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Monday, June 12, 2006

1979 Ballot Discussion

1979 (June 26)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

642 208.1 1951 Willie Mays-CF
293 85.0 1956 Luis Aparicio-SS
297 73.9 1960 Frank Howard-LF/RF
241 70.6 1959 Johnny Callison-RF
241 59.2 1958 Felipe Alou-RF/CF
210 71.1 1958 Milt Pappas-P
142 54.1 1960 Chris Short-P (1991)
125 47.1 1961 Ron Perranoski-RP
139 38.5 1966 Tommie Agee-CF (2001)
115 43.1 1964 Gene Alley-SS
139 33.1 1962 Joe Pepitone-1B
103 35.9 1961 Bobby Bolin-P
106 33.1 1960 Eddie Fisher-RP
098 32.2 1963 Ray Culp-P
105 28.2 1965 Rick Reichardt-LF
108 25.7 1967 Mike Andrews-2B

Players Passing Away in 1978
HoMers
Age Elected

74 1945 Bill Foster-P
63 1956 Joe Gordon-2B

Candidates
Age Eligible

91 1928 Jack Graney-LF
90——Joe McCarthy-P/HOF Mgr
86 1935 George Harper-RF
85 1943 Jesse Haines-P
84 1935 George H. Burns-1B
83——Ford Frick-HOF Commissioner
82 1943 Rube Walberg-P
75 1945 Carl Reynolds-RF/CF
69 1947 Monte Pearson-P
68 1951 Gene Moore-RF
68 1953 Bill Dietrich-P
68 1954 George McQuinn-1B
58 1961 Billy Cox-3B
49 1972 Jim Gilliam-2B/3B

Upcoming Candidate
27 1984 Lyman Bostock-CF/RF

As always, thanks to Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:09 AM | 268 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2061597)
Write it down: Mays and Sisler in '79.

I'll add the necrology when Dan is able to send it to me (my computer problem from last week has temporarily "closed" my e-mail filing cabinet).
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2061609)
Two guys who got a lot less mileage out of talent (in one case) and notoriety (in both) than most--Agee and Pepitone. Actually Rick Reichert probably belongs on both lists, too. Meanwhile, Gene Alley was a pretty damn good one trick pony. But overall this list is as close to the good, the bad and the ugly that I've seen.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2061618)
1979 Prelim

Last year’s #1 and #3 got elected. Mays and Averill go PHoM (preliminarily).

As I mentioned on the Hondo thread, his placement is tentative. He is #28 among newly eligibles between 1975 and 1990, between Marichal and Drysdale. I slotted in the newbies vs. backlog on just an eyeball level, however, so I need to take a very close look at Howard, Averill, Minoso and Hack for PHoM. Bobby Estalella moved way up last week, Hilton Smith moves way up this week.

1. Willie Mays (new, PHoM 1979)—ya think?

2. Dobie Moore (2 last year-2-1, PHoM 1942)—still a very mighty peak

3. Ralph Kiner (4-3-2, PHoM 1964)—there’s not just those 7 HR titles, but all those BB, too

4. Rube Waddell (5-4-3, PHoM 1932)—second highest ERA+ available, and it turns out after all these years that his UER were not outside the norm

5. George Sisler (6-5-4, PHoM 1938)—when people say his peak or prime wasn’t long enough, the truth is that nobody in the backlog peaks for much longer

6. Larry Doyle (7-6-5, PHoM 1975)—15 years of 15+ WS, I don’t see another eligible “glove” who did that, plus same OPS+ as Edd Roush and 5 points more than Hugh Duffy

7. Charley Jones (8-7-7, PHoM 1921)—Charley made my PHoM without 2 MLE blacklist years; now, he moves up with them added in

8. Addie Joss (9-8-6, PHoM 1967)—best ERA+ available

9. Pete Browning (10-9-8, PHoM 1961)—essentially equivalent to Charley Jones if you give Jones the two blacklist years, clearly better if you don’t

10. Edd Roush (11-10-11, PHoM 1976)—really belongs ahead of Averill and Duffy, on reconsideration

11. Vic Willis (12-11-12, PHoM 1977)—how did I miss this guy for 50 years or more? Oh, yeah, he came eligible the same year as Waddell and didn’t quite measure up. Great peak (though not consecutive) and a huge workhorse

PS. Pitchers whose careers overlap Willis’ career: Young, Walsh, Matty, Plank, Brown, McGinnity, Foster, Waddell, Mendez, Joss, Griffith (11 HoM or PHoM)

Pitchers whose careers overlap Bunning’s: Marichal, Gibson, Drysdale, Koufax, Spahn, Roberts, Wynn, Lemon, Ford, Wilhelm, G. Perry, Palmer, Carlton, Niekro, Palmer (15 likely HoM, not counting Kaat, John, Tiant, Pierce, Sutton)

(11a. Earl Averill [12a-11a-12a, PHoM 1979])

12. Jose Mendez (13-12-13, PHoM 1957)—this is with essentially no credit at all for his hitting and his SS years

13. Frank Howard (new)

14. Minnie Minoso (14-13-14)—I give 2 NeL seasons though at well below peak level

(14a. Stan Hack [14a-13a-14a])

(14b. Don Drysdale [14b-13b-15a])

15. Bobby Estalella (15-x-x)—if his skin was either lighter or darker, he would have a more conventional career (MLs or NeLs) and would be a PHoMer by now; as it is his career is very hard to get a handle on, but the ability was there

Drops out: None

Sidebar: Wally Schang #88

16. Hilton Smith (35-34-34)—moves up based on new NeL numbers, the pitcher I wanted Redding to be?
17. Alejandro Oms (16-14-15)—big winner in recent re-eval.
18. Nellie Fox (17-15-18)
(18a. Bobby Doerr [17a-15a-15a])
(18b. Jim Bunning (17b-16-new)—somewhere below Drysdale)
19. Hugh Duffy (18-17-16)
20. Phil Rizzuto (19-18-17)—one of the big winners but still not on ballot
21. Charlie Keller (20-19-19)
22. Joe Sewell (21-20-20)
(22a. Richie Ashburn [21a-20a-20a])
23. Jim McCormick (22-21-21)
24. Hack Wilson (23-22-22)
25. Elston Howard (24-23-23)—new #1 catcher until Freehan comes along, much better than I had thought
26. Dick Redding (25-24-24, PHoM 1971)
27. Tommy Bond (26-25-25, PHoM 1929)
28. Wally Berger (27-26-26)
29. Mickey Welch (28-27-27)
30. Ken Boyer (29-28-28)—new #1 3B, not overwhelming however

They also ran

30. Dizzy Dean (29-29-30)
31. Dick Lundy (30-30-31)
32. Chuck Klein (31-31-32)
33. Al Rosen (32-32-33)
34. Frank Chance (33-33-34)
36. Pie Traynor (35-35-36)
37. Tony Mullane (36-36-37)
38. Quincy Trouppe (37-37-38)—no longer the best catcher around
39. Ed Williamson (38-38-39, PHoM 1924)
(39a. Early Wynn [38a-38a-39a)
40. Gavvy Cravath (39-39-40)

41. Vern Stephens (40-40-41)
42. Mike Tiernan (41-41-42)
43. Cupid Childs (42-42-43, PHoM 1925)
44. Bill Monroe (43-43-44)
45. Bob Johnson (44-44-45)
46. Bob Elliott (45-45-46)—all the way down to about here, I still wish I could get all these guys on my ballot. Maybe Bresnahan, too, but after that, no
47. Roger Bresnahan (46-46-47)
48. Bucky Walters (47-47-48)
(48a. Biz Mackey [47a-47a-49])
(48b. Red Faber [47b-47b-49a])
(48c. Wes Ferrell [47c-47c-49b])
(48d. Willie Keeler [47d-47d-49c])
49. Lefty Gomez (48-48-50)
50. Dave Bancroft (49-49-51)
(50a. Jimmy Sheckard [49a-49a-51a])

Also: Luis Aparicio about #60, behind Campaneris and Fregosi, but ahead of Wills around #80 and Mazeroski around #130.
   4. EricC Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#2061625)
Write it down: Mays and Sisler in '79.

I, for one, am not writing this down. We have a new candidate, Frank Howard, who tops Sisler in Career WS, Top 3, Top 5, and WS/162. Howard makes my ballot and Sisler doesn't.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:45 AM (#2061632)
Eric, I'm only prognosticating. I'm not making judgments one way or the other about the two quality-wise. It's only an educated guess on my part.

I haven't analyzed Howard, so I don't where he belongs yet.
   6. OCF Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#2061635)
There's no danger of confusing Willie Mays and Carl Mays - if it's a #1 vote, it's Willie. But those of you who have been voting for Elston Howard and those who plan to vote for Frank Howard: please make it clear which one you're talking about when you vote.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2061639)
But those of you who have been voting for Elston Howard and those who plan to vote for Frank Howard: please make it clear which one you're talking about when you vote.

Yes!
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2061652)
I'm voting for Howard Mays!!!!
   9. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2061691)
Howard Stern! Ron Howard! Don Elston?
   10. DavidFoss Posted: June 13, 2006 at 02:05 AM (#2061718)
I, for one, am not writing this down. We have a new candidate, Frank Howard, who tops Sisler in Career WS, Top 3, Top 5, and WS/162. Howard makes my ballot and Sisler doesn't.

As is always the case with a borderline new candidate, we are in danger of inducting him first ballot. Not that that's necessarily bad, but just a heads up out there to everyone. Do your homework. We need to know if Frank Howard is better than Sisler/Kiner/Mendez/Minoso/Sewell/etc. I know that we all know this, but too often there the panic of imminent induction comes too late and counter-arguments are not in time and then there is teeth gnashing on results night. If we induct him first ballot anyways, so be it, but I don't want it to be a shock if it does happen.
   11. DavidFoss Posted: June 13, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2061758)
We have a new candidate, Frank Howard, who tops Sisler in Career WS, Top 3, Top 5, and WS/162

Adjusted season lengths to 162 Games and Sisler pulls ahead in Career WS. Howard maintains a 6.2 WS lead in 'Top 3' and a 1.4 WS lead in 'Top 5'.

FWIW, Sisler would pull ahead for a hypothetical 'top 6' or 'top 7' before the post-injury years start being used and Howard closes the gap again with respectable years 8 & 9. Its all garbage time for both after that.
   12. Daryn Posted: June 13, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2061777)
Neither Frank nor Elston will be on my ballot. Frank would be a strange guy to rush in.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: June 13, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#2061789)
I second David Foss's prudent heads-up and his analysis that Sisler and Frank Howard are very close by win shares, much closer than I imagined they would be before I looked closely at Howard's career. WARP1, placing a somewhat greater emphasis on fielding, prefers Sisler. Both metrics agree that Howard was very poor defensively. Not as bad as Kingman/Luzinski types, but a bit worse than Kiner.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 04:12 AM (#2061824)
Howard's career OPS+ is 143. Nothing strange about that.

I mean, it was strange rushing Drysdale and Bunning and Ashburn in, and Red Faber and Max Carey, but they all have their points. OTOH I thought it was strange NOT rushing Kiner in.

Kiner OPS+ 148/183-81-72-54-45-40-31-21-16
Howard 143/180-73-72-54-51-46-38-27-14-5

Or this:

Howard WS 297/38-34-30-28-25-25-23-23-21-13-13-10
Clemente 377/35-30-29-28-27-26-26-25-24-23-22-20-20-plus 4 more years of 10+

But for best 5 years it's Howard 155-149. For 9 years, Howard 247 Clemente 250. Even for 10 years it's only 273-260 and Howard is clearly the better offensive player through 10-12 years. For peak voters, this guy has one.

On the downside, Hack Wilson is also a pretty good comp. Howard has the edge 148-145 for career OPS+, and also leads 155-152 for WS over best 5 years. Or Wally Berger: Howard leads 148-140 career OPS+ and again 155-152 in 5 year WS peak. But of course Howard went on to amass almost 300 WS while Wilson and Berger ended up around 250.

I'm not saying we should elect Hondo. For my own PHoM I'm leaning to taking Earl Averill ahead of him. But "strange"? Obviously the BBWAA doesn't view him as a HoFer. What player whose teams compiled the miseable records of Howard's is viewed as a HoFer by the writers?
   15. EricC Posted: June 13, 2006 at 10:23 AM (#2061887)
I'm only prognosticating.

What, John, you weren't directing everybody to write down Mays and Sisler on their ballots? :-)

Kidding aside, I do recognize the challenge of F. Howard. Most of the comparable players as I see it would seem to be consensus HoVG/not HoM types, except for perhaps the single-best comp, Joe Medwick, who did not go in with universal support. F. Howard has to be directly compared to Sisler, Mendez, Kiner, Keller, etc., who played in different decades and/or positions. So, as David said in #10, a good week to do your homework before voting, and to present arguments and counterarguments in the discussion thread.
   16. Ardo Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:16 PM (#2061907)
1979 first draft:

First off, I'm not impressed by Frank Howard. He was a waste of space in the outfield. If you field as poorly as he did, you have to hit like Manny Ramirez, and he only did that for three seasons.

1. Willie Mays - Say Hey!

2. Jose Mendez:

From Jorge Figueredo's _Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History_ and _Who's Who in Cuban Baseball_:

1. Martin Dihigo 107-56, .656 (1922-47)
2. Adolfo Luque 106-71, .599 (1912-45)
3t. Carlos Royer 90-43, .677 (1892-1911)
3t. Adrian Zabala 90-83, .520 (1935-55)
5. Manuel "Cocaina" Garcia 85-61, .582 (1926-48)
6. Jose Munoz 82-60, .577 (1900-14)
7. Jose Mendez 76-28, .731* (1908-27)
8. Tomas de la Cruz 71-78, .477 (1934-47)
9. Miguel Fornieles 70-63, .526 (1952-61)
10. Conrado "Connie" Marrero 69-46, .600 (1946-58)

*-Mendez is the all-time leader in winning pct.

That's his case in a nutshell. More like Sandy Koufax than Wes Ferrell, even if he couldn't hit as well as Ferrell.

3. Charley Jones - all positions, all eras. The only glaring NA-era omission.

4. Wally Schang - His BBRef page says, "The ONLY great offensive catcher of the World War I era, and solid defensively as well. His greatness has been recognized in the BaseballEvolution.com Hall of Fame."

5. Billy Pierce - deserves leverage credit on top of an already strong resume.

6. Quincy Trouppe - the tail of his career was preferable to the head of Campanella's career.

7. Ken Boyer - a consecutive peak, entirely at 3B, in a strong league (1958-64).

8. Joe Sewell.
9. George Sisler.
10. Dick Redding.
11. Jake Beckley.
12. Nellie Fox.
13. Orestes Minoso - I dropped him last year, but the Minoso vs. Indian Bob Johnson mini-study convinced me he belongs back on my ballot.

14-15: I'm considering Kiner, Frank Howard, Ellie Howard, Aparicio, Maranville, and Larry Doyle.
   17. Rusty Priske Posted: June 13, 2006 at 12:50 PM (#2061922)
3 worthy new candidates while only 1 was elected from my ballot last year, so 2 drop off.


Prelim:

PHoM: Willie Mays & Frank Howard

1. Willie Mays
2. George Van Haltren
3. Jake Beckley
4. Mickey Welch
5. Nellie Fox
6. George Sisler
7. Dobie Moore
8. Hugh Duffy
9. Edd Roush
10. Tommy Leach
11. Frank Howard
12. Minnie Minoso
13. Quincy Trouppe
14. Luis Aparicio
15. Sam Rice

16-20. Boyer, Ryan, Sewell, Doyle, Childs
21-25. Kiner, White, Elliott, Smith, Streeter
26-30. Willis, Mullane, Gleason, Grimes, Pierce
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:20 PM (#2061931)
just an fyi to OCF. Former Cardinal alert----Moe Drabowsky RIP.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2061936)
What, John, you weren't directing everybody to write down Mays and Sisler on their ballots? :-)

Even if I had that power, Eric, I wouldn't exercise it. :-)
   20. KJOK Posted: June 13, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2062056)
Frank Howard and Aparicio are of course the interesting candidates this time, as they could fall anywhere from #2 to off ballot...
   21. DL from MN Posted: June 13, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2062089)
> 4. Wally Schang - His BBRef page says, "The ONLY great offensive catcher of the World War I
> era, and solid defensively as well. His greatness has been recognized in the
> BaseballEvolution.com Hall of Fame."

That's a racist statement. I think Santop was clearly better than Schang.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#2062103)
That's a racist statement. I think Santop was clearly better than Schang.

This is just semantics, but...I'm not sure it's fair to say that's a racist statement. Underinformed, yes, but I think racist would imply active prejudice. Without knowing the author personally, I'd speculate that when presented with the information we've got and a lot of context for it, it's pretty likely that this person would come to the conclusion that Santop merits inclusion in the statement.

The racism for me comes in at the macro level. Chances are this person's belief system is not shaped by racist throught. After all, many of us were this guy before this project. But after going out of our way to discover information on Santop that contradicts the prevailing notions of catcher batting in that era has delivered us from ignorance. And the often daunting nature of assembling NgL information is itself a peeling back of merely one layer of the prejudice that's grown thickly over the entire baseball nation.

But I can't, having been at his/her keyboard, pin racism on this guy/gal or call it a racist statement. It's a product of a culture that says it's OK to skip over the NgLs as well as numerous black achievements in literature, art, business, science, etc.... I can't even blame someone for not questioning because the hegemony of whiteness, especially in early sporting life, is just bred into our* bones. It's not like that person would have any reason to consider leagues of color. And after all, even bb-ref lacks any kind of meaningful NgL data.

But semantics aside, thanks to this whole HOM experience, I'm soooooooo much more aware of the role of people of color in baseball before, during, and after Jackie, and in many ways amazed by them. But I only got here by having been on the Schang commenter's side of things.

*that is, the dominant, powerful, caucasian culture that created this morass of racial issues (and generally does a poor job dealing with them)
   23. DL from MN Posted: June 13, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2062105)
I absolutely do not mean Ardo is a racist. It is a racist statement (in a systematic sense) because it dismisses the Negro Leagues entirely.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2062117)
Looking over Ardo's ballot, I think it's fair to say that he's not oblivious to the Negro Leagues. :-)

With that said, if some here are giving "domination" points to Schang (or Sewell, for that matter) without incorporating Negro Leaguers, then I feel that's incorrect (but not racist).
   25. Ardo Posted: June 13, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2062122)
No, no I'm not ignoring Santop, just trying to support Schang. I think both Santop and Schang are worthy catchers between Ewing/Bennett and Cochrane/Hartnett.

And please help answer why Frank Howard was appreciably better than Chuck Klein, let alone Kiner or Keller.
   26. DL from MN Posted: June 13, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2062140)
I like Howard better than Klein but not Keller or Kiner. Howard rivals Kiner at the plate but was by far the worst in the field. Frank Howard would have made a terrific DH. Keller is a more well-rounded player and Klein just wasn't quite as good at the plate. Add in Gavy Cravath and Willard Brown into the discussion - it gets really hard to rank these guys. Differences in electors regarding defensive value and alternate league credit have a huge effect.

1979 ballot - prelim

1) Willie Mays - my overall rankings this far go Ruth, Williams, Mays
2) Bob Johnson - similar offensive value to the sluggers and a lot better glove
3) Billy Pierce
4) Ralph Kiner
5) Ken Boyer
6) Charlie Keller
7) Tommy Bridges
8) Dutch Leonard
9) Jake Beckley (moves up, I gave more value to 1B fielding in that era)
10) Frank Howard
11) Quincy Trouppe
12) Bob Elliott
13) Virgil Trucks
14) Minnie Minoso
15) Joe Sewell
16) Dick Bartell - I think he was nearly as good as Sewell. WARP likes his glove a lot and he played more SS.
17) Chuck Klein
18) Jose Mendez - moves up a little
19) Gavy Cravath
20) Dobie Moore
21-25) Rube Waddell, Tommy Leach, Edd Roush, Urban Shocker, Bobo Newsom
26-30) Rocky Colavito, George Sisler, Fielder Jones, Jimmy Ryan, Dizzy Trout
31-35) Alejandro Oms, Cupid Childs, Wally Berger, Pete Browning, George Van Haltren
36-40) George Burns, Dick Redding, Vic Willis, Gil Hodges, Ben Taylor
   27. OCF Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2062148)
Doc C (#18): I did not remember that at all, and I had to look up his bbref page just to see what you were talking about. 1971? I should have been paying at least some attention, but I guess not to Drabowsky.
   28. Daryn Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:05 PM (#2062153)
And please help answer why Frank Howard was appreciably better than Chuck Klein

Or Rocky Colavito -- his peers didn't seem to think he was any better than these guys and granting the nice career OPS+, I'm not sure they were wrong. The guy couldn't field and was not a special hitter for more than 4 years. And even when he was special, he wasn't the best. In his very best year he was the third to sixth best hitter in his league and even lower as an all around player. This wouldn't hurt a career candidate much, but it hurts, IMO, Howard quite a bit.

Compare him to Kiner, who was the best hitter in his league three times, has a higher career OPS+, 7 homerun titles, did better in MVP voting. It is hard to see how Howard gets within 10 ballot spots of Kiner.
   29. Thane of Bagarth Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#2062159)
I can't help but notice that the easily dismissed Johnny Callison's WARP numbers are almost identical in career value to Howard's, and, in fact, Callison has a higher peak/prime. Howard's entire offensive advantage is offset by Callison's defensive advantage.

Win Shares on the other hand is a very different story--heavily favoring Howard. I try to weight Win Shares & Warp equally when ranking players, so Howard ends up a lot higher than Callison, but I don't see him making my ballot.
1 Willie Mays
2 Jose Mendez
3 Dick Redding
4 Ben Taylor
5 Ken Boyer
6 Bucky Walters
7 Joe Sewell
8 Charley Jones
9 Dizzy Trout
10 Charlie Keller
11 Billy Pierce
12 Bill Monroe
13 Dobie Moore
14 Minnie Minoso
15 Ralph Kiner
   30. Chris Fluit Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#2062179)
I agree with you, Daryn. After my own preliminary look at Frank Howard, I have him well off-ballot just ahead of Chuck Klein and behind Rocky Colavito.
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2062183)
OCF, i should have offered more info. I just read Moe's obit today in the NY Times. RIP to an old Cardinal.

-----

Just to clarify, I wasn't talking about Ardo's quotation of bb-ref, but rather the poster of the bb-ref statement itself, whose identity I do not know. And that was my supposition for the purposes of arguing for a systematic and not individualized view of the rhetoric characterized as racist by DL---that the individual poster was more a genericized brand of fan that we can all relate too.

Anyway, most important, I hope Ardo didn't think I was saying he was engaging in overtly racist behaviors, nor that DL thought I was saying he was calling Ardo a racist!

I'm trying not to weave a tangled web....
   32. Al Peterson Posted: June 13, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2062219)
Frank Howard pros and cons. Feel free to add, subtract to listing

Pros:

6 seasons OPS+ > 145
7 seasons top 10 OPS+, including 3 times in 12 team AL
3 30+ WS seasons

Cons:


7353 PAs not much when comparing to older players. Consider 90% of his career was in 162 game schedules where they were not.
Fielding was major issue. Was well below average at 3 positions (LF/RF/1B), also closed career as DH.
No speed - 8 steals as a career total, his GDP rate was pretty high in comparison to other sluggers in the backlog.

I have Howard falling into the backlog - around #30. But as everyone has said, its hard to find a story where Frank Howard is described as anything but a great guy.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2062252)
Colavito over Howard? I love the Rock, but I sure don't see that.

Rocco .266/.359/.489/132 in about 7500 PA
Hondo .273/.352/.499/143 in about 7300 PA (in tougher offensive environment, thus the 11 point edge in OPS with similar numbers overall)

Whatever Hondo's weaknesses are, Colavito had basically the same ones. For me it comes down to that 143-132, that's a substantial difference.
   34. jimd Posted: June 13, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#2062260)
What player whose teams compiled the miseable records of Howard's is viewed as a HoFer by the writers?

George Sisler?

Frank Howard, weighted team WPct .484
George Sisler, weighted team WPct .454

People tend to forget that Howard played for some great Dodgers teams (got a ring in 1963) before being traded to the Senators. OTOH, Sisler played 4 different seasons on teams worse than any of Howard's Washington teams (and the 1928 Braves were worse than the 1972 Rangers).
   35. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2006 at 09:18 PM (#2062297)
But Sisler may have played at the end of his career for poor teams precisely because they were poor. Actually, rephrase, your honor. Sisler may have had a job because the teams that signed him were so poor. They were either too inept or too bereft of talent or too financially strapped to replace him with an adequate hitting first baseman, or to build halfway decent teams.

On the flip side, he played for the Brownies' best-ever non-war teams in the early 1920s.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 13, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2062392)
Prelim:

1Mays
2
Bresnahan
3
Childs
4
Duffy
5
Elliott
6
Traynor
7
Oms
8
Minoso
9
Grimes
10
Welch
11
Walters
12
Sisler
13
Walters
14
Moore
15
Nash 
   37. jimd Posted: June 13, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2062473)
What player whose teams compiled the miseable records of Howard's is viewed as a HoFer by the writers?

Ralph Kiner?

Frank Howard, weighted team WPct .484
Ralph Kiner, weighted team WPct .423

People tend to forget how bad those post-war Pirate and Cub teams really were.
   38. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 13, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#2062489)
PRELIMINARY BALLOT

1979 Hall of Merit Ballot

1. Willie Mays - Basically in a flat-footed tie with Cobb, Mantle, Speaker and Charleston as the greatest CF of all-time.
2. Charlie Keller - Showed that, at the age of 20, he was able to walk from his college graduation straight to the high minors and dominate. With minor-league credit and war credit, he was an MVP-level player for a decade. No one else on the ballot, other than Mays, can make that claim.
3. Dick Redding - I'm constructing my own short-form Win Shares-based evaluations for pitchers with the ERA translations that I use. Good peak plus (previously unrecognized by me) war credit puts him right behind Rube Foster in the all-time rankings. Could someone point me toward the new numbers for him?
4. Jose Mendez - Phenomenal stretch from 1910-1914; my projections have him winning 23 games per season.
5. Dobie Moore - New MLE Win Shares from Chris Cobb hurt him slightly, but I'm eager to see the California Winter League data worked into projections somehow.

6. Quincy Trouppe - Mackey's election has made me think about something: how much is defensive reputation overrated in how casual fans perceive a catcher's value? It makes sense that it is, considering how the catcher is at the center of attention in the field (along with the pitcher). But most of a position player's overall value is with the bat.
7. Rube Waddell - With guys like Mendez, Mays and Bridges, he is part of a family of pitchers on the HOM borderline. The difference in my system between pitchers like Mendez and Waddell in comparison to Mays and Bridges is about 30-40 points of adjusted ERA (the actual number, not the percentage) and support-neutral winning percentage.
8. Nellie Fox - In a tightly-grouped ballot such as this, I tend to favor the "up-the-middle" guys.
9. Minnie Minoso - See Alejandro Oms comment.
10. Alejandro Oms - Minoso and Oms might be the most tightly-matched pair of players on this ballot. Both had a broad base of skills which helped their teams. Both didn't really have any standout, MVP-type seasons, but played at an All-Star level for about eight seasons. Both were black Cubans. Minoso gets the edge because his shoulder seasons were better.

11. Tommy Leach - Similar in value pattern and skill set to the two players above him, trading some offense for defense.
12. Edd Roush - Two MVP-level seasons (1919, 1920) and three more that would have been at that level if he didn't miss quite as much playing time (1917, 1918, 1923).
13. Burleigh Grimes - Three great seasons (1920, 1921, 1928) anchor a long career. Hitting ability a plus.
14. Dizzy Dean - Gets nailed on a shift to a Win Shares-based evaluation system. Five-season peak is very similar to Jose Mendez, though a tiny bit worse. Slightly better shoulder seasons and more "hang-around value" is the difference between fourth and fourteenth on a tight ballot.
15. Vern Stephens - Played a decent shortstop and raked.

Top Ten Returnees Off Ballot
George Sisler - His 1920 season was great, but some durability issues in other peak/prime seasons keep him from rating higher. In integrated all-time rankings (MLB and NeL), he barely ranks among the top 35 at first base. Albert Pujols has already had four seasons that equal or far surpass Sisler's best and he'd probably fall on the wrong side of the HOM borderline if a truck driven by a deranged Cubs fan ran him over tomorrow.
Ralph Kiner - 1949 and 1951 were monster seasons with the bat. 1947 and 1948 were MVP-level, too. But those four seasons are all there really is to recommend him. Using OPS+ to argue that he and Keller are inseparable is misleading. More of Keller's OPS+ value is in the OBP portion. Furthermore, Keller's OBP is driven more by his batting average. These two advantages are small but very important.
Joe Sewell - Solid player who had a few All-Star level seasons, but stands out in comparison to his contemporaries only because of a drought in top-line talent at shortstop in the white majors. Lloyd, Wells, Moore and Lundy were all better than him. Appling and Cronin came into the league just as Sewell was finishing up his career at the hot corner for the Yankees. He rates in a virtual tie with Bancroft, far, far off my ballot.
Jake Beckley - He hung around forever. So did Jason in the "Friday the 13th" movies.
Hugh Duffy - Nice little player who lingers just off my ballot.
Billy Pierce - Eight seasons provide the meat for his HOM case (1950-53, 55-58). I have him as consistently very good in those seasons with four, maybe five All-Star seasons. He's not on my ballot, but I'm agnostic about his candidacy.
Ken Boyer - A couple of hairs behind Leach across the board, so he's in a cluster of about five to seven guys who are just off of my ballot.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2062549)
Expanding on a previous thought, best OPS+s, 100 or better, as a regular:

Sisler 181-70-61-57-54-40-32-10-10-06-01
Howard 180-73-72-54-51-46-38-27-14-05
RKiner 183-81-72-54-45-40-31-21-16

I have Kiner and Sisler in the 4-6 of my ballot, and I'll likely have Howard there, too.
I tend to like Kiner by a nose, but he does lose some pts for defense while gaining from at least a modicum of integrated play. Sisler's good-fielding 1st half of career makes him very close, given Howard's middlin' OF play.

You're talking about roughly 3 seasons as a superstar and 4-5 more as a serious banger. That's not too shabby, beyond the no-brainer HOMers.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2062554)
James Newburg,
About how much advantage would you give Keller for his OPS+ being weighted to OBP? If it's more than 3-4 OPS+ pts, I'd like to hear why....
   41. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:43 AM (#2062637)
Howie,

I'm not sure how I would express it in terms of OPS+ points. A ballpark guess would be another 3-4 points on top of the 152-149 advantage over Kiner.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2062906)
Well, that's reasonable, James.
From there it comes down to how to weigh the extent of Keller's war credit. I still like Kiner better, but I don't begrudge Keller fans. I just was making sure you meant a modest boost, which is quite fair...
   43. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:56 AM (#2063332)
1979 preliminary ballot

1. Willie Mays: what is there to say?

2. Bob Johnson: an outstanding hitter who took a while to make the majors but lasted, with little decline, to an old age. One of the most overlooked players in baseball history by the mainstream, probably because he played for crummy teams... why isn't he in yet?

3. Minnie Minoso: a well above-average hitter through age 38; modern career-length without modern medicine equals extreme durability. He seems to have been an average fielder, and seems primarily to have missed the HOF because of his relative power deficiency. I'm going to give credit for what players do well, not what they don't do, making him a solid selection.

4. Charley Jones: a really terrific hitter, and, at least according to the somewhat discredited range factor, an excellent outfielder. He also lasted till age 38, so he gets durability points from me. Count me among his “friends.”

5. Ralph Kiner: an eight-year dominant prime, and still dangerous at the end; decline due to back problems, but in later times likely could have continued playing. It's a short career, but this was a superstar... if Koufax is in, then Kiner is the hitter version.

6. George Van Haltren: a fine hitter during a long career for his era. A reasonably effective pitcher also, and appears to have been an average fielder. I'm troubled by the lack of SB% numbers for him, but speed was at least clearly an important part of his game.

7. Ernie Lombardi: a fine hitting catcher to an old age; a very valuable player for a long career.

8. Jimmy Ryan: some really good years, always above-average, and a long career, though he didn't add anything defensively. An impressive resume none-the-less.

9. Dutch Leonard: some really outstanding years, a lot of good ones, and a few below-average ones mixed in over a long career. This is partly a career-length sort of selection, but if you timmed the fat and went with the peak, he'd merit enshrinement.

10. Frank Howard: a really dominant hitter in his prime, and still effective in a reduced role when he walked away.

11. Quincy Trouppe: if Dr Chaleeko's MLEs can be trusted, this was an excellent and durable catcher, a quite deserving candidate.

12. Tommy Bridges: not durable for his era, but a fairly high peak essentially sustained though age 36. High K-rate is indicative of dominance in a period of inflated offense.

13. Rube Waddell: a high peak, with a very high K-rate for his era, and a long enough career for his time as well.

14. Sam Rice: this is an example of my personal biases, I suppose. He was never too far above average, but he was very consistent and lasted into his forties. He doesn't seem to have contributed much defensively (except for the one famous catch), but over all, I can't ignore the career length and leave him off. When it comes time, I'll be voting for Harold Baines, too.

15. George Sisler: high peak, decline due at least partially to eye ailment; still a slightly above-average hitter at retirement. A long-ish career for his time. Seems to have been a fairly good defensive player, and an effective pitcher, though not often used as such. Border-border-borderline candidate in my mind, but just barely in.

***

16. Burleigh Grimes: durable even for his time, and effective through age 37 albeit with several hiccoughs probably caused by pitching through injury. Very inconsistent, but with a high scattered peak. There at the end most of his opposing batters hadn't seen a spitter, but it was still legal for him to throw it.

17. Wally Schang: similar to Lombardi, but not quite as good, not quite as durable.

18. Bucky Walters: he had some odd off-years, but his peak is solid and he was effective at the advanced age for the time of 37. He was also a reasonable hitter for a pitcher.

19. Gavy Cravath: an outstanding hitter, regardless of league, through age 39. He was a defensive liability, but had he played 70 years later, I'd vote for him as a DH, so I can't dock him for being born too early.
   44. OCF Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:59 AM (#2063333)
Vaux, how would you compare Billy Pierce to the pitchers you like, notably Leonard and Bridges?
   45. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:01 AM (#2063356)
That's a really good question, OCF. If I took my ballot farther, Pierce would probably show up on this side of no. 25, so "why?"

Pierce had a long, consistent career and one year, 1955, better than any that Leonard or Bridges had. Lenoard lasted longer, and Bridges was more consistently dominant (in terms of league K/9 rank), but Pierce matches the latter's K/9 league ranking at his peak. It took a while for Pierce to get his command, but that was during an era with a BB spike. Pierce is just a notch below both of the others across the board in terms of career value for me, with about the same number of good years and not quite as good in most of them.
   46. OCF Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:07 AM (#2063359)
Bob Johnson: ... why isn't he in yet?

Discounting of his performances during WWII is one factor.
   47. karlmagnus Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM (#2063406)
Vaux, if you like Sam Rice, why don't you like Beckley? 11 points more OPS+ and lasted just as long. Plus a somewhat more valuable defensive position, owing to the changes in the game between 1895 and 1925.
   48. Ardo Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:04 PM (#2063410)
I keep getting the sinking sense that electing Frank Howard would be like electing Sam Thompson.

Expanding on a previous thought, best OPS+s, 100 or better, as a regular:

Sisler 181-70-61-57-54-40-32-10-10-06-01
Howard 180-73-72-54-51-46-38-27-14-05
RKiner 183-81-72-54-45-40-31-21-16

Sisler was an excellent athlete and defensive first baseman when he put up those OPS+ numbers. Konetchy may have been better, but our tools for measuring 1B defense are so crude that I prefer to go by his contemporaries' (uniformly great) opinions.

Howard and Kiner were both corner OF's. Kiner was below average in the field. Howard was even worse. I'll let the worthy Thane of Bagarth do the talking:

I can't help but notice that the easily dismissed Johnny Callison's WARP numbers are almost identical in career value to Howard's, and, in fact, Callison has a higher peak/prime. Howard's entire offensive advantage is offset by Callison's defensive advantage.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:32 PM (#2063419)
"Howard's entire offensive advantage is offset by Callison's defensive advantage."

Well, Callison was a better fielder. That we know by many measures, including anecdotal.
And a metric that some apparently believe measures defensive value as accurately as OPS+ measures offensive value has these two players rated similarly overall.

But it is one mighty leap to go from there to that statement above.

Yes, it would be awfully convenient for us if defense was as manageable a measurement as offense.
But in spite of the efforts of that metric, it just isn't so.
   50. Chris Cobb Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:11 PM (#2063440)
"Howard's entire offensive advantage is offset by Callison's defensive advantage."

Well, Callison was a better fielder. That we know by many measures, including anecdotal.
And a metric that some apparently believe measures defensive value as accurately as OPS+ measures offensive value has these two players rated similarly overall.

But it is one mighty leap to go from there to that statement above.


It is not a mighty leap: it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion based on the available evidence. It is not the only reasonable conclusion. I would suggest that, in evaluating players with high defensive value versus players with high batting value, players with the high defensive value, which is less reliably measured than batting value, should be ranked on a principle similar to the principle used when ranking NeL players against major league players. Obviously, there is more uncertainty involved in the assessment of defensive value than in offensive value. But voters should make their best judgment, based on the evidence, of what that defensive value is, and rank the players accordingly. If one systematically downgrades defensive value merely because we are less certain about measuring it, then defensive stars will be unfairly underrepresented in the HoM.
   51. Al Peterson Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2063475)
Bob Johnson: ... why isn't he in yet?

Discounting of his performances during WWII is one factor.


As one of his friends I'll add the following:

1. Win Shares just doesn't think highly of Indian Bob. Other metrics place him much higher among the backlog. The bad teams he was on just ate him up.

2. Johnson lives in that grey area where he wasn't ultra peak or ultra career. Voters tend to align to the ends of peak/career and there he is lost.

3. The late start to his ML career and abrupt end means he doesn't get credit for extended playing time, the filling out of his career. Spending 3 1/2 years in the PCL before joining the A's, for reasons we don't totally know, doesn't help. Personally some MiL credit goes his way from me.

4. The death blow was probably Joe Medwick. In the 1st year Ducky was eligible it went Medwick 30 ballots, Johnson 5. Medwick went down the road toward election and to many people that filled up that era for representation. Yet are they so divergent? I never felt that way but that's a minority opinion.

So I'll get to vote for Bob Johnson for the next 25 years...
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:15 PM (#2063485)
>then defensive stars will be unfairly underrepresented in the HoM.

Defensive stars like Johnny Callison?

Rabbit Maranville would be a more credible example.
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2063489)
Johnson's numbers are nice, sure, but he was arguably not one of the top 10 OF of his time. Not so different from Medwick maybe, though there is the little matter of a peak. But even discounting that difference, a line has to be drawn somewhere and there's always somebody on the other side that is close.

And as for his WS numbers reflecting (apparently) nothing other than bad teams, well, that's a hypothesis. If WS is accurate +/- 5 percent with 95 percent confidence--and I think we all or mostly agree that it is right 95 percent of the time--then how do we know it is wrong in this case? Then what about Chuck Klein? Ralph Kiner racked up a lot of WS some years, but maybe he is undervalued too.

The problem isn't "if Ducky, then Bob." The problem is "if Bob, then....."
   54. KJOK Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2063507)
If one systematically downgrades defensive value merely because we are less certain about measuring it, then defensive stars will be unfairly underrepresented in the HoM.

Not sure I agree. If your metrics or measurement of defense are less certain, then you should certainly be regressing those numbers to the mean, which WILL mean that '30 wins' of offense ranks higher than '30 wins' of defense.
   55. DL from MN Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2063514)
Vaux might actually bring up my consensus score.

Baseballanalysts.com take on why Bob Johnson stayed in the PCL
"He did not play professionally until Wichita of the Western League signed him in 1929. Johnson played in 145 games at two levels and batted .262 with 21 HR while slugging .503. After again hitting 21 HR (in just over 500 AB) the following season in Portland, he went to spring training with the Philadelphia A's but didn't make the roster due to his inability to hit the curveball. Over the next two seasons in the minors, Johnson batted a combined .334 with 51 HR while slugging .567 and showing both patience at the plate and a powerful throwing arm in the outfield.

Opportunity knocked in 1933 as Connie Mack sold off veteran Al Simmons to the White Sox leaving Johnson and Lou Finney to battle for the leftfield job in spring training. Johnson won the job and had an excellent freshman season at age 27...

AVG/ OBP/ SLG Runs 2B 3B HR RBI OPS+ RCAA
.290/.387/.505 103 44 4 21 93 134 37
...and was generally considered the league's finest rookie."

Apparently they didn't have curve balls in the PCL because he tore up those leagues. I think it is entirely reasonable to give Bob Johnson two seasons of minor league credit. He got noticed by Philly and it was a poor decision to return him to the minors for 2 seasons as his stats show convincingly. Philly having Al Simmons on the roster highly influenced that decision. I have Bob Johnson #2 on my ballot and I am not even bothering to give him minor league credit (though I'm not docking him for the WWII numbers). There is even some career bulk value in 1946 back in the PCL though he clearly wasn't an all-star any more.
   56. DavidFoss Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2063530)
FYI -- Bob Johnson has his own thread.

Cool new stuff should be copied there because the "1979 Ballot Discussion" will be quite hard to find after a few weeks.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2063571)
Well, I dunno. Connie Mack watched Johnson play and thought that he couldn't hit a ML curve ball. MiL curve balls often are not quite as good. Can we really sit here and say we in 2006, not having seen Johnson play, know better than Connie Mack in 1931, after watching him, that Johnson was ready to play ML ball?

PS. If electing Frank Howard would be like electing Sam Thompson (and it doesn't sound like that is meant as a good thing) then consider that Thompson's OPS+ is better than Bob Johnson's. (Howard > Thompson > Johnson)
   58. Mark Donelson Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2063637)
Posted this in the Mays thread by accident:

Yeah, Sam Thompson isn't close to the worst HOMer, IMO. Comparing Howard to him is an argument for Howard's election to many of us.
   59. Chris Cobb Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:39 PM (#2063658)
Defensive stars like Johnny Callison?

Rabbit Maranville would be a more credible example.


No metric, including WARP, suggests that Johnny Callison is a HoMer. However, WARP, by valuing defense more highly than does win shares, indicates that clear non-HoMer Callison and Frank Howard, who looks like a borderline HoMer in win shares, are actually very similar in value. If WARP's analysis is closer to the truth than the win shares analysis, then, essentially,

I've begun work on some posts that will deal with the issue of defensive value in relation to Maranville and other standout defensive players, most of whom are shortstops. However, the argument about defensive value needs to be taken up at the systemic level. There is some, but not much, disagreement about who the best defensive players are. There is much more disagreement about how much defense matters, and those disagreements can only be resolved by discussions of the metrics and of aggregate fielding data.

For example, it was crucial to our proper handling of the 19th-century players for the electorate to reach broad agreement that win shares undervalued 19th-century fielding. I think it would be valuable for us to examine closely the metrics' treatment of 20th-century fielding. It's not going to matter in 80% of cases, as most of the time, the great players are strong on both offense and defense. But when we make selections at the borderline, it is going to matter, and so far, the hitters have been getting the borderline slots, and most of the borderline discussion as well.

Not sure I agree. If your metrics or measurement of defense are less certain, then you should certainly be regressing those numbers to the mean, which WILL mean that '30 wins' of offense ranks higher than '30 wins' of defense.

Why should uncertainty of this sort lead to regression? The problem is not sample size, but interpretation of the evidence. If the goal of our study is to avoid potentially large and consistent errors of evaluation in a comprehensive metric, then yes, regressing fielding values would make some sense. James built his fielding win share system, with this kind of caution in mind. But that is not our goal. Our goal is to find the most meritorious players. If we regress fielding values to the mean, then our analysis will systematically lower the value of the top defensive players and systematically raise the value of the worst defensive players, thus making more of the variance between players depend upon hitting value.
   60. Chris Cobb Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2063666)
Whoops! I posted the wrong draft! The first paragraph above should read:

No metric, including WARP, suggests that Johnny Callison is a HoMer. However, WARP, by valuing defense more highly than does win shares, indicates that clear non-HoMer Callison and Frank Howard, who looks like a borderline HoMer in win shares, are actually very similar in value. If WARP's analysis is closer to the truth than the win shares analysis, then, essentially, players like Howard are being advantaged at the expense of players like Maranville. Callison's ranking is simply a marker that puts attention on a systemic evaluation issue.
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2063672)
>I've begun work on some posts that will deal with the issue of defensive value in relation to Maranville and other standout defensive players, most of whom are shortstops.

This of course is most welcome. Many years ago one of the first sabermetric works I saw was a rating of SSs in the BRJ. Honus Wagner of course came out #1, but imagine my surprise that Dave Bancroft came out #2. This of course was before Ripken or Yount or Ozzie. But how do I know that if we value SS defense correctly that maybe Bancroft wasn't the 2nd most valuable SS ever through the 1970s? (Maranville did not score as highly. The article if I recall was by Neft and/or Palmer?)
   62. DL from MN Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#2063688)
Connie Mack was also well documented as strong resister of integration. This didn't seem to extend to Native Americans though; he discovered Chief Bender and raved about Sockalexis. I think it's more likely Bob Johnson was just blocked by Al Simmons.

Al Simmons
Year ABS .AVG .OBP .SLG OPS+
1931 513 .390 .444 .641 176
1932 670 .322 .368 .548 130

Mule Haas
1931 440 .323 .366 .475 114
1932 558 .305 .376 .405 99

Bing Miller
1931 534 .281 .338 .425 97

Doc Cramer
1932 384 .336 .367 .461 110
   63. jingoist Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2063753)
As much as I personally like Frank Howard I would be hard put to claim he was in a group of the top 250-300 ballplayers of all-time.
Likewise Chuck Klein and Bob Johnson.
I imagine a Keltner list done on any/all of these folks would inevitably lead an unbiased observer to conclude none of them deserved entry.

Observation: t seems to me that it's a real challange to compare an athletic 5-skill type player like Minoso with one/two dimensional guys like Kiner or Howard.
Which is more valuable to his team and why?
Very difficult indeed.
   64. Paul Wendt Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2063790)
4. Wally Schang - His BBRef page says, "The ONLY great offensive catcher of the World War I era, and solid defensively as well. His greatness has been recognized in the BaseballEvolution.com Hall of Fame."

presumably paid by one of Asher, Keith, and Scott, the three guys who elected the BEHOF on a single Yes-Maybe-No ballot, so far


If WS is accurate +/- 5 percent with 95 percent confidence--and I think we all or mostly agree that it is right 95 percent of the time-

I'm not sure precisely what you mean but I doubt that we agree on it. At this point, it maybe useful to observe that if you consider "300 career win shares is a Hall of Famer" both Medwick at 312 and Johnson at 287 are in the range where Win Shares isn't sure.

Here's an excercise that may be informative for any user of the career Win Shares rating.
- On the alltime cWS list, look at the group with 285-289 and the group with 310-314. How many of the comparisons between one from group A and one from group B does the rating get right, in your opinion?
- Repeat for all possible pairs of cWS ratings :-)
- At which pairs of points A and B on the alltime cWS list, such as 287 and 312, is the cWS judgment "one from group B better than one from group A" correct 95% of the time?
- Now interpret your findings. You may think you need a computer to do it accurately but it doesn't matter because you will never get this far.

The exercise might be "easier" using a degree of confidence such as 67%.
   65. DL from MN Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2063801)
Why are people hung up on the Keltner list? The Keltner list was designed to see if a player belongs in the Hall of Fame. This is is the Hall of Merit.

Bob Johnson was an athletic 5-skill type player and he hit better than Minoso. I like them both but I think Johnson put up numbers longer. What we're trying to figure out with the 2nd spot on this ballot is "Was this player between the 250th and 300th best player of all time." You're sliding down the bell curve which makes the differences marginal and highly dependent on opportunity. Still, the list must be sorted.
   66. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2063813)
Why are people hung up on the Keltner list? The Keltner list was designed to see if a player belongs in the Hall of Fame. This is is the Hall of Merit.
To push the point forward, I think the Keltner list is supposed to say whether someone is a good HOF <u>candidate</u>, not even necessarily a HOFer. If you look at the chapters in tPoG/WEHttHoF?, James Keltners Cepeda and Oliva, and his finding after is: both men are well-qualified candidates. He doesn't say "should be HOFs" or "are HOFers."
   67. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2064082)
I did bump Johnson up in my rankings because he was so good right away; it seems likely therefore that he'd have been ready sooner, given his age by that time.

WWII is a quandry, but there really isn't a significant difference between Johnson's performance before the war and during it. I know that OPS+ has flaws, and isn't an uberstat, but it is adjusted for overall run-scoring environment, which helps to mitigate the problem of the diluted league. Of course, how we take Johnson's similarity of OPS+ throuhout his career depends on how naturally optimistic we are, particularly his outlying 1944. I think that 1944 was the most diminished year, and Johnson accordingly hit even better than his peers, indicating that he'd have been the same c.130 hitter if it had still been 1940.

Of course, then we have the question of whether such a player is an HOMer. I can see why someone wouldn't, but with my balance of effectiveness and long-term durability, I think he's surely one of the top 300 hittes at least, and his defense doesn't hurt him badly.


Beckley somehow slipped my mind. I think he probably is going to push Johnson down to third on my actual ballot, in fact. And that pushes Sisler out, amazingly enough.
   68. Rick A. Posted: June 15, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2064158)
John,

I'll be on vacation next week. Could you please move my ballot over to the ballot thread when it shows up?

Thanks

PHOM
Willie Mays
Jim Bunning

1. Willie Mays – I’ve got him as better than Mantle. And I’m a Yankees fan. Elected PHOM in 1979
2. Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1921.
3. Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year prime at important position. Elected PHOM in 1939.
4. Pete Browning – Great hitter. Elected PHOM in 1925
5. Jose Mendez – Looking at the Negro League pitchers thread shows I may have been underrating him. Elected PHOM in 1942.
6. Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. I like him better than Waddell. Elected PHOM in 1945.
7. Dick Redding – Error in spreadsheet moves him up. Elected PHOM in 1968
8. Ed Williamson – He’s back. I was talked into the idea that I overestimated him in the past, but decided I was right the first time. Elected PHOM in 1958
9. Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Elected PHOM in 1960.
10. Burleigh Grimes – Higher peak than Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1961
11. Hugh Duffy – Finally elected to my PHOM. Been on the fringes forever. Great defender Elected PHOM in 1970
12. Ralph Kiner – These high peak, short career players are the hardest for me to evaluate. Incredible peak and enough prime value to make my ballot. Elected PHOM in 1971.
13. Bucky Walters – Peak pitchers get a big boost in reevaluation. Elected PHOM in 1972
14. Dizzy Dean – Moves up due to big years bonus. Elected PHOM in 1973.
15. Edd Roush – Forgot to give him some credit for his holdouts. I’m giving credit to C. Jones blacklist years and plan to give credit for strikes, so I should give credit for holdouts. Elected PHOM in 1975.

Requierd Disclosures
Sisler and Minoso Just miss my ballot
Sewell Not as good as Gordon, Doerr, Doyle, Monroe, Fox, Rizzuto, or Stephens among MI
Beckley No peak

New Candidates
Luis Aparicio Like Bancroft, Maranville, Tinker and Long better.
Frank Howard Ranked in the 30's. Not quite Kiner or Johnson.

Off the ballot
16-20 Bresnahan,Oms,Minoso,Sisler,Cravath
21-25 Monroe,Waddell,EHoward,CMays,Fox
26-30 Johnson,Elliott,FHoward,Trouppe,McGraw
31-35 WCooper,Doyle,Leach,Boyer,Stephens
36-40 FJones,Matlock,HWilson,Keller,Rizzuto
41-45 Poles,HSmith,Newcombe,Tiernan,Winters
46-50 Rosen,Bond,Schang,ACooper,Van Haltren
   69. Howie Menckel Posted: June 15, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2064244)
I guess this is apropos...

HOM by pct at position, thru 1978

HOM batters by percentage of games played at position (min. 10 pct at a position, or it's not 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 (44.30) - 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, Clemente 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 (41.18) - 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, Wilhelm 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.

INF: 59.22
OF:: 43.30
P::: 41.18
   70. Babe Adams Posted: June 15, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#2064492)
This of course is most welcome. Many years ago one of the first sabermetric works I saw was a rating of SSs in the BRJ. Honus Wagner of course came out #1, but imagine my surprise that Dave Bancroft came out #2. This of course was before Ripken or Yount or Ozzie. But how do I know that if we value SS defense correctly that maybe Bancroft wasn't the 2nd most valuable SS ever through the 1970s? (Maranville did not score as highly. The article if I recall was by Neft and/or Palmer?)

Lurker here. The great article by David S. Neft, "Is Ozzie Smith Worth $2 Million a Season", appeared in The National Pastime, I'd guess in 1986 or 1987 because it covered seasons through 1985.
   71. Babe Adams Posted: June 15, 2006 at 03:10 AM (#2064497)
Oh, I believe it's just an updated version of the BRJ article.
   72. Brent Posted: June 15, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#2064549)
It appears that the electorate may be ready to elect a hitter from the backlog who had a long career and an impressive peak. Before we do so, however, I’d like to ask that we elect the best player of that type.

George Sisler had a near contemporary (born 12 years earlier) who nearly matched his hitting performance (relative to league) for his 7 best seasons, but also hit well during the remainder of a career of similar length. This contemporary played in the majors until age 39--two years older than Sisler’s last season. I speak of Gavy Cravath.

Compare their statistics during their 7-year peaks. (I allow for a one-year discontinuity in Cravath’s peak because of the adjustment when he entered the National League.)
Average statisticsSisler 1916-22Cravath 1910-1113-17

Player        G  AB   H 2B 3B HR  BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Sisler      143 575 210 34 14  8  40 .365 .410 .519 .929          
Rel
-to-lg                             132  119  139  157  
Cravath     147 507 152 31 10 16  78 .301 .396 .495 .891
Rel
-to-lg                             114  120  140  160
*Seasons adjusted to 162-game schedule 

Now compare Sisler’s 8 remaining seasons with Cravath:
Average statisticsSisler 191524-30Cravath 1906-91218-20

Player        G  AB   H 2B 3B HR  BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Sisler      136 548 174 24  8  6  26 .317 .351 .422 .773          
Rel
-to-lg                             107   96  101   97  
Cravath     110 345  91 21  5  6  48 .265 .356 .407 .891
Rel
-to-lg                             101  110  120  129
*Seasons adjusted to 162-game schedule 

A 32-point difference on OPS+.

To be fair, Sisler has several advantages: His biggest season (181 OPS+) was bigger than Cravath’s (172). Although WS and BP agree that over their careers both Sisler and Cravath were mediocre fielders, these metrics also indicate that during his peak years Sisler was above average with the glove. Sisler continued to play regularly throughout his career, while Cravath was a pinch hitter and manager/part-time player during his last couple of seasons.

But do these advantages make up for a 32-point difference on OPS+ over 8 seasons? I can’t see it. I think Cravath belongs ahead of Sisler.

Yes, the record of Cravath that I am citing includes 5 seasons of MLEs for minor league experience. (See the Gavy Cravath thread.) I would like to emphasize that we were conservative in compiling these MLEs. We adjusted for park effects; we down-weighted the Pacific Coast League because of questions about its quality during the aughts; and these statistics include only 5 of Cravath's 10 seasons in the highest minor leagues. I believe that they provide an accurate record of his baseball performance during the years shown above. I don't believe that throwing out his minor league record would contribute to our goal of identifying the greatest baseball players in history.

I hope that more voters will consider the case for Cravath.
   73. KJOK Posted: June 15, 2006 at 05:34 AM (#2064572)
Why should uncertainty of this sort lead to regression? The problem is not sample size, but interpretation of the evidence.

Because regression is very specifically for UNCERTAINTY! When you have a small sample size, the sample size itself is not really 'the problem', it's that the sample is not sufficient to know WITH A HIGH DEGREE OF CERTAINTY whether the item being measured is being 'correctly' reflected by the sampling.

So wether the uncertainty is caused by low sampling or by unreliable measurement is irrelevant. Both should lead to regression of the sampled value.

As an example, let's say we have 2 players:

PLAYER A PETE BROWNING - 100 OFFENSIVE WINS, 0 DEFENSIVE WINS.
PLAYER B RABBIT MARANVILLE - 0 OFFENSIVE WINS, 100 DEFENSIVE WINS.

Our offensive measuring metric is accurate to within 1%. Our defensive measuring metric is accurate to within 25%, evenly distributed around the 'mean'. Our "HOM CUTOFF" is 90 offensive wins.

With no regression, we would vote both in. However, while with player A we are 100% certain he's a HOM'er, with player B there is a 30% chance that he is actually BELOW the cutoff point and NOT a HOM player.
   74. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 15, 2006 at 10:17 AM (#2064611)
I wasn't doing this, so I want to make sure others are aware that Urban Shocker deserves 1/2 season of military service credit for 1918. Since he's very borderline for me and was pitching great before he went to serve, it actually nudges him up my ballot more than I would have thought.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2006 at 12:52 PM (#2064632)
John,

I'll be on vacation next week. Could you please move my ballot over to the ballot thread when it shows up?

Thanks


Will do, Rick.
   76. andrew siegel Posted: June 15, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#2064638)
I'm off to Maine for 10 days. John, please transfer this to the ballot thread. Thanks.

(1) Mays (new)--Moves ahead of Mantle, but only with the aid of league strength adjustments.
(2)Keller (3rd)--One notch better for his prime than guys like Moore, Sisler, Kiner, and Berger.
(3) Roush (4th)--Solid CF who always ranked in the top 10 in his league offensively. Solid prime; solid career.
(4) Mendez (5th)--Looks like Bob Lemon, or perhaps Rube Waddell with a brain and a bat.
(5) Leach (6th)--Lots of All-Star seasons by every metric.
(6) Cravath (8th)--My gradual reconsideration of all old candidates shows that I dropped the ball with him. Great--though scattered prime--and 300-plus WS.
(7) Minoso (7th)--Has the prime; negro league credit gives him the career. Ranks very highly among 1950s position players. His prime close enough to Clemente's to raise eyebrows.
(8) Sisler (9th)--If you look at how an informed fan would have ranked him among all the players in the majors at the end of his good years, those numbers are VERY high; peak is quite good when short seasons and league quality are taken into account.
(9) Sewell (10th)--Doprs a bit when I do season to season comparisons to sisler but still fully qualified.
(10) Duffy (11th)--This week only giving him partial extra credit for all the excess offensive WS.
(11) Van Haltren (12th)--Very good for a very long time, but lots of good 1890s OF's.
(12) Pierce (13th)--Ranks strongly among 1950s ptichers.
(13) Trouppe (14th)--Best catcher on ballot.
(14) Oms (15th)--Fully qualified but era and position are well-represented.
(15) Bob Elliot (new/18th)-- Noses Bob Johnson for ballot spot.

Redding's numbers don't impress me; I run hot and cold on Beckley but was fairly peruaded by Kelly's lists (he's in the 20's for me right now); Kiner only had 4 years that scream superstar--that's just not enough.

Frank Howard is off ballot but hard to place--he might be near Kiner (which would place him in the 20's); he might be near Wally Berger (in the 30's); he might be near Colavito/ Fournier/Tiernan (40's or 50's) or he might be near Klein and Hack Wilson (somewhere around 70). I'm working on it.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2006 at 01:20 PM (#2064652)
I'm off to Maine for 10 days. John, please transfer this to the ballot thread. Thanks.

Got it, Andrew. Hope you and Rick enjoy yourselves.
   78. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 15, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2064658)
Andrew (and Rick?), if you're passing through Southeastern Maine, drop a line. First round is on me.
   79. Chris Cobb Posted: June 15, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2064759)
KJOK wrote:

PLAYER A PETE BROWNING - 100 OFFENSIVE WINS, 0 DEFENSIVE WINS.
PLAYER B RABBIT MARANVILLE - 0 OFFENSIVE WINS, 100 DEFENSIVE WINS.

Our offensive measuring metric is accurate to within 1%. Our defensive measuring metric is accurate to within 25%, evenly distributed around the 'mean'. Our "HOM CUTOFF" is 90 offensive wins.

With no regression, we would vote both in. However, while with player A we are 100% certain he's a HOM'er, with player B there is a 30% chance that he is actually BELOW the cutoff point and NOT a HOM player


This is an excellent example of exactly the use of regression that I am arguing against, and it is exactly the same evaluative case we faced when deciding how to rank Negro-League players against major-league ones.

If we knew that 90 wins was the all-time in-out line and we were taking everybody above that line, there might be a reason to prefer Player A to Player B, though we would probably elect Player B also.

The real case, however, is that the in-out line for the HoM is not fixed: only the number of HoMers is fixed. If the borderline is somewhere between 90 and 100 career wins, as modified by peak considerations, but we systematically downgrade players who have a high percentage of their value from fielding, then the consequence will be that some players whose value is primarily in hitting or pitching will be elected who would not have been otherwise.

Let me put it another way. Since we are comparing players to each other, and not to a fixed, agreed-upon cut-off, uncertainty always cuts two ways. Yes, there is the possibility that Player B was actually 20% worse than Player A in KJOK’s example above. But it is equally possible that player B was actually 20% better than Player A. Ranking Player B below Player A is ignoring these possibilities.

One might argue that, since we are less certain about Player B, we should wait, in hopes of more reliable measures being developed later. That way we avoid making a mistake. That argument doesn’t wash, because we are going to elect somebody. If we hold off on Player B, there’s still a Player C who is going to be elected. If Player B is actually worse than Player C, we will have made the right choice. But there is an equal chance that Player B is actually better than Player C, and we will have made the wrong choice.

Because of the design of our election system, we cannot diminish the probability of error by ranking one class of players more conservatively than another. The end result of such a practice would only be that our mistakes would consistently favor one class of player over another.

The only fair way to rank the players is to place each at the value we each determine is most likely for that player and rank them in relation to each other accordingly.
   80. DL from MN Posted: June 15, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#2064772)
I'm with you Chris.
   81. Ardo Posted: June 15, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2065033)
This enlightened and subtle discussion has really helped me. I had been going 50/50 on run scoring/run prevention, and now I need to adjust my rankings.

A question: The 1960's, of course, were a historic low-offense era. Does that mean that Bill James's 48/52 Win Shares distribution should be skewed slightly more towards run prevention?

Say the average team scores 200 runs/year (I know - highly improbable). Adding 50 runs, to 250, is a 20% increase. Subtracting 50 runs, to 150, is a 25% decrease. In this climate, the proper distribution would be 4 to 5, or 44/56. Is this correct?
   82. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 15, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2065047)
to continue ardo's thought, does that mean that the "correct" hitting/defense split should vary according to the R/G? Or does James account for that somewhere (I don't recall it, but I'm not near my copy of the book).
   83. TomH Posted: June 15, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2065124)
Well, it's not quite so simple....

In a low-scoring environment, each hit or home run adds fewer runs (since there are fewer runners on base). So while adding a single run on offense is not as valuable when games are 6-4 instead of 4-3, it's easier for a hitter to generate more runs when it's 6-5, so this seems to balance out.

James used a 52-48 split, if I understand correctly, because it 'worked' in his eyes. And it 'worked' because of where he drew the replacement level.

Offense and defense are 50-50 in MLB, in MISL, in the NBA, NFL, NHL, etc. Can an ace pitcher dominate a plyaoff? Sure. But then you're merely taking away more of the 'run prevention' 50% from the other pitchers, not adding more weight to run prevention.

Said another way, if baseball were like the Super Bowl and the World Series was one game, at first glance, the starting pitchers would obviously be by far the most crucial players. BUT.... if the World Series was one game with a week buildup, strategies would quickly develop that would change the dynamic: such as four ptichers tossing 2 IP each, pinch-hit for each time up, bringing in a lefty every time Babe Ruth was up, etc.

A long rabbit trail to say that off/def is 50-50, forever and ever amen.
   84. Dizzypaco Posted: June 15, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2065162)
It may or may not be 50/50. It might be 52/48. It might even be 54/46 under the right cirucumstances. But its never 60/40, or 65/35. And the general implication is, offense is simply more important than defense, when it comes to position players.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2065175)
Thanks to Mr. Greenia, the necrology has been added at the top.
   86. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 15, 2006 at 09:10 PM (#2065386)
In the necrology above, Joe Gordon is a HoMer, not a candidate . . .
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2006 at 09:22 PM (#2065392)
In the necrology above, Joe Gordon is a HoMer, not a candidate . . .

Thanks, Joe. I'll correct that.
   88. jimd Posted: June 15, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2065413)
PLAYER A PETE BROWNING - 100 OFFENSIVE WINS, 0 DEFENSIVE WINS.
PLAYER B RABBIT MARANVILLE - 0 OFFENSIVE WINS, 100 DEFENSIVE WINS.

Our offensive measuring metric is accurate to within 1%. Our defensive measuring metric is accurate to within 25%, evenly distributed around the 'mean'. Our "HOM CUTOFF" is 90 offensive wins.


IOW
Pete Browning, estimated value 100, plus or minus 1 (99-101).
Rabbit Maranville, estimated value 100, plus or minus 25 (75-125).

Those who say that this hypothetical Rabbit should be evaluated at 75 are taking a very large and significant risk of missing a truly great player (125). The situation is totally analogous to the evaluation of the NeL players. Using the most conservative evaluation factor risks missing great players because "we're not sure". You have to take the most likely value (100) which is neither the most conservative evaluation (75) nor the most radical one (125). Different people will come up with different values around 100 because of the different weights assigned to the various pieces of evidence, but a weight of 0 (or near 0) to that evidence is as unacceptable here as it was in evaluating the NeL'ers.
   89. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 15, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#2065415)
Wow, Junior Gilliam went young.
   90. jimd Posted: June 15, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2065425)
does that mean that the "correct" hitting/defense split should vary according to the R/G?

When WS first came out, tangotiger argued that the "correct" offense/defense split was one that would balance the effective replacement levels for each side on a pythagorean basis. IOW, around 39/61 for Win Shares. I would suppose that varying the pythagorean exponent for the R/G environment might be appropriate; whether it makes much of a difference, I don't know.
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 16, 2006 at 01:58 AM (#2065640)
Regarding #87 - thanks John - my PC wasn't cooperating at the time, or I would have corrected it myself . . .

Regarding #88, I agree with jim wholeheartedly.

Regarding #90, I can see that, I have replacement level for position players at 11.3 WS per 154 game season, and pitchers at 6.0 per 220 IP. I'd still have a hard time pulling the trigger on a 39/61 split, but I can absolutely see the logic.
   92. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 16, 2006 at 02:06 AM (#2065654)
When you're done electing players into the HoM (only about a year away!) are youzez going to focus on electing off-field people? I've generally figured so, if for no other reason than to cope with the horrible withdrawl. If so, you might want to look at this on managers.

And why yes, that is a gratuitous self-promotion right there.
   93. Daryn Posted: June 16, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#2065690)
Got it, Andrew. Hope you and Rick enjoy yourselves.

Our first HoM couple...how sweet.
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 16, 2006 at 11:40 AM (#2065829)
Our first HoM couple...how sweet.

I was waiting for someone to take that angle. :-D
   95. mulder & scully Posted: June 16, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2066187)
I wanted to state the reasons I wrote up Keltner Lists for Welch, Jennings, Charley Jones, Duffy, and Beckley.

In many discussions about various players, it seemed like posters would focus on one single factor. I thought it would be a good idea to have a broad survey of all the positive and negative attributes of a player, at least to me. I did not know of the best way to do this. A Keltner List seemed like the best format to encompass all the positives and negatives. I know what the Keltner List was originally for, but did not know of any better framework.

I thought it could be adapted for the Hall of Merit purpose. I believed knowing if a player was considered the best at his position/in the league/on his team would be important factors. I thought it would be important to know how a player ranked among his contemporaries and, narrowly, among other players at his position of his time. I thought it would be important to see how a player ranked among other greats at his position throughout time. I thought it would be important to see if the player contributed in pennant races or if they made some other contribution to their team. I thought looking at both career and yearly accomplishments would be important.

I know Keltner Lists are weighted to the peak side. I believe that is a valid way to focus one's attention. After all, the point of playing is to win the pennant and to contribute as much as possible toward winning the pennant. However, when I wrote the things, I also tried to include as much career information and rankings as I could. But, there will always be fewer career arguments though. A player only has one career of achievements - total homers or wins or ranking. A player has many seasons of achievements - best on his team/in his league/ranking in various statistics/MVP/gold glove, etc. There is just more to talk about seasonally, than career-wise.

I thought knowing all these things or at least trying to understand all these things would make me a more informed voter. Rather than just looking at numbers on a BB-Ref page, I tried to place the player into his context. I thought a rigorous examination of a player would be helpful to the debate. If someone has another, more thorough way of looking at the entirety of a player's career please let me know because I would like to take everything into account when I come back around 1985 or so.

See ya around 1985 or so...
   96. rawagman Posted: June 16, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#2066320)
AKA....Kelly - sorry you won't be here for the next (3 months?)

I have been, and will continue to be fairly busy for the next little while, so I probably won't be active on the boards.
But I'll find the time to evaluate the new candidates and hand in ballots.
Here's my prelim for my birth-year, 1979. Number's 1 & 4 were elected last week. Luis Aparicio and Frank Howard were good, but nowhere near my ballot and not currently in the top 75. Aparicio might jump when I relook at my placements for true glove men who had weak bats. I sometimes doubt I'm giving them a fair shake. Pappas doesn't really interest me at all.

1)Willie Mays - NOw I know what a true great looks like. I think it's fair to say that he was one of the 5 greatest men ever to weild a baseball bat. (PHOM)
2)Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, super glove. (PHOM)
3)Rube Waddell - Nothing in his resume tells me he wasn't a dominant pitcher (PHOM)
4)Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). No longer the best hitter in that group, either (WIllie Mays). (PHOM)
5)Joe Sewell (PHOM)
6)Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him behind only Waddell as far as pitchers go in my eyes (PHOM)
7)George Sisler - Highly comparable with Banks. Main difference is that Banks did his good work while at SS and Sisler at 1B. I've heard mixed reports about his defense, being either a little better than average up to very good+. I can take each with a grain of salt and be happy with this placement. Makes my PHoM just in time for what hopefully will be his inclusion into the real HoM (PHoM)
((7a)Cool Papa Bell))
8)Jose Mendez
((8a)Willard Brown - I had been underestimating him severely. His reputation enhances his already wonderful numbers.))
9)Ben Taylor - Reevaluation gets him on the ballot. Can't find the peak, but a better prime and glove than Beckley. This ranking may be an understatement.
10)Edd Roush - I found it in me (and Edd's numbers) to move him up a bit in the list. An exceptional hitter and fielder.
11)Ralph Kiner - So much black ink, so little time. Super Peak!
12)Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? Great bat, good glove.
13)Quincy Trouppe - Not an easy call, but I think he's the best available catcher
((13a)Biz Mackey - I was really underestimating both his offense and his reputation))
14) Minnie Minoso - still very good. Maybe a wee bit overrated.
15)Tommy Bridges - He was really very good.
((15a)Don Drysdale - Not yet, DD))

16)Nellie Fox - Low OPS+, but he is an exception to that measurement. SLG is negligible for him, he did quite well with the rest
17)Ken Boyer - so close. Still my highest ranking 3B. At least for now.
18)Wally Berger - super-underrated
19)Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
20)Jake Beckley - Always very good. No peak, all prime. Defense is overrated. I have read about his arm being so weak (and erratic) that runners were able to take the extra base on him. Not sure how that works at 1B, but worth noting.
   97. Brent Posted: June 17, 2006 at 04:11 AM (#2066736)
Frank Howard [was] good, but nowhere near my ballot and not currently in the top 75.

11)Ralph Kiner - So much black ink, so little time. Super Peak!


It's hard for me to see such a large a gap between them. Howard's peak OPS+ was near to Kiner's and he played 400 more games. Black ink is heavily influenced by park factors -- Kiner benefited from Kiner's Korner, while Hondo had to contend with Dodgers Stadium and RFK. I think the criticism of Howard's defense may be a bit overstated. Many or most teams in the 1950s and 60s had a slow corner outfielder whose job was to hammer the ball. Howard had a good arm and was an ok fielder in the first half of his career until he started putting on weight. (And Kiner wasn't a great fielder either.) I'm placing Howard slightly ahead of Kiner, though both will be just off ballot in the 18-25 range.
   98. rawagman Posted: June 17, 2006 at 06:40 AM (#2066797)
Kiner>Howard.
OPS+ is close, but not close enough (149-142) In an exercize like this one, that is significant.
Kiner had more than triple the black ink. Defensively (which I don't put huge stock in for a corner OF) Kiner grades for me as passable, while Hondo was a DH waiting to happen.
If that wasn't enough, I like Kiner's 6 AS game appearances in a shorter career than I like Hondo's 4 in a longer one.

Ultimately, it's mostly a peak thing - I love Kiner's. Hondo's was nice, but not enough. There are plenty of other LF's (I have 9) between them.
   99. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2066875)
Looking at how many HOMers played in each league since 1902 (it took the AL one year to catch up). These are players with at least 10 G that year:

NATIONAL LEAGUE
1902-25 - 8 to 10 HOMers per year (well, 6 in 1918 and 7 in 1920-21)
1926-31 - 10 to 11 HOMers (well, 12 in 1926)
1932-33 - 14/13 HOMers (Rixey/Hornsby/Heilmann meet Hack/Medwick)
1934-42 - 10 to 12 HOMers
1943-46 - 8/6/4/8 HOMers
1947-54 - 10 to 12 HOMers
1955-57 - 13 to 15 HOMers (Koufax/Clemente/Drysdale meet the old guard)
1958-66 - 7 to 11 HOMers, descending by year with many not yet on ballot
1967-70 - 4 to 5 HOMers

Basically, we wound up with an 8-10 HOMer per year model for 1902-25, then ramped up to 10-12 from 1926-54 (except for WW II and occasional anomolies).
Mays and Aaron will boost 1956 to a record 17 HOMers.
We're at the 10-HOMer mark already from 1959-62, so we'll go beyond the 10-12 model as we enter the 1960s (that's somewhat built into the design of the voting approach, of course).

AMERICAN LEAGUE
1902-06 - 10 to 12 HOMers
1907-10 - 13 to 14 HOMers (Young/Lajoie meet Johnson/Baker/Jackson)
1911-24 - 10 to 12 HOMers (well, 9 in 1915 and 1920, 14 in 1916)
1925-41 - 16 to 18 HOMers (well, 15 in 1930)
1942-45 - 14/9/5/6 HOMers
1946-51 - 13 to 14 HOMers
1952-59 - 9 to 10 HOMers
1960-63 - 6 to 7 HOMers
1964-68 - 3 HOMers with many not yet on ballot

Here you have mostly a 10-12 HOMer model from 1902-24, then a 16-18 model from 1925-41. But the model slides to 9-10 HOMers in the 1950s, and the 1960s AL may have some work to do to keep up.

The NL only had more HOMers than the AL once from 1902-51. That was in 1946 (there were a few ties).
Then the NL took over in 1952 as DiMaggio, Newhouser, and Boudreau departed and TWilliams goes off to war. What a changing of the guard - the NL has led every year since then!


NEGRO LEAGUES
1902-09 - 3 to 4 HOMers
1910-19 - 6 to 7 HOMers (well, 8 in 1916)
1920-22 - 9 to 11 HOMers
1923-42 - 13 to 15 HOMers (well, 16 in 1931 and 12 in 1933 and 11 in 1938 and 1942)
1943-46 - 8 to 10 HOMers
1947-48 - 5 to 6 HOMers

Here you have a steady increases, with a two-decade peak of 13-15 HOMers in 1923-42, before war and integration drop the numbers.

The Negro Leagues had more HOMers than the NL every year from 1920-46 except 1932 (tie), 1933, and 1942.
The Negro Leagues had more HOMers than the AL in 1922-24 and 1944-45.

Years Negro Leagues had the most HOMers:
1922 - 11 NEG, 10 AL, 9 NL
1923 - 14 NEG, 10 AL, 9 NL (Stearnes, BFoster, Suttles all come aboard)
1924 - 15 NEG, 12 AL, 10 NL
1944 - 8 NEG, 6 NL, 5 AL
1945 - 10 NEG, 6 AL, 4 NL

1944-45 includes some foreign Negro League play, so there may be an asterisk there.
   100. Brent Posted: June 17, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2067155)
Kiner>Howard.
OPS+ is close, but not close enough (149-142) In an exercize like this one, that is significant.


But it's misleading to compare Howard's 16-season career directly with Kiner's 10-season career. Kiner's advantage is due to the extra seasons that Howard played, as we can see if we compare them both over 10 seasons:
Average statisticsHoward 1962-71 vsKiner 1946-55

Player     G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Howard   148 518  71 143 20  3 32  92  66 .276 .358 .511 .870
Rel
-to-lg                                  111  113  137  150
Kiner
*   155 548 102 153 23  4 39 107 106 .279 .398 .548 .946
Rel
-to-lg                                  102  115  134  149

*Kiner's averages converted to 162 gm schedule. 

Rating Howard lower because his career OPS+ is lower would be equivalent to giving him negative credit for his extra seasons. That's something that's frowned on by most voters here. It's best to avoid comparing career rate statistics for careers of different lengths. Based just on batting, Howard's 10-year prime is clearly comparable to Kiner's career, though Kiner has the advantage in in-season durability.

Kiner had more than triple the black ink.

Yes, but black ink is highly correlated with park effects, and Kiner played in a hitters' park while Howard played in pitchers' parks.

Defensively (which I don't put huge stock in for a corner OF) Kiner grades for me as passable, while Hondo was a DH waiting to happen.

Late in his career, I agree that Howard was not only a "DH waiting to happen," it's also noteworthy that he's our first serious candidate to have spent a year as a DH.

On the other hand, Howard's fielding wasn't too bad early in his career before he gained weight. I saw him play quite a few times during the first half of his career while he was with the Dodgers. At that stage he had a good arm and was an ok fielder—he was an average corner outfielder or maybe a little below average.

How much is the difference between a C– outfielder (Kiner) and a D+ outfielder (Howard) worth? Bill James says the difference is worth about 1 run per season (the difference between Kiner's 2.13 fWS/1000 innings and Howard's 1.91). I think that's too small – I'd raise it to 2 or 3 runs per season. But the difference isn't as large as 5 runs per season. And to me, that mean's Kiner and Howard are close enough that there shouldn't be a large separation between them in ballot placement.
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