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

Monday, June 27, 2005

1954 Results: Shortstops Vaughan and Wells are the Newest Hall of Merit Picks!

In his first year of eligibility, Pittsburgh Pirate great Arky Vaughan was elected to the Hall of Merit with a robust 98% of all possible points.

In his second year on a ballot, legendary shortstop Willie Wells became the second HoM inductee with 78% of all possible points. He becomes the sixteenth Negro Leaguer to achieve the honor.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Billy Herman, Joe Medwick (his first year of eligibility), Red Ruffing, Stan Hack, Wes Ferrell and Hughie Jennings.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Arkie Vaughan           1157   49  43  4  1        1                           
 2    3  Willie Wells             922   48   3 21  5  5  5  2     4     1  1  1         
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    4  Mule Suttles             674   43      7  6  7  1  5  4  3  4        5     1   
 4    5  John Beckwith            602   40      4 11  4  3  2  4     1  2  4     2  2  1
 5    6  Billy Herman             428   32      3  2  5  1  2  3  2  3  1  3  1  1     5
 6  n/e  Joe Medwick              370   30      1  2  4  2  2  1  1  3  1  3  3  4     3
 7    7  Red Ruffing              354   28         3  4  3  1  4  2  1     1  1  1  6  1
 8    8  Stan Hack                348   29         1  1  3  3  4  1  1  4  5  1  2  2  1
 9   11  Wes Ferrell              296   24      2  1     1  2  2  3     2  7     1  1  2
10   12  Hughie Jennings          283   18      3  3  1  3  1  3     2           1     1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11    9  Earl Averill             258   22         1  1  3  2  2        3  2  2  5     1
12   10  Eppa Rixey               246   21         2  1  1  1  5  1     2        2  5  1
13   13  Biz Mackey               232   23         1     1  2  1  4  1        1  2  5  5
14   14  Clark Griffith           232   20            2  3  1  1  1  2  1  2  1  3  2  1
15   18  George Sisler            200   17   1        2  2     1  2  1     1     2  2  3
16   17  Jake Beckley             198   15   1     1  2     1     1  5     1  1  1  1   
17   16  Cool Papa Bell           183   16      1     2     1  1  1     2  2     3     3
18   15  George Van Haltren       174   14               2  2     3  4        2     1   
19   23  Cannonball Dick Redding  152   13         1     2     1  1  2  1     2  1  2   
20   22  Pete Browning            151   11         2     2  3  1              2        1
21   20  Joe Sewell               150   13         1        2  1  1  2  2        2  1  1
22   19  Mickey Welch             150   10      1  3        1  2  1        1        1   
23   21  Hugh Duffy               149   12            1  2  1     2  1     3  1  1      
24   31  José Méndez              127   11               1  1  1     1  5        1  1   
25   25  Cupid Childs             126   11            1     1  1  2  1  1     2     1  1
26  n/e  Bucky Walters            125   11               2     1     2  2  2        1  1
27   30  Charley Jones            115    8      1     1     2     2  1              1   
28   26  Tommy Leach              114   10               1  1        1  3  2  2         
29   29  Gavy Cravath             111    8   1     1     1        2     1     1     1   
30   32  Rube Waddell             109   12                        1  1  1  1  3  1  4   
31   28  Wally Schang             104    8      1                 3     3     1         
32   27  Burleigh Grimes          102    9               1  2  1     1        1  1  1  1
33   24  Edd Roush                 98   10            1                 3     3  1  1  1
34   34T Dobie Moore               95    9            1        1     1  1     3  1     1
35   34T Roger Bresnahan           76    7            1        1        2     1  1     1
36   40  Bill Monroe               58    6                  1     1           2        2
37   37  Larry Doyle               56    5               1  1              1     1  1   
38   45T John McGraw               52    6                        1        2        1  2
39T  42T Tommy Bridges             52    5                     1        2        2      
39T  36  Dizzy Dean                52    5                        2           2  1      
41   38  Bob Johnson               51    5               1              1     2        1
42   33  Ernie Lombardi            50    4         1                 2           1      
43   41  Chuck Klein               46    4                  1        2              1   
44   44  Ben Taylor                39    4                     1           1     1  1   
45   42T Sam Rice                  33    3                        1        2            
46   50  Buzz Arlett               23    2            1                                1
47T  47T Wally Berger              22    2                           1     1            
47T  52T Ed Cicotte                22    2               1                             1
49   47T George J. Burns           21    3                                    1        2
50   49  Vic Willis                19    2                              1        1      
51   39  Dick Lundy                18    2                              1           1   
52   52T Pie Traynor               17    1            1                                 
53   51  Spotswood Poles           15    2                                       1  1   
54   54  Tommy Bond                15    1                  1                           
55  n/e  Hack Wilson               12    2                                             2
56T  56  Fielder Jones             12    1                           1                  
56T  55  Dolf Luque                12    1                           1                  
58   57T Sam Leever                10    1                                 1            
59   57T Lefty Gomez                9    1                                    1         
60   59  Carl Mays                  8    1                                       1      
61T  60T Bill Byrd                  6    1                                             1
61T n/e  Ed Williamson              6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Mel Harder(62), Addie Joss(60T), Jimmy Ryan(45T).

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 27, 2005 at 05:59 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:12 AM (#1435331)
Congratulations to the two worthies!
   2. OCF Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1435358)
49 ballots means you used David C. Jones's. I don't have it yet - I'll be back in half an hour or so after I add it in an try to correlate my results with what's posted.
   3. DavidFoss Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1435380)
Dropped Out: Mel Harder(62), Addie Joss(60T), Jimmy Ryan(45T).

Is this the first time that Ryan has fallen off the list?
   4. OCF Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:34 AM (#1435418)
Vote totals confirmed.
   5. TomH Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:34 AM (#1435421)
Wow - a strong ballot. I see 8 of the top 9 as clearly HoM-worthy, the outlier being Ducky Wucky. So maybe I'll do some homework to see if I'm (horrors!) mistaken, or if you all had SNT syndrome this ballot!
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:37 AM (#1435427)
All-time vote points totals leaders, through 1954, top 25 overall and top 25 active

Notes: No movement in Top 10.... Ryan falls off the vote board, by far the most votes of anyone to see that happen. Will he ever return?..... Welch the 13th member of the 10,000 pt club, Childs should be No. 14 next year.... Beckwith becomes the Negro Leagues all-time pt leader, moves into top 20.

JENNINGS 14826
VAN HALTREN 14499.5
DUFFY 14066.5
BECKLEY 13858
Pike 13399
GRIFFITH 12692
Thompson 12349
BROWNING 12137.5
Bennett 11503
WADDELL 10977

Caruthers 10704
RYAN 10507.5
WELCH 10067
CHILDS 9914
H Stovey 9576
Start 8378.5
McGinnity 8232
Pearce 8073
BECKWITH 8004
McVey 7985.5

Grant 7969.5
BRESNAHAN 7058
T LEACH 6787
Galvin 6585
Sheckard 6377

(Rixey 6307, Suttles 6258, Sisler 5932, C Jones 5852, Monroe 5008, Sewell 4870, Williamson 4223, Doyle 4059, Roush 3986, Ferrell 3694, Mendez 3575, Redding 3516)
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:40 AM (#1435437)
For what it's worth, it may be at least a dozen years before we see another 10,000-pt guy after Childs.
Rixey has the best shot in the next 20 years, I suppose, but he may either fade out too quickly or (heavens!) get elected.
   8. OCF Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1435449)
Average consensus score +3.7. That's the lowest since 1949, but it's going to go lower next year, without any one candidate as unifying as Vaughan was. Highest possible consensus score +19.

Top 6:

Tiboreau +13 (+12.86)
Patrick W +12 (+12.34)
Devin McCullen +12
dan b +11
TomH +11
Chris Cobb +11

Bottom 5:

Daryn -6
PhillyBooster -7
Gadfly -7
karlmagnus -15 (-15.22)
yest -15 (-15.57)
   9. PhillyBooster Posted: June 28, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1435542)
Man, and I even swapped Lombardi for Stan Hack! The election of Wells should move me out of the Bottom 5 next year, though.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1435754)
I know the mayor of Newark pretty well.
He's 70, and a huge sports fan, he got the minor league stadium there named "Newark Bears and Eagles Stadium" to pay tribute to both great teams.

Sharp as a tack; I wonder if he remembers Willie Wells at the tail end of that career. I imagine in the 1945 appearances, he was quite the legend by then. I'll have to ask him.
   11. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 28, 2005 at 03:53 AM (#1435849)
Howie, don't you mean Sharpe as a tack?
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1435867)
Well played, Devin.
Incidentally, I was in Boise in January.
   13. Patrick W Posted: June 28, 2005 at 04:21 AM (#1435904)
Who knew Jimmy Ryan was the albatross preventing me from Top 5 Consensus Scores all these years? (Dropping a one vote player and bumping Wells to #2 might've helped too.)

In celebration of having a completely updated my HOM History (almost, I still have to update the Voter Rolls for 1950-54), I thought I would throw together a little useless data for the 50th 57th anniversary (I was really behind). Enjoy!

Top Scores Not Elected in Year

Rank Year  Player       Score HOM
1    1934* E.Collins    81.0%  x
2    1935  J.Williams   80.5%  x
3    1923* S.Crawford   78.8%  x
4    1934* J.H.Lloyd    76.8%  x
5    1943* F.Frisch     76.2%  x
----------------------------------
6    1911* J.Burkett    75.9%  x
7    1950* J.Cronin     75.9%  x
8    1913  C.McVey      74.1%  x
9    1901* J.Glasscock  73.7%  x
10   1952* B.Dickey     73.3%  x

* Rookie

Top Scores Never Elected

Rank Year  Player          Score
1    1949  M.Suttles       61.4%
2    1946* M.Suttles       59.6%
3    1951  M.Suttles       58.6%
4    1954  M.Suttles       57.3%
5    1948  M.Suttles       55.9%
----------------------------------
6    1947  M.Suttles       55.4%
7    1951  J.Beckwith      54.7%
8    1952  M.Suttles       54.5%
9    1950  M.Suttles       54.4%
10   1953  M.Suttles       54.3%

* Rookie

This list could be radically different really quick, no? 94 Rookies have achieved a score of 40.0% or higher. Only Suttles (69th best), E.Williamson (1898, 47.1%, 85th), H.Duffy (1907, 44.4%, 92nd) and J.Ryan (1909, 40.4%, 94th, R.I.P.) have yet to be elected.

Odds of Election

Score    #  # Elect  % Elected
  100%   6     6       100.0%
90-99%  33    33       100.0%
80-89%  18    16        88.9%
70-79%  31    20        64.5%
60-69%  69    19        27.5%
50-59% 107     4         3.7%
40-49% 109     5         4.6%
-----------------------------
Total  373   103        27.6%

The average HOMer entered with a score of 80.6%.

Top Average Scores

Rk  Year Player       Avg. Sc  Yrs   EqPts  HOM
1   1917 C.Young       100.0%   1    100.0  x
2   1923 H.Wagner      100.0%   1    100.0  x
3   1933 W.Johnson     100.0%   1    100.0  x
4   1942 B.Ruth        100.0%   1    100.0  x
5   1944 L.Gehrig      100.0%   1    100.0  x
------------------------------------------------
6   1947 L.Grove       100.0%   1    100.0  x
7   1902 D.Brouthers    99.7%   1     99.7  x
8   1951 J.Foxx         99.5%   1     99.5  x
9   1936 P.Alexander    99.4%   1     99.4  x
10  1952 J.Gibson       99.4%   1     99.4  x
------------------------------------------------
11  1934 T.Cobb         99.3%   1     99.3  x
12  1943 O.Charleston   99.2%   1     99.2  x
13  1911 K.Nichols      98.9%   1     98.9  x
14  1922 N.Lajoie       98.8%   1     98.8  x
15  1954 A.Vaughan      98.4%   1     98.4  x
------------------------------------------------
16  1909 E.Delahanty    98.4%   1     98.4  x
17  1948 C.Gehringer    97.9%   1     97.9  x
18  1946 T.Stearnes     96.9%   1     96.9  x
19  1922 C.Mathewson    96.5%   1     96.5  x
20  1942 R.Hornsby      95.8%   1     95.8  x

Rk   - Overall Rank
Year - Rookie Year
Avg. Sc - Average Score
Yrs     - Years appearing on Ballot
EqPts   - Equivalent Score (AvgSc * Yrs Elig.)

Average Score is 33.2%, Median Score is 12.6%

Top Average Eligible Scores

Bal Rk  Year Player       Avg. Sc  Yrs    EqPts
1   79  1946 M.Suttles      56.8%    9    511.3
2   98  1940 J.Beckwith     43.4%   15    650.7
3  102  1953 B.Herman       36.1%    2     72.3
4  103  1939 E.Rixey        31.8%   16    508.9
5  104  1954 J.Medwick      31.5%    1     31.5
------------------------------------------------
6  106  1953 R.Ruffing      29.2%    2     58.3
7  107  1953 S.Hack         28.2%    2     56.4
8  109  1913 J.Beckley      27.7%   42   1162.7
9  110  1944 W.Ferrell      27.4%   11    301.1
10 111  1908 H.Jennings     26.9%   47   1262.7
------------------------------------------------
11 112  1909 G.VanHaltren   26.8%   46   1235.0
12 113  1946 E.Averill      26.7%    9    239.9
13 114  1907 H.Duffy        25.6%   48   1230.6
14 116  1936 G.Sisler       25.2%   19    478.1
15 117  1912 C.Griffith     24.6%   43   1056.8
------------------------------------------------
16 118  1939 J.Sewell       24.5%   16    392.0
17 119  1949 B.Mackey       24.0%    6    144.0
18 120  1916 R.Waddell      23.5%   39    915.4
19 122  1909 J.Ryan         20.0%   45    920.4
20 123  1948 C.P.Bell       19.8%    7    138.9

Bal  - Rank Among Eligible Players

To date, 261 players have received at least 1/6 of a vote in 57 total elections.

Top Equivalent Scores

Bal Rk  Year Player       Avg. Sc  Yrs    EqPts  HOM
1  111  1908 H.Jennings     26.9%   47   1262.7   
2  112  1909 G.VanHaltren   26.8%   46   1235.0   
3  114  1907 H.Duffy        25.6%   48   1230.6   
4  108  1898 L.Pike         27.7%   43   1192.5   x
5  109  1913 J.Beckley      27.7%   42   1162.7
----------------------------------------------------------
6   99  1902 S.Thompson     41.2%   28   1152.6   x
7   91  1899 C.Bennett      48.9%   23   1124.8   x
8  124  1899 P.Browning     19.4%   56   1087.3
9  117  1912 C.Griffith     24.6%   43   1056.8
10 105  1899 B.Caruthers    31.4%   32   1006.2   x
----------------------------------------------------------
11  85  1899 H.Stovey       53.9%   18    970.3   x
12 122  1909 J.Ryan         20.0%   45    920.4
13 120  1916 R.Waddell      23.5%   39    915.4
14 130  1898 M.Welch        15.2%   57    864.0
15  76  1898 J.Start        57.5%   15    862.9   x
----------------------------------------------------------
16 126  1907 C.Childs       17.6%   48    847.1
17  92  1898 C.McVey        47.7%   17    811.5   x
18  90  1914 J.McGinnity    49.1%   15    736.0   x
19 100  1909 F.Grant        40.7%   18    732.2   x
20 121  1898 D.Pearce       21.4%   34    726.6   x

Suttles has made a remarkable climb up the total points list. He ranks 28th (511.3), and only E.Sutton (647.9, 23rd, 11yrs) and B.McPhee (584.2, 24th, 9yrs) are above him on this list with fewer than 12 yrs eligible.

Most Years on Ballot

Bal Rk  Year Player       Avg. Sc  Yrs    EqPts  HOM  '54?
1  130  1898 M.Welch        15.2%   57    864.0         x
2  138  1898 C.Jones         8.8%   57    500.8         x
3  124  1899 P.Browning     19.4%   56   1087.3         x
4  139  1898 E.Williamson    7.4%   55    419.8         x
5  148  1898 J.McCormick     5.4%   49    306.2 
----------------------------------------------------------
6  114  1907 H.Duffy        25.6%   48   1230.6         x
7  126  1907 C.Childs       17.6%   48    847.1         x
8  111  1908 H.Jennings     26.9%   47   1262.7         x
9  112  1909 G.VanHaltren   26.8%   46   1235.0         x
10 149  1909 J.McGraw        5.3%   46    244.6         x
----------------------------------------------------------
11 122  1909 J.Ryan         20.0%   45    920.4
12 166  1900 T.Mullane       2.3%   45    125.7
13 167  1898 F.Dunlap        2.0%   45    113.1
14 108  1898 L.Pike         27.7%   43   1192.5   x
15 117  1912 C.Griffith     24.6%   43   1056.8         x
----------------------------------------------------------
16 180  1898 T.Bond          1.2%   43     67.7         x
17 109  1913 J.Beckley      27.7%   42   1162.7         x
18 120  1916 R.Waddell      23.5%   39    915.4         x
19 160  1916 V.Willis        4.5%   39    175.9         x
20 162  1914 F.Jones         3.3%   39    135.6         x
----------------------------------------------------------
21 184  1898 T.York          0.9%   39     50.1

'54? - Received votes in 1954
   14. TomH Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:43 PM (#1436112)
Consensus score Top 6:
Tiboreau +13 (+12.86)
Patrick W +12 (+12.34)
Devin McCullen +12
dan b +11
TomH +11
Chris Cobb +11

Me? Really? Gosh, imagine if I liked Medwick or kicked McGraw off my ballot.
   15. TomH Posted: June 28, 2005 at 12:45 PM (#1436116)
55 Scatterbox Prelim - sure looks like a strong NeL ballot!

---- “clearly in” “borderline” “HoVGood”
-C -------------Mackey Bresn/Lomard/Schang
SS --------------Sewell ----Jennings
2B ---Herman -------Childs -Monroe/Doyle
3B ----Hack ----McGraw -Traynor
UTIL -----------Beckwith ---Leach
1B ---Leonard--------------------Sisler/
1B -Suttles ----------------Chance/Beckley
OF -----------VanHaltren ---B Johnson
OF -----------CP Bell, Averill -Medwick
-P --Griffith Walters------Rixey –--Mendez
-P RBrown- Ruffing ----------Dean/Welch
-P -------- Ferrell --------------Waddell
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: June 28, 2005 at 03:06 PM (#1436302)
As a big fan of SSs, Wells becomes the first SS who is now HoM/not PHoM. Hughie Jennings and Dobie Moore are PHoM/not HoM. I doubt that Jennings or Moore will ever get Hom, and it will be awhile for Wells to get PHoM though it certainly could happen.

Setting those 3 aside, here is my list of SSs currently eligible or coming up before the 1950s are over.

1. Appling--could get HoM/not PHoM, though he will rank ahead of Wells (I think) for PHoM

2. Boudreau--tentatively behind Wells
3. Vern Stephens--as good as Boudreau almost every year
4. Sewell--only 2/3 SS (overrated by Tom H ;-)
5. Lundy--94 OPS+ doesn't feel right to me
6. Bancroft--one of the 3-4 best SS defenders ever
7. Maranville
6. Tinker--two more great SS defenders

But I will continue to have Jennings and Moore ahead of any of these.
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 28, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1436689)
Sunny,

Just curious to know where are you at with Herman Long?
   18. sunnyday2 Posted: June 28, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1436732)
Tinker would be #8 of course.

Herman Long dropped out of contention a long time ago. I became pretty satisfied that Tinker was better and then a succession of SSs have slotted in ahead of Tinker since then. Rowdy Dick Bartell and Herman Long might be #9 and #10 but as they are not in the top 100 anymore I don't remember for sure.
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2005 at 12:59 PM (#1443371)
Thnking out loud:

What does it mean that we have Wells, Suttles and Beckwith #2-3-4 and only 6 other NeLers in the top 50? Some hypotheses:

• Elect the best, forget the rest? (i.e. underrate the rest?)

• We are overrating Wells, Suttles, Beckwith?

• We are underrating Wells, Suttles, Beckwith--e.g. if they were white they would have been elected a long time ago?

• The MLEs presented here are too low?

• The MLEs presented here are too high?

• Wells, Suttles and Beckwith really are just a smidge better than Herman, Medwick and Jennings or Hack. i.e. We got it "just right."
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 01, 2005 at 01:38 PM (#1443428)
Sunnyday,

I think it means several things:

1) We still don't have a good handle on the Negro League pitchers (esp Andy Cooper)

2) We don't have MLEs on everybody (not a blaming statement), for instance Oms, and there's much uncertainty about the conversion rate we're using and how regression effects peaks

3) The NgL population may not be exactly analagous in depth or breadth to the majors, even if its cream was as good or better than MLB's, so it may be that the pool of HOMish players is smaller anyway.
   21. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2005 at 01:50 PM (#1443457)
One factor to consider is that there are 9 pre-1900 stars in the top 50. Given that black baseball was not really developed enough before 1900 to produce more than a few top players, that will thin the pool of black players relative to white players.

If we drop those 9 from consideration, black players represented 9 of the top 41 post-1900 players. That's 22%, which most of us would agree is probably low.

I'd say that "elect the best, forget the rest" (which applies to the calculation of MLEs as well as to a general attitude), lack of a handle on pitchers in particular and MLEs that are too low are probably the main reasons why fewer NeL players are appearing in the top 50.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 01, 2005 at 02:33 PM (#1443563)
Well, I don't think it matters much that Negro Leaguers are sparse from 35 to 50, for instance. None of those guys will ever get elected anyway, at least not with the current info about them.
In truth, an eligible Negro Leaguer off the ballot at this point is more likely to be elected than Chuck Klein or Wally Berger.
   23. Paul Wendt Posted: July 02, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1446090)
ducking in and out quickly . . .

Yes, congratulations to Vaughan and Wells.

there are 9 pre-1900 stars in the top 50. Given that black baseball was not really developed enough before 1900 to produce more than a few top players, that will thin the pool of black players relative to white players.

For purposes of demographic argument this is true of the aughts also. --especially for thinking in terms of every player in his central decade, where Fred Clarke and Bobby Wallace (elected) do not count as 1890s stars.

Have a good holiday. Don't drink and drive.

Who was the old ballplayer injured by fireworks?
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 03, 2005 at 02:22 PM (#1446620)
Well, I don't think it matters much that Negro Leaguers are sparse from 35 to 50, for instance. None of those guys will ever get elected anyway, at least not with the current info about them.
In truth, an eligible Negro Leaguer off the ballot at this point is more likely to be elected than Chuck Klein or Wally Berger.


I happen to agree with you, Howie. Now, an outsider going over the results may conclude that there is some bias against the NeLers (or African-Americans, for that matter). They would be wrong, of course. I think the "problem" is a result of how sure we are about the NeL MLEs. If a borderline NeLer is competing with a borderline MLer, the former probably will lose due to the (relative) lack of certainty in regard to how his numbers were interpreted.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: July 04, 2005 at 01:26 PM (#1447856)
I disagree with 24; I think we give huge "benefit of the doubt" to NELers, and hence elect all the borderline ones. It's the definitely-sub-borderline ones, like Bell and Mackey, whoose MLEs, even interpreted by the friendly Chris, wouldn't cut it in a minute if they were MLers, that we are liable to elect through a warm and fuzzy feeling.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 04, 2005 at 01:51 PM (#1447863)
It's the definitely-sub-borderline ones, like Bell and Mackey, whoose MLEs, even interpreted by the friendly Chris, wouldn't cut it in a minute if they were MLers, that we are liable to elect through a warm and fuzzy feeling.

I don't disagree with you about Bell and Mackey as HoMers, but they did have very long careers. I could see a pure career voter adding their names to a ballot. My problem with them (especially Bell) is their unremarkable peaks.

But I would take them over a few MLers who somehow earn votes every election despite less credentials.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: July 04, 2005 at 11:24 PM (#1448802)
karl, I am struck by your vote for Jake Beckley and his 3200 adjusted hits at #1 and Cool Papa Bell and his 3700 MLE hits at #41.

Of course I am even more struck by Joe Medwick and his great peak at #40 versus Sam Leever and his "great peak" at #11-12(?) or thereabouts.

I don't know if you're a peak voter or a career voter...well, except with Beckley and Welch 1-2, no, I can see that you're a career voter, sort of.

But anyway, explain Beckley #1 and Bell #41 to me, if you don't mind! Thanks.
   28. Michael Bass Posted: July 05, 2005 at 12:10 AM (#1448904)
It's the definitely-sub-borderline ones, like Bell and Mackey, whoose MLEs, even interpreted by the friendly Chris, wouldn't cut it in a minute if they were MLers, that we are liable to elect through a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Given that we already elected Bell's white, likely inferior, doppleganger, I don't think this argument holds much weight.

(Not that I support Bell or his doppleganger)
   29. karlmagnus Posted: July 05, 2005 at 02:12 AM (#1449143)
Beckley OPS+125, Bell OPS+100, or thereabouts, at most 107, even if you buy the conversion, which I don't entirely. Beckley was simply a much much better player. Bell has been hopelessly overrated by history.

I didn't vote for Carey, if he's the doppleganger.

Leever's there for career W/L, with a modest 25% credit (WWII gets 50%) for not starting till 27 for economic reasons.
   30. Michael Bass Posted: July 05, 2005 at 10:12 AM (#1449655)
I didn't vote for Carey, if he's the doppleganger.

I realize that, but your argument above is that Bell is only being considered due to "a warm and fuzzy feeling" and that he "wouldn't cut it in a minute" if he were an MLer. Carey's election indicates that the electorate is perfectly happy to consider white players similar to Bell.
   31. sunnyday2 Posted: July 05, 2005 at 11:24 AM (#1449658)
If Bell's got a doppelganger, I'd say it's not Max Carey but rather Pete Rose. This is not a comment on character. Carey's got an OPS+ of 107, Bell an MLE OPS+ of 100 (which means an "uncertain" OPS+), and Rose has a 117, so Carey's closer there but that's just one measure. For career longevity and reputation, Rose is closer. And then there's the fact that SABR types have long derided Rose's reputation, which is what really makes him comparable to Bell.

Anyway, karl, you're right, that 100 for Bell--expecially those two highly symbolic goose-eggs on the end of it--are pretty big. I was thinking more of Bell and Beckley as being comparable in the same ways that Bell and Rose are comparable. Lots of seasons, lots of PAs, lots of hits.

I did vote for Carey, he is in my PHoM. Of course, Carey had the good sense to retire at the right time. The competition was a bit different then.
   32. PhillyBooster Posted: July 05, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1449965)
What does it mean that we have Wells, Suttles and Beckwith #2-3-4 and only 6 other NeLers in the top 50? Some hypotheses:

I think you are missing hypothesis #7: relative lack of data leads to limited range of conclusions.

Take the player right in the middle of the Top 50 -- Cupid Childs. He is loved by WARP (103.6), but is relatively low in Win Shares (238), although with a good rate. He gets bumped down by voters who strongly discount the 1890 AA, and bumped up by players who give significant "league contraction" bonuses for 1890s NL play. He is moved up or down by some if he was the best second baseman in the league, or if he was second to Bid McPhee. For some, 6700 plate appearances in too low, while for other his non-consecutive peak is too high to ignore.

For Negro League players, we get a choice of non-contextualized raw numbers, and some excellent MLEs put together by some of the voters. But, due to the limited amount of data, there are very few players for whom there is any "conflicting" data. We never argue whether Mule Suttles is overrated by Win Shares or underrated by WARP, because they are not rated by either, and no one who is making equivalencies would come up with vastly different numbers when converting to WARP-equivalent or WS-equivalent.

I think we almost all agree on the Negro Leaguers because we've got 2 or 3 different numbers to ponder instead of 20 or 30, and that inherently leads to more agreement.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 05, 2005 at 05:25 PM (#1450116)
Good point, Matt.
   34. TomH Posted: July 06, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1453133)
yeah, what Phillybooster said.

When I draft in a sim league, there may be huge discrepancies as to which CFer is beter, because you have batting average vs power vs walks vs speed vs defense. But with pitchers, everyone in the league knows it's about ERA. So we rate them similarly.

NeL stats might be foggy, but MLB stats are measured with highly confident precise (but flawed) metrics.
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1453181)
I dunno about the idea that we rate pitchers similarly (unless you mean similarly [scattered] as position player) or that it's about ERA. (I see you meant your sim league drafts on ERA. But what are we electing on?) Our top 10 pitchers.

1. Ruffing (#7 overall)--28 out of 49 ballots--ERA+ 109
2. Ferrell (9)--24--117
3. Rixey (12)--21--118
4. Griffith (14)--20--121
5. Redding (19)--13
6. Welch (22)--10--113
7. Mendez (24)--11
8. Walters (26)--11--115
9. Waddell (30)--12--135(!)
10. Grimes (32)--9--107

One pitcher on half the ballots. Meanwhile, the best ERA+ available.

1. Joss 142--no ballots
2. Waddell 135--12 ballots
3. Hahn 133--zero
4. Dean 130--5
5. Cuppy 127--0
6. Bridges 126--5
7. Gomez 125--1
8. Foutz and Shocker--124--0 and 0
10. Cicotte, Mort Cooper, L. Corcoran, Leever, Overall--123--Cicotte 2 and Leever 1

I wonder what criteria we are electing? Maybe just good old HFM or HFS? Certainly not ERA or ERA+.
   36. karlmagnus Posted: July 06, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1453200)
I would second sunnyday2 here, and need to look again atAddie Joss. If we give 50% credit for WW2, it would seem reasonable to give 50% credit for being dead, at which point Joss rises to about 220 wins and is clearly towards the top of the ballot.
   37. TomH Posted: July 06, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1453236)
I don't mean WE rate pitchers similarly; I only used them as an example

sim league CF:pitchers
is to HoM MLB:NeL

In a sim league, most pitchers of a common era had similar IP totals. Our HoM disagreements are more based on the value of ERA+ vs career IP, as well as league strength and defensive support, neither of which figure into sim leagues.

In real life, if much of what is perceived as pitching is in fact defense, and we have difficulty measuring defense, our level (and the HoF's) of agreement among pitchers could feasibly be waaaay low! Hence, the HoF's preference for Jim Palmer, when Bert Blyleven was obviously better...
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1453273)
ERA+ for pitchers who received votes in 1953 and/or 1954

1. Joss 142--fell off the chart in 1954, 2327 IP
2. Waddell 135, 2961 IP
3. Dean 130, 1967 IP
4. Bridges 126, 1816 IP
5. Gomez 125, 2503 IP
6. Cicotte 123--tie break is more IP, 3226 IP
7. Leever 123, 2661 IP
8. Griffith 121, 3386 IP
9. Mays 119. 3021 IP
10. Rixey 118, 4495 IP

In fairness I don't have a number for Jose Mendez.

11. Willis 118, 3996 IP
12. Luque 117--without all those Cuban innings, 3220 IP
13. Ferrell 117, 2623 IP
14. Walters 115, 3105 IP
15. Redding 114--I think this is the right number, lots of IP
16. Welch 113, 4802 IP
17. Harder 113--fell off the chart in 1954, 3426 IP
18. Bond 110, 2780 IP
19. Ruffing 109--yet #1 pitcher in 1954 results, 4344 IP
20. Grimes 107, 4180 IP

Bill Byrd also received votes but I'm not going to repro his numbers since I don't know that they're right or that they don't prejudice his case.

Let the record show that Cicotte, Griffith and Rixey are the only 3 candidates in the top half of both lists.

I am also a Joss and Waddell supporter. I'd rather have 2500ish IP at 135-145 ERA+ than 4000 IP at 109. At least in my HoM I would.

How can Ruffing be ahead of Rixey, or even of Vic Willis?
   39. Michael Bass Posted: July 06, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1453474)
Given:

- The NL of Rixey's day was the weakest actual major league of the 20th century

- 22 OPS+ vs. 81 OPS+ (in about 400 more PA)

- Ruffing because of the above 2 factors actually manages a slight peak where Rixey did not

I'm not sure how Rixey can be ahead of Ruffing on any but the most stringent "screw league quality!" voter's list.

As for Willis, he racked up less innings in an era where innings where easier to come by than Ruffing's, and has an even worse OPS+ than Rixey did.

And the point where Addie Joss gets "dead" credit is the point where extra credit has officially gone off the rails. Well, I should take that back; given the extra credit already being given to Leever, Cicotte, and Cravath, we're already far off the rails, so Joss wouldn't really do much there.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: July 06, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1453569)
- Ruffing because of the above 2 factors actually manages a slight peak where Rixey did not

I'm not an FORR, but he has been lingering in the 14-17 range of my ballots so I have been contributing to his vote totals.

Anyhow, Ruffing does have decent peak seasons which is odd for a player with his career numbers -- the odd shape of his career is weighting down his career numbers. He's not the Baines/Perez of pitching candidates. If the Red Sox were in the PCL, a lot of us would just not give him credit for those years and he'd have solid post-Boston numbers. I like him better than Dean, Walters, Gomez, Harder and Bridges for this reason.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1453621)
I don't advocate any dead credit for Joss, or any post-1920 credit for Cicotte.

I also don't advocate for WARPs extreme adjustments for league quality.

Ruffing pitched a lot of innings, none of them during WWII (at lest not 1943-44, but yes, 1945), though it's unclear exactly when he couldn't pitch anymore. He also didn't have to pitch against one of the greatest teams of all time and by that I mean greatest dynasties for a good four peak years there. Was the rest of the AL minus the Yankees that much better?

Rixey missed a full year and came back rusty in 1919. He pitched a hell of a lot of innings, too. 8 20-WS seasons in 11 (not counting 1918 and 1919) is a pretty good prime if not a huge peak.

Ruffing meanwhile had 7 20-WS seasons in 12 without the inconvenience of a war in his prime. I sure don't see much of a peak differential there.

Rixey 26-26-24-23-22-22-21-20
Ruffing 26-25-24-23-22-22-21

The career totals of course are Ruffing 322 Rixey 315. Being fair, Rixey went from 24-20 to 0-4-18. He conservatively lost 30 WS. Ruffing of course went from 16-15-15 to 0-0 then 7-7. He liberally lost 30 WS, but Rixey could just as likely have made up the 7. No matter, anyway.

Is the peak difference you speak of in the sequence? Again, leaving 1918 and 1919 out of it, which I think is fair, here are their sequences from first to last 20 WS season.

Rixey 24-20-18-22-23-26-21-26-14-15-22
Ruffing 21-11-16-15-26-15-17-22-23-24-25-22

Each put 5 consecutive 20s together, and that is not interrupted by 1918-19 in Rixey's case, they came in real time, just like Ruffing's. And in fact, Rixey's 5 = 118, Ruffing's = 116.

Rixey's 11 years from 1st to last = 231
Ruffing's 12 years = 237

There, basically is the 7 point difference for career, and this is with Rixey missing 1 year and virtually a second. Again, Ruffing might have done just as well in 1943-44, but when talking about their peaks, no, it doesn't enter in.

All of those WS of course include Ruffing's hitting edge. And of course they also include Rixey's 9 point ERA+ edge.

So we're left with the league adjustment. By all means, go for it, but again I don't buy the huge discounts proposed by WARP. Do you know how much of it is for league (which I take with a grain of salt) and how much is just a timeline adjustment (which I don't accept even with a grain of salt or a heaping spoonful of sugar, for that matter)?
   42. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 06, 2005 at 11:16 PM (#1453627)
Karl,

I wouldn't start giving credit for being dead. That opens up a whole new pandora's box. if you are giving Joss credit why not Delahanty? Why not Ray Chapman? Why not a sick player like Gibson or J. R. Richard? Why not a player like Campanella?
   43. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2005 at 11:18 PM (#1453635)
Of course, the irony is I'm arguing about two pitchers neither of whom is even on my ballot. Note to self: Get a life.

In fact, in 1955 I have (had) Ruffing #22 and Rixey #23. So they look about identical to me. One could hit, the other was a better pitcher, and throw away the league adjustment. Two candidates to get on my ballot someday. But on reflection when we're talking about pitchers, I like the better pitcher.
   44. Michael Bass Posted: July 07, 2005 at 12:00 AM (#1453720)
Do you know how much of it is for league (which I take with a grain of salt) and how much is just a timeline adjustment (which I don't accept even with a grain of salt or a heaping spoonful of sugar, for that matter)?

I certainly know better than to argue timelining with you. :) I was speaking of the actual league quality adjustment.

To illustrate the pure league quality adjustment for Rixey, I compare to Faber, who pitched around the same amount of time.

WARP1 - WARP3
Faber: 97.2 - 84.5
Rixey: 98.9 - 81.0

Raw drop of 12.7 for Faber, % drop of 13.1
Raw drop of 17.9 for Rixey, % drop of 18.1

Yes, the NL of that era really did stink.
   45. Michael Bass Posted: July 07, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1453732)
Oh, and I know you have no plans on giving dead credit to Joss, my response was a mixed response to you and karl, which got garbled due to me not bothering to differentiate. Sorry about that.

As for peak...

WARP1 (not 3...no timelining or even league quality here)

5 best for Ruffing: 9.0, 8.7, 8.2, 8.1, 8.0
5 best for Rixey: 8.9, 8.3, 7.6, 7.5, 7.3

And as a side note, career WARP1 (again, not WARP3)

Ruffing: 113.4
Rixey: 98.9

Guess this is just a simple WS vs. WARP argument in many ways. The two look like dead ringers by Win Shares, while by WARP1, Ruffing looks like Ted Lyons, while Rixey looks like the pitching Jake Beckley. Add in league quality and any timelining....
   46. karlmagnus Posted: July 07, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1454228)
Even if you give dead credit to Chapman, he still doesn't quite make it -- not enough of a career before he died. But Joss is a different matter; he wasn't killed by a baseball, a "run of the game" accident, he dropped dead at 30 of a disease we could cure today. I don't know why being dead is less worthy of credit than being the wrong colour, playing in the minor leagues, playing in Mexico, or serving in WWII as a baseball diversion for the troops.

Being a fighter pilot, like Ted Williams or the British fast bowler Ken Farnes (shot down in 1941, which is why Australia won the Ashes in 1946-53), is a rather different matter.)

Probably 25% credit not 50%, in which case Joss is in my consideration set but not on my ballot -- assume another 120 wins in a full career (shorter than it would have been 50 years later) then 50% gets you to 220, on ballot, but 25% gets you to 190, which isn't.
   47. TomH Posted: July 08, 2005 at 01:09 PM (#1457627)
I can't remember if any of you 'ballot counters' or 'consensus trackers' were keeping track of whose ballots are closest to each other, and what method was used, but I've spotted one ballot in the 55 thread that looks a lot like mine. Is this still being done? What are the calc methods?
   48. dan b Posted: July 08, 2005 at 04:36 PM (#1458210)
Addie Joss was limited to 13 appearances in 1910 with arm trouble before passing away prior to the 1911 season. Does anyone know what part of the season he was able to pitch in 1910?
   49. OCF Posted: July 08, 2005 at 05:24 PM (#1458397)
TomH - I've done that once in a while when I had the time, using an idea somewhat related to the consensus scores method, but it's been several years since the last one. Maybe I'll run it on 1955 just to see what you're talking about - but probably not till Tuesday.
   50. TomH Posted: July 08, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1458483)
muchas gracias, mi amigo
I'll be away on business most of next week anyway. Happy 1956 discussion to all; I look forward to see the consensus on Joe Gordon, and his twin Bobby Doerr next year.
   51. DavidFoss Posted: July 08, 2005 at 06:24 PM (#1458590)
Addie Joss was limited to 13 appearances in 1910 with arm trouble before passing away prior to the 1911 season. Does anyone know what part of the season he was able to pitch in 1910?

baseballlibrary has one late April data point.

"April 20, 1910: Cleveland's Addie Joss pitches his 2nd no-hitter 1–0 over Chicago. Joss's 10 assists help prevent any infield spoilers. Terry Turner's 6th inning double off Doc White scores the Naps only run."

Retrosheet has his 10th start on June 9. Start 11 is July 11, the 12th and final start was July 25. I don't know when lone 1910 relief appearance was.
   52. PhillyBooster Posted: July 08, 2005 at 06:26 PM (#1458598)
Even if you give dead credit to Chapman, he still doesn't quite make it -- not enough of a career before he died.

Doesn't that really depend upon what level you set for a "replacement corpse"?
   53. dan b Posted: July 08, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1458754)
Thanks David.

If Joss was finished after July 25, then how much dead credit could anyone give him? His career as an excellent pitcher was ended by arm trouble. Death only denied him a chance to attempt a comeback.
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 08, 2005 at 07:49 PM (#1458804)
Doesn't that really depend upon what level you set for a "replacement corpse"?

Of "corpse," Matt. :-)

If Joss was finished after July 25, then how much dead credit could anyone give him? His career as an excellent pitcher was ended by arm trouble. Death only denied him a chance to attempt a comeback.

If Joss' career was ended due to arm trouble, then the concept of death credit ends right there for Addie.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: July 08, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1458883)
Does anybody know for sure that Joss' 1910 problems were NOT related to his illness? I mean he coulda had a sore arm for a couple weeks, and then gotten into something else? I don't know, just askin.'
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 08, 2005 at 08:39 PM (#1458933)
DOC C: Karlmagnus, only you could be so bold, the HOM electorate will not sit still for this, when they hear you've begun offering Dead Credit---

DARTH KARL: Don't act so surprised your Docness, I've needed a new Pet Candidate for months since Caruthers was elected and Beckley's candidacy fizzled, in part thanks to your never voting for him.

DOC C: I don't know what you're talking about, I'm a member of the HOM electorate on a Negro-Leauge-research mission to Mexico...

DARTH KARL: You are part of the anti-Beckley alliance and a traitor! Take him away!
   57. karlmagnus Posted: July 08, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1458936)
The elbow wasn't a long term problem -- Joss went to "Bonesetter" Reese, who'd solved elbow problems for several other pitchers, and was all ready to go for '11 when he got sick. Everybody seems to have expected him to be A-OK for the '11 season; it wasn't a "comeback" as such, just a normal recovery from injuury.

If anyone has access to the Plain Dealer files for March-April 1911, they would provide corroboration in detail, I think.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 08, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1458957)
Eric:

Impressive...your post...was!

:-)

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