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

Monday, June 06, 2005

1953 Ballot

Many prominent candidates including: Hank Greenberg, Willie Wells, Red Ruffing, Bill Byrd, Billy Herman, Mel Harder, Stan HackErnie Lombardi and Cecil Travis (honorable mention: Johnny “You Can Call Him Grandma” Murphy :-)

Returnees include: Bill Dickey, Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Earl Averill, Eppa Rixey, Wes Ferrell, Biz Mackey and Hughie Jennings.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2005 at 01:37 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1384507)
I'll submit a ballot sometime this week. Tougher ballot than normal.
   2. DavidFoss Posted: June 06, 2005 at 01:58 PM (#1384512)
honorable mention: Johnny “You Can Call Him Grandma” Murphy

You stole my honorable mention! :-) Who knows, maybe the all time saves leader will surprise us all.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2005 at 02:10 PM (#1384523)
You stole my honorable mention! :-)

You have to admit that I should have first dibs on him, David. ;-)
   4. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 02:17 PM (#1384536)
Is it a tougher ballot than normal? Sure tis.
But am I assured that whoever we elect with be HoM worthy? No bout a doubt it!
   5. karlmagnus Posted: June 06, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1384553)
Lots of low-ballot candidates this year. Wells almost the best of them -- Sewell but a bit better and for longer. Ruffing has inflated counting stats, but would have won close to 300 with war credit and he could hit – just off bottom, will be on in weaker year. Hack shortish career and rate stats inflated by the war, off bottom of consideration set. Herman slightly longer career, less good rate stats, part inflation part deflation from war, low in consideration set. Greenberg’s better than Ott, but for only 2/3 as long even with war credit – put him just above Charley Jones, who’s a similar story (Browning was significantly better.) Harder lowish ERA+ and gets war debit not credit, off bottom of consideration set. Lombardi was pretty good, even when you discount his war years a bit – slightly above Schang. Byrd’s just off the bottom of the consideration set – lots of 20s and 30s pitchers with about his MLE record.

1. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2-1-1-2-6-4-4-2-1-1-1-3-1-2-2-1-1-2-2-1-1-2-2-3) Jake Beckley. Paul Waner is a very close comp, finally (it was 37 years till we found one) and it thus makes no sense to have Waner far above Beckley. Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, above Babe, over 3200 hits, and OPS+ of 125 better than Van Haltren and slightly short of Wheat’s 129. Isolated power .127 vs “slugger” Wheat .135, in a less power-centered era. Marginally ahead of Welch, as we have seen more 307-win pitchers (now 10 others among currently HOM-eligible) than 2930-hit hitters (now 8 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707. Played for un-famous teams. Better than Keeler, almost as good as Crawford. More than a borderline HOMer, somewhere in the reaches well above the border but below the immortals.

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2-2-2-4-2-3-3-2-2-4-3-2-2-3-3-4) Mickey Welch. 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the 1920s and 1930s pitcher glut – 7 more wins than Lefty Grove! 1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson’s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. With 4802 IP, OK at an ERA+of 113 (but he never heard of ERA) he was far better than most of the 00s and 20s pitchers under consideration, none of whom (other than Young, Matty and Alex) got near 300 wins, and many of whom had ERA+s little better than Welch.

3. (N/A-5) Bill Dickey. Quite close to Hartnett, better than Cochrane, so another easy HOMer. 2300 equivalent hits, OPS+127, TB+BB/PA .530, TB+BB/Outs .839

4. (N/A-6-4-3-3-3-5-3-4-4-3-3-5-5-3-4-4-5-6) George Sisler. 2812 hits, OPS+ 124 puts him just below Beckley and Welch. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .748. Better singles hitter than Ichiro!, his record having been set in a 154 game season. And he had power too.

5. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6-7-6-5-5-6-7) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity. Successfully cursed Red Sox for over 8 decades!

6. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8-9-7-5-5-5-7-5-6-7-6-6-7-8-7-6-6-7-8) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA

7. (N/A-12-10-9-10-9-8-7-7-8-9) Eppa Rixey, 266-251 and ERA+ of 115. Huge 4,494 IP, decided I’d been undervaluing him, so moved him up the ballot a bit further. Better than Lyons with WW1 credit.

8. (N/A) Hank Greenberg. Only 1628 hits, would be only 2200 even if he’d played through the war. OPS+ 158 though is pretty distinguished. TB+BB/PA .655, TB+BB/Outs 1.08, so better than Ott but not quite as good as Foxx – much shorter career than either and no decline phase, though.

9. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15-15-14-10-10-11-12-10-12-11-9-8-9-10-10-9-8-9-10) Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF, and also on reflection above Tiernan

10. (N/A) Ernie Lombardi 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, even if some of it was during the war years. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!
   6. karlmagnus Posted: June 06, 2005 at 02:31 PM (#1384559)
11. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B. Not as good as Hartnett, though.

12. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11-12) Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

13. (N/A) Willie Wells. Pretty much like Sewell, but somewhat better for somewhat longer. Marginally a HOMer, therefore.

14. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6-5-5-7-11-9-10-8-6-6-6-8-6-8-8-7-11-12-13-13-12-12-12-13) Clark Griffith He’s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good. 3385 IP, 237 wins and an ERA+ of 121 not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice. Decided he’s not quite as good as Rixey or Leever, after seeing Kelly’s figures.

15. (N/A-13-14-14-13-13-13-14) John Beckwith. A bit more confident, now I’ve seen we’re not automatically enshrining Lundy/Foster/Johnson. Also, Chris Cobb’s equivalents are looking more solid to me. Definitely better than Suttles, but had a short career.

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A-15-15-15-N/A-14-15) Hack Wilson TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144 back up above Lazzeri and Childs. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore. OPS+ slightly below Jones, so here he goes. Just off in this strong year.

17. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13-14-13-9-9-10-11-9-11-10-13-13-15-N/A-15-N/A) Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B. Just edges onto the ballot as an extra slot opened up.

18. (N/A-14-14-N/A) Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA.575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

19. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits.

20. Red Ruffing. Somewhat above average pitcher, with excellent counting stats because he happened to pitch for the Evil Empire (he was lousy for the Red Sox – typical). War credit would inflate his counting stats even further, but probably to just below 300 wins as he was winding down. ERA+ only 109, but 4333 IP and 273-225.

21. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A) Carl Mays
22.Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren. Put him above Suttles – he’s better, so will be on ballot in weak years.
23. (N/A) Mule Suttles. About halfway between Reggie Jackson and Dave Kingman -- out rather than in, I feel, but still close to the boundary – have moved him up a little.
24. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
25. (N/A-11-12-15-14-N/A) Joe Sewell
26. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
27. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Hugh Duffy
28. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis
29. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
30. (N/A) Heinie Manush
31. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so only on the ballot in weak years. Does well against the 90s trio, whose OPS+ and rate stats are distinctly lower. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning (in an easier era for hitters).

32. Earl Averill. Fairly well off my ballot, and I think the team are giving him too much minor league credit. In the real world, 2019 hits at an OPS+ of 133 doesn’t get him close to the HOM. Not as good as Tiernan. If you rate Averill high, you have to boost the Schnozz too for his excellent PCL seasons.

33. (N/A-11-14-N/A) Rube Waddell
34. Wes Ferrell
35. (N/A) Dick Lundy
36. (N/A) Hughie Jennings OPS+ 117 and he was a shortstop and he had a superb peak, but only 1527 hits. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .671, so he’s not as good as Childs. Extra bonus for the peak.
37. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike.
38. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
39. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
40. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A) George van Haltren. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s.
41. Cool Papa Bell. Lou Brock minus, without 3000 hits and Brock would only just make this ballot.
42. Billy Herman. 112 OPS+ not very distinguished, but 2345 hits is an OK length career and he about breaks even on war credit. TB+BB/PA .448, TB+BB/Outs .677, pretty undistinguished for a mainly 1930s player.
43. Kiki Cuyler
44. Biz Mackey. Not quite as good as Schang, very similar to McGuire.
45. Deacon McGuire
46. Jack Quinn
47. Tony Mullane
48. Pye Traynor
49. Jim McCormick
50. Dick Redding
51. Joe Judge
52. Edd Roush
53. Spotswood Poles.
54. Larry Doyle
55. Roger Bresnahan.
56. Wayte Hoyt.
57. Harry Hooper.
58. Jules Thomas.
59. Wilbur Cooper
60. Bruce Petway.
61. Jack Clements
62. Bill Monroe
63. Jose Mendez
64. Herb Pennock
65. Chief Bender
66. Ed Konetchy
67. Jesse Tannehill
68. Bobby Veach
69. Lave Cross
70. Tommy Leach.
71. Tom York
   7. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 02:52 PM (#1384598)
wow, karl...I smile as I look at my tentative ballot, and we only match on 2 of our top 12. I suppose neither of us will win the coveted top consensus trophy this election :)
   8. karlmagnus Posted: June 06, 2005 at 03:08 PM (#1384604)
I rather think my consensus score will steadily decline, until I'm beating yest, as there are about 10 20-year veterans on my ballot who I refuse to give up on. 15 "years" ago my consensus scores were quite high!
   9. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1384627)
My consensus score would make a strong comeback if I rechanneled my luv for C Griffith over to J Beckwith, and my treasuring of Mugsy McGraw for Eppa Rixey. But nay, I shall not yield!
   10. ronw Posted: June 06, 2005 at 03:39 PM (#1384669)
1953 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. All-Star candidate is roughly the top 16 pitchers and top 32 players. MVP candidate is anyone with double the WS numbers of the worst All-Star candidate in that season. I have incorporated WARP and Pennants Added.)

1. Hank Greenberg Obviously I give war credit. MVP season when he left, in the running for MVP when he returned, then traded and fell off a cliff. MVP Candidate 1934-35, 1937-38, 1940, 1946, All-Star candidate 1933, 1939, 1945 (in short season!). War credit 1941-44, ½ of 1945. (13 HOM seasons). PHOM 1953.

2. Bill Dickey Deserves election soon. MVP Candidate 1937, All-Star candidate 1929-1936, 1938-1939, 1941, 1943 (13 HOM seasons). PHOM 1953.

3. Willie Wells I like the Luke Appling comparison.

4. Mule Suttles Beckwith was a better fielder, and may have struck out less, but Suttles had 2000 more plate appearances. PHOM 1949.

5. John Beckwith Great hitter whose reputation has been tarnished by history. PHOM 1942.

6. Billy Herman I’m surprised he went this high, but he seems to be the NL’s answer to Charlie Gehringer. MVP candidate 1935-37, 1943. All-Star candidate 1932-34, 1938-42, 1946. War credit 1944-45. (15 HOM seasons).

7. Cool Papa Bell I always had Carey right behind Van Haltren and Beckley. I think Bell is a little bit better than all three.

8. Stan Hack According to career WARP3, the best 3B ever to date. MVP candidate 1938, 1941, 1945, All-Star candidate 1935-37, 39-40, 42-43, 46. (11 HOM seasons).

9. George Van Haltren Only one season among top 8 players (1898). Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1929.

10. Jake Beckley In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons) PHOM 1928.

11. Jimmy Ryan Had a nice peak 1888-1891, better than both Beckley and Van Haltren. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1930.

12. Red Ruffing Seems a smidge better than Rixey in my system. Never MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1928, 1930-1942, No war credit 1943-45, because I think he was essentially done by then. (14 HOM seasons).

13. Earl Averill Dominant during his career. MVP Candidate 1931, 1932, 1934, All-Star Candidate 1929-30, 1933, 1935-1938. (10 HOM seasons)

14. Eppa Rixey Consistently above average. Looking at measures other than Win Shares, he barely sneaks by Grimes. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1916-1917, 1920-1925, 1927-1929, war credit 1918 (12 HOM seasons). PHOM 1939.

15. Wes Ferrell Great peak. MVP Candidate 1930, 1935-1936. All-Star Candidate 1929, 1931-1934, 1937. (9 HOM seasons)


LAST YEAR TOP TEN/NEW NOTABLES

Hughie Jennings – Even the greatest five year peak (Babe Ruth) wouldn’t make my ballot by itself. I need some above average play outside that peak. Six years is a little better. Seven years might get a player in my PHOM (see Ed Walsh.) Five just doesn’t give me enough. MVP candidate 1894-1898. (5 HOM seasons)

Clark Griffith –I think that he had a relatively short productive career, and didn’t have nearly the peak of a Walsh, Brown, Vance or perhaps even Waddell. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot. Pitchers ahead of him include Ruffing, Rixey, Grimes, Ferrell, Redding, Mendez, Mays, Willis and Cooper. All-Star candidate 1894-1901 (8 HOM seasons)

Ernie Lombardi – Right there with Wally Schang and Roger Bresnahan in the near ballot class, but didn’t seem to have enough of a peak or a longish career. I give decreasing catcher bonuses so that earlier players get higher bonuses. If I gave equal bonuses, Lombardi would be significantly above Schang and Bresnahan. MVP candidate 1938, All-Star candidate 1932, 1935-37, 1939-42, 1945. (10 HOM seasons)

Bill Byrd – Close to the Rixey/Ruffing mold of pitchers, is close to the ballot.

Missing from my PHOM:

Lyons (first on the missing list, would rate #14 on this ballot)
Terry (will make it some day)
Coveleski (will make it some day)
Vance (will make it some day)
Faber (may never make it, even with the peak adjustment)
Thompson (will never make it)
   11. Mike Webber Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:33 PM (#1384784)
1)BILL DICKEY – Dickey did it on the field, Greenberg probably would have done it on the field. That gives the nod to Dickey for the top slot in my mind.
2)HANK GREENBERG – With no war credit I would place him 5th on this year’s ballot.
3)WILLIE WELLS –
4)STAN HACK – I bounced Hack and Wells back and forth on my ballot, figuring Wells probably had the more value in his career, while Hack may have been better at his best.
5)EDD ROUSH – I guess I continue to be Edd’s best friend. I am still working on my document to support his candidacy, but may as well wait until there is a field he has a chance against.
6)MULE SUTTLES –
7)BILLY HERMAN – His weaker peak leaves him behind Hack and Roush.
8)COOL PAPA BELL –
9)TOMMY LEACH – Long career and solid peak.
10)EARL AVERILL -
11)WALLY BERGER – Has the most win shares in a three-year peak of any player on my ballot, higher than Jennings. I guess Willis has 101, but he has moved down the list.
12)ROGER BRESNAHAN –Best catcher between Ewing and Hartnett.
13)CARL MAYS –The best combination of peak and career length among the available pitchers.
14)WES FERRELL – Peak gets him on the list.
15)HUGHIE JENNINGS - His peak probably puts your team over the hump for the flag, trumps the problems of short career

16-31 Dean, Traynor, Warneke, Ruffing, Lazzeri, H. Wilson, Waddell, Redding, Duffy, Doyle, W. Cooper, Schang, Mendez, Moore, Lombardi

Disclosures – Beckwith, #31. Rixey - #42.

Mackey – based on the info presented in his thread, why would you vote for him ahead of Schang or Bresnahan?

New Comers – Lombardi just doesn’t have a long enough career to move into the top 15, 1853 games, but just over 300 of them were as a pinch hitter.

Red Ruffing – same problem as Rixey, they are two sides of the same coin.

Cecil Travis – It would take more conjecture than I am comfortable with to move him onto my ballot.
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: June 06, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1384793)
PHoM matches Top 2 again.

1. Willie Wells (new)
2. Hank Greenberg (new)

These two are head and shoulders above the pack. I could switch the order by giving Greenberg a little more war credit, but I think I am comfortable with what I gave him.

3. Mule Suttles (3,3,4)

Very deserving but bumped.

4. Red Ruffing (new)

I'm surprised by the low amount of support he seems to be gathering.

5. Bill Dickey (13,x,x)

I'm still not as excited as most are, but he is clearly deserving.

6. George Van Haltren (5,4,6)

Most underrated player on the ballot, as usual.

7. Mickey Welch (8,8,9)

Too much to ignore.

8. Eppa Rixey (4,5,5)

I was the BFoER? I'm not even that big a fan!

9. John Beckwith (6,6,7)

He seems to have plateaued.

10. Jake Beckley (7,7,8)

A poor man's GVH, as far as HoM standing goes.

11. Stan Hack (new)

Yet another newbie. Deep year.

12. Cool Papa Bell (10,10,11)

I wish someone would convice me was better.

13. Biz Mackey (9,9,10)
14. Tommy Leach (11,11,12)
15. Edd Roush (12,12,13)

Rounding out the ballot.

16-20. Sisler, Rice, Duffy, Moore, Averill
21-25. Herman, Powell, Ryan, Streeter, Mullane
26-30. Grimes, Childs, Monroe, Griffith, White
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: June 06, 2005 at 06:01 PM (#1384972)
1953

1. Hank Greenberg (new, PHoM 1953). As a peak voter, I've got him here pretty much with or w/o WWII credit.

2. Bill Dickey (3 last week-new, PHoM 1953). Behind Hartnett and Cochrane, and maybe even Ewing, but ahead of the rest of this pack.

3. Hughie Jennings (6-3-4, PHoM 1927). The best case among this group for "the best player in baseball" at his peak.

4. Dobie Moore (4-5-6, PHoM 1942). The black Jennings.

5. Mule Suttles (5-6-7). Has probably waited longer to get into my PHoM than any player of his caliber. It's all timing.

6. George Sisler (7-4-5, PHoM 1938). Without an XC for his stellar years at the University of Michigan.

7. Tommy Bond (8-8-9, PHoM 1929). After giving half his value to his fielders.

8. Willie Wells (new). More Papa Bell than John Henry Lloyd.

9. Rube Waddell (9-7-8, PHoM 1932). No longer the kind of the UER, and a 152 prime ERA+.

10. Billy Herman (new). Pretty good.

11. Jose Mendez (12-x). Now looks like the best peak NeL (er, Cuban League) pitcher.

12. John Beckwith (15-15-x). Hard to peg, hangin' in.

13. Edd Roush (10-9-11). Best of many many CF candidates.

14. Addie Joss (x-14-14). 148 prime ERA+ still #2 available.

15. Larry Doyle (13-11-x). 126 OPS+ vs. Hack's 120 is the tie-breaker.

Dropped out: Klein (11), Cravath (14).

Close: 16-20. Hack, Klein, Bell, Sewell, Rixey
21-25. Cravath, Dean, Williamson, Monroe, Browning
26-30. Cicotte, Traynor, McCormick, C. Jones, Gomez

Required: Averill (31), Ferrell (45), Mackey (32)--all in consideration set.
   14. TomH Posted: June 06, 2005 at 07:19 PM (#1385109)
1953 Ballot
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 12 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. No real credit for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

(x) indicates where I voted for them last ballot
[y] indicates their consensus rank from last ballot

Five newbies in my top eight; Mel Allen would have said, how aBOUT that!

1-Bill Dickey (3) [3]
One of the top 100 players ever. If he isn’t elected this ballot, would he be the best player ever to have to wait 2 elections?
2-Hank Greenberg {new}
Another clearly top 100 guy if he had played from 1942-45. Could be #1.
3-Willie Wells {new}
And maybe ANOTHER top 100 guy. Could be #1.

-- (goes shopping at the) GAP --

4-Billy Herman {new}
WARP really likes him, but even by Win Shares or more basic measures like OWP, he is clearly above Joe Sewell, and I’m a friend of Sewell’s.
5-Clark Griffith (4) [12]
Vastly, vastly underrated by conventional stats.
6-Mule Suttles (5) [4]
His MLEs look very good, his career was long, and his rep among those who have previously written much about NeLers was great as well.
7-Stan Hack {new}
And the reason Pie Traynor was loved and this guy wasn’t is…..?
8-Red Ruffing {new}
Eppa Rixey plus a smidge of career length plus better peak plus he hit a whole bunch better.
9-Wes Ferrell (6) [8]
Career ERA of 4.04 is good compared to the league/park average ERA of 4.72. When you add in the bat and huge seasons, he’s a very viable candidate.
10-Joe Sewell (7) [15T]
What is there NOT to like about him? He hit great for a shortstop, for any time period, not just his. He fielded great too. Only 9 SS in MLB history have more career WS and more WS/PA than Sewell.
11-George Van Haltren (8) [14]
Hit. Ran. Played D. Pitched. Long career. Played in strong and under-represented 1890s.
12-Cool Papa Bell (9) [11]
If I envision the basestealing of Vince Coleman with the CF ability of a Paul Blair with afterburners, Bell comes out as a HoMer, even with a mediocre bat. And that’s what his rep makes him out to be.
13-John McGraw (10) [41]
The prime of Hughie Jennings. Outstanding RCAP. HoM is short of 3Bmen and 1890s infielders. Brilliant tactician. Mugsy will keep me from ever being the highest consensus guy!
14-Biz Mackey (11) [9]
Schang looks just as good. But Mackey’s fine rep and career length puts him here, above Roger B, with whom he looks comparable if you end Mackey’s career in 1932. Too many people thought Mackey was too good to leave him off my ballot.
15-John Beckwith (12) [5]
He looks to me like the quality (defense and offense) of Killebrew. But: if I were a GM and had to draft one guy at a young age to play his career (I hope) on my team, I would be wary enough to rank him here, instead of the 5-10 spots higher that he would be in a sterile table game environment.

Almost:
Earl Averill [6]
Eppa Rixey [7]
a few small discounts for a good defensive team, weaker league, no stick
Hughie Jennings [10]

Others close by, no particular order:
Cupid Childs, Bob Johnson, Wally Schang
Roger Bresnahan, Pie Traynor, Tommy Leach
Bill Monroe, George Sisler, Jake Beckley
Frank Chance, Rube Waddell, Dizzy Dean, Mickey Welch
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: June 06, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1385368)
1953 Ballot

What a group of candidates! There are no all-time greats here, but the field is incredibly deep – Wells, Greenberg, Herman, Hack, Ruffing, Byrd, Harder – seven serious candidates all together.

1. Willie Wells (n/e). Great all-around player: hit for average, hit for some power, good defense, great baserunning, leadership. The MLEs suggest that he was very similar to Luke Appling, with steadier playing time and without the great fluke season. My system shows him as dead even with Dickey. Since I strongly suspect that the NeL players are being underrated 1932-36, that breaks the tie.
2. Bill Dickey (3). Blocked from election last year by Gibson and Ott, Dickey rises to an elect-me spot this year.
3. Hank Greenberg (n/e). Missed more time for WWII than any other serious candidate. Unquestionably great peak; the compensatory credit I give on career value places him just above Beckwith.
4. John Beckwith (4). This is the last large batch of players who land above Beckwith. His time is coming.
5. Clark Griffith (4). Best candidate available from the underrepresented and underrated 1890s. Without contraction, there’d be no questions about his career length. Also the best pitching post-1893 candidate according to Pennants Added. Superior to several elected pitchers by virtually every measure. I hope to see him elected in the 1960s.
6. Hughie Jennings (5). The greatness of his peak will not diminish with time. Would represent 1890s well. jimd’s recent comments on Jennings’ fielding value seem right to me.
7. Eppa Rixey (6). Long, solidly above-average career. Runner-up in 1942. he may not be elected until the late 1950s, though if he turns out to be better than Ruffing, election could come sooner than that.
8. Mule Suttles (7). Still needs revised win shares, but further examination of MLEs moves him past Ferrell in my rankings.
9. Wes Ferrell (8). WARP rates him as a clear HoMer, nearly as valuable as Grove during his 9-year prime. WS rates him less highly. My analysis is closer WARP. Ferrell has a decent shot at being the first twentieth-century pitcher not elected to the HoF to be elected to the HoM.
10. George Van Haltren (9). Pennants added should remind the electorate that Van Haltren was a heck of a player. Even if WS overrates centerfielders and VH gets a boost from pitching, he’s a candidate who oughtn’t to be slipping towards oblivion just yet. Van Haltren was in an “elect-me” spot on my 1931 and 1932 ballots. I’ve lowered my view of outfielders in general since then, which caused Jennings to pass him, but everyone from Van Haltren up clearly merits eventual enshrinement, in my view.
11. Edd Roush (10). Very similar in value to VH. Should be getting a bit more support. Missed a lot of games, but when he was on the field in his prime he was top-notch.
12. Tommy Leach (11) Finally getting his due. Won’t have a chance at election until the 1960s, but it looks like he’s more firmly on the radar now.
13.Billy Herman (n/e). A player about whom I knew nothing when this project began, but he was a very fine player. A lot like Willie Wells, actually, as he combined good offense and good defense in a long career, but he was a bit behind Wells in both peak and length.
14. Stan Hack. (n/e) The best major-league third baseman between Heinie Groh and Eddie Mathews. Great plate discipline, acceptable defense.
15. Red Ruffing. (n/e) Lands just between Eppa Rixey and Burleigh Grimes among the “innings-eater” pitching candidates. That’s just enough to get him on this years’s ballot. No great peak, but he had a lot of very good years for the Yankees. His hitting makes the difference between on-ballot and buried deep in the backlog.

Consensus top-10 returning players not on my ballot: a larger number than usual this year because 6(!) new candidates have reached the ballot.

Earl Averill. See #20 below
Biz Mackey See #16 below
Cool Papa Bell. See #26 below.
   16. Chris Cobb Posted: June 06, 2005 at 09:32 PM (#1385378)
Off-Ballot

16. Biz Mackey (13). A solid candidate and I hope an eventual HoMer, but not good enough to leap ahead of the backlog. A stronger candidate than Schang or Bresnahan because of his defensive value (supported by both his reputation and his 1928 statistics), but overall he’s not in the class of Harnett, Dickey, or Cochrane. This placement includes credit for 1932 – I assume that if he had been in the majors, he would not have skipped a season to tour in Japan. I think the gaps in Mackey’s record and the likelihood that his statistics in the mid-1930s understate his value make it appropriate to rank him on the high side of what his current numbers show.
17. George Sisler (14). Nice peak.
18. Larry Doyle (15). Best of an over-looked teens group of middle-tier stars.
19. Burleigh Grimes (16). Consideration of his batting value makes me agree with those who don’t see a whole lot of difference between him and Rixey, but that difference now amounts to 12 ballot spots.
20. Earl Averill (17). About to touch bottom before rising again, like those around him.
21. Jose Mendez. (18) The player most deserving of a fresh analysis and renewed attention.
22. Dick Redding . (24) Still paired with Mendez.
23. Buzz Arlett. (19) Pitching credit brings Arlett near my ballot.
24. Bill Byrd (n/e). Stongly resembles Burleigh Grimes and Carl Mays, I believe, better than Mays but not quite as good as Grimes, although his peak was better. I’ve placed him halfway between the two. Like Grimes and Mays, Byrd was a good hitter and often played in the outfield when he wasn’t pitching. Like Grimes, he was a spitball/junkball pitcher. He enters the ballot with contemporary Mel Harder, whom he betters, in my view, by a small amount, mostly on peak. More study of the NeL pitchers is needed, though without team and league data our estimates for these players must remain much more speculative than I would like.
25. Gavvy Cravath. (20) Revised minor league MLEs move him from out of the running to in the running, though still off ballot. My 15-25 range is now full of 1910s stars who are just a little bit short by current standards, but who may go in later.
26. Cool Papa Bell (21). Reconsideration of 1933-1936 MLEs moves him past Poles and Maranville.
27. Rabbit Maranville. (22) His defensive value and his career length deserve more respect. Wish I could get him onto my ballot.
28. Mel Harder. (n/e). The historic link between Wes Ferrrell and Bob Feller. Harder was better than I thought. He has decent career length (over 3400 innings) and a very nice peak in the mid-1930s. Very similar to Carl Mays, but slightly better, although not nearly so well-rounded a player.
29. Spotswood Poles . (23) Another top NeL candidate from the teens who could use another look.
30. Carl Mays . (25) Wes Ferrell lite.
31. Urban Shocker. (26) Someday I’ll take up his cause. Another very well-rounded ballplayer.
32. Mickey Welch. (27) Doesn’t make my ballot now, but could again. This ballot is unbelievably deep.
33. Hugh Duffy. (28) Another guy who I think of as “just off-ballot” who is now below 30. Youch!
34. Rube Waddell
35. Jimmy Ryan
36. Roger Bresnahan
37. Wally Schang
38. Cupid Childs
39. George Scales
40. Dobie Moore
41. Ben Taylor
42. Jake Beckley
43. Joe Sewell
44. Dick Lundy
45. Waite Hoyt
46. Herman Long
47. Wilbur Cooper
48. Lave Cross
49. Kiki Cuyler
50. Harry Hooper
51. Bobby Veach
52. Fielder Jones
53. Dolf Luque
54. John McGraw
55. Tommy Bond
56. Bob Johnson
57. George J. Burns
58. Charley Jones
59. Bruce Petway
60. Bill Monroe
61. Dizzy Dean
62. Babe Adams
63. Mike Tiernan
64. Sam Rice
65. Dave Bancroft
66. Frank Chance
67. Tony Mullane
68. Ed Konetchy
69. Addie Joss
70. Wally Berger

Ernie Lombardi checks in around 100: my system sees him as similar in value to very good players from the 1920s and 1930s like Tony Lazzeri and Hack Wilson. I expect he, like the other two, will make a few ballots, but his poor defense and lack of playing time keep him from being a truly serious candidate.
   17. David C. Jones Posted: June 06, 2005 at 09:44 PM (#1385417)
Here's my ballot:

1. Willie Wells

2. Bill Dickey

3. Hank Greenberg

I think these are clearly the three best players on the ballot. Greenberg has the best peak of the three, but the shortest career (relative to his position). He was not a good defensive player as a first baseman, whereas both Dickey and Wells were good or very good defenders at much more important positions. Of course, for me Greenberg gets no "war credit." I won't speculate on where he might rank if he had played from 1942 to 1945, since I have no idea what he would have done during those years, and neither does anyone else.

4. Buzz Arlett

5. John Beckwith

6. Mule Suttles

This is the backlog of my ballot. No changes here. These guys are just biding their time until they get back into "elect-me" positions.

7. Pete Browning

8. Gavy Cravath

9. Jose Mendez

Ditto for 7-9. All these guys are firmly entrenched on my ballot.

10. Edd Roush

11. Wes Ferrell

12. Rube Waddell

I keep wishing I could move Roush higher, but I can't justify it in my mind.

13. Cannonball Dick Redding

14. Ben Taylor

15. George Sisler

All strong, deserving candidates, but deeply mired in the backlog.

New candidates not on my ballot:

Ernie Lombardi. I have him at #22, and that might be too high. He was not a good defensive catcher, a very good hitter for average and power, but his on base percentage isn't too impressive. 22 is probably too high. I doubt he will ever make my ballot.

Stan Hack. I have him at #24. I think he's similar to (but better than) George Scales.

Billy Herman. Right behind Hack at #25. He was better than I thought. Solid all-around ball player and consistently excellent for a few years, but not long enough to push him into the Top 15.

Red Ruffing. I have him at #39. I thought I'd have him higher, but upon closer examination his pitching really underwhelmed me. I thought that he'd make a nice combo candidate like Wes Ferrell, but I just don't see it.

Bill Byrd. He's at #44. Not real confident on his placing at this point, but I feel comfortable in saying that he's not in the top echelon of NeL pitchers.

Mel Harder. #55. A better pitcher than Ruffing, but without the hitting and without as many innings.

Top Ten Returnees not on my ballot:

Earl Averill: He's at #21.

Eppa Rixey: He's at #31.

Biz Mackey: He's at #17.

Hughie Jennings: He's at #36.
   18. Evan Posted: June 06, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1385480)
With 8 ballots in, there are already 6 new candidates receiving votes. 1953 is going to be one heck of a year.
   19. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 06, 2005 at 10:36 PM (#1385528)
Hey Chris as a fellow peak leaning voter, how do you deal with flukish season's, like Appling's 40 WS season during the war?

I figure that Appling desrves credit for it because it did happen, but at the same time, my peak leaning measures overrate the peak of a player like that. The only player that I have given a 'pass' to on this is Suttles because some of his one great season is probably the MLE's while the MLE's tend to smooth out peaks. I also do discount Appling's season because it came during the war. However, I may have Appling higher than Wells because he did have that season.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: June 06, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1385568)
I know you didn't ask me, but for total career value I only discount the war years 10%. But for peaks, I don't consider them at all, either for the players or the soldiers, if they had a fair chance at a peak otherwise. There are a few exceptions like Newhouser who had no other peak. Not a perfect solution by any means but fairer on balance than any other. But I would view Appling's peak about like Augie Galan's.

So in my system Appling probably rates lower than most and he's still a HoMer, I imagine.

And Newhouser will probably rate higher than most, a possible HoMer in my view. So you can take my view with a big grain of salt if you like.
   21. DavidFoss Posted: June 06, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1385572)
Some of that Appling-40 number is an artefact of Win Shares, Appling played 155 games and the Sox outperformed Pythagoras by a whopping 8 games. With a 10% discount, its one of Applings better years -- especially with the basestealing -- but its not the major outlier that WS makes it seem.
   22. Brent Posted: June 07, 2005 at 02:00 AM (#1386082)
Mike Webber (# 11) wrote:

11)WALLY BERGER – Has the most win shares in a three-year peak of any player on my ballot, higher than Jennings.

Did you adjust for the effects of the shorter seasons during the 1890s when Jennings played? (The NL played 132-game seasons from 1893-97.)

Mike Webber also wrote (sorry if I'm picking on you, Mike):

Lombardi just doesn’t have a long enough career to move into the top 15, 1853 games, but just over 300 of them were as a pinch hitter.

I'm not an advocate for Lombardi - there are lots of good reasons to leave him off your ballot, but one of them isn't that his career wasn't long enough.

The Schnozz played in the major leagues until he was 39, three years longer than Greenberg and two years longer than Hack and Herman. At the end of 1947 when his major league tenure concluded, he ranked 8th in career games caught:

1 Lopez Al 1918 games
2 Ferrell Rick 1806
3 Hartnett Gabby 1793
4 Schalk Ray 1727
5 Dickey Bill 1708
6 McGuire Deacon 1611
7 Sewell Luke 1562
8 Lombardi Ernie 1544
9 Sullivan Billy 1536
10 O'Neill Steve 1532

Of course, the above omits his 442 games caught in the PCL during 1927-30. It also omits the games that he would catch the following season in 1948 as one of the "nine old men" who led his hometown Oakland Oaks to another PCL pennant. (I don't have the stats on games caught for that season.)

The HoM has a catchers thread that has some excellent background information on the changing role and usage of catchers over the decades -- I particularly have found the information on games caught that Kelly from SD posted in #93-96 to be useful. In comparing catchers from different eras, it is important to be aware that the position was always physically punishing, and that the standards for durability have gradually been going up decade-by-decade.
   23. Rob_Wood Posted: June 07, 2005 at 05:50 AM (#1386533)
My 1953 ballot, very packed; I'd be happy if all these guys eventually were elected.

1. Hank Greenberg -- clearly top of ballot (with war credit)
2. Bill Dickey -- deserving HOM'er
3. Willie Wells -- the devil was a great player
4. Billy Herman -- very very good second baseman
5. Jake Beckley -- dropping few slots but still a HOM'er
6. Red Ruffing -- a great pitcher rescued by the Yanks
7. Mule Suttles -- great negro lg slugger
8. Tommy Bridges -- great curveball (here with war and PCL credit)
9. George Van Haltren -- very good 1890s CF
10. John Beckwith - very good negro lg infielder
11. Earl Averill - great hitter, fair CF
12. Stan Hack -- not sure of his fielding
13. Bob Johnson -- very good hitter
14. Eppa Rixey -- good pitcher for a long time
15. Joe Sewell - very good shortstop

Group top tenors not voted for are Wes Ferrell (way down the ballot), Biz Mackey (ditto), and Hughie Jennings (in top 30 or so).
   24. TomH Posted: June 07, 2005 at 11:35 AM (#1386635)
Group top tenors
--
Rob, do you vote for musical performances too? :)
   25. Daryn Posted: June 07, 2005 at 01:07 PM (#1386674)
1. Dickey – top 5 catcher.

2. 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.

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

4. Eppa Rixey – see Grimes comment.

5. Red Ruffing – fits nicely in between Rixey and Grimes – definitely better than Grimes, perhaps better than Rixey.

6. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between Rixey and Grimes. There is not much of a spread between here and Ferrell, at 26.

7. 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.

8. Biz Mackey – I vote career over peak, so I like Mackey the best of the eligible catchers. It is close though, and Mackey is not that much ahead of Schang (who I have in the high 20s).

9. Greenberg – Without war credit and the rep, I’m not sure he makes my ballot. With war credit that I’m not very comfortable giving (4 years is an awful long time to guesstimate), I have put him behind all the guys that I am sure I want in the HoM.

10. 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.

11. George Sisler
12. Sam Rice – I like the hits. Sisler way out peaks Rice.

13. Cool Papa Bell – I have decided to move Bell up from the outfield glut to here, ahead of Suttles and Beckwith. As flawed as they may be, I have chosen to rely, in part, on the 1952 Courier poll and more importantly the 1999 SABR poll. I know the former has its flaws but it doesn’t appear to canonize Bell (he is a 2nd team all-star there). I know the SABR poll takes into account non-playing influence, but it has Bell ahead of Charleston and Gibson, among others, and that must mean something (particularly when it accords with all the anecdotal evidence and a Cobb MLE of 3700 hits).

14. Mule Suttles – I’m getting more sold on Suttles and less sold on Beckwith. Suttles’ MLE WS are tough to overlook even if you apply a modest discount.

15. Willie Wells – I’m having trouble putting full reliance on the MLEs. I wish I had a better way of determining where the NeLers ranked. No matter how you look at it, I don’t see how to justify a top of the ballot placement for Wells, particularly if Scales is nowhere near your ballot.

16. Rube Waddell -- I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown).

17. Beckwith – The Beckwith thread is funny – Gadfly has him hitting .400 with 40HRs per year and Cobb has him at 315 career WS, which is pretty much how I see him.

18. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. He is barely better than Ferrell, Harder, Warneke, Bridges, Gomez, Hoyt, Mendez, Joss, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane, Byrd and Mullin.

19. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson, who was 2nd on my ballot when elected.

20. Billy Herman – close to Sewell, the all-star games are impressive. This is the beginning of my defensive infield positions glut – Herman, Sewell, Leach, Hack, Traynor and Monroe are all pretty close to me.

23. Stan Hack – either just better or just worse than Traynor. I’m starting him here.

26. Wes Ferrell

35. Earl Averill

46. Jennings – he’d be lower for me if you guys weren’t all so sure he was great. Peak alone is insufficient for me.
   26. andrew siegel Posted: June 07, 2005 at 04:11 PM (#1387034)
(1) Bill Dickey (3rd)-- What he, Hartnett, and Cochrane did was unmatched by any catcher (save Gibson) in the first 90 years of the game--in other words, in 1953, he's more special than the very good candidates below him.

(2) John Beckwith (4th)-- As I indicated last week, if you assume Beckwith was a major league SS or a good major league 3B, he probably ranks ahead of Dickey in my book. Since I think the jury is out on that one (though the evidence tilts in his favor), I'll slot him in at #2.

(3) Willie Wells (new)-- At worst, he's Bobby Wallace; at best, he's George Davis. I lean towards the latter, but either makes him an HoMer.

(4) Hank Greenberg (new)-- I'm surprised that he's not number 1, but even giving him war credit, you've got a guy with as short career and almost no defensive credit. He's an A hitter, but guys like Tiernan and Fournier and Browning were A- hitters with similar career lengths and they are outside my top 50.

(5)Mule Suttles (5th)-- Hank Greenberg with 50 less walks per season but much more durability. The choice isn't obvious.

(6) Hughie Jennings (6th)-- I still believe his peak was unique and special, not merely excellent (a la Berger or Dean).

(7) George Van Haltren (7th)-- I've said this before but the sum of his achievements is overwhelming.

(8) Red Ruffing (new)-- Could rank anywhere from here to 17th. I tend to believe the WARP numbers that slot him in behind Lyons but ahead of Rixey and Grimes, though raw stats and WS have him down with the latter two, the difference being how much credit her deserves for his pre-NY days.

(9)Earl Averill (8th)-- Clearly an HoMer in my book (has the peak, the prime, and the career), but not knocking down the door.

(10) Dobie Moore (14th)-- I think there is a real chance that he had a seven-year run at roughly A-Rod's level. Unlike other Negro Leaguers, I discount him a bit based on the uncertainty principle, but it would take a huge discount to keep him off the ballot.

(11) Hugh Duffy (9th)--Sliding down but not really his fault.

(12) Cupid Childs (10th)-- Ditto.

(13) Wes Farrell (11th)-- Him too.

(14) Billy Herman (new)-- I see him as very much in the same mold as Joe Sewell or Stan Hack, guys who put up roughly 300 WS while dominating their position but without seasonal totals that rank with the leaders from other generations. There probably is room in the HoM for them, but they need to wait their turn.

(15) Eppa Rixey (12th)-- On a very tough ballot, he falls to the bubble position despite credentials very similar to Ruffing's. What can you do.

Next 10: Grimes, Mackey (squeezed out), Jones, Roush, Sewell, Redding, Hack (never a great player except during the war, still the #1 major league 3B available), Sisler, Chance, Bell.

Byrd and Lombardi are good players who don't make my top 50. Same for Harder, although there is a chance he'd rank 45-50 if I gave him another look.
   27. Jim Sp Posted: June 07, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1387168)
Ruffing #30.

Mel Harder and Cecil Travis had nice careers. Travis had about 60% of a HoM career when WW2 disrupted his career at age 27. Or at least 60% of Joe Sewell’s career, on my ballot that’s the same thing.

Roy Cullenbine, Spud Chandler, Al Lopez, Mort Cooper, and Claude Passeau are all interesting but nowhere close to the ballot.

Rixey, Waddell, Cravath, Monroe, Bresnahan, Griffith, Joss, Jose Mendez, and Welch are in my PHoM but off my ballot. In 1952 I was the best friend of Averill and Sewell.

1)Dickey--So far I have the catchers rated Hartnett, Dickey, Cochrane, Ewing, Schang, Mackey, Bresnahan, Bennett, Ferrell, McGuire, Clements. Dickey is a no-doubt-about-it HOMer.
2)Greenberg--Lots of war credit makes him clearly qualified. Still over the line even without war credit.
3)Wells--Obvious candidate, could have gone in right away in a different year.
4)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.
5)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.
6)Lombardi--Well, there goes my consensus score. A long career as a catcher with a big bat. I see 14 obvious catching electees: Gibson, Bench, Fisk, Carter, Hartnett, Dickey, Piazza, Berra, Simmons, Ewing, Cochrane, Campanella, Parrish, Rodriguez. I’m an advocate for what I see as the next tier: Freehan, Munson, and Porter will get strong consideration on my ballot too. You can’t have a baseball team without a catcher. 2000 games caught including PCL.
7)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.
8)Bob Johnson--A very underrated player. Usually I'm a WS guy but this time I think Warp has it right.
9)Billy Herman-- I’m still perplexed trying to figure out his career relative to the defensive spectrum shift at 2B. He looks good compared to modern 2B, not so great compared to early lively ball 2B. Gets two years war credit, that helps too.
10)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.
11)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.
12)Suttles--Struggling with where to put him.
13)Stan Hack--His time will come, I think. I like him better than Groh, who I voted for.
14)Mackey--#2 on my 1949 prelim, but more data on his hitting has dropped him to here.
15)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.

Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
Hughie Jennings—impressive peak, not enough career.
Griffith In my PHoM but off the ballot at #24.
Cool Papa Bell--#26.
   28. Adam Schafer Posted: June 07, 2005 at 06:23 PM (#1387656)
This is honestly one of the toughest ballots I've ever had to create

1. Bill Dickey (n/a) - A catcher #1 on my ballot...imagine that

2. Hank Greenberg (n/a) - The peak, would've had the career value I like to see if not for WWII. I give minimal peak value for the WWII years missed, but I do give ample career value for those years missed. Greenberg didn't need much extra value to make my ballot with his peak, despite me being more of a career voter.

3. Billy Herman (n/a) - Billy is one of the ones I had a heck of a time ranking. I know he belongs on my ballot, and I know he belongs somewhere between here and the #7 spot.

4. Mickey Welch (4) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot. No way to justify giving him an elect me spot though. To many great players hitting the ballot each year.

5. Red Ruffing (n/a) - The 2nd player I had a hard time ranking. I couldn't decided whether he belong over Ferrell and Grimes or not. I am fairly satisfied now that he does, but that could change.

5. Wes Ferrell (5) - Hard to put him here without the career that I'd normally love to see, but his peak was good and just barely lasted long enough for me to rank him this high.

6. Burleigh Grimes (6) - Grimes just won't leave the top of my ballot. I can't say that it bothers me either.

7. Biz Mackey (7) - I love catchers. He's not Santop or Gibson, but he's HOM material in my book. He did reaffirm that Schang should be on my ballot.

8. Willie Wells (n/a) - Had a hard time getting a grip on Willie too. Not convinced he was as valuable as Mackey, but fairly convinced he was more valuable than Suttles. Will keep him here for now, but could easily move.

9. Mule Suttles (8) - Not overly confident that I have him too high or too low. This seemed like the best spot to slot him for this year

10. Ernie Lombardi (n/a) - He's nowhere close to Dickey, he's not Mackey, but he's still making my ballot. I have a funny feeling my ballot is going to look similar to Jim Sp when it comes to ranking catchers.

11. Sam Rice (9) - This is the type of consistency that I love. Simply the type of player that I love. Consistency is meritable in my eyes.

12. Earl Averill (11) - Consistency is key for me...what he could have done had he been in the majors sooner...I do give him some (minimal) minor league credit.

13. Eppa Rixey (12) -I've decided that Grimes is more deserving of the word "Merit" by my definition.

14. George Sisler (13) - I still believe he should be in the HOM. Even his "bad" years were pretty darn good.

15. Clark Griffith (14) - Same old story for Clark

16. Wally Schang (16) - Just barely off the ballot. Really wish I could've squeezed him in. Lots of career value for a catcher. I really wish I could justify having him higher right now. A definate HOM'er in my opinion. Just too many other good players on the ballot right now.

17. Pie Traynor (10) - One of the greates 3b of all time.

18. Stan Hack (n/a) - Nothing against the guy, but the ballot is crowded and I can't seem to put him above Traynor although he is really close.

19. Jake Beckley (15) - Not far off from Sisler.

20. Rube Waddell (17) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

21. Joe Sewell (18) - darn good shortstop, and you couldn't strike the guy out. Same problem as Schang at the moment.

22. John Beckwith (19) - Just off of the ballot, but no fault of his own. He'll be back on the ballot again soon enough.

23. Cool Papa Bell (20) -

24. George Van Haltren (21) - At the bottom of my PHOM list, but on it still the same.

25. Bob Johnson (22) - This is the most comfortable spot that I have for him at the moment. He may move up on the ballot (possible) or down on the ballot (more possible).
   29. DavidFoss Posted: June 08, 2005 at 02:21 AM (#1389143)
Well, the Yankee's four-peated again with promising young hurler Whitey Ford returning from the military to help bolster their aging rotation.

And the Boston Braves have shocked us all by picking up and moving to Milwaukee. How many more of the two-team cities (Stl/Phi/Chi/NY) will also see similar moves?

Tough ballot this week, but a low-stress tough as the top of the backlog has quite a high consensus. Three guys got bumped off, but they shall return in the next couple of years.

1953 Ballot

1. Bill Dickey (3) -- I'd rank them Cochrane-Hartnett-Dickey, but no MLB player comes close until Berra-Campy.
2. John Beckwith (4) -- The more SS-3B types who become eligible without Beckwith's hitting numbers, the more impressed I am.
3. Willie Wells (ne) -- Decent hitter, long career, solid glove. Looks like a cross between Cronin & Frisch.
4. Hank Greenberg (ne) -- At his best, he wasn't as good as Gehrig/Foxx, but he was still a force. I'd rank him slightly behind Mize. I'm a peak voter, so the war credit just eliminates my career-length worries.
5. Hughie Jennings (5) -- Basically the best player in baseball for five years running, with great durability in his peak years. Not much outside that peak, though, or he would have been inducted long ago.
6. Clark Griffith (6) -- The plethora of borderline live-ball pitchers is making me think we may have forgotten about Clark. Solid numbers in an underrepresented era.
7. Billy "Don't Call Me Babe" Herman (ne) -- Impressive Win Shares numbers look a lot like Doyle/Childs'. A 'B+' defender as the position is getting tougher. Eligible before Gordon/Doerr.
8. Larry Doyle (7) -- I think the electorate is underrating him, his support is waning, but still has a core group of followers. Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak. Fielding was mediocre, but not as horrific as WARP suggests.
9. Cupid Childs (8) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
10. Mule Suttles (9) -- His bat does not have the value at OF/1B that other bats have provided. He certainly did have the 'big year', though.
11. Dick Redding (10) -- 2nd best fastball of the 10's according to Neyer/James.
12. Wes Ferrell (11) -- Tossing in some love for one of the last of the great hitting pitchers. Very nice peak, but not much else. If his arm would have held out a couple of more years, he'd have a much easier case. That could be said of quite a few pitchers, though.
13. Biz Mackey (13) -- Wasn't the hitter I had previously thought, but I have a soft sport for catchers. Giving him credit for his year in overseas and his rate numbers are not bad if you cut them off in the late-30s or so.
14. Stan Hack (ne) -- Fine OBP man for pennant-winning Cubs teams. 3B is underrepresented and Hack would still has 300 WS after applying a wartime discount (with 3 30+ WS seasons).
15. Red Ruffing (ne) -- Sneaks onto the ballot. Sure, the Yankees scored a ton for him, but he had five 130 ERA+ seasons while chewing up a lot of innings. World Series: 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 85.7 IP.

Omissions --
Averill -- I'm tough on OF/1B types as there are so many shoo-in candidates. Earl just slipped off my ballot this year.
Rixey -- I liked him better than Faber, but not as much as Ruffing. Was close to my ballot at one point but has slipped into the low 20s.
   30. Sean Gilman Posted: June 08, 2005 at 03:22 AM (#1389295)
1953

1. Hank Greenberg (-)--I give him some war credit, but not as much as some. He still tops the deepest ballot I can remember.

2. Bill Dickey (3)--Catcher bonus barely edges him ahead of Wells.

3. Willie Wells (-)--Long career, good peak. I think his peak was probably higher than the WS translations show, but it’s impossible (for me at least) to tell how much.

4. Pete Browning (4)--If he played in the PCL in the 00s or the Negro Leagues in the 30s, would he be a HOMer by now? Same as with Suttles and Beckwith, the league translations inordinately underrate his peak. Besides, it isn’t like the AA wasn’t a major league. I’d love to see our fabulous translators take another look at the AA. (1927)

5. Mule Suttles (5)--Trails Browning and Jones on peak, but more career value than either of them. (1949)

6. John Beckwith (6)--Another high peak, non-conventional major league player.

7. Charley Jones (7)--Jones, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Browning look pretty interchangeable to me. (1929)

8. Hughie Jennings (8)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder. (1932)

9. Cupid Childs (9)--Where has the love for Cupid gone? (1938)

10. Billy Herman (-)--I agree with those who see him as close to Cupid. I’ve got them in a dead-heat, with Cupid having the slightly better peak.

11. Tommy Leach (10)--May be the most underrated candidate out there. (1942)

12. Clark Griffith (11)--About as close to Coveleski as can be. (1942)

13. Stan Hack (-)--Another tight group with Hack, Doyle and Sisler.

14. Larry Doyle (12)--Another underrated infielder. . .(1945)

15. George Sisler (13)--That’s a nice peak.

16. Cool Papa Bell (14)
17. Eppa Rixey (15)
18. Joe Sewell (16)
19. Ed Williamson (17)
20. Jose Mendez (20)
21. Carl Mays (18)
22. Red Ruffing (-)
23. Wes Ferrell (19)
24. Dave Bancroft (21)
25. Roger Bresnahan (22)
   31. OCF Posted: June 08, 2005 at 07:42 AM (#1389454)
Adam Schafer - your ballot has a problem. You have two #5's and hence 16 people in your first 15 slots.
   32. Adam Schafer Posted: June 08, 2005 at 03:42 PM (#1389795)
Ruffing should've been the "real" #5. Everyone else moves down one. Corrected ballot is as follows.


1. Bill Dickey (n/a) - A catcher #1 on my ballot...imagine that

2. Hank Greenberg (n/a) - The peak, would've had the career value I like to see if not for WWII. I give minimal peak value for the WWII years missed, but I do give ample career value for those years missed. Greenberg didn't need much extra value to make my ballot with his peak, despite me being more of a career voter.

3. Billy Herman (n/a) - Billy is one of the ones I had a heck of a time ranking. I know he belongs on my ballot, and I know he belongs somewhere between here and the #7 spot.

4. Mickey Welch (4) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot. No way to justify giving him an elect me spot though. To many great players hitting the ballot each year.

5. Red Ruffing (n/a) - The 2nd player I had a hard time ranking. I couldn't decided whether he belong over Ferrell and Grimes or not. I am fairly satisfied now that he does, but that could change. The real #5 on this ballot.

6. Wes Ferrell (5) - Hard to put him here without the career that I'd normally love to see, but his peak was good and just barely lasted long enough for me to rank him this high.

7. Burleigh Grimes (6) - Grimes just won't leave the top of my ballot. I can't say that it bothers me either.

8. Biz Mackey (7) - I love catchers. He's not Santop or Gibson, but he's HOM material in my book. He did reaffirm that Schang should be on my ballot.

9. Willie Wells (n/a) - Had a hard time getting a grip on Willie too. Not convinced he was as valuable as Mackey, but fairly convinced he was more valuable than Suttles. Will keep him here for now, but could easily move.

10. Mule Suttles (8) - Not overly confident that I have him too high or too low. This seemed like the best spot to slot him for this year

11. Ernie Lombardi (n/a) - He's nowhere close to Dickey, he's not Mackey, but he's still making my ballot. I have a funny feeling my ballot is going to look similar to Jim Sp when it comes to ranking catchers.

12. Sam Rice (9) - This is the type of consistency that I love. Simply the type of player that I love. Consistency is meritable in my eyes.

13. Earl Averill (11) - Consistency is key for me...what he could have done had he been in the majors sooner...I do give him some (minimal) minor league credit.

14. Eppa Rixey (12) -I've decided that Grimes is more deserving of the word "Merit" by my definition.

15. George Sisler (13) - I still believe he should be in the HOM. Even his "bad" years were pretty darn good
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: June 08, 2005 at 04:32 PM (#1389942)
1953 ballot, our 56th.

1. HANK GREENBERG - Wow, a little surprised to see him here. But since I don't insist on "consecutive years" for my peak, maybe I shouldn't be. Seven years of 155 OPS+, another 132, a 118, and missed seasons due to circumstances beyond his control. A short-career HOMer without war credit; number 1 on a ballot with a decent amount of it.
2. BILL DICKEY - No quarrel with those who use the C bonus to make him No. 1. I've already said he's slightly overrated, so he's an 8 and not a 9. Still a great one, and I have to put him just ahead of the mighty Suttles. Incredible hitter/player from 1936-39, when Yankees were grabbing one World Series after another.

3. MULE SUTTLES - No wavering from me on the Mule; this is just too stacked a ballot. I do significantly discount for his extremely favorable parks; not as convinced on the 'pitcher's park' data; I don't particularly discount for his defense; but I do factor in the likelihood of his OBP not being dazzling. That's 3 discounts out of 4 options, basically, yet I still see him as third-best on this ballot.
4. EPPA RIXEY - Could not have picked a more brutal time frame to come aboard; I want him in the HOM, but he's never been quite good enough over these years to overcome the tide of newcomers. But let's not lose sight of him. If only he had one huge year.
5. JOHN BECKWITH - As I now more heavily factor in a SS-3B bonus, I am finally convinced he does belong. Too bad that conclusion came in a tough voting era, but he'll get in eventually.
6. CLARK GRIFFITH - Flopped with Rixey, slipped below Beckwith last year. 1890s still are underrepresented. It's remarkable how much better Griffith's W-L was than the teams he pitched for.
7. WILLIE WELLS - Not sold on the Appling comparison, MLEs and other comps put me in the 'better than Sewell' camp, but not sure where that puts him. Moves up to here on his longevity, which is quite impressive.
8. GEORGE SISLER - Slides under Beckwith, and for the first time I wonder if he'll ever get in. I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer's peaks while providing a significant added portion of a career. Not clear on some of the anti-Sisler sentiment; overrated by the average fan, but a great half-career in particular.
9. JAKE BECKLEY - Top 10 in RBIs TWELVE times. How many HOMers did that? Not his fault that the ABCs clogged his position earlier in his career. I wish fewer voters were so enamored with peak at the exclusion of this unusual career.
10. COOL PAPA BELL - Maintains his slot from last year. We're wise to realize the results don't match the rep, but great fielder-long career-decent hitter is quite valuable. Another Max Carey?
11. MICKEY WELCH - Also maintains slot. If you look at the amount of lopsided scores AND compare them to the fewer and less lopsided losses by Keefe in yest's post in the old Welch thread, the 'pitching in a pinch' circumstancial evidence is there. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.
12. PETE BROWNING - Ditto. Spectacularly good hitter, and his 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time. Have newer voters taken a sufficient look at him?
13. RED RUFFING - Definitely not as good as Rixey, in my mind. But gotta love his overcoming losing four toes on his left foot in a mine accident as a kid. Seemed to have something left when he drafted for 1943, so a little war credit cinches a ballot spot.
14. CUPID CHILDS - Struggling to stay on my ballot against fierce competition. The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on these ballots. But I'm starting to wonder if I'm just still voting for him out of habit.
15. BILLY HERMAN - Hmm, not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Loses, barely, to Childs head-to-head in the first go-round. I have to study him further in future years; he'll be around a while.

OFF BALLOT
STAN HACK - Thought sure I'd vote for him, but less even than meets the eye when you take away for diluted war year performance while others are getting war credit.
ERNIE LOMBARDI - I need to keep him on my radar in an amazingly deep 'rookie' class. At first glance, it bothers me that he had a hard time getting to 100 games played. A good forerunner of the problem we'll have with 1-inning closers. You aren't helping when you aren't playing.
DICK LUNDY - Falls back off the ballot, but I'm one voter who could swayed back in the 1954 ballot discussion.
BILL MONROE - Spent years battling Grant for 'one slot' in the HOM, which may have been unfair to both. Are the new wave of ballot-enders really more worthy than Monroe?
HUGHIE JENNINGS - The Hughie love is over. One solid season short of an "elect me" slot on my ballot. Enough peak for me to ask for not so much more, yet he supplies almost nothing else - and even plays so many games at 1B rather than SS.
JOE SEWELL - Back off the ballot. Slugged exactly the league average in his career, split between SS and 3B. That's good, but not real exciting.
WES FERRELL - 117 ERA+ not dazzling, but it's misleading with the late-career bad IP. Significant hitting bonus, too. Kind of a weird player, too bad he didn't play some OF on his off-days.
EARL AVERILL - I think you need a 'major' amount of 'minors' credit to get him to the top 10. We'll see 30 guys like this before we're done, and none of 'em belong in the HOM. Is it 'Ah-verill,' or "AY-verill,' by the way?
EDD ROUSH - I have a problem with the games he missed in a lot of years, but his D and high level of play combined with career length gives Roush strong consideration. Waiting for a weak year.
BIZ MACKEY - I see more Freehan or R Ferrell than anything else so far, and not sure he contributed as much as the countless other Negro League candidates we're mulling. Not ruled out yet.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN - Seems very similar to Beckley, only he's an OF and not a 1B.
   34. Al Peterson Posted: June 08, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1390458)
1953 ballot. New guys galore and I find place for 4 of them on the ballot.

1. Bill Dickey (3). Some clearing of last year’s ballot for him to jump to the top. As with most Yankees played in a WS or two. Oops, make that 8 World Series!

2. Hank Greenberg (-). A clubbing first basemen who despite short career length is quite worthy.

3. Willie Wells (-). Longtime shortshop, could hit and field, what’s not to like? Maybe helped by home park but he did enough overall to take a high ballot spot.

4. Earl Averill (6). Highly productive for a centerfielder, he started ML career late after playing semi-pro in Washington state and then three years in the PCL. By comparison to Bob Johnson, Averill had teams which outperformed Pythag W-L by 18 games (1929-39).

5. Bob Johnson (4). I’ve tried to reevaluate him and still like him plenty. His peak might not be as high as others but at the same time for 13 years he has the highest floor of anyone. By floor I mean what can we reasonably expect from him in terms of performance. During those 13 years you knew exactly what you got with Bob Johnson – nothing less, rarely more. I guess my system rewards consistency as well as greatness. WARP numbers like him, WS not so much. Over his career his teams underperformed Pythag W-L by 15 games so he loses some there.

I’m afraid he’s between the two voting factions. He doesn’t have the peak but was effective longer that the high peak, short career players. He doesn’t have the career but was at a higher production level than the low peak, long career players. Either way, he stacks up nicely compared to the other LFs hanging around.

Indian Bob got a late start, played on bad teams in ballparks that favored pitchers, and got left out of post-war ML baseball while he was still doing well at age 39. Hang in there big guy; I’ll try and convince others…

6. Clark Griffith (8). Based on Chris J’s run support index material Griffith’s adjusted W/L is 41 ½ games over .500. That seems pretty good.

7. Hughie Jennings (5). A peak to be proud of, especially for a SS. When you can be in the running for best player in the game in a certain time period that gives you a bonus. A rough style of play in during his heyday means careers were shorter.

8. Billy Herman (-). Another quality newbie. Middle infielder who played on a number of pennant winners but alas never a World Champ.

9. Dick Redding (9). Pitched a good long time in both the Negro and Cuban leagues and did it fairly well. CANNONBALL!!!

10. Edd Roush (7). From Baseballlibrary.com: “June 8, 1920: The Reds' Edd Roush falls asleep in CF during a long argument in the IF. Heinie Groh goes out to wake him, but the ump ejects Roush for delaying the game.” When we wasn’t sleeping he was hitting .300 and playing some pretty good CF.

11. John Beckwith (11). Others have provided the argument for him in a more detailed fashion. I’m sold enough to place him here.

12. Wally Berger (28). Jump of 16 spots? When you have quality at the numbers now available then minor adjustments lead to people bouncing around some. Another slugger, cut short due to injuries.

13. Stan Hack (-).
Close to Beckwith. Hit well for the position, was at least passable on defense. Defense became less important on the hot corner as baseball continued the long ball style of play in the 1930s.

14. Biz Mackey (14). Not the elite of a Gibson but was a NeL all-time type so I’m inclined to give him some credit.

15. Jimmy Ryan (22). I was once his best friend in terms of voting. Still impressed with his play through the turn of the century.

Hanging down below:

16-20:Ruffing, Suttles, Browning, Rixey, Byrd
21-25:Mullane, McGraw, C.P. Bell, Waddell, Van Haltren
26-30:Mendez, Poles, Chance, Willis, Leach
31-35:Fielder Jones, Sewell, Cicotte, Childs, Bridges
36-40: Hack Wilson, Lundy, Duffy, Veach, Dobie Moore
41-45: Grimes, Camilli, Roy Thomas, Lefty Gomez, Mays
46-50: Cravath, Cuyler, Wes Ferrell, Taylor, Mike Griffin

New folks:

Four on the ballot. Ruffing and Byrd are close in my view and around Rixey so that’s why they’re just off ballot. Lombardi - I have him below Bresnahan who’s not in the top 50. Great story behind him but not ballot worthy.

Top 10 Returnees off-ballot:

Suttles and Rixey are top 20 so they are close. Suttles would be part of a 1B glut – many major leaguers of the time were hitting while playing there. Rixey I always stuggle with; lots of innings but was not heavy on the “great” years. Ferrell was heavy on those peak years but flamed out early.
   35. Carl G Posted: June 08, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1390650)
Here's mine:
1-Hank Greenberg-With even conservative war credit, he's a no-brainer. Even without, he's ballot-worthy.
2-Bill Dickey-Picked the wrong year to retire. He's a 1st-year electee in a lot of years, but in 1952, he can't say he's the best catcher on the ballot and he can't say he's the best New York player on the ballot. Tough luck, but he won't have to wait too long.
3-Billy HermanFantastic from 32-40. Good during the war, but I took a little credit away for 43-45.
4-John Beckwith-Suttles was a better hitter, but I think Beckwith had more value.
5-Mule Suttles-See Beckwith. Best NegL power hitter not named Gibson
6-Red RuffingNice long(but not spectacularily high) peak with the Yanks, plus 1 strong year with the Sox. More Career value than Rixey, even giving Rixey wartime credit. I'm willing to say he's the best pitcher on the ballot right now.
7-Earl Averill-With PCL credit, you can add career value to an already nice peak.
8-Eppa Rixey-Great Long Career; long enough that his near total lack of peak doesn't kill him.
9-Jake Beckley-I've upped in in my re-analysis this week. He's not inner-circle, but definitely 'in' when the back-log-clearing years come around.
10-Dick Redding-One of the great Negro League pitchers
11-Willie Wells-I've got him better than Jennings on top of my currently eligible SS list. I think Cronin and Vaughn were better and were basically his contemporaries. He is HoM-worthy.
12-Stan Hack-Pretty slick fielder and a good hitter. I took a little away for his 43-45 numbers or he would be higher.
13-Gavvy Cravath-Giving him credit back to '07 gives him pretty solid career numbers to go with the peak.
14-Hughie Jennings-5 phenomenal years. Its enough, I think, but he'll need to wait.
15-Clark Griffith-Long career, solid peak.
   36. Carl G Posted: June 08, 2005 at 08:54 PM (#1390686)
These are in the 1952 consensus top10 and where they rank under my system. I've ranked a total of 56 for this election. Ferrell only got knocked off due to the excessive number of newbies this year.

17-Wes Ferrell-He's not Grove, Hubbell, Ruffing, or Lyons, but he's 5th this period. I upped him in 29-31 for pitching against much tougher offenses than Grove did.
27-Biz Mackey-Nice career value
   37. Brad G Posted: June 09, 2005 at 03:29 PM (#1392613)
Yes, this is the most stacked ballot yet.

1953 Ballot:

1.Mule Suttles- Superb power hitter ... Win Share MLEs are particularly impressive. Other Negro Leaguers show stronger careers, but Suttles has the peak/prime to match. Probably the all-time RBI leader in the Negro Leagues.

2.Bill Dickey- Career WARP3 = 108.7! Best major league catcher of the 1930’s. Played himself in “Pride of the Yankees” with Gary Cooper, but was overlooked at award time.

3.Hank Greenberg- Certainly deserving. Averaged over 30 Win Shares per season.

4.Willie Wells- Another benefactor of strong MLEs. And being a shortstop certainly helps.

5.Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 center fielder of all time. I’ve had him gracing my Hall since 1908.

6.George Sisler- Monster Career stats: Runs Created = 1477, Black Ink = 29, Gray Ink = 198. Pretty good pitcher, as well. Went into my HoM in 1938.

7.Chuck Klein- Career Runs Created = 1364, OPS+ = 137, and more Black Ink (60) than any other eligible player.

8.Wes Ferrell- Over 30 Win Shares/season.

9.Cool Papa Bell- The subjective accounts favor Cool Papa. Only wish I could justify ranking him higher. Is said to have commonly gone from first to third on sacrifice bunts. Probably one of the fastest players ever.

10.Earl Averil- Consistent if not exactly mind-blowing career. Averaged over 27 Win Shares per 162 games. Used the heaviest bat in the majors.

11.Burleigh Grimes- Some of the best Ink scores among the current crop of pitchers.

12.Rube Waddell- Super peak; just won’t go away.

13.Edd Roush- Looks great across the board: Career Win Shares = 314, WARP1 = 111.4, WARP3 = 82.3. Win Shares A- Defender.

14.George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344, WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286.

15.Billy Herman- Career WARP1 = 116.6, WARP3 = 99. Probably underrating him here.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

16.Stan Hack- Awesome peak; Career WARP3 = 89.5.

17.Eppa Rixey- Very good career, piled up some good Ink scores.

18.Bob Johnson- Career WARP3 = 91.4, Runs Created = 1372, no Black Ink, but Gray Ink = 161.

19.John Beckwith- Not as sold on Beckwith as most.

20.Jimmy Ryan- Career WS = 316, Career WARP1 = 119, Career WARP3 = 84.5, Career Runs Created = 1338, B+ WS Defender. Awesome career.

Biz Mackey- Currently ranks #30, right behind fellow catcher Ernie Lombardi
Hughie Jennings- He and Dick Lundy are interchangeable at #27 and #28.

Thanks!
   38. SWW Posted: June 09, 2005 at 05:53 PM (#1392948)
Boy, this was a hard one. I think the thing I find most surprising is not that I have five newcomers on my ballot, but that they all slot in so highly. This knocks three worthy contenders off, and probably keeps the backlog off the dais till at least 1956. This will definitely make things harder.

1953 Ballot
1)Henry Benjamin Greenberg - “Hank”
Awesome power hitter, in spite of wartime service. I am always astonished at the way the great players came back from the front and picked up right where they left off. I consider myself, by a large, a career voter, so placing him first might suggest I’m giving him some sort of war credit. Not exactly. What I am doing is trying to provide context to the actual numbers he accumulated. I’m considering that he only had eight seasons with more than 100 games, and I’m considering that he spent several seasons at the peak of his physical prowess dropping bombs on Nazis, and I’m seeing that – in spite of these limitations – those career numbers are still damned impressive. So that’s why he’s up here. Anyway, fantastic documentary about him. Netflix it.
2)William Malcolm Dickey
Sterling catcher. Terrific showing in HOF Standards and Monitor. Unusually high numbers for his position. The Yankees should retire his number – or at least reserve it for really great catchers.
3)Willie James Wells – “Devil”
Superlative projected Win Shares. General consensus that he trails only Pop Lloyd as the best shortstop in Negro League history. My appreciation for his numbers is reinforcing my suspicion that I’m ranking Cool Papa Bell too low. I would not be at all upset if he went in on his first ballot.
4)George Suttles – “Mule”
I promised to factor in a comparison between Suttles and Sisler. Mule came out ahead. Durability and longer prime give him the edge.
5)George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
I can’t bring myself to punish him for the strange shape of his career. His highs are exceptional, and his lows are not so low as to be invisible, like Jennings or Hack Wilson.
6)Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Is it the spitball that people don’t like about him? I’ll be curious to see how Gaylord Perry fares in the voting. At least when Grimes threw junk, he did it with the permission of the rules.
7)James Thomas Bell – “Cool Papa”
I continue to suspect that my placement for Bell is low. As someone who gives much credence to career, the projected Win Shares impress me. Even the adjusted Win Shares projections impress me. I find him well ahead of the glut.
8)Charles Herbert Ruffing – “Red”
If Rixey had some standout seasons, his career might look a little more like this. Compares very favorably with Grimes; I can see him moving up in the next couple years.
9)Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
I think for me, the thing that distinguishes him from someone like Harry Hooper is how late his career started. I’m not giving him credit for seasons missed, but his career is unique in the late start combined with gaudy career numbers.
10)Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
Kelly from SD’s analysis of Beckley’s performance vs. his contemporaries is devastating, even to someone like me who places a lot of value in a lengthy, Win Share-rich career. I am not prepared to move him or Rice yet, but the matter does deserve further consideration.
11)Stanley Camfield Hack
Third basemen with lots of Win Shares are hard to come by. I’m enjoying him sitting right next to Beckley. Jake gets recognition for his era, while Stan deserves a nod for his position.
12) William Jennings Bryan Herman – “Billy”
Getting more acclaim from the electorate than I might have expected. Definitely the top second baseman currently eligible.
13)Joseph Wheeler Sewell
Consistently the top shortstop in the AL, with five Top 10 finishes in Win Shares. And I’ll be rhyming his named with “jewel” until someone decides to correct me. Cronin’s still here to make him look bad.
14)Eppa Rixey – “Jephtha”
Interesting to compare him with Ruffing. Very similar, except that Rixey’s career is a little more consistent, while Ruffing has some distinct peaks. His career numbers are the kind I typically like.
15)Raleigh Mackey – “Biz”
I’m giving a lot of credence to peer and expert rankings here, so your mileage may vary.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Howard Earl Averill
A victim of a crowded ballot. He and Edd Roush have been hanging together on my ballot, and now they hang together at what I’ll call 16 & 17.
John Beckwith
Another victim of the crowd. We’ve not heard the last of him.
Wesley Cheek Ferrell
Love his peaks. Hate the shortness of his career. I like him more as a candidate than Dizzy Dean, who has outstanding peak. I like Grimes, Rixey and Ruffing, so I guess that tells you where I stand on Wes.
Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
I’ve been looking ahead to Sandy Koufax, and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with him. In the meantime, Jennings just looks way too peak-y to me. Five-year prime is over 70% of career. Ouch.
   39. jimd Posted: June 09, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1393167)
Yes, this is the most stacked ballot yet.

Stacked ballots:

1898: 14 eventual HOMers, 14 new that year (the first HOM ballot)
1899: 16 eventual HOMers, 6 new that year

1902: 16 eventual HOMers
1903: 16 eventual HOMers

1934: 9 eventual HOMers, 7 new that year


Time will tell whether 1953 breaks either of the above records.
   40. Kelly in SD Posted: June 09, 2005 at 07:33 PM (#1393253)
1953 Ballot (another short one because of finals. No yearly recaps until after the WA Bar at the end of July. I’ll try and do retro-recaps afterward.)

1. Hank Greenberg. I admit Greenberg has always been a sentimental favorite ever since I read the first Historical Abstract. He was a great hitter, but was definitely helped by his home ballpark. But so was Dickey. Best player in the league twice – tied each time – by Win Shares. I give career credit for WWII but no peak or prime credit. PHOM this year.

2. Willie “The Devil” Wells. Long career. Very high level for a long time. Good, but not great fielding shortstop. 8 time All-Star from Howay listings. Slight bump from the raw numbers in my system because of the slight dip in the early/mid-30s that Chris has mentioned. PHOM this year.

3. Bill Dickey. Could easily go higher, but in his peak seasons he took advantage of Yankee Stadium to a huge degree. My system gives bonus for being an All-Star and Dickey is helped by lack of quality catching in the AL in the war years. No deduction, but the quality against which was competing was not like Greenberg with Gehrig and Foxx. Catcher bonus puts him here. Am thinking about reducing the catcher bonus for post-war catchers.

4. Mickey Welch: Did not have the excellent defense that other 19th century stars did.
Extremely durable. Lack of giant seasons that some other 19th century pitchers have because he had another HoM on staff.
Kicked other HoM ass

5. Charley Jones: Fantastic hitter. Consistent top 10 player from 1878 to 1885.

6. Mule Suttles: This is a deep ballot. I decided to move him up to where Stargell would rank. Could move ahead of Jones.

7. Hugh Duffy: great fielder. Moved to left to accomodate Billy Hamilton. Great peak and prime.

8. Pete Browning: great hitter. Proved he could hit wherever when he switched leagues. Great peak and prime.

9. Wes Ferrell: As we get more pitchers from his era becoming eligible, it is obvious that Ferrell is head and shoulders above them. His peak and prime are just dominant in comparison.

10. Earl Averill: Major league credit for one year of minor league play. Great prime. No peak spike, but he was a late bloomer. Best CF in AL between Speaker and DiMaggio.

11. Edd Roush: Better than Carey. I’ll take him with the injuries and money squabbles with management. Great peak and prime.

12. George Burns: Best leftfielder of the 1910s in the National League. Great peak and prime.

13. Vic Willis: Overlooked pitcher from Oughts. 2 time best pitcher in league. 2 times second.

14. Spots Poles: Giving him the benefit of doubt regarding the rough MeL / ws translations this year. Places 11-23 are separated by whisker thin differences.

15. Dobie Moore: I’ll take his peak over Beckwith today.

16. Biz Mackey: The raw numbers put Moore slightly ahead.

17. John Beckwith: I’ll take another look after finals (in time for the 1953 election.) Scratch that, probably not until after the Bar.

18. George Van Haltren: Really good for a long time. Great leadoff man – played in NY when they weren’t good.

19. Jose Mendez: Being conservative as NeL pitchers are being reevaluated.

20. Burleigh Grimes: Could make my ballot soon. Good peaks – better than Rixey.

20.5 Billy Herman: slots in here based on my system. Take another look when less busy.

21. Wilbur Cooper: See Grimes.

22. Tommy Leach: Moved down because I am accenting different intangibles this year

23. Hughie Jennings and

24: Cupid Childs: After I do pitcher breakdowns for Grimes/ Cooper / Rixey, I need to look more into the lack of big seasons by second/third/short players in the 1890s. Should Jennings, Childs, McGraw get a boost?

25: Dizzy Dean: The Jennings/Moore of pitchers.

Griffith: Pitched great for slightly above average to slightly below average Cub teams. Did not pitch as much in-season like the other pitchers of his era. He lasted longer, but less of a peak.

Ruffing: Better than Rixey. I remember reading, but not where, that he didn’t put forth his best effort while with Boston in order to get traded out of there. Does anyone know if this for real? Doesn’t matter to his ranking. He is in the top 30, but their are too many good players now.

Rixey. Long, low primes do not do well in my system. Good innings-eater, but no peak.

Stan Hack: For some reason, my system doesn’t like him very much. Reconsidered after the Bar.

Beckley: Long, low primes do not do well in my system. Good production for a long time. Battled Fred Tenney for best first basemen between ABC and Chance. That is not a “plus.”

Looking forward to NeL pitcher rethinking.
   41. Rick A. Posted: June 10, 2005 at 03:45 AM (#1394517)
Man, this is a stacked ballot. Bill Monroe, who I had 13th last year, was passed by a couple of backloggers, and then was pushed by the newcomers to 20th.

Getting tough to evaluate these ballots. My free-time is getting short to spend as much time as I'd like here. My new job has BTF (and other sports sites) blocked, so I can't access the site from there. Don't those stupid bastards know I have important HOM stuff to do? :) I'll try my best though.

PHOM
Hank Greenberg
Bill Dickey

1953 Ballot
1.Hank Greenberg – I’ve given him modest war credit. Probably would be #1 without it. Elected PHOM in 1953.
2.Bill Dickey – Close call between Cochrane, Dickey and Hartnett. Would probably take them in that order, but ask me next week, it may be different. Elected PHOM in 1953
3.Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
4.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
5.Willie Wells – Solid HOM shortstop.
6.Billy Herman – Better than I thought he was. Clear future HOMer
7.Biz Mackey – Took another look at Mackey and realized that we’re underrating him. Yes, he wasn’t as great a hitter as we thought. Yes, he has a kind of Sisleresque career shape. However, he has a ton of career value, very good prime value and was an A+ defensive catcher. That adds up to a HOMer to me.
8.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average. Elected PHOM in 1938
9.Hughie Jennings – 77% of value is prime alone. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got. Still that’s enough to get him this high. Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days. Elected PHOM in 1938
10.John Beckwith – Very good hitter. New info on him moves him high on my ballot. Elected PHOM.in 1945.
11.Burleigh Grimes – Jumps up when I give a big years bonus. Higher peak than Rixey.
12.Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. Moves up when compared to Faber and Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1942
13.Eppa Rixey – Like his consistent above-averageness over Faber’s brief peak. Elected PHOM in 1940
14.Mule Suttles – Not as high a peak as Beckwith, but a better career.
15.Stan Hack – Was a fan of his since I first heard of him. Very close to Heinie Groh, even with war discount. Better than Pie Traynor.

Required Disclosures
Earl Averill and Wes Ferrell Both have made my ballot in the past and probably will in the future. Just misses this year.

New Candidates
Red Ruffing A step behind Rixey and Grimes. Just misses my ballot.
Ernie Lombardi Very good hitter, but not near my ballot.
Cecil Travis Short career, Not enough peak or prime, Not on my ballot.

Off the ballot
16-20 Moore, Ruffing, Mendez, Ferrell, Monroe
21-25 Averill, Duffy, Redding, Bell, Roush
26-30 Schang, Leach, Williamson, Dean, Bresnahan
31-35 Sisler, Cooper, McGraw, Waddell, Mays
36-40 Poles, Griffith, Tiernan, Cravath, Van Haltren
41-45 Traynor, Lundy, Taylor, Dunlap, Doyle
46-50 Sewell, Chance, Burns, McCormick, Bancroft
   42. Dolf Lucky Posted: June 10, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1395251)
1 (-)Willie Wells--When it comes down to it, who can tell whether or not Willie Wells was better than Bill Dickey or not? Wells seems to have everything you'd want from a SS, and there was nothing negative in the experts' reports...so he gets the top slot.

2 (3)Bill Dickey--A good chance this is the greatest catcher we've seen to date.

3 (-)Ernie Lombardi--17 seasons, 125 OPS+, 8 times in the top 10 in slugging pct. Best hitter on the pennant winning teams of Cincy. He's not Dickey-good, but he's up there.

4 (-)Billy Herman--Similar career and peak to Dickey, according to WARP. I give a bigger catcher bonus, so Herman starts at #4.

5 (-)Hank Greenberg--His career was a bit on the short side, but he accomplished a hell of a lot in a short period of time. I give war credit, primarily because I love America.

6 (4)Chuck Klein--Much better peak than anyone in the OF glut. Plus he was dominant in Earl Weaver Baseball.

7 (-)Red Ruffing--Pretty clearly the best pitcher available.

8 (6)Dizzy Dean--Basically, he's Hughie Jennings as a pitcher. I'm giving pitchers some extra weight on the ballot these days, so that gets us to 4th for now. I think he has to rank above Waddell, who I'm a big fan of.

9 (7)Wes Ferrell--More career WARP than, say, Eppa Rixey, and the peak ain't even close.

10 (-)Stan Hack--This one surprised me. I can't say I knew much about him, but I don't see any reason to keep him off the ballot, especially coming from such a historically weak position. The numbers show him as Heinie Groh-lite.

11 (8)Rube Waddell--In a 9 year stretch from 1900 to 1908, Waddell led the league in K/IP 8 times. Finished 2nd the other time. New WARP scores boost his peak to a near Jennings level. High black ink totals. In other words--dominant.

12 (5)George Sisler--Not quite as dominant as I had thought, but that peak stacks relatively high.

13 (9)Joe Sewell
14 (10)John Beckwith--Due to defensive concerns, I'd have a hard time putting him above Sewell. However, a reconsideration of him means he'll probably be on the ballot for awhile.

15 (12)Mule Suttles--I don't see him ranking higher than Beckwith. I promise to investigate him further in the future.

Dropping out: Hughie Jennings, Burleigh Grimes, Eddie Cicotte, Donie Bush

Top 10 omissions: Biz Mackey, whose time has probably passed. Once clearly better options come on the ballot, it's tough to get back on.
Hughie Jennigs is just off...lots of good entrants this year, so maybe he'll come back on. I still love ee-yah's peak. On the other hand, I hate Eppa Rixey's peak, so he'll never get a ballot ticket. And Averill...he's not that far off my ballot, but he's behind a small glut of OF's...probably not a good bet to ever get a vote.
   43. DanG Posted: June 10, 2005 at 06:06 PM (#1395445)
My #1 and #2 were elected again. An entire 6-man infield of top candidates enters the ballot in 1953: Ruffing-P, Lombardi-C, Greenberg-1b, Herman-2b, Wells-ss, and Hack-3b. Another stellar quartet arrives in 1954: Vaughan, Medwick, Walters and Hilton Smith. Buck Leonard is a shoo-in for 1955.

1) Hank Greenberg – An easy HoMer, top 75 all-time.

2) Bill Dickey – A top 100 player all-time.

3) Willie Wells – Could be a top 100 player all-time.

4) Billy Herman – High peak, high career. Often underrated. The SABR 20th century survey voted him #183 among 20th century white players, which translates to about #225 when you add in 19th century, Negro league and 21st century stars. James has him about #130 in the new BJHBA. He’s right smack in between those two ratings, I think. An all-star ten times. Three times top 4 NL MVP voting.

5) Clark Griffith (4,4,4) – The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Gets extra credit for excelling in the contraction years 1892-1900. Good hitter, too. Highest Complete Game Percentage 1893-1903, minimum 185 GS:
1—94.1% K. Nichols
2—93.4% C. Young
3—93.3% C. Griffith
4—92.4% A. Rusie

6) George Van Haltren (5,3,3) – I’ve been his best friend in recent elections, a position I am not comfortable trying to defend. He gained noticeable support in the last election, let’s hope that continues. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. Now in his 45th year eligible. Pennants Added study shows him well. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he had high SB totals (usually 35-40 in his prime years), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Players with most stolen bases 1891-1900:
1—660 B. Hamilton
2—443 G. Van Haltren

7) Tommy Leach (6,5,5) – Still approaching Lost Cause status. Every time I think of dropping him, to get in line with the consensus, I look at the guys below him and go, “nah”. I think it’s what Bill James once said, that all-around players get overlooked, while specialists get overrated. Voters like that one area of dominance. Modern comp to, but just a bit behind, Craig Biggio, he could beat you in many ways. Longevity, defense and speed, more important in that era, rate him above Groh. Versatility a plus; it should not be assumed that any typical thirdbaseman of the era could have successfully handled CF. Some voters are docking him too severely for league quality. Had a better peak than Bobby Wallace, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). I like guys who play; longevity is a hallmark of quality. Players with 2100+ games played, 1892-1922:
1—2792 H. Wagner
2—2517 S. Crawford
3—2480 N. Lajoie
4—2383 B. Wallace
5—2308 B. Dahlen
6—2305 T. Cobb
7—2242 F. Clarke
8—2162 E. Collins
9—2156 T. Leach
10—2123 W. Keeler
11—2122 J. Sheckard

8) Earl Averill (7,6,6) – Ranks above Roush on strength of league and minor league credit, otherwise very similar peaks and careers. James ranks them #14-#15 in centerfield.

9) Eppa Rixey (8,9,11) – Liking him more, but not quite up to Faber’s level. Looks like the GVH of pitchers. Only Grimes had more wins during the 1920s. Most IP, 1921-28:
1—2262 B. Grimes
2—2192 E. Rixey
Lowest ERA, 1921-28, minimum 1200 IP:
1—3.00 D. Vance
2—3.03 D. Luque
3—3.12 E. Rixey

10) Mule Suttles (9,14,15) – Good slugger. Could move up.

11) Edd Roush (10,7,8) – Pennants added likes him a lot. Players with OPS of .850+, 1917-25, minimum 3800 PA:
1—1.193 B. Ruth
2—1.037 R. Hornsby
3—.975 T. Speaker
4—.961 T. Cobb
5—.931 H. Heilmann
6—.918 G. Sisler
7—.865 Z. Wheat
8—.864 E. Roush

12) Wes Ferrell (11,10,12) – Eight-year prime of 128 ERA+ and 103 OPS+ while averaging 264 IP in a hitter’s league is damn impressive. Only Hubbell pitched more innings in that time. OK, it’s not Koufax, but he kicks Dean’s arse. This is around my HoM cutoff line. Pitchers completing 70% of their starts, 1929-37, minimum 100 CG:
1—74.0% W. Ferrell
2—72.4% L. Grove
3—71.9% D. Dean

13) Red Ruffing – Equal to Rixey in terms of longevity, falls a bit short on peak and workhorse considerations. Lyons went in without much struggle; Ruffing is close to him as well.

14) George Sisler (12,8,10) – The problem I have with Terry’s election is that nearly every system or ranking I see has Sisler slightly higher. This may eventually take care of itself, but not for several decades. In the mean time, Terry looks like an accident of ballot timing. I think George is still among the top 230 players in history, which is HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner (4 SB crowns), great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era? Firstbasemen with 2500+ hits through 1980:

1—3418 C. Anson
2—2930 J. Beckley
3—2812 G. Sisler
4—2721 L. Gehrig
5—2646 J. Foxx

15) Biz Mackey (13,12,13) – I’ve long been a friend of catchers and he’s the best available, knocking Bresnahan off after a 28-year run. I like the long career. Defense apparently as good as any catcher; if Schalk could hit, he’d have been Biz.

John Beckwith – About half the electorate is sold on him. That’s all it takes to be a HoMer in this environment. For me, he’s fifth in my NeL queue.

Bell and Jennings fall off for now. Hack is being strongly considered for future ballots.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 10, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1395784)
I won't speculate on where he might rank if he had played from 1942 to 1945, since I have no idea what he would have done during those years, and neither does anyone else.

We also have no idea how any player would really do in a neutral park, but we still go about using park factors, anyway.
   45. Michael Bass Posted: June 10, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1395932)
WARP3 is the main tool. Also consider OPS+, ERA+, and the various playing time measures. Win Shares is ancillary, there are some weird things going on there, particularly with defense.

Certainly not a lazy ballot this week. :) Of significant non-ballot newbies (and there are many)...

- Hack doesn't have enough fielding to get enough to a peak to make my ballot. However, he is high in the backlog, and has a good shot to get onto the ballot when/if we start getting into it.

- Passeau hasn't gotten much talk, but I do like him better than Harder. Underestimated because he had a lot of relief work perhaps (which affects his W-L)?

- Harder is a touch below Passeau; a little peak and career, but not enough.

- Lombardi's defense was really horrific. I like Schalk a lot better.

- Travis is not a serious candidate by any stretch.

- As for Byrd, he was tough. I am docking him a hair for the spitball which would have been unusable in the majors, but I am not going to imagine his entire career away (Arlett is an entirely different beast; his argument is hitting, the pitching is a red herring). The WS estimates feel a touch low, but that balances with the "docking" to even out. Not enough career to make the ballot, peak isn't *that* great, and prime isn't too long. Best of the third tier, but third tier nonetheless.


1. Bill Dickey (3) - In my view, the best 20th century white catcher we've voted on yet (comparing him to White would be...problematic, thus the 20th century modifier). Taking a wild guess, probably the 2nd best catcher period we've seen yet, though I have not bothered to compare him to White or Ewing (I do think he was better than Santop).

2. Hank Greenberg (new) - Just mashed the hell out of the ball. Really strange career shape for a variety of reasons. Those who prefer consecutive peak probably won't like him as much as those (like me) who take peak as it comes.

3. Wes Ferrell (4) - I really like this guy. Has the monster peak, like Vance, but his prime is longer. 3 great seasons and 3 more really, really good seasons are enough to get a pitcher to the top no-brainer position on my ballot. Peak so high, and long enough, that his career is in there with the best of the non-immortals.

4. Hughie Jennings (5) - The argument I used for Caruthers all those years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long.

5. Billy Herman (new) - Truly great all around play, both on the field and in HOM profile (peak, prime, career). The little things add up to a decent amount more than Hack, who is just off ballot.

6. José Méndez (6) - While Waddell is moving down, Méndez is staying steady. Why? Because I like him more and more the more I read about him. As far as I can tell, the Cuban leagues, where he was by all accounts one of the best player, if not the best, were simply loaded with talent. HOMers, HOM candidates, and people who were good enough to at least merit mention were all over this league. And because there were only 4 teams, they composed a high percentage of the rosters. Maybe I'm going crazy here, but it seems to me that the level of competition in that 4 team league during that era was quite possibly as good as the majors. And Méndez excelled in it.

I think this is the electorate's single most underrated player. This is in part because he does not show up so much in the Negro League awards and polls, because his best work was in Cuba, at a time when all of the best Negro League players were playing in Cuba. Compare Mendez's career to Ed Walsh who, deservingly, cruised into the HOM. Was Mendez's pitching height as high as Walsh's? Likely not, but it wasn't that far off. Some of that gap is closed by Mendez's hitting, which was excellent for a pitcher. Some more of that gap is closed by Mendez having a little value after his peak (when he came back from the injury, he had one solid season left in him), something Walsh had zero of. I'd rate Walsh above Mendez, but so much difference that Walsh flies in on his first ballot while Mendez struggles to break double figure ballots? Doesn't make sense to me.

7. John Beckwith (7) - Liking him more and more, as his offense looks better and better, plus I've upgraded my assessment of his defense some. Don't think he can be below Suttles, at least as good of a hitter, and a much more valuable fielder even if you believe the worst about his defense (and I rate him as about 1/2 3B, 1/2 1B).

8. Dobie Moore (8) - Really, anyone who has Jennings in their top 5 should have Moore somewhere on the ballot. I understand those who have neither, but Moore, while not Jennings, is close enough that there should never be more than 10 or so spots separating them. Probably a little more career than Jennings, a little less peak. Awesome hitting and defense from everything I've seen.

I'm finally going with my gut here. He did not have a super-long career, but he had a monster peak, and his career was all prime (well, we don't know about the Army years, which he just gets some vague credit for, but you get the picture).

9. Willie Wells (new) - This feels low, but I don't think he was better than Moore, so this is as high as I can go. Certainly a much longer career than Moore, but his peak isn't close. Moore seems to have been one of the NL's truly great hitters when he was in his prime; Wells of course was no slouch there either, but I don't see him in Moore's class. And Wells' defensive decriptions raise warning bells to me. Moore feels A to me, Wells feels more B.

With that said, I have considered moving both of them up as high as 3-4; but everyone else ahead of them I would put in the HOM without blinking as well. I hope they all get in eventually so I don't have to worry about it.

10. Red Ruffing (new) - I love these hitting pitchers if you can't tell. Just not enough peak to rank higher than this. I had him above Moore/Wells earlier, but I can't justify that at all now that I'm actually posting. Still, a good strong Lyons-style candidate in value terms.

11. Earl Averill (9) - Moving on up; peak, prime, career. Fielding is in question, but I use WARP which thinks much less of his fielding than Win Shares, so I'm not too worried about overranking him. This gives him one year of minor league credit. Very good player.

12. Dizzy Dean (10) - Well, I'm a peak guy. And this guy has it. Prime/career not even as long as Ferrell's, so he's midballot rather than top ballot.

13. Joe Sewell (11) - Peak is not that high, but career is basically all prime. Good mix of offense and defense. I do love the shortstops, I admit. Moved down a touch, his offense isn't quite good enough to justify higher, but it was good enough to demand a ballot spot.

14. Clark Griffith (12) - Has a little career, a little peak, some quality prime, a little for everyone. He also pitched in a tougher league than those who immediately preceeded and followed him.

15. Bob Johnson (13) - Little bit like Averill, though no minor league credit for Bob. He could hit, field (though in a corner). No peak like Averill, but career is all prime, with the possibly exception of 1945 if you slice up his stats (I think 1944 was so good that even with a steep discount, that's a strong year).

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

For the first time, I'm just leaving the next two's comments up, so I don't have to retype when they come back on. I can't believe the ballot is so deep that they are off, to be honest.

16. Mule Suttles (14) - Think he's a pretty clear 2nd in the Negro League glut atop our standings. It's not that I don't like him, more than I think he should wait a while. I'd also much rather have had Dobie Moore.

17. Dick Redding (15) - Of similar value to Bill Foster, no longer see him as good as Méndez. Just not quite the peak, and for all the talk about a long career I don't see that either. Still, very good pitcher on the second tier, right in the mix for those last 50 HOM slots.

18-20: Sisler, Browning, Mackey
21-25: Hack, Shocker, Dunlap, Monroe, Buffinton
26-30: Lundy, Williamson, Bartell, F. Jones, Waddell
31-35: Scales, Taylor, Passeau, Veach, Bond
36-40: Klein, Uhle, Poles, Byrd, Van Haltren,
41-45: Harder, Warneke, Berger, Bell, Schalk,
46-50: Clift, Mays, Childs, Winters, Camilli

Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

Suttles - See above: #16.

Rixey - Light on peak, and in the weak league, too. I'm with KJOK on the issue of season-to-season replacement. Pretending that a if Rixey had played 3 less averagish seasons, his teams would have used some AAA dud is just silly. Not that the averagish seasons don't have value, but using them as the primary reason for election?

Mackey - 20th on my ballot. I love the guy but he's a hair short. Not quite enough offense, I suspect, but I will vote for him someday, when the backlog clears up.

Bell - Unsold; Max Carey plus, currently 44th, Carey would be mildly below that were he not elected. Played forever, but some really poor years, and never seemingly that great. I'd love a closer look at Spot Poles, I strongly, strongly suspect Poles was better, especially at his peak.
   46. OCF Posted: June 10, 2005 at 09:31 PM (#1396372)
1953 ballot.
1. Hank Greenberg (new) Does he have a high enough peak/prime to be elected on that basis alone? I say yes. The question of "war credit" is deflected to some other case - all I'll use it for is to not be bothered by his relatively low number of games played.
2. Bill Dickey (----, 3) As for the question of Dickey vs. Hartnett vs. Cochrane - I don't know. Let's just say that it's pretty close.
3. Willie "Devil" Wells (new) I see him as belonging somewhere in the Frisch/ Cronin/ Sandberg/ Whitaker/ Trammell/ Larkin/ Biggio/ Alomar line of infielders, which is tricky, becuase I think most of those guys belong in the HoM but I'm not sure all of them do. Wells is comfortably on the long-career end of this group. We can't completely rule out the possibility that Chris has systematically underestimated his peak, in which case he would be more of a Ripken/Yount.
4. John Beckwith (4, 2, 4, 3, 4) Starting a run of infielders who could really hit.
5. Stan Hack (new) Depending on what you consider Beckwith to be, the second or third best-hitting 3B of the last 60+ years. OBP matters. Offense-only, he's below Sisler for peak but ahead career in my system.
6. Larry Doyle (5, 3, 5, 4, 5) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time.
7. Red Ruffing (new) Preliminary estimate of 269-214 RA+ equivalent without talking either his hitting or his defensive support into account. I should do the sort of offense adjustment I did for Ferrell to see where it leads.
8. Joe Sewell (3, 4, 6, 5, 6) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice. I've been his best friend; even lowering him a little, I'm probably still tied for his best friend. He nearly got elected once, and there's still a lot there.
9. George Van Haltren (8, 6, 7, 6, 7) There are those saying we need more 1890's players, but the vote is split. Mine rests with the remaining outfielders.
10. Eppa Rixey (9, 7, 8, 7, 8) A successful long-career inning-eater. No peak.
11. Wes Ferrell (10, 8, 9, 8, 9) Nice early peak, flamed out young as pitcher, stopped hitting as well. The fact that he pitched in the highest average run environment of any ballot-worthy 20th century pitcher puts his 2600 IP in perspective, since high-scoring innings are more stressful
12. George "Mule" Suttles (7, 9, 10, 9, 10) Was he Willie Stargell? Willie McCovey (only shorter)? Or someone else entirely?
13. Earl Averill (11, 10, 11, 10, 11) Offense a little behind VH, Ryan, Duffy; defense a little ahead of them. Career length isn't good, but maybe he left a year of it in the PCL.
14. Jake Beckley (12, 11, 12, 11, 12) Not much peak, long career.
15. Biz Mackey (-, 12, 13, 12, 13) Catcher is a tough position, and catchers do tend to grow old early. Even Cochrane and Hartnett didn't have the hitting careers needed for election as a corner player.
16. Hugh Duffy (14, 14, 15, 13, 14) Slips off my ballot after 46 years.
17. Billy Herman (new) Offensively about the equal of Lazzeri, B+ defense; that's a very good player, but I don't see more than that.
18. Cupid Childs (13, 13, 16, 14, 15) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
19. Tommy Bridges (-, 15, 17, 15, 16) RA+ PythPat 190-124, which is a record that has to be taken seriously. Ferrell had a higher peak, but Bridges was a terrific pitcher.
20. Cool Papa Bell (15, 16, 18, 16, 17) A legend, of course, with a very long career. He's down here because I'm not sure his peak is any better than Willie Wilson's.
21. Edd Roush (16, 17, 19, 17, 18) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey. He'll make it back to my ballot.
22. Jose Mendez (21, 22, 24, 23, 24) Moving him and Redding up; they may go on my ballot soon.
23. Dick Redding (24, 25, 26, 25, 26)
24. George Sisler (17, 18, 20, 18, 19) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time.
25. Bob Johnson (---, 18, 20) A late bloomer, excellent hitter, steady career. WWII discount keeps him out of the top 15.
26. Pie Traynor (18, 19, 21, 20, 21) Similar to Sewell: an above-average hitter playing a key defensive position for not quite enough years to clinch his candidacy. But nowhere near Hack as a hitter.
27. Frank Chance (19, 20, 22, 21, 22) Huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
28. Rube Waddell (20, 21, 23, 22, 23) The best one left from his generation. Value crammed into a very few years.
29. Roger Bresnahan (22, 23, 25, 24, 25) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
30. Jimmy Ryan (25, 26, 27, 26, 27) I've let way too much space creep in between him, Van Haltren, and Duffy, but I don't know how to resolve that.

I've explained my thoughts on Jennings and Griffith - nothing has changed there.

I haven't worked up Mel Harder, and I need to. But that can wait until next year, as he's clearly not getting elected this year.

I don't see Lombardi as a better hitter than Schang or Bresnahan, and I'm certainly not going to move him up for defensive reasons.
   47. Brent Posted: June 11, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1397129)
Stacked ballots:

1898: 14 eventual HOMers, 14 new that year (the first HOM ballot)
1899: 16 eventual HOMers, 6 new that year

1902: 16 eventual HOMers
1903: 16 eventual HOMers

1934: 9 eventual HOMers, 7 new that year


Time will tell whether 1953 breaks either of the above records.


I think 1953 will break the record of 16 eventual HoMers. I'll go out on a limb and predict that 20 eventual HoMers will be elected from the players who are eligible for this year's ballot.
   48. DavidFoss Posted: June 11, 2005 at 04:06 AM (#1397169)
I'll go out on a limb and predict that 20 eventual HoMers will be elected from the players who are eligible for this year's ballot.

Well, two will be elected for sure. :-)

Given the wealth of new candidates this year, there has been surprisingly little discussion. Maybe once the results are in and we all see where all the new guys have been inserted into the backlog then a sense of urgency will be injected into the debate.
   49. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 11, 2005 at 05:00 AM (#1397231)
7. Red Ruffing (new) Preliminary estimate of 269-214 RA+ equivalent without talking either his hitting or his defensive support into account. I should do the sort of offense adjustment I did for Ferrell to see where it leads.

Absolutely. I'd love to see what you get for that, too.
   50. Brent Posted: June 11, 2005 at 12:50 PM (#1397333)
Happy birthday to Chris J's website!
   51. Brent Posted: June 11, 2005 at 02:59 PM (#1397387)
1953 Ballot:

What a deep and interesting entering class! There are seven players who appear to be good candidates for my PHoM, though several of them will have to wait a long while, and two or three others I puzzled over long and hard before consigning them to the backlog. If I could, I’d vote for 28 candidates this year.

1. Bill Dickey –
I have the four great catchers of the 1930s ranked Gibson – Cochrane – Dickey – Hartnett, though only a hair's difference between Dickey and Hartnett.

2. Hank Greenberg –
Now remembered more as a symbol than as a ballplayer, yet he was a great, great player. Career .313/.412/.605, two-time MVP, 4-time home run leader, 4-time RBI leader, also led league in many other categories.

3. Wes Ferrell –
Underappreciated. In his prime he was more valuable than Hubbell or Lyons. Here are the best 8 seasons (as identified by Warp1) of Ferrell, Hubbell, and Lyons:

Pitcher WS Warp1 W-L Tm% WAT
Ferrell_ 209 80.0 161-94 .517 37.2
Hubbell 215 73.3 165-84 .579 26.1
Lyons_ 174 68.6 136-105 .445 36.0

(Note – Tm% is weighted by pitcher’s number of decisions.)

4. Willie Wells –
He did it all – good fielder, hit for average and power, played a long, long time. I’m glad Cooperstown eventually got around to honoring him.

5. Mule Suttles –
How many home runs might he have hit in the majors? My best guess is 535, which would have placed him second on the career list when he retired.

6. John Beckwith –
A better hitter overall than Suttles, but if I were a manager I would have preferred Suttles.

7. Earl Averill –
An outstanding hitter in both the PCL and the AL.

8. Hughie Jennings –
In the 1986 BJHBA, James presented two top-100 lists, one for peak value, the other for career value. It’s always seemed to me that the top players on my peak list should be considered strong HoM candidates, even if they don’t place well on my career list. Jennings would rank about # 30 on my all-time peak list, so I see him as fully qualified for the HoM.

9. Dizzy Dean –
I see Dean’s HoM case as being just as strong as Jennings’—not sure why Jennings garners so much more support. See my case for Dean in # 26 on the Dizzy Dean thread.

10. José de la Caridad Méndez –
Gets bumped up a couple of spots based on newly posted fielding data from Gary A (see Dobie Moore thread, # 73); he had a reputation as a great fielding pitcher and it looks like his glove skills carried over when he played shortstop. See my case for Méndez in # 65 on the José Méndez thread.

11. Hugh Duffy –
8 seasons with 25+ WS (adjusting to 154 gm schedule); A+ defensive outfielder.

12. Burleigh Grimes –
My general philosophy is to rank players based on their best seasons and not pay too much attention to their worst ones.

13. Red Ruffing –
I initially had him slotted at # 7 until I looked him up on Chris J’s site. Red was awful in one-run games. But I guess he partly made up for it by going 7-2, 2.63 in World Series games.

14. Biz Mackey –
Outstanding defensive catcher who was also a good hitter during his prime.

15. Roger Bresnahan –
The greatest major league catcher of the deadball era.

These guys are meritorious too:

16. Cool Papa Bell
17. Tommie Leach

18. Billy Herman – It will take a long time, but these next two will eventually make my PHoM.

19. Stan Hack – Paired on this ballot with his long-time Chicago teammate.

20. Clark Griffith
21. Buzz Arlett

22. Dobie Moore – Bumped up a few spots based on newly posted stats from Gary A documenting his fielding excellence.

23. Bill Byrd – Another outstanding pitcher enters the mix.

24. Mel Harder – This guy’s name never comes up in discussions of potential HoF candidates, but from 1932-39 he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. How many other pitchers have been credited with 9 Warp1 for a season with a losing record? Thank you, Chris J, for documenting his abysmal run support.

25. Gavy Cravath
26. George Burns
27. Urban Shocker
28. Spottswood Poles

Other new arrivals:

I’ve ranked Cecil Travis at # 47. In nine seasons ending in 1941 (age 27) he hit .327/.381/.436 with 606 runs and 581 RBI in 1102 games, while playing shortstop and 3B. I understand that this was not enough to clearly demonstrate that he was one of the best 200 players in baseball history, but can there really be any doubt that he was one of the best 400 players? If forced to choose between Travis, who might have been one of the 200 best, and Beckley, who over 20 seasons repeatedly demonstrated that he was not one of the 200 (or even 400) players in baseball history, I’d pick Travis in a heartbeat.

I’ve ranked Claude Passeau at # 57. How did someone born in Waynesboro, Mississippi get a name like Claude Passeau?

With PCL credit, Ernie Lombardi looks very similar to Wally Schang – both good hitters (Lombardi a bit better), average to below-average fielders (Lombardi a bit worse, but not really “awful” until the end of his career), a lot of pinch hitting, usually not the top catcher in baseball in any given season. Schang has never been close to making my ballot, and neither will Lombardi.

Other top 10 not on my ballot:

Eppa Rixey –
I have him ranked # 35. A vote for him may have made sense 10 years ago, but now with so many better pitchers eligible I don’t understand how he continues to draw so much support. Was almost never the best pitcher on any of his teams.
   52. Thane of Bagarth Posted: June 11, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1397395)
1953 Ballot:
My war credit estimates are based on 3-5 year moving averages of a player’s seasons surrounding his missed years, depending on how many years he missed—I don’t use exactly the same formula for each player. These estimates are added into my proxies for career value with no effect on the peak weighting. So far no one’s ballot placement has been significantly affected by my attribution of war credit.

1) Bill Dickey
Top catcher of all time. Virtually tied with Greenberg, but less inflation due to war credit (~ more certainty) puts him on top.

2) Hank Greenberg
He would have been 2nd on this ballot sans war credit. A healthy amount of WWII credit makes him a clear HoMer in my book. It doesn’t affect my ranking of him, but it is interesting that his BP translated stats have him hitting 60+ home runs in 4 seasons.

3) Red Ruffing
I was surprised to see him come out this high in my ranks. He is well ahead of the closest eligible pitcher (Ferrell) and modest war credit would put him in my top 15 pitchers so far. His peak is middle of the pack, but he racks up some nice career value (100.2 WARP3, 985 PRAR, 322 Win Shares). It doesn’t hurt that he helped himself at the plate with an 81 OPS+.

4) Billy Herman
Another player I was surprised by—I knew he was a decent player, but didn’t expect him to have a top 5 WARP3 of 49.1. He puts up some nice career numbers, too: 99 WARP3, 298 WS. Small bump for war credit lands him ahead of Wells.

5) Devil Wells
Can’t argue with Bill James’ ranking of him as the #2 NeL SS. I have him ranked next to Cronin which may be underestimating him.

6) Stan Hack
Solid OBP machine third baseman. I’ve got him as the highest-ranked player that played mostly 3B up to this election—next in line is HR Baker.

7) Wes Ferrell
Great combo of pitching and hitting. 100 OPS+. 2nd highest Career WARP3 (80.9) among eligible pitchers, 2nd highest 5-year PRAR (455).

8) Dizzy Dean
493 in Top 5 PRAR is only 2 behind Hubbell. HoM-worthy peak, if you ask me.

9) Ben Taylor
Ben has a highly regarded historical reputation—Riley writes: “considered the best first baseman in black baseball prior to the arrival of Buck Leonard.” I see Suttles & Taylor as tied for 2nd best Negro League 1st baseman.

10) Mule Suttles
Generally regarded as the 2nd best NeL 1st baseman. I think he gets somewhat overrated when compared to Taylor because their eras were different, and Mule hit those towering home runs.

11) Dick Redding
2nd best Black pitcher of the Deadball Era. Not sure how my interpretation of all the data in the re-evaluation thread will affect his placement—it’s going to take me a little longer to sort all that out.

12) John Beckwith
I may move him up as I wouldn’t have initially thought Hack would rank higher than him (or Jud Wilson).

13) Cool Papa Bell
May not have been as great as all the stories say he was, but he was still an amazing talent. The longevity factor earns him a ballot spot.

14) Earl Averill
Added some value for PCL years. WARP revisions helped, too. Solid, consistent major league performer: averaged about 27 WS/year for his 10 full seasons in the majors, never below 22 or above 33 during that span.

15) Tommy Bridges
75.7 WARP3, 225 WS edge out Warneke, plus I give him the edge in war credit. Not a spectacular peak, but a nice career.

------------------------------------------
Next best 15

16) Bob Johnson—Similar numbers to Averill, but at less valuable defensive position.
17) Fielder Jones—Doesn’t have the >130 OPS+ to get noticed like Averill and Johnson, but WARP and WS seem to agree that he’s in their league. 43.9 top 5 WARP3, 135 top 5 WS.
18) Lon Warneke—Better rate stats and peak than Rixey, less career value.

19) Eppa Rixey—Not much in the way of peak, but tons of IP and a 115 ERA+. 2nd highest career PRAR of eligibles (871).

20) Wally Berger
21) Joe Sewell
22) George Van Haltren
23) Paul Derringer
24) Rube Waddell
25) Jose Mendez—Great Cuban pitcher. Not far behind Redding, especially considering his edge with the bat.
26) Mel Harder
27) Spot Poles—332 estimated WS. Revelations about Bell make me think Poles has been underrated by history.
28) Dick Lundy—Probably underrated as well.

29) Hughie Jennings—57.2 WARP3, 150 WS in top 5 years! (Too bad that makes up 82% and 70% of his career value, respectively.)

30a) Dobie Moore
30b) Bill Monroe—Bottom of middle infielder mini-glut here…all 4 could be #27 or #31.

Other Top 10 Not On My Ballot & New Players in Top 100

37) Clark Griffith—He’s got ok peak value and ok career value, but not outstanding enough in either to rank higher.

59) Ernie Lombardi

60) Biz Mackey—Somewhere between Santop and Schang, but much closer to Wally.

70) Claude Passeau
76) Cecil Travis
79) Bill Byrd—Could move up once I get a chance to fully digest the NeL pitcher re-evaluation thread.
98) Bill Lee
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: June 11, 2005 at 03:17 PM (#1397397)
Good question--maybe the Passeaus were Cajuns from Loosiana? Anybody know? He certainly sounds more like a French tennis player of this era.
   54. Gadfly Posted: June 11, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1397456)
1953 BALLOT (Gadfly)

1. Gavy Cravath
2. John Beckwith
3. Dick Redding
4. Willie Wells
5. Cool Papa Bell

Willie Wells and Cool Papa Bell were best friends and dated the same woman. Showing very good sense, she married Bell. As players, they are very similar, both playing premium defensive positions, with Wells seeming to have a slight edge peak wise and Bell career wise.

6. Mule Suttles
7. Charley Jones (Benjamin Rippay)
8. Hank Greenberg

The original Hammerin' Hank had much less of a peak than I expected with a high of only 34 WS in a season. Of course, given back all the missed seasons, Greenberg may have been able to better that, but probably not by much. With wartime credit, Greenberg would have surely gone just slightly over 400 career WS.

9. Biz Mackey
10. Bill Dickey
11. Rube Waddell
12. Ben Taylor
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Earl Averill
15. Dick Lundy

16. Roger Bresnahan
17. Edd Roush

Others:
Bill Byrd- gets in the Negro League career pitching line with Chet Brewer and a bunch of other guys after Redding. The next line over is Jose Mendez followed by the Negro League peak pitching crew.

Red Ruffing- His 322 career WS would go up to around 340 to 350 with wartime credit, but his peak (26-25-24-23-22) puts him back in the pack with Eppa Rixey.

Stan Hack and Billy Herman-
On first examination, it looked like Hack was better than Herman, 316 career WS vs 298, peak of 34-33-30-26-25 (148) vs 32-29-29-27-25 (142). But, when you adjust for the War, they become pretty much a toss-up. Hack: 313 career, 146 peak against Herman: 338 career, 141 peak.

Ernie Lombardi- An extremely interesting guy but hardly as good a catcher as Mackey, Dickey or Bresnahan.

It would have been very interesting to see what would have happened if Lombardi had played his career as a 1B and been told to simply concentrate on whaling the apeshit out of the ball. Most of his value was in his bat, not his defense. I think he would have been more valuable playing full time at first than as a catcher.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 11, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1397487)
I think he would have been more valuable playing full time at first than as a catcher.

Probably, but wouldn't the 1939 WS be less interesting if he had played first? :-)
   56. TomH Posted: June 11, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1397552)
Gadfly, it takes a lot of guts to rate Biz over Dickey
.9. Biz Mackey
10. Bill Dickey
Is it your opinion that Mackey would have been worht X runs a year more behind the dish than Dickey, 'X' being greater than the obvious offensive difference between them?
   57. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 11, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1397687)
Well, the French colony of Louisiana pretty much encapsulated the entire Mississippi River and surrounding areas, roughly the enitre middle of the ocuntry. Passeau could probably trace his heritage back to the Franch fur traders of the 18th century.

Or his family could have moved there for some odd reason...
   58. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 11, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1397775)
1953 ballot

Don't know if this is the deepest ballto or not. in 1934 Cristobal Torreinte finished 6th, he would probably get 3rd on my ballot this year.

1. Hank Greenberg (x, PHOM 1953)- With war credit, which I do give, he is an easy #1. I gave him four seasons at 28 WS plus 12 WS for the first half of 1945 (he had 15 WS in the second half), then I took away 14 WS for injury purposes. He ends up with a Jennings like peak (which he had before the war credit) and about 370 career WS, easy #1 for me.

2. Bill Dickey (3, PHOM 1953) - I believe that Cochrane was better but that Dickey is about even with Hartnett. Another easy HOMer.

3. Hughie Jennings (4, PHOM 1938) - when given the opportunity I would rather have the guy hwo at his best was as good as Mays or Musial over the guy who had high counting stats but was never a star.

4. Mule Suttles (5, PHOM 1948) - Would probably have hit 500 home runs had he played in the majors. Didn't do much else but if you can only pick one skill to have in baseball prodigious power hitting is a very good choice.

5. John Beckwith (6, PHOM 1947) - He is below Suttles based on concerns that I have with his defense at 3B. Best modern day comps are probably Dick Allen, or Albert Belle at 3B/1B.

5a. Jud Wilson
6. Willie Wells (x) - The MLE's show a disappointing peak. Based on those he should actually be a littel lower in my system, but I have a feeling that our MLE's tend to smooth over peaks while getting the career value basically right. Wells is currently second in my PHOM backlog behind only Wilson.

7. Stan Hack (x) - I have a soft spot for OBp machines (I am the only person in the last 20 'years' to vote for Roy Thomas) and infielders who can hit. May have beaten out Wells for 6th if I didnt' give him a 10% discount during the war years. It looks like we will have a lack of 3B in the HOM (though not as bad as the HOF) so we should appreciate when a guy like this comes along. One of the ten best 3B ever.

8. Wes Ferrell (7) - Maybe not the best pure pitcher on the board but certainly the best player to have played the position of pitcher in my eyes. A 100+ OPS from the pitcher's slot is huge.

9. Billy Herman (x) - More career than Hack but a little less peak. I think he gets into the lower reaches of the HOM pretty easily, if not a little higher.

10. Cupid Childs (8, PHOM 1939) - How deep is this ballot? I still believe that Childs is a pretty clear HOMer and he is 10th here. Good peak and sufficient career for an 1890's MIer.

10a. Ted Lyons
11. Hugh Duffy (9) - Best of the remaining 1890's OFers based on his peak. I think that he desrves to one day have a plaque written by the great John Murphy.

12. Dick Redding (10) - 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era, my definite HOMer line is drawn after him.

13. Clark Griffith (11) - the best 19th century pitcher nto yet elected, I would much rather see him go than someone like Mickey Welch. Has a very tasty 3.99 DERA, better than most guys from his era. 4th best pitcher of the 1890's.

14. Dizzy Dean (12) - Great peak. The difference between he and Waddell according to BP translated stats is about 500 IP of 5.70 ball for Rube. Advantage Diz.

15. Earl Averill (13) - While he didn't have a great three or five year peak he did have 10 outstanding seasons in a row (for what that is worth).
   59. Gadfly Posted: June 11, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1397799)
55. Murph-

This, of course, is true. But who knows what interesting events were lost because Lombardi was not a first baseman?

56. Tom H-

I don't know about it taking guts to rate Mackey over Dickey. By my system, they are pretty even.

Of course, it goes without saying that I think the MLE conversions being produced for the Negro League players in the HOM are on the low (very low) side, and I make adjustments for them. In my opinion, the conversion rate being used is simply wrong.

Since I'm sure everyone here is sick of hearing that opinion from me, I'll just refer anyone who wants to read over my opinion once again to the Gavy Cravath thread.

However, I also think the Negro League-MLE conversions are consistent and more or less reliable, especially for career (but not really peak) value. In other words, only the conversion RATE is wrong.

With adjustments to Mackey's projected WS and giving Dickey war time credit, I get:

Biz Mackey, born 1897
Career: 1920-1941 (22 years)
352 projected career Win Shares
Best 5 years: 35-33-26-26-25 (145)

Bill Dickey, born 1907
Career: 1928-1946 (19 years)
339 projected career Win Shares
Best 5 years: 33-27-27-25-25 (137)

Dickey comes out slightly behind Mackey by this analysis (Mackey's true comp is Gabby Hartnett). Considering that Dickey's peak had a lot of help from his home park and that, in my opinion, Biz Mackey was a better defensive catcher than Lou Gehrig's buddy, it's not really a hard choice to place Mackey over Dickey.

But there are very close.

The only real question I have is whether I should give BOTH men extra credit for being catchers and move them EVEN further up my ballot.

Of course, anyone looking over my ballot will probably instantly note that it is top heavy with Negro Leaguers.

But, by my adjusted Negro League-MLE conversion rates:

John Beckwith becomes exactly what he actually was: the Negro League answer to Rogers Hornsby with peak seasons in the mid-40s and 425-450 or so career WS.

Dick Redding becomes exactly what he was: the Amos Rusie of his time with a much longer career and peak seasons of around 40 WS and 400-450 career WS.

Willie Wells becomes exactly what I've always thought he was: a dead-comp ringer for Charlie Gehringer with a longer career (Peak years in the mid-30s, 491 projected career WS).

Cool Papa Bell becomes a faster better version of Max Carey with peak years in the mid-30s and 511 projected career WS.

Mule Suttles becomes exactly what he was: the Negro League version of Hank Greenberg with peak seasons in the high to mid-30s and 458 projected career WS.

Ben Taylor becomes exactly what he was: the best first baseman of his time with peak seasons in the mid to low 30s and about 400 career WS.

Dick Lundy becomes exactly what he was: a bigger stronger slower, but more defensively valuable, version of Frankie Frisch with peak seasons in the mid to low 30s and 350-400 career WS.

Of course, there are caveats to each of these players. I downgrade both Wells' and Suttles' peaks because of underestimated park effects. I think Beckwith did not even get credit for his peak (1928-30) in his conversion. Cool Papa Bell may deserve even more credit for the quality of his base stealing. Lundy gets downgraded because he apparently did not walk much.

But, until someone convinces me otherwise, my system, which I think is correct, puts them in this order.
   60. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 11, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1397851)
16-20 Moore, Rixey, Waddell, GVH, Sisler
21-25 Bresnahan, Mendez, Roush, Willis, Mackey
26-30 Browning, Bell, Cravath, Berger, Lundy
31-35 Monroe, Ruffing, Veach, Doyle, Sewell
26-40 Shocker, B. Johnson, Leach, Thomas, McGraw
41-45 Scales, Wilson, Chance, Traynor, Cicotte
46-50 Burns, Taylor, Ryan, Fournier, Schang

HOmer Max Carey is would be #17 had he not been elected, becomeing the first guy we have elected since 1935 (my first year) to fall out of the top 15, so this is a big deal to me. I had him ranked #6 the year he got in but he has fallen due to a strong influx of players since his election and me overrating him a tad.

Newbies
32. Red Ruffing - As a peak voter I buy the argument that we really shouldn't read too much into his time with Boston but he still lacks a real peak. If it wasn't for his offensive he would proabbly slide in behind Cicotte, who is ranked 45th.

Cecil Travis isnt' a real serious candidate for me. It is very possible that he would have had a Cy Seymour career path and his 1941 wasn't as good as Cy's best season. He was 27 when he had his one great year and he didnt' ahve any other season above 22 WS. Of course it is also possible that he would have built a HOM type career were it not for the war.

Bill Byrd doesn't impress me too much, or at least he impresses me as much as guys like Wilbur Cooper, Lefy Gomez, Tommy Bridges and tons of other outside my top 50.

Ernie Lombardi had a big nose, the speed of only two Mark Shirk's (that's me) and could hit. However, I have him below Schang who is at #50. For as much as I may be rooting for him I dont' think he is HOM material or even a really serious candidate.

Required Disclosures

Rixey and Sisler are only off ballot because of the ballot's depth. Mackey and Bell are players that I like but arne't sold that they were truly great players at their best. Both could be ballot material in the future.

Sewell is a guy that I think we are overrating a tad, I dont' really liek his peak and being the best SS of the 1920's isn't much to brag about I dont' think.

Beckley was never a great player. Mickey Welch's 'greatness' is an illusion based on his era. He never would have had 300 (or anything close really) wins in any other time period.
   61. Trevor P. Posted: June 11, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1398055)
1953

#1) Mule Suttles (3)

All hail the Mule! Ekes his way to the top of a very tight ballot. A very unique player during the time that he played.

#2) Bill Dickey (4)

In the class with Hartnett and Cochrane. His across-the-board adulation makes me more secure that I've got my ranking of Wally Schang right, who does not seem that far off.

#3) Willie Wells (ne)

More productive than Billy Herman, and for longer. I liked the comparison to Joe Cronin.

#4) Hank Greenberg (ne)

I don't quite give full war credit, in order to account for the possibility of injury. And four years is a lot of credit to just dish out to one player. That said, Greenberg was still a behemoth at the plate, and should be proud of his ranking on this very competitive ballot.

#5) John Beckwith (5)

#6) GVH

Long career, OPS+ above 120 (sort of a personal benchmark figure for me, the sabermetric equivalent of 2500 hits), and held his own as a pitcher. Gets a small bonus simply due to his versatility in 1888-90. Everyone eligible that’s ranked higher according to HOF standards is in the HOM aside from Hugh Duffy.

#7) Stan Hack

Best MLB third baseman since Home Run Baker, in my estimation. Average fielder, but I do like the walks. If we're seeking positional equilibrium, we would be remiss not to take a very close look at Hack.

#8) Eppa Rixey
#9) Red Ruffing
#10) Burleigh Grimes

A veritable three-headed pitching dragon. Grimes and Rixey come out practically equal in last year's revisions. Both were top ten in IP ten times. Each of their top 5 ERA+ seasons were also top ten IPs, so they were workhorses when they were at their best. Ruffing's right in there, too, and his hitting value helps.

I think Grimes has a bit of a peak advantage over the other two, so to extend my dragon metaphor he would be the head which shoots the hottest flame. But with their longevity, Rixey and Ruffing were able to incinerate more fair maidens and quaint medieval villages, and thus come out on top.

#11) Jake Beckley

The Eppredleigh Gruffixey of hitters. (Thank god Ted Lyons is no longer on the ballot.)

#12) Earl Averill
#13) Edd Roush

Confident Averill is slightly better than Roush.

#14) Wally Schang (12)

Next year, I want to do a closer analysis of Dickey/Hartnett/Cochrane/Schang, to see if I've been underrating him. I suspect I may be; Dickey only has a 600 PA advantage over Schang.

#15) Dick Redding (13)

Hard to justify not having Redding if I claim to be a career voter, supporting both both Grimes and Rixey (and now Ruffing). I'm not sure about his precise placement - will have to look at his peak figures a bit closer - but for now "Cannonball" catches the tail-end of this week's ballot.

Disclosures, newcomers, zen secrets:

Ferrell is nudged off ballot to #16. Despite his career length, Biz Mackey has an OPS+ that doesn't even surpass 100 - ouch. Hughie Jennings, as I've said before, does not have the requisite career.

Billy Herman's a difficult candidate to judge in terms of war credit. Was he having a late career renaissance with that 135 OPS+ in 1943? Or was that a fluke, and had he turned into the player who posted OPS+ of 101-103-95 in the three seasons prior? For now, I have him close to Sewell, but a few slots above - about #22.

Judging by defensive metrics, Ernie Lombardi appears to have been asleep for many of his games behind the plate. Solid hitter, but that defense just plain sucks heinie.

Bill Byrd is somewhere around #40, and that could fluctuate in either direction. Lots of variables to account for, including a WW2 discount. Mel Harder is hanging out in Byrd's area.
   62. favre Posted: June 11, 2005 at 10:03 PM (#1398175)
1.Hank Greenberg
2.Mule Suttles

In the seven full-time seasons he played from 1934-1946, Greenberg hit at a very high and consistent level, with OPS+ of 156, 169, 172, 170, 155, 170, and 163 after the war. Barring injury, I imagine he would have posted similar numbers in he had not been in the army, which makes him the #1 pick.

Suttles had a similar skill set to Willie Stargell, and Chris’ projected WS totals are comparable to Pops: 370 WS/21 years for Stargell, 353 WS/19 years for Suttles (Suttles WS are based on old MLE’s; the new MLE’s should give him even more WS). Probably had a better peak than Stargell, though perhaps not as good as a career. So call Suttles Willie-Stargell-lite, or Diet Pops.

3.Bill Dickey
4.Earl Averill

I have Dickey after Hartnett, but before Cochrane, FWIW; as many people have mentioned, they were very close in value. Averill had a very good ten-year prime from 1929-1938, and was a great player in the PCL for a couple of seasons before that.

5.John Beckwith
6.Willie Wells

While there are some questions about Beckwith’s defense, baseball history is not exactly littered with guys who could play SS/3B and hit .330 with power. According to Chris’ projections, Wells had thirteen seasons with an OPS+ above 100, and four more between 100-98. That’s pretty impressive for a shortstop. Sixth on the ballot feels low for Wells, but I can’t justify putting him ahead of Beckwith, who was a significantly better hitter.

7.Jake Beckley
8.Eppa Rixey

Beckley does not have much peak, of course, but a great career: 330-340 adjusted WS, thirteen seasons with an OPS+ of 123 or higher. Rixey’s 4494 IP is 27th all time; Ferguson Jenkins, Eddie Plank, and Jack Powell, are all within ten innings. I think Jenkins and Plank are good comps.

9.Wally Schang
10.Clark Griffith
11.Jose Mendez

I took a long, hard look at Biz Mackey, but ended up putting Schang on the ballot. Obviously Mackey has the defensive edge, and is projected for considerably more games at catcher. But Mackey is projected for three seasons with an OPS+of 121 or higher, while Schang had nine; the next highest OPS+ for both catchers was 111. Chris’ projections would have to be way off for Mackey to equal Schang as a hitter. And Mackey’s defense would not have been as valuable in the major leagues, because there was far less basestealing than the NeL. I’m forced to conclude that Schang was better, although not by a lot.

Between 1895-1901, Griffith never had a season ERA+ lower than 119 in a hitter’s era. In those seven seasons, Griffith was 154-87, .639 WP; his team’s WP was .449 without him.

There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence in favor of Mendez: he was a terrific player in a very good Cuban league, also played on the dominant Negro League team of the early 1920s, had a long career, could hit, had some great playoff moments, played in an era which is underrepresented by pitchers, and was possibly the best pitcher to come out of Cuba.

12.Cool Papa Bell
13.Tommy Leach
14.Biz Mackey
15.Billy Herman

The long-career-and-great-defense-who-could-hit-some guys. Well, Herman is more of a very-good defense guy, but he still racked up a lot of Win Shares. Bell’s career WS projects to nearly 400; Leach actually has more career WS than any major league position player on the ballot save Van Haltren, and Van Haltren’s numbers are distorted by his pitching stint. Mackey, with position adjustments, fits very comfortably into this group.

I’m a little surprised that Hack did not make my ballot, but WS is not crazy about his defense, and, like everyone, I had to adjust his WWII numbers downward. Given the choice, I’d rather have Ned Williamson.

16.Ned Williamson
17.Stan Hack
18.Hugh Jennings

Jennings has been on my ballot before, and will be again; his short career keeps him off for now.

19.Cupid Childs
20.Edd Roush
21.Larry Doyle
22.Dick Redding
23.George Sisler
24.Rube Waddell
25.Addie Joss
26.Wes Ferrell

Ferrell takes a huge drop as I re-evaluated my ballot. Compare him to Addie Joss: Ferrell 117 ERA+ in 2623 innings, Joss 142 ERA+ in 2327 innings. I just don’t see Ferrell’s hitting making up that kind of gap.

27.Ernie Lombardi
28.George Van Haltren
29.Gavvy Cravath
30.Buzz Arlett
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: June 11, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1398318)
favre,
best top-10 IP ranks for Joss and Ferrell:

Joss - 2nd, 5th
Ferrell - 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

no comparison. If Joss gets 'full credit' anyway, then heck, where's Mickey Welch on your ballot?
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: June 12, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1398340)
apologies if that seems a bit condescending, favre.

meant in more of a "bar room chatter" vein...
   65. OCF Posted: June 12, 2005 at 02:27 AM (#1398524)
(OCF) 7. Red Ruffing (new) Preliminary estimate of 269-214 RA+ equivalent without talking either his hitting or his defensive support into account. I should do the sort of offense adjustment I did for Ferrell to see where it leads.

(Chris J.) Absolutely. I'd love to see what you get for that, too.

My reply to this is on the Ruffing thread. Short version: with the hitting adjustment, but no defense adjustment, I have him at an equivalent 285-197. I'm not changing my vote any, in part because I was already expecting approximately this.
   66. favre Posted: June 12, 2005 at 05:31 AM (#1398813)
"apologies if that seems a bit condescending, favre.

meant in more of a "bar room chatter" vein.."

No offense taken, Howie. And I do understand your point. Hopefully, I'll have some time to mount a defense of Joss over Ferrell tomorrow.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1398972)
I think that he desrves to one day have a plaque written by the great John Murphy.

Okay, what do you want from me, Mark? :-)
   68. EricC Posted: June 12, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1398976)
1953 ballot.

1. Bill Dickey IMO, the best major league catcher to date.

2. Wally Schang 12th all-time in career WS among catchers in the NBJHBA, but that doesn't take into account AL strength during his time nor low in-season catcher usage during his era, which hurts the "Win Shares in peak seasons" part of his rating. Not at Cochrane-Hartnett-Dickey level, but not far behind.

3. Joe Sewell If BPro had set their replacement level as an actual replacement level, and then presented sorted lists of career WARP leaders, then Joe Sewell would probably already be in the HoM.

4. Red Ruffing 322 Win Shares ought to be enough.

5. Hank Greenberg Would have had him 13th without (conserative) war credit.

6. Earl Averill I view him as close to the average of Elmer Flick and Frank Baker. Relatively short, but outstanding career.

7. Billy Herman Excellent 2B of the 1930s-1940s; small amount of war credit.

8. Stan Hack 9th in the NBJHBA among 3B. Might be a shoo-in except for war discount.

9. Mule Suttles The NEL home run king, and among the top 5 in league HR 12 or 13 times. Park effects, and perhaps league weakness, gave him a boost while he played in St. Louis, but was also hitting 'em out everywhere else he played.

10. Willie Wells Reputation as one of the greatest NEL SS.

11. Tommy Bridges Most similar pitcher: Urban Shocker With deductions for low quality of competition in the early war years, and no credit for later war years, but no penalty for preferentially facing poor teams. 126 ERA+ in a still strong (?) AL is impressive.

12. Lefty Gomez The 2 Cy-Young type seasons plus the remainder of his prime, alternating with Ruffing as the ace of the Yankees dynasty during the 1930s, helps put him on my ballot.

13. Jose Mendez His domination of the Cuban leagues and total run average title in his full NEL season may indicate a HOM-worthy peak, with all of the uncertainties involved.

14. Cool Papa Bell Similarities to Sam Rice in playing well into his 40s, and having great career value without outstanding peak value.

15. Biz Mackey By reputation, one of the greatest C in NEL history, a 1920s star, then hung around forever.

I have John Beckwith lower than the consensus because of the relative shortness of his career and uncertainty about his peak value.

Eppa Rixey was very good; has been squeezed off my ballot by more recent players.

Wes Ferrell was squeezed off my ballot this year by the large number of newcomers.

Hughie Jennings has made my ballot before. As I currently balance peak, career, and era, he ends up short.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 05:13 PM (#1398978)
This, of course, is true. But who knows what interesting events were lost because Lombardi was not a first baseman?

That's true, Gadfly. He would have been a colorful payer at any position.
   70. yest Posted: June 12, 2005 at 06:03 PM (#1399069)
1953 ballot
Josh Gibson and Hank Greenberg make my phom this year

1. Bill Dickey (made my personal HoM in 1952)
2. George Sisler I believe everyone knows my view on him by now (made my personal HoM in 1936)
3. Hank Greenberg (makes my personal HoM this year)
4. Cool Papa Bell the lack over support for Bell is mind boggling to me he was almost universally considered one of the top 5 Negroe Leaguers ever the stats that we have for him are amazing he played good for almost 25 years he was one of the smartest players in Negro Leagues (made my personal HoM in 1948)
5. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
6. Willie Wells nothing new to say on him
7. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
8. Joe Sewell love the strikeouts (made my personal HoM in 1939)
9. Biz Mackey another Cooperstown mistake (made my personal HoM in 1949)
10. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1951)
11. Stan Hack what’s the hall’s problem with cubs third baseman
12. Sam Rice if he got 13 more hits would he make the HoM? (made my personal HoM in 1940)
13. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
14. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
15. Rube Waddell most Ks/9IP 7 times in a row tying with Vance for the record led in it 1 more time (made my personal HoM in 1917)
16. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1940)
17. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
18. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
19. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
20. Billy Herman most putouts 7 times
21. Heinie Manush 330 batting avg.
22. Edd Roush323 batting avg (made my personal HoM in 1937)
23. Moose Suttles with I had some antidotal information on him especially quotes
24. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
25. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
26. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
27. Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie (made my personal HoM in 1939)
28. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
29. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
30. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
31. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
32. Jim Bottomley 2313 hits
33. Kiki Cuyler 2299 hits
34. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
35. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)

explanation for players not on my ballot
Hugh Jennings not enough career
Eppa Rixey I don’t find anything special in most of the 20’s pitchers
John Beckwith I’m not enough confident enough in his case to put him higher then he is
Wes Ferrell to high a ERA
Earl Averill is in the 30’s
   71. dan b Posted: June 12, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1399144)
1.Greenberg The war cost him a shot at 500 HR..
2.Dickey Last ballot I raised the Dickey, Cochrane or Hartnett question. From the 1952 ballot and the Dickey thread, those who responded like Dickey (9) over Hartnett (6) and Cochrane (5).
3.Suttles Bill James likes him more than we do.
4.Wells Not as much career value as Bell, but more peak.
5.Jennings PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar. 1890’s underrepresented.
6.Hack Looks to be a fuzz better than Beckwith or Leach.
7.Beckwith PHoM 1940.
8.Mackey the only unanimous pick of the Cool Papa’s survey of experts.
9.Duffy PHoM in 1912. 1890’s underrepresented.
10.Leach PHoM 1926.
11.Griffith 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM 1913. 1890’s underrepresented.
12.Averill More WS over 10 consecutive years than any other ML player on the ballot.
13.Bell Like Mackey, we are underrating this guy. Only appeared on 47% of the ballots last year.
14.Ruffing Or should Rixey be just ahead of Ruffing?
15.Rixey More career value than any other pitcher in his era not named Johnson or Alexander put him in PHoM 1939.
16.Herman Looks like a HoMer.
17.Cravath Now that we have some mle’s, Gavy jumps on to my ballot and could move higher. Would be in my PHoM had that information been available back in the early 30’s.
18.Ferrell
19.Bresnahan SABR Dead ball era committee has him #1. PHoM 1928
20.W. Cooper Of pitchers whose career began after 1910 and are now eligible for our consideration, Cooper has more WS over 10 consecutive seasons than any pitcher except Alexander, Grove and Hubbell.
   72. Jeff M Posted: June 12, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1399172)
Re: Hank Greenberg:

Post: He was not a good defensive player as a first baseman, whereas both Dickey and Wells were good or very good defenders at much more important positions.

Post: ...almost no defensive credit

I've been away for a couple of weeks, but from whence these comments?

BP shows 161 FRAR and 66 FRAA at 1b. Bill James rates him at A- at 1st base and gives him 2.05 WS per 1,000 innings, which is better than Keith Hernandez (2.02) and about the same as Don Mattingly (2.06), two modern day players who are known as good defensive players.

He did not have a long career (thanks to WWII) and played 1b, but he earned respect defensively at 1b.
   73. Jeff M Posted: June 12, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1399177)
1953 Ballot

1. Greenberg, Hank – I give war credit, based on surrounding seasons. He was a masher, and played a nice 1b too.

2. Wells, Willie – My personal MLE’s are similar to those posted, except I have him with a lower OBP. I gave him 5.45 per 1,000 estimated innings (somewhere between Appling and Vaughan). This all added up to a shortstop who hit about 25% better than the league and played above-average defense.

3. Dickey, Bill – Can’t deny a 100+ WARP and 300+ WS catcher. I reluctantly place him 3rd, because I was hoping he’d be elected this ballot. Then along came Willie.

4. Mackey, Biz – Significant revision of my NeL methods moved him about where the anecdotal evidence would have him, despite skepticism from the electorate. Awfully good hitting catcher, but can’t put him ahead of Dickey.

5. Browning, Pete -- I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. One of the best hitters we've evaluated or ever will evaluate. An outfielder in the early years, so I doubt his suspect defense detracts much from his overall value. Would have been in the majors earlier if not for the ear problem.

6. Monroe, Bill -- He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe. I also see him better than the other NeL middle infielders that are eligible. I’ve got them ranked: Monroe [small gap] Herman [very small gap] Beckwith [small gap] Lundy [moderate gap] Moore [huge gap] Scales [small gap] DeMoss [small gap] Allen.

7. Suttles, Mule -- Originally I was afraid I had him too high based on long-ball feats, but on re-evaluation, I’ve had him about right. I flip-flopped he and Monroe, but otherwise, his ranking is unchanged. I rate him lower than an average defensive player. Riley basically says he caught everything he could reach, but implies strongly that he could not reach very much. In any event, he was probably a better hitter than Sisler, so I’ll put him a little ahead.

8. Sisler, George – Thought he would come in higher, but has poor defensive scores and WARP doesn’t like him much. Also doesn’t have the typical HoM RBI and runs scored numbers (even though I realize those are stats dependent on others). Very strong adjusted counting stats, and also fares well in WS.

9. Herman, Billy – Nudges Beckwith by a few WS. Not as much SLG as Beckwith but more OBP. Also better than Beckwith defensively.

10. Beckwith, John – Reevaluation of NeL players dropped him a few slots. I’ve now got him at roughly 300 WS, which given his position at 3B/SS is still a good number. Would have won a couple of MVPs, and you can only say that about so many third basemen and shortstops.

11. Waddell, Rube – Waddell still lives here. RSI shed some light on why his win totals aren’t what they could be.

12. Roush, Edd – Fine hitter without a lot of pop, but he certainly didn’t have any trouble getting around the bases for triples. Had several MVP-quality years (by WS standards – WARP doesn’t like him quite as much if you adjust the way they calculate defense). Not as good as Carey in the field, but contributed a lot more at the plate, and that’s a much bigger factor for an outfielder.

13. Jones, Charley -- No additional credit for blacklisted seasons. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning because of the relatively short career and lack of notoriety.

14. McGraw, John – The guy’s OBP was .466! I would prefer a longer career, but among the backlog, I think he deserves some recognition.

15. Ferrell, Wes – Wish he had pitched longer, but was a peak performer and could swing the bat.

Required Disclosures:

Rixey, Eppa – He’s #25 in my system, behind Bobby Veach (but really behind Max Carey) and ahead of Stan Hack (but really just ahead of Goose Goslin). I need more brilliance than he provided.

Averill, Earl – Another player whose numbers are inflated by the high run environment in which he played, and when corrected, looks just very good. He’s #46 in my system, behind Jimmy Ryan and ahead of Kiki Cuyler.

Jennings, Hughie – Just didn’t excel for a long enough period to warrant election. He’s #48 in my system, behind Kiki Cuyler (but really behind Al Spalding) and ahead of Rabbit Maranville.
   74. David C. Jones Posted: June 12, 2005 at 07:31 PM (#1399232)
We also have no idea how any player would really do in a neutral park, but we still go about using park factors, anyway.

Apples and oranges. When adjusting for park, we are placing a player's actual accomplishments into a park-neutral context. When we add seasons that never existed, we are creating performance that never occurred, not reinterpreting performance in a neutral context.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1399798)
This is probably the latest I have ever submitted my ballot.

I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but I doubt he'll make my ballot when he becomes eligible).

1) Hank Greenberg-1B/LF (n/e): Great player with or without WWII credit. Had the misfortune of playing at the same time as Gehrig and Foxx. Best major league left fielder for 1940.

2) John Beckwith-3B/SS/C (3): Marvelous infielder from the twenties. Appears to have been more "hot corner" guy than shortstop, but that doesn't really hurt him since third base was still mighty tough as a position. Whatever his defense lacked was surely made up (and then some) by a powerful bat. Better than any of the other eligible third basemen, IMO. Probably would have been the best major league third baseman for 1923 and 1929, as well as the best major league shortstop for 1925, if he had been allowed to play.

3) Bill Dickey-C (4):Is he a HoMer? What a silly question! Best major league catcher for 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1943 (though Gibson is estimated as better for all of those years except '38). Best AL catcher for 1942.

4) Willie Wells-SS (n/e): I'm not as gung ho over him as I was a week ago, but he's certifiably great, IMO. Possibly could have been the best major league shortstop for 1927, 1928 and 1929.

5) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (5): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop. The poor man's Buck Ewing (Johnny Kling was the poor man's Charlie Bennett) is still good enough to be here on my ballot. Slightly better than Noisy behind the plate, but the Duke played longer and at other positions. Best major league catcher for 1905, 1906 and 1908. Best major league centerfielder for 1903.

6) Stan Hack-3B (n/e): Amazingly, Stan wasn't a hacker! :-) Best major league third baseman for 1935, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1945 and 1946. Best NL third baseman for 1936.

7) Cupid Childs-2B (5): <6>Best second baseman of the '90s.</b> Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.

Childs was the best major league second baseman more times in a season than Doyle was the best NL second baseman. IMO, there's no way that the Laughing One goes above the Little Fat Man.

8) Billy Herman-2B (n/e): Probably better than Childs, but I'll leave him here for now. Best NL second baseman for 1932, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1943.

9) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (7): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

10) George Van Haltren-CF/P (8): Long career of quality play. Best NL leftfielder for 1889 and best AA leftfielder for 1891.

11) Tommy Bridges-P (9): I'm giving him WWII credit, so that pushes him fairly high on my ballot. Still not sure about post-major league credit for him, though. Never the best in his league, but consistently of high quality throughout his career.

12) Jake Beckley-1B (10): Not much peak, but plenty of career. Better than his numbers suggest since first base was tougher during his time than during the ABC boys' era. Best major league first baseman for 1900.

13) Wally Schang-C (11): I've come to the conclusion that the two Erics have a point about Schang - his stats demand more respect from the electorate. Like Bresnahan, we're not doing a good job of placing catchers in their proper context, IMO. Best AL catcher for 1913, 1914. Best major league catcher for 1919, 1921.

14) Burleigh Grimes-P (12): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Better peak, IMO, than Rixey or Welch places him slightly above those career guys. Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

15) Mickey Welch-P (13): I have to admit that the 1880's had some fine pitchers. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

Suttles, Rixey, Ferrell, Averill, Mackey and Jennings all exist in my top-35, but they just fall short.
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 13, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1400357)
A plethora of new candidates this year, wow.

1. Hank Greenberg (n/e) - Easy number one for me. Without the war, we're looking at a 500 HR guy, when that meant a little more than it does today.

2. Willie Wells (n/e) - Negro League version of Luke Appling deserves to rate very high. It's close, but I give him the bonus points over Dickey.

3. Bill Dickey (3) - His numbers are even better than I expected - he'd be #1 most years. He did benefit from the park. His time will come soon.

4. Gavy Cravath (4) - Too much to ignore. Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project.

5. Billy Herman (n/e) - Wow, I didn't realize he was that good. With war credit we're looking at a 2B with 2600 career hits. He also had a league average walk rate and an above average SLG. One helluva player, as his five top-10 MVP finishes would suggest. I see him as quite similar to Lou Whitaker actually, though Herman hit for a higher average and Whitaker walked more and had a little more pop.

6. Ernie Lombardi (n/e) - Looks an awful lot like Gabby Hartnett and Mickey Cochrane to me . . . am I missing something here? Why isn't he higher on most people's ballots? Are 1500 games at C and a 125 career OPS+ more common than I realize?

7. Eppa Rixey (5) - If a few things out of his control were different (like the elimination of WWI), Rixey would likely have won 300 games. A Nolan Ryan / Don Sutton / Phil Nierko HoMer.

8. Charley Jones (6) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL.

9. Clark Griffith (7) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity from Griffith?

10. Mule Suttles (8) - Nudged him up in 1949 some after re-reviewing Chris Cobb's MLEs.

11. Jake Beckley (9) - A smidge below Rafael Palmeiro, they were basically the same player, though Palmeiro was a little bit better with the stick, 1B was much tougher in Beckley's day.

12. Stan Hack (n/e) - I feel like he should be higher, but I can't put him ahead of any of these guys. I think this guy would have been my favorite player if I grew up in the 1930s. He was the Buddy Bell of the 30s/40s, but significantly better (though his career was shorter). I see him as the high end of what Kevin Youkilis could someday be, if everything breaks right for him. It's amazing how many great 3B didn't get their careers off the ground until they were 24-25 years old.

13. Tommy Leach (10) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.

14. George Van Haltren (11) - I don't know what to do with this guy. You can make a solid argument that he could rank anywhere from 4 to 31.

15. John Beckwith (12) - I'm trusting Chris's MLEs here - a little more than I had. I still think it's much more realistic to consider him a 3B that played some SS, than as a SS.

Dropping out:

16. Bill Monroe (13) - I still really like this guy.

17. Biz Mackey (14) - After further review he does appear to be closer to Schang/Bresnahan than Cochrane on the catcher spectrum.

18. Cool Papa Bell (15) - Awful lot of career value there.

Close:

19. Wes Ferrell (16) - Great pitcher and good hitter. For a hitter, not a pitcher. I wish I could get him higher, but I can't say I'd want his career over any of those ranked ahead of him. I think his hitting trumps Harder's career value, but it's close and could go either way.

20. Earl Averill (17) - I still think I'm pegging him too low, but don't see why I should move him higher.

21. Mel Harder (n/e) - Forgotten everywhere but Cleveland it seems like, but he was a really good pitcher. With Grove hurt, he was arguably (Hubbell?) the best pitcher in baseball from 1933-35.

22. Wally Schang (18) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.

23. George Sisler (19) - in penalizing him for his 2nd act, I was underrating his first act, though I think it is somewhat overrated by the consensus. I realize that probably sounds confusing as hell.

24. Joe Sewell (25) - I'd been underrating him. Most of you were overrating him. We're getting closer to a consensus it appears. Very glad he wasn't rushed in. Like say . . . Joe McGinnity. Or say . . . Bill Terry. A little bump this week. The more I think about it, I think I'd take his career over Hughie's.

25. Hughie Jennings (20) - I'm feeling a little more career value oriented of late, Jennings obviously drops on those days. He's down a little more this week.

26. Mike Griffin (21) - a great defensive player. He could hit too. He's been forgotten here . . .

27. Jimmy Ryan (22) - very good player. I've been convinced he should be behind George Van Haltren.

28. Hugh Duffy (23) - not quite as good as the glut above him.

29. Ben Taylor (24) - had slipped off my radar. He's pretty close to Beckley, but this is a tight ballot. I ranking him above Roush as a compliment.

30. Dobie Moore (26) - Is this too low? Convince me I should have him higher.

31. Edd Roush (27) - Could be as high as number 9.

32. Vic Willis (28) - I could easily see him much higher on the ballot. Notice the trend?

33. Dick Lundy (29) - Back on the radar. Not as good as Sewell.

34. George Scales (30) - I'll side with those who say he was similar to, but not as good as Sewell or Moore. Is it wrong to have him behind Lundy?

35. Lefty Gomez (31) - Very nice career. Not as nice as Ferrell's. 177-114 RSI record, which is excellent. Too bad he didn't pitch longer.

Lower than 36. Red Ruffing (n/e) - I like long career pitchers and he was a good one. His peak is there, 5 years of 130-150 ERA+, and the career value is obvious. Was helped by great teams and great defenses, so the overall record needs to be discounted a bit. RSI shows his record as 256-242, which is more Frank Tanana (238-238) than HoM if you ask me.
   77. David C. Jones Posted: June 13, 2005 at 02:31 AM (#1400449)
6. Ernie Lombardi (n/e) - Looks an awful lot like Gabby Hartnett and Mickey Cochrane to me . . . am I missing something here? Why isn't he higher on most people's ballots? Are 1500 games at C and a 125 career OPS+ more common than I realize?

You are missing two things: defense and on-base percentage. His OPS+ is not particularly useful because it is so heavily weighted towards his slugging percentage, which is not as valuable as on-base percentage. For his career, Lombardi's batting average was 32 points better than the league. His OBP was 21 points better than the league, which means that relative to the league average his plate discipline was not good. His slugging percentage was 74 points better than the league. That's where the 125 OPS+ comes from.

Fortunately, Win Shares picks up on this weakness in Lombardi's game (as well as his not so-splendid defense) and gives him only 218 WS with a 3-year peak of 61. That's nowhere near Hartnett. If you are going to have Lombardi this high, you're going to have to figure out why you don't have Wally Schang and his 245 Win Shares on your ballot.
   78. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 13, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1400575)
A minor nitpick:

Very glad he wasn't rushed in. Like say . . . Joe McGinnity. What? Joe "15 years on the ballot" McGinnity? I think you meant Red "What was I thinking the year I put him in my PHoM?" Faber.

Ballot coming shortly.
   79. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 13, 2005 at 04:46 AM (#1400663)
Lots of new guys this time, and I like them a lot. (SNT syndrome? Possibly, but I don't think so.) Not sure what it means, but with GVH sliding off, everybody on my ballots pre-1920 is either in the HoM or off my ballot (except 1 appearence by Childs, who wouldn't be back for 16 years). Greenberg and Dickey make my PHoM this year.

1. Hank Greenberg (new) Okay, he wasn't quite Gehrig or Foxx, but for a post-1900 player, a career 158 OPS+ is pretty close to automatic. His fielding does not appear to be a major problem. I do give war credit. PHoM this year.

2. Bill Dickey (3) Personally, I'd rank them Hartnett, Cochrane, Dickey, but you couldn't go wrong any way. PHoM this year.

3. Willie Wells (new) The MLEs are very good for a SS, but they're not screaming "Elect me now!" to me. A worthy HoMer, though.

4. Mule Suttles (4) HR's aren't the be-all and end-all, but they make him look like the 2nd best power hitter in Negro League history, which sounds like a HoMer to me. Even if the 1926 MLE is inaccurate, he's got a consistent career with some very good years. Made my PHoM in 1949.
(4A Ted Lyons)

5. Billy Herman (new) I guess he could be a bit high, but he definitely looks a step ahead of Childs here, both on career and peak.

6. Tommy Leach (5) I'm his BF, and I'm happy to be that, but DanG (#43) makes the better-sounding argument. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. Has more WS than Beckwith's translated estimates in a career of very similar length. We're definitely short on third basemen, and I think he's the best available candidate. Made my PHoM in 1940.

7. John Beckwith (6) Could hit the heck out of the ball, questionable defense at big positions, not the friendliest guy to be around, not an extremely long career compared to the other Negro League candidates, but it does all add up to a player worthy of induction.

8. Red Ruffing (new) I think his career edge trumps Ferrell's peak edge, but I'm far from certain.

9. Stan Hack (new) Very close to Leach for me, but falls just short. I lean more towards career, and with a cutback for wartime, Leach definitely has the advantage.

10. Bill Monroe (7) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Might be better than Herman, but there isn't enough evidence there for me now. Made my PHoM in 1939.

11. Wes Ferrell (8) His peak is pretty huge, but his career is short for a HoMer. Dean's 5-year peak might be better (depends on your Uber-System), but there's no argument that Ferrell's 8-year run was a cut above.

12. Dick Redding (11) At this stage of the Negro League pitcher analysis, nobody has moved ahead of Cannonball Dick to me. I'm not sure the teens need many more pitchers, but better him than Rixey.

13. Earl Averill (9) His record appears close to the CF glut, with a better OPS+ and peak, but a shorter career. Adding in the PCL credit puts him just ahead. The closer I look, the less certain I feel about this, though.

14. Joe Sewell (10) Yes, the American League had no shortstops in the 1920s. But it was probably the stronger league (although less dramatically than in the 1910s), and Sewell was clearly one of the top 10 position players in the league. I see him as just a little better than Childs. Both middle infielders, good hitters, Sewell was a little better fielder. Similar career lengths, were both best at their positions in a decade (among white ball players). Sewell was probably playing in a better league. Made my PHoM in 1939.
(14A Bill Terry)

15. Cupid Childs (12) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. His career is on the short side, but he was the best second baseman of the 1890s, whatever you feel that's worth (among white players, at least). He does look awfully similar to Lazzeri, and is clearly behind Herman. Made my PHoM in 1932.

16. George Van Haltren (13) In 1932, he was fighting with Childs for a PHoM spot, now they're fighting for 15th place. Consistently good, but never great.
(16A Max Carey)
17. Cool Papa Bell (15) It's hard to argue he wouldn't have been a 3,000-hit player in the major leagues, and if so, that feels like a HoMer, when you consider his speed and fielding reputation.
18. Jose Mendez (22) I had been underrating him a bit, but he can't quite make this ballot.
19. Bob Johnson (16) His record doesn't look too different from Averill's. I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons.
20. Biz Mackey (17) I am comfortable that he's ahead of Bresnahan, Schang and Lombardi, but those numbers still aren't that striking. Maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
21. Eppa Rixey (14) He did throw a ton of innings, but longevity by itself isn't enough. I'm definitely not rushing to put in any more pitchers from his era.
22. Ben Taylor (20) A little better than Beckley and Sisler to me for now, and I'd been overlooking the pitching. Top-3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM, though.
23. Jimmy Ryan (18) Behind GVH because he dropped off fairly strongly after his accident. Never going to get that far away from him.
(23A Sam Thompson, 23B Rube Foster)
24. Jake Beckley. (21) There is a TON of career value, but his normal season is just too average to give him that much credit. It does seem wrong to have him too far behind Cool Papa Bell, though.
25. Gavvy Cravath (23) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't too fond of him.
26. George Sisler (24) Not too different from Terry, but a worse fielder, and has more near or below average years. Still, for the moment his peak seems more impressive than Jennings'.
27. Tony Lazzeri (25) Looks pretty close to Childs to me. Didn't think he'd be this high.
28. Dick Lundy (19) I'm not really sure why he drops so much this week - I just have a harder time seperating him from Jennings and Moore.
29. Rube Waddell (27) The ERA and K's look nice, but the career just wasn't long enough or consistent enough.
30. Spotswood Poles (28) His numbers seem similar to Monroe's, but he's an OF instead of a 2B. His defensive reputation appears good.
31. Bill Byrd (new) A very good pitcher, but doesn't stand out to me.
32. Charley Jones
33. Hughie Jennings (29) I guess I'm becoming less of a peak voter, but longevity isn't something you can just ignore.
34. Bobby Veach
35. Dobie Moore
36. Burleigh Grimes
37. Mike Griffin
38, Ernie Lombardi (new) Could hit, couldn't field, REALLY couldn't run. Long career, but not enough meat to it.
39. Clark Griffith
40. Chuck Klein
   80. Andrew M Posted: June 13, 2005 at 05:03 AM (#1400704)
1953 Ballot

1. (3) Bill Dickey. Did everything a catcher is supposed to do and did it well. Arguably better than Hartnett or Cochrane, and certainly no worse.

2. (new) Hank Greenberg. I’m impressed enough by what he did not to worry too much about what he didn’t do. 158 OPS+, .325 EQA, and he appears to have been a good fielder at 1B as well.

3. (new) Willie Wells. Gets the nod over Beckwith because he played longer and was, I think, the better defensive player. I think he’s as HoM-worthy as Cronin was, but it’s going to be interesting if he’s here when Vaughan hits the ballot.

4. (4) John Beckwith. A great hitter who could also could play some SS and 3B. Shorter career than Suttles or Wells, but at his peak he seems to have been a better hitter than both.

5. (5) Mule Suttles. His MLE projections (.301/.364/.537, 137 OPS+) wouldn’t seem to put him in the elite hitter category of first basemen, but he played forever and was clearly a formidable slugger.

6. (6) Eppa Rixey. Throw out the years he was fighting in or recovering from WWI and you have a stretch between 1916 and 1928 when he was averaging 275 innings and 21 WS per season with an ERA+ no lower than 109 and as high as 143. His peak wasn’t that high, but an ERA+ of 115 in 4500 innings looks ballot-worthy to me.

7. (7) Geo. Van Haltren. Nothing new to add. Did everything well for a long time during a difficult era. Good peak, career numbers. Even pitched decently.

8. (new) Red Ruffing. I’m not real excited about Ruffing, but I don’t see much difference between him and Rixey--except Ruffing was a much better hitter and played for better teams.

9. (8) Earl Averill. Averill has 1) a very good 10 year stretch when he was one of the 3 best AL OFs, 2) A+ quality CF defense (well, maybe—BPro suggests otherwise), 3) a good argument for receiving 1 and maybe 2 years of PCL credit. From 1929 on, Win Shares shows him to be almost identical to Waner. (Both, e.g., have 253 WS in the 1930s.) Although he was playing in the PCL, I think he was probably a comparable player before 1929 as well.

10. (9) Clark Griffith. It’s hard to find any one thing, but I buy the argument that the totality of the available evidence presents a compelling case in his favor. He had a .620 career win pct. while pitching for some pretty mediocre Chicago teams and a 3.81 DERA/121 ERA+ in 3300 career innings. His peak level of performance between 1895-1901 was significant. Could also hit some.

11. (new) Billy Herman. Occupies the very narrow ground between Cronin and Sewell among middle infielders. Averaged 9.7 WARP per year between 1935 and 1943. Possibly the best player ever named after an unsuccessful US presidential candidate.

12. (11) Larry Doyle. Higher career OPS+ (126 to 112) than Herman--but shorter career and almost certainly not as good a fielder. (The same could also be said for Lazzeri and Childs.) Consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct., captained World Series teams and won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. WS shows him as a C+ fielder, which would not make him the worst defensive 2B elected into the HoM.

13. (13) Dobie Moore. Comparable peak at SS to Jennings, but a longer career. At his best, I think Moore may have been better than Beckwith or Suttles or Wells—but his career just doesn’t seem long enough to move him up next to them on my ballot.

14. (10) Hugh Duffy. It’s possible Win Shares over-rates Duffy, and there would seem also to be some inherent problems with projecting short seasons to 162 games, but if you do this, Duffy’s Win Shares jump into the mid-330s, with 3, 5, 7, 10 year runs comparable to any other eligible player, which along with his excellent OF play and good black and gray ink, makes him look like a viable HoM candidate to me.

15. (14) Rube Waddell. Still hanging on the ballot. Downgraded somewhat for unreliability, but in his favor he has lots of strikeouts, of course, but also Top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134, DERA of 3.63/3.81. Relatively short career, but a considerable peak.

Next 15, more or less:
16. Cool Papa Bell
17. Biz Mackey
18. Cupid Childs
19. Wes Ferrell
20. George J. Burns
21. Edd Roush
22. Stan Hack
23. George Sisler
24. Indian Bob Johnson
25. Pete Browning
26. Hughie Jennings
27. Joe Sewell
28. Tommie Leach
29. Wally Schang or Roger Bresnahan
30. Jake Beckley


Required disclosures:
Ferrell and Mackey are just off the ballot. Jennings just wasn’t good enough for long enough. He sure knew how to get hit by a pitch, though
   81. ronw Posted: June 13, 2005 at 05:22 AM (#1400750)
Billy Herman. . . Possibly the best player ever named after an unsuccessful US presidential candidate.

I don't know, I think Grover Cleveland Alexander was pretty good.

William Jennings Bryan Herman may take the cake for best player ever named after a never successful US presidential candidate, that is, until Michael Dukakis Jones becomes eligible (he's tearing up his Babe Ruth league as I write :-)
   82. Ken Fischer Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:20 AM (#1400945)
1953 Ballot

1-Willie Wells
Based on what Negro League experts and others who saw him play say Wells is one of the best shortstops of all-time. He played for more than 25 years and was part of the legendary Newark Eagles infield in the late 1930s.

2-Mule Suttles
Great Negro Leaguer from same era as Stearnes. Just a notch below Turkey.

3-Bill Dickey 314 WS
Maybe over-rated but still one of the top catchers of the 20th Century.

4-Hank Greenberg 267 WS
Hank is hurt by short career and war years…he played only 9 full years. Great Gray & Black Ink. Came back strong in ’45.

5-Dick Redding
James & Neyer rank Redding’s fast ball #2 from 1910 – 1919 behind Walter Johnson. Dick would be in the other hall if the annual Negro league picks started in 1995 had continued for a couple more years.

6-Biz Mackey
It seems like Biz is not getting a fair shake from the voters. He’s one of the top three catchers in most Negro League depth charts…along with Gibson & Santop. Biz taught Campy how to play the position so he must’ve been something to watch.

7-George Van Haltren 344 WS
8 of Van’s top 10 similar batters are in the other hall. I consider Van at the top of the list of the many worthy outfielders with long credentials waiting to get in the HOM.

8-Dick Lundy
Besides being a great hitter Lundy is considered by Negro League expert John Holway to be one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time.

9-Cool Papa Bell
It appears many HOM voters think Bell is overrated. I’m not so sure. He was the premier lead-off man of his era. Bell is considered by some to be the fastest man to ever play baseball. That has to count for something.

10-Billy Herman 298 WS
Maybe overshadowed by a couple of other great second baseman during his 15 seasons but had a great career. Herman also missed a couple of seasons during the war years. He made a big difference when he joined the Dodgers early in ’41.

11-Wally Schang 245 WS
Schang belongs in a special group of most overlooked ballplayers…Schang, Dahlen, B. Mathews, Start, Pike, Barnes, B. Johnson, etc. He played for several flag winners. Schang had great plate discipline. At the age of 39 he led the AL in HBP.

12-Pete Browning 225 WS
Pete does have a down side…but is getting a raw deal due to his prime being in the AA. He was a key player relied on by his teammates for most of his career. Grey Ink looks favorable. The Players League year removes the AA discount as an obstacle for me.

13-Mickey Welch 354 WS
His win shares numbers show he was more than just the 1885 season. McCormick, Mullane and Mathews also deserve another look from the 19th Century.

14-John Beckwith
I read somewhere he once hit four HRs in a game at Crosley Field. Played for at least 13 teams. Read a lot about how he was a nasty guy…but he did manage for awhile…some boss didn’t think he was all bad.

15-Hughie Jennings 214 WS
Probably the #3 SS of the 90s after Davis & Dahlen.

Averill, Rixey and Wes Ferrell have been pushed down my ballot by the influx of a lot of strong new candidates. They’re all still in my top 25.

16-Bob Johnson
17-Red Ruffing
18-Earl Averill
19-Wes Ferrell
20-Jake Beckley
21-Eppa Rixey
22-Joe Sewell
23-Burleigh Grimes
24-Sam Rice
25-Jimmy Ryan
   83. TomH Posted: June 13, 2005 at 12:57 PM (#1400969)
Gadfly - thanks for your response. Quicker than mine typically are!

One more Q for ya, if you can: you have Mackey at a projected 352 career WS. Bill Dickey you have at 339. Dickey had 30% of his WS on defense (by the NBJHA), and had a career OPS+ of 127. Can you break your Mackey projections up in this manner? Thanks!

FWIW, I also give Bill D some credit for catching 7 W.S. champions. The Yanks' team ERA in their W.S. play in his years was in the high twos, and I think some small kudos for this fine feat ought to go to their backstop.
   84. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2005 at 01:47 PM (#1401012)
This one's coming in unusually late for me, but I've been tied up with Mexican Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, Junior Leaguers, Little Leaguers, and generally beleaguered....

1953 BALLOT

1. Bill Dickey: pHOM. See, I can be nice to catchers. Dickey combines a strong peak/prime (even with a discount over his war years) with the kind of longevity at catcher that anyone could love. I do give cather bonuses (as was documented many elections ago), and those bonuses boost him to my #1 slot.
2. Hank Greenberg: pHOM. I have credited Greenberg with 25 WS each for the four seasons he missed in wartime. I credited them at a flat rate so that I could understand the kind of bulk he would be producing, not to have a sense of his peak. He comes across to me as having a career like Suttles's only with more value concentrated in his prime than Mule.
3. Mule Suttles: Behind Hammerin' Hank because his prime appears more diffuse.
4. John Beckwith: While I'm not 1000% percent certain of it, I think it's likely that Beckwith's and Wells's peaks are being somewhat underrated by our translations. Because Boom-Boom's peak is already looking higher through translation and because more of his value is concentrated in his prime, I'm rating him over Wells. It could go either way.
5. Willie Wells: I like the player, and I think his peak is potentially underrated. One thing that his candidacy brings up is whether or not the Mexican League walk/strikeout data is an accurate barometer of a Negro Leaguer's batting eye. K/BB rates may be very different than in the US at the time, and as we assemble more information about leaguewide Mexican League rates and totals, it will be very interesting to compare them. More data will hopefully be forthcoming as I compile league totals for pitchers.
6. Hugh Duffy: Born in Rhode Island. That gets him some points, right?
7a. Martin Dihigo.
7. Jose Mendez: I'm reconsidering the relative importance of a pitcher's peak to his slot on my ballot. I think that I've probably underrated Mendez a bit, though I feel comfy with Dean off my ballot. Maybe more reconsideration is needed?
8. Gavy Cravath: I'm a huge fan of consonance, and how often do you see consonance played on a vee and placed within words? Love it.
9. Geo. Van Haltren:
To all the centerfielders I've loved before
Whether in slots one, fourteen, or four
This one's career was long
So I dedicate this song
To all the centerfielders I've love before.
10. Wes Ferrell: For much the same reason I moved Mendez up a tick, Ferrell rises a bit.
11. George J. Burns: If only he'd been in an outfield with Earl Grace and Ethan Allen.
12. Spots Poles: I still like him a little more than Averill, Roush, and the rest of the CF glut.
13. Stan Hack: He and Herman are extremely similar, but I prefer Hack's concentrated peak and prime (with war discounts). A transition-era third baseman who should probably be in the real HOF, but is the very sort of player who would be overlooked from that period: a 3B who walked a lot, didn't play with Frankie Frisch, and played during WW2.
13a. Ted Lyons.
14. Bill Byrd: This one's on gut all the way. I'm of the mind that we're systematically underrating long-career pitchers in the Negro Leagues. There simply weren't many long-career guys, and guys with long careers necessarily run into documentation or opportunity issues or both. Byrd and Cooper require continuing discussion to make sure we're understanding their careers in context.
15. Eppa Rixey: I could have placed Cooper here as well, and at some point soon, I hope to run a comparison of Cooper's MLE career (which is around 3500-3600 innings) versus the best 3500-3600 innings of Rixey (as has been previously done by other voters for other candidates in the 3500 range).

Required disclosures:
I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid, nor have I witnessed a violation of the Honor Code.

Oh sorry, just remembering my college days.


Earl Averill: Very close to my ballot, in the top 25

Hugh Jennings: Off the bottom as well with the crunch of good new candidates.

Biz Mackey: Not enough peak/prime, just behind Bresnahan.

Red Ruffing: I prefer Rixey. Too bad his nickname wasn't "Orange."

Billy Herman: I've frankly always liked Wm. Jennings Bryan, except for the whole flap over Mexico. Anyway, Herman's just off the end too, close to Hack, but not quite enough on the peak/prime side.

Mel Harder: He's softer than I'd like.

Cecil Travis: Beware the man with two first names: 60% of 50% of a HOM career in 25% of people's minds.

Ernie Lombardi: I'm kind of unimpressed: ahead of Schalk, behind Schang.
   85. PhillyBooster Posted: June 13, 2005 at 03:18 PM (#1401167)
1953: I am not impressed by the newcomers as much as others apparently are. Willie Wells is about at my Averill-level, and Billy Herman is a little above it. Red Ruffing is comparable to Coveleski, who was #15 on my ballot when he went in. Ernie Lombardi is getting short shrift on the ballots so far, and is, in fact, my #2 newbie this year. Everyone else is just off the bottom.

1. Hank Greenberg (n/e) -- Great peak, even ignoring the fact that he missed 4.5 "peak years" to the War. Giving fair credit, it's not really very close.

2. Bill Dickey (3) -- only the second best Dickey in the HoM.

3. Mule Suttles (4) -- The end of my "inner circle" grouping.

4. Eppa Rixey (5) -- Lots of way above average innings. Lots of solid seasons. War credit. Just because I argued for Lyons being better doesn't mean I now can't use him as a reason to vote for Rixey!

5. Jake Beckley (6) -- I consider myself equal parts "peak" and "career", but I think this peak-minded electorate is leaving me with lots of the older career guys on top.

6. Gavy Cravath (7) – No reason really. Just picked his name out of hat.

7. Jose Mendez (8) -- Will Martin Dihigo become the only Cuban pitcher in the Hall of Merit? No way, Jose.

8. Dolf Luque (9) -- See Mendez. Great league with great pitchers. Relatively small league depresses stats (all teams are "All-Star" teams.) Where's the love?

9. Mickey Welch (10) -- Will the 1880s soon appear underrepresented? The is the end of my "second tier HoMer" group.

10. Ernie Lombardi (n/e) -- One of the most durable catchers to date, with a solid hitting record. Only has a marginal "Newhouser effect".

11. Roger Bresnahan (11) -- A highly-leveraged catcher. Look at his PA/G compared to his peers. Either he got lots of rest in blowouts, or, more likely, he was #1 off the bench on his days off. If you had a catcher who could hit like left fielder, wouldn't you try to get an extra PA out of him on his rest days? Amazing peak, and a long-enough career if you know who to compare him to.

12. John Beckwith (12) -- I am satisfied that he was sufficiently better than Sewell to warrant a ballot spot.

13. Cupid Childs (13) -- More love for the 1890s.

14. Clark Griffith (14) -- Never the best pitcher, but always near the top.

15. Cannonball Dick Redding (15) -- Because that's just how I'm feeling today.

----
16. Billy Herman

17. Hugh Duffy

18. Earl Averill

19. Willie Wells

20. Hughie Jennings

21. Red Ruffing

22. Biz Mackey

23. Vic Willis

24. Tommy Leach

25. Bill Monroe

George Sisler and Wes Ferrell are lower than 25.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2005 at 03:49 PM (#1401223)
I have 43 ballots counted. Still missing ballots from: jwinfrey, Patrick W, Don F, Esteban Rivera, Buddha, KJOK, Tiboreau, jimd, Max Parkinson, Ardo, Chris J and Eric Enders.
   87. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 13, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1401550)
1953 Ballot:

Herman and Hack are close to the ballot with Ruffing further behind. I have too many questions regarding Byrd, so for now, he goes into the consideration set. Lombardi is also in my consideration set. I see him as a Piazza-like player.

1. Hank Greenberg – War or no war, man could he hit. Gets the top spot this year.

2. Willie Wells – Has a lengthy career of being very good to great. He is definitely a HOMer in my view.

3. Bill Dickey – Fantastic catcher who will just have to wait his turn.

4. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of “years” has made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

5. Hughie Jennings - A monster for five years in all aspects of his time's play.

6. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder. I feel his peak gives him the edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

7. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the Player's League.

8. Rube Waddell - Was a special pitcher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was jettisoned because his managers did not know how to deal with his unique personality.

9. Mule Suttles - Still murky on how good he really was. On what I can safely sort out, this spot seems reasonable.

10. John Beckwith - Excepting his hitting, still have many uncertainties about him and what type of career he would have actually have had.

11. Dobie Moore - Fantastic peak with just enough career at shortstop.

12. Clark Griffith - The more that I look at him the more I realize I have been underestimating his accomplishments. The fourth best pitcher of the 90's should be in.

13. Earl Averill - His place among the best for his time in the league lands him here. Is given credit for the PCL.

14. George Sisler - Put up enough career with a very good to great peak that he goes above Beckley.

15. Bill Monroe - Keep gaining confidence in him. Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.


Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Eppa Rixey - The flatness of his career keeps him on the cusp of the ballot.

Wes Ferrell - Very good to great peak but can't reach the ballot with the newcomers this year. On the edge of the ballot

Biz Mackey - Has the hitting and the career length to edge Bresnahan for top catcher in my consideration set. Knocked off the ballot by the three newcomers.
   88. Gadfly Posted: June 13, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1401740)
83. Tom H-

By my adjusted calculations, Biz Mackey (67% offense, 33% defense) would have had a very similar Offensive-Defensive ratio as Dickey (70% offense, 30% defense). Mackey's career OPS+ (estimated by my adjustments at 123-130) would also be very similar to Dickey's career OPS+ (127).

One of the interesting things about Mackey is that, in the Negro Leagues, his bat and, most importantly, his defensive talent was good enough for him to log a lot of time at other positions than catcher, primarily 3B and SS, in his early years. Both of his peak seasons came when he was not really catching full-time.

Mackey was a very good hitter and, in my opinion, the absurdity of the conversion rates being used can easily be demonstrated by him. Simply compare his California Winter League batting stats (.366 BA, .554 SA in approximately 1000 ABs) with the stats of the Major League and Pacific Coast League players he competed against in the CWL.

According to the calculations in his thread, Mackey would have had a career OPS+ of 98. Looking over his CWL stats carefully, that figure becomes highly doubtful. But, what the hell.

On of the other interesting things about Mackey, after my adjustments, is that he becomes almost a dead ringer for Gabby Hartnett. The only real difference is that Mackey scores a little better because Hartnett missed one year out of his prime due to injury (1929).

As for giving Dickey credit for being on winning teams, I can see the argument but also realize that it can be taken to extremes (Charlie Silvera). Interestingly, the two guys who really look good using a winning team argument are 1) Yogi Berra and 2) Josh Gibson.

[Literally every team Gibson was on, except for his last season of 1946, claimed or was crowned the champion, both summer and winter.]

This may be some kind of proof that catchers should be given more credit for winning than any other position, but I'm not interested in arguing it and am not sure how you would prove it in any event.

Off the top of my head, Mackey was on the Hilldale champions from 1923-1925 and the champion Philadelphia Stars of 1934, and also managed (catching some too) the Newark Eagles champion team in 1946. So he wasn't completely shabby in that department either.
   89. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1401750)
'Course, Moe Berg came up as a SS too.
   90. karlmagnus Posted: June 13, 2005 at 08:03 PM (#1401766)
Mackey with a 127 OPS+ is like Gibson being twice as good as Babe Ruth or Cool Papa having 600WS -- and should be taken with the same seriousness.
   91. TomH Posted: June 13, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1401794)
Gadfly, thanks much. Just by rep alone, I would expect Mackey to have a higher % of his value defensively than Dickey. Him playing out of position is also interesting, altho it seems to me this happened far more often in NeL play; more like the 1880s MLB game.

compare his California Winter League batting stats with the stats of the MLers and PCL players he competed against in the CWL.
--
did I miss some ##s on this before? It's an excellent potential line of data.

Re: winning teams, I don't give as much credit for being on them, as I do for performing well in post-season. I'd rate W.S. game play as about 8 times as impt as game-for-game in regular season.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1401858)
We saw some Cal Lg numbers for NeLers who played there, but I don't recall anyone posting the numbers for MLers who did. The NeLers' numbers were generally pretty consistent with their numbers IN the NeL, so apparently the caliber of play overall was about like the NeL. Until we see some MLer numbers from the Cal Lg, we can't compare the two. Needless to say, it would be helpful in determining whether .82 or .87 or .9 or .95 is the right conversion for NeLers to MLEs.
   93. jimd Posted: June 13, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1402030)
(Cast)

Ballot for 1953

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

Still revising my syste (yet again). Maybe next election.

I'm dropping my official support for some candidates as lost causes. When I am the only supporter two years in a row, that's it, until someone else brings them back. They will remain on my ballot, but deprecated as a "lost cause" (see Fred Dunlap).

1) H. GREENBERG -- Without war credit, he's behind Jennings. Only 7 All-Star seasons and not as high a peak. Giving credit for 3-5 more All-Star seasons from 1941-5 makes a big difference.

2) H. JENNINGS -- If he had any kind of career, he'd be first-ballot, inner circle.

3) B. DICKEY -- A little over-rated.

4) W. FERRELL -- Great peak and longer than some of the other high peak pitchers. To me, an 8 year prime at Grove's level is HOM-worthy.

5) J. SEWELL -- Nice combination of WARP peak and career.

6) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's.

[lc) F. Dunlap -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Lost cause.]

[lc) B. Veach -- Good peak relative to great competition. Was an all-star OF longer than Klein, Berger, Wilson, Averill, etc. Lost cause.]

7) J. BECKWITH -- Belongs.

8) W. WELLS -- He and Appling are long career, low peak players like Maranville; more bat, less glove, similar value.

9) G. VAN HALTREN -- Not much more to say.

10) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away.

11) T. LEACH -- Pennants Added convinced me that my system underrates him.

12) G. SISLER -- Overrated but still good.

13) M. SUTTLES -- Not Turkey Stearnes but not chopped liver neither.

[lc) R. Maranville -- Very long career playing great defense; needs a little more bat. Lost cause.]

14) B. MACKEY -- Catcher bonus gets him on ballot.

15) R. RUFFING -- 5 time All-Star (top-32 WARP) versus once for Rixey.

Just missing the cut are:
19-22) Billy Herman, Hugh Duffy, Harry Hooper, Jimmy Ryan,
23-26) Dick Redding, Eppa Rixey, Gavy Cravath, Ned Williamson,
27-30) Ray Schalk, Herman Long, Dick Lundy, Jim McCormick,
31-34) Wally Schang, Edd Roush, Jose Mendez, Earl Averill,
35-38) Roger Bresnahan, Rube Waddell, Clark Griffith, Jake Beckley
   94. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:00 PM (#1402076)
Tough ballot. I’ve reshuffled the top 3 several times and really would be comfortable with any of them at #1. The final deal worked out this way.

1953 ballot:

1. Bill Dickey: Clear HOMer, holdover from last year, no question marks or what-ifs in his record, gets the nod at #1. I have the top 4 catchers so far as Gibson, Hartnett, Dickey, Cochrane, but the last 3 are all very close.

2. Willie Wells: Slugging shortstop, ~400 MLE win shares, #2 Negro League SS behind Lloyd, would likely have been the top MLB shortstop of his time had he been allowed to play. “Paint it black, paint it black, paint it black, you devil!”

3. Hank Greenberg: A star before WW2 (the big one), served 4 years, barely missed a step when coming back. Gets informal credit for some imagined good seasons.

4. Red Ruffing: I’m more career than peak, so I see him as the best pitching candidate, but the peak and prime aren’t bad at all. However, he’s probably doomed, between the bad seasons, the unremarkable ERA+, and having his best years with a good team.
Career stats obviously aren’t everything, but here are his total Win Shares & WARP3 vs. inductees over the last 15 years:
Ruffing 321, 102.7
He looks about comparable to these guys:
Hubbell 305, 100.8
Lyons 312, 104.9
better than these:
Vance 241, 79.2
Faber 292, 83.4
Coveleski 245, 79.1
(of course) worse than him:
Grove 391, 127.0
and better than the current MLB candidates on 10 or more ballots last year:
Rixey 315, 80.1
Ferrell 233, 80.9
Griffith 273, 71.9
Welch 354, 38.5
Waddell 240, 63.2
Grimes 286, 73.6
(The above are the most recent WARP numbers – unless they’ve changed since Tuesday or Wednesday. :-) )

5. Cool Papa Bell: Hitting, incredible speed, great defense, long career. Similar to, but better than, Carey. Even if the 400-odd win shares get reduced to 350, he’s well ahead of any “glut”.

6. George Sisler: If the career had a more normal shape, Sisler would likely be in already. The sharp break in performance may have killed his chances. The HOF got this one right; he’s been in since ’39. (PHOM 1938)

7. Biz Mackey: If even the low win shares estimates are anywhere near accurate, this is one of the all-time best catchers. #1 HOF-caliber career (among non-HOFers) on Riley’s list in the new ESPN encyclopedia.

8. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%. Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. (PHOM 1942)

9. Billy Herman: Starts a mini-parade of infielders. Slight edge over Sewell.

10. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, very good offense for a middle infielder. (PHOM 1939)

11. Dick Lundy: Looks roughly comparable to Sewell, longer career, a little more pop, a little less average, great defense. The numbers on his thread could be devastating to his candidacy. They certainly don’t square with expert opinions. #3 on Riley’s list behind Mackey & Pete Hill.

12. Stan Hack: The HOM’s a little short on thirdbasemen. Stan’s an excellent candidate, 316 WS, 4 STATS AS, 10 all-star quality seasons, good defense, OB-heavy OPS+ of 119.

13. Mule Suttles
14. John Beckwith
I’m not completely sold on them. Their hitting puts them on, their defense keeps them low.

15. Eppa Rixey: Long career, solid performer, innings-eater.

Required explanations:
Ferrell: I’ve got about 15 pitchers under serious consideration and he’s in the bottom 5 of those. Low innings; I prefer Mays, Waddell & Gomez among the low-innings guys.
Averill: Hit the lower part of my ballot three years ago. Topnotch outfielder for most of his relatively short career.
Jennings: Great short peak, not much else.

Also in the mix, not necessarily in order: Pete Browning (PHOM 1927), Roger Bresnahan (PHOM 1932), Clark Griffith (PHOM 1945), Jake Beckley (PHOM 1926), Mickey Welch (PHOM 1929), Hugh Duffy (PHOM 1940), Rube Waddell, Earl Averill, Pie Traynor, Tommy Leach, Dick Redding, Larry Doyle, Vic Willis, Carl Mays, Ben Taylor, Jose Mendez, Bill Monroe, Wally Schang, Spots Poles, Edd Roush, Wilbur Cooper, Dave Bancroft, Waite Hoyt.
   95. Patrick W Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:01 PM (#1402077)
Lombardi and Lopez would compete for HOM at catcher if the project were pick the best ‘xx’ players. As is there is currently no room on the ballot to make the top 15. Charlie Bennett says hello.

1. Bill Dickey (3), NY (A), C (‘29-‘46) (1953) – Delayed a year, Lots of new competition, but he’s a pretty easy selection for #1 for me.
2. Hank Greenberg (n/a), Detr. (A), 1B / LF (’33-’47) (1953) – My war credit puts him real close to Suttles in my system. I have more faith in the hard numbers + credit than I do in the MLE’s, plus my war bonuses may be a touch low anyways for my satisfaction, so Greenberg gets the bump.
3. Mule Suttles (4), St.L - Nwk. (--), 1B / LF (‘23-‘42) (1946) – Estimated 0.306 EQA in 9300 Trans. AB’s.
4. Willie Wells (n/a), St.L – Nwk. (--), SS (’26-’45) – Possibly lower than consensus, I’m more sure of the three above than Wells. The NeL’s are lining up like planes at O’Hare waiting to come in. They will soon enough.
5. John Beckwith (5), Bkn (--), SS / 3B (’19-’34) (1940) – Estimated 0.330 EQA in 6600 Trans. AB’s.
--. Martin Dihigo, Cuba (--), RF / P (’24-’45) –
6. Red Ruffing (n/a), N.Y. (A) SP (’25-’47) – Looks as good as Ted Lyons did when compared with the other pitchers eligible this year. Easily above the Faber-Rixey line. Possibly still too low ranked here.
7. Biz Mackey (6), Hilldale (--), C / 3B (’20-’41) – He’ll make it in on my ballot someday, but the NeL competition has gotten very tough, as seen above.
8. Cool Papa Bell (7), St.L (--), CF (’24-’42) – Bid McPhee is the comp for me. My guestimate is that Bell has the better EQA and longer career. The A+ fielding is at a different (and lesser) position but McPhee was at the top of my ballot, and Bell would be too – if the ballot hadn’t gotten stronger in the last 40 years.
9. Joe Sewell (8), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – On second look, I can’t justify Sewell over Cool Papa Bell.
--. Heinie Groh, Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
--. Red Faber, Chic. (A), SP (’14-’33) –
10. Eppa Rixey (9), Cinc. (N), SP (’12-’33) – Solid above average ERA for a good number of innings.
11. Bob Johnson (10), Phila. (A), LF (’33-’45) – Late start to his career, but every season a quality one, and 0.304 EQA always looks good on the resume. Could move up
12. George Van Haltren (11), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Leads the pack from the 90s holdovers.
13. Jimmy Ryan (12), Chic. (N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926) – Don’t really understand the lack of support.
14. Billy Herman (n/a), Chic. – Bkn. (N), 2B (’32-’46) – Above Ben Taylor, who drops off after 20+ years on the ballot.
15. Mel Harder (n/a), Clev. (A), SP (’30-’46) – Better than Tommy Bridges, who was a bottom feeder on this ballot last year. This could be Lon Warneke as easily as it is Harder, but my system has Harder just above and the crowd has spoken loud and clear about Lon’s chances. These are all ‘B-List’ers, so it might be time again to see if Griffith and Waddell and co. don’t deserve to slot above these guys.

Wes Ferrell – He’s under consideration. Not the top pitcher missing from the ballot tho’.
Earl Averill – I think Averill only tops Van Haltren with a steep timeline adjustment. My system tries to counteract that somewhat while still acknowledging that competition improves over time. I see Earl as close to (but below) the Beckley / Hooper / F.Jones group among OF/1B. It’s a judgment call, but I’ll stay with the old timers.
Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to overcome the career guys.

Ferrell, Averill & Jennings were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   96. Tiboreau Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1402084)
1. Willie Wells—Legitimately the second greatest shortstop of the Negro Leagues, his peak is doubly understated by his MLEs
2. Hank Greenberg—His excellent peak puts him on the ballot; extra credit for his missed years puts him in the top 3. Just as I gave Charley Jones credit for the 2.5 years he was blacklisted, I am willing to give credit for those who were unfairly kept from playing when it was in their capacity to.
3. Bill Dickey—Another year on the ballot, another year outside my PHoM. I have him as the best catcher of his era, slightly ahead of Hartnett based on his prime. However, all three are all extremely close IMO.
4. John Beckwith—His spot on my ballot is mainly based on Gadfly’s inestimable opinion on his hitting and Chris Cobb’s Win Shares projections.
5. Mule Suttles—Based on his reputation alone, I originally had Suttles ahead of Simmons & Beckwith. Based on Chris Cobb’s projections alone, he would be behind Duffy in the midst of the outfield/first base glut, so I’ve compromised between the two.
6. Billy Herman—Similar to Stan Hack, pulls ahead due to better defense at a tougher position and credit received for his missing years due to WWII
7. Wes Ferrell—His peak is comparable to compatriot Lefty Grove and places him among the top 3 pitchers of the ‘30s. ERA+ underrates Ferrell considering his consistent presence among the IP leaders, his attempts to hang on at the end of his career, and his aptitude as a hitter.
8. Stan Hack—Excellent peak, even considering the easier competition during the war, at an underrepresented position.
9. Red Ruffing—His peak puts him atop the excellent career, good peak pitching candidates.
10. Clark Griffith—A good balance between peak and career: His peak value is closer to Ferrell, Waddell and Mays than Rixey and Grimes, while his career value isn’t too far off the latter group and solidly ahead of the former.
11. Hughie Jennings—Jennings has the highest peak of any of the available candidates. His peak also comprises of 73.4% of his warp1 and 70.1% of his WS. In the end, the brilliance of his peak outshines any questions I have regarding his career value.
12. Hugh Duffy—An excellent peak puts Duffy among the top of the outfield glut, and considering that his peak makes up only 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value isn’t too shabby either.
13. Dizzy Dean—The Hughie Jennings of pitchers
14. Gavy Cravath—“He played ball, and lived his life, with a minimum amount of effort and nervous energy.” Cravath gets extra credit for his minor league performance, obviously, especially as the star of the Minneapolis Millers.
15. Eppa Rixey—Did not have a great peak, but Eppa was consistently real good for a long time. Receives credit for time missed during WWI in 1918 – 19.
   97. KJOK Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:44 PM (#1402135)
There will be a specific weekly voting deadline to be announced.

Might we possibly update the constitution with the actual deadline?

And my ballot will be here shortly...
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 14, 2005 at 12:04 AM (#1402164)
Just waiting for the fashionably late Kevin. :-)
   99. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 14, 2005 at 12:06 AM (#1402169)
There will be a specific weekly voting deadline to be announced.

Might we possibly update the constitution with the actual deadline?


Done.
   100. KJOK Posted: June 14, 2005 at 12:25 AM (#1402212)
Sorry for the delay, will post my 'missed ballot' explanations after this..

Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers. For Position Players AND Pitcher, heavily weight comparison vs. contemporaries.

1. BILL DICKEY, C. .644 OWP. 473 RCAP, 7,060 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. One reason the Yankees one so many pennants.

2. JOHN BECKWITH, 3B/SS. . Estimated 164 OPS+ over 7,419 estimated PA’s, and played left side infield. THE best hitting 3B/SS in the Negro Leagues. Major League comp is probably Dick Allen.

3. WILLIE WELLS,SS. . Not sure exactly where he goes yet, but feel he’s at least ahead of Lundy and Sewell.

4. HANK GREENBERG, 1B. .722 OWP. 347 RCAP. 6,096 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. One of best all-around 1Bmen of his era.

5. DICK LUNDY, SS. Estimated 122 OPS+ over 9,684 PA’s with at least VERY GOOD defense puts him ahead of Sewell. Comp is close to Joe Cronin.

6. STAN HACK, 3B. .631 OWP. 370 RCAP. 8,506 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. One of the few good hitting 3B of his era.

7. JOE SEWELL, SS. .549 OWP. 346 RCAP. 8,830 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Comp is Barry Larkin. Best major league SS of the 1920’s, AND 3rd best SS of 1910-1930 period.

8. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. .651 OWP. 282 RCAP, 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Best Catcher between Ewing and Cochrane, except for Santop.

9. WALLY SCHANG, C. .595 OWP. 271 RCAP, 6,422 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Not quite the hitter or fielder Bresnahan was, but played more games at Catcher, making him almost as valuable.

10. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890’s. Great offensively and defensively. SS defense and longer career value put him ahead of McGraw.

11. CLARK GRIFFITH, P. 256 RSAA, 199 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 121 ERA+ in 3,385 innings. Career-wise, close to McGinnity. Keeps moving up due to comparison with contemporaries as one of the best pitchers of the 1890’s.

12. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low. Plus led his team to 3 consecutive championships.

13. BILL MONROE, 2B. Estimated 132 OPS+ over 8,276 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are somewhere between Rod Carew and Bobby Bonilla.

14. MULE SUTTLES, LF/1B. MLE of .366 OBP and .538 SLG over 10,163 PAs. After adjusting for parks and eras, I think he’s maybe slightly above Ben Taylor offensively, but a little less valuable defensively.

15. BIZ MACKEY, C. . MLE of .359 OBP and .393 SLG. A .300 hitting Gold Glove Catcher had to be a very valuable player.
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