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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 17, 2006

1975 Ballot Discussion

1975 (April 17)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

279 94.7 1955 Ken Boyer-3B (1982)
258 101.9 1956 Don Drysdale-P (1993)
221 68.4 1958 Curt Flood-CF (1997)
209 62.6 1956 Bill White-1B
139 59.0 1953 Roy Face-RP
153 48.9 1957 Woodie Held-SS/CF
160 42.0 1962 Tom Tresh-LF/SS
155 36.7 1958 Leon Wagner-LF (2004)
124 52.1 1957 Turk Farrell-RP (1977)
123 48.9 1955 Pedro Ramos-P
116 41.1 1958 Gary Bell-P
106 42.6 1953 Al Worthington-RP
108 33.3 1962 Ed Charles-3B
095 35.5 1960 Ken Johnson-P
084 33.9 1962 Dick Radatz-RP (2005)

Players Passing Away in 1974

HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

87 1926 Larry Doyle-2b
87 1931 Harry Hooper-RF
86 1922 Fred Snodgrass-CF
86 1936 Cy Williams-CF
84 1940 Sam Rice-RF
81 1934 Joe Bush-P
74 1941 Lefty Stewart-P
70 1944 Mule Haas-CF
70 1947 Buddy Myer-2B
69 1943 Lloyd Brown-P
69 1948 Pete Appleton-RP
64 1946 Dizzy Dean-P
53 1962 Howie Pollet-P

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:01 PM | 259 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3
   201. jimd Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#1985581)
fully adjusted for schedule
Keller: 36,34,33,32,25,23 (31,28) (8)
Sisler: 35,30,30,28,26,,25,23,20,17 (9)


Sisler: 35,30,30,29,28,28,26,20,17 (9)
--Year: 20 22 17 18 19 21 16 25 27

Is what I came up with.

1918 and 1919 are like 1994 and 1995. Baseball shut down around Labor Day in 1918 by Federal request (order?); Browns played 123 games. 1919 was a 140 game schedule (for whatever the reason).
   202. jimd Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1985590)
Testing...
   203. jimd Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#1985591)
There it is. It said there were 201 posts but wouldn't show post 201...
   204. Mark Donelson Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1985605)
jimd--

Remind me: Are those adjusted to 154 or 162?
   205. jimd Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1985645)
The originals were adjusted to 162. I left that intact.
   206. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#1985848)
You are right jim, I forgot about adjusting for WWI. So Sisler does catch up a bit there. This may help keep him on my ballot as I had been thinking of dropping him a bit. Still, I think Keller (with War credit and 28-30 WS for 1938) is still ahead of Sisler in peak/prime.

I am not really against Sisler's induction as he is likely to make my PHOM by the time this project is over. I just want those that are voting for Sisler to take along hard look at Kiner, Browning, and especially Keller. I think all four have pretty similar cases, though Browning's is a bit different.

How one can have Kiner and not Keller on a ballot (unless one is like 12 and the other 19 or something within reason) is beyond me, I see them kinda like Doerr and Gordon.
   207. sunnyday2 Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#1985976)
Keller OPS+ 152, 1170 games, 4774 AB + BB
Kiner OPS+ 148, 1472 games, 6216 AB + BB
Slight advantage Kiner.

OK, now provide Keller with 1.5 years of WWII credit if you like. But not 2 years, he played in '43 and he played 44 games in '45. (OK call it 1.67 years of XC.) And let's posit that he plays 141 games in '44 at OPS+ 150 (same as '43*) and 150 games at 158 in '45 (same as '46). I think this is generous, not grossly so, but I can't imagine giving him any more games or OPS+. (Yes, he was actually at 178 in those 44 games but that would be extrapolating a career best from a small sample, not to mention that [like the 167 in '43 it came against a diluted league].)

Keller's actual OPS+ in 1943 was of course 167 but needs to be discounted.

Keller OPS+ 152*, 1417 games, 5849 AB + BB
Kiner OPS+ 148, 1472 games, 6216 AB + BB
* This posits a 154 for '44 and the rest of '45 based on adjusted 150 in '43 and 158 in '46.
OK, so now they're pretty interchangeable.

Or, including Keller's WWII XC but also discounting 1943:

OPS+ (min. 100 games)

Keller 164-63-58-58*-54*-50*-42
Kiner 183-73-72-54-45-40-31-21-16-16
Advantage Kiner.

Kiner has better years 1-2-3 and 7-8-9, Keller has better years 4-5-6. I don't see how all of this could possibly put Keller ahead of Kiner at all. And I say that as someone who has Keller lurking around #20 or so.

Further, here are their seasons in which they played half of the schedule or more (based on the adjustments made for WWI)::

Keller OPS+ 156, 1306 games, 5376 AB + BB in 8 (adjusted) seasons
Kiner OPS+ 148, 1472 games, 6216 AB + BB in 10 seasons
Your call. 8 OPS+ points or a seasons worth of games and 1,000 PAs?

OK, just the 8 best seasons:

Keller OPS+ 156, 1306 games, 5376 AB + BB
Kiner OPS+ 153, 1215 games, 5254 AB + BB
Very slight advantage Keller for 8 prime seasons.

Rest of career other than best 8 seasons:

Keller OPS+ 136 , 211 games, 473 AB + BB in 40-60 game increments over 4 seasons
Kiner OPS+ 116, 357 games, 962 AB + BB in 2 seasons
Advantage Kiner.

In summary Kiner has the better actual record. Give Keller 1.67 years of XC for WWII and their careers look interchangeable. Look at their best 8 seasons and there is a very very slight advantage to Keller, though some might say Kiner played in a tougher (integrated) league, though he played early and only as integration was beginning to differentiate the two leagues, it's true.

But Keller's career record is in part accumulated by a series of small chunks of 40-60 plus one 83 game seasons in which his contributions to a pennant were much diluted, while Kiner's non-prime seasons were at least in full seasons of 113 and 144 games with significant accumulated value.

To me, the only way Keller surpasses Kiner is if you might inadvertently be giving him 2 years of XC rather than 1.67, and more important if you are not discounting his 167 in 1943, then extrapolating '44 and '45 from that exaggerated figure.

They're close but I just can't figure out how Keller would rank higher.
   208. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:25 PM (#1986125)
First of all, Keller's OPS+ is OBP heavy in relation to Kiner so OPS+ is going to give Kiner an inherent advantage anyway.

Second of all, Keller played decent to very good defense in the outfield whereas Kiner was played decent to bad defense.

Third of all, While I am not giving Keller full credit for 1945 (I add 20 WS for those lost games), I am giving him credit for 1938, which I know you don't do but I find perfectly defensible.

Fourth of all, What the two players did outside of their 8 year prime is so insignificant that it doesn't add to either of their resumes, so any advantage Kiner gains there doesn't really matter. We are talking about 211 and 357 games, respectively. Also, why is Keller's 136 OPS+ in 211 games that much worse than Kiner's 116 in 357 games? Keller was hitting at a much higher rate than Kiner is it obvious that his OPS+ woudl have dropped by 20 points he he had played in 140 more games or have about 400 more PA?

Fifth, Keller's career was pretty much over by the time that integration hit so one cannot really take anything away form him there.

I will have Keller a #2 and Kiner at #7 in 1975. They are close and comparable, which I believe you showed. They are both in my PHOM, so I like both of them. If you have Kiner above Keller that is fine, but I can't see how Kiner could be in the group's top 10 while Keller languishes at around #35 or so.

To be really simple about it, they have comparable career lengths and I believe that Keller's OBP and defensive advantages outweigh Kiner's advantages in power and having more games tacked onto the end of his career.
   209. TomH Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#1986169)
keep the good analysis comin guys. I'm now embarrassed that Keller was sitting at around #45 for me. He'll be somewhere between 12 and 24 on my ballot later this week.
You'd think after this much time big surprises would be minimized. My only explanation is that I must be putting all of my critical time and brain power in on silly efforts like my job and my wife....
   210. sunnyday2 Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:50 AM (#1986894)
I do give Keller 1938 now.

And 20 WS for an additional 110 games in 1945 sure sounds like full credit to me.

I don't argue your point about the defense.

>Fifth, Keller's career was pretty much over by the time that integration hit so one cannot really take anything away form him there.

Actually I'm not much for stronger leagues and weaker leagues, but lots of folks are. But I don't understand your comment. My point is Kiner, for whatever it is worth, faced tougher competition.

But my main points are: I will always believe that 4 40 game partial seasons does not equal the pennant-value of 1 equivalent full season.

And:

Keller 784 career BB, .410 career OBA, .171 BB rate
Kiner 1,011 career BB, .398 OBA, .162 BB rate

I don't see this as much of a difference. Kiner walked 100+ times 6 straight years with a high of 137. I think you over-state Keller's OPS being OBP heavy and (implied) that Kiner's is not.

As to Keller being #35 with the group, I can't explain it either. He has been around #20 for me and might move up a bit in my current re-eval.
   211. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 04:14 AM (#1986984)
For soem reason I have the picture that Kiner, playing a few years later than Keller, playe din a higher offensive era. Is this true? I always thought of teh 50's as a time with more HR's than the 40's.

Still, even though he walked more Keller had higher OBP's as you showed.
   212. DavidFoss Posted: April 25, 2006 at 05:30 AM (#1987222)
CK:.286/.410/.518 (in a .269/.345/.388 context)
RK:.279/.398/.548 (in a .272/.347/.409 context)

The plusses (OBP+/SLG+/OPS+) are:

CK: 119/134/152
RK: 115/134/149

They have remarkably similar career rates (and shapes). CK has a 4 point edge in OBP+ to RK's half point edge in SLG+. (Note how rounding affects the totals slightly). That's it.

Its all about how much extra credit you give CK to close the 1600 PA gap.
   213. Howie Menckel Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:57 PM (#1987426)
To many, you will say, "Duh!" to this.
But the others will say "Eureka!" so....

I just went to click "1975 ballot discussion" to get to the thread, and when I do I would always get the FIRST page, then have to click the little "3" on the bottom to get to the new stuff. Annoying.

But just now I accidentally hit the "212" instead, indicating the number of total responses.
It takes you to the latest page immediately!
   214. sunnyday2 Posted: April 25, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#1987435)
Duh!

;-)
   215. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 25, 2006 at 01:12 PM (#1987439)
FWIW, if you throw in that Kiner played for generally poor teams and Keller for generally outstanding teams, it's possible that there's some bleed through into their stats. For instance, Keller may have benefited by not having to face Yankee pitching/defense, while Kiner may have been disadvantaged by not facing his own teams' less stellar moundsman and defenders.

By the by, the park advantage is an interesting question here. As a lefty hitter, Keller was less suceptible to his home park's extreme LCF dimension (though RCF to CF wasn't exactly a picnic either). Kiner, on the other hand, may have been adversely effected by Forbes Field. Throughout its history, the Pirates routinely led the league in triples, but they rarely led in homers. (For a dramatic example of this effect, check out Roberto Clemente's home/road HR and 3B numbers: home---96 HR/95 3B; road---133 HR/52 3b.) As a slow-footed slugger, Kiner probably faced a tougher home park than Keller, who at least had the advantage of the Stadium's short RF porch.
   216. DavidFoss Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#1987538)
For instance, Keller may have benefited by not having to face Yankee pitching/defense, while Kiner may have been disadvantaged by not facing his own teams' less stellar moundsman and defenders.

BPF's try to adjust for this. Yankee BPF's are generally a few points above their PPF's and Pirate BPF's are generally a few points below. (Wow, those Pirate staffs were consistently brutal!). Why does this point keep coming up? I feel like I post about BPF/PPF every week. Do we forget about them or is there more going on that I don't know about?

As a slow-footed slugger, Kiner probably faced a tougher home park than Keller, who at least had the advantage of the Stadium's short RF porch.

They brought the LF fence in 30 feet from 365 to 335 in 1947 for Greenberg (Greenberg Gardens) and kept it there until 1953 as Kiner's Korner. After Kiner was gone, the put the fences back where they were. I don't have any home/road splits for Kiner.
   217. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#1987732)
I must be slow on this, but if WS used BPF's instead of PPF's for its park factors would this mitigate the good team/bad team effect a lot right? There are still some other issues, but those issues are ones that I am willing to live with in a metric that is tied to actual wins.

So why did James use PPF's instead of BPF's? I have the book but it is about 150 miles away or so.

Over on the Drysdale thread someone asked why TommyBridges got four votes in 1974 while Don Drysdale is a favorite for induction this year. While I will say that I should take another look at Bridges (and Dizzy Trout as well I guess) I wonder how much of this has to do with there being only 15 ballto spots adn so many closely bunched players. Some players will inevitably be forgotten, which is why we ahev these ballto threads, and some players who noly lose out by a notch or two will be about 35 slots underneath a comparable player. And this coming from a guy who has been advocating that Keller should be more votes because Sisler and Kiner are in the top 10 and he was better in my view and very comparable in most every bit of evidence that I have seen.

This year there are 29 players that I wish I could put on my ballot. When I decide to move Billy Pierce up five slots I have to pause to think if I really think he is more worthy than Minnie Minoso, Wally Berger, and Nellie Fox. Ditto to Mendez and Waddell, who also moved up this year. AFter those 29, there are still about 5-6 guys who have been on my ballot before (Roush, R.Thomas, Bobby Veach, and Tommy Leach all come immediately to mind) and others that I have to admit arent' awful selections (Biz Mackey for one. Rizzuto, Shocker).

I guess all of this is to say that I bet everyone has a player in his 30's that he would like to move up but just can't beacuse there are so many other players that he likes more.

Of course everyone everyone should still re-evaluate Charlie Keller and move him up accordingly! ;-D
   218. DavidFoss Posted: April 25, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#1987888)
I must be slow on this, but if WS used BPF's instead of PPF's for its park factors would this mitigate the good team/bad team effect a lot right? There are still some other issues, but those issues are ones that I am willing to live with in a metric that is tied to actual wins.

I mentioned this in the WARP/WS thread. I think the only place that park factor is used is a teams total Win Shares is split between offense and defense. So, its just a balance of a team that would affect that. If a team's offense & defense are equally bad (or good), the there's no effect. If a team has a large imbalance of O & D, then the straight park factor might effectively regress the split a bit towards a balance (though it will surely still be imbalanced).

Other than that, one related effect on WS is the schedule strength used to obtain the W/L record in the first place. The 1954 Indians never had to play themselves. Adding an 11-11 record against themselves lowers their WPct from .721 to .693 and their effective pool of available WS from 333 to 320. Its not a huge effect, and I'm not sure its even a valid adjustment, but I've heard some people mention this issue.

I must qualify that I am by no means a WS expert. Any experts should feel free to chime in with clarifications and corrections. :)
   219. Paul Wendt Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#1987992)
In summary Kiner has the better actual record. Give Keller 1.67 years of XC for WWII and their careers look interchangeable. Look at their best 8 seasons and there is a very very slight advantage to Keller, though some might say Kiner played in a tougher (integrated) league, though he played early and only as integration was beginning to differentiate the two leagues, it's true.

OPS+ and many other measures do account for what I will say here. Which ones? All those that include adjustment for TB/Palmer "Park Factors." I don't know how many that is, among the measures popular in this forum.

Some would say Kiner played for very weak teams. His opponents may have been close to 102 where 100 is NL average. Keller played for very strong teams, maybe the strongest in mlb history, Ross Barnes excepted. His opponents may have been close to 98 where 100 is AL average.

Marc sunnyday uses TB/Palmer-adjusted numbers (almost?) exclusively, so he may (almost?) safely ignore the Pirate and Yankee effects and consider only the two leagues. Elsewhere, I'm not sure the interleague difference is more greater in magnitude than the 102 to 98 (in my guestimate) combined Pirate-Yankee effect. Actually, I'm not sure the interleague difference is greater than 101 to 99, a more prudent Pirate-Yankee guestimate. For example, conceding that the Pirates were not at their worst thruout Kiner's career, I note that the National League wasn't integrated thruout his career either.
   220. Paul Wendt Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#1988019)
jschmeagol:
Also, why is Keller's 136 OPS+ in 211 games that much worse than Kiner's 116 in 357 games? Keller was hitting at a much higher rate than Kiner is it obvious that his OPS+ woudl have dropped by 20 points he he had played in 140 more games or have about 400 more PA?

I don't think that argument should have any force here. (But re Keller, it is only half of point four among five, by jschmeagol's count. And I don't think the 357@116 vs 211@136 has much weight.)

force . . . weight . . . no wonder we needed centuries to produce Newton
   221. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#1988020)
Leon Wagner, victim of park factors

(Home HRs/Road HRs)

1958 (Seals Stadium): 9/4
1959 (Seals Stadium): 4/1
1960 (Sportsman Park): 2/2
1961 (Wrigley-LA): 19/9
1962 (Chavez Ravine): 13/24
1963 (Chavez Ravine): 2/24
1964 (Cleveland Stadium): 15/16
1965 (Cleveland Stadium): 14/14
1966 (Cleveland Stadium): 13/10
1967 (Cleveland Stadium): 8/7
1968 (Cleveland Stadium): 0/0
1968 (Comiskey Park): 1/0
1969 (Candlestick): 0/0

Wagner hit 50 home runs in 901 AB from his 24 year to his 27 year. 34 at home and 16 on the road.

Wagner then hit 63 HR in 1162 AB for his 28 and 29 years. 15 at home and 48 on the road.

Then from 30 onwards, he hits 98 HR in 2363 AB. 51 at home and 47 on the road.

1962 B/O/S line, Home games: .261/.318/.454
Road games: .275/.332/.546

1963 B/O/S line, Home games: .262/.348/.310
Road games: .315/.356/.581
   222. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#1988058)
Other Leon Wagner stats:

Parks ranked by the number of HRs that Wagner hit there as a visiting player..

Fenway Park: 14
Municipal Stadium: 14
RFK Stadium: 13
Tiger Stadium: 13
Yankees Stadium: 11
Comiskey Park: 11
Memorial Stadium: 9
Metropolitan Stadium: 8
Cleveland Stadium: 6
Chavez Ravine: 4
Crosley Field: 3
Candlestick Park: 2
Wrigley Field (Chicago): 2
Anaheim Stadium: 1

Wagner's batting lines in Boston, KC, DC, Detroit, and New York.

Boston: .318/.360/.545
KC: .277/.346/.500
DC: .262/.315/.515
Detroit: .257/.330/.451
New York: .215/.275/.383
Chicago: .276/.343/.431

That Yankee Stadium line is 46 for 214, 3 doubles, 11 home runs, and 32 singles in 60 games.

Or translated into a 162 game season.

And the people who played first base on Wagner's teams from 1958 to 1967 (Wagner never played first in the majors):

Cepeda (1958-1959), Bill White (1960), Steve Bilko (1961), Lee Thomas (1962-1963), Bob Chance (1964), Fred Whitfield (1965-1966), and Tony Horton (1967)
   223. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#1988066)
Quick edit.

<strike>Or translated into a 162 game season.</strike>

Ok.. good.. I forgot to delete that. But he does hit 29.7 homers per 162 games at Yankee stadium.
   224. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 25, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1988093)
Forgot about Kiner's corner. So David, you're probably right that the park effect for triples and homers may have been mitigated.

I think I'm the one who keeps bringing up these specific park effects. On the other hand, here's two guys as close as close be, you gotta look at everything again. And then twice more. And without L/R park splits, I don't know that the park factor for two places are truly accounted for or not on a player versus player level.
   225. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 08:47 PM (#1988329)
But is WS used BPF's when calculating their RC then strength of scedule is already taken into consideration when judging the player right?
   226. karlmagnus Posted: April 25, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#1988377)
If you're going to adjust park factors to reflect lack of homer-friendliness you need to do it for Beckley too -- I've a suspicion some of his parks didn't have fences at all, the ball just kept on rolling once it pased the outfielder. Thus all the triples; his triples/HR ratio is way out of line with everybody else's, as we discovered about 1920.
   227. jimd Posted: April 25, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#1988459)
But is WS used BPF's when calculating their RC then strength of scedule is already taken into consideration when judging the player right?

No. WS uses neither BPF not PPF. James describes exactly how he calculates his Park Factors in the Win Shares book.

There are multiple effects going on with extreme teams, and I don't know if anybody has sorted them all out. One effect results from a team not playing against itself, which favors good teams, who then get less losses (more wins), and hurts bad teams who then get less wins. The effect is not more than 1 WS in any given season, though it can add up over careers for players like Keller and Bob Johnson.

Another effect is a Pythagorean (non-linear) one, that of diminishing returns, where each additional good player added to an already great team does not add the expected number of wins because much of the extra production is wasted in bigger blowouts. This effect is small unless we're talking about teams > .750 WPCT.
   228. TomH Posted: April 26, 2006 at 01:41 PM (#1990002)
a few thots on Billy Pierce.

WARP docks Pierce twice (both of which, of course, can be justified). First by assessing that he pitched in front of good defenses, raising his DERA about .10 above his NRA. Then he gets a ding for being in the weaker league, raising his "adjusted for all time" DERA up by anohter .07 or so.

And he still posts a very nice WARP3 of 91 wins above replacement over 14 years.
So, when a system that doesn't "like" you still "likes" you.... you must be a good candidate! :)
   229. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 26, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#1990101)
Things about Pierce is his lack of IP in seasons really hampers his peak. Drysdale is much better this way. And I am not sure we have come across any concrete reason for giving him credit for this like we did with Ford.

Pierce isn't a bad candidate and I have him at #25, but I don't think he was as good as Ford or Drysdale. My backlong of pitchers is currently..

Drysdale
Redding
Walters
Dean
Waddell
Mendez
Pierce
Willis
Newcombe

ALl are in my top 30.

Also,

Is WARP docking Pierce as much as it is pitchers from the 1940's? I can't imagine that the AL of the 1950's was weaker than the AL or NL pre-integration. I guess i ntheory it could have been but not by much, it just suffers from not being as intergrated, and therefore as strong, as the NL.
   230. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 26, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#1990544)
i don't think that pierce was un-durable, but IIRC, he was just not supremely durable. Top ten in innings five times, top 10 six times. BUT led in CG three times, top five three others, top ten three more.

Here's the kicker for Pierce. In all seasons of 10 or more starts, he made 98 relief appearances, in which he finished the game 57 times, and saved it 28 times.

In seasons of 10+ starts, Drysdale made 53 relief appearances, finished 34, saved 6.

In season of 10+ starts, Whitey Ford made 47 relief appearances, finished 28, saved 10.

One of these is not like the other. Billy Pierce was being used somewhat in the Dean/Grove role of ace/closer.

In seasons of 10+ starts, Early Wynn made 64 appearances, finished 59 games, saved 14.

In seasons of 10+ starts, Bob Lemon made 73 appearances, finished 52, saved 21.

In seasons of 10+ starts Mike Garcia made 89 relief appearances, finished 56, saved 20.

In seasons of 10+ starts, Allie Reynolds made 123 relief appearances, with 97 games finished and 49 saves.

Virgil Trucks: 109 appearances, 65 GF, 19 saves.

Frank Lary: 35, 22, 8.

That's a lot of top pitchers, and the only one whose workload is similar is Allie Reynolds, who clearly was used as either a swingman or an ace/closer. Pierce was a better pitcher than Reynolds and somewhat more durale as well.

Per the SBE Reynolds had the 13th most saves in the AL during the period 1950-1961, he made 117 starts during that time. Pierce had the 33rd most. But, he's got more starts in the period by far, 364, than anyone above him on the list, or anyone within ten slots below him. Next closest is Mike Garcia, #29. Chuck Stobbs, #35, is the only other guy with more than 170 starts on the list.

If we look instead at only pitchers with 150 or more starts in the AL of 1950-1961...actually, here's the list, just remember that this is including seasons spent in relief.

AMES STARTED                   GS       SV     
1    Early Wynn                  390       12   
2    Billy Pierce                364       19   
3    Whitey Ford                 276        7   
4    Ned Garver                  274        4   
5    Mike Garcia                 261       21   
6    Bob Lemon                   260       15   
7    Frank Lary                  242        7   
8    Chuck Stobbs                218       18   
9    Tom Brewer                  217        3   
10   Alex Kellner                211        4   
11   Bob Turley                  210       11   
12   Frank Sullivan              201        6   
13   Pedro Ramos                 199       12   
14   Billy Hoeft                 194       14   
15   Camilo Pascual              185       10   
16   Jim Bunning                 181        5   
17   Willard Nixon               177        3   
18   Dick Donovan                176        3   
19   Virgil Trucks               169       20   
T20  Bob Porterfield             167        2   
T20  Mel Parnell                 167        8   
22   Paul Foytack                164        9   
23   Don Larsen                  159        7   
24   Hal Brown                   158        9   
T25  Bobby Shantz                155       28   
T25  Bob Feller                  155        1   
27   Jack Harshman               153        7   
28   Art Ditmar                  151       14 

OK, so the point in all this is that there IS something to be taken into account in Pierce's "lack" of innings, and it's that he made numerous relief appearances because his manager appeared to have faith in him in high-leverage relief situations. It appears he may have been used as much or more in such situations as his peers, and we don't yet have any splits for the period to know whether or not he was making multi-inning appearances. IIRC the Dodgers were one of the first NL teams to really adopted the fireman/relief ace approach wholeheartedly, and they had a series of Joe Black/Clem Labine/Larry Sherry/Ron Perranoski types from the begining to the end of Drysdale's career, where as the Chisox were still transitioning to that strategy in the 1950s.
   231. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 26, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#1990551)
By the by...

Who is your 1950s AL saves leader? Your pal and mine Ellis Kinder. I really, really, really wish we had PBP data for this guy because I think it's possible we've glossed over him without enough scrutiny.
   232. TomH Posted: April 28, 2006 at 08:27 PM (#1994473)
“Unfair Double standard!!” bellows the town crier, as he sees a potentially nefarious plot to inhibit honoring of a fine player.

Joe Sewell. Great hitting and fine fielding shortstop. He played in an era when there were not many good shortstops. Joe also moved to third base for the last 1/3 of his career, even though his defense at short was still very good.

Now, because of the lack of quality SS in the 1920s, Joe towered over the others. His RCAP, which measures a player against his positional peers, reflects this.

Many voters here discount Sewell’s RCAP by the reasoning that he should not be rewarded simply because MLB couldn’t find good shortstops in that decade. In other words, yes, he had the value, but in a more historical context he would not have. This argument has merit.

Many voters here discount Sewell’s career value because he moved to 3B, providing less value to his team than when he was at shortstop; even though he was obviously still good enough to play shortstop for many teams. In other words, yes, he could have continued to have great value in those years, but he actually didn’t. This argument has merit.

But, does anyone see a problem here? Let’s either play the “actual value” game and ping Sewell for his move to 3B, but then you have to rightfully give him credit for actually dominating the 1920s SS.
....... OR, play the “true ability” card; ping him for not being a historically great shortstop, but don’t dis his (historically unnecessary) move to third base.

So: don’t dock him both ways. THAT has no merit.

Joe Sewell HAS merit, and ought to be in the Hall of Merit soon.

--
side note on Sewell-- he was famous, of course, for avoiding strikeouts. He played in an era where hitters didn't KO much anyway, so surely he would have struck out more often in today's game, but then he would have added a bunch of power as well. BP's translated stats (attempt to put in an all-time context) have Sewell hitting more home runs than strikeouts in the modern game. In fact, his HR/KO ratio is better by this measure than another guy much more famous for this very abiity - Joe DiMaggio.
   233. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#1994487)
But, does anyone see a problem here? Let’s either play the “actual value” game and ping Sewell for his move to 3B, but then you have to rightfully give him credit for actually dominating the 1920s SS.

Only if you ignore Lloyd, Moore, and Beckwith, of course.
   234. Paul Wendt Posted: April 28, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#1994537)
#219
Marc sunnyday uses TB/Palmer-adjusted numbers (almost?) exclusively, so he may (almost?) safely ignore the Pirate and Yankee effects and consider only the two leagues.

OPS+ and ERA+ are safe in this regard.
Not Win Shares.
If the WS user can "safely ignore" in practice, that is only because the effects are small in magnitude, perhaps 1 WS per player-season as jimd says subsequently.

All of that morning's traffic #13-18 appeared before I posted #19. DavidFoss #18 is right about win shares; there is a bias against players on very bad teams and for players on very good teams. (since "very bad" and "very good" are not so bad and good that the nonlinear effect is important. see jimd #27)
   235. yest Posted: April 28, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#1994578)
side note on Sewell-- he was famous, of course, for avoiding strikeouts. He played in an era where hitters didn't KO much anyway, so surely he would have struck out more often in today's game

only if he would change his style of play one of the main reasons there are more strikeouts today is players arn't realy embaressed when strikeingout like years past
   236. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 29, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#1994872)
only if he would change his style of play one of the main reasons there are more strikeouts today is players arn't realy embaressed when strikeingout like years past

He still would have struck out more times, yest, because pitchers try to ring up K's much more than they did back then. He probably would have had Nellie Fox numbers in post-WWII era.
   237. TomH Posted: April 29, 2006 at 12:58 AM (#1994963)
Let’s either play the “actual value” game and ping Sewell for his move to 3B, but then you have to rightfully give him credit for actually dominating the 1920s SS.
..
Only if you ignore Lloyd, Moore, and Beckwith, of course.

-
Well, that's my point. For those who only use actual 'value' for their ballot, Sewell did actually HAVE 300+ RCAP plus good defense in his day. Yes, it may have been a poor era for MLB shortstops since, sadly, Lloyd et al were not invited, but that didn't decrease Sewell's worth to his teams, who were blessed far beyond their competitors who couldn't find a shortstop.
   238. yest Posted: April 30, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#1996760)
He still would have struck out more times, yest, because pitchers try to ring up K's much more than they did back then. He probably would have had Nellie Fox numbers in post-WWII era.

Then his walk numbers would also go up
   239. rawagman Posted: April 30, 2006 at 11:06 AM (#1997010)
It seems that there is a wide scope of disagreement regarding placements for pitchers.

I have been chided in the past for basing so much of my ranking there upon ERA+ numbers. So I looked into DERA.
I found a few interesting things. Lefty Gomez (my best friend) is often accused of having benefitted from a great defense. How good? Careerwise, his ERA+ is 125. DERA - 3.93.
True - that does not make him Lefty Gomez. But it's pretty good.
Let's compare him to Robin Roberts, a pitcher who I ranked lower than everyone else.
Robin's numbers on those counts were 113, 3.96!
How about Billy Pierce? 119, 3.97.
Why is there no love for Tommy Bridges? 126, 3.81.
DD? 121, 3.84.
For you Bucky Walters fans: 115, 4.10.
Rube? 134, 3.73.
Top 5 DERA's
1) Dizzy Dean - 3.52
2) Rube Waddell - 3.73
3) Addie Joss - 3.74
4) Urban Shocker - 3.80
5) Tommy Bridges - 3.81

Also worth mentioning Eddie Rommell coming in with a 3.90
   240. rawagman Posted: April 30, 2006 at 12:00 PM (#1997013)
Of course, I look at more factors than just those. If I only looked at ERA+ (/DERA) I might not even consider Roberts. He had mighty ink. The man was a Rorschach test.
   241. rawagman Posted: April 30, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#1997132)
Anyone know when Charley Jones died? Seems the info is not readily available.
   242. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 30, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#1997285)
Then his walk numbers would also go up

Is that necessarily true? IIRC, walk rates were at their highest during the '20's and '30's.

Well, that's my point. For those who only use actual 'value' for their ballot, Sewell did actually HAVE 300+ RCAP plus good defense in his day. Yes, it may have been a poor era for MLB shortstops since, sadly, Lloyd et al were not invited, but that didn't decrease Sewell's worth to his teams, who were blessed far beyond their competitors who couldn't find a shortstop.

But wouldn't Sewell's RCAP's be lower if the star NeLers had played in the ML?
   243. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 30, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#1997293)
Anyone know when Charley Jones died?

He died?!! When? How?

;-)
   244. DavidFoss Posted: April 30, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#1997414)
Anyone know when Charley Jones died? Seems the info is not readily available.

I believe there was a discussion about this in one of the other threads (not Jones' own unfortunately). I think it was Eric Enders who brought it up, but it could have been Paul Wendt or someone else. I recall something like he had been lost to history and no one knows what happened to him after a certain date. The genericness of his name has helped make him a very difficult person to track down.
   245. yest Posted: April 30, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#1997417)
Sewell today would be playing with a smaller strike zone
   246. sunnyday2 Posted: April 30, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#1997458)
In memory of Pete Ramos--no, not dead, but eligible this year.

As a Twins fan, I remember that Ramos took a regular turn in the Twins rotation in that first year of 1961 with Camilo Pascual, Jack Kralick and Jim Kaat. I'm pretty sure Ramos beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium on opening day--I remember it being a complete game 5-hitter, I think the Twins won 5-1. Not indicative of what would happen the rest of the year, to be sure. Not for the Yankees, not for the Twins, not for Ramos, who finished 11-20, 3.95. That 3.95 represents a respectable 107 ERA+, but his 11-20, 107 season pretty much represents his career as a starter, mostly with Wash/Minn but also in Cleveland.

He came up as a 20 year old and threw mostly out of the bullpen for 2 years. He then started in Wash for 3 years before ever getting up to 100 ERA+, going 58-74 (over the first 5 years) with ERA+ 99-82-81-90-04. Then in '60, still in Wash, he went 11-18, 3.45 (113), pretty much identical to '61. He went to Cleveland after the '61 season, gradually dropping out of the rotation there, and going 26-30, 104-116-70. He went to the Yankees during their 1964 debacle and moved permanently to the bullpen (he got one more start, ever, in 1966).

He sort of found a niche in the bullpen, but only sort of. I remember that he got some notoriety and he saved 32 games for the Yankees in '65 and '66 but after a 116 ERA+ in '65 he went 92-38-72-47.

His career numbers: 117-160, .422, 2355.2 IP, 4.08 (95).

I often think of him in tandem not with fellow Cuban Camilo Pascual, who was so vastly superior as a pitcher (174-170 despite a 28-66 start in Washington from 1954 at age 20-24; 2930.2 IP, 3.63 (103), but with a peak of ERA+ years at 121-48-28-23-23-48-8-6).

I think of Ramos in tandem, rather, with Chuck Stobbs, though he was not Cuban, did not come up with the Senators as a young guy, but was a rotation mate with both Ramos and Pascual 1955-57 but then pitched out of the bullpen, mostly for Wash/Min, after that through 1961. Stobbs came up at age 18 with BosA in 1947. By 1949 he started 19 games, competed 10 of them and in 1949-51 went 33-22 but with ERA+ 108-96-94. Regarded as a disappointment, he was moved to the other Sox where he went 7-12, 116, then to Washington for 1953 11-8, 118. (Pascual joined him in '54 and Ramos in '55.)

He stayed in the Senators rotation for 5 years, going 49-68 with ERA+ 118-87-77-120-73.

For the 3 years that Ramos, Pascual and Stobbs were all together in the rotation (though in truth 3 were not mostly starters together except '57):

1955 129 G, 41 GS, 11-37, team 53-101, 8th place
1956 113 G, 78 GS, 33-43, team 59-95 7th place
1957 114 G, 87 GS, 28-53, team 55-99, 8th place

Stobbs was moved to the Cardinals during the 1958 season but the 3 were reunited in 1959 but Stobbs only started 7 games and went 1-8 despite a 2.97 ERA. Pascual and Ramos went 30-29, though that is not quite fair. Pascual was 17-10, 2.64, Ramos 13-19, 4.15. The Senators finished 63-91 in 8th place again.

Stobbs started 13 games in 1960 and the 3 of them together had their best year: 109 G, 75 GS, 35-33, team 73-81, 5th place.

Finally in 1961 they were Twins and 70-90 in 7th place in a 10 team league. They went 28-39 but Stobbs only threw 45 innings. The big 2 went 26-36 with Ramos losing 20, as noted above.

Here are some guys who shared rotation spots with these 3 guys over the years: Bob Porterfield (22 wins in 1953), Mickey McDermott, Dean Stone, Bob Wiesler, Russ Kemmerer, Hal Griggs, Bill Fischer, Don Lee, Kralick, Kaat, Dick Stigman, Mudcat Grant, Jim Perry.

That last year, when Perry joined Pascual in the Twins rotation, was 1965, when the former Senators celebrated the 10th anniversary of that 101 loss season in '55 by winning 102 plus 3 more in the World Series.

Oh, the vagaries of putting together a winning ML pitching rotation! (Especially if you're Calvin Griffith, or any other owner without deep pockets [or, if having deep pockets, without the inclination to dig deeply into them].) And among the vagaries, Pascual started well in '65--9-3, 3.35, then strained his arm. He only came back in time for the World Series, where he started and lost the 3rd game and the Twins did not go back to him again in the series. He pitched with arm pain on and off through '66, going 8-6 but with a 4.89 ERA. He was not brought back in '67, going back to Washington instead and going 25-22 with ERA+ 96-109 over 2 years. (With his 17-10 in 1959 he had in fact gone exactly the same 25-22 in '58 and '59.)

Anyway, I still think of Ramos and Stobbs, and to a lesser extent Ramos and Pascual. All 3 were pitchers the woeful Senators relied upon in the run-up to their move to Minnesota, and it is probably pretty typical of baseball history generally that only one of the 3 every became a star. What makes the old Senators unusual is perhaps that the 2 out of 3 pitching prospects who don't ever quite cut the mustard got more starts in Washington than they might ever have gotten anywhere else.
   247. rawagman Posted: May 01, 2006 at 09:35 AM (#1998518)
There is a link from baseball-almanac.com to a discussion about the possibility that Waddell suffered from a mental illness. Fairly interesting. Several members os the discussion (who proclaim knowledge in the area) think he had Asperger's.
   248. Howie Menckel Posted: May 01, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#1998552)
That's hard to believe from what I know of Waddell and Asperger's, rawagman.
What characteristics lead them there?
Asperger's members tend to above-average in intelligence, not below.
Also, while awkwardness in social skills is maybe the best-known indicator, generally there isn't so much lack of focus as there is obsession. Waddell's issues seemed to be to be more of the former.

Any way to call up the link you mentioned? I didn't find it.
   249. Mike Webber Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1998561)
I'm pretty sure Ramos beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium on opening day--I remember it being a complete game 5-hitter, I think the Twins won 5-1.


Opening Day 1961 for Ramos and the Twins

One of those rare occasions when things were even better than you remember them.
   250. sunnyday2 Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:37 PM (#1998566)
Interesting juxtaposition, the tortoise and the hare, though well below the radar.

Woodie Held, debut 1957 and never a star, more of a UIF type, and Tom Tresh, debut 1962 and briefly a star, both eligible at the same time, both listed above at SS and OF. And one with more WS, the other more WARP. In fact Tresh, who James lists as a LF, had what James rates as the 7th best rookie year of any player listed as a LF and of course Tresh was at SS for the world champion Yankees of 1962. Nice debut.

He ends up #66 in LF, however, which James also says is higher than anybody would expect, but not that great for a rookie, world champion SS with an OPS+ of 119. Held meanwhile is among James' top 100 SS.

66. Tresh (LF) 161/29-26-25/122/25.4
82. Held (SS) 153/22-21-21/102/17.8

Tresh, unfortunately, couldn't make the throw and moved to the OF right away in year 2, starting in CF but moving to LF within the same '63 season. In fairness he was always a 1 year SS. He replaced Tony Kubek who went into the military for a year, but then returned in '63. He "replaced" Mantle in '63 (injured of course) but it was really Hector Lopez in LF who sat when all hands were on deck. But Tresh also was an age 25 rookie, not usually a sign of great things to come. And indeed he only played 9 years and 1200 games.

Tresh WS 161/25-29-20-25-22-13-15-11 in chronological order rather than best to worst
Tresh OPS+ 113/119-40-5-33-23-4-(89)-(79)

The OPS+ numbers indicate a fall-off that was real, but his decline was probably perceived as greater than it really was through that string of 5-33-23. James also lists him among the 10 LF whose career was played in the most run-scarce environment. In this (the perception of a decline before the actual decline) he is similar to Bob Allison, IMO.

Held WS (1960s only) 19-21-21-19-13-14-2-5-0-1
Held OPS+ from 1957) 115-(64)-15-22-22-10-21-7-28

Held actually came up with the Yankees at age 18 in 1954, but only played in 4 games. He played in one more in 1957, then was shipped to KC for about a year (2 half-years), then Cleveland where he spent the heart of his career. He played at least parts of 14 different seasons with 1390 G, about 200 more than Tresh. Like Tresh he came up as a SS, then played a lot of OF, both in a R platoon and probably some defensive replacement time. But then he moved back to the IF.

Held and Billy Hunter replaced Chico Carrasquel and Roger Maris in the Cleveland lineup in 1959 (mid-season trade), but Hunter lasted only half a year. Held split time at SS and 3B both with George Strickland in '59. In '63 Jerry Kindall played SS as did Larry Brown, Dick Howser and several others while Held played 2B and OF. In '64 the Indians settled on Brown at 2B, Howser at SS, and Held splitting time among 2B, 3B and LF. The offense was OK, the pitching was hurting and Cleveland was now into a decline that would last 30 years.

finally becoming a regular SS for just 3 years in 1960-61-62 and posting OPS+ 122-22-10, not bad for even an average SS, which is what he appears to be (no WS letter grade). By '62 he was back to splitting time, now 2B and OF.

His final 100 game season was with Washington in '65 playing 106 games in the OF--more than 40 each in all 3 slots--and posting that 128. He hit with much more power than I remembered--179 career HR including 20-7-29-21-23-19-17-18-16 and highs of 82 R and 71 RBI, both in '59, when he was splitting time between SS and 3B. I would guess everyone is shocked to know he finished his career with 29 more HR than Tresh.

But he was moved to Baltimore the next year (1966) and of course couldn't crack that lineup. He played 82 G with only 123 AB (apparently playing as a defensive replacement) before moving to Cal and ChiA to finish up. He did not thrive, hitting .207-.203-.141-.143.

Still a very nice little career with 8 solid years and terrific versatility. The tortoise to Tresh's hare, he ended up within 8 WS. And ahead on WARP.

Held .240/.331/.421/109
Tresh .245/.335/.411/113
   251. sunnyday2 Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:41 PM (#1998567)
Thanks Mike! A 3-hit ShO no less! And Ramos apparently hits a 2 run single. This was perhaps the highlight of his entire career. I wonder what he would say about that.

Hard to believe--I didn't remember--that Killebrew was the 1B. Amazing how many games he played elsewhere before returning to the bag. Of course his versatility was a huge plus for the Twins. Still hard to believe they put Allison at 1B and Killebrew in LF when Oliva came up and displaced Allison in RF.
   252. rawagman Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#1998570)
it was actually a link from almanca to baseball fever: http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=40628
   253. Howie Menckel Posted: May 01, 2006 at 02:18 PM (#1998589)
Thanks for the link.
Interesting combination of posters, where it seems clear to me that the less a poster knew about Asperger's, the more likely they were to think Rube had it.

My favorite post, not that it's all that profound, is this one:

"Did it ever occur to anyone that Rube, was just that...a rube?
Never taught social behavior, and was not the sharpest knife in the drawer?
Why, in this day and age are we so afraid to call someone stupid?"


I'd say that Rube had "something," alright, but Asperger's strikes me as one of the more bizarre of guesses.
   254. rawagman Posted: May 01, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#1998591)
never said the discussion was anything scientifical. Definately entertaining, though!
   255. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#1998630)
"Did it ever occur to anyone that Rube, was just that...a rube?
Never taught social behavior, and was not the sharpest knife in the drawer?
Why, in this day and age are we so afraid to call someone stupid?"


Mix in an alcohol problem and then you have an explosive combination.
   256. rawagman Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:32 PM (#1998643)
A stupid alcoholic with a fastball.
Dangerous to opposing hitters, particularly lefties!
   257. jimd Posted: May 01, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#1999026)
IIRC, walk rates were at their highest during the '20's and '30's.

If we exclude the 1880's and before (when it took from 5-9 balls to work a walk), walk rates have ranged from .063 (1904) to .106 (1949), centered around .086. The post-war period from 1947-1956 was the golden age for walks, .098 rate. The dead-ball era, 1899-1908, was the low-point, .068 rate. Walk rates in the 1920's: .080; walk rates in the 1990's: .091.
   258. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 01, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#1999030)
Walk rates in the 1920's: .080; walk rates in the 1990's: .091.

So Sewell most likely would have walked a little more now.

Thanks, Jim!
   259. Paul Wendt Posted: May 01, 2006 at 11:54 PM (#1999499)
rawagman
> Anyone know when Charley Jones died? Seems the info is not readily available.

I think not. He is the greatest player among the missing and is third on the Most Wanted list (SABR Biographical Research Cmte) behind Hugh One-Arm Daily and one of the catcher's mitt claimants. Number four Sam LaRoque (sometimes LaRocque) was found about a year ago. I happens.

Read an introduction to the biographical database project. See 19th Century Notes #2004.1, p3-4, at 19th Century Resources.
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