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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 18, 2005

1949 Ballot Results: Pitchers Rule This Year With the Election of Hubbell and Lyons!

In his first year of eligibility, New York Giants legend Carl Hubbell received almost 96% of the possible points to win the first spot for election to the Hall of Merit.

White Sox star Ted Lyons garnered enough votes to win the second spot in only his second year as a candidate.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Eppa Rixey, Wes Ferrell, Earl Averill, Clark Griffith, Biz Mackey,  and George Sisler.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Carl Hubbell            1171   51  39  7  3           1                       1
 2    3  Ted Lyons                818   47   1 14  8  4  3  3  4  2  4  1  2           1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    4  Mule Suttles             751   47   3  8  8  2  1  7  2  4  3  1  2  3  1  2   
 4    5  John Beckwith            649   43   2  5  4 10  2  1  3  3  2  2  2     3  2  2
 5    6  Eppa Rixey               388   31      2     2  2  3  3  3     6  3  3  1  1  2
 6    7  Wes Ferrell              358   29   1     4     2  3  4  1     1  4  1  3  2  3
 7    8  Earl Averill             358   28      1  2  1  2  4  2  2  1  5  3  1  2  2   
 8   10  Clark Griffith           336   26      1  1  4  4  1     1  3  4  1  1  3     2
 9  n/e  Biz Mackey               329   33               4  1  2  3  1  1  2  4  5  4  6
10    9  George Sisler            303   24   1     3  3  1     1  1  2  2  2  4  2  1  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   11  Hughie Jennings          303   20      5  1  2  1  2     3  1  1        1  2  1
12   17  Cool Papa Bell           290   25      1  2  3  1  1        3  2  1  2  3  3  3
13   12  Jake Beckley             285   22   2     1  1  3  1  1  2  2  1  2  1     5   
14   14  Joe Sewell               246   18            4  2  2  2  2  3     1     2      
15   13  George Van Haltren       233   18         1  1  4  1  1  3  1  2     2  1     1
16   18  Edd Roush                229   19      1     1  1  1  3  2     3  2  1  1  2  1
17   15  Hugh Duffy               225   17         1  4  2  2     2  1        2     3   
18   16  Mickey Welch             198   12   1  2  3     1  1  1     1        1  1      
19   26  Burleigh Grimes          170   14            2  1  2        3  2  1     2     1
20   23  Tommy Leach              169   15         1     1  1  1  2  2     2  1  1  1  2
21   19  Rube Waddell             165   16               1     2     3     3  3  1  2  1
22   20  Cupid Childs             163   14               1  3  2     1  1  1  3  1     1
23   21  Dick Lundy               162   12      1  1        2  2     3  1     1     1   
24   25  Charley Jones            140   10      1  1  1  2  1        1     1        1  1
25T  28  Roger Bresnahan          138   12            1     1     2  1  2  1  4         
25T  24  Cannonball Dick Redding  138   12         1           2  1  3     1  3        1
27   29  Wally Schang             132   11   1           1     1  1     3     2     2   
28   22  Pete Browning            132    9      1  1  1  1  2           2              1
29   27  José Méndez              129   11            1  1     1  2  1  1  1  1  1     1
30   31  Larry Doyle               97    8         1     1  1        1  1     2     1   
31   36  Gavy Cravath              95    7      1  1        2              1     1     1
32   30  Bill Monroe               81    8               1     1           1  2  2  1   
33   32  Sam Rice                  79    7                     2     1  1  2     1      
34  n/e  Chuck Klein               77    6         1        1     2     1           1   
35   35  Dobie Moore               72    8            1                 1        3  2  1
36  n/e  Tommy Bridges             71    6         1              2     1  1           1
37   34  Dizzy Dean                71    5            1  1  1     1        1            
38   33  Jimmy Ryan                69    6                     2  1  1     1           1
39   39  Ben Taylor                44    4               1              1     1  1      
40   48T Carl Mays                 43    5               1                       1  1  2
41   41  Vic Willis                42    5                           1     1        2  1
42   40  John McGraw               41    4                     1     1        1        1
43   38  Pie Traynor               38    3            1           1              1      
44   42T George J. Burns           27    3                     1                    1  1
45   44  Ed Williamson             20    3                                          2  1
46   37  Lefty Gomez               20    2                     1                       1
47  n/e  Lon Warneke               18    2                                 1     1      
48   42T Ed Cicotte                16    1               1                              
49   47  Tony Mullane              15    2                                       1  1   
50T  51T Buzz Arlett               14    2                                       1     1
50T  61T Addie Joss                14    2                                       1     1
50T  48T Hack Wilson               14    2                                       1     1
53T n/e  Wally Berger              14    1                     1                        
53T  53T Fred Dunlap               14    1                     1                        
55T  53T Dolf Luque                13    1                        1                     
55T  56T Bobby Veach               13    1                        1                     
57   45  Kiki Cuyler               12    2                                             2
58   46  Tony Lazzeri              11    1                              1               
59T  50  Tommy Bond                10    1                                 1            
59T  59T Fielder Jones             10    1                                 1            
59T  59T Sam Leever                10    1                                 1            
59T  56T Spotswood Poles           10    1                                 1            
63   56T Wilbur Cooper              9    1                                    1         
64   61T Buddy Myer                 8    1                                       1      
65T n/e  Frank Chance               7    1                                          1   
65T  51T Heinie Manush              7    1                                          1   
65T  65  Urban Shocker              7    1                                          1   
68T n/e  Dick Bartell               6    1                                             1
68T  63T Harry Hooper               6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Donie Bush(63T), Jack Quinn(55).

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2005 at 11:12 PM | 130 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. Howie Menckel Posted: April 24, 2005 at 01:17 PM (#1283696)
Faber and Lyons become only the second HOM pitching tandem to last more than three years together!

HOM pitching tandems (min 10 games pitched by each 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
1924-33 CHI AL Faber and Lyons
1925-26 WAS AL WJohnson and Covaleski
1931----HOME GRE Williams and BFoster
   102. jingoist Posted: April 26, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1289611)
Where does James have Jake Beckley ranked in the list of all-time 1B-men? Is he ahead of Sisler, or Keith Hernandez? How about Mark Grace or Wil Clark? We won't get to many of guys for years to come but I am curious where JB ranks all-time.
   103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2005 at 06:48 PM (#1289664)
Where does James have Jake Beckley ranked in the list of all-time 1B-men? Is he ahead of Sisler, or Keith Hernandez? How about Mark Grace or Wil Clark? We won't get to many of guys for years to come but I am curious where JB ranks all-time.

He doesn't rank him that high (#52) for a few reasons: 1) his severe timeline, 2) he doesn't take into account the difference in scheduled games throughout the years, 3) his ranking system leans heavily on peak and 4) he doesn't take into account that first base was different back then.
   104. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 26, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1289804)
Another factor in James ranking, but one that works against Beckley, is that his positional rankings aren't integrated with the Negro Leaguers, among whom Leonard and Suttles would surely be higher than 52nd, and perhaps Taylor as well.

Anyway, IMO I just don't think all those things add up to Beckley vaulting among the 25 best 1Bs ever. I've personally got him around 35th give or take here and there. And that's without really knowing yet where to place Leonard, Fournier, Taylor, O'Neill, and several currently active players.

Speaking of which, with a greater sense of Cravath's career under our belt, I believe it might be time to revisit Messers Jaques Fournier and Ken Williams to make sure we know as much about their stories as we can know.
   105. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1289918)
Another factor in James ranking, but one that works against Beckley, is that his positional rankings aren't integrated with the Negro Leaguers, among whom Leonard and Suttles would surely be higher than 52nd, and perhaps Taylor as well.

True, but that also works against almost everybody else, except for the Ruth, Gehrig, Schmidt and Grove types.
   106. karlmagnus Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1289978)
Playing a short schedule, and with a dead ball, Beckley is 30th in hits all time (2nd at the time of his retirement) and 56th in total bases, because he hit lots of triples. There is NO WAY he is the 52nd best 1B of all time; he's more like the 52nd best PLAYER of all time
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1290007)
There is NO WAY he is the 52nd best 1B of all time; he's more like the 52nd best PLAYER of all time

karlmagnus, I support Eagle Eye, but only so far. I think he's a HoMer, but he's closer to the borderline than the inner circle, IMO. There's no way in my mind that he's close to being the 52nd player of all-time. He would need a lot more peak to merit that spot.
   108. Kelly in SD Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1290018)
Dead ball?

Jake Beckley's career spans the highest run-scoring era of ALL-TIME:

Year / runs per game Beckley's league
1888: 4.54
1889: 5.83
1890: 6.89
1891: 5.54
1892: 5.08
1893: 6.56
1894: 7.37
1895: 6.57
1896: 6.03
1897: 5.87
1898: 4.94
1899: 5.22
1900: 5.23
1901: 4.64
1902: 3.97
1903: 4.78
1904: 3.90
1905: 4.10
1906: 3.56

To place those years in context, I flipped to a year at random, NL 1988. The only year of Beckley's career where he played in a league that scored fewer runs per game than the National League in 1988 was 1906. The NL scored 3.87 runs per game in 1988. Was that a dead ball?
Beckley only played four years in leagues that scored fewer than 4.5 runs a game. He did not suffer from a "dead ball."
   109. karlmagnus Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:35 PM (#1290042)
One of Beckley's four years was 1904, which was probably his best year. Also, a high proportion of the 1890s runs were from errors and baserunning, which don't accrue to the batter, so "total bases" were not particularly high, there being few homers.

In terms of earned runs, the 1893-97 period (when Beckley for some reason benefited much less than others, and so looks relatively weak) was very high but the remainder of his career is not particulalry high scoring, and the latter years of Beckley's career, when he had some of his best years, were notably low scoring.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:38 PM (#1290050)
He did not suffer from a "dead ball."

I agree, but he did suffer from "inside baseball" type of play, which I believe is what karlmagnus is referring to.

BTW, I'm am defending and criticizing Beckley on all three threads (just in case that you were curious :-).
   111. karlmagnus Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:39 PM (#1290055)
I'm defending him on all 3 threads, and it's jolly hard work!
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2005 at 09:44 PM (#1290070)
I'm defending him on all 3 threads, and it's jolly hard work!

LOL
   113. Carl G Posted: April 26, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1290097)
'Playing a short schedule, and with a dead ball, Beckley is 30th in hits all time'

The Dead Ball era didn't really suppress hits, though. The BP translations even give him less hits than he actually had after extending his schedule and adjusting for the modern era. Granted it gave him over 500 HRs though. I don't put alot of stock in those numbers, mainly because they don't explain how they were derived, but I'm just making the point from the first sentence.
   114. Carl G Posted: April 26, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1290112)
'when Beckley for some reason benefited much less than others, and so looks relatively weak'

I'm going to need some explanation as to why he would have benefitted less than other hitters. To me, taking less advantage of a league or park situation than other players in the league or on your team makes you less valuable(relatively speaking of course).
   115. jimd Posted: April 26, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1290114)
Dead ball

Nevertheless, the ball was dead. It was a dirty mushy ball, rarely replaced, similar to that used in the 00's, and was difficult to hit for long distances.

However there were some significant offensive differences.

The 1890's was a fastball hitter's paradise. Most established breaking balls were made obsolete by the change in the pitcher's field position and had to be redeveloped for the new distance. This took time. Apparently, pitching mounds were introduced in the late 1890's. The 00's saw a new fad, applying foreign substances to the ball, and/or scuffing it. Gloves continued to develop.

The 1900's also saw the introduction of a new rule, the modern foul strike rule. At the beginning of the 1890's, no foul balls were strikes. Around mid-decade, to discourage repeated drag bunting (for hits), bunts that rolled foul were declared strikes. Then foul tips caught by the catcher. Finally, during the AL/NL war, the remaining foul balls became strikes (unless they were strike 3). This rule change, reinforced by breaking balls and spitballs and pitching mounds and new gloves, dramatically increased the number of strikeouts and caused scoring to drop.
   116. OCF Posted: April 26, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1290122)
Average runs scored per team game, Beckley's leagues, 1889-1906: 5.34.

Average runs scored per game, AL 1925-1938 (i.e., Gehrig's leagues): 5.14.

Not adjusted for park factor, or weighted by the playing time of the player in question, but you get the idea. And yes, because of schedule length, there were more runs scored per team-season in Gehrig's time than in Beckley's. But let's not overuse the words "dead ball."
   117. karlmagnus Posted: April 26, 2005 at 10:18 PM (#1290129)
Yes, but OCF, only the earned runs were credited to the batter (or gave him hits, BB, etc.) and both errors and base-stealing were higher in the 1890s.
   118. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 26, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1290451)
Why isn't basestealing part of the offensive game? And the defensive deficiencies of the 1890's weren't solely errors, most of it was what statistically looks like bad range. LOTS of what karl thinks are 'errors' were actually hits. Hence guys like Keeler hitting .344 for his career. Anyone think he could have hit .344 in any other era? In fact this is an era that was most likely the peak of singles and thus, hits. You know that semi-useful stat karl treats as his own personal Baal.

And this still doesn't take into account that he was never one of the 10 best players in baseball duirng his career and rarely one of the 20 best.
   119. karlmagnus Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1290833)
But if in one era say 10% of the bases are coming through steals and errors, then the total of runs scored in that era will be inflated by 6% above another era with the same number of hits of various types and only 4% of bases coming through steals and errors. We need to look at earned runs to get the runs credited to the batters, which is what we're comparing. The 1890s were not so inflated on earned runs as they were on runs as a whole.
   120. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:58 AM (#1290882)
Karl,

Of course, all of these are great reasons to vote for . . . Duffy, GVH, Ryan, and probably Long.
   121. karlmagnus Posted: April 27, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1291073)
And Lave Cross, and Deacon McGuire :-))
   122. Brent Posted: April 27, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1291703)
Dr. Chaleeko wrote:

Speaking of which, with a greater sense of Cravath's career under our belt, I believe it might be time to revisit Messers Jaques Fournier and Ken Williams to make sure we know as much about their stories as we can know.

I've already collected the info to do MLEs for Fournier's PCL years and will probably run the MLE calculations this weekend.

I'm pretty sure that Ken Williams, however, spent only a season and a half in the PCL (see Portland Beavers site for his batting statistics); the one full season looks great, but IMO he needs more than one more big season to become a viable HoM candidate. So I think I'll pass on doing MLEs for Williams. (Williams also deserves some WWI credit, but I still think it's not enough.)
   123. Al Peterson Posted: April 27, 2005 at 11:53 AM (#1291986)
I'm pretty sure that Ken Williams, however, spent only a season and a half in the PCL (see Portland Beavers site for his batting statistics); the one full season looks great, but IMO he needs more than one more big season to become a viable HoM candidate. So I think I'll pass on doing MLEs for Williams. (Williams also deserves some WWI credit, but I still think it's not enough.)

Good find Brent. Also note the link to the 1930's. Ken Williams went back to Portland in 1930 and at age 40 put up some good numbers. I assume at that time he would have made a good DH - plenty of bat still but fielding was probably subpar.

Of note is a Portland teammate in 1930, one who is HOM eligible in 1951 - Indian Bob Johnson. Johnson spent 1929-1932 with Portland, putting up some excellent years before heading to join the Philadelphia A's.
   124. Carl Goetz Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:05 PM (#1291993)
'We need to look at earned runs to get the runs credited to the batters, which is what we're comparing.'

In WS, all the runs are credited to the offense. You're implying that Beckley's Batting WS are overly inflated.
   125. TomH Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:11 PM (#1291996)
Where does James have Jake Beckley ranked in the list of all-time 1B-men?
--
He doesn't rank him that high (#52) for a few reasons: 1) his severe timeline, 2) he doesn't take into account the difference in scheduled games throughout the years, 3) his ranking system leans heavily on peak and 4) he doesn't take into account that first base was different back then.
--
Good answer here, Murph, and I will merely pick at one perceived nit. While James employs a timeline as a proxy for league quality, 'severe' seems to me to be quite an inaccurate description - and I've heard many use it before in theis onctext. The timeline does a fine job IMHO from 1901 to 1965 or so, because MLB quality really did grow pretty steadily (altho with some bumps) for 75 years. If anyone thinks the timeline is severe, how can you explain that of James' top 30, 18 or 19 men played mostly before WWII? His top 4 pitchers are pre 1940.

Beckely's prob is that when you compound the shorter schedules of the 1800s with the one-league 1890s, he and others are hosed.
   126. karlmagnus Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:12 PM (#1292000)
Carl, No, because if you look at earned runs only, the runs per win would be lower and so the two effects would cancel out. In any case, WS is pretty hopeless for the 1890s, you have to look at the raw data.
   127. Carl Goetz Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:33 PM (#1292009)
WS divided between batting and defense is based on total runs, not ER. It is then divided basically by Runs Created among the hitters. You're saying that he got on on errors less than other hitters; I assume thats what you mean by him taking less advantage of the time than other hitters. This means that runs created OVERRATED him compared to his teammates, and thus, so did WS.
   128. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:49 PM (#1292024)
John M,

Would it be OK if once Brent is ready to post his MLEs we had a Fournier thread?
   129. karlmagnus Posted: April 27, 2005 at 12:57 PM (#1292032)
No, I'm saying simply that errors were higher in the 1890s than in say the 1930s. I don't know how Beckley fared compared to other 1890s hitters. Errors should properly be attributed as negative WS to the fielding side, but the WS formula doesn't do this -- another lacuna. I think WS rates Beckley fairly compared to a 1930s hitter, but does not rate his fielding position properly, as 1B were relatively more important in the 1890s because it was primarily an infield game. (However I'm certainly no expert on WS as I distrust it and WARP and don't use them except as the roughest of initial rough cuts by which I don't consider careers under 200WS).

The question was Beckley versus the comparable Paul Waner in terms of hits, walks and total bases, where the run level in the 1890s is inflated by errors compared to the 1930s -- 5.34 runs per game were scored in the 1890s compared to 5.14 in the 1930s, but in terms of earned runs, those that actually accrue to batter totals, the position will be much closer, or very likely reversed.
   130. Carl G Posted: April 27, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1292126)
Ok, I misunderstood what you were saying, but this wouldn't underrate him in terms of OPS+ or Batting WS. The only way it would underrate him is if you used Offensive winning percentage(use too high of a league context runs scored) and I think RC/27 outs(too high of an out estimate because some of those 'outs' were actually getting on on an error). As for Fielding, after making my own adjustments for the period(because I believe all fielders are underrated for that period by WS), I have Beckley averaging about 3.5 Fielding WS per year prior to the turn of the century. For a comparison, I have Hughie Jennings averaging about 11 during his 5-year peak(which occurred in the middle of the period we are talking about for Beckley). Cupid Childs is averaging about 6 per full season during that period and Herman Long is averaging about 10 during that period. These are all great players and at least good defenders and this is a small sample size, but those distributions seem logical to me. Looking at other players, I'm generally coming up with 1B being about 1/3 the defensive value of SS and about 75% of 2B. WS assumes that 1B is about 12% of the total team WS if a team with all average defenders is assumed. Let me know what your take is on this info and where you think 1B of this era should score compared to other infielders and to the total team defense. I need something a bit more tangible than '1b-men of this period are underrated'. You're not going to convince me that his fielding brings him up to the Waner-level player, but it wouldn't take much to move him past Sisler and my OF glut.
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