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

Monday, July 11, 2005

1955 Results: Homestead Grays Leonard and Brown Earn the Hall of Merit Stamp of Approval!

In his first year of eligibility, Homestead Gray slugger Buck Leonard gained immortality by earning 90% of all possible votes.

Another newbie, Leonard’s teammate and ace pitcher Raymond Brown received a healthy 84% of all possible votes to win the second spot for induction.

With the election of these two greats, we now have the same amount of NeL inductees as that other Hall does (18).

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Buck Leonard            1040   47  24 13  4  3  1  1           1               
 2  n/e  Raymond Brown            962   47  17 13  5  2  3  2     1  1     1  2         
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    3  Mule Suttles             689   43   3  5  6  8  5  1  2  2  5        4     1  1
 4    4  John Beckwith            596   42      4  8  4  4  1  4  1  1  2  5  1  3  3  1
 5    5  Billy Herman             442   33         7  3  2  2  3  5  2     1  4     2  2
 6    6  Joe Medwick              374   32         2  4  1  4  3  1  2  1  2  1  4  1  6
 7    8  Stan Hack                367   30      1     2  2  3  4  2  1  4  5  1  2  2  1
 8    7  Red Ruffing              330   25      1  3  1  3  3  2  2  1  2  1  1  1  4   
 9   10  Hughie Jennings          294   20   1  2  2  2  3  1  2  1  2           1     3
10    9  Wes Ferrell              282   23      1  2     1  3  1  4  1     5  1     1  3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   11  Earl Averill             255   22            2  2  2  2     3  2  1  1  5  2   
12   13  Biz Mackey               254   24      1        2  3     3  2        2  1  5  5
13   12  Eppa Rixey               247   21      1     2  1  2  2  2  1  2        2  4  2
14   14  Clark Griffith           230   20            2  2  2  1  1  2  1  2  1  2  3  1
15   16  Jake Beckley             216   17   1        3     1  1  1  3  1  2  2     2   
16   17  Cool Papa Bell           202   18      1     2     1  2     1  1  2  1  4     3
17T  15  George Sisler            186   15   1     2     1     3  1     1  1     1  2  2
17T  18  George Van Haltren       186   15            1  2  1  1  2  4        3     1   
19   21  Joe Sewell               160   13      1        2  1     2  2  1        2  1  1
20   22  Mickey Welch             144   10      1  1  2     1  2           1  1     1   
21   19  Cannonball Dick Redding  137   12               2     1  2  1  2     2     1  1
22   20  Pete Browning            132   10         1  1  2  2              2  1        1
23   23  Hugh Duffy               128   11               2  1     1  1     4  1     1   
24   26  Bucky Walters            125   11            1  1     1     2  2  2           2
25   25  Cupid Childs             121   11            1     1  1  1  1  1     2  1  1  1
26   29  Gavy Cravath             115    8      2  1     1        1           1     1  1
27   24  José Méndez              113   10                  2  1        4  1     1  1   
28   28  Tommy Leach              112   10               1  1     1     3  2  1        1
29   31  Wally Schang             104    8   1                    2  1  3     1         
30   34  Dobie Moore               98    8         1           2  1  1     1  1  1      
31   30  Rube Waddell              97   10                        1  1  2  1  1  3  1   
32   27  Charley Jones             89    7         1        1  1  2              2      
33   33  Edd Roush                 79    8         1                    2     2  1  1  1
34   35  Roger Bresnahan           76    7            1     1           2     1     1  1
35   32  Burleigh Grimes           74    6                  1  3              1  1      
36   37  Larry Doyle               65    6               1  1           1     1  1     1
37   41  Bob Johnson               60    6               1              2     1     1  1
38   39T Dizzy Dean                54    5                     1  1           3         
39   38  John McGraw               52    6                        1        1     2  1  1
40   36  Bill Monroe               50    5                  1  1              1        2
41   39T Tommy Bridges             49    5                              3        2      
42   42  Ernie Lombardi            44    3      1                 1              1      
43   43  Chuck Klein               39    3                  1        2                  
44   45  Sam Rice                  33    3                           1  1  1            
45   44  Ben Taylor                32    3                     1           1     1      
46   51  Dick Lundy                31    3                        1     1           1   
47   47T Wally Berger              22    2                           1     1            
48   52  Pie Traynor               18    1         1                                    
49   47T Ed Cicotte                17    1            1                                 
50   55  Hack Wilson               13    2                                          1  1
51   54  Tommy Bond                13    1                        1                     
52T  56T Fielder Jones             12    1                           1                  
52T  56T Dolf Luque                12    1                           1                  
54T  59  Lefty Gomez               10    1                                 1            
54T  58  Sam Leever                10    1                                 1            
56   49  George J. Burns            9    1                                    1         
57T  60  Carl Mays                  8    1                                       1      
57T  53  Spotswood Poles            8    1                                       1      
57T  50  Vic Willis                 8    1                                       1      
60   61T Ed Williamson              7    1                                          1   
61T  46  Buzz Arlett                6    1                                             1
61T  61T Bill Byrd                  6    1                                             1
John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2005 at 12:57 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1464884)
Congratulations to the families of the two worthies!
   2. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1465104)
I had to stamp out a whole ant farm worth of my own data entry mistakes. I now agree with the totals. Info on consensus scores in a little while.
   3. DavidFoss Posted: July 12, 2005 at 12:58 AM (#1465133)
I could see this thread title this morning. :-)

No worries of course, it was evident from the ballotting that it was just a question of what order these two would finish.

Congrats to Leonard and Brown!
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:07 AM (#1465161)
I could see this thread title this morning. :-)

You could? How? I only opened it at 8 PM.
   5. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:18 AM (#1465180)
Newly moved to my "inactive" list for not having voted for the last five years:

Ardo, Buddha, Chris J., jhwinfrey.

Still active, but didn't vote in 1955:

David C. Jones, Eric Enders, Kelly from SD, Max Parkinson.

Moved from inactive to active status:

Craig B. (My consensus score record which begins in 1921, has two Craig B votes: 1921 and 1955. Both have consensus scores 1 or 2 points below average.)

Average consensus score this year: +3.9, essentially equal to last year. I had incorrectly predicted it would be lower - I underestimated the support for Leonard and Brown. Highest possible consensus score: 20

Top 5 consensus scores:

Carl G +14
jschmeagol +14
Tiboreau +13
Rusty Priske +13
dan b + 13

- with a gap of over a point between dan b and 6th place.

Bottom 6 consensus scores:

EricC -5
Dolf Lucky -5
PhillyBooster -6
karlmagnus -23
yest -29

In his ballot, yest predicted that he would have the lowest consensus score ever. His prediction was correct. This was by far both the lowest consensus score in absolute terms and the furthest below average, and by a considerable margin in both cases. But not to be overlooked in this landmark year was karlmagnus playing Sosa to yest's McGwire: his -23, 27 points below average, also broke the previous records, which were an absolute -22 (Dolf Lucky, 1931) and 24 points below average (yest, 1947).
   6. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1465200)
That's bottom 5 consensus scores, not bottom 6 - and there's a nearly 3 point gap between EricC and the next person up. But karl and yest are putting up numbers that are probably out of the reach of mere mortals like Eric, Dolf, and PB.
   7. jimd Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:34 AM (#1465220)
HOMers by birthdate, by 5 year groups. (2nd number is count of NeL HOMers.)

1835-1839 1-0 Pearce
1840-1844 1-0 Start
1845-1849 3-0 Pike, Wright, White
1850-1854 9-0 Barnes, McVey, O'Rourke, Spalding, Sutton, Hines, Anson,
---------------- Bennett, Radbourn
1855-1859 11-0 Richardson, Stovey, Galvin, Keefe, Gore, Connor, Kelly,
---------------- Brouthers, Glasscock, Ewing, McPhee
1860-1864 4-0 Ward, Thompson, Clarkson, Caruthers
1865-1869 6-1 Grant(?), Hamilton, Young, Delahanty, Burkett, Nichols
1870-1874 12-1 Dahlen, JCollins, Davis, McGinnity, Rusie, Kelley, Keeler,
---------------- Clarke, Wallace, Wagner, GJohnson, Lajoie
1875-1879 5-1 Plank, Flick, MBrown, Sheckard, RFoster
1880-1884 6-2 Crawford, Hill, Mathewson, Walsh, Lloyd, Magee
1885-1889 13-2 Williams, Baker, Cobb, Alexander, ECollins, WJohnson,
---------------- Speaker, Wheat, Faber, Coveleski, Jackson, Rogan, Groh
1890-1894 4-1 Carey, Santop, Vance, Heilman
1895-1899 7-3 Ruth, Torriente, Hornsby, Charleston, Frisch, Terry, Wilson
1900-1904 12-2 Grove, Goslin, Hartnett, Lyons, Stearnes, Simmons,
---------------- Cochrane, Waner, Gehringer, Gehrig, Hubbell, BFoster
1905-1909 8-4 Dihigo, Cronin, Dickey, Leonard, Foxx, RBrown, Wells, Ott
1910-1914 3-1 Greenberg, Gibson, Vaughan

We debate whether a decade is over or under represented.

There is an interesting pattern in the above data which may indicate that 15 years is a more appropriate generational grouping. Grouping up:

1835-1850: 5-0 (Pioneers)
1850-1864: 23-0
1865-1879: 23-3
1880-1894: 23-5
1895-1909: 27-9
1910-1924: 3-1 (just starting)
   8. jimd Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:35 AM (#1465224)
What's the point of a preview button if it isn't WYSIWYG?
   9. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:37 AM (#1465228)
Back with a vengeance my consensus score is.
   10. jimd Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:41 AM (#1465237)
Errata: 1850-1864: 23-0 should be 24-0.
   11. DavidFoss Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:47 AM (#1465249)
You could? How? I only opened it at 8 PM.

I went to look for last years results and clicked on the 1955 link that was already there by mistake.

The page was indeed blank has you say, but the link's address was:
"1955_results_homestead_grays_leonard_and_brown_get_the_hall_of_merit_stamp".

I'm not complaining in the slightest bit. It was just noteworthy enough to warrant me to comment on it. Its great that the results are posted so quickly after the deadline. I suspect if it was a close election, that the thread's address would have been something like more ambiguous like "1955_election_results".
   12. jimd Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:53 AM (#1465265)
88 1917 Cy Young-P

With the passing of Cy Young, the oldest living HOMer is now Fred Clarke, who will be 83 in October.

It might be nice if MLB created an award for the best pitcher each season and named it in Cy's honor, don't you think?
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:56 AM (#1465278)
I went to look for last years results and clicked on the 1955 link that was already there by mistake.

The page was indeed blank has you say, but the link's address was:
"1955_results_homestead_grays_leonard_and_brown_get_the_hall_of_merit


Ah! That makes sense now. I have to remember to cover my tracks for the future. :-)

Thanks for not divulging the winners. But like you said, it wouldn't have been a big deal this time anyway.

I suspect if it was a close election, that the thread's address would have been something like more ambiguous like "1955_election_results".

For a close election, I wouldn't have started that thread until late Monday. Since the last election was a given, I could start working on it yesterday without worrying about changing the headline.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1465283)
jimd, nah, I vote for Bob Caruthers ;-)

Or Al Spalding.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: July 12, 2005 at 11:48 AM (#1465860)
All-time vote points totals leaders, through 1955, top 25 overall and top 25 active

Notes: Jennings hits 15,000 vote-pt club... Beckley needs only two more elections, probably, to pass Duffy.. Browning should grab the No. 7 slot next year... Ryan still dead... Childs is the 14th - and for a long time maybe final - member of the 10,000 vote-pt club.. Beckwith up 3 spots to 16th, but can he get to 10,000 before he gets elected?.. Suttles bounces Sheckard out of the top 25 and grabs No. 22. Rixey joins top 25 next year..


JENNINGS 15120
VAN HALTREN 14685.5
DUFFY 14194.5
BECKLEY 14074
Pike 13399
GRIFFITH 12922
Thompson 12349
BROWNING 12269.5
Bennett 11503
WADDELL 11076

Caruthers 10704
(RYAN 10507.5)
WELCH 10211
CHILDS 10035
H Stovey 9576
BECKWITH 8600
Start 8378.5
McGinnity 8232
Pearce 8073
McVey 7985.5

Grant 7969.5
BRESNAHAN 7134
SUTTLES 6947
T LEACH 6899
Galvin 6585

(Rixey 6554, Sisler 6118, C Jones 5941, Monroe 5058, Sewell 5030, Williamson 4230, Doyle 4124, Roush 4065, Ferrell 3976, Mendez 3688, Redding 3653)
   16. karlmagnus Posted: July 12, 2005 at 12:54 PM (#1465909)
My new "Addie Joss for HOM" campaign should ensure new highs in negative consensus scores for years to come!

One always seeks to improve :-))
   17. karlmagnus Posted: July 12, 2005 at 12:58 PM (#1465912)
BTW, what's the theoretical perfect negative consensus score on a ballot of say 50 voters -- where none of my top 15 are voted for by anyone else so they bring up the bottom of the ballot in a mass bloc?
   18. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 05:13 PM (#1466413)
karl - in the general neighborhood of -50.
   19. karlmagnus Posted: July 12, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1466569)
Good to know. Something to aim at :-))
   20. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1466789)
Someone asked for an analysis of most similar and least similar voters. Unfortunately, I can't find the post in question, and I don't remember who it was that asked.

In what follows, the "agreement score" between two voters is on a 0-100 scale. Everyone's agreement with himself is at 100; two voters with no candidates in common would have a score of zero. In 1955, the average agreement between a randomly chosen pair of voters was 57.

There were 23 cases of agreement scores of 80 or above, including one striking outlier. Here's the list of those scores:

91 - Tiboreau-jschmeagol
85 - Rob Wood-Carl G
84 - Rob Wood-Rusty Priske
84 - Rob Wood-Trevor P
84 - TomH-Patrick W
84 - danb-jschmeagol
83 - DanG-Chris Cobb
83 - OCF-Rusty Priske
83 - David Foss-jschmeagol
83 - Don F-SWW
82 - Rob Wood-Patrick W
81 - Andrew Siegel-jschmeagol
81 - Trevor P-Rusty Priske
81 - OCF-Jim Sp
81 - Devin McCullen-jschmeagol
80 - Rob Wood-OCF
80 - Brent-jschmeagol
80 - Trevor P-Carl G
80 - Tiboreau-Chris Cobb
80 - Rick A-Sean Gilman
80 - TomH-Tiboreau
80 - PhillyBooster-Jim Sp
80 - David Foss-Tiboreau

There were 25 instances of agreement scores below 20. Of those, 19 involved yest and 6 involved karlmagnus. There were no other cases. The lowest agreement score with karlmagnus was 12, by Mike Webber. The lowest agreement score with yest was 4, by both Andrew Siegel and Brent.

I found for each person the closest other voter and the most distant other voter.

In 36 cases, the most distant voter was yest.
In 9 cases, the most distant voter was karlmagnus.

That only leaves three other cases, two of which were yest and karlmagnus themselves. The agreement score between yest and karl was 39. I've already reported the least similar to yest and to karl, above. The one other case was that the least similar voter to Jeff M was PhillyBooster at 31. (Jeff M-yest was 38 and Jeff M-karlmagunus was 35.)

There were 25 different voters who show up as someone's most similar. The champion of this was jschmeagol, who was 8 other voters' most similar. He was followed in that by Rob Wood with 5 and Rusty Priske and Brent with 4 each.

The most similar voter to yest was Don F, at 49.
The most similar voter to karlmagnus was Howie Menckel, at 57.
   21. Mike Webber Posted: July 12, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1466866)
The lowest agreement score with karlmagnus was 12, by Mike Webber.

I must be doing something right then!
   22. sunnyday2 Posted: July 12, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1466918)
Great stuff, Old. Would it be too much to ask who are the high and low agreement scores for each? Or, hell, I don't care about the rest of you...who are mine?
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: July 12, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1466957)
Whew, what a tumble - about 3-4 years ago I still was consistently at or near the top of the consensus. Over a decade's time, probably THE Mr. Consensus.
Now, I'm closer to karlmagnus's thinking than anyone else. The horror, the horror!

(just kidding, karl. I am a little bewildered by the switch, and will insist it came from dodging those 'shiny new toys.' And I'll just keep thinking that the once-smart electorate got dumb all of a sudden!)
   24. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1467061)
sunnyday2:

Esteban Rivera - 75
yest - 20

Howie Menckel:

Rusty Priske - 78
yest - 33

That 33 as the low score is tied (with Rusty) for the second highest, beaten by only the following:

Daryn:

Rusy Priske - 79
yest - 37

That may make Daryn the closest to the "middle" of the electorate.

Mike Webber's top agreement score was a 71 with Brad G.

(Howie): - about 3-4 years ago I still was consistently at or near the top of the consensus. Over a decade's time, probably THE Mr. Consensus.

I've got a running 5-year average, and a since 1921 average.

For the running 5-year average, the top 5 are

Tiboreau: 8.4 points above average per year
Carl G: 8.0
dan b: 7.8
Chris Cobb: 6.8
jschmeagol 6.8

Howie is at 5.0 points above average per year, in 12th place on that list.

The flip side is yest at -18.5 and karlmagnus at -18.2

I can also do points above/below average for all years voted in since 1921. Among active voters:
   25. OCF Posted: July 12, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1467071)
Continuing. Points above/below average for all years voted in since 1921:

Tiboreau: 7.6
Howie Menckel: 7.2 (As you said, ... )
jschmeagol: 6.9
Chris Cobb: 6.6
Andrew M: 5.5
favre: 5.4
Trevor P: 5.2
...
...
KJOK: -7.1
John Murphy -7.3
EricC: -7.8
Gadfly: -9.3
karlmagnus: -9.4
yest: -12.1

But then, Tiboreau has only been voting since 1938. If you make the category total points above average, then Howie is #1, followed by Chris Cobb.
   26. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 12, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1467131)
Howie and Chris, that makes you two the consensus picks for Messers Consensus....
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 13, 2005 at 11:13 AM (#1468422)
Pretty cool stuff!

Just curious, if you have the time, as to where I fit in all of this. I never see myself on any of these lists, so I just assume I'm middle of the pack (not sure if that is good or bad, I guess it just 'is'), but I'd like to see where I fit in . . .
   28. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:27 PM (#1468495)
In a manner of speaking, we could divide our electorate in a new and interesting way. Instead of peak vs. career it could be:

Less dissimilar to karl vs. less dissimilar to yest.
   29. PhillyBooster Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:36 PM (#1468509)
One wonders whether the "Consensus" view is that it is good to have a high consensus score.

In my view, the "Highest Consensus Score" list might as well be re-named "Least likely to matter if that voter stopped voting" list.
   30. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:41 PM (#1468515)
Doesn't work, as yest and I do not represent opposite poles; we have a relatively high agreement score between us (for such eccentrics) of 39.

I wouldn't have picked Mike Webber as my opposite pole, but more likely Gadfly, whose philosphical approach is very different to mine. I'm not sure whether Andrew Siegel and Brent have a philosophical reason for being at the opposite pole to yest, or whether it's just random.
   31. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:45 PM (#1468518)
How flattering, Phillybooster. On the other hand the lowest consensus score list may be labelled the "They're coming to take him away next week" list. Having an entirely unique ballot is not effective, since none of your candidates ever get elected.

Actually there's a "Knows what he's talking about" list that notably includes Chris Cobb along with several other Founders, whose consensus scores may not be extreme but who have enormous influence on results.
   32. PhillyBooster Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:06 PM (#1468555)
Not to be confused with the much large "Knows what he's talking about, or at least fakes it well" list.

It just strikes me that a more "eccentric" voter will be more likely to have only one of candidates 2 and 3 on their ballots, which will have a much larger effect on the outcome, than a consensus voter who has them both within a few ballot spots of each other.

Of course, at the other extreme, when your ballot consists of fifteen unknowns from 19th century Panama, you will have even less of an impact on the voting than would a guy with a high consensus.

I guess I think someone in the middle of the "potential consensus" curve would have the biggest impact. At present, there is sufficient consensus that the lowest consensus scores put voters closer to the middle of that curve.
   33. Michael Bass Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:07 PM (#1468558)
In my view, the "Highest Consensus Score" list might as well be re-named "Least likely to matter if that voter stopped voting" list.

Doesn't this work for both extremes? I mean, if karl reaches his goal of a perfect negative consensus score (he votes for 15 guys who gets no other votes), it wouldn't much matter if he missed a vote either. :)
   34. PhillyBooster Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:17 PM (#1468582)
One minute too slow, Bizarro World Me!
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1468631)
In my view, the "Highest Consensus Score" list might as well be re-named "Least likely to matter if that voter stopped voting" list.

That depends on whether pre-ballot discussion is included as part of voting or not, I think. If discussion doesn't influence voting and my votes generally wouldn't change much, I'm wasting an awful lot of time :-) .
   36. andrew siegel Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1468647)
Surprised to be the most dissimilar to Yest.

Our biggest difference is over negro leaguers where I like the guys with numbers (Beckwith, Brown, Moore) and he likes the guys with reputations (Bell, Mackey) and where our inconsistencies with our own methods also diverge (he doesn't like Leonard despite his rep, I love Suttles despite his somewhat disappointing numbers).

For major leaguers, we also have a similar problem (he likes the famous guys like Sisler, Traynor, Klein, and Rice). He has s soft spot for long career, low peak position players (e.g., Rice, Beckley) while I have a soft spot for long career, low peak pitchers (Ruffing, Rixey).

Finally, some players that we both generally like (Duffy, Sewell, Mackey, Van Haltren) have fallen off of one of our ballots making some of our player-evaluation agreement invisible to the similarity-methods.

In summary: lots of real disagreement, but also some flukeishness.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1468652)
I used to be the highest consensus guy, now I'm not close anymore. Doesn't matter to me either way; it's a source of amusement but not something to aspire to, in either case.
I think that's true for most of us.
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:55 PM (#1468668)
The real question is cause and effect. Do certain voters have high consensus scores because they follow the consensus or becasue the consensus follows them?

My personal feeling is that I don't expect and don't crave a high consensus score. I was in the bottom 5 for awhile during the early-mid-baby bust-backlog period ( was going to say the Dickey Pearce,-Bob Caruthers era, but we elected both of them so that can't be why my consensus score was low), and I rather enjoyed it.

Don't know what year it was exactly but in 1931 my ballot was:

1. Pearce--elected that year
2. Jennings--deja vu all over again
3. Pike--got elected
4. Bond--also still there so that can't be it
5. R. Foster--got elected as you know
6. C. Jones
7. Childs
8. Bennett--got elected eventually
9. Williamson--still on my ballot
10. Browning
11. Jim McCormick
12. Bill Monroe
13. Poles
14. Dunlap
15. Duffy

Hard to see why this would have been a particularly low consensus year. How about 1916:

1.S. Thompson
2. Bennett
3. Caruthers
4. Pearce
5. Flick
6. McCormick
7. Bond
8. Jones
9. H. Wright
10. Jennings--hard to believe he was this low!
11. Pike
12. Stovey--elected this year
13. Williamson
14. Joe Kelley
15. Jimmy Collins

Maybe this was the period. Anyway, like I say, I rather enjoyed the low consensus score. Don't understand why I'm not there anymore with Bond and Williamson still on board.
   39. DavidFoss Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1468672)
It just strikes me that a more "eccentric" voter will be more likely to have only one of candidates 2 and 3 on their ballots, which will have a much larger effect on the outcome, than a consensus voter who has them both within a few ballot spots of each other.

Yeah... a bit too many variables. The eccentric voter could have 2 and listed at the top and have left #1 off the ballot completely. :-) Plus, in the elections where one vote might matter, then the average and max consensus scores tend to be quite low.

These are fun lists (with the caveat that I hope we don't let them get to our heads :-)).

If I had more time, I could try and see if I could put all 50-odd ballots into a clustering algorithm and see if I can split the electorate into 'factions'. :-)
   40. Daryn Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1468768)
I guess I think someone in the middle of the "potential consensus" curve would have the biggest impact.

Thank you.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1468885)
It would be really fascinating to come up with a cluster analysis of HoM voters!
   42. OCF Posted: July 13, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1469291)
David Foss: I don't see factions. What clusters I can see are things like Rob Wood-Rusty Priske-TomH-Tiboreau that are mostly just about people who are in good agreement with the general consensus.

As for who would be missed: note that the highest actual consensus score is always 3-7 points below what I report as the highest possible score, which is what you'd get if you voted for the top 15 candidates, exactly in order. No one is all that close to that "perfect" ballot. Even the highest consensus people do subtly shade the results. Also remember this: the only genuinely close election we've had in a long time was the one involving Dihigo. We're out of practice in thinking about close races, especially close backlog races. That's coming.

Joe Dimino: you were generally a little above average consensus in the 20's and early 30's, and have generally been a little below average consensus since then. Your 5-year average is .6 points per year below average consensus and your since-1921 average is 1.5 points above average consensus.

karlmagnus: Your 1955 agreement score with Gadfly was 21. There are 5 people further away from you than that. You and Gadfly do agree on some things (such as Charlie Jones), just not the things that you spend the most time arguing about.

Gadfly is a distinctive and unusual voter. So who comes closest to him? Jim Sp and Ken Fischer at 65, followed by Rusty Priske, Carl G, favre, and Ron Wargo in the low 60's. My own agreement with Gadfly is at 49, and it will go lower without clear top-of-the-ballot Negro Leaguers like Leonard and Brown.

Sunnyday2: My consensus scores start with 1921, so that 1916 ballot of yours is off the board. Your 1931 consensus score was -8, 5 points below average. It wasn't an unusual year for you. Your furthest below average consensus score was in 1924: an outlier -8, 21 points below average. I have you as slightly above average consensus score twice, in 1938 and 1941.

There is the danger that a high consensus score might simply represent a "me too" voter who sticks his finger up to see which way the wind is blowing. I'm not too worried about that; I see a lot of stubborn independence in this group, and as the Negro League players move off the ballot, we will be relying less on the experts among us and more on our own devices.

But I don't think a low consensus score is something to aspire to. karlmagnus - are you truly being fair to all eras, are you going where the evidence leads you? Or are you slanting your analysis against new players who might threaten your long-term favorites? yest - are you happy with how much your methods diverge from nearly everyone else in this group? Are we all missing what you see, or are there points of analysis you could be learning from the rest of us?
   43. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1469326)
O, thanks, great stuff. And I'm thrilled that I haven't lost my iconoclast status though my hat will always have to be tipped to karl and yest.,

Ah 1924, those were the days.

1. Crawford--elected but nobody diverged much on that
2. Pearce
3. Caruthers
4. H. Wright
5. S. Thompson
6. Williamson
7. C. Jones
8. Childs
9. Sheckard
10. Wallace
11. Jennings
12. Monroe--I always had him ahead of Grant, though Grant is now PHoM and Monroe is not
13. HR Johnson
14. 3F Brown
15. Dunlap

Doesn't look that bad though 3F B rown in 14th jumps out. He jumped to 8 the next year when he was elected and he is in my PHoM. The big issue in 1924 was that the other electee--Eddie Plank--wasn't on my ballot at all. No peak. This was before I started factoring in the career a little more, and as I say 3F Brown and also Plank are both now PHoM.

In addition to Plank and F. Grant, this was also the very rare year I didn't have Lip Pike on my ballot.

I guess my feeling is that it's always good to have about half of our voters below average on consensus.
   44. favre Posted: July 13, 2005 at 07:10 PM (#1469423)
"My personal feeling is that I don't expect and don't crave a high consensus score. I was in the bottom 5 for awhile during the early-mid-baby bust-backlog period ( was going to say the Dickey Pearce,-Bob Caruthers era, but we elected both of them so that can't be why my consensus score was low), and I rather enjoyed it."


I was near the top of the consensus scores for a while--I'm still in the top five since 1921--and I always felt a bit of shame. I was never surprised by my high scores, though; I'm a historian by training, not a statistician, so I rely pretty heavily on the work of others.

Marc/sunnyday has said he preferred the iconoclastic status of a low consensus score. This makes perfect sense given the group. Sabermetrics is about iconoclasm; a sabermetrician, almost by definition, challenges the accepted wisdom. Throughout the posts of the HoM there are comments expressing fear of "groupthink"--that voters will be unduly influenced by one thing or another, or certain structures in the voting will promote too much conformity. So I'm not surprised that I feel a little shame at my high career consensus score, or that others like being at the bottom. Although in fact there is nothing meritorious about either, I would say the ethos of the group values those who think differently to those who think similarly.

Which means, of course, that conformity in this group is acheived through noncomformity...yeah, I'm just going to shut up now.
   45. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1469891)
The problem we have as history gets more extended is that different people will have different favorites among the golden oldies, whereas to the extent people select yes/no at random on new players, plausible new players will always have around 1/2 the electorate favoring them.

The fissiparous nature of support for old favorites, and thereby their tendency to slide down the ballot over time, is notable. If (say) Jimmy Ryan and Addie Joss were worthy of substantial support in 1920 (Ryan was on 23 ballots, Joss on 7) they should still be worthy of substantial support now. 5 Ryan and 3 Joss supporters had them top 7 in 1920; if those guys were consistent they should still be on their ballots somewhere in 1955. The fact that in 1955 6 of the top 10 entered within the last 5 years and 9 of the 10 within the last 20 indicates to me that the system is imperfect.

Given this view, my consensus score may continue to decline over time, though presumably not to the "perfectly negative" point.
   46. EricC Posted: July 13, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1469948)
It would be really fascinating to come up with a cluster analysis of HoM voters!

I did a cluster analysis of ballots about a decade ago. At that time, the two largest factors in determining ballots were (1) how much weight a voter gave (or didn't give) to traditional career standards, such as 3000 hits/300 wins, etc. and (2) how much weight a voter gave (or didn't give) to sabermetric "career value".
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: July 14, 2005 at 12:56 AM (#1470264)
karl,
I am fading in the consensus scores, so to a point I am backing up your argument.
But certainly Joss's seven votes back then don't necessarily indicate a flawed system if he's toast now.

Ryan is a more interesting case. He made my ballot for a while, but I was never a huge fan. I think someone can have him high for a while, but after so many OFs look as good or better, not have room for him anymore.
It's not just the OFs who pass him on the ballot. It's the 'lack of uniqueness' that hurts, too.

Finally, if someone is one of only 4-5 voters for a guy, it's probably worth holding him up to the light to consider if he's really worthwhile. I've got a few who barely get 10 votes, so it's not like the test is unpassable. But Leach, for instance, didn't quite hold up.
   48. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 14, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1470381)
I don't know if there's a point in all this rambling, but what the heck.

I usually didn't show up in the top consensus scores until the big newbie class on 1953, although I suspect I wasn't that far off before then. Essentially, I had Herman, Ruffing and Hack replace Van Haltren, Rixey and Bell. Looking at this year's list, that's about 10 ballots worth per player.

Now, as it currently stands, there's essentially no one on my ballot who showed up there before 1920 (although Childs would have if I had rated him then like I do now.) Here's the highest that players no longer on my ballot landed:

4th - Ryan (1932, 33), Jennings (1931)
5th - Van Haltren (1939)
6th - Browning (1901, 02), Poles (1931)
7th - Williamson (1898)

There's a bunch at 9th or below.

Really, it's the top 3 that are the issue - the others were relatively short-term rankings that I soon decided had been wrong. Jennings is similar, I've come to decide that I need more than just a peak. Ryan and Van Haltren were almost always stuck to each other, and GVH, at least, is currently just off the ballot and should reappear when we get back into the backlog.

I'm not totally giving up on the older players, and I am worried about overloading on players from the 1930s, but after all this time, I do just have a feeling that certain players just don't make the cut. Even when Ryan, Jennings and Van Haltren were that high, I didn't feel they were PHoM-worthy. Now, if in 1932, I had picked Ryan over Childs (and I came close to doing it), would Ryan be on my ballot today and Childs off it? There's a very good chance, although I'm sure I'd say that I honestly thought Ryan was better (never underestimate the human capacity for self-deception).

One thing I will say about this project is that we're well aware of the potential for these sorts of errors, and it comes up often in the discussion. On the other hand, we haven't (as far as I can tell) had any cases of vote trading, or people changing their votes to make sure that at least one of the old-time candidates gets in. When we get to the serious backlog candidates, I expect that these issues are going to get another extensive airing, and people should be sure they're comfortable with the time-weighting of their ballots. Still, there's only so much you can do.

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