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

Monday, January 16, 2006

1968 Ballot

Notable new candidates: Richie Ashburn, Red Schoendienst, and Eddie Yost.

Returnees: Eppa Rixey, Biz Mackey, Clark Griffith, George Sisler, George Van Haltren, Cool Papa Bell, Jake Beckley, and Cannonball Dick Redding.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 16, 2006 at 02:25 PM | 140 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dolf Lucky Posted: January 20, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#1830479)
1 (1)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.

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

3 (4)Dizzy Trout--Dominance peaked in '44, which is not as good as if it had peaked 5 years earlier or later. Nonetheless, how do you not count the best players of the war era?

4 (5)Johnny Pesky--He was one of the best players in the league when he left for the war, and he was one of the best players in the league when he came back…I don't think it's that big of a stretch to put Pesky up here.

5 (6)Bobby Doerr--Presents a relatively clean comparison to Boudreau: Lower OPS+, weaker glove, less important position. Do 1000 extra plate appearance make up for that? Not in this case.

6 (10)Ralph Kiner--7 straight years leading the league in homers. Obviously, the career length leaves something to be desired, but Kiner was very dominant for a considerable period.

7 (-)Richie Ashburn--From 1954 to 1960, finished 1st in times on base in his league five times, and finished 2nd another year. Love the defense, too.

8 (9)Chuck Klein--Less career than Ducky, more peak.

9 (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.

10 (14)Vern Stephens--Yes, his counting numbers were helped by the ballpark, and his teammates, but a shortstop with a career 120 OPS+ over 14 seasons is rare enough to merit ballot consideration.

11 (11)Dom Dimaggio--If WWII never happens, Dom's career numbers rival Max Carey, and his peak/prime leave Carey in the dust.

12 (13)Rube Waddell--10 straight years being in the top 5 in strikeouts. 7 straight years leading the league in K/9. Career ERA+ of 134. Dominant.

13 (12)Burleigh Grimes--I like the peak/career combo, and he keeps popping back up as a name to include towards the bottom of the ballot.

14 (15)Joe Gordon--A tremendous what-if story that will never quite be good enough for the hall.

15 (-)Johnny Sain--I love his peak, and I give him appropriate credit for missing a big chunk of the prime of his career. WARP paints a peak/prime picture not significantly different from Bob Lemon.

16 Urban Shocker
17 Eddie Cicotte
18 George Sisler
19 Dolf Luque
20 Carl Mays

Top 10 omissions:

(Sigh). Rixey and Beckley lack the requisite peak. Van Haltren and Griffith are mired in gluts that are a couple tiers below the ballot...basically neither player distinguishes himself from his positional peers. Redding, Mackey, and Bell didn't stack up at the time they were first eligible, and have since been further passed by latter day players. Sisler is #18. That's the maximum 8 players missing. I think that automatically kicks me out of the project...
   102. Mike Webber Posted: January 20, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#1830583)
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure anyone on this ballot is HOM worthy.

1)EDD ROUSH – Compared to Ashburn, more career value, better peak value. Those two are very close to me.
2)TOMMY LEACH – 300+ wins shares, big peak, excellent defensive player. If the defensive spectrum in his era was as fluid as many voters suggest, it may be in 1909 Fred Clarke felt that Leach’s defense may have been more of a factor in CF in 1909 than 3b. After all it was the immortal Alan Storke that replaced him at 3b.
3)COOL PAPA BELL – Again, the difference between he and Ashburn is ….?
4)RICHIE ASHBURN – Depending on how you view 19th century pitching win shares, may actually have the most career win shares of any available player. In my system this helps him significantly.
5)RALPH KINER – Despite a shorter career than most of my top 15, Kiner’s peak moves him up the ballot.
6)BOBBY DOERR – lacks outstanding peak, but keeps sliding up my ballot.
7)CARL MAYS – I think his strong peak moves him ahead of Ruffing and Rixey, but just barely.
8)PIE TRAYNOR – Slightly ahead of Elliot and Rosen.
9)JOE GORDON 5 times in top 10 of MVP voting, in the all-star game every year from 1939 to 1949 except his two war seasons.
10) GEORGE VAN HALTREN – Too many win shares to ignore, but I think the argument about his lack of top 10 win share seasons is fairly compelling. I bumped him further down my ballot to in relation to my penalty for 19th century pitching win shares. I realized I was not (may still not be) docking his impressive career totals.
11) ROGER BRESNAHAN – best catcher not in, Roger and Schang are both ahead of Mackey IMO.
12)VIC WILLIS – Every time I make my ballot more mechanical and less subjective he pops back into consideration, though I understand the idea that Griffith was better than he was.
13)EPPA RIXEY – Long career, no amazing seasons. Roush saved his bacon by catching a ton of fly balls J
14)JOE SEWELL – Another mechanized ballot favorite, and has as good an argument for induction as most others on this list.
15)LARRY DOYLE – If his fielding wasn’t so in question, I think he’d be in.

16-20 Berger, Rosen, Dean, Elliot, Lazzeri.
21-30 Rizzuto, H Wilson, Duffy, Schang, Stephens, Moore, Warneke, Lombardi, Vernon and Sisler

Disclosures – Mackey – I see him behind Bresnahan and Schang and Lombardi, Griffith – about 50. Redding ahead of Griffith, just out of top 30.
Jake Beckley – first basemen definitely better than Beckley include George Sisler and Mickey Vernon. First basemen probably better than Beckley include Frank Chance. First basemen about the same as Beckley include Camilli, Fournier, Bottomley, and Konetchy.
   103. Kelly in SD Posted: January 20, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#1830853)
I think found a great example of the lack of consensus among voters. Dolf and I agree that <u>none</u> of the returning top candidates merit inclusion.
Despite that much agreement in how we rank players, we only share 1 player among the 15 we think most deserve inclusion.

Wow.

Oh, and that means Bucky Walters is something special.
   104. Rob_Wood Posted: January 21, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#1831169)
1968 ballot:

1. Jake Beckley - impresses this career voter
2. George Van Haltren - star of the 1890s
3. Bobby Doerr - very good second baseman of the 1940s
4. Joe Gordon - nearly identical in value to Doerr
5. Bob Johnson - slugging outfielder of the 1930s
6. Ralph Kiner - hard to assess his true value
7. Willard Brown - negro league star
8. Richie Ashburn - similar to but better than Brett Butler
9. Tommy Bridges - with wwii and pcl credit
10. Bob Elliott - very good third baseman
11. Eppa Rixey - could be higher since I am a career voter
12. Cupid Childs - great 2b of the 1890s
13. George Sisler - very good career and great peak
14. Clark Griffith - TomH has convinced me of his value
15. Dobie Moore - negro league star

Not voting for: Biz Mackey (he's probably around 100 for me), Cool Papa Bell (around 20), and Dick Redding (around 75).
   105. DanG Posted: January 21, 2006 at 04:59 AM (#1831180)
My #4 and #10 were elected. Ashburn is the class of 1968, with Schoendienst and Yost also appearing. We’ll induct Musial and Berra in 1969, while Early Wynn also debuts. We should have some good discussion in 1970, with Snider, Minoso and Pierce coming on the ballot.

1) Clark Griffith (1,2,2) – Takes the top spot on my ballot for the second time. The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Like Leach et al, he doesn’t have that one big Wow! that gets voters excited. Career only seems short due to missing two years after contraction; peak only seems low because the contracted league is harder to dominate. Good hitter, too. A workhorse in his prime, averaging 332 IP from 1895-99, in seasons that were 15% shorter than today. 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

2) Eppa Rixey (3,4,4) – 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

3 George Van Haltren (2,3,3) – I’ve been among his five best friends for 32 elections. As the ballot thins out he climbs up again. Now in his 60th year eligible. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. 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 important 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

4) Tommy Leach (5,7,6) – Still in danger of Lost Cause status, but held his ground again last election. 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. I’m now dunning him a bit more for league quality, as others have apparently done. 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. 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. Of the players with the most games played, 1891-1923, 13 of the top 14 are HoMers:
1—2792 H. Wagner
2—2517 S. Crawford
3—2480 N. Lajoie
4—2450 T. Cobb
5—2443 B. Dahlen
6—2383 B. Wallace
7—2307 E. Collins
8—2242 F. Clarke
9—2232 G. Davis
10—2182 T. Speaker
11—2156 T. Leach
12—2123 W. Keeler
13—2122 J. Sheckard
14—2087 S. Magee

5) George Sisler (6,8,7) – The highest I’ve ever had him. 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

6) Cool Papa Bell (9,13,12) – I supported Carey and I’m one of Leach’s best friends. Bell seems to be in the same mold: defense and speed are +++, hitting was solidly above average in a long prime. Moving up.

7) Edd Roush (8,10,9) – The dude could mash, while playing a stellar centerfield. Trying to avoid Lost Cause status, he suffered his worst support in seven years. What’s the shelf-life of a Shiny New Toy? About 15-16 years? 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

8) Biz Mackey (7,9,8) – I’ve long been a friend of catchers and he may be the best available. I like the long career. Defense apparently as good as any catcher; if Schalk could hit, he’d have been Biz.

9) Roger Bresnahan (11,14,14) – Versatility should be a bonus, not a demerit. How many other catchers could have been pulled out from behind the plate to be an all-star in centerfield? Could move higher, but I really like guys who play. Played half his teams’ games in only 11 seasons, averaging 71% of team games in those years. Still, his offensive production towers over other catchers of his era, so he deserves a vote. Defense only C+. Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1930 (minimum 3500 PA):
1—130 B. Ewing
2—126 R. Bresnahan
3—118 C. Bennett

10) Jimmy Ryan (12,12,11) – The Ryan express got back on track, running even with Rizzuto; he still has not finished higher than 40th since 1951. As a SNT he finished ahead of six HoMers; the order in the teens was Duffy-Ryan-GVH-Beckley. Usually trailing those guys were Caruthers-Pearce-Pike-Jennings. To those 14 voters who had GVH in their top ten last ballot, how do you justify snubbing Ryan? The landmark decision in the jimd 1957 Ballot Affair affirmed the unconstitutionality of abandoning lost causes. Players averaging more than 45 extra-base hits per season 1888-98:
1—549 E. Delahanty
2—507 J. Ryan
3—502 J. Beckley
4—497 S. Thompson
Most outfielder Assists, 1876-1918
1—375 J. Ryan
2—348 G. VanHaltren
3—348 Tom Brown
4—307 J. Sheckard
5—289 O. Shaffer
6—285 K. Kelly
7—283 S. Thompson

11) Bobby Doerr (13,15,--) – Back on my ballot after four years off. Consensus of ratings consulted puts him ahead of Gordon. Doerr over Childs; similar peaks and hitting, but Doerr was a much better glove and had a longer prime. Players with 1600 games at second base, 1876-1959:

1—2650 E. Collins
2—2209 C. Gehringer
3—2126 B. McPhee
4—2035 N. Lajoie
5—1852 B. Doerr
6—1813 B. Herman
7—1775 F. Frisch
8—1735 J. Evers
9—1728 L. Doyle
10—1719 R. Schoendienst
11-1687 D. Pratt

12) Jake Beckley (14,--,--) - Back, for awhile at least. He’s Joe Start, but without a peak and retired four years sooner. Grade B fielder, won four WS GG. The many triples may be a product of a strange park in Pittsburgh, as his other stats do not suggest good foot speed. Players who compiled a BA over .290, from seasonal age 30 on, 1876-1920, minimum 4500 PA after age 30:
1—.324 C. Anson
2—.320 H. Wagner
3—.320 N. Lajoie
4—.310 J. Beckley
5—.308 J. O’Rourke
6—.306 J. Ryan
7—.306 R. Connor
8—.304 P. Donovan
9—.297 F. Clarke
10- .296 D. White
11- .292 P. Hines

13) Wally Schang (15,--,--) – There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between him and Bresnahan. He’s still on the radar since his last appearance on my ballot, in 1945. Players with OBP of .380+, 1915-29, 5600+ PA:
1—.475 B. Ruth
2—.439 T. Cobb
3—.436 R. Hornsby
4—.435 T. Speaker
5—.427 E. Collins
6—.412 H. Heilmann
7—.399 J. Sewell
8—.398 W. Schang
9—.393 K. Williams
10-.381 G. Sisler

14) Dobie Moore – First time on my ballot. If there is one overlooked Negro leaguer that still haunts me it’s him.

15) Burleigh Grimes – Last appeared on my ballot in 1945.

Off Ballot

16) Richie Ashburn – Conservative estimation for the newbie. Could move up.

17) Cupid Childs – I’ve voted for him three times: 1914, 1915 and 1942. The backlog added since then still has not quite played itself out.

18) Hugh Duffy – Last appeared on my ballot 1941 thru 46.

19) Alejandro Oms – He haunts me, too.

20) Joe Gordon – Little difference between him and Doerr.
   106. Jeff M Posted: January 21, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#1831348)
Why is the intro page widescreen again?

1968 Ballot

1. Mackey, Biz –My quantitative methods put him about where the anecdotal evidence would have him, despite skepticism from the electorate. Awfully good hitting catcher. I must have different numbers for Trouppe, because he doesn’t impress me. I don’t think it is an accident that he wasn’t even considered by the new HOF Negro Leagues project.

2. Oms, Alejandro – His closest comps appear to be Manush, Sisler and Wheat. All are already in my PHoM and he played a more important defensive position than Sisler.

3. Duffy, Hugh – A very good outfielder who hit approximately 40% better than the rest of the league. Good grey ink and a consistent run producer.

4. Brown, Willard – Tough to evaluate, with all of the alternative leagues he played in. I’ve got him around 335 Win Shares, with SimScores close to Dave Parker, Billy Williams, Goose Goslin and Andre Dawson. I’d like him better without those SimScores.

5. 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 fares quite well in WS. Obviously could hit.

6. 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 even without the extra credit.

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

8. Browning, Pete – After much teeth-gnashing, I increased the applicable AA discount, but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. I don’t understand the arguments about his defense, since defensive outfielders really contribute little to the overall picture. Has been in my PHoM for most of the life of this project.

9. Wilson, Artie – An outstanding shortstop who outhit his competition by about 20% has to be on the ballot. I don’t see any real distinctions among Clarkson, Sewell and Gordon, at least in terms of how to rank them.

10. Clarkson, Bus –I don’t know where to put him. I’ve looked at all the miscellaneous league data to the point I’m actually mad at him for playing in so many leagues. If he was born in 1915, it is easier for me to swallow that he couldn’t get out of the minors from ’50-’56. But if he was only 32 in 1950 (normally the back end of a peak), I’ve got some problems with presuming a HoM career when he couldn’t even make a major league roster at age 32.

11. Sewell, Joe –He’s a nudge ahead of Joe Gordon.

12. Gordon, Joe – A few spots ahead of Doerr, but that’s a meaningless distinction.

13. Ryan, Jimmy -- Back again. If only people gave him as much credit as Van Haltren.

14. Griffith, Clark – On again. I could have him higher.

15. Dean, Dizzy – A rare example where the peak sways me.

16. Welch, Mickey
17. Long, Herman
18. Doerr, Bobby
19. Cuyler, Kiki
20. Cravath, Gavvy


Required Disclosure(s):

Rixey, Eppa – No question in my mind he is better than Ruffing. However, he never really had flashes of brilliance, and for me that is a pre-requisite to the HoM.

Van Haltren, George – He’s #29in my system.

Bell, Cool Papa – Other than the legend, I cannot see anything that puts him in the elite of all time. I’ve got him as a .303/.346/.427 man, with good but not exceptional defense. He’s #40 in my system, neck and neck with Hack Wilson.

Beckley, Jake – What is there to say about Beckley that hasn’t been said? He’s #54 in my system.

Redding, Dick -- After his initial evaluation, Redding dropped out of my “consideration set,” which now goes 100 deep.
   107. Gadfly Posted: January 22, 2006 at 09:34 AM (#1832378)
1968 Ballot (Gadfly)

As always, I believe that the conversion rates used in the Hall of Merit for Negro Leaguers and Minor Leaguers are inaccurate (see Cravath thread) and unfairly downgrade Negro League and Minor League performances. This, of course, makes my list top heavy with Negro Leaguers and poor Gavy Cravath.

Also, I give catchers a 30 percent position bonus, pitchers a gradually increasing position bonus from 1921, and credit for career interruptions that are timeline related (i.e. wars but not injuries). I also upgrade for various other small things like the 1877-78 and 1892-1900 contractions while downgrading the early AA, 1884 UA, 1890 AA, 1914-15 FL, etc.

My ballot relies on Win Shares and tries to weight peak and career equally, basically multiplying the total WS of the player's best 5 years by three and adding this number to the total career WS to arrive at a score that looks like an old-fashioned grading system (i.e. 900 and above: Grade A Hall of Fame/Merit player, 800-899: Grade B, etc.). The system slightly favors peak.

1. Gavy Cravath (A+)
He was the greatest slugger of his time, trapped in Minors for his prime, and would have hit well over 500 home runs in his career if it had only started in 1922, not 1902. A Proper evaluation of his Minor League numbers makes it clear that he was a Major League caliber player for 20 years with an astounding peak. Exactly the type of player the Hall of Merit was formed to honor.

2. Willard Brown (A+)
The Brown thread has Willard's career petering out quickly after 1949. He was the best hitter in the Negro League from 1947 to 1949 and should have had a career lasting from 1936 to 1955 if the world was colorblind. Another guy who would have easily passed 500 home runs in his career without wars and stupidity. Brown also walked much more than he is being given credit for in his thread (playing in Puerto Rico during his prime, Brown was walking more than once per every 10 at bats).

3. Luke Easter (A)
Basically Willie McCovey's bigger stronger brother with his career hidden under layers of racial discrimination, World War II military service, injuries, and then age discrimination. Easter is the baseball equivalent of an iceberg. If Easter, Brown, and Cravath had all gotten to play their full careers out in the Majors, Luke Easter would have been the one most remembered and it's not even close.

4. Dick Redding (A)
Redding would have won over 300 games in the Major Leagues with well over 200 of them coming from 1910 to 1920. A huge man (6 foot 3 or 4 and 210 to 230 pounds) Redding threw hard all the time. He has no real comparable white contemporary which, in and of itself, is an indication of his value..

5. Cool Papa Bell (A)
6. Alejandro Oms (A)
7. Tetelo Vargas (A-)
8. Biz Mackey (A-)
All very overqualified Negro Leaguers and badly underestimated by the conversion rates in use. The three outfielders (Bell, Oms, and Vargas) are all very similar with Oms having the best bat and Bell being the best defensive player. Mackey was the black Gabby Hartnett.

9. Charlie Jones(B+)
Jones was clearly a better hitter than Pete Browning or Ralph Kiner, who are both close comps. If he had only played ball from 1871-75, not been blacklisted for two years, and not changed his name, Benjamin Rippay would have been an easy Grade A Hall of Famer.

10. George Van Haltren (B+)
11. Rube Waddell (B)
12. Hugh Duffy (B)
Three more forgotten guys from the turn of the century. Van Haltren is directly comparable to and much better than Jake Beckley; Waddell was great and would have been much greater at virtually any other time in baseball history; and Hugh Duffy was the Kirby Puckett of the 1890s with a longer career.

13. Jose Mendez (B)
Mendez was, for seven years, one of the three or four greatest pitchers extent (with Johnson, Brown, and Mathewson). His career, as a pitcher and light-hitting shortstop lasted 20 years. Basically the he is the ‘Hughie Jennings’ of pitchers.

14. Quincy Trouppe (B)
Trouppe is basically a much bigger, much stronger, better version of Wally Schang and would have walked a 100 times a year in the Major Leagues while hitting for power and average.

15) Ben Taylor (B-)
16) Edd Roush (B-)
17) Charlie Keller (C+)
18) Joe Gordon (C+)
19) Chet Brewer (C+)
20) Tony Mullane (C+)
21) Clark Griffith
22) Tommy Leach
23) Roger Bresnahan
24) Bill Wright
25) Pete Browning
26) Ralph Kiner
27) Eppa Rixey
28) Burleigh Grimes
29) Bill Byrd
30) George J. Burns (C+)
31) Bucky Walters (C)
32) Dick Lundy
33) Wally Berger
34) Dobie Moore
35) Richie Ashburn (C)
36) George Sisler (C)

The Class of 1968 is really quite uninspiring. Of course, this means that, as in 1967, two guys from the backlog will go in. Hopefully they’ll be better picks than 1967’s Joe Medwick (#25 on my list) and Bob Lemon (#29), but I doubt it.

The three best players from the class of 1968 are:

1) Richie Ashburn (Score 746/Solid C Hall of Famer): Ashburn is nothing really special and, if he is elected in 1968, his election while Cool Papa Bell waits outside will be a travesty.

2) Eddie Yost (Score 636)/Low D Hall of Famer): The Walking Man is an interesting player but also about as qualified for the Hall of Fame or Merit as a thousand other guys.

3) Red Schoendienst (Score 619/D- Hall of Famer): He’s the Jake Beckley of 2B, a little less career with a slightly better peak.
   108. EricC Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#1832451)
REVISED 1968 ballot. Ballot counters, note that this replaces the ballot I submitted as #46.

I just discovered that Sam Rice missed almost all of 1918 due to military service. He was a steady, full-time player, so it is easy to estimate his career without WWI. Prorating 1919 to a 154-game schedule, and estimating his 1918 performance as the average of 1917 and 1919 takes him from 2987 hits and 323 WS to 3184 hits and 350 WS. And this, in the stronger AL, is enough to take him from off ballot to a solid contender.

1. Wally Schang
2. Joe Sewell
3. Joe Gordon
4. Bobby Doerr
5. Richie Ashburn
6. Charlie Keller
7. Cool Papa Bell
8. Jose Mendez
9. Sam Rice
10. Biz Mackey
11. Tommy Bridges
12. Red Schoendienst
13. Ernie Lombardi
14. Ralph Kiner
15. Bob Elliott

No longer on my ballot: Lefty Gomez
   109. Michael Bass Posted: January 22, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#1832790)
1. Dobie Moore - Hughie-lite, a monster player for not as short as you might think.
2. Jose Mendez - Ed Walsh-lite, probably more criminally underrated than Moore, because his comp, unlike Moore's comp, sailed in.
3. Bobby Doerr
4. Clark Griffith - Best player from the 1890s left, by a wide margin I'd say. Peak, prime and career, a little of each, I love him.
5. Richie Ashburn - Career pattern wise, reminds me of Sewell, who he just tops. Not a great peak, but plenty of prime.
6. Joe Sewell
7. Bucky Walters
8. Willard Brown
9. Joe Gordon
10. Quincy Trouppe
11. George Sisler
12. Bob Johnson
13. Dick Redding
14. Fred Dunlap - One of the 5 best players in baseball for 6 out of 7 years. I'd take him over quite a few people currently in the HOM.
15. Pete Browning - Fielding questions, AA questions are what keep him this low. The man could still hit.

16. Biz Mackey
17. Fielder Jones
18. Dizzy Trout
19. Bob Elliot
20. Urban Shocker

21-25: Monroe, Rizzuto, Oms, Bond, Luque
26-30: Van Haltren, Matlock, D. Dimaggio, Uhle, Grimes
31-35: Scales, Kiner, B. Taylor, Rixey, Lundy
36-40: King, Veach, Buffinton, Poles, Harder
41-45: Dean, H. Smith, Mays, Clift, Childs
46-50: Bartell, Klein, Byrd, Ryan, Berger

Red Schoendienst - Hall of very good. Not much to say.

Vargas - I have zero feel for him. I suspect he would fit into my top 50, but I don't feel I have the numbers at all with which to make an accurate ranking of him. Is there more discussion yet aside from the one post in his thread?

Rixey - #34. No peak still, but has prime, more than I'd allowed for before.

Mackey - #16. Looks like he's not quit gonna make my ballot before getting in, but I fully support him. Everyone from 3 down to 16 is kind of a mishmash for me.

GVH - #26. Best 90s hitter remaining, not quite enough peak to make my ballot, especially considering that the 90s were not packed with inner circle guys, unlike the era immediately preceeding.

Bell, Beckley - Off ballot. No peak, not even much prime. With Bell, I'm open to a reinterpretation of his numbers, but the number given right now don't do anything for me.
   110. Andrew M Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:34 PM (#1832954)
1968 Ballot

Wow, time flies here at the HoM. The 1968 World Series is the first baseball I can even dimly remember.

1. (1) Eppa Rixey. His top ERA+ seasons run 144 (in two shortened seasons), 143, 142, 139, 136, 129, 124, which is pretty good for a guy who also pitched almost 4500 innings. He looks even better if you give him war credit for 1918 and make an allowance for 1919, which, combined with pitching for a lot of mediocre teams and getting lousy run support, almost certainly cost him the chance to win 300 games.

2. (2) Dobie Moore. Terrific peak for a middle infielder. With a few years' credit for his army years, his career seems of comparable length and quality to Boudreau’s.

3. (3) Larry Doyle. Outstanding hitter (126 OPS+) for a middle infielder and the best position player on some very good Giant teams of the 00s and 10s. Consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct., and won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. WS shows him as a C+ fielder, which seems about right to me from what I’ve read about him.

4. (5) Clark Griffith. With the possible exception of 1898, he was never the best pitcher in the league, but his peak between 1895-1901 is impressive. He had a .620 career win pct. while pitching for some pretty mediocre teams and a 3.86 DERA/121 ERA+ in 3300 career innings. His career isn’t long, but there is an argument that he should get some credit for pitching in the PCL in 1892 and 1893. Could also hit some (69 career OPS+).

5. (6) Edd Roush. First in a group of OFs who I think have about the same argument for election here. I favor Roush slightly because I think his peak level of performance was higher than the other guys’. Anyway, Roush was among the best players in the NL for a decade, which included a couple of MVP type seasons and a year in which he was arguably the best player on a team that won a World Series. I think Bill James has him ranked about right (15-CF).

6. (14) Alejandro Oms. In my mind I have long had him grouped with Wheat and Roush. Maybe Slaughter would be a comp as well. Riley suggests his skills were similar to P. Waner’s, though maybe that’s too generous. Other names (Cuyler, Beckley, Simmons, Duffy) are mentioned in his thread, and Minoso comes to mind as well. Either way, he was clearly an outstanding player for a long time who seems like he should be around the mythical HoM in/out line.

7. (7) Geo. Van Haltren. Did everything well for a long time during a difficult era. Good peak and career numbers; even pitched decently. Some measures (e.g. Win Shares) make him look like a clear HoM-er; other measures (e.g. 121 OPS+) make a less compelling argument. Which could also be said for…

8. (new) Richie Ashburn. I’m not sure whether he should be #3 or #30 on this ballot. He does very well when I compare him to any single OF, but not as well in comparisons with groups of OFs. In his favor, he was very consistent and durable for over 2100 games in a very difficult league, he got on-base a lot, and, by all accounts, he was a terrific CF—though neither WS nor WARP suggest he was an historically great fielder. As with C.P. Bell, I think his OPS+ might underestimate his offensive value. His .288 EQA, while not outstanding, is close to Roush, Ryan, Duffy, Van Haltren et al. At various times over the last week he was the #1 OF on my ballot and at others I wasn’t sure why I should prefer him to his predecessor in the Phillies’ OF, Roy Thomas. Ultimately, I think time will sort out where he ought to be on my ballot, but here’s where he starts.

9. (9) George Sisler. I don’t give him much credit for his post-1922 career, but he was an outstanding player for almost a decade before that. To my mind the argument for him is about the same as that as for Medwick or Averill.

10. (8) Cupid Childs. Excellent peak. Best 2B of the 1890s before Lajoie arrives. Given the relative brevity of his career, it is hard for me to put him above Moore, whose peak seems higher to me, or Doyle, who has about 600 more PAs.

11. (10) Rube Waddell. Lots of strikeouts, but also Top 10 finishes in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134 (with two years at 179), DERA of 3.67/3.76. Had he pitched more innings per season, he probably would already have been elected—regardless of how troubled he may have been. As it was, his career was relatively short, but he did pitch almost 3,000 innings.

12. (11) Cool Papa Bell. The hardest guy on the ballot for me to rank. Long career in which he contributed many positive things (speed, fielding, lots of singles) to his teams that may not be reflected in his modest OPS+. Or maybe it is, I don’t know.

13. (12) Tommy Bridges. Not much of a workhorse—though he did finish in the top 10 in innings 5 times—but I’ll live with that from a guy with six 140 ERA+ seasons in the 1930s and 40s American League.

14. (15) Joe Gordon. Another big-hitting middle IF, which has gradually revealed itself as one of my voting preferences. With reasonable war credit, Gordon seems to have a slightly better HoM argument than Doerr, Lazzeri, or Stephens.

15. (new) Indian Bob Johnson. If going through all the OFs again convinced me of anything, it’s that I have seriously underrated his guy. He’s got over 8,000 plate appearances with an OPS+ of 138 and EQA of .304, and appears to have been no worse than a league average LF.

Next 5
16. Hugh Duffy. Outstanding Win Shares.
17. George J. Burns. Ditto.
18. Quincy Trouppe. Best of the eligible catchers?
19. Jimmie Ryan. Still waiting.
20. Ralph Kiner. 149 OPS+ in 6200 PAs hard to ignore.

Required disclosures:
Biz Mackey. I don’t see putting him ahead of Trouppe. He’s around #30 on my ballot.
Jake Beckley. Currently #27. I recognize, however, that placing Sisler at #9 and Beckley at #27 may seem exactly backwards to some.
Cannonball Dick Redding. When someone mentioned his projected stats looked like those of Rick Reuschel, I filed him in the “Subjects for Further Research” category and left him there. I’ve gone back through his thread and still don’t see why someone would prefer him to, say, Bucky Walters or Vic Willis, but I’ll keep looking.
   111. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#1832996)
1968 Ballot

PHOM: Earl Averill and Enos Slaughter. Big jump for Slaughter as I realized that tying him to GVH wasn't that smart.

1. Cupid Childs (1, PHOM 1939) - I guess Cupid is my new pet project, it only took me about eights years to grasp on to him after I lost King Hughie in 1960. Childs has a very nice peak and a long career for an 1890's MIer.

2. Hugh Duffy (3, PHOM 1965) - Best of the 1890's OF trio and a real miss I believe. Great peak and a career that is shoudl nto count against him.

3. Dick Redding (5, PHOM 1966) - 2nd best NeL pitcher of the deadball ear behind Smokey Joe Williams, which is none to shabby.

4. Charlie Keller (6, PHOM 1966) - Great peak that was cut short due to the war. Best peak candidate on the board in my opinion, even better than...

5. Dobie Moore (7, PHOM 1967) - The Black Jennings, though his peak wasn't as high as EE-YAH's. Very good player nonetheless, great hitter and fielder at his best.

6. Bucky Walters (8) - Next in line for my PHOM. Very good pitcher at his best, not quite as good as Ferrell or Lemon, but similar.

7. Ralph Kiner (9) - 7 straight HR titles, nice peak. He wasn't as good of a fielder or as much of a consistent OB threat as Keller.

8a. Bill Terry

8. Clark Griffith (10) - If we are going to elect another 19th century pitcher, it should be Clark. Much better than WElch. Fourth best pitcher of the 1890's. Is he the only player to have a stadium officially named after him?

9. Joe Gordon (11) - Slightly better than Doerr after you take the effects of WWII into account. Nice peak/prime at 2B.

10. Pete Browning (12) - Great hitter but league quality and defensive conerns place him here.

11. Eppa Rixey (13) - Better than Ruffing as a career pitcher. Pitched many innings and pitched them well, plus he lost some of hi peak to WWI.

12. Bobby Doerr (14) - I can't place him too far behind Gordon and still think of myself as objective. However, the Yankee fan in me hopes that our final in/out line has Gordon in and Doerr out.

13. Quincey Trouppe (15) - As we are on the verge of electing Biz Mackey, I hoped to convince some people that Trouppe was the better player by a pretty clear margin. Better hitter with a better peak.

14. Dizzy Dean (17) - Diz makes a return to my ballot. He would be up in Lemon/Ferrell territory if he either a) had learned how to hit or b) had a few more decent years. His pitching peak is awesome.

15. George Van Haltren (18) - We really have gone through the backlog when GVH makes a return to my ballot. He has been as high as 12 and as low as 24 with me, thsi is oneof the high ebbs.
   112. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#1833007)
16-20 Sisler, Rosen, Ashburn, Oms, Waddell
21-25 Bresnahan, Berger, Mendez, Elliot, Cravath
26-30 Brown, Necombe, Willies, Mackey, Roush
31-35 Bell, Lundy, Rizzuto, Monroe, Veach
36-40 Doyle, Sewell, Shocker, Johnson, Leach
41-50 Thomas, McGraw, Stephens, Wilson, Chance

Newbies

Schoendienst and Yost were both nice players, but neither really makes my consideration set (top 75 or so, I have done write-ups for them). I like Yost slightly more, but I also love OBP.

Required Disclosures

Beckley - Not really close to my top 50, never a top player. Mark Grace with more career.

Mackey and Bell - Long career, low peak NeL players don't really do it for me, reputations be damned.

Sisler - #16, really close ot me ballot and very close to my in/out line. If he makes it there will be no arguments here. However, I would like to say that I just don't think his peak was high enough to warrant a high spot on my ballot.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#1833036)
Besides being anybody's election so far, we most likely will have a new record for the lowest percentage of all points.
   114. OCF Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#1833171)
Besides being anybody's election so far, we most likely will have a new record for the lowest percentage of all points.

Consensus scores will set a new low record for average, but will mostly fall into a relatively narrow range. With no established consensus to agree or disagree with, it's hard to stand out from the crowd in either direction.
   115. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#1833356)
1968 ballot:

1. Cool Papa Bell: Hitting, incredible speed, great defense, long career. Similar to, but better than, Carey. By Bill James’s rankings, the 7th best centerfielder so far (including Stearnes in cf, James has him in lf). SWW believes that Negro Leaguers would be astonished by Bell not being in our HOM. I wonder if the HOF Negro League committee will be similarly astonished. (eligible 1948, PHOM 1957)

2. 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. (eligible 1936, PHOM 1938)

3. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%, Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. (eligible 1940, PHOM 1942)

4. 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. (eligible 1949, PHOM 1958)

5. Dick Redding: Long career flame-thrower, top 5 Negro League pitcher. (eligible 1937, PHOM 1966)

6. Eppa Rixey: Long career, solid performer, innings-eater. (eligible 1939, PHOM 1967)

7. Roger Bresnahan: Great player whose versatility illustrates his quality. (eligible 1921, PHOM 1929)

8. Rube Waddell: Great ERA+, struck out tons of people when others weren’t. Yeah, he gave up a lot of unearned runs, but it’s not like he was alone…. In the core of his career, 1900-1909, 33% of the runs he allowed were unearned. Cherry-picking the same period, we have 3-F Brown 36%, Ed Walsh & Addie Joss 34%, Christy Mathewson, 31%, Cy Young 30%. (eligible 1916, PHOM 1968)

9. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, very good offense for a middle infielder. Made my PHOM as a shiny new toy in ’39, now becoming a teddy bear. (eligible 1939, PHOM 1939)

10. Ralph Kiner: 7 homer titles. A latter-day Pete Browning. (eligible 1961)

11. Dick Lundy: #3 HOF-caliber career according to Riley after Mackey & Pete Hill. Recently we’ve elected 3 Negro-Leaguer big bats with marginal defensive qualifications: Wilson, Suttles, Beckwith. Players with more balanced resumes have meanwhile had support ranging from solid (Mackey), to moderate (Bell), to minimal (Lundy), to non-existent (Judy Johnson). (eligible 1943)

12. Clark Griffith: Hanging on. See him as the most deserving player left from the ‘90s. (eligible 1912, PHOM 1945)

13. Lefty Gomez: Low innings total, but a terrific peak, more career than Dean, good black & grey ink, HOFS, HOFM, W-L, ERA+. Yes, he pitched for a lot of good teams. I think he had something to do with them being good. (eligible 1948)

14. Bobby Doerr: Like Sewell, 10 all-star caliber seasons in 14 years. Sewell is more frequently at the top according to STATS, 8-4. (eligible 1957)

15. Carl Mays: Good peak candidate, pretty good hitter. (eligible 1935)


the next five:
16. Pete Browning (eligible 1899, PHOM 1927)
17. Richie Ashburn: On-base machine, great defense, good stolen-base stats considering the era. (eligible 1968)
18. Pie Traynor (eligible 1941)
19. Waite Hoyt (eligible 1944)
20. Tommy Leach (eligible 1921)

Required comments:
George Van Haltren: I wasn’t that crazy about him in the ‘20s, and the field of candidates is much better and deeper now. Very solid performer, but no suggestion of greatness.
Jake Beckley: I was crazy about him in the ‘20s and he made my PHOM in 1926, I’ve cooled off on him since.

PHOM off-ballot: Beckley (1926), Browning (1927), Welch (1929), Duffy (1940)

HOM not PHOM: Carey, Vance, Slaughter, Averill, Beckwith, Ferrell, Kelley, Sheckard, Jennings, Pike, Pearce, Jackson

PHOM not HOM: Welch, Grimes, Griffith, Waddell, Rixey, Bresnahan, Mackey, Beckley, Sisler, Sewell, Browning, Duffy, Bell
   116. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#1833358)
My first ballot...I use win shares and warp and best 3 and top 5 consecutive for each of those as the basis for my ranking then make some adjustments.

1. Richie Ashburn - Long career with a very good peak from a great defensive CFer.

2. Bobby Doerr - Great defensive 2B who could hit.

3. George Van Haltren - Good fielder, good hitter. Not a great peak, but racked up 344 WS.

4. Jose Mendez - The thread here was extremely helpful (as were all the threads on the negro/cuban league players). MLE's show him to have four straight 30 WS seasons.

5. Willard Brown - Very good-great hitter while playing SS and CF for half of his career.

6. Bob Johnson - 13 seasons and over a 125 OPS+ in each one. 10 seasons above a .290 EQA

7. Fielder Jones - Richie Ashburn-lite. Great defender, good OBP. Not as long a career as Richie.

8. Bucky Walters - I see him as similar to Mendez, about 3000 IP with most of his value packed into a 5-7 year stretch.

9. Joe Sewell - Very good defender and pretty consistent 110-120 OPS+ (OBP heavy) hitter for most of his career.

10. George Sisler - Great peak, but most of his value came before age 30. Lack of walks and injury kept him from being an all time great.

11. Jimmy Ryan - Average defender, similar value as Sisler, but Sisler had the higher peak and higher ranking on my ballot.

12. Bob Elliott - 3B with a 124 OPS+ and very good peak. 4 straight seasons with a 135 OPS+ or better plus 2 others at 134.

13. Ralph Kiner - Not a long career but he sure made the most of it. 149 OPS+, 7 straight HR titles.

14. Gavvy Cravath - Great hitter with an excellent peak. WARP is not a fan which keeps him down my ballot some.

15. Wally Berger - A good defensive CFer who was a great hitter, short career keeps him down here.

Players from top 10 not on ballot:

Eppa Rixey and Clark Griffith - I have them ranked about the same (about the 18-21 range). Rixey had a longer career, but Griffith had the better peak. Not that far from making the ballot (actually there isn't much different between 4 and 25 on my ballot).

Biz Mackey and Cool Papa Bell - Two guys who at the beginning I thought would be near the top of my ballot. It looks like they were average-above average hitters who didn't have a great peak. Bell had a loooong career which makes him close to making the ballot. I have Mackey ranked in the 50's, I think Trouppe is a better player (I have him ranked in the 20-25 range).

Dick Redding - Looks like Rixey but with fewer innings.

Jake Beckley - All career, no peak.
   117. Chris Cobb Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#1833416)
1968 Ballot

Ashburn vs. the Backlog. Medwick was off my ballot and Lemon was at 15, so there’s little to create change here except the arrival of Ashburn, though I did shuffle my pitchers a bit. I think Ashburn, like Lemon, is a borderline candidate for the 1950s. He’s on the right side of my in-out line, but not far above it.

1. Clark Griffith (1). 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. Superior to several elected pitchers by virtually every measure. I hope to see him elected in the 1960s, but 1968 will probably be his last chance before the mid 1970s.
2. Eppa Rixey (2). Long, solidly above-average career. Runner-up in 1942. he is now getting closer to election at last. Would help to fill the 1915-25 drought.
3. Alejandro Oms (3). A great player in the 1920s, his run of solid to border-line MVP seasons is better than Ashburn’s, and I hope that the arrival of Ashburn will give a boost to Oms’ candidacy. His career tailed after his 1930 (injury?) season, but he remained a good hitter with gradually decreasing playing time in my projections. Brown beats him in OPS+, but I think Oms’ superior plate discipline makes him the better offensive player. Given the likelihood that we are missing a season or two of major-league quality seasons at the beginning of his career, I am comfortable with Oms here.
4. Biz Mackey (4). 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.
5. Burleigh Grimes (5). My willingness to support National League stars from the teens and twenties is separating me from the consensus a bit, I think, with Grimes, Rixey, Roush, and Cravath representing that era on my ballot. Consideration of his batting value makes me agree with those who don’t see a whole lot of difference between him and Rixey.
6. Willard Brown (6). Probably the #4 slugger in the Negro Leagues in the late 1930s and 1940s, behind Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Monte Irvin. More raw power than Leonard and Irvin, I think (though less, apparently, than the mysterious Luke Easter), but his lack of plate discipline places him behind the more complete hitters. The plate-discipline issues make him very hard to rate.
7. Joe Gordon (7) I think I’ve been underrating infielders a bit. An eventual HoMer, in my view, a bit better than Doerr, who should also be an eventual HoMer.
8. Dick Redding. (13) One of the great pitchers from the underrepresented late teens and early twenties. His peak falls right in the center of an underrepresented period. Moves up to where my I think he should rank by his standing vs. his contemporaris: I’ve been holding him back a little pending re-evaluation, but since I don’t know if I’ll ever get round to that, I decided to stop waiting on it.
9. Jose Mendez. (12) A player most deserving of a fresh analysis and renewed attention. New data from Brent and Gary A gives us a window into CWL league quality during Mendez’s prime: this may help or hurt his case. I hope I’ll have time to study this in the next few “years” in relation to that data. Moved up now for the same reason as Redding above.
10.Bobo Newsom (8). My system likes Newsom a lot. He had a truly outstanding peak in the late 1930s, which is obscured by the fact that he was pitching for bad teams with bad defenses in hitters’ parks in a high-offense era. Under those circumstances, his 329 IP for the Browns in 1938 is just mind-boggling. His career losing record isn’t anything to celebrate, but I think he brought more value to his teams than did Bucky Walters. A lot like Burleigh Grimes. Both were innings-eaters, with very strong peaks, who also had some bad seasons. I have the following order for late 1930s-to-1950 pitchers: Satchel Paige, Bob Feller, Ray Brown, Hal Newhouser, Bobo Newsom, Bill Byrd, Bucky Walters, Hilton Smith, Leon Day, Dutch Leonard, Dizzy Trout. The first four are obvious Homers, with Newsom, Byrd, and Walters on the border.
11. Edd Roush (11). Great ballplayer, but lots of time out of the lineup keeps him from being higher. His contrast with Ashburn in this respect is particularly striking.
12. Gavvy Cravath. (12) Extraordinary hitter, but weak fielding keeps him from being higher. WARP’s coolness towards him drops him slightly.
13. George Sisler (13). Truly outstanding peak, but outside of that seven-year run he was not generally an above-average player.
14. Ralph Kiner. (16) Holds on to a ballot spot two years running! His five-year peak exceeds Ashburn’s just enough to put him ahead of Ashburn, though Ashburn was better over 10 years.
15. Bobby Doerr (16). The Richie Ashburn of second basemen. Brilliant fielder; he really was one of the top players of the 1940s although he lacks a gaudy peak. Makes my ballot for the first time. He, Ashburn, and Kiner are very similar in value.

Consensus top-10 returning players not on my ballot:

George Van Haltren. See #19 below
Cool Papa Bell. See #28 below
Jake Beckley. See #47 below
Dobie Moore. See #44 below
   118. Chris Cobb Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#1833418)
1968 Off Ballot

16. Richie Ashburn (n/e). Does quite well in my system despite his unexciting OPS+. The best defensive outfielder we’ve seen on the ballot since Joe Dimaggio, probably one of the best dozen of all time. Highly unusual in combining exceptional defensive value with exceptional durability in center field. His rate stats are not nearly as good Edd Roush’s, above, but he usually gave his teams just as much value in actual seasons because of his durability. The top of the backlog is becoming extremely flat: there’s very little difference in value between Alejandro Oms at #3 and Van Haltren at #19. I’m perhaps being a little conservative with Ashburn out of the gate, but I definitely support his eventual election.
17. Buzz Arlett. (17) With pitching credit, he had a truly outstanding career.
18. Rube Waddell (18). Folks who have been discussing Joss in relation to Koufax and Dean on the relative ERA+ and IP scales should be considering Waddell in that conversation as well. Without commenting yet on Koufax, I see Waddell as well ahead of Joss and Dean.
19. George Van Haltren (19). Right on the all-time in/out line for me. If we get deep into the backlog in the next decade, he’ll get back onto my ballot.
20. Tommy Leach (20). Ditto.
21. Mickey Welch. (21) Sean Gilman’s comments on Charley Jones and the number of 1930s players we’ve elected made me realize that I was unfairly penalizing the top 1880s candidates. Welch is ahead of Jones in my 1880s rankings, so he moves up, as does Jones.
22. Bucky Walters. (22) His peak is overrated by some, but he was an outstanding pitcher during his prime. Wouldn’t object to his eventual election.
23. Bill Byrd (23). Strongly 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.
24. Rabbit Maranville. (24) His defensive value and his career length deserve respect.
25. Tommy Bond (25). The biggest beneficiary of my reconsideration of pre-1890 stars this week. My system has him slightly ahead of Charley Jones and I had been ignoring that fact.
26. Charley Jones (26). Had been unfairly buried in my backlog due to period considerations, which I had not reassessed in light of our piling so many 1930s stars into the HoM. I agree that the 1930s had an unusual number of great players, but my downgrading of the top 1880s players was inconsistent with my handling of the 1930s candidates, so Jones has moved up.
27. Roger Bresnahan (27). Also has moved up recently. The aughts have been a well-represented decade, so the remaining stars from that era needed to be reconsidered in light of the handling of the 1930s. As a result, Bresnahan moves up.
28. Cool Papa Bell (29). A borderline candidate from a well-represented period. Ranking doesn’t match reputation, and he’s one of a number of NeL candidates whose MLEs I am going to revisit in the new year, but I’ve generally trusted the numbers more than the reputation for NeL candidates.
29. Cupid Childs (30). I looked at the borderline 1890s candidates again as well this year, checking my system’s results against WARP’s, and Childs rises in my estimation as a result. I don’t really support him for election, but I prefer him to Doyle among second basemen and to Ryan and Beckley among 1890s stars.
30. Don Newcombe. (31) Hard to evaluate, hard to place. As a peak candidate, his peak ranks a little bit below those of Lemon and Walters. His career value is about the same, so he’s in the mix, but not yet near my ballot. I hope he won’t get lost in the shuffle. Is he slightly worse than Byrd and Welch and slightly better than Matlock? No idea, really, but I’ll start him there for now.
31. Leroy Matlock (32). 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 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.
32. Larry Doyle (33). Dropped significantly in 1956 reevalution of remaining candidates from the 1910s
33. Spotswood Poles (34). Another top NeL candidate from the teens who could use another look, though additional perspective offered by Brent’s CWL data doesn’t help his case.
34. Bob Elliott. (35) Although I’ve advocated for him, I find he’s still a long way from my ballot. He’s just a little bit behind the Hack/Boudreau/Gordon/Doerr group of 1940s infielders. WARP underrates third basemen vs. second basemen, I think, which is too bad for Elliott, since WARP likes him better than WS relative to Stan Hack. But I don’t see a metric that justifies placing him higher right now.
35. Carl Mays. (36) Wes Ferrell lite.
36. Urban Shocker. (37) Someday I’ll take up his cause. Another very well-rounded ballplayer.
37. Bus Clarkson . (38) Perhaps the best player to get no support from the experts in _Cool Papas and Double Duties_. My ranking system using Dr. Chaleeko’s MLEs places Clarkson virtually even with Bobby Doerr, but I think the good doctor’s MLEs are a little bit higher than what my own would be, so until I’ve a chance to run my own numbers for Clarkson, I’m going to place him conservatively at the rear of the borderline infielder group for the 1940s: Gordon, Doerr, Elliott, and Clarkson. These four are all very close in value, but when they are shuffled in with 70 years worth of borderline candidates, they end up separated by 30 slots top-to-bottom.
38. Marvin Williams (39). A very difficult career to evaluate. Kudos to Dr. Chaleeko for putting together MLEs! For now, he’s paired with Bus Clarkson, but his case deserves further study, as does Clarkson’s.
39. Bob Johnson (40). Career value is better than Medwick’s, I think, but even WARP1 agrees that his peak and prime trail that of his similar contemporaries Medwick and Averill. I don’t think he’s a HoMer, but he’s close.
40. Jimmy Ryan (41) Nice peak, but in a weak league, and for much of his long career his numbers are not distinguished.
41. Wally Schang (42)
42. Quincy Trouppe (43).

43-47. George Scales, Dobie Moore, Charlie Keller, Ben Taylor, Jake Beckley,
48-52. Dom Dimaggio, Joe Sewell, Dick Lundy, Hugh Duffy (38), Mel Harder,
53-57. Waite Hoyt, Herman Long, Wilbur Cooper, Johnny Pesky, Lave Cross,
58-62. Tom York, Kiki Cuyler, Harry Hooper, Mickey Vernon, Bobby Veach,
63-67. Fielder Jones, Dolf Luque, John McGraw, Ed Williamson, Phil Rizzuto,
68-72. Vern Stephens, Jim McCormick, George J. Burns, Jack Fournier, Bruce Petway,
73-77. Bill Monroe, Dizzy Dean, Babe Adams, Mike Tiernan, Pete Browning,
78-82. Sam Rice, Dave Bancroft, Frank Chance, Leon Day, Tony Mullane,
83-87. Hilton Smith, Ed Konetchy, Addie Joss, Nip Winters, Wally Berger
   119. OCF Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#1833425)
Another friend of Fielder Jones! Jones may get three votes this year. That's 7 outfielders among your 15 - of course, I've got 5 outfielders, so that's probably not unusual.

39 voters in and I still have no idea who we're electing this year.
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#1833426)
39 voters in and I still have no idea who we're electing this year.

A definite nail-biter, that's for sure, OCF.
   121. Esteban Rivera Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#1833443)
1968 Ballot:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

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

7. 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.

8. Biz Mackey - Has the hitting and the career length to edge Bresnahan for top catcher in my consideration set.

9. Ralph Kiner – His peak is enough to land him on my ballot.

10. Richie Ashburn - Great defense, on base numbers and prime.

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

12. Jake Beckley - The career man. What he accomplished during his career is enough to offset the lack of peak, so to speak.

13. Cool Papa Bell – The career this man would have had is among the most unique we have encountered so far. Probable 3500+ hits and speed to burn is a lot to ignore.

14. Charley Jones – Fantastic hitter from the 19th century. Gets some credit for blacklisting from me

15. Roger Bresnahan - I believe his versatility is a major plus in his case. I can understand not giving him credit if you think his playing time at other positions was worthless but when he was an outfielder he was one of the best ones in the league. Not many players in history would be able to pull that of.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

George Van Haltren - Never the best in his time.

Eppa Rixey - The flatness of his career keeps him on the cusp of the ballot.

Dick Redding - Not out of consideration but at this stage I have him behind Mendez. However, he could be helped by the new study that will be released at some point.
   122. Trevor P. Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:01 AM (#1833492)
1) George Van Haltren: Consolidated league, long career, nice WARP1, etc. Ashburn's candidacy will be a yardstick as to whether we'll elect GVH, I belive.
2) Eppa Rixey: An obscene amount of innings, especially when one factors in the year lost to WW1.
3) Jake Beckley: 125 OPS+ in over 10,000 adjusted AB. Can't be faulted for his teammates' performances, in my mind.
4) Quincy Trouppe: Better than Schang, with more in-season appearances.
5) Dick Redding: He's sure worked his way up the ballot. A bit better than Lemon.
6) Richie Ashburn: I think he may well be the best player on this ballot, but I haven't looked at the impact of his defense or his walks close enough to make that call this week. He's definitely top six.
7) Edd Roush: 110 WARP1 may be excessive, but the discount to WARP3 is overstated in my mind. Jumps up when compared to Ashburn.
8) Cupid Childs: Played 2B as well as Doerr, Gordon, et al. And did it during an era that was much more perilous for middle IF-ers.
9) Bob Elliott: Not as good as Stan Hack, but quite similar. Unfairly underrated by Win Shares.
10) Alejandro Oms: Another centerfielder, though he played more corner than Roush or Van Haltren.
11) Wally Schang: Schang isn't that far behind contemporaries like Hartnett and Cochrane when it comes to playing time, and he was no offensive slouch.
12) Jimmy Ryan: Got more votes than GVH once. League quality issues mean he ranks eleven spots lower.
13) George Sisler: Seven seasons of prime, plus eight more as an average 1B.
14) Biz Mackey: Also back. Methuselah behind the plate, though not the hitter Schang or Trouppe were.
15) Hugh Duffy: Another CFer who merits reconsideration with Ashburn's candidacy, in my mind.

Griffith is at #16 - on one week, off the next. Bell is mid-twenties, as his hitting is too inconsequential to rank him above the other centerfielders on my ballot.

And now, I turn my attention to that "other" election going on tomorrow.
   123. Ken Fischer Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1833997)
1968 Ballot

1-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.

2-Richie Ashburn 329 WS
The pride of Tilden, Nebraska spent his career in the shadow of the big 3 CFs from NYC. A truly great player when you place enough value on his defense.

3-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.

4-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.

5-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.

6-Vern Stephens 265 WS
Never gets his due. He is discounted because of the war years. I consider him the best of the four that get lumped together (Stephens, Gordon, Doerr and Rizzuto).

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-Wally Schang 245 WS
Schang belongs in a special group of the most overlooked ballplayers in history…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.

9-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.

10-Bobby Doerr 281 WS
Gordon was better…but he still was one of the best. A glue for the great 40’s Red Sox teams.

11-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.

12-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.

13-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.

14-Jake Beckley 318 WS
Like his career value. Connor, Crawford and O’Rourke and Clarke are all comps.

15-Ralph Kiner 242 WS
Every time I see him on TV or hear him on radio I want to shoot the box. But he deserves to be in the top 20.

16-Eppa Rixey 315 WS
Rixey matches up well with Grimes & Faber. He had a long and interesting career. He is known for his time with the Reds but made it into the Series only once with the Phils early in his career.

17-Joe Sewell 277 WS
Very hard to strike out and had a tough act to follow (Chapman’s death). He made position change (to third base) late in his career and continued to still have great numbers.

18-Red Schoendienst 262 WS
I still marvel at the picture of Red in an old encyclopedia yearbook for 1946. He’s there in the baseball section…being taken out on a DP in the ’46 Series but still making the play.

19-Burleigh Grimes 286 WS
Grimes matches up well with the recently elected Faber. His 270 wins and a high Grey Ink are impressive.

20-Willard Brown
Brown is hard to evaluate with years in both MLB and the Negro Leagues. He deserves a better look next time around.
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#1834028)
43 ballots compiled and I still have no idea who will ultimiately be inducted.

Still missing ballots from: Jim Sp, Devin McCullen, Tiboreau, Brad G, Max Parkinson, jimd, the Commish, RmC, and PhillyBooster.

Absolutely no ballots will be allowed after 8 PM EST.
   125. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#1834137)
"And now, I turn my attention to that "other" election going on tomorrow."

I think Humphrey will beat Nixon. No way this country goes conservative in the future.
   126. yest Posted: January 23, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#1834184)
for Ken Fischer

George Sisler?
   127. OCF Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#1834316)
43 ballots compiled and I still have no idea who will ultimiately be inducted.

Yep. By the way, when I said "39" in post #119, I hadn't yet counted Chris Cobb's, so my count agrees with John's.

We're going to have to do the ballot-count-debug with extra thoroughness this time, as a counting error could change the results.

yest: At this point, it's very unlikely that any long-time voter is accidentally overlooking any long-time backlog candidate. Assume that he's dealt with Sisler and placed him not among the top 20 or however many he chose to report. And if you look at the vote totals from 10th place to 20th place, you'll see that there's nothing particularly special about "top 10."
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#1834323)
for Ken Fischer

George Sisler?


Besides being dead for over thirty years, I don't think Gorgeous George is Ken's type, anyway.

;-)
   129. Ken Fischer Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#1834498)
yest-

I agree with Bill James...I think George Sisler is overrated. He is in my top 40. I believe the 20 guys on my list did more for their teams than Sisler did for the teams he played on.
   130. Jim Sp Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#1834549)
Schoendienst #9, Ashburn #14. Yost, Goodman and Woodling interesting but not close. Schoendienst and Newhouser PHoM.

Schoendienst is probably too high at #9, but there’s no time to redo my system right now. I see Eric had him similarly ranked so I’ll leave him there for now. Also didn't get to the Oms reevaluation...

1)Gordon--Fixed my war credit, he and Doerr moved up. PHoM in 1958.
2)Doerr-- PHoM in 1958.
3)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. PHoM in 1939.
4)Stephens-- PHoM in 1961. Looks underrated to me.
5)Elliott--I like him better than Hack. Second greatest 3B to date, after Baker. PHoM in 1960.
6)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA. PHoM in 1938.
7)Mackey--#2 on my 1949 prelim, but more data on his hitting has dropped him to here. PHoM in 1964.
8)Cool Papa Bell--If Max Carey is in, Cool Papa should be too. PHoM in 1966.
9)Schoendienst--PHoM in 1968. In case you’re wondering, the modern (retired) 2Bs that I’m planning to take are Morgan, Grich, Alomar, Whitaker, Sandberg, Randolph, and Fox. The modern SSs would be Ripken, Larkin, Trammell, Ozzie, and Concepcion. I’ll have to think about Tony Fernandez and Fregosi . (Yount, Banks, Rose, etc. I count as multiposition).
10)Bob Johnson--A very underrated player. Usually I'm a WS guy but this time I think Warp has it right.
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. PHoM in 1926.
12)Tommy Bridges—fixed his war credit
13)Rizzuto--Lots of war credit.
14)Ashburn--
15)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production, we’re not talking about Ed Kranepool here. PHoM in 1913.
16)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. PHoM in 1939.
17)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters. PHoM in 1916.
18)Lombardi-- A long career as a catcher with a big bat. I see 15 obvious catching electees: Gibson, Bench, Fisk, Carter, Hartnett, Dickey, Piazza, Berra, Simmons, Ewing, Cochrane, Campanella, Parrish, Rodriguez, Santop. I’m an advocate for what I see as the next tier: Freehan, Munson, and Porter will get strong consideration on my ballot too. You can’t have a baseball team without a catcher. Almost 2000 games caught including PCL.
19)Keller
20)Kiner
   131. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 23, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#1834877)
Another deep backlog election, and weird things start happening. Gavvy Cravath makes my ballot for the first time ever. Jake Beckley makes my PHoM-ballot for the first time since 1917. And, in all likelihood, I manage to match Eppa Rixey’s induction year on the PHoM. (Rixey and Moore are in the PHoM this year.)

1. Tommy Leach (1) 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. The 1900s aren't any better represented than any other era, and worse than some. Made my PHoM in 1940.

2. Bill Monroe (2) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Even though we don't have reliable numbers for him, he shouldn't be overlooked. Made my PHoM in 1939.

3. Willard Brown (3) I can't say I'm completely certain of this ranking, with the questions about his walk rate and level of competition. On the other hand, I think he’s better than any of the OF below him on the ballot. Chris's analysis showed him with the best career numbers of the OF candidates he looked at, and the peak numbers may have been deflated by the missing war years. Made my PHoM in 1967.

4. Joe Sewell (5) Gets picked on a lot, but I wouldn’t have minded his induction. For example, while I have Boudreau higher, I do think the two are somewhat comparable. Boudreau's a little better, but he was playing in wartime, and the first half of his era is much better represented at SS in the HoM (Cronin, Wells, Appling, Vaughan) than Sewell (Lloyd or Wells, and Beckwith). With one possible exception, clearly the best SS on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1939.

5. Dobie Moore (6) The possible exception, because we honestly don’t know exactly how good he was with the Wreckers. If he started out batting eighth, I don’t think he was putting up great numbers from the get-go. For a long time I had him just behind Jennings, but now I've decided he was clearly better than Jennings - perhaps not as high a peak, but his excellence endured longer. If you could have either one as a 22-year-old, why wouldn't you take Moore? Makes my PHoM this year.

6. Quincy Trouppe (9) I don’t quite credit him with all the At-Bats that the MLEs do, but a 22-year career of mostly catching goes a long way, and all the evidence says that he was very good. A better hitter than Mackey, and had a more substantial career. Catcher defense is important, but not enough to make up for everything else. Made my PHoM in 1961.

7. Eppa Rixey (7) Climbing up the ballot lately because he does well in head-to-head comparisons. From a less-well-represented era overall, although not really in terms of pitching (lots of overlap at either end of his career). Mostly a career argument, but I don’t see his peak as weak as, say, Lave Cross (or that other guy who there’s no need to fight about again). Makes my PHoM this year.

8. Bobby Doerr (12) After several years of debating about it, finally moves ahead of Childs, even though he wasn't clearly the best of his era. I’m still not sure that something isn’t screwy with WARP’s defensive evaluation of him, but after further review, it’s not historically unique.

9. Dick Redding (8) Slides down as Rixey moves up, because on direct comparison he suffers a bit. Had a better peak, but Rixey looks like a better prime, with 8 seasons over 20 WS to Redding's 6, plus much more career value.

10. Richie Ashburn (new) I might be too worried about SNT syndrome, but I don’t want to repeat the Bill Terry situation if I can help it. I think he’s slightly but clearly better than Carey, and since I have Carey tied closely to Van Haltren, Ashburn passes him as well.

11. Cupid Childs (10) 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). Made my PHoM in 1932.

12. George Van Haltren (11) It may be the case that I just don’t want to move him ahead of Childs because only one is in my PHoM. OTOH, I didn’t make that choice easily, and I can’t say there’s been any major new evidence since then. 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. I do find it hard to understand how anyone could have Beckley ahead.
(12A Max Carey, 12B Joe Medwick)

13. Bob Johnson (14) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons. I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend how Medwick can be in and Johnson nowhere close.

14. Gavvy Cravath (17) 43rd try’s the charm! 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. Like Rixey, has the underrepresented era/weak league factors to consider.

15. Bus Clarkson (16) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. Still a high ranking for a relatively unknown player IMO.
(15A Red Ruffing)

16. Jake Beckley. (19) There is a TON of career value, but his normal season is just too average to give him that much credit. Similar to Bell.
17. Alejandro Oms (18) 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.
18. Jose Mendez (16) The comparison of the K/9, BB/9 numbers impressed me. I still lean towards Redding’s career, but it’s closer.
19. Biz Mackey (21) I don’t really see him as induction-worthy, but maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
20. Cool Papa Bell (23) 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.
21. Phil Rizzuto (20) Now I’m not so sure why I initally liked him so much. He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, which is less certain.
22. Joe Gordon (25) Not that far from Doerr, could be a little higher.
23. Bob Elliott (22) Right now, appears a little better than Traynor and a little worse than Clarkson. I’m a 3B fan, but I don’t know that he’s the guy to support.
24. Ben Taylor (24) Slides behind Beckley for now, but they’re close. Top-3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM, though.
25. Vern Stephens (28) Could be higher, but I am sure he’s behind Rizzuto
(25A Sam Thompson, 25B Rube Foster)
26. Bucky Walters (27) Ferrell/Lemon Lite? Very impressive peak, but wartime takes some of the air out.
27. George Sisler (29) Might be underrated, but I just don't like the dropoff.
28. Charlie Keller (26) Now I’m seeing him as distinctly better than Kiner. If Keller had been the biggest star on the Pirates and Kiner was the second banana on the Yankees, King Kong would probably be in the HoF.
29. Rube Waddell (33) The ERA and K's look nice, but the career just wasn't long enough or consistent enough.
(28A Hughie Jennings)
30. Edd Roush (41) Another look at the CF tells me I had him too low, but there’s still the problem of the missed games.
31. Dick Lundy
32. Charley Jones
33. Roger Bresnahan
34. Clark Griffith (31) Simply not enough better than his non-HoM contemporaries for me.
35. Ralph Kiner
36. Pie Traynor
37. Bobby Veach
38. Tony Lazzeri
39. Burleigh Grimes
40. Pete Browning
   132. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#1834902)
I want to say that I think that yest was correct for asking Ken why to give details on why he didn't vote for Sisler. The rule has a very good purpose even if its seems superfluous for soemone like Ken who has been around for a while to keep restating why he doesn't like George Sisler.
   133. EricC Posted: January 24, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#1834970)
Schoendienst is probably too high at #9

No, Jim, keep up the good fight! Eerily, your list of worthy moden 2B is completely identical to mine (you must have Carew in your "multiposition" list). Among the SS, I have all your selections, and aparaiciate Aparicio, Campaneris and Tony Fernandez a little more, though my in/out line could shift a little.
   134. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 24, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#1835029)
Better late than never! Some shuffling this week.

1. Eppa Rixey SP (1) - Like Ruffing, a Nolan Ryan / Don Sutton / Phil Niekro HoMer. Very similar Ruffing. Low peak for pitchers on this list, but so much career value.
2. Jake Beckley 1B (2) - 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.
3. Gavy Cravath RF (3) - 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.
4. Luke Easter 1B (4) - I realize there is a lot of projecting going on here, but I think this is fair, as those ahead of him could reasonably be ranked ahead of Easter even with the extensive projections. I see him as extremely similar to Cravath, and he really did mash from 1937-54.
5. Ralph Kiner LF (5) - Was Harmon Killebrew a Hall of Famer through 1968? Reggie through 1978? How about Albert Belle? All are comparable to Kiner, the Albert Belle of the late 1940s and early 1950s. I'm not normally a peak guy, but his peak is astronomical. I'm not convinced his D was as bad as some say either. His defensive WS numbers aren't terrible.
6. Charley Jones LF (6) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL - can you tell I like this type of player?
7. Bucky Walters SP (8) - I was underrating him. According to RSI he pitched against amazingly tough competition, and pitched well against it. He was a great hitter (for a pitcher) too, which further understates his record. His record is similar to Ferrell's (201-157 vs. 190-131), longer career though not quite the quality - on the surface. Ferrell was a better hitter, but he doesn't get nearly the edge that he does over other pitchers. And when you throw in a MOWP of .526 vs. .497, it makes a close call.
8. Phil Rizzuto SS (9) - War credit has him right about 300 WS and 95 WARP, great defensive SS and hurt by his park enormously.
9. Clark Griffith SP (10) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity or Three-Finger Brown from Griffith?
10. George Van Haltren CF (12) - He could rank anywhere from 1 to 22, very tough to evaluate.
11. Richie Ashburn CF (n/e) - He slots between Van Haltren - who had a longer career and has some pitching value, and Leach, who was a great defender, but wasn't the offensive player Ashburn was. Getting his OBP from a GG caliber (although overrated by his raw stats) CF is of enormous value to a baseball team.
12. Cool Papa Bell CF (21) - Awful lot of career value there. Gets a bump this week. I think I had him a little low, given the potential for error in rating Negro Leaguers based on translations, I'm erring a little more on the side of reputation.
13. Virgil Trucks SP (13) - Hidden gem here, I didn't even notice it until I threw his numbers in my spreadsheet. I give him two full years of war credit for 1944-45, at an average of his 1942-43-46 level (after adjusting 1943 down a smidge for the war). He had some peak (I have him between Ruffing and Plank on my 'peak' score, would have won the 1953 AL Cy Young if it existed) and there's a lot of career value here. I overrated him just a little last time, Lemon and Walters have significantly higher peak with similar career value.
14. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (14) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.
15. Vern Stephens SS (15) - I love shortstops that can hit like outfielders and play above average defense, call me crazy :-) Clearly better than Doerr IMO.

Honorable Mention:

16. Dutch Leonard SP (16) - Pretty underrated when you look at his W-L record. Prospectus loves him, and Win Shares likes him a lot. A ton of career value and the 4th most saves of any pitcher in my consideration set. Bumping him further this week.
17. Joe Gordon 2B (23) - Lost two prime years, was cranking out 9-11 WARP1 seasons annually (1939-43) before military service.
18. Bobby Doerr 2B (24) - Too close to call w/Gordon right now.
19. Dobie Moore SS (17) - Great peak, short career, even with military team credit. But I've been convinced that he played enough (the level of play was never in quesiton) that I should move him way up compared with where I had him. This is similar to where I've put Hughie Jennings in the past.
20. Bill Monroe 2B (18) - Been on my ballot forever, haven't been convinced that this is a mistake.
21. Ernie Lombardi C (19) - I was convinced that his OPS+ overstates 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.
22. Biz Mackey C (20) - After further review he appears to be closer to Schang/Bresnahan than Cochrane on the catcher spectrum.
23. Jimmy Ryan OF (22) - Could easily be as high as Van Haltren, why did he fade so much?
24. Wally Schang C (25) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.
25. George Sisler 1B (26) - I think he is somewhat overrated by the consensus. His peak was great, but has been overstated.
26. Bob Elliott 3B (27) - Not very far behind Hack, who I would place between Monroe and Medwick. I cannot see how one could rank Childs or Doyle ahead of Elliott (2B pre-1920 being equivalent to 3B post 1935).
27. Dizzy Trout SP (28) - Great pitcher from 1943-46. Moves up more with my pitcher re-evaluation.
28. Tommy Bridges SP (29) - Unspectacular peak, but a lot of career value. He'd slipped off my radar too.
29. Quincy Trouppe C (30) - Good player, a smidge below Mackey and Schang.
30. Joe Sewell SS/3B (31) - Very glad he wasn't rushed in. Good, but not great, peak isn't enough to overcome his short career.
31. Urban Shocker SP (32) - He was one heckuva pitcher. Never had a bad year, ultra consistent with a nice peak.
32. Burleigh Grimes SP (33) - Like Walters, faced pretty steep competition (.520 RSI), so his 256-226 RSI and 107 ERA+ understates his record somewhat.
33. Dick Redding SP (40) - I see him just a little behind Grimes.
34. Roger Bresnahan C/CF (34) - Great OBP and gets a career value boost for being a catcher.
35. Bob Johnson LF (35) - I could have him too low. I need to be careful about purging guys that aren't close to my top 15, but well ahead of others, he was one of those that was lost in the shuffle somehow. One powerful hitter.
36. Dom DiMaggio CF (36) - With war credit he has enough career value and a solid peak. As was mentioned in his thread, a poor man's Richie Ashburn.
37. Ed Williamson 3B (37) - Still on the board after 70+ years.
38. Johnny Pesky SS/3B (38) - Basically the same player as Sewell but not as good defensively.
39. Willard Brown LF (39) - Tough to peg after considering his incredibly low walk rates.
40. Rube Waddell SP (41) - Another one that I shouldn't have dropped.
41. Walker Cooper C (42) - Great hitter for a catcher, just a smidge below Bresnahan and Schang.
42. Lave Cross 3B (59) - Also caught some. See Traynor for the reason he's back on the board. Enormous career value. Superb defender at important position(s).
43. Mike Griffin CF (43) - Great defensive player, could hit too. Keeping his memory alive . . .
44. Hugh Duffy OF (44) - Has to be behind Jimmy Ryan. I just don't see why some people like him so much. What makes him any better than Griffin? Griffin was on base more, and was a better fielder. Griffin had almost as much power. I just don't see it. If Duffy didn't have about 2 seasons on Griffin, he wouldn't be this close.
45. Cupid Childs 2B (62) - Good hitter, but 2B was a hitter's position in his time. Very similar to Stan Hack, much shorter career though. He gets a bump this week, as Schoendienst is making me re-evaluate the infielders.
46. Edd Roush CF (45) - Weak league hurts him.
47. Larry Gardner 3B (63) - I see him as a tad behind Traynor, about equal to Childs after bumping for 3B D in his era.
48. Ben Taylor 1B (46) - Not that far off Beckley, shows how tight the ballot is.
49. Pie Traynor 3B (47) - Back on the board. I think we are all seriously underrating 3B defense from the mid-30s back. Could move significantly higher once I get a better handle on this.
50. Mel Harder SP (48) - 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.
51. Billy Nash 3B (49) - Similar to Traynor, better glove, less pop.
52. Vic Willis SP (50) - I think I should have him higher, but I can't place him ahead of any of these guys.
53. Red Schoendienst 2B (n/e) - Good player, very nice peak from 1952-54. About equal as a hitter to someone like Concepcion or Campaneris, but they played SS, not 2B. Can't see any way to rank him ahead of someone like Larry Gardner, Billy Nash, Pie Traynor, Cupid Childs, etc.. So I bumped the others, since I don't think Schoendienst should be lower than this.
54. Bobo Newsom SP (51) - Similar to Leonard, kind of flies under the radar, but had a good career while he was bouncing all over the place, not much in terms of peak.
55. Dick Lundy SS (52) - Back on the radar, not as good as Sewell IMO.
56. Mickey Welch SP (--) - I should not have completely dropped him from consideration. I think he was a good pitcher, not a great one.
57. Don Newcombe SP (53) - Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see anyway possible to rank him ahead of Mel Harder. I think this is probably too high.
58. Bobby Avila 2B (54) - Gives him some credit for pre-major league play. Had a couple of really big years in the early 1950s.
59. Charlie Keller LF (65) - God could he hit. But his career makes Kiner's look long.
60. John McGraw 3B (56) - One helluva player - when he could stay on the field. More in-season durability would have significantly raised his ranking.
61. Dizzy Dean SP (--) - Great pitcher for a couple years. Too bad his career was cut short.
62. Lefty Gomez SP (--) - Quite comparable to Dean. Similar career value, Dean had the higher peak.
63. Tommy Henrich RF (64) - Don't forget to give him 3 years of war credit. I think Moises Alou is a very good comp.
63. Alvin Dark SS (55) - Shortstops that can hit league average are a valuable commodity.
64. Alejandro Oms OF (57) - Convince me if you think this is too low, I'm listening.
65. George Scales SS (58) - 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?
66. Mickey Vernon 1B (60) - Good player, long valuable career, not nearly the hitter Beckley or Taylor were.
67. Addie Joss SP (--) - Not very durable in season, short career. Great whenever he was on the field. Similar to John McGraw in that respect.
68. Pete Browning CF (61) - He's on the board again. I just don't think the AA was all that good when Browning dominated it, he was a good player, but his stats need serious deflation. The bat was great, the D was awful and the career was short.
69. Larry Doyle 2B (63) - Another good pre-Ruth 2B, but he wasn't very good defensively, and the position wasn't even difficult at the time. I see him as similar as a hitter to Bob Elliott through 1950. He should be compared to post-war 3B, not 2B. He wasn't as good as Elliott defensively either.
70. Eddie Yost 3B (n/e) - Very good player, that OBP was amazing, +.051 vs. league average, despite hitting just .254 for his career. Bad D at 3B though, and not much power.
   135. jimd Posted: January 24, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#1835065)
Ballot for 1968

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

Still revising my system. Maybe next year.

1) J. SEWELL -- Nice combination of WARP peak and career. Clearly the best MLB SS of the 1920's.

2) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. I think he rates ahead of Ashburn (on first analysis).

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

4) R. ASHBURN -- The fact that he was only the 4th or 5th best CF of the 1950's does count against him (Mays, Mantle, Snider, maybe Doby), though it looks like we might induct them all.

5) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason.

6) B. VEACH -- Good peak relative to great competition. Was an all-star OF longer than Medwick, Averill, etc.

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

8) J. TINKER -- Long career playing great defense; integral part of a great team.

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

10) R. MARANVILLE -- Back again.

11) E. RIXEY -- Back again.

12) B. WALTERS -- Reevaluated his peak; he's ballot-worthy.

13) B. MACKEY -- Catcher bonus keeps him on ballot.

14) D. DEAN -- Reevaluated his peak; he's ballot-worthy too.

15) C. P. BELL -- Just moving on.

16) C. GRIFFITH -- Almost there.

17) T. LEACH -- Extra credit.

18) B. DOERR -- Extra credit.

19) H. DUFFY -- Extra credit.

20) B. ELLIOTT -- Extra credit.

Just missing the cut are:
21-22) Dick Redding, Harry Hooper,
23-24) Vern Stephens, Joe Gordon,
25-26) Ned Williamson, Phil Rizzuto,
27-28) Ray Schalk, Wally Schang,
29-30) Jimmy Ryan, Rube Waddell,
31-32) Jim McCormick, Edd Roush,
33-34) Roger Bresnahan, Jake Beckley,
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 24, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#1835102)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   137. Paul Wendt Posted: January 24, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#1835276)
Clark Griffith
Fourth best pitcher of the 1890's. Is he the only player to have a stadium officially named after him?


Comiskey and Mack, his partners in crime.
   138. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 24, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#1835281)
Good point Paul, didn't really think about that as I don't picture those guys as players first. I didnt' use to picture Griffith as a player first, however.
   139. jimd Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#1835301)
Is he the only player to have a stadium officially named after him?

Bennett Park. And he didn't even own the team.
   140. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#1835306)
I always heard that Bill Comerica had a heck of a curveball.
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