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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, May 02, 2005

1950 Results: Waner and Dihigo Touch Them All on Their First Try For the Hall of Merit!

In his first year of eligibility, Pittsburgh star right fielder Paul Waner  grabbed 95% of the vote to claim the first spot on the ballots for HoM immortality.

In also his first year on the ballot, Negro League and Cuban multi-positional legend Martín Dihigo earned induction by claiming the second most votes. Our fourteenth Negro League inductee, Dihigo’s family should thank voter (and the world’s greatest Dode Paskert fan! :-) David C. Jones for his impassioned plea to everyone to please reconsider the great star’s status on their ballots a few days ago. At the time, Joe Cronin was comfortably in second place, but Dihigo surged strongly and was also helped by a few early voters revising their ballots.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Earl Averill, Eppa Rixey, Wes Ferrell, Biz Mackey,  and Hughie Jennings.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Paul Waner              1212   53  31 18     1  1  1                          1
 2  n/e  Martín Dihigo           1055   52  17 13  9  1  3  5  2     1                 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  n/e  Joe Cronin               965   52   2 11 25  8     2  1     2     1            
 4    3  Mule Suttles             692   48   1  2  6  7  6  2  6  5  1  3  3  2  1  1  2
 5    4  John Beckwith            613   45         3 10  4  4  5  2  5  3  1  4  3     1
 6    7  Earl Averill             355   31            4  2  3  1  2  3  2  3  3  2  3  3
 7    5  Eppa Rixey               335   29            2  4     3  4  1     6  2  5  1  1
 8    6  Wes Ferrell              320   26      1  1  1  2  3  1  5  2     1  4  2  2  1
 9    9  Biz Mackey               311   29.5            1  2  3  2  1  3  1  2  3  5  3  3.5
10   11  Hughie Jennings          297   22      1  3  2  3  2     2  2  1  2        3  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   10  George Sisler            286   23   1  1     1  5     1  2     1  3  1  3  4   
12    8  Clark Griffith           277   23            2  1  5  1  1  1  4  3  2     3   
13   13  Jake Beckley             265   22      2     1  1  1  1  2  4  1  2  2  2     3
14   12  Cool Papa Bell           263   24         1  2  1  2  1  1  2  3  2     1  5  3
15T  14  Joe Sewell               229   19               3  3  1  2  2  3     2  1  1  1
15T  15  George Van Haltren       229   19         1        2  4  2  3  2  2     1  1  1
17   17  Hugh Duffy               206   18            1  2  2  1  2  2  2     1  1     4
18   18  Mickey Welch             189   13      1  2  4     1        1  1     1  1  1   
19   16  Edd Roush                175   17            1     1  2  2        3  1  3  2  2
20   21  Rube Waddell             168   17         1              3  1  2     3  3  2  2
21   25T Cannonball Dick Redding  161   14            1  2        2  1  3  1  1  2     1
22   19  Burleigh Grimes          146   13               1  2  2        2  2  1     3   
23   20  Tommy Leach              138   13               2     1     1  2  2  2  1     2
24   22  Cupid Childs             133   12                  1  2  2  1  1     2  2  1   
25   23  Dick Lundy               132   13               1     1  1  1  3  1     2     3
26   28  Pete Browning            128   10         1  1  1  1  2           2     1     1
27   24  Charley Jones            128    9      1        1  1  2  2     1     1         
28   27  Wally Schang             120   10   1              1     1  1  2  1  2        1
29   31  Gavy Cravath             118    9      2              2     1     1  1     1  1
30   25T Roger Bresnahan          110   11.5               1     1        2  1  1  2  2  1.5
31   29  José Méndez               96    9                  2     1     2     1  2     1
32   32  Bill Monroe               75    8                  1  1              1  3  1  1
33   30  Larry Doyle               75    7               1     2           1  1        2
34   37  Dizzy Dean                71    6               1     1  2           1        1
35   36  Tommy Bridges             67    6            1           1  1     1  1        1
36T  34  Chuck Klein               59    5            1        1     1        1     1   
36T  38  Jimmy Ryan                59    5                     1     1  3               
38   33  Sam Rice                  55    5                        1  1  1  1  1         
39   35  Dobie Moore               52    6                  1              1        3  1
40   39  Ben Taylor                40    4                  1              1     1  1   
41   43  Pie Traynor               39    3               1           1  1               
42   42  John McGraw               37    4                        1        1     1     1
43   41  Vic Willis                35    4                              1     2        1
44   40  Carl Mays                 21    2                     1                    1   
45   44  George J. Burns           19    2                           1              1   
46   48  Ed Cicotte                16    1               1                              
47   53T Fred Dunlap               13    1                        1                     
48T  53T Wally Berger              12    1                           1                  
48T  59T Tommy Bond                12    1                           1                  
48T  46  Lefty Gomez               12    1                           1                  
48T  55T Dolf Luque                12    1                           1                  
48T  55T Bobby Veach               12    1                           1                  
53T  59T Sam Leever                10    1                                 1            
53T  59T Spotswood Poles           10    1                                 1            
55T  59T Fielder Jones              9    1                                    1         
55T  47  Lon Warneke                9    1                                    1         
57T  64  Buddy Myer                 8    1                                       1      
57T  45  Ed Williamson              8    1                                       1      
59T  50T Buzz Arlett                7    1                                          1   
59T  63  Wilbur Cooper              7    1                                          1   
59T  50T Addie Joss                 7    1                                          1   
59T  49  Tony Mullane               7    1                                          1   
59T n/e  George Scales              7    1                                          1   
59T  50T Hack Wilson                7    1                                          1   
65T  65T Frank Chance               6    1                                             1
65T  65T Heinie Manush              6    1                                             1
65T  65T Urban Shocker              6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Dick Bartell(68T), Kiki Cuyler(57), Harry Hooper(68T),
 Tony Lazzeri(58).


John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 11:31 PM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1305604)
Having actually met the aforementioned Dihigo family a couple of times, I'm sure they'll be sincerely pleased. I'll pass along the good news if I see them again.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:13 AM (#1305616)
Having actually met the aforementioned Dihigo family a couple of times, I'm sure they'll be sincerely pleased. I'll pass along the good news if I see them again.

That would truly be awesome, Eric! We would definitely appreciate it.
   3. DavidFoss Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:15 AM (#1305624)
Congrats to Paul and Martin!

With Dihigo inducted, the path is cleared for a possible unianimous Foxx election next week. Should be interesting.
   4. OCF Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:18 AM (#1305639)
There were only two amended ballots, with mine the more important. With a 90 point margin, no two ballots accounted for the difference. It is true that Cronin was ahead at the time I made the change, and for several ballots after that.
   5. Ardo Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1305676)
Count me among those who are particularly glad to see Dihigo - who had one of the most diverse assortments of baseball skills ever - make the HoM on his first ballot. The weight of the evidence places Dihigo slightly ahead of Waner, though I did not revise my ballot.

I am eager to hear the consensus on Ted Radcliffe. Is he anywhere near HoM standard? It's not every day that you can vote for a living 102-year-old-man for any sort of honor!
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:28 AM (#1305690)
I am eager to hear the consensus on Ted Radcliffe. Is he anywhere near HoM standard? It's not every day that you can vote for a living 102-year-old-man for any sort of honor!

I have no idea if he's truly worthy, but if he is, I hope he finds out about it!
   7. DavidFoss Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:40 AM (#1305730)
Suttles got votes in all 15 ballot positions.
   8. OCF Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:53 AM (#1305770)
Consensus scores:

Best possible: 22
Average: +8.4 (well above 1948 and 1949, slightly below 1947.)

Highest 5:

Howie Menckel +17
Rusty Priske +16
Chris Cobb +16
Andrew Siegel +16
dan b + 16
(with 5 more voters at +15)

Lowest 5:

yest -12
karlmagnus -9
jhwinfrey -8
EricC -3
Rick A -1

My own score was +14; had I stayed with Dihigo in 17th, it would have been slightly below average.
   9. Mike Webber Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:00 AM (#1305798)
Highest 5:

Howie Menckel +17
Rusty Priske +16
Chris Cobb +16


I always find this interesting, though I don't know how its figured. I am quite surpirsed to see Chris Cobb on the "High" list though, as he was the only person that did not have Cronin in the top 15.
   10. OCF Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1305810)
That wasn't Chris Cobb - that was jhwinfrey, whose name you can see in the bottom 5. Chris Cobb posted jhwinfrey's ballot, which may be why you're confused.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1305812)
Mike,

You have my ballot confused with jhwinfrey, whose ballot I reposted from the discussion thread today.

I was off-consensus on Cronin only by having him at #4 instead of #3.
   12. Mike Webber Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:06 AM (#1305822)
Oh, well that explains that,

thanks OCF - I really do find this an interesting feature. Its one of those lists that is always interesting, both high and low.
   13. Ardo Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:30 AM (#1305905)
Re: DavidFoss #7:

Who else has earned votes in all 15 ballot positions in one election? I recall that Jimmy Ryan did so in the 1920's, among others.
   14. DavidFoss Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1306031)
Who else has earned votes in all 15 ballot positions in one election? I recall that Jimmy Ryan did so in the 1920's, among others.

In some of the backlog years, it was not uncommon. Leach-42, Sewell/Childs-39, VanHaltren-38, VanHaltren-31
   15. dan b Posted: May 03, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1306055)
Wow, my first appearance on the consensus score leader board - and I was high on Dihigo before David Jones hit the campaign trail. Congatulations and thank you David.
   16. Brent Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:43 AM (#1306423)
Rounding out the top-ten were: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Earl Averill, Eppa Rixey, Biz Mackey, Wes Ferrell and George Sisler.

What does it take for Hughie Jennings to get some respect around here? ;-)
   17. PhillyBooster Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:44 AM (#1306425)
Two more weeks of intense discussion bumped Cravath up from 31 to 29. Well, I guess that's something.

This year I voted for #29, 30 and 31 (and just dropped 32 off my ballot last week). That's got to be near a record for consecutive down-ballot votes.
   18. PhillyBooster Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:46 AM (#1306427)
This week, I'll try to dig up some evidence that Gavvy pitched in Cuba during the off-season . . .
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 03, 2005 at 04:21 AM (#1306497)
Can I really be the only person left voting for Poles?

Really? Is he demonstrably inferior to C.P. Bell? (I think he's probably better myself, but I'm in a 50-1 or so minority.)

The tally doesn't lie..., but I'm a bit surprised he's falling off the board so far in advance of Bill Monroe.

I'm not a pet-candidate voter, but apparently I play one on the HOM.

And I'm still waiting to hear from any Gomez or Dean (and maybe even Waddell) voter how come they vote for those guys but not for Nip Winters.

Or perhaps some riddles must simply go unanswered.
   20. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: May 03, 2005 at 06:48 AM (#1306682)
For the second time (after Dickey Pearce) I have to commend the voters for listening to compelling arguments from others and keeping an open mind. Truly impressive! I'm sure the Dihigo family will be honored when Eric meets them again as well.
   21. David C. Jones Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:00 AM (#1306685)
I'm very pleased that Dihigo has been elected, although I kind of doubt that the campaign I kick-started made the difference. It looked like it was going to be a photo finish for a while, but the votes that came in at the end pushed Dihigo ahead.
   22. Sean Gilman Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:29 AM (#1306769)
And, hey, at least Pete Browning picked up a vote. . .
   23. Rusty Priske Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:38 PM (#1306838)
I have to admit that I think it sfunny that I made a post about being worried about "group-think" and then I made the list of the highest consensus scores.

Go me!
   24. jingoist Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:54 PM (#1306843)
As an interested observer I must admit I find it difficult to fathom how anyone could have selected Paul Waner, clearly one of the top 100 MLB players of all time, in any position other than 1, 2 or 3.
What possible evidence about any candidates other than Dihigo or Cronin could have Waner so low? How could voters rationalize Waner as only 4th, 5th or 6th best?
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:16 PM (#1306855)
I have to admit that I think it sfunny that I made a post about being worried about "group-think" and then I made the list of the highest consensus scores.

Especially when your score was higher than the couple (ahem!) who revised their ballots. :-)
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:18 PM (#1306856)
As an interested observer I must admit I find it difficult to fathom how anyone could have selected Paul Waner, clearly one of the top 100 MLB players of all time, in any position other than 1, 2 or 3.
What possible evidence about any candidates other than Dihigo or Cronin could have Waner so low? How could voters rationalize Waner as only 4th, 5th or 6th best?


If you lean more towards peak when setting up your ballot, Waner is not going to impress you the same way that he would for a voter leaning towards career.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 02:11 PM (#1306938)
I'm very pleased that Dihigo has been elected, although I kind of doubt that the campaign I kick-started made the difference.

He might have still finished in second place, but it would have been much, MUCH closer. I would have put money on Cronin winning before you chimed in. In fact, I had finished Cronin's plaque last week, while I didn't start Dihigo's plaque until yesterday.

IOW, I think your selling yourself short. :-)
   28. Buddha Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1307048)
"How could voters rationalize Waner as only 4th, 5th or 6th best?"

Yeah, but what were his CUBAN league numbers? How did he do in barnstorming leagues? Those are what really matters... : )

(ducks)
   29. Michael Bass Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1307050)
As an interested observer I must admit I find it difficult to fathom how anyone could have selected Paul Waner, clearly one of the top 100 MLB players of all time, in any position other than 1, 2 or 3.
What possible evidence about any candidates other than Dihigo or Cronin could have Waner so low? How could voters rationalize Waner as only 4th, 5th or 6th best?


As one of the above (5th), I'll weigh in. I'm 100% sure Waner was never one of the 5 best players in the majors in any specific year. I have a strong suspicion he was either never one of the 10 best players in the majors in any specific year, or at the very best that he was 9th or 10th a couple times. This description more or less DQs one from being a top 100 player in my book.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1307157)
Michael,

What measure are you using? I'd say I'm pretty close to 100% sure that Waner was one of the best five players in the majors more than once.

According to win shares, Waner was among the top 5 position players in the majors in three seasons. Without compiling direct evidence, I'd say it's highly likely that both win shares and WARP would see him as having been in the top 10 several times beyond that.
   31. Carl G Posted: May 03, 2005 at 03:58 PM (#1307186)
He was Top10 overall in OPS+ 7 times and Top10 in the NL another 3 times. He possibly didn't deserve his '27 MVP, but he did win the NL batting title at .380 and they loved that back then.
   32. Michael Bass Posted: May 03, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1307453)
Well, Waner topped out in OPS+ at 3rd in his league. My guess, though I'm too lazy to look it up, is that he was never top 5 in MLB in OPS+ (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that). Given that he was a RF of questionable defensive skill and not a base stealer, that creates a pretty strong presumption to me that he was never top 5.

As for top 10, I will refer to WARP1:

He only tops 10 WARP1 4 times. I assume generally that if you're not 10 WARP1, you're not top 10 in the majors, though again this could be a flawed assumption.

1927 (11.5) (5th)
1928 (10.3) (t8th)
1934 (10.8) (10th)
1936 (10.4) (t11th)

First off, this was a quick look through, so numbers could be off slightly. I will also cop to being wrong, or at least possibly wrong with relation to no top 5 finishes. I continue to be skeptical about a RF who was 8th in ML OPS+ being a top 5 player, but he was young and could play a little D at that point, so it's possible.

I would still contend that this is not the profile of a "lock" top 100 player, even with a long solid career as Waner had. If I were building a team to win titles, I'd simply rather have Jennings (~4 times top 5, a couple of which were likely #1) or Ferrell (~3 times top 5, once a contender for #1). Your milliage my vary.
   33. Kelly in SD Posted: May 03, 2005 at 05:36 PM (#1307497)
Paul Waner's ranks among all (position and pitchers) players in NL and among the major leagues, using win shares.

1926: best player in NL, tied for 7th in majors behind Ruth, Goslin, Uhle, Gehrig, Sewell, and Speaker.
1927: 2nd best player in NL behind Hornsby, 4th in majors behind Ruth, Gehrig, and Hornsby.
1928: best player in NL, 4th in majors behind Ruth, Gehrig, and Heinie Manush.
1929: 5th in NL behind Hornsby, Hack Wilson, O'Doul, and Ott. Tied for 9th in majors behind Simmons, Foxx, Ruth, Gehrig and the above four.
1930: 10th in NL, tied for 21st in majors.
1931: tied for 4th in NL behind Berger, B Terry, Brandt. Tied for 14th in majors.
1932: Tied for 3rd in NL behind Ott and O'Doul. Tied for 7th in majors behind Foxx, Gehirg, Ruth, Grove, Ott, and O'Doul.
1933: 9th in NL, tied for 13th in majors.
1934: 7th in NL, 13th in majors.
1935: tied for 15th in NL, tied for 28 in majors.
1936: 5th in NL behind Hubbell, Medwick, Ott, and Vaughan. 7th in majors behind Gehrig, Gehringer, and above 4.
1937: Tied for 5th in NL, tied for 11th in majors.
1938 on: No more top 25 appearances.

Totals:
Best player in majors: never
Best player in NL: 2 times, 1926, 1928
Top 5 player in majors: 2 times, 1927, 1928
Top 5 player in NL: 8 times, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1936, 1937.
Top 10 player in majors: 6 times, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1936
Top 10 player in NL: 11 times, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937.
Top 20 player in majors: 10 years, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937.
   34. Daryn Posted: May 03, 2005 at 05:50 PM (#1307528)
When I look at the standard of top 10 player in the majors today, that is a pretty high standard. The 11th best player in the majors today is a superstar, as is the 21st. If you finish top 10 6 times and top 20 10 times, that is elite.
   35. Max Parkinson Posted: May 03, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1307532)
For my position player rankings, I use BRARP + FRAA (league adjustment of 1/2 Warp1/Warp2)

For an 11 year stretch from '26 to '36, Waner was the best RF in the game twice, the 2nd best 5 times and the 3rd best twice. Note that this time period covers Babe Ruth's second peak, and the best part of Mel Ott's career. Waner had an off year in '30, and finished 5th in 1932, as both Klein and Herman had great seasons.

Admittedly, this peak only got him in the top 5 of all position players twice, but being a first or second team All-Star has some serious merit.

When he was at his best, Waner could hang with all-time greats.
   36. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 03, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1307621)
When I look at the standard of top 10 player in the majors today, that is a pretty high standard. The 11th best player in the majors today is a superstar, as is the 21st.

On the other hand, there are twice as many teams today, too. In 1930, being the 10th best player in the majors would put you in the top 2.5 percent of all players (10 out of approx 400). In 2005, it puts you in the top 1.3 percent.
   37. David C. Jones Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1307702)
Yeah, but what were his CUBAN league numbers? How did he do in barnstorming leagues? Those are what really matters... : )

[throws object] Yeah, the only baseball that matters is lily-white baseball. Those blacks and Cubans just couldn't figure out how to play until the white man showed them how. Hah!
   38. jingoist Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1307757)
Soooooo, is it fair to say that the reason certain voters selected Waner at either position 4, 5 or 6 is that they really hadn't understood how valuable he was in relation to his contemporaries?
Top 5 player twice; top 10 six times and top 20 ten times tells me that although he may never have dominated like a Ruth or a Foxx he was very successful in earning these awards with Ruth and Ott as his direct competition for best RF during the mid-20's to mid-30's.
Nothing I've heard on this blog would disuade me from picking him as one of my all-time greatest RFers and include him in my list of top 100 all-time MLB players.
   39. Daryn Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:28 PM (#1307762)
Eric,

The counterargument is that no matter what year it is, being the top 10 in baseball means the same thing. I think that is particularly true after 1947, even if the league were to expand to 40 or 50 teams.
   40. Michael Bass Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1307781)
Except WARP would have it Top 5 once, Top 10 3 times, top 20...well, they probably agree there, about 10. I've long been convinced that WS overrates bats over gloves, this is another brick in that wall to me.

I'm certainly not arguing he's not a HOMer, just not an elite player among HOMers.

And I still haven't gotten a good answer to this question: Leave the uberstats aside for a moment. He was a RF of no special defensive skill, with no special baserunning skills. He was never top 5 in OPS+. So how is it again he was ever a top 5 player?
   41. Michael Bass Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:35 PM (#1307787)
Double post!

And Daryn's 1947 comment reminds me that each of Waner's finishes in the top 5/10/20 probably needs to be knocked down a spot or two at least. As one recently discussed example, Dihigo was certainly better in 1936. Add in Josh Gibson, Jud Wilson, et al.
   42. Carl G Posted: May 03, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1307810)
'The counterargument is that no matter what year it is, being the top 10 in baseball means the same thing. I think that is particularly true after 1947, even if the league were to expand to 40 or 50 teams. '

I agree that the number of teams shouldn't matter as that is an arbitrary decision by baseball at the time. However, the size of the population pool that players are coming from should. Since the 1930s, not only have black players entered the fray, but Latin American players have entered as have asian players; not to mention the fact that there are more white people in America as well. Regardless of the number of teams, top10 is 2005 is much more impressive than top 10 in 1930. Although I still believe top 10 in 1930 was impressive, it is more akin to top20 now. This is still a star player.
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: May 03, 2005 at 08:01 PM (#1307863)
He was a RF of no special defensive skill, with no special baserunning skills. He was never top 5 in OPS+. So how is it again he was ever a top 5 player?

I don't have time to research the actual factors, but here are the ones that contribute in differing degrees:

1) Playing Time. This is the most significant omission from your list. During his 13-year prime, Waner played at least 150 games seven times, and played less than 144 only once (and that was 139). There might have been players better on a per-game basis, but fewer both played every day and maintained that level.

2) Waner was not a bad fielder. He was average for his career, which means during his prime he was generally above average, and, he had some years in which he was significantly above average. If one of these coincided with a good hitting year, he'd look mighty good.

3) Nobody was stealing bases anyway.
   44. Michael Bass Posted: May 03, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1307908)
In response to Chris

1) This I certainly concede and should have mentioned in the earlier posts. I would have to compare his "close to top 5" OPS+ finishes to those around him with PAs to be able to argue against you here.

2) This I did mention in one earlier post, though I neglected it later. Certainly, in his earlier hitting peak in the late 20s, he was still a pretty solid fielder, though I am suspect as to how much value this really added in RF.

3) Agreed, but my point with SBs was only that if he wasn't top 5 OPS+ and probably not making up much ground with defense, he wasn't making up any ground with baserunning either.


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

As for his potential top 5 finishes, the only years anyone is arguing in his favor are 1927 and 1928 yes? And he is at best 4th those years, right? This is by WS, which is the most friendly possible way of looking at him.

Well, 1927-28 were still prime hitting years for Oscar Charleston. And we have Jud Wilson projected at over 170 OPS+ for both of those years. I think those two (and I'm may well be forgetting someone) clearly push Waner outside of the top 5.

Of course it is splitting hairs whether he was 4th or 6th. And in the end, it's another unwinnable WS vs. WARP, peak vs. career discussion on just how elite he is (and silly nonetheless as a) he's already elected, and b) he's going in my PHOM his second eligible year rather than his first). But I still feel very comfortable saying he was never one of the 5 best players in baseball in a given year.
   45. Buddha Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1308017)
"[throws object] Yeah, the only baseball that matters is lily-white baseball. Those blacks and Cubans just couldn't figure out how to play until the white man showed them how. Hah!"

[catches object, puts it down softly] Yeah, who needs accurate statistics when you can guess! Sample size? Competition level? Nyah, they were oppressed and therefore deserve mucho credito. Besides, white guys are slow and can't jump (hey, this race baiting is easy!).

Ok. Ok. My joke's gone too far. I actually really appreciate the work done by people here to educate people like me about the old Negro League and Cuban League, Mexican League stars. It's given me a new appreciation for who those player's were and how good they were. If not for people like Chris Cobb, i wouldn't know how good Jud Wilson, Martin Dhigo, etc were and I'm thankful for that. And I think it's pretty cool.

That being said, I think there's a certain element of....hero worship that goes on concerning NLers. So I take a conservative stance on my ballots for the most part. But I don't want anyone to think I disregard the good work done by a lot of people here on NLer statistics, I just seem to take it with a bigger grain of salt than others.
   46. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1308040)
Forgive me, I haven't been keeping up with HOM threads lately -- was there a discussion thread where it was agreed upon that Waner was a poor or "nothing special" right fielder? Because anecdotally, he had a reputation as one of the best ever.

Just curious.
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:15 PM (#1308049)
Forgive me, I haven't been keeping up with HOM threads lately -- was there a discussion thread where it was agreed upon that Waner was a poor or "nothing special" right fielder? Because anecdotally, he had a reputation as one of the best ever.

True, Eric. Plus, a B for his fielding from Win Shares is at least a Very Good for a right fielder.
   48. KJOK Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1308077)
Waner AVERAGED 4.33 Defensive Wins Share/1000 innings over his career, and AVERAGED a 105 BP Fielding rating. That's over almost 16,000 defensive innings. Those would put him in the EXCELLENT fielding category.
   49. KJOK Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:38 PM (#1308083)
Ahhg, I was looking at LLOYD's Win Shares Fielding, but here's Paul's:

AVERAGED 3.03 Defensive Win Shares/1000 innings, and AVERAGED a 105 BP Fielding Rating. That's over almost 20,000 defensive innings. Those would put him in the EXCELLENT Fielding category for a Right Fielder.
   50. Chris Cobb Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:39 PM (#1308087)
WARP sees him as strictly an average right fielder--0 FRAA for his career, about 12 FRAA during his prime.

It's hard to know exactly where "average" is in the WS letter grades, especially for outfielders, but it does seem like the two systems see Waner differently here.

It's funny -- most candidates we analyze before we elect them.
   51. karlmagnus Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:50 PM (#1308112)
Buddha, Chris' stuff is wonderful and truly enlightening, but some of the other NEL claims need to be stored in a salt barrel for a year, like anchovies. On Dihigo, for example: 600WS? Better than Babe Ruth? C'mon!

He WAS a worthy HOMer, just not THAT worthy. And it serves the old bastard Cronin right to be made to wait a year! :-))
   52. KJOK Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1308151)
Right fielders with more than 12,000 fielding innings career WS/1000 innings:

Reggie Smith 3.35
Paul Waner 3.03
Kiki Cuyler 3.01
Dixie Walker 2.99
Carl Furillo 2.99
Roberto Clemente 2.87
Enos Slaughter 2.86
Frank Schulte 2.86
Bing Miller 2.85
Dwight Evans 2.82
Bobby Bonds 2.81
Sam Rice 2.79
Johnny Callison 2.72
Tom Brunansky 2.71
Al Kaline 2.70
Felipe Alou 2.65
Dave Parker 2.63
Hank Aaron 2.62
Harry Hooper 2.61
Frank Robinson 2.58
Paul O'Neill 2.54
Elmer Flick 2.49
Rocky Colavito 2.48
Sammy Sosa 2.43
George Hendrick 2.42
Sam Crawford 2.37
Wally Moses 2.32
Ken Singleton 2.32
Babe Ruth 2.29
Reggie Jackson 2.28
Tony Gwynn 2.26
Mel Ott 2.24
Chuck Klein 2.14
Ken Griffey 2.11
Bill Nicholson 2.09
Ruben Sierra 2.06
Rusty Staub 1.99
Dave Winfield 1.92
Harry Heilmann 1.79

Reggie Smith, of course, benefits from having some of his innings in CF...
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:05 PM (#1308153)
On Dihigo, for example: 600WS? Better than Babe Ruth? C'mon!

I never saw that stated by anyone (not that I'm contradicting you, karlmagnus). I have to agree that's way too much for him.
   54. KJOK Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1308158)
WARP sees him as strictly an average right fielder--0 FRAA for his career, about 12 FRAA during his prime.

Hmmmm, his BP numbers have been revised downward over the last couple of years. Still does accumulate almost 300 FRAR, but not the 419 that he previously had...
   55. David C. Jones Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:09 PM (#1308160)
Buddha, Chris' stuff is wonderful and truly enlightening, but some of the other NEL claims need to be stored in a salt barrel for a year, like anchovies. On Dihigo, for example: 600WS? Better than Babe Ruth? C'mon!

I will agree that some claims made about Negro Leaguers are overblown (I seem to recall someone projecting Jud Wilson as a 4,000 hit player who could walk, too...) I would never claim that Dihigo was better than Babe Ruth. I think it's within the realm of possibility that he was, but highly unlikely, given how great a player Ruth was. My arguments regarding Dihigo specifically related to whether he deserved to be ahead of Waner and especially Cronin. Neither of those guys are in Ruth's class. FWIW, I almost certainly would have had Dihigo #2 on this year's ballot, behind Foxx. I try to evaluate all the candidates fairly, white and black, and I think everybody else does the same. I just think there is a happy medium between excessive skepticism about NeLers and hyperbolic comparisons and projections.
   56. sunnyday2 Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1308172)
Well, I had Dihigo #2 before the impassioned plea. It woulda been nice if he'd been able to go in without the impassed plea, but no biggie.

As a usual Bottom 5er (consensus) somehow I managed to come up with the top 3 in the right order this year. I promise it will never happen again. Well, maybe. I think it is generally true that as we move forward in time, the reputations and even the HoF voting becomes more and more rational and all of us (including me) will become more uniform at the very top of our ballots. Well, maybe. That's a hypothesis that will get tested. (As for the bottoms of our ballots, well, see the new eligibility thread.)

As for Waner, Eric (#46) but there was for all intents and purposes NO discussion of Paul Waner (ok, 5 posts). I did learn about his PCL years, however, so I ain't complainin.'

Before we anoint Joe Cronin, I'd like to see more than 18 posts on his thread.

And is there a Jimmie Foxx thread or is his anointment complete?
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:17 PM (#1308190)
And is there a Jimmie Foxx thread or is his anointment complete?

I posted a thread for him yesterday, Marc. Check in the Selected 20th Century Players
   58. sunnyday2 Posted: May 03, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1308218)
Thanks, John. Hard to keep up with all the threads!
   59. karlmagnus Posted: May 04, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1308676)
Probably good to try and avoid threads for players with no significant chance of HOm election -- otherwise the ones we elect (Foxx, probably Cronin) and the borderline and near-borderline get lost. Borderline is most important, of course, we don't NEED a thread on Foxx, though it's a home for extra stats and good anecdotes.
   60. Brent Posted: May 04, 2005 at 02:00 AM (#1309196)
Dr. Chaleeko (# 19) wrote:

And I'm still waiting to hear from any Gomez or Dean (and maybe even Waddell) voter how come they vote for those guys but not for Nip Winters.

I ranked Dean at # 8, so I guess this question could go to me.

Winters dominated the Eastern League for 3 or 4 seasons and looking at his win shares projections, he looks a lot like Dean, though Dean does look a little better. If win shares were all I used, I'd probably rank Dean about # 12 and Winters about # 20. However, for major league pitchers I use an average of WARP1 and WS together with some info from Chris J's site. For most pitchers it doesn't make much difference, but WARP1 likes Dean, so it raises his ranking. (For more on why I rank Dean highly, see # 26 on the Dizzy Dean thread.)

For Winters, in addition to Chris Cobb's MLEs I also looked at his Cuban League record where he didn't look nearly as good as he did in the States - Winters was only 3-6 in 1923-24 and 1-6 in 1925-26. Riley mentions Winters had trouble with control. Right now I have Winters ranked at # 31, and I guess I'd probably be more inclined to lower his ranking than to raise it.
   61. Brent Posted: May 04, 2005 at 02:06 AM (#1309231)
John Murphy:

You may have missed my subtle attempt at humor in # 16 :-), or more likely you didn't read it at all, but the top-ten list in the text at the top of this thread (just before the ballot results) has a couple of mistakes. If you get the chance, I'd appreciate it if it could be corrected.

Thanks!
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1309353)
You may have missed my subtle attempt at humor in # 16 :-), or more likely you didn't read it at all, but the top-ten list in the text at the top of this thread (just before the ballot results) has a couple of mistakes. If you get the chance, I'd appreciate it if it could be corrected.

I missed the humor, Brent. Sorry about that.

I had made up the top-ten list not that long before 8 PM yesterday, but a couple of late ballots came in and I forgot to correct it.
   63. Trevor P. Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:14 AM (#1309428)
I think it is generally true that as we move forward in time, the reputations and even the HoF voting becomes more and more rational and all of us (including me) will become more uniform at the very top of our ballots.

At least until we get into discussing relievers and designated hitters. I'm looking forward to those debates, especially closers vs. middle relievers.
   64. Paul Wendt Posted: May 04, 2005 at 07:41 AM (#1309675)
Chris Cobb might never earn a low consensus score. He is too influential.

Secretary Murphy:
I had finished Cronin's plaque last week, while I didn't start Dihigo's plaque until yesterday.

Cool. Has anyone else been bronzed in the back room? Van Haltren? Rixey?

--------------
Re Paul Waner without attributions

The 11th best player in the majors today is a superstar, as is the 21st. If you finish top 10 6 times and top 20 10 times, that is elite.

Maybe so. But that elite is larger than the HOM elite. There are lots of superstars outside the HOF not to mention HOM.

1928: best player in NL, 4th in majors behind Ruth, Gehrig, and Heinie Manush.

Does this mean Manush was once the 3d best player in baseball?

Waner was not a bad fielder. He was average for his career, which means during his prime he was generally above average, and, he had some years in which he was significantly above average. If one of these coincided with a good hitting year, he'd look mighty good.

But that would be coincide-nce.

When he was at his best, Waner could hang with all-time greats.

In this odd context, that is damnation with faint praise.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 01:44 PM (#1309903)
Cool. Has anyone else been bronzed in the back room? Van Haltren? Rixey?

I actually created their plaques a while back, Paul, since it looked like at the time they were going in shortly. The same thing with Joe "Missed It By This Much!" Sewell.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 01:45 PM (#1309907)
But that would be coincide-nce.

I see you get more giddy in the wee small hours, Paul. :-)
   67. yest Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1311014)
you did save the plaques just in case?
   68. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1311054)
Whew, back in business!
Still completing a hectic move, hope to be back on stride next week.....
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1311114)
you did save the plaques just in case?

Definitely, yest. I don't want to go through that work again if I don't have to.
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1311126)
Howie:

Where in "Joisey" are you moving to?
   71. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1311174)
Route 23 corridor, we'll call it, Murph.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 09:23 PM (#1311237)
Route 23 corridor, we'll call it, Murph.

Have to keep your cover, right? :-)

Sounds like you'll still be close to NYC then.
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2005 at 09:37 PM (#1311277)
All-time vote totals, 1898 through 1950

Congrats to Jennings, who in 'Carlton vs Ryan fashion' has immediately trumped Van Haltren for the top spot. Duffy will pass Pike for the bronze next year. Griffith and Browning have passed Bennett for the 7-8 slots. Beckwith next year becomes the 2nd Negro Leaguer in the top 25.

JENNINGS 13697
VAN HALTREN 13663.5
Pike 13399
DUFFY 13373.5
BECKLEY 13025
Thompson 12349
GRIFFITH 11730
BROWNING 11554.5
Bennett 11503
Caruthers 10704

WADDELL 10512
RYAN 10421.5
Stovey 9576
WELCH 9440
CHILDS 9383
Start 8378.5
McGinnity 8232
Pearce 8073
McVey 7985.5
Grant 7969.5

BRESNAHAN 6729
Galvin 6585
Sheckard 6377
LEACH 6294
Sutton 6070

(BECKWITH 5633, C. JONES 5403, RIXEY 5120, SISLER 5050, MONROE 4747, WILLIAMSON 4200, SEWELL 4131)
   74. jimd Posted: May 06, 2005 at 09:15 PM (#1317578)
BTW, the link from the "Results" section of the main page to this page appears to be bad.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 06, 2005 at 09:22 PM (#1317614)
BTW, the link from the "Results" section of the main page to this page appears to be bad.

It worked fine when I tried it, Jim. BTF must have been crapping out again.

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