i.i.e. better than Sewell).

13. Ed Williamson (12-13-9, PHoM 1924). Too bad those 27 HR obscured his real achievements.

14. Teddy Lyons (new). I agree he's way ahead of Rixey, and I mean "way" since Eppa is only about #36 on my list. OTOH I hear some people discounting other pitchers because of their favorable usage patterns. How is Sunday-only not an unfair advantage? But I don't personally attach too much significance to this whole line of thought anyway.

15. Cool Papa Bell (new). This is definitely provisional. Based on what I know now, he doesn't make my ballot. But I am shocked at that and want more info. Something is wrong here, and maybe it will come right as we get more info. But for the moment he looks more like Judy Johnson than John Henry Lloyd.

Dropped out but coming back if Bell and/or Lyons trips up:

Addie Joss (13-11-13)
John Beckwith (14-15-15). Both drop behind new/fairly obvious comps in Gomez and Bell, not to mention not as new and/or vaguely comps like Lyons, Suttles and Wilson.

Close:

16-20. Joss, Beckwith, Averill, Cicotte, Sewell.

Required:

Rixey about 36th, Ferrell about 31st, Griffith about 22nd. Consider the following peak/primes just as a conversation starter:

Waddell 6 years, 1772 IP, 152 ERA+
Gomez 7 years, 1638 IP, 156 ERA+ (favorable usage?)
Bond 6 years, 2865 IP, 130 ERA+ (massive peak value)
Lyons 17 years, 3779 IP, 126 ERA+ Ifavorable usage)
Joss 8 years, 2220 IP, 148 ERA+

Cicotte 12 years, 2905 IP, 129 ERA+ (steady Eddie)
Griffith 6 years, 2221 IP, 135 ERA+
(Redding)
Ferrell 8 years, 2256 IP, 128 ERA+ (OK, add some offense)
(Mendez)
Mays 7 years, 1748 IP, 136 ERA+ (add some offense)
McCormick 5 years, 2689 IP, 128 ERA+

Dean 6 years, 1727 IP, 133 ERA+ (no Lefty Gomez)
Rixey 11 years, 2633 IP, 122 ERA+ (no Teddy Lyons)
Welch 7 years, 3121 IP, 126 ERA+
Luque 5 years, 1397 IP, 141 ERA+
Grimes 14 years, 3644 IP, 112 ERA+

W. Cooper 9 years, 2405 IP, 123 ERA+
Willis 5 years, 1605 IP, 135 ERA+
(N. Winters)
Shocker 5 years, 1408 IP, 131 ERA+
(A. Cooper)
Mullane 8 years, 3243 IP, 132 ERA+ (weak league)
Leever 6 years, 1547 IP, 128 ERA+
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:45 PM (#1211751)
PS. Lloyd Waner not in top 100.

Need to look at Larry French.

Would like to know something about Leroy Matlock.

Red Rolfe had a decent peak, could be top 100 but, if so, not by much.

This might be the greatest class yet in the obituary section.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:48 PM (#1211762)
Prelim:

1) Gehringer
2) Beckwith
3) J. Wilson
4) Bresnahan
5) Childs
6) Duffy
7) Van Haltren
8) Beckley
9) Quinn
10) Schang
11) Traynor
12) Grimes
13) Lyons
14) Rixey
15) Welch

I have no idea at this time if Bell belongs on my ballot or not.
   21. andrew siegel Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1211785)
I had a prelim with long explanations that got eaten. Here's a prelim without explanation:

(1) Gehringer (new)
(2) Wilson (3rd)
(3) Suttles (4th)
(4) Jennings (5th)
(5) Duffy (8th)
(6) Beckwith (7th)
(7) Ferrell (6th)
(8) Lyons (new)
(9) Averill (11th)
(10) Van Haltren (9th)
(11) Bell (new)
(12) Childs (10th)
(13) Rixey (13th)
(14) Grimes (unranked/16th)
(15) Moore (15th) or C. Jones (14th) or Sisler (unranked/20th)

Strong and complicated ballot.
   22. OCF Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:56 PM (#1211791)
I can't actually get the write up to appear on my computer,... Let me know if there's a problem for the rest of ya.

Well, I just quoted you over on the Gomez thread. If my qoute is accurate, then you probably don't have a problem.

Lyons will be my highest-ranking pitcher, not that I know yet what that rank will be.
   23. OCF Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:58 PM (#1211797)
I can't actually get the write up to appear on my computer,... Let me know if there's a problem for the rest of ya.

Well, I just quoted you over on the Gomez thread. If my qoute is accurate, then you probably don't have a problem.

Lyons will be my highest-ranking pitcher, not that I know yet what that rank will be.
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 23, 2005 at 12:58 AM (#1212040)
Preliminary Ballot, 1948

1. Gehringer
2. Beckwith
3. Wilson
4. Suttles
5. GVH
6. Duffy

X? Bell: No idea where he'll end up quite yet. If he's a Max Carey clone, he might not make it at all. Carey never appeared on my ballot.

8. Burns
9. Mendez
10. Lyons
11. Rixey
12. Poles
13. Averill
14. Roush
15. Leach

Other notes: I did my due dilligence on Grimes this week, and I think I've been fine in not grouping him with Rixey (and now Lyons and later Ruffing). Grimes is perhaps the most peculiar examples of WS and WARP really disagreeing about a pitcher. WS likes him, loves his big years especially. WARP thinks a second-tier pitcher and occasional All-Star. Black Ink and Gray Ink look decent too, so he's not so far, far away, but he's no Rixey, who is no Lyons.

And if you think Rixey, Grimes, Faber, Griffith, and Lyons might be tough to suss out, just wait til Ruffing, Wynn, Ryan, and Sutton show up to make things even weirder....

Waner: Roughly as valuable as Ray Lankford, not quite Earl Combs. Danke nein.

Gomez: I see him as roughly Waddell part 2, and I didn't buy part 1.
   25. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 23, 2005 at 02:31 AM (#1212162)
John,

No Suttles on your ballot? May I inqquire as to why? I don't really see a big difference in total value between he, Beckwith, and Wilson. Actually I have them in that order.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1212205)
No Suttles on your ballot? May I inqquire as to why?

I guess so, since I was a pain in the butt over your Beckwith defense demerit last week. :-)

I don't really see a big difference in total value between he, Beckwith, and Wilson. Actually I have them in that order.

My system tries to be fair to all positions. In my analysis, he didn't really stand out amongst his peers at his position(s) that I thought he might before Chris' MLE's for him. Don't get me wrong, he was very good, but there is only so many first basemen or leftfielders that I will support for any given era before I say enough is enough.

At any rate, I can't see Suttles over Beckwith or Wilson. As I mentioned in a post on the '47 thread, he doesn't have that many more WS than Beckwith, even though Beckwith had the shorter career. Suttles was also able to benefit from less wear-and-tear on his body at first and out in left field than Beckwith did at short and third.
   27. ronw Posted: March 23, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1212211)
I'm torn. I won't be able to vote until Friday of next week, and I'm considering the following players in a major shakeup of my ballot. Here's the short list of my new additions:

Addie Joss - He's got plenty of peak seasons, and I think has been underrated by the whole electorate.

Pete Browning - We've completely missed the Gladiator.

Rube Waddell - Another short career flameout who is slowly fading from consciousness.

Ike Boone - If Buzz Arlett keeps getting mentioned, why not Boone?

Larry Doyle - He has a couple of strong supporters, but that's it.

Freddie Fitzsimmons - A peak to rival that of Gomez puts Fat Freddie on the bottom of my revamped ballot.

Oliver Marcelle - I'm not sure why David C. Jones dropped him. A fantastic fielder.

Oyster Burns - We've forgotten about this 19th century gem.

Lefty Gomez - Goofy may just take the top spot this year.
   28. EricC Posted: March 23, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1212256)
At any rate, I can't see Suttles over Beckwith or Wilson.

How about because Suttles is the Home Run King, and the only NELer other than Gibson to attain 30 HR/550 AB over a substantial career, let alone 40 HR/550 AB?


Career Homerun Leaders (Holway)


Player       AB     HR    HR/550 AB

Suttles     3230    237     40
Gibson      2375    224     51
Stearnes    3937    197     27
Charleston  4972    169     22
Wells       3781    138     20
J.Wilson    4188     94     12
E.Wesley    1881     85     24
Beckwith    2198     80     20
Leonard     2825     79     15
F.Redus     2388     79     18

   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 03:54 AM (#1212267)
How about because Suttles is the Home Run King, and the only NELer other than Gibson to attain 30 HR/550 AB over a substantial career, let alone 40 HR/550 AB?

Obviously, he was powerful, but that's not Suttles' whole story, either.
   30. Gary A Posted: March 23, 2005 at 04:51 AM (#1212349)
Also note that Holway's career HR figure for Beckwith contradicts his seasonal totals. Here are the HR totals Holway gives for Beckwith:

Year-Holway
1923--14
1924---5
1925--24
1926--not listed
1927---9
1928--not listed
1929--15
1930---6
1931--16

Just these 7 years add up to 89, more than the 80 listed as his career total. I also have at least 2 home runs for Beckwith in 1928, and four in 1921.

According to the Macmillan 8th Edition, Beckwith had 106 home runs in 1739 at bats, or 33/550 ab.
   31. Gary A Posted: March 23, 2005 at 04:53 AM (#1212354)
Make that 104 home runs, not 106; still 33/550 ab.
   32. Daryn Posted: March 23, 2005 at 05:08 AM (#1212380)
I'm amazed at the lack of Lyons support in these early prelims. On a ballot as tight as this one, being significantly better than Rixey and Faber should net him a top 5 spot. Even without war credit, he has both prime and career that, to me, easily place him among the top 75 pitchers of all time (I'd say top 50 actually).

I'd just ask people to compare him to the non-inner circle pitching electees so far -- I see him as comparing quite well to the bottom 5 or so white pitching electees.

Anyway, I'll have him at #2, which probably isn't surprising since I have Welch and Rixey high on my ballot.

..
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 23, 2005 at 06:16 AM (#1212468)
Off-topic...

I'm going back to 1898 and trying to reconstruct my pHOM as if I'd been voting all along. In order to properly examine White, Sutton, Start, Pearce, and others, I'd like to get hold of NA WS. Does anyone have a spreadsheet containing NA WS? Discussion of Start/Sutton/McVey seems to indicate the presence of such a document, but I wasn't able to locate it on the Yahoo group site.

If you are willing to share, please email me at eric.chalek@heinemann.com.

Thank you!
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 03:32 PM (#1212626)
I'd like to get hold of NA WS. Does anyone have a spreadsheet containing NA WS?

The positional threads have prorated WS for all of the major stars of the 19th Century, Eric.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 03:45 PM (#1212645)
On a ballot as tight as this one, being significantly better than Rixey and Faber should net him a top 5 spot.

I'd be happy to place him in a higher slot, but there are a bunch of old position players that nobody wants to elect (at least for now) that rae causing a backlog.

Looking over your recent ballots, Daryn, you're extremely generous to the pitchers. Don't know if that's good or bad, but the electorate differs with you on that subject.

FWIW, I had five pitchers on my last ballot and will again in '48. I have my system set up that I should have 4-5 pitchers on my ballot every election, but not necessarily high on my ballot.
   36. Daryn Posted: March 23, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1212719)
That is true John, but even our electorate has Rixey as the 4th highest returning candidate. I would expect that the same electorate using the same methodology would have Lyons higher than that. I guess we'll see.

Here's my prelim. I have Bell off ballot (25 to 35) unless someone can show me that Gadfly's Raines comparison is apt. I'm certainly not willing to give Bell (or UL Washington for that matter) credit for what he might've done if he had not switch hit. I have Gomez about 35 and Waner about 50. Gomez could move up a bit.

As John says, I like the pitchers -- 5 in my top 8, 7 on the ballot.

1. Gehringer -- 6th best secondbaseman of all-time.

2. Lyons -- great long career, well used, high ERA+, would have had even more wins on average teams. I have him here without war credit, but I think he deserves war credit.

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

4. Jud Wilson

5. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. Crawford (HOMer) and Wheat (HOMer) are two of his three most similars.

6. Eppa Rixey
7. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between these two candidates. There is not much of a spread between here and Ferrell, a five person group of whiteball pitchers that includes Waddell and Griffith, the latter of whom I am souring on.

8. Dick Redding – probably the 5th or 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind Rube Foster, Rogan and Bill Foster), and that is good enough for me.

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

10. George Sisler
11. Sam Rice
12. Mule Suttles

13. Rube Waddell -- I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown). My personal, in/out line is here.

14. Beckwith
15. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. He is barely better than Gomez, Ferrell, Hoyt (who I am surprised is not making any ballots), Mendez, Joss, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1212728)
Revised Prelim:

1) Gehringer
2) Beckwith
3) J. Wilson
4) Bresnahan
5) Childs
6) Lyons
7) Duffy
8) Van Haltren
9) Beckley
10) Quinn
11) Schang
12) Traynor
13) Grimes
14) Rixey
15) Welch

Happy now, Daryn? :-)

The WWI credit certainly helps him, but his move from #13 to #6 is not as dramatic as it looks. IMO, there's not that much difference between those spots.
   38. David C. Jones Posted: March 23, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1212880)
Here is my preliminary ballot. I may be revising these orders based on the forthcoming MLEs for Bell.

1. Charlie Gehringer. It's close for the top spot between him and Beckwith, but overall I think Gehringer was the more complete player.

2. John Beckwith.

3. Mule Suttles

4. Jud Wilson

5. Jose Mendez

6. Edd Roush

7. Wes Ferrell

8. Rube Waddell

9. Cannonball Dick Redding

10. George Sisler

11. Ben Taylor

12. Ted Lyons. An interesting case. To me he's the candidate that the Rixey supporters wish Eppa was. A long career like Eppa, but more of a peak. I have him behind Waddell because I'm more of a peak guy, and to me Rube's peak years (barely) overshadow Lyons' advantage in longevity.

13. Dick Lundy

14. Vic Willis

15. Cool Papa Bell. He may move up or down from here based on further information I receive, but from what I gather we have a great fielding center fielder who hit for average. Extraordinary speed, not much power although his speed sometimes brought him extra base hits. Some circumstantial evidence suggests that he had a good walk rate, based on his ratio of runs scored to base hits. The important question for me to answer was this: was he better than Earl Averill? Averill right now is #17 on my ballot, so this was the comparison I had to make. At this point in the game I give Averill the edge at the plate, and Bell the edge in the field. Averill probably had a bit better peak, although Bell had some really nice seasons, too: just look at what he did in the Mexican League in 1940, winning the Triple Crown. Riley says his lifetime batting average was .341, with a .391 average against "major league" competition. This over a career that spanned a quarter of a century. Again, I've stated that I'm more of a peak guy than a longevity guy, but in terms of Bell's peak, based on the evidence I have right now I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that, while he probably was not quite as good as Averill at his best, he was damn close, close enough that having a career a full decade plus longer than Averill's pushes him ahead of Earl. So for now he's number 15. The MLEs may cause a significant shift in this assessment either up or down.

No comments on the returning guys because I haven't made any changes to their order from the last election.

As to the other new guys on my ballot, I currently have Lefty Gomez in the 19th slot, Larry French 65th, Lloyd Waner 77th, Billy Werber 78th, and Red Rolfe 79th.

Comments welcome.
   39. David C. Jones Posted: March 23, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1212891)
I should add that I think all 15 players on my ballot are deserving of the HOM. In addition, I would say that #16 Dizzy Dean is deserving, as is #17 Earl Averill. For me the "gray area" on my ballot is 18 through 32, which right now I have ranked as follows. I could see arguments for and against these guys getting into the HOM.

18. Clark Griffith
19. Lefty Gomez
20. Spotswood Poles
21. Carl Mays
22. Bill Monroe
23. George Van Haltren
24. George Burns
25. Hughie Jennings
26. Mickey Welch
27. Jimmy Ryan
28. Dobie Moore
29. Gavy Cravath
30. Tony Mullane
31. Kiki Cuyler
32. Eddie Cicotte

33 is Burleigh Grimes, and that's when I just don't see the HOM as being appropriate.
   40. Al Peterson Posted: March 23, 2005 at 10:59 PM (#1213345)
Question on Larry French...

Any wartime credit to be given? Appears he enlisted after a pretty good 1942, then made a career out of military service once in. If he continued to play, he probably would have been put into one of those spot starting roles that had him cover 150-180 IPs like Lyons, Root, and others. At the very least he would have gotten to 200 Wins.
   41. Daryn Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:05 AM (#1213583)
Yes, John, very happy. I often forget that on these splintered ballots if a player gets 40 votes in the 5 to 12 range that'll put him close to election anyway.

It looks like Lyons will get that kind of support, and perhaps be the leading non-elected ML candidate.
   42. yest Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:26 AM (#1213637)
1. Gehringer -- 6th best secondbaseman of all-time.

there are 5 2baseman better then Gehringer?
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:43 AM (#1213677)
Question on Larry French...

Any wartime credit to be given? Appears he enlisted after a pretty good 1942, then made a career out of military service once in. If he continued to play, he probably would have been put into one of those spot starting roles that had him cover 150-180 IPs like Lyons, Root, and others. At the very least he would have gotten to 200 Wins.


It's a little harder to guage where he would be since he wasn't that good in '41, Al. I don't see him as a HoMer with or without WWI credit, regardless.
   44. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1213698)
I didn't make the comment, but I will try and name 6 better 2B...

Certainly...

Morgan
Lajoie
Collins
Hornsby

After that

Biggio?
Robinson?
Sandberg?
Maybe even Carew?

Bill James has his 8th, but I think that he was overrating Biggio. I would put Gehringer anywhere from 5th to 7th. So, yes there may be 5 2B better than Gehringer.
   45. Daryn Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1213700)
I have Hornsby, Collins, Morgan, Lajoie and Alomar ahead of him.
   46. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 24, 2005 at 06:45 AM (#1213877)
FWIW, made an update on my Dizzy Dean page that looks over how insanely well he pitched in the stretch drive for the 1934 pennant. Good stuff if you're interested in that sort of thing.
   47. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 24, 2005 at 02:16 PM (#1214298)
I think that Biggio was better than Alomar. Robbie fielding was a little overrated, especially as he got into his 30's. And I think that Robinson and Sandberg were better than both.
   48. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 24, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1214505)
jschmeaggol,

I'm with you on the Biggio thing. Sadly, History According to Sportswriters will probably credit Alomar as the hands-down best second baseman of his time with little appreciation of Biggio. It seems so much closer than most of the fourth estate will ever realize...especially after Peter Gammons's frothing over Alomar in the mid-90s.
   49. Michael Bass Posted: March 24, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1214529)
I'd agree with Biggio over Alomar...the reputation/stats disconnect over Alomar's defense isn't quite Jeteresque, but it is close. Biggio, of course, had all sorts of things working against him, particularly the Astrodome.

On the other hand, this comparison will bring up a more uniquely 90s problem: Two players with substantial post-season stats. Biggio's postseason performance was legendarily crappy. Alomar's was very good. How much to weight that will be a fun topic in a couple real time years.

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

As for comparing to Gehringer, I would rank them both behind him; only Sandberg from the most-Morgan era is ahead of Gehringer to me.
   50. Daryn Posted: March 24, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1214564)
I'm biased when it comes to Alomar, so I'll stay out of this. But if a defensive metric says Alomar was not great defensively between 1991 and 1995, I'd be suspect of that metric. I saw Alomar play in person more than 150 times during that period (and on TV about another 200 times), and I frankly have never seen anything like it before, during or since. Is there a site or stat that can identify how many times a middle infielder has picked a guy off rounding third too far? If there is, I bet Alomar is close to the career leader. As I heard Pat Gillick say on the radio the other day, his sense of where everybody was on the field was uncanny.

/end fan boy rant, until we vote on this in 2010.
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 24, 2005 at 06:11 PM (#1214625)
Daryn,

i don't disagree that alomar may have had a superior sensibility on defense, nor that he was a plus defender, I just think people in the media like Peter Gammons got overstated Alomar's case, while a plugger like Biggio piled up career and peak value that was, depending on your stat of choice, either a little better, extremely similar, or a little worse than Alomar's.

The sum being that Biggio's contributions are now and probably will be for a little while longer underappreciated relative to Alomar's.

Actually, as an aside, one of James's Keltner questions is whether a player was good enough to stay around when his peak/prime was over. The answer for Alomar is "not really," but the answer for Biggio--who IIRC is a little older and appears to have at least one and possibly more seasons left--"yes." Which is somewhat extraordinary in that a) Biggio caught a few seasons (and was a minor league catcher before that) b) had a major ACL injury in his early 30s and c) gets hit by an inordinate number of pitches.

And pursuant to that final point, it would be very cool if Hughie Jennings gets a little recognition if/when Biggio breaks the HPB record.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: March 24, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1214630)
I'm not a huge Alomar fan just in the sense that there seem to me to be a half dozen 2Bs of the past 20 years who are at least roughly comparable. Biggio is just one, I think Whitaker is another, Knoblauch was better for a few years at his peak though he clearly did not have the career Alomar did, Sandberg fer sere, Grich if that's not reaching back a little too far, even Randolph was a very similar package of skills though at a slightly lower level.

Alomar's best years offensively a not unlike, say, Rod Carew's and he was a much better fielder. But Carew did it at a time when nobody else was doing it. Alomar had a lot of company. I think context contributed a lot to his apparent brightness.

Not to say he is not a HoMer, he might be, but off the top I would prefer Sandberg, probably Grich, with Biggio and Whitaker a wash.
   53. Paul Wendt Posted: March 24, 2005 at 06:51 PM (#1214684)
Ron Wargo:
Here's [a selection from] the short list of my new additions:

Addie Joss - He's got plenty of peak seasons, and I think has been underrated by the whole electorate.

Rube Waddell - Another short career flameout who is slowly fading from consciousness.

Lefty Gomez - Goofy may just take the top spot this year.</i> [! --Ed.]

Some include Vance (HOM) or Dean.

While another set of voters focuses on Grimes, Rixey, Lyons and perhaps Faber (HOM).

Variety is the spice of life.
   54. Paul Wendt Posted: March 24, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1214791)
Folks,
Multi-season average ERA+ is the inverse (1/x) of the average of the inverses. Hence,

Player A
150, 150, 150, 150 ==> 4-year ERA+ = 150
Player B
200, 100, 100, 200 ==> 4-year ERA+ = 133

In the Lefty Gomez thread, I suggest that a tendency to look at Player B's record and "see" ERA+ = 150 leads Marc, among others, to overrate Gomez. That goes for any pitcher with low year-to-year consistency.

Dazzy Vance is another whose multi-season average may be overrated a lot because of this error in mental arithmetic, whereas Joss or Waddell is likely to be overrated only a little. Player A is not overrated at all.
   55. DavidFoss Posted: March 24, 2005 at 08:03 PM (#1214855)
Folks,
Multi-season average ERA+ is the inverse (1/x) of the average of the inverses.


Also known as the "harmonic mean". The common non-baseball application of this is when you are averaging speeds.

Dennis Eckeresley is another good ERA+ example. That 606 is nice, but doesn't help as much as you might think. Of course, its also not uncommon to have infinite ERA+ in token appearances.

To track multi-season ERA+, you have to track the equivalent lgER for the pitcher's IP for each year. Then use the summed lgER's with the summed IP's to get a context.
   56. Al Peterson Posted: March 24, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1215140)
Prelim ballot:

1. Gehringer. Not a tough one to figure. I have him about 7th all-time for 2B - not that any of them are around this ballot.
2. Rousch
3. Lyons. Better than Rixey, not by much but we're slicing the layers between players pretty thin when it comes to placing them.
4. Duffy
5. Griffith
6. Waddell
7. Ryan
8. Redding
9. Leach
10. Beckwith
11. Mullane. The Apollo of the Box shows up again. I'm sure I'll be his only fan but them the breaks.
12. Jud Wilson
13. Browning
14. Jennings
15. Averill

16-20: Rixey, Cool Papa Bell, McGraw, Van Haltren, Poles

I've got Gomez in the 35-40 range. Look at that WS record: 6-0!!

Lloyd Waner is way down there. We'd have to double the HOM to get him in.

Looking over my ballot I'm beginning to see I take all the problem children. Rousch, Waddell, Mullane, and Browning all missed time from contract troubles and alcoholism. No character demerits from me I guess.
   57. karlmagnus Posted: March 25, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1215379)
Just to kill one other frequently repeated statistical fantasy:

Mark Grace had 2445 hits at an OPS+ of 119

Beckley had 2930 hits at an OPS+ of 125 and played a more valuable defensive position.

That's not a high similarity score, so equating the two is simply a cheap and mendacious jibe.

Sorry guys, but this rubbish needs to be called what it is.
   58. Chris Cobb Posted: March 25, 2005 at 03:00 AM (#1215518)
1948 Preliminary Ballot

Let's elect some infielders!

1. Charlie Gehringer -- 5th or 6th best second baseman of all time is good enough for tops on this ballot
2. Jud Wilson -- 6th or 7th best third baseman of all time is good enough for second on this ballot.
3. John Beckwith -- shorter career puts him a bit behind Wilson
4. Ted Lyons -- Peak not quite as good as Griffith's, but a _very_ solid career. Need to study him more closely to see where he lands in relation to Beckwith.
5. Clark Griffith -- Not forgetting about him.
6. Hughie Jennings -- Top position player peak on the board
7. Eppa Rixey -- Long, above average career.
8. Wes Ferrell -- Top pitching peak on the board
9. Mule Suttles -- Needs new WS projections; could rank higher.
10. George Van Haltren -- top of the centerfielder glut
11. Edd Roush -- right behind
12. Tommy Leach -- him, too.
13. George Sisler -- Revised WARP makes his eventual election more likely, assuming the more positive view of his fielding lasts a while.
14. Earl Averill -- another borderline centerfielder
15. Larry Doyle -- not pushed off the ballot yet.

Cool Papa Bell -- more study and info needed. Unlikely to land above Averill, but if he does, would push Averill off the ballot.

Lefty Gomez -- Below Dean, below Joss, so between 60 and 70, I think.
   59. David C. Jones Posted: March 25, 2005 at 05:08 AM (#1215682)
Grace's disadvantage in OPS+ is offset by the fact that he played in an integrated league, whereas Beckley did not. Beckley's translated EQA is .277. Grace's is .290. That probably overstates the difference a bit, but at least it recognizes the gap in the available talent pool between the 1890s and the 1990s.

One other thing to point out. Grace's career OBP was .383, while the league OBP was .340. Beckley's career OBP was .361 when the league was .341. It was his slugging, more than his on base that gives him the higher OPS figure. And of course the flaw with OPS is that it treats OBP and SLG equally, when in fact OBP is more valuable than SLG.

Personally, I'd have Beckley a couple of places higher than Grace because he played a few years longer and his defensive position was somewhat more valuable, but I think he's roughly at Grace's level.
   60. David C. Jones Posted: March 25, 2005 at 05:17 AM (#1215693)
Also, while I tend to agree that first base was a more valuable defensive position in the 1890s than the 1990s, Win Shares doesn't really see Beckley's defense as being a more integral part of his value than Grace. Of Beckley's 316.8 career WS, 11.96 percent of them came through his fielding. For Grace (I only have through the 2001 season handy), of his 284.5 WS, 13.3 percent came through his fielding.

Win Shares sees Beckley as the best defensive first baseman in his league four times. Grace ranks as the best in his league four times as well, which is a more impressive accomplishment considering that there were more teams in the league during his era than during Beckley's.
   61. Brent Posted: March 25, 2005 at 05:22 AM (#1215698)
...because he played a few years longer

Both played in the majors until they were 39. Grace started later because he apparently attended (and played baseball at) college. Should attending college be counted against a player? I doubt that many 19th century players would have had the opportunity.

Beckley continued to play in the minor leagues well into his 40s. Should that count in his favor? It's an option that is either not available or not used by most post-WWII players.

I find answering these and similar questions (how to judge a player who leaves "early" to become a manager) to be quite difficult, and that is one of the reasons I prefer to evaluate players more on their peak and prime performance and less on their career totals. So many uncontrollable factors can enter into the length of a player's career.
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: March 25, 2005 at 05:30 AM (#1215705)
Also, while I tend to agree that first base was a more valuable defensive position in the 1890s than the 1990s, Win Shares doesn't really see Beckley's defense as being a more integral part of his value than Grace.

Win Shares is not designed to account fully for changes in the defensive spectrum, so it _can't_ see this. Win Shares uses one formula that gives an average player at each defensive position a fixed percentage of the team's fielding win shares, and then gives players more or less win shares based on whether they are above or below average in a variety of measures. Unless the base percentages are changed, the system won't register shifts in the defensive spectrum adequately. James makes one change, swapping the values of 2b and 3b between 1920 and 1940, but that's all.

There have been _long_ discussions on the boards about the failures of WS to represent accurately the defensive value of 19th-century and even deadball players, _especially_ first basemen.

WARP1 does account for these differences by changing the distance between an average fielder and a replacement level fielder (a method that has its own problems), but these differences are erased in the translation to an "all-time standard" for WARP2 and WARP3.
   63. David C. Jones Posted: March 25, 2005 at 06:48 AM (#1215777)
Yes, I'm aware, I've read the Win Shares book. Like I said, I agree that first base was a more important defensive position during Beckley's time than during Grace's time. I also think that Grace and Beckley were roughly equal as hitters, and if you take into account the greater competitiveness of Grace's era, Grace was probably a better hitter. Beckley moves back ahead because of the defensive issues, but I don't see any evidence to suggest that he would move very far ahead, and I'm still rather amazed that karlmagnus seems to be justifying his choices by looking at career hits.
   64. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 25, 2005 at 02:56 PM (#1216075)
Suttles, Wilson, Beckwith...

Having posted on this earlier, I'm beginning to change my tune. I just can't deny that Suttles and Wilson have career length advantages over Beckwith that make them more attractive candidates. Wilson appears to have a similar-enough peak to Boom Boom that the career advantage outweighs the positional aspect.

Suttles has a better peak than either of them and as much career as Wilson. In this case, I will defer to Wilson's 3B play and place him one slot above Mule.

So it'll be Boojum, Mule, Boom Boom running 2-3-4 on my ballot this time around. And for those who have noticed my near man-love for GVH, I've done a small reconsideration of his value, and I'm now placing him 6th, one slot below Duffy.

You know, when you've been doing this for 15 "years," you'd figure you'd have nailed down where guys go, but there's always another wrinkle...
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 25, 2005 at 03:34 PM (#1216110)
BTW, for anyone who who thinks that Beckwith would definitely move leftward in the majors, let me ask you this question: was Hornsby really a second baseman? Doesn't it appear he should have gone leftward himself on the defensive spectrum, but since he was Hornsby and became solidified at second we don't make any further evaluations about him? IMO, I'm more sold on Beckwith as a fielder than I am with the Rajah.
   66. TomH Posted: March 25, 2005 at 04:14 PM (#1216168)
John has a good point, but I'm not sure I value Hornsby higher because he remained at 2B than if he had become merely a decent 1Bman for half of his career. As a hitter, he was almost equal to Gehrig by virtually every metric (BRAA/BRAR, OWP and PA, Win Shares), and I place him just below Gehrig on my all-time list. Maybe Beckwith would have played some SS and lots of 3B in the Majors, but maybe he would have been frustratingly poor at it.
   67. Jim Sp Posted: March 25, 2005 at 09:35 PM (#1216628)
Cool Papa off ballot so far.

Gomez and French had nice careers but aren’t close to the ballot. Sam West would be as good a HoF choice as Lloyd Waner, which is pretty bad. Even a double-size HoM wouldn’t get Little Poison in.

1)Gehringer--I don’t think I’ll have shiny new toy remorse on this one.
2)Averill--Looks like a HoMer to me even without PCL credit, but I do give him some PCL credit as he was obviously major league quality before arriving in the majors. Compare him to Goslin: Averill has a higher OPS+ (133/128), and is an A+ CF vs. a C+ LF. Goslin has career length, mostly because Averill plays in the PCL for a while.
3)Jud Wilson--Close to Gehringer.
4)Lyons--Between Alexander and Feller, only Grove and Hubbell are obvious pitching electees. Lyons is the best of the rest, I’d take him before Vance, Coveleski, Faber, and Rixey.
5)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). Yes, I am allowing for his switch to 3B at the end of his career.
6)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA.
7)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
8)Beckwith-- Was Beckwith, in his prime, was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues? He played a considerable amount at the difficult end of the defensive spectrum. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his “unusual circumstances”. His selection as manager indicates to me that his intangibles weren’t all negative. Could be higher. He made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
9)Suttles--Struggling with where to put him.
10)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production, we’re not talking about Ed Kranepool here.
11)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.
12)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
13)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
14)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
15)Cuyler--I think he’ll be below the in/out line.

Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
Griffith In my PHoM but off the ballot.
Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
Sisler--I don’t see his case being very strong. His peak was not long enough to merit election, though he certainly was a great hitter for a few years.
   68. karlmagnus Posted: March 25, 2005 at 09:57 PM (#1216648)
Beckley's surely like a Negro Leaguer, he didn't get the opportunity to play in an integrated league, and so shouldn't be penalized for it :-))

He also played in an ML with only 12 instead of 30 teams, and with very little medical help and poor equipment. The "degree of difficulty" question goes the other way, I fancy!
   69. David C. Jones Posted: March 25, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1216772)
The "degree of difficulty" question goes the other way, I fancy!

When you want it to, I suppose, though the major leagues in the 1890s were drawing from a very limited talent pool. You want to talk about regional bias and demographics, how many Southerners were playing in baseball in the 19th century.

Answer: Not many. Mark Grace was an above average hitter when the game was attracting whites, blacks, and Hispanics when the game was attracting talent from across the country and around Latin America.

Jake Beckley was an above average hitter when the game was attracting talent from across New England, and a bit of the Midwest.
   70. jimd Posted: March 25, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1216777)
was Hornsby really a second baseman?

Hornsby was a regular at 3B in 1916 and 1919, and at SS in 1917 and 1918, before settling in at 2B. BP would place him on All-Star teams for those years (due to his bat).

1916: 3B: Groh, Vitt, Hornsby (Field Rate: 89, makes Bill Joyce look good)
1917: SS: Chapman, Fletcher, Hornsby (Field Rate: 98)
1918: SS: Fletcher, Chapman, Hollocher, Hornsby (Field Rate: 101)
1919: 3B: Hornsby, Groh, Weaver (Field Rate: 97)

He looks like an acceptable SS in 1917-18, but apparently his manager didn't think so (once again, fielding stats don't capture everything). Apparently, he couldn't handle third base when they tried him there.

At 2B, BP considers him a very good fielder in 1920, 1921, and 1924 (almost gold glove in 1921). After 1924 the fielding goes south quick, becoming the iron glove that history remembers, but the good years average out with the bad, resulting in an overall 101 rating.
   71. jimd Posted: March 25, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1216799)
You want to talk about regional bias and demographics, how many Southerners were playing in baseball in the 19th century.

This has been touched on here before (but not a lot). Was the NatLg actively discriminating against white southerners during the 1880/90s? Or was southern baseball not as well developed (a post Civil War fad with the region playing "catch-up")? Is there a minor league "Ty Cobb" from that period that we should know about?
   72. David C. Jones Posted: March 26, 2005 at 05:21 AM (#1217421)
This has been touched on here before (but not a lot). Was the NatLg actively discriminating against white southerners during the 1880/90s? Or was southern baseball not as well developed (a post Civil War fad with the region playing "catch-up")? Is there a minor league "Ty Cobb" from that period that we should know about?

I know that in the Deadball Era there is a bit of a pattern of Southerners having a rougher time adjusting to life in the big leagues than Northerners (Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb being the most obvious examples). This may have caused major league clubs to be more hesitant in signing Southerners if they thought having them on the team would be a hassle. I don't know. My unscientific feeling is that most of the Southerners in the majors pre-1920 were top-caliber players; you don't see as many middle-of-the-road guys. As to whether this means there was a great Southern ballplayer toiling in the minor leagues in the 19th century, one problem is that the leagues that were part of organized baseball were almost entirely in the North. There was the Eastern League, the New York State League, the Western League, the Northwestern League, the International League, the Central Pennsylvania League, the New England League, the Ohio State League, the Central League, the Central Interstate League, the Tri-State League, etc. etc. Against all these Northern clubs there were only a couple Southern ones, the Southern League, the Texas League, and the Virginia League.

The Northern origins of baseball and the professional game really meant that most Southerners who could play ball probably played in semipro circuits. Throughout this time period the means of transportation from place to place in the South was much worse than in the North, so there really could have been (and almost certainly were) great players who were just never "discovered."

Think about how Ty Cobb was discovered. He had to go around and send telegrams to every Southern team asking for a chance. It was mostly pure luck that one of the teams let him come and try out. A Northern ballplayer probably wouldn't have had to do that, he would have been discovered by some roving scout, manager, or player.
   73. Kelly in SD Posted: March 26, 2005 at 12:07 PM (#1217820)
1948 prelim:
I have adjusted my system to give a slight bonus for being the all-star (from STATS or Win Shares) at one’s position for one’s league. Also, for being among the top 4 pitchers in ones’ league. Catchers now receive a bonus as well. If they play at least 85% of their games in the field at catcher they get the full bonus. If they play less then 15%, then no bonus at all. If between the two, they get a porportionate portion of the bonus.

My ranking system is based on how a player does in their 3 best consecutive seasons (peak), best 7 seasons – nonconsecutive (prime), career totals, per season totals, all-star appearances. Peak and Prime are weighted the heaviest. I total up these results and compare it to a theoretical maximum. For hitters, this is Babe Ruth. For pitchers after 1893, it is Walter Johnson but with Cy Young’s career, reduced slightly for post 1920 pitchers. I then compare the player’s total with the maximum. Then rank.
It sounds bizarre, but by this measure, if a player reaches 60% of the maximum, they are a Hall of Meriter. The only position players who are HoM, but not 60% are all players whose defensive contributions are a huge part of their case (Carey, Wallace, McPhee, Jimmy Collins, Bennett) or Sutton (I missed his election and all the pros/cons) and Thompson. Other soon to be eligibles over 60%: DiMaggio, P Waner, Ott, Foxx, Vaughan, Mize, Dickey, Greenberg (WWII credit), Cronin, Medwick, and Appling. Not over 60%: Augie Galan, Dixie Walker, Joe Gordon, Bob Elliott (to name some.) I am still figuring out how to credit/deduct for WWII so things will be changing for all WWII era players.
This works for pitchers as well, 60% and you are in. Faber and Vance are exceptions to this, but I did not vote for them so I am fine with those exceptions. Both are right on the cusp, and will eventually make my PHoM (I think.)
I use win shares predominantly, because I spend enough time on this project without checking to see I need to redo my player database because BP changed their formula again. Rankings can be adjusted based on competition or league quality issues, but those adjustments are usually small.

Onto the ballot:

1. Charlie Gehringer
2. Jud Wilson: could be number 1 or number 3.
3. Mickey Welch
4. Charley Jones
5. Pete Browning
6. Hugh Duffy (Could exchange places with Suttles)
7. Mule Suttles (Could exchange places with Duffy)
8. Earl Averill
9. Jose Mendez
10. Wes Ferrell (benefits from the comparison for post-20 pitchers being reduced slightly)
The players for spots 11-15 will come from the following knot of 8 players who all grade out almost the same.
Currently:
11. Edd Roush
12. George Burns
13. Vic Willis
14. Dobie Moore
15. John Beckwith
16. Hughie Jennings
17. Wilbur Cooper
18. Dizzy Dean (That was a big surprise. Like Jennings of the mound.)
(Bill Terry)
(Red Faber)
(Dazzy Vance)
19. Tommy Leach
20. George Sisler
21. Ted Lyons
22. Burleigh Grimes
23. Cupid Childs
24. Larry Doyle
25. Rube Waddell
26. Frank Chance
27. Wally Berger
28. Clark Griffith
29. Carl Mays (reduced because of fantastic offensive and defensive support)

Cool Papa Bell: Is somewhere between 20th (Leach) and 30th (Carey) (If he is Max Carey with 3-1/2 more years, he is in 20th. I have Carey with over 16 years of playing time. If his peak or prime are significantly higher than Carey then he could move a bit more. But Carey played for a long time, so I don’t know how much more career credit he’ll get. Also, if David Foss’ OPS+ estimations are correct, he was a slightly less productive hitter than Carey, but with a few more seasons so I’ll slot him somewhere between Leach and Carey.)
Spots Poles is somewhere in this mix as well.
Bill Monroe: Slots in around here based on some short form WS estimates provided by Dr. Chaleeko.

33. Jimmy Ryan
(Max Carey)
34. Eppa Rixey
35. Fielder Jones
36. Hack Wilson
37. Roy Thomas
38. Urban Shocker
39. Roger Bresnahan
40. Kiki Cuyler
41. Bobby Veach
(This is a giant knot of players similar to 11-18. There is very little difference b/t them. Bresnahan should probably be moved to the top of the list, but they are all about the same.)

42. Gavy Cravath (I need to figure out if he gets credit for minor league play, and if yes, how much...)
43. Jack Fournier (I need to figure out if he gets credit for minor league play, and if yes, how much... less than Cravath, but still should receive some.)
44. Herman Long
45. John McGraw
46. Ross Youngs
47. Joe Sewell
(Bobby Wallace)
48. Dolf Luque
(Stopped ranking them all at this point. Pitchers only now.)
George Uhle
Bob Shawkey
Herb Pennock
Ed Rommel
Waite Hoyt
Lefty Gomez

Re: Dick Redding, Spots Poles, Dick Lundy. They have not been forgotten about. I am not confident at all in their placement except they are out of my top 15, but in my top 40.

Other top 10s:
Beckley: Really far down the list. The lack of any peak, a high prime, and comparable all-star seasons like every other 1st basemen candidate hurt him significantly. Career totals by themselves are not sufficient for high placement (see also: Rice, Sam.)

Other newbies:
Larry French: Scores better than Freddie Fitzsimmons (next year).
Lloyd Waner: Below Beckley.
   74. EricC Posted: March 26, 2005 at 07:47 PM (#1218051)
1948 prelim

1. Charlie Gehringer (N) Nothing to add.
2. Wally Schang (3)
3. Ted Lyons (N) Unless there's a fatal flaw I'm not aware of, looks above the in/out line.
4. Joe Sewell (4)
5. Earl Averill (5)
6. Mule Suttles (6) Macmillan is not as bullish as Holway about his HR, but both have him as the Home Run King.
7. Lefty Gomez (N) The 2 great years where he led the league in WS plus the rest of his prime, where he alternated with Ruffing as the ace of the Yankees dynasty during the 1930s, puts him on my ballot. The shortness of his career and the contradictions in his record make this rating more fragile than most.
8. Jose Mendez (8)
9. Jud Wilson (10)
10. Sam Rice (7)
11. Wes Ferrell (11)
12. Roger Bresnahan (9)
13. Buddy Myer (14)
14. Eppa Rixey (12)
15. Heine Manush (X)

29. Cool Papa Bell (N) And I thought that it would be controversial that he doesn't make my ballot. Not a horrible choice of the HoF, but for reasons well-stated in his discussion thread, his ranking among the greatest of the great is open to debate.

79. Larry French (N) Solid pitcher with a long, above-average career. Good, but not enough for the HoM.

Newbies that are next in line.

Lloyd Waner. He was good, but merely Jim Bottomley/Clyde Milan/Dummy Hoy good. Any and all of these selections are/would be recognized as HoF mistakes. Hoy actually has an argument: he was one of the better late-career players of the 19th century. Had his deafness not led to a late start, he could have had a Jimmy Ryan-type career.

Sam West
Red Rolfe
Billy Werber
Harry Danning
   75. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 27, 2005 at 12:08 AM (#1218372)
That get eaten? Dammit.

With the little talk on Larry French I got curious and did my first RSIs in about 11 months. . . Here's his RSI and Adjusted W/L records:

1929..107..6-6
1930..89
...19-16
1931..98
...15-13
1932..96
...18-16
1933..93
...19-12
1934..96
...13-17
1935..101
..17-10
1936..98
...19-8
1937..102
..16-10
1938..78
...12-17
1939..103
..15-8
1940..102
..14-14
1941..81
...6-13
1942..106
..15-4
Totl
..95.85..204-164. 


He gains 7 wins. In real life, he won exactly as many games as pythaganpat says he should've given his RA/9IP and his real life run support. This also leaves his relief W/L exactly as they were because RSI only deals with starts. He was 30-22 in relief, including 7-1 in 1942.

Solid, not spectacular. Still doesn't win 20, but he does get 19 three different times. He was an average hitting pitcher for the 1930s -- maybe a shade below average, but that's about it.
   76. David C. Jones Posted: March 27, 2005 at 02:33 AM (#1218738)
I'm just wondering, should Leroy Matlock merit any consideration? I haven't heard anyone mention his name, but I just read his entry in Riley and a couple of things jumped out at me:

- He was 16-5 in his first two seasons in the Negro National League (1929-1930), helping to pitch the St. Louis Stars to back-to-back pennants.

- After that he joined the Pittsburgh Crawfords, going 7-3 in 1933 and 5-2 in 1934. When Paige left the club to go play in North Dakota in 1935, Matlock (according to Riley) went undefeated, with an 18-0 record. In 1936 he was 19-9. He started and won the 1936 East-West All Star Game.

- In 1937 he was one of the players who defected to Santo Domingo, and he went 4-1 for Ciudad Trujillo. He returned to Pittsburgh for one year in 1938, then went to Venezuela. After that he played for Mexico City in the Mexican League and was a combined 30-19 in 1940-1941. Riley also describes him as a decent hitter.

I'm not advocating for him, just wondering if he merits being put anywhere in my top 80, and I haven't seen anyone mention him yet.
   77. David C. Jones Posted: March 27, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1218780)
Here are some numbers for Matlock from Holway: By the way, he was left-handed.

St. Louis Stars

1929- 5-2 record in his rookie year.
1930- 10-3 record, .769 winning percentage, third best in the league.
1931- 1-3 record.

Holway loses track of him in 1932.

Pittsburgh Crawfords
1933 - 11-4, 3.23 total run average (fourth best in the league). 49 strikeouts, also fourth best in the league.
1934 - 15-3, 47 strikeouts (fifth best in the league).
1935 - 17-0, 2.04 Total Run Average (best in the league). Holway reports that because Matlock had won his last four games in the 1934 season, he had a 21-game winning streak going through the end of this season. In that year's World Series against the NY Cuban Stars, he went 1-1 with a 3.50 run average.
1936 - 9-3 with a total run average of 1.50, best in the league. (Satchel Paige was 3.15, pitching for the same club.) At the end of the year he won an exhibition game against a team of major leaguers, consisting of an old Rogers Hornsby, Johnny Mize, Gus Suhr, Harlond Clift, and Ival Goodman, among others.

Ciudad Trujillo

1937 - 4-1 record

Pittsburgh Crawfords

1938 - 3-7 record

The rest of his career was apparently spent in Venezuela and Mexico.

So his total career record in the Negro Leagues, excluding the 1937 mark in Santo Domingo, is 71-25, a .740 winning percentage.

I also found evidence that he pitchd in Cuba in 1938-1939, for both Santa Clara (for whom he was 2-4), and Cuba (4-4). So based on what I can find his international W-L record is 36-28. Add that to his NeL figure and you get 107-53, a .669 winning percentage.

It seems to me that he was very good from probably about 1933-1936, but beyond that he was average at best.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this information out there.
   78. OCF Posted: March 27, 2005 at 09:23 AM (#1219208)
With the little talk on Larry French I got curious ...

Totl..95.85..204-164.


By RA+ PythPat, I have him at 195-155. He's got 8.57 IP/decision, so I show him with fewer decisions than Chris. Best year on this scale his best season is a tossup between 1933 (19-13) and 1936 (17-10). I've also got a couple of other 17-11 seasons, and three consecutive years (1930-32) of 16-14.

A workhorse inning-eater, almost unnaturally consistent from year to year. Compare his 195-155 to Root's 201-156 and Fitzsimmons's 195-163. I've got him in between those two. An excellent pitcher, but won't make my top 25 candidates.
   79. Chris Cobb Posted: March 27, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1219420)
David,

Thanks for the info on Leroy Matlock!

It's unfortunate that the group hasn't been able to spend more time on NeL pitchers. While I don't think we've failed to give attention to anyone who could be a serious candidate (Redding and Mendez are on the radar is not near election), we haven't generally given Larry-French-level attention to players like Matlock and Bill Holland and Ted Trent.

Getting a handle on how good the NeL pitchers were is, of course, the most difficult/impossible challenge we've faced, but I'd kind of like to know how Matlock, Trent, Holland, Winters, Cooper, Brewer, Bell, and others stand in relation to each other and to the Larry Frenches and Charlie Roots of the majors.
   80. David C. Jones Posted: March 28, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1219871)
Chris,

Thanks. Yeah, from what I read I definitely don't think Matlock is HOM material, but nonetheless it can be educational to see the career arcs of some of the good, not especially great pitchers of the NeL. I think just because I went ahead and looked up his stats, I slotted him in the low 80s on my ballot, which has him in Bump Hadley territory. Of course, I have no idea if he was that good or even better than that (or worse), but it makes no difference since he'll never get close to the top 15. But since we are plowing through baseball history year by year, it seems like a good opportunity to find out a little bit about the second-tier Negro Leaguers like Matlock (and the other fellows you mentioned.)
   81. Michael Bass Posted: March 28, 2005 at 03:45 AM (#1220212)
Prelim thoughts....

Lyons is #3, behind Wilson, ahead of Ferrell, for me with War Credit. But if he is getting war credit, then he shouldn't be eligible for 3 more years (this was how Joe D was talked out of voting for Benny Kauff all those years ago). Therefore, he gets no war credit for me on this ballot, but will move up a little each year.

Bell...just off ballot, might sneak on as we get into the backlog one day.

Gehringer is an obvious #1. Wilson's spot at #2 was solidified w/ Chris's projections.

I like French better than Waner. French might be top 75, definately top 100. Waner is not likely top 100.


1. Gehringer
2. Wilson
3. Ferrell
4. Jennings
5. Lyons
6. Mendez
7. Sewell
8. Beckwith
9. Dean
10. Waddell
11. Suttles
12. Griffith
13. Redding
14. Moore
15. Schang
   82. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 28, 2005 at 02:14 PM (#1220741)
For the first time in 2 months, a new page up at RSI: big game results. Look at how a pitcher's team does when he starts against teams within 10 games of first place in those years his own team finishes within 10 games of first place. It looks at team record, not the pitcher's record. Far from complete (no Old Pete or Big Train, among others) it is centered on guys that are up for possible HoM election. Good news for the Silver King fanboys out there, though!
   83. TomH Posted: March 28, 2005 at 10:35 PM (#1221439)
request from a lazy (busy?) man:

would someone be kind and industrious and place the 'projected estimated MLEs' for our 4 contemporary NeL stars in this table?

name..... career PA .. OPS+
Suttles.
Bell.....
Beckwith
Wilson..

This info, along with guesses at speed, defense, and contemporary and expert opinion will greatly help me fill out my balot this week.

One particular item: in the NBJHA, James wrote of Suttles that he "swung at everything"; is this reflected in his MLEs?

Thanks much!
   84. KJOK Posted: March 29, 2005 at 01:48 AM (#1221692)
Win Shares is not designed to account fully for changes in the defensive spectrum, so it _can't_ see this. Win Shares uses one formula that gives an average player at each defensive position a fixed percentage of the team's fielding win shares, and then gives players more or less win shares based on whether they are above or below average in a variety of measures. Unless the base percentages are changed, the system won't register shifts in the defensive spectrum adequately. James makes one change, swapping the values of 2b and 3b between 1920 and 1940, but that's all.

I think this bears re-emphasis as we continue to get new voters. Win Shares will undervalue 1Bmen in the 19th and early 20th century, and overvalue CFers during that same period.
   85. Chris Cobb Posted: March 29, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1221812)
One particular item: in the NBJHA, James wrote of Suttles that he "swung at everything"; is this reflected in his MLEs?


No time to put together a table at the moment (and I'm not sure we actually have OPS+ numbers for Beckwith), but this question I can answer.

The seasonal data we have for Suttles indicate that while his walk rate was not exceptional, it was not like that of Dave Kingman or Manny Sanguillen -- it was about league average. I projected Suttles, therefore, at about a league average walk in mid-career, with a somewhat higher walk rate later and somewhat lower walk rate earlier to reflect the normal progression of plate discipline in a player's career.

Gary A. has just posted new data, with walks, for 1923: checking right now, I find that Suttles' actual walk rate that season was a bit lower that what I had projected for him. I projected him for 22 walks in 315 pa; the rate in Gary A's data would put him at 16. So my projections for his OBP may be a little high for his early years. (On the other hand, Gary's data adds 30 points to his BA and SA . . . )

If the James anecdote leads you to believe that Suttles must have had little plate discipline, then you might want to lower your estimate of his OPS+ slightly.
   86. Kelly in SD Posted: March 29, 2005 at 09:06 AM (#1222146)
Chris,

I just picked up Minor League Stars III and it has the career statistics for four players who played in the Negro Leagues, the minors, and some in the NL/AL or the Mexican leagues. There is no info regarding league totals, but if the information would be helpful in developing your translation factors, I can email it to you or just post on the site.

Kelly
   87. Tiboreau Posted: March 29, 2005 at 12:14 PM (#1222204)
[b]yrs   g    pa   avgobpslg.  opsbWS fWS tWS[/b]
1922
-38 Wilson    17 2352  9879  .336 .431 .448   -   320  58 378
1923
-41 Suttles   19 2420 10163  .302 .366 .538  137  314  39 353
1919
-35 Beckwith  17 1905  8010  .333 .392 .523   -   263  52 315
1924
-46 Bell      23 3230 13637  .297 .365 .382  100  308 111 419

                 [b]top 5     OPS
+        WS    WS/162  def:[/b]
1922
-38 Wilson    141  176 172 149  34 31 29  26.03  B+(1b); C+(3b)
1923-41 Suttles   127  219 158 155  44 31 28  23.63  B-(1b); C-(lf)
1919-35 Beckwith  137   -   -   -   31 29 28  26.79  D(ss)
1924-46 Bell      116  137 137 124  27 25 25  21.02  A+(cf
   88. Daryn Posted: March 29, 2005 at 04:10 PM (#1222335)
Is it reasonable to think that Bell would have had the 3rd most plate appearances of all time? All the other top 20 were much better hitters, at least OPS+ wise.
   89. DavidFoss Posted: March 29, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1222375)
I'm not sure we actually have OPS+ numbers for Beckwith

We don't. Are the yearly MLE's with NL-only 30's context out there?
   90. Chris Cobb Posted: March 29, 2005 at 05:43 PM (#1222515)
Is it reasonable to think that Bell would have had the 3rd most plate appearances of all time? All the other top 20 were much better hitters, at least OPS+ wise.

I don't think it is. Bell's career length (and it appears he held his skills into his early 40s well) and his general durability lead to this projection, but it seems unlikely, for exactly the reason you show. As I advocated in my notes on Bell's win shares and in my response to Ron Wargo's ballot, I think Bell's career playing time should be cut by up to 10% -- 200-300 games.

I think I overprojected his playing time in his 40s a bit, and I think there are times when he would have been rested/benched when his hitting wasn't going so well.

Here's an example of the projection problem.

In 1928, we know Bell played every one of his team's games.

We also know that (in part because of his conversion to switch-hitting), his offensive performance was poor: I've projected a sub 80 OPS+. Gadfly would argue that's too low, but I think he would agree that Bell was almost certainly notably below major-league average as a hitter.

Now, there are plenty of examples of great defensive centerfielders in this era having OPS+ numbers well below league average, even into the 70s, and keeping their starting jobs. But they generally weren't playing 154 games.

How do should Bell be projected, then? In my first pass, I was figuring that, if we have a record of playing every game and we decide he would have been in the majors, we should project him for that. Looking at his career totals, however, it becomes clear that this projection method, while basically true to his actual playing time, leads to an unlikely overall career projection.

So, either one concludes that the projection of Bell's quality as a hitter is too low or one concludes that the projection of his playing time is too high. In the latter case, one has to assume that Bell would have been rested/benched from time to time, esp. during his troubled offensive seasons in the transition to switch-hitting. Or one imagines that the swith to switch would never have been forced onto Bell in the majors, and that he would have been a better hitter as a result . . .

Bell is complicated, but it's right to raise questions about his projected playing time in relation to his projected OPS+ .
   91. Daryn Posted: March 29, 2005 at 06:12 PM (#1222544)
I expect to have Brock in my top 5 when he reaches the ballot, and Bell around 25. How acceptable/inconsistent do you (any voter) think that is?

(It is the comparison I'm interested in, not the voters who will tell me Brock should never reach the top 5 of any ballot).
   92. karlmagnus Posted: March 29, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1222570)
Incidentally, for John Murphy and other Gehrig fans, there is a long page 1 article in today's Wall Street Journal about Gehrig's last 2 years of life fighting with ALS. Brought tears to my eyes, and I'm quite hard-boiled AND a Red Sox fan!
   93. Chris Cobb Posted: March 29, 2005 at 06:31 PM (#1222582)
I'm not sure we actually have OPS+ numbers for Beckwith

We don't. Are the yearly MLE's with NL-only 30's context out there?


The last post on the Beckwith thread has up-to-date career MLEs for Beckwith, which Tiboreau has helpfully put into the table above.

I haven't posted revised seasonal MLEs, however. I'll try to get that done tonight. I'll also revisit Beckwith's walks again: I improved the projection methods there in work on Bell, so I want to check on the accuracy of my OBP projections for Beckwith.
   94. TomH Posted: March 29, 2005 at 10:18 PM (#1222816)
Thanks, Tiboreau, for the table. Using that data, here's my take on the 4 NeLers:

I create an estimated RC/G over their careers, using the basic formula OBA*SLG/(1-AVG)*26. I add in a bunch of speed (700 net career SBs) for Bell. I mod the career PA by get feel for how longtheir MLB career s might have lasted, cheating a bit by the impressions I get about their volatility (I use bad reps to cut some time off). I find a 'replacement' RC/G based on their estimated MLB position and defensive skill, again leaning toward contemp opinions. I subtract repl RC/G from their RC/G to get net RC/G, multiply by 'PA over 40', and voila, net value in tuns. And durn, they are too clse to call.

Player.. RC/G repl RC/G ….PA …RUNS
Wilson...7.55 ……4.30 …9200 ….747
Suttles.. 7.30 .….4.40 .10000 …750
Beckwith 7.90 ……4.10 ..7600 ….722
Bell...….5.40 ……3.20 .13200 …726

My guess at Bell’s RC/G was that 4.5 was for 1B, and 3.9 for 3B or CF. Bell saved around 10 runs a year for 22 years in CF (Speaker-like ability), which drives his RC/G down by 0.7. Yes, Wilson’s defense could be better than I have it, but again, I’ve relied some on the lack of his status by such as SABR poll, Pits Courier poll, Ted Knorr, Bill James to bump him down.

Suttles has a long career, fine slugging stats, and a great rep. I will list him highest. Wilson is next. Bell’s superb rep and looonnng career move him above Beckwith, who I would have higher if I were a peak voter, and if I didn’t feel that somehow his personality would have hurt his teams.
   95. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 29, 2005 at 10:41 PM (#1222842)
Player.. RC/G repl RC/G ….PA …RUNS
Wilson...7.55 ……4.30 …9200 ….747
Suttles.. 7.30 .….4.40 .10000 …750
Beckwith 7.90 ……4.10 ..7600 ….722
Bell...….5.40 ……3.20 .13200 …726


Looking over these numbers, I don't understand how anyone has Suttles over Beckwith. Beckwith has almost as many runs as Mule in 2400 less PA, while playing 3B and SS.

I will list him highest. Wilson is next. Bell’s superb rep and looonnng career move him above Beckwith, who I would have higher if I were a peak voter, and if I didn’t feel that somehow his personality would have hurt his teams.

I have never understood the argument about a player hurting his team (beyond his stats, of course). I doubt whatever he did to his team affected anyone's BA or FA.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 29, 2005 at 10:44 PM (#1222849)
Incidentally, for John Murphy and other Gehrig fans, there is a long page 1 article in today's Wall Street Journal about Gehrig's last 2 years of life fighting with ALS.
That was indeed a tough read, karlmagnus.

Brought tears to my eyes, and I'm quite hard-boiled AND a Red Sox fan!


Gehrig transcends any rivalries, IMO.
   97. EricC Posted: March 30, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1223120)
Looking over these numbers, I don't understand how anyone has Suttles over Beckwith. Beckwith has almost as many runs as Mule in 2400 less PA, while playing 3B and SS.

John- Beckwith did not do the things that you keep saying he did. These are estimates and extrapolations based on a variety of assumptions, with large margins of possible error. Do you think that Chris Cobb's estimates are any more certain than the Total Player Ratings of the original Hidden Game of Baseball book? Yet, if everybody relied on these ratings, Fred Pfeffer would be a HoMer. Given the uncertainties, and the fact that there are advantages in Suttles' favor, such as his longer career and the fact that he holds the Negro League record for most career home runs, a vote for Suttles over Beckwith ought to be respected.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 30, 2005 at 01:30 AM (#1223155)
John- Beckwith did not do the things that you keep saying he did. These are estimates and extrapolations based on a variety of assumptions, with large margins of possible error. Do you think that Chris Cobb's estimates are any more certain than the Total Player Ratings of the original Hidden Game of Baseball book? Yet, if everybody relied on these ratings, Fred Pfeffer would be a HoMer. Given the uncertainties, and the fact that there are advantages in Suttles' favor, such as his longer career and the fact that he holds the Negro League record for most career home runs, a vote for Suttles over Beckwith ought to be respected.

Eric, I was speaking directly to the electorate that have faith in those numbers. Obviously, if you don't trust Chris' numbers, than I'm not speaking to you.

As for respecting votes, are you saying that none of our ballot selections should be challenged? Maybe you should have mentioned that the few hundred times my selections were sliced and diced. :-)

I respect everybody's vote. I just don't always agree with them. I don't think that's a problem in itself. Sometimes I even change my mind and vote the opposite way. Besides being an institution for the election of worthy players, it's also an insitution of learning.
   99. Chris Cobb Posted: March 30, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1223247)
Beckwith did not do the things that you keep saying he did. These are estimates and extrapolations based on a variety of assumptions, with large margins of possible error. Do you think that Chris Cobb's estimates are any more certain than the Total Player Ratings of the original Hidden Game of Baseball book? Yet, if everybody relied on these ratings, Fred Pfeffer would be a HoMer.

Not to disagree with the assertion that there is considerable room for error in the MLE estimates, I have to say that I think the comparison of them to original TPR ratings could be a bit misleading.

The issues there had to do with how one should determine value from raw statistics, esp. with respect to fielding. Sabermetricians have learned a lot since then.

The issues here have to do with two quite different things:

1) the reliability of the Negro-League statistics
2) the conversion ratio of NeL statistics to major-league ones.

There's nothing we can do about the first source of error except try to use the most reliable statistics available. One may choose to doubt the statistics and rely on reputations instead. I would argue, though, that if one accepts the statistics for one player in a given era (Mule Suttles as leading home run hitter, for example), one ought to give equal weight to the statistics of other players from the same era.

On the second matter, if there are errors in the conversions, they should generally affect NeL players equally, since the same conversions are applied in each case. The two parts of the conversion that vary are a) park factors and b) seasonal offensive level adjustments. Since much of Suttles and Beckwith's careers overlap, the possibility for incommensurate error in the second case is fairly small. Park factors have considerable importance in Suttles' case, of course.

The value of the conversion, then, lies less in what it tells us about how the Negro-Leaguers rank with respect to each other than in what it tells us about how to slot them against major-leaguers. (I know sunnyday2 has claimed the opposite, with some reason. The conversions provide the convenience of processing the raw NeL numbers we have into the easily rankable stats we are accustomed to with major-leaguers.)

In comparing Beckwith to Suttles, there's nothing that the converted stats will show that the raw NeL stats will not also show, except plate discipline (which is based on a narrow slice of data) and park effects, and the park effects are derived from raw NeL stats also, just not as many as we'd really like to have.

That said, voters reach widely varying conclusions about players whose records are not in dispute all the time, based on different approaches to weighting peak vs. career, rate stats vs. counting stats, and so on. But those are perfectly ordinary sources of dispute within the electorate, which require no recourse to the unreliability of the statistics to explain.
   100. EricC Posted: March 30, 2005 at 03:22 AM (#1223290)
Not to disagree with the assertion that there is considerable room for error in the MLE estimates, I have to say that I think the comparison of them to original TPR ratings could be a bit misleading.

You're right: my analogy, taken too literally, is unfair to you, because your defensive estimates are more sabermetrically justified then those in the original TPRs.

In comparing Beckwith to Suttles, there's nothing that the converted stats will show that the raw NeL stats will not also show, except plate discipline (which is based on a narrow slice of data) and park effects.

For careers, the two additional unknowns are what the career length would have been in the majors (much discussed already) and how much playing time per season the player would have had in a 154 game schedule. The latter factor is especially a problem for converting pitcher and catcher statistics to MLEs, It is these two factors, in addition to those that you mentioned above, that I have in mind when I refer to the uncertainties in your estimates. Otherwise, I can't argue with your general methodology or the value of what you have done with your MLEs.

That said, voters reach widely varying conclusions about players whose records are not in dispute all the time, based on different approaches to weighting peak vs. career,

Exactly.
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