Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, June 26, 2006

1980 Ballot Discussion

1980 (July 10)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

443 118.4 1954 Al Kaline-RF
324 105.9 1960 Ron Santo-3B
315 95.1 1959 Norm Cash-1B (1986)
310 86.6 1958 Orlando Cepeda-1B
263 92.2 1960 Juan Marichal-P
241 62.0 1961 Dick McAuliffe-2B/SS
177 63.1 1964 Mel Stottlemyre-P
191 47.0 1963 Ron Hunt-2B
176 52.1 1962 Denis Menke-SS
179 47.8 1961 Matty Alou-CF
149 57.5 1961 Johnny Edwards-C
135 51.4 1957 Don McMahon-RP (1987)
148 41.1 1964 Jim Ray Hart-3B
125 42.4 1957 Juan Pizarro-P
124 40.7 1962 Bob Veale-P
117 42.4 1964 Dick Green-2B
116 36.4 1960 Steve Barber-P
108 38.9 1967 Don Wilson-P (1975)
127 30.3 1965 Horace Clarke-2B
096 39.2 1959 Bob Miller-RP (1993)
113 31.8 1962 Jim Hickman-RF/CF
125 26.9 1965 Glenn Beckert-2B
120 24.9 1967 Mike Epstein-1B
102 17.7 1965 Paul Schaal-3B

Players Passing Away in 1979
HoMers
Age Elected

78 1946 Turkey Stearnes-CF
70 1958 Stan Hack-3B

Candidates
Age Eligible

93 1924 Cy Slapnicka-P/Scout
91 1927 Duffy Lewis-LF
90 1930 Amos Strunk-CF
84 1933 Johnny Bassler-C
82——Warren Giles-HOF NL President
78 1947 Freddie Fitzsimmons-P
75 1939 Dale Alexander-1B
75——Walter O’Malley-Owner
66 1952 Hal Trosky-1B
63 1959 Luke Easter-1B

Upcoming Candidate
32 1985 Thurman Munson-C

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 26, 2006 at 04:12 AM | 478 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 > 
   101. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 30, 2006 at 12:27 PM (#2082188)
As for OPS+, Offenisve Winning Percentage (OWP) is a more comprehensive and accurate gauge.
Chance '03-'08: MLB rank: 1, 4, 5, 4, 9, 27
Sisler '16-'22: MLB rank: 21, 4, 2, 4, 5, 6, 4 (all using 450 PA as the minimum)


Lower boundry but no upper boundry? Chance's low in PA in the above is 451 (convienient cutoff), and his high is 574 (the only time he was above 531). Sisler's PAs range from 506 to 692. Sisler had only two seasons with less than Chance's high of 574. Removing 1916 (his year ranked 21), he has 3635 PAs. And that includes the short seasons of 1918 and 1919. Chance had 3085 PAs in his 6 seasons. Over 90 fewer per season. Chance had one (1903) short season in there.

Rate stats are great, but if you have two equivilently rated guys, and one is playing about 21 more games per year on average...
   102. Mark Donelson Posted: June 30, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2082428)
One season does not make a peak, certainly.

Even I (an admitted extreme peak voter!) agree with this. Cash is basically Mickey Vernon plus one fluke great year, as far as I can see. He's not even in my top 50; I like Cepeda better.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: June 30, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2082446)
Beckley 126/157-47-35-33-32-30-30-29-28-27-25-23-21-13-11-8-2 (2 yrs>140, 13>120, 17>100)
Cash 138/198-48-47-47-41-40-35-34-33-28-27-27-26-24-21 (6 yrs>140, 14>120, 14>100)
Vernon 116/163-51-40-33-26-25-22-14-13-12-11-4-4-(3 yrs<100) (3 yrs>140, 7>120, 13>100

Er, no. Cash is not Mickey Vernon. But he is Jake Beckley plus one monster year and minus 3 years in the 100s. But, yes, Cepeda was better, if by a schnipple.
   104. OCF Posted: June 30, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#2082459)
Since I've got it ready to go, I'll post it as a sample ballot.

1. Al Kaline (new) Better than Clemente. Qualified for the HoM at the Heilmann/Waner level. That's not inner circle - there are still a couple of rungs of the ladder above that.
2. Ron Santo (new) Sure, he may be a creature of Wrigley Field - but even if he was, real wins resulted from that. An offensive prime that we can group with legitimate candidates from the left side of the defensive spectrum, but he played 3B. I don't know if making him a 2B at the end rises to the level of 100 worst management blunders - but it can't have been a good idea.
3. Billy Pierce (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) Underappreciated by both the HoF and (so far) us.
4. Juan Marichal (new) Read my comments on his thread. I like him; I just like Pierce more.
5. Larry Doyle (4, 3, 5, 5, 3) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time. And no, I don't try to understand WARP.
6. Orlando Cepeda (new) The Baby Bull. Cha-Cha. There are plenty of places to find fault: indifference to defense, selfishness about his role with the Giants, injury history, early decline. But the early decline sticks out because the start was so good. And his NL was a strong league. Let's put Bill Terry back on the ballot - I might take Cepeda over him.
7. José Méndez (2, 4, 6, 6, 4) Could easily be as good as Koufax.
8. Quincy Trouppe (5, 5, 7, 7, 5) As with all Negro Leaguers, a lot of this is guesswork.
9. George Van Haltren (6, 6, 8, 8, 6) He did accomplish quite a bit in his career.
10. Norm Cash (new) One year does not make a peak (or a prime). But oh, what a year.
11. Bucky Walters (8, 7, 9, 9, 7) Offense-adjusted RA+ PythPat 197-148, with a peak that nearly rivals Ferrell's. We elected Lemon - why not Walters?
12. Joe Sewell (10, 8, 10, 10, 8) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice.
13. Ralph Kiner (3, 2, 4, 4, 9) His career may not have lasted very long, but during it he played every day and he hit a LOT of home runs.
14. Frank Howard (----, 10) Instead of talking about what he might have accomplished in another time and place, I'll talk about the value of what he did do in run-scarce circumstances.
15. Orestes Miñoso (9, 10, 12, 12, 11) This presumes at least a little pre-MLB value. Not the offensive value of the big HR hitters, but more mobile on defense.
16. Ken Boyer (15, 14, 16, 16, 12) Compared to Elliott, less bat, more glove, tougher league.
17. Bob Elliott (14, 12, 14, 14, 13) Roughly the equivalent of Dixie Walker as a hitter, plus 1300+ games of pretty good 3B.
18. Jake Beckley (13, 11, 13, 13, 14) Not much peak, long career. Was he really better than Vernon? Maybe defense, maybe a position-scarcity argument. Offensively, I don't see it.
19. Tommy Bridges (22, 13, 15, 15, 15) RA+ PythPat 190-124. Ferrell had a higher peak, but Bridges was a terrific pitcher.
20. Dick Redding (12, 9, 11, 11, 16) There seems to be more uncertainty around him lately.
21. Luis Aparicio (----, 17) More games at SS than anyone else, 500 SB with a good percentage.
22. Hugh Duffy (16, 15, 17, 17, 18) Nothing new to say after all these years.
23. Rabbit Maranville (----, 19) The appearance of Aparacio on the ballot casts the spotlight in his direction, and I fix an error in my calculations.
24. Mickey Vernon (17, 16, 18, 18, 20) Another loooong career 1st baseman, searching for a peak.
25. Nellie Fox (19, 18, 19, 19, 21) I'll be a supporter of Ozzie Smith when the time comes, and Fox has some of the same virtues. Nearly 2300 games at 2B, with extreme in-season durability. When I run his adjusted RCAA, a 10-year stretch in the middle of his career outshines his career as a whole, and even that 10-year stretch is only in the neighborhood of Stanky, Huggins, and Myer. All he really has over the likes of Doerr, Gordon, and Rizzuto is career length.
26. Phil Rizzuto (20, 19, 20, 20, 22) A glove-first SS candidate. Not a great offensive player, but at least useful on offense in an OBP-first shape, with good baserunning. But even with war credit, his career's not particularly long.
27. Cupid Childs (20, 20, 21, 21, 23) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
28. Edd Roush (24, 22, 22, 22, 24) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey.
29. Vern Stephens (26, 24, 24, 24, 26)
30. Dobie Moore (27, 25, 25, 25, 27) Short career, high peak.

The influx of newbies pushed Bob Johnson, Rocky Colavito, and Frank Chance out of my top 30.
   105. sunnyday2 Posted: June 30, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2082485)
Right now there are 11 prelim ballots, little more than 1/5 of the total, but a sampling nevertheless. The status is:

1. Kaline by a slim but steady margin, nearly unanimously in elect me spots
2. Santo by a wide margin, in most elect me spots
3. Marichal by a slim and unsteady margin, some elect me slots
4. Cash by a slim but steady margin, no elect me votes
5. Mendez
6. Sewell
7. Beckley
8. Cepeda
9. Minoso
10. Kiner

Cash gets a lot of 5th through 15th places. With that he could easily get elected. I hope everybody will think hard about whether he belongs in the HoM. Regardless if he is in an elect me slot or a PHoM slot, all those 7ths and 11ths are adding up. Is Norm Cash really a first-year HoMer? Is he better than Beckley? Cepeda? Minoso? Kiner?
   106. Chris Cobb Posted: June 30, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#2082505)
Thanks for the focus on Cash, Sunnyday2!

He has been the biggest surprise candidate for me in quite some time, both in the strength of the support he is receiving and in his record.

He is better than I thought: he will be close to, possibly on my ballot, and he might deserve eventual election.

He is not, however, deserving of election in 1980. I'm not a huge fan of Marichal, but he's a better newbie than Cash. Among "bat" candidates, I prefer Keller (who will be coming onto my ballot this year), Minoso, and Kiner.

I am with the prelim ballots, however, on Cash vs. Cepeda. Career length is about the same, career batting value was about the same, and both win shares and WARP agree that Cash was much better defensively. It's only first-base defense, of course, but Cash was well above avg. (A- by win shares) and Cepeda was below avg. (C+ by win shares). With all else being about equal, I find that makes the difference.

I can understand how a peak voter could prefer Cepeda, but Cash was generally an above average player throughout his career, so his prime is better than Cepeda's, in my view.

Cash vs. Beckley I see as a tough call: I haven't made my mind up there yet at all. They have similar types of records.
   107. Mark Donelson Posted: June 30, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#2082551)
Er, no. Cash is not Mickey Vernon. But he is Jake Beckley plus one monster year and minus 3 years in the 100s.

For me, that's not much difference; I have Beckley and Vernon pretty close too. (OPS+ is not my main tool, of course, though it does figure in.)
   108. DavidFoss Posted: June 30, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2082561)
FWIW, I haven't posted a prelim, but Kaline/Santo/Marichal are easy 1-2-3 for me. I haven't decided on Cash/Cepeda. They are comparable to FHoward who I have off-ballot. On ballot are Kiner, Cravath, CJones and Keller (tenuously). Certainly an influx of 'bat' candidates of late.

The reservations on Marichal perplex me a bit. Sure, he's 'overrated' and got great run support, but I think people are overcompensating.
   109. Jim Sp Posted: June 30, 2006 at 08:11 PM (#2082607)
Peak/prime voters seem to be dismissing Cash's big year. Oddly that means that the career voters like him more than the peak voters.
   110. Chris Cobb Posted: June 30, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#2082639)
Here's what my preliminary ballot looks like today:

1. Kaline -- His career value dwarfs the small peak advantage that Santo enjoys over him. Clear #1.
2. Santo -- One of the top ten 3bman all time. Clear #2.
3. Maranville -- Career defensive greatness.
4. Mendez -- best pitching peak available.
5. Redding -- Needs reevaluation.
6. Bancroft -- Good hit, great field during his prime
7. Keller -- I'm convinced. With appropriate war credit, both WARP and WS show him as better than Kiner: he has the best peak on the ballot, good enough to compensate for his short career.
8. Minoso -- Well-rounded player.
9. Sewell -- very good hit, very good field during his prime. I'm coming around on him.
10. Long -- He's dropped a little, may drop some more before I vote.
11. Pierce -- Best pitching prime available; reliever leverage helps his case.
12. Marichal -- Four great years and some very good ones, but a lot of not-so-great years as well. I, and my system, prefer Pierce's consistency just a little.
13. Beckley -- Ahead of Cash for now.
14. Leach -- His case and Beckley's are rather similar.
15. Kiner -- Slips a little as I give Keller and Minoso full credit for their accomplishments, but still on ballot and worthy of election.

Next 10

16. Charley Jones -- Rising in my esteem.
17. Oms -- Giving him full credit again brings him back almost onto the ballot.
18. Cash -- Better than I realized; probably deserving of eventual election. His fluke 1961 probably leads to the rest of his career being undervalued: that season so dwarfs his performance in any other year that people conclude his other seasons were totally ordinary but they were better than that.
19. Roush -- Also giving more credence to the numbers again.
20. Waddell
21. Cravath -- Like Kiner, he slips this year, but I still see him as eventually electable.
22. Boyer -- Not as far behind Santo as I had thought.
23. Fox -- Being more cautious about him.
24. Childs -- Still on the fence about him.
25. Bus Clarkson -- Sunnyday2's remarks about the "lost generation" of African-American players brought him back to my attention.

I haven't sorted out anything below 25 year. Cepeda is probably somewhere between 26 and 40.
   111. KJOK Posted: June 30, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2082725)
Chance, even with his 'playing time issues', had 309 RCAP. Oh, and he was at least a very good fielder, if not great.

For comparison, Santo had only 200 RCAP. Orland Cepeda 224, Hugh Duffy only 154.
   112. EricC Posted: June 30, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2082757)
I am with the prelim ballots, however, on Cash vs. Cepeda.

OTOH, if you believe that the NL was stronger than the AL during this period, that could help close the apparent gap between Cash and Cepeda.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 30, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#2082872)
OTOH, if you believe that the NL was stronger than the AL during this period, that could help close the apparent gap between Cash and Cepeda.

I think there is a gap between the two, but with Cepeda ascendant. Besides losing the PA battle, Cash's OPS+ for '61 (while great) needs some regression due to expansion, besides the above mentioned AL-NL difference in competitiveness for a chunk of both candidates' careers. Cepeda did play a slightly tougher position for a little bit, too.
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2006 at 12:35 AM (#2082992)
OTOH, if you believe that the NL was stronger than the AL during this period, that could help close the apparent gap between Cash and Cepeda.

It narrows but does not close the gap, and my sense of the two as equivalent as hitters already includes a league adjustment. By both OPS+ and EQA, Cash is ahead of Cepeda, 139/133 and .308/.301. The WARP2 adjustment brings it to .304/.301, which is a small enough difference to be insignificant, but that is _with_ a competition adjustment.

Besides losing the PA battle, Cash's OPS+ for '61 (while great) needs some regression due to expansion, besides the above mentioned AL-NL difference in competitiveness for a chunk of both candidates' careers. Cepeda did play a slightly tougher position for a little bit, too.

Since win shares, WARP1, and WARP3 all assign Cash more career value than Cepeda, I don't see how Cepeda's advantage in PAs helps his case.

On the difference in competition levels and regression of expansion seasons, see WARP2-3. Since Cepeda played through expansion same as Cash, I don't see that expansion affects Cash differently.

Cepeda's 200 games in the outfield are counterbalanced by his 175 games as a DH.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2083031)
Cepeda's 200 games in the outfield are counterbalanced by his 175 games as a DH.

Yeah, but he wasn't that much of a hitter when he was a DH and hardly gives him any boost in my system, while he was a terrific all-around player while he played LF.

On the difference in competition levels and regression of expansion seasons, see WARP2-3. Since Cepeda played through expansion same as Cash, I don't see that expansion affects Cash differently.

Except the spread between the best and worst players doesn't appear as drastic in the NL as it was in the AL judging by each leagues' OPS+ (or their SD) for their respective seasons.

Since win shares, WARP1, and WARP3 all assign Cash more career value than Cepeda, I don't see how Cepeda's advantage in PAs helps his case.

It's the way it's packaged at their peak and prime, Chris. Using WS, I have Cepeda as the best at his position (first or LF) in the majors 3 times, while Cash gets that designation only once. Yes, Cash has that '61 season, but I don't buy the 200+ OPS+ at face value.

I'm not saying that there is a huge difference between the two, but it's enough that Cepeda may be on my ballot while Cash most likely wont.
   116. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#2083225)
Yeah, but he wasn't that much of a hitter when he was a DH and hardly gives him any boost in my system, while he was a terrific all-around player while he played LF.

I think "terrific all-around player" is a bit of an exaggeration. Cepeda was an outstanding talent, but whatever his ability, he was about average defensively in left field, not exactly a high defense positon, and average to below average at first base. He had some speed, but was not a good baserunner. He could hit for average and power, but lacked plate discipline. There were holes in his game.

I brought up the DH because it seemed as if you were arguing that Cepeda was more valuable defensively than Cash. There's no evidence that this is the case, either in a peak context or a career context.

It's the way it's packaged at their peak and prime, Chris.

As I mentioned above, I can see why a peak voter would favor Cepeda, but I think Cash had the better prime, and it's pretty clear that he had the better career. By win shares, Cepeda's prime looks a little better than Cash's: if you line up their best seasons, Cepeda is typically ahead of Cash 30-27, 29-24, 26-24, 26-23. However, I think win shares overrates Cepeda somewhat: his advantages generally come back to batting win shares, and there is no evidence in the batting metrics that he was actually a more productive hitter in these prime seasons than Cash was, but his win share rate is generally about 5% higher. Cepeda has a genuine edge in durability in several of his prime seasons, but this advantage is magnified by the unsupported rate advantage.

In any case, they are similar enough that preferences for one over the other will be significantly influenced by how you choose to measure value. Both are borderline candidates whose placement ought to be debated thoroughly for the next several elections.
   117. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 01, 2006 at 05:47 AM (#2083289)
The, to me, surprising support for Norm Cash leads me to another worry. Or at least a presumed worry that I can't back up. As we get further into the modern era, players will have the benefits of modern medicine and training techniques and, therefore, a lot of star level players will have longer careers. At least I think. My worry is that we will be too impressed by these long careers that may only be a function of era.

I think I will have Norm Cash outside of my top 30 but inside my top 40. He seems like a career candidate with one big year. I like both Cepeda and Howard better and neither will be on my ballot.

Sample ballot

1. Santo - easy choice, nice peak, hit like a 1B but played a decent 3B instead, one of the 7 or 8 best 3B of all-time. Well, at least until ARod, Cabrera, and Wright retire.

2. Kaline - One way in which I am different from most peak voters is I like to measure peak over a very high baseline instead of jsut top 3 or top 5 (which I also look at). Therefore, someone like Kaline, who was consistently just under MVP level for almost a decade, or someone like Averill who was the same, can have a pretty decent peak in my system. Combine that with a really nice career and prime and you have an easy HOMer. I think Zach Wheat is an apt comparison.

3. Keller - Best peak on the board, MVP level for nearly a decade with war and MiL credit. Vastly underrated by the electorate

4. Marichal - I have him slightly above Drysale, Bunning, and Ford because he has the higher peak. They all ranked pretty even but just slightly above Dick Redding for me.

5. Childs
6. Duffy
7. Redding
8. Kiner
9. Moore
10. Walters
11. Browning
12. Trouppe
13. Dean
14. Waddell
15. Howard

16-20 Boyer, Cravath, Mendez, Rosen, Oms

30. Cepeda - Slightly worse than Berger and Howard for me
50. Cash - Jake Beckley with one big year? I think he is more of a career candidate
60. McAuliffe - fine player who just makes my top 60. I have him pretty even with George Scales and behind Childs, Fox, Doyle, and Monroe for 2B.

22. Billy Pierce - There has been some discussion about him recently. I like him less than Bunning, Drysadale, Ford, and Marichal. Lower peak than all but Ford and I don't think he has the special 'saved only for good teams' circumstance that Ford had. However, the difference between #7 or 8, where Drysdale, Ford, and Bunning would rank if they were eligible this year, and #22 is really quite small and I can acutally see the argument that I should have Pierce higher. He is right on what looks like the in/out line for my PHOM.
   118. rawagman Posted: July 01, 2006 at 07:17 AM (#2083313)
I am finally done with classes for the year, and the World Cup no longer has 3/4 games a day. This was a very interesting year for candidates as quite a few great ones enter the board and a few others who are damn close to at least being among the consideration set.
I was surprised by Norm Cash (just off the ballot - higher than expected - one year poes not make a peak), Dick McAuliffe (nowhere close - outside top 17 SS's) and Juan Marichal (lower than expected - just off ballot)
Kaline and Santo jump right into my PHOM - Cool Papa Bell is taken off the backlog.

1)Al Kaline (PHOM)
2)Hugh Duffy (PHOM)
3)Rube Waddell (PHOM)
4)Ron Santo (PHOM)
5)Gavvy Cravath (PHOM)
6)Joe Sewell (PHOM)
7)Lefty Gomez (PHOM)
((7a)Cool Papa Bell)) (PHOM)
8)Jose Mendez
((8a)Willard Brown))
9)Ben Taylor
10)Edd Roush
11)Orlando Cepeda
12)Ralph Kiner
13)Vern Stephens
14)Quincy Trouppe
((14a)Biz Mackey))
15) Minnie Minoso
   119. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2006 at 11:58 AM (#2083351)
I think "terrific all-around player" is a bit of an exaggeration. Cepeda was an outstanding talent, but whatever his ability, he was about average defensively in left field, not exactly a high defense positon, and average to below average at first base. He had some speed, but was not a good baserunner. He could hit for average and power, but lacked plate discipline. There were holes in his game.

When I meant "all-around," I meant the sum total of his accomplishments, not that he was terrific in every aspect of his game.

I brought up the DH because it seemed as if you were arguing that Cepeda was more valuable defensively than Cash. There's no evidence that this is the case, either in a peak context or a career context.

I agree unequivocally that Cash was better defensively, only that Cepeda did play a mildly tougher position for a little bit of his career at his best. It's not much, but that's what I see.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2083368)
I too was surprised at Norm Cash. His reputation is not that great. He got 6 votes for the HoF in 1980, whereas he is clearly in Keith Hernandez-Don Mattingly-Steve Garvey-borderline type territory where a few dozen HoF votes are more typical. But I was also shocked to see him ranked as high as #5.

Win Shares

F. Howard 297/38-34-30-28-25-25-23-23-21-13-13-10 (12 years ? 10 WS)
Norm Cash 315/41-27-24-24-23-23-21-21-18-18-18-16-16-15 (14 years)
O. Cepeda 310/34-30-29-29-26-26-23-23-21-20-19-19-17-13 (also 14 years)

Cash obviously had the best season of this threesome, though as has been pointed out it was an expansion year. But it is season #14 (ranked in order from best to worst) before he has another year as good as Cepeda's. Yes, Cepeda is better for 12 years, #2 through 13, 12 years in a row. Amazing. And Howard is better for seasons #2 through #8.

I just don't see Cash as having the kind of prime that they did. In Howard's case, there are 2 extra seasons at >10 WS, but the prime years (>18-20 WS) pretty much belong to Howard and Cepeda. Take away the 41 and he's Jake Beckley, not that that is a bad thing, but certainly not inner circle.

OPS+

F. Howard 143/180-73-72-54-51-48-46-38-27-14-5 (11 years ? 100 in 100+ games)
Norm Cash138/198-48-47-41-40-35-34-33-28-27-27-26-24-21 (14 years, all above 120)
O. Cepeda 133/166-66-58-48-35-34-33-32-30-30-26-16-9-7 (14 years)

Same pattern. Cash's prime is just nuthin' special that I can see. There are still guys out there with primes in the 150-175 range. I can't see 3-4 extra years at the trough of ones career in the 120s as trumping that. And that is what Cash has to offer, basically (that and one flukey year).

Like I said, I was surprised at how good Cash was. He was overshadowed by Kaline and later by Willie Horton (which tells you something), and he was overshadowed by his own 1961 season, and he was overshadowed by Aaron-Mays-Mantle-F. Robby-Yaz and even Killebrew and McCovey (which also tells you something). The era was a hard one for hitters--except that there were a bunch of hitters who somehow thrived. Now, not quite being Aaron or McCovey is not a sin, we have elected and will elect guys below that level, but still--giving Cash too much of the benefit of the doubt overlooks the fact that some '60s guys put up historically great numbers.

The point here is that among borderliners like Howard and Cepeda, Cash still fails to clearly emerge as obviously a better candidate.

Happy 4th of July. You won't have to suffer my rants again until after the voting starts.
   121. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 01, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#2083373)
I too was surprised at Norm Cash. His reputation is not that great. He got 6 votes for the HoF in 1980, whereas he is clearly in Keith Hernandez-Don Mattingly-Steve Garvey-borderline type territory where a few dozen HoF votes are more typical.

And Santo got only 15

meanwhile,

Alvin Dark got 43
Don Larsen got 31
Ted Kluszewski got 50
Harvey Kuenn got 83
Mickey Vernon got 96
   122. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2083401)
On Cash's HoF votes: think the voters might not have paid much attention to walks?

As to Cash vs. Cepeda and Howard: Win shares and OPS+ are more favorable measures for Howard and Cepeda.

Cash looks better by WARP and EQA.

The former gives more weight to the defensive difference between him and Howard/Cepeda. Cash's defensive record is excellent: better than Mattingly, a bit behind Hernandez. Both Howard and Cepeda were below average defensively.

EQA more accurately assesses the value of walks than does OPS+. This brings Cash's offensive performance much closer to Howard's and Cepeda's.

F. Howard .311/.345-.344-.334-.316-.316-.315-.315-.306-.297-.288-.268 (11 yrs. 100+ games)
Norm Cash .308/.377-.319-.313-.310-.309-.306-.304-.304-.300-.299-.299-.292-.291-.288 (14 yrs. 100+ games)
O. Cepeda .301/.341-.334-.322-.318-.309-.303-.302-.301-.294-.289-.275-.275-.272 (13 yrs. 100+ games)

By EQA, Howard remains ahead for years 2-9, though his lead is small. Cepeda remains ahead for years 2-4, then Cash is consistently ahead.
As WARP sees it, Cash was consistently adding sufficient defensive value to make up the difference between his offensive value and Howard's/Cepeda's whenever the margin of offensive difference was small. The upshot is that Cash is far and away the best in year 1, Cepeda and Howard lead Cash in years 2-3, when their offensive advantage is large, and after that Cash leads.

Different metrics give different views of the relative merits of these three players.
   123. DavidFoss Posted: July 01, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2083409)
I totally agree. I was just curious about their positional placement.

A little late with this reply. As of 2002, Cash is 20th about 1b in games and Santo is 8th. As of 1974, Cash was 12th and Santo was 3rd (Brooks/Mathews).
   124. Brent Posted: July 01, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2083410)
The difference between WARP and WS mostly comes down to defense. Fielding win shares says that Cash prevented about 20 more runs than Cepeda. WARP says that Cash prevented about 130 more runs than Cepeda.

My own opinion is that win share's estimates are too conservative, but WARP's estimates are seriously inflated. My own guess is that the true defensive difference between the two players was perhaps 40 to 50 runs.
   125. DavidFoss Posted: July 01, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2083413)
The, to me, surprising support for Norm Cash leads me to another worry. Or at least a presumed worry that I can't back up. As we get further into the modern era, players will have the benefits of modern medicine and training techniques and, therefore, a lot of star level players will have longer careers. At least I think. My worry is that we will be too impressed by these long careers that may only be a function of era.

But Cash's 7900 PA is fairly unremarkable. Its 122nd all-time as of 1974. Wait until we get to Tony Perez.

I echo your concern though. Its not just modern medicine, its season length. The change in season length is worth about 30 PA a year which can add up to 400-500 PA for a guy like Cash. Same thing with those WS totals. 300 WS used to be a bit of a milestone (though we've rejected quite a few with 300 already), but that total means a bit less now.

I'm not against new candidates (Kaline/Santo/Marichal are an easy top three for me) but little things often make the difference with borderline candidates. Don't forget about season-length adjustments.
   126. Chris Cobb Posted: July 01, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#2083542)
I echo your concern though. Its not just modern medicine, its season length.

As long as voters compare players _first_ to their contemporaries and give consideration to peak as well as to career, the longer modern careers shouldn't affect the results unduly.

Tommy John will probably be a more telling test case than Perez.

My own opinion is that win share's estimates are too conservative, but WARP's estimates are seriously inflated. My own guess is that the true defensive difference between the two players was perhaps 40 to 50 runs.

Brent, what guides your guesswork to 40 to 50 runs?
   127. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#2083571)
A little late with this reply. As of 2002, Cash is 20th about 1b in games and Santo is 8th. As of 1974, Cash was 12th and Santo was 3rd (Brooks/Mathews).

Thanks, David. That's about where I thought they both placed.

Happy 4th of July. You won't have to suffer my rants again until after the voting starts.

Happy 4th to you and everyone else here!
   128. rawagman Posted: July 01, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2083592)
Happy Canada Day!
   129. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 01, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#2083700)
And Canada's own son, Owen Hargreaves is the only England player out of four to put away a penalty in the shootout against Portugal. By the way, that was a really bogus Red Card to Wayne Rooney and Portugal played like #### with a man advantage. Brazil and/or France must be licking their lips.

Wait, this is about baseball right?
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 01, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2083866)
Happy Canada Day!

I second that, especially since the Murphy clan's first stop in North America was a 50-year stay in Quebec during the 19th century. :-)
   131. karlmagnus Posted: July 01, 2006 at 09:06 PM (#2083996)
Don't understand the love for Cash -- short career, and not as good as Hondo. He an Cepeda are in the 20s, off my ballot -- will possibly ooze on in deep backlog years, but not before the late 1980s at least.. Kaline squeaks by Beckley to be #1 -- consierably better than Clemente, IMHO. Santo's mid-ballot, just above Cupid Childs. Marichal's just below Cupid, slightly above Drysdale and significantly above Koufax. Tough group this year, let's not be too hasty and elect the wrong ones.
   132. Brent Posted: July 02, 2006 at 04:17 AM (#2084274)
Brent, what guides your guesswork to 40 to 50 runs?

Two or three years ago I spent some time looking at research on the new defensive metrics based on play-by-play data. At that time, UZR seemed to be the best available metric. Fielding win shares didn't correlate that well with UZR over a single season, but over several seasons it seemed to have a pretty good correlation. However, when converted to units of runs saved, it was clear that the range for fWS was too small--for example, the difference between a very good shortstop and a very poor one might average 40 runs per season with UZR, but only 20 runs per season with fWS. A while later I saw a comment from Tangotiger making the same point. (I just tried to find Tango's comment again, but was unable to locate it.) Since then, my rule of thumb has been to double the variation in fielding win shares (though doing it over a career or a group of seasons, rather than season by season).

Also, some sections in the Win Shares book try to set out order-of-magnitude estimates of the effects of fielding on runs allowed--for example, the chapter on Mazeroski and Randolph (also, see the Ozzie Smith comment in TNBJHBA). James doesn't give precise estimates, but his reasoning convinces me that the differences between players at the same position in runs allowed over a career typically tend to be (as an order of magnitude) dozens of runs, rather than hundreds.

I don't claim this as more than guesswork, and none of this, of course, directly relates to the comparison of Cash and Cepeda. Perhaps more relevant is the fact that Cash never won a Gold Glove Award, losing to Vic Power, Joe Pepitone, and George Scott. Without a Gold Glove, I'm not inclined to give a player as much fielding credit as WARP gives Cash.
   133. Rick A. Posted: July 02, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2084309)
Add me to the list of voters who don't understand the love of Cash(as opposed to the love of money). I also like both Howard and Cepeda better.

Review of new candidates.
Kaline, Santo, and Marichal will all make me ballot and also enter my PHOM
Cepeda - very close to Bill Terry(who isn't in my PHOM) I've also got him rated almost even with a very different kind of player(Phil Rizzuto)
Cash - Behind Cepeda, Chance, Beckley and Vernon. Above Hodges
McAuliffe - Better than I thought. Still not near my ballot. Almost even with Schoendienst and Mazeroski, but their defense moves them up somewhat. Matches up to Buddy Myer in my system.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 02, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2084366)
Add me to the list of voters who don't understand the love of Cash(as opposed to the love of money).

I actually understand it, Rick. I just don't agree with it.

With that said, Cash was certainly an underrated player who I'm glad is getting some recognition.
   135. DL from MN Posted: July 02, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#2084373)
After this discussion, I definitely think I've got them ranked correctly as Cash, Cepeda, Howard. What I never know is if I've given the correct weight to eras and positions.

Yes, Cash had a fluke season in 1961 but I don't understand "regressing" it. It happened, it had a ton of value. If Jake Beckley had put up one truly great year he'd be in already. Looking just at batting value Cash, Cepeda and Howard are really close; it is the defensive rankings that help me slot them in that order. I've given Cash a haircut on the WARP numbers and he dropped a slot below Pierce.
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 02, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#2084381)
Yes, Cash had a fluke season in 1961 but I don't understand "regressing" it.

It has nothing to do with his season being a fluke, DL. It's due to the effects of expansion for that season. If he had done it a year before, I wouldn't have even mentioned it.
   137. Rob_Wood Posted: July 02, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2084449)
My prelim ballot:

1. Al Kaline - by far the best on the ballot and better than Clemente
2. Ron Santo - solid number two (one of my least favorite players)
3. Juan Marichal - complete games, baserunners per nine innings
4. Jake Beckley - heads the rest
5. George Van Haltren
6. Ken Boyer
7. Bob Johnson
8. Ralph Kiner
9. Cupid Childs
10. Nellie Fox
11. Dobie Moore
12. Bob Elliott
13. Tommy Bridges
14. Luis Aparicio
15. Edd Roush
---
Next group: Sewell, Traynor, Klein, Minoso, Mendez, Cepeda and Cash
   138. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 02, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2084615)
Cepeda vs. Cash vs. Howard

Frankly it's a non-starter for me. I don't expect any of them to appear on my ballot. I do prefer Cepeda to Cash and Howard by the slimmest of margins. I see each of them as probable errors by the electorate if they are elected.

I personally rank Cepeda as roughly the 25th all-time best 1B, Cash as the 33rd, and Howard as the 31st best LF. Cepeda's got an OK peak, but he's got so much more career than Chance (who has a better peak), that he pulls ahead of him. I tend to be a little bit peakish, but Cash's one big year gets washed out when I look at 3 and 5 year peaks. Anyway, so Cepeda's lead on Cash is not as large as 8 slots might look, especially since two of them guys between them are very much active (Thome and Delgado). I see John Olerud as a very close comp for Cash (with 1 more "wow" season than Cash), and Olerud is smack-dab between Cepeda and Cash in my personal all-time ranks. He's a sort of Cepeda-Cash fulcrum. Also, IMO Cepeda is just a wee bit better than Terry, but I consider Terry to be a mistake selection.

Anyway, I'm not as impressed with Kaline as others, but more impressed than I was by Clemente.

Maricha's peak seems impressive to me, but I'm very easily impressed by pitching peaks.

So the current fantasy is

Santo will be 1.
Marichal will be 4.
Kaline will be 5.
Cepeda, Cash, McAuliffe off the end.
   139. Chris Cobb Posted: July 03, 2006 at 01:57 AM (#2085136)
For all that I've argued about Cash v. Cepeda, neither of them is going to be on my ballot.
   140. ronw Posted: July 03, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2085200)
Hey! Its time for RonStars again! (Again thanks to JeffM for the moniker).

RonStars are:

1. A team's only All-Star representative who:

a. Is not a starter and;
b. Has never made an All-Star game.


I'll post lifetime RonStars and other tidbits throughout the week.

Note that current RonStars could be bumped from RonStar status if an injury or FanVote (TM) alters the rosters.

AL

P: Mark Redman, KC
P: Scott Kazmir, TB
OF: Grady Sizemore, Clev

Kansas City and Tampa Bay have recently (OK, in Tampa Bay's case, nearly always) had plenty of RonStars. Both have the stuff of lifetime RonStars. I'm not sure about Sizemore.

NL

P: Bronson Arroyo, Cin
P: Brad Penny, LA
P: Brandon Webb, Ariz

I have a feeling that none of these guys will be lifetime RonStars, as all will likely be All-Stars again.

Removed from lifetime RonStar status this year are:

2B: Mark Loretta, Bos (RonStar in 2004 with SD)
OF: Jason Bay, Pitt (RonStar in 2005 with Pitt)
OF: Carlos Lee, Mil (RonStar in 2005 with Mil)
RP: Brian Fuentes, Col (RonStar in 2005 with Col)

Happy 4th of July! Read the Declaration of Independence!
   141. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 03, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#2085328)
Ron,

I actually doubt that Scott Kazmir will be a lifetime ronstar. Unless there is something I am not aware of with im, he has a bright future, at another all-star game or two. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bronson Arroyo never make an all-star game.
   142. Chris Cobb Posted: July 03, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#2085458)
1980 Ballot (A Day Early)

I am moving tomorrow and will be occupied with the (long-distance) move for the next two weeks, so I am posting this early to the comments thread. John, if you could move it to the ballot thread when you have a chance, that would be great! I may not be entirely incommunicado, but I will be without my computer and all my HoM files, so I won’t have much to say until about the balloting for 1981 begins.

Strongest entering class we’ve seen in a long time! Three new arrivals make my ballot, and a lot of shifting takes place as I bring my integration of WARP1 up to the present. I suspect I am overrating shortstops right now at the expense of other infielders, so I’ll be fine-tuning my infielder rankings for next year. Not that it will matter to the outcome, as Gibson and Killebrew gain eligibility and the fast track to election . . .

1. Al Kaline (n/e). Even with so many injuries, he had a great career. James left him out of his top 100, and that may have been the right choice, but it may not: I see him as between 85-115 all time.
2. Ron Santo (n/e). One of the top 10 third basemen of all time.
3. Rabbit Maranville (2). Why isn’t he on more ballots?? An all-time great defensive shortstop, and hit enough in his prime to play at a consistent, all-star level. Current leader among eligible players in career WARP1 even without war credit for 1918 (which he also merits), he is the only long-career shortstop between Wagner and Appling.
4. Jose Mendez (4). Pretty much holding steady with the best pitching peak among eligibles.
5. Dick Redding (3). Slips behind Maranville and now Mendez among 1910s & early 20s stars. I’d happily elect him, but I see him as slightly less brilliant than the three above. Recently published data has raised questions about his career value. I haven’t had a chance to review the data, but I think it’s just as well that we will have a few years of shoo-ins coming up so that we can chew over that data before Redding reaches the cusp of election.
6. Dave Bancroft (9). Top beneficiary of my reexamination of WARP and fielding value. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him.
7. Charlie Keller (19). Bursts onto my ballot. I no longer see reason to deny the fact that both WARP and win shares, with appropriate war credit, show him as having both the best peak available (no war credit included) and respectable career value.
8. Minnie Minoso (18). After having done a blanket downgrade of outfielders, I’m doing a targeted raising of them this year as I get my expanded system into shape. As with Keller, WARP and win shares agree that, with appropriate MLE credit, he is the best remaining candidate from the 1950s, so he comes back onto the ballot.
9. Joe Sewell (15) Very strong prime with very good defense at shortstop and very good offense gets him onto the board.
10. Billy Pierce (8). Good discussion of leverage helps his case with me. I hope his candidacy is about to gain momentum.
11. Juan Marichal (n/e). Significantly overrated historically, but still a HoMer. Despite the number of innings he threw, he is a peak, not a career, candidate.
12. Herman Long (6). Like Maranville, he tracks upward as I place more weight on infield defense.
13. Jake Beckley (12). Well, look who else benefits from my reassessment of first-base defense! No great years, but with his defense properly credited, he was steadily an above-average player for a very long time.
14. Tommy Leach. (12). Greater credit for fielding brings him back onto the ballot.
15. Ralph Kiner (7). Great peak versus strong competition. More peak than Cravath, but a bit less prime.

The next 15

16. Rube Waddell
17. Charley Jones
18. Alejandro Oms
19. Edd Roush
20. Norm Cash (n/e). Better than I realized; probably deserving of election. His fluke 1961 probably leads to the rest of his career being undervalued: that season so dwarfs his performance in any other year that people conclude his other seasons were totally ordinary but they were better than that. I’m ranking him a bit more conservatively in light of the discussion, but I still prefer him to Cepeda and Howard.
21. Gavvy Cravath (5). Slips a lot in reconsideration that includes WARP’s lukewarm assessment of him. May reconsider the way I am using WARP, as it seems to overboost the top fielders and overpenalize the poor fielders. Averaging with win shares, which doesn’t count fielding enough, helps some, but I’m not sure I have the right balance yet.
22. Ken Boyer (30). Revised him upwards: WARP likes his defense, and the historical record doesn’t contradict that view. Probably worthy of induction.
23. Nellie Fox (14). Drops on further review, but probably worthy of induction. The big question is: just how valuable was second base defense, 1955-65?
24. Cupid Childs (16). Drops as I let some outfielders rise back up. I’m still waffling on him after 70 elections . . .
25. Bus Clarkson. Sunnyday2’s comments on the lost generation of African-American stars puts Clarkson back on my radar.
26. Bucky Walters (15). Drops significantly in integrated assessment using WARP.
27. Frank Howard (22). Win shares really likes him, but WARP doesn’t so much. His case is much like Cravath’s above. Less well-rounded than anyone else in the vicinity of the ballot, but also the best pure power hitter. Peak is only slightly lower than Ralph Kiner’s or George Sisler’s, who are on the ballot.
28. Ben Taylor
29. Urban Shocker
30. Lave Cross

Returning Consensus Top 10 not on my ballot:

Hugh Duffy: a borderline outfielder candidate in a period long on outfielders. I can see giving Duffy some extra credit beyond his stats for his team’s outperforming their stats, but that should only go so far. He’s in the 40-50 range in my rankings. I think Duffy is being seriously overvalued by the electorate, and it would be a mistake to elect him.

Nellie Fox: I’ve dropped him down a bit this year as I have moved some outfielders back up, but I wouldn’t oppose his election.

Ken Boyer: Still off my ballot, but he has jumped up ahead of Fox this year; he would be a reasonable choice for the HoM at some point.

Dobie Moore: an excellent peak, but not high enough or long enough to offset his lack of career value. I somewhat prefer several other contemporary shortstops. Moore is just outside my top 30.

Other new candidates of note:

Orlando Cepeda: I’m not as impressed as some voters are, but he’s not all that deep in my backlog. I haven’t had time to set my new rankings precisely below the top 30, which Cepeda doesn’t crack, but I think he makes the top 40. I’ll be interested to see how he fares this year.
   143. yest Posted: July 03, 2006 at 04:14 AM (#2085602)
who are among the best players that were ever RonStars
   144. ronw Posted: July 03, 2006 at 05:09 AM (#2085674)
Off the top of my head, some of the best RonStars are:

Satchel Paig (1952)
Tom Seaver (1967)
Nolan Ryan (1972)
Don Sutton (1972)
Gary Carter (1975)
Rickey Henderson (1980)
John Smoltz (1989)
Mike Piazza (1993)

Of course, none of these are lifetime RonStars, defined as people who never made an All-Star game after their RonStar season. I think the best retired lifetime RonStar is Murry Dickson (1953) or Kevin Appier (1995).
   145. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 03, 2006 at 12:11 PM (#2085750)
So earlier today at work I was looking over the latest Eqa reports and I realized something that I should have long ago. Players in the reports are ranked by Runs Above Replacement at Position, or roughly what they use for WARP only they do it by position. However, there are plenty of players who have high Eqa's and low RARP because of playing time. However, I look at a pair like Edgar Renteria and Jose Reyes and it dawns on me that one of the big reasons why Reyes is ranked above Renteria is that he plays on a good offensive team that gives him more opportunities to hit. This to me doesn't seem particularly fair.

So why can't this happen with WS and WARP's offensive systems? I guess it is mitigated somewhat in WS because WS only takes into account win not if you win 19-1 every game. However, could this be a way that WARP is rewarding players who play for good offensive teams? Have we discussed this in any past thread at all? To me this is a lot easier to swallow than the competition adjustment.

So could Bob Johnson be slightly underrated here and maybe, Elston Howard overrated? Should this even matter? I mean these palyers are producing in their extra at bats right? It isn't like their productoin rates are skewed. It could also be a detriment since the more at ats you get the more likely you are to regress to the mean in your best seasons right?

Any thoughts?
   146. DL from MN Posted: July 03, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2085821)
Chris Cobb, where do you slot Dick Bartell? I'd think a friend of Bancroft, Sewell and Long would like Bartell.
   147. Sean Gilman Posted: July 04, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2087452)
I'm not just trying to pick on the new guy, but this just makes me sad. From Bernie in the ballot thread:

--Pete Browning: I timeline his best years, as they come when baseball was truly a regional game. And his best years weren't even all that incredible. to earn my vote, Browning would have to utterly dominate his context, and he didn't.

I cannot imagine a way in which "being fair to all eras" is consistent with this statement. "All eras" necessarily includes the 1880s, as well as the 70s and 60s, and being fair to them does not mean pretending they didn't exist because the game wasn't as national as in the 1960s. Nor does being fair mean that players from the 80s or earlier must reach a higher standard of players to be considered HOM-worthy.

Regardless, Browning's 162 OPS+ is the 13th best of all-time, which seems to be pretty dominant to me. And he was the dominant player of the best league of his era, the 1890 Player's League.

Browning's candidacy does have some flaws: while his range defensively was generally above average, some years he had some very high error totals as a center and leftfielder. He played in the lesser of two major leagues for most of his career. These seem to be the two main objections. I think the defense is the most relevant of the two, but that it's impact pales in comparison to his hitting. Compare Browning to another hitter with a historic back and a lead glove, Manny Ramirez. Using BP's season-adjusted batting and fielding numbers:

BRAR (top 10; total):

Browning: 79, 73, 73, 67, 63, 56, 52, 47, 29, 27; 624
Ramirez: 74, 72, 69, 68, 64, 62, 61, 56, 54, 52; 733

Browning has the best single year (the 1885 AA, when the Browns tied NL champ White Stockings in the second proto-World Series) and is pretty even through their first 6 seasons, when Ramirez begins to pull ahead and forges a big career advantage.

FRAR (top 10, total):

Browning: 37, 36, 27, 23, 22, 19, 18, 15, 13, 12; 241
Ramirez: 17, 09, 09, 07, 06, 05, 04, 00, 00, -1; 48

Browning's got it all over Ramirez here, well over replacement level for his career, while Ramirez is just a bit above replacement. Just looking at batting and fielding runs over replacement, Browning easily bests someone I think will sail into the HOM a decade from now.

FRAA (top 10, total):

Browning: 08, 06, 05, 05, 03, -1, -3, -5, -6, -7; -46
Ramirez: 04, 01, 00, -2, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -10; -72

The argument, as I understand it, against using FRAR to compare players is that measuring players by the combination of their FR and BR relative to replacement measures them against a below replacement level player, as no player is that bad both offensively and defensively. The solution appears to be to combine BRAR with FR above average, as that's closer to what a true replacement level player would be like. That makes sense to me for glove positions like SS. C or 2B, but wouldn't a replacement level LF or 1B be more like an average hitter and a replacement level fielder?
I guess it doesn't make a big difference in general, but look what the change from replacement to average does to Pete Browning's fielding runs: a drop of 280 runs, Ramirez's value changes by about half that. The relative changes in value from BRAR to BRAA isn't close to that big (Browning: 624 - 475, Ramirez: 733 - 529). I don't know what that means, or if it means anything at all. But it does seem strange to me.
Anyway, here's how they compare adding their BRAR to FRAA and BRAA to FRAR:

BRAR + FRAA:

Browning: 578
Ramirez: 661

BRAA + FRAR:

Browning: 716
Ramirez: 577

Looks like Browning matches up pretty well to me.

This leads to the second main objection to Browning's candidacy, the fact that the AA was the lesser Major League during his career.

1. If a pennant is a pennant then a Major League is a Major League. Browning didn't stay in the AA because he couldn't get a job in the NL, like you could say about a PCL player from the 70s. Browning stayed in the AA because it had a team in his hometown and he didn't want to leave Louisville. The idea of penalizing a player for the league he played in, when that league was already a Major League seems to be punishing a player for something beyond his control. It isn't Mickey Mantle's fault that the AL was slower to integrate than the NL, he was playing against the highest caliber competition available to him. Similarly, it isn't Browning's fault the AA started a couple years after the NL, they were both considered Major Leagues in his time: they played a championship series against each other, something two leagues of disparate reputations would hardly do; players who were successful in the AA were similarly successful in the NL or PL (a better league than either of the other two), including Browning; the two leagues eventually combined to form the super-league of the 1890s, the Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds franchises were all AA teams, and along with the Cleveland Spiders, Louisvile Colonels, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators, 8 of the 12 teams in the 1892 National League were AA teams. If they had kept the name that better reflected the make-up of the league, would playing in the AA even be an issue nowadays? A pennant in the AA in 1885 got you a World Series trip just like a pennant in the 1985 AL did.

2. We have no real good idea of the relative levels of competition between the AA and the NL. The only studies we've seen are 30 year old Dick Cramer study that shows the two leagues with rapidly fluctuating value over the decade (with the AA actually being the better league in 1886) and a Clay Davenport email with no real clear explanation but some numbers indicating he thinks the AA was never as good as today's Japanese Leagues and was at best the level of AAA today (for 3 seasons). Suffice it to say this is less than persuasive. Nobody has examined the AA to the degree that the Negro Leagues have been studied (nor necessarily should they, the Negro Leagues are far more important and interesting, obviously).

3. Even if the AA was as bad as the worst translations seem to assert it was, that doesn't necessarily mean that every AA players stats need be reduced by that factor. We know talent distribution is pyramid shaped, yet we seem to apply the same discount to everyone in a league. EG: the 1882 AA was 30% worse than the NL, so Pete Browning's 222 OPS+ (at 2B!) needs to be reduced 30% to accurately asses his value. But there's no reason to believe that that is true. Isn't it more likely that the best players in the AA were as good as the best players in the AA, but that the worst players in the AA were much worse than the worst players in the NL?
The same effect is in operation in the comparison of the Negro Leagues to the Majors: the best Negro Leaguers were clearly on a par with those in the Majors, but the bottom of the talent pyramid in the NLs was significantly lower. The result of this is that great players are inordinately punished by league translations. (What would Manny Ramirez hit in the PCL?) The effect of this for Negro Leaguers was to deflate their peaks. It was compensated for by the fact that we had translations for significantly more season than they likely would have played in the Majors (lower replacement level again), so while their peaks were lower, they made up for it with a ton of career value (Cool Papa Bell's the most obvious example of this effect).
The AA players, however, don't get this benefit. Because the AA only lasted 10 years, because the Major Leagues contracted to one 12 team league in the 1890s (raising the replacement level for everyone), because careers just didn't last that long in the 19th Century (unless your name was Anson, O'Rourke, Start or McPhee), players like Browning, Stovey and Caruthers (or even Charley Jones) never got a chance to have their deflated peaks compensated for by higher career translations.

4. I think it all boils down to a value vs. ability debate. Is an AA pennant less valuable than an NL pennant? How much? What would Pete Browning have done in the 1880s NL? How do we know and can we be sure? At the end of his career, Browning played in the best leagues of his time: he led the 1890 PL in OPS+, and the next three years he put up 138, 132 and 151 OPS+s in the National League. Isn't it plausible that he was the great player his AA stats show him to be in his 20s?

5. Browning's candidacy does have it's flaws. After that 151 OPS+ in 1893 he was done at age 32. His 12 full seasons isn't an especially low number for his time (Stovey had 2 more seasons at league average, Caruthers played only 10 seasons, Ross Barnes had about 8 above average years, Sam Thompson had 12, Lip Pike about 10, Charley Jones 10 or 12, depending on how you feel about his blacklist), but neither is it very remarkable. He's a borderline HOMer, hell, it took him until 1927 to make even my PHOM, and I'm not only his best friend, I'm the BFOT19C. He may not be the third best player on this year's ballot, where I have him, he may not even be in the top 50, as a number of people a lot smarter than me seem to think. But I do know he's worthy of more consideration than being timelined into non-existence because of the regionality of 19th Century baseball.
   148. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 05, 2006 at 03:02 AM (#2087698)
Maybe 'timeline' wasn't the right verb to use there, but I agree with Bernie. Well, not really since I have Pete Browning on my ballot and in my PHOM, but I also state on my ballot that he is lower than Keller and Kiner because of my doubts of the quality of the 1880's AA. As I see it degrading Browning's stats somewhat becuase of league quality is 'fair to all eras' and perfectly acceptable. IN fact I would think that not degrading Browning stats would not be fair to players from later eras that had to play against much tougher competition, not in a timeline sense but in a sense that their league was stronger compared to the other leagues around it.

I also think that the use of BRAR and FRAR in a comparison between Manny Ramirez and Pete Browning isn't very useful. Sean states that if the AA was weaker (I believe that it was) it is probably because it had a lower replacement level and that the best players were comparable to the best in the NL. So then why compare Browning ot a modern day player by measuring him against that same really low replcaement level without doing the same for the modern day player?

Again I am a FOPB, in years without three exceptionally strong candidates, he usually resides in the middle of my ballot and is in my PHOM. But I have him where he is and not higher becuase of league adjustments pertaining ot teh 1880's AA. If your beef is that bernie used the word 'timeline' than I agree, but I think his point was that the 1880's AA is one of the weakest leagues we have looked at and he sees it as definitely inferior to the 1880's NL and adjusts Pete Browning's stats accordingly. If I am right, I see nothing wrong with that.
   149. Sean Gilman Posted: July 05, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#2087701)
'Wrong' in the sense of immoral or violating the HOM's rules, no.

"Wrong' in the sense of incorrect, yeah I don't think it's fair to all eras to penalize Browning.

We don't know exactly how weak the 1880s AA is, but it certainly wasn't weaker than the Federal League, or the Union Association, various iterations of the Negro Leagues or the PCL in Gavy Cravath or Buzz Arlett's times. There's reason to believe the AA in the latter half of the 80s is on a par with the NL of the time (they did play each other in a "world series", after all).

As for the Ramirez comparison, you can compare the two without reference to replacement level at all. Just comparing them relative to average gives you:

BRAA + FRAA:

Browning: 428
Ramirez: 457

The point is that no matter how you add it up, without timelining or largely arbitrary guesses about league strength penalties, Browning is remarkably comparable to Manny Ramirez.

Regardless, I dispute the notion that the 1880s AA is so much worse than the 1880s NL that an adjustment of Browning's stats is either necessary or possible. We have no clue how much worse the one league was than the other, nor do we know how much that difference means in terms of the value Browning added to his teams. Talent is not distributed linearly. There's no reason to think that if League A is 10% worse then League A's stars are 10% less meritorious. "Translating" Browning's stats is punishing him for a league system he had no control over. He played in the majors and he competed for a pennant and that should be enough.
   150. Howie Menckel Posted: July 05, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#2087707)
I agree that Browning's late-career thumping in the PL/NL shows that he could have done it in any league, any time.
I also fear that most late-arriving voters will discount the early era unneccessarily. Those who doubt if Browning was a big-time hitter need only start at the 1890 PL, which was an excellent league. Check out Browning vs the HOMers of the time.
Browning just dropped off my ballot this year, but he figures to be back soon. He's right in the mix with our modern power hitters...
   151. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 05, 2006 at 05:17 AM (#2087744)
Sean,

You should take solace in that I also discount the other leagues that you mention, I have only given one vote for a player whose career depended on his play in those leagues, outside of the NeL of course (I started in 1935 so I probably missed many of the UA guys and maybe I am forgetting some) and that was a 15th to Gavvy Cravath and we discounted his stats from PCL to NL as part of the MLE. Thing is we already discount the performance in those leagues, why shouldn't we discount Browning's a little?

In your BRAA and FRAA comparison, Ramirez is 29 ahead and still going very strong (in the midst of yet another MVp level season) whereas Browning is, well, very dead. I think that Ramirez should rank comfortably ahead of him and I have Browning at #11 this year.
   152. OCF Posted: July 05, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#2087747)
I made my peace with Browning's candidacy a long time ago. I only keep track of a top 30, so I don't know exactly where he rates, but it's not in that top 30. Yes, he's a legitimate candidate, but so are a lot of other people. Those who cite (in raw terms) his OPS+ or BRAA or something like that are in effect giving him a huge amount of credit for his 1882 and 1883 years - and there's little doubt that the AA was substantially weaker than the NL in those two years. Yes, he proved he had the right stuff in the 1990 PL (after a slumping 1889 year), but did he really prove he was better than Mike Tiernan? (Browning and Tiernan overlapped in time but weren't really contemporaries.) I've heard Browning referred to as a "slugger" or a "masher." It is true that most of his value comes from having a bat in his hand - but it's also true that a larger-than-average fraction of his value comes from batting average. He didn't have the "power" of Harry Stovey. ("Power" is in parentheses to reflect that in ballparks with remote fences, power and speed may tangle together.) A long time ago, I advocated the election of Stovey. Had Stovey not been elected, I'd still have him ahead of Browning but he probably wouldn't be in my top 15.

Those of you who bristle at anyone who mention timelines and who wave the flag of "fair to all eras": are you being fair to later eras? Browning has been eligible from the beginning of this project. He benefited from careful examination at a time when there were far fewer candidates to examine. Yes, we backloaded the schedule so we couldn't elect every deserving player then, but players have climbed out of that backlog to be elected several times since then. Browning is a debatable candidate, which means a case can be made for him - I'm not saying that it's wrong that he receives votes (just not mine). More recent debatable candidates (my current favorite being Billy Pierce) have a much stiffer hurdle to climb over to remain in consideration than he did.
   153. Sean Gilman Posted: July 05, 2006 at 06:16 AM (#2087758)
Oh, I agree that Ramirez will rank well ahead of Browning when the time comes. Browning is most definitely on the borderline, whereas I think Manny will end up being a no-brainer. That's mainly because Ramirez is Browning's equal (or better, YMMV) in peak in addition to having (eventually) a big advantage in total career value.

But if Manny retired today. . . .well, I'd still like him over Browning. But not as much as I think the HOM consensus would.

Browning, as I see him, is part of a group with Joe Jackson, Elmer Flick, Albert Belle, Charley Jones, Sam Thompson, Harry Stovey, Ralph Kiner, Joe Medwick, Bobby Veach, Frank Howard, Earl Averill, Wally Berger, Gavy Cravath, Chuck Klein, Mike Tiernan and Charlie Keller (there are probably others). High peak outfielders with varying degrees of defensive value (mostly not much) and careers on the shortish side. The fact that there are so many of them is, of course, indicative of the fact that none of them should be considered "no-brainers". I think those guys can reasonably be put in any order. I happen to like Browning fourth of that group (Behind Stovey, Flick and Jackson), someone else may have him last.

As for the UA, Negro League and PCL translations: you didn't miss much with the UA. There was pretty much just Fred Dunlap and a pitcher (Pud Galvin?) in that league. The pitcher didn't need the year and Dunlap didn't do enough outside of 1884 to ever get him more than a half dozen votes a year. But the Negro Leagues and the PCL have been studied a lot more systematically than the AA was at the time. The Cramer and Davenport studies are pretty much all we've got, and as far as I remember all anyone ever did with them was apply a blanket discount to every player in the league (cut Browning's WS 30% in 1882, 20% in 83-85 and 10% 86-89, or something like that) or apply some subjective and nebulous "league discount" and move AA players down or off their ballots. The NNL translations that Chris Cobb and Dr. Chaleeko made are significantly more intricate than anything anyone's done for the AA. My point is not that someone should do that (I certainly don't have the ability to do it), and I don't even think we have enough data about the 1880s to make such translations possible. It's just that we can't be nearly as confident about the level of competition in the AA as we can about the PCL.

All that aside, the most obvious reason you shouldn't discount the AA but should the PCL and the UA is that the AA was a Major League, recognized as such at the time by everyone in both Major Leagues. I simply don't think you should "competition adjust" between Major Leagues, whether its the 1880s AA and NL, the 1950s AL and NL or the 2000s AL and NL. I don't think we can be confident enough in our studies, their methodologies and sample sizes (or relevance to star plays at the top of the talent pyramid) to overwhelm the preponderance of evidence indicating that everyone at the time considered them both to be Major Leagues.
   154. Sean Gilman Posted: July 05, 2006 at 06:38 AM (#2087761)
Those who cite (in raw terms) his OPS+ or BRAA or something like that are in effect giving him a huge amount of credit for his 1882 and 1883 years - and there's little doubt that the AA was substantially weaker than the NL in those two years.

82 and 83 are Browning's 4th and 6th best years by BRAR. His best year is 1885 (when the AA Browns tied the NL champ in the "world series"). The 1890 PL year and 1887 are tied for his second best season. 1884 is fifth.

I've heard Browning referred to as a "slugger" or a "masher." It is true that most of his value comes from having a bat in his hand - but it's also true that a larger-than-average fraction of his value comes from batting average. He didn't have the "power" of Harry Stovey.

Career SLG/lgSLG:

Stovey: .461/.354
Browning: .467/.346

Yes, most of that is batting average:

Career BA/lgBA:

Stovey: .289/.263
Browning: .341/.257

I don't know why that makes a big difference for their merit, however. Projecting them for 2007, yeah, the BA dependent player is more likely to see his SLG fluctuate. But I don't think either of them are gonna hit for much power next year. ;)

But seriously, I liked Stovey better than Browning as well. he made my PHOM in 1914, browning had to wait another decade and a half. But it was Stovey's speed, not his power that made the difference for me. Stovey had almost twice as many stolen bases as Browning (though we don't appear to have SB numbers for the first 4 years of Browning's career, we're missing 6 years for Stovey).

More recent debatable candidates (my current favorite being Billy Pierce) have a much stiffer hurdle to climb over to remain in consideration than he did.

I'd love to see a full and clear explanation of the case for Billy Pierce, because I really don't see what the big deal is with him. I'm clearly missing something there because my most optimistic placement for him at present doesn't have him in the top 30 and a lot of people seem to think he's as good as or better than Marichal, Bunning and Drysdale, players who sailed into my PHOM.
   155. Howie Menckel Posted: July 05, 2006 at 01:16 PM (#2087812)
I moved these 2 from the Kaline thread...

60. Sean Gilman Posted: July 05, 2006 at 02:54 AM (#2087765)

AlKaline 176 62 62 52 45 44 43 40 39 34 30 28 17 08 06
Clemente 170 68 51 49 48 46 45 45 35 35 21 15 05
DuSnider 172 70 66 56 42 40 40 36 23 18
MMinoso 155 51 49 40 36 35 33 31 21 16 13 08
BJohnson 174 55 47 41 43 35 34 30 29 29 27 25 25
RalKiner 184 84 73 56 46 40 32 21 17
FHoward 177 77 70 53 46 44 37 28 27 11
NorCash 201 50 48 42 36 35 34 29 28 28 26 20
OCepeda 165 64 57 48 35 34 33 31 29 25 17 10 06
PBrowning 222 90 77 77 73 69 63 54 38 32

I used BP's translated stats to try to get the PAs to meet Howie's requirements. But that last year, the 132 in 1892, BP has at 429 translated PAs while baseball-reference has 1892 with 436 actual PA. I don't know what to make of that.

No AA discount has been applied, of course. But I wonder how big it'd have to be to get those numbers down to, say, Orlando Cepeda's. . . .


61. Howie Menckel Posted: July 05, 2006 at 09:13 AM (#2087811)

Browning's league-leading 169 OPS+ in the 1890 PL came at age 29.

Duffy had a 123 at age 23 in that 1890 PL.
Others in that league and year:
Beckley had a 152 at age 22.
Jimmy Ryan had a 131 at age 27.
Brouthers had a 139 at age 32.
Connor had a 156 at age 32.
George Gore had a 139 at age 33.
Harry Stovey had a 127 at age 33.
HRichardson had a 127 at age 35.
O'Rourke had a 137 at age 39.
   156. Chris Cobb Posted: July 05, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2087939)
Chris Cobb, where do you slot Dick Bartell? I'd think a friend of Bancroft, Sewell and Long would like Bartell.

I do like Bartell, but he is not in my top 30. Three things are against him. One, he does much more poorly in win shares than Bancroft, Sewell, and Long, which brings him down a few notches in my combined system. I'm not sure why: I did a quick look to see if I could see an obvious reason for win shares to underrate him, but I didn't find anything. Two, shortstop defense is less important by the 1930s than it was even in the 1920s, so his fielding quality is less valuable than it is for the earlier shortstops. Third, partly as a consequence of one and two, he doesn't do as well in comparison to his contemporaries as do B, S, and L. Long is top 15 for the 1890s, Bancroft and Sewell are 15-20 for the 1920s, but Bartell is 25-30 for the 1930s. He's not all that far down in my rankings, though, so I expect he will land in the 30-50 range in the backlog when I get a chance to extend my rankings down that far.
   157. Chris Fluit Posted: July 05, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2088218)
There's been a bit of discussion recently on the number of electees per year and whether or not the Hall of Merit was too restrictive with its earlier elections. If it was too restrictive, then the project has been slightly unfair to 19th century players. Or so the theory goes. Just for kicks, I thought I'd look into it. This is in no way a criticism of the system that Joe Dimino and others first put in place. It's just a fun bit of alternate history.

The real (or actual) Hall of Merit had fourteen years in which it elected only one player: 1906-1911, 1913-14, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1931 and 1961. For my hypothetical (or alternate history) Hall of Merit, I halved that amount. I took the alternating elect-one years and turned them into elect-two years. So 1906, 1908, 1910, 1913, 1916, 1920 and 1931 were still elect-one years. 1907, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1918, 1923 and 1961 became elect-two years. I then looked at the elect-three years. The first to arrive is in 1958, followed by 1972 and then speeding up to 1980, '85, '87, '89-'91 and '93 to 2001. Rather than simply take every other elect-three year and reduce the others to elect-two years, I went with a slightly different system. 1958 to 1972 is a period of 24 years. I altered the 1980 elect-three to an elect-two, and then noticed that 1985 is 13 years after the previous elect-three for something very close to a half-life (1984 would have been the better fit). So I went with a more half-life system than an alternating one: leaving 1958, 1972, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998 and beyond alone while adjusting 1980, 1987, 1989-90, 1993, 1995 and 1997 down to elect-two years. That way the seven extra elected players from 1906-1961 are balanced by by seven less elected players from 1980-1997.

In determining which player was elected, I simply looked at the previous results. I took the player who had finished highest in the balloting and was not yet enshrined. I realize that's a bit of a simplification. Once you begin to enshrine players early, the later votes would naturally change. Someone who had Pud Galvin first in 1910, wouldn't necessarily vote for Bid McPhee next even though McPhee did finish second in that election. It ignores the weighted system of points and bonuses for elect-me spots. And it ignores the changes in voter preferences and patterns. For example, if Charlie Bennett was elected nine years earlier, there might have been that much more time to get a campaign going for another catcher like Roger Bresnahan. Conversely, if Jake Beckley was already enshrined, some of those who voted for Sisler as the best first-baseman of an underrepresented era might not have been inclined to do so. But I can't look into the minds of the voters and predict those changes. I can only look at the results we have. And for hypothetical purposes, that should be good enough.

On to the results:
At first, things are fairly simple. The player who finished second in one election was often the player who finished first in the next. But each time an extra player is elected, there's a domino effect. Eventually, the player selected in this Alternate History Hall of Merit was somebody who had finished seventh or eighth in the actual Hall of Merit election. For the most part, players were simply elected earlier than was otherwise the case. But with six more inductees before the big classes of '33 and '34, the results do begin to differ quite a bit.

The Alternate History Hall of Merit:
(the following chart includes only the elections which are different; areas of agreement such as the elections of first-timers George Davis and Bill Dahlen in 1915 are ignored)
Ezra Sutton, elected in 1907 instead of 1908
Joe Start, elected in 1908 instead of 1912
Pud Galvin, elected in 1909 instead of 1910
Bid McPhee, elected in 1910 instead of 1913
Jesse Burkett, elected in 1911 instead of 1912, now elected on his first ballot
Cal McVey, elected in 1912 instead of 1914
Charlie Bennett, elected in 1912 instead of 1921
Harry Stovey, elected in 1913 instead of 1916
Joe Kelley, elected in 1914 instead of 1919, now a first-ballot electee
Jimmy Collins, elected in 1914 instead of 1921, now a first-ballot electee
Elmer Flick, elected in 1916 instead of 1918, now a first-ballot electee
Willie Keeler, elected in 1918 instead of 1919
Joe McGinnity, elected in 1918 instead of 1928
Jimmy Sheckard, elected in 1919 instead of 1930, now a first-ballot electee
Bob Caruthers, elected in 1919 instead of 1930
Grant Johnson, elected in 1921 instead of 1925, now a first-ballot electee and the first to do so as a Negro League player
Bobby Wallace, elected in 1921 instead of 1929
Sam Crawford, elected in 1923 instead of 1924
Mordecai Brown, elected in 1924 instead of 1925
Frank Grant, elected in 1925 instead of 1926
Sherry Magee, elected in 1925 instead of 1926, now a first-ballot electee
Sam Thompson, elected in 1926 instead of 1929
Dickey Pearce, elected in 1926 instead of 1931
Lip Pike, elected in 1928 instead of 1940
Jake Beckley, elected in 1929
George Van Haltren, elected in 1929
Clark Griffith, elected in 1930 instead of 1971
Rube Foster, elected in 1930 instead of 1932
Hughie Jennings, elected in 1931 instead of 1960
Rube Waddell, elected in 1932

At this point, we've reached the greatest discrepancy between the actual Hall of Merit and the hypothetical one. By redistributing the number of electees, we've selected six more players from 1907 to 1923. The discrepancy is felt as early 1918 and 1919 when some players are receiving induction a full decade earlier than otherwise. Indeed the actual class of 1930- Sheckard and Caruthers- is now the hypothetical class of 1919. Long-time voters (and lurkers) know that the election of back-log candidates dried up in the 1930s when great groups of newly eligible players created a new backlog at the top beginning in 1933. Our new system would have elected six more players before that new backlog of Eddie Collins, John Henry Lloyd and Smokey Joe Williams arrived. Three of those six alternately-elected players would have received induction at a much later date: Lip Pike in 1940, Hughie Jennings in 1960 and Clark Griffith in 1971. Three of those six players have not been elected as of this date: Jake Beckley, George Van Haltren and Rube Waddell.

The new classes of 1933 and beyond mean that our hypothetical Hall of Merit looks very similar to the real Hall of Merit for a number of years. However, there is still one small, but significant change:
Joe Sewell, elected in 1940 (in place of Lip Pike)

In the 1960s, the high number of quality new candidates began to slow down and the back-log once again had a shot at induction. Like the earlier era, the changes start slowly with players being inducted a few years earlier:
Joe Medwick, elected in 1960 instead of 1967
Red Ruffing, elected in 1961 instead of 1966
Bob Lemon, elected in 1966 instead of 1967
Eppa Rixey, elected in 1967 instead of 1968
Biz Mackey, elected in 1967 instead of 1975
Cool Papa Bell, elected in 1968 instead of 1973
Bobby Doerr, elected in 1971 instead of 1972
Willard Brown, elected in 1972 instead of 1976
George Sisler, elected in 1973 instead of 1979
Joe Gordon, elected in 1975 instead of 1976
Jose Mendez, elected in 1976
Minnie Minoso, elected in 1976
Ralph Kiner, elected in 1979

The Alternate Hall of Merit has elected seven more players than the actual Hall of Merit: Jake Beckley and George Van Haltren in 1929, Rube Waddell in 1932, Joe Sewell in 1940, Jose Mendez and Minnie Minoso in 1976, and Ralph Kiner in 1979. Just as Lip Pike, Hughie Jennings and Clark Griffith were eventually awarded induction at a later date by the actual Hall of Merit, five of these hypothetical inductees still have a legitimate shot at election. Mendez, Minoso, Kiner, Sewell and Beckley are the top five returnees from 1979, having finished 3rd through 7th in that election. Though their induction has been delayed, they are in good standing to be elected between 1984 and 1988 when few high-quality players become newly eligible. The news is not as good for George Van Haltren and Rube Waddell. They finished 15th and 16th in the last election. They seem to be the two players hurt the most by the weighting of elect-me spots. However, that's not a complete explanation. They've also been hurt by changes in the electorate as two of their turn-of-the-century contemporaries have moved ahead of them in the backlog: Hugh Duffy and Cupid Childs. As for our hypothetical backlog and upcoming election: our top ten returnees would include Dick Redding, Hugh Duffy, Nellie Fox, Ken Boyer, Dobie Moore, Cupid Childs and Billy Pierce who were 8th through 14th in the 1979 election. And oh yeah, 1980 was the first of the elect-three years to be reduced to an elect-two. So we'd have quite a fight on our hands between Kaline, Santo and Marichal.
   158. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 05, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2088403)
By the by, anyone who will be at the Jerry Malloy NgL conference in KC, I'm the red-haired guy with the long sideburns. Please stop and say hi and maybe we can have a mini HOM meetup!
   159. DavidFoss Posted: July 05, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#2088412)
But with six more inductees before the big classes of '33 and '34, the results do begin to differ quite a bit.

Anyone who was around here in the late 20s and early 30s may recall how frustrated everyone was at how deep into the backlog we were going in that big 1926-1932 shortage quality new candidates. It was the first time that the electorate really fragmented. Pre-1924 elections tended to have a much larger consensus. It would have been a hard sell for us to have been electing *more* at that time.

I don't think anyone has outrightly claimed that we have been unfair to 19th century guys. We'd just like to stress that new voters *continue* to be as fair about them as we've been in the past. We've lost a few voters in the past fifty years and gained some new ones. The proverbial fear is that the new voters will be more biased towards newer players and that perhaps they waited until more familiar players were being considered to start voting.

We've grown accustomed to the lack of consensus now and guys like Beckley, Sewell & Childs are again near the top of the backlog. I may not personally endorse the inductions of all of the older players (not a fan of some of them to tell you the truth) but I'd certainly like people to remember that their candidacies have not expired. If it turns out the newer backloggers like Howard & Cash come out better in your analyses then so be it, but I hope no players are being automatically dismissed due to timelining issues.
   160. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 05, 2006 at 11:55 PM (#2088508)
I'm not just trying to pick on the new guy, but this just makes me sad. From Bernie in the ballot thread:

--Pete Browning: I timeline his best years, as they come when baseball was truly a regional game. And his best years weren't even all that incredible. to earn my vote, Browning would have to utterly dominate his context, and he didn't.

I cannot imagine a way in which "being fair to all eras" is consistent with this statement. "All eras" necessarily includes the 1880s, as well as the 70s and 60s, and being fair to them does not mean pretending they didn't exist because the game wasn't as national as in the 1960s. Nor does being fair mean that players from the 80s or earlier must reach a higher standard of players to be considered HOM-worthy.



I strenuously disagree with this sentiment. I believe timelining players is not only appropriate, but necessary in order to identify the "best" players of all-time (rather than the "most valuble" or "generated best statistics in a given year").

I believe two lines of evidence support my contention. First off, there is a long-term trend towards decreased frequency of "extreme" OPS+ seasons from 1901-1994. This reflects, IMO, an improvement in the level of play in Major League Baseball during these years, and especially post-integration. I interpret this with two assumptions:
1)This trend would continue back to the 19th century, once you cancelled out for league strength fluctuation
2)The post-1994 jump in "extreme" offensive performance reflects some other influence not related to the average level of play.

This leads me to timeline all of baseball history. Timelining doesn't stop at 1900.

Secondly, there is clear evidence that baseball was evolving from a regional game in the 1880's to a national game after the turn of the century. This can be quantified by looking at the "place of birth" tool at Baseballreference, coupled with census data from that time. I have done this, and I feel very comfortable with the notion that being a dominant baseball player in 1880 was a far different, and less impressive feat than being dominant in 1920.

To my mind, Pete Browning may well be the 1880 baseball equivalent of Landon Donovan in the modern MLS. Just because you're one of the 2 or 3 best baseball players in the country in 1880 doesn't make you the equivalent of a great player in the early 20th C. national game, or early 21st C. international game.
   161. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#2088536)
And, I want to stress this point, all of my above arguments don't preclude me from voting for a great 1880's player, as long as I think he's better than the other players available for election. But with Browning, it's not even obvious that he was that much greater than the best peak candidates, even without a timeline adjustment. I'm at work, so forgive the crudness of this comparison:

Kiner's best 3 consecutive seasons in OPS+: 184, 156, 184

Browning's best 3 consecutive seasons in OPS+: 222, 177, 173

Browning is performing slightly better..but he's no Brouthers, that's for sure. And that's without any adjustment for strength of the AA, or any timeline adjustment. With those two factored in, he falls well behind Kiner in my evaluation.
   162. Mike Webber Posted: July 06, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#2088586)
B Williams - as long as you are defending your self, here is what I wrote in the ballot thread:

B Williams wrote:
Not on Ballot:
--Al Kaline: Sustained verygoodnees. I fail to see why he should be picked over centerfielders like Duffy or Wilson, or corner guys like Kiner or Keller. Heck, I don't even think he'll compare favorably to guys like Ken Singleton or Bobby Murcer when they come up. From a peak POV, he's a thoroughly mediocre candidate.


I don't get this at all. Especially with Minoso in your top 15.

Is there a defense of this thinking somewhere?
Why should he be selected over Duffy? 150% more career Win Shares.
Why Should he be slected over Hack? Hack had 5 seasons with more than 25 Win Shares, and one additional of more than 20 WS. Kaline had 7 seasons with more than 25 Win Shares, and 5 addtional season with 20 or moree win Shares.

Keller and Kaline have 4 30+ WS seasons, Kaline just 3. Keller had just 2 other season however with more than 12 WS, 5 for Kiner. Yeah the war, but Kaline had 16 seasons with more than 12 Win Shares (in additon to the 30 WS seasons).

And Minoso - suppose he had 2 seasons stripped from the begining of this career, and would have racked up 50 more win shares - he's still over 100 Win Shares behind!

Kaline beats Minnie in 30+ WS Seasons, 20 WS seasons, just every thing.

The peak thing is a red-herring. He was in the 10 in AL MVP voting 3 straight years.

I'm not arguing he should be number one, but if he isn't in your top 15 you need to double check your system.
   163. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#2088625)
I strenuously disagree with this sentiment. I believe timelining players is not only appropriate, but necessary in order to identify the "best" players of all-time (rather than the "most valuble" or "generated best statistics in a given year").

That may be, but the Hall Of Merit is not a search for the "best" players of all-time. We are interested in honoring those players who created the most value for their teams, recognizing that a pennant in 1885 is as important as a pennant in 1985. Questions of "best" "talent" and "ability" while interesting, are tangential to the HOM project at best.

First off, there is a long-term trend towards decreased frequency of "extreme" OPS+ seasons from 1901-1994. This reflects, IMO, an improvement in the level of play in Major League Baseball during these years, and especially post-integration. I interpret this with two assumptions:
1)This trend would continue back to the 19th century, once you cancelled out for league strength fluctuation
2)The post-1994 jump in "extreme" offensive performance reflects some other influence not related to the average level of play.


These claims are highly debatable.

1. There may be such a long-term trend, but I don't believe you've demonstrated that there is. I imagine it depends on how you define "extreme" which may create a multiple-endpoints objection to your claim.

2. The relationship between "extreme" seasons and overall talent level is a matter of theory. The fact that you must make a big assumption about the last decade of baseball to make your theory even plausible is a big point against it (if it can be caused by something different now, why not then?)

3. Again, the assumption of the HOM is that we must be fair to all eras. That means that while the absolute talent level required to play major League Baseball in 1980 is much higher than that required in 1910, we must be fair and show respect to all eras. If we follow your timeline to it's logical conclusion, then there should not be any but the very very best pre-modern players in the HOM. Yeah, maybe Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb and Dan Brouthers, but Charlie Bennett isn't half the athlete Ted Simmons is and Jack Glasscock sure is no Alan Trammell.

By holding a player to higher and higher standards the further back in time he played, you are necessarily not being fair to all eras.

Kiner's best 3 consecutive seasons in OPS+: 184, 156, 184

Browning's best 3 consecutive seasons in OPS+: 222, 177, 173

Browning is performing slightly better. . .


Slightly? Looks a heck of a lot more than "slightly" to me. I don't think there's a way you can look at the raw OPS+ numbers and say Kiner's even close to Browning.

But the interesting thing here is that you say "all of my above arguments don't preclude me from voting for a great 1880's player, as long as I think he's better than the other players available for election." Then compare him to Kiner, a quite comparable, if inferior, player. But then you back away from the Kiner comparison and say Browning's no Brouthers. But, Brouthers isn't available for election, and not being Brouthers has nothing to do with how Browning compares with Ralph Kiner. Browning does not have to be Dan Brouthers to merit either election or fair treatment by the electorate.
   164. OCF Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:10 AM (#2088687)
Sean Gilman asked for more on the case of Billy Pierce.

Here's a small factor: he seems to be a little below average in giving up unearned runs. Since I work from RA, that makes me a little more impressed with him than would someone working from ERA. The effect is not large, and he has nearly as many years with ERA+ higher than RA+ than the other way around. However, in my system, he never has an ERA+ more than 7 points better than his RA+, while he has RA+ more than 10 points better than ERA+ in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1962.

Let's look at one particular year for Pierce: 1955. In rate terms, it's his most spectacular year, with an ERA+ of 201 (also RA+ 201). He led the league in WHIP and was third in strikeout rate. But he only had 206 IP; it took 260 IP to lead the AL and 211 IP to be in the top 10 of the AL. (216 for the top 10 of the NL; Robin Roberts at 305 was an outlier.) He started only 26 games, completing 16 of them (including 6 shutouts), and had 7 other appearances, 5 of which led to games finished. His actual record was 15-10. In my system, I've got him credited as an equivalent 18-5.

An evaluation question: which year would you prefer: Pierce's 1955 as described above, or Marichal's 1969? (Disclosure: that's not Marichal's best year.) Marichal had 300 IP at a RA+ of 151 for an equivalent record of 22-11. (The equivalent record closely mirrors the actual record of 21-11.) 300 IP is a lot more than 206, of course. But wait a minute: 300 didn't lead the league, and wasn't even in the top 5. It took 325 to lead the league and 284 to crack the top 10. (Marichal had 36 starts, completing 27 of them, and one relief appearance.)

Which would you prefer? 18-5 or 22-11? To me, they're really pretty close. Now stretch that over a whole career (which does include two clearly better Marichal years). Pierce also had years of equivalent 20-10, 19-9, 20-10, 19-11, 17-10. Marichal also had 24-9, 23-11, 22-14, 19-11. I have as career RA+ equivalent records Pierce at 218-150 and Marichal at 226-164. The difference between them is an 8-14 record, which is pretty much a wash. Now what else can you say? Marichal does have a better peak, primarily because he pitched more innings in his biggest years. However, that's not a consecutive peak (if that matters to you). And, as I've alluded to, top pitchers in Marichal's time (the high-water mark of the 4-man rotation) pitched more innings than those in Pierce's time (when rotations were slightly less fixed). Marichal pitched in the stronger league. Defensive support? I'll defer to others on this one. I suppose Pierce's support (Nellie Fox, Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio, Jim Landis, et al.) was mostly pretty good but was it anything out of the ordinary? And Marichal did have Willie Mays shagging his flies. Pierce does have one big extra marker on his side, one which partly excuses the lower IP numbers: relief leverage. Espcecially in the early 50's, Pierce was making 6-10 relief appearances a year, finishing most of them, and frequently being credited with saves or decisions.

On the other side, compare Pierce to Whitey Ford - same league, pretty much same time. Here my career RA+ equivalent record comparison shows the advantage to Ford, 218-134 to Pierce's 218-150. But Ford certainly enjoyed excellent defensive support, and his case also brings up issues of selective usage against certain kinds of opponents. And Pierce usually pitched more innings than Ford.
   165. OCF Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:20 AM (#2088716)
Of course, "Browning is not Brouthers" is irrelevant; Kiner is not Musial. Browning might well be as deserving as Sam Thompson, but the time to debate that particular case would have been before Thompson was elected. It was debated, of course, by a slightly different electorate, and the Thompson supporters prevailed at that time. Thompson: elected. Tiernan: long gone from the balloting. Browning: the perpetual limbo of the backlog.
   166. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2088717)
That may be, but the Hall Of Merit is not a search for the "best" players of all-time. We are interested in honoring those players who created the most value for their teams, recognizing that a pennant in 1885 is as important as a pennant in 1985. Questions of "best" "talent" and "ability" while interesting, are tangential to the HOM project at best.

Is this in the consitution? It seems very inconsistent with the evaluation of Negro Leaguers, who never played in the Major Leagues at all. It seems inconsistent with the notion of making "innings adjustments" to deadball or 1960's-70's pitchers, which I've also observed in discussion threads. I don't think your sentiment is followed by the electorate, except in the unique case of artificially enhancing the record of 19th C. players.

I don't get this at all. Especially with Minoso in your top 15.

Is there a defense of this thinking somewhere?


Yes. I don't care much for career value. I'm aware that there's debate about how "good" Minoso was during the typical peak years (25-29ish). I believe that except in rare cases, a player that did what Minoso did in the Majors at an advanced age must have been truly phenomenal when younger. I'm open to persuasion that Minoso was, in fact, a rare "late peak", but until I'm so persuaded, Minoso stays on my ballot.

Again, the assumption of the HOM is that we must be fair to all eras. That means that while the absolute talent level required to play major League Baseball in 1980 is much higher than that required in 1910, we must be fair and show respect to all eras. If we follow your timeline to it's logical conclusion, then there should not be any but the very very best pre-modern players in the HOM....

...By holding a player to higher and higher standards the further back in time he played, you are necessarily not being fair to all eras.


I disagree. Being "unfair" to earlier eras would entail ignoring players like Brouthers and Anson, which I do not support. In some sense, I agree with your reductio ad absurdum conclusion, in that only the very best players should be elected from the 1880's. I believe there was a rapid improvement in the quality of play from 1870-1905ish resulting from the national spread of the game--and a similar bump post-integration. I believe the rate of change was slower at other times. In another sense, I'm also side-stepping your reductio argument, because I don't take my argument to its full, logical conclusion. I recognize that if you took Ty Cobb and plopped him down in the modern game, he might fail, but I also recognize if you raised him in the modern era, giving him the training and nutrition that modern players receive, he'd probably be one of, if not the best, player in the league. My concern with Browning is that even if he was raised in our era, I'm not convinced he would be a HoM caliber player in today's MLB.

Do I think Browning would be a AAA player in this era? No. I look, for instance, at Hideki Matsui, who was previously playing in a Major League in a country with a population of ~120 million. He went from being a monsterous player in that league to merely a "very good" player when he arrived at our much more competitive Major League. Browning's Major League collected from a national population of only ~60 million; on the other hand, he probably was more valuble than Matsui in context, and, frankly, the average American is alot bigger than the average Japanese man. I suspect Browning would be a star, but not an superstar, in modern baseball.
   167. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:32 AM (#2088743)
>>That may be, but the Hall Of Merit is not a search for the "best" players of all-time. We are interested in honoring those players who created the most value for their teams, recognizing that a pennant in 1885 is as important as a pennant in 1985. Questions of "best" "talent" and "ability" while interesting, are tangential to the HOM project at best.

>Is this in the consitution?

It's built into the method. If we wanted to elect the 225 best players of all-time, irrespective of era, we would not have begun our elections in 1898. We could just have an election in real time and elect the #1 player of all-time, then #2, then #3...then #n. We didn't do that.
   168. andrew siegel Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2088777)
To be fair to B. Williams, his primary argument (that the standard deviation of OPS+ was much higher in the 19th century and has decreased relatively consistently throughout the 20th century) is one that has had much currency in our debates. I rememer John Murphy among others strenuously aruging that a 155 OPS+ in 1885 was very differnt from a 155 OPS+ in 2000. B's argument has a long pedigree in this project and a lot of adherents in this group (myself often included).
   169. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2088784)
It's built into the method. If we wanted to elect the 225 best players of all-time, irrespective of era, we would not have begun our elections in 1898. We could just have an election in real time and elect the #1 player of all-time, then #2, then #3...then #n. We didn't do that.

I understand that, but is timelining in voting barred by the constitution? My reading of the constitution leads me to believe that it isn't, but there are obviously others who disagree.
   170. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#2088799)
Is this in the consitution? It seems very inconsistent with the evaluation of Negro Leaguers, who never played in the Major Leagues at all. It seems inconsistent with the notion of making "innings adjustments" to deadball or 1960's-70's pitchers, which I've also observed in discussion threads. I don't think your sentiment is followed by the electorate, except in the unique case of artificially enhancing the record of 19th C. players.

It's the very basis for the whole nature of the project. It's the rationale behind the "pennant is a pennant" and "fair to all eras" rhetoric. It's the reason we started voting in 1898 and proceeded forward in time instead of simply picking the best 200 or so best players of all-time.

Being fair to Negro Leaguers is an additional imperative of the project. They didn't get a chance to compete through no fault of their own, we didn't think any Hall Of Merit could possibly be legitimate if it continued to exclude pre-1947 black players. We didn't elect the best negro League athletes, or the most talented Negro Leaguers, or even the most famous ones. We tried to translate their performance into a Major League context. This does not mean guessing what they "would have done" had they been allowed to play in the Majors, any more than evaluating Pete Browning's merit has anything to do with how he would play if he was born in 1965. The translations are equivalencies, not what ifs. As are the various other adjustments you mention (adjusting shorter seasons to 162 games, or weighting IP totals to the IP totals at the time they were achieved). None of this involves guesswork about the quality of play over time. These are attempts to put all players on an equal footing, not to figure out who the most talented players are.

I recognize that if you took Ty Cobb and plopped him down in the modern game, he might fail, but I also recognize if you raised him in the modern era, giving him the training and nutrition that modern players receive, he'd probably be one of, if not the best, player in the league. My concern with Browning is that even if he was raised in our era, I'm not convinced he would be a HoM caliber player in today's MLB.

What possible rational basis can there be for this assumption? The possible what ifs are endless. One of the big problems with Browning's candidacy is the time he missed in season and with his early career end because of alcoholism caused by self-medicating severe ear problems (mastoiditis which caused near-deafness and massive headaches). If he had been born 100 years later and his inner ear infection in childhood could have been treated easily with antibiotics. A Pete Browning with perfect hearing, a clear head and no reason to drink would surely have been a greater baseball player than the Pete Browning of 100 years earlier. I bet he'd give Ty Cobb200 a run for his money for sure.

What about Addies Joss?, Pete Reiser?, Ray Chapman?, Jim Creighton? The game goes on ad infinitum which is why it's not a useful way to determine who should be in the HOM. He have to base our ballots on what the players actually did, not what we think they might have done.
   171. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 01:58 AM (#2088811)
To be fair to B. Williams, his primary argument (that the standard deviation of OPS+ was much higher in the 19th century and has decreased relatively consistently throughout the 20th century) is one that has had much currency in our debates. I rememer John Murphy among others strenuously aruging that a 155 OPS+ in 1885 was very differnt from a 155 OPS+ in 2000. B's argument has a long pedigree in this project and a lot of adherents in this group (myself often included).

Sure, I don't mean to imply that he's alone in his argument. He may even be in the majority for all I know. But I still think I'm right. ;)

The debate about timelining is certainly not a new one around here. But we haven't had it for awhile, and the issue is only becoming more relevant. Especially as we enter the 80s and start electing a lot of backlogged players. I think it'd be a shame if the Bobby Griches and Albert Belles sail into the HOM while the Childs and Brownings are alternately ignored, timelined away, or judged to have had their chance and been passed on, so that debate is over.
   172. Daryn Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:06 AM (#2088826)
BW -- I think there are many of us here who believe that 100+ of the top 200 players in history are in fact active now, for a variety of reasons -- nutrition, conditioning, training, population etc. It wouldn't be much fun or much of an interesting project to timeline away, for example, all the pre-integration players (including the blacks) because they never played against the best, or the pre-1900 players because they never played against the West (nevermind the Far East). Our project is to figure out a fair way to evaluate players so that if you were the best player from 1870-1880 you get in, no matter if everyone agrees that you are not as good as Jimmy Key or Richie Sexson.
   173. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:10 AM (#2088836)
I understand that, but is timelining in voting barred by the constitution? My reading of the constitution leads me to believe that it isn't, but there are obviously others who disagree.

Well, it's certainly been debated, for 4+ years now.

But I still don't think you can make "Our goal is to identify the best players of each era and elect them to the Hall of Merit" consistent with timelining.
   174. Mike Webber Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:21 AM (#2088852)
I'll make one wrestling attempt with the pig, even though I know the pig enjoys it and I just get dirty.

I'm open to persuasion that Minoso was, in fact, a rare "late peak", but until I'm so persuaded, Minoso stays on my ballot.
The problem isn't Minoso on the ballot, it's Kaline not in the top 15.


I believe that except in rare cases, a player that did what Minoso did in the Majors at an advanced age must have been truly phenomenal when younger.

ML Win Shares Age 0 to 25

Kaline 152
Minoso 0

ML Win Shares Age 26 to 29
Kaline 97
Minoso 104

ML Win Shares Age 30 to 33
Kaline 99
Minoso 101

ML Win Shares Age 34 to 40
Kaline 95
Minoso 78

I believe that except in rare cases, a player that did what KALINE did in the Majors at YOUNG age must have been truly phenomenal.


Kaline's 152 Win Shares through his age 25 season is the 24th best total for a batter at the begining of his career, tied with Stan Musial. Cepeda through the same age had 154.

Those rare cases might be - Cesar Cedeno, Vada Pinson, Freddy Lindstrom (139 WS by age 25). (And I'm pretty sure Vada shaved years.)
   175. Howie Menckel Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#2088856)
B Williams,
I'd suggest thinking about this.
If you WERE around for our 1898 voting in 'real year 2003', we'd have forced you to vote for a top 15, no matter how much you wanted to timeline away these guys.
That would have been helpful, I think.
   176. andrew siegel Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:23 AM (#2088858)
Sean--

I'm not a big timeliner, but I don't consider it timelining not to assume that a 155 OPS+ has the same vale in every decade. In a (hypothetical) league where multiple players are over 200 and there are 2 players on every team over 150, a 155 is a lot less valuable than if it ranks second or third in the league. Charley Jones and Browning (among others) need to be discounted when compared with many later players, because ther OPS+ numbers were less rare in their leagues and times.
   177. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:58 AM (#2088897)
The problem isn't Minoso on the ballot, it's Kaline not in the top 15.

Let me speak clearly.

I . Don't. Care. About. Career. Value.

Kaline's 3 best consecutive seasons by OPS+ are: 162-176-146. Those seasons come when his defensive value had declined.

Prefer Win Shares? According to the NBJHBA, its 19-31-30

Ok, now compare that to Charlie Keller (who I did vote for). Best consecutive 3 years in OPS+ is 162-163-168.

I can't get his yearly winshares b/c its not in the NBKHBA, but according to the Keller thread it appears to be 36-34-33.

and Keller may, in fact, have been even better than he appears, because he loses ages 27 and 28 to the war.

Kaline was very good for very many years, but he never has that 3-year run of brilliance that so many outfielders experience at some point in their careers. That's why he doesn't get my vote.
   178. Howie Menckel Posted: July 06, 2006 at 04:13 AM (#2088950)
And three consecutive years is better than three best years because?

I never figured that one out. Unless it's about reliability, in which case Kaline kicks Keller to the curb..
   179. Mike Webber Posted: July 06, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2088951)
Kaline's 3 best consecutive seasons by OPS+ are: 162-176-146. Those seasons come when his defensive value had declined.

And Minoso's the guy in the 10th spot on your ballot, are: 149 - 135 - 140

Prefer Win Shares? According to the NBJHBA, its 19-31-30

And Minoso's are 32-21-29

Kaline was very good for very many years, but he never has that 3-year run of brilliance that so many outfielders experience at some point in their careers. That's why he doesn't get my vote.

Well make sure you get Wally Berger on your ballot 26-26-33
or
Roger Maris 31-36-25
or
Frank Chance 29-25-25

and save a spot for Pedro Guerrero 32-23-25

Or a guy I supported at one time
George Burns 34-23-32

Roy White will be around pretty soon 34-29-26

I guess Albert Pujols could get run over by a bus at the all-star game...

Its too bad Edgar Alfonso didn't slightly rearrange his 4 year run of greatness - 28-22-29-36, cause man if he did there is another HOM guy waiting to happen!

How about Dixie Walker - 33,28,27 - when you only care about 3 seasons what does it matter if its war time? Stan Spence in that group too 29,28,33. I mean come on STAN SPENCE!

Oooh, how about Clyde Milan, 27,33,28?

Are there any Johnny Callison supporters out there? 32,29,28 - That dwarfs Minoso's three year run!!! Put the sculptor on speed dial, we need HOM plaques PRONTO.

Just how many hitters have had a 3 year consecutive run better than Minoso's total of 82 Win Shares?

207 have. Topsy Harsel, Ryan Klesko, Hall of Famer Ross Youngs, Rueben Sierra, Ginger Beaumont, Fielder Jones, Orlando Cepeda, Tommy Leach, Shawn Green, Bret Boone, Howard Johnson, Brian Giles, Edmonds, Bill Nicholson, Luis Gonzalez, Augie Galan, George Stone, Bobby Abrue, Dale Murphy, Benny Kauff, Sosa. Frank Howard had 102 in one three span.

I . Don't. Care. About. Career. Value.

Really, doesn't this speak for itself?
   180. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 05:28 AM (#2088991)
In a (hypothetical) league where multiple players are over 200 and there are 2 players on every team over 150, a 155 is a lot less valuable than if it ranks second or third in the league. Charley Jones and Browning (among others) need to be discounted when compared with many later players, because ther OPS+ numbers were less rare in their leagues and times.

Yes, Browning and Jones (and everyone else) needs to be compared to their peers. I certainly don't disagree with that. For the same reason that 300 IP is more impressive in 1996 than 1916. I don't think that constitutes timelining at all.

But Bernie's assertion is that the standard deviation of OPS+ has changed over time and therefore players are less valuable the further back in time they played. It's that blanket timeline I disagree with, not the relevance of the standard deviation to the players' ranks versus their peers.
   181. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2088994)
Just how many hitters have had a 3 year consecutive run better than Minoso's total of 82 Win Shares?

I betcha Pete Browning did. . . .
   182. Sean Gilman Posted: July 06, 2006 at 06:02 AM (#2089005)
So, let's compare grey ink. Here's the ranks in top ten for OPS+ for a number of hitters:

Browning: 1, 2, 5, 2, 6, 2, 3, 1, 6
Kiner: 1, 4, 1, 4, 7
Keller: 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 4
Thompson: 2, 9, 5, 3, 2
Flick: 3, 10, 2, 7, 10, 2, 1, 3, 3
JJackson: 2, 2, 2, 5, 5, 3, 5, 3, 4
CJones: 7, 3, 3, 2, 5, 5, 7, 5
Orr: 1, 1, 2, 6, 5
Stovey: 10, 3, 3, 4, 5, 2, 2, 5
Connor: 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, 2
Tiernan: 7, 4, 1, 1, 7, 10, 4
Brouthers: 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 7, 1, 1 (wow!)


Those from the expansion era have an additional hurdle, there being more teams post-1961. But here's some numbers for them too:

Howard: 5, 7, 6, 2, 3, 2, 9
Cash: 2, 4, 8, 2, 8, 5
Cepeda: 10, 7, 8, 4, 3, 7, 4
Belle: 8, 2, 2, 7, 1
Ramirez: 6, 9, 10, 1, 2, 4, 2, 2, 3, 5
Giambi: 7, 1, 1, 3, 3, 6
EMartinez: 9, 3, 1, 3, 3, 3, 6, 5, 5 (woohoo!)

I don't know how informative this is, or really if it's much of a strike against Browning. Unless, I guess, you want to argue that not only was it easier to have a high OPS+ in the AA (for whatever reason) but it was easier to have a higher OPS+ than anyone else in the AA as well.

I think the above just helps my argument that Browning was at the top of the talent pyramid (not the peak of it, that quite clearly was Dan Brouthers and Roger Connor). As such, a flat AA discount to Browning's stats will overflatten his peak and prime. And since that's the core of his candidacy, it sinks him as a candidate for anyone who applies such a discount.
   183. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 06, 2006 at 07:10 AM (#2089031)
We have MLE's for Minoso's pre-MLB years and they aren't that impressive, certainly not what I thought they would be.

AND

Is there anyone who can run a study to see if Browning's OPS+ SD's are impressive or not. I think an argument can bemade that Kiner's top three OPS+ is as impressive as Bronwings in the context of their times.

AND

I never used consecutive peak, to me an MVP level season is an MVP level season whether or not it comes after two other MVP level sesaons or not.
   184. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2089088)
The reason I use consecutive peak is that of my voting, I imagine myself as a GM putting a team together. My observation of the way that GM's manage their team is that they put alot of weight on a 3-year timescale, with some, but lesser weight on a 1-year and 5 year timescale.

If a player is really inconsistent, say, someone whose Win Shares go 33-19-32-17-28-etc..., then how would my imaginary general manager be able to anticipate what he's getting? If he bet upon getting upon the 30 WS season, and he ended up with the 19, his team is in deep poop.

Now, in contrast, lets take Player 2:

17-28-33-32-19

Here, the General Manager's bets have payed off, as the player has produced as expected during his peak.
------------------
I'm not voting for Minoso based upon his actual stats. I'm voting for him on the assumption that his stats from his ML time in his 30's are indicative of a player who would have met my standard for greatness in his 25-30 years. I guess that right now, I trust that sort of hindcasting more than I trust MLEs, but that's an opinion that could change.
   185. sunnyday2 Posted: July 06, 2006 at 12:56 PM (#2089097)
>I trust that sort of hindcasting more than I trust MLEs,

those silly numbers...
   186. TomH Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2089146)
to finish the Sisler / Chance comparison of last week:

For about 6-7 years, they were offensively comparable. George played more and so had more offensive value. Chance may have been better with the leather, and played when 1B was a more important position. Sisler's league strength was probably higher.

Outisde their primes, Sisler played many years, but was below average. Chance played many years, and was still very good, but didn't play nearly as much. Part of this (late career) was he was always hurt. In the early career, some of the blame goes to management for not recognizing that a guy who can catch and be the a great hitter deserves a job.

Sisler is like a pitcher who went 22-11 many years in his prime, and then after he hurt his arm went 12-15 for many years.

Chance is like a pitcher who went 19-9 in his prime, and also had a lot of 9-5 years as an injured starter, and some time reliever. But he was always available to pitch and pitch well in the post-season.

This "Sisler" certainly won more games in his career than "Chance", while the pithcer Chance was more games above .500. The debate as to who helped his team more comes down to replacement level.
   187. Rorschach Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:18 PM (#2089162)
I'm not voting for Minoso based upon his actual stats. I'm voting for him on the assumption that his stats from his ML time in his 30's are indicative of a player who would have met my standard for greatness in his 25-30 years. I guess that right now, I trust that sort of hindcasting more than I trust MLEs, but that's an opinion that could change.


Not to pile on, because I do think you have a fine ballot, and your defense of consecutive peak is sensible. But, perhaps you are unaware that Minoso is generally accepted by this electorate to have really been 3 years younger than listed at BBRef, so that his first full year was at 25, etc. This makes his career make a lot more sense, especially given the MLE data.
   188. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#2089168)
Bernie,

Boy you sure have had a rough two/three weeks here at the HOM! I am probably one of the voters that agrees the most with your ballot, keep voting for Charlie Keller (though you should probably think more about Minnie Minoso, who I think is overrated by the electorate) and you will be on my good side!

That said, the imaginery GM thing is not something that I find useful for this exercise. It is probably perfectly legal per the constitution (which it seems that you have studied more than I) but I am not sure it really says anything about the players we are evaluating. If we were forcasting performance, than consistency and assurance would be very valuable. But since we are looking back at what players DID, not what they WILL DO in the future, I am not sure that the above skills are terribly useful.

Maybe the first player in your example added some gray hairs to the respective heads of his GM and coach, but he still produced three very good seasons, three seasons as good as the best three of the second player. That is three times that both players significantly helped to push their teams toward the pennant, I would call that even. I just can't see how the order in which they come can be very important.

I think the same thing can be said about park factors. When you are a GM and are looking into trading/acquiring/forecasting a player it really matters how a guy meshes with his park. Is he unduly (above and beyond mere park factors) hurt by it or helped by it? However, since we are not forecasting players I think that a player that was able to take special advantage of his park (thinking Jim Rice in Fenway vs. Joe Dimaggio in the Stadium) should get credit for that. There are games that can be won if a player was doing that and games that can be lost if he is not.

I guess that all of this is to say that what we are doing, the way that we are evaluating players, is fundamentally different than what a GM or a coach does. We are looking back at what a player accomplished instead of looking forward at what he can reasonably be expected to accomplish. Kapisch?
   189. DavidFoss Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2089189)
That said, the imaginery GM thing is not something that I find useful for this exercise. It is probably perfectly legal per the constitution (which it seems that you have studied more than I) but I am not sure it really says anything about the players we are evaluating.

Its a legitimate voting preference. Bill James has consecutiveness worked into his rankings. Campanella 53-55 and Bench 70-72 are the famous examples with the MVPs/pennants in the outside seasons and the poor year for the player *and* the team in the middle. It can beg the question as to if the flaky player can actually produce more pennants hypothetically becuase the team finishes 1st/3rd/1st instead of 2nd/2nd/2nd. (Hypothetical example -- specifically, its possible that Dodgers and Reds above would have won and lost the same amount of pennants with more even catcher production).

Personally I'm not a big fan of consecutiveness and I think the concept probably works better for "longer contracts" (James uses 5 and I could see as high as 7)... but just tempering the piling on of Bernie. :)
   190. TomH Posted: July 06, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2089190)
I have used Bernie's logic before. If a team is attempting to win a pennant, they trade for a great player. Consistency helps determine a great player. Consecutive great seasons may end up helping teams win pennants more often than non-consecutive ones.

Having said that, this is more of a tie-breaker than a huge weighting for my ballot.
   191. karlmagnus Posted: July 06, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2089209)
If consitency's so good, why do the Red Sox keep trying to trade Manny Ramirez? I agree it ought to be regrded very highly, but I'm not sure in practice that it ever has been, by managers or by HOM/HOF voters. By definition, a player with a good overall career but no peak (know who I mean?) has to be pretty consistent to achieve the results he does. Yet he's penalized by many voters for peaklessness.
   192. Daryn Posted: July 06, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2089389)
I don't understand why anyone would ignore productivity beyond an arbitrarily selected time period, whether it be 3 years or five years. Is 30-30-30-30-30 WS possibly better than 28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28 WS? Does 0 - 32--32-32- 0 make Bernie's ballot over 20 WS for 20 years -- I think it does.

But setting aside that, the bigger problem with Bernie's ballot is that he appears to be ignoring all sorts of other greater three year peaks than those on his ballot, sometimes because those guys had truly mediocre careers. Maybe it is all in the timelining, but it doesn't appear that way. Where are Maris and Callison and a dozen other similar players on his ballot?
   193. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 06, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#2089517)
I don't understand why anyone would ignore productivity beyond an arbitrarily selected time period, whether it be 3 years or five years. Is 30-30-30-30-30 WS possibly better than 28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28-28 WS? Does 0 - 32--32-32- 0 make Bernie's ballot over 20 WS for 20 years -- I think it does.

But setting aside that, the bigger problem with Bernie's ballot is that he appears to be ignoring all sorts of other greater three year peaks than those on his ballot, sometimes because those guys had truly mediocre careers. Maybe it is all in the timelining, but it doesn't appear that way. Where are Maris and Callison and a dozen other similar players on his ballot?


Because I don't care about "productivity". I care about who the best player, at his best. Productivity over a 1 year period isn't a great measure of that because of fluke seasons; productivity over 5 years seems to penalize several players who were, in fact, clearly great, but got injured or had some other catastrophy befall them. 3 years seems to wash out the flukes, but include the short-career guys.

With regards to Maris & Callison: Maris rally had only 2 great years, and they occured in a park that hugely benefitted him. I don't see how Callison was all that great, even for a short period of time.
   194. DavidFoss Posted: July 06, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2089634)
productivity over 5 years seems to penalize several players who were, in fact, clearly great, but got injured or had some other catastrophy befall them

Five years is not *that* long. Even super-peakers like Jennings, Dean, HWilson and Rosen can survive a five year test.
   195. Rob_Wood Posted: July 06, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#2089837)
Oh boy, it seems to me that BW's reasoning may be inadmissible with respect to this exercise. The comment that causes me grave concern is the Elston Howard comment. Since Howard had great years in his 30's, he was surely great(er) in his 20's, and therefore meritorious of a ballot-spot, regardless of how he actually performed in his 20's. (Howard may have a ballot case, but this is not it.)

Every voting member of the HOM agrees to abide by the spirit of Joe's creation, imperfectly reflected in the constitution. The focus of the Hall of Merit is the player's contribution to winning baseball games. I believe that giving great weight to this type of "what if" reasoning is essentially unconstitutional.

Together with the other areas of concern with BW's ballot (i.e., the reasoning behind the ballot), we may need Joe or John to weigh in on its admissibility.

Let me close by stating that BW appears to possess the required knowledge of baseball history to be a great addition to the group once we clear up the ballot-construction requirements.
   196. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 07, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2090084)
Let me first say that while reviewing Kaline this afternoon, I've started to wonder whether or not I was to harsh on Kaline for a lack of dominance...even in the weak AL of the 1950's, it seems that domination was harder to achieve than I initially figured.

that being said, I want to contrast Kaline and Howard as guys who had opposing luck during their careers: Kaline blessed and Howard cursed. Kaline is moved to the majors as soon as (if not before) he's ready. He plays in a field tailored to his talents, and is the most popular (and biggest) star on his team.

Howard, in contrast, is a black guy in the Yankees organization. He's forced to switch positions several times, blocked at his strongest position by, you know, one of the top 5 catchers of all time (top 3?). He plays in a park that harms him. He loses time to the Armed Forces.

Here's the thing: Howard had no control over these circumstances. He had no control over the color of his skin, no control over global geopolitics, no control over the team that owned him (reserve clause), no control, over Yogi Berra's existence or the depth of left field at Yankee Stadium.

I refuse to dock Howard for this. I refuse to dock Howard because he was unlucky, and to boost Kaline because he was fortunate. I would bet anything that Howard was one of the two or three best catchers alive from 1954 to 1964, even if the statistical record doesn't reflect that.

Howards "statistical contributions", such as they are, merely tell us three things:

1) He wasn't as good as Yogi Berra
2) He wasn't HoM-worthy at any position but catcher
3) He was one hellofa catcher in 1954 (IL) and in the early 60's.

Combining the statistical evidence with the historical evidence, I conclude that Elston Howard, if he wasn' unusually screwed, would have easily made the HoM as a catcher. In my mind, that's worth a vote for the HoM.
   197. sunnyday2 Posted: July 07, 2006 at 01:41 AM (#2090358)
>I refuse to dock Howard for this. I refuse to dock Howard because he was unlucky,

Nobody is "docking" Elston Howard any credit or value or merit.

What you are doing is the converse. You are saying that you are going to give him extra credit for stuff he didn't actually do, because he was unlucky.

Fine.

But it is a different thing. To insinuate that everybody else is docking him is just plain incorrect.

And as to your stated reason for doing so: George Sisler had no control over his sinusitis. Herb Score had no control over the screaming line drive that hit him in the eye. Ken Hubbs had no control over the plane he was riding that went down.

This no control thing is a massive worm can.
   198. Daryn Posted: July 07, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#2090435)
I had no control over my lack of ability.
   199. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 04:57 AM (#2090715)
While I understand sunnyday's sentiments regarding Howard, I agree with Bernie that Howard deserves massive amounts of credit on the subjective, bullshirt, non-Major League credit monitor - and I agree that it's basically docking him not to give it . . .

However, on Kaline, he's a very easy #1. I think he's the #3 right fielder we've seen, behind only Ruth and Ott.

I like Cash a lot . . . not sure where he's going to land, but it will probably be on ballot.

Joe Sewell and Edd Roush are moving up a bunch on my ballot this week. As will Indian Bob and Pie Traynor. I did a major re-evaluation of hitters over the last few days, using OWP and the OWP of players at the player's position during his career. 3B hitters were as bad during Traynor and Willie Kamm's era as at any point in major league history.

Same for Sewell at SS. But even when I take Sewell's replacement level and bump it the level of the average SS in the 40s, he still shows as someone above the line we've drawn for SS. He'll possibly be the highest rated position player on my ballot this week - behind no more than Beckley, Cravath, and Easter, possibly ahead of them all.

Schang and Bresnahan are also moving up.

Only question is that I'm not sure who'll be dropping :-(
   200. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 05:49 AM (#2090739)
I'm going to give my top 100 backlog now that I've tweaked everything this week - I realize it's late, but curious about any thoughts.
Page 2 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dock Ellis on Acid
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 1.2891 seconds
49 querie(s) executed