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

Monday, April 03, 2006

1974 Ballot Discussion

1974 (April 17)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

565 154.4 1951 Mickey Mantle-CF (1995)
450 130.5 1952 Eddie Mathews-3B (2001)
273 74.3 1956 Rocky Colavito-RF
225 87.6 1955 Larry Jackson-P (1990)
203 63.8 1955 Elston Howard-C (1980)
223 53.7 1957 Roger Maris-RF (1985)
171 43.2 1956 Norm Siebern-1B
110 41.1 1958 Bill Monbouquette-P
132 30.7 1961 Floyd Robinson-RF
087 30.7 1952 Bill Henry-RP

Players Passing Away in 1973

HoMers
Age Elected

74 1944 Frankie Frisch-2B

Candidates
Age Eligible

92 1926 George McBride-SS
86 1929 George Cutshaw-2b
84 1929 Reb Russell-P/RF
83 1933 Jack Fournier-1B
81 1928 Greasy Neale-RF/LF
81 1932 Wilbur Cooper-P
80 1936 George Sisler-1B
79 1934 Vic Aldridge-P
74 1939 Sloppy Thurston-P
70 1943 Chick Hafey-LF
70 1943 Roy Johnson-LF/RF
66 1946 Lyn Lary-SS
60 1960 Al Brazle-RP
46 1964 Herm Wehmeier-P

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 03, 2006 at 12:08 AM | 228 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DavidFoss Posted: April 07, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#1946463)
There is no entry for "Clapp" in the index.

Thanks. Saves me the trouble of cleaning. :-) He would have been 18 in 1870 so it would have been possible, but a bit of a stretch.
   102. TomH Posted: April 07, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#1946494)
Just to finish a little thought on great youngsters:

From age 20 to 22, Ty Cobb led his league in AVG, SLG, hits, and RBI all 3 years. He led in steals twice, doubles once, triples once, home runs once. He put up incredible league-leading ##s at an early age.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: April 07, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#1946534)
How about "19th century catchers." I don't think it's a given that Carroll is the best of the rest.
   104. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 07, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#1946744)
Hey guys, just an FYI, looks like Howie and I will be meeting up tomorrow night for a drink or ten, either at or near the Palisades mall thinger-mijigger. I'll be online overnight tonight if you want to email for details up until about 7-7:30 a.m. Saturday.

My 703 cell is 622 embedded 06 in this 46 sentence - I won't answer it if I'm sleeping during the day, but I probably won't get to the NY area until sometime around noon. Figure we'll probably meet up sometime between 6 and 8 at a watering hole to be named later . . . sorry for the short notice, but that's how these things tend to work!
   105. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 08, 2006 at 02:09 AM (#1947295)
Looks the location will be to meet outside the Fox Sports Grill in the Palisades Mall. Time still TBD . . .
   106. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 03:38 AM (#1947641)
Is it worth starting a separate thread to evaluate Carroll? (Was there ever one?)

We didn't really make player threads back then when we started in '98. Since I believe he was only on one ballot in all of these years (mine in '98), there wasn't a big demand for his own thread. But I'll make one up for him now.
   107. frannyzoo Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1948650)
I'm catching up on this thread, and don't have the knowledge to do anything but lurk on the voting. I will say this: I'm guessing that if it wasn't for Frankie Frisch this Hall of Merit wouldn't exist. A back-handed compliment, but something good did come out from all the "evil".

Oh, and quit leaving out Gorgeous George Sisler...dude could rake and had very good speed for a 1B. He'd have been in year one, in my book. But I definitely agree that my book is "My Pet Goat" compared with the encyclopedic knowledge you guys have.
   108. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:17 PM (#1948668)
I'm guessing that if it wasn't for Frankie Frisch this Hall of Merit wouldn't exist. A back-handed compliment, but something good did come out from all the "evil".

You might not be 100% correct, Franny, but you're probably (at least) 85% correct.

Oh, and quit leaving out Gorgeous George Sisler...dude could rake and had very good speed for a 1B. He'd have been in year one, in my book. But I definitely agree that my book is "My Pet Goat" compared with the encyclopedic knowledge you guys have.

The problem is that there are two Sislers: the one before 1923 and the other after. The first one had a great peak, but not enough career for the majority of us to have him inducted based solely on that. The second one, however, was at best a mediocre player. It helps, but not enough for him to be a no-brainer, IMO.

But it's just a matter of time before he's in (and on my ballot), so don't fret. :-)
   109. DavidFoss Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#1948673)
There is no entry for "Clapp" in the index.

Found the book anyways. There is a little bit of continuity between the 1870 & 1872 Mansfield squads. (Tipper, Fields, Bentley), but as you said... no Clapp. The Mansfield squad was amateur that year, playing mostly CT teams and going 21-13. They did play NY Mutual and Philadelphia Athletic, but were soundly beaten by them.
   110. Paul Wendt Posted: April 08, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#1948820)
from Frank V. Phelps, "John Edgar Clapp" in Nineteenth Century Stars
>>
Taught a printer's trade in his native Ithaca, N.Y., Clapp played various positions for amateur teams as a teen-ager: the Forest Cities of Ithaca; the junior Mansfields of Middletown, Conn., and the Athletics of Otsego, N.Y.
. In 1871 [age 19.9 to 20.3], his ability oas a catcher and leading hitter of the Clippers of Ilion, N.Y., brought him attention . . .
<<
   111. Paul Wendt Posted: April 08, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#1948830)
Excuse me, I'll copy that in the Clapp thread.
   112. TomH Posted: April 09, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#1950316)
Q1: Who had the best offensive season in the major leagues (highest OWP, >500 PA) between 1876 through 1905?

Q2: Which third baseman had a higher OWP in his best year than any season from 1B/OFers F Robinson, Aaron, Mays, Gehrig, Foxx, DiMaggio, Musial, F Thomas, Rickey Henderson, Pujols, Ott, Speaker, Brouthers, or Delahanty?

Q3: Who has the highest single-season OWP, RCAP, and RCAA of any third baseman of all time?

Q4: Who has the highest career OWP of any third basemen in history?

Q5: Who among third basemen have the highest three RCAP over a 9 year period: First is Eddie Mathews, 1953-1961 with 518. Second is Wade Boggs, 1983-1991, with 473. Next with 445 is ???

--
The answer to all 5 questions is... John McGraw. 9-year prime is 1893-1901. Best season is 1899, when he basically was better than the league (park adjusted) avg hitter by turning 100 outs into times reached base, and adding over 50 steals.

In 1899, John McGraw scored .576 runs for every out he made. The league average hitter scored .214 runs per out made. That ratio is simply unheard of.

For comparison, George Brett's 1980 (when he hit .390 with power) comes the closest to McGraw's 1899
   113. sunnyday2 Posted: April 09, 2006 at 12:05 PM (#1950362)
The problem with rate stats is, well, McGraw's 1899 season. He played 117 games out of his team's 154. The previous season he had played 143 and tht was the only time in his entire career that he ever played more than 127.

McGraw and Chance were without doubt two of the most skillful baseball players of their day, but neither one could or would stay in the lineup.
   114. Howie Menckel Posted: April 09, 2006 at 12:31 PM (#1950368)
Well, I'll make a recommendation to anyone to make a point to catch up with HOM founder Joe Dimino if his travels take him past your neck of the woods.
We had a grand old time last night, getting off to a good start with Dimino's choice of the Cherry Wheat beer on tap at Fox Sports Grill. Good change of pace when you're having more than one!

As for McGraw, even granting that it was the one-league 1890s, for which he deserves a little extra credit over just before or after his era, it would have been nice if just ONCE he could have placed in the top 10 in HRs, RBI, Hits, Doubles, Triples...

He does have a couple of "Runs" titles, stole a good amount of bases, and four times was in the top 5 in Times On Base.
So I suppose he's worth one more look, now that the field has thinned a bit.
Chance is a great parallel, in terms of playing-time issues. It doesn't have to be an automatic excluder, but Beckley for instance was playing nearly every single game right through nearly both entire primes of McGraw and Chance.
It's the tortoise or the hare argument, in a way (although Beckley was good for a then-modest 18 to 25 steals a year).
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 09, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#1950374)
McGraw and Chance were without doubt two of the most skillful baseball players of their day, but neither one could or would stay in the lineup.

If they could, they would have been HoMers a long time ago.

As for McGraw, even granting that it was the one-league 1890s, for which he deserves a little extra credit over just before or after his era, it would have been nice if just ONCE he could have placed in the top 10 in HRs, RBI, Hits, Doubles, Triples...

McGraw had the one shoe (rate stats), but the other shoe was incomplete (games played).
   116. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 09, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#1951270)
I think that there are many peak/prime voters that aren't too high on McGraw because of the games played thing. A big part of putting in an MVP level season is playing most of your team's games and McGraw did not do that. He is still, however in my top 50.
   117. TomH Posted: April 09, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#1951361)
The problem with rate stats is, well, McGraw's 1899 season. He played 117 games out of his team's 154.

True. Of course, Brett in 1980 played in only 117 of his team's 162 games. He was still clearly the MVP.
   118. DavidFoss Posted: April 09, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#1951568)
Nitpick: The Orioles played 148 games in 1899, not 154.

I'm one of McGraw's biggest fans, but I'll admit that his gaudy OBP numbers (.547 in 1899) are wreaking a bit of havoc some RC-based evaluation methods (RC, RCAA, RCAP, OWP, etc). He's a guy begging for some sort of special Marginal Lineup Value kind of study.

Despite missing 31 games, he still led the league in runs and was 3rd in times on base. He was second to Delahanty in Win Shares that year among non-pitchers. Don't be heaping extra discounts on him for that metrics that already account for the lost playing time.
   119. yest Posted: April 09, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#1951864)
one of the hardest players I had to rank was McGraw every time I look at his rate stas I want to move him up and every time I look at his plying time I want to move him down.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: April 09, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#1951867)
Well, we're both wrong. I said 154. I now see Baltimore 1899 as 86-62 and 4 ties. It's my understanding that stats from all 152 games counted.

>Don't be heaping extra discounts on him

What discounts? I'm just saying that if the only thing you know about him is .547, you've got a misleading impression. His OBA was .000 for 37 games.
   121. DavidFoss Posted: April 10, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#1952075)
Ties?!? Well, I nitpicked and was nitpicked back! :-) You've still got some funny math in how you got to '37'. :-)

Nobody here is going to only look at his OBP. He was second in non-pitcher Win Shares to Delahanty that year and was the non-pitcher leader in WARP1.
   122. sunnyday2 Posted: April 10, 2006 at 02:10 AM (#1952318)
Yes, 152-117 is 35. Still, this is typical of his entire career. My point was that rate stats, and especially John McGraw's rate stats, are misleading. Maybe nobody is going to just consider the rates but #12 above seemed to be encouraging that. So I replied.
   123. Howie Menckel Posted: April 10, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#1952346)
The Brett comparison re 1899 is fair.
But McGraw isn't getting snubbed because people don't respect that year.
It's the other years that are killing him, like 1901. He's one of the best players in the league that year - when he played. But he missed more than 60 games.

This is an interesting tidbit from baseballlibrary.com, by the way...

March 11, 1901: The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Baltimore manager John McGraw has signed a Cherokee Indian named Tokohoma. It is really black 2B Charlie Grant, who McGraw is trying to pass off as an Indian, but the ruse does not work.

(Imagine if he'd called him Chief Knock-a-homa. Actually, since it was McGraw, it shoulda been Tookawalka.)
   124. Chris Fluit Posted: April 10, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#1953171)
I've noticed that the link to the discussions of Negro League stars is down (it sends you to a blank page). I don't know who's in charge of the technical side of things but it would be great if those threads were accessible again.
   125. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 10, 2006 at 05:25 PM (#1953242)
I don't know who's in charge of the technical side of things but it would be great if those threads were accessible again.

Joe and I are the ones who handle that, Chris.

It's up and running again.
   126. Chris Fluit Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#1953325)
Thanks.
   127. KJOK Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1953330)
I'll just throw in that I think the problem with the evaulations of McGraw and Chance are that many people are comparing them to stars to come such as Aaron, Musial, etc. that had long careers and played every day.

Back in the 'old' days, medicine was not as advanced as it is today, and players missed more games, and had shorter careers.

While I realize even compared to their contemporaries they were certainly not iron men, I think the discount being applied to their rate stats is WAY too steep.
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#1953342)
I'll just throw in that I think the problem with the evaulations of McGraw and Chance are that many people are comparing them to stars to come such as Aaron, Musial, etc. that had long careers and played every day.

Not me, Kevin. I'm comparing them just to their peers. It still doesn't help them.

While I realize even compared to their contemporaries they were certainly not iron men, I think the discount being applied to their rate stats is WAY too steep.

I don't apply any type of discount at all.
   129. sunnyday2 Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#1953347)
I'll say again, what discount?

James credits McGraw with 207 WS. A discount would depart in a downward direction from there.

I normalized McGraw to 154 games and he still only gets to 231. That is not a discount.
   130. sunnyday2 Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#1953358)
Of course I should add that as a peak voter, 231 WS is not automatic death or anything. But extend out his peak and you get 34-31-30. That looks a lot like his unadjusted peak because the 34 and 31 came in 152-154 game seasons. And his 5 years peak is 143.

For comparison Sal Bando:

Bando 36-31-29/143
McGraw 34-31-30/143

On the other side of the coin, of course, is this:

Hack 34-33-31/140
McGraw 34-31-30/143

But Hack is not in my PHoM yet, so....and if you see McGraw as a peak candidate, then I give you:

McGraw 34-31-30/143
Rosen 42-31-29/154

And if you believe that adjusting 19C seasons to 154 or 162 games, then (each adj to 154)

McGraw 34-31-30/143
Williamson 43-40-39/181 and 360 adjWS career

If you take playing time into account, he just doesn't rise above the crowd in the way he does if you don't.
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 10, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#1953417)
McGraw 34-31-30/143
Williamson 43-40-39/181 and 360 adjWS career


Marc, how are you computing those numbers for Williamson? This is what we came up with years ago from the third base positional thread:

278 - 34, 31, 30 - 143 - Ned (or Ed?) Williamson - 11.6 sea. - 192 batting - 80 fielding - 6 pitching.

If Williamson had 360 adjWS career, he would have had been in the HoM for "decades" now.
   132. sunnyday2 Posted: April 10, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#1953500)
Oops, my bad. I recently did a re-eval of my 3B list. I must have adjusted Williamson's already adjusted numbers. Still even without double adjusting he is almost exactly John McGraw for peak but still a couple of good years better overall.

I will re-adjust my figures for Big Ed.
   133. TomH Posted: April 10, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#1953641)
stupid computer ate my long post.

short version: Win Shares as a seasonal peak measure has its drawbacks. As in, Mariano Rivera will never make the HoM this way. The replacement level is very low, like rating pitchers by wins (no cost for losses) or two players with 100 RBI as even, despite one of the, doing it in 30 fewer games. If you use an above-average metric (and for 'peak', this makes sense, no?), McGraw comes out MUCH higher.
   134. Paul Wendt Posted: April 10, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#1953729)
Well, we're both wrong. I said 154. I now see Baltimore 1899 as 86-62 and 4 ties. It's my understanding that stats from all 152 games counted.

The modern compilers of playing data published in the encyclopedias (Tattersall, ICI, Palmer) have counted statistics from tie games. For a time at least in the NL (1876-188?), tie games were not counted for any purpose, league standings, completion of schedule, or playing statistics. "188?" means that I believe this statistical regime change was during the 1880s, before John McGraw.

Some editions of Palmer encyclopedias include an article on forfeits and "no games" that gives more information on which games' playing stats are included in the season records. For that family of games, too, modern compilers have departed from contemporary practice.
   135. Cblau Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#1954346)
This post is only for people who are influenced by facts.

From the ballot thread: ...I think he's getting to (sic) much of (a) discount for playing in the 20'(s) and 30's due to the fact it's harder to bat 35 point (sic) higher then average in a leauge (sic) that has 295 then (sic) 35 points higher in a leauge (sic) that hits 260.

1929 NL- league BA .294, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .329=14

1957 NL- league BA .260, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .295=10


1922 NL- league BA .292, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .327=16

1952 NL- league BA .253, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .288=10

Q.E.D.
   136. yest Posted: April 11, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#1954461)
the reason for that is more likley because players in the 20's cared more abought there BA then in the 50's due to the 50's players inscresingly going for more HRs with a lack for average (which ultimatly led to Rob Deer, and Dave Kingman type players)
   137. Chris Cobb Posted: April 11, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#1954513)
How about the 1910s, when chicks didn't dig the long ball?

1911 NL - league BA .260, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .295 = 11

1913 NL - league BA .262, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .297 = 13

1912 AL - league BA .265, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .300 = 17
   138. KJOK Posted: April 11, 2006 at 06:02 AM (#1954712)
Trying to catch up here:

If you're using Win Shares, with it's 20% replacement level, you're 'discounting' hugely players such as McGraw and Chance, even against their peers, as Win Shares rewards high PT, lower performing players vs. less PT, higher performing players such as McGraw and Chance, as TomH pointed out.
   139. TomH Posted: April 11, 2006 at 12:27 PM (#1954921)
As someone helpfully suggested, I tried last night to come to grips with how McGraw could have 100 RCAA/RCAP for his 1899 year, while only driving in 33 runs (!).
--
The OWP calculation appears to be correct; a team of McGraws raly would have won 87% of their games, given avg Pitch+Def, simply because a team of McGraws reaching base 33 times per game, would have scored 14 runs a game. BUT. McGraw is only one player, not a team. The RCAA/RCAP formula compares the player's RC to the average player, given similar # of outs. McGraw gets many more PAs when you match his outs to the avg player, and he would not in a team context get this many more extra PAs (although his team would geta few more of course).
As best I can tell, from taking McGraw's stats away from the N.Y. NL club and inputting a typical batter, his RCAP/RCAA is overstated by about 10 runs in 1899. In other (lower-scoring) eras, where the premium on reaching base and stealing bases is less, his RCAA would be much lower, maybe "only" 60 or 70 runs. A simple linear weights analysis (using 20th century weights) would show that turning 90 outs into walks/HBP, 10 outs into singles, and adding 50 steals might net 70 runs, not 100.

I conclude that I've overrated Mugsy some. His 1899 for example, while stellar, is not as good as Delahanty's, since big Ed played more games while he was almost as good. John will drop a few places on my ballot this week.

OTOH, there are many reasons still to like McGraw - playing 3B in the 1890s was no picnic, and if you're going to adjust his RC value to a different era, you'd also need to admit that he VERY likely would have missed less time in 1950 or 1990. If I had a team trying to win the pennant and was confident I had a reasonable backup at 3B, I'd sign McGraw as a free agent in a heartbeat; when healthy, he was better than any other third sacker who ever played.
   140. kthejoker Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:12 PM (#1954950)
One thing I've always wondered is if an environment conducive to hitting leads to an increase in innings pitched by "sub-optimal" pitchers i.e. non-starters.

It seems that if your league is geared towards hitting, then even the best pitchers will get rocked as a whole, will have higher pitch counts, be forced out of games earlier, etc. all resulting in an increased reliance on the bullpen.

And, with people in the bullpen being in the bullpen for a reason, the hitting environment improves all the more.

And of course conversely a pitching environment (such as the late 60s) keeps good pitchers in longer, only amplifying the environment. So the environment is kind of a recursive trait.

I think that might form at least some explanation for why higher league averages also produce more upper outliers. There are other factors, of course, but that one seems to be overlooked.
   141. TomH Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:29 PM (#1954967)
anyone consdiering putting Larry Jackson on thier ballot? He's about 35th for me, but I thought he would get at least a little action, but there's hardly a peep about him. He seems to have similar qualifications to Indian Bob Johnson... good player for a dozen years in a row. Pitching in hitters parks in a high quality league for non-pennant teams hurts his superficial stats (W-L, ERA, black ink).
   142. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#1954971)
Q.E.D.

Cliff,
Not so fast, inasmuch (and I don't know how much) as Stephen Jay Gould is right about competitive evolution. Essentially, over time, competition increases quality and decreases variation. Michael Schell measures this some in his sabermetric books on hitters and sluggers, on season and career batting records of mlb players.


TomH:
If I had a team trying to win the pennant and was confident I had a reasonable backup at 3B, I'd sign McGraw as a free agent in a heartbeat; when healthy, he was better than any other third sacker who ever played.

As Stanley Robison did in 1900, acquiring McGraw when he had Lave Cross. (Signing McGraw only after a bitter holdout. McGraw and Wilbert Robinson, also acquired by St Louis, were not free agents but victims of contraction who wanted to stay in Baltimore, absolutely not go west, partly because of their successful business partnership in Baltimore.)
   143. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#1954972)
Tomh,

However, there is a lot of value to a team in being average, value which McGraw wasn't giving his team on the bench. When measuring prime and peak, respectively, I use WS over 15 and 25 (I do something similar with WARP, etc.) because there is value in playing every day. McGraw doesn't look so good by this measure and I am alright by that.
   144. TomH Posted: April 11, 2006 at 02:09 PM (#1954995)
Well, I expect you won't be voting for ANY relievers if you use 'WS over XX' as a peak measure.
   145. DavidFoss Posted: April 11, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#1955035)
Cliff,
Not so fast, inasmuch (and I don't know how much) as Stephen Jay Gould is right about competitive evolution. Essentially, over time, competition increases quality and decreases variation. Michael Schell measures this some in his sabermetric books on hitters and sluggers, on season and career batting records of mlb players.


I think its easy to start a tangent here, but that point would actually work *against* Pie Traynor. I certainly don't think timelining is something we want to do here, but giving Traynor a bonus because it is somehow more difficult to post a high batting average in a high batting average era is not only reverse-timelining, its not supported by fact as Chris and Cliff have demonstrated.

(Not to mention the fact that batting average was such a huge part of Traynor's offense while Mathews had much more power and a higher OBP.)
   146. Mike Webber Posted: April 11, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1955144)
kthejoker wrote:
One thing I've always wondered is if an environment conducive to hitting leads to an increase in innings pitched by "sub-optimal" pitchers i.e. non-starters.

It seems that if your league is geared towards hitting, then even the best pitchers will get rocked as a whole, will have higher pitch counts, be forced out of games earlier, etc. all resulting in an increased reliance on the bullpen.

Interesting question. I do think that Grove, Maddux, Clemens, are boosted by their era context.

It doesn't appeat this is the case in the McGraw era, ok complete games drop in 1893 as expected, but they rally up to previous levels shortly after. They drop after the turn of the centruy as scoring levels decrease. Also is a tired starting pitcher more optimal than a fresh reliever?
Data below is for the National league from the SABRmetric Encyclopedia.

YEARERAR/GCG%
18802.37 4.69 89%
18812.77 5.10 94%
18822.89 5.41 95%
18833.14 5.78 91%
18842.98 5.51 95%
18852.82 4.95 97%
18863.29 5.27 95%
18874.05 6.09 95%
18882.83 4.55 96%
18894.02 5.84 89%
18903.56 5.58 91%
18913.34 5.54 86%
18923.28 5.11 88%
18934.66 6.57 82%
18945.32 7.37 82%
18954.78 6.60 81%
18964.36 6.03 82%
18974.31 5.91 84%
18983.6 4.96 87%
18993.85 5.25 87%
19003.69 5.22 82%
19013.32 4.62 87%
19022.78 3.99 89%
19033.26 4.79 85%
19042.73 3.92 88%
19052.99 4.10 81%
19062.63 3.57 78%
19072.46 3.41 76%
19082.35 3.32 67%
19092.59 3.66 64%
TOT3.47 5.14 85
   147. yest Posted: April 11, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#1955167)
I think its easy to start a tangent here, but that point would actually work *against* Pie Traynor. I certainly don't think timelining is something we want to do here, but giving Traynor a bonus because it is somehow more difficult to post a high batting average in a high batting average era is not only reverse-timelining, its not supported by fact as Chris and Cliff have demonstrated.

1911 NL - league BA .260, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .295 = 11
1913 NL - league BA .262, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .297 = 13
1929 NL- league BA .294, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .329=14
1922 NL- league BA .292, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .327=16
1912 AL - league BA .265, number of qualifiers with BA at or over .300 = 17

I don't see how this shows that
1. the sample size shown is to small
2. notice the leauge that has the most is the one with the 265 average
3. as hitters I would go with Mathews as stated eirler the main reason I have Traynor higher is defense all this does is increase Traynor enogh to make that win him over Mathews
   148. sunnyday2 Posted: April 11, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#1955169)
Here is a case where "sub-optimal" pitching would have to be represented not only as a percent. IOW how many teams do you have? 16 through the '80s (mostly), 24 in '90, 12 through a good part of the '90s. So the 80+ percent CGs in the '90s might not represent any more "sup-ops" than 90+ percent in the '80s. I mean, I don't know that there was less, but it's not obvious that there was more.

There seems to be little question that there was more sup-ops in the 1900s, at least after 1905, though the "pool" question would also kick in there sometime.
   149. yest Posted: April 11, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#1955172)
4. my comment was reffering to the 50's (though I think it would be probobly be true to a much lesser extent in the dead ball era for numirical reasons) due to players going for HRs at the extent of their BA it would be eiser to hit for the same amount higher (if you tried for it) in the 50's then the 20's and 30's
   150. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 11, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#1955206)
Tom,

I will not vote for many relievers (there are probalby only about five that I see as worthy, maybe six, but I will not use WS over XX for relievers or I will change the XX a bit as I do for catchers and modern pitchers.
   151. sunnyday2 Posted: April 11, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#1955310)
If Hoyt Wilhelm doesn't make it we can just forget about the rest.

>my comment was reffering to the 50's...due to players going for HRs at the extent of their BA it would be eiser to hit for the same amount higher (if you tried for it) in the 50's then the 20's and 30's

Conceptually you might expect this, but the actual facts don't support it. It's a hypothesis that tests negatively.
   152. yest Posted: April 11, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#1955436)
but some of those who could have hit for an avrege that high would also sacrafise their avrege for power
   153. Kelly in SD Posted: April 11, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#1955657)
sorry to interrupt the batting average debate, but does anyone know if the win shares estimates worked up by Chris Cobb (?) for the National Association are available anywhere?

I checked the Yahoo Groups, but couldn't find any. I checked the 1871-1876 threads (which are great by the way), but didn't find any.

I am trying to put Cal McVey, Tom York, Joe Start, etc into my spreadsheet and I want to be as accurate as possible.

If it is too much trouble to post, but someone has it as a file, please email it to my address on file.

Thank you,
K
   154. Chris Cobb Posted: April 11, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1956268)
sorry to interrupt the batting average debate, but does anyone know if the win shares estimates worked up by Chris Cobb (?) for the National Association are available anywhere?

They are available in post #27 on the main positional threads page. Go to the HoM home page, click on the "Important Links" link, then on the link titled "positional threads."
   155. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 11, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#1956279)
If Hoyt Wilhelm doesn't make it we can just forget about the rest.

Using WS, I have Wilhelm with a bullet. Higher than I had Ford, BTW.
   156. Michael Bass Posted: April 11, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#1956386)
For the record, I would rate both Gossage and, especially, Rivera ahead of Wilhelm. But I do think that anyone inclined to induct even a handful of relievers is gonna have Wilhelm in a prominent ballot position.
   157. Kelly in SD Posted: April 11, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#1956459)
Chris,

Thank you. I knew I had seen them before, but I could not remember where.

K
   158. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:37 AM (#1956932)
Nothing much to add, just wanted to let you guys know I'm back. I'll concur with Howie's post, had a blast Saturday night, Howie has some great stories . . . was somewhat hungover (as in splitting headache) for the entire draft on Sunday. Only had 4 pints, so I think lack of sleep was probably more to blame for the head agony than too much beer, but maybe I'm slipping in my old age (I'm now 1/3 of a century old). But my girlfriend, who I spoke with after getting in Saturday night remembered much more of our conversation than I did the next day, for whatever that is worth . . .

As to Traynor/Mathews, yest, what about OBP? Mathews was 50 points above his league, Traynor 9. Surely you have to think this is much more important than a 25-11 point advantage in batting average, right? The power difference is of course, monumental.

You are talking an awful lot of 3B D, where the best handle 3.2 chances a game, and the worst 2.4, to make up for that offensive cavern between the two.

Even if you give Prospectus the benefit of the doubt, there is a 132 run difference between the two defensively. But offensively? We are talking like 600 runs. They aren't close.
   159. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:04 AM (#1956942)
Random question relating to a post on the previous page, which said (paraphrasing) that you had to account for Gordon playing as a RH hitter ind Old Yankee Stadium.


Well, do you? Hitters are capable of adjusting their hitting approach to the park they're in (see Ott, Mel). Is it really fair to define a "neutral" environment, and evaluate players based upon that; or more to the point, does such an environment really exist? A high-OBP speedster (lets call him, say, "Lavey Dopes") who plays in a strong pitchers park will be more valuble than a similar player in a strong hitters park (hypothetical player "Puan Jierre"). You could have two guys who are equivalently good, who, if they hit back-to-back on the same team in the same park against the same pitchers, would hit equally as well, yet have very different values, entirely due to context.

How much of this contextual effect is the player's responsibility (eg, if you're a RH hitter in Old Yankee Std, HIT TO THE OPPOSITE FIELD) and therefore fair to impute to him, and how much is something you want to subtract out of your assessment?
   160. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 12, 2006 at 01:19 PM (#1957087)
Screw,

I think consensus around here is that the basic PF is good enough for the very reasons you cite. If Klein, Kaline, and Ott use a park to advantage, then bully for them. The question for me then is whether or not the park would even suit going to right field. I don't have The Stadium's dimensions handy, but IIRC the short RF fence doesn't last very long. If you imagine a player going to right field, is he going to drive the ball over the short fence near the foul line? Or is he more likely to put the ball into the longer alleyway where the fences start veering out toward the deeper parts of the park? The hitter may still be at a disadvantage.

It's also worth mentioning that hitters today are reputed to drive the ball to RF with much more authority than they did just a generation or two ago. Suggestions for why include crowding the plate, weightlifting, thinner handled bats, and pitchers not pitching inside as frequently. Whatever the case may be, it's probably neither as simple as "hit to the opposite field" nor as "the pf covers the range of possibilities."
   161. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1957126)
I think consensus around here is that the basic PF is good enough for the very reasons you cite. If Klein, Kaline, and Ott use a park to advantage, then bully for them. The question for me then is whether or not the park would even suit going to right field. I don't have The Stadium's dimensions handy, but IIRC the short RF fence doesn't last very long. If you imagine a player going to right field, is he going to drive the ball over the short fence near the foul line? Or is he more likely to put the ball into the longer alleyway where the fences start veering out toward the deeper parts of the park? The hitter may still be at a disadvantage

Fair enough. But there's no doubt that Derek Jeter has used the so-called "short porch" to his advantage as a right-handed hitter, unlike, say, Gary Sheffield. And the porch was closer in the former iteration of The Stadium.
   162. DavidFoss Posted: April 12, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#1957279)
And the porch was closer in the former iteration of The Stadium.

Depends on where in RF you are talking about. The 385 sign in RF used to be 407 and the "left side of the bullpen gate" was brought in 14 feet by the renovation from 367 to 353. To the right of was "the porch" was indeed closer before. The 314 at the line was 296 then. I'm not familiar with how many opposite field homers manage to go to the right of that gate. For curiosity's sake, I'd love to see a dimensional overlay of this -- you know like Gameday's "ballpark diagram" before and after and then overlayed.

I do what Dr. C. does. I just let the BPF set the context. I don't look at home road splits when ranking players. They do make for some nice historical "what ifs" and are useful for projecting performance after prospective trades, but what we do here is after-the-fact value determination.
   163. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 12, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#1957347)
I thing I have always said is that breaking up components of a park to see how players would perfrom in a neutral context is very useful if you are a GM and you are trying to figure out how a certain player will play in your park. However, for our purposes, value over a career (whether in peak or career form), it is not as helpful. I am much more interested in the value a certain player gave his team.
   164. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#1957416)
I thing I have always said is that breaking up components of a park to see how players would perfrom in a neutral context is very useful if you are a GM and you are trying to figure out how a certain player will play in your park. However, for our purposes, value over a career (whether in peak or career form), it is not as helpful. I am much more interested in the value a certain player gave his team.

Is that fair, though? Particularly in the reserve clause days, a player had little-to-no control over where he played. If, say, Joe Gordon was hamstrung by playing in Yankee Stadium, but would have been a no-brainer HOF in a remotely neutral park, how is that different from, say, Negro League Player X not having big league value because he wasn't allowed to play? Obviously, you guys aren't really assessing players purely on "Big League Value.
   165. TomH Posted: April 12, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#1957428)
I'm with screw (A Rod fan). Although it gets tricky to compenstae correctly, so I'm conservative, but ever since Ross Barnes and the foul-fair bunt, I've attempted to 'Merit' those who were not only valuable when/where they played, but wouldn't have lost much of their value in other circumstances. Like Junior Stephens :)
   166. DavidFoss Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#1957565)
how is that different from, say, Negro League Player X not having big league value because he wasn't allowed to play

NeL-ers did play in parks of their own (often more extreme than MLB) and our translation experts have tried their best to adjust their performance to a neutral context before determining an MLE.

A famous example of this was Cool Papa Bell. While playing in a bandbox in Saint Louis, teammates Suttles and Wells had excellent power numbers and games there tended to be high scoring. At this time, Bell was experimenting with switch-hitting which greatly lowered his power. Bell's number ended up being adjusted way down so that he translated to a Doc-Cramer-style of batter for this part of his career. This 'being the wrong player in the wrong park' was probably one of the main reasons it took over twenty years for this high profile NeL player to get inducted here.

I suppose its not fair, but neither are injuries, being blocked by a great player as a youngster, etc. We give extra credit for lots of thing here (there's also a thread for that) to a varying degree of consensus. Off the cuff, I'd rank the general popularity of the credit given would be NeL > war > postseason > pre-organized minors ... and then other stuff like blacklisting, blocked-by-a-great-player, park effects, is perhaps done, but much less standardly. (I could be forgetting something).
   167. sunnyday2 Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#1957594)
>Obviously, you guys aren't really assessing players purely on "Big League Value.

"Purely," no.

But when it gets to the point of evaluating guys on their inherent ability rather than what they actually accomplished, that's where I get off.

To make that more concrete, if you think Luke Easter is more HoM-worthy than Ross Barnes, then you've moved into that alternate universe.
   168. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1957772)
My concern is that with the way you guys treat NeL players is that, since we know that they could have ended up as the "wrong player in the wrong park" in the MLB, their MLE's better be so good as to insure they would be a HOF player no matter where, or when, they played. The bar should be higher for players who never played in the Majors, not equal, since the translation of ability to value is not nearly consistent.

I still ask: how is the case of a player who was required to play in a park unsuited for their style differ from a player who wasn't permitted to play in the Majors? Why does NeL go first on your list of credit given?
   169. sunnyday2 Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#1957849)
>Why does NeL go first on your list of credit given?

The fact that they go "first" does not mean they get any more credit.

As a generalization everybody uses some sort of multiplier for everything other than the MLs. No two people agree on exactly what the multipliers are. Some people even discount the AL and NL at different times, others believe that AAA is .95 as good as the MLs at least at certain times and places.

The multipliers or discounts that have been used for the NeLs over the years are in the .85 and .90 range.

The translation of ability to value varies for every single player who ever lived, but I think that is all taken into account as best as we can given the uncertainty of the science both in the abstract (I mean, how valuable is a BB or a HR, really?) and in the comparative realm.

As to the bar being higher for NeLers, the multiplier does that. In no other sense do the NeLers deserve for the bar to be set any higher than for anybody else. They got screwed once. We are trying not to screw them again. The NeLers and the WWII generation were screwed the day the were born. Everybody else had a fighting chance and if they got hurt, or blocked in the minors, or whatever, they at least were not fated to that the day they were born. That is why those two things go first. But it doesn't mean they get any more credit than a case where an extreme PF is "the" variable du jour.

But in 99.9% of cases, park factors have almost nothing to do with it. Easily within the margin of error. And besides, as you said, if a guy "used" his home park, bully for him. Bell and Gordon may be the exceptions that prove the rule.
   170. DanG Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#1957915)
I still ask: how is the case of a player who was required to play in a park unsuited for their style differ from a player who wasn't permitted to play in the Majors?

The aim is always to assess major league equivalent value. In Gordon's case, we KNOW his value, and that he could not compensate very well for the conditions of his home park. There is no need to undertake the exercise of projecting him into a neutral MLB park, as is done with NeL players.

We measure value in different ways depending on the data available. For the NeL player, we take his performance and advance it forward to a MLB setting. In this case, it is best to project him into a neutral park setting. For Gordon, we already know the MLB park environment; it would be a step backward from an accurate value measurement to project him out of his actual park and into a neutral environment.
   171. DavidFoss Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1957940)
how is the case of a player who was required to play in a park unsuited for their style differ from a player who wasn't permitted to play in the Majors? Why does NeL go first on your list of credit given?

The constitution requires we consider NeL-ers. All of the historical data mining and analysis of their careers have been one of the highlights of the entire HOM project. The era of new NeL candidates is over now, were you lurking back then as well? There was indeed debate about how high a bar to set for them and its still openly debated as fewer NeL-ers end up being borderline candidates.

As for being unsuited for your home park. Its something that has come up in very extreme cases, like Chicago-1884, but its something I have tried not to worry about too much.

In can be unfortunate in cases where it doesn't balance out over the course of a career, but for the most part the PF takes care of adjustments. Joe Gordon does have a higher OPS+ than Bobby Doerr (and I personally ranked him ahead of Doerr before Doerr was inducted). We're talking about cases where the player is somehow uniquely affected by their park in a way that's opposite to the park factor.

Your original point was Jeter vs Sheffield. What was your concern there?
   172. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 12, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#1958262)
I have to admit to a lot of sympathy for Screw's point. To get to the Major Leagues you gotta be able to pull the ball. At least that's the conventional wisdom. So you spend all your time developing a swing where your hips and shoulders rotate extremely quickly to get that whip-like action that drives your hands through the zone.

Then you get to majors with the Yanks and you have to relearn how to hit...but only for 80 games a year. Meanwhile, your lefty teammates shoot at wall that's close enough to touch. You may be exactly the same hitter, with exactly the same approach and just be slaughtered by your own park because of your handedness and whether you can adjust quickly enough.

This goes for pitchers too. I asked about Whitey; he would clearly have gotten special benefit pitching in the Stadium with the 5,280' LF wall.

But the reason I think it's smarter to go back to PFs and not make further adjustments is that we just don't have the data for L/R splits each year for ballparks. And even if we did, the samples for lefty hitters would be very small. Maybe unreliably so???
   173. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1958341)
The constitution requires we consider NeL-ers. All of the historical data mining and analysis of their careers have been one of the highlights of the entire HOM project. The era of new NeL candidates is over now, were you lurking back then as well? There was indeed debate about how high a bar to set for them and its still openly debated as fewer NeL-ers end up being borderline candidates.


I was, but I thought the constitution made it clear that one of the intents of the HoM was to induct a near-proportionate number of NeL players. Since I strongly disagree with that sentiment, I didn't get involved in the debate.


I've only read, I'd estimate, about 1 in 5 of the ballot discussions, so I'm sure I'm missing many previous debates. My point merely is that component park factors are, in some parks, a HUGE factor in assessing a player's value. In the modern era, with near-free player movement, I think it's fair to hold a player responsible for this, since the player is always capable of getting out and going to a stadium suited for his skill (for example, the sluggers on the Mariners getting out of Dodge when Safeco opened). Sure, some players chose to take more money (or to live in a certain area, or to play for a winner) rather than play in a park suited for their talents, but at least they had the option on the table.

In the reserve era, with more asymmetrical parks, with a much greater variety of size of fields, some players were significantly affected by being stuck in a Yankee Stadium, or the LA Coliseum, and there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it. This may not have the wider social "cache" of racial discrimination (which is clearly influencing the way NeL players are treated here: to wit, Sunnyday's, "in no other sense do the NeLers deserve for the bar to be set any higher than for anybody else. They got screwed once. We are trying not to screw them again.") But in my book, being screwed is being screwed, and guys like Gordon and DiMaggio were definately screwed in a highly quantifiable way. Refusing to adjust them to the same neutral context as the Negro Leaguers treats the Negro Leagues preferentially, and thats just the kind of biased assement the HoM purports to avoid.
   174. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 12, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#1958411)
I was, but I thought the constitution made it clear that one of the intents of the HoM was to induct a near-proportionate number of NeL players.

If it says that, that definitely wasn't our intent, Screw. I have personally have been very vocal against any type of a quota.
   175. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 12, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#1958433)
Refusing to adjust them to the same neutral context as the Negro Leaguers treats the Negro Leagues preferentially, and thats just the kind of biased assement the HoM purports to avoid.

But then we open more cans of worms. How about pitchers who were abused by their idiot managers? What choice did they have? Do we start extrapolating whole careers for Don Gullet, Grasshopper Jim Whitney, Tom Seaton, and Gary Nolan?
   176. DavidFoss Posted: April 12, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#1958593)
Refusing to adjust them to the same neutral context as the Negro Leaguers treats the Negro Leagues preferentially, and thats just the kind of biased assement the HoM purports to avoid.

I don't think you understand how MLE's are calculated. Where did NeL-ers play? In parks! MLE's are created *after* simple park effects are applied to their NeL numbers -- no "how would he have done in an symmetric park with average dimensions" analysis was done whatsoever. Right-handed sluggers for the New York Black Yankees are in the same boat as Joe Gordon. Left-handed sluggers for the Black Yankees get the same boost as Bill Dickey.

How are NeL-ers being treated preferentially? I just gave you a case of NeL-er (CPBell) being the 'wrong guy in the wrong park'. Bell's MLE's in the late 1920s are *brutal*. One of the most famous NeL-ers of all time languished for over 20 years in our backlog because of this.
   177. KJOK Posted: April 12, 2006 at 10:25 PM (#1958601)
I still ask: how is the case of a player who was required to play in a park unsuited for their style differ from a player who wasn't permitted to play in the Majors? Why does NeL go first on your list of credit given?

IF there were any Negro League players who were "unsuited" to their home park, which I'm sure there were, then they are in EXACTLY the same boat as any MLB player such as Gordon or DiMaggio, since the raw stats that we're translating from would be impacted by that.
   178. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 12, 2006 at 10:32 PM (#1958612)
IF there were any Negro League players who were "unsuited" to their home park, which I'm sure there were, then they are in EXACTLY the same boat as any MLB player such as Gordon or DiMaggio, since the raw stats that we're translating from would be impacted by that.

Exactly. The chances of NeLers being hurt or helped are the same as the MLers.
   179. Howie Menckel Posted: April 13, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#1959122)
I think anyone looking at this project would not attempt to say that we wound up being too kind to NeLrs, too unfair, or that we shot for a quota.

We have given these guys the only thing they ever could have or would have asked for - a fair shot.
It took Cool Papa decades to get in, in spite of his rep. Lesser-known NeLers marched right in. Mackey keeps coming close, and he hasn't quite gotten there.

We're not screwing them over, we're not coddling them, nothing.
It's one of the best things I can say about this project.
   180. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:54 AM (#1959387)
IF there were any Negro League players who were "unsuited" to their home park, which I'm sure there were, then they are in EXACTLY the same boat as any MLB player such as Gordon or DiMaggio, since the raw stats that we're translating from would be impacted by that.


My understanding was that there was much more player movement in the NeL than in MLB at that time. That's why I don't think it matters for the MLB players, but not for the NeL guys (as I said, it's a reserve clause issue). If this is an incorrect impression, I'll stand corrected.
   181. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 13, 2006 at 03:48 AM (#1959619)
Put me in the camp that says skills are much less adaptable than most believe. Ask anyone who has tried to mess with a pitcher's mechanics, or a batter's swing how adaptable skills are. We don't know that Mel Ott adapted to the Polo Grounds. For all we know he could have been a natural pull hitter from day one.

Also the parks of the past were much more varied and extreme than the cookie cutter ones those of us born after the late 50s grew up with.

Old Yankee Stadium was an absolutely awful park for a RHB. I'm not sure why, usually when we cite reasons for how a park 'should' have affected a particular type of batter, we are just guessing anyway.

But Yankee Stadium from the mid-30s through the renovation was just brutal on RHB. I'm going from memory, but IIRC, the singles factors Diamond Mind uses during that time are typically from the low 80s through low 90s. That's very extreme. I remember at one point figuring that it probably cost Rizzuto about 15 points off his career batting average. I'm pretty sure the same would apply to Gordon, at least for the Yankee years.

Visibility is something you don't get from the dimensions. Same for the propensity for day/night games, weather, etc.. Maybe teams overcompensated for the huge LF territory by positioning the LFs and CFs in such a way that really cut down on the hit potential for RHB.

As to whether or not we should care, I think we should. If a player is well suited to his park (Ozzie Smith) that's an advantage many other players didn't get. Ozzie's lack of power wasn't nearly as big of an issue in a place like Busch, as it would have been if he had played somewhere like Oakland. Alan Trammell wasn't very well suited to his park. I think something like this should at least be a tie-breaker, in favor of the guy who was hurt by his park.

When evaluating the immortals, I think we need to account for the fact that their skills may or may not have been suited to their particular circumstances, and lean towards the ones who would have done better in most any other time and place, as opposed to the guys that were perfectly suited to their circumstances.
   182. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 13, 2006 at 03:57 AM (#1959630)
While I agree with your point regarding players poorly suited to their circumstances SYIaARF, this,

"In the modern era, with near-free player movement, I think it's fair to hold a player responsible for this, since the player is always capable of getting out and going to a stadium suited for his skill (for example, the sluggers on the Mariners getting out of Dodge when Safeco opened"


is where I get off the boat. It's not the player's job to play GM. It's his job to get the most money for his services, free agency or no. I don't think it's any less unfair to hold the modern player responsible for having skills poorly suited to his circumstances than it is to do so for reserve clause players.
   183. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 13, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#1959635)
Let me clarify #82. I agree with the point that we should be looking for cases where I player may have been helped/hurt by his park more than the park factor would suggest. I don't agree that we've in any way been 'too nice' to Negro League players.
   184. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1960104)
Let me also clarify, that I've not calculated any NgL park factors for MLEs. They are straight up, no park-adjusted chaser. Reason is obvious: for most seasons we don't have the splits to do it. We can make inferences, but mostly we can't apply PFs. So I have chosen not to and to let individual voters make any adjustments for park on their own based on information that comes from our discussions.
   185. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1960105)
A couple of clarifications:


First off, here is the section of the constitution I found objectionable:

Voters shall give serious consideration to “excluded” players such as Negro League stars. The total number of players currently in the Hall of Fame, which is the number that we are tieing HOM membership to, includes 17 Negro League stars. Many would consider this a significant under-representation of Negro Leaguers given how many blacks starred in post-integration MLB and the quality of some of the poorest pre-integration HOF selections. Statistics covering the Negro Leagues are often sketchy; nevertheless it is clear that there were many blacks who would have been MLB stars pre-1947.

I think this essentially mandates voters to include a high proportion of NeL players. If you're the type of person who thinks that you give out a minimum of extra credit, it forces you to give out extra credit to this one segment that you're not giving out elsewhere.

I also want to clarify what I mean by "preferential treatment". I don't think that you guys are letting in "worse" NeL players. I simply think that if you're setting up any kind of honor, you should be sure that a player exceeds the threshold for induction. This isn't a small-hall/big-hall question: No matter where you set your own personal threshold, I think that you should be certain that someone you induct is above it. IMO, the uncertainty of the NeL players is much higher. As a result, its alot easier to argue that "NeL PlayerX" plausibly might have been a HoM level player. Since I'd personally rather exclude a deserving player rather than include someone undeserving, the larger uncertainty with NeL players (which still exists, regardless of the statistical efforts) would lead me to set a slightly higher bar for that group.
   186. sunnyday2 Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#1960132)
>Voters shall give serious consideration to “excluded” players such as Negro League stars.

This is objectionable?

Are you saying that we DO have too many NeLers in the HoM, or not? Or is this just theoretical?

>I don't think that you guys are letting in "worse" NeL players.

So this is merely theoretical.

>No matter where you set your own personal threshold,

There is no personal threshold. We are electing a pre-determined number of HoMers. We have never voted that Joe Blow is a HoMer and John Doe is not. We have voted that Joe Blow is better than John Doe. There is no threshold.

As to the uncertainty principle, sure. there is a larger margin of error, but we are voting (I am, I think most are) based on where we think the mid-point of the expected range is, not on the low point of the expected range. To rate them based on the low end would be a reward to racists and segregationists, and I'm not interested in that. The NeLers got screwed once. We have been determined not to screw them again. As Howie said, this is in fact the greatest thing that we have done, is to incorporate the NeLers into this fairly.
   187. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#1960133)
Since I'd personally rather exclude a deserving player rather than include someone undeserving, the larger uncertainty with NeL players (which still exists, regardless of the statistical efforts) would lead me to set a slightly higher bar for that group.

This is an interesting thought. It assumes that uncertainty leads to an undeserving player being elected in place of a deserving player. I'd question that logic on several fronts.

1) The player "screwed" by electing an uncertain player may not be "deserving." In fact, it's unlikely a deserving player would get screwed because the most deserving players (including NgLs) have all sailed in. Because we're dealing now with backloggers, it's essentially hairsplitting among equally deserving guys.

2) The NgL players that we've translated have been the best that the leagues have offered, and those who receive votes from us are consistent in many ways with the HOF's voting, the voting of publications/polls, the initial assessments of MLB front offices in the late 1940s, and the direction that the MLEs point to. In other words, it's highly likely that we've elected the cream of the NgL crop already and that we're now looking at second-tier guys who at worst would be members of our voluminous backlog regardless.

3) Yes! There is absolutely uncertainty in the MLEs. They are rife with uncertainty. This is a given that every voter grapples with ad nauseum. It's probably one of the biggest factors in Mackey, Brown, and Moore remaining in the backlog, and in numerous NgL pitchers not coming to the fore. On the other hand, the "error bars" for oral history, written history, and expert opinion on NgL players are probably wider than for our MLEs because at least we use a standard protocol. But the same can be said for estimates of Cravath, Averill, and others who have gotten MiL credit, and for everyone that's gotten war credit. Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of this project. (Call it the Fog of the HOM if you want). There's also uncertainty in prorating players to a 162 schedule from any length beneath it. Less so from 154, moreso from 70, but it's there nonetheless.

SUMMARY) So I think the argument about electing deserving MLB players versus uncertain NgLs is ultimately fallacious. It's really about the backlog versus the uncertainty, and the backlog is the backlog because (drum roll, please!) it's also rife with uncertainty (of varying sorts)! If Willard Brown goes into the HOM and GVH doesn't, the only people who will cry about it are GVH fans. On the other hand, either player is, to me, an equally good choice because both are significantly more deserving than Earle Combs, and that's the point of this project. If we don't get it 100% exactly correct, that's OK. But we're already legions better than the HOF, and either guy would be a reasonable, debatable, and educational addition to the HOM. BUT both would rank toward the bottom of their position because they are uncertain and/or backloggers. This same sentence extends to numerous backlog v. NgL comparisons.
   188. sunnyday2 Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#1960134)
PS. If you were lurking through our 1900-1950 votes, this is a funny time to bring this up.
   189. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#1960147)
There is no personal threshold. We are electing a pre-determined number of HoMers. We have never voted that Joe Blow is a HoMer and John Doe is not. We have voted that Joe Blow is better than John Doe. There is no threshold.


If you read the ballots & discussions, its very, very hard to argue that people aren't voting with a personal threshold in mind.
   190. TomH Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#1960166)
Okay, I admit it, I have a personal threshold, or at least a personal sanity check. If the MLEs showed that only 5 NeL players were deserving of the HoM, I would personally question the MLEs accuracy and override them. If they showed that half of all pre-1945 HoMers should be from the NgL, again that to me would invalidate the MLEs. Because it is obvious to me that, based on the ratio of black to white stars in the 1950s and 1960s, that in 1930 there should be much more than 2% and much less than 50% of the 'best' players in the NgL.
   191. sunnyday2 Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#1960202)
I over- or mis-stated:

People may have a threshold but it is irrelevant to the outcome.

It doesn't matter if Joe Blow is NOT a HoMer in my personal small hall (and in fact my personal small hall would be half the size of the HoM or HoF). Because if Joe Blow is the best candidate available in a given year he will be #1 on my ballot, or I suppose I could fail to submit one. Even though my personal HoF would have about 100-125 players in it, even my PHoM will have the 200+ that the HoM and HoF have.
   192. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:34 PM (#1960211)
I think this essentially mandates voters to include a high proportion of NeL players.

No, it essentially mandates that we pay close attention to a group of players unfairly banned from ML ball. That's it. Nothing more.

Some voters like karlmagnus (BTW, I hope he is okay) feel we have elected too many NeLers. He in no way has been asked to add more to his ballots (which can be verified by observing them).

Okay, I admit it, I have a personal threshold, or at least a personal sanity check. If the MLEs showed that only 5 NeL players were deserving of the HoM, I would personally question the MLEs accuracy and override them. If they showed that half of all pre-1945 HoMers should be from the NgL, again that to me would invalidate the MLEs. Because it is obvious to me that, based on the ratio of black to white stars in the 1950s and 1960s, that in 1930 there should be much more than 2% and much less than 50% of the 'best' players in the NgL.

Which sounds like common sense to me, Tom, but definitely not a quota.
   193. rawagman Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#1960222)
I have attempted to ber truly fair to MLE's for all NeL players, and have added credit for war years, and very early minor league stats in certain cases that I feel are warranted.

The is a point I would like to bring up, though. I even have one example from my own rankings. When two players are essentially tied in their placements, as I have Chuck Klein and Alejandro Oms, I give the benefit of the doubt to Klein as no estimation was need fo me to understand what he did and what kind of player he was, which is not the case with Oms.
   194. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#1960224)
BTW, the MLEs are based on statistical evidence. They weren't created to set up a certain outcome. One of the things that we worried about with the first MLEs was that they might show that we should enshrine less NeLers than what the HOF has. But if that were the case, we wouldn't have had ignored the evidence, regardless.
   195. DavidFoss Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#1960227)
If you read the ballots & discussions, its very, very hard to argue that people aren't voting with a personal threshold in mind.

I admit that reading the ballots, colloquial comments come out that seem like the case. To tell you the truth those comments ring false to me as well, but we still have to rank fifteen guys and submit a ballot. If a voter thinks 30 guys are deserving, they still can only vote for 15. If a voter thinks only 5 are deserving, they still have to vote for 15. The schedule of inductees is set no matter how many candidates "cross a personal threshold". That phrase ends up being effectively a lazy euphemism for "he's not as good as the top fifteen candidates in my backlog".
   196. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 13, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#1960300)
I admit that reading the ballots, colloquial comments come out that seem like the case. To tell you the truth those comments ring false to me as well, but we still have to rank fifteen guys and submit a ballot. If a voter thinks 30 guys are deserving, they still can only vote for 15. If a voter thinks only 5 are deserving, they still have to vote for 15. The schedule of inductees is set no matter how many candidates "cross a personal threshold". That phrase ends up being effectively a lazy euphemism for "he's not as good as the top fifteen candidates in my backlog".

But the point remains that Joe hasn't mandated that we have a set number of NeLers. There is no mechanism for this. Yes, there may be some voters that have a covert quota regardless of the evidence, but that is totally different than an institutional threshold, which absolutely does not exist.
   197. ronw Posted: April 13, 2006 at 04:05 PM (#1960403)
Screw:

I think you misunderstand the personal HOM references. What the voter is saying is that if they were the only voter in this project, the player would have been elected to the HOM. However, it is expressly against our principles to vote based on a personal threshold.

For example, I think that Biz Mackey is a HOM player. If I wanted to speed up his election, I could list him first on my ballot (he has generally resided around eighth.) However, every time he comes up for a vote, at least 7 people seem "more qualified" to me. Likely they, are new players or others who remain in my personal backlog. In other words, my personal threshhold is irrelevant to my voting pattern.

Also, many people, including me, have people in their personal HOM that no longer appear on their ballots. If personal thresholds were everything, once you placed a player on your ballot, he would be stuck in that relative position every year. New evidence, reevaluations and challenges by others cause every voter to periodically reexamine his placement of players, thus further distancing personal thresholds from the voting results.

Further, how is it even possible, with our voting system, to make sure that someone is above a personal threshold. We must place 15 players on our ballot, whether or not we think any of them are worthy of election. On my ballot, I happen to think that all 15 players should be elected, but I know there are voters who believe that very few players on their ballot should be HOMers.

Finally, even if someone is below a personal threshold, how can we stop the electorate from voting them in? If I disagree with the election of (for example - Sam Thompson) but the process has elected him, then that is that.

Personally, I have no quota for Negro Leaguers. Also, I am the opposite of rawagman. If Chuck Klein and Alejandro Oms were tied in my system, I would go with Oms.
   198. DL from MN Posted: April 13, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#1960661)
I try to settle ties by positional scarcity but I will usually rank less certain players (require war credit, alternate league credit or extrapolation of short seasons) behind more certain players. When Koufax ended up slightly behind Trouppe I dropped Trouppe a notch because I wasn't confident in my numbers for Trouppe and I was pretty certain Koufax was really good.

The center of my confidence intervals for Mendez and Redding seem much lower than the rest of the voters. In my mind I've ranked Mendez around Rube Waddell and Redding around Vic Willis and I can't convince myself they were certainly better than those two excellent pitchers.

Mendez still has some upside for me if I see some information that his infield production was better than a decent utility guy. The Negro Leaguers I'm still completely unsure of are Bill Monroe, Ben Taylor, Leroy Matlock, Luis Marquez, Spotswood Poles and Luke Easter. I'm pretty sure they're off ballot or I would be more interested in getting them right. However, I'd like to know where they rank off ballot and I really have no idea. The only other player I have an urge to re-examine is Dobie Moore.
   199. Chris Cobb Posted: April 13, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1960986)
Dr. Chaleeko wrote:

Let me also clarify, that I've not calculated any NgL park factors for MLEs.

I should add that my MLEs do include park factors in those cases where sufficient data existed for a park factor to be calculated. These factors were applied primarily for the 1920s Negro National League and some of the ECL, for which the most statistics exist and for which full-season, full-team and full-league stats were provided to the HoM by several sources, most notably Gary A. I also made a few small adjustments post-1930 when the reputation of a particular park as a hitter's or pitcher's park was very strong and consistent. When I used park factors, I have so indicated in the discussion about the MLEs.

As to the whole "proportion" thing, the HoM project does not mandate quotas for any group, except that the total number of players in the HoM is itself a quota, set to match the size of the Hall of Fame at the time the HoM project reaches the historical present. If some voters use a quota system in constructing their own rankings, that is not forbidden by the Constitution, as long as the voter constructs a ballot that ranks the top eligible players according to the voter's best judgment.

I have argued against using a quota for ranking NeL players, and I think few voters use one.

Sunnyday2's comment that "there is no threshold" is crucial to interpreting the results of the HoM project. We elect the best players eligible each year, so the threshold for the HoM is not "fixed." Given that we've now elected over half of the players that we will elect by the time we reach the historical present, it's pretty easy from a careful study of the results to see, more or less, where what I call "the in-out line" falls, but since there are 30 players and more whose merit places them right around that line, what is meaningful as a general "threshold" is meaningless as a guide to ranking players in any given election.
   200. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 13, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1961166)
1) I think the NeL 'quotas' that Screw is talking about are the times when we have looked at how many NeL players we have elected and how many we think we should elect, the latter number usually being around 30-35. This could be interpreted asd a quota but at the same time I don't think that it was, at least it never was for me. It was more like a check to make sure we weren't electing too many or too few NeL players because of the MLE's. It was usually accompanied with some population data and other such outside info. I didn't take part in those discussion too much and I can say that if we reached how many NeL players I think we should elect, it wouldn't stop me from supporting Dick Redding or Dobie Moore since I still think they are worthy players.

2) One factor that needs to be taken into account when looking at Component Park Factors (CPFs) is if we can even get our hands on accurate CPFs for the eras we are looking at. I would imagine that PBP data is needed to get an accurate picture of how a park affects different styles of hitters. Retro sheet only goes back into the 1960's right? So hwo could we even get any accurate multipliers for the old Yankee Stadium, Forbes Field, the Baker Bowl, etc.? The only thing that could be done is to give some sort of bonus that isn't really quantifiable, but then how can we be sure that we are catching all of the advantages/disadvantages?

I am not against anyone giving small bonuses to Gordon, et al. for this reason, but I woudl caution anyone not to get carried away since I would bet that there are plenty of players from the non-PBP era that have some sort of hidden park effect in their batting lines. However, I personally am not too interested in doing so for myself. I believe it is an invaluable tool for a GM, but for our purposes I am more intersted in how that player helped his team win games.

Screw, if you really want to help get this idea across (along with any other issues you may have with this project) you should join and start voting. It's easy and anyone who wants to help get more Yankees into the HOM is a-okay by me! ;-D

3) as an aside, I do find it pretty interesting how few Yankees are being elected since they have so dominated the lively ball era. Not that we should start electing Yankees, I think we are right about Lazzeri, Combs, Pennock et al., but if you only looked at WS titles, one woudl think that the HOM would be about 40% pinstriped. I guess it goes to show that a huge reason why the Yankees have been so successful is that they have had HOVG or HOG (Hall of Good) players where other teams have had average or mediocre ones. A mythical game played between the best ever Red Sox's and the best ever Yankees woudl be really really even, despite the 27-6 difference in WS titles. This isn't the problemof Yaz, Williams, and Boggs so much as that of the Red Sox not having enough Lazzeri/Randolph/Maris/Reynolds level players. Or at least that is my take on the subject.
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