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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, May 28, 2006

1978 Ballot Discussion

1978 (Jun 12)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

377 122.4 1955 Roberto Clemente-RF (1972)
256 92.4 1952 Hoyt Wilhelm-RP (2002)
219 86.5 1956 Bill Mazeroski-2B
253 71.6 1959 Maury Wills-SS
179 56.5 1962 Tom Haller-C (2004)
194 44.7 1964 Don Buford-LF/2B
148 48.2 1964 Wes Parker-1B
162 41.2 1961 Don Mincher-1B
145 42.9 1960 Ron Hansen-SS
133 47.9 1963 Gary Peters-P
135 43.4 1960 Julian Javier-2B
119 45.1 1962 Joe Horlen-P
136 38.5 1962 Donn Clendenon-1B
108 42.4 1956 Moe Drabowsky-RP
115 34.6 1964 Denny McLain-P
107 37.0 1955 Ted Abernathy-RP
100 35.2 1960 Phil Regan-RP
097 34.7 1964 Bobby Knoop-2B
108 27.6 1965 Curt Blefary-LF (2001)
106 28.3 1965 Jim Lefebvre-2B

Players Passing Away in 1977

HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

89 1930 Del Pratt-2b
86 1933 Roger Peckinpaugh-SS
86 1933 Baby Doll Jacobson-CF
84 1931 Milt Stock-3b
84 1931 Nemo Leibold-CF/RF
81 1934 Bucky Harris-2B/Mgr
81 1935 Elam Vangilder-P
81 1936 Bob Meusel-LF/RF
79 1938 Hod Ford-SS/2B
76——Cal Hubbard-HOF Umpire
75 1940 Johnny Frederick-CF
70 1946 Oral Hildebrand-P
70 1946 Tex Carleton-P
69 1951 Al Smith-P
69 1953 Ernie Lombardi-C
67 1952 Jimmy Brown-2B/3B
67 1953 Bill Lee-P
62 1951 Mayo Smith-LF/Mgr
53 1969 Sherm Lollar-C
43 1975 Turk Farrell-RP

Upcoming Candidate
30 1982 Danny Frisella-RP

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2006 at 07:55 PM | 136 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2006 at 12:04 AM (#2044531)
Roberto and Hoyt. You heard it here first. ;-)
   2. DavidFoss Posted: May 31, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2044648)
30 1982 Danny Frisella-RP

Wow... Dune Buggy accident on New Years Day.
   3. Ardo Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2045143)
Prelim

1. Roberto Clemente
2. Hoyt Wilhelm

Easy. Clemente had more season-by-season value than Wilhelm (from playing every day) and places first. Both men rank ahead of Mendez, even though ol' Jose was a mighty fine pitcher.

3. Jose Mendez
4. Quincy Trouppe
5. Charley Jones
6. Wally Schang - hugely under-rated thus far. Caught a lot of games for his era, hit well, played for winning teams.

(wide gap)

7. Billy Pierce
8. Joe Sewell
9. Ken Boyer
10. Dick Redding
11. George Sisler - Two 7-year halves: one with 154 OPS+, one with 97 OPS+ but a .320 BA! Even in today's offensive era, it's hard to fathom how a .320 BA could lead to a below-average OPS+.
12. Nellie Fox
13. Jake Beckley
14. Orestes Minoso
15. Rabbit Maranville
   4. Ardo Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2045153)
PS - Mazeroski and Wills both enter my consideration set (which now stands at an even 70). Mazeroski might crack my top 25; Wills won't. I have Wills in the Bartell/Long SS cohort, beneath the Bancroft/Rizzuto cohort.
   5. sunnyday2 Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:06 AM (#2045185)
1978 Prelim

Last year’s #1 and #16 got elected! Wilhelm and Clemente go PHoM.

1. Hoyt Wilhelm
2. Roberto Clemente
3. Dobie Moore
4. Ralph Kiner
5. Rube Waddell
6. Poor George Sisler
7. Larry Doyle
8. Charley Jones
9. Addie Joss
10. Pete Browning
11. Edd Roush
12. Vic Willis
(12a. Earl Averill)
13. Jose Mendez
14. Minnie Minoso
(14a. Stan Hack)
(14b. Don Drysdale)
15. Bobby Estalella

16. Alejandro Oms
17. Nellie Fox
(17a. Bobby Doerr)
(17b. Jim Bunning)
18. Hugh Duffy
19. Phil Rizzuto
20. Charlie Keller
   6. rawagman Posted: May 31, 2006 at 06:06 AM (#2045261)
I am moving next week, so my vote will probably come mid-election, instead of my usual early balloting.

I take it we will start on Monday, as usual?
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2006 at 11:55 AM (#2045301)
I take it we will start on Monday, as usual?

You take it correctly, rawagman.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 31, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2045315)
Just to note in passing...

Tom Haller was a dang good catcher.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: May 31, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2045323)
Anyone thinking Clemente vs Wilhelm for No. 1 is a tough challenge?
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#2045346)
Anyone thinking Clemente vs Wilhelm for No. 1 is a tough challenge?

I think the challenge is not placing Clemente above Wilhelm despite the legend that goes with Roberto. There are going to be outsiders who will not accept Clemente as not #1 on some ballots in '78 and no analysis on our part will sway them from that position.
   11. karlmagnus Posted: May 31, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#2045350)
I have Clemente No. 3; he's not quite as good as Beckley, when you take account of Beckley's extraordinary career length for his time (#2 in AB when he retired, #5 even 20 years after he retired) and correct for season length.

Wilhelm is a very easy #1, and has a case for being in the all-time top 50. Wilhelm/Clemente isn't close, IMHO.
   12. karlmagnus Posted: May 31, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2045351)
Wilhelm is Koufax with an extra 15 points of ERA+; he's equal third all time in ERA+. If you add 50% to IP and subtract 10 points from ERA+, as I suggested yesterday, he becomes substantially better than Ford and very clearly the best ML pitcher since Grove.
   13. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 31, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2045397)
I don't like judging relievers by ERA, or ERA+ for that matter, as it is much easy to have a low ERA when you are able to throw fewer pitches putting more into every pitch, and your second time seeing a hitter may come months afterward. In other words it is easier to have a low ERA (and a high ERA) with a relievers load than it is with a starters load. Comparing Wilhelm it Koufax in ERA+ is VERY misleading.

Plus, ERA's can be misleading because they do not take into account baserunners that are either left behind or are inherited.

That said, most of my points above are more applicable to modern relievers and non-knuckleball guys, its not like a knuckler can just add a few MPH's on his #1 pitch because he is only throwing 20-30 pitches that night.
   14. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 31, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2045398)
Oh, and he was definitely not better than Spahn or Roberts.
   15. andrew siegel Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2045421)
I've tried to examine players in context--figuring out where I would have ranked them in established value among all major leaguers after every season of their primes. I've also made some aggregate adjustments to bring down the value of OF's marginally and have dropped Dobie Moore from my ballot after concluding that his 7-year prime was more in the Kiner/Sisler range than in automatic election territory. My prelim thus comes out:

(1) Wilhelm (new)
(2) Clemente (new)
(3) Keller (2nd)
(4) Roush (3rd)
(5) Mendez (5th)
(6) Sewell (6th)
(7) Leach (8th)
(8) Cravath (11th)
(9) Sisler (13th)
(10) Minoso (4th)
(11) Duffy (7th)
(12) Pierce (12th)
(13) Van Haltren (10th)
(14) Trouppe (14th)
(15) Elliott (nr)

Numbers 6 to 23 are very close on my ballot. I would have liked to have had room for Oms, Beckley, Childs, Moore, Bob Johnson, and Ryan among others.
   16. Chris Cobb Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2045435)
Anyone thinking Clemente vs Wilhelm for No. 1 is a tough challenge?

I'm guessing that the electorate will be rather mixed on who rates higher in this pair. Several folks are indicating that they will have Wilhelm at #1. At this point, I think I will have Clemente at #1 and Wilhelm at #2, but I am far from having made up my mind about how to rank relief pitchers against starting pitchers and position players.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2045436)
>Oh, and he was definitely not better than Spahn or Roberts.

That is not obvious to me. Innings are important, but I am more interested in how effective a pitcher was and Wilhelm's ERA+ 146 versus Spahn's 118 and Roberts' 113 at least gives one pause.

Spahn's best year clearly was 1953: 23-7, 2.10 (187) in 265.2 IP. OAV .217 OOB .270.

Wilhelm's best year (maybe) was 1959: He was only 15-11 but that's the Orioles of that day versus a very good Milwaukee Braves team (Spahn 1953). 2.19 173) in 226 IP. OAV .224 OOB .299. Now obviously Wilhelm's "best" year is not better than Spahn's but its of the same species.

And it's not really his best year in terms of effectiveness, only in terms of IP. Next find a 3 year run of Wilhelm's best years in relief. By saves it's '63-'64-'65, ditto for IP. For ERA+ there are better ones, but:

Wilhelm '63-'64-'65: 24-24, averages of 2.15 (161) in 411.2 IP (total). OAV .198 OOB .247. That's an effective pitcher.

Wilhelm had 14 years of ERA+ ?130 in ? 100 IP or 10 saves. Spahn had 3 years of ERA+ ? 100 and ERA-eligible. Roberts had 5.

Wilhelm had a different job to do than what Spahn or Roberts did. But I don't think it would be wrong to say that given the task, Wilhelm was more effective in accomplishing that task.

Or another comparison: Wilhelm 146 in 2254 IP. Ed Walsh 145 in 2964. Or Koufax 131 in 2324. It has already been said, but Wilhelm was more effective than Koufax in basically the same workload. Sure, spread out differently, and Koufax ate innings in a more valuable pattern. But as to sample size, we have no doubt that Wilhelm is among the greatest pitchers who ever lived--trailing only Pedro, Walter and Grove for ERA+. That is amazing.
   18. Daryn Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2045438)
Wilhelm is a very easy #1, and has a case for being in the all-time top 50. Wilhelm/Clemente isn't close, IMHO.

I agree, though I will have Clemente #2.

I'd also say Wilhelm has more than "a case for" being in the all time top-50. I would definitely put the best reliever of all-time in my top-50 and as of today (May 31, 2006), Hoyt fits that description.
   19. DavidFoss Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:32 PM (#2045442)
I think the challenge is not placing Clemente above Wilhelm despite the legend that goes with Roberto. There are going to be outsiders who will not accept Clemente as not #1 on some ballots in '78 and no analysis on our part will sway them from that position.

Isn't the whole point of the HOM to "look beyond the legend"? We're getting an increasing number of "outsiders" posting here because we are discussing more recent candidates. This can be a good thing because it brings in a lot of fresh new analysis, but it can be a bad thing if fans come in with ab hominem arguments that clutter the threads.

I will agree that non-inner circle first year candidates often do get a bit of a conservative treatment here and vote totals tend to be a bit low causing that lack of unanimousness that can appear troubling. As Jim Bunning has shown, you don't have to be #1 on every ballot, you simply have to beat George Sisler and Jose Mendez. That's why people are conservative the first year -- to see where the new guy slots in. That effect does trickle up to guys like Koufax and Clemente. Comparisons like "Bunning first ballot inductee, but Pierce is 13th?" and "Koufax flies in and Dean/Gomez are 34th/54th?" are the downward influence on first-year non-inner-circle guys.

Clemente is a fine candidate, but the list of contemporary outfielders starts with Mays, Aaron, Mantle, FRobinson - so he's not inner circle. How much better is he than Minoso? I suspect he'll easily outrank Minoso on most ballots which is basically all he needs to get inducted. Induction is all that matters, just don't worry about the vote totals.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2045471)
>I will agree that non-inner circle first year candidates often do get a bit of a conservative treatment here

Funny seeing this statement and the word Bunning in the same paragraph!
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#2045486)
Isn't the whole point of the HOM to "look beyond the legend"?

Sure is.

We're getting an increasing number of "outsiders" posting here because we are discussing more recent candidates. This can be a good thing because it brings in a lot of fresh new analysis, but it can be a bad thing if fans come in with ab hominem arguments that clutter the threads.

Exactly. It also may intimidate the electorate to vote a certain way.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2045488)
>I will agree that non-inner circle first year candidates often do get a bit of a conservative treatment here

Funny seeing this statement and the word Bunning in the same paragraph!


His induction still doesn't mean that Bunning didn't get conservative treatement, Marc.
   23. Chris Fluit Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#2045490)
Anyone thinking Clemente vs Wilhelm for No. 1 is a tough challenge?
Yes. Like Chris Cobb, I can see the case for both. And like Chris Cobb, I'm currently leaning towards Clemente at #1 and Wilhelm at #2 but that could change. Clemente has the stronger argument for non-consecutive peak and black ink. As far as that goes, Clemente has the best non-consecutive peak/black ink of any hitter on the ballot. Wilhelm has the stronger argument for prime and gray ink. And again as far as that goes, Wilhelm beats not just Clemente on that score but the entire set of current candidates. Finally, I also look at career value. Clemente has the best career value of any hitter on this ballot. Wilhelm also has a great career value, demolishing the previous saves record and possibly being the greatest ever at his position. The way I evaluate players, the two of them look almost even. But I may have just talked myself into Wilhelm as a #1 in this post.
   24. DL from MN Posted: May 31, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2045494)
Prelim ballot

1) Clemente (2433 games played)
2) Wilhelm (2254 innings pitched)
3) Bob Johnson (closer to Wilhelm than Wilhelm is to Clemente)
4) Billy Pierce
5) Ralph Kiner
6) Ken Boyer
7) Charlie Keller
8) Tommy Bridges
9) Dutch Leonard
10) Quincy Trouppe
11) Bob Elliott
12) Virgil Trucks
13) Minnie Minoso
14) Joe Sewell
15) Jake Beckley
16-20) Chuck Klein, Dick Bartell, Gavy Cravath, Dobie Moore, Rube Waddell
21-25) Jose Mendez, Tommy Leach, Edd Roush, Urban Shocker, Bobo Newsom
26-30) Rocky Colavito, George Sisler, Fielder Jones, Jimmy Ryan, Dizzy Trout
31-35) Cupid Childs, Wally Berger, Pete Browning, George Van Haltren, George Burns
36-40) Alejandro Oms, Vic Willis, Bobby Veach, Mickey Welch, Spots Poles
41-45) Ben Taylor, Dick Redding, Dave Bancroft, Bob Friend, Dizzy Dean
   25. Ardo Posted: May 31, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2045683)
Wilhelm 146 in 2254 IP. Ed Walsh 145 in 2964. Or Koufax 131 in 2324.

Wow - I knew Wilhelm was good, but he really was that good!? When you factor leverage into the picture, Wilhelm easily ranks above Clemente for me now.
   26. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 31, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2045717)
Again I see a problem with using ERA+ for career relievers. Don't most useful relievers have ERA+'s that are much better than average? While Wilhelm may have a lot of career IP and a very nice ERA+, isnt' it easier to get that ERA+ in 100-130 IP chunks than in 240 IP chunks, when batter are getting more looks at you? I think we need to look at some in season value, not just in ERA+ but in total value, to temper things a bit. Also, while leverage is important, to use leverage and ERA+, a measure that will favor relievers anyway, seems to be double counting a bit. In season IP totals are a big deal. That someone could think that Wilhelm was better than Spahn, who is probably one of the 12 best pitchers ever and one of the three best lefties I can think of, is pretty laughable to me.

Sure Wilhelm may have been better at what he did than Clemente or even Spahn (though I may disagree with this) but dont' we have to ask ourselves if what Wilhelm did was as valuable? Mazeroski was the best at playing 2B ever, that was the reason he was on the field. Does this make him better than Clemente? Of course not.

Wilhelm is an easy #2 for me, but I think we are in danger of overrating him at the moment. Of course it probably doesn't matter, but if we rely too much on ERA+ for relievers it could get us in trouble down the road.
   27. rawagman Posted: May 31, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2045726)
I think anyone not looking at relievers seperate to starters is erring.
Rank one, rank the other, then blend.
   28. TomH Posted: May 31, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2045738)
Agree with jschmeagol.

Again, paraphrasing my inputs on the reliever thread, I would posit that if you consider replacement level ERA+ to be 90 for starters (leverage = 1.0), a similar metric for firemen might be replacement ERA+ of 94 (leverage = 1.0), with a bonus leverage of about 0.6 for ERA+ above 110. While remembering that gains in ERA+ are NOT linear; the difference from 100 to 150 is the same as 150 to 300.

I ran Wilhelm through my system to date, and he came out much lower than Sphan, lower than B Gibson, higher than Marichal (as well as our other contemps Drysdale/Bunning/Pierce). Much better than the Goose, about even with Mariano Rivera (ahead B4 post-season is counted).
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 31, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2045936)
a similar metric for firemen might be replacement ERA+ of 94 (leverage = 1.0),
<i>

Too low: you don't become a fireman/ace/closer unless you're dominant to begin with. I'd be more inclined to start off replacement closers at 110, 115, 120, something like that. Then again, I'm not sure ERA+ is all that helpful with these guys.
   30. DL from MN Posted: May 31, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#2045962)
I'm using PRAA and PRAR and it's blending quite nicely. I assume RSAA/RSAR would work also.
   31. Jim Sp Posted: May 31, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#2045966)
I've got Wilhelm #1, Clemente #2, and Maz #45. Even I don't like weak hitting second basemen enough to get him on my ballot.

I didn't realize that Tom Haller was pretty good. Not top 100 but still a real good player.

Next year that Mays guy looks pretty good.
   32. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#2046551)
>Again I see a problem with using ERA+ for career relievers.

It's just a piece of info. I said earlier that OAV and OOB are of more interest to me for relievers.

>Sure Wilhelm may have been better at what he did than Clemente or even Spahn (though I may disagree with this) but dont' we have to ask ourselves if what Wilhelm did was as valuable? Mazeroski was the best at playing 2B ever, that was the reason he was on the field. Does this make him better than Clemente? Of course not.

The difference between Wilhelm and Maz is that Maz was very very good at one half of his game and very very below average in the other half. Wilhelm was very very good at all of what he was asked to do.
   33. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 01, 2006 at 02:23 AM (#2046698)
Another problem with ERA+ for relievers is that one bad inning or two can ruin it for you the other way. For instance, John Smoltz had something like a 7 run outing in his first year as a coloser and despite being dominant the rest of the year his ERA was not below 3.00 if I recall, which doesn't seem dominant for a reliever. Of course these fluctuations are going to be greater for modern relievers.

...

How good was Wilhelm at hitting and fielding, he was asked to do that wasn't he? I am not saying that Wilhem was Maz, he was clearly better. I am just saying that placing Wilhelm in the top 50 players of all time because he was the best reliever ever is dangerous since relieving isn't as important as some other aspects of the game in much the same way that 2B defense isn't as important as those same aspects (hitting, starting pitching)
   34. OCF Posted: June 01, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#2046861)
Off topic - but what I said I coached an ARML team (it's a high school math contest thing), at least one of you knew what that meant. ARML is this weekend, and the results will get posted on line, possibly more-or-less "live" at www.arml.com . We're the Southern California teams - A, B, and C. Our main rivals at the western location are SFBA and Washington.
   35. OCF Posted: June 01, 2006 at 03:52 AM (#2046874)
That should have been "when I said" in my first sentence, not "what I said." And when I said "more-or-less live" I should have said when: Saturday, mid-morning in the west or early afternoon in the east.
   36. Daryn Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:11 PM (#2046982)
Sure Wilhelm may have been better at what he did than Clemente or even Spahn (though I may disagree with this) but dont' we have to ask ourselves if what Wilhelm did was as valuable? Mazeroski was the best at playing 2B ever, that was the reason he was on the field. Does this make him better than Clemente? Of course not.

***

The difference between Wilhelm and Maz is that Maz was very very good at one half of his game and very very below average in the other half. Wilhelm was very very good at all of what he was asked to do.


Marc is, of course, right. Jschmeagol's analysis is analogous to people who say relievers are like pinch runners -- great at a small facet of the game. That simply isn't correct. They are great at pitching, just like starters are great at pitching. The mark against them is the same mark that is against Koufax -- they didn't do it for enough innings. But, in my view, having ten or fifteen seasons of 70 to 100 innings of superlative high leverage pitching is more meritorious than 5 seasons of 275 innings of superlative pitching.
   37. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:31 PM (#2046998)
I guess that is where Daryn and I disagree, so long as 275 IP is a lot in the context of that player's era. 275 innings of superlative pitching gets one a lot closer to a pennant than 70-100 innings of superlative high leverage pitching, especially since most of those guys have 115-120 ERA+'s (if not higher) anyway, making their marginal value slightly less when compared to position. Doesn't mean that the latter can't be HOM players, they can, just that I am not so sure that it is something worthy of being placed above Warren Spahn. And Yes, I know that Wilhelm threw more than 100 innings a season.

I don't think they are pinch hitters adn I would also like to posit that 2B defense is a little mroe important than pinch hitting or pinch running. I just think it is wrong to rank Wilhelm as inner circle because he was the best reliever ever.
   38. karlmagnus Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#2047010)
I think my point is proved; I said Wilhelm had an argument to be among the top 50 and sure enough, along came the argument :-)
   39. Chris Cobb Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:58 PM (#2047019)
The "specialists are overrated, generalists are underrated" maxim applies to relief pitchers as much as to any other group.

But, in my view, having ten or fifteen seasons of 70 to 100 innings of superlative high leverage pitching is more meritorious than 5 seasons of 275 innings of superlative pitching.

Very few relievers have put up ten or fifteen seasons like this. Wilhelm is one. Rivera has put up 10+. But most are "superlative" for only a few seasons. The electorate has shown that five seasons of superlative pitching at 275 innings is generally not enough for election, if a pitcher has nothing else (witness the case of Dizzy Dean). The question we have to decide is how much relief pitching at a superlative level is enough (acknowleding that "superlative" encompasses a range of actual effectiveness)?
   40. Rusty Priske Posted: June 01, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#2047092)
Wow...I, um...yeah.

My initial ranking has Wilhelm at #48 on my ballot.

Something is wrong here...

Well, here is my prelim regardless...


PHoM: Clemente & Groh

1. Clemente
2. Van Haltren
3. Beckley
4. Welch
5. Moore
6. Sisler
7. Duffy
8. Fox
9. Leach
10. Roush
11. Trouppe
12. Minoso
13. Childs
14. Ryan
15. Rice

16-20. Redding, Sewell, Boyer, Monroe, White
21-25. Willis, Kiner, Smith, Streeter, Elliott
26-30. Mullane, Strong, Doyle, Gleason, Greene
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 01, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2047107)
I think I'll lob this at Chris Cobb and run....

Hey, Chris,

Clemente versus Oms in a steel-cage match for a 12th-15th spot on my ballot. Who do you think wins?

(You've probably got a better handle on him than anybody having studied his record more closely.)

[Editor's note said in D.L. Roth voice c. 1984: I don't feel heterodoxical.]
   42. Thane of Bagarth Posted: June 01, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#2047130)
Piggy-backing off of Rusty's prelim that has Wilhelm pretty low, I'll put mine out there early to give whatever shock others may have a little extra time to sink in.

1. Roberto Clemente
2. Pete Browning
3. Ben Taylor
4. Ken Boyer
5. Jose Mendez
6. Dick Redding (he's still in a virtual tie with Mendez, but the HOF data has me giving Jose the benefit of the doubt in tie-breakers)
7. Joe Sewell
8. Charley Jones
9. Bucky Walters
10. Charlie Keller
11. Bill Monroe
12. Dobie Moore
13. Minnie Minoso
14. Ralph Kiner
15. Dizzy Trout

16. Jake Beckley
17. Tommy Leach
18. Billy Pierce
19. Gavy Cravath
20. Jimmy Ryan
21. Bob Johnson
22. George Van Haltren
23. Harry Hooper
24. Rabbit Maranville
25. Fred Dunlap
26. Sam Rice
27. Bob Elliott
28. Fielder Jones
29. Burleigh Grimes
30. Phil Rizzuto

Others worth mentioning:
37. Hugh Duffy
38. George Sisler
43. Hoyt Wilhelm--I have him as the 47th best pitcher so far. If I only used WARP he'd be higher, but the lowish consececutive 5 year WS peak brings him down a bit. For what it's worth Koufax is only #40. Without running full-blown analysis of the other top closer candidates, I don't see anybody other than Rivera topping him. Eckersley will be higher thanks to all those years as a SP.
48. Cupid Childs
   43. Daryn Posted: June 01, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2047195)
43. Hoyt Wilhelm--I have him as the 47th best pitcher so far. If I only used WARP he'd be higher, but the lowish consececutive 5 year WS peak brings him down a bit. For what it's worth Koufax is only #40. Without running full-blown analysis of the other top closer candidates, I don't see anybody other than Rivera topping him. Eckersley will be higher thanks to all those years as a SP.

Isn't that kind of sad, or wrong, or upsetting to you? To have a system that simply does not recognize closers as having value. For 20+ years, MLB has concluded that closers have great value. They are paid a lot and they are stars of their teams. As a fan of the game, one loves one's home team's closer. Setting aside this common sense argument, there are a half dozen threads on this very site that have provided convincing evidence that the great closers have real value to their teams sabermetrically speaking.

Someone earlier criticized me, tongue half in cheek, for having a pre-conceived notion that great closers should be considered meritorious and then developing a system that is consistent with that belief. I may be guilty of that. But before I studied the statistics of the game and as I continue to do so I am a fan of the game first and there are certain realities that I can't ignore.

And just let me say that I know that the very motivation of Bill James originally was to see if logic could disprove certain accepted baseball truths. I do not believe closers are valuable as an article faith, I believe it as a student and fan of the game who also has had the benefit of accessing all the analysis of their value here on this site and other similar sites.
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#2047200)
>Someone earlier criticized me, tongue half in cheek,

That was me, but I have Wilhelm #1 and I will admit it is hard to justify without the concept of leverage, in which I only half believe. But as you said, MLB values the closer/late reliever very very highly, and Wilhelm is still the best there ever was, Mariano or no Mariano. That is not a bit like being a really great pinch-runner.

But to say I have him #1 purely because he was the best reliever is not fair. As I posted earlier, his is the #4 ERA+ of all-time and that is in more than 2,000 IP, not much less than guys like Koufax and Dean and Ed Walsh, among many many others. It's not like we don't know how good he really was because the sample of innings was too small.
   45. Chris Cobb Posted: June 01, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2047257)
Hey, Chris,

Clemente versus Oms in a steel-cage match for a 12th-15th spot on my ballot. Who do you think wins?

(You've probably got a better handle on him than anybody having studied his record more closely.)


Clemente, no contest. Looked at outside their respective contexts, their win-share values are similar, but Clemente ranks much more highly against his peers than Oms does. Competition was tougher in the 1960s than in the 1920s. If you look just at outfielder peers, Clemente is comparable to Oms. Clemente is the #7 outfielder of the 1960s (behind Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Robinson, Yastrzemski, and Kaline) while Oms is the #8 outfielder of the 1920s (behind Ruth, Cobb, Speaker, Charleston, Stearnes, Heilmann, and Goslin), but Mays-Yastrzemski are 5 of the top 6 players of the decade. I have Clemente as the #12 player of the 1960s overall, while I have Oms as the #20 player of the 1920s overall.

Also, Clemente's _rate_ across his peak is notably better than Oms'. Because Om's play is quite steady across the 1920s, I don't believe regression is penalizing him here.

Looking at them in comparison to their peers, I have Clemente at #1, and Oms (at the moment) a bit off the ballot.

Oms vs. Minoso is tough to call, but not Oms vs. Clemente.
   46. Jeff M Posted: June 01, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2047269)
Wow... Dune Buggy accident on New Years Day.

This reminds me of when I was a kid and you could buy those little books with titles like "Baseball All-Stars," and it would have profiles of each player who made the All-Star team, with their pictures. It was fairly important as a kid to get this info, because apart from baseball cards, living in a non-MLB city didn't provide much opportunity to see what the players looked like.

The back page of Baseball All-Stars always had a list of notable trades, and the occasional obit. I was young enough in 1978 to be upset at seeing Frisella's death by dune buggy accident on the back page. I don't think I would have even known who he was if it weren't for that.
   47. Michael Bass Posted: June 01, 2006 at 07:32 PM (#2047306)
Not sure where I stand on Wilhelm ballot-wise, other than he will not be #1, and I do think he's a HOMer. That leaves about 14 slots where he could be, give or take.

In the relief rankings, though, I cannot see how anyone but the most extreme career voter can rank him ahead of Rivera or Gossage. Both of them have *much* better peaks than Wilhelm, and better primes as well. They are not that far behind in career (and Rivera is still going).

Top 5 WARP1 seasons:

Wilhelm: 8.8, 8.0, 6.9, 6.2, 6.1
Rivera: 9.3, 9.3, 8.8, 8.5, 8.2
Gossage: 10.7, 10.6, 8.1, 7.3, 7.3

Now consider the following...Wilhelm's best season (the 8.8) was as primarily a starter. If you are giving a reliever bonus to WS and WARP (and I think one is fair), then Wilhelm should not get one for 1959 (nor Gossage for 1976). Mariana Rivera has *six* seasons with better WARP1 than Wilhelm's best relief year.

And we haven't even started to consider Rivera's postseason record. That is, a little more than a season and a half of total extra work, at an ERA a little higher than 1/3 of his regular season ERA, against the best teams in baseball, in the highest pressure situations imaginable. It is clearly silly to consider Rivera without considering his postseason resume.

I think there's an argument for Wilhelm > Gossage, though as a peak/prime voter, I'm not really into that argument. I honestly believe there is no serious argument for Wilhelm > Rivera, unless it involves a complete ignoring of both peak and postseason.
   48. Michael Bass Posted: June 01, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2047309)
Oh and as an aside: I'm a Met fan who despises the Yankees, thinks Derek Jeter is the most overrated player since at least Nolan Ryan, and gets a warm fuzzy feeling inside every time George goes nuts. Just to head off the argument that I'm an irrational Yankee fan who can't get past Rivera love (god knows we've all heard the old "Jeter is the better than A-Rod" arguments from these fans).
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2006 at 07:42 PM (#2047318)
I don't know what seasons those are (WARP above) but I tried to pick 2 best seasons though which are 2 best is debatable, they all had more than 2 candidates:

Wilhelm 1965 7-7, 20 S, 1.81 (176), .177 OAV, .227 OOB, 144 IP
Wilhelm 1967 8-3, 12 S, 1.31 (236), .183, .270, 89 IP
Gossage 1977 11-9, 26 S, 1.62 (246), .170, .250, 133 IP
Gossage 1980 6-2, 33 S, 2.27 (173), .211, .285, 99 IP
Rivera 1999 4-3, 45 S, 1.83 (260), .176, .239, 69 IP

Are Goose and Mariano's best years so much better than Hoyt's? Especially considering the 144 IP in '65. Obviously the run environment in '65 was different than later, the ERA+ says so, but 144 IP versus 69. That is some strong leverage.
   50. Chris Cobb Posted: June 01, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2047336)
Re Michael Bass's post: We really don't have a comprehensive metric that gives us a good measure of Wilhelm's peak.

WARP1, like WS, WARP uses a leverage calculation for relief pitchers that is based largely on decisions and saves, and its leverage system is also influenced by DIPS (which will miss the special ability of knuckleballers to suppress hits on balls-in-play).

WARP's leverage system, like that of WS, is therefore likely to underrate pre-1970 relief pitchers, who were used in ways that did not necessarily maximize saves.

By WARP, Wilhelm's top season (8.8 WARP1), by a fair margin, is his starting season. If he was so much more valuable as a starter, why would he have gone back to relief? It's not that he was unsuccessful as a starter at all.

If teams saw Wilhelm as more valuable as a reliever, but WARP finds him more valuable as a starter, I think it is very likely that Wilhelm is being significantly underrated when he is being compared to Rivera and Gossage using WARP.

Until we have a real leverage index study of Wilhelm's performance in the 1960s, we will not have a good way to evaluate the real height of his peak.
   51. DL from MN Posted: June 01, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#2047343)
Rivera clearly has the best peak but Wilhelm has 1200 more quality innings. Right now Wilhelm is ahead on my list but Rivera is within striking distance. Gossage is clearly behind both of them.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: June 01, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2047387)
No way. I should have said above that Gossage clearly has the best peak. 236 ERA+ in 133 IP, about twice as many innings as Rivera's peak seasons. Wilhelm never combined the 200+ ERA+ with the 100+ innings (though his 236 in 89 IP compares favorably to Rivera's 160 in 69) and Rivera just never did 100+ innings.

Anyway, WARP does appear to have id'd the single biggest years as Goose's.
   53. Michael Bass Posted: June 01, 2006 at 11:28 PM (#2047592)
By WARP, Wilhelm's top season (8.8 WARP1), by a fair margin, is his starting season. If he was so much more valuable as a starter, why would he have gone back to relief? It's not that he was unsuccessful as a starter at all.


This is a real good question to me, Hoyt obviously wasn't a workhorse or anything that year, but he led the AL in ERA+. Maybe it was anti-knuckler bias that moved him to the pen after that? Or maybe he just couldn't take the extra work physically and asked to move to the pen? Very good question, and I'd love the answer.

Until we have a real leverage index study of Wilhelm's performance in the 1960s, we will not have a good way to evaluate the real height of his peak.


This is a very, very fair statement in my view (your point on the factoring in of holds/saves in WS and WARP is well taken), but until we have an answer to that question, what justification is there for someone who factors peak much in at all to rush him to the top of the ballot? Because clearly he needs a leverage boost to be HOM worthy in my view (as do all relievers), and clearly he gets some leverage boost (as do virtually all relievers). But it seems to me the question of how much leverage to give is the difference between obvious 1st or 2nd place and more top of the backlog material.
   54. OCF Posted: June 01, 2006 at 11:44 PM (#2047609)
Wilhelm never combined the 200+ ERA+ with the 100+ innings (though his 236 in 89 IP compares ...

That 236 is a small-numbers UER fluke. I've got a post somewhere on the Wilhelm thread that I'm too lazy to look for right now.
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: June 02, 2006 at 03:31 AM (#2047978)
Michael asked:

This [why Wilhelm went back to the bullpen after successfully starting in 1959] is a real good question to me, Hoyt obviously wasn't a workhorse or anything that year, but he led the AL in ERA+. Maybe it was anti-knuckler bias that moved him to the pen after that? Or maybe he just couldn't take the extra work physically and asked to move to the pen? Very good question, and I'd love the answer.

Wilhelm led the team in IP and placed 10th in the league, so he wasn't carrying a light load for a starting pitcher. That said, here's the story baseballlibrary.com has on the move back to the bullpen.

Kept in the starting rotation in 1959, Wilhelm won his first nine games, finished at 15-11, and won the AL ERA title (2.19). He did not record a relief win or save. His knuckler was largely responsible as Orioles catchers set a modern record with 49 passed balls (28 by Triandos, 21 by Joe Ginsberg). The following year, manager Paul Richards introduced the oversized catcher's mitt that became standard equipment for catching the knuckler. With the emergence of the Orioles' good young pitchers (the "Baby Birds") in 1960, Wilhelm, age thirty-seven, was returned to the bullpen.
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: June 02, 2006 at 03:40 AM (#2047990)
In response to my post about leverage issues in WARP, Michael Bass wrote:

what justification is there for someone who factors peak much in at all to rush him to the top of the ballot? Because clearly he needs a leverage boost to be HOM worthy in my view (as do all relievers), and clearly he gets some leverage boost (as do virtually all relievers). But it seems to me the question of how much leverage to give is the difference between obvious 1st or 2nd place and more top of the backlog material.


Well, as I have argued on the Wilhelm thread, if one looks at peak in terms of effectiveness as well as in terms of composite value, Wilhelm comes out very well, even with the rather minimal leverage bonus he receives in WARP1. FWIW, Bill James, who can hardly be accused of not factoring in peak much at all, ranks him #27th among all pitchers, so he obviously sees rate as important.

However, a more substantive answer to the question might be that the evidence we can gather on WARP's treatment of leverage suggests pretty strongly that Wilhelm is at least somewhat underrated.

Here, for purposes of comparison, are the leverage factors WARP1 is applying to a fairly comprehensive set of relief pitchers. I calculate this factor by dividing XIP (WARP’s modified IP total) by actual IP.

Pitcher    IP     XIP    Leverage
Hoffmann  840.3  1480.9  1.762
Percival  611.7  1057.4  1.729
Nen       715    1166.1  1.631
Rivera    834    1356    1.626
Wetteland 765    1232.7  1.611
Franco   1245.7  1968.2  1.580
Wagner    654.3  1033.3  1.579
Smith
L 1289.3  1946.2  1.510
Henke     789.7  1179.2  1.493
Sutter   1042    1536.7  1.475
Montgom
.  868.7  1273.7  1.466
Aguilera 1291.3  1793    1.389
Fingers  1701.3  2312.3  1.359
Jones
T924    1240.9  1.343
Marshall 1386.7  1859    1.341
Garber   1510    1939    1.284
Gossage  1809.3  2320.1  1.282
Lyle     1390.3  1770.3  1.273
Quis     1043.3  1286    1.233
Hernan
.  1044.7  1287.6  1.233
Righetti 1403.7  1722.1  1.227
Tekulve  1436.7  1753.7  1.221
Hiller   1242    1495.9  1.204
McGraw   1514.7  1814.3  1.198
Orosco   1295.3  1547.7  1.195
McMahon  1310.7  1553.9  1.186
McDaniel 2139.3  2462.2  1.151
Wilhelm  2254.3  2574.6  1.142
Eck      3285.7  3721.8  1.133 


Given that Tangotiger’s calculated leverages for Sutter, Rivera, and Gossage are about 1.8, 1.7, and 1.5 respectively (if I recall correctly – I will try to look up and post that data), and that Wilhelm’s leverage is only a tiny bit higher than Eckersley’s, despite Eck having thrown 75% of his innings as a starter, I think that we can safely assume that Wilhelm’s leveraged value is being underrated somewhat by WARP, and that all of the top relief pitchers prior to the “closer” model of the 1990s are probably being underrated somewhat as well.
   57. Ardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2048041)
Where's the Wally Schang love?
   58. Ardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 04:29 AM (#2048053)
Prelim

1. Roberto Clemente (new)
2. Hoyt Wilhelm (new)

Easy. Clemente had more season-by-season value than Wilhelm (from playing every day) and places first. Both men rank ahead of Mendez, even though ol' Jose was a mighty fine pitcher.

3. Jose Mendez
4. Quincy Trouppe
5. Charley Jones
6. Billy Pierce
7. Wally Schang - hugely under-rated thus far. Caught a lot of games for his era, hit well, played for winning teams.

(wide gap)

8. Ken Boyer - We're under-rating consecutive peaks like Boyer's.
9. Jake Beckley - Amazing that 1B was a below-average offensive position (in terms of Runs Created) for much of his career. I'm appreciating his durability more and more.
10. Joe Sewell
11. Dick Redding
12. George Sisler - Two 7-year halves: one with 154 OPS+, one with 97 OPS+ but a .320 BA! Even in today's offensive era, it's hard to fathom how a .320 BA could lead to a below-average OPS+.
13. Nellie Fox
14. Ralph Kiner
15. Elston Howard - See Boyer, Ken, then look at Ellie's 1961-64.

16-20: Minoso, Doyle, Maranville, Luque, Browning (quite the eclectic mix).
21-25: Bridges, Oms, Rizzuto, Lombardi, Waddell.

Wow - despite the claims of a "weak backlog", I am dead sure that nos. #3-13 on my list deserve HoM induction.
   59. KJOK Posted: June 02, 2006 at 04:58 AM (#2048078)
Given that Tangotiger’s calculated leverages for Sutter, Rivera, and Gossage are about 1.8, 1.7, and 1.5 respectively (if I recall correctly – I will try to look up and post that data), and that Wilhelm’s leverage is only a tiny bit higher than Eckersley’s, despite Eck having thrown 75% of his innings as a starter, I think that we can safely assume that Wilhelm’s leveraged value is being underrated somewhat by WARP, and that all of the top relief pitchers prior to the “closer” model of the 1990s are probably being underrated somewhat as well.


I'm not sure I follow this logic. The top relievers prior to the closer model WOULD and SHOULD have lower leverage value, so it would appear that WARP1, although "underleveraging" ALL relievers, is about right on in comparison of era to era?
   60. KJOK Posted: June 02, 2006 at 05:00 AM (#2048079)
On second read, looks like I misread that "prior to the closer model" by missing the "as well" tacked on, so we're actually agreeing. Nevermind...
   61. EricC Posted: June 02, 2006 at 10:40 AM (#2048141)
1978 prelim, based on new improved rating system. Ardo will be happy to see the love for Schang. Clemente was a "run of the mill HoM corner outfielder". Wilhelm had a very impressive career, reliever or not. Schang was the dominant catcher of the deadball-to-transition era; taking catcher durability of the time as the standard, my best quantitative evaluation of his performance puts him above both Clemente and Wilhelm. Both Schang and Sewell are underrated if relative league strength is not taken into account. Mazeroski and Wills are not even on the radar screen. Haller has
a better case, though I think that Elston Howard was better among the ML catchers.

1. Wally Schang
2. Roberto Clemente
3. Hoyt Wilhelm
4. Joe Sewell
5. Jose Mendez
6. Gil Hodges
7. Bob Elliott
8. Tommy Bridges
9. Charlie Keller
10. Ralph Kiner
11. Ken Boyer
12. Dutch Leonard
13. Orestes Minoso
14. Ernie Lombardi
15. Nellie Fox
   62. rawagman Posted: June 02, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#2048167)
I managed to find the time to judge the newcomers to the show.
Tom Haller and Maury Wills are good enough to make the middle area of my 200 or so strong consideration set, but not good enough to make my list of 75. Bill Mazeroski checks in at 51 on the list, knocking Urban Shocker out. Last week, my numbers 2 (Banks) and 34 (Bunning) were elected, so my number 15 (Minoso) loses points. Clemente and Wilhelm move right into my PHoM.
Here we go:
1)Roberto Clemente
2)Hugh Duffy
3)Rube Waddell
4)Hoyt Wilhelm
5)Gavvy Cravath
6)Joe Sewell
7)Lefty Gomez
8)George Sisler
((8a)Cool Papa Bell))
9)Jose Mendez
((9a)Willard Brown))
10)Ben Taylor
11)Edd Roush
12)Ralph Kiner
13)Jake Beckley
14)Vern Stephens
15)Quincy Trouppe

Close calls......
((15a)Biz Mackey))
16) Minnie Minoso
17)Tommy Bridges
((17a)Don Drysdale))
18)Nellie Fox
19)Ken Boyer
20)Wally Berger
   63. DL from MN Posted: June 02, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2048187)
> Schang was the dominant catcher of the deadball-to-transition era

The consensus here was Santop earned that title.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: June 02, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2048199)
variation on the usual lists, this is by league, from 1925 to 1965

NL HOMers, * is parttime (10+ G, fewer than half in field or 1 IP per G)
1925 (10) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry
1926 (12) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott*
1927 (11) - Alexander, Carey, Groh*, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott
1928 (11) - Alexander, Carey, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell*
1929 (11) - Alexander*, Carey*, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett*, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell
1930 (10) - Rixey, Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Heilmann
1931 (10) - Rixey*, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, BiHerman*
1932 (14) - Rixey*, Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Heilmann*, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack*, Medwick*
1933 (13) - Rixey*, Hornsby*, Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack*, Medwick
1934 (11) - Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick
1935 (12) - Frisch, Vance*, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Ruth*, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick
1936 (11) - Frisch, Hartnett, Terry, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize
1937 (10) - Frisch*, Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize
1938 (10) - Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize, Slaughter
1939 (10) - Hartnett, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize, Slaughter
1940 (11) - Hartnett*, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize, Slaughter, Reese
1941 (12) - Hartnett*, Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize, Slaughter, Reese, Musial*
1942 (12) - Waner, Ott, Hubbell, Vaughan, Foxx*, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Mize, Slaughter, Reese, Musial
1943 (8) - Waner, Ott, Hubbell*, Vaughan, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick, Musial
1944 (6) - Waner*, Ott, Fox*, Hack, Medwick, Musial
1945 (4) - Ott, Foxx, Hack, Medwick
1946 (8) - Ott*, BiHerman, Hack, Medwick*, Mize, Slaughter, Reese, Musial
1947 (12) - Vaughan*, Greenberg, BiHerman*, Hack*, Medwick*, Mize, Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider*
1948 (12) - Vaughan*, Medwick*, Mize, Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider*, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts*
1949 (10.9) - Mize*, Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin*
1950 (10) - Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin
1951 (10) - Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin
1952 (11) - Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin*, Mathews
1953 (12) - Slaughter, Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin, Mathews, Banks*
1954 (11) - Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin, Mathews, Banks
1955 (12) - Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin*, Mathews, Banks, Koufax*
1956 (13) - Reese, Musial, Spahn, JRobinson, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Irvin, Mathews, Banks, Koufax*, Drysdale*
1957 (11) - Reese, Musial, Spahn, Snider, Campanella, Ashburn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax*, Drysdale
1958 (10) - Reese*, Musial, Spahn, Snider, Ashburn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1959 (9) - Musial, Spahn, Snider, Ashburn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1960 (9) - Musial, Spahn, Snider*, Ashburn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1961 (9) - Musial, Spahn, Snider*, Ashburn, Roberts*, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1962 (9) - Musial, Spahn, Snider*, Ashburn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1963 (8) - Musial, Spahn, Snider, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale
1964 (8) - Spahn, Snider*, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale, Bunning
1965 (7) - Spahn, Roberts, Mathews, Banks, Koufax, Drysdale, Bunning

AL HOMers since 1901, * is parttime
1925 (16) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx*, Ruffing
1926 (18) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx*, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin*
1927 (18) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson*, Speaker, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx*, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin*, Wheat
1928 (18) - Cobb, ECollins*, Speaker*, Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Covaleski*, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin*, Dickey*
1929 (16) - Faber, Heilmann, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell
1930 (15) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell
1931 (16) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons*, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling
1932 (16) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling
1933 (16) - Faber, Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg
1934 (17) - Ruth, Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Hornsby*, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg
1935 (16) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Hornsby*, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg
1936 (16) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane*, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg*, DiMaggio, Feller*
1937 (18) - Goslin, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Cochrane*, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Hornsby*, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller*
1938 (17) - Goslin*, Gehrig, Simmons, Lyons, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, WFerrell, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon
1939 (16) - Simmons, Lyons, Grove, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau*
1940 (18) - Simmons*, Lyons, Grove*, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Averill*, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser*
1941 (16) - Lyons, Grove*, Foxx, Ruffing, Gehringer, Cronin, Dickey, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser
1942 (13.7) - Lyons, Foxx*, Ruffing, Gehringer*, Cronin*, Dickey, Appling, DiMaggio, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn
1943 (9) - Simmons*, Cronin*, Dickey, Appling, Gordon, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn
1944 (5) - Cronin*, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn
1945 (6) - Ruffing*, Appling*, Greenberg, Feller*, Boudreau, Newhouser
1946 (13) - Ruffing*, Dickey*, Appling, Greenberg, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn*, Lemon*
1947 (12.8) - Ruffing*, Appling, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn, Lemon, Doby*, Berra*, WBrown*
1948 (13) - Paige*, Appling, DiMaggio, Feller, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra
1949 (13.1) - Paige*, Appling, DiMaggio*, Feller, Mize*, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra
1950 (14) - Appling*, DiMaggio, Feller, Mize, Gordon, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Ford*
1951 (13) - Paige*, DiMaggio, Feller, Mize, TWilliams, Boudreau, Doerr, Newhouser*, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Mantle
1952 (9) - Paige, Feller, Mize*, Newhouser, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Mantle
1953 (10) - Paige, Feller, Mize*, TWilliams*, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Ford, Mantle
1954 (10) - Feller*, TWilliams, Newhouser*, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Slaughter*
1955 (10) - Feller*, TWilliams, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Slaughter, Bunning*
1956 (10) - Feller*, TWilliams, Wynn, Lemon, Doby, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Slaughter, Bunning*
1957 (9) - TWilliams, Wynn, Lemon*, Doby, Berra, Ford*, Mantle, Slaughter*, Bunning
1958 (9) - TWilliams, Wynn, Lemon*, Doby, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Slaughter*, Bunning
1959 (7.8) - TWilliams, Wynn, Doby*, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Slaughter**, Bunning
1960 (6) - TWilliams, Wynn, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Bunning
1961 (5) - Wynn*, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Bunning
1962 (5) - Wynn, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Bunning
1963 (5) - Wynn*, Berra, Ford, Mantle*, Bunning
1964 (2) - Ford, Mantle
1965 (2) - Ford, Mantle

Negro Leagues
1925 (15) - Lloyd, Santop*, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo
1926 (14) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo
1927 (15) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey*, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles*, Wells, Dihigo, Paige
1928 (15) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Torriente*, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Paige
1929 (14) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Paige
1930 (15) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan*, Beckwith*, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Paige, Gibson*
1931 (16) - Lloyd, SJWilliams, Charleston, Rogan*, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Paige, Gibson, RBrown
1932 (14) - Lloyd*, SJWilliams, Charleston, Mackey**, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo**, Paige, Gibson, RBrown
1933 (12) - Charleston, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Paige, Gibson, RBrown, Dihigo**
1934 (13) - Charleston, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Paige, Gibson, RBrown, Dihigo, Leonard
1935 (13) - Charleston, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Gibson, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown*
1936 (14) - Charleston, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo, Paige, Gibson, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown
1937 (14) - Charleston, Mackey, JWilson, CPBell**, Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo**, Paige**, Gibson, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown
1938 (11) - Mackey, JWilson, CPBell**, Stearnes, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo**, Gibson, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown
1939 (13) - Mackey, JWilson, CPBell**, Stearnes, Suttles, Wells, Dihigo**, Gibson, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown, Campanella*, Irvin
1940 (13) - Mackey*, JWilson, CPBell**, Stearnes, Suttles, Wells**, Dihigo**, Gibson**, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown**, Campanella*, Irvin
1941 (13) - Mackey,*, JWilson, CPBell**, Suttles, Wells**, Dihigo**, Gibson**, Paige, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown, Campanella*, Irvin
1942 (11) - JWilson, CPBell, Wells, Dihigo**, Gibson, Paige, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown, Campanella, Doby
1943 (9) - JWilson, CPBell, Wells**, Dihigo**, Gibson, Paige, RBrown, Leonard, WBrown, Doby
1944 (8) - CPBell, Wells**, Dihigo**, Gibson, Paige, RBrown, Leonard, Campanella
1945 (10) - JWilson*, CPBell, Wells*, Dihigo**, Gibson, Paige, RBrown, Leonard, Campanella, JRobinson
1946 (10) - CPBell, Wells*, Dihigo**, Gibson, Paige, RBrown**, Leonard, WBrown, Campanella, Irvin, Doby*
1947 (6.1) - Wells*, Paige, RBrown**, Leonard, WBrown*, Irvin, Doby*
1948 (5) - Wells*, RBrown**, Leonard, WBrown, Irvin
(no credits after 1948 due to quality of play)
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 02, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2048246)
The consensus here was Santop earned that title.

I agree with the consensus. Schang was the most dominant white catcher of the deadball-to-transition era.
   66. Howie Menckel Posted: June 02, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2048249)
HOM by pct at position, thru 1977

HOM batters by percentage of games played at position (min. 10 pct to be listed)

C (9.70) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, Gibson 95, Campanella 95, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Santop 75, Ewing 47, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (14.46) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Leonard 95, Connor 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Banks 51, Wilson 45, Stovey 37, Charleston 35, Musial 35, McVey 31, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Spalding 11, Mantle 11, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (12.13) - McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Gehringer 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65, Richardson 43, Ward 26, HR Johnson 25, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (7.23) - Baker 100, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Groh 79, Sutton 69, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Wallace 18, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (15.73) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 77, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Davis 58, Banks 45, Ward 44, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10, WBrown 10

OF (43.30) - Carey 100, Clarke 100, Hamilton 100, Thompson 100, Wheat 100, Goslin 100, DiMaggio 100, Averill 100, Doby 100, Slaughter 100, TWilliams 100, Ashburn 100, Snider 100, Simmons 99, Burkett 99, Cobb 99, Flick 99, Gore 99, Sheckard 99, Speaker 99, Medwick 99, Jackson 98, Stearnes 98, Keeler 97, PWaner 97, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Ruth 92, Magee 91, Ott 90, Mantle 88, WBrown 85, Hines 82, Torriente 80, Kelley 79, Heilmann 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Charleston 60, Caruthers 50, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Suttles 30, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Davis 13, Spalding 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, Ward 11, White 10, JRobinson 10

SP (40.18) - Alexander 100, Covaleski 100, Faber 100, Plank 100, Vance 100, Grove 100, Hubbell 100, Lyons 100, Newhouser 100, Feller 100, Ruffing 100, Rixey 100, Wynn 100, Spahn 100, Roberts 100, Koufax 100, W Ford 100, Drysdale 100, Bunning 100, R Foster 99, Brown 99, Mathewson 99, Walsh 99, SJ Williams 99, Young 99, B Foster 99, Paige 99, W Johnson 98, McGinnity 98, WFerrell 97, Lemon 97, Keefe 96, Nichols 96, Rusie 95, RBrown 95, Griffith 95, Clarkson 94, Galvin 92, Radbourn 78, Spalding 72, Caruthers 47, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 16

Caveats: Totals treat all careers as equal. A little off on players like McVey and Sutton due to changing schedule length. Guesstimates on Negro Leaguers. Doesn't sufficiently represent pitching weight of players like Ruth or Caruthers.

P.S. I'd be open to 'improvements' on numbers for McVey/Sutton/Ruth/Caruthers types, and all Negro Leaguers.
   67. Daryn Posted: June 02, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2048435)
Thought you guys might be interested in a funny baseball story.

I went to the Jays/White Sox game with my wife and three girls, including my youngest (2 year old Lynsey) on Saturday. Our seats are front row in right center field, just about 6 feet above the visiting team bullpen and about 8 seats to the right.

At the start of the game, there are some Sox fans, also in the front row, about another 8 seats further to the right. The ask Brandon McCarthy to throw them some Dubble Bubble from his stash in the bullpen. So he tosses, one at a time, about 6 pieces of Dubble Bubble to these guys and since he's a major leaguer he has pretty good aim and every pass is completed.

After the first inning is over I ask him if he can give me a ball for Lynsey and he politely says no.

At the end of the second inning, the Sox fans ask for more gum. So he tosses one to them and then another. The second piece, however, goes awry and nails Lynsey right in the eye. She starts bawling and it is not clear to anyone whether it is a serious injury or not, since he threw it overhand pretty hard, the gum is pretty hard and quite small, and she is just a little girl. After about three minutes of crying, it seems clear that there was no damage done and Lynsey goes on to enjoy the game.

When Lynsey stops crying I turn back to McCarthy and say how about that ball? He smiles, mostly out of relief (I think) that I am not going to sue him and says sure, I'll get you a signed one. So he goes and gets one and gets it signed by Jenks, Thornton, himself and about 4 other guys and throws it to me. The crowd in the section gives him a big cheer.

So that's my Brandon McCarthy story.
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 02, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2048461)
So that's my Brandon McCarthy story.

So I need to get plunked in the eye with gum so I can get a signed ball?

Okay. :-)

Nice story, Daryn. Glad your daughter was fine.
   69. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 12:45 AM (#2048745)
As Jake Beckley is again in the top 10, I thought it would be good to repost the Keltner List I came up with during the 1968 Election cycle.

Disclaimer: When I first started to read about the HoM in the mid-1920s, I was most surprised by the lack of support for three players: Addie Joss, Mickey Welch, and Jake Beckley. I did some research and posted it for all three and after that I was hooked. But after looking hard at Beckley's case, I couldn't find room for him on my ballot - mainly because his lack of big years and the fact that while Beckley produced huge numbers, he did so at a rate that was significantly below others of his era. Since then, I developed a win-shares based analysis which includes a variety of factors. Beckley still doesn't do well in my system. In any case, I think the following analysis is a fair one. I tried to not paint Beckley one way or another, but just look at the numbers and the few comments I could find from either primary or historical sources.

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?
I don't have access to any primary sources for the years when Beckley played. The closest I have is a copy of Spink's The National Game from 1911. In it, he provides commentary about most of the good players back to the National Association. He usually only has good things to say. His comment about Beckley is too long to type completely. To summarize, first he said Beckley was one of the hardest hitting first basemen in America. Then he described Beckley's playing history - the teams he played for and what years. And that's all.

But, even without any primary sources, I feel confident that he was never regarded as the best player in the game. In the early part of his career, Buck Ewing, Cap Anson, King Kelly, Roger Connor, or Dan Brouthers would have been considered the best in the game. During the early 90s, Billy Hamilton, Ed Delahanty, and Hugh Duffy would probably have been regarded as the best. In the mid-90s, Hamilton, Delahanty, Jennings would have fit the bill. Late-90s, Delahanty, Jimmy Collins, Jesse Burkett, etc. Turn of the century and it's Lajoie and Wagner until Becks retires.
   70. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 12:53 AM (#2048755)
2. Was he the best player on his team?
I would argue that he was rarely considered the best player on his team or not at all. See post 65 or 66 on the 1968 Ballot thread - reprinted below. I believe that Elmer Smith or Jake Stenzel would have been considered the best on the Pirates. Later in his career he played with Cy Seymour, Sam Crawford, and Mike Donlin. Win Shares sees him as the best position player only on the 1890 Pit team and the 1904 St. Louis Nationals.
It could be argued he was the best player on the Reds during his stay there over the whole 5 years, but that is because Crawford only played in Cincinnati the last 3 of them. When he and Crawford were both on the team I would say Crawford was regarded as the best player on the team.

Overall, I would say he was a solid second-to-third best player on an average Pittsburgh club - finished under .500 4 times, .500 once, over .500 3 times. There is a nice 2nd place finish in 1893, but that is balanced out by a last in 1891.

In 1896 and 1897, he split time with two teams.

1898-1903 Cincinnati: I would argue second best player behind Crawford. Team finished 3rd of 12, 6th of 12, 7th of 8 after contraction, last, fourth and fourth

Reprint:
This question gets to the issue of whether a team could win it all with Beckley the best player on it or if he was the 2nd or 3rd, etc.
<u>Year, Beckley WS, rank among position players on his team, rank among all players on his team, team record, team finish:</u>

1888: 14, <u>3rd</u> among position, Kuehne 18, D Miller 15, <u>5th</u> including pitchers, Morris 34, Galvin 30, team 66-68, 6th out of 8.
1889: 19, <u>2nd</u> Carroll 23, <u>3rd</u> Staley 22, team 61-71, 5th out of 8.
1890: 21, <u>1st</u>, <u>2nd</u> Staley 27, team 60-68, 6th out of 8.
1891: 16, <u>2nd</u>, D Miller 17, 4th Baldwin 25, King 20, team 55-80, 8th out of 8.
1892: 19, <u>4th</u>, Smith 31, Miller 24, Shugart 22, <u>7th</u> Baldwin, Ehret, Terry 20, team 80-73, 6th out of 12.
1893: 17, <u>4th</u>, Smith 25, Lyons 21, GVH 20, <u>6th</u> Killen 42, Ehret 24, team 81-48, 2nd out of 12.
1894: 17, <u>3rd</u> Stenzel 24, Smith 19, <u>4th</u> Ehret 21, team 65-65, 7th out of 12.
1895: 18, <u>2nd</u> Stenzel 28, <u>3rd</u> Hawley 44. team 71-61, 7th out of 12.
1896: 10, 2 teams
1897: 15, 2 teams, but 14 with 1 so we will use that. <u>4th</u> Irwin 17, Hoy 16, Miller 15, <u>7th</u> Breitenstein 34, Rhines 24, Dwyer 23. team 76-56, 4th out of 12.
1898: <u>14</u>, 6th Smith 27, McBride 21, Miller 21, Corcoran 18, McPhee 15, <u>11th</u> Hawley 28, Breitenstein 25, Dwyer 21, Dammann 17, Hill 16. Team 92-60, 3rd out of 12.
1899: 20, <u>2nd</u> Selbach 23, <u>3rd</u> Hahn 29. Team 83-67, 6th out of 12.
1900: 21, <u>2nd</u> Barrett 23, <u>2nd</u>. Team 62-77, 7th out of 8.
1901: 18, <u>2nd</u> Crawford 24, <u>3rd</u> Hahn 26. Team 52-87, 8th out of 8.
1902: 18, <u>2nd</u> Crawford 23, <u>4th</u> Hahn 29, Phillips 20. Team 70-70, 4th out of 8.
1903: 17, <u>4th</u> Donlin 24, Seymour 24, Steinfeldt 21, <u>6th</u> Hahn 24, Ewing 18. Team 74-65, 4th out of 8.
1904: 23, <u>1st</u>, <u>3rd</u> Nichols 27, Taylor 27. Team 75-79, 5th out of 8.
1905: 16, <u>2nd</u> Smoot 23, <u>2nd</u>. Team 58-96, 6th out of 8.

By rank among position players, team finishes:
1st: 6 / 8 in 1890, 5 / 8 in 1904.
2nd: 5 / 8 in 1889, 8 / 8 in 1891, 7 / 12 in 1895, 6 / 12 in 1899, 7 / 8 in 1900, 8 / 8 in 1901, 4 / 8 1902, 6 / 8 in 1905.
3rd: 6 / 8 in 1888, 7 / 12 in 1894.
4th: 6 / 12 in 1892, 2 / 12 in 1893, 4 / 12 in 1897, 4 / 8 in 1903.
5th or worse: 3 / 12 in 1898.

Over/under .500 by rank among position players:
1st: under, under (60 – 68, 75 – 79)
2nd: under, under, over, over, under, under, push, under (61 - 71, 55 – 80, 71 – 61, 83 – 67, 62 – 77, 52 – 87, 70 – 70, 58 – 96)
3rd: under, push (66 – 68, 65 – 65).
4th: over, over, over, over (80 – 73, 81 – 48, 76 – 56, 74 – 65)
5th or worse: over (92 – 60)

By rank among all players, team finishes:
2nd: 6 / 8 in 1890, 7 / 8 in 1900, 6 / 8 in 1905.
3rd: 5 / 8 in 1889, 7 / 12 in 1895, 6 / 12 in 1899, 8 / 8 in 1901, 5 / 8 in 1904.
4th: 8 / 8 in 1891, 7 / 12 in 1894, 4 / 8 in 1902.
5th: 6 / 8 in 1888.
6th or worse: 6 / 12 in 1892, 2 / 12 in 1893, 4 / 12 in 1897, 3 / 12 in 1898, 4 / 8 in 1903.

Over/ under .500 by rank among all players:
2nd: under, under, under (60 - 68, 62 - 77, 58 – 96)
3rd: under, over, over, under, under (61 – 71, 71 – 61, 83 – 67, 52 – 87, 75 – 79)
4th: under, push, push (55 – 80, 65 – 65, 70 – 70)
5th: under (66 – 68)
6th or worse: over, over, over, over, over, over (80 – 73, 81 – 48, 76 – 56, 92 – 60, 74 – 65)
   71. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 03, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2048767)
I think the challenge is not placing Clemente above Wilhelm despite the legend that goes with Roberto. There are going to be outsiders who will not accept Clemente as not #1 on some ballots in '78 and no analysis on our part will sway them from that position.

Isn't the whole point of the HOM to "look beyond the legend"? We're getting an increasing number of "outsiders" posting here because we are discussing more recent candidates. This can be a good thing because it brings in a lot of fresh new analysis, but it can be a bad thing if fans come in with ab hominem arguments that clutter the threads.


As an outsider who follows these threads with much interest, I have no problem whatsoever with Wilhelm being ranked over Clemente.
   72. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2048777)
3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?
BIG AREA OF CONTENTION.
<u>1888 to 1894</u>:
I would argue he would not have been considered the best player at his position. Anson, Brouthers, and Connor were all playing well at this time. STATS picked one of the big 3 each year. Win Shares likes one of the three each year, but one.

In 1893, WS sees Beckley leading Brouthers and Connor by one. In the WS book, James says such a small difference doesn't mean much. But since Pitt finished second that year, I definitely can see how Beckley could be regarded as the best that year. WARP1 sees the race thus: Beckley 8.1, Brouthers 6.0, Connor 8.2. The differences between Connor and Beckley are too close to call. If Brouthers had been healthy, it would not have been a contest as Brouthers put his numbers up in half the games/ABs as the other two.

<u>1895-1902</u>:
Seems to be crux of the issue. I believe this period was a trough in talent between the ABC3 and Chance.
STATS picks Beckley 3 times, Fred Tenney 2 times, Nap Lajoie 1 time, Joe Kelley 1 time, and "Cartwright" 1 time.
WS says Beckley 1 time outright, 1 time tied with Candy LaChance, 1 time tied with Joe Kelley. Tenney 2 times, Lajoie 1 time, Jack Doyle 1 time, and Bill Joyce 1 time.
Just looking at who came in first doesn't provide a answer to me. Especially since STATS and WS only agree on one of the three times Becks is the best.
The following chart looks at WS and WARP1 for Jack Doyle (NY, BAL, CHI 1894-1901), Dan McGann (BAL, WAS, STL, NYG 1898-1902), Fred Tenney (BOS 1897-1902 / 1896 he played OF/C), and Jake Beckley (PIT, NY, CIN 1895-1902). Joe Kelley, Bill Joyce, and Lajoie only played 1st the one year each.

Win Shares then WARP1
xxxxxxxx 1895 // 1896 //// 1897 // 1898 // 1899 // 1900 /// 1901 /// 1902
Beckley 18 5.7 / 10 4.7 / 15 4.0 / 14 4.5 / 20 8.3 / 21 7.4 / 18 7.7 / 18 5.2
Doyle x 10 2.8 / 17 4.3 / 18 5.9 / 12 3.4 / 12 3.7 / 09 1.5 / 01 .7
McGann xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 21 9.6 / 20 6.7 / 13 5.8 / 13 4.2 / 14 6.1
Tenney xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 15 6.1 / 17 4.8 / 25 9.5 / 07 3.8 / 09 4.4 / 25 9.5

To me, it doesn't say a whole lot for the period that various players could pop in for a year and be the best at the position - like Kelley, Lajoie, or Joyce. Beckley and McGann are the most consistent in this 8 year span, but Tenney has the better peak years. Beckley's advantage is that he played all 8 years. Beckley, McGann, and Tenney were all regulars for the next 4 years as well so lets go forward.

<u>1903-1906</u>:
Frank Chance was the best first baseman in the league during this period. WS and WARP1 say the following:

03WS 03W1 04WS 04W1 05WS 05W1 06WS 06W1
Chance: 31 8.2 / 29 8.7 / 25 9.6 / 35 10.3
Beckley: 17 6.5 / 23 6.6 / 16 4.4 / 5 1.7
McGann: 12 3.4 / 22 6.4 / 24 7.5 / 16 4.8
Tenney: 21 7.8 / 19 8.1 / 17 8.3 / 17 7.5

Win Shares sees Chance as clearly better over the four years and Becks, McGann and Tenney as equal for three years before the latter two move ahead.
Warp1 loves Chance and Tenney, sees McGann and Becks even for 3 years before McGann moves ahead.
Beckley definitely was not the best first baseman in the majors or the league in this period.

<u>Looking at the post-ABC years together (1895-1906) gives us the following 12 year totals</u>:
Beckley 195 WS / 16.25 yr 20.1/154g 66.7 W1 / 5.56 yr 6.88/154g
McGann 155 WS / 17.22 yr 20.3/154g 54.5 W1 / 6.06 yr 7.13/154g
Tenney 172 WS / 17.20 yr 20.0/154g 69.8 W1 / 6.98 yr 8.14/154g

I would argue that Win Shares sees them as equal on a yearly basis and that Warp sees Tenney as the best of the 3.
Beckley's advantage is in career WS which is due solely to Beckley playing all 12 years opposed to Tenney's 10 and McGann's 9.
<u>Including 1907 and 1908 for McGann and Tenney gives them 11 and 12 years to compare with Beckley's 12</u> and the amended chart:

Beckley 195 WS / 16.25 yr 20.1/154g 66.7 W1 / 5.56 yr 6.88/154g
McGann 173 WS / 15.73 yr 19.1/154g 63 W1 / 5.73 yr 6.96/154g
Tenney 213 WS / 17.75 yr 20.2/154g 84.9 W1 / 7.08 yr 8.04/154g

My conclusion is that while Anson, Brouthers, and Connor were active, they were the best first basemen and no one else was close. Post-1894, Beckley, Tenney, and McGann have equal claim to being the best of the next 12 years. However, if you stretched it out to 1908, I would say Chance was the best post-ABC because his established peak was so much better than Beckley, Tenney, and McGann. Also, if you stretched it to 1908, I would take Tenney over the other two.
I believe Beckley was tied with Fred Tenney and Dan McGann for being the best first baseman from 1895 until the end of Beckley's career as a regular.

Beckley may be the best first baseman from 1895 to 1902. That is an eight year period during which he was the best somewhere between 1 and 3 times. Over this same time other players dropped in for one year and were the best first basemen that year. Over this same time period, there were NO other HoM candidates playing the position, yet Beckley could only manage to the best at the position 1 to 3 times. This is not Joe Sewell who was the best shortstop in the American League every year for 8 years.

Overall, he was the best first baseman in the league 1 to 3 times. But at a time when there were no outstanding first basemen against which he had to compete, Beckley did not dominate
   73. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2048781)
4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

Beckley didn't really have a such a chance because he only played on two teams that finished above fourth place, the 1893 Pittsburg team and the 1898 Cincinnati team. Lets look at each team.
<u>1893 Pittsburgh Pirates, 81-48, 5 games behind Boston</u>.
There wasn't a pennant race that year. Boston had a 35-5 stretch that led them to clinching the title on Sept 20 when they had a 13 game lead. Pittsburgh finished the year on a 19-4 run to close the gap to 5 games, but there was no race. On Sept 1, Bos was 74-32, Pit was 62-44. Up to Sept 20, Bos went 9-5, Pit went 11-4. Pit won their last 8 games while Bos went 3-6 to close the gap by the end of the year.
Beckley did have a good statistical year - top 5 in triples and doubles, top 10s rbi, total bases, but he didn't have a chance to impact a peannant race.
<u>1898 Cincinnati Reds, 92-60</u>, 11.5 games behind Boston 102-47, 5.5 games behind Baltimore 94-53.
The Reds were tied for first starting September, then they collapsed. Boston was 71-41 on Sept 1, then went 31-6 in Sept and Oct. Baltimore was 68-40 on Sept 1, then went 28-13 to finish the year. Cincinnati was tied for first on Sept 1 - 73-43. They went 19-17 to finish the year. Beckley missed 34 games this year. I don't think this is year is positive.

5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?
Beckley played 134 games at the age of 37 with a 112 OPS+ and 16 WS so this is a factor in his favor.

6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Merit?
Depends on who you ask.
According to the HoM voters in 1967, 3 people thought so. Not updated
Per Career Win Shares, adjusted for Wars and schedule length and giving credit to Negro Leaguers: not updated
384 - George Van Haltren (344 unadjusted)
351 - Jimmy Ryan (316 unadjusted)
348 - Jake Beckley (318 unadjusted)
346 - Sam Rice (327 unadjusted)
340 - Alejandro Oms (NeL translations)
340 - Mickey Vernon (296 w/o war credit)
335 - Tommy Leach (328 unadjusted)
329 - Harry Hooper (321 unadjusted)
326 - Ben Taylor (NeL translations)
324 - Hugh Duffy (295 unadjusted)
322 - Rabbit Maranville (302 unadjusted)
321 - Edd Roush (314 unadjusted)
310 - Bob Johnson (287 without a year of minor league credit)
305 - Fielder Jones (290 unadjusted)
(I have Spots Poles, Dick Lundy, Bill Monroe, and Bus Clarkson between 300 and 325 but some of these are from very sparse actual numbers.)

However, career totals are not everything. Beckley is famous for not having a good peak. For example, my current eligibles spreadsheet has 140 candidates on it. Beckley is tied at 93rd in Black Ink with 1 point. This doesn't include NeL'ers. In terms of best 3 consecutive years, Beckley has a schedule adjusted total of 63 which is 125th (including NeL'ers). But, Beckley does have a very long prime, see his 161 Grey Ink points, for example. That total is 3rd behind Sisler and Veach.

This is a difficult question. Beckley has great career totals, but his rate stats - avg, obp, slg - are not HoM obvious. OPS+ is not the perfect number, but Beckley's 125 is 28th among eligibles. Just counting hits is not perfect, but Beckley is 2nd with 2930 (unadjusted for schedule length and for offensive context) among eligibles. He has the fourth most doubles and the most triples among eligibles. Of course, he has the second most plate appearances among eligibles.
I think everyone would agree his peak numbers are weak.

I don't see enough evidence pointing to Beckley as the best available.

I believe many baseball observers would say that Cool Papa Bell and George Sisler would be the best players in history whom we have not inducted.
   74. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2048786)
7. Are most of the players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Merit?

Tough question because of the changes in the game. I am going to limit my search to players whose careers were predominantly pre-Lively Ball.
Let's look at some counting numbers first - this is all based on BaseballReference's top 100 lists. I'll look at players with 10% more to 10% less than Beckley.
<u>Hits</u>: Beckley 2930.
The only players between 2930 and 3200 hits are Willie Keeler and Sam Crawford (Cap Anson if you do not include NA numbers). Keeler and Crawford are both in. Keeler hit 33 points higher than Beckley in a career that overlapped Beck's almost completely so that's understandable. Crawford was a monster power-hitter whose career was played throughout the Dead-Ball era so that difference is understandable to me.
The players between 2650 and 2930 are a more varied bunch. The two within 100 hits are Zack Wheat and Jesse Burkett. Burkett hit much better (30 points of average and 15 points of OPS+) so that is understandable. Wheat is a good factor for Beckley - superficially, they seem comparable.
From 2850 to 2750 there is no one, unless you include Sisler, but I see him as a Lively-Ball player.
From 2750 to 2650, there is Fred Clarke and George Davis (both HoMers). Davis was a slugging shortstop/third baseman. Clarke was a left-fielder - quite a bit better than Wheat. Clarke had a much higher prime and more all-star appearances than Beckley.
I don't know if these players are really comparable to Beckley or not. I believe there are factors why each is better than Beckley, but on a pure numerical basis, every player in the pre-Lively Ball era with a similar hit total is in the HoM.

I am not going to be as thorough with the upcoming.

<u>Triples</u>:
Beckley has 243, fourth all-time. Every player from the pre-1920 era over 185 is in the HoM. Those players are Crawford, Cobb, Wagner, Connor, Speaker, Clarke, Brouthers, McPhee, Kelley, Collins, Delahanty. I think those players are either better hitters or played a tougher defensive position. But, looking just at numbers, every player around Beckley is in.

<u>Doubles</u>:
Beckley has 473. Looking down to 432 (the bottom of the top 100) and up to 525. Delahanty and Wheat are the only players ahead of Beckley and both are in. Wheat is very comparable with 476. Below him are HoMers Jim O'Rourke, Brouthers, Crawford, Davis, Connor, and Eddie Collins. Below him are non-HoMers Jimmy Ryan and George Burns. Again, better hitters (IMO) are in the HoM. Ryan is Sisler but 30 years earlier and Burns is a leadoff hitter crossed with the 19teens NL.

<u>Runs</u>: Everyone scored a lot who played in this era. Beckley had 1600. Looking between 1750 and 1450 gives the following. There are 10 players between 1750 and 1600. 8 are HoMers and Ryan and Van Haltren are not. Ryan followed the Sisler career path and GVH had more peak than Beckley, but nowhere the peak as his compatriots. The 8 HoMers are Wagner, Hamilton, McPhee, O'Rourke, Keeler, Burkett, Connor, and Clarke. These were players at tougher defensive positions or better hitters or both.
From 1600 to 1450, there are the following HoMers: Delahanty, Dahlen, Davis, Brouthers, Lajoie, and Stovey. Defensive positions and better hitters, higher peaks/primes. Also, there are the following non-HoMers: Duffy, Tom Brown, Arlie Latham, and Herman Long. Key players for the best team of the 1890s don't get in, nor do Brown and Latham who get hit with the AA markdown.

The majority of players with similar runs scored are in. Those that are not had lower peaks and primes than the elected (except for Duffy) or suffer from the AA discount. Where do you see Beckley?

<u>RBI</u>: Beckley had 1575 so we'll check up to 1725 and down to 1425.
1725 to 1575: Wagner and Lajoie - those are not similar players to Beckley.
1575 to 1425: Speaker, Crawford, Delahanty, George Davis. Better hitters and a tougher defensive position.
Again, Beckley has similar numbers to players who are generally regarded as players better then he was, either because they were better hitters or played a tougher defensive position or both.

<u>Runs Created</u>: Using the numbers from the STATS book, not BB-Ref.
Beckley created 1759 so we'll go from 1925 to 1575.
1925 to 1750: Connor, Burkett, Brouthers, Lajoie, and Delahanty. They have been discussed.
1750 to 1575: Hamilton, Davis, Ryan, Crawford, Clarke, GVH, Duffy, McPhee, Keeler, and Dahlen.
All these players have been discussed.

Beckley is <u>not in the top 100 in AVG, OBP, SLG, or OPS+</u>. The following players who are frequently mentioned above are:
<u>AVG</u>: Delahanty, Speaker, Hamilton, Brouthers, Keeler, Burkett, Lajoie, Collins, Anson, Wheat, Connor, and Clarke are all HoMers.
Duffy, GVH, and Roush are top 100 but not HoMers.
<u>OBP</u>: There are 8 HoMers from this era mentioned above in the top 100. There are no non-HoMers from above on the list.
<u>SLG</u>: Brouthers and Delahanty are the only ones on the list. None of the non-HoMers listed above are on the list.
<u>OPS+: </u>There are 11 HoMers from those listed above in the top 100. There are no non-HoMers on the list.

Overall. The strong majority of players with similar numbers to Beckley are in the HoM. However, I believe most of those players were significantly better hitters looking at their rate stats OR they played a more significant defensive position.
   75. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#2048790)
8. Does the player's numbers meet Hall Of Merit standards?

I don't know. When I first started in the HoM, I was told to judge each election separately and not to focus on Least Common Denominator arguments.
But let's look at few different standards.
<u>Bill James Hall of Fame Standards</u>: Beckley scores a 50. The average HoFer will have a 50. By this standard, Beckley has met the standards of an average Hall of Famer.
<u>Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor</u>: Beckley scores an 84. A likely Hall of Famer is over 100, and a score of 130 is pretty much a guarantee of HoF election.
Looking at commonalities among first base electees to the Hall of Merit. I am looking at position because my spreadsheets are not set up to allow an easy comparison all elected HoMers, but position by position is not too difficult.
I am looking at Anson, Brouthers, Connor, Foxx, Gehrig, Greenberg, Leonard, Mize, Suttles, and Terry. I didn't include Joe Start because half of his career is pre-1876 and I have issues about how much weight to place on NA stats.
<u>Unadjusted by War credit or schedule evening Win Shares</u>: HoMers range from Greenberg's 267 to Gehrig's 489. Beckley, 318, would be be ahead of Terry and Greenberg only.
<u>Adjusted for war and schedule</u> (War credit based on 3 years on each side of break and schedule straight line adjusted): Terry's 278 to Anson's 545. Beckley, 348, would be ahead of Terry only.
<u>Win Shares per 162 games</u>: HoMers range from Gehrig's 36.6 to Suttles' 23.6. Suttles is the only one below 26. Beckley has a 21.6.

Some people are not fans of Win Shares, so let's move on.
STATS All-Stars:
Anson: 9
Brouthers: 8
Connor: 4
Foxx: 6
Gehrig: 8
Greenberg: 4
Mize: 7
Terry: 4
Beckley: 3
Remember, Greenberg and Mize missed 4.5 and 3 years during their primes due to War duties so their totals should be higher.

I don't know of another source other than win shares so that I can provide another view of yearly all-stars. But another point-of-view is always good.
Anson: 3
Brouthers: 7
Connor: 5
Foxx: 6
Gehrig: 9
Greenberg: 2
Mize: 8
Terry: 6
Beckley: 3
Greenberg and Mize missed 4.5 and 3 years during their primes due to War duties so their totals should be higher.

<u>OPS+</u>:
Anson: 141
Brouthers: 170
Connor: 154
Foxx: 163
Gehrig: 179
Greenberg: 158
Mize: 158
Terry: 136
Leonard and Suttles translated numbers: 145 and 137
Beckley: 125

<u>Black Ink</u>:
Anson: 52
Brouthers: 79
Connor: 31
Foxx: 59
Gehrig: 75
Greenberg: 46
Mize: 50
Terry: 12
No scores for Suttles, though I have a 22 listed for Leonard.
Beckley: 1
Greenberg and Mize missed 4.5 and 3 years during their primes due to War duties so their totals should be higher.

<u>Grey Ink</u>:
Anson: 385
Brouthers: 263
Connor: 269
Foxx: 257
Gehrig: 315
Greenberg: 171
Mize: 202
Terry: 154
Beckley: 165
Greenberg and Mize missed 4.5 and 3 years during their primes due to War duties so their totals should be higher.

<u>Defensive Win Shares Grades and retro-Gold Gloves</u>:
Anson: B- / 4
Brouthers: B- / 2
Connor: A / 6
Foxx: A / 5
Gehrig: B- / 4
Greenberg: A- / 2
Mize: B / 1
Terry: A+ / 5
Beckley: B / 4

Yearly accomplishments as a hitter - Beckley would be the worst hitter in the group, but first base has the highest hitting standards.
Fielding accomplishments: Beckley meets these.
Career numbers: See question #7 on previous page. Beckley is comparable in totals, but not in rate stats where he is the behind the others.
   76. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2048799)
9. Is there evidence to suggest the player was SIGNIFICANTLY better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

Several Beckley-Backers (like a Royal Rooter) believe that defensive statistics do not adequately measure the defensive importance of first basemen pre-Lively Ball. I believe this is true to some degree for two reasons: the "quality" of the gloves and the importance of fielding a bunt. But every first baseman in baseball's first 50 years had to deal with those issues. If Beckley deserves some bonus so do Anson, Brouthers, Connor, Tenney, Chance, Konetchy, and Sisler for the first half of his career.
Assuming there is some additional credit deserved by first basemen, I don't think it is a <u>significant</u> amount. My personal belief is that second, short, third, and catcher were still more important than first. I don't have any hard facts for this, just a conclusion I have come to from reading HoM threads, reading old baseball books and SABR publications, etc. Second, I think the majority of bunts went to the third base side.
Other things not caught by statistics that could hurt/hinder.
<u>Stolen bases</u>. Beckley stole over 300 bases, but we don't have caught stealing data so we don't know if there is a hidden positive or negative.
<u>Ground Into Double Plays</u>: Don't have the information to see if he was Jim Rice or Craig Biggio.
<u>Hitting and Running / Small ball</u>: The hit and run was created around the early part of his career. I have never read anything about the Pittsburgh team as an originator of the practice nor Beckley's capability here. I assume he was not asked to bunt much. We have his sacrifice numbers for the last 13 years of his career and he appears in the top 10 only 1 time. Beckley was a power hitter so I would not expect to find significant value or demerits here.
Also, I have no information regarding whether Beckley was considered a "brainy" player or if he was a flake.
<u>Clutch</u>: I have no information about whether he was considered clutch or not.

Conclusion:
I believe the only possibility for evidence that Beckley was significantly better than his numbers is fielding at first base in undervalued pre-Lively Ball. Personally, I think first base is slighted in defensive metrics when comparing pre-Lively Ball to post-Dead Ball players. However, I have seen no evidence showing me that first basemen deserve so much extra-credit for the undervaluing of their defense so as to significantly upgrade a first baseman.
I believe it is incumbent upon those who assert Jake Beckley is significantly better than his numbers to do two things: One, provide a some numerical idea of the adjustment that should be made and a justification for the adjustment; Two, apply this same adjustment to other pre-1920 first basemen such as Frank Chance, Ed Konetchy, Fred Tenney, and some of George Sisler's career.

Lastly, I have seen tables displaying a decade by decade number above or below a 100 OPS+ for each position on the field. If I misunderstand the conclusions I should be drawing from the table, I am sorry - it's not the first time and it won't be the last. I believe the conclusion is that the value of first base defense went up because the average offensive performance as shown by OPS+ is lower in the 1890s, 1900s, 1910s when compared to the 1870s, 80s, 1920s, and forward. <u>My question is a two-parter</u>: 1. Why would first base defense in the 1870s and 1880s be easier than in the 1890s? The gloves and all equipment were even worse. 2. Shouldn't there be more credit given to first basemen after 1906 than before because sacrifice hits were much higher after 1906 than before?
   77. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2048805)
10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Merit but not in?

Are you a peak or career voter?
Career voter, probably Beckley.
Peak voter, not Beckley.

A little more depth.
My top 10 eligible first baseman are Beckley, Bottomley, Camilli, Chance, Easter, Fournier, Konetchy, Sisler, Taylor, and Vernon.

<u>Career Win Shares</u> (schedule adjusted/war credit/minor league credit for screwy team management.) and unadjusted totals.
348 - Beckley - 318
340 - Vernon - 296
326 - Taylor - 326
300 - Fournier - 231
298 - Sisler - 292
292 - Konetchy - 287
258 - Bottomley - 258
243 - Chance - 237
224 - Camilli - 224
Luke Easter is due credit somewhere between 250 and 400 win shares depending on your adjustment ideas.

<u>Peak - 3 consecutive years</u> - adjusted for season length only
92 - Sisler
90 - Fournier
89 - Chance
82 - Camilli
80 - Taylor
79 - Bottomley
77 - Konetchy
74 - Vernon
63 - Beckley

<u>Per 648 Plate Apps</u>:
30.8 - Chance
25.4 - Fournier
23.2 - Taylor
22.9 - Camilli
22.1 - Konetchy
21.5 - Sisler
20.4 - Bottomley
20.0 - Beckley
19.8 - Vernon

<u>STATS all-stars then Win Shares All-Star</u>s:
6 - Chance - 6
6 - Sisler - 6
4 - Fournier - 5
4 - Konetchy - 7
3 - Beckley - 3
3 - Bottomley - 2
2 - Vernon - 4
2 - Camilli - 1
Taylor may have been an all-star 8 times if I have the right info from his thread.

<u>OPS+</u>:
142 - Fournier
136 - Camilli
135 - Chance
125 - Beckley
125 - Bottomley
124 - Sisler
122 - Konetchy
116 - Vernon
I don't have translation numbers for Taylor or Easter.

<u>Black Ink</u>:
29 - Sisler
21 - Bottomley
14 - Camilli
14 - Vernon
10 - Fournier
7 - Chance
4 - Konetchy
1 - Beckley

<u>Grey Ink</u>:
198 - Sisler
165 - Beckley
149 - Konetchy
149 - Vernon
145 - Bottomley
143 - Camilli
136 - Fournier
73 - Chance

<u>Plus/minus AVG/OBP/SLG compared to league average</u>.
+.033 / +.020 / +.069 - Beckley - 125 OPS+
+.017 / +.016 / +.083 - Bottomley - 125 OPS+
-.005 / +.038 / +.095 - Camilli - 136 OPS+
+.032 / +.066 / +.053 - Chance - 135 OPS+
+.033 / +.051 / +.101 - Fournier - 142 OPS+
+.019 / +.021 / +.055 - Konetchy - 122 OPS+
+.052 / +.023 / +.070 - Sisler - 124 OPS+
+.022 / +.017 / +.042 - Vernon - 116 OPS+
Fournier, Chance, and Camilli were the only ones who walked an above average number of times.
Beckley, Bottomley, Camilli, Fournier, and Konetchy had the most power.
Vernon and Sisler are all batting average.

Defensive:
Konetchy - A
Fournier, Bottomley, and Sisler are all "C"s
Everyone else is in the "B" range.

Most:
at bats: Beckley - 9526
hits: Beckley - 2930
runs: Beckley - 1600
doubles: Vernon - 490
triples: Beckley - 243
homeruns: Camilli - 239
rbi: beckley - 1575
AVG: Sisler - .340
OBP: Chance - .394
SLG: Bottomley - .500
stolen bases - Chance – 401

11. How many MVP-type seasons did the player have? Did the player ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

First, there was no MVP award during his career so could never have won one. Considering his team was never in a pennant race and Beckley led the league in only one category, triples in 1890, I doubt Beckley ever would have won an MVP award had there been one to win.

Second, from my examination of his career, it doesn't look like he ever had an MVP-type season. A win shares season of 30 or more is an MVP-type season. Even adjusting for season-length, Beckley never had a season with 25 win shares. He only had 4 years where he was in the top 5 in RBI and none of those were when his team finished above 4th. He had only 2 years in the top 5 of AVG and in neither did his team finish above 4th.

12. How many All-Star-type seasons did the player have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other player who played in his many go into the Hall of Merit?

There were no all-star games during his career. How many all-star type seasons did he have? 3 years as the league's best. A season of 20-30 win shares is an all-star type year and Beckley had 10 between 20 and 24 after adjusting for schedule length. So he had a lot, but there were at the lower end. All the enshrined first basemen have more than ten if you give war credit and most of them have at least 5 years of MVP quality. We have never elected a player with such soft all-star type seasons at any position once you adjust for season length. (Unless it was Charlie Bennett.)

13. If this man were the best on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

I would say no. Beckley had 10 years with 20 to 24 win shares adjusted for season length. If that is the best player on your team, I think it would be almost impossible to win a pennant. More to the point, Beckley was the 1st or 2nd best position player on his team 10 times. During these seasons, Beckley had his usual season - 20 or so win shares. The teams only had 2 winning years, one .500 year, and 7 years under .500. The answer clearly is no.

14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipement? Did he change the game in any way?

I don't know of anything.

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guideline, instructs us to consider?

Non-applicable, but I have no information that Beckley was an #######, a killer, a racist, a gambler, had a bad temper, frequently assaulted people, or a convicted violent felon.
   78. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 06:59 AM (#2049118)
Some more detailed questions about Beckley

First: By how much do people think Win Shares underrates first basemen from Beckley's era?
And would it really matter much for Beckley in terms of MVP/All-Star seasons? Adjusting for season length, Beckley has 10 seasons of 20 win shares. This compares very well to enshrined first basemen. His problem is that none of the years, even adjusted for schedule length, reach 25 win shares - correction per a chart from last year's ballot discussion, Beckley would have one year at 27. Do voters who believe Win Shares underestimates first base defense believe that first basemen deserve another 7 to 9 win shares for their defensive contributions? Because that is what it would take for Beckley to get to an MVP-type season.

Second, Why is it that Beckley is so deserving of this fielding bonus?
I reread what I could of the election threads for Brouthers/Anson/Connor and I couldn't find examples of voters giving these three any bonus, but many of these posts are lost.
What about Chance and Daubert and Konetchy and Tenney? The majority of Beckley's career was spent when sacrifices were well under 1 per game, while later first basemen played when the average team had sacrifices well over 1 per game? See following chart

Year / League / Team Games / Avg. Sacrifices Team / per Game - 1894-1920
1894 / N / 132 / 96 / .73
1895 / N / 133 / 83 / .62
1896 / N / 132 / 97 / .73
1897 / N / 135 / 94 / .70
1898 / N / 154 / 112 / .73
1899 / N / 154 / 110 / .71
1900 / N / 142 / 101 / .71
1901 / N / 140 / 104 / .74
1902 / N / 141 / 119 / .84
1903 / N / 140 / 124 / .89
1904 / N / 156 / 131 / .84
1905 / N / 155 / 146 / .94 - Beck's last year over 100 games
1906 / N / 154 / 161 / 1.05 - Beck's last year as a regular
1907 / N / 154 / 169 / 1.10
1908 / N / 156 / 207 / 1.33
1909 / N / 155 / 208 / 1.34
1910 / N / 155 / 191 / 1.23
1911 / N / 156 / 177 / 1.13
1912 / N / 153 / 170 / 1.11
1913 / N / 155 / 155 / 1.00
1914 / N / 156 / 174 / 1.12
1915 / N / 156 / 173 / 1.11
1916 / N / 156 / 162 / 1.04
1917 / N / 156 / 169 / 1.08
1918 / N / 127 / 148 / 1.17
1919 / N / 140 / 151 / 1.08
1920 / N / 154 / 177 / 1.15

To me, it appears as though the first basemen after Beckley were the ones who had to worry about the bunt. And from the stories about Ed Williamson and other early third basemen and their abilities to handle bunts/the importance of handling bunts, I don't think bunts increased from the 1880s to the 1890s.
   79. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 07:10 AM (#2049122)
There were some criticisms of the earlier posting of the Beckley Keltner List and here were my responses:

I focused too much on rate statistics.

When comparing Beckley to other eligible first basemen I did list the following counting numbers: career win shares, peak win shares, black ink, grey ink, and all-star appearances; and the following rate stats: win shares per 648 PA, OPS+, and how each compared to the league average of BA, OBP, SLG. That is 5 categories to 5 categories. Further, when I listed the "most" in various categories for eligible first basemen, there were 8 counting stats and 3 rate stats.
Also, I compared Beckley to other 1890s players mainly by counting numbers.

Third, looking over Beckley's career, his rate stats don't suffer too much from a decline phase, at least his AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS+. Beckley only has one full year after age 30 (at age 37 no less) where his OPS+ is less than his career number. At age 38, he is a half time player still at league average, and then at age 39, he has a little over 100 PA. He has less than 10% of his PA in his decline phase. His AVG doesn't drop below league until age 38 when it is by .001. His OBP doesn't drop below league average until age 38. His SLG doesn't drop below league average until his 122 PA at age 39.

While Beckley's career counting numbers are similar to many of his era, the other players achieved it in shorter careers and had consequently higher rate stats.

The following are issues raised having to do with Beckley playing in a one league era.
Lack of black ink.
In his prime, he played in the 12 team NL. First, he did have 8 years in the 12 team NL, but he did have 9 years in 8 team leagues, 7 with two leagues and one with 3 leagues. But they were his age 24-31 years in the 12-team NL. But even if there were 2 leagues, I'm not sure how much it would matter for Black Ink sake. On Baseball-Reference, Beckley is listed in the top-10 of various categories over 110 times. Some of these don't count toward Black Ink, but I don't feel like separating them.

He finished second in the following categories: Underlined if one league year.
Games: <u>1900</u>
Hits: 1904
Doubles: 1890 (3 leagues year)
Triples: 1891 (led league in 1890 - 3 league year)
Home Runs: 1902
Singles: 1904
Runs Created: 1904
Extra-Base Hits: (led league in 1890 - 3 league year)
Hit By Pitch: <u>1893</u>, <u>1894</u>, <u>1895</u>
Power-Speed Number: 1902
Ab/HR: 1902
There were 4 categories where Beckley finished second in one league years: Hit by Pitch and games played.

How about finishing 3rd. This time in one-league years only.
Doubles: 1893
Home Runs: 1892
RBI: 1892
Power-Speed Number: 1892

I don't believe Beckley's lack of Black Ink can be blamed mostly on playing in the one-league NL. The only times he was second or third were in HBP 3 times, and once in doubles, RBI, HR and games.

Hard to be an All-Star.
After ABC retire, his biggest year-to-year competition is either Dan McGann or Fred Tenney. Looking at 1892 to 1900, here are the teams with the best first baseman by win shares and Beckley's teams. Team records provided because some voters have a problem with WS b/c they based on team records.
1892:
Brouthers: best player in league, 34. 14.5 games better than Beckley's (19) Pit - 95-59 to 80-73.
1893:
Beckley, best first baseman, 17. Second best team. Connor and Brouthers, 16 each, are second. Beckley's team finishes 14.5 games better than Connor's and 15.5 games better than Brouthers.
1894:
Brouthers, Bal, 21. Team is 25 games better than Beckley's (17) Pitt.
1895:
Candy LaChance (tied with 18), Bro. Team is .5 games better than Beckley's.
1896:
Jack Doyle, Bal, 17. Beckley, 10, splits time with two .500 teams, 25 games back.
1897:
Nap Lajoie, Phi, 21. Beckley, 15. Beckley's team is 21 games better than Lajoie's.
1898:
Bill Joyce, NYG, 25. Beckley, 14. Beckley's team is 14 games better than Joyce's.
1899:
Fred Tenney, Bos, 25. Beckley, 20. Beckley's team is 11 games worse than Tenney's.
1900:
Beckley, Cin, is best, 21. Delahanty, 19, is next. Beckley's team is 13.5 games worse.

Beckley's teams are significantly worse than the Win Shares All-Star's team in 1894, 1898 and 1899.
Beckley's teams are significantly better than the Win Shares All-Star's team in 1896 and 1897.
Beckley's team was even with the player with whom Beckley is tied in 1895.
Beckley's team is significantly better than the second place player's team(s) when Beckley is an All-Star in 1893.
Beckley's team is significanly worse than the second place player's team(s) when Beckley is an All-Star in 1900.

Looks like a wash to me.

Lastly, were his teams lucky or unlucky - actual vs. pythag.
1888: 4 games lucky
1889: 1 game lucky
1890: no luck
1891: 7 games unlucky
1892: 3 games lucky
1893: 3 games lucky
1894: 1 game lucky
1895: 3 games lucky
1896: 2 teams, Pit, 2 games unlucky, NYG, 2 games unlucky. He spent half his time with each team - 2 games unlucky overall?
1897: 5 games lucky
1898: 8 games lucky
1899: 1 game lucky
1900: 4 games unlucky
1901: 6 games lucky
1902: 7 games unlucky
1903: 5 games unlucky
1904: 3 games unlucky
1905: 3 games lucky
1906: 6 games unlucky (half time play)
1907: 1 game lucky (122 PA)

Totals:
12 teams lucky, 1 even, 7 unlucky. Overall, 5 games lucky. Or if you count both 1897 teams and don't count 1907, 2 games lucky. Either way, his teams didn't underachieve consistently.
   80. Kelly in SD Posted: June 03, 2006 at 08:22 AM (#2049131)
Lastly, I wanted to comment on comments about lack of great first basemen during Beckley's career / between Anson, Brouthers, and Connor retiring in the mid-90s and the arrival of Foxx and Gehrig in the mid 1920s.

First, the ABC guys were a unique confluence of talent at first base - like the 1930s and the 1990s. I would not expect there to be pantheon-level, no-doubt HoMers in every decade. Talent is not evenly distributed.

Second, there were great first basemen in this period, but for a variety of reasons they did not have long careers. Some players were hurt by their style of play. Frank Chance had tremendous value when he was healthy, but his willingness to get hit by the pitch led to several beanings. These in turn prevented him from having a long career. Some players were hurt by bad team decisions/confusion about player transfer rules. Jack Fournier had very good years with the White Sox in 1914 and 1915. In 1916, his OPS+ is over 100, but he ends up in the PCL where he has 3 great years. The 1917-1919 years were his age 27 to 29 years. He has a great month with the Yankees in 1918, but there is a dispute over what team holds his rights. Some players get injured. George Sisler for one.

Lastly, I wasn't sure what to do with the following info so I'll put it here.
Here are the per game PO + Assists for first basemen from 1880 to 1920 courtesy of BB-Ref:
1880: 10.24
1881: 10.43
1882: 10.30
1883: 10.47
1884: 10.32
1885: 10.78
1886: 10.26
1887: 10.41
1888: 10.47
1889: 10.29
1890: 10.26
1891: 10.52
1892: 10.43
1893: 10.46
1894: 9.54
1895: 9.91
1896: 10.21
1897: 9.99
1898: 10.06
1899: 10.21
1900: 10.24
1901: 10.05
1902: 10.42
1903: 10.34
1904: 10.36
1905: 10.48
1906: 10.57
1907: 10.25
1908: 10.67
1909: 10.58
1910: 10.07
1911: 9.90
1912: 9.99
1913: 10.21
1914: 10.10
1915: 10.23
1916: 10.15
1917: 10.51
1918: 10.76
1919: 10.84
1920: 10.80

1894-1901 is one of two troughs for plays by first basemen, along with 1910-1916. These are National League numbers only. It looks like there are 5 distinct phases: 1880-1893, then 1894-1901, then 1902-1909, then 1910-1916, then 1917-1920.

That's enough posting for one day.
   81. EricC Posted: June 03, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2049166)
1. Was he [Beckley] ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

An unsual source with some relevance for these kinds of questions about contemporary opinion is a baseball collectible encyclopedia. One such source that I checked listed 4 sets of collectibles issued between 1895 and 1900, each containing between 40 and 80 different players. Jake Beckley was included in none of these sets. If he were regarded as the best player in baseball, it is reasonable to assume that he would have been included in such sets.
   82. rawagman Posted: June 03, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2049181)
Kelly - wonderful list. I have been wavering lately about Beckley, and you post has influenced me to drop him around spots in my ballot.
Especially considering the fact that two of the points that you allowed may have been strong for Beckley, I have come to understand that they may not have been.
1) Defense - My understand has him as being a sure-handed gloveman, but baseball library writes that he had an erratic arm - definitely a bad thing to have if you have to field a good number of bunts.
2) character issues - the same source (and possibly the "Total Baseball Clubs" book - the source is in my new apt, so I can't verify) reports Beckley to have been a drunkard, and costing his team a few games due to it. Take with a grain of salt, of course, but maybe his teams were so poor because Beckley didn't do enough to improve them.

The more I think about it, the more it looks like someone who likes Beckley should love Ben Taylor. He had better rate stats according to the MLE's here. (OPS+ of 138) His career lasted forever. He was known as maybe the best 1st base glove in NeL history. He should be looked at again by anyone who supports Beckley.
   83. Howie Menckel Posted: June 03, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2049905)
Well, the Keltner list has more to do with likelihood of getting elected to the HOF than it does qualifications for the HOM.
I'm pretty skeptical of some of the Negro Leagues MLEs, but I'll give Taylro another look.

Also, I believe Beckley WAS A sure-handed gloveman.
And it looks like one voter downgrading Beckley's defense by noting that sac bunts were dropping in Beckley's arrival time, and another downgrading Beckley because he had to "field a good number of bunts."

Clearly, no one ever thought Beckley was the best player in baseball. Me, neither. We've already elected guys in that same boat, though.
   84. sunnyday2 Posted: June 03, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2049952)
Wow!

The HoM has arrived!

I mean, our lowly discussions have been noticed over on the mainstream pages of BTF and we're getting some drop-ins and drive-bys.

Good.

Is it because relief pitching is so intrinsically interesting? Or are our threads now being displayed differently than before? I have a hunch it's the latter....

But anyway, the discussion has been nice. Well, not always nice but, you know, nice.

But I hope it doesn't harbing (a new word!) an unhealthy interest in contemporary players and disinterest in the old-timers.
   85. Cblau Posted: June 04, 2006 at 02:12 AM (#2050318)
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. In Beckley's time, first basemen rarely fielded bunts. It was mostly the pitcher who fielded them, followed by the third baseman, catcher, then first baseman I'd say. Lastly, shortstops and second basemen occasionally. It was only around 1905 that second basemen started covering first on sacrifices once in a while, and that was still fairly rare by 1910.

There were more groundballs fielded by first basemen then, but don't give Beckley credit for fielding bunts.
   86. rawagman Posted: June 04, 2006 at 09:48 AM (#2050470)
The sources I've seen do not refer to Beckley's fielding prowess as to bunts per se, but strictly to his erattic throwing. Whether he was flipping the ball to RF off a bunt, or into the stands from a grounder should not make a difference as the runner who should have been out would then have been standing on second.

Howie - I don't think you need to focus on Taylor's MLE's for proof of his merit. I use them to get a picture of his career shape and an idea of relative OPS+.
He had a very long career, the OPS+ is MLE'ed to 138 - take it with a grain of salt, but it's pretty impressive. Half his prime was in dead-ball time, so his power numbers don't jump out at you, but he had an immense fielding rep, he pitched a bit in his early days and he raked for ages.
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: June 04, 2006 at 01:06 PM (#2050482)
How important is a 1B's throwing arm, anyway?
I can't picture one moving up or down a ballot based on that. This isn't a SS we're talking about.
   88. rawagman Posted: June 04, 2006 at 01:18 PM (#2050483)
I wouldn't think it is that important either, but if your 1B fields a lot of grounders and is consistently unable to put the ball in the mitt of the guy covering the bag it adds up.

Between moving and work pressure, I can't do the research this week. I'd be happy to for the next election if someone reminds me. I have a feeling that the backlog will remian the same until then.
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2050487)
I wouldn't think it is that important either, but if your 1B fields a lot of grounders and is consistently unable to put the ball in the mitt of the guy covering the bag it adds up.

Was Beckley "consistently" doing this? His overall fielding reputation suggests otherwise.
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2050488)
There were more groundballs fielded by first basemen then, but don't give Beckley credit for fielding bunts.

It's a moot point (not that we don't appreciate you pointing it out, Cliff :-), since the average first baseman was still working harder back then than in later generationsif he was gobbling up more groundballs.
   91. DavidFoss Posted: June 04, 2006 at 01:54 PM (#2050489)
Yeah, if Beckley's arm was error-prone that should show up in his fielding numbers, but if it was just weak then I don't really care. Playing 1B is already a fairly steep penalty in terms of the defensive spectrum (i.e. RCAA-RCAP). I'm not a Beckley fan, but it seems unreasonable to double-penalize him for having a 'first basemans arm'. (although as a lefty he wasn't going to be playing 2B/SS/3B anyways).
   92. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2050526)
Joe Kelley, Bill Joyce, and Lajoie only played 1st the one year each.
. . . Over this same time other players dropped in for one year and were the best first basemen that year.


I think this is significant. Some of the best firstbasemen were players who worked there for a season, not longer because they were more valuable elsewhere. Delahanty did the same in 1900 but it was not a good season for him.
   93. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2050531)
it appears as though the first basemen after Beckley were the ones who had to worry about the bunt.
ok

And from the stories about Ed Williamson and other early third basemen and their abilities to handle bunts/the importance of handling bunts, I don't think bunts increased from the 1880s to the 1890s.

This is a surprise to me. I suppose bunting did increase in the 1880s and 1890s but I have no evidence. It's just one of those things I think I know that may be false.

Are there stories about Ezra Sutton handling bunts somewhere around here? He's the other early 3Bman.
   94. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2050543)
SABR biographer Bill Carle (Baseball's First Stars, 1996) says that "outstanding defensive play around the first base bag" for St Louis WA 1888 earned Beckley a midseason NL job despite a "relatively lackluster offensive showing." And that "some consider Jake Beckley the finest fielding first baseman of the 19th century"! I wonder who.

He doesn't mention the arm. I recall reading somewhere that Beckley, recognizing his scatter arm, declined to try the plays that others (everyone? Tenney?) tried or made.
   95. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2050546)
That is,
I recall reading in some latterday work that Beckley, recognizing his scatter arm, declined to try the plays that others tried or made.
   96. Cblau Posted: June 04, 2006 at 11:01 PM (#2051430)
Peter Morris, in his wonderful new book, A Game of Inches, writes that the bunt pretty much disappeared from around 1877-1885, until Arlie Latham repopularized it. I'd think it did increase some in the 1890's, since that's when there were a lot of complaints about it. But that may be mainly due to the using it to tire out the pitcher by intentionally fouling off pitches.

As for Beckley's arm, I'd say think of Steve Garvey. The other skills can more than compensate for a scatter arm, even if it keeps him out of the Keith Hernandez class.
   97. Howie Menckel Posted: June 05, 2006 at 02:24 AM (#2051502)
Wow, no kidding, the Beckley-Garvey comparison is exactly how I do think of Beckley - great fielder, yet weak thrower.
Well played, clau.

And Hernandez mentioned, maybe the best-throwing 1B ever?
   98. karlmagnus Posted: June 05, 2006 at 02:39 AM (#2051505)
Gosh, while I've been away you guys have all been dumping on Beckley again! Don't you have families?

Beckley was second in AB and hits among all players when he retired. We have elected a lot more than 1 primary hitter from Beckley's contemporaries and predecessors. In addition, 1B is underrated by WS, not hugely but by about 2-3WS a year, which when added to Beckley's career total takes him clearly well above the level of the other doubtful cases (if 1b was 7-8 WS per annum low, he'd not only have MVP seasons, he'd be Honus Wagner.)

The HOM can only not elect Beckley by obfuscation and smoke-blowing. This however appears to be a favorite habit.
   99. Kelly in SD Posted: June 05, 2006 at 07:47 AM (#2051609)
Smoke Blowing?

Please take a look at post 170 on the 1977 Ballot Discussion Thread. The poster, Joe, posts Beckley's win shares from the digital update. Since 30 win shares is about where serious MVP candidacies <u>begin</u>, if first base was 7-8 win shares per year low, Beckley would have all of THREE years at 30 win shares or above. 1890: 25.5 up to 32.5 or 33.5. 1900: 23.6 up to 30.6 or 31.6. 1904: 22.7 up to 29.7 or 30.7. That's it. 3 years.

That's Honus Wagner level? The same Honus Wagner with seasonal totals of 59, 46, 46, 44, 43, 42, 37, 35, 35, 35, 34, and two seasons at 30. Oh, and the 37, 35, 35, and 34 years were all in 140 game seasons, so increase those by 10% to get to 154. That gives you 41, 39, 38, and 37. Yes, those totals are quite similar to Beckley's.

Obfuscation? Did I misstate anything? Is there something about which I factually hid the truth?
Did I not state that Beckley has the most at bats, hits, runs, rbi, and triples of any available first baseman?
Did I not list Beckley's counting stats and how they ranked among his peers?
Did I obfuscate when I listed, for example, Beckley with 1575 RBI which was third for players whose careers were centered in the 1890s and 1910s and then compared him to the other players withing 150 RBI of his total? - namely Wagner, Lajoie, Crawford, Speaker, Delahanty, and George Davis. Is Speaker too much of a stretch for time purposes? Maybe. Throw him out then. That leaves Wagner, Lajoie, Crawford, Delahanty, and Davis. Two shortstops, a second baseman, and two hitters every analyst would rank as better hitters than Beckley.

Am I obfuscating Beckley's career by showing that he ranks with several HoMers with his career totals, but also pointing out the HoMers needed many fewer plate apps to reach the same totals? And as a consequence, Beckley's rate stats do not compare well to most HoMers of his era.
I thought I was showing both sides of the coin.
   100. rawagman Posted: June 05, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#2051656)
Kelly, you can relax - he was obfuscating the arguments. Blowing smoke over the flaws.
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