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

Monday, September 19, 2005

1960 Results: Ee-Yah! Prince Hal and Jennings (Finally!) Make the Hall of Merit!

In his first year of eligibility, Tiger star lefty Hal Newhouser was elected to the HoM comfortably with 79% of all possible points.

Demolishing Lip Pike’s record of 43 years on a ballot before becoming a HoMer, famed Baltimore Orioles captain Hughie Jennings was finally elected (barely) after 53 successive tries (he first became eligible way back in 1908). He also now owns the dubious record of the lowest percentage of all possible points for an inductee at 38%, breaking another record of Pike’s (the latter had 40% in 1940).

Rounding out the top-ten were: Joe Medwick, Earl Averill, Red Ruffing, Wes Ferrell, Biz Mackey, Clark Griffith, Eppa Rixey, and George Sisler. There’s a very good chance that the next inductee for 1961 will come out of this group.

Our electorate tied last “year’s” record with 73 candidates finding their names on a ballot for this election.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Hal Newhouser            924   47  21  5  6  3     2  3  1  2     2  1  1      
 2    5  Hughie Jennings          443   28   6  2  4  3     2  1     2  2     1     1  4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    3  Joe Medwick              430   32   1  4  2  3  1  2  1  2  2  1  2  3  5  1  2
 4    8  Earl Averill             412   31   2  1  3  2  3  1  2  2  2  4  1  1  2  3  2
 5    4  Red Ruffing              403   27   3  2     5     3  4  2  1  1  2  1  1  1  1
 6    7  Wes Ferrell              375   26      3  2  3  2  3  2  1  4  1  1  2  1     1
 7    6  Biz Mackey               371   29      1  1  2  2  3  2  5  3  2  3  1  1  3   
 8   10  Clark Griffith           350   23   1  4  3  1  1  3     2  1  1  2  3        1
 9    9  Eppa Rixey               347   25   1  3  3  2  2  1  1  2     1  1     4  2  2
10   11  George Sisler            307   23   1     4  2  1  1     5  1  3     1  1  1  2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   13  Cool Papa Bell           283   22      4        1  2  1  1  3  2  1  2     2  3
12   12  George Van Haltren       274   20      2  3  1  1  2  3     2  1        1  2  2
13   14  Jake Beckley             274   18   1  4  2  2              2  3        3  1   
14   15  Cupid Childs             226   19            3  2     2  1     3  2  2  3  1   
15   21  Pete Browning            225   16   2  1  1  1  1  1     1  1  1  2  2  1     1
16   16  Willard Brown            219   20      1     1     2  2     1  2  2  1  3  4  1
17   19  Hugh Duffy               210   15   1     1     3  3     1  3  1     1        1
18   17  Joe Sewell               209   16      1  2     3  1     2     1  1  2  1  2   
19   18  Bobby Doerr              206   15   1     1  1  1  2  3  1        3  1     1   
20   23  Cannonball Dick Redding  199   17      1     1  1  3  1  1  1  1        3     4
21   20  Mickey Welch             193   11   3  1     2  3                    1     1   
22   24  José Méndez              174   14         1  1  1  1  3  2           2  2     1
23   22  Dobie Moore              174   12      1     2  3     2  1        1  2         
24   28  Joe Gordon               164   17         1     1  1  1        1  1  3  1  3  4
25   26  Alejandro Oms            160   12      1  1     2  2        1  1  1  1  1  1   
26   30T Rube Waddell             148   13      1           1  1  2  1     3     2     2
27   25  Bucky Walters            141   10         2  2           1  3  2               
28   32  Charley Jones            134    9   1  1  1           2     2        1  1      
29T  35  Burleigh Grimes          122    9   1        1  1  1        2     2           1
29T  27  Tommy Leach              122    9      1        2        2     2  1  1         
31   29  Gavy Cravath             118    9   1     1     2           1  1     1        2
32   33  Edd Roush                115   11   1                 1  1        1  2  2  2  1
33   34  Wally Schang             113    8   1           2  1     1     1  1     1      
34   30T Roger Bresnahan          107    8      2                 1  1  1  1     1  1   
35   36  Bob Elliott               91    8      1              1        1  2     2  1   
36   38  Quincy Trouppe            90    9            1  1     1        1           2  3
37   37  Larry Doyle               79    6         1  1     1  1              1        1
38   39  Bill Monroe               61    6         1                       1  2  1  1   
39   47  Charlie Keller            55    5               1        2                 1  1
40   41T John McGraw               54    4               1     2           1            
41T  44T Tommy Bridges             53    5                        1  2     1           1
41T  43  Bob Johnson               53    5               1        1     1           1  1
43   41T Dizzy Dean                51    4               1     1        1  1            
44   49  Ernie Lombardi            49    4      1                          1  1     1   
45T  48  Sam Rice                  45    5                        1  1              2  1
45T  40  Jimmy Ryan                45    5                           1        2  1  1   
47   51  Luke Easter               43    3         1        1              1            
48   46  Dizzy Trout               40    3                     2     1                  
49   50  Ed Williamson             38    4                           1  1        1  1   
50   44T Ben Taylor                38    3            1                 1  1            
51   67  Vic Willis                28    3                        1           1        1
52T  53T Addie Joss                27    2                  1        1                  
52T  52  Dutch Leonard             27    2                     1  1                     
54   53T Chuck Klein               25    2                     1        1               
55   55  Carl Mays                 24    2                        1     1               
56   57  George J. Burns           19    2                                 1  1         
57   56  Bobo Newsom               18    2                                 1     1      
58   58  Pie Traynor               18    1         1                                    
59   59  Dom DiMaggio              17    2                                    1  1      
60T  60T Ed Cicotte                17    1            1                                 
60T  60T Fielder Jones             17    1            1                                 
62T  62T Tommy Bond                16    1               1                              
62T n/e  Johnny Pesky              16    1               1                              
64   70  Hack Wilson               15    2                                    1        1
65T  64T Dolf Luque                15    1                  1                           
65T  62T Bobby Veach               15    1                  1                           
67   66  Dick Lundy                14    2                                          2   
68   64T Leroy Matlock             14    1                     1                        
69   71T Frank Chance              13    2                                          1  1
70   68  Fred Dunlap               11    1                              1               
71   69  Lefty Gomez               10    1                                 1            
72T  71T Sam Leever                 7    1                                          1   
72T  71T Rabbit Maranville          7    1                                          1   
Ballots Cast: 49
John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:08 PM | 166 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Patrick W Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1628390)
Um, where are the ballot totals?
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:04 AM (#1628392)
Congrats to both candidates!

I had problems with Jenning's career length, but there's no denying that he was a great one for five years. He has that HoM spell to me, IOW.

BTW, how come nobody ever asked for a page for Jennings after 53 years of eligibility?
   3. Michael Bass Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1628399)
Holy crap! I can't claim to be the original guy on the bandwagon (I came late, and it took me about 7 elections to come around), but I was never convinced he'd get in. It will be really odd to not have him near the top of my ballot next year. :)
   4. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1628400)
Congrats Hughie. I never voted for you.

Anyone want to guess who well end this project as the all-time vote getter?
   5. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:10 AM (#1628411)
If we'd done this logically, we'd have had Pike eligible for 1884 (when he'd have had serious oppo from Pearce and Meyerle, but few others!) so technically he he still has a few years on Ee-yah!

Very good news though that's we've elected a golden oldie -- would have become VERY boring otherwise, even though this particulalr one doesn't free up space on my ballot. Come on, fans of Beckley, WElch and Browning!

Only 1 electee next year, I think, BTW.
   6. DavidFoss Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1628414)
It will be really odd to not have him near the top of my ballot next year. :)

Same here! Congrats to Hughie!

Of course, Prince Hal deserves some attention as well -- there were a lot of questions about him two weeks ago and it appears he passed muster with flying colors. Congrats Prince Hal!
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:14 AM (#1628433)
Um, where are the ballot totals?

It's corrected. The new system is somewhat tempermental. :-)

If we'd done this logically, we'd have had Pike eligible for 1884 (when he'd have had serious oppo from Pearce and Meyerle, but few others!) so technically he he still has a few years on Ee-yah!

Of course, we would have elected Jim Creighton, Bob Ferguson, and Harry Wright then due to lack of worthy candidates. :-)
   8. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1628469)
Medwick & Averill appeared on every slot of the ballot. Looking forward to '61, Averill's one of the big stories, as he jumped all the way from 8th to 4th.
   9. karlmagnus Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1628470)
Things were still Flying in 1884; not eligible for HOM till 1890. Until I just checked, I had assumed Ferguson was an outfielder; since he played mainly 2B and 3B it should have been "Death to Bouncing Things!"
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:25 AM (#1628487)
Things were still Flying in 1884; not eligible for HOM till 1890.

Good point, karlmagnus. I always think of him as an earlier player.

Browning made a big jump, though he still is no where near being electable.
   11. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:35 AM (#1628537)
Average consensus score -9.8. Not the lowest ever, because 1958 was -10.3. Highest possible was +7. Only two positive scores.

dan b: +2
Dan G: +1
Howie Menckel: 0 (in more detail, about -.3)
andrew siegel: -2
Al Peterson: -2
Chris Cobb: -2
...
jimd: -9 (median)
...
Dolf Lucky: -17
Dr. Chaleeko: -18
karlmagnus: -20
yest: -21
Gadfly: -26

I was at -3. Pretty high, in context, given that I didn't vote for Jennings.
   12. Patrick W Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:35 AM (#1628540)
I haven't done my ballot counting yet, but with 25 ballots in '59 and 28 in '60, we apparently have the #15 votes to thank for the recent electee. Does anyone yet know who gets the credit for Hughie?
   13. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:38 AM (#1628550)
Another story is that Ruffing faded from 4th to 5th, which is really the loss of two places. Jennings and Averill both stepped past him. It would appear that since Ruffing is the choice of voters who tend to put pitchers high, he had the most to lose from the appearance of a pitcher (Newhouser) who slotted in ahead of him.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1628567)
All-time 'vote points totals' leaders, through 1960. Active for 1961 vote in CAPS

Jennings 16976
VAN HALTREN 15839.5
BECKLEY 15240
DUFFY 15140.5
GRIFFITH 14270
Pike 13399
BROWNING 13145.5
Thompson 12349
WADDELL 11616
Bennett 11503

WELCH 11065
CHILDS 10994
Caruthers 10704
RYAN 10647.5
Beckwith 9920
H Stovey 9576
Start 8378.5
McGinnity 8232
Pearce 8073
McVey 7985.5

RIXEY 7971
Grant 7969.5
Suttles 7696
BRESNAHAN 7608
T LEACH 7429
(Sisler 7386, C Jones 6527, Sewell 5923, Ferrell 5587, Monroe 5324, Averill 4784, Roush 4487, Doyle 4473, Redding 4467, Mendez 4405, Williamson 4361)

Van Haltren would be only a little more than four yrs worth of votes away from the top spot at his 1960 vote pace; realistically he might do it in 6-7 years.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:43 AM (#1628570)
Does anyone yet know who gets the credit for Hughie?

I placed Hughie on my ballot for the very first time at #15, but he was in the lead when I finally submitted my ballot. I wont take credit or blame for his election. :-)

It took a long time for him to get down to that level, but he finally made it.
   16. Chris Cobb Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:45 AM (#1628583)
Well, it's nice to see Hughie Jennings elected.

I wouldn't say that I have been his best friend, but he has been on my ballot every year for 53 years. It will be strange submitting a ballot without him on it somewhere.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:45 AM (#1628589)
I'm one of Hughie's No. 15 votes this year, but I have almost always voted for him - and at times have had him very high. He did quite well with me until the last few years; with a weakened ballot I looked around and realized he at least deserved a slot at bottom.
I never imagined it would matter so much, though. I guessed I'd wind up electing Ruffing over my beloved Rixey because I gave Ruffing a fairly high slot!
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:54 AM (#1628642)
I agree that it seems like a plus if an 'old-timer' staggers in on occasion. I'm sure not every borderline HOM guy should be a modern one.

The few stalwarts who always had Hughie way up there will be the most amazed, I imagine.

I also put Averill on my ballot for maybe the first time ever. If it hadn't taken me so long to vote (Saturday), I could pretend that I created a buzz about him!
   19. Mike Webber Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:56 AM (#1628654)
Anyone want to guess who well end this project as the all-time vote getter?

I'd vote for Jake the Snake Beckley,

Or maybe I should say I'd NOT vote for Beckley.
;)
   20. Trevor P. Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:18 AM (#1628766)
Can anyone else only see spots 1-13 in the final balloting totals?

Now, if we can just get Averill ahead of Medwick for 1960. Centerfielder power!
   21. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:24 AM (#1628798)
Hughie Jennings wasn't even on 60% of the ballots. Is that a record? If not - what is?
   22. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1628812)
Congrats to Hughie - he hasn't made my ballot since 1945, but he's 8th in my personal vote totals (and not likely to be passed for awhile). In an odd way, even though I had Hughie far off my ballot and the next 3 guys on it, I'm happier he got in because I can see a logical argument for him, even if I don't agree with it.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:34 AM (#1628845)
I voted for Hughie every year that I voted (I missed 2 years). He opened at #13, dropped as low as #13 again in 1925, then moved all the way up to #1 in 1932 and was #1 8 times including 1960.

I really didn't think he would get elected. It will indeed be strange not having Hughie on my ballot. Dobie Moore was #2, too, BTW, and it will really be strange having Dobie at #1. I doubt that he's ever gotten a #1 vote.
   24. Chris Cobb Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:52 AM (#1628931)
Hughie Jennings wasn't even on 60% of the ballots. Is that a record? If not - what is?

Lip Pike appeared on 26 of 51 ballots when he was elected in 1940. That is the record low. He garnered a slightly higher percentage of possible points, however, because he received more elect-me votes than Hughie did, although Hughie did receive more elect-me votes than anybody but Newhouser this year.

I'll be a bit surprised if Pike's record low survives the 1960s.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:01 AM (#1629206)
It's funny, I had Medwick 13 or 14 and Jennings like 22 (up a bunch this year actually), but I'm much happier that Jennings made it.

See, I know in my mind anyway, that I have Medwick pegged correctly. However I acknowledge that the margin for error on Jennings, was much higher. There's a justification for having him as high as #2 on this ballot (Newhouser was a better overall pitcher than Koufax, comfortably in my opinion, equivalent peak and easily on career), due to the insanely high peak, I certainly could be wrong there. I see no such justification for Medwick, who was just a very good OF for awhile, and while at the top of the pack (maybe) isn't nearly as compelling.

Did that make any sense? I would have been really made if my 13th place vote for Medwick would have pushed him past Jennings :-)
   26. Jeff M Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:10 AM (#1629227)
Browning made a big jump, though he still is no where near being electable.

You mean "elected," right? :)
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:46 AM (#1629369)
"I would have been really made"

No Italian jokes. I meant 'mad'.

:-)
   28. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 20, 2005 at 03:47 AM (#1629371)
YYYYEEEESSS!!!!! EE-YAH! Wow, I seriously doubted whether this would ever happen.
   29. Sean Gilman Posted: September 20, 2005 at 08:48 AM (#1629694)
I'm very surprised to see him finally get elected, as I stopped tabulating ballot quite awhile ago. After putting him on 53 straight ballots, that's nice to see. Though Jennings never placed higher than third on any of my ballots, he was elected to my PHOM in 1932.


ee-yah!
   30. Rusty Priske Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:16 PM (#1629733)
Wow. Two guys elected who weren't near my ballot. It has been a while since THAT happened. (And I'm still not at the bottom of the consensus scores. :) )
   31. Dolf Lucky Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:55 PM (#1629748)
What's cool about this for me, is that Hughie Jennings becomes the first player on my 1931 ballot to enter the HOM. Adds a bit of continuity to my voting history.

Congrats to Jennings, who despite not receiving a vote from me for several years, has been in my PHOM since 1927.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:04 PM (#1629755)
Congrats to Hal and to Hughie! And congrats to Dr. Chaleeko for cracking the code that finally gets me into the bottom five consensus scores! Y'all can start calling me Dr. Magnus or Dr. Yest now....

; )
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:12 PM (#1629764)
Once upon a time Hughie Jennings helped me into the bottom 5! Who said the times they are a-changin'?

For the next 53 years I guess it will have to be Dobie Moore, my new #1.
   34. DanG Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:12 PM (#1629765)
dan b: +2
Dan G: +1
Howie Menckel: 0


The last couple elections I've reclaimed my standing among the consensus leaders. I've always been a high consensus voter, but I faded from the leaders for about 25 years during the Negro league candidate days.

Pending new information from the HOF's Black baseball study, the only viable NeL candidates are Mackey and Bell, both currently on my ballot. Well, and Irvin, who seems like a shoo-in for election.
   35. Daryn Posted: September 20, 2005 at 01:52 PM (#1629805)
DanG,

I hear Robinson is good, too. But perhaps he gets in with no NeL credit. I may be the only one, but Jackie only becomes high or top ballot for me with the NeL credit.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1629891)
Browning made a big jump, though he still is no where near being electable.

You mean "elected," right? :)


I meant electable in the sense that the electorate as a whole feels he's not at this point. I have him on my ballot, so I certainly feel he's electable. :-)
   37. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1629922)
I started voting in 1904. For each year, at what ballot position did I have the elected candidates? Here's the list:

"Elect me" positions:
Glasscock (1904), Radbourn (1905), Hamilton (1907), Delahanty (1909), Nichols (1911), Burkett (1912), Dahlen (1915), Davis (1915), Stovey (1916), Young (1917), Clarke (1917), Kelley (1919), Keeler (1919), Walsh (1920), Bennett (1921), Lajoie (1922), Mathewson (1922), Wagner (1923), Crawford (1923), Plank (1923), G. Johnson (1925), Magee (1926), J. Jackson (1927), Baker (1928), Sheckard (1930), Santop (1932), W. Johnson (1933), Wheat (1933), Cobb (1934), E. Collins (1935), Alexander (1936), J. Williams (1936), Torriente (1937), Heilmann (1937), Coveleski (1938), Faber (1939), Rogan (1940), Ruth (1941), Hornsby (1941), Vance (1942), Charleston (1943), Cochrane (1943), Gehrig (1944), Goslin (1945), Stearnes (1946), Simmons (1946), Grove (1947), Hartnett (1947), Gehringer (1948), J. Wilson (1948), Hubbell (1949), Waner (1950), Dihigo (1950), Foxx (1951), Cronin (1951), J. Gibson (1952), Ott (1952), Greenberg (1953), Dickey (1953), Vaughan (1954), Wells (1954), Leonard (1955), R. Brown (1955), Appling (1956), DiMaggio (1957), Beckwith (1957), Hack (1958), Paige (1959), Mize (1959), Newhouser (1960)

#2 (in an elect-1 year): Sutton (1908), Galvin (1910), McPhee (1913), Flick (1918)
#3: Wallace (1929), Speaker (1934), Lloyd (1935)
#4: Start (1912), Groh (1938), Frisch (1944)
#5: Rusie (1904), Lyons (1949), Boudreau (1958)
#6: Richardson (1905), Spalding (1906), 3F Brown (1925), Terry (1942)
#7: Grant (1926), McGinnity (1928)
#8: Carey (1939), W. Foster (1945)
#9:
#10: McVey (1914), J. Collins (1921), Suttles (1956)
#11:
#12:
#13:
#14:
#15: R. Foster (1932)

Off-ballot positions:

#17: Billy Herman (1958)
#19: Thompson (1929)
#21: Caruthers (1930)
#24: Pearce (1931)
Not listed: Pike (1940), Jennings (1960)

Everyone that I've ever put into an "elect me" position has eventually been elected, with four exceptions: George Van Haltren, Larry Doyle, Joe Sewell, and Red Ruffing. All of them are still on my ballot.
   38. Michael Bass Posted: September 21, 2005 at 05:42 PM (#1632684)
I have a feeling my consensus score is gonna start plumetting soon. When/if Ferrell is elected, my top 2 backloggers are Moore and Mendez, not exactly popular choices. Jennings was, oddly enough considering he was so divisive, propping up my score.

If I may ask, who is my most similar voter, if you're still keeping track of such things?

As for who'll lead the all-time points standings...I'll go with a dark horse and Clark Griffith. I suspect, though I don't know, that we won't quite ever reach him in the backlog before he's pushed down again, and he is gaining on GVH/Beckley in votes right now.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 21, 2005 at 06:13 PM (#1632736)
Michael,

Without OCF's reponse, I'd bet on Sunnyday2 as your nearest voting comp. He had Moore and Mendez way up high on his ballot as you did.
   40. Mark Donelson Posted: September 21, 2005 at 06:17 PM (#1632748)
I also have Moore and Mendez pretty high, and I have Ferrell (sunnyday doesn't), so perhaps it's me?
   41. Michael Bass Posted: September 21, 2005 at 06:22 PM (#1632757)
Yeah, I'd guess Mark, as Marc is no Ferrell fan. There actually was a small pack of us with at least 3/4 of Jennings/Moore/Mendez/Ferrell near the top. But oddly, considering that I think those 4 would definate a pretty specific voting pattern, the ballots widely diverged from there.

I actually enjoy how divergent the ballots are in our group; I know there has been concern about the low consensus elections of Pike (and now Jennings, I guess), but what it tells me is that there is little if any groupthink going on here. We all form our own opinions. :)
   42. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 21, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1632771)
Michael, I will have Ferrell at #1 in 1961 with moore at #8 or 9. My other top guys are Medwick, Childs, Duffy, Redding, Griffith, Keller, Kiner, Averill, Walters (not in that order).
   43. DanG Posted: September 21, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1632895)
Would a 20-man ballot have swung the election to Medwick? 25-man? I'm guessing that there are more voters who have Jennings out of sight (+25) than Medwick. The central issue being, was Jennings-over-Medwick a true reflection of the will of the electorate? Did the limit of 15 ballot spaces determine the outcome?
   44. Chris Cobb Posted: September 21, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1632934)
On Jennings vs. Medwick:

I suspect Jennings was close on more ballots than you might expect, as it was the additional votes he picked up at the bottom that put him over the top, and he had potentially more votes to gain by ballot expansion than Medwick, whose strength was in his ballot appearances.

However, an answer to the question depends in part on how the sub-15 slots were valued. If slots 16-20 were added and valued at 5-4-3-2-1, for example, Medwick, on average, would have had to pick up 6 more votes than Jennings for extension of the ballot to this range in order to close the 13-point gap between him and Jennings. I am doubtful that adding 5 spots valued thusly would have changed the course of the election.

If the on-ballot bonus were retained in an expansion of the ballot to 20 or 25 spots, then I think Medwick's chances of benefiting significantly from the change would go up, as he would have to add only two or three ballot appearances more than Jennings in order to close the gap.
   45. DanG Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:03 PM (#1632987)
I suspect Jennings was close on more ballots than you might expect

That's the question, isn't it. You can see how their votes were distributed, Medwick in every slot, Jennings just here and there. If Medwick's support #16-20 were anything like his #11-15 support, it would probably be enough to overcome 13 points.

I also believe that some of those 4 #15 votes for Jennings would have been lower if the ballot had been expanded. That the last spot on the ballot is often used for "well, I'll put him on the ballot" votes. Meaning that on a 20-man ballot some of those would be 20th place votes. It's a pet theory, anyway.

21 people did not vote for Jennings; 17 did not vote for Medwick. That's a really large amount of the electorate going unmeasured. It would be easy to conceive of Medwick's support among these voters to be strong enough to overcome the 13-point ballot difference.

The question could also be framed different ways. 1) If we used a yes/no ballot like the Coop, which player would've fared better? 2) If we used a 100-space ballot, who would do better? How about 50 slots?
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1633002)
Reasonable questions.

I'd add, though, that the will of the electorate in choosing not to expand the ballot was that the electorate's decisions should be based on the distinctions made at the top end of our rankings only. Differences between a player ranked 20th and a player ranked 35th were not held, in the end, to be important enough to count.

So I think the electorate has defined fairly clearly how its will is to be interpreted.
   47. andrew siegel Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1633036)
Here's a top 50:

(1) Van Haltren (3rd)
(2) Moore (4th)
(3) Averill (5th)
(4) Ferrell (6th)
(5) Rixey (7th)
(6) Childs (8th)
(7) Oms (10th)
(8) Duffy (9th)
(9) Ruffing (11th)
(10) Sisler (12th)
(11) Medwick (13th)
(12) Roush (15th)
(13) Ryan (14th)
(14) Mackey (off/ 17th)
(15) Sewell (off/18th)
__________________
(16) Beckley
(17) Kiner
(18) Joe Gordon
(19) Bob Johnson
(20) Bobby Doerr
(21) Jose Mendez
(22) Charley Jones
(23) Willard Brown
(24) Bob Elliot
(25) Cool Papa Bell
_____________________
(26) Dick Redding
(27) Bresnahan
(28) Leach
(29) Walters
(30) Griffith
(31) Doyle
(32) Monroe
(33) Vic Willis
(34) Frank Chance
(35) Schang
(36) Troupe
(37) Veach
(38) Keller
(39) Welch
(40) Berger
(41) McGraw
(42) Cravath
(43) Williamson
(44) Shocker
(45) Lundy
(46) Dean
(47) Cuyler
(48) Bridges
(49) Griffin
(50) Browning


(25) Burleigh Grimes
   48. andrew siegel Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:26 PM (#1633045)
Posted on the wrong thread. Sorry.
   49. DanG Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1633051)
Yes, we have clearly defined it in a certain way.

It points to compromises made in the formation of our rules. We have some allowance for registering strongly in favor of a candidate. However, there is little balance on the other end of the spectrum, meaning strong disfavor towards a candidate counts for nothing (or very little).
   50. Paul Wendt Posted: September 21, 2005 at 08:58 PM (#1633140)
Congrats Hughie. I never voted for you.
Anyone want to guess who well end this project as the all-time vote getter?


OCF once speculated that no one would break Sam Thompson's total, iirc. BTW, in the Detroit News, or Detroit correspondence to Sporting Life about 1904, I read that Sam Thompson still didn't have his release from the Philadelphia Phillies, so he remained ineligible to play anywhere else in organized baseball. He was playing with the Detroit Athletic Club, probably semipro. I don't know whether he still had offers to play-manage in OB but I infer that he could raise the capital to be everything from player to minority owner in Class C or so.

After the election of Newhouser and Jennings from OB, the HOM has a flavor quite different from what I anticipated about twenty years ago, with Carey elected, Sewell and Rixey imminent. Briefly scintillating stars, you may think, but Prince Hal and "Ee-yah" (and Luther Sam) all make me think Detroit.

Jennings goes in with two voting "worsts" and one second (see the header paragraphs and #24). However his 57% support is only 8% behind Medwick, who is second to Newhouser in that dimension. While it's true in a sense that 1-2 votes and 3-4 votes elected Jennings (15 voters or 31%; no more than 10 voters or 20% for any other candidate), it isn't true that Medwick or Averill has broad support

Eight men appear on half of the ballots, up from five about twenty years ago, early in Beckwith's time iirc.

Joe Dimino
Did that make any sense? I would have been really mad if my 13th place vote for Medwick would have pushed him past Jennings :-)

mad from a poisonous bite by your own creation!

karlmagnus #9
Things were still Flying in 1884; not eligible for HOM till 1890. Until I just checked, I had assumed {Bob} Ferguson was an outfielder; since he played mainly 2B and 3B it should have been "Death to Bouncing Things!"

Catching pops, bloops, and liners was no easy task in the barehand days. Ferguson notched some amazing putout numbers at third. (For most of his career, I suppose that did include many fouls on the first bounce. On a moderately hard surface with lots of flat open space --how common was that?-- a third- or firstbaseman might have ranged quite far indeed.)
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: September 21, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1633160)
In 1953 and again in 1958, I tallied #16-20 votes as best I could. About half the electorate gives that info (some incomplete, etc.).

In 1953 Medwick was not yet eligible. Jennings was 12th in the overall voting and 20th with 4 mentions at #16-20.

Last year neither of them was among the top 15 and I didn't keep my tally so can't tell you what the differential was. But they would have been down to 3 mentions or fewer. I'm quite sure both got mentions, however. So the difference couldn't have been more than 2 ballots either way.

But that, of course, is not counting the half of the electorate who didn't provide the info.
   52. OCF Posted: September 22, 2005 at 02:34 AM (#1634311)
If I may ask, who is my most similar voter, if you're still keeping track of such things?

I don't do this every year, you know. But this year was interesting enough to give it a shot. In the following list, the second name is the most similar voter to the first name, and the number is a similarity score on a 0-100 scale.

Adam Schafer     Daryn            66
Al Peterson      dan b            71
Andrew M         Dan G            75
andrew siegel    jschmeagol       75
Brad G           Mike Webber      76
Brent            Tiboreau         84
Chris Cobb       Dan G            74
Chris J          Dan G            74
dan b            Jeff M           76
Dan G            Andrew M         75
Daryn            Rusty Priske     74
David Foss       jschmeagol       65
Devin McCullen   OCF              57
Dolf Lucky       Patrick W        63
Don F            SWW              78
Dr
Chaleeko     Tiboreau         59
Eric C           Chris J          67
Esteban Rivera   Mark Donelson    68
favre            Chris J          63
Gadfly           Jeff M           48
Howie Menckel    Chris J          72
Jeff M           dan b            76
Jim Sp           Eric C           67
jimd             Andrew Siegel    66
Joe Dimino       Howie Menckel    64
John Murphy      KJOK             53
jschmeagol       Tiboreau         79
karlmagnus       Daryn            56
Ken Fischer      Al Peterson      63
KJOK             David Foss       55
Mark Donelson    sunnyday2        75
Michael Bass     Brent            73
Mike Webber      Brad G           76
OCF              Trevor P         69
Patrick W        Thane of Bagarth 67
PhillyBooster    Daryn            62
Rick A           Ron Wargo        66
Rob Wood         Trevor P         65
Ron Wargo        Rick A           66
Rusty Priske     Daryn            74
Sean Gilman      Rick A           61
sunnyday2        Mark Donelson    75
SWW              Don F            78
Thane of Bagarth Patrick W        67
Tiboreau         Brent            84
TomH             Dan G            75
Trevor P         OCF              69
yest             Adam Schafer     56 

Michael Bass - sunnyday2 is only an agreement score of 48, so that wasn't a very good guess.

The single lowest agreement score is, unsurprisingly, Gadfly - karlmagnus at 5, although Gadfly was in single-figure agreement with several other voters, including me.
   53. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 22, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1634378)
Yest, Not-Grams, Gad, KJ, Devin, Karl: welcome to the Under-60 club---that exclusive fraternity of voters who score under-60 with their most comparable ballot....
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 22, 2005 at 05:35 PM (#1635217)
Yest, Not-Grams, Gad, KJ, Devin, Karl: welcome to the Under-60 club---that exclusive fraternity of voters who score under-60 with their most comparable ballot....

That's because we're not conformists. :-)
   55. karlmagnus Posted: September 22, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1635244)
Tee Hee. It also means we have the most effect on the overall voting. Effect equals force times distance, right! Which is why, left, right, up, down, sideways, I have NEVER believed in moderation :-)
   56. SWW Posted: September 22, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1635252)
You know, everytime I tally Don F's ballot, I say to myself, "I'll bet he's my most similar voter." So it's nice that my musings have been mathematically confirmed.
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: September 25, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1640690)
I believe that Jennings' addition gives Brouthers the all-time lead in HOM teammates (min 10 G in a season together), 20 to 19. Brouthers was tied with O'Rourke, who keeps his lead in 'seasons' with HOMers at 78.

Interesting group of HOMer teammates for Jennings, ranging from Kelley-Brouthers-Keeler in the early days to McGinnity-Sheckard-Dahlen-Flick-Delahanty later on.

1900 Brooklyn becomes the 9th team with 6 HOMers (Dahlen Keeler Kelley McGinnity Sheckard Jennings).
All-time leaders still are 1927-28 Philadelphia A's with 7 (Cobb ECollins Cochrane Simmons Grove Foxx, plus Wheat in '27 and Speaker in '28).
   58. Kelly in SD Posted: September 26, 2005 at 07:17 AM (#1642739)
OCF -

Any chance of me finding out who my most similar voter was last election?

Thanks,

Kelly IN SD
   59. OCF Posted: September 26, 2005 at 07:31 PM (#1643639)
Ah - a missing line on the chart. Very well,

Kelly from SD - Brent : 59
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: September 27, 2005 at 12:37 PM (#1645338)
I don't necessarily share a sense of alarm about our pitcher dearth, but I thought the following is interesting nonetheless.

With 49 voters there are a total of 735 ballot slots available worth a total of 9,947 points.

Pitchers have 251 of those ballot slots (34.1%) for 3,723 points (37.4%).

To really draw any conclusions we would want to know what the percentage of pitcher balloting has been throughout the whole process. And it yndoubtedly is less on average, this being an elect-a-pitcher year.

It might be more accurate to look just at the backlog where pitchers have 204 ballots and 2,799 points out of 660 and 8,580, or 30.9% and 32.6%.

I'm not sure that this is valid and especially whether it tracks our history, but if we are casting 31-37 percent of our votes for pitchers and have only elected 28 percent, then we are distributing our pitcher votes more widely than our position player votes.

So here I am with Tommy Bond on my ballot, but just as food for thought here are the top half and bottom half of pitcher vote-getters.

TOP HALF
5. Ruffing
6. Ferrell
8. Griffith
9. Rixey
GAP
20. Redding
21. Welch
22. Mendez
26. Waddell
27. Walters
29. Grimes
GAP
41. Bridges
43. Dean

BOTTOM HALF
48. Trout
51. Willis
52. Joss and Leonard
55. Mays
57. Newsom
60. Cicotte
62. Bond
65. Luque
68. Matlock
71. Gomez
72. Leever

I s'pose it would be strategic voting to say that we ought to see if there is anyway to shift some votes from the bottom half to the top half, from Willis and Joss to Waddell, for instance, or Matlock and Luque to Mendez, or Leonard and Newsom to Ruffing, or Mays to Grimes, etc. etc. No, I didn't think that would be legal. But maybe everybody oughta do a bona fide pitcher re-evalution. Otherwise, I don't see how we're going to get near 30-33 percent.
   61. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 27, 2005 at 01:09 PM (#1645358)
I'm not too worried about the pitcher dearth because the following will be very strong candidates:
1962: Bob Feller, Ellis Kinder (RP)
1964: Bob Lemon, Virgil Trucks (possible war credit), Sal Maglie (possible war credit, plus MxL and other credit)
1966: Don Newcombe
1967: Johnny Antonelli (possible war credit)
1969: Early Wynn
1970: Billy Pierce (my personal stealth candidate)
1971: Warren Spahn
1972: Robin Roberts and Sandy Koufax
1973: Whitey Ford, Lew Burdette, and Stu Miller (RP)
1975: Don Drysdale
1977: Jim Bunning
1978: Hoyt Wilhelm (RP)
1980: Juan Marichal

There's a lot of pitchers in that group that are either NBs or who fit the mold of pitchers who are currently receiving heavy support.

Meanwhile, between now and 1980, we'll elect something like 10-12 backloggers. If we go by 1960's results, we'll end up electing Ruffing, Ferrell, Griffith, and Rixey as well.

THEN we start getting into the big winners of the 1960s/1970s, and if things haven't evened out by that point, they soon will because Gibson, Palmer, Carlton, Sutton, Ryan, Blyleven, and their cohorts will be popping up onto the ballot about every two to three years, plus we'll have the Firemen of the 1970s/1980s to sort through as well.

As a final hopeful note, we might also have better NgL information by that point as well, so Mendez, Redding, Cooper, Matlock, and others will have a better shot at getting wider support.

I might be overly optimistic, but I do think the whole thing will sort itself out.
   62. sunnyday2 Posted: September 27, 2005 at 01:19 PM (#1645371)
Doc, maybe, though I would say that between Feller and Spahn, all those guys are problematic. Then from '72 to '80 I would agree there are some pretty good candidates, though if not Dean or Kiner, then what of Koufax?

And maybe we'll elect a slew of '60s and '70s guys.

But that just casts Chris' question in a slightly different light. That is, rather than "we haven't elected enough pitchers" it becomes "we haven't elected enough pitchers pre-1970," which is of course the precise era when individual pitchers were real workhorses. Is it fair that we might elect Bert Blyleven and not Eppa Rixey? I don't know, but that is what the question will morph to.
   63. TomH Posted: September 27, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1645476)
It will be Very fair if we elect Bert Blyleven while Rixey is still languishing. Not even close.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: September 27, 2005 at 03:19 PM (#1645595)
Blyleven 287-250, 3.31 (118 ERA+) in 4970 IP
Rixey 266-251, 3.15 (116) in 4495 IP

OK, that was just off the top of my head. Not sure it isn't kinda sorta close, but... Also in Bert's favor, a great sense of humor, or so they say.
   65. Chris Cobb Posted: September 27, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1645627)
The 50s & 60s pitcher cohort is certainly going to be interesting to sort out. The good Doctor's prognosis of serious candidates seems overly optimistic, but there's a generous handful of contenders that we will find it a challenge to sort out properly.

Here's how I group the pitchers on Dr. Chaleeko's list:

Shoo-Ins: Feller, Wynn, Spahn, Roberts

Serious Candidates: Lemon, Trucks (with war credit), Newcombe (with war credit), Pierce, Koufax, Ford (with war credit?), Drysdale, Bunning, Wilhelm, Marichal

Not Serious candidates: Kinder, Antonelli, Burdette, Miller

No Idea: Maglie

Just to keep pace on pitchers, we should elect 9-10 from this group between 1962 and 1980, which means the four shoo-ins plus 5 or 6 of 10 from the "serious candidates" pool. Then we need three out of the backlog to catch up on our current pitcher deficit, weighing the remainder of the "serious candidates" group against the current backlog.

Of course, we have "The Great Generation" of 1965-1985 pitchers on the horizon, but after that pitching boom comes the 1980s pitching bust, so I see it as both prudent and historically fair to try to keep the HoM pitcher representation close to balanced as we move forward.
   66. DavidFoss Posted: September 27, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1645677)
Also in Bert's favor, a great sense of humor, or so they say.

Circle Me Bert!

One of the all-time great Berman-isms as well "Be Home" Blyleven.

I have heard that the dugout prankster from the 1980s may have been a bit moodier in the 1970s, perhaps contributing to his strange shutouts-and-shellings distribution of game performances that led to his perennial underperformance versus Pythag. He'll be a fascinating read on Chris J's website.
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 27, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1645785)
Not Serious candidates: Kinder, Antonelli, Burdette, Miller

I guess I'll qualify why I put these specific guys on my list of candidates.

Kinder and Miller are, in fact, serious candidates if compared against other relief pitchers. My own brief study of the matter shows them both to be among the best relievers, compared to their leagues, that we'll encounter. I've looked at about 70 RPs, adjusting their WS in a similar way that I adjust SPs' WS. Kinder ranks about 7th, Miller about 9th. It is, however, an open question whether the HOM as a group will consider pre-1970s relievers in a systematic and serious way. I hope we do.

Antonelli's on this list because his career has numerous breaks in it that I don't know much about. I think he was in the service a couple years at least, and, therfore, may end up being a peak-happy voter's candidate. I doubt it, but I added him JIC.

I added Burdette because others have mentioned his name as a peak candidate.
   68. Daryn Posted: September 27, 2005 at 09:18 PM (#1646639)
I will be huge supporter of relievers, but I don't see Kinder or Miller as HoM worthy. Those ERA+s are a little light for relievers.
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: September 27, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1646681)
Reputation Monitor
Relief Pitchers

This is about a 5 year old list, not up to date with active pitchers.

1. Wilhelm 223 (a score of 200 is almost automatic HoF status)
2. Eck 190
3. Quiz 187
4. Sutter 181
5. Goose 172
6. Fingers 170
7. Smith 169
GAP
8. Lyle 140
9. Kinder 130
10. Hiller 124

11. Myers 122
12. Marshall 122
GAP
13. Perranoski 112
14. Radatz 111
15. Face 103
16. Miller 98
17. Marberry 98
18. McDaniel 93
BIG GAP
19. Konstanty 79
20. Grandma 72

I use this list as a first pass, consideration set kind of thing. On further review, Goose Gossage has a peak--I don't remember right now, but it seems like it's about 9 years at 190 ERA+, so he goes up toward the top. He pitched enough innings to dilute that peak where a lot of 'em didn't, but he was better at his peak/prime, just a monster really.

So in short I see Hoyt, Eck and Goose as HoMers.

Quiz, Sutter, Fingers and Smith will have to scrap for spots, though Quiz is criminally underrated.

All the others, no. Miller looks great for his time but not so great in hindsight. Of course, we're not supposed to be voting hindsight, but even without hindsight one has to ask whether he rates ahead of guys like Rixey and Griffith and Dean and Ferrell and, yes, Tommy Bond.
   70. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 28, 2005 at 12:43 AM (#1647339)
Great for his time is important, yes? Especially when his usage pattern is quite different from relievers before and after him.

Great for his position is important too.

To me the central question for all relievers is how much great relieving makes a guy better than Rixey, Griffith, Dean, Ferrell, Ruffing, Bond. Or for that matter Sisler, Kiner, or Averill.

If the borderline for relievers is to be drawn near to Eck, then the de facto answer is that five great years of relieving, plus three or four good (but not great) years as a starter can get you into the HOM. Is that equivalent to a Rixey? Or better than Griffith? Or Cool Papa Bell?

Without leverage indices to tell us how earlier relievers were used, we risk losing their sense of value completely, especially since ERA+ will be a less reliable measure of effectiveness with a reliever's lower innings totals.
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: September 28, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1647673)
If the borderline for relievers is to be drawn near to Eck, then the de facto answer is that five great years of relieving, plus three or four good (but not great) years as a starter can get you into the HOM.

Well, if you also have another 10-15 seasons as an average to slightly above-average starter or reliever. The peak voter may not notice, but Eckersley does have a 24-year career.

If one sets aside those extra 10-15 seasons, Kinder's career has a somewhat similar shape to Eckersley's, except that he wasn't as good as a starter or a reliever as Eck.

A serious question on Kinder, though, will be, "What was he doing before 1946?" He breaks into the majors at 31, after all.

Without leverage indices to tell us how earlier relievers were used, we risk losing their sense of value completely.

Well, WARP and win shares both make efforts to include a leverage factor in their assessments: neither system simply treats all innings pitched as equal in value. So both these metrics can give us some guidance in these matters, even if they're not perfect.
   72. jimd Posted: September 28, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1647937)
Well, if you also have another 10-15 seasons as an average to slightly above-average starter

Well, Eckersley (the starter) does have somewhat better 3-yr (26.9 vs 24.8) and 5-yr (39.3 vs 38.3) peaks than Rixey, measured by WARP. If this makes Eckersley an "average to slightly above-average starter", then what is Rixey? More of the same?
   73. Daryn Posted: September 28, 2005 at 02:53 AM (#1647958)
A serious question on Kinder, though, will be, "What was he doing before 1946?" He breaks into the majors at 31, after all.

I just assumed he was black. :)
   74. jimd Posted: September 28, 2005 at 03:05 AM (#1647986)
Well, WARP and win shares both make efforts to include a leverage factor in their assessments

Yes, but both use "Saves" as an indicator for leveraged innings. If reliever usage is dictated by the "fireman model" (use him whenever the inning appears to be critical; popular during the 50's and 60's) instead of the "save model" (save him for the last inning of close games), their leverage adjustments will tend to underestimate the value of the leveraged innings by missing the "fireman innings" whose importance are not captured by the summary stats, but require play-by-play to determine.
   75. DavidFoss Posted: September 28, 2005 at 03:31 AM (#1648015)
A serious question on Kinder, though, will be, "What was he doing before 1946?" He breaks into the majors at 31, after all.

His "deadball obituary" says that his professional career started in 1938 (age 23), the war didn't start drafting players en masse until 1943 (age 28), so even withouth the war, he was going to break into the majors fairly late. He was acquired by the Browns from Memphis of the Southern Association before 1946. I suppose there are minor league numbers out there for him somewhere.
   76. Howie Menckel Posted: September 28, 2005 at 12:57 PM (#1648199)
nothing useful in baseballlibrary.com on Kinder, but there is this:

» May 17, 1947: A seagull flies over Fenway Park and pelts St. Louis Browns P Ellis Kinder with a 3-pound smelt, missing him by a gill. The unflappable Kinder holds on to top the Red Sox, 4–2, giving up six hits, including Eddie Pellagrini's 3rd homer of the year."
   77. Trevor P. Posted: September 28, 2005 at 02:13 PM (#1648303)
"Shoo-Ins: Feller, Wynn, Spahn, Roberts"

Chris, perhaps its a few years to early to have this discussion, but why do you see Early Wynn as a shoo-in? To me, he looks a lot like Burleigh Grimes. Am I missing something?
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: September 28, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1648445)
Am I missing something?

Well, I could be proven wrong, but I predict that, as with Hal Newhouser, when the electorate comes to examine Wynn's career closely, he'll be elected very easily.

He does look a lot like Burleigh Grimes as a type, but I think he'll appear _better_ than Grimes in most respects.

The differences between Wynn and Grimes: 1) Wynn is even more durable: he throws 500 more innings in an era in which innings are harder to come by. He has more IP than Ruffing or Rixey. 2) Although he has league quality issues as does Grimes, he does much better by WARP3 than Grimes or Rixey or even Ruffing. 3) He has a better peak than Rixey or Ruffing. Where Grimes seems to generally rank behind R & R, my sense is that Wynn will generally rank ahead of them.

I'm not saying yet that I believe Wynn is definitely worthy, but when I look at him in relation to our standards for long-career pitchers, it looks to me like he will place higher than our high backlog pitchers, who will be elected or on the cusp of election when he becomes eligible.

Thus, I predict easy election.
   79. sunnyday2 Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1648657)
Is there an AL pitcher from, well, the 20th century, who doesn't do better by WARP3 than Rixey and other deadball NLers?, he said (somewhat hyperbolically ;-)
   80. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1648684)
Alright, I'm settling in to a new project. Now that the majority of the MLEs are done with or at a stage that's close-enough, I've started diving into retrosheet and seeing what it can tell me about Stu Miller. Ellis Kinder falls before retrosheet's PbP files, so I can't shed much light there. But Miller's prime is right in RS's zone.

So here's the question: does anyone know how to calculate Leverage Index? If so, I can either give you data on relievers as we go along and you can crunch it, or else you can tell me how to do, and I'll just do it myself. Either works for me.
   81. Mike Webber Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1648699)
So here's the question: does anyone know how to calculate Leverage Index?

Doc,

I'd start here:
Tango Tiger Leverage Articles

Its possible that Tango himself would help you out
   82. KJOK Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1648719)
Is there an AL pitcher from, well, the 20th century, who doesn't do better by WARP3 than Rixey and other deadball NLers?, he said (somewhat hyperbolically ;-)

If I understand your question, Ruffing is the answer...
   83. Michael Bass Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:33 PM (#1648722)
For me, the relavent comparison to Early Wynn is Ted Lyons, who cruised in pretty easily.

Career WARP1

Lyons: 114.8
Wynn: 119.4


Top 5 WARP1

Lyons: 10.6, 10.3, 9.1, 8.8, 8.7
Wynn: 11.3, 9.2, 9.0, 8.1, 7.9

WARP3 treats them about the same as WARP1, owing, I would assume to the AL's very slow integration.

Wynn would appear to have a touch more career, neither are really peak candidates, Lyons looks to have the better prime. I prefer Lyons, but given how quickly he flew in, Lyons minus a touch (which Wynn appears to be) probably is going in soon, too.
   84. Michael Bass Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:35 PM (#1648727)
As an aside, both of these guys have career totals and prime totals way ahead of Rixey, even by WARP1. WARP3, as sunnyday mentions, hates Rixey-era NL something fierce, and it's a complete laugher there.
   85. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 28, 2005 at 05:58 PM (#1648770)
Thanks, Mike!

Of course, now that I've looked at how Tango does it, I don't think it's feasible for me to do. He's using software to sift through event tables, I'm using, um, Docware to look at game-by-game situations.

However, I think there's a compromise... I think I can at least describe the leverage of the situations Miller (and subsequent relievers) entered into. That's better than nothing.
   86. Chris Cobb Posted: September 28, 2005 at 09:00 PM (#1649192)
Since we've been talking about relievers, here's a bit more that I've turned up on relievers' leveraged value:

Tangotiger and Bill James appear to be in agreement on the maximum degree of leveraging that is possible by placing relief aces in highly leveraged situations.

From the conclusion of Tangotiger's article on Sutter, Gossage, and Lee Smith:

The save statistic is perhaps one of the most poorly used statistic in trying to determine the value of a player. We should look beyond the save total to determine a player's true value. Once we get the save numbers out of our mind, we are left with 3 very good pitchers, whose contributions were limited by the innings they threw. The impact of an 80-inning reliever is no more than that of a 160-inning starter. And that's how we should view them.

The key point here is that the maximum leverage gain is 2:1 -- a highly leveraged reliever's innings will be worth twice as much as a starting pitcher's innings.

I dont' have James' quote with me at the moment, but in _Win Shares_ he says essentially the same thing, as he explains why the formula for giving additional innings to relievers for the purpose of calculating win shares is capped at at 2x actual innings.

Tango's studies show that the ninth inning _is_ a high-leverage inning, so well-used modern closers tend to approach a leverage index of 2.0 in their top seasons. Sutter had a career leverage index of 1.9.

We can use this theoretical upper bound and estimates of how closely relievers approached it to estimate how close WARP1 comes to giving the pre-closer top relievers their full value, by comparing our leverage index estimates to the ratio of their xip estimates to actual ip.

This approach isn't perfect, but it may help us to decide at least whether or not to take a relief-pitcher candidate seriously or not.
   87. Chris Cobb Posted: September 28, 2005 at 09:13 PM (#1649244)
To use Sutter and Gossage as examples of correcting WARP1:

Tango uses his leverage index to give Sutter 1980 equivalent IP for his 1042 actual IP, and Gossage 2961 IP for his actual 1809 IP. WARP1 xip (based on decisions and saves) gives them 1536 and 2320 equivalent innings pitched, respectively.

We can then pro-rate their WARP1 totals into the more accurate accounting of their leveraged usage value provided by Tangotiger. We won't have as exact an accounting for earlier relievers, but since the "fireman" model seems to fit their usage patterns, we can infer that their leverage index will be similar to later firemen and post-1990 closers.

(WARP1 xip, btw gives Mariano Rivera a leverage index of 1.61, which is probably a bit low, but much closer to his real value than WARP1 gets for the fireman-style relievers.)
   88. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 28, 2005 at 09:19 PM (#1649270)
Chris, this sounds good, but I think there's another factor. If 2:1 is the "cap" on how much relief is worth, then no reliever other than Hoyt Wilhelm will get into the HOM.

Mariano Rivera, for instance, has about 800 career innings. Let's say he retired tomorrow. Max him out at 2:1 and he's at only 1600 innings. The HOM has already established that 1600 innings is not enough for election. In fact, the threshhold is much higher (around 2500 I think). So a reliever must pitch 1250 relief innings at the theoretically highest degree of leverage to even sniff the HOM.

Maybe that's not a bad thing if you think the HOM should have only one reliever in it. If you think it should have three to five relievers, it becomes a problem. I don't know if anyone's talked about how many relievers the HOM should have ideally have, I would guess it's 3-5 by 2007. Could it be more? Should it be less?
   89. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 28, 2005 at 09:22 PM (#1649285)
How much should someone like Rivera, or a starter like Pettite, receive for postseason play? Are those innings more high leverage, do they count?
   90. Tango Tiger Posted: September 28, 2005 at 09:37 PM (#1649328)
Of course World Series should count! Isn't it what baseball is all about? Personally, I would triple anything a player does in the playoffs. If someone wanted to x10, I couldn't disagree either.

As for the "theoretical" upperbound, I think the highest I've found is at 2.3. It is definitely possible to make it 2.5, with proper usage. Using 2.0 is a fair thing to do.

***

It's silly to have a min IP limit, if this is what is being discussed. If a guy is 2 runs per 9 IP better than average, and he pitches 1800 leveraged innings, that makes him 400 runs (40 wins) above average. The gray area would be at 30-35 wins.
   91. OCF Posted: September 28, 2005 at 10:03 PM (#1649380)
Of course World Series should count! Isn't it what baseball is all about? Personally, I would triple anything a player does in the playoffs. If someone wanted to x10, I couldn't disagree either.

But there's this problem:

Lou Brock: 21 G, 92 PA, .391/.424/.651 plus 14-2 as a basestealer.

Ernie Banks: O G, statistics N/A.

If we triple Brock's record and add it to the appropriate seasons, then it makes a distinct difference to his value, especially his peak value. But is doing that fair to Banks?

And that's from the era of the one-layer postseason; never mind cases like Rivera and Smoltz.

As for the notion of a "min IP limit": no one was talking about a strict number there. The reference is really to such cases as Dizzy Dean. With his flashy, 130 ERA+, 2000 IP career, the bulk of our electorate has looked him over and decided that that's not enough.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: September 28, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1649413)
I agree with O here. Nobody said 800 IP (1600 equivalent IP) for a reliever isn't enough. Just that 1600 isn't enough for a starter. That's a different equation.

Also, as for post-season, the danger is that when Mariano becomes eligible, all of a sudden his post-season record will be used as XC, whereas nobody else's post-season record has ever really been discussed.

IOW in order for it to be fair to give Rivera a post-season boost, we really ought to calculate all the other post-season values, all-time, to make sure the list isn't getting skewed. Rivera (or whomever) shouldn't get extra credit nobody else got. It's like giving Ted Williams WWII credit (or more to the point, giving Enos Slaughter and Pee Wee Reese WWII credit) and nobody else.

I'm fine with post-season credit...applied systematically.
   93. Chris Cobb Posted: September 29, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1649835)
Chris, this sounds good, but I think there's another factor. If 2:1 is the "cap" on how much relief is worth, then no reliever other than Hoyt Wilhelm will get into the HOM.

Given that my proposal would

(1) raise the value of pre-closer relief aces significantly significantly above the value currently being assigned them in our two main comprehensive metrics and so, if generally accepted, would substantially help relief pitcher candidates

and that

(2) it is consistent with the best current analysis of how much value relief pitchers actually add,

if its general acceptance by the electorate meant that Wilhelm were the only relief pitcher elected, I would be willing to accept that conclusion as appropriate. I don't believe that it is at all likely that we will elect Wilhelm and no others, however,

So a reliever must pitch 1250 relief innings at the theoretically highest degree of leverage to even sniff the HOM.

Obviously, the HoM's eligibility policies mean that no official standard could be set, and as Tangotiger points out, a pitcher's value also depends on how effective he is in the innings he pitches, so no fixed ip standard makes sense. Mariano Rivera, for example, has been so extraordinarily effective (a 196 DERA+ [!!!]) that he would probably not need to reach 1250 ip to be a very strong candidate, esp. considering his post-season resume. (I think he has a pretty good shot at pitching 1250 innings before he's done, anyway.)

That said, for pre-1990 relievers, 1250 IP is by no means an extraordinary IP total. Wilhelm is far beyond it, as are McDaniel, Gossage, and Fingers. Elroy Face tops it, as does Lee Smith. Stu Miller probably has 1100 relief innings plus 600 starter innings, so he would seem above 2500 equivalent innings. Eckersley obviously isn't hurting for ip. Ellis Kinder and Bruce Sutter seem like they fall short of that threshold, but I don't think the record of relievers' innings pitched suggests that we would be setting the bar too high by looking, except in cases of mind-boggling effectiveness per inning, for 1250 or more outstanding innings from a relief pitcher for that pitcher to be a serious candidate for induction.
   94. Mike Webber Posted: September 29, 2005 at 12:33 AM (#1650016)
I already give post-season credit in one several cases, with Ed Cicotte being the primary culprit.
   95. sunnyday2 Posted: September 29, 2005 at 12:55 AM (#1650142)
Like Chris, if we don't elect more than 1 or 2 relievers, so be it, though I personally think (pre-analysis) that Wilhelm is a shoo-in, and Gossage and Eck almost as much. After that, yes, it gets murky.

But what if I said that we need to have a pinch hitter in the HoM? You'd say, well, so-and-so may have pinch hit .400 with an all-time high in pinch hits (I'm making this up) but I going 200 for 500 is just not enough career bulk, and I would have to agree.

So, similarly, if we decide that pinch-pitchers with 1000 IP just don't have enough bulk even if their ERA is 2.00 or even less, again, I don't see that that conclusion would be wrong or unfair.
   96. Sean Gilman Posted: September 29, 2005 at 01:16 AM (#1650300)
As for the notion of a "min IP limit": no one was talking about a strict number there. The reference is really to such cases as Dizzy Dean. With his flashy, 130 ERA+, 2000 IP career, the bulk of our electorate has looked him over and decided that that's not enough.

Dean has almost 2000 IP with a 130 ERA+.

As of this season, doubling his IP for leverage, Rivera has about 1600 IP, with a 190 ERA+.

Those 60 ERA+ points would likely be the major difference in the electorate's view of those two pitchers.
   97. jimd Posted: September 29, 2005 at 02:06 AM (#1650562)
HOMers by birthyear, by 5 year groups, and 15 year "clusters".

1835-1839 1-0 Pearce
1840-1844 1-0 Start
1845-1849 3-0 Pike, Wright, White

1850-1854 9-0 Barnes, McVey, O'Rourke, Spalding, Sutton, Hines, Anson, Bennett, Radbourn
1855-1859 11-0 Richardson, Stovey, Galvin, Keefe, Gore, Connor, Kelly, Brouthers, Glasscock, Ewing, McPhee
1860-1864 4-0 Ward, Thompson, Clarkson, Caruthers

1865-1869 7-1 Grant(?), Hamilton, Young, Delahanty, Burkett, Jennings, Nichols
1870-1874 12-1 Dahlen, JCollins, Davis, McGinnity, Rusie, Kelley, Keeler, Clarke, Wallace, Wagner, GJohnson, Lajoie
1875-1879 5-1 Plank, Flick, MBrown, Sheckard, RFoster

1880-1884 6-2 Crawford, Hill, Mathewson, Walsh, Lloyd, Magee
1885-1889 13-2 Williams, Baker, Cobb, Alexander, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Wheat, Faber, Coveleski, Jackson, Rogan, Groh
1890-1894 4-1 Carey, Santop, Vance, Heilmann

1895-1899 7-3 Ruth, Torriente, Hornsby, Charleston, Frisch, Terry, Wilson
1900-1904 14-4 Grove, Goslin, Hartnett, Lyons, Suttles, Stearnes, Beckwith, Simmons, Cochrane, Waner, Gehringer, Gehrig, Hubbell, BFoster
1905-1909 12-5 Dihigo, Paige, Cronin, Appling, Dickey, Leonard, Foxx, RBrown, Wells, Ott, Herman, Hack

1910-1914 5-1 Greenberg, Gibson, Vaughan, Mize, DiMaggio
1915-1919 1-0 Boudreau
1920-1924 1-0 Newhouser

We have debated before whether a decade is over or under represented. There is an interesting pattern in the above data which may indicate that 15 years is a more useful grouping. At the very least, it indicates that there were HOM-clusters every 15 years during the early years of baseball, forming distinct generations.

Grouping up:

1835-1849: 5-0 (Pioneers; Pearce to G.Wright)
1850-1864: 24-0 (Barnes,McVey to Thompson,Clarkson)
1865-1879: 24-3 (Hamilton,Young,Grant to MBrown,Sheckard,RFoster)
1880-1894: 23-5 (Crawford,Hill,Mathewson to Santop,Vance,Heilmann)
1895-1909: 33-12 (Ruth,Torriente,Hornsby to Wells,Ott,Hack)
1910-1924: 7-1 (just starting; Greenberg,Gibson to Minoso?,Hodges?)

Viewed this way, it appears clear that we may have overelected somewhat from the group that was born 1895-1909, i.e. that peaked between 1920-1935 (give or take a couple of years). How many extra depends on how many we expected to elect from that group, based on "a pennant is a pennant". Although it does appear that we have elected both a full complement of MLB players, plus a healthy selection of NeL'ers.
   98. TomH Posted: September 29, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1650623)
when we begin analyzing relievers, we'll also have to remember that it's easier to put up a gaudy ERA (or ERA+) as a reliever than a starter. Part of this is the 'fewer innings per outing' thing (no 'pacing' required), and some of it is the inherent reliever ERA advantage of not being responsible for inherited runnners on base when entering mid-inning. I'd try to throw some ##s together now, but others have done so in other places, and it's a discussion for another day....
   99. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 29, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1650660)
The reason I brought up postseason work is not so much because Mariano Rivera has such an otherworldly record in the postseason, but becuase guy slike Maddux, Smoltz, Pettite, Cone, Nagy? have so many posteason starts that it almost adds up to a whole season or more. That is a lot more stress on an arm.

For releivers, as with most players, I will only give postseaon credit in extreme positive situations, a la Rivera. I won't give it to someone who played in a lot of playoff games and was ordinary (tino) or someone who was bad (Bonds, pre 2002). I think I may give some to Ford, for instance.

Is this fair to those who never got in? No, not really, but inthe extremely positive situation, can you really say that Banks would have the post-season record of a Reggie Jackson? Jackson did have his postseason record and deserves some credit for it. Below him, in teh ordinary range, I don't think credit is really due. Oh, and somple size matters here to. 10 great at bats won't count, or won't really help.
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: September 29, 2005 at 03:03 AM (#1650702)
TomH, the ERA calcs for today's closers are easy. There are never any inherited runners.

As for post-season, I would be very careful about comparing post-season performance between generations. OTOH using it as a tie-breaker between contemporaries has a certain appeal.
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