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 3 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 > 
   201. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 06:15 AM (#2090747)
My preliminary position player ranking . . . listing only players that I think may reasonably deserve to be elected at some point.


1. Al Kaline
2. Gavy Cravath
3. Joe Sewell
4. Charley Jones
5. Jake Beckley
6. Norm Cash
7. Ron Santo (a little overrated in these parts by the time he was playing 3B could hit and there's a great hitter's park to account for too)
8. Wally Schang (we are missing the boat here)
9. Cupid Childs
10. Dave Bancroft
11. Luke Easter
12. Dobie Moore
13. Tony Lazzeri (underrated)
14. Roger Bresnahan
15. Elston Howard
16. Nellie Fox
17. Ralph Kiner
18. Charlie Keller
19. Phil Rizzuto
20. Tommy Leach
21. Pie Traynor (underrated - who'dve ever thought he'd have that word next to his name?)
22. Bob Johnson
23. Ben Taylor
24. John McGraw (I may finally be seeing some light on him)
25. Bob Elliott
26. Jimmy Ryan
27. Alejandro Oms
28. Lave Cross
29. Ernie Lombardi (back on the bandwagon)
30. Frank Chance
31. Ed Konetchy
32. Eddie Stanky
33. Harlond Clift
34. Edd Roush
35. Mike Griffin
36. Quincy Trouppe
37. Duke Farrell (1000 games at C is impressive for a career centered in the 1890s, and he was nearly a league aveage hitter too, WARP loves his glove)
38. Minnie Minoso (really need to look at his non-MLB hard - not on the list without it)
39. Bill Monroe
40. Smoky Burgess (we missed him completely 116 OPS+, over 1100 games at C)
41. Larry Gardner
42. Ken Boyer
43. Orlando Cepeda
44. Mike Tiernan
45. Rocky Colavito
46. Hugh Duffy (I just don't see it)
47. George Van Haltren (dropping a lot- defense worse than I realized and CF really hit well in his time-frame, the latter of which also applies to Duffy and Griffin)
48. Deacon McGuire
49. Jack Clements
50. Pete Browning
51. Ed Williamson
52. Denny Lyons
53. Dick Bartell
54. Vern Stephens
55. Johnny Kling
56. Sherm Lollar
57. Larry Doyle
58. Red Schoendienst
59. Rick Ferrell
60. Jake Daubert
61. Jack Fournier
62. Harry Davis
63. Kiki Cuyler
64. Tommy Henrich
65. Cecil Travis (depending on military service credit re-eval, same no higher than Bancroft)

Honorable mention, in no particular order:

C: Chief Zimmer, Walker Cooper, Tom Haller, Walker Cooper, Fred Carroll, John Clapp.

1B: Mickey Vernon, Dolph Camilli, Gil Hodges, Fred Tenny, Dan McGann, Phil Cavaretta, Ferris Fain, Bill White, Jim Bottomley, Rudy York, Dave Orr, Jack Doyle, Joe Judge, Ted Kluszewski, Hal Chase, Joe Adcock.

2B: Fred Dunlap, Del Pratt, Johnny Evers, Buddy Myer, Dick McAuliffe, Gil McDougald, Lonny Frey, Tom Daly, Miller Huggins, Max Bishop, Jimmy Williams, Bill Mazeroski, Pete Runnels, Bobby Avile, Jim Gilliam

3B: Willie Kamm, Billy Nash, Bill Joyce, Art Devlin, George Kell, Bill Bradley, Ken Keltner, Al Rosen, Heinie Zimmerman, Arlie Latham, Eddie Yost, Jimmy Dykes, Red Rolfe

SS: Travis Jackson, Donie Bush, Maury Wills, Roger Peckinpaugh, Luis Aparicio, Joe Tinker, Art Fletcher, Harvey Keunn, Herman Long, Rabbit Maranville

LF: Augie Galan, Riggs, Stephenson, Don Buford, George Burns, Bobby Veach, Tip O'Neill, Mike Donlin.

CF: Wally Berger, Hack Wilson, Fielder Jones, Cy Seymour, Earle Combs, Roy Thomas, Dom DiMaggio, Benny Kauff

RF: Ross Youngs, Vic Wertz, John Titus, Harry Hooper, Roger Maris, Frank Howard, Chuck Klein, Dixie Walker, Sam Rice.

As for pitchers . . .

1. Jack Quinn
2. Billy Pierce
3. Juan Marichal
4. Tommy Bridges
5. Burleigh Grimes
6. Virgil Trucks
7. Urban Shocker
8. Bucky Walters
9. Dutch Leonard
10. Dolf Luque
11. Bobo Newsom
12. Don Newcombe
13. Dizzy Trout
14. Waite Hoyt
15. Jose Mendez
16. Vic Willis
17. Ed Cicotte
18. Babe Adams
19. Rube Waddell
20. Wilbur Cooper
21. Mel Harder
22. Dick Redding
23. George Uhle
24. Bob Shawkey
25. Herb Pennock
26. Carl Mays
27. Lon Warneke
28. Dizzy Dean
29. Lefty Gomez
30. Stu Miller
31. Lindy McDaniel
32. Mickey Welch
33. Jim McCormick
34. Bob Friend

Honorable Mention: Curt Simmons, Larry Jackson, Camilo Pasqual, Murry Dickson, Chief Bender, Eddie Rommel, Hippo Vaughn, Milt Pappas, Jesse Tannehill, Addie Joss, Smokey Joe Wood, Jesse Haines, Firpo Marberry, Ellis Kinder, Roy Face, Ron Perranoski, Dick Radatz . . .

That's about as deep as I could see going, an even 101 . . . curious to hear any thoughts.
   202. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 06:18 AM (#2090749)
Now I need to splice the lists . . .
   203. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 07:28 AM (#2090767)
Wow, if Joe and I were the only voters we would have a hard time coming to any consensus! if he has a 10/5 hitters/pitchers split we would agree on four players, three of them being Santo, Kaline, and Marichal. That leaves Childs, with Cravath just missing on my end. So Joe, if we can banish everyone else from the voting, we could get Cupid Childs elected! how about it?

I agree that Howard could use some extra credit. The problem is that, unlike with MiL and NeL players we dont' have any data for Howard. We do have some bookend data but not data for his time on the bench as he was not playing. At the same time it would seem unfair to penalize Howard for being on a Major League roster while giving MiL credit, which I know that sunny does not do so at least he is consistent, to Cravath, Arlett, Averill, Minoso, etc.

I have Howard on my ballot without any estimates on his years behind Berra, I like his peak that much for a catcher. However, those seasons do keep him a few spots lower than Quincey Trouppe. In fact if I were to give Howard credit for that time missed I am pretty sure I would end up with a complete Trouppe clone, only Howard played LF instead of 3B.

Also,

I guess there could be some extra value in having your good seasons consecutively, I disagree but would be open to any studies that show otherwise. My problem was taking the tack of the GM role, which I see as fundamentally different from our role.

This goes along with another comment I have about Joe's list in that WS, WARP, OWP, and OPS+ already adjsut for park affects, so unless someone is using AVG/OBP/SLG, or raw HR/RBI/H totals, Wrigley field is already taken into consideration. Any benefits that a player recieves above and beyond that I am inclined to give him credit for. I guess that is where we disagree...

Oh, and large are your adjustments for a player's OWP in his era Joe? I am not one to care really if say, Pie Traynor was a godo hitter for a 3B in an era of bad hitting 3B, I would rather have the best players irregardless of hwo good their peers were. Of course soem adjsutment is needed but only using a player's era would seem to give us some real era/positional balance that maybe we dont' need.
   204. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 08:59 AM (#2090778)
Thanks for the comments Jschmeagol.

One at a time:

Agreed on Howard, he's tough. You actually have him higher than I do at this point.

"I guess there could be some extra value in having your good seasons consecutively, I disagree but would be open to any studies that show otherwise. My problem was taking the tack of the GM role, which I see as fundamentally different from our role."


I don't think that applies to me does it? I don't care if a peak is consecutive or not, unless it's a tie-breaker.

"This goes along with another comment I have about Joe's list in that WS, WARP, OWP, and OPS+ already adjsut for park affects, so unless someone is using AVG/OBP/SLG, or raw HR/RBI/H totals, Wrigley field is already taken into consideration."


My comment on Santo was regarding his raw numbers . . . agreed there too.

"Oh, and large are your adjustments for a player's OWP in his era Joe? I am not one to care really if say, Pie Traynor was a godo hitter for a 3B in an era of bad hitting 3B, I would rather have the best players irregardless of hwo good their peers were. Of course soem adjsutment is needed but only using a player's era would seem to give us some real era/positional balance that maybe we dont' need."


Whenever a player has a 'position average OWP' number that is out of whack historically, I tweak it some and see how the player would otherwise look if it were more 'normal'. Traynor still comes out OK. If I set him to the level of 3B from Frank Baker's career he still comes out between Elliott and Boyer.

Also, if you don't adjust for this you are penalizing a player twice. I think this part is really important. Think about it - if the players that played his position during that time were bad hitters, they must have been better fielders than at other times. So if you are giving him his fielding credit compared to his better fielding peers, but comparing him to historical norms in hitting, you are giving the player incorrect demerits in both hitting AND fielding.

The problem with Sewell and Traynor and others from that era is the NONE of the 3B/SS hit during that time. You've got a 15 year period where hitters on the left side of the IF are historically awful. I mean 3B from that time hit worse than SS's today.

There had to be something going on in the game at the time - during the transition from the deadball to live-ball era that made it very hard to play 3B. During that time. Dykes, Traynor and Kamm's peers (.448, .440 and .422 respectively) at 3B hit as poorly as Luke Appling's (.448), Dick Bartell's (.427) and Alvin Dark's (.439) at SS.

Again, I don't give players full credit for this, but I certainly take it into account. It's part of the reason Traynor only has 59 FRAA above average - pretty much everyone has a SS at 3B - an average 3B was a helluva lot more valuable defensively in 1930 than in 1970.

Ideally this positional replacement level would be calculated by using the bottom 15% of regulars at a position, as opposed to the average. Unfortunately, that information doesn't exist right now - and it would be incredibly labor intensive to come up with - it's a lot harder than you think to figure out who the 'regulars' are at a position - and when players play multiple positions in a season, you have to guesstimate how many PA he had at each position and prorate his replacement level hitter accordingly.

Eventually, I'd love to do it, but I'm going to have to hook up with a programmer that can turn my ideas into code :-)
   205. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 09:11 AM (#2090781)
"Ideally this positional replacement level would be calculated by using the bottom 15% of regulars at a position, as opposed to the average."

In case it isn't obvious, the reason for this is to avoid star gluts or droughts.

When you pick the bottom 15% at a position, you are far enough out on the left side of the rapidly narrowing right end of the bell curve, that a group of stars at the right end won't make much difference when they shift it.

In case that isn't clear . . .

Say you have 30 players at SS. Now you add Tejada, Jeter, ARod and Nomar to that group.

If you are setting your baseline at 13-18, you are now setting it at 9-14 which is a significant difference. But the position didn't get any easier to play - you just added a few great hitters.

If instead you are using players 26-30 to baseline you are now using 22-26 - there is very little difference between players 22-26 and 26-30, you are far enough to the left on the bell curve at this point that it doesn't make much difference.

Likewise, say you start with 30 CF, and baseline using 13-18.

But now you remove Mantle, Mays, Snider and Ashburn. You are baselining using 17-22, which is noticably worse than 13-18.

However, if you were using 26-30, you are now using 30-33, and there is very little difference. The effect is as bad during star droughts - as 9-14 are 'more better' compared to 13-18, than 13-18 are compared to 17-22.

So using the bottom 15% as opposed to average will show you spots where managers prefer gloves to bats for whatever reason (usually because the demands of the position have changed), without being effected very much by star gluts and droughts.
   206. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 09:27 AM (#2090785)
Visually because I'm bored . . .

Only the best 37 SS in the world are shown. Your league has 30 teams. The 7 to the far left are just there to show that the curve goes beyond your regulars . . .

.
. . 
. . .
. . .  .
. . .  .  .  .
. . . . .   .   .   . .
. . . . . .  .   .   .   .  .  .
--> 


You are only baselining off the 2nd leftmost column (where the > is).

Now add 4 studs:
.
. . 
. . .
. . .  .
. . .  .  .  .    .
. . . . .   .   .   .   .  .
. . . . . .  .   .   .   .  .  . .  .
--> > 


Now you are baselining off 4 from the 3rd leftmost column and 2 from the 2nd leftmost column very little difference.

Or remove 4 studs:

.
. . 
. . .
. . .  .
. . .  .  .  .
. . . . .   .   .   
. . . . . .  .   .   .   . 
> > 


Now you are baseling using 4 from the far left and 2 from the second to the left - again very little difference. Hope that helps.
   207. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 10:13 AM (#2090790)
If we elect Santo, he'll be our first living non-Hall of Famer.

Anyone know how we could pass that along to him in such a way that we also convey to him how seriously we take this and how knowledgable our electorate is? Maybe he'll appreciate the recognition a little bit?
   208. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 10:19 AM (#2090791)
The problem that I have is that just because 3B were bad hitters in Traynor's era it does not follow that they were better fielders. It may be possible, even likely, but it isnt' guaranteed.

I like the idea od a bottom 15%, but I might take the bottom 30% or maybe the middle 15% to adjust for the possiblity of a drought in MLB quality players at a position. Actually has that ever occurred, where there were only like say, 14 MLB quality players at a position in a 16 team league or something? Possibly not.

Also, have you actually been up at 4am posting? For me its now 6pm, but for you, damn.
   209. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 11:05 AM (#2090795)
I work nights! Heading home now . . .
   210. TomH Posted: July 07, 2006 at 12:50 PM (#2090829)
I agree with Joe's visual dot example. It shows that RCAA/RCAP, while useful, need to be tweaked a bit to account for those atypical times when Greenberg/Foxx/Gehrig all play 1B. In 2000 it is less of a concern, since we have 30 teams.

Joe, your rankings are probably about what I would get if I set replacement level a little lower, and since that's the main difference bewteen us, I say live and let live :)

I will have to look at again Mr. Quinn; I confess to spending 5 minutes or less on his candidacy so far.

On Van Haltren; if CF his so well during his time, wouldn't his (good) RCAP be a compelling reason to favor, not disfavor, his election?
   211. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2090833)
I don't think GVH's RCAP are all that good, IIRC Tom . . . Girlfriend took the laptop today, so I don't have access to my spreadsheet or the Sabermetric Encyclopedia now . . . Funny you said that about replacement level, I think I may have set it too high myself!
   212. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#2090836)
BTW, for the hitters basically I've been looking at OWP, Pos.OWP, and FRAA. Then I'm tweaking here and there, adjusting for schedule length, etc.. I messed around with the replacement level until I thought I found a fairly happy medium, though I think it's a bit high. Still a work in progress, but it's getting there.
   213. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 01:13 PM (#2090842)
As for Quinn, his candidacy is bolster by the 1916-18 credit, but it doesn't hinge entirely on it. I'd still have him ahead of Grimes and below Bridges without it.

Check his thread out, I detail the credit there, and it's totally reasonable. Fits right in with his career, etc.. If anything, I was probably too conservative with it.

He gets the relief boost too. And there are just a ton of good years in there. Even after WWII type deflation, his 1914 still stands up as a great season.

6 of his top 10 comps are in the Hall of Fame, 3 are in the Hall of Merit and Grimes is a 4th. And that's without any credit for 1916-18.

I do like long career pitchers more than most but I'm confident I have him slotted correctly. The guy did not have a bad year from 1913 until he was 49 years old in 1933. There's enormous value there.

I didn't once take into account that he was a PA guy, and died in Pottsville, home of the Yuengling brewery, which is still America's oldest brewery, since 1829. And my favorite beer. Honest!
   214. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 01:18 PM (#2090845)
Ugh, I forgot to give Henrich military service credit - he's going to move up a bunch with 3 years of 125-130 OPS+ thrown in there.
   215. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 07, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#2091158)
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).

Correct, Eric. That's not timelining (and let's see someone here try to pin that label on me :-)

If the ML expanded to 50 teams next season, would we not take into account the the greater spread between the best and worst players? We would have multiple players with 200+ OPS+, yet they would be no greater if there had been no expansion. Well, when we're dealing with the earlier leagues, we have to take into account that greater spread.
   216. mulder & scully Posted: July 07, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2091260)
Used to be Kelly in SD

Voting method: Best seven years (prime) considered the most heavily. Best three straight years (peak) considered second. Pitchers is a 50/50 mix of 3 straight and any 3. Career and per season are considered third/fourth and weighed roughly equal. Bonuses for the following: best in league at your position (or top 3/4 if a starting pitcher) and being a catcher. Credit for minor league years once established at a major league level - usually after their first excellent year at the top level. Credit for Negro League seasons. Credit for WWI, WWII at established level. Credit for certain player transactions/structural issues - Charley Jones, Gavy Cravath, Jack Fournier, Jack Quinn.

1980 Prelim:

1. Al Kaline: Best career, a top 20 prime. Among retired right fielders, Ruth, Aaron, Ott, Robinson, Crawford, Waner, Flick, and roughly even with Heilman. Dihigo and King Kelly played everywhere and I list them in right and I have them ahead also. Between 8th and 10th best RF.
2. Ron Santo: 5th best prime behind Jones, Browning, Keller, and Duffy. 7 gold gloves by win shares. Among retired third basemen, Mathews, Baker, Groh, and Sutton (with NA credit) rank ahead. Deacon White and Jud Wilson played all over the field, but I have them at 3rd and they rank ahead. Between 5th and 7th best 3rd basemen. Kaline is significantly better than Santo so he ranks ahead.
3. Mickey Welch:
4. Charley Jones:
5. Pete Browning:
6. Charlie Keller:
7. Hugh Duffy:
8. Quincy Troupe:
9. Jose Mendez: From 1910 to 1914, only Johnson and Alexander were better. A gigantic peak.
10. Bucky Walters:
11. Juan Marichal: About the same as Koufax, Drysdale, and Ford, but slightly lower.
12. Alejandro Ohms:
13. Cupid Childs:
14. Vic Willis:
15. Dobie Moore:


16. Tommy Leach:
17. Gavy Cravath:

18-22:
Chance:
Howard: These four players are ranked as the best leftfielders in my system. There is no difference between them.
Burns: Best leadoff hitter of the 1910s NL. Overlooked.
Kiner: Just a hair behind Burns for best LF on my board.
Minoso: Just a hair behind Howard, Burns and Minoso for best LF. I can't put all three on the ballot so none of them go.

Norm Cash: somewhere in here.

23-27:
Redding: Not enough shoulder seasons to go with the big 4 years.
Grimes:
Cooper, Wilbur:
Roush:
Bresnahan:

28-32
Doyle:
Easter:
Long:
Rosen:
Stephens:

33-37
Van Haltren:
Dean:
Waddell:
Fox: He certainly stood out over the other second basemen of his era. Too bad it wasn't that difficult.
Schang:

38-41:
Tiernan:
Fournier:
Mays:
Long:

Cepeda: Fits in between 35 and 45.

42-46:
Monroe, Bill:
Scales:
McGraw:
Sewell: Stood out over AL shortstops of the 1920s, but not much better than Bancroft. And Dick Lundy and Dobie Moore were much better.
Berger:

47-51:
Clarkson:
Elliott:
Shocker:
Jones, F:
Denny Lyons / Ed Williamson:

Others:
Boyer: Around 90th among all eligible players.
Beckley: 11th best available first baseman. Around 140th among all eligible players.
   217. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 10:47 PM (#2091369)
Put me in the minority - but I don't necessarily think that lower standard deviation means tougher competition. There are many things that could cause the standard deviation to be higher or lower. Run environment for one.

Chris Dial for one is convinced that it is easier to dominate now than it was 25 years ago. Has play regressed? We've had some insane individual seasons recently, Maddux in 1994-95, Bonds 2002-2004, etc..
   218. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 07, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#2091383)
After giving military credit I see Henrich up around an area equal to Bill Terry or Earl Averill ahead of Bob Johnson and Edd Roush. I wasn't a big supporter of Terry's induction, but he wasn't an awful choice.

He'll probably bump into my top 20 position players on the list above. He was as hurt by WWII on his career as just about anyone.
   219. Cblau Posted: July 08, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2091760)
BWilliams wrote:Maris rally had only 2 great years, and they occured in a park that hugely benefitted him.

Gee, I guess someone forgot to tell Roger that.

1960
OPS Home .832
OPS Road 1.056

1961
OPS Home 1.001
OPS Road .986
   220. DavidFoss Posted: July 08, 2006 at 02:59 AM (#2091796)
Gee, I guess someone forgot to tell Roger that

Hmmm... Maris has 15 more road-HR than home-HR as a Yankee. (13 of that in 1960).

How 'bout that! :)
   221. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 08, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2091835)
Gee, I guess someone forgot to tell Roger that.

Actually, they remembered to tell Roger that, but you're missing a key piece of the puzzle. Can you figure it out?
   222. DavidFoss Posted: July 08, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2091887)
Why don't you tell us BW...
   223. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 08, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2092010)
Is it that Yankee Stadium played as a pitcher's park so his home OPS coudl be expected to be lower or even with his road OPS?
   224. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 08, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2092045)
Why don't you tell us BW...

Ok, I could be wrong, but I think this is more-or-less on track.

We know that:
1) Over the course of the history of pre-renovation Yankee Stadium, lefties are less hurt than righties.
2) Maris has a pretty big career platoon split, and a MASSIVE platoon split from 1960-1962.
3) Maris doesn't really see the "Yankee Stadium Effect" during 1960 and 1961
4) When I was looking into Elston Howard, I noticed that his home/road split is also funky in 1961...and he had a pretty healthy platoon split (from the opposite side) over his career. He's not the only other 1961 Yankee with some unusual Home/Road stuff going on.

So what the hell is up with the 1961 Yankees? My suspiscion, looking over all the splits, was that the magnitude of the "home-road cancelling effect" in 1961 was roughly proportional to each player's platoon split. This suggested to me that, maybe, the Yankees saw a disproportionate number of lefty pitchers at home.

I checked this on Retrosheet, and found that 36% of Yankee home games were started by left-handed opposing pitchers, while 25% of their road games were started by lefties. A back-of-the-envelope check suggests that this accounts for a large portion of the strange Home/Road splits of the 1961 Yankees.

I think that with Maris, he's such an extreme righty masher (until 1963) that the noise in the proportion of lefties or righties he faces in a given year swamps other effects.

I can't contextualize this, because I didn't look at 1960 or 1962, but I suspect that in an era when managers had more flexibility with their starting rotation, Yankees saw more lefties at home than on the road every year. Thus, for players with extreme platoon splits like Maris, the park effect is partially or largely obscured.
   225. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 08, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2092050)
I forgot to add one piece of empirical evidence to support my speculation: Berra (a lefty with a medium-sized platoon split) was platooned in 1961, and he, unlike Maris, was much better at home than on the road.
   226. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 10, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2093612)
Put me in the minority - but I don't necessarily think that lower standard deviation means tougher competition. There are many things that could cause the standard deviation to be higher or lower. Run environment for one.

I agree and have stated so before, Joe.

Chris Dial for one is convinced that it is easier to dominate now than it was 25 years ago. Has play regressed? We've had some insane individual seasons recently, Maddux in 1994-95, Bonds 2002-2004, etc..

I don't by that at all when it comes to offense. The SD of hitting would be affected, which it hasn't.

He might have a point about pitching during the Nineties, though, since the standard deviation did expand there.
   227. sunnyday2 Posted: July 10, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2093618)
The lack of black kids playing baseball might have an effect, too. That's a hypothesis, I have no idea whether it's true or not.
   228. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 10, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2093755)
Joe, you might find it hard to believe, but I actually found someone you missed in your player rankings, since he's not even in the honorable mentions: Bus Clarkson. Personally, I have him 4th among 3rd basemen (behind Santo, Leach and Boyer and just ahead of Elliott and Traynor). Yes, his numbers are pretty speculative because of the time-frame he was playing in, which is why he's never quite made my ballot, but I'm talking to someone who has Gavvy Cravath #2 and Luke Easter #11, so I'm assuming that's not the problem. (Actually, looking at it now, I don't see any Negro Leaguers in your Honorable Mentions, which might explain it.) But if you're looking for someone who got left out when the color line was broken in dribs and drabs, I think Clarkson's the best candidate.
   229. Brent Posted: July 10, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#2093935)
John,

How about a thread for Lindy McDaniel? Probably not a legitimate candidate, but certainly more interesting than Jim Perry or Claude Osteen.
   230. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 10, 2006 at 11:59 AM (#2093945)
Joe, you might find it hard to believe, but I actually found someone you missed in your player rankings, since he's not even in the honorable mentions: Bus Clarkson. Personally, I have him 4th among 3rd basemen (behind Santo, Leach and Boyer and just ahead of Elliott and Traynor).

Shouldn't Clarkson be more with the shortstops than with the third basemens, Devin?

How about a thread for Lindy McDaniel? Probably not a legitimate candidate, but certainly more interesting than Jim Perry or Claude Osteen.

That's what happens when you use the 200 Win Shares cutoff. :-)

McDaniel's case is probably better than Osteen and comparable to Perry, so he should definitely have his own thread.
   231. DL from MN Posted: July 10, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2094042)
I've been reading Shades of Glory over the break and there are quite a few mentions of Jose Mendez including a good writeup on the NGL World Series win he pitched after being told by his doctor to never pitch again. I think I'll be bumping up Jose Mendez on upcoming ballots. According to the book Mendez was considered better than or equal to any pitcher in baseball from 1910-1914 including Christy Mathewson. Unfortunately he got hurt but still there is some career value after those years.

There isn't anything in there to convince me Dick Redding needs to move up. He had a terrific 3 years but not a lot else and Mendez was considered better than Redding even during Redding's peak.

Another interesting profile was on Judy Johnson who was considered the smartest ballplayer of his time. He reminded me a lot of Paul Molitor - good hitter for average, smart baserunner, skilled at stealing signs.
   232. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 10, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2094050)
Of course 'considered' better does not mean that he was better. There are people who consider Alfonso Soriano to be a great player. I guess this is why I never really trust contemporary opinion, because I know the contemporary opinion today can be way off and there are more numbers to look at today.

Of course this doesn't mean that Mendez wasn't better than Redding, hemay have been but I disagree, just that it can be dangerous to go on contemporary opinion.
   233. DL from MN Posted: July 10, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2094071)
I worked through Mendez again using a different set of career shape assumptions and he ended up at 16th (up from my current slot of 22). I think this is a better placement and it doesn't affect this year's election. I think it is safe to say I will have Mendez on my ballot when he is elected.
   234. TomH Posted: July 10, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2094090)
In James' Historical Abstract, he mentions in the Player Ratings section some players who were known as "on-field and clubhouse leaders of outstanding teams". He includes Ken Boyer in that list of guys like Brett and Fisk. Anyone have insight on that - was Boyer considered at the time to add to his team(mate)'s value through his leadership?
   235. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 10, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#2094093)
I didn't once take into account that he was a PA guy, and died in Pottsville, home of the Yuengling brewery, which is still America's oldest brewery, since 1829. And my favorite beer. Honest!

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All throughout PA, whatever establishment you walk into, no matter what town you're from, there's one phrase that's common to everyone: "Lager, please." And it always results in a cool, green-bottled, long-necked Yuengling. Mmmmmmm. And the only thing better than a Y- Lager? A Y- Porter. Yumtastic!

Now about that top 100, someone pointed out Bus Clarkson. I'd also toss Marvin Williams into the mix too. There's a thread with MLEs out there on him, I think (I posted them, but I don't recollect where they are). He's basically Lou Whitaker.
   236. sunnyday2 Posted: July 10, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2094127)
>I guess this is why I never really trust contemporary opinion, because I know the contemporary opinion today can be way off and there are more numbers to look at today.

Yeah, just look at the player's voting for this year's all-star game. Ouch.

Not to mention Ozzie's bench.
   237. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 10, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2094129)
QUICK REPORT ON THE NGL CONFERENCE IN KC

Well, the most exciting thing to report is the mini HOM meetup that Mike Webber mentioned on the ballot thread. In addition to the four of us, direct/indirect contributor/lurker Patrick Rock was also on hand.

I'd probably describe the proceedings and the folks in the room as more oriented toward stories and oral histories than anything else. For instance, I felt a little like an outsider when, as we all introduced ourselves around the room, I described myself as a generalist interested in statistical interpretation.

Anyhow, I was there to hunt around for information on a few guys, to see if anyone else was working on interpreting NgLs data, and to figure out when/where I could get my hands on the new data.

Well, I struck out on the guy I mostly wanted to know about, my old friend Leroy Matlock.
And I didn't get far on the new data: Larry Lester reported that the Hall was looking for a publisher.
And beyond our small HOM contingent, it seem that Patrick Rock was probably the only person in the room with a serious interest in statistical interpretation. He offered some different insights, for instance, he mentioned using standard deviation as the heart of his translation method.

I think a most interesting moment in the conference (besides eating Arthur Bryant's!!!) was a discussion of the Hall of Fame NgL committee vote. Larry Lester said that Frank Robinson, the HOF's designated envoy/inspirational speaker, repeatedly stressed that they committee should only elect players from the upper 1%. Numerous HOF big whigs were in the debate room, and they were not cited as countermanding that in any way. Which is very interesting really. Lester, himself, mentioned that the total NgL player pool is about 4000 players. So, therefore, 40 guys is the Hall of Fame's official, endorsed stance. After the committee's work, we're up to 35 designated NgL electees.

Of course there are wrinkles here. The Hall made it clear that the door is not closed to NgLs, but it also said that, according to Lester, players would be reconsidered in light of new, important research, or would eventually go to the VC. So we can safely say that the Hall is either just about done with NgLs or feels it has about five more slots open to them. But, of course, many black integration-era players in the HOF could be considered partial NgL inductees. Campanella and Doby had a pretty long tenure in the leagues, while Mays and Jackie each had a full season, and Aaron and Banks had full seasons after the leagues went into decline. If you want to make fractions, you could end up filling another slot or two. And should the Hall conceive of the process that way, the gap between its stated goal and its current membership narrows yet again.

I'm not sure what it all means, if anything, but it's still kind of interesting.

Most importantly, however, Ken Fisher and I were in the trivia finals with Patrick Rock. Needless to say Patrick wiped the floor with me, though Ken got close at the end and made it a race.
   238. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 10, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#2094281)
John, I think you can go either way on Clarkson's position. Using the splits Dr. C gave for his MLEs, I get 170.2 WS of 3B value and 144.9 of SS. But in his best years, he was playing more SS.

Think of it this way: If A-Rod finished out his career as a 3rd baseman, will you think of him as a SS or a 3B? Probably more of a SS. But what if he'd played significant chunks of time at 3B in the first half of his career as well? Then I think it swings the other way.

Whatever position he's at, I think the MLEs (if you accept them, of course) are comparable to those of the best available backlog candidates.
   239. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 10, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2094291)
John, I think you can go either way on Clarkson's position. Using the splits Dr. C gave for his MLEs, I get 170.2 WS of 3B value and 144.9 of SS. But in his best years, he was playing more SS.

I agree now that he could go either way. Thanks, Devin!
   240. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#2095052)
Sorry, I got behind on my reading last week while running as many players as possible through my revised system.

To quote B Williams:

"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")."


Echoing Sean Gilman in post #163 . . .

Problem is that the goal of this project to is identify the most valuable players and be fair to all eras.

"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."


Huh? Those examples are exactly consistent with treating all eras equal and not with timelining. Please explain how you see otherwise, I'm definitely open to alternate points of view on using that philosophy towards a goal of being fair to all eras.

Rob Wood said:

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.


I appreciate the sentiment, and the key is 'imperfectly worded Constitution'. It's impossible to have a document like that literally cover every possibility. The other key is going along with the spirit of the project.

I wish I had caught up here with this last week. There's a fine balance to be struck between staying up to date with reading, and working on my own stuff which has had heavy number crunching of late.

I glanced at the thread late to see if I missed anything really important, and I saw Bernie's Howard comments, but missed the lead up. Apologies. I didn't realize Kaline was completely off of his ballot, and that many logical flaws in the reasoning for his being left off were exposed. In the end B Williams even agreed that he was too harsh on Kaline. At that point I would have asked him to resubmit.

I mean what is the point of forcing everyone to explain their ballot, and challenging people if we never enforce the voiding of clearly illogical ballots, that aren't consistent with their own reasoning? I'm especially referring to the Kaline/Keller/Kiner comparison, and the comparison of Minoso to many players who had equivalent peaks, as well the correction to Minoso's age from what BW was thinking it was.

That being said, I would hate to void the ballot, because I just hate having to play policeman.

However, going forward, we need to be stricter about this. Please let me know when something like this comes up, via email, if I haven't had time to read the entire thread, etc..

As an aside, Bill James had Kaline tied for 10th among RFs in peak value in the first HBA. The only eligibles ahead of him were Ruth, Ott, Keller, Clemente, Waner and Klein. That's strictly going by peak. From the comments it's safe to say that James probably overrated Klein at the time as well. I don't see how one can argue that Kaline didn't have a great peak.
   241. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#2095078)
I did miss Bus Clarkson, thanks Devin, I'll look him over again this week - somehow he dropped out of my consideration set after the initial glance . . . I expanded the set last week, and missed him.
   242. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 06:56 AM (#2095097)
I am from Pa and I too 'grew up' with Yuengling. It was the expensive beer we woudl drink when we could no longer stand the more standard fare.

However, I think I actually prefer Rolling Rock. And I am becoming a bit of a beer snob, though I have friends who will not even drink Yuengling because it isnt' as good as Stoudt's, Dogfish head, etc.
   243. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: July 11, 2006 at 08:04 AM (#2095106)
However, I think I actually prefer Rolling Rock. And I am becoming a bit of a beer snob

Your second sentence is not consistent with the first.
   244. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 09:38 AM (#2095117)
Both Rolling Rock and Yuengling are lower quality beer, I meant when I was going for that level.

In other words I too prefer Stoudt's, dogfish head and many other 'local' microbrews and drink them whenever I can. However, I am still able to enjoy beer such as Rolling rock and Yuengling as well. Yuengling is a little heavy for a lager for my tastes. If I want something heavy I go for a much darker beer.

Is that clearer?
   245. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 11:00 AM (#2095124)
About timelining. I'm not a voter in the Hall of Merit, so take this only as something from an observer, but if the goal is "to be fair to all eras" then how can you not timeline? It just seems ridiculous to me to pretend that a 130 OPS+ in 1885 is just as good as a 130 in 1985.

Sean Gilman says in post 163 that 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.. This is just arbitrary. A pennant in the Three-I League may be just as important as one in the National, as big as the universe even, but I don't follow why we should honor the MVP there, or the 2nd, 3rd or 6th best, if we don't reasonably feel that he was as good as some other player in different circumstances.

As I understand it, you guys are encouraged to look at minor league performance and add it to a player's dossier if it reasonably helps. Well, how is that consistent with an anti-timelining position? You're not just sweeping in a player who had 50 Win Shares in the Longhorn League, after all. You're assessing the league's quality, judging how well the man did relative to that, and trying to reach at the man's true value independent of the special circumstances he happened to be in.

A league's quality is a special circumstance in every player's career that it seems gauche to ignore. If you don't feel major league quality has changed over time, then I suppose this position of yours would make sense, but I doubt most here do think that.

The sum of it is that you aren't being fair to everyone. Players from earlier times get a boost because Joe Run-of-the-mill's skills were shittier then, which seems nonsensical to me. Call it treating all years as equivalent to one another, call it presuming that the baseline quality never changes, but in no way are you being "fair" to all players. It's easier to be a HOMer the further you were born in the past.
   246. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#2095128)
Well for one a minor league is not generally considered to be one of the top leagues that player could possibly play in whereas the 1880's NL and AA were.
   247. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 11:36 AM (#2095129)
I would encourage everyone, voters and lurkers alike, to think about the fact that there is a difference between a league quality adjustment and timelining. They are different things. Some leagues may be subjected to both--the quality adjustment is legitimate, to me, the timeline an artificial and not so legitimate thing.
   248. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM (#2095132)
Well for one a minor league is not generally considered to be one of the top leagues that player could possibly play in whereas the 1880's NL and AA were.

The issue is league quality, not whether two guys 50 years apart had a 150 OPS+ in whatever happened to be the top league at the moment. I think you guys maintain --- reasonably, I think --- that somebody's stellar performance in a weaker league may be more impressive than another man's good performance in a stronger league. This cuts both ways.
   249. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2095133)
I would encourage everyone, voters and lurkers alike, to think about the fact that there is a difference between a league quality adjustment and timelining. They are different things. Some leagues may be subjected to both--the quality adjustment is legitimate, to me, the timeline an artificial and not so legitimate thing.

It's not if you're comparing an 1885 major league with a 1985 one. It would be artificial not to try to pin down the relative league quality.
   250. Sean Gilman Posted: July 11, 2006 at 12:04 PM (#2095138)
Yes it is artificial and arbitrary to decide to be fair to all eras, but that is what we decided. If we believed that a pennant in 1985 was more important than a pennant in 1885, then the HOM would not have been setup the way it was. We would instead have simply chosen the best 200 or so players of all-time, heavily weighted, of course, to the most modern of players. It is in the nature of rules to be artificial and arbitrary, that's why we need to create them.

As for a league quality adjustment within the same time period, that is left open to the individual voter. I choose to treat a major league as a major league, and as such don't adjust for supposed league quality differentials between say the 50s AL and NL, the 1910s AL and NL or the late 1880s AA and NL, especially when it comes to star players, who tend to be the only ones to get serious HOM consideration. I am, unfortunately, in the minority on this. But perhaps someday everyone else will see the light. . . .
   251. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 12:33 PM (#2095150)
Okay, fair enough. But I have to wonder why you'd want to be artificial and arbitrary in that manner. It's your ship and you can sail it where you'd want to, but it'd seem much more interesting to me to try to figure out who the best players are irrespective of period, let the chips fall where they may, rather than calculate who got the most schedule-adjusted pennant points in whatever happened to be called a major league at the time. I think it makes the Hall of Merit a lot less compelling, and conventional.

Bill James has observed that contemporary players will be held to a much tougher standard for the Hall of Fame than anyone else in the past has been, and this choice by the Hall of Merit designers just aligns itself with that (to my mind) rather backward bias. The Hall of Fame has been around for a long time and needed to toughen up its standards, so in the long view maybe for them that's not such a bad thing, but the Hall of Merit is a recent project with the benefit of the other's experience and could have avoided the potholes that one fell into.
   252. karlmagnus Posted: July 11, 2006 at 12:48 PM (#2095155)
Actually, I don't hold with anti-timelining theories at all. Apart from African Americans, there was no great reserve of players in 1885 who were blocked from playing baseball -- the game was well known throughout the US and (except for a few years in the early 1890s) was an attractive way to make a living for anyone who wasn't from the heavily monied class. Hence it attracted the best athletes of its time, possibly more than now since there were fewer sport alternatives.

Those athletes, if placed in the 1990s with the physical equipment, diet and training they had received in the 1880s, would fare rather poorly, true. Parisian Bob Caruthers was 135 pounds, 5 foot 7; his fastball would probably not scare many ML hitters today. However, that's not a level playing field. There is no reason to suppose that the best athletes of the 1880s, if given modern conditioning, childhood nutrition and training, couldn't be fully competitive with today's athletes. If we go on paying ballplayers like Croesus for the next 1000 years, we may eventually evolve a race of supermen especially equipped to play baseball, but 3-4 generations is far too short a period for this too have happened, particularly as the recent period when playing ball pays better than EVERYTHING else other than being Bill Gates' offspring is only 25-30 years so far. Thus the best ballplayers of the 1880s have to be genetically just as capable of excelling in the 1990s, given the same conditions.

Not only is timelining intellectually wrong, therefore, it is also against the rules of this project and would indeed render the project utterly pointless. It would also, to me make the project non-credible. I don't actually believe Barry Bonds was a greater player than Babe Ruth; if you do, that's your privilege but go find some other sandbox to play in.

I hope the rigor of the HOM's selection criteria make our honor feel truly worthwhile to those like Ron Santo who are around to appreciate it.
   253. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 01:12 PM (#2095169)
I don't think Bonds is either, but then that's because I think the steroid use takes so much of the air out of him. But yeah, I do think the player he was in his three best seasons (2001-02-04) was better than anyone else at any other time. As for conditioning and poor childhood nutrition, yes I can see your point, but I think the larger one that swamps that is that the league wouldn't have been as good then even if it did have those modern advantages. The talent pool was just so much smaller, and the leagues so much thinner of talent because of the novelty of the sport, poor scouting, and a culture which frowned on the profession of ballplayer (which many player memoirs talk about, well into the 20th century) that it was a lot easier for a great player then to stand out relative to league. Scott Rolen would look, statistically, like a greater player in the 1890s than he looks today. It seems intellectually wrong to me to evaluate the Rolen of the 1890s as more worthy of honor than the one we know today. One is no better than the other.
   254. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2095180)
Why would the Rolen of the 1890's be viewed as more worthy of a HOM spot than the Rolen of today? You say that one is no better than the other and that is what we are trying to do. Both would most likely be elected, assuming that Scott Rolen is a HOM player, which is debatable.

Honestly though, I am really tired of going over this. I don't mind a small timeline to use as a tiebreaker or something but our mission is to find teh best players and be fair to all eras, otherwise we would ahve virtually no one lected before 1960 or so when the black ballplayer was fully integrated into the game and our project would really look stupid to put it bluntly.
   255. rawagman Posted: July 11, 2006 at 01:26 PM (#2095183)
Argonautical - I think you've hit the point against timelining.
Two players whose contributions are equal, are equal players. When we have to rank them 1-15 (and beyond) we have to make a choice about them. One must be above the other, whether it is a question between 1st and 2nd on the ballot, or 15-16.

The stats are great (I like rate stats - they seem to do the best job at equalizing everthing). But context is vitally necessary for micro-rating.

Ultimately, it's a moot point - no two players are ever the exact same. There are always differences - and how we value the measurements will dictate how we ultimately rank them.
   256. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#2095197)
>But I have to wonder why you'd want to be artificial and arbitrary in that manner.

As opposed to being artificial and arbitrary in your preferred manner.

The problem with just blowing off previous eras in baseball history, based on the assumption that players today are better (of course!) is:

1. Well, that's an assumption. Maybe you can offer some proof.

2. So 100 years from now they can blow off all of your favorite players, and mine. I don't choose to give them that precedent.
   257. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2095202)
And as raw, j and karl have all alluded to, it's about value.

What Argo is advocating is that it is about athletic ability. How do we measure that? How do we evaluate that? By going out and watching the guys play? A hard thing to do with Bob Caruthers or Bus Clarkson. So we should just ignore them?
   258. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2095220)
Before I get into this . . . the important stuff:

I am from Pa and I too 'grew up' with Yuengling. It was the expensive beer we woudl drink when we could no longer stand the more standard fare.


My how times change. When I was in college (1990-94) the only beers that were cheaper than Yuengling were things like Olympia and Goebel's. You could get a case of 12 ounce returnable for about $10. As it grew in popularity, they started marketing it differently, especially Yuengling Lager and now they treat it like a micro-brew, price-wise, pretty funny. The worst part is that Lager is easily the worst flavor. The Porter, Premium, Black and Tan, and especially Lord Chesterfield Ale are all better. Heck, I'd even choose Yuengling Light before Yuengling Lager.
   259. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2095231)
jschmeagol and rawagman-- that's the thing. Rolen's contributions in different eras --- different leagues --- would not have been equal. Same player, but he'd have bigger impact in 1895 than he does now just because the players he'd be competing against would be less talented, as a group, than they are today.

My point is that your methods are not really finding the best players, and are not really being fair to all eras. You're just pretending the 1880s were as good as the 1980s.

Would you have gotten virtually no one elected before 1960? I don't know. But it seems like an interesting thing to find out, and there I think the Hall of Merit missed an opportunity. You're basically replicating the voting patterns of the Hall of Fame, choosing slightly different players (usually those with more walks and other sabermetric-friendly stats), but preserving all the same telling biases, like an inflated 1930s roster, and instances like Ezra Sutton, an 1870s third baseman elected with an OPS+ of 118 and 16 full seasons, as opposed to guys with similar but more recent records like Buddy Bell, Toby Harrah and Bob Elliott, who probably will not be.
   260. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2095233)
I agree with pretty much all of the rebuts to Argonautical's position, regarding nutrition, instruction, etc. . . . I don't have a lot to add on that front. BTW does Argonautical = Argo? Just curious, I don't think so, but wanted to double check.

I would like to say - take a look at the players we've elected - are we electing too many players from the past? I don't think so at all - we have fewer players in raw terms from the earlier years than the more modern ones. We've still got many spots open and most of those will go to modern players.

This hasn't been mentioned yet in this conversation, but since it's lurking, I'll bring it up . . . I'm still not convinced one iota that higher standard deviation = lower league quality. I think it's a ridiculous argument frankly. Standard deviation is up over the last decade, both pitching and hitting - have players gotten worse? Higher standard deviation typically = higher run environment, IMO, nothing else has been proven.

We realize the talent pool has expanded - that's partially why we've allocated more spots as time has moved on. We were conservative in that respect, thinking we'd err towards making more of the electee spots open later since not electing someone deserving early is correctable, wheras electing someone undeserving isn't. But that was with the full understanding and agreement that all eras would be treated equally throughout the project.

While a 130 OPS+ in 1895 or 1975 may not be exactly the same thing, a player's relative ranking say as the 4th best player in the game that year is equivalent, given the same number of teams in the game. I'd consider the 7th or 8th or 9th best player in a 24-team league (1975) to be equivalent to the 4th best player in a 12-team league (1895), as a quick and dirty example.
   261. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#2095240)
For one thing Argonautical, teleport Scott Rolen back to 1885 and he isn't going to be 6'4", 240. He wouldn't have played Little League or HS ball, and he wouldn't have been coached by people who have the knowledge that's been accumulated over 130+ years of the game being professional. He wouldn't have weight training available.

He also wouldn't have the medical support he's had with his bad back since 1999. Who knows if his shoulder injury last year would have been career ending without modern medicine?

You can't have it both ways.
   262. TomH Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2095255)
Argo, you make a decent point, altho it's stretched thin. We may have a FEW more guys from the 1930s, but not anything like the HoF, and we have been much more fair than the HoF to the pre-1890 players, and I am sure we will be kinder to the post-1980 generation as well. As to Ezra Sutton, he played 2 more years than Elliot, and played 1.5 seasons at shortstop, as opposed to spending time in the OF like Bob did, yielding more defensive value. I don't know what we'll do yet with Bell and Harrah.

Some of us, making league strength adjustments, accounting for non-white players and other factors, come out looking like timeliners. But "respect for all eras" doesn't mean "equal numbers for all eras", just like many support diversity without supporting quotas. I support some 19th century guys, but I don't expect to argue for as many of them as from 1950, and no one has tossed my ballots out (....yet) :)
   263. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2095257)
I'd consider the 7th or 8th or 9th best player in a 24-team league (1975) to be equivalent to the 4th best player in a 12-team league (1895), as a quick and dirty example.

Yeah, we've entered the expansion era. It'll be interesting to see if we starting inducting *more* guys from the mid-60s and on because of this. (For example, the 6th-best player in 1975 being equivalent to the 4th best player from 1940). We keep periodically keep track of our HOM-ers per year and try to look for underrepresented eras and debate whether we are being fair to them.
   264. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2095259)
The problem with just blowing off previous eras in baseball history, based on the assumption that players today are better (of course!) is:

I said nothing about blowing off previous eras (were we talking about making assumptions that are arbitrary and artificial?); I advocate taking them as they were. To my mind being fair to an era means treating it just as good as it actually was.

1. Well, that's an assumption. Maybe you can offer some proof.


It's common sense, as any look at the major league rosters compared to U.S. population at the time will tell you. Maybe you can offer evidence --- not proof, because I do not know what could logically be considered proof here --- that it was not so. I think it would look pretty small against the grounds for the other side.

2. So 100 years from now they can blow off all of your favorite players, and mine. I don't choose to give them that precedent.

Anytime anyone wants to rate the top 100 players ever I hope they will do so in the manner that makes the most rational sense to them, irregardless of what everyone else thinks. That's what I think is unfortunate about the way you people are treating Bernie. Whether his judgment on which player ranks over another is correct or not, I think his choices were rationally explained, and that's about all you can ask from anybody. His logic may differ from most of yours, may even violate the rules of the Hall of Merit, but if so that's a flaw of your institution. He sounds smart, seems keen enough to look beyond the superficial (as in Maris's performance), and it's your loss that someone like that isn't welcome here.
   265. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2095280)
For one thing Argonautical, teleport Scott Rolen back to 1885 and he isn't going to be 6'4", 240 He wouldn't have played Little League or HS ball, and he wouldn't have been coached by people who have the knowledge that's been accumulated over 130+ years of the game being professional. He wouldn't have weight training available.

He'd be competing against people with all the same disadvantages. My point is that he wouldn't be competing against the same percentage of good players, and all his adjusted rate stats would look better in the 1890s.

You can't have it both ways.

I don't believe I'm trying to. Pete Reiser may have had a healthy career in another era, and that Reiser probably would be HOF/HOM bound, but there's no adjusting for the "sh*t happens" career, and I don't think anyone is saying that you can.
   266. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2095281)
Would you have gotten virtually no one elected before 1960? I don't know. But it seems like an interesting thing to find out, and there I think the Hall of Merit missed an opportunity.

Eh... it's possible that Jacque Jones is a better ballplayer than Ed Delahanty, but I don't think that's very interesting (or very fun either).

You're basically replicating the voting patterns of the Hall of Fame, choosing slightly different players

I think that's the general idea.
   267. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2095292)
Yeah Joe, Yuengling was 18-20 bucks a case when I was in College (graduated in 2004, so very recently) while there were things like Natty, Beast, and Milwaukee Classic Light that were about 10 bucks a case. In fact the Bud/Miller/Coors class was even in between Yuengling and the cheap stuff. A good cheap beer to get in Pa is Lionshead, it isn't much worse than Yuengling and is roughly 10 bucks a case, depending on the distributor.

I also agree about the Lager not being the best one. Porter and LC Ale are both better. Not so sure about the Premium and I haven't had Light too often.

Argo,

you want us to be honest with ourselves when we are ranking the best players but couldn't it be argued that we are? Our choice to not have strict timelines, which I believe to be correct, is as consistent and honest with anyone who wants to timeline the 19th century into obliviion. By the way, I don't think this is what Bernie is doing, I actually defended Bernie earlier in this thread.
   268. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2095295)
That's what I think is unfortunate about the way you people are treating Bernie. Whether his judgment on which player ranks over another is correct or not, I think his choices were rationally explained, and that's about all you can ask from anybody. His logic may differ from most of yours, may even violate the rules of the Hall of Merit, but if so that's a flaw of your institution. He sounds smart, seems keen enough to look beyond the superficial (as in Maris's performance), and it's your loss that someone like that isn't welcome here.

?!?

It may seem like we ganged up on him because he's new and there is only one of him, but lively debate is what we do here. Things are quite a bit tamer here than they were 50-60 'years' ago I can tell you that! What does this have to do with timelining? Bernie had Cravath, Waddell & Childs on ballot and Kaline, Cash and Fox off ballot. Check the consensus scores, we have more eccentric voters than Bernie and everyone is welcome as long as they clearly explain their logic.
   269. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2095301)
I think a HoM with only a handful of 19th century stars and a ton of 20th century players who really didn't stand out to the same extent among their peers would be boring as hell.

Besides, we may find out centuries from now that the players we think are great from more recent times wouldn't look that impressive then. Would we have to remove them from the HoM so we could add some VG players from the future?
   270. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2095312)
Argo, you make a decent point, altho it's stretched thin. We may have a FEW more guys from the 1930s, but not anything like the HoF, and we have been much more fair than the HoF to the pre-1890 players, and I am sure we will be kinder to the post-1980 generation as well. As to Ezra Sutton, he played 2 more years than Elliot, and played 1.5 seasons at shortstop, as opposed to spending time in the OF like Bob did, yielding more defensive value. I don't know what we'll do yet with Bell and Harrah.

I don't think the extra years Sutton has is very significant, when you consider Elliott's superior hitting and the tougher competition he faced. Does anyone here really think that Sutton was a better player than Bell and Harrah? Really? Because I think you guys are going to end up leaving the latter two out in the cold.

Some of us, making league strength adjustments, accounting for non-white players and other factors, come out looking like timeliners. But "respect for all eras" doesn't mean "equal numbers for all eras", just like many support diversity without supporting quotas. I support some 19th century guys, but I don't expect to argue for as many of them as from 1950, and no one has tossed my ballots out (....yet)

That's fair. I suspect you and I aren't too far apart --- you at least concede I have a point, after all, even if it's just a midgin of one. I admit I don't understand why others are so adamant for the other end, especially as it seems so strikingly unobvious. But hey, in my long but short life I guess I've gotten used to not understanding people.
   271. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2095315)
I think that's the general idea.

Is that really a good thing? Because my point is you seem to have drifted toward replicating some of their mistakes.
   272. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2095316)
Does anyone here really think that Sutton was a better player than Bell and Harrah?

Yes, compared to his peers. Third base wasn't the same position back then, either.

Sutton was the best third baseman until Frank Baker and Home Run beats him on peak, not career.

How could you not have the best third baseman in ML history for a 50-year span not in the HoM?
   273. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#2095318)
It may seem like we ganged up on him because he's new and there is only one of him, but lively debate is what we do here. Things are quite a bit tamer here than they were 50-60 'years' ago I can tell you that! What does this have to do with timelining? Bernie had Cravath, Waddell & Childs on ballot and Kaline, Cash and Fox off ballot. Check the consensus scores, we have more eccentric voters than Bernie and everyone is welcome as long as they clearly explain their logic.

How many ballots get rejected?
   274. rawagman Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#2095321)
Argonauts - I'm not sure your definiton of "better player" is clear.
   275. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#2095322)
Is that really a good thing? Because my point is you seem to have drifted toward replicating some of their mistakes.

The borderline guys are called borderline because their borderline. :-) If we're guilty of electing a handful of them, that was bound to happen. But we haven't elected anyone close to being in the mold of a Marquard, Haines, Kelly, Chesbro, Lindstrom, etc. When we start doing that, then you'll have a point.
   276. yest Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#2095328)
I disagreed with everything said until he brought up Sutton the worst major leuger in the HoM
   277. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2095331)
How many ballots get rejected?

I we rejected only two ballots for indefensible choices in the whole time this project has been around. Those two ballots didn't have Cy Young near the top of their ballots, but had Wid Freakin' Conroy ahead of Cy. Would you have accepted them? :-)
   278. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2095332)
I think a HoM with only a handful of 19th century stars and a ton of 20th century players who really didn't stand out to the same extent among their peers would be boring as hell.

Okay, but trying to be exciting and fan-pleasing is what got us a Hall of Fame plaque for Phil Rizzuto.

Besides, we may find out centuries from now that the players we think are great from more recent times wouldn't look that impressive then. Would we have to remove them from the HoM so we could add some VG players from the future?

That's a risk anywhere. It's what hurt the Hall of Fame back in its early years, when they didn't have good statistical information on some of the earlier players. I think it's possible it may have hurt your own Hall (plus the original) when it comes to Negro League players. Personally, I would have held up on voting for them until more complete statistical information like what is rumored to be in the offing becomes available. There may be no surprises when that Encyclopedia does get published; on the other hand, perhaps there are.
   279. yest Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2095333)
I disagreed with everything Argonautical said until he brought up Sutton (the worst major leauger in the HoM)
   280. DanG Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2095339)
From an article I may finish someday, the working title being, Towards Justice for Baseball’s First Stars: A Serious Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame:

You might say, “So, what’s the problem? After all, none of those guys could even play in the majors today, with all the advances made since then. Considering the primitive state of the game, isn’t 25 a pretty fair number of 19th century stars?”

First of all, the first statement is not only unprovable it’s irrelevant. Just because the general level of play increases over time is no reason to disregard players who were among the best of their time; in the year 2126, ARod might look pretty inferior to those guys, but that’s no reason not to honor him as a great player in his own time.

As for the second statement, a team’s aim now is the same as it was 140 years ago: to win it all, to be the last team standing. The player’s objective is the same now as it was then: you make your living by contributing to your team’s quest for the championship. So why shouldn’t the hall of fame do its best to honor the top stars of every era, not just the eras people remember fondly or those cast as some sort of “golden age”?

Having argued that, we have to make a distinction between fair representation and equal representation. Just because some seasons have more than 45 hall of famers playing regularly I don’t think that every season from 1866-2006 should likewise have 45. So then, what is fair?

I think that it’s reasonable to expect a gradual increase in the number enshrined from baseball’s beginning to the present. There should be a starting year, followed by a high rate of increase in the number of honorees at first, leading to a much slower rate of increase in recent decades.
   281. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2095340)
Okay, but trying to be exciting and fan-pleasing is what got us a Hall of Fame plaque for Phil Rizzuto.

Not the same thing. What we're doing is no different than utilizing park factors or context-based stats. If 19th century players were around today, they would perform better and last longer, while players of today would not be as big, strong, or durable as they are right now. Should we ignore that fact?
   282. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#2095344)
How could you not have the best third baseman in ML history for a 50-year span not in the HoM?

Because third base was a weak position for most of baseball history. If somebody like Toby Harrah could get to be the best third baseman for a long period, that's a testament to the position's lack of great players then, not a reason to vote for who happened to shuffle into the "best guy" seat there. I don't see why you wouldn't vote with the full perspective of history, when unlike a putative voter in the 1910s you actually had it.
   283. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2095348)
That's a risk anywhere. It's what hurt the Hall of Fame back in its early years, when they didn't have good statistical information on some of the earlier players.

It has nothing to do with the availability of stats. We know what all of the great players from the past 50 years did. But if they don't compare to the future stars of the future, I still want them in the HoM because they were the standouts of their times. No different than what we're doing with the 19th century guys.
   284. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2095349)
How many ballots get rejected?

Did we reject the ballot this week? Nope. We rejected a ballot last week because the ballot came in after 7 ET on Monday. We had never had a new voter submit a first ballot that late before.

We've discussed possible rejections more back in the day. Oscar Charleston was left off a ballot once, but we still allowed it. Caruthers over Lajoie was another ballot that caused a lot of debate, but we allowed that one too.

Some of our historically eccentric voters no longer surprise us when they break consensus, but new voters generate a lot of debate. This often injects new energy into the board. If the new voter simply holds his ground, things will quickly settle down after an election or two as inserting new candidates into a pre-existing ballot is much less surprising than a fresh list of fifteen names. Sometimes a new voters debates will take hold and change the electorate. We had a new voter spearhead the Dihigo candidacy towards a first-ballot induction and many of our most highly regarded posters were *not* here from day one (Cobb, Chaleeko, etc).
   285. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:32 PM (#2095350)
Argonauts - I'm not sure your definiton of "better player" is clear.

What did I say that seemed confusing?
   286. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2095352)
Because third base was a weak position for most of baseball history.

No, it's more ignorance of the fact that third base was more like second base back then than what the position is now.
   287. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2095353)
When I was in college you could get 3 Rolling Rock "splits" (7 oz.) for a buck. I guess they were also called Rolling Rock "Little Kings."
   288. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:34 PM (#2095355)
I think that it’s reasonable to expect a gradual increase in the number enshrined from baseball’s beginning to the present. There should be a starting year, followed by a high rate of increase in the number of honorees at first, leading to a much slower rate of increase in recent decades.

I agree and was Joe's concept from practically the start.
   289. rawagman Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2095360)
What makes a player better?
   290. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2095361)
Some random stuff:

I don't see how one can argue that Kaline didn't have a great peak.
Sure, if you compare him to Lloyd Waner or Leon Wagner. But among the superstars we're working with, his peak is not special, especially for a RF. I agree with BW that it's not special, but it's good enough, in combo with his career value to get him in.

Yuengling
I was in school from 1993-1997, at the end of which, the push Joe mentions to make Y a more high-profile "microbrew" took place. I do agree with someone else who said that the Lager is a tad darker than other Lagers: that's why I like it, it's a bit more flavorful than the comparable macrobrew products. But whoever said the Porter and Chesterfields are the way to go are right on target. Anyway, we were poor enough in college that we drank Rolling Rock ("PA's second-best beer!") but not rich enough to get Yuengling.... Alas, now I live in New England and I can't get it at all!

Argo
I don't frankly care if George Brett were as good or better back in 1890. He was great in his time and that's that. Pete Browning kicked butt back then, that's why he frequently gets my vote. I don't care what he would have done in 1980 because he didn't play then.

Now you should respond by saying, "But what happens when you are forced to compare them?" But the trick is this: we're never forced to compare them. Brett, or Marichal, or Kaline, those guys are never going to be in competition with Pete Browning or Charley Jones or Mickey Welch. The backloggers compete with the backloggers (backlagers????!!!!). So the question is going to be Jimmy Wynn versus Pete Browning or GVH versus Andre Dawson. And that means that you're talking about the last slot or two at each position. So this question probably effects 10 slots, maximum, and we've got plenty of ways of looking at the candidates that help us even the playing field. Was he an MVP candidate? Was he the top X at position? How high is his peak relative to his peers?

I think it's also important to contradict something you previoulsy said: by electing more 19th Century guys, we are being exceedingly UN-conventional. Consider the HOF's paucity of 19th Century players (esp 1770s-1880s players). The HOF has chosen to generally avoid these players. Then consider our rich collection of deserving 19th C. HOMers. We were also ahead of the HOF on NgLs until February, when it smartly caught up to us (not that they really paid us any mind...). As far as the world at large would be concerned (would it ever look at our results), the HOM is an unconventional institution operating to overturn conventional wisdom.
   291. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:46 PM (#2095372)
>advocate taking them as they were. To my mind being fair to an era means treating it just as good as it actually was.

And you know exactly how it was?

>You're basically replicating the voting patterns of the Hall of Fame, choosing slightly different players

As opposed to replicating Bill James and Honig and 50 other books that list the top X number of players. Aside from the HoF, I don't know of any other effort to go back in time and vote in this way.

Also, HoMers are outliers. The population pool argument only goes so far.

I was going to agree with yest--except I thought for a second there that he meant Don Sutton.

The assumption that Phil Rizzuto is a bad HoF choice is another, well, assumption. It depends on whether you value defense or not. But as John says, list the HoF mistakes and the HoM mistakes. We're very happy with the comparison. And the presumption that Buddy Bell was better than Ezra Sutton is, again, a presumption. Provide some analysis. We've all done that. He went in on the numbers, which is more defensible than keeping him out because--omigod--he played in the 1870s!
   292. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2095374)
two things:
Sunny, we called the Splits "Ponies" in school.


We had a new voter spearhead the Dihigo candidacy towards a first-ballot induction and many of our most highly regarded posters were *not* here from day one (Cobb, Chaleeko, etc).
That's only somewhat true. In my own defense, I actually had Dihigo down around six on the ballot, and my (I think) pre-ballot preliminary ballot explained that I felt Dihigo was Al Kaline in a pitcher's clothing, and I completed a big, long translation of him as a RF only. That generated some sparks, which is why I remember it.

On the other hand, Dihigo was probably not a bad one to pick for first-ballot election.
   293. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#2095391)
So Doc, who was the best player of the 1770's?
   294. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#2095393)
I meant those as two separate points, Dr C.

I think the new voter who spearheaded the Dihigo candidacy had a name that includes "Jones" -- I forget the exact name. Smart guy and its unfortunate that he didn't stick here.

The other point was that guys like you and ChrisCobb were not here in 1898. You guys were new voters at some point.
   295. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2095401)
I can also see preferring the darker, heavy lager. Thing is when I want a lager I usually want one because it is lighter and more refereshing than a porter or something similar. Yuengling seems to hit this middle ground that I am rarely in the modd for anymore. However, anyone who wants to buy me one can feel free, I won't turn it down!

Doc, I take it you went to college in Pa?
   296. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:16 PM (#2095411)
Gettysburg College, home of the peacefully monikered Bullets. Class of 1997, English. Grew up in Lansdale, by the by. You?

So Doc, who was the best player of the 1770's?
Big Ben Franklin could really bring it, he had electric stuff.

George Washington was the best manager of the era. A true field general, Washington's most famous game was his "Crossing the Delaware" comeback, where he and his rag-tag nine surprised a bunch of highly-paid ringers with a ninth-inning comeback that staved off elimination in an important tournament. Washington famously put together the first off-season workouts by creating the Valley Forge Fitness Center and the New Windsor Baseball Cantonement.

Washington put together the famous outfield of Baron Pulaski in left, Marquis "Grissom" Lafayette in center, and Daniel Morgan in left. Collectively the group was known as Dan Morgan's Riflemen for their strong arms.

Alexander Hamilton was a slick-fielding shortstop and Washington's right-hand. He couldn't hit a lick, but he was brainy and a master of the fair-foul. Hamilton's career was ended prematurely when and opposing baserunner, Aaron Burr, spiked him viciously. Fortunately for everyone, no one really liked Hamilton anyway, especially first baseman "Long" John Adams whose also known as The Crab.

Off the field, Thomas Jefferson was the main proponent of the game in print, figuring a variety of stats before Henry Chadwick, including RUF+ and WHG+ which measured how many ruffles each fellow had in their shirt and how well powdered their whigs were.
   297. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:18 PM (#2095413)
If we're guilty of electing a handful of them, that was bound to happen. But we haven't elected anyone close to being in the mold of a Marquard, Haines, Kelly, Chesbro, Lindstrom, etc. When we start doing that, then you'll have a point.

It's the favoritism that bothers me. You elected Joe Start, who played effectively in the early National League until he was 42; you reject Mickey Vernon, who played effectively in a tougher league until he was 40, and who had a higher OPS+ than Start from 33 on (Lee Sinins won't let me search younger than that for Start).

You elect Jimmy Sheckard, a left fielder with a 120 OPS+ over 9,000 plate appearances. You probably will not elect Jose Cruz, a left fielder with a 120 OPS+ in nearly as many plate appearances who also played 260 more games than Sheckard in center.

You elect Cal McVey, an 1870s slugger with a 152 OPS+ and last year at 28, but pass on Ralph Kiner (149), Charlie Keller (152), and Hack Wilson (144), all with similar truncated careers, and Frank Howard (142), who had a heck of a long one and whose best five OPS+'s are 177-70-70-53-49, to McVey's 194-78-60-58-51 against much inferior competition.

My point is that it's much easier to be a HOMer the further back you were born.
   298. DanG Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#2095415)
Dr. C wrote: Consider the HOF's paucity of 19th Century players (esp 1770s-1880s players). The HOF has chosen to generally avoid these players. Then consider our rich collection of deserving 19th C. HOMers. We were also ahead of the HOF on NgLs until February, when it smartly caught up to us

This reminded me of another excerpt from Towards Justice for Baseball’s First Stars: A Serious Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame:

"Consider the conditions under which the Hall began electing players in 1936. The backlog of great players to assess was truly daunting, with 67 years having passed since the first professional team was organized. There was no baseball encyclopedia; indeed, the state of baseball research was practically nonexistent.

Given the lack of reference books, it would have been useful if the BBWAA had provided the voters with a list of candidates. Many voters didn’t even know the years that candidates retired, much less any other statistics. It’s no surprise that many players who, to us, were clearly greats, went virtually unnoticed in the elections from 1936 to 1946. In fact, several superstars who retired from 1901 to 1917 never finished in the top 25 in BBWAA balloting or received even 10% support in an election. Chief among these are Kid Nichols, Sam Crawford, Billy Hamilton, Jesse Burkett, Amos Rusie, George Davis, and Jake Beckley.

The Hall wisely decided to split their task in two initially, having one election for 20th century stars and a separate ballot for the 19th century. However, they failed to define exactly who were the candidates for each election so a few guys, like Cy Young, Jimmy Collins, Willie Keeler and Ed Delahanty, received good support in both elections. While the modern election succeeded in electing five of the game’s true gods, the old-timers shot a blank, with Cap Anson and Buck Ewing the only men to be named on over half the ballots. Unfortunately, the old-timers election was discontinued after that first year."

On a related note, there are three primary cohorts that the HOF overlooked that we have (and will) correct them on: 1) Black baseball stars. The HOF picked up all but two (Beckwith and Johnson) that we elected; 2) 19th century stars. The HoM has elected 15 players they missed; 3) Stars of the 1960's-70's-80's. Santo is the first from this group that we have rescued.
   299. yest Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2095423)
if Killerbrew was born 60 years earlier I highley doubt he would come anywhere close to the HoM and if Sam Crawford was born 60 years later he probobly would be in the top 10
   300. Argonautical Posted: July 11, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2095424)
No, it's more ignorance of the fact that third base was more like second base back then than what the position is now.

No, it is a fact. There just haven't been many great players at that position. You can give third basemen all the bonus points you want, it still can't obscure the fact that until recently third base never attracted the big players to the degree that other positions did.
Page 3 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
Chicago Joe
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 1.2254 seconds
49 querie(s) executed