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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, May 29, 2005

1953 Ballot Discussion

1953 (June 5)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

322 101.7 1925 Red Ruffing-P (1986)
316 98.4 1932 Stan Hack-3B (1979)
298 97.9 1932 Billy Herman-2B (1992)
267 85.2 1933 Hank Greenberg-1B (1986)
234 71.7 1928 Mel Harder-P (2002)
218 75.6 1931 Ernie Lombardi-C (1977)
189 72.3 1936 Claude Passeau-P (2003)
173 75.6 1930 Al Lopez-C (living)
219 52.2 1931 Doc Cramer-CF (1990)
170 62.3 1931 Billy Jurges-SS (1997)
182 55.8 1939 Roy Cullenbine-RF (1991)
177 56.4 1934 Bill Lee-P (1977)
169 57.5 1934 Cecil Travis-SS/3B (living)
151 46.6 1939 Mort Cooper-P (1958)
127 43.7 1937 Spud Chandler-P (1990)
142 37.7 1938 George Case-LF/RF (1989)
109 31.0 1934 Cookie Lavagetto-3B (1990)
112 24.1 1939 Nick Etten-1B (1990)
104 31.0 1934 Johnny Murphy-RP (1970)
095 33.2 1937 Eddie Smith-P (1994)
097 30.8 1937 Chet Laabs-LF/RF (1983)

1953 (June 5)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

HF 24-51 Willie Wells-SS (1905) #2 ss - 2.5 - 8*
32% 32-50 Bill Byrd-P (1907)6 - 1*
4% 35-47 Horatio Martinez-SS (1915) 0 - 0*

Players Passing Away in 1952
HoMers
Age Elected

none

Candidates
Age Eligible

92 1901 Arlie Latham
88 1908 Bones Ely-SS
86 1906 Bert Cunningham-P
80 1917 Fred Tenney-1b
79 1916 Deacon Phillippe-P
73 1921 Frank Smith-P
72 1922 Red Dooin-C
62 1928 Phil Douglas-P
61 1929 Doc Lavan-SS
60 1931 Dutch Leonard-P
59 1937 Earl Sheely-1B
47 1940 Don Hurst-1B

Upcoming Candidate
40 1954 Arky Vaughan-SS

As usual, thanks to Dan and Chris for the lists!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:13 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2005 at 12:56 AM (#1372339)
hot topics
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: May 31, 2005 at 02:19 AM (#1372532)
Let's get cranking with this.
Looks a little daunting at first, but there's a certain symmetry. Little change from one year to the next, but notice that's there's always SOME difference. Asterisks indicate part-time play, and there's a 1o G minimum to be listed.

NL HOMers since 1901
1901 (15) - Hamilton, Delahanty, Nichols, Burkett, Davis, Dahlen, Clarke, Flick, Keeler, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, Crawford, Wallace, Sheckard
1902 (9) - Dahlen, Clarke, Keeler, Kelley*, Mathewson, Wagner, Crawford, McGinnity*, Sheckard
1903 (8) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown
1904 (10) - Nichols, Dahlen, Clarke*, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown, Magee
1905 (10) - Nichols, Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown, Magee
1906 (9) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown, Magee
1907 (8) - Dahlen, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown, Magee
1908 (9) - Dahlen, Clarke, Kelley*, Mathewson, Wagner, McGinnity, Sheckard, Brown, Magee
1909 (8) - Dahlen*, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, Sheckard, Brown, Magee, Wheat*
1910 (8) - Clarke, Keeler*, Mathewson, Wagner, Sheckard, Brown, Magee, Wheat
1911 (10) - Young*, Clarke, Mathewson, Wagner, Sheckard, Brown, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey
1912 (9) - Mathewson, Wagner, Sheckard, Brown*, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh*
1913 (9) - Mathewson, Wagner, Sheckard, Brown, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh
1914 (7) - Mathewson, Wagner, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh
1915 (8) - Mathewson, Wagner, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby*
1916 (9) - Mathewson*, Wagner, Brown, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby
1917 (7) - Wagner*, Magee, Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby
1918 (6) - Magee, Wallace*, Wheat, Carey, Groh, Hornsby
1919 (7) - Magee*, Wheat, Alexander, Carey*, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch*
1920 (6) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch
1921 (6) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch
1922 (8) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett*
1923 (8) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett
1924 (9) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry
1925 (9) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry
1926 (11) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott*
1927 (10) - Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott
1928 (10) - Alexander, Carey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell*
1929 (10) - Alexander*, Carey*, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett*, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1930 (9) - Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Heilmann
1931 (8) - Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1932 (9) - Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Heilmann*
1933 (7.9) - Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1934 (7) - Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1935 (8) - Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Ruth*
1936 (6) - Frisch, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1937 (5) - Frisch*, Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1938 (4) - Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1939 (4) - Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell


AL HOMers since 1901
1901 (5) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, McGinnity
1902 (10.2) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, McGinnity*, Delahanty, Burkett, Davis, Flick, Kelley*, Wallace
1903 (10) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, Delahanty*, Burkett, Flick, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford
1904 (11) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, Burkett, Davis, Flick, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh*
1905 (12) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie*, Plank, Burkett, Davis, Flick, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh*, Cobb*
1906 (11) - Young, JCollins*, Lajoie, Plank, Davis, Flick, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb
1907 (13) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, Davis, Flick, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins*, WJohnson*
1908 (13) - Young, JCollins, Lajoie, Plank, Davis, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker*
1909 (14) - Young, Lajoie, Plank, Davis*, Flick*, Wallace, Keeler, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker
1910 (13) - Young, Lajoie, Plank, Flick*, Wallace, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson
1911 (11) - Lajoie, Plank, Wallace, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson
1912 (10) - Lajoie, Plank, Wallace, Crawford, Walsh, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Jackson
1913 (11) - Lajoie, Plank, Wallace*, Crawford, Walsh*, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson
1914 (12) - Lajoie, Plank, Wallace*, Crawford, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson, Faber, Heilmann*
1915 (9) - Lajoie, Crawford, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Jackson, Faber, Ruth
1916 (14) - Lajoie, Plank, Wallace*, Crawford, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski
1917 (12) - Plank*, Crawford*, Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski
1918 (10) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson*, Faber*, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski
1919 (10) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Jackson, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski
1920 (9) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson*, Speaker, Jackson, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski
1921 (10) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin*
1922 (10) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker*, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin
1923 (10) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig*
1924 (12) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig*, Simmons, Lyons
1925 (14) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove
1926 (15) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer
1927 (15) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson*, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Wheat
1928 (15) - Cobb, ECollins*, Speaker*, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski*, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx
1929 (12) - Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1930 (11) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1931 (11) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons*, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1932 (11) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1933 (11.1) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin, Hornsby*
1934 (11) - Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin, Hornsby*
1935 (10) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin, Hornsby*
1936 (9) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane*, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1937 (10) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane*, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin, Hornsby*
1938 (8) - Goslin*, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin
1939 (6) - Simmons, Lyons, Grove, Gehringer, Foxx, Cronin

Negro League HOMers since 1901
1901 (2) - Grant, Hill
1902 (3) - Grant, Hill, RFoster
1903 (4) - Grant, Hill, RFoster, HR Johnson
1904 (3) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson
1905 (3) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson
1906 (4) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd*
1907 (4) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd
1908 (4) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd
1909 (4) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd
1910 (6) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd, Santop, SJWiilliams
1911 (6) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd, Santop, SJWiilliams
1912 (6) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd, Santop, SJWiilliams
1913 (7) - Hill, RFoster, HRJohnson, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente
1914 (6) - Hill, RFoster, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente
1915 (7) - Hill, RFoster, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston*
1916 (8) - HRJohnson*, Hill, RFoster, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston
1917 (6) - Hill, Lloyd, Santop*, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston
1919 (6) - Hill, Lloyd, Santop*, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston
1920 (7) - Hill, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan
1921 (7) - Hill, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan
1922 (8) - Hill*, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson*
1923 (10) - Hill*, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster
1924 (10) - Hill*, Lloyd, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster
1925 (10) - Lloyd, Santop*, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo
1926 (9) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo
1927 (9) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo
1928 (9) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente*, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo
1929 (8) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo
1930 (9) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan*, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo. Gibson*
1931 (9) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan*, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo, Gibson
1932 (7) - Lloyd*, SJWilliams, Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Gibson
1933 (5) - Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Gibson
1934 (5) - Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Gibson
1935 (6) - Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo, Gibson
1936 (6) - Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Dihigo, Gibson
1937 (5) - Charleston, JWilson, Stearnes, BFoster, Gibson
1938 (3) - JWilson, Stearnes, Gibson
1939 (3) - JWilson, Stearnes, Gibson
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: May 31, 2005 at 02:22 AM (#1372540)
Bah.

I'd like to think that prints out nicely, one line per year.

My new computer likes to eat the message if I try to preview it. For this, I spent $900?
   4. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1372697)
Red Ruffing. Longest write-up I've ever done. A reasonable argument could be made that he should've won 300 games -- even if you adjust for the impact of his Yanks teammates. I don't necessarily agree with that argument, but it's worth tossing out there. His teams won only 2 of his 19 starts versus the Yanks.

Mel Harder. Not the greatest write-up, but some info there. Had some of the worst run support ever in 1933.

Eddie Smith. No, you're not going to vote for him, but in the spirit of this project, here's the info on him. Some interesting MOWP info and some other good stuff there.
   5. Michael Bass Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:19 AM (#1372700)
Prelim top 50, with comments on newbies

1. Dickey

2. Greenberg - My war credit system gives career credit, but not peak credit. Without the extra career, he looks about like Hughie Jennings in total value. With it, well ahead.

3. Ferrll
4. Jennings

5. Herman - I've said before, like the total package on him. Peak, prime, career, hitting, fielding...very good player, easy HOMer in my view.

6. Mendez
7. Beckwith

8. Ruffing - Little peak, plenty of prime and career. Ted Lyons is an excellent comp.

9. Moore

10. Wells - I think there's a pretty big falloff after Moore. I like Moore significantly better than Wells, as Moore was simply one of the greats for a few years there. But I gotta take the B+/A- SS who could hit over Averill and the next crew.

11. Averill
12. Dean
13. Sewell
14. Griffith
15. Johnson



16-20: Suttles, Redding, Sisler, Browning, Mackey

21. Hack - Plenty of hitting, not enough fielding to have a lot of peak. His 1945 is a major contender for discounting, it sticks out from his career.

22-25: Shocker, Dunlap, Monroe, Buffinton,
26-30: Lundy, Williamson, Bartell, F. Jones, Waddell
31-32: Scales, Taylor

33. Passeau - Hasn't gotten any talk, but I rate him a bit better than Harder. Solid year in 1940, plenty of other good years to support. W-L is extremely deceiving.

34-35: Veach, Bond

36-39: Klein, Uhle, Poles, Van Haltren

40. Harder - There's a little peak there, but not enough of one to justify his shortish career.

41-45: Warneke, Berger, Bell, Schalk, Clift
46-50: Mays, Childs, Winters, Camilli, Lazzeri

Lombardi is in the top 70...his defense was horrific. Travis might be in the top 100.

I have not yet ranked Bill Byrd yet; I do not anticipate him making the ballot; I can't even believe Redding is off my ballot, and I find it hard to imagine I'll be putting Byrd ahead of him.
   6. Paul Wendt Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:23 AM (#1372704)
Federal League HOMers
1914 (1) - Brown
1915 (2) - Brown, Plank

eh?
   7. Chris Cobb Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:40 AM (#1372724)
1953 Preliminary Ballot

What a group of candidates! There are no all-time greats here, but the field is incredibly deep – Wells, Greenberg, Herman, Hack, Ruffing, Harder, Byrd – seven serious candidates all together. At a first pass they are book-ending my ballot, with Bill Byrd and Ernie Lombardi still to be placed.

Byrd could make the ballot but probably won't, might make the top 30, will make the top 60. Lombardi might make the top 30 but probably won't. He probably will make the top 60.


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 but 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. Quick response to Michael Bass above: I can see Wells ranking behind Dickey or Greenberg, but I don't see how even a peak voter would prefer Billy Herman to Wells.
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 (100 win shares total) places him just above Beckwith.
4. John Beckwith (4).
5. Clark Griffith (5).
6. Hughie Jennings (6).
7. Eppa Rixey (7).
8. Mule Suttles (8).
9. Wes Ferrell (9).
10. George Van Haltren (10).
11. Edd Roush (11).
12. Tommy Leach (12)
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. Just behind Herman in value.
15. Red Ruffing. (n/e) Lands between Eppa Rixey and Burleigh Grimes among the “innings-eater” pitching candidates. That’s just enough to get him on this years’s ballot, though Bill Byrd could still push him off. 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.

16-20. Mackey, Sisler, Doyle, Grimes, Averill
21-26. Mendez, Redding, Arlett, Cravath, Bell
27. 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, which is masked in his raw record by dreadful run support. Very similar to Carl Mays, but slightly better, although not so well-rounded a player.
28-30. Poles, Mays, Shocker.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: May 31, 2005 at 03:56 AM (#1372750)
Did I miss a Federal Leaguer, Paul?
   9. Ardo Posted: May 31, 2005 at 04:04 AM (#1372769)
Prelim, w/o my new rankings done yet:

1) Greenberg
2) Wells
3) Dickey
4) Beckwith
5) Averill
6) Herman
7) Suttles
8) Ruffing
9) Hack
10) Griffith
11) Roush
12) Ferrell
13) Sisler
14) Rixey
15) Mackey
   10. DavidFoss Posted: May 31, 2005 at 05:15 AM (#1372863)
This week's #1 pick will be our 100th HOM-er.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: May 31, 2005 at 11:27 AM (#1373011)
Very prelim.

1. Greenberg--new, PHoM 1953*
2. Dickey--PHoM 1953*
3. Wells--new
4. Jennings*
5. D. Moore*
6. Sisler*
7. Suttles
8. Bond*
9. Mendez
10. Herman--new
11. Waddell*
12. Roush
13. Klein
14. Byrd--new
15. Beckwith

16-20. Cravath, Joss, Doyle, Williamson*, Hack (new)
21-25. Bell, C. Jones*, Averill, Browning, Dean
26-30. Sewell, Ruffing, Childs*, Rixey, McCormick
31-35. Redding, Bresnahan, Griffith, Cicotte, Beckley
   12. DavidFoss Posted: May 31, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1373020)
Ugh... that hard-drive crash was brutal. I was counting on the HOM taking some of the pain out of going back to work after a long weekend. :-)
   13. Rusty Priske Posted: June 01, 2005 at 01:10 PM (#1373886)
Prelim. PHoM matches the Top 2 yet again.

1. Willie Wells (new)
2. Hank Greenberg (new)
3. Mule Suttles (3,3,4)
4. Red Ruffing (new)
5. Bill Dickey (13,x,x)
6. George Van Haltren (5,4,6)
7. Mickey Welch (8,8,9)
8. Eppa Rixey (4,5,5)
9. John Beckwith (6,6,7)
10. Jake Beckley (7,7,8)
11. Stan Hack (new)
12. Cool Papa Bell (10,10,11)
13. Biz Mackey (9,9,10)
14. Tommy Leach (11,11,12)
15. Edd Roush (12,12,13)

16-20. Sisler, Rice, Duffy, Moore, Averill
21-25. Herman, Powell, Ryan, Streeter, Mullane
26-30. Grimes, Childs, Monroe, Griffith, White
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 01, 2005 at 01:33 PM (#1373918)
I'm going to sound the muted post horn for NgL pitchers. If Chris, Gadfly, Gary, and David want to add any thoughts or tell me that I'm nuts, please chime in!

On the re-evaluating-NgL-pitchers thread, I named about 20 guys who merit more exploration. Among them, I think several merit serious consideration and maybe even ballot placement with no further analysis. They are (with some description to flesh them out, all stats are opportunity adjusted [as described on that thread] and may not precisely match my previous OPP-adj stats because I found a couple small algorithmic errors). These are all my own opinions.

Bill Byrd
OPP-ADJ CAREER STATS
155-98, .611, 22.2 WAT, .09 WAT/DEC

OPP-ADJ PEAK/PRIME STATS
BEST WAT 1 YEAR: 6.0 (1943)
BEST WAT ANY 3 YEARS: 14.4
BEST WAT ANY 5 YEARS: 19.0
BEST WAT ANY 10 YEARS: 25.1
=============================
Long career, decent peak, #1 starter for a long time: floor appears to be Ruffing/Rixey/Grimes, ceiling could be somewhat higher, depending on how the discounts for 1940-1945 turn out.

Andy Cooper
OPP-ADJ CAREER STATS
82-36, .693, 13.3 WAT, .11 WAT/dec

OPP-ADJ PEAK/PRIME STATS
BEST WAT ANY 1 YEAR: 3.3 (1924)
BEST WAT ANY 3 YEARS: 7.5
BEST WAT ANY 5 YEARS: 10.9
BEST WAT ANY 10 YEARS: 15.6
===========================
Long career, won well above the excellent teams he played for. He didn't have a great peak, but there's no apparent trough to his career, just a longggg string of above-average to very-good seasons. In the 10 fully documented seasons he played in the NNL, he was the #1 or #2 starter in seven of them.

Jose Mendez
OPP-ADJ CAREER STATS
14-5, .741, 1.8 WAT, .1 WAT/dec

OPP-ADJ PEAK/PRIME STATS
BEST WAT ANY 1 YEAR: 1.3 (1923)
BEST WAT ANY 3 YEARS: 1.7
BEST WAT ANY 5 YEARS: 1.9
BEST WAT ANY 10 YEARS: 1.8
============================
We know about him, but his limited 1920-1926 stats show that he was still capable of dominance long after his arm gave out in the teens. Outstanding peak candidate based on his play from 1908 through the mid teens.

Connie Rector
OPP-ADJ CAREER STATS
93-75, .555, 16.7 WAT, .10 WAT/dec

OPP-ADJ PEAK/PRIME STATS
BEST WAT ANY 1 YEAR: 7.6 (1929)
BEST WAT ANY 3 YEARS: 16.8
BEST WAT ANY 5 YEARS: 20.3
BEST WAT ANY 10 YEARS: 24.8
============================
In the same vein as Cooper, but played forever and for a lot of poor teams. His WAT shows that he was able to rise above them consistently, and his 1929 season is extremely impressive.

Harry Salmon
OPP-ADJ CAREER STATS
68-45, .603, 17.8 WAT, .16 WAT/dec

OPP-ADJ PEAK/PRIME STATS
BEST WAT ANY 1 YEAR: 5.8 (1923)
BEST WAT ANY 3 YEARS: 13.3
BEST WAT ANY 5 YEARS: 17.5
BEST WAT ANY 10 YEARS: 17.8
============================
Wes Ferrell fans get ready. This guy is very similar to Ferrell: An 8-9 year peak/prime during which time he was consistently excellent for teams that weren't great. His .603 win pct is decent for a top-flight NgL starter, but his WAT of 17.8 is outstanding, especially when you consider that he racked it up more quickly than any other candidate available.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In addition to these five, I am in the process of gathering further information on a few others, and I'll offer quick sketches like those above if I find that these guys need it.

Oscar Levis
Leroy Matlock
Dick Redding
Huck Rile
Tom Williams

I should be able to be more definitive about things later this week after my copy of the Mexican League encyclopedia comes and I have time to sift through it.
   15. TomH Posted: June 01, 2005 at 01:46 PM (#1373932)
Stan Hack's WARP3 as reported at the top of this thread is about 10 wins too high; should be just under 90 instead of just under 100.
He's still a fine candidate.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2005 at 02:01 PM (#1373952)
We have threads for Byrd, Cooper and Mendez. How about threads for Rector and Salmon.
   17. DavidFoss Posted: June 01, 2005 at 02:05 PM (#1373957)
40 1954 Arky Vaughan-SS

Sad. I guess he fell off his boat while fishing and drowned.
   18. Carl G Posted: June 01, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1373962)
I can't believe I forgot it was Monday on Monday! I missed getting my ballot in. Oh well, Gibson and Ott were 1-2 on my ballot anyway.
   19. Paul Wendt Posted: June 01, 2005 at 02:35 PM (#1373990)
Chris Cobb #7:
There is a clerical error re #26 and that may be Mel Harder's rank.

Howie Menckel
Did I miss a Federal Leaguer, Paul?

I don't know one but I can't yet do a systematic check. "eh?" means that I invite correction by a knowledgeable Upper Canadian.

Re the backlog, Edd Roush supporters are hopeful but the electorate clearly rate him behind Earl Averill.
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: June 01, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1374006)
Chris Cobb #7:
There is a clerical error re #26 and that may be Mel Harder's rank.


The error is the omission of the #26 candidate, Rabbit Maranville, from the list.
   21. Carl G Posted: June 01, 2005 at 03:00 PM (#1374027)
Here's my 1st go at 1953. I've got alot of newbies(5) on my ballot and 2 more just off, so I'm going to reevaluate before my final ballot.

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 HackPretty 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.
16-George Sisler-The peak is hard to ignore.
17-Wes Ferrell-He's not Grove, Hubbell or Lyons, but he's 4th I this period. I upped him in 29-31 for pitching against much tougher offenses than grove did.
18-Mel Harder-Nice Prime from 32-39, but not a lot else.
19-Wally Schang-I like his offense from the catcher slot.
20-Joe Sewell-Slick fielder, above average hitter. He's in my gray area where I don't know if he's HoM-worthy or not(this started around Sisler and will end several players off my ballot)
21-Ernie Lombardi-Solid for quite a while.
22-Ned Williamson-Excellent defensively and 2nd only to Sutton at the position for the period.
23-Cool Papa Bell-Strong career still has him 2nd to Averill in CFs right now.
24-Rube Waddell-Nice peak
   22. andrew siegel Posted: June 01, 2005 at 03:17 PM (#1374058)
We have a very rich ballot right now. Here is my preimlinary list sans comments:

(1) Dickey (3rd)
(2) Beckwith (4th)
(3) Wells (new)
(4) Greenberg (new)
(5) Suttles (5th)
(6) Jennings (6th)
(7) Van Haltren (7th)
(8) Ruffing (new)
(9) Moore (14th)
(10) Averill (8th)
(11) Duffy (9th)
(12) Ferrell (11th)
(13) Childs (10th)
(14) Herman (new)
(15) Rixey (12th)

The next six in order are Grimes, Jones, Roush, Hack, Sewell, and Redding.
   23. TomH Posted: June 01, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1374084)
53 Scatterbox Prelim

---- “clearly in” “borderline” “HoVGood”
-C ---Dickey ----Mackey Schang/Bresnahan
SS ----Wells ----Sewell -----Jennings
2B ---Herman -------Childs -Monroe/Doyle
3B ----Hack ----McGraw --Traynor
UTIL --------------Beckwith Leach
1B Greenberg -------------------Sisler/
1B --Suttles ----------------Chance/Beckley
OF ---------VanHaltren --B Johnson
CF ------------CP Bell, Averill
-P -Griffith ------------Rixey--more NeLers
-P ------Ruffing --------------Dean/Welch
-P ------Ferrell -----------------Waddell
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 01, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1374200)
I don't know that this is how my final ballot will end up, and I don't even know whether this is really the right order, but I'm parking by touch right now. Players new to my ballot in bold.

1 Dickey
2 Greenberg: crediting him at 25 WS per annum for the time he missed.
3 Suttles: very similar player to Greenberg.
4 Wells: i'm adjusting mentally upward a bit because I think our MLEs are currently deflating peak seasons just a smidge. Ahead of Beckwith on career.
5 Beckwith
6 Byrd: Could be higher or lower than this. Combines long career with good WAT totals. Closer, I'd say, to Lyons than Grimes, but also perhaps above that whole pack of pitchers.
7 Duffy
8a (DiHigo)
8 Cravath
9 Van Haltren
10 Mendez: Moved him back up a little bit, just one spot, because I feel more certainty after combing through his league-era numbers.
11 Burns
12 Poles
13 Ferrell
14 Salmon: Initial placement. I think the Ferrell-Salmon analogy works.
15 Hack: A little better on peak than Herman
(Lyons)
16 A. Cooper: I'm not exactly sure how WAT and WS compare, but I suspect that Cooper is very similar to Rixey: a classy lefty who was around a long time with a decent but not stupdenous peak.
16 Rixey
16 Herman: Just misses the ballot.
16 Rector: I think he's in the long-career group, but he's got more peak. Also has more not-good seasons than Cooper or Byrd.
16 Ruffing: I can't put him above Rixey due to lingering questions about WTF was going on Boston (thanks Chris J for your analysis!)

Lombardi: Not enough, even with my often generous catcher bonuses. Behind Schang who is behind Mackey who is about even with Raj.

Harder's off the edge of my pitcher consideration set.

Anyone think Mort Cooper might have any shred of a case?

Again things could start changing quickly.
   25. Jim Sp Posted: June 01, 2005 at 04:36 PM (#1374209)
Ruffing around #50.

Billy Herman I need to spend more time on, in particular I have 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.

Mel Harder and Cecil Travis had nice careers. Travis had about 60% of a HoM career when WW2 disrupted his career at age 27.

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, but not this year.
2)Greenberg--Lots of war credit.
3)Wells--
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--
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--
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--
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.
   26. Carl G Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:04 PM (#1374271)
'Dickey is a no-doubt-about-it HOMer, but not this year.'

Not this year? You've got him rated #1 Jim!
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1374298)
Re. Roy Cullenbine: Bill James mentions him in his article on Bobby Estalella.

"Bill DeWitt, who ran the St. Louis Browns during the war, said that he got rid of Roy Cullenbine after the 1941 season because Cullenbine was a lazy player, always trying to get on base with a walk. The lazy bastard had hit .317 in 1941 with 9 homers, 98 RBI and 121 walks.

"This kind of high octane ignorance no doubt worked against Estalella as well...."

James has Cullenbine rated #68 in RF, between Jesse Barfield and Richie Zisk. Not even the HOVG, I'm afraid. But only 3 slots behind Bill Nicholson, another intriguing WWII RF, and within 10 slots of Holmes, Thomson, Schulte, Wertz, Kuenn, Justice, Chili Davis and Tony Phillips. Cullenbine is #7 all-time in BB rate, behind Williams, Bishop, Ruth, Fain, Stanky and Tenace, and ahead of the Big Hurtin', Eddie Yost and some guy named Mantle.
   28. Jim Sp Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1374306)
Oops...busted on recycling comments.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1374308)
PS. I have to tell you that Claude Passeau will not be on my ballot, but my best friend has been cursed throughout his life with the name Claude, after Passeau. My friend's father pitched in the Cubs system and was in AAA by the time the war broke out (I haven't confirmed this). He never made it to the Cubbies unfortunately, and always said the war years would have been his prime. Anyway, Passeau was his hero and he named his second son after him. It was another son, not my friend, the third one, who became a pretty good high school pitcher himself.
   30. DanG Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:31 PM (#1374335)
TomH
Stan Hack's WARP3 as reported at the top of this thread is about 10 wins too high; should be just under 90 instead of just under 100.

This brings up a good point to keep in mind. From the time that I look up the WARP3 until the election is a period of 6+ months. So it hardly ever matches exactly the latest figure.

If anyone has the time to update these and send them to John Murphy the week before the discussion, it would be helpful.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1374366)
This brings up a good point to keep in mind. From the time that I look up the WARP3 until the election is a period of 6+ months. So it hardly ever matches exactly the latest figure.

If the span was only 6 hours instead of 6 months, I still wouldn't bet money that it would be correct the way they keep changing their numbers over there. :-)
   32. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 01, 2005 at 05:54 PM (#1374372)
I disagree that Travis had 60% of a HOM career. he had three seasons with 22,22,20 WS (I think, the information isn't where I am) and then his big season before going into the service in 1941. He would have needed another season or three liek that to satisify peak voters like myself and another 7-10 seasons like what he did in the late thirties to satisfy the career guys out there.

I think Travis had about a 30% chance to be a HOM player prior to the war but many many players have that kind of a chance after their age 27 season (1941 for Travis). I really see little difference bewteen what he did and what Cy Seymoyur did. Travis is just wrapped in mystery is all.
   33. Daryn Posted: June 01, 2005 at 06:58 PM (#1374466)
There is hardly any difference between 18 and 44 on my ballot. Two through 17 are pretty tight too. Angels on a pin.

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, a five person group of whiteball pitchers that includes Waddell and Griffith, the latter of whom I am souring on.

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 low 20s).

9. Greenberg – I’m Jewish, so I’m supposed to like this guy. But 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 possible Cobb MLE of over 4000 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, 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. I might move him down soon --- or he might get elected first.

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.

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, so I've got them all between 20 and 25.

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

26. Wes Ferrell

35. Earl Averill

46. Jennings
   34. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 01, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1374475)
By the by...

As I'm looking at Mexican League records, I'm noticing low K/BB ratios and high ERAs. Which reminded me that somebody (Phillybooster?) asked a few weeks ago about the altitudes for Mexican League Cities. Here's a pretty decent answer, cobbled together from a quick net search for the cities in the Mexican League from 1940-1950ish. Results ordered by altitutde

City          Approx Elev.
Mexico City     7500'
Puebla          7000'
Jalisco         6500'
San Luis Potosi 6100'
[DENVER         5300']
Chihuahua       4700'
[PHOENIX        4200']
Torreon         3700'
Monterrey       1750'
[PITTSBURGH     1223']
Nuevo Laredo     125'
Tampico           75'
Veracruz          52'
Yucatan           12'

Average elevation of these Mexican cities is 3410'.
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2005 at 07:09 PM (#1374487)
BTW is there a half-time show? Or am I actually going to have to vote on this crop of newbies plus process all the great info Eric has provided on the NeL pitchers, all in about 5 days? Omigod!
   36. OCF Posted: June 01, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1374678)
Thanks, Dr. Chaleeko - actually, I was the one who asked. But are you sure Puebla and Jalisco are that high? (Phoenix - the valley where the city and ballpark are, anyway - is most certainly not 4200'.)

But it is clear that only the coastal cities count as low elevation. What city is "Yucutan," by the way - Merida?
   37. DavidFoss Posted: June 01, 2005 at 08:50 PM (#1374732)
Wikipedia has the mean elevation of Phoenix, AZ at 1,117 feet.
   38. Mike Webber Posted: June 01, 2005 at 08:58 PM (#1374756)
I am somewhat surprised by the lack of support that Stan Hack is getting, but I do realize that he is exactly the type of player I tend to over rate.

He has 300+ Win Shares

He has a good peak - if you don't mentally deduct for WW2 you could call it a great peak.

He is at a position where his peers aren't as strong.

Currently I have Hack 5th on my ballot.
   39. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 01, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1374795)
Michael,

I will have Hack 7th, so I guess I am with you. However, some of it may be that in order to give war credit one must take some credit away from thsoe that were playing MLB during the way (especially with WS). This does dampen his peak a bit. I think that Hack is one of the 10 best 3B ever and a definite HOMer.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: June 01, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1374825)
Hack will be on my ballot as well.

I'll try to post a prelim tonight. Its a very tricky ballot. Each new candidate invites new comparisions that will tug against my old familiar backlog candidates. I'm expecting some major shifts due to this. My stuff is at home, but I'll "think out loud" here for a bit in hopes of generating a bit of discussion to help me

-- Herman versus Doyle & Childs. The position is certainly changing, what is Herman's WS grade? Herman is 1st or 2nd in NL defensive Win Shares throughout his prime. He's certainly not Frisch or Gehringer. Tough choice here.

-- Ruffing versus Ferrell. Wes has been around #10 on my ballot for the last several years. All the new candidates are making this tough as many guys will fall off of my ballot. I'm guessing I can only keep one of these two (or two of Ruffing/Ferrell/Redding).

-- Hack versus Sewell/McGraw. I think McGraw may drop off my ballot this year. I had him as high as #4 a little over twenty 'years' ago. Hack is an OBP machine with a longer career.

-- Wells versus Beckwith. I'm inclined to go with Beckwith here because bats are so rare on this side of the infield, but Wells will be right behind him in the top five.

-- Suttles versus Greenberg. I'll go with Hank here. The war credit and the longer peak and better discipline will vault him over Suttles. Suttles has been a respectable 8th-ish on my ballot for a few years, but I'm not as high on him as most.

-- Who is #1? I'm thinking Dickey at the moment. Off the top of my head, Dickey/Beckwith/Wells/Greenberg
   41. EricC Posted: June 01, 2005 at 11:37 PM (#1375094)
A wide open ballot compels me to post my first prelim in several years.

With very conservative WWII "credit", Greenberg moves from 13th to 5th and Herman from 10th to 7th. Ruffing ends up with no WWII "bonus", but had a HoM worthy career anyway. Hack was a great player: Bill James has him 9th all-time among 3B, which would normally make him a shoo-in in this underrepresented position, but the low quality of competition during WWII knocks him down a couple of spots.

1. Bill Dickey
2. Wally Schang
3. Joe Sewell
4. Red Ruffing (N)
5. Hank Greenberg (N)
6. Earl Averill
7. Billy Herman (N)
8. Stan Hack (N)
9. Willie Wells (N)
10. Mule Suttles
11. Tommy Bridges
12. Lefty Gomez
13. Jose Mendez
14. Cool Papa Bell
15. Sam Rice
   42. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 01, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1375148)
1953 prelim

1. Greenberg - Even without war credit he has a peak that is slightly less but also slightly longer than Jennings. I am giving him 31,27,25,15,12 for war credit. That means one injury riddled year and only one year at the level that he had established before and right after the war. This pushes him near 380 WS with a nice peak. Easy #1.

2. Dickey - I like Cochrane more and I am not decided between Dickey and Hartnett. I really can't argue with anyone who has him at #1.

3. Jennings
4. Suttles
5. Beckwith
6a. Jud Wilson
6. Willie Wells - The MLE WS estimates don't give him much peak. Interesting question that OCF (I believe) raised asking if we are smoothing out peaks too much or adding too much onto career. At the same time Davis, Dahlen, and Appling are good comps. I have Wells slightly above what his MLE's say right now. I put in Wilson to show that I dont' think Wells was as good as Wilson because of peak. This means Jud is currently first in line for my PHOM if we ever get into the backlog.

7. Stan Hack - I have a soft spot for OBP machines (I am the only person in the last 30 years to vote for Roy Thomas) and especially one at an infield position. He is slightly above Herman on peak with more career WS even with my war credit/deductions. I think he was one of the 10 best 3B ever and an obvious HOMer. Why him and not McGraw? I guess it was Hack's ability to stay healthy and play a full season.

8. Wes Ferrell
9. Billy Herman - Childs beats him by thismuch on peak in WS (WARP has too much of a timeline to really compare the two) but Herman beats him everywhere else. I think that Childs was the better hitter but Herman had more career and was better defensively at a time where defense at 2B was more important.

10. Cupid Childs
11. Hugh Duffy
12. Dick Redding
13. Clark Griffith
14. Dizzy Dean
15. Earl Averill

another change just off the ballot...

16. Dobie Moore
17. Eppa Rixey
18. Rube Waddell

Moore had been below the two pitchers previously. Looking at Wells forced me to pull Moore up a bit. However, I am not giving him much credit for his time with the Wreckers because I believe that his decision to play in the military in the mid to late teens was a choice and not something he was forced to do. Therefore, he is Jennings with a slightly lower peak and will be back on my ballot soon.

Red Ruffing is odd. On one hand I see the argument that he was as good as Rixey, but I also have him behind some other guys under Rixey in my system. He may make me look at my pitchers yet again. He is currently #32.

Lombardi is under Schang and right about even with Radcliffe. Not top 50 material.

Can't say that I am a big Mel Harder fan and I haven't looked at Bill Byrd too much yet.
   43. Brent Posted: June 02, 2005 at 03:19 AM (#1375951)
Dr. Chaleeko # 24:

13 Ferrell
14 Salmon: Initial placement. I think the Ferrell-Salmon analogy works.


How much of an adjustment do you make for league quality? I ask, because to me Salmon's WAT record looks quite similar to Ferrell's _without_ adjustments for league quality. But to be comparable to Ferrell in leagues that I think everyone agrees were somewhat lower than major league quality, wouldn't his WAT have to be substantially higher than Ferrell's?

Jschmeagol # 42:

Moore had been below the two pitchers previously. Looking at Wells forced me to pull Moore up a bit. However, I am not giving him much credit for his time with the Wreckers because I believe that his decision to play in the military in the mid to late teens was a choice and not something he was forced to do.

The point has been made in earlier threads that enlisting in the military with the Wreckers was not a decision to serve in the military instead of playing baseball--it was a decision to play baseball in one of the few organizations in the 1910s that allowed a black player to play while earning a good living. Prior to the organization of the Negro leagues in the 1920s, there were very limited opportunities for black players to play professionally, and the Wreckers was one of the best opportunities available. Playing for the Wreckers was simply another avenue that was available to several top players for playing high quality baseball. (A similar point can be made about several other non-standard places that black players played, such as the North Dakota integrated teams of the 1930s.)
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: June 02, 2005 at 11:49 AM (#1376383)
jschmeagol,

I'm with Brent. You're worrying this "choice" thing way too much. IOW adjusting the credit Dobie Moore gets for playing with the Wreckers according to what you think his state of mind was. First, we don't have any idea what his state of mind was. Second, I don't see how it is relevant. He played ball, and with a team that was beating up on the PCL of Arlett, Averill and O'Doul.

Did he join the Army and the Wreckers because he embraced the opportunity, or because he was afraid to face his fears? I don't have a column for that on my spreadsheet. But he doesn't strike me as a man who ran away from anything other than an enraged whorehouse madam with a gun.
   45. DavidFoss Posted: June 02, 2005 at 01:13 PM (#1376426)
Very preliminary. Reading this thread intently to get a handle on all of the new guys. Five new candidates on a ballot is rare for me (especially when they don't all go at the top).

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.

16. Sewell
17. Averill
18. McGraw

Depth Chart

C -- Dickey-1, Mackey-13, Bresnahan, Lombardi, Schang, Petway
1B -- Greenberg-4, Suttles-10, Sisler, Chance, Beckley, BTaylor, Konetchy
2B -- Herman-7, Doyle-8, Childs-9, Lazzeri, Monroe, Dunlap, Myer
SS -- Wells-3, Jennings-5, Sewell, Moore, Lundy, Maranville, Bancroft
3B -- Beckwith-2, Hack-14, McGraw, Leach, Traynor, JJohnson, Williamson
LF -- CJones, BJohnnson, Poles, Veach, Manush, Burns
CF -- Averill, Browning, Roush, CPBell, Van Haltren, Duffy, Berger, HWilson
RF -- Cravath, Cuyler, Klein, Ryan, Hooper, BHerman, SRice
P -- Griffith-6, Redding-11, Ferrell-12, Ruffing-15, Rixey, Welch, Waddell, Dean, Gomez, Joss, Harder, Bridges, Grimes
   46. PhillyBooster Posted: June 02, 2005 at 03:22 PM (#1376596)
I am surprised that there is not more consensus on Hank Greenberg at #1. He will be on the top of my ballot, and I don't see it as particularly close.

267 Win Shares, with 4.5 peak years missing? (All of 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944, and half of 1945).

I'm giving him 27 WS/year for his missing years -- that's the average of his Top 5, and reasonable for a guy who missed prime years, without losing a beat on either side of his absence.

So 267 Win Shares + 121.5 (27 * 4.5) "War Shares" equals 388.5 Total Shares, with a very respectable peak. While I agree with David that he "wasn't Gehrig of Foxx," those were really the only guys who he wasn't. He WAS everyone else, and more relevantly, he was certainly everyone else on this year's ballot.

Also, for those that haven't seen it, $10 for new copy of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg will be one of your best movie bargains of the year. It was such a great documentary that I have it near the top of my all-time list, despite the fact that my tastes tend to run much more in the "Major League" direction.
   47. Paul Wendt Posted: June 02, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1376641)
-- Herman versus Doyle & Childs. The position is certainly changing, what is Herman's WS grade? Herman is 1st or 2nd in NL defensive Win Shares throughout his prime. He's certainly not Frisch or Gehringer. Tough choice here.

It is January 1953 and some voters may be influenced by their knowledge of Gordon & Doerr.

--
[Dobie Moore] played ball, and with a team that was beating up on the PCL of Arlett, Averill and O'Doul.

Did someone else mention the PCL of Cravath? Either way, the timing is something like 15 years after Cravath and ten years before Averill. For about half of Moore's time, the PCL must have been weakened by the War, although it may yet have been stronger than in Cravath's day.
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: June 02, 2005 at 04:41 PM (#1376776)
Paul, well people are making all kinds of extravagent claims about the quality of the PCL in Cravath's time AND O'Doul's time AND Averill's time AND Arlett's time. It is not much of an extrapolation to assert that it was also strong in between there. It just seems logically reasonable to me that Dobie Moore would get Wrecker credit from anybody giving PCL credit to any of those four.
   49. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 02, 2005 at 04:52 PM (#1376803)
The king is dead. Long live the king.

Rube Waddell is no longer king of the unearned run as a new one has been found. I never would've guessed that a liveballer would've out unearned run'd a deadballer, but there it is.
   50. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 02, 2005 at 04:54 PM (#1376808)
Yea, I know Dutch Leonard isn't up for election yet, but Waddell is, and in a way it indirectly relates to him, hence post #49.
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 02, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1377137)
Sorry, I may have mixed up meters and feet or something stupide like that on Phoneix. Phoneix is 1100 feet above sea level. Apologies to all.

I just double-checked Pittsburgh, and the elevation is correct as posted (and here's a free trivia tidbit: did you know...Pittsburgh is the US's largest inland port?)

Merida is indeed the Yucatan city, and in general, the coastal cities are the lower elevation cities.

Here's where I got the majority of the elevations from, it's a cool site with rollovers on each major city or airport.

http://en.allmetsat.com/metar-taf/mexico.php

Double-checking on Jalisco, I didn't realize they played in Guadalajara. It's elevation is 5100 feet. I'll repost the chart with corrections in a moment.
   52. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 02, 2005 at 06:53 PM (#1377158)
City          Approx Elev.
Mexico City     7500'
Puebla          7000'
San Luis Potosi 6100'
[DENVER         5300']
Jalisco*        5100'
Chihuahua       4700'
Torreon         3700'
Monterrey       1750'
[PITTSBURGH     1223']
[PHOENIX        1100']
Nuevo Laredo     125'
Tampico           75'
Veracruz          52'
Yucatan**         12'

*Guadalajara
** Mirida

Average elevation of these cities is 3,280 feet.

Thanks to OCF for his feedback.
   53. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 02, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1377196)
How much of an adjustment do you make for league quality? I ask, because to me Salmon's WAT record looks quite similar to Ferrell's _without_ adjustments for league quality. But to be comparable to Ferrell in leagues that I think everyone agrees were somewhat lower than major league quality, wouldn't his WAT have to be substantially higher than Ferrell's?

Brent, I'm glad you're offering some feedback, because I'm struggling to place these guys without MLEs to back up my opinions.

I wasn't making any specific adjustments because I wasn't working with MLEs, just mental adjustments. If you believe the NgLs were 90% as good as MLB in the 1920s (their strongest hour), then Salmon's got around 16 career OPP-adj career WAT. If you believe they were just 5% below MLB, then he's around 17 WAT.

The uncertainty is why I have listed him after Ferrell, but I believe that their career shapes and effectiveness remain substantially similar, which is why I grouped them together.

All that said, I think that in light of Chris's MLEs for Bill Byrd, he must move down my ballot toward Rixey, Lyons, and Ruffing. Instinctively I feel like the MLEs for him are a bit low, but that's as detailed as I'm able to be about why...just gut feeling based on observing his usage.
   54. Mike Webber Posted: June 02, 2005 at 07:09 PM (#1377212)
I have Greenberg 2nd on my ballot to Dickey, thinking that Dickey is one of the 10 best catchers ever, but Greenberg is more in the 11 to 15 range at his position....

But what I really wanted to present is a quick win shares study about how many Win Shares Greenberg might have lost.

Greenberg had 204 Win Shares before age 29.
First I made a list of all the players that were primarily hitters with between 160 win shares and 275 Win Shares by age 29. Then I removed everyone born after 1970 - guys younger than me. Thome, Juan Gone and Griffey are the youngest guys on the list That left 200 on the list, Greenberg was 59th in the group. 195 was the group average.

From age 30 thru 33 Greenberg earned 2 win shares.

He was 198th on the list, the 4 players behind him on the list are, John McGraw, Freddy Lindstrom, Ross Youngs and Red Smith. 72 was the average of this group. Wagner had 179 win shares to lead the pack.

From age 33 onward Greenberg had 61 Win Shares, Tied for 71st on the list, with Harry Heilmann, Will Clark and Tony Fernandez. The average of the 200 players was 57, 18 players earned none, Wagner had 322 Win Shares - Bonds is 42 behind him in 2nd place.

From Age 26-29 Greenberg had 122 win shares, tied for 18th on the list, and well above the group average of 95. He certainly was on a roll heading into the War.

So Philly Booster's 121 win share estimate seemed a little too high at first glance but it isn't. Only 15% of the 200 players had 121 or more win shares between ages 30 to 33 and adjusted to a 4.5 season basis. The top third had 100 plus win shares. I'd be very comfortable with an estimate of 100 considering Greenbergs momentum going into that age range though 121 is certainly not implausible.
   55. Daryn Posted: June 02, 2005 at 07:29 PM (#1377265)
It is my natural inclination when extrapolating or interpolating to be conservative. It doesn't seem like the group shares this view. The statistics Mike W posts above are terrific for amking a decision on how much to credit Greenberg. But the conclusions I would draw (if forced to pick a number) is that something a little less than 72 WS would be appropriate credit. It is no more likely to be correct than 121 WS or 100 WS, in my view, but no more likely to be wrong. That puts Greenberg's career WS in the 330 to 340 range. He might've done better, but he might've had a career ending injury too.

It'll be interesting to see how Greenberg does on this ballot, but I hope he isn't elected just so the electorate has a chance to mull over this issue another two weeks.

One last thing -- people keep saying he missed 4.5 years. He actually missed 4.25 years. (He averaged 130 games per year in non war seasons, and played 97 games during the war -- he played .75 seasons during the five war years).
   56. Carl G Posted: June 02, 2005 at 08:00 PM (#1377376)
'He averaged 130 games per year in non war seasons'
This is a little misleading since it includes his injury-lost 1936 campaign where he only played 12 games. If you start at 1934(his first year that he was a regular the whole year) to 1940(excluding 1936), he played in 900 games exactly in those 6 seasons which is a 150 game average. He broke the same wrist twice and only missed 1 season to injury his whole career, but for some reason he's treated as injury prone. He was actually quite durable pre-WWII. He missed 4.5 years to service time and I give him credit for 4, not because he was prone to injury, but because there's a good chance anyone would miss 0.5 years out of 4.5 to injury.
He was 36 his final season and had a 132 OPS+ in 510 PAs that year. For a big slugger back in his day, this is not that young to retire, especially when he was still a fearsome hitter at the time of his retirement. He chose to become the Indian's farm director in 1948 rather than retire. He didn't retire due to injury or being forced.
   57. PhillyBooster Posted: June 02, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1377668)
From age 33 onward Greenberg had 61 Win Shares, Tied for 71st on the list,

While I do not object to the approach of finding players with similar characteristic pre- and post-war career, I question whether this approach is right here.

Greenberg missed his age 33 and half of his age 34 seasons, so unless I'm reading that wrong, you're comparing Greenberg to others who played 1.5 more prime seasons.

What would interest me is how many players had comparable WS through age 29 (your 200) who also had comparable WS from age 34 onward (say, 50-75 WS).

That should give you a subset of your 200, and you could see what their WS numbers were in the "missing" years. Giving him only 100 WS averages out to 22.2 per missing year. That strikes me as low, considering the surrounding seasons.
   58. OCF Posted: June 02, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1377713)
As it is, based on just the games he played in the majors, my offensive system puts Greenberg in the neighborhood of Waner, Clarke, Magee, and Flick.(Slightly below Waner and Clarke, slightly ahead of Magee and Flick.) It's a peak-friendly system, whose flaws include not being particularly sensitive to service time, both in season and in number of seasons - hence higher raw ratings for Chance and McGraw than I'm wiling to support with my votes. For me, it's not so much a "war credit" issue as simply not particularly feelling the need to apply to Greenberg the sort of "but he didn't play enough" penalty that drags Chance and McGraw off my ballot.

Of course he belongs in the HoM, and will be among the top 4 candidates on my ballot, possibly 1st. The details of that top part of the ballot remain fluid.
   59. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 02, 2005 at 10:15 PM (#1377731)
I have decided to give Greenberg 110 WS for the 4.5 seasons. I decided to give him 28 WS per full season and 12 for the first half of 1945. This wasn't because of some exhaustive study but merely what I thought was resonable as he had many seasons over 28 WS prior to the war and a season over 28 WS after the war. 12 for 1945 was being slightly conservative since he earned 15 WS in 78 games that season.

Then I decided it highly unlikely that Greenberg would have earned 28,28,28,28 WS from 1941 to 1944, respectively. So I broke them up a bit to 31,29,27,25. This gives him one year that looks like his peak but two years below his pre-war performance record. I would be open to changing this and going 28,28,28,28 if some people think that the way I did it gave Greenberg an unfair advantage.

Then I figured that he would have missed roughly half a season's worth of games during this span. he could have suffered one major injury or a series of smaller ones. It is possible that he would have played 150 or so games every year and it is possible that he would have missed two seasons' worth of games or more. I think taking out half a season is reasonable.

I took those 14 WS out of the 29, giving him 31,27,25,15 for 1941 to 1944 (they are in no order at all as consecutive peak doesn't factor into my system). This takes out one of the possible 'peak seasons', but leaves a 31 WS season during the war.

My peak system for WS rests on two factors; WS earned over 25 in any one season and 3 and 5 year non consecutive totals. This adds 8 WS to his peak in the over 25 system, pushing him above Jennings on peak there, but he is still behind Jennings in 3 and 5 year NC, I believe.

So Greenbergs ends up with about 380 or so career WS with an impressive peak and prime. Career WS aren't a big deal to me anyways, it doesn't matter much whether he had 360 or 380, and his peak will put him at #1 on my ballot.
   60. OCF Posted: June 02, 2005 at 10:37 PM (#1377761)
Little mysteries of baseball: how can a batter have 629 plate appearances with an OBP of .452 (.317/.452/.465) and score only 82 runs? I bring you Roy Cullenbine, 1941. Since he had 98 RBI, it's clear that he wasn't batting in the front of the order for the Browns. In fact, I have the ugly suspicion that Don Heffner (.233/.303/.278 but he didn't strike out), being a second baseman (which automatically imparts "bat control") was batting 2nd in that lineup.

Not that Cullenbine is a serious candidate or anything, but that's a strange and wonderful page on bbref. A good an offensive player as he was - that that's very good, indeed - he never scored 100 runs in a season and never drove in 100.
   61. Mike Webber Posted: June 02, 2005 at 11:09 PM (#1377819)
From age 33 onward Greenberg had 61 Win Shares, Tied for 71st on the list,

Ok it should say starting with his 34 season Green berg had 61....

That half season is a pain in the ass. Let's give him 30 that season, not quite double. Then he has 30 that season, 75 after from age 34 forward, tied with Willie Davis for 58th on the list.

Greenberg missed his age 33 and half of his age 34 seasons, so unless I'm reading that wrong, you're comparing Greenberg to others who played 1.5 more prime seasons.

What would interest me is how many players had comparable WS through age 29 (your 200) who also had comparable WS from age 34 onward (say, 50-75 WS).


1.5 more prime seasons - I don't think prime is the right word FWIW - post prime is a better description.

28 players had between 75 and 50 win shares on the list from age 34 onward.
   62. David C. Jones Posted: June 03, 2005 at 05:25 AM (#1378956)
My tentative ballot, comments welcome!

1. Dode Paskert

2. Willie Wells

3. Bill Dickey

4. Hank Greenberg

5. Davy Jones

6. Buzz Arlett

7. Ernie Lombardi

8. Earl "Steam Engine In Boots" Moore

9. Red Ruffing

10. John Beckwith

11. Mule Suttles

12. Benny Kauff

13. Harry "Deerfoot" Bay

14. Jose Mendez

15. Hal Chase
   63. EricC Posted: June 03, 2005 at 10:42 AM (#1379098)
My tentative ballot, comments welcome!

Perhaps a touch of nepotism in your #5 choice? :-)
   64. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 03, 2005 at 01:07 PM (#1379135)
Am I missing someting david?
   65. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 03, 2005 at 01:08 PM (#1379136)
Ah-ha! I was missing something! It was the h in something from my previous post!
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 03, 2005 at 01:39 PM (#1379155)
My tentative ballot, comments welcome!

April Fools Day?
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 03, 2005 at 02:00 PM (#1379177)
so much depends
upon

David Jones's
ballot

glazed with bold
styling---

a landslide for Dode
Paskert.


---by Dr. William Chaleeko Williams
   68. PhillyBooster Posted: June 03, 2005 at 06:58 PM (#1379754)
28 players had between 75 and 50 win shares on the list from age 34 onward.

Okay. If it's not too inconvenient, how many Win Shares did this group of 28 have in the four years between ages 30-33? What was the median? The range?

It seems like maybe the best way to interpolate what Greenberg would have done in his missing years is to see what players who played similarly before and after did in THEIR missing years.
   69. Al Peterson Posted: June 03, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1379905)
While trying to fold in the new eligibles I'm seeing that Bob Johnson is stacking up pretty well. For the position players, Greenberg and Wells beat him out but he's above Hack and Herman. As Indian Bob is a favorite of mine I threw him against a HOMer to take a look - Bill Terry. Career totals:

BT .341/.393/.506 over 7111 PAs
BJ .296/.393/.506 over 8047 PAs

Pretty favorable comparison. But lets look at how they did ballotwise 10 years apart.

 1942 Ballot rank
-----------------------             
2  Bill Terry  
             
3  Eppa Rixey       
4  Joe Sewell              
5  John Beckwith         
6  Clark Griffith   
7  George Van Haltren     
8  Hughie Jennings      
9  Tommy Leach      
10  Jake Beckley      
11  George Sisler     

1952 Ballot rank
-----------------
33 Bob Johnson
         
7  Eppa Rixey       
15  Joe Sewell              
5  John Beckwith         
12  Clark Griffith   
14  George Van Haltren     
10  Hughie Jennings      
26  Tommy Leach      
15  Jake Beckley      
13  George Sisler       

I'm not saying elect Bob Johnson this year but how is he falling behind all these folks that at one time were thought less of than Bill Terry?
   70. Mike Webber Posted: June 03, 2005 at 10:20 PM (#1380116)
Okay. If it's not too inconvenient, how many Win Shares did this group of 28 have in the four years between ages 30-33? What was the median? The range?

The other 27 players

Range 126 to 41 (Delahanty to Sisler)

Average 87

If someone can direct me to the way to make these tables line up I'd appreciate it.

Player30 to 33
Delahanty, Ed126
Sandberg, Ryne118
Alomar, Roberto111
Heilmann, Harry111
Hamilton, Billy106
Cronin, Joe100
Davis, Willie97
Olerud, John96
Van Haltren, George94
Clark, Jack94
Roush, Edd92
Keeler, Willie88
Smith, Reggie87
Goslin, Goose86
Simmons, Al85
Fox, Nellie84
Dickey, Bill84
Bando, Sal81
Frisch, Frankie80
Staub, Rusty80
Bell, Buddy78
Thomas, Frank76
Randolph, Willie73
Yost, Eddie70
Clark, Will62
Fernandez, Tony61
Sisler, George41

Player30 to 33
Average 87
Greenberg, Hank 2
   71. DavidFoss Posted: June 03, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1380121)
If someone can direct me to the way to make these tables line up I'd appreciate it.

Avoid Tabs. BTF just skips them. Use spaces.

If necessary, you can surround the table with {pre} and {/pre} (with <> instead of {}) to get a fixed-width font, but it also shrinks the font down to the size of those in the Results threads.

Use the Preview Your Comment button. Helpful if I accidentally left in the tabs or forgot a {/pre}.
   72. Paul Wendt Posted: June 03, 2005 at 11:42 PM (#1380230)
Posted by David C. Jones on June 03, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1378956)
My tentative ballot, comments welcome!


You just edited the biographies of Jones, Moore and Bay so you have Davy, Earl and Harry on the brain.
   73. Cblau Posted: June 04, 2005 at 02:26 AM (#1380633)
My comment on David Jones' ballot:

Where's Dick Egan?
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1380681)
I'm just happy that David didn't find room for Wid Conroy. :-)
   75. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: June 04, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1380992)
Also, for those that haven't seen it, $10 for new copy of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg will be one of your best movie bargains of the year. It was such a great documentary that I have it near the top of my all-time list, despite the fact that my tastes tend to run much more in the "Major League" direction.

I'll second the recommendation, although it should be pointed out that Aviva Kempner is a filmmaker and not a baseball historian. The film, although highly enjoyable, plays fast and loose with the facts in a couple of places, and greatly overstates Greenberg's social importance. It's the kind of loving, non-objective portrait that might have been made by Greenberg's children -- excellent, but best taken with a grain of salt or three.
   76. Trevor P. Posted: June 04, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1381118)
"I'm not saying elect Bob Johnson this year but how is he falling behind all these folks that at one time were thought less of than Bill Terry?"

I'm afraid of seeing the same dissonance occur when Joe Medwick appears on the ballot:

Medwick - 8142 PA, 134 OPS+, 87.5 WARP3
Johnson - 8047 PA, 138 OPS+, 91.4 WARP3

Both played equally during WW2 - which may explain, partially, why Terry got more support than Johnson does (not that I was around for that election in any case). Medwick had a higher peak, but Johnson seems to have a titch more career.
   77. TomH Posted: June 05, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1381909)
Billy Herman vs Cupid Childs
-
as hitters: OWP RCAA RCAP EqA adjEqA
Childs----- 609 -259 -354 296 --282
Herman----- 563 -150 -298 283 --283

Childs was a better bat in his day. You can timeline that away to make it even, but I timeline a bit less than BP does, so I call it a small rate edge for Childs.

defense: Childs FRAA -17, Herman +68; WIn SHares and reps also show Herman to be better. Additionally, 2B was a tougher position to play in 1940 than 1895, so a clear edge for Herman.

career length: Hemran got 1400 more career AB; some of this could be due to tough playing conditions for IFers in Cupid's day. Very small edge for Herman.

overall, I have Cupid higher than the avg voter, but Herman to me is one or two clear notches higher. Same would hold true for Doyle. I can only see possibly a Monroe voter not having Herman as the highest 2B this week.
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: June 05, 2005 at 03:22 AM (#1382255)
I am struggling with Childs, who I still vote for, against Herman...
   79. Brent Posted: June 07, 2005 at 01:20 AM (#1385920)
jschmeagol (# 32) wrote:

I think Travis had about a 30% chance to be a HOM player prior to the war but many many players have that kind of a chance after their age 27 season (1941 for Travis).

Your estimate sounded reasonable to me until I took a look at bbref's new feature that finds the most comparable players through a given age.

Cecil Travis comps through age 27

Through age 27 Travis hit .327/.381/.436 with 606 runs scored and 581 RBIs in 1102 games. However, because bbref's comparisons don't control for changes in environment, some of the comparables really aren't all that comparable. If we throw out the 5 players whose OPS+ through age 27 differed from Travis's by more than 10 points, we are left with:

Cecil Travis, OPS+ = 113
Billy Herman, 116
Frankie Frisch, 117
Joe Sewell, 116
Roberto Alomar, 115
Carlos Baerga, 109

One HoMer, one who clearly will make it if we are still holding elections in 2010, and two strong candidates who I think will probably eventually make it in. Only Baerga has disappointed (and he was probably the least comparable of the five). Based on this, I think I'd put Travis's probability absent WWII of having gone on to an HoM-quality career at about 67%.
   80. Paul Wendt Posted: June 07, 2005 at 02:03 AM (#1386101)
Howie Menckel #78
I am struggling with Childs, who I still vote for, against Herman...

For Howie Menckel and TomH, at least:

TomH #77
career length: Herman got 1400 more career AB; some of this could be due to tough playing conditions for IFers in Cupid's day. Very small edge for Herman.

Regarding regular season counting statistics, one measure of opportunity (or two measures) is the 5-yr and 15-yr average length of upcoming seasons when a player arrives in the majors, or fully "arrives!" as a regular player. Length of MLB Seasons
Cupid Childs arrived! in 1890 and faced averages 139.6 and 141.1 games. Billy Herman enjoyed averages 154 and 154 games, or 10.3% and 9.1% more than Childs. I think the 15-yr measure is more appropriate in discussion of would-be HOM careers.
   81. Brent Posted: June 07, 2005 at 02:34 AM (#1386218)
A correction to # 79; the best comparables to Cecil Travis through his age 27 should be the following link:

Cecil Travis comps through age 27

This list doesn't include Baerga, but does include Bobby Doerr (OPS+ through age 27 = 113) and Pie Traynor (105). (This bbref feature is both more powerful and more complicated than I had realized.)

I think my general conclusion, that absent WWII Travis had a more than 50 percent chance of going on to a HoM-quality career, still holds.
   82. TomH Posted: June 07, 2005 at 11:32 AM (#1386633)
Regarding regular season counting statistics, one measure of opportunity is the 15-yr average length of upcoming seasons when a player fully "arrives!" as a regular player.
Cupid Childs faced averages of 141.1 games. Billy Herman enjoyed averages 154 games, or 9.1% more than Childs.
--
Paul makes a good point, and one which I had already partly adjusted for but I wrote my ##s down too quickly to point that out. Herman had about 1800 more PA than Childs, but if might only be 1100 without the schedule diffs. The BP 'projected stats' show a 1400ish PA diff, but they don't adjust fully.
   83. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 08, 2005 at 02:12 AM (#1389100)
I will add that, as the electorate well knows, we have so far elected three NeL pitchers, Joe Williams, Rube Foster, and Joe Rogan, the latter of whom was elected as much for his hitting as for his pitching. We are certain to elect Satchel Paige, and unless current trends change, we are likely to elect Willie Foster.

Chris Cobb wrote this over on the Willie Foster thread. I've just reread the thread, and it's an outstanding thread because Chris goes into deep detail about how he comes up with his MLEs for NgL pitchers.

We've now elected four NgL pitchers: Foster, Foster, Williams, Rogan (1/2), Dihigo (1/2). (I think I'm forgetting someone.)

Total baseball lists over 15,000 players. Bill James wrote once that only about 6,000 or so players meet the required credentials of the hall (that is 10 years of service, not blacklisted). That's roughly 40% of all of baseball's players.

Of that group about 3.5%-4% have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Among Hall of Famers, about 30-35% of electees are pitchers.

This is something like 1% of those 6,000 who meet the Hall's credentials.

Now, we certainly are not the Hall of Fame, but...

Jim Riley's biographical encyclopedia reports on about 4,000 players. Because many of those players lack sufficient documentation or also played in MLB, let's say the real pool of NgL candidates is 3000-3500.

By the same percentages as above, the pool of reasonable NgL candidates should be something on the order of 1200-1400.

3.75%-4% of those gentlemen equals 45-55 NgLs. Of whom 15 would likely be pitchers if the rough guidelines of the HOF tell us anything.

Even if 45 seems like too many NgL players to you (Karl), then consider that even if we elect only 30 NgL players, 8-12 should likely be pitchers.

As Sunnyday has pointed out, at this pace, we are likely to elect probably just two or three more NgL pitchers, Paige (of course) and probably Ray Brown to reach 6. Leon Day might make 7.

It's just my opinion, but I personally feel like that's a fairly severe shortchanging of NgL pitchers.

Part of what's happening is that we simply don't have a lot of good information about these guys, so we have to rely on W-L and WAT, information which doesn't appear to sit well with our electorate.

Nonetheless, I'd ask everyone to keep the conversation about these guys going. To ask: is it reasonable that in the fifty years of NgL play we have data on that we would elect only six or seven pitchers?

I'd also ask you to remember that, as Chris Cobb points out on the Foster thread, NgL pitchers seem to grind down quicker than their MLB counterparts. There are virtually no NgL pitchers who hurled for 20 years with Redding, Paige, and Williams being the notable (and lone IIRC) exceptions.

We need to adjust our lenses and see these careers differently. To realize that the value of a lefthander or righthander with 16 documented years in the NgLs may very well have been like that of Rixey or Lyons/Faber to MLB as opposed to like that of the ~3000 innings club of Griffith, Vance, Coveleski, et al.

Thanks for reading my plea.
   84. Chris Cobb Posted: June 08, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1389310)
Although I am against rigorous quotas, they can provide a useful benchmark against which to check our selections. I don't think the HoF's pitcher quotient is the best benchmark for us to use, since the HoM electorate has pretty firmly established that it will elect fewer pitchers than the Hall of Fame. So I thought I'd look at how our Negro-League pitcher quotient matches up against the benchmark of our pitcher quotient for the HoM as a whole.

By my count, treating Caruthers, Dihigo, Rogan, and Ward as 1/2 a pitcher and other part-career pitchers as 0 pitchers, I count 26 of 99 HoM electees through 1952 as pitchers, 26.3%. Maybe that's lower than it should be, but I can't see us getting any higher than 30%. (Myself, I work off of the idea that, for most of baseball history, the top 3 starting pitchers are like full-time starters, while the #4 and #5 pitchers are like the 4th infielder and the 4th outfielder, so I see a ratio of 3 pitchers out of 11 selections, or 27.3%, as about right.

Currently, we've elected 15 Negro-League stars, 4 pitchers, or 26.7%. So far our NeL pitcher quotient is pretty close to the HoM pitcher quotient.

As I see it, 4 more NeL candidates -- Wells, Suttles, Beckwith, and Paige -- are certain eventual electees.

There are another 10-15 players who are or will be eligible from the NeL (counting Doby, Irvin, and Campanella as 1/2 ML and 1/2 NeL candidates) who have a shot at election by 2007. I don't know how many of that group will be elected, but I think the number will be between 5 and 10. Here's how the HoM quotient of pitchers fits with three possible totals of NeL electees and 2 possible quotients:

total -- 26.3% -- 30%
20 -- 5.3 -- 6
25 -- 6.6 -- 7.5
30 -- 7.9 -- 9

It looks to me like a quota approach would suggest that from 1 to 5 more Negro-League pitchers should be elected; I think Dr. Chaleeko's estimate of 8-12 NeL pitchers total is too high, but I think an estimate of 6-9 is not.

Paige will be one; I think it highly likely that Ray Brown will be a second.

Dick Redding and Jose Mendez have been long-time candidates and might have their fortunes revived by further study and comparison to to later candidates.

Hilton Smith and Leon Day are the other HoF pitchers not yet eligible. Both are short-career, high-peak types about which the HoM electorate has not been especially enthusiastic.

Then there are a number of other exceptional pitchers, among whom an HoM-calibre player might yet be found with further analysis. Bill Byrd looks close to Redding and Mendez.

I think we should be open to the idea that we should expect either to find a pair of NeL pitchers in addition to Paige and Ray Brown who are better than Mendez or Redding, and that if we do not, it is likely that a projection system that sees both of these pitchers as below the HoM election threshold is underrating NeL pitchers.
   85. sunnyday2 Posted: June 08, 2005 at 11:09 AM (#1389476)
Good work guys. The question of course is "who?" I have a certain degree of fear that we may not elect even Ray Brown. I think there's some fatigue here with NeL pitchers because it is so hard to tell them apart. Among positon players, we have a natural methodology for telling them apart--some play SS, some play the OF, some are catchers, etc. etc.

Is there a thread for Ray Brown yet? If not now might be the time. I think Hilton Smith has a thread, if not, then he, too, now.
   86. karlmagnus Posted: June 08, 2005 at 12:14 PM (#1389492)
If you elected 45-55 NELs, that would be about half the players during the period to 1955, when NELs were separate. Far too many, on any kind of demographic grounds. I think we may be nearing the end of viable NEL candidates -- certainly Smith does not look attractive. Paige and Ray Brown takes us to 6 pitchers (counting Dihigo and Rogan as 1/2) which looks ample in an eventual NEL HOM community of 20-25, already more than 17 in the HOF or that can really be justified. Smith doesn't look HOMable at first sight, but I await Chris Cobb's noble work.
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: June 08, 2005 at 01:13 PM (#1389544)
Smith doesn't look HoMable? I would agree that he is ambiguous in the way that all NeL pitchers are ambiguous--hard to peg. But he was active for 17 years (apparently) and went 74-28 in the "bigs." I too await Chris' noble work, and Eric's, which is why it's too soon to say he is "not...attractive."

And then there's the demographic fallacy again. How many blacks should be in the NBA HoF by the demographic method, Karl? How many Irishmen from the 19th century in the HoM or HoF? How many left-handers?
   88. TomH Posted: June 08, 2005 at 06:04 PM (#1390194)
Can someone post the Win Share defensive grades for S Hack and B Herman? In fact, I'd like to make a standard request (pretty please with sugar on top) that when we post new eligibles each year, this info gets added somewhere early in the process. Thanks.
   89. Howie Menckel Posted: June 08, 2005 at 06:31 PM (#1390280)
sunnyday,
While not necessarily agreeing with Karl, there is this:
We have ample evidence that the vast majority of the best NBA players of the past 30-40 years have been black, so it would be silly to apply a 'white quota' to even out demographics.

Do we have hard evidence, pro or con, that blacks also should be 'disproportionately' represented in the HOM? One claim might be the success of young black prospects in the 1950s. But does this tell us much about the 1930s, or 1910s?
It's a fair question, even if the answer to the representation indeed winds up being 'yes.'
   90. sunnyday2 Posted: June 08, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1390965)
Howie (and Karl), there is no evidence either way that blacks should be represented disproportionately in the HoM or that they should not be represented disproportionately in the HoM.

To my mind, we should just elect the best players.

So, how many NeLers we have elected has no bearing on whether one should prefer Bill Dickey or Biz Mackey, Hughie Jennings or Willie Wells or Dobie Moore, Papa Bell or Earl Averill, John Beckwith or Joe Sewell, Jose Mendez or Wes Ferrell, or Dick Redding or Eppa Rixey. We should just elect the best players.

That is all I am saying. It comes down to who is the best candidate, and the composition of the existing HoM and/or the population of the U.S. at the time says nothing about that.
   91. karlmagnus Posted: June 08, 2005 at 11:59 PM (#1391251)
Demographics only says something about the number of NEL players because we are relying on a very inexact science, the conversion of NEL and miscellaneous statistics to ML statistics to guage where the NEL players should rank against their ML contemporaries.

Chris Cobb himself recognizes that even in the best case this conversion has an inevitable but unknown error of plus or minus 10-15 percent, and that this error is systematic, not random -- in other words, apart from "noise" it affects most NEL players equally (exempted being only those who played before 1920, for whom MLEs can't currently be calculated.)

A number of people have attempted to claim that Chris' MLEs are low by 40-50%, so that Gibson was better than Babe Ruth and Cool Papa Bell had 600 Win Shares. The demographic argument is the only one that enables us to say with a high degree of certainty that this is not the case.

Given the number of NEL players we are electing, the demographic argument suggests that Chris' MLEs are high rather than low. Certainly adding 10-15% to them produces a distribution of HOMers that is highly demographically implausible.

Neither in the 1930s nor today is/was MLB especially attractive to African Americans, as basketball has been for the last 30-40 years -- you can tell this by the audience statistics, in which African-Americans are well but not overwhelmingly represented. It probably WAS especially attractive in 1947-70, for the obvious reason that baseball opened up before American life as a whole.
   92. Brent Posted: June 09, 2005 at 12:17 AM (#1391320)
Responding to Dr. Chaleeko (# 83):

- As Chris explained, it looks to me that we will probably end up electing close to 25 "pure" Negro Leaguers (not counting the players like Doby and Campanella who were in the majors for the main part of their careers). We've elected 15 so far; we have 5 in the high backlog (top 20 in the 1952 election) who appear to have a good chance of eventually being elected (Suttles, Beckwith, Mackey, Bell, and Redding); and over the next few elections we have a couple of near-certain candidates (Leonard, Paige), 4 other HoFers who will be getting more scrutiny (Smith, Dandridge, Day, Irvin), and one pitcher who--thanks to your research--is starting to look like a near sure thing (Ray Brown). It's possible that one or two sleeper candidates could emerge, but those seem to be the major candidates.

- I think many of us have been waiting for you or Chris to try to boil the results of your excellent research on Negro League pitchers to a short list of 2 or 3 pitchers we should focus on. Although you've taken a couple of stabs at summarizing your results, you've provided lists of HoVG pitchers that still seem too long for most of us. So, I'll take a crack at summarizing what I think I've learned from your research regarding the pitchers we should be focusing on.

- In interpreting WAT, I think most of us know that one needs to also look at the pitcher's winning percentage, since it is generally more difficult to have a high WAT on a good team than on a poor one.

- It was reassuring to see that the pitchers we've already elected all do well by your measures.

- Ray Brown clearly stands out - the highest WAT achieved for very good teams. As Chris as already noted, he is looking close to a lock.

- The one candidate who is already eligible who I think we may have really missed the boat on is Andy Cooper. He's number 1 in winning pct, number 2 in WAT. That's impressive! When I looked back over his thread, I don't think we gave him enough attention when he became eligible, and I hope you or Chris can take another look at his MLEs.

- I'm looking forward to Chris's promised review of Redding and Mendez. In a few years we will start moving into a period when we elect candidates from the backlog, and it would be good do develop a consensus about one or both of these candidates.

- Did any other pitcher jump out to you as especially interesting or worthy of additional analysis? For me, the candidates to look at were Brown and Cooper.
   93. Chris Cobb Posted: June 09, 2005 at 01:06 AM (#1391488)
Brent,

I think you're right that Andy Cooper should get another look. I haven't taken that look yet, but I think Dr. Chaleeko may have some work on him that may be ready to post soon. The big problem with Cooper is the Monarchs' barnstorming years in the early 1930s. Giving him credit in those years entails a lot of guesswork.

I really think that Bill Byrd should be in the mix: he's potentially electable, with a very solid career and peak, although it's not clear that he'll get any votes this year.

The shorter-career, high-peak prospects are harder to identify as serious candidates without MLEs than the long-career guys. I'm working on Hilton Smith now. He may serve as a benchmark for identifying other serious candidates.

Leon Day will certainly bear a close look when he becomes eligible. Weird career.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: June 09, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1391500)
It's possible that one or two sleeper candidates could emerge, but those seem to be the major candidates.

Three "sleeper" candidates whom we should wake up about, I think, are Willard Brown, Wild Bill Wright, and (if we can get Puerto Rican MLEs together) Pancho Coimbre.
   95. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 09, 2005 at 01:26 AM (#1391565)
Brent, you're right, it's tough to boil all these guys down, there's just a lot of mitigating factors...

Were I only an independently wealthy man of leisure!
   96. sunnyday2 Posted: June 09, 2005 at 01:47 AM (#1391664)
karl,

I'll agree that the demographic hypothesis "suggests" some things. I can't see how it could provide "a high degree of certainty" about individual players.

Also, as has been pointed out, if Chris' MLEs are consistently high by 10-15%, then there would be NO NeLers among the top 25 or so players through 1947, and I think even the demographic hypothesis would militate against that.

I don't recall Chris saying he was "systematically" high BTW. I remember him saying that regressing to the mean would suppress peaks. But I think the most likely effect is in fact a "random" error because of the lack of data (missing seasons, small samples, etc. etc.). And the demographic hypothesis can't fill in for missing data.
   97. Gary A Posted: June 09, 2005 at 04:47 AM (#1392159)
Neither in the 1930s nor today is/was MLB especially attractive to African Americans, as basketball has been for the last 30-40 years -- you can tell this by the audience statistics, in which African-Americans are well but not overwhelmingly represented. It probably WAS especially attractive in 1947-70, for the obvious reason that baseball opened up before American life as a whole.

Of course MLB wasn't "especially attractive" to African Americans (as fans) in the 1930s, since they couldn't watch black players. I'm guessing you mean baseball in general wasn't "attractive" to blacks then. But the Negro Leagues were among the most important black institutions during the Jim Crow era, among the very few black organizations that attempted any kind of nationwide reach (along with, say, the NAACP, some business associations, and insurance companies). It is sometimes contended that, collectively, the Negro Leagues were the largest black-owned business; I've never heard anything comparable said about the white majors (certainly not before WWII, anyway).

Think about this: with 10 percent of the population and a fraction of the national per capita income, African Americans were able to maintain a reasonable facsimile of the white majors--two leagues (with a few minor leagues), a World Series, an All-Star Game--for the better part of three decades. That bespeaks a pretty intense interest in baseball. Many of the most famous and powerful African Americans of the time were associated with baseball one way or another (Louis Armstrong and Bojangles Robinson both owned teams, for example). You should read the lavish coverage of the Negro Leagues in the Chicago Defender or Pittsburgh Courier sometime to get an idea.

As for other sports that might have competed for fans and athletes: there were no real competitors to baseball. Boxing and college football were probably the next most popular sports, and pro basketball lagged way behind. While numerous black baseball leagues operated from 1920-50, I still don't know know of a single black basketball league during the same time (though there were popular independent teams).
   98. Gary A Posted: June 09, 2005 at 04:50 AM (#1392163)
By the way, it's also noteworthy that the Negro Leagues achieved a geographical coverage comparable to the white majors--or possibly greater: they didn't reach into New England, but there were major-league black teams in the South.
   99. karlmagnus Posted: June 09, 2005 at 12:22 PM (#1392319)
sunnyday2, Depends how you rank pitchers vs. position players, but even at 10% off Chris' numbers Gibson and Smokey Joe Williams would comfortably be top 25 pre-1950, with Lloyd, Charleston, Stearnes and presumably Paige not far off. That looks a reasonable benchmark level to me.
   100. TomH Posted: June 09, 2005 at 01:59 PM (#1392418)
Can someone please post the Win Share defensive grades for S Hack and B Herman?
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