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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 18, 2005

1956 Ballot

Newbies: Luke Appling, Joe Gordon, Tommy Henrich, and the man who inspired the HOF qualifications checklist that Bill James created during the eighties. :-)

Prominent returnees: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Stan Hack, Red Ruffing, Hughie Jennings and Wes Ferrell.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2005 at 01:56 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:21 PM (#1479725)
I wasn't sure if I would be able to post this thread on time today. I was attacked by a malicious computer virus over the weekend that did a number on my computer. Nothing of importance was destroyed, but I had to reinstall Windows and other programs over the weekend. That and other things consumed my time over the weekend and appears to be spilling over onto this week.

I'm just wondering what would have happened if I hadn't had an anti-virus program, firewall, and tools to destroy spyware and adware. :-(
   2. karlmagnus Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:44 PM (#1479791)
Appling’s a better Sewell or a SS Rixey; fairly easily in. Gordon’s in the mix but low. Keltner and Henrich fail the “Keltner test” -- Henrich’s closer. Joss also hurtles onto the ballot.

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

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

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

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

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

6. (N/A) Luke Appling. Looks like a hitting version of Rixey, a Sewell who was both a bit better and went on for longer. OPS+ only 112, 2749 hits, lost a season to the war TB+BB/PA .472, TB+BB/Outs .752.

7. (N/A) Addie Joss. I’m convinced I missed him earlier. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 141. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130, at #3 on this list. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136, still good for just above Rixey.

8. (N/A-12-10-9-10-9-8-7-7-8-9-7-7-6) Eppa Rixey, 266-251 and ERA+ of 115. Huge 4,494 IP. Better than Lyons with WW1 credit.

9. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15-15-14-10-10-11-12-10-12-11-9-8-9-10-10-9-8-9-10-9-8-7) Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF.

10. (N/A-10-9-8) Ernie Lombardi 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, even if some of it was during the war years. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!
   3. karlmagnus Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1479793)
11. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B. Not as good as Hartnett, though.

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

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

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

15. Alejandro Oms. Shorter career than Beckley, and not quite as valuable, but he was a darn good player nonetheless.

OFF BALLOT

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

17. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13-14-13-9-9-10-11-9-11-10-13-13-15-N/A-15-N/A) Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B. Joss stopped him getting back on the ballot now, he’ll return shortly.

18. (N/A-11-14-N/A) Rube Waddell Given Joss’s new elevation, he’d dropped a bit too far at 32.

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

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

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

22. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A) Carl Mays
23.Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren. Put him above Suttles – he’s better, so will be on ballot in weak years.
24. (N/A) Mule Suttles. About halfway between Reggie Jackson and Dave Kingman -- out rather than in, I feel, but still close to the boundary.
25. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
26. (N/A-11-12-15-14-N/A) Joe Sewell
27. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
28. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Hugh Duffy
29. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis
30. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
31. (N/A) Heinie Manush
32. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan
33. Earl Averill. Fairly well off my ballot, and I think the team are giving him too much minor league credit. In the real world, 2019 hits at an OPS+ of 133 doesn’t get him close to the HOM. Not as good as Tiernan.
34. Wes Ferrell. Not enough career.
35. (N/A) Dick Lundy
36. (N/A) Hughie Jennings OPS+ 117 and he was a shortstop and he had a superb peak, but only 1527 hits. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .671, so he’s not as good as Childs. Extra bonus for the peak.
37. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike.
38. Biz Mackey. Not quite as good as Schang, very similar to McGuire. Better than Bell, though.
39. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
40. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
41. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A) George van Haltren. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s.
42. Joe Medwick. Probably a bit better than Joe Judge or Billy Herman, even after WWII discount, but not all that much better. 2471 hits at OPS+ of 134, but a lot of them in the war years. TB+BB/PA .526, TB+BB/Outs .792
43. Cool Papa Bell. Hugely overrated by history. Lou Brock minus, without 3000 hits and Brock would only just make this ballot.
44. Billy Herman. 112 OPS+ not very distinguished, but 2345 hits is an OK length career and he about breaks even on war credit. TB+BB/PA .448, TB+BB/Outs .677, pretty undistinguished for a mainly 1930s player.
45. Kiki Cuyler
46. Deacon McGuire
47. Jack Quinn
48. Tony Mullane
49. Pye Traynor
50. Jim McCormick
51. Dick Redding
52. Joe Judge
53. Edd Roush
54. Spotswood Poles.
55. Larry Doyle
56. Roger Bresnahan.
57. Wayte Hoyt.
58. Joe Gordon. Could be anywhere +/- 20 from here, but does it matter? OPS+120, but only 1530 hits. Short and only moderately impressive career; missed 2 war years, but had one easy one. Played for Yankees, so others softened up the pitchers for him – would be more plausible if he hadn’t had a lousy 1946.
59. Harry Hooper.
60. Jules Thomas.
61. Wilbur Cooper
62. Bruce Petway.
63. Jack Clements
64. Bill Monroe
65. Jose Mendez
66. Herb Pennock
67. Chief Bender
68. Ed Konetchy
69. Jesse Tannehill
70. Bobby Veach
71. Lave Cross
72. Tommy Leach.
73. Tom York
Hack shortish career and rate stats inflated by the war, off bottom of consideration set.
   4. TomH Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:50 PM (#1479803)
Hmmm..don’t think I’ve ever posted the first ballot B4.

1956 Ballot
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 12 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. No real credit for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

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

I still feel strongly about Suttles over Beckwith; yes, Boom Boom hit about as well and played infield, but I’d have the gut feel as a GM that I would have to trade him for cents-on-the-dollar at some point in his career.

OTOH, Beckwith won’t tarnish our HoM if elected; our job gets much tougher in a few weeks.

1-Luke Appling {new}
Kinda obvious.
2-Mule Suttles (2) [3]
His MLEs look very good, his career was long, and his rep among those who have previously written much about NeLers was great as well
3-Billy Herman (4) [5]
Well-rounded stud. War credit gets him above Sewell.
4-Clark Griffith (5) [14]
Vastly, vastly underrated by conventional stats.
5-Stan Hack (6) [7]
A real shame that Pie Traynor is way more famous than the Hackster.
6-Wes Ferrell (7) [10]
Career ERA of 4.04, but compares well to the league/park average ERA of 4.72. Then add in the huge bat. Ruffing with more peak but less career.
7-Red Ruffing (8) [8]
Eppa Rixey plus a smidge of career length plus better peak plus he hit great, too.
8-Bucky Walters (9) [24]
Hidden greatness? Faced strong opponents, didn’t have many gold glovers behind him, pitched real well and hit well too. Take your time, guys, but don’t worry, you’ll warm to him eventually :)
9-Joe Sewell (10) [19]
What is there NOT to like about him? He hit great for a shortstop, for any time period, not just his. He fielded great too.
10-John Beckwith (11) [4]
He looks to me like the quality (defense and offense) of Killebrew. But: if I were a GM and had to draft one guy at a young age to play his career (I hope) on my team, I would be wary.
11-George Van Haltren (12) [18]
Hit. Ran. Played D. Pitched. Long career. Played in strong and under-represented 1890s.
12-Cool Papa Bell (13) [16]
If I envision the basestealing of Vince Coleman with the CF ability of a Willie Mays, Bell comes out as a HoMer, even with a mediocre bat. And that’s what his rep makes him out to be.
13-Biz Mackey (14) [12]
Schang looks just as good. But Mackey’s fine rep and career length puts him here, above Roger B, with whom he looks comparable if you end Mackey’s career in 1932. Too many people thought Mackey was too good to leave him off my ballot.
14-John McGraw (15) [39]
The prime of Hughie Jennings. Outstanding RCAP. HoM is short of 3Bmen and 1890s infielders. Brilliant tactician. How DARE I be one of the most ‘consensus’ voters with Mugsy on my ballot!
15-Earl Averill (off) [11]
A bit of credit for his PCL yrs. Compared to GVH, hit a bit better, fielded about the same, slightly shorter career, didn’t pitch.

---------------------
Keltner? Nope.
Gordon? Almost. Even with Childs, around #20.

Required Disclosures:
Joe Medwick … career is a lot like Indian Bob, who finished 37th!
Hughie Jennings ….peak only

Others in my top 35:
Eppa Rixey ……..115 ERA+ in massive amount of innings, in front of a fairly good defensive team in probably the weaker league. Would we elect a guy with a 110ish ERA+ and no stick?
Pie Traynor …Fine player, fine rep; could he have played shortstop?
Cupid Childs …fine hitting second sacker, and playing IF in the 1890s was tough.
Larry Doyle ….excellent hitter for a 2Bman
Indian Bob Johnson …better career hitter than C Klein, P Browning, or H Wilson
Wally Schang …bonus credit for catching lots of thieves in W.S. play
Roger Bresnahan ...Similar to Chance and McGraw. Great while he played.
Ernie Lombardi …a little speed would have made him a HoMer
Tommy Leach ...Pie Traynor clone almost
Bill Monroe …reasonable argument as best NeL 2Bman.
George Sisler ...Equal of Chance and Beckley, although they sure are different!
Jake Beckley ...Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting into the HoM, though.
Frank Chance ...More Win Shares per game than Henry Aaron! Lots and lots of positive intangibles
Rube Waddell ...Great ERAs and KOs, but many UER and not in the top 5 of his era.
Dizzy Dean ...Great pitcher for a while. Not as good as Ferrell.
Jose Mendez …Dean clone.
Mickey Welch ...Rixey clone almost.
   5. TomH Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:51 PM (#1479804)
..and I guess I still haven't!
   6. ronw Posted: July 18, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1479821)
1956 Ballot – A little of WS, WARP, RCAA, OPS+, and traditional stats, as well as reputation. Less emphasis on WS and WARP because like sunnyday2 and Howie, I don’t think that they have gotten the fielding down. Consequently, my ballot has the hitters.

1. Mule Suttles Could this be his year?

2. John Beckwith Definitely deserving.

3. Dick Redding Peak not well documented, the Schilling to Joe Williams’ Randy Johnson should be a HOMer.

4. Pete Browning The hitting difference between him and all other available outfielders more than makes up for the AA discount and poor fielding.

5. Cupid Childs Seems far ahead of all eligible 2B, including Gordon.

6. George Sisler OK, he didn’t put up the late career numbers that other players playing in his parks theoretically would have. As yest has pointed out, he still put up good overall numbers.

7. John McGraw Mugsy’s RCAA domination of the rough-and-tumble 1890’s, combined with his head-and-shoulders status above all other 3B tells me we missed him. I should have listened to KJOK earlier. I’m not sure why the huge support for Jennings has not been applied to McGraw.

8. Hugh Jennings Making my ballot for the first time, and representing my complete conversion to peak/prime. I’ll leave it to you to determine whether I’ve converted to the good or bad side.

9. Dobie Moore I think these two should be above newly eligible Appling.

10. Luke Appling Solid player, would have been #1 many other years but for my recent peak/prime emphasis.

11. Stan Hack I’ll keep him here for now, but know that I am seriously looking at Bill Joyce and Denny Lyons again.

12. Roger Bresnahan Best available catcher, by a good margin.

13. Wes Ferrell Fine pitcher peak.

14. Jose Mendez I think that I can’t ignore Mendez, who was probably the pitcher that Ferrell was, and may have been as good a hitter.

15. Billy Herman The 2B studies show he is near the top of the 2B class.


LAST YEAR TOP TEN/NEW NOTABLES

Joe Medwick – Surprisingly behind Bob Johnson (who is just off the ballot).

Red Ruffing – No really outstanding seasons, but a lot of good.

Joe Gordon – Very similar to Lazzeri, the man he replaced.

Ken Keltner – Probably behind Hack, Dandridge, Kell, and Elliott among contemporaries. Compares favorably with Whitey Kurowski.
   7. andrew siegel Posted: July 18, 2005 at 03:18 PM (#1479870)
Some changes since my prelim. I've decided that I was missing the forest for the trees and ignoring some guys who were at the top of their positions for a long time (e.g., Sewell, Sisler) or have a particularly impressive body of work (e.g., Rixey). There is so much movement below my ballot that I am only confident enough to go 20 deep today.

(1) John Beckwith (2nd)-- His bat would make him an HoMer if he had no defensive value and the evidence is that he was at least an adequate 3B, maybe much more, with the glove.

(2) Mule Suttles (4th)-- Relatively low OBP stops him from being a top-tier HoMer but POWER!, career length, and durability have him in the top 125 All-Time.

(3) Hughie Jennings (5th)-- Sure he had less value in shoulder seasons than others who were at or near the top of their positions for 5 years, but his 5 seasons were at the Speaker-Mays level, something Childs, Sisler, Williamson, Berger, Wilson, et al., can't say.

(4) Luke Appling (new)-- Of the very good long career guys with limited peak/prime value, he had the best peak/prime.

(5) George Van Haltren (6th)-- Similar career value to Appling but not as strong a peak (though best at position twice).

(6) Earl Averill (9th)--Too many OF's from his era, but it would be unprecedented not to honor someone with his combination of peak, prime, and career.

(7) Wes Farrell (8th)-- Second best peak on the ballot (after Jennings) plus just enough career value to avoid looking like Dizzy Dean.

(8) Red Ruffing (10th)--I'm not primarily a career voter, but I make exceptions for guys like Van Haltren who had careers with some high spots and huge bulk. Ruffing and Rixey are the Van Haltren of pitchers.

(9) Eppa Rixey (13th)--What I just said.

(10) Cupid Childs (12th)--If you make allowances for longevity levels in different eras, he strikes me as a definite smidge better than the Herman/Hack/Gordon/Doerr contingent.

(11) Dobie Moore (7th)--The next two are interesting, as Dobie Moore is the only real argument against inducting Joe Sewell (i.e., Sewell wasn't really the best SS for his prime years; he just got lucky that Moore was black).

(12) Joe Sewell (off/16th)-- Best player at his position and 4th or 5th or 6th best player in a tough league over a 7-year period.

(13) Billy Herman (14th)-- Probably desrves to go in eventually; managed 4 top 2B finishes despite tough competition.

(14) Hugh Duffy (11th)--Should have gone in a long time ago, but that fact alone doesn't keep him ahead of better modern candidates.

(15) Joe Medwick(15th)-- A lot like Duffy in that he had a couple of fabulous seasons and another few very good seasons for excellent and over-achieving teams but burned out quickly. Duffy kept his value slightly longer and his teams were slightly more historic.
-----------------------------------------
(16) George Sisler--I think I goofed slightly. Top 1B by WARP 7 times; close on WS each of those years. If you prorate for the short war seasons he is over 25 WS each of those years. If you think WS underrates 1B defense even a little, you are now looking at 7 years in a row at (or near) the top of his position with 27 or more adjusted WS. Not too shabby, even with the big decline. May well go up though unlikely to ever pass Dobie Moore (who was a similar hitter with much more defensive value and a valuable career roughly same length).

(17) Biz Mackey
(18) Edd Roush
(19) Charley Jones
(20) Joe Gordon (new)--Like him a smidge better than Doer on reflection. Right on the all-time in/out line.

Stan Hack is in the next group--war reduces peak and makes him look an awful lot like the large set of good players who had one or two superstar years, rather than a superstar.
   8. Jim Sp Posted: July 18, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1480121)
I’m having second thoughts about dropping Schang and Lombardi, but for this election they stay off the ballot.

Appling and Suttles for my PHoM this year. Beckwith made it in 1940.

Gordon #13.

Keltner and Henrich had nice careers, but nowhere near the ballot.

Waddell, Cravath, Monroe, Schang, Bresnahan, Griffith, Joss, Jose Mendez, and Welch are in my PHoM but off my ballot.

1)Appling--easy choice. A shortstop who could hit, what’s not to like?
2)Beckwith-- A great hitter, 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. He made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
3)Suttles--
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)Mackey--#2 on my 1949 prelim, but more data on his hitting has dropped him to here.
6)Cool Papa Bell--If Max Carey is in, Cool Papa should be too.
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)Medwick--
9)Bob Johnson--A very underrated player. Usually I'm a WS guy but this time I think Warp has it right.
10)Billy Herman-- I’m still perplexed trying to figure out his career relative to the defensive spectrum shift at 2B. He looks good compared to modern 2B, not so great compared to early lively ball 2B. Gets two years war credit, that helps too.
11)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.
12)Stan Hack--His time will come, I think. I like him better than Groh, who I voted for.
13)Gordon
14)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.
15)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.

Ruffing#30, he’s HoVG but I don’t like him as much as the consensus.
Hughie Jennings—impressive peak, not enough career.
Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
   9. yest Posted: July 18, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1480587)
1956 ballot
Appling and Medwick make my PHOM this year

1. Luke Appling one of the best hitting and fielding shortstops ever I have him as the 3rd best ever after Wagner and Lloyd (makes my personal HoM this year)
2. George Sisler I believe everyone knows my view on him by now (made my personal HoM in 1936)
3. Cool Papa Bell the lack over support for Bell is mind boggling to me he was almost universally considered one of the top 5 Negroe Leaguers ever the stats that we have for him are amazing he played good for almost 25 years he was one of the smartest players in Negro Leagues (made my personal HoM in 1948)
4. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
5. Billy Herman most putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1955)
6. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
7. Joe Sewell love the strikeouts (made my personal HoM in 1939)
8. Biz Mackey another Cooperstown mistake (made my personal HoM in 1949)
9. Stan Hack what’s the hall’s problem with cubs third baseman (made my personal HoM in 1955)
10. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1951)
11. Sam Rice if he got 13 more hits would he make the HoM? (made my personal HoM in 1940)
12. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
13. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
14. Rube Waddell most Ks/9IP 7 times in a row tying with Vance for the record led in it 1 more time (made my personal HoM in 1917)
15. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1940)
16. Joe Medwick 1 triple crown (makes my personal HoM this year)
17. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
18. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
19. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
20. Heinie Manush 330 batting avg.
21. Edd Roush323 batting avg (made my personal HoM in 1937)
22. Mule Suttles with I had some antidotal information on him especially quotes
23. Hilton Smith see his thread
24. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
25. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
26. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
27. Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie (made my personal HoM in 1939)
28. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
29. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
30. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
31. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
32. Jim Bottomley 2313 hits
33. Kiki Cuyler 2299 hits
34. Alejandro Oms the recent discussion put him here
35. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
36. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)

explanation for players not on my ballot
Hugh Jennings not enough career
Eppa Rixey I don’t find anything special in most of the 20’s pitchers
John Beckwith I’m not enough confident enough in his case to put him higher then he is
Ray Brown I see him as part of a Negro League pitching glut filled with the likes of B. Foster, Day Redding, and Mendez
Wes Ferrell to high a ERA
Earl Averill is just off my ballot
Red Ruffing is just off my ballot
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: July 18, 2005 at 09:09 PM (#1480945)
1956

Still a peak/prime oriented ballot.

1. Hughie Jennings (2 last year-3-3, PHoM in 1927)
2. Dobie Moore (3-4-4, PHoNM 1942)

The two greatest players at their respective peaks who are eligible this year.

3. Mule Suttles (5-7-5, PHoM 1956--i.e. right now)
4. Joe Medwick (6-2-new, PHoM 1954)
5. George Sisler (7-5-6, PHoM 1938)

The top three eligibles whose primary position is "hitter."

6. Luke Appling (new)

6a. Teddy Lyons, 6b. Harry Stovey, 6c. Willie Wells. Haven't decided which of these 4 goes PHoM this year. Appling doesn't really knock me out, but can't deny his career value.

7. Tommy Bond (8-6-7, PHoM 1929)
8. Rube Waddell (9-9-9, PHoM 1932)
9. Jose Mendez (10-10-11)

The three best peak-prime pitchers available.

10. John Beckwith (11-13-12)

Jumped up in recent weeks but can't bring myself to move him up any further and might drop him down rather than PHoM him. Can't entirely get past this from TNBJHBA (quoting Riley): Beckwith was "moody, brooding, hot-tempered and quick to fight. Combined with a severe drinking problem, and an often lazy, unconcerned attitude about playing, his character deficiencies often negated his performance value." Then James, continuing, "He was known to show up drunk for games, at times, and to beat the hell out of teammaes. He was kind of an underworld character, a bootlegger, possibly a pimp. He was a fantastic hitter, but it was always a close close whether it was worthwhile to have him around."

11. Billy Herman (12-11-10)
12. Edd Roush (14-12-13)
13. Addie Joss (x-x-14)

Herman has a very slight, yet clear, edge over the 2B glut. I need to re-evaluate CF, maybe next year when there's a new candidate who might be worth considering. And Joss has the 2nd best peak/prime ERA+ available after Waddell. A bit of a gap before the next cluster.

14. Ed Williamson (x-15-x, PHoM 1924)

Comps include Jimmy Collins and Stan Hack.

15. Joe Gordon (new)

Comps include Herman, Doyle, Childs, Doerr....

Dropped out: Larry Doyle, Charley Jones

The cluster that begins with Williamson and Gordon continues with:

16. Larry Doyle (15-x-15)
17. Charley Jones (13-x-x, PHoM 1921)
18-22. Pete Browning, Gavy Cravath, Chuck Klein, Cool Papa Bell, Cupid Childs (PHoM 1925)

23-30. Rixey, Sewell, Averill, Hack, Monroe, Griffith, Cicotte, Bresnahan.

Required Disclosures: Ruffing is #32, Ferrell #34.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: July 19, 2005 at 12:07 PM (#1482701)
1956 ballot, which is our (and my) 59th

This one-time Consensus-meister General finds just a little love for one of the recent shiny toys in a weak ballot year, but still won't hit top 5 status (c'est le vie). Revised comments all around, a few moves up and down.

1. LUKE APPLING - Only five seasons over 120 OPS+ - two after age 40, one in a war year. But five others over 110, not a small thing for a good SS to offer. And top 7 in OBP eight times. Others might easily have voted this high for him without the wacky late-career turbocharge, but for me he needed a lot of it to hit the top of the ballot.
2. MULE SUTTLES - Twas gratifying to see someone belatedly realize that he was a better pick last year than Leonard. I do significantly discount for his extremely favorable parks; not as convinced on the 'pitcher's park' data; I don't particularly discount for his defense; but I do factor in the likelihood of his OBP not being dazzling. That's 3 discounts out of 4 options, basically, yet I still see him as No. 2 on this ballot.

3. EPPA RIXEY - One of the best lefties ever still can't quite get to an 'elect-me' spot after all these years. I'm not a huge war credit guy, but look closer at his record and you'll see a 300-win resume in the making. 1918-20 basically a lost stretch, and Cincy - his new team - wasn't generally a powerhouse beyond Rixey himself. Top 10 in innings 10 times.
4. JAKE BECKLEY - This week's SOT (shiny old toy), I guess, after some more discussion of him yields fruit. Top 10 in RBIs TWELVE times. How many HOMers did that? Not his fault that the ABCs clogged his position earlier in his career. I wish fewer voters were so enamored with peak at the expense of this unique career.
5. JOHN BECKWITH - I, too, have minor reservations about Beckwith's atttitude; fact that it may have been overrated has turned him here into a martyr. Smoke and fire and all that, is what I see. But as I now more heavily factor in a SS-3B bonus, I am finally convinced he does belong. Fascinating character for us to add to the HOM, I'll admit.
6. CLARK GRIFFITH - The 1890s still are underrepresented, though not overwhelmingly so. It's remarkable how much better Griffith's W-L was than the teams he pitched for. I don't generally like exact arc of this sort of career, but the times were different then and I'm adjusting for that.
7. GEORGE SISLER - Maybe he's one more solid year short of being primerific, but I hope he sneaks back on more ballots this year. I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer's peaks while providing a significant added portion of a career. Not clear on some of the anti-Sisler sentiment; overrated by the average fan, but a great half-career in particular.
8. COOL PAPA BELL - This next quintet all move up on further review. We're wise to realize the results don't match the rep, but great fielder-long career-decent hitter is quite valuable. Another Max Carey? I'm starting to think he's a crappy HOMer after all.
9. MICKEY WELCH - Yes, room for one more P from the era. If you look at the amount of lopsided scores AND compare them to the fewer and less lopsided losses by Keefe in yest's post in the old Welch thread, the 'pitching in a pinch' circumstancial evidence is there. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.
10. PETE BROWNING - Keeps showing up in any "best hitters not in HOM" charts, but it doesn't produce many new votes, alas. His 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time, so let's not hold the AA against him.
11. CUPID CHILDS - Faced the crossroads of my ballot review and survived. The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on these ballots. Fares well in comparison to the coming 2B flood.
12. HUGHIE JENNINGS - Would be greatest four-year hitter not to be a HOMer by a lot. I really don't like the lack of further substance, but tough to keep him off in a weak ballot year.
13. BILLY HERMAN - Bounces onto the ballot after I look at how he compares with other 2B candidates and just-retired pending candidates. War discount, but it's not like he never hit well against the 'real guys,' so I'm no longer overdoing it.
14. JOE GORDON - Was gonna keep him off the ballot, but couldn't do it. I just can't find the separation between these three 2Bs. Gordon has the fielding reputation that has been lacking in some other fielding-metric darlings of the past, could move up. Hell, all three 2Bs could.
15. WES FERRELL - Back on the ballot after a few years off. 117 ERA+ not dazzling, but it's misleading with the late-career bad IP. Significant hitting bonus, too. Kind of a weird player, too bad he didn't play some OF on his off-days.

TOP 10s OFF BALLOTS/CLOSE CONSIDERATION
CANNONBALL DICK REDDING - Ohsoclose to a vote. Now that Brown is in, he and Mendez may get one more look for a final Negro League pitcher to go alongside Paige (and anyone else?)
JOE MEDWICK - Bleh. Has the monster year, the big 3, even a 'big 9 or 10.' Fell off a little too soon, and OF competition is tough, which makes him problematic. I just don't think he's more HOMie than Browning, for instance.
JOE SEWELL - Slugged exactly the league average in his career, split between SS and 3B. That's good, but not real exciting. Still, probably deserves more support from me and the electorate. Nearly pulled the trigger this year, will look at him again.
DICK LUNDY - Falls back off the ballot, but I'm one voter who could swayed back.
BILL MONROE - Spent years battling Grant for 'one slot' in the HOM, which may have been unfair to both. Are the new wave of ballot-enders really more worthy than Monroe?
RED RUFFING - Definitely not as good as Rixey, in my mind. But gotta love his overcoming losing four toes on his left foot in a mine accident as a kid. Seemed to have something left when he was drafted for 1943, so a little war credit cinches a ballot spot. But remember, the other AL pitchers of the era faced the Yankees lineup 15 pct of the time.
STAN HACK - Thought sure I'd vote for him, but less even than meets the eye when you take away for diluted war year performance while others are getting war credit. Too many "well, I have to put another 3B in here somewhere" votes. No, we don't.
EARL AVERILL - I think you need a 'major' amount of 'minors' credit and quite the fielding bonus to get him to the top 10. We'll see 30 guys like this before we're done, and few of 'em belong in the HOM. Is it 'Ah-verill,' or "AY-verill,' by the way?
EDD ROUSH - I have a problem with the games he missed in a lot of years, but his D and high level of play combined with career length gives Roush strong consideration. Waiting for a weak year.
BIZ MACKEY - I see more Freehan or R Ferrell than anything else so far, and not sure he contributed as much as the countless other Negro League candidates we're mulling. Not ruled out yet.
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: July 19, 2005 at 12:38 PM (#1482710)
Second year in a row that I am unable to post comments.

At this point I am just glad that I am able to do this at all. {calm blue ocean...calm blue ocean...}

PHoM Luke Appling & Ted Lyons

1. Luke Appling (new)
2. Mule Suttles (4,4,3)
3. Stan Hack (5,5,11)
4. Red Ruffing (3,3,4)
5. John Beckwith (7,7,9)
6. George Van Haltren (8,6,6)
7. Mickey Welch (6,8,7)
8. Joe Medwick (9,x,x)
9. Jake Beckley (11,9,10)
10. Eppa Rixey (10,10,8)
11. Billy Herman (14,11,x)
12. Biz Mackey (12,14,13)
13. Cool Papa Bell (13,13,12)
14. Tommy Leach (15,12,14)
15. George Sisler (x,x,x)

16-20. Roush, Duffy, Moore, Rice, Averill
21-25. Monroe, Powell, Griffith, Jennings, Ryan
26-30. Mullane, Streeter, H.Smith, White, McCormick
   13. Patrick W Posted: July 20, 2005 at 01:41 AM (#1484822)
Henrich gets enough war credit to make the outskirts of this ballot. Trying for the umpteenth time to look at my pitcher rankings. Goal is to have P’s and 1B-OF’s re-examined by ’57, IF-C’s by ’58.

1. Luke Appling (n/a), Chic. (A), SS (’32-’49) (1956) – Reaches the value levels of Gehringer, W.Wells, A.Vaughn after war credit. He needed more AB’s than those guys to reach the same level, but #1 this week isn’t a difficult choice.
2. Mule Suttles (1), St.L - Nwk. (--), 1B / LF (‘23-‘42) (1946) – Suttles is gonna need an ‘elect-me’ type score of 76.9% (+/- 900 pts) to pass Ezra Sutton for the title of ‘Most Popular Player Not Elected in first 10 Years’. (It’s a pretty prestigious award; I’m sure you’ve been monitoring it closely.) Sutton is at 58.9% in 11 yrs, J.Start is 2nd with 57.5% in 15; Mule has 57.1% in his first 10.
3. Billy Herman (4), Chic. – Bkn. (N), 2B (’32-’46) (1956) – I’ve been more impressed every year he’s been on the ballot. Jumps Faber for the P-Hall vote.
4. Red Ruffing (2), N.Y. (A) SP (’25-’47) (1955) – Looks as good as Ted Lyons did.
5. John Beckwith (3), Bkn (--), SS / 3B (’19-’34) (1940) – Loses a little ground this week, but I have not soured on him at all. Amazing hitter in a slightly shorter-than-desirable career.
--. Buck Leonard, Hmstd. (--), 1B (‘34-‘48) –
--. Ray Brown, Hmstd. (--) SP (’31-’49) –
--. Red Faber, Chic. (A), SP (’14-’33) – I haven’t been this hesitant to put a player in the P-Hall since I put Fielder Jones in 26 years ago.
6. Biz Mackey (8), Hilldale (--), C / 3B (’20-’41) – He’ll make it in on my ballot someday, but the NeL competition has gotten very tough, as seen above.
7. Joe Gordon (n/a), N.Y. (A), SS (’38-’50) – I have Sewell being slightly better than Gordon with the glove, and Gordon with every other advantage between the two. It’s a slight advantage in most cases, and it’s not enough to rank Gordon any higher on the ballot than here.
8. Bucky Walters (7), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’33-’47) – I see that WS doesn’t agree, but I place Brown at roughly Bucky’s level in the pecking order.
9. Joe Sewell (9), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – The great defense of Sewell trumps the modest offense advantage of Hack.
10. Bob Johnson (10), Phila. (A), LF (’33-’45) – Late start to his career, but every season a quality one, and 0.304 EQA always looks good on the resume.
11. Stan Hack (11), Chic. (N), 3B (’32-’47) – Totally deserving of appearing on my ballot if Groh still theoretically appears on it.
12. Jake Beckley (12), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) (1929) – Jake can thank Ducky Wucky for my reanalysis of all the MLB IF’s and OF’s for this ballot.
--. Heinie Groh, Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
13. Joe Medwick (13), St.L (N), LF (’32-’47) – More productive hitter than VH, but in a shorter career. Result is close to a tie in my scorebook. Better peak for Ducky gets the tiebreak.
14. George Van Haltren (14), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – You want 1890’s HOMers? We got your 1890’s HOMers right here! Curious how far he’ll drop off the ballot before he begins to rise again.
15. Wes Ferrell (15), Clev. (A), SP (’29-’38) – Undeniably great when he was in there, it would be a lot easier to vote for him if there were even 500 more IP on the resume. I do show him preventing more runs above avg. in his career than Rixey.

Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to equal all the others’ career values.

Jennings was in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year.
   14. Sean Gilman Posted: July 20, 2005 at 08:14 AM (#1485433)
1956

1. Luke Appling (-)--He’s good.

2. Pete Browning (3)--If he played in the PCL in the 00s or the Negro Leagues in the 30s, would he be a HOMer by now? Same as with Suttles and Beckwith, the league translations inordinately underrate his peak. Besides, it isn’t like the AA wasn’t a major league. I’d love to see our fabulous translators take another look at the AA. (1927)

3. Mule Suttles (4)--Trails Browning and Jones on peak, but more career value than either of them. (1949)

4. John Beckwith (5)--Another high peak, non-conventional major league player.

5. Charley Jones (6)--Jones, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Browning look pretty interchangeable to me. (1929)

6. Hughie Jennings (7)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder. (1932)

7. Cupid Childs (8)--Where has the love for Cupid gone? (1938)

8. Billy Herman (9)--I agree with those who see him as close to Cupid. I’ve got them in a dead-heat, with Cupid having the slightly better peak.

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

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

11. Stan Hack (12)--Another tight group with Hack, Doyle and
Sisler.

12. Larry Doyle (13)--Another underrated infielder. . .(1945)

13. George Sisler (14)--That’s a nice peak.

14. Cool Papa Bell (15)--That’s a lot of career value.

15. Eppa Rixey (16)--Him too.

16. Joe Sewell (17)
17. Ed Williamson (18)
18. Jose Mendez (19)
19. Carl Mays (20)
20. Red Ruffing (21)
21. Wes Ferrell (22)
22. Joe Gordon (-)
23. Dave Bancroft (23)
24. Roger Bresnahan (24)
25. Dick Redding (25)
   15. DanG Posted: July 20, 2005 at 02:49 PM (#1485623)
My #1 and #2 were elected for the fifth straight year. In 1956, the AL keystone combo of Appling and Gordon make their debut. In 1957, Joe DiMaggio is joined by another AL keystone combo, Boudreau and Doerr. The next year, we’ll clear out three from the backlog.

1) Luke Appling – An easy HoMer, top 100 all-time.

2) Billy Herman (3,3,4) – High peak, high career. Often underrated. The SABR 20th century survey voted him #183 among 20th century white players, which translates to about #225 when you add in 19th century, Negro league and 21st century stars. James has him about #130 in the new BJHBA. He’s right smack in between those two ratings, I think. An all-star ten times. Three times top 4 NL MVP voting.

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

4) George Van Haltren (5,5,6) – I’ve been his best friend in recent elections, a position I am not comfortable trying to defend. He gained back some of the ground he lost in 1954. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. Now in his 48th year eligible. Pennants Added study shows him well. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he had high SB totals (usually 35-40 in his prime years), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Players with most stolen bases 1891-1900:
1—660 B. Hamilton
2—443 G. Van Haltren

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

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

7) Mule Suttles (9,9,10) – Great slugger, but a rather one-dimensional player.

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

9) Edd Roush (10,10,11) – Rapidly approaching Lost Cause status. The past four elections have seen him plunge from 16 ballots to 8, as SNT’s Herman-Medwick-Ruffing-Hack have driven away long-time contenders’ down-ballot support. Pennants added likes him a lot. Players with OPS of .850+, 1917-25, minimum 3800 PA:
1—1.193 B. Ruth
2—1.037 R. Hornsby
3—.975 T. Speaker
4—.961 T. Cobb
5—.931 H. Heilmann
6—.918 G. Sisler
7—.865 Z. Wheat
8—.864 E. Roush

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

11) Red Ruffing (12,12,13) – Equal to Rixey in terms of longevity, falls a bit short on peak and workhorse considerations. Lyons went in without much struggle; Ruffing is close to him as well.

12) George Sisler (13,13,14) – The problem I have with Terry’s election is that nearly every system or ranking I see has Sisler slightly higher. This may eventually take care of itself, but not for several decades. In the mean time, Terry looks like an accident of ballot timing. I think George is still among the top 230 players in history, which is HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner (4 SB crowns), great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era? Firstbasemen with 2500+ hits through 1980:

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

13) Biz Mackey (14,14,15) – I’ve long been a friend of catchers and he’s the best available, knocking Bresnahan off after a 28-year run. I like the long career. Defense apparently as good as any catcher; if Schalk could hit, he’d have been Biz.

14) Joe Medwick (15,15,ne) – Good peak/career combo. I supported Goose, why not Ducky? An all-star ten times. Three times top 5 NL MVP voting.

15) John Beckwith – First time voter, long time viewer. Comparable to My Good Friend Pike -- the questions about defense and character cloud the stellar hitting record. About half the electorate is sold on him. That’s all it takes to be a HoMer in this environment. Edges past Bell in my NeL queue.

Stan Hack is being strongly considered for future ballots.

Jennings has been on my ballot before and will be again.
   16. SWW Posted: July 20, 2005 at 04:10 PM (#1485864)
July 20th ought to be a holiday. I’m just saying.

1956 Ballot
1)Lucius Benjamin Appling
Solid career, seven AL Top 10 finishes in Win Shares, and I, too, remember the RFK homer with fondness. s. 86th on SABR Top 100. 65th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 85th on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
2)George Suttles – “Mule”
Has a slight edge over Sisler on durability and longer prime. I think he might just be on the cusp of meritorious immortality. 43rd on Bill James Top 100. 13th on SABR Negro League Poll. 4th Team, Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
3)George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
I feel like there’s something here for the peak people and the career people alike. His highs are exceptional, and his lows are not so low as to be invisible, like Jennings or Hack Wilson. 33rd on Sporting News Top 100. 45th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 55th on SABR Top 100. 55th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 16th on Maury Allen’s Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
4)James Thomas Bell – “Cool Papa”
I went back through the thread devoted to him, and I’m still on his bandwagon. He’s clearly not a slugger, but the high number of hits and walks combined with his legendary speed on the basepaths suggests that he’s still a significant contributor to his teams. As someone who gives much credence to career, the projected Win Shares impress me. Even the adjusted Win Shares projections impress me. I find him well ahead of the glut. 66th on Sporting News Top 100. 74th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 76th on Bill James Top 100. New York Times Top 100. 3rd on SABR Negro League poll. 2nd Team, 1952 Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
5)Joseph Michael Medwick – “Ducky Wucky”
I do like the Win Shares, both for career and four top 10 seasons. Excellent black/gray ink. Until him, Suttles was the only left fielder on my ballot. That was surprising. 79th on Sporting News Top 100. 100th on SABR Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
6)Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Is it the spitball that people don’t like about him? I’ll be curious to see how Gaylord Perry fares in the voting. At least when Grimes threw junk, he did it with the permission of the rules. 54th on Maury Allen Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
7)Charles Herbert Ruffing – “Red”
If Rixey had some standout seasons, his career might look a little more like this. Compares very favorably with Grimes; I can see him moving up in the next couple years. 84th on Maury Allen Top 100.
8)Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
I think for me, the thing that distinguishes him from someone like Harry Hooper is how late his career started. I’m not giving him credit for seasons missed, but his career is unique in the late start combined with gaudy career numbers.
9)Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
I place a lot of value in a lengthy, Win Share-rich career. This is why he continues to maintain his perch on my ballot. I continue to be troubled by the virtually flat line that his his career, though. Would one peak have killed you, Jake?
10)Stanley Camfield Hack
Third basemen with lots of Win Shares are hard to come by. I’m enjoying him sitting right next to Beckley. Jake gets recognition for his era, while Stan deserves a nod for his position. Five-time Top 10 NL Win Shares.
11)William Jennings Bryan Herman – “Billy”
Getting more acclaim from the electorate than I might have expected. I’m giving him the edge over Joe Gordon due to the higher peaks. The advantage is slight, though.
12) John Beckwith
I think Joe Sewell is more of a pure shortstop, but if Chris Cobb’s Win Shares are to be believed, Beckwith is a more worthy offensive force. (Sewell, incidentally, currently occupies 16th place on my ballot.) Tied for 35th on SABR Negro League poll. 2nd Team, Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
13) Eppa Rixey – “Jephtha”
Interesting to compare him with Ruffing. Very similar, except that Rixey’s career is a little more consistent, while Ruffing has some distinct peaks. His career numbers are the kind I typically like.
14)Raleigh Mackey – “Biz”
I consider him to be the best catcher currently available for our consideration. I’m giving a lot of credence to peer and expert rankings here, so your mileage may vary. 17th on SABR Negro League poll. 1st Team, Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
15) Joseph Wheeler Sewell
Consistently the top shortstop in the AL, with five Top 10 finishes in Win Shares. And I’ll be rhyming his named with “jewel” until someone decides to correct me. Ritter & Honig Top 100.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Wesley Cheek Ferrell
Love his peaks. Hate the shortness of his career. I like him more as a candidate than Dizzy Dean, who has outstanding peak. I like Grimes, Rixey and Ruffing, so I guess that tells you where I stand on Wes.
Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
I’ve been looking ahead to Sandy Koufax, and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with him. In the meantime, Jennings just looks way too peak-y to me. Five-year prime is over 70% of career. Ouch.
   17. favre Posted: July 20, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1485969)
1.Mule Suttles

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

2.Earl Averill
3.John Beckwith

Last year I was Averill’s best friend. Compare him with John Beckwith: Chris/David’s MLE’s put Beckwith at 137 OPS+ in about 8000 PA’s; Earl Averill has a 133 OPS+ in 7200 PA’s. However, Averill also had a couple of great seasons in the PCL at ages 25 and 26, which would bring them pretty close to even. Averill was an outstanding centerfielder, who saved a lot of runs; Beckwith played SS/3B, but does not have a great reputation with the glove. Beckwith projects to somewhere between 315-350 WS; Averill is at 280, but moves into the Beckwith range if you give him some PCL credit.

Sunnyday/Marc’s argument that we should consider reducing Beckwith’s Career WS when he was kicked off teams due to behavior issues is interesting, and I will drop Beckwith just a bit. On the other hand, Chris has said that he may have underprojected Beckwith as it is; there’s no question to me that, when he played, he played like an HoM’r.

4.Luke Appling
5.Jake Beckley
6.Eppa Rixey

Appling was in the top seven in OBP seven times (eight if you count the war) and played very good defense for a long time.

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

7.Wally Schang
8.Clark Griffith

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

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

9.Jose Mendez
10.Alejandro Oms

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

I have Averill very high on my ballot. Chris’s projections see Oms as a very similar player, though not quite as good. I would rather have Oms in his prime than Bell.

11.Cool Papa Bell
12.Tommy Leach
13. Rube Waddell
14. Joe Gordon
15.Biz Mackey
16.Billy Herman

Bell’s career WS projects to nearly 400, which has to get him on the ballot. Leach actually has more career WS than any major league position player on the ballot save Van Haltren and Appling, and Van Haltren’s numbers are distorted by his pitching stint. Mackey, with position adjustments, fits very comfortably into this long-career-and-great-defense-who-could-hit-some group.

Rube Waddell led the AL in K/IP for eight years, and was 2nd in another year. The lack of home runs reduces the value of strikeouts, but each K was an out that his defense didn’t have to record, and defenses were pretty lousy back then. He has three ERA+ titles. On the other hand, it appears he allowed a lot of unearned runs, his W-L records aren’t great…Waddell drives me crazy, which, given his life story, seems fitting.

I have Gordon above Herman; Herman had more career value, but Gordon was a better hitter and fielder in his prime. I also think the war hurt Gordon (age 27-30) more than Herman (age 32-35).

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

I’m a little surprised that Hack did not make my ballot, but WS is not crazy about his defense, and, like everyone, I had to adjust his WWII numbers downward. Given the choice, I’d rather have Ned Williamson. Jennings has made the bottom of my ballot before, and will be there again; his short career keeps him off of a tough ballot.

20.Cupid Childs
21.Edd Roush
22.Larry Doyle
23.Dick Redding
24.George Van Haltren
25.George Sisler
26.Red Ruffing
27.Wes Ferrell

I think Rixey is better that Ruffing. Rixey pitched for more innings on worse teams with a better ERA+, and that does not take account the time he missed for WWI. Was the jump in Ruffing’s effectiveness from Boston to New York due at least in part to a better defense?

I am generally a career guy, particularly with pitchers. As sabermetricians debate how much of a pitcher’s effectiveness is due to defense and luck, I give more credence to guys who could get outs over a long number of innings.

28.Ernie Lombardi
29.Addie Joss
30.Joe Medwick

Medwick, Sam Thompson, Mike Tiernan, Chuck Klein, and Pete Browning have very similar arguments for the Hall: a) they were very good hitters with b) high peaks c) moderate length careers and d) limited defensive value which e) gives them somewhere around 300 career WS, given schedule adjustments. Although they are different types of players, Bob Johnson and George Sisler could fit in here as well. Buzz Arlett’s projections seems to land him in this group; Gavvy Cravath might have been this type of player, although he’s a strange case, and difficult for me to rate. Anyway, with the exception of Thompson, we seem to have taken a collective, albeit hotly debated, pass on the group. Medwick has a little more defensive value than the rest, and a higher (though perhaps overrated) peak. While I can see how that moves him to the top of the glut, I still can’t see putting him anywhere near my ballot. From a career perspective, there’s just too many guys like him.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: July 20, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1486052)
1956 Ballot

Newcomers to notice:

Appling is an easy #1 this year.

Alejandro Oms (first eligible in 1942) makes a strong entrance on his first ballot with full MLEs. He deserves to be considered a serious candidat for election. See #9 below.

Joe Gordon lands in the near backlog, at #20.

I’ve started a major overhaul of the bottom half of the ballot and the first 20 in the backlog this year. Basically I realized about 10 years ago that my system had been giving too much defensive credit to pre-1930 outfielders, with long-career, high-defense players benefiting most. I changed my system for placing new candidates, but I hadn’t gotten around to redoing the backlog. When I finally got to it this year, Van Haltren, Leach, and Roush, who had been a trio in the middle of my ballot for two decades, all dropped, Van Haltren and Leach dramatically. This change has led to a lot of movement. I use a “decade quota” system as part of my rankings, so when one player declines, some of his contemporaries will rise. This has little effect on the 1890s, since VH dropped past an already-elected player, but it has a notable effect on the 1900s; Rube Waddell passes Leach and so pops back up towards the ballot and serious candidate status.


1. Luke Appling (n/e). The last great long-career shortstop from the 1930s. Best old shortstop after Honus Wagner. Easy #1 this year.
2. John Beckwith (3). Back to an elect-me spot on my ballot. Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but it’s worth remembering that his 137 OPS+ is historically great for a third baseman. Among the best bats eligible and the only one from a high-defense position. Don’t be misled by the slanderous Riley bio.
3. Clark Griffith (4). Best candidate available from the underrepresented and underrated 1890s. Without contraction, there’d be no questions about his career length, as he would have two more major-league seasons in 1892 and 1893. Also the best pitching post-1893 candidate according to Pennants Added. Superior to several elected pitchers by virtually every measure. I hope to see him elected in the 1960s.
4. Hughie Jennings (5). The greatness of his peak will not diminish with time. Would represent 1890s well. jimd’s recent comments on Jennings’ fielding value seem right to me.
5. Eppa Rixey (6). Long, solidly above-average career. Runner-up in 1942. he may not be elected until the early 1960s. Better than Ruffing, though it’s close.
6. Mule Suttles (7). Probably will be elected this year, and that’s ok with me.
7. Wes Ferrell (8). WARP rates him as a clear HoMer, nearly as valuable as Grove during his 9-year prime. WS rates him less highly. My analysis is closer to WARP. Ferrell has a decent shot at being the first twentieth-century pitcher not elected to the HoF to be elected to the HoM.
8.Billy Herman (12). 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.
9.Alejandro Oms (n/r). A great player in the 1920s, his run of solid to border-line MVP seasons is nearly a match for Averill’s, and he has much more value outside of his prime. His career tailed after his 1930 (injury?) season, but he remained a good hitter with gradually decreasing playing time in my projections. I think he’s the best outfield candidate eligible.
10. Stan Hack. (13) The best major-league third baseman between Heinie Groh and Eddie Mathews. Great plate discipline, acceptable defense.
11. Red Ruffing. (14) Lands just between Eppa Rixey and Burleigh Grimes among the “innings-eater” pitching candidates. 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.
12. Biz Mackey (15). A solid candidate and I hope an eventual HoMer. A stronger candidate than Schang or Bresnahan because of his defensive value (supported by both his reputation and his 1928 statistics), but overall he’s not in the class of Harnett, Dickey, or Cochrane. This placement includes credit for 1932 – I assume that if he had been in the majors, he would not have skipped a season to tour in Japan. I think the gaps in Mackey’s record and the likelihood that his statistics in the mid-1930s understate his value make it appropriate to rank him on the high side of what his current numbers show.
13. Edd Roush (10). Slips a little bit in the reevaluation of outfielders, but he was getting less of a bonus than Van Haltren and Leach, and was the best hitter of the three, so he retains his ballot spot.
14. George Sisler (16). Rises back up onto the ballot; his peak was truly outstanding, and long enough to matter a lot in my assessment of him.
15. Gavvy Cravath. (24) Makes my ballot for the first time, as I re-sort my outfielders and my 1910s rankings. In the 1910s rankings, Cravath replaces Doyle as the top candidate still unelected. Given that I had no support from WARP, I could no longer justify ranking Larry Doyle above where win shares put him in my system. He drops significantly, and Cravath jumps to the ballot.

Consensus top-10 returning players not on my ballot:

Earl Averill. See #17 below
Joe Medwick. See #23 below
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: July 20, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1486065)
Off-Ballot

16. Burleigh Grimes (18). Consideration of his batting value makes me agree with those who don’t see a whole lot of difference between him and Rixey, but that difference now amounts to 11 ballot spots.
17. Earl Averill (19). I give him one season of PCL credit, which puts him clearly ahead of Medwick. He’ll probably get back on my ballot before he gets elected.
18. Jose Mendez. (20) The player most deserving of a fresh analysis and renewed attention.
19. Dick Redding. (21) Still paired with Mendez.
20.Joe Gordon (n/e). The first of the 1940s borderline infielder group to become eligible, to be followed shortly by Boudrea, Doerr, Pesky, Stephens, and Rizzuto. With appropriate WWII credit, Gordon looks like the best of the bunch, at least by a win-shares based evaluation, but he’s still very much a borderline candidate. Discussion of this group and its relation to Herman/Hack/Doyle/Childs/Sewell/Bancroft should prove interesting, and Gordon may move quite a bit in relation to that discussion.
21. Buzz Arlett. (22) Pitching credit brings Arlett near my ballot.
22. Rube Waddell (36) . Moves up as Leach drops. The phantom presence of Jimmy Collins in my rankings holds Waddell below Leach’s former ranking, but I now see him as an electable candidate for the first time in 40 years.
23. Joe Medwick. (29). Overrated by the electorate. I lean more toward the WARP evaluation as good teams/pythagorean win share bonuses inflate his win share totals quite a bit. My ballot revisions have moved him a bit in the outfield queue, but I still see Oms, Roush, Cravath, Averill, and Arlett as better choices. I’ll have my work cut out for me in 1958, I see . . .
24. Tommy Leach (11) Revised view of outfield defense drops Leach significantly. Even though he was an outfielder for only half of his career, a good chunk of his peak was tied up in outfield defense, so he slips 13 spots, though he passes George Van Haltren in the process . . .
25. George Van Haltren (9). Revisions in my assessment of outfield defense drop Van Haltren 15 spots this year, from “must eventually elect” status to borderline status. I may have dropped him too far or not enough, but I’m sure he belongs off ballot at present. I’m sorry to drop him after a half-century of modest support (including one season in an elect-me spot), but I now think I was overrating him.
26. Cool Papa Bell (25). Reconsideration of 1933-1936 MLEs moves him past Poles and Maranville. Note to self: Bell really needs a new study now that a lot more MeL data is available.
27. Bill Byrd (23). Stongly resembles Burleigh Grimes and Carl Mays, I believe. A little better than Mays but not as good as Grimes, Like them, Byrd was a good hitter; he often played in the outfield when he wasn’t pitching. Like Grimes, he was a spitball/junkball pitcher. He enters the ballot with contemporary Mel Harder, whom he betters, in my view, by a small amount, mostly on peak.
28. Rabbit Maranville. (26) His defensive value and his career length deserve respect.
29. Leroy Matlock (n/r). Finally have MLEs for Matlock (he was first eligible in 1948). He’s a very fine pitcher, possibly in the top 10 NeL pitchers all time, with a truly outstanding peak 1933-37, but not quite enough career value to reach my ballot. I think it’s very likely that he was notably better than Hilton Smith. He was apparently quiet and effective like Hilton, but he didn’t have the right teammates and he died just as interest in the Negro Leagues was reviving, so he didn’t get consideration for the HoF. I don’t think he makes the HoM, though peak voters ought to give him a long look, but he’s deserving of being better known than he was. I need to re-do his MLEs for 1937 in light of fuller information about his play in Santo Domingo.
30. Mel Harder. (27). The historic link between Wes Ferrell and Bob Feller. Harder was better than I thought. He has decent career length (over 3400 innings) and a very nice peak in the mid-1930s. Very similar to Carl Mays, but slightly better, although not nearly so well-rounded a player.
31. Larry Doyle (17). A big drop for Larry as I remove his positional privileges. I still see him as a bit stronger than Cupid Childs, but I've never been a strong supporter of Childs.
32. Spotswood Poles . (28) Another top NeL candidate from the teens who could use another look.
33. Carl Mays. (30) Wes Ferrell lite.
34. Urban Shocker. (31) Someday I’ll take up his cause. Another very well-rounded ballplayer.
35. Mickey Welch. (32) Doesn’t make my ballot now, but could again. This ballot is unbelievably deep.
36. Hugh Duffy. (33) Another guy who I think of as “just off-ballot” who is now below 30. Youch! He may drop further when the re-evaluation of pre-1930 outfielders reaches him and his neighbor Ryan.
37. Jimmy Ryan
38. Roger Bresnahan
39. Wally Schang
40. Cupid Childs
41. Bucky Walters
42. George Scales
43. Dobie Moore
44. Ben Taylor
45. Jake Beckley
46. Joe Sewell
47. Dick Lundy
48. Waite Hoyt
49. Herman Long
50. Wilbur Cooper
51. Lave Cross
52. Kiki Cuyler
53. Harry Hooper
54. Bobby Veach
55. Fielder Jones
56. Dolf Luque
57. John McGraw
58. Tommy Bond
59. Bob Johnson
60. George J. Burns
61. Charley Jones
62. Bruce Petway
63. Bill Monroe
64. Dizzy Dean
65. Babe Adams
66. Mike Tiernan
67. Sam Rice
68. Dave Bancroft
69. Frank Chance
70. Tony Mullane
71. Ed Konetchy
72. Addie Joss
73. Wally Berger

Players awaiting proper placement above or around the Berger line include Hilton Smith, Lon Warneke. Players in need of re-entry into the ranked players include Ned Williamson, Jim McCormick, Pete Browning, Fred Dunlap, Tom York, Davy Force, Elmer Smith, Johnny Evers, and Joe Tinker.
   20. Mike Webber Posted: July 20, 2005 at 07:09 PM (#1486397)
Mostly a Win Share kind of guy, with bonus for peak. Think WARP is iffy at best, but hey it will change again soon, then maybe Edd Roush will get into the HOM.

1)LUKE APPLING – I was surprised that Appling was not an easy number one on most ballots, but when looking at him closer I can see some of the misgivings. In the end though 378 win shares, all in the majors with no projected credit, are just too many to move anyone else ahead of him.
2)EDD ROUSH – 314 win shares, with a couple of missing seasons. Add a good peak to that, and I think he is the best of a tough centerfield group.
3)STAN HACK – The best 3b between Baker and Mathews.
4)JOE MEDWICK – Roush and Medwick are close, I’m slotting the centerfielder ahead of the leftfielder.
5)MULE SUTTLES – Thumping 1b, doesn’t seem to get the full support from the Negro League experts in our group that I would have guessed.
6)BILLY HERMAN – His weaker peak leaves him behind Hack and Roush.
7)EARL AVERILL -
8)TOMMY LEACH – Long career and solid peak.
9)COOL PAPA BELL – I can’t shake his reputation, despite what his MLEs have shown.
10)CARL MAYS –I think his peak places him ahead of Ruffing and Rixey, even if he trails the pair by 60 to 75 total win shares.
11)WALLY BERGER – If we can build consensus on the order the Cfers should be ranked, one of these guys will get in (Roush, Bell, Averill or Berger or Van Haltren or Ryan).
12)WES FERRELL – Peak gets him on the list.
13)RED RUFFING – About the same as Rixey, however I think his weak peak is more the norm for his era than Rixey.
14)HUGHIE JENNINGS - His peak probably puts your team over the hump for the flag, trumps the problems of short career
15)ROGER BRESNAHAN –Best catcher between Ewing and Hartnett. I think favre arguments about Schang being better than Mackey could be equally applied to Bresnahan.

16-30 Gordon, Dean, Traynor, Warneke, Lazzeri, H. Wilson, Waddell, Schang, Redding, Duffy, Doyle, W. Cooper, Mendez, Moore, Lombardi

Disclosures – Beckwith, #32.
New Comers – Joe Gordon – essentially flipped a coin between Gordon and Bresnahan. I would have liked to give the KC Royals first manager vote, but decided to be cautious for one year.
Ale Oms – I did not put him in my top 30 this year, but I think he certainly could be in CF discussion, initially I’d say he’s between Hack Wilson and Averill, which means he probably will be in my top 15 eventually.
   21. EricC Posted: July 22, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1489906)
1956 ballot. Hmmm, 6 of my top 7 this year are C/IF.

1. Wally Schang
2. Luke Appling

Appling doesn't need much discussion. By all career measures, he's comfortably above minimum HoM standards, and had a few outstanding individual seasons to boot, for those who like peak.

I view Schang as very similar to Appling. Tremendous career value in his long career, many seasons with > 120 OPS+ as a C. An OBP-heavy OPS, ranking 2nd all time among C in career OBP. Bresnahan and Lombardi are the only other 20th century ML catchers who belong in the discussion now.

3. Joe Sewell 87.4 WARP3 in 1903 games is HoM career value. The number of seasons among the top N players in league show HoM peak value. Like with Schang, one's point of view on AL vs. NL league strength in the 1910s-1920s has a big effect on his standing in the all-time rank-o-meter.

4. Red Ruffing One of the longest pitching careers we've seen. W/L hurt, then helped by team. W/L record may be distorted by all the years playing for the Yankees, but he was still the ace of a dynasty.

5. Joe Gordon
6. Billy Herman

Gordon and Herman and (soon) Doerr, oh my! I'm bullish on Gordon. WWII credit gives him a bigger boost than Herman, because losing a couple of seasons at age 28-29 makes a much bigger hole in a career than losing them at age 35. Will be interesting to see how the infielder glut shakes out.

7. Stan Hack The 2nd greatest 3B to date, behind Baker, which is both a credit to Hack and an indication of the historic weakness of the 3B position. As an aside, in the all-time 3B debate, Ed Williamson looks to me like the Harlond Clift of the 1880s.

8. Earl Averill Top ML CF of the 1930s.

9. Mule Suttles NeL HR king.

10. Tommy Bridges 126 ERA+ in the 1930-1943 AL.

11. Cool Papa Bell Long career, low peak, like Sam Rice, but with outstanding speed.

12. Lefty Gomez With "dominant season" pitcher bonuses, his 2 Cy-Young type seasons give him a boost. Guess I'm the only one voting for him.

13. Jose Mendez Evidence of a HoM worthy peak.

14. Joe Medwick Played like an inner-circle HoMer for 3 years, and like a non HoMer the rest of his career. What do you do with a player like that?

15. Biz Mackey One of greatest NeL catchers.

Rixey and Ferrell were both very good, and I like pitchers, so I regret not having room for them on my ballot.

Jennings had a great peak, putting him in the Sisler/Medwick category of difficult players to rate.

Beckwith had some great seasons, but relative career shortness, uncertainty about his peak, and strong competition from contemporary players keeps him below the above players on my ballot.
   22. OCF Posted: July 22, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1490057)
Where is everyone? We need some ballots posted!

1956 ballot.
1. Luke Appling (new) My peak-friendly offensive methods give him a slight edge over Cronin, and he does have all that career. A fairly easy choice for me in this election.
2. John Beckwith (3, 4, 4, 3, 3) Fascinating debate we've been having. My take on him owes a lot to Chris Cobb.
3. Stan Hack (--, 5, 4, 4) Depending on what you consider Beckwith to be, the second or third best-hitting 3B of the last 60+ years. OBP matters. Offense-only, he's below Sisler for peak but ahead career in my system.
4. Red Ruffing (--, 7, 7, 7) Offense-ajdusted RA+ PythPat 282-201, which is too good to ignore. I decided to shade Medwick and Doyle down a little.
5. Larry Doyle (4, 5, 6, 5, 5) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time.
6. Ducky Wucky Medwick (---, 6, 6) His value shape is rather unusual. Perhaps Bill Terry? I see those two as pretty close to each other. For three years, he hit like one of the greats, but the rest of his career falls far below that.
7. George Van Haltren (6, 7, 9, 9, 9) There are those saying we need more 1890's players, but the vote is split. Mine rests with the remaining outfielders.
8. Eppa Rixey (7, 8, 10, 10, 10) A successful long-career inning-eater. No peak.
9. Wes Ferrell (8, 9, 11, 11, 11) Nice early peak, flamed out young as pitcher, stopped hitting as well. The fact that he pitched in the highest average run environment of any ballot-worthy 20th century pitcher puts his 2600 IP in perspective, since high-scoring innings are more stressful
10. George "Mule" Suttles (9, 10, 12, 12, 12) Like Medwick, a slugger with a top season or two. Maybe I have Medwick to high and Suttles too low, but I'm not going to make drastic changes now. As a "bat", the knocks on Suttles are a relatively low OBP and a park adjustment. I presume Suttles will be elected this year, so it will be the first time in a while my #1-2 won't make it.
11. Joe Sewell (5, 6, 8, 8, 8) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice.
12. Earl Averill (10, 11, 13, 13, 13) Offense a little behind VH, Ryan, Duffy; defense a little ahead of them. Career length isn't good, but maybe he left a year of it in the PCL.
13. Jake Beckley (11, 12, 14, 14, 14) Not much peak, long career.
14. Biz Mackey (12, 13, 15, 15, 15) Catcher is a tough position, and catchers do tend to grow old early. Even Cochrane and Hartnett didn't have the hitting careers needed for election as a corner player.
15. Hugh Duffy (13, 14, 16, 16, 16) Just as the electorate is ready to phase him out, he reappears on my ballot.
16. Billy Herman (--, 17, 17, 17) Offensively about the equal of Lazzeri, B+ defense; that's a very good player, but I don't see more than that.
17. Bucky Walters (---, 18, 18) Offense-adjusted RA+ PythPat 197-148, with a peak that nearly rivals Ferrell's.
18. Cupid Childs (14, 15, 18, 19, 19) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
19. Joe Gordon (new) Not much to choose from between him and Herman.
20. Tommy Bridges (15, 16, 19, 20, 20) RA+ PythPat 190-124, which is a record that has to be taken seriously. Ferrell had a higher peak, but Bridges was a terrific pitcher.
21. Cool Papa Bell (16, 17, 20, 21, 21) A legend, of course, with a very long career. He's down here because I'm not sure his peak is any better than Willie Wilson's.
22. Edd Roush (17, 18, 21, 22, 22) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey.
23. Jose Mendez (23, 24, 22, 23, 23) Pending further review; could move up.
24. Dick Redding (25, 26, 23, 24, 24) Ditto.
25. George Sisler (18, 19, 24, 25, 25) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time.
26. Bob Johnson (18, 20, 25, 26, 26) A late bloomer, excellent hitter, steady career. WWII discount keeps him out of the top 15.
27. Pie Traynor (20, 21, 26, 27, 27) Similar to Sewell: an above-average hitter playing a key defensive position for not quite enough years to clinch his candidacy. But nowhere near Hack as a hitter.
28. Frank Chance (21, 22, 27, 28, 28) Huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
29. Rube Waddell (22, 23, 28, 29, 29) The best one left from his generation. Value crammed into a very few years.
30. Roger Bresnahan (24, 25, 29, 30, 30) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
   23. DavidFoss Posted: July 22, 2005 at 03:08 AM (#1490421)
The Dodgers finally win a World Series on their 8th try (After losing the first to the Red Sox, the second to the Indians and the next *five* to the Yankees (Rizzuto being on all five squads)). Johnny Podres shut out the Yankees in game 7 for the title.

Catchers ruled as a 3rd MVP each went to Campanella and Berra.

Another infield-centric ballot this year.

1956 Ballot

1. John Beckwith (2) -- The more SS-3B types who become eligible without Beckwith's hitting numbers, the more impressed I am. Owen Wilson's portrayal of him in the Wedding Crashers was a lot more subdued that I was expecting after reading his discussion thread.
2. Luke Appling (ne) -- "Old Aches and Pains" is five years older than Arky Vaughn but still played some of his best ball after Arky was done. A "B" fielder.
3. Hughie Jennings (4) -- 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.
4. Clark Griffith (5) -- The plethora of borderline live-ball pitchers is making me think we may have forgotten about Clark. Solid numbers in an underrepresented era.
5. Mule Suttles (9) -- A second look at him tells me I was underrating him. His 137 OPS+ is weighted down by some junk seasons on the edges of his career. Yes, his sky-high peak was very short and perhaps an aberration of his park, but he had several ~150 seasons to support it.
6. Larry Doyle (6) -- 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.
7. Cupid Childs (7) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
8. Billy "Don't Call Me Babe" Herman (8) -- Dropped him below Doyle/Childs this week to be cautious. Impressive Win Shares numbers look a lot like Doyle/Childs'. A 'B+' defender as the position is getting tougher. Eligible before Gordon/Doerr.
9. Dick Redding (10) -- 2nd best fastball of the 10's according to Neyer/James.
10. Biz Mackey (12) -- Lets not forget about Biz! 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.
11. 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.
12. John McGraw (13) -- Welcome back, Mack. 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. Playing time issues keeping him out of the HOM so far...
13. Stan Hack (14) -- 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).
14. Gavvy Cravath (15) -- Cravath has a monster peak that is holding up against new eligibles.
15. Joe Gordon (ne) -- Tossing some love out for the fine 2B for some great Yankees/Indians clubs. Short career has me worried, but a little war credit puts him on the ballot instead of Ruffing.

Omissions --

Medwick -- I'm tough on outfielders. Not enough peak to justify the relatively short career.
Ruffing -- Voted for him a couple of years. Just off the ballot. I like him better than Rixey (who I liked better than Faber).
   24. Rick A. Posted: July 22, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1490533)
PHOM
Luke Appling
Biz Mackey - Underrated by the electorate. Essentially, he is a combination of the best parts of Wally Schang and Ray Schalk. Hit like Schang for half his career and fielded like Schalk for his whole career. Not Dickey, Hartnett or Cochrane, but a pretty decent catcher.

1956 Ballot
1.Luke Appling – Clear HOMer. Elected PHOM in 1956.
2.Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1921.
3.Pete Browning – Great hitter. Elected PHOM in 1925
4.Hughie Jennings – Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days. Elected PHOM in 1938
5.Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year prime at important position. Elected PHOM in 1939.
6.Biz Mackey – Took another look at Mackey and realized that we’re underrating him. Yes, he wasn’t as great a hitter as we thought. Yes, he has a kind of Sisleresque career shape. However, he has a ton of career value, very good prime value and was an A+ defensive catcher. That adds up to a HOMer to me. Elected PHOM in 1956.
7.Mule Suttles – Moves above Beckwith in reevaluation.
8.John Beckwith – Very good hitter. New info on him moves him high on my ballot. Elected PHOM.in 1940.
9.Stan Hack – Was a fan of his since I first heard of him. Very close (but slightly better) to Heinie Groh, even with war discount. Better than Pie Traynor.
10.Jose Mendez – Looking at the Negro League pitchers thread shows I may be underrating him. Jumps over Averill. Elected PHOM in 1942.
11.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Still in line to be a PHOM.
12.Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. Moves up when compared to Faber and Rixey.
13.Ed Williamson – He’s back. I was talked into the idea that I overestimated him in the past, but decided I was right the first time.
14.Billy Herman – Looks like I fell for the shiny new toy. Upon closer look, not much difference between Childs, Monroe, and Hack.
15.Earl Averill - Decided to give minor league credit.

Still trying to get a handle on Alejandro Oms.

Required Disclosures
Joe Medwick, Red Ruffing, Wes Ferrell
All three just miss my ballot

New Candidates
Joe Gordon Really not to far from Billy Herman. Like Herman’s prime a little better. Solid candidate. Very tight ballot from 9 -26.
Tommy Henrich As a Yankees fan, I've always kind of liked Henrich. Good player, but isn't in my consideration set.
Ken Keltner Would anyone even remember him if he didn't play a part in stopping Joe DiMaggio's streak. Behind Henrich.

Off the Ballot
16-20 Medwick, Grimes, Ferrell, Ruffing, Rixey
21-25 Monroe, Duffy, Gordon, Bell, Roush
26-30 Schang, Sisler, McGraw, Leach, Dean
31-35 Redding, Bresnahan, Walters, Bond, Poles
36-40 Tiernan, Cooper, Waddell, Cravath, Van Haltren
41-45 Traynor, Sewell, Doyle, Mays, Taylor
46-50 Fournier, Griffith, Burns, Johnson, Cuyler
   25. Thane of Bagarth Posted: July 22, 2005 at 03:54 AM (#1490638)
1956 Ballot:

1) Luke Appling
His WS peak numbers are similar to Stan Hack’s, but his top 5 WARP3 seasons are a Jennings-esque 59.7. Add on another dozen productive years and sprinkle with a pinch of war credit and you get a no doubter for the HoM.

2) Billy Herman
Pretty good peak—top 5 WARP3 of 49.1. He puts up some nice career numbers, too: 99 WARP3, 298 WS. Small bump for war credit.

3) Red Ruffing
His peak is middle of the pack, but he racks up some nice career value (100.2 WARP3, 985 PRAR, 322 Win Shares). It doesn’t hurt that he helped himself at the plate with an 81 OPS+.

A snippet from Bill James on Ruffing’s poor performance with the Red Sox from the NBJHBA:
But was Ruffing actually worse than his teams? Obviously not; he regularly led the team in innings pitched. Perceiving him to be their best pitcher, [the Sox] let him finish games when he should have come out, they started him when they should have given him a day off, and they communicated to him a daily message that trying to win was a waste of time.

4) Ben Taylor
Riley writes: “considered the best first baseman in black baseball prior to the arrival of Buck Leonard.” I see Suttles & Taylor as tied for 2nd best Negro League 1st baseman. It looks like Ben might get lost in the shuffle, especially if Mule goes in this year.

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

6) John Beckwith
Deserves to join Boojum in the HoM shortly.

7) Bucky Walters
Even discounting his play during the war years, Bucky comes out better than Ferrell.

8) Joe Medwick
He’s got the best 3-year (109) and 5-consecutive year (157) WS numbers of any eligible player. WARP seems to think his peak is more in the middle of the pack—44.1 in top 5 non-consecutive years.

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

10) George Van Haltren
I did a slight re-adjustment of how I rank pitchers vs. position players and all of a sudden, this guy who’s been floating around the not-quite-ballot-worthy area somewhere between #16 and #40 over the last 20 or so elections, pops up at #10.

11 Wes Ferrell
Great combo of pitching and hitting. 100 OPS+. 3rd highest Career WARP3 (80.9) among eligible pitchers, 2nd highest 5-year PRAR (455).

12) Dick Redding
2nd best Black pitcher of the Deadball Era.

13) Jose Mendez
Right up there with Cannonball.

14) Stan Hack
Best White 3B since HR Baker.

15) Dizzy Dean
493 in Top 5 PRAR is only 2 behind Hubbell. Not much beyond the peak, sort of the anti-Rixey.


------------------------------------------
Next best 15
16) Eppa Rixey—WARP1 favors Ruffing by 15% before it makes the timeline adjustment. Win Shares shows them as having almost identical career, rate and peak stats. I consider their war-time absences to be a wash. Incorporating any degree of timeline that deflates Rixey more than Ruffing and Red stands out as the better of the two by either uber-stat.

17) Fielder Jones—Doesn’t have the >130 OPS+ to get noticed like Averill and Johnson, but WARP and WS seem to agree that he’s in their league. 43.9 top 5 WARP3, 135 top 5 WS.
18) Pete Browning
19) Earl Averill—Solid, consistent major league performer: averaged about 27 WS/year for his 10 full seasons in the majors, never below 22 or above 33 during that span.
20) Lon Warneke—Better rate stats and peak than Rixey, less career value.
21) Rube Waddell
22) Spot Poles
23) Dick Lundy
24) Jimmy Ryan
25) Tommy Bridges
26) Urban Shocker
27) Joe Gordon
28) Mel Harder
29) Clark Griffith
30) Paul Derringer

Other Top 10 Not on My Ballot
35) Hughie Jennings—57.2 WARP3, 150 WS in top 5 years! (Too bad that makes up 82% and 70% of his career value, respectively.)

43) Biz Mackey—Highest ranked catcher on my list. I’m just not impressed enough by his batting to get him much closer to the ballot.

New Players in Top 100
73) Tommy Henrich—Very solid player, not enough of a standout to get within shouting distance of the ballot.
   26. Brad G Posted: July 22, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1491628)
1956 Ballot:

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

2.Joe Medwick- Excellent peak: WS3 = 109, WS5 = 157, Career Runs Created = 1400, Black Ink = 41, Gray Ink = 226.

3.Luke Appling- Career Win Shares = 378, WARP scores off the charts. Career Runs Created = 1412.

4.Red Ruffing- Big fan. Career WARP1 = 113.3, WARP3 = 102.7, Black Ink = 11, Gray Ink = 257. Excellent Strat-O-Matic card for 1941.

5.Billy Herman- Career WARP1 = 116.6, WARP3 = 99.

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

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

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

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

10.Bucky Walters- WS3 = 102, Black Ink = 48, Gray Ink = 152.

11.Earl Averil- Consistent if not exactly mind-blowing career. Averaged over 27 Win Shares per 162 games.

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

13.Cool Papa Bell- The subjective accounts favor Cool Papa. Probably one of the fastest players ever.

14.Dizzy Dean- He was one of the greatest for a very short period of time.

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

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

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

17.George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344, WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286. Slipping?

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

19.Eppa Rixey

20.John Beckwith- Hanging around, just not as enamored as some.

Hughie Jennings still falls in around # 24 on my list. He will eventually improve when my latest system re-vamp gets caught up.

hanks!
   27. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 22, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1491651)
Vacation last week + vacation next week = the closest I've come to missing a ballot.

1 (-)Luke Appling--Almost as much career value as Arky Vaughan, Appling is the definition of consistency.

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

3 (3)Billy Herman--Similar career and peak to Dickey, according to WARP.

4 (4)Bucky Walters--Clearly peak heavy, as he didn't even reach 200 wins. Best player in baseball in 1939/1940? Hitting matters…

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

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

7 (7)Joe Medwick--He had the talent, but I'm not sure he played long enough to ever get in to the HoM

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

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

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

11 (-)Joe Gordon--One of the great 'what-if' stories. I give him credit for his war years, but my suspicion is that if there was no war, he'd have been close to a no-brainer.

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

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

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

Dropping out: Mule Suttles

Top 10 omissions: Mule Suttles is 16th--he'll be back. Hughie Jennings is a longtime fave, but his short career is starting to get drowned out. He's an outside shot to be back on the ballot in the future.
   28. DavidFoss Posted: July 22, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1491687)
Vacation last week + vacation next week = the closest I've come to missing a ballot.

I thought it equalled me turning green with envy! :-)

Sounds like a great month.
   29. dan b Posted: July 23, 2005 at 02:15 AM (#1493066)
1. Appling Lots of career value with enough peak to satisfy most.
2.Suttles Bill James likes him more than we do.
3.Medwick Lots of peak value, career value not shabby.
4.Jennings PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar. 1890’s underrepresented.
5.Hack Looks to be a fuzz better than Beckwith or Leach.
6.Beckwith PHoM 1940.
7.Mackey the only unanimous pick of the Cool Papa’s survey of experts.
8.Duffy PHoM in 1912. 1890’s underrepresented.
9.Leach PHoM 1926.
10.Griffith 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM 1913. 1890’s underrepresented.
11.Averill More WS over 10 consecutive years than any other ML player on the ballot.
12.Bell Like Mackey, we are underrating this guy.
13.Ruffing Or should Rixey be just ahead of Ruffing?
14.Rixey More career value than any other pitcher in his era not named Johnson or Alexander. PHoM 1939.
15.Herman Looks like a HoMer.
16.Cravath Now that we have some mle’s, Gavy jumps on to my ballot and could move higher. Would be in my PHoM had that information been available back in the early 30’s.
17.Ferrell
18.Poles
19.Bresnahan SABR Dead ball era committee has him #1. PHoM 1928
20.W. Cooper Of pitchers whose career began after 1910 and are now eligible for our consideration, Cooper has more WS over 10 consecutive seasons than any pitcher except Alexander, Grove and Hubbell. It looks like I am the only friend he has left. PHoM 1942.

Still undecided where to place Oms.
   30. Rob_Wood Posted: July 23, 2005 at 03:25 AM (#1493284)
My 1956 ballot:

1. Luke Appling - great shortstop, clearly #1
2. Billy Herman - really good 2B
3. Jake Beckley - really good, steady 1B
4. Mule Suttles - great negro lg sluuger
5. Red Ruffing - good ERA and SO/BB relative to lg
6. George Van Haltren - very good 1890s CF
7. John Beckwith - underrated negro lg infielder
8. Earl Averill - here with PCL credit
9. Joe Gordon - where's the luv (w/credit for WWII)
10. Tommy Bridges - good strikeout to walk ratio for lg
11. Stan Hack - kinda defines the HOM borderline?
12. Bob Johnson - very good left fielder
13. Joe Medwick - had a few great seasons
14. Eppa Rixey - steady eddie of the mound
15. Joe Sewell - very good shortstop (rarely struckout)

Group top ten that I have considered but not voting for are Hughie Jennings (not enough career) and Wes Ferrell (ditto).
   31. Trevor P. Posted: July 23, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1494013)
HOM Ballot - 1956

Took a fresh look at the available pitchers and second basemen - the positions which, for me, seem to be the most contentious. Joe Gordon slots in third among eligible 2B, behind Herman and Childs, and thus is off the ballot this week. He’s also behind Doerr.

I was surprised by how well Tony Lazzeri compares to the other 2B candidates; I fear I was highly underrating him. He’s still not going to make the ballot unless we get deep in the backlog, but I had him unfairly written off.

My re-assessments also allowed me to expand the ballot to 30 spots.

1) Mule Suttles (2)

Back at the top.

2) Luke Appling (new)
3) John Beckwith (3)

Had Willie Wells below Beckwith when he appeared on the ballot, but I believe Appling’s extra thousand or so plate appearances nudge him above the star of Wedding Crashers.

4) George Van Haltren (5)

Long career, OPS+ above 120 (personal benchmark for me), held his own as a pitcher for a few years. Played in tough league. Most players with higher HOF standards in the HOM aside from Hugh Duffy (and maybe one or two others; I haven’t updated this entry in a while).

5) Red Ruffing (8)
6) Eppa Rixey (7)
7) Stan Hack (6)

Three-spot boost this week for Ruffing, for two reasons. Wanted to get back to a more career-centric ballot, so I promoted Ruffing and Rixey over Hack. Also decided Ruffing’s peak, minimal though it is, trumps Rixey’s only slightly. (However, is WARP3 overvaluing pitchers’ hitting? I suspect it may be.)

8) Jake Beckley (9)

Amazingly consistent, for an exceedingly long time. Palmeiro-esque.

9) Wally Schang (10)

Inching way up ballot. Consider:Schang: 6423 PA, 117 OPS+. Batting average 4 points above league average; OBP 44 points above.
Dickey: 7060 PA, 127 OPS+. Batting average 33 points above league average; OBP 29 points above.
Cochrane: 6206 PA, 128 OPS+. Batting average 26 points above league average; OBP 53 points above.Hartnett: 7297 PA, 126 OPS+ Batting average 11 points above league average; OBP 23 points above.

I don’t see the differences as being that great.

10) Earl Averill (11)
11) Edd Roush (12)

With minimal PCL credit (not a big fan of awarding minor league bonuses) Averill seems better than Roush, but not by much.

12) Billy Herman (new)

Okay, was underrating him. Career WARP is quite impressive, and with my 2B analysis he doesn’t seem that far off from Willie Wells, batting-wise.

13) Tommy Bridges (13)
Aside from his rookie season (and the 29 innings tacked on to the end of his career) Bridges NEVER posted a below average PRAA.

14) Dick Redding (14)

Like his career, especially when compared with recent NeL candidates like Bill Byrd and Hilton Smith.

15) Cupid Childs (new)

Lots of value at a time when 2B had perilous, short careers. Like Herman, was underrating him.

16) Wes Ferrell - bumped off this week by Childs. Will be back.
17) Bucky Walters
18) George Sisler
19) Joe Gordon
20) Clark Griffith
21) Biz Mackey
22) Larry Doyle
23) Joe Sewell
24) Eddie Cicotte
25) Burleigh Grimes
26) Joe Medwick - very similar to Bob Johnson, just not enough right now to get on ballot.
27) Rube Waddell
28) Hughie Jennings - a sparkling peak, but the usual criticism: not enough career.
29) Tony Lazzeri
30) Cool Papa Bell
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 24, 2005 at 03:51 AM (#1494388)
I'm back from Californy, so no need for anyone to copy and paste my ballot from the ballot thread anymore since I'm doing it myself.

1956 BALLOT
1. Luke Appling: Better than Beckwith who is my top infielder, and probably better than Wells was.
2. Mule Suttles: Best corner player available.
3. John Beckwith: Underrated by our MLEs I think.
4. Alejandro Oms: If he were just a CF, he'd be better than Averill, Duffy, Leach, and the rest of the glut. If he were just a corner OF, he'd be better than any candidate. In other words, I see him as the best available OF candidate as of now.
5. Hugh Duffy: Best CF available, 1890s division.
5a. Martin Dihigo.
6. Joe Medwick: Huge peak, enough career.
7. Jose Mendez: Where's the love for him? Better than the several available peaktastic pitchers.
8. Gavy Cravath: Medwick with only a really good peak.
9. Geo. Van Haltren: It's just the same old story, a vote for love and glory, a case of done and dead....
10. Leroy Matlock: Can I make another Andy Griffith joke here? This guy's looking rather like the Walters/Ferrell duo to me, but a little more dominant.
11. Bucky Walters: CFs be damned, my new fetish is voting for high-peak, short career hurlers.
12. Wes Ferrell: See comment for Walters.
13. Geo. J. Burns: You don't really love me, you just keep me hanging on....
14. Spots Poles: Better than C.P. Bell. Poles is the one who shoulda got Bell's votes in all them Cool Pappcock polls.
15. Stan Hack: The appearance of Matlock, Appling, and Oms means a downward tilt to his ballot position. It's not personal, just business.

NEWBIES
Joe Gordon: didn't deserve that MVP, isn't as good as Childs, and Childs is in the high teens, low 20s.

Heinrich: I've always liked this guy, but he can't get enough war credit to be a serious candidate.

Ken Keltner: Appropriate isn't it that we finally get around to nixing one of the keys to James's Politics of Glory.

As for the top tens...you all know where I stand. Griffith's not too close, Rixey's just off the end, so is Herman, so are they all I suppose.

My consensus score might take a beating this week, but this is where I'm at.
   33. Brent Posted: July 24, 2005 at 06:04 AM (#1494540)
1956 Ballot:

This year there is only one new top-of-the-ballot candidate, allowing us to draw from the backlog for the first time in a while. Appling and Lyons enter my PHoM. If I could, I’d vote for 30 candidates this year.

1. Wes Ferrell –
Underappreciated. In his prime he was more valuable than Hubbell or Lyons. (PHoM 1944)

2. Luke Appling –
Ol’ Aches and Pains had one the greatest second decades of any player in baseball history. (PHoM)

3. Mule Suttles –
How many home runs might he have hit in the majors? My best guess is 535, which would have placed him second on the career list when he retired. (PHoM 1949)

4. Earl Averill –
An outstanding hitter in both the PCL and the AL. Counting 1928, 10 seasons with 24+ WS.

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

6. Hughie Jennings –
In the 1986 BJHBA, James presented two top-100 lists, one for peak value, the other for career value. It’s always seemed to me that the HoM should include the top players on my peak list regardless of how they place on my career list. Jennings would rank about # 30 on my all-time peak list, so I see him as fully qualified for the HoM. (PHoM 1933)

7. Bucky Walters –
The successor to Hubbell and Dean as the top pitcher in the NL.

8. José de la Caridad Méndez –
See my case for Méndez in # 65 on the José Méndez thread. Oms turns out to have been greater than I had realized, but Méndez remains the greatest unelected Cuban player. (PHoM 1938)

9. Hugh Duffy –
8 seasons with 25+ WS, with a high of 39 (adjusting to 154 gm schedule); A+ defensive outfielder. (PHoM 1931)

10. Burleigh Grimes –
My general philosophy is to rank players based on their best seasons and not pay too much attention to their worst ones. (PHoM 1940)

11. Ducky Medwick –
7 seasons with 24+ WS, with a high of 40, places him just behind Duffy in my rankings.

12. Alejandro Oms –
7 seasons with 25+ WS according to the MLEs. And like Averill, he’s missing the first 3-5 seasons of a typical HoM career.

13. Red Ruffing –
7 seasons with 7+ Warp1; 7-2, 2.63 in the World Series.

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

15. Roger Bresnahan –
One of the first to be a top hitter while catching 100+ games; he paved the way for Cochrane, Hartnett, and Dickey.

These guys are meritorious too:

16. Cool Papa Bell
17. Tommie Leach (PHoM 1932)

18. Billy Herman –
Just misses my ballot – he’ll eventually make it.

19. Stan Hack –
Another outstanding player who just misses my ballot.

20. John Beckwith –
Takes a big drop – I had him # 5 on last year’s ballot – as I try to absorb all the information that’s been posted in the last week. Previously Chris Cobb had convinced me that Riley was unreliable, but recent information supports Riley on two critical charges—that Beckwith once knocked teammate Bill Holland unconscious, and that in August 1925 he quit as player-manager of the Baltimore Black Sox without notice. I’ve tried to avoid the side issues here – I don’t care whether or not he was involved in criminal activities (unless there were evidence that it impacted his teams, which there isn't). But our fact-checkers have now verified that from 1924-26, twice his teams decided mid-season they would be better off without him, and once he walked off and left his team. That’s a lot of negatives, so I’ve dropped him here to let his case cool for a while.

21. Clark Griffith
22. Buzz Arlett
23. Mel Harder
24. Dobie Moore

25. Joe Gordon –
A good hitter who was hurt by playing at Yankee Stadium; great fielder at second base. Among second basemen he ranks behind Herman and above C-D-E from the “old” backlog.

26. Gavy Cravath
27. Leroy Matlock
28. George Burns
29. Urban Shocker
30. Spottswood Poles

Other new arrivals -

I’ve ranked Tommy Henrich at # 72, just ahead of Heinie Manush. Ken Keltner was also a good player, but not one of my top 85.
   34. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1494747)
1956 ballot

1. Luke Appling (x, PHOM 1956) - Even with my mancrush on Hughie Jennings, I still coudln't overlook Appling's career advantage. If you asked me next week though, I might just change my answer.

2. Hughie Jennings (3, PHOM 1938) - NO other MLB player on the board had a five year or three year run like Jennings. Could any other player have been called the best in baseball for more than a year? Maybe Medwick, maybe Cravath, but I think those are weak cases.

3. Mule Suttles (4, PHOM 1948) - This election may come down to Beckwith v. Suttles for the second spot. In that case, I guess thsi is a vote for Suttles. It is based on a series of small advantages I give him, more power, better reputation, doesn't have a Dick Allen like rep, wouldn't be hurt defensively had he moved to MLB, etc.

4. John Beckwith (5, PHOM 1949) - Still a PHOMer even when taking into account what I mentioned in the last post. Great all-around hitter.

5. Wes Ferrell (7, PHOM 1956) - My last PHOM spot came down to Ferrell, Herman, Medwick, and Wells this year. I finally decided on Ferrell but I fully expect the other two to make it very soon.

6. Joey Medwick (5) - He isn't much different from Bob Johnson except for his peak. No other outfielder on the board had a 3 year peak like his.

7. Billy Herman (6) - Eventual HOMer, probably sooner rather than later. I just think that he comes out on top of a very talented 2B backlog.

7a. Willie Wells
8. Stan Hack (8) - OBP machine who played a decent 3B. I have a soft spot for guys with good peaks and guys who can get on base. I am the only person to put Roy Thomas on my ballot in the past 20 years.

8a. Ted Lyons
9. Cupid Childs (9, PHOM 1939) - Had a decent peak and good career length for an 1890's MIer. In retrospect I believe that he was the best 2B of the 19th century.

10. Hugh Duffy (10) - Best of the CF backlog based on his superior peak.

11. Dick Redding (11) - 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era. I have him as my imaginery in/out like for PHOM.

12. Earl Averill (14) - his 10 year prime are enough to get him this high on the ballot. I higher peak or longer career may be the only things that would get him higher.

13. Clark Griffith (12) - Best 19th century pitcher not yet elected. He has an impressive 3.99 DERA. Much rather see him make it than Mickey Welch.

14. Eppa Rixey (13) - Ted Lyons light. Pitched a lot of innings and he pitched then pretty well (4.22 DERA).

15. Dobie Moore (15) - The black Hughie Jennings. I don't think that his peak was as high and I dont' give him as much army credit as some so he is in the lower part of my ballot.

16. Joe Gordon
17. Dizzy Dean
18. George Sisler
19. Roger Bresnahan
20. George Van Haltren

required disclosures

Jake Beckley - Simpy put, he was never a super star. Never one of the top 15 players in baseball.

Biz Mackey and C.P. Bell are in my top 30 and may one day make my ballot.

newbies
Joe Gordon - I dont' like him as much as I had thought as he originally was slotted at about #11. His peak doesn't seem as good as I had thought. Chances are he is on my ballot soon though.
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: July 24, 2005 at 05:18 PM (#1494751)
Doc, Oms is better than Dihigo?
   36. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2005 at 05:22 PM (#1494754)
I also wanted to point out that I didnt' get a chance to giev Oms a full look for this ballot and I promise to do so next ballot. Right now I guess he will be somewhere in the 20's with Veach, Browning, and Cravath.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 24, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1494983)
Sunnyday2,

I realized after I posted that no, Oms probably isn't better than Dihigo, but in fact, I was working off the league data that included pitchers which showed Oms as having a 135 OPS+.

Then I went on vacation....

Now I think in retrospect seeing that 125 is the OPS+ that I would move Oms down below Dihigo. Oms will be in for more reconsideration next week as well once I get a handle on handling his 1918-1921 seasons.
   38. Gadfly Posted: July 24, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1495144)
1956 BALLOT (GADFLY)

1. Gavy Cravath
2. John Beckwith
3. Dick Redding
4. Cool Papa Bell
5. Mule Suttles
6. Charley Jones
7. Biz Mackey
8. Alejandro Oms
9. Rube Waddell
10. Luke Appling
11. Ben Taylor
12. Hugh Duffy
13. Earl Averill
14. Dick Lundy
15. Roger Bresnahan
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1495397)
Here's Daryn's ballot...
Please post this to the ballot thread as I will be on vacation until August 2nd.

Gordon is in the 20s for me.

1. Luke Appling – great numbers for a middle infielder – would have had 3000 hits if it were not for the war. Clearly better than my best hitter remaining from last year’s ballot.

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. 3200+ hits adjusted to 162 games.

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

7. Dick Redding – probably the 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind the Fosters and Brown), 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 at 29).

9. George Sisler – I like the hits, the OPS+ and the batting average.

10. 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).

11. 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.

12. Joe Medwick – 10 time all-star, great 1935-1938 peak. Edges ahead of the outfield glut.

13. 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.

14. 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.

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

16. Billy Herman – close to Sewell (but ahead by 5 spots now), the all-star games are impressive. This is the beginning of my defensive infield positions glut – Herman, Sewell, Leach, Hack, Traynor, Gordon and Monroe are all pretty close to me.

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

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

26. Wes Ferrell -- I like the hitting but the pitching is not so impressive.

35. Earl Averill -- Carey-lite.

46. Jennings – he’d be lower for me if you guys weren’t all so sure he was great. Peak alone is insufficient for me.
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1495405)
...and now Carl G's ballot.

Here's my prelim. Its also my final ballot since I'm leaving for Boston tomorrow. Could somebody please move this to the ballot thread next Monday? I had a tough time ranking this ballot so consensus scores will be interesting. Lots of guys who are HoM worthy in my opinion, but no clear-cut-inner-circle-no-brainer guys. I predict Appling and Suttles(maybe Beckwith) will be the end result. Without further ado; my ballot:

1-Luke Appling-A couple nice peak years; though I downgrade '43(his best season) slightly. Enormous career value(even without any credit for 44-45; and he certainly deserves some). He's not inner-circle, but he's certainly a no-brainer for induction.
2-Billy Herman-Fantastic from 32-40. Good during the war, but I took a little credit away for 43-45.
3-John Beckwith-Suttles was a better hitter, but I think Beckwith had more value.
4-Mule Suttles-See Beckwith. Best NegL power hitter not named Gibson
5-Red Ruffing-Nice 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.(note:with Brown elected, this sentence is true once again)
6-Earl Averill-With PCL credit, you can add career value to an already nice peak.
7-Eppa Rixey-Great Long Career; long enough that his near total lack of peak doesn't kill him.
8-Jake Beckley-He's not inner-circle, but definitely 'in' when the back-log-clearing years come around.
9-Joe Gordon-Nice Peak. Gets a little war credit for 44-45 and a slight downgrade on '43; although '43 is in line with the years before so my downgrade is very slight.
10-Dick Redding-One of the great Negro League pitchers
11-Stan Hack-Pretty slick fielder and a good hitter. I took a little away for his 43-45 numbers or he would be higher.
12-Gavvy Cravath-Giving him credit back to '07 gives him pretty solid career numbers to go with the peak.
13-Hughie Jennings-5 phenomenal years. Its enough, I think, but he'll need to wait.
14-Clark Griffith-Long career, solid peak.
15-George Sisler-The peak is hard to ignore.
16-Wes Ferrell-He's not Grove, Hubbell, Ruffing, or Lyons, but he's 5th this period. I upped him in 29-31 for pitching against much tougher offenses than Grove did.
17-Mel Harder-Nice Prime from 32-39, but not a lot else.
18-Ernie Lombardi-Solid for quite a while. I give him a little PCL credit
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-Joe Medwick-Strong corner OF. Phenomenal in '37

I think going to Medwick at #21 covers everyone who was in the top10 last year.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: July 24, 2005 at 11:32 PM (#1495427)
Hey, cool, I'm not the biggest EOLA after all!
   42. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: July 25, 2005 at 02:41 AM (#1495703)
1956 ballot:

1. Luke Appling: Clear #1 choice this time around. (PHOM 1956)

2. Red Ruffing: I’m more career than peak, so I see him as the best MLB pitching candidate, but the peak and prime aren’t bad at all. Will he be doomed by the bad seasons, the unremarkable ERA+, and having his best years with good-to-great teams? Career stats obviously aren’t everything, but even with the bad years he accumulated 322 WS, 113.3 WARP1. Being an ace, co-ace, or valuable contributor for 9 pennant winners is a positive in my book. (PHOM 1956)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Mule Suttles
11. John Beckwith
I’m not sold on them. Their hitting puts them on, their defense keeps them low, but they edge up as the crowd thins out.

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

13. Clark Griffith: Returns after a few years absence. Only 19th-century guy on my ballot.

14. Carl Mays: Good peak candidate, career edge over Ferrell, pretty good hitter.

15. Joe Medwick: He, Averill & Indian Bob are very close. In fact, there’s a bunch of people could go here.

Required explanations:
Ferrell: Impressive peak, but a short career. I like Mays & Waddell better among the low-innings guys. He’s close.
Jennings: Very impressive peak, but not much else. He’s not close.

Drops out: Lundy, I’ve cooled off on him.
   43. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 25, 2005 at 04:45 AM (#1495929)
Holy cow, it's a backlog election! Haven't had one of those this decade.

Holier cow, I think I'm going to get my ballot in ahead of John Murphy! Has it ever happened before? Will it ever happen again?

Good year for the White Sox - Appling and Lyons make my PHoM.

1. Luke Appling (new) The Wells comp makes a lot of sense. Ahead of every other candidate in WS (except 19th Cent. pitchers) in WARP, and he missed most of 2 war years. Long productive career at most important position, OK defensively.

2. Mule Suttles (3) HR's aren't the be-all and end-all, but they make him look like the 2nd best power hitter in Negro League history, which sounds like a HoMer to me. Even if the 1926 MLE is inaccurate, he's got a consistent career with some very good years. Bill James said he'd challenge Leonard for best NL 1Bman if he'd been classified there. Made my PHoM in 1949.
(2A Ted Lyons)

3. Billy Herman (4) It does seem odd that he piled up such high WARP numbers with a pedestrian OPS+, but the Win Shares are pretty good as well. Could be a bit high, but to me looks like the clear best at 2B.

4. Tommy Leach (5) If my consensus score is so good, why isn't he doing better? :) Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. We're definitely short on third basemen, and I think he's the best available candidate. Made my PHoM in 1940.

He has more WS than Beckwith's translated estimates in a career of very similar length. It does seem hard to accept that Leach's defensive advantage could outweigh Beckwith's clear offensive strength, but Leach was playing in the deadball era, where defense was at more of a premium, and he's also from a less-represented era. There's a lot of little things and it's very close.

5. John Beckwith (6) Could hit the heck out of the ball, questionable defense at big positions, not the friendliest guy to be around, not an extremely long career compared to the other Negro League candidates, but it does all add up to a player worthy of induction. I don't dock him a lot for the controversies, but it doesn't help him in a close decision. Still, if I was doing it now, he'd have made my PHoM in 1940.

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

7. Red Ruffing (10) I think his career edge is a bit ahead of Ferrell's peak edge - this election, anyway. The 1930's might be overrepresented in general, but I don't think it applies to pitchers.

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

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

10. Dick Redding (12) At this stage of the Negro League pitcher analysis, nobody from the crowd has moved ahead of Cannonball Dick to me. I'm not sure the teens need many more pitchers, but better him than Rixey, or one of the hard-to-discern 30's OF.

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

12. Joe Medwick (11) It's hard for me to see much difference between him, Averill and Johnson. It may come down to whether you trust WS or WARP, and I try to look at both, so I wind up confused.

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

14. Cupid Childs (15) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. His career is on the short side, but he was the best second baseman of the 1890s, whatever you feel that's worth (among white players, at least). He does look awfully similar to Gordon, and is clearly behind Herman. Made my PHoM in 1932.
(14A Bill Terry)

15. George Van Haltren (17) Consistently good, but never great. There's a lot of guys like him, so it's hard for me to pick any of them out as HoM-worthy.
(15A Max Carey)

16. Eppa Rixey (21) I'm definitely not rushing to put in any more pitchers from his era, but his numbers are impressive. Doesn't do great in my pitcher ranking system, but I'm not sure why.
17. Bob Johnson (19) His record doesn't look too different from Averill's. I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons.
18. Alejandro Oms (new to me) He's definitely a candidate, and for now I like him better than Cool Papa Bell, but he's also one more OF from a well-represented era.
19. Biz Mackey (25) I am comfortable that he's ahead of Bresnahan, Schang and Lombardi, but those numbers still aren't that striking. Maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
20. Jose Mendez (18) Great peak, but I still think Redding's distinctly better.
21. Gavvy Cravath (23) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't too fond of him.
22. Ben Taylor (22) A little better than Beckley and Sisler to me for now, and I'd been overlooking the pitching. Top-3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM, though.
23. Dick Lundy (20) Close to Sewell, but doesn't quite get there.
24. Cool Papa Bell (16) It's hard to argue he wouldn't have been a 3,000-hit player in the major leagues, and that does feel like a HoMer, when you consider his speed and fielding reputation. But after looking at Oms, I can't put him first.
25. Jake Beckley. (24) There is a TON of career value, but his normal season is just too average to give him that much credit. Similar to Bell.
(25A Sam Thompson, 25B Rube Foster)
26. Joe Gordon (new) I see his value as pretty close to Childs', but Childs was the best 2Bman of the 1890s, and Gordon isn't definitively the best of the 1940s (although James picked him)
27. Rube Waddell (30) The ERA and K's look nice, but the career just wasn't long enough or consistent enough.
28. Jimmy Ryan (27) Behind GVH because he dropped off fairly strongly after his accident.
29. George Sisler (29) Not too different from Terry, but a worse fielder, and has more near or below average years. Still, for the moment his peak seems more impressive than Jennings'.
30. Burleigh Grimes (35) Another long-career pitcher, not too far off from Rixey.
31. Spotswood Poles (26) Shouldn't be forgotten. Is he pretty much Cool Papa Bell without the hype?
32. Dave Bancroft
33. Bucky Walters (28) Pretty close to Dean among peak-heavy pitchers.
34. Bobby Veach
35. Ernie Lombardi
36. Vic Willis
37. Charley Jones
38. Bill Byrd
39. Tony Lazzeri
40. Hughie Jennings (36) Back in the top 10 again? I just don't find the concept of a peak-only candidate as appealing as I once did.
   44. PhillyBooster Posted: July 25, 2005 at 01:42 PM (#1496115)
1956 Ballot.

Appling, of course. Gordon is sub-Hermanian and sub-Doerrian, which puts him in the 20s. No one else is very close.

1. Mule Suttles (1) -- Maybe the last time I'll be voting for him?


2. Eppa Rixey (2) -- Lots of way above average innings. Lots of solid seasons. War credit. Rixey could end up on the top of my ballot for a loooong time.

3. Luke Appling (n/e) -- I assume he will be inducted this year, and is clearly worthy, so really not worth arguing that he should be third instead of first.

4. Jake Beckley (4) -- I consider myself equal parts "peak" and "career", but I think this peak-minded electorate is leaving me with lots of the older career guys on top. On my "more uniquer" scale, failure to elect Beckley will make him the only member of the top 10 in triples (his is #4) to not make it. The next guy who won't make it is Sam Rice (#14)/ Ed Konetchy (#15). Beckley is Rice/Konetchy Plus, and deserves to be in another level.

5. Gavy Cravath (5) – Including high minors play, over 350 WS with a great peak.

6. Jose Mendez (6) -- Will Martin Dihigo become the only Cuban pitcher in the Hall of Merit? Mendez and Luque appear to be my main "lost cause" picks that are pulling down my Similarity Score.Great league with great pitchers. Relatively small league depresses stats (all teams are "All-Star" teams.

7. Mickey Welch (7) -- Will the 1880s soon appear underrepresented? The is the end of my "second tier HoMer" group.

8. Stan Hack (8) -- the Ed Williamson of the 20th century? I missed the boat on at first, and it was in the process of describing why he was off that I realized he shouldn't by. This was actually Ernie Lombardi's spot, who could have otherwise dropped off without comment, but I was convinced by the arguments in the Lombardi thread -- especially those focussing on his GIDP numbers -- that he belonged along with Schang in the mid-to-low 20s.

9. Dolf Luque (9) -- See Mendez. I am the only vote for Mendez, and I think it's because no one else is giving him "excluded for racism" points. Anyway, I think it would become obvious if the stat I was looking for existed, but apparently it doesn't. The stat I wish existed would be the opposite of the "Most Similar by Age" list, where you can now see that at 28, Luque was "Most Similar" to Otis Lambeth, a career 11-9 pitcher who pitched his final 7 innings at age 28. Thank you very much, I learned a lot. My new stat would be "Most Similar FROM Age", so that instead of looking at Luque's career from birt to age 28, you could look at it from Age 28 onward only. I can eyeball that he had about 3100 innings with an ERA+ of almost 120 from Age 28 onward, but it's hard to make his case without seeing who that is comparable to. Better than Red Ruffing, I'd say. More like Early Wynn, maybe. It's hard to eyeball, but that fact is that Luque made the Top 100 in IP despite being excluded from the Game for the first years of his career. Give him a few years of "Negro League equivalency," and Luque should be receiving a lot more than "one" vote.

10. Billy Herman (16) -- Usually, I only vote for Herman in even numbered years, but he looks like he's on the ballot for good after head to head examination with Doerr and Gordon.

11. Roger Bresnahan (10) -- A highly-leveraged catcher. Look at his PA/G compared to his peers. Either he got lots of rest in blowouts, or, more likely, he was #1 off the bench on his days off. If you had a catcher who could hit like left fielder, wouldn't you try to get an extra PA out of him on his rest days? Amazing peak, and a long-enough career if you know who to compare him to.

12. John Beckwith (11) -- I am satisfied that he was sufficiently better than Sewell to warrant a ballot spot.

13. Cupid Childs (12) -- More love for the 1890s.

14. Clark Griffith (13) -- Never the best pitcher, but always near the top.

15. Cannonball Dick Redding (14) -- Because that's just how I'm feeling today, again.
   45. Al Peterson Posted: July 25, 2005 at 02:34 PM (#1496208)
1956 ballot. A new eligible makes his debut on the top of the charts.

1. Luke Appling (-). Two time batting champion (1938,1943). Anytime a long career SS ends up with a .310 batting average you should take notice.

2. Joe Medwick (3). I’ve argued how close Medwick and Bob Johnson are when you talk about career value. So if Indian Bob is high then so is Ducky. Beats him out because of career shape – the peak is pretty nice.

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

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

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

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

5. Clark Griffith (6). Based on Chris J’s run support index material Griffith’s adjusted W/L is 233-150. That seems pretty good.

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

7. Dick Redding (8). Pitched in both the Negro and Cuban leagues and did it fairly well. CANNONBALL!!!

8. Wally Berger (9). Another slugger, cut short due to injuries. Right about here the difference between the players to me is getting pretty miniscule.

9. John Beckwith (10). One of the more interesting fellas on the ballot. Hitter with questions about the glove. I’m assuming he found a way to be adequate with the leather.

10. Red Ruffing (11). Wonderful hitter for someone doing it as a sidelight to some good pitching. Rixey is right around here also but a little lower.

11. Billy Herman (12). Still placed highest of the 2B men.

12. John McGraw (13). Lived on the bases while playing – check out the OBP. The issue is his playing amount is on the light side.

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

14. Pete Browning (15). Even with league discounts he swung some mean lumber. Career OPS+ = 162 which puts him in company with names like Foxx, McGwire, Frank Thomas. Discount it because of AA play? At the OPS+ = 147 level you're talking Heilmann, McCovey, and Schmidt. That's some pretty lofty company. Batting Average Placement within league 1882-1891: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, -, 1, 3. Had a career .341 average in a league environment of .257 . Offensive Winning Percentage - .745. His guy was a WOW when hitting.

15. Frank Chance (24).
My ballot leans heavily on the short career guys like McGraw, Berger, etc. Here’s my tipping the cap to a quality player from a time of increased responsibility amongst 1Bmen.


Hanging down below:

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

New folks:

Gordon is the other newly considered player. He falls behind some of the backlog 2Bmen. I’m just not enamored with the body of work I guess.

Top 10 Returnees off-ballot:

Suttles and Hack are next in line. They could be in the top 15 but then again most of my top 25 are probably worthy of mention. Ferrell is somewhere among the backlog of pitchers but not likely to return to the ballot.
   46. Ken Fischer Posted: July 25, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1496240)
1956 Ballot

I just made it back after being away from home base for 6 weeks...after some quick studying here's my '56 ballot.

1-Mule Suttles
It’s Mule’s time! Great Negro Leaguer from same era as Stearnes. Just a notch below Turkey.

2-Luke Appling 378 WS
Appling did a lot of things at a high level for a long time. He was usually the top player on the Sox. He’s the other long-time Chicago infielder to never make it to post-season. Seems like a first balloter to me.

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

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

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

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

7-Joe Gordon 242 WS
I’m a big Gordon fan. James made a great case that Gordon & Stephens should be honored ahead of Rizzuto and Doerr. Yes…it was a short career but he made the most of his time….first as a Yank and then as an Indian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

14-Bob Johnson 287 WS
A raw deal…Indian Bob will forever be hurt by playing for mostly bad teams and the overlapping eras he played in (Live Ball & War Years). A solid performer year after year…he’s deserves a good look.

15-Hughie Jennings 214 WS
Probably the #3 SS of the 90s after Davis & Dahlen.
   47. OCF Posted: July 25, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1496293)
Ken's ballot makes 37, so there's a lot of action left for today.
   48. Andrew M Posted: July 25, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1496539)
1956 Ballot

1. (new) Luke Appling. Somewhere in the Gehringer, Cronin, Frisch wing of the HoM.

2. (3) John Beckwith. A 137 OPS+ for a SS/3B with 8,000 projected plate appearances seems easily election-worthy to me. Gets the nod over Suttles because I think he had more defensive value. I have not felt comfortable marking him down for character issues.

3. (4) Joe Medwick. Rivals Ott as the best OF in all of MLB between 1935-1937, which is saying something, plus he has several all-star caliber seasons on either side of that.

4. (5) Earl Averill. For 10 years, Averill was one of the 3 best AL OFs—probably the best from 1934-36—who could both hit (133 OPS+/.297 EQA) and play A+ quality CF. Averill also has a good argument for receiving 1 and maybe 2 years of PCL credit if one is so inclined. Though he lacks anything comparable to Medwick’s 1936-37 peak, his value over a 7-10 year period looks similar to contemporary OFs like Medwick and Goslin.

5. (6) Mule Suttles. His MLE projections (.301/.364/.537, 137 OPS+) put him below the elite hitter category of first basemen, but he played forever and was a formidable slugger.

6. (7) Clark Griffith. With the possible exception of 1898, he was never the best pitcher in the league, but his peak between 1895-1901 is very impressive. He had a .620 career win pct. while pitching for some pretty mediocre Chicago teams and a 3.81 DERA/121 ERA+ in 3300 career innings. Could also hit some (69 career OPS+).

7. (8) Billy Herman. Best of the 2B glut, I think. Had a good run between 1935 and 1943 in which he averaged 9.7 WARP. Win Shares totals put Herman and Doyle in a dead heat, but Herman is missing two war years.

8. (9) Eppa Rixey. Except for the years he was fighting in or recovering from WWI, he has a stretch between 1916 and 1928 when he was averaging 275 innings and 21 WS per season with an ERA+ no lower than 109 and as high as 143. His peak wasn’t that high, but an ERA+ of 115 in 4500 innings seems ballot-worthy.

9. (10) Larry Doyle. Best hitter of the 2B glut. His career OPS+ (126 to 112) is better than Herman--but his career was shorter and Doyle was almost certainly not as good a fielder. I favor him slightly over Childs because he played a little longer and Gordon because I think his peak was higher. Consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct., captained World Series teams and won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. Defense? Well, WS shows him as a C+ fielder and that’s good enough for me.

10. (11) Dobie Moore. Comparable peak at SS to Jennings, but a longer career. At his best, I think Moore may have been the best player on this ballot—but his career just doesn’t seem long enough to move him higher.

11. (12) Geo. Van Haltren. Nothing new to add. Did everything well for a long time during a difficult era. Good peak, career numbers. Even pitched decently. Win Shares makes him look like a clear HoM-er, other measures (e.g. 121 OPS+) make a less compelling argument.

12. (13) Rube Waddell. Downgraded, perhaps unfairly, for unreliability, but in his favor he has lots of strikeouts, of course, but also Top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134, DERA of 3.63/3.81. Relatively short career, but a considerable peak.

13. (16) Stan Hack. Although he initially didn’t impress me as much as I thought he should, the more I looked the more I liked him. Excellent lead-off man who got on base a lot and ran well, Hack also played a difficult defensive position to at least a draw. Win Shares shows him with excellent career and peak numbers, and he was arguably a better player than his teammate Billy Herman. BRef most similar player=George J. Burns.

13. (14) Hugh Duffy. Duffy has career excellent peak/prime Win Shares, A+ quality OF defense, and good black and gray ink. On the other hand, his career is on the short side (7800 plate appearances) and he only has one season (1894) that really jumps out at you. In some ways, he strikes me as the 1890s version of Joe Medwick, though not as good.

14. (15) Cool Papa Bell. Very long, legendary career with some question marks. Outstanding fielder and base runner. Could also hit some, of course.

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

His thread convinces me that Alejandro Oms deserves to be somewhere in the mix here, but I have not yet sorted out where.

Required disclosures:
Ferrell—Just off the ballot.
Jennings—Wasn’t good enough for long enough
Ruffing—Probably should be up closer to Rixey, but I’m just not that impressed—which, I am sure, says more about my failings as a voter than Ruffing’s as a pitcher…
   49. Jeff M Posted: July 25, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1496573)
I've always adjusted a player's numbers to normalize the run environment. I started with normalizing to 750 runs scored per team. That was a problem, because so many of the runs scored in early baseball were unearned, and there was no reason to punish the hitters' stats (like OBP or SLG) for runs being scored on fielding errors.

After 3 elections I quickly switched to normalizing to 600 earned runs per team. It dawned on me this weekend that this was also a mistake, because hitting stats do benefit somewhat from a high-error environment (more opportunities to hit, more runs scored, etc.) The counting stats come out a little funny.

So I revamped my system to normalize the stats to the value of an out, using linear weights (with .270 as the norm, approx the average over MLB history). This produces less extreme adjustments than either of the prior measures, and gets me away -- I hope -- from trying to figure out how much of the unearned run environment affects the hitters.

So, the 1956 ballot looks a lot different than last year's. Biggest winners were Duffy and Hack. Biggest losers were Roush and McGraw.

1956 Ballot

1. Appling, Luke – Solid in all phases, career and peak.

2. Duffy, Hugh – The biggest winner in my revamped system. A very good outfielder who hit approximately 40% better than the rest of the league. Good grey ink and a consistent run producer.

3. Mackey, Biz – My quantitative methods put him about where the anecdotal evidence would have him, despite skepticism from the electorate. Awfully good hitting catcher.

4. Jones, Charley – With all the extra credit given for minor league seasons, military service, etc., I finally broke down and gave Jones conservative credit for blacklisted seasons. He has been on my ballot every year. The blacklisted seasons bump him a little higher.

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

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

7. Medwick, Joe – Medwick has one of the largest disparities between the WS evaluation and WARP evaluation that I’ve seen. His WS peaks and totals make him a solid B+ measured against all HoFers, but his WARP peaks and totals make him a C- measured against other HoFers. For example, he’s got 28.3 WS per 162 games, which is All Star-average season. He’s got a 7.1 WARP3 per 162 games, which is good, but not particularly special when measured against the top echelon.

8. Monroe, Bill -- He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe.

9. Hack, Stan – Clearly the best 3b of his era.

10. Ferrell, Wes – Wish he had pitched longer, because he would be a shoo-in. But he was a peak performer anyway, and could swing the bat.

11. Suttles, Mule -- Originally I was afraid I had him too high based on long-ball feats, but on re-evaluation, I’ve had him about right. I rate him lower than an average defensive player. Riley basically says he caught everything he could reach, but implies strongly that he could not reach very much.

12. Waddell, Rube – RSI sheds some light on why his win totals aren’t what they could be.

13. Sisler, George – Has poor defensive scores and WARP doesn’t like him much. Also doesn’t have the typical HoM RBI and runs scored numbers (even though I realize those stats are dependent on others). Strong adjusted counting stats, and also fares well in WS.

14. Beckwith, John – I’ve got him at just shy of 300 WS, which given his position at 3B/SS is still a good number. Would have won a couple of MVPs – assuming anyone would have voted for him -- and you can only say that about so many third basemen and shortstops.

15. Griffith, Clark – This is really a tie with Addie Joss, which is strange because their careers are shaped so differently.

Required Disclosures:

Ruffing, Red – Everything he did was extremely dependent on the fact he played for the great Yankee teams: compare his stats in Boston and NY. He got a small boost from the defense, a big boost from run support (see Chris’ RSI) and a big boost from those .91 Yankee park factors. A solid but unspectacular pitcher on the right team in the right park at the right time.

Jennings, Hughie -- Quite a peak, but too short a career for me.
   50. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 25, 2005 at 05:50 PM (#1496676)
1956 Ballot:

1. Luke Appling - The career numbers are enough to grant him the top spot this year.

2. Mule Suttles - Am convinced of Suttles' hitting caliber. Would make a great addition to the HOM.

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

4. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder.

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

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

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

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

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

10. Joe Medwick – His ‘highs’ are enough to land him in the lower third on my ballot.

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

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

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

14. Bill Monroe - Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

15. Billy Herman - Just ahead of Childs in my second base rankings.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Stan Hack – The war discount keeps him of my ballot for now, but he is close.

Red Ruffing – Hanging around Rixey in my rankings.

Wes Ferrell - Very good to great peak but not enough to get him on the ballot yet.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1496690)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

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

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

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

2) Luke Appling-SS (n/e): I think Beckwith was the greater player at his peak, so that's why Appling is behind him. It was a close call, IMO. A great player, nevertheless. Best AL shortstop for 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1939. Best major league shortstop for 1943

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14) Buzz Arlett-RF/P (14): I like him better than Suttles, FWIW. I'm comfortable enough with his MLEs to place him here. A truly unique career. Probably would have been the best major league right fielder for 1926 if he had been allowed to play.

15) Mule Suttles-1B (n/e): Better late than never on my ballot. Didn't really stand out at first during his era, but he did have a lot of competition. Probably would have been the best major league first baseman for 1926.

Medwick, Ruffing, Ferrell and Jennings all exist in my top-35, but they just fall short.
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 06:04 PM (#1496702)
I should point out that I haven't fully analyzed Oms yet. He looks like a strong candidate to me and should see himself in a prominent spot on my next ballot.
   53. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 25, 2005 at 06:22 PM (#1496742)
Using this space for convenience...

John, can we get a Sam Jethroe thread? He's due the same year as Willard Brown, and he's mostly a man of mystery at this point.

Thanks!
   54. Max Parkinson Posted: July 25, 2005 at 07:33 PM (#1496956)
Sorry about missing last vote, was traveling through the Southeast (read: dodging Hurricanes) with my team...

1956 ballot:(MP HoMers in bold, this year’s inductees are Suttles and Greenberg – Leonard was last year, so much for the lack of 1B around)

1. Hughie Jennings

This might seem strange to some of you, what with Appling down at 13. First, let me paraphrase the esteemed Mr. Burley, “My HoM starts with the players who were the best in the game”.

Luke Appling: Best SS in baseball twice (1940, and 1943 – a war year). More accurately, maybe never the best if Willie Wells was allowed to play. Top 5 three other times.

Eeyah: Best SS in the game four times. MVP candidate five times.

2. John Beckwith

I went with the assumption that Beckwith in the big leagues wouldn't have lasted long at 3rd base, and would've ended up at 1st or left field. Taking Chris Cobb's WS estimates, I compared him to his contemporaries at the bat-first positions of LF,RF and 1B. He falls behind the no-brainers, but was comparable to Sisler and Keeler (not a true contemporary). Assuming average defensive value at 1B or LF, which is no stretch at all, he falls just ahead of Ed and Terry.

I understand that this is a conservative estimate of Beckwith’s defensive capability, but I can point to a number of current big-leaguers who were shortstops at AA or AAA or even for a year or two in the majors who would never be considered ML SSs or even 3rd basemen – Miguel Cabrera, Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, Jeff Bagwell, not to mention Delgado and Phelps (catchers, which is a similar proposition of good bat at key defensive positions who got shifted leftward on the spectrum).


3. Dick Redding
4. Mule Suttles

I’m a little concerned about how great he really was (I’m starting to question how often he would have been a first team all-star, what with Gehrig and Foxx, with sometimes Terry and Greenberg playing at the same time...), but here seems good enough for now.



5. Wes Ferrell

The peak/prime voter in me. I don’t hold his (unsuccessful) comeback attempts against him at all.

6. Red Ruffing

Good to great for a long enough time with the Yankees to overcome how awful he was with Boston.

7. Charley Jones

I’ve been giving him credit for his “lost” years due to blacklisting, and he vaults up to be the best available LF. Fairly large jump for me.

8. Gavvy Cravath

Another adjustment. Was the best RF in the game for a good 6 year stretch, with MVP-calibre seasons thrown in. I have resisted adding too much credit for MiL performance, but I couldn’t keep him from the ballot any longer.

9. Rube Waddell

A beneficiary of my correction for previously overpenalising poor-hitting and poor-fielding pitchers. He was certainly both. But those K’s…

10. Bill Monroe
11. Joe Medwick

The best LF in the game for a good stretch – triple crown winners tend to add value.

12. Jose Mendez

I’ve reconsidered him – he had been in the twenties before. A truly outstanding peak, and as I keep reading, he may jump to the Ferrell level.

13. Luke Appling

Good for a while, rarely great – I can’t vote for Willie Wells based on him being the preeminent SS of his time, then call Appling the same thing, especially when there was Vaughan too...

14. George Burns
15. Bucky Walters

Herman is just off the ballot

Rixey is 26 – His teams weren’t as bad as some here feel, and I think that there is overcompensation happening. In addition, I give no credit for missed time in 18 and 19. If this is to be challenged, I’ll be happy to provide my reasoning.

Hack is in the 40s.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1497056)
Still missing ballots from: Eric Enders, Adam Schaefer, the Commish, Michael Bass, KJOK, Tiboreau, jimd, David C. Jones and Craig B (jwinfrey, Ardo and Buddha have been removed from this list).
   56. Michael Bass Posted: July 25, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1497082)
WARP3 is the main tool. Also consider OPS+, ERA+, and the various playing time measures. Win Shares is ancillary, there are some weird things going on there, particularly with defense.

Still have to place Matlock and Oms. Been getting crushed in "life", so it'll have to wait for next ballot.

1. Luke Appling (new) - Reasonably obvious #1 I'd say. Long career of tons of prime. I'm a shortstop sucker, so you had to know this one was coming!

2. Wes Ferrell (2) - I really like this guy. Has the monster peak, like Vance, but his prime is longer. 3 great seasons and 3 more really, really good seasons are enough to get a pitcher to the top no-brainer position on my ballot. Peak so high, and long enough, that his career is in there with the best of the non-immortals.

3. Hughie Jennings (3) - The argument I used for Caruthers all those years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Red Ruffing (9) - I love these hitting pitchers if you can't tell. Just not enough peak to rank higher than this. I had him above Moore/Wells earlier, but I can't justify that at all now that I'm actually posting. Still, a good strong Lyons-style candidate in value terms.

9. Earl Averill (10) - Moving on up; peak, prime, career. Fielding is in question, but I use WARP which thinks much less of his fielding than Win Shares, so I'm not too worried about overranking him. This gives him one year of minor league credit. Very good player.

10. Bucky Walters (11) - Impressive peak and prime. Ruffing's career advantage trumps Walters' peak advantage in this case, because of war factors, which add slightly to Ruffing and subtract slightly more from Walters.

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

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

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

14. Joe Gordon (new) - I like him a touch better than the group, though not that much. Seems like lots of folks have him top 20-25, and that isn't very different from 14. To me, he's basically Sewell lite once you add a touch of war credit. Not an overly long career or overly high peak, but all prime. Also describes #15 on my list.

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

Suttles - See above: #16.

Medwick - Not as good as Bob Johnson in my view. Peak not as high as you might think, and career is shortish. How can he rank ahead of Sisler, who had a similar career shape, but a much higher peak? #21, nonetheless, he is not a terrible choice. Just not a prime one.

Hack - Defense was below average, kept him from having a great peak. I do like him, #22, just not quite ballot worthy. Some discounting of his 44-45, too.

Mackey - #20, if you went to 25, this would have to be my highest consensus ballot ever. All top 10 returners in my top 22! Mackey's career was really not all that long (minimal credit for the back half when he couldn't hit at all). But he had a nice prime in the first half, and was certainly an A catcher at a minimum.

Hey, I don't have to talk about Rixey or Beckley this week! :)
   57. Tiboreau Posted: July 25, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1497218)
1. ss Luke Appling (nc)
2. 3b John Beckwith (3, 3, 4)—His spot on my ballot is mainly based on Gadfly’s inestimable opinion on his hitting and Chris Cobb’s Win Shares projections. PHoM 1940
3. 1b Mule Suttles (4, 4, 5)—Based on his reputation alone, I originally had Suttles ahead of Simmons & Beckwith. Based on Chris Cobb’s projections alone, he would be behind Duffy in the midst of the outfield/first base glut, so I’ve compromised between the two. PHoM 1949
4. 2b Billy Herman (5, 5, 6)— According to Win Shares, only Jennings, Moore, and Hack have a better peak among serious bottom tier candidates, and only Leach and Hack have similar career value. According to WARP, only Vaughan and Jennings have a better peak among all eligible candidates, and only Vaughan and Red Ruffing have comparable or better career value. I give Billy credit for time missed due to WWII during ’44 and ’45. PHoM 1956
5. sp Wes Ferrell (6, 6, 7)—His peak is comparable to compatriot Lefty Grove and places him among the top 3 pitchers of the ‘30s. ERA+ underrates Ferrell considering his consistent presence among the IP leaders, his attempts to hang on at the end of his career, and his aptitude as a hitter.
6. 3b Stan Hack (7, 7, 8)—Similar to Billy Herman in both career and peak value; his peak was better but considering WWII Herman’s career advantage gets a boost while Stan’s best season is docked a bit. A card-carrying member of the underrepresented third baseman class.
7. sp Clark Griffith (8, 8, 10)—A good balance between peak and career: His peak value is closer to Ferrell, Waddell and Mays than Rixey and Grimes, while his career value isn’t too far off the latter group and solidly ahead of the former. PHoM 1939
8. ss Hughie Jennings (9, 9, 11)—Jennings has the highest peak of any of the available candidates. His peak also comprises of 73.4% of his warp1 and 70.1% of his WS. In the end, the brilliance of his peak outshines any questions I have regarding his career value. PHoM 1942
9. lf Joe Medwick (10, 10)—Win Shares sees Medwick in a better light than either WARP or traditional stats and the WWII seasons need to be docked a but, but in the end I see Ducky Wucky as the best of the outfield candidates with an excellent peak and good career.
10. cf Hugh Duffy (11, 11, 12)—Excellent peak puts Duffy among the top of the outfield glut, and considering that his peak makes up 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value isn’t too shabby, either.
11. sp Dizzy Dean (12, 12, 13)—Like Jennings, the Diz only played five full years, but what years those were! Win Shares credits Dean with the best peak among eligible pitchers, while only Wes Ferrell has a better peak according to WARP.
12. ss Dobie Moore (13, 13, ob)—Called the “best unrecognized player” of the Negro Leagues by Bill James, and has been compared to Hughie Jennings. Receives credit for his play with the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1916 to 1920.
13. rf Gavy Cravath (14, 14, 14)—“He played ball, and lived his life, with a minimum amount of effort and nervous energy.” Cravath gets extra credit for his minor league performance, obviously, especially as the star of the Minneapolis Millers.
14. sp Bucky Walters (15)—When at his best he was not only excellent pitcher but an inning eater as well. More career value than Ferrell but less peak, especially considering the decreased competition during the war.
15. cf Edd Roush (ob)—Roush nudges past Van Haltren, Ryan based on his superior peak (excluding pitching WS, Pen. Add. has Roush at .793, Ryan at .781, and Van Haltren at .771). Similar player to Earl Averill.
   58. jimd Posted: July 25, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1497241)
(Cast)

Ballot for 1956

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

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

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

1) L. APPLING -- Easy #1 here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

6) J. BECKWITH -- Belongs.

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

[lc) F. Jones -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. Lost cause.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

13) B. HERMAN -- Moving on for now.

14) S. HACK -- Groh-lite.

15) E. AVERILL -- Giving a little bit of PCL credit.

Just missing the cut are:
20-23) Hugh Duffy, Harry Hooper, Jimmy Ryan, Dick Redding,
24-27) Eppa Rixey, Gavy Cravath, Ned Williamson, Ray Schalk,
28-31) Herman Long, Dick Lundy, Jim McCormick, Wally Schang,
32-35) Edd Roush, Jose Mendez, Roger Bresnahan, Rube Waddell,
36-38) Clark Griffith, Jake Beckley, Joe Medwick
   59. Jeff M Posted: July 25, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1497269)
Still revising my syste (yet again). Maybe next election.

I beta tested my system in the first election. I'm well past zeta now. :)
   60. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2005 at 11:11 PM (#1497302)
Nothing new comment wise this week. Beckwith moves up a bit.

1. Luke Appling (n/e) - A very easy choice for the top spot.

2. Gavy Cravath (2) - Too much to ignore. Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project.

3. Billy Herman (3) - With war credit we're looking at a 2B with 2600 career hits. He also had a league average walk rate and an above average SLG. One helluva player, as his five top-10 MVP finishes would suggest. I see him as quite similar to Lou Whitaker actually, though Herman hit for a higher average and Whitaker walked more and had a little more pop.

4. Eppa Rixey (4) - If a few things out of his control were different (like the elimination of WWI), Rixey would likely have won 300 games. A Nolan Ryan / Don Sutton / Phil Niekro HoMer.

5. Mule Suttles (5) - Nudged him up in 1949 some after re-reviewing Chris Cobb's MLEs.

6. Jake Beckley (7) - A smidge below Rafael Palmeiro, they were basically the same player, though Palmeiro was a little bit better with the stick, 1B was much tougher in Beckley's day.

7. John Beckwith (14) - Bumping him up some more. I still think it's much more realistic to consider him a 3B that played some SS, than as a SS.

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

9. Clark Griffith (9) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity from Griffith? I've dropped Jones and Griffith below the three 1B this time.

10. Stan Hack (10) - I feel like he should be higher, but I can't put him ahead of any of these guys. I think this guy would have been my favorite player if I grew up in the 1930s. He was the Buddy Bell of the 30s/40s, but significantly better (though his career was shorter). I see him as the high end of what Kevin Youkilis could someday be, if everything breaks right for him. It's amazing how many great 3B didn't get their careers off the ground until they were 24-25 years old.

11. Tommy Leach (11) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.

12. George Van Haltren (12) - I don't know what to do with this guy. You can make a solid argument that he could rank anywhere from 1 to 31.

13. Ernie Lombardi (13) - Looks an awful lot like Gabby Hartnett and Mickey Cochrane to me . . . I'm backing off a bit, as I was convinced that his OPS+ does overstate his offense due to the DPs, and his lack of peak somewhat dilutes the impact. However, I was looking over the DMB all-time disk, and they gave him a fair range rating (not poor), and also a very good arm. Are the reports of his awful defense greatly exagerrated? Are 1500 games at C and a 125 career OPS+ more common than I realize? I'm still a big fan.

14. Bill Monroe (15) - I still really like this guy.

15. Joe Medwick (16) - Has to rank ahead of Averill and Roush, at least based on MLB (I'm thinking of Averill's PCL credit).

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

17. Cool Papa Bell (18) - Awful lot of career value there. Bill James had him in his top 100 all-time. Which of us is missing the boat?

18. Joe Gordon (n/e) - Clearly below Herman, clearly above the rest of the 2B pack.

19. Wally Schang (19) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.

20. Red Ruffing (20) - I severely underrated him last week. Still think we are overrating him as a group.

21. Wes Ferrell (21) - Great pitcher (for a few years) and good hitter (for a pitcher). I wish I could get him higher, but I can't say I'd want his career over any of those ranked ahead of him. I think his hitting trumps Harder's career value, but it's close and could go either way.

22. Earl Averill (22) - I still think I'm pegging him too low, but don't see why I should move him higher. How much PCL credit should I be giving him?

23. Edd Roush (23) - Should have had him about equal with Averill.

24. Mel Harder (24) - Forgotten everywhere but Cleveland it seems like, but he was a really good pitcher. With Grove hurt, he was arguably (Hubbell?) the best pitcher in baseball from 1933-35.

25. George Sisler (25) - in penalizing him for his 2nd act, I was underrating his first act, though I think it is somewhat overrated by the consensus. His peak wasn't that great. I realize that probably sounds confusing as hell.

26. Joe Sewell (26) - I'd been underrating him. Most of you were overrating him. We're getting closer to a consensus it appears. Very glad he wasn't rushed in. A little bump this week. The more I think about it, I think I'd take his career over Hughie's.

27. Hughie Jennings (27) - I'm feeling a little more career value oriented of late, Jennings obviously drops on those days. He's down a little more this week.

28. Mike Griffin (28) - a great defensive player. He could hit too. He's been forgotten here . . .

29. Jimmy Ryan (29) - very good player. I've been convinced he should be behind George Van Haltren.

30. Hugh Duffy (30) - not quite as good as the glut above him.

31. Ben Taylor (31) - had slipped off my radar. He's pretty close to Beckley, but this is a tight ballot. I ranking him above Roush as a compliment.

32. Dobie Moore (32) - Is this too low? Convince me I should have him higher.

33. Vic Willis (33) - I could easily see him much higher on the ballot. Notice the trend?

34. Dick Lundy (34) - Back on the radar. Not as good as Sewell.

35. George Scales (35) - I'll side with those who say he was similar to, but not as good as Sewell or Moore. Is it wrong to have him behind Lundy?

36. Tommy Henrich (n/e) - I could see him higher, but don't ever see him elected.

37. Lefty Gomez (36) - Very nice career. Not as nice as Ferrell's. 177-114 RSI record, which is excellent. Too bad he didn't pitch longer.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1497355)
7. John Beckwith (14) - Bumping him up some more. I still think it's much more realistic to consider him a 3B that played some SS, than as a SS.

Without a doubt, Joe. He definitely had more value at the hot corner than as a shortstop.
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM (#1497438)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   63. Jeff M Posted: July 26, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1497655)
Luke Appling: Best SS in baseball twice (1940, and 1943 – a war year). More accurately, maybe never the best if Willie Wells was allowed to play. Top 5 three other times.

Eeyah: Best SS in the game four times. MVP candidate five times.

Luke Appling: Good for a while, rarely great.


Apart from Jennings' five Tier 1 seasons mentioned above, he was never even a Tier 2 or Tier 3 player in any other season by Win Shares. He had 5 seasons of 25 or more WS, and several MVP-type years, but nothing else.

In addition to a first place finish, Appling was the second best SS in baseball 5 times according to WS. Among all position players, he was a Tier 1 player 6 times, a Tier 2 player 3 times and a Tier 3 player 2 times, with 8 seasons of 25 or more WS. He also had a couple of MVP-caliber seasons (using 30 WS as a benchmark).

Jennings of course was more dominant, so it's really just the age-old question of whether you want a superstar for 5 years or a star for 10 years. I do think calling Appling merely "good" is an understatement. :)

My point system on the 2b, SS and 3b threads gives more weight to Tier 1/MVP/Best at Position type seasons, but also accumulates a lesser number of points for Tier 2/Tier 3/2nd Best at Position seasons. By that rough system, Appling scored 45 points and Jennings 37 (which is quite an accomplishment since he did not play long).

I don't actually use the point system to put my ballot together, but I think it presents an interesting picture.
   64. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 26, 2005 at 03:19 AM (#1498126)
"I'm dropping my official support for some candidates as lost causes. When I am the only supporter two years in a row, that's it, until someone else brings them back. They will remain on my ballot, but deprecated as a "lost cause" (see Fred Dunlap)."

While I respect the sentiment Jim, this is simply against our rules.

". . . voters pledge to refrain from “strategic” voting; that is, manipulating one’s ballot (i.e., so it does not reflect one’s own beliefs regarding the relative merits of the players) in an attempt to achieve a more desirable group ranking. Voters should simply vote for the 15 best eligible players, ranking them from 1 to 15. Even if it appears a player won’t be elected, you should still vote for him if you feel he is worthy."

The language could not be any plainer. I think Jim's ballot needs to be retotalled in the rankings. This isn't the first time this has come up, and I appreciate the honesty (as opposed to quietly trying to drop them off). But this can't be allowed. In essence it gives your ballot more input on the players that are close to election than those that continue to abide by the rules and vote for their lost causes.
   65. karlmagnus Posted: July 26, 2005 at 12:17 PM (#1498739)
As the Lost Dogs Home of the HOM balloting process, I second Joe's view. Plus the more scattered the low ballots are, the better chance a long standing mid-balloter like Beckley or Welch stands. Also, dropping golden oldies tends to make you yet another voter for the Hack/Medwick/Herman/Appling newbie gang, all of whom I regard as overrated.
   66. karlmagnus Posted: July 26, 2005 at 12:18 PM (#1498740)
Not Appling, Averill, sorry. All these 30s players are pretty interchangeable!
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 26, 2005 at 02:20 PM (#1498848)
While I respect the sentiment Jim, this is simply against our rules.

I agree and said so when I first noticed this a few elections back.

The only reason that I can see for doing this is not to wind up at the bottom of OCF's lists. But who cares? If you honestly feel that you have the best 15 candidates on your ballot, then that's the ballot that you should be submitting. It's totally unfair to the qualified candidate(s) to do otherwise. I might tease karlmagnus and yest about some of their more exotic picks (and I have my share myself :-), but I respect their ignoring the consensus and following their hearts instead.

Peer pressure shouldn't play a part in organizing your ballot. 'Nuff said.

and I appreciate the honesty (as opposed to quietly trying to drop them off).

I appreciate the honesty, too. I doubt that Jim is the only one doing this. He's just the only one to step up an admit it.

BTW, if I have a couple of similar players who are jockeying for the bottom of my ballot, I'll add the consensus pick instead. But this only happens if their value is roughly equal.

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