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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 17, 2006

1981 Ballot

Prominent new candidates: Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Vada Pinson, Jim Perry, Claude Osteen, and Lindy McDaniel.

Top-ten returnees: José Méndez, Joe Sewell, Ralph Kiner, Minnie Minoso, Jake Beckley, Hugh Duffy, and Rube Waddell.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 17, 2006 at 11:46 AM | 172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Mike Webber Posted: July 20, 2006 at 08:31 PM (#2105270)
Thanks for all the discussion on Edd Roush this week in his thread. What I am taking away from the discussion is that while Edd is “meritous” he is not unique. I think this is a solid argument.

I think this is an important point, for two reasons, A) it is likely to be impossible for any of the borderline centerfield candidates (Van Haltren, Duffy, Roush, Oms ect.) to build enough consensus to get in until the very end, and possibly not even then. B) This may have been obvious to everyone in the electorate but me, but we have decided to pass on absolute value and balance the positions. It is an interesting argument really if you think about it. That also will hurt players at “crowded” positions. To go way back, is Ezra Sutton more valuable than Van Haltren? And if he is how much of that is positional?

The other thing that I take away from the discussion is that “soft” credit is like religion or politics – we all have beliefs we hold dearly and its hard if not impossible to get people to change what they believe. (Soft credit meaning things like MLEs for Negro Leagues and Minors, War Credit, Situation beyond the player’s control, discounts for league strength. Credit or discounts for things not actually done in the major leagues.) I really think that if any one of the CF-ers is going to get in (and Oms is best positioned to take advantage of this) they are going to have to sway they voters that their explanation of soft credit is compelling.


1) BOB GIBSON – I’d bet he rates behind Goose Tatum if you did some type of a power/speed number calculation where the components were Harlem Globe Trotters/Baseball Prowess.
2) HARMON KILLEBREW Depending on how you count Wilhelm and Joe Gordon, the first Royal in the HOM. First to actually wear a Royal uniform in a game. Incidentally Killebrew has 371 career win shares – I’m fairly certain everyone over 360 Win Shares will be in, you have to go through some serious contortions to work out reasoning where one of the 80 players over that line isn’t “in.”
3) EDD ROUSH –314 Win Shares, 3 MVP type seasons, excellent fielder at a key defensive position. But is he unique enough to ballot this high? I have to vote today or miss this week, I’m still trying to work this out.
4) TOMMY LEACH – 300+ Wins Shares, big peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield. Only 1 MVP type season.
5) NELLIE FOX –300+ Win shares, good Black Ink and Gray Ink scores. Good defender at a key defensive slot.
6) RALPH KINER – Despite a shorter career (unadjusted) than most of my top 15, Kiner’s peak moves him up the ballot. Four 30+ Win Share seasons.
7) MINNIE MINOSO – Will keep him behind Kiner.
8) BOB ELLIOT – If he had just slaughtered the league in 1944 and 1945 when he was 27 and 28, he might be in now. Exceptionally unsuited to his home park though. In those two seasons Elliott hit 20 homers, second most on the Pirates over the two seasons.
9) GEORGE VAN HALTREN – Too many win shares to ignore, but you do have to let some of the air out of his19th century pitching win shares. Even so, his career totals keep him ahead Duffy and the 19th century guys.
10) CARL MAYS – Strong peak, good career value.
11) ROGER BRESNAHAN – best catcher not in, Roger, Elston Howard, and Schang are ahead of Mackey on my list.
12) PHIL RIZZUTO – with a conservative 60 or so win shares during the war, I move him ahead of Sewell. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3 year hole in his career, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946.
13) ORLANDO CEPEDA - 300+ Win Shares, MVP type seasons, deep position with no defensive bonus. Big seasons keep him ahead of Norm Cash.
14) KEN BOYER – His peak nudges him ahead of Traynor, 6th in games played at 3b when he retired – Mathews, Yost, Robinson, Traynor and Hack.
15) PIE TRAYNOR – A whiskers difference between he and Boyer.


Disclosures – Jose Mendez – I re-read the Mendez thread, and I am beginning to think I’d rather have him than Carl Mays.

Joe Sewell – I think Chris Cobb is on target with this one, ranks behind Maranville and Long.

Jake Beckley – good candidate at a deep position, but behind the 2 new 1b that joined the discussion last week.

Duffy is behind Roush and Van Haltren but in my top 25. Waddell is between 35 and 40 on my spreadsheet.

Newbies – Pinson, I’ve slotted behind Duffy, but not far.
   102. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 20, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2105357)
This may have been obvious to everyone in the electorate but me, but we have decided to pass on absolute value and balance the positions.

I agree this is true. Sunny and I had a brief exchange a couple weeks ago to this effect. I used to be an absolute value guy back in my days of heavy advocacy for Gavy Cravath. But I realized at some point that I had about 7 OFs on my ballot one year (Cravath, Burns, GVH, Ryan, Jones, Duffy, and others in that vein) and few if any pitchers. And it had been that way for a long time. I realized that I was overvaluing OFs because I was comparing them across positions first, not within position first. So since then I've done some election reform, and I've got lots more balance on my ballot (which occasionally creates its own problems too). And after all, there's nine guys on the field, not just three outfielders. So I think it comes down to a question of do I want Dewey, Brock, and Singleton or do I think that Childs, Doyle, and Jeff Kent may be more meritorious because they rank somewhat higher at a defensive position that seems, as a rule, to produce shorter careers or smaller peaks.

Here's an example of why I think that positional balance is probably a good thing. As everyone knows, I use iterations of nonconsecutive WS to build my comparison tool for players: 3, 5, 10, 15, careeer. I rank players with it, and I consider the 25th slot at each position in my rankings to be roughly the end of the run of players I would consider tolerable for the HOM (it's not as aboslute as i make it out to be of course). I took the average 162-and-war-and-whatever-adjusted WS of the fellows in ranks 23-28 at each position to get a sense of what the edge of the tolerable players really looked like. Here's what I got by position:

POS  3YR   5  10  15  CAREER
---------------------------
 
C    81 127 218 262   267    
1B    96 151 256 296   298
2B    86 136 242 305   320
3B    93 144 223 256   261
SS    91 142 249 302   311
LF   104 158 265 307   311
CF    94 149 262 312   330
RF    99 152 261 317   332 


If you score this roto style, here's the standings:

RF 36
LF 34.5
CF 31
1B 23
SS 18.5
2B 18
3B 12
C 7

Now this may well suggest that WS, as Jimd says, don't give enough credits or demerits to defense, but regardless of what's wrong or not about the system, it strongly suggests that outfielders will swamp infielders if you go only by absolute values. By making out a ballot that uses value within position (and not absolute value) as its first criterion for election, it's a simple matter to circumvent the system's defensive shortcomings and also ensure that the HOM isn't overpopulated by borderline OFs. After all, that would make it somewhat like the HOF....

By the by, positional balance for its own sake may or may not be a worthy goal, but there's not much point in being hidebound to it. As an overall notion of how to elect, great, but as with anything, being absolutist about it will only create problems. You gotta give yourself wiggle room after all.
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: July 20, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#2105385)
1981 Ballot

My first ballot from my new home in Indiana. Having done almost nothing but move over the last two weeks, all I have done for this election is the new arrivals. Fortunately, that was pretty easy at the top. I hope to participate more actively again soon!

1. Bob Gibson (n/e). Awesome pitcher! He is the top pitcher with a career centered on the 1960s, a lot better than Marichal, Drysdale, Bunning, Koufax. Among post-WWII pitchers eligible, he is #3 after Spahn and Feller, a bit ahead of Robin Roberts.
2. Harmon Killebrew (n/e). A deserving first-ballot HoMer this year. Probably has a larger percentage of his value in his home runs than any player currently in the HoM. Lack of defensive quality leaves him well behind Gibson. If he and Santo had been eligible in the same season, that would have made for an interesting head-to-head. Win shares prefers Killebrew and extra 200 home runs; WARP1 prefers Santo and the gold-glove defense. They are very close, another indication of how outrageously underrated Santo is.
3. Rabbit Maranville (3). 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 (5). 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 (6). 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 (7). Both WARP and win shares show him as having an excellent peak (no war credit included) and, with appropriate war credit, respectable career value.
8. Minnie Minoso (8). As with Keller, WARP and win shares agree that, with appropriate MLE credit, he is the best remaining candidate from the 1950s.
9. Joe Sewell (9) Very strong prime with very good defense at shortstop and very good offense.
10. Billy Pierce (10). Good discussion of leverage helps his case with me. I hope his candidacy is gaining momentum: we should definitely elect him.
11. Herman Long (12). Like Maranville, he tracks upward as I place more weight on infield defense.
12. 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.
13. Tommy Leach. (14). Greater credit for fielding brings him back onto the ballot.
14. Ralph Kiner (15). Great peak versus strong competition. More peak than Cravath, but a bit less prime.
15. Rube Waddell (16). Makes my ballot for the first time since 1917! A peak candidate, he dominated the stronger of the two major leagues in the early 1900s.

The next dozen
16. Charley Jones
17. Alejandro Oms
18. Edd Roush
19. Norm Cash
20. Gavvy Cravath
21. Ken Boyer
22. Nellie Fox
23. Cupid Childs
24. Bus Clarkson
25. Bucky Walters
26. Ben Taylor
27. Urban Shocker

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.

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:

Vada Pinson: A fine career, but not quite good enough. Comparisons to George Van Haltren seem rather apt, although Pinson peaked early and VH peaked late. In my 1960s depth chart, he is behind Koufax, Cash, Boyer, and Kaat. He is ahead of Cepeda, Brock, Frank Howarrd, and Elston Howard. Definitely below the in/out line for the decade, but not far below it.
   104. Howie Menckel Posted: July 21, 2006 at 12:01 AM (#2105589)
1981 ballot, our (and my) 84th

Overall, I think there is too much emphasis on WARP3 and WS, which are intriguing tools but which are not yet sufficiently mature.
So my preference for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check on the newfangled toys.
I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long hitting career also works for me.

1. BOB GIBSON - Some may say his mere two 150+ ERA+ seasons and ask why he is No. 1. I see his incredible 258-164 combo in 1968-69 and his impressive nine 125+ ERA+ seasons and ask, why not? Top 5 in ERA seven times. Never led in IP, but that's a fluke of pitching alongside as many HOMer electees in his league as anyone will ever see, from Koufax to Seaver and on and on. Even a pretty good hitting P for his era.
2. HARMON KILLEBREW - A lovely even dozen times with at least a 137 OPS+ - half of them above 153. Fieldind judgment is problematic, as he often was moved due to need and not necessarily based on his skills. Top 10 in slugging 10 times from 1959-70. Also 10 top OPS+s in the same time frame, although never placed 1st. Six HR titles, two runnerup finishes. Was 17 the day he played his first MLB game, and 39 when he finished, FYI

3. RALPH KINER - His competitiveness with Kaline over his top 9 years and even with Killebrew for a long stretch helps keep him the top holdover. Peak voters - how about a 184-184-173 trifecta of OPS+s? Then 156-146-140-132 to complete a stunning prime. A 121-117-116 completes the 10-pack. Nothing else here, but his rivals mostly are racking up 101s and 91s from that point anyway, so how much of a difference is that? How many runs did he really cost his teams in the OF? Yes, you can deduct, but enough to take him off the ballot?
4. JAKE BECKLEY - Kiner finally overtook him last year.
Beckley's OPS+s as a regular: 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
His fielding had more value than I think some voters realize (it was a much different game back then), he played every day, he hit well - there's nothing remotely like this career among the unelected hitters from 1875-1935. 13 OPS+s of 120 or better (even Kaline had 'only' 12, and Banks only had 7). Rivals came and went; it's only Beckley who lasted. Suffers from those looking at his career through a modern prism, especially newer voters.
5. CUPID CHILDS - This is a full-length career for this brutal and perhaps under-represented era. Even discounting 1890 AA as a weak league, you'll find seven other 120 OPS+ seasons here. Matches up well against 2Bs in all eras. Not sure I understand why he hasn't gotten more support.
Might seem cheesy to just say, 'Compare to Doerr and Gordon,' but he was similar and arguably better.
6. BILLY PIERCE - Bob Gibson-lite, if you ask me. Put up a good fight with Marichal last year, but the Dominican Dandy's seasonal durability won the day. Pierce's leveraged relief IP appear to overcome much of the admitted lack of 'workhorsieness' in terms of IP per year. I still think he'll move up in the rankings overall as people see how few pitchers of his era can beat him out (beyond the already-elected Spahn-Roberts-Ford trio). Keep him on your radar.
7. BOB ELLIOTT - If you haven't examined him in a while, or ever, get to it!! Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B! Wish he'd played all 3B and not so much OF, but c'est le vie. Beats out Boyer (see Boyer thread for details) and compares remarkably well with Santo as a hitter (see Santo thread for more details). Better than HOMer Hack as well.
8. GAVVY CRAVATH - Good to see more discussion of him, but I disagree with the conclusion of some that MLB teams didn't consider him good enough - much less that they'd be right. The key for me is the half-season opportunity in 1908; even then he clearly was a quality major league hitter, so there's little reason not to significantly credit either 1907 or 1909-11. His work in his 30s is just outstanding, up there with some of the best ever. Comparison to Kiner is fascinating.
9. ORLANDO CEPEDA - This next group is remarkably close; I hope to find some way to differentiate them. Cepeda was a textbook All-Star hitter for his day, and unlike Kaline and especially Clemente he was a stud from Day 1. Seems to have been a good 1B in his day (I mostly just remember him as an end-career DH with the Red Sox). At this point, not penalizing him for refusing to move positions to help his team - for this fact, Derek Jeter is grateful, lol.
10. MINNIE MINOSO - Eight OPS+s over 130 is pretty nice, and could field his position, too, but I'm disappointed to see that such negligible Negro Leagues credit is due. I thought he was a better player there than we discovered. Still, even a little boost pops him onto the ballot.
11. FRANK HOWARD - As you can tell, my kind of player, but I'm still digesting how he rates in context of his time. Our first DHer on a ballot. Astounding 170-177-170 OPS+ stretch from 1968-70, and averaged 690 PA in those three seasons! Four other OPS+s over 135.
12. BOB JOHNSON - Moved back onto my ballot a few yrs ago after I saw that he out-OPS+s Minoso (who wins only via fielding bonus). Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Kiner. I am quite bothered by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition. But has a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than Van Haltren's.
13. RUBE WADDELL - Recent discussion in the Bunning and Drysdale threads made me realize that while I had good reason to toss him off more loaded ballots of earlier years, I can't do so anymore. I still think he could have had some direct impact in costing his team some wins with his 'personality quirks,' but his overall effectiveness is impressive. Only 8 to 10 seasons of any note at all, never led his league in IP and only in the top 9 on three occasions - a major negative in an 8-team league. But I'll give him this spot, at least.
14. KEN BOYER - Climbed onto ballot 2 yrs ago, still hanging on. Seven OPS+s over 120, and an excellent fielder, too. Good endurance, and seven times in the top 8 in ribbys.
15. NELLIE FOX - Two years ago was my first time voting for him since - ever? But that core of 1951-60 as a league-average or better hitter while playing a great 2B and being so durable is quite valuable, I think. Even moreso when you examine Mazeroski, Aparicio, and friends. He's back on my ballot.


TOP 10 RETURNEES SNUBBED
DICK REDDING - Big drop the last 3 years and for now slips off the ballot; the new stats suggest that he wasn't the long-career workhorse that some of us had believed. For me, that's very costly. But think about how many Negro League hitters we have elected/are considering. This still may be the missing Negro League pitcher in our experiment. Too bad the HOF didn't feel the same way, and I now guess the HOM won't, either.
JOSE MENDEZ - I reread his whole thread several yrs ago (it's long). I am satisfied as to Mendez being able to pitch to a level of a HOMer at his best, but there's not quite enough there for me. Still better than most pitchers available, and could someday grab a No. 15 spot, but he doesn't quite rate with me right now. Sorry, Jose.
HUGH DUFFY - Win Shares gets him all wrong, and eventually they'll fix it. Excellent fielder, but geesh, he's not Ozzie Smith. As noted on the discussion thread, a non-WS look at the numbers leaves you wondering how he gets so many votes here.
JOE SEWELL - I prefer great-hitting SSs, or long-career ones, or great fielding ones at least. Sewell is a HOVG SS-3B.

OTHERS WHO JUST MISSED
NORM CASH - My gripe is that he often had 100 fewer PA (adjusting for pre-expansion guys) than the competition each year. Good 1B and very reliable when in the lineup, but he's the first one to really confound my OPS+ lists. While they're just a get-started point anyway, in Cash's case I needed to make more adjustments than usual. Still might fight his way onto the ballot someday, however.
PETE BROWNING - Ran out of room for this big slugger, too. He's slipped a bit behind the Kiner/Cravath doppelgangers. Seven OPS+s above 163. 10 seasons as a regular, a good number for the era. If only he fielded a little better. He stunk at it, sometimes, but played some 16 pct of his career in the infield. Was OF fielding hugely important in this era? I doubt it.
BURLEIGH GRIMES - Landed back on my radar nearly a decade ago, but fell just off the ballot 4 yrs ago. Compare to Ruffing, Rixey, Wynn and other such HOM pitchers. I dismissed him as short of Rixey and Ruffing, and he was. But he's just one 130 ERA+ year short of climbing a lot higher on this ballot.
MICKEY WELCH - Bounced of late by Waddell. The Ws are great, but he hovered in the 3 to 5 ranking in IP when only a dozen or so guys were hurling serious innings. One outstanding, one excellent, one very good year ERA+-wise. The category is not a perfect tool out of that era, but the dominance also wasn't quite there.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN - I dismissed him long ago, but when the ballot thins it's inevitable that he would sneak back into my top 15 at times.
   105. DavidFoss Posted: July 21, 2006 at 12:42 AM (#2105695)
Wow.. the buzzing mosquito banner ad that loaded on this page just now is annoying! I realize they gotta pay the bills, but that's one of the more audibly intrusive ads I've ever encountered.
   106. Howie Menckel Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2105787)
You have the sound on?
A lot of us old-timers never do...
   107. OCF Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:23 AM (#2105852)
You have the sound on?
A lot of us old-timers never do...


I've got a good classical music radio station's internet feed on. I can't do that with the mosquito. That, and any other ad with sound, has to go. Are you listening, Jim Furtado?
   108. Brent Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#2106091)
1981 Ballot:

This year Gibson and Killebrew go into my personal hall of merit.

1. Bob Gibson – Over 11 seasons (1961-62, 64-66, 68-73), Gibson averaged 18-11, 3.4 wins above team, 268 IP, 133 DERA+, 224 SO, 86 BB, 54 OPS+. MVP for 1968, CYA for 1968 and 1970, 9 Gold Gloves. In World Series play, he was 7-2, 1.89, World Series MVP for 1964 and 1967. I have him placed in near the top of the HoM's second quartile. (PHoM 1981)

2. Harmon Killebrew – 10 seasons with 23+ WS, 4 with 30+, and a high of 38 (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). MVP for 1969, placed in the top 10 in MVP voting 7 times. HoM's third quartile. (PHoM 1981)

3. Orestes Miñoso – 8 seasons with 25+ WS (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). He won three Gold Gloves even though the award wasn’t offered until he was age 31. As I observed on my 1978 ballot, in his prime Miñoso was not far behind Clemente. (PHoM 1970)

4. Phil Rizzuto – Great defensive shortstop and an above-average hitter for the position. MVP for 1950, runner up for 1949; World Series MVP for 1951; age 26-28 seasons in military service. (PHoM 1967)

5. Hugh Duffy – 8 seasons with 26+ WS, with a high of 41 (adjusting to 162 gm schedule); A+ defensive outfielder. (PHoM 1931)

6. Ken Boyer – 8 seasons with 22+ WS, with a high of 33 (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). Five Gold Glove awards. MVP for 1964; four times in the top 10 in votes. (PHoM 1975)

7. José de la Caridad Méndez – Over his first 7 Cuban League seasons (1908-14) he went 62-17, 16.3 wins above team. From 1920-26 with the Monarchs he was 26-12, 2.70 ERA, and hero of the 1924 Negro World Series. (PHoM 1938)

8. Mickey Welch – Over 7 seasons (1880, 84-85, 87-90) he averaged 30-17, 4.3 wins above team, 437 IP, 119 DERA+. (PHoM 1966)

9. Alejandro Oms – According to the MLEs, 8 seasons with 27+ WS (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). From 1921–29 (ages 26 to 34), he averaged an OPS+ of 138 while playing center field with excellent range. Check out the Oms thread. (PHoM 1967)

10. Nellie Fox - 9 seasons with 22+ WS, with a high of 34 (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). “A” defensive second baseman; 3 Gold Gloves even though the award wasn’t offered until he was age 29. MVP for 1959; six times in the top 10 in votes. (PHoM 1979)

11. Bucky Walters – Over 7 seasons (1936, 39-42, 44-45) he averaged 18-13, 2.0 wins above team, 270 IP, 122 DERA+, 72 OPS+. MVP for 1939. (PHoM 1958)

12. Elston Howard – Howard’s record from 1961-64 leaves little doubt in my mind that he was a great catcher. MVP for 1963; placed 3rd in 1964. (PHoM 1977)

13. Dizzy Dean – Over 6 seasons (1932-37) he averaged 22-13, 3.6 wins above team, 288 IP, 129 DERA+, 182 SO, 67 BB. MVP for 1934, runner up in 1935 and ‘36. (PHoM 1958)

14. Dobie Moore – – “A superb fielder with outstanding range and a terrific arm...An outstanding hitter, he hit for average and could also hit the long ball.” —James A. Riley.

15. Dick Redding – “One of the great pitchers of black baseball” —James A. Riley. (PHoM 1976)

Near misses:

16-20. Cravath, F Howard, Cepeda, Grimes (PHoM 1940), Keller
21–25. Newcombe, Leach (PHoM 1932), Bresnahan, Easter, Arlett

Other consensus top 10:

Ralph Kiner – I’m not a huge fan of slugging corner OF/1B who don’t make much defensive contribution. But compared with the other “bat” candidates, I think Kiner has to rank behind Cravath, Howard, and Cepeda, who had similar peaks and longer careers, and also behind Keller, who had a significantly better peak in an even shorter career.

Joe Sewell – (a) In my opinion, Sewell is another example of the unreliability of BP fielding evaluations—he was a good shortstop, but nowhere near as good as BP rates him. (b) Like Dobie Moore, Sewell didn't do much that was HoM-worthy after age 30. In a head-to-head comparison, I see Moore coming out ahead of Sewell – for example, Sewell’s OPS+ for 1923–29 was 114, compared to Moore’s MLE OPS+ of 126 for 1920–26. I think Moore probably was also a better fielder.

Jake Beckley – See Kelly's Keltner list for Beckley.

Rube Waddell – (a) We've already elected 6 pitchers from the 1900s, more than any other decade except the 1930s. Among eligible candidates from the aughts, I think Willis ranks ahead of Waddell. (b) Waddell had a very short prime for an HoM candidate—only five really good seasons (1902-06). (c) I think the wrong conclusion was drawn from the discussion of unearned runs. Relying on ERA+ and ignoring unearned runs distorts Waddell's record; it also distorts the records of other deadball pitchers. The conclusion should have been to stop relying on ERA+ and switch to a measure that includes unearned runs, such as RA+ or DERA. Craig Wright made this recommendation in his 1989 book, The Diamond Appraised, and it's followed by most serious sabermetricians. So I find it surprising to see so much discussion of ERA+. (d) Minor league credit doesn't help his case that much for peak/prime voters.

Other new arrivals:

I have Vada Pinson ranked # 35 and Lindy McDaniel # 97. Osteen, Perry, and Cardenas were also good players who didn't make my top 100.
   109. Brent Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:33 AM (#2106098)
   110. Brent Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:37 AM (#2106103)
My first ballot from my new home in Indiana.

Welcome back, Chris.
   111. Rick A. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:49 AM (#2106119)
Some changes in my ballot. Was accidentally adjusting 162 games seasons to 154 game seasons twice, rather than once. As a result, more recent players were scoring low in my ballot. Biggest jump up after correction was by the Howard brothers. Both Elston and Frank move up considerably, although they're still behind Curly, and about even with Moe, in my ranking of Howards. Much better than Shemp, though. ;-)

PHOM
Bob Gibson
Harmon Killebrew

1981 Ballot
1. Bob Gibson - Elected PHOM in 1981.
2. Harmon Killebrew - Elected PHOM in 1981.
3. Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1921.
4. Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year prime at important position. Elected PHOM in 1939.
5. Pete Browning – Great hitter. Elected PHOM in 1925
6. Jose Mendez – Looking at the Negro League pitchers thread shows I may have been underrating him. Elected PHOM in 1942.
7. Al Kaline – I have him as a little better than Clemente. Elected PHOM in 1980.
8. Ron Santo – Best 3rd baseman on the board. Elected PHOM in 1980.
9. Juan Marichal – Like his peak. Better than Drysdale or Bunning. Elected PHOM in 1980
10. Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. I like him better than Waddell. Elected PHOM in 1945.
11. Dick Redding – Error in spreadsheet moves him up. Elected PHOM in 1968
12. Ed Williamson – He’s back. I was talked into the idea that I overestimated him in the past, but decided I was right the first time. Elected PHOM in 1958
13. Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Elected PHOM in 1960.
14. Burleigh Grimes – Higher peak than Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1961
15. Hugh Duffy – Finally elected to my PHOM. Been on the fringes forever. Great defender Elected PHOM in 1970

Required Disclosures
Minoso and Waddell Not far from my ballot
Sewell and Beckley Behind too many other players at their positions.

Off the ballot
16-20 Kiner,Walters,Dean,Roush,Oms
21-25 E.Howard,Bresnahan,Minoso,Cravath,Waddell
26-30 Monroe,Mays,Fox,F.Howard,Johnson
31-35 Elliott,Trouppe,Doyle,Boyer,McGraw
36-40 Leach,Newcombe,F.Jones,Wilson,Keller
41-45 W.Cooper,Stephens,Matlock,Rizzuto,Cepeda
46-50 Poles,H.Smith,Easter,Tiernan,Winters
   112. Rick A. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2106122)
Sorry, forgot to remove last years electees. Here is the correct ballot.

1. Bob Gibson - Elected PHOM in 1981.
2. Harmon Killebrew - Elected PHOM in 1981.
3. Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1921.
4. Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year prime at important position. Elected PHOM in 1939.
5. Pete Browning – Great hitter. Elected PHOM in 1925
6. Jose Mendez – Looking at the Negro League pitchers thread shows I may have been underrating him. Elected PHOM in 1942.
7. Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. I like him better than Waddell. Elected PHOM in 1945.
8. Dick Redding – Error in spreadsheet moves him up. Elected PHOM in 1968
9. Ed Williamson – He’s back. I was talked into the idea that I overestimated him in the past, but decided I was right the first time. Elected PHOM in 1958
10. Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Elected PHOM in 1960.
11. Burleigh Grimes – Higher peak than Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1961
12. Hugh Duffy – Finally elected to my PHOM. Been on the fringes forever. Great defender Elected PHOM in 1970
13. Ralph Kiner – These high peak, short career players are the hardest for me to evaluate. Incredible peak and enough prime value to make my ballot. Elected PHOM in 1971.
14. Bucky Walters – Peak pitchers get a big boost in reevaluation. Elected PHOM in 1972
15. Dizzy Dean – Moves up due to big years bonus. Elected PHOM in 1973.
   113. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:38 AM (#2106162)
1981 ballot

1. Bob Gibson: over-rated by the mass media, but a clear HOMer nonetheless. He's got the
peak, though except for one year not the highest, and very respectable career-length.
2. Jake Beckley
3. Harmon Killebrew: the only other new candidate on my ballot this year. His peak is only
medium-hight for the most part, but it was very long, and his defense wasn't notably bad, although he's pretty one-dimesnional.
That dimension, however, gave plenty of value.
4. Bob Johnson
5. Minnie Minoso
6. Norm Cash: a tough call in some ways; he sat against some lefties, and there is the
corked-bat thing, but I don't think that could be any more influential than today's thin
handles, which are regarded as just fine. An above-average hitter for his whole career,
which lasted a long time and has a fine, if slightly unspectacular peak. He's somewhat like
Minoso, but with that one incredible year. In some ways, he's like a hitter version of
Gibson. He's definitely a top-15 for me.
7. Charley Jones
8. Ralph Kiner
9. George Van Haltren
10. Ernie Lombardi
11. Jimmy Ryan
12. Dutch Leonard
13. Frank Howard
14. Quiny Trouppe
15. Tommy Bridges

***
The next fifteen:

16. Rube Waddell
17. Orlando Cepeda: what to do with him? His peak years are obviously really good, but he
was in his league's top 10 in OPS+ "only" seven times, and he was a part-timer by age 33.
The good part of his career is good enough that he will probably break into my top fifteen
eventually.
18. Gavy Cravath
19. Sam Rice
20. Burleigh Grimes
21. Wally Schang
22. Bob Elliott
23. Billy Pierce
24. Dizzy Trout: length and success are a nice combination.
25. Jack Quinn: Pitching to that age, especially in that era, is still quite an
accomplishment, and he was very good.
26. Eddie Cicotte: put his seasons in a different order, and he superficially looks better.
But he was never worse than average, often far above, and it seems like knuckleballers are
more prone to having isolated disaster years. Plus, his career ended because he was banned
from the game; he was 36, but wasn't slowing down.
27. Ken Boyer: if he had a little more production or a little more productive length, he'd
be higher. But add his defense, and he was very valuable for a reasonably long time. He
might eventually make it further up.
28. Edd Roush
29. Bucky Walters: further consideration pushes those others ahead of him.
30. Jose Mendez
   114. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#2106182)
Please forgive the curtness/cribbing. I've been on vacation since last Friday, and I'm having some minor surgery tomorrow-I've been frantically trying to catch up on all my assorted life-chores today.



1)Bob Gibson-The best pitcher alive in 1968 and 1969, and by a considerable margin.
2)Harmon Killebrew-But unlike Kaline, had some truly awesome peak seasons. At his 3-year peak, was probably one of the top 5 position players in MLB. If I were voting from a career perspective, I suspect I'd rank Killer over Kaline. Incidentally, his nephew was in my fraternity in college. Good kid.
3)Charlie Keller-Criminally underrated. To me, the only question is whether or not his back would have gone out on him sooner if he hadn't served.
4)Dizzy Dean-For 3 years, best NL pitcher behind Hubbell. As a bonus, his team won the WS during one of those years.
5)Jose Mendez-I was going to bump him up to #3 after last years election (he was 4th on my ballot behind the 3 shoo-ins). But then I asked myself: do I really think Mendez was better than Dean at his peak? I don't think so, but only because Dean was so excellent.
6)Gavvy Cravath-I give him credit for missed seasons in his "true" prime; I don't buy the "not good enough for the bigs" argument. It would be shocking for a player with his post-prime not to have a HOM worth prime (though not impossible: see Hondo). Because of the strength of what is, and probably what was, he should be in.
7)Rube Waddell-A 2 year peak, but oh, what a peak. Best pitcher in the majors after Mathewson at his best.
8)Al Rosen-Further review just makes me more confident in his case. Screwed by the war, screwed by the Indians, betrayed by his back. Was just looking over the NBJHBA the other day, and he had the highest winshare season of any 3B listed.
9)Cupid Childs-It's a great peak, and the 1890's NL was reasonably strong league. He also gets positional points. I think he was probably a better player than McGraw, who's the other peak-guy from that generation who hasn't made the HoM.
10)Bucky Walters-It's really only 2 great years, but those 2 great years are better than (for instance) Grimes's 2 great years. Similar to Dean, but w/o the T.T.O. style of pitching.
11)Ken Boyer-He's not Rosen, but that's no disqualification. Great all-around player. Probably even stronger from a career-value POV.
12)Elston Howard- Similar to Al Rosen, except more so. I'm inclined to believe that a guy who was one of the fiveish best players in the league from age 31-35 would have been one of the fiveish best players in the league from 26-30 as well, if he hadn't been mucked up by the Yankees.
-------------------
Those are the 12 guys who are think are really great...IMO, there's a big dropoff to the next tier of MLB candidates. Therefore, I'm going to cast two votes for:
13) Dick Redding &
14) Dobie Moore
-I feel uncomfortable voting for both of these guys due to the uncertainty about how good they were. Redding slots below Mendez b/c of his unpeakiness (though he's still pretty peaky), and Moore is basically an unknown whom I'm largely going with on reputation. However, I'd rather vote for guys who may have been really great rather than someone who I'm fairly confident wasn't great.
------------------
15) Orlando Cepeda-The best of a host of excellent 1B/corner OF type candidates. It's really splitting hairs between, say, Cepeda or Howard or Klein or even Cash in my peak-oriented POV; it seems there was a surfeit of those guys in the 30's and late 60's, which strangely are the two "opposing" environments post-deadball. I wonder whether a guy like Frank Howard would have been more or less effective in the 1930 NL compared to 1968 (My instinct is less effective in '30, since high-ISO is most valuble in a low run-environment, right?)


Not on Ballot:
--Joe Sewell: Not good a candidate as Vern Stephens
--Nellie Fox: I'm curious about Fox, and can see moving him up in the future once I get a better handle on his non-batting contributions...but Childs is a higher priority at IF for me
--Jake Beckley: Just 'cause someone played forever doesn't make them a great player at any point during that time.
--Hugh Duffy: I just don't think he was that good, but I plan on looking at CF before the next election (if anything, just to check my opinion against Bill James w/r/t the great 1930's CF's), so I'll double check my thinking then. If I had to pick a #16 on the ballot, it'd probably be Duffy.
--Pete Browning: Is his peak so overwhelming when one factors in his poor fielding, baserunning, and alcoholism (which clearly, from contemporary reports, affected his team)? How can one rationalize voting for Browning, say, but not Howard, who was a damn fine hitter in his own right, not a great fielder, not a great baserunner, but not a legendary drunk?
   115. Rob_Wood Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2106221)
1981 ballot from this highly career voter:

1. Harmon Killebrew - a smidge ahead of Gibby in career value
2. Bob Gibson - overrated by media and players but a great pitcher
3. Jake Beckley - luv the career
4. George Van Haltren - star of the underrepresented 1890s
5. Ken Boyer - solid hitter and great defender in superior NL
6. Bob Johnson - solid hitter, solid career
7. Ralph Kiner - great peak with homers and walks
8. Cupid Childs - very good second baseman during the 1890s8
9. Nellie Fox - very good second baseman
10. Dobie Moore - great all-around shortstop, could be higher
11. Bob Elliott - mired with woeful Pirates and Braves
12. Tommy Bridges - luv the strikeouts & win pct with minor league and wwii credit
13. Luis Aparicio - my luv of long careers is showing
14. Edd Roush - very good center fielder and solid hitter
15. Joe Sewell - very good shortstop, best (white) SS of his era
-----
16-20. Traynor, Klein, Minoso, Mendez, Keller

Not voting for: Hugh Duffy (not anywhere near my ballot) and Rube Waddell (around 30).
   116. rico vanian Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2106402)
Hybrid voter- I'm big on career <u>and</u> peak with a side order of black ink. I don't give alot of credit generally to the "what-ifs" (ie: military, injury, alien abduction, etc.

Not much suspense this year and next year.

1) Nellie Fox - 2600+ hits as a 2nd baseman, led the AL in hits 4 times, top 5 9 times. 12 All Star Games (11 in a row). MVP. Oh, and he hardly ever struck out. That's a compelling peak AND career argument.
2) Bob Gibson- Stud. Should get extra credit for having to deal with Tim McCarver as his catcher.
3) Ralph Kiner - 7 home run titles in a row. I see a lot of attention to players who had a few good years and how deserving they are to be HOM’ers, but jeez, this guy led the league in Home Runs 7 straight years! Mega peak.
4) Ernie Lombardi - 2 ba titles, 8 all star games, .300 career average as a catcher.
5) Chuck Klein - 4 hr titles including a triple crown. His age similarity scores from age 25-34 mirror Ruth, DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Even in a bandbox ballpark, that’s not too shabby.
6) Harmon Killebrew- Some people are born with perfect names for what they end up doing in life.
7) Burleigh Grimes - 5 20 wins seasons, 270 total wins, very strong on the black and gray ink tables.
8) Pie Trayner - .320 career average, hit .300 or better 10 times
9) Luis Aparicio - nine Gold Glove awards, led the American League in stolen bases nine seasons and was named to the All Star squad 10 times. When he retired in 1973, he held the career record for shortstops for games played, double plays and assists.
10) Sam Rice – Talk about late bloomers…Virtually no stats before he was 29 and still finished just shy of 3000 hits.
11) Rube Waddell- The Randy Johnson of the 20th centuries' first decade.
12) Phil Rizzuto - SS on the team with the greatest era ever. 3 prime years lost to WW2 would have put him over 2000 hits and ended the debate.
13) Gavvy Cravath- The leading power hitter of the immediate pre-Ruth era.
14) Jake Beckley - almost 3000 hits.
15) Hugh Duffy – That .440 year is just plain sick.

<u>close but no cigar-</u>
16) Ken Boyer -. MVP. 7 all star games. Better hitter than Brooks Robinson and almost as good in the field.
17) Jose Mendez- So much of his career is anecdotal, it's hard to quantify. But how many years did he truly excel?
18) Mickey Welch
19) Joe Sewell - Just misses, needed a couple of more seasons.
20) Cannonball Dick Redding - Another player with anecdotal, but not statistical evidence.
21) Gil Hodges -
22) Minnie Minoso - I just don't see his Negro league experience pushing him over the top.
23) Orlando Cepeda- I wouldn’t have much problem if he eventually got in, but he’s another guy like (Frank Howard last year) who will have his first season eligible as his peak.
24) Billy Pierce - Good, not great.
25) Bill White -
26) Frank Howard –
27) Dobie Moore- Too short of a career.
28) Vada Pinson - nice career resulted in some nice numbers, but nothing great. Harold Baines Sr.
29) Charlie Keller
30) Al Rosen

No way newbies

Sam McDowell - What-if? Disturbing parallels to Dwight Gooden. If McDowell would have come up at a more mature 22 or 23, would his career have followed the same path?
Jim Perry- Gets points for not being the cheating Perry.
Danny Cater - Gets a mention because with-out him, Sparky Lyle might have stayed with the Red Sox!
   117. TomH Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2106539)
Danny Cater - Gets a mention because with-out him, Sparky Lyle might have stayed with the Red Sox!

whooooop... whooooop... low blow alert! Warning! Warning! :)
   118. Andrew M Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2106595)
1981 Ballot

1. (new) Bob Gibson. Inner circle of post-war pitchers.

2. (new) Harmon Killebrew. I don’t love Killebrew like some voters do. He played a long time and has good, but not exceptional, peak and career numbers. Despite his versatility, he provided little defensive value, and for a guy whose main selling point is hitting, a career 143 OPS+ isn’t exceptional. Still, I don’t see anyone else threatening him for the 2 spot here.

3. (5) Dobie Moore. The material presented on his thread confirms that he was a great player for more than a Jennings-esque 5 years. To me, his career could be seen as being of comparable length and quality to Boudreau’s.

4. (6) Nellie Fox. Durable (never had fewer than 600 ABs between 1951-1962), consistent, got on base a lot, and was excellent fielder at an important defensive position for more than 2300 games. 94 OPS+ not impressive, perhaps, but it’s OBP heavy and dragged down by some poor years at the very beginning and end of his career.

5. (4) Edd Roush. He’s hard to get a handle on. There are some peculiar things about his career—holdouts, the Federal League, etc.—and it isn’t readily apparent that Roush was better than some of the other OFs with around 8000 career plate appearances, e.g. Burns, Veach, Cuyler, Manush, Bob Johnson, Minoso. To me, though, his 5 year peak between 1917-1921 where he was in the top 4 in OPS+ and playing A-level CF seems slightly higher than those other OFs, and his career was significantly longer than the OFs with higher peaks (e.g. Kiner, Keller). In other words, Roush balances both peak (three 30+ Win Shares seasons, six seasons above 8 WARP and 140 OPS+) and career (above 100 WARP and 300 WS) better than the other contenders for this spot—for now, at least.

6. (6) Larry Doyle. Questionable defensive reputation, very good offensive player. Career OPS+ of 126, and he was consistently in the NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct. He also won an MVP award and was an 8-time STATS NL all-star. Best offensive player on the best offensive team in the league 1911-1913.

7. (8) Billy Pierce. I don’t see much difference between Pierce and Bunning or Drysdale or Marichal. Pierce is neither a peak candidate nor a career candidate, but he was one of the best pitchers in the AL for almost a decade.

8. (7) Cupid Childs. Best 2B of the early-mid 1890s. Maybe the best eligible 2B, period. Given the relative brevity of his career, it is hard for me to put him higher, but I like him better than I like the three 1890s OFs.

9. (10) Dick Redding. Jumped onto the ballot thanks to a recent reevaluation. Projections suggest his closest comp may be Juan Marichal, oddly enough. By reputation would seem to belong in the HoM, though the projections in his thread always seemed not to support that reputation.

10. (11) Rube Waddell. Deserves respect for top 10 finishes in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years, Ks per 9 innings for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134 (with two years at 179), DERA of 3.67/3.76, 248 PRAA. Even accounting for innings pitched per season, those are some impressive numbers.

11. (12) Geo. Van Haltren. Never an elite player, but he did everything well for a long time during a difficult era. He even pitched decently. Some measures (e.g. Win Shares) make him look like a clear HoM-er; other measures make a less compelling argument.

12. (13) Tommy Bridges. Like Pierce, he’s not really a peak or career candidate. His top ERA+ season is 147, but he had six seasons between 140 and 147—and ten seasons in which he was in the top 10 in the AL. And while he wasn’t much of a workhorse, he did finish in the top 10 in innings five times.

13. (14) Ralph Kiner. I don’t really like this type of player, but he does seem like the best of this type--and 149 OPS+/.319 EQA in over 6,000 PAs seems impressive enough to look past his defensive shortcomings or short-ish career.

14. (15) Minnie Minoso. Played in a tough league and NeL credit bumps up his career value. We’ve elected several players he seems comparable to, for what that’s worth.

15. (19) George J. Burns. Adjusted to a 162 game season, averaged over 27 Win Shares a season for a decade. Had 3 MVP-caliber seasons (1914, 1917, 1919.) Could get on base, run, and field, and rarely missed a game. Writing before the 1917 World Series, Christy Mathewson called him the best OF in the NL, and I think that's right.

Next 7
16. Bucky Walters.
17. Quincy Trouppe.
18. Charlie Keller
19. Phil Rizzuto
20. Vern Stephens
21. Alejandro Oms
22. Tommie Leach

Required disclosures:
Jose Mendez, Jake Beckley, Hugh Duffy, Joe Sewell.
Mendez strikes me as a peak candidate whose peak isn’t quite enough. Duffy (who I have voted for in the past) is buried in the OF glut. Beckley and Sewell were both fine players who I’d probably put between 25-30 on the ballot.
   119. rawagman Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2106624)
(c) I think the wrong conclusion was drawn from the discussion of unearned runs. Relying on ERA+ and ignoring unearned runs distorts Waddell's record; it also distorts the records of other deadball pitchers. The conclusion should have been to stop relying on ERA+ and switch to a measure that includes unearned runs, such as RA+ or DERA. Craig Wright made this recommendation in his 1989 book, The Diamond Appraised, and it's followed by most serious sabermetricians. So I find it surprising to see so much discussion of ERA+.


Brent - I did a study on Waddell's UER a few 'years' ago. But here's a quick DERA comparios for you. (career numbers - DERA as adjusted for all time)
Rube - 3.73
Bob Gibson - 3.68
Mendez/Redding - I'm not smart enough to figure that out
Mickey Welch - 4.35
Bucky Walters - 4.10
Dizzy Dean - 3.52
Billy Pierce - 3.97
Don Drysdale - 3.84
Juan Marichal - 3.94
Jim Bunning - 4.04
Lefty Gomez - 3.93

Rube's UERs were a giant red herring. They were not out of line with the other great pitchers of that time. One day, I'll find the study.
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 21, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2106667)
I've got a good classical music radio station's internet feed on. I can't do that with the mosquito. That, and any other ad with sound, has to go. Are you listening, Jim Furtado?

As I mentioned in my e-mail to you, OCF, I totally agree.
   121. SWW Posted: July 21, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2106859)
Ah, one of my favorite times of the year. When I commemorate the first moon landing by casting a baseball ballot.

<u>1981 Ballot</u>
1) Robert Gibson
Very difficult to rank numbers 1 & 2. They came out very similar, but I eventually placed Gibson ahead, knowing that pitchers are traditionally underrated in my review. Plus I wouldn’t want him staring at me. 17th on SABR Top 100. 19th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 31st on Sporting News Top 100. 46th on Bill James Top 100. 91st on Ken Shouler Top 100. 49th on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
2) Harmon Clayton Killebrew
So I was going to a luncheon once, and I was getting into a crowded elevator, and I accidentally backed into this man, and he was very cordial about the whole thing. And only when he got up to speak at the luncheon did it get through my granite skull that I had almost trampled Harmon Killebrew. To this day, I feel like a perfect idiot. 19th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 69th on SABR Top 100. 75th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 69th on Sporting News Top 100. 63rd on Bill James Top 100. 70th on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
3) Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
I was intrigued by the assertion that Grimes is “the Jake Beckley of pitchers”. I disagree. Grimes has some legitimate highs; he beats Beckley on Gray Ink 38 to 1. I feel like a more apt comparison for Beckley might be Mickey Welch. 54th on Maury Allen Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
4) Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta – “Minnie”
Eight times in the Top 10 in AL Win Shares is very impressive. Definitely the best left fielder on the ballot. 85th on Bill James Top 100.
5) Jacob Nelson Fox – “Nellie”
I have him at the head of a pack of very good second basemen, including recent inductees Doerr & Gordon. Slight edge for six Top 10 WS appearances and very good Standards and Monitor scores. It’s close, though.
6) Hugh Duffy
A very peaky centerfielder, which is a tough sell when we have so many who are consistently great. Easier to swallow than the mess of pitchers, though. I do like me some center fielders.
7) Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes – “Baby Bull”
I find his closeness to Norm Cash fascinating, since I feel like Cash’s career numbers are heavily slanted by his best season.
8) Carl William Mays
I’m coming to believe that Carl is really one of the overlooked greats of the mound. I think if he’d had one huge season, he’d have easily gone in ahead of Lemon or Ferrell.
9) Lawrence Joseph Doyle - “Laughing Larry”
The best second baseman in the National League for several years running. I suppose he suffers due to the quality of his competition. A worthy candidate, though.
10) Edd J Roush
I look at Edd’s numbers, and I look at Sam Rice’s numbers, and it’s baffling to think that there are two very different ways to accumulate nearly the same stats.
11) Kenton Lloyd Boyer
Looking at other infielders of the day, he’s very good. In fact, knowing his ability, he probably helps show just how good Santo actually was.
12) Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
A continuing tribute to my belief in Win Shares. Andrew Siegel calls him “the rich man’s Sam Rice.” I know it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I’ve supported Rice in the past, so I’m okay backing Leach. Stronger prime sets him apart, plus he excelled at two positions, which is interesting.
13) Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
14) José de la Caridad Mendez y Baez
It is very hard to get a handle on these guys. They both represent this bizarre mix of career and peak numbers, and my support for Mays makes me think they should be higher, but I just can’t figure out how good they really were. They will probably both get elected before I ever fully figure them out.
15) Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
And he's back again. Great career numbers, and consistently the best position player on a very bad team for a very long time.

<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
Joseph Wheeler Sewell
I’ve been looking at Vern Stephens’ numbers, and Sewell is awfully similar. I think Aparicio is better than Sewell, so that kind of settles that. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
Ralph McPherran Kiner
A real pickle. I have had him lumped together with a batch of candidates whose significant primes are not currently enough for me to support their induction, like Klein, Berger, and Keller (which leads unfortunately to the syllogistic conclusion that James Newburg is a lugnut). 59th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 89th on SABR Top 100. 90th on Sporting News Top 100. 96th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 46th on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100.
Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
I tend towards career numbers, but Beckley’s are so without peak that I’m hard pressed to call him a great. Kelly from SD articulated most of my concerns very eloquently. I'm intrigued by the new comparisons to Mark Grace, who is also unlikely for my ballot.
George Edward Waddell – “Rube”
Surprise, surprise. I’ve always been wary of his tremendous peak and his reliance on strikeouts. He’s probably the best of the really peak-oriented pitchers in my consideration set.
   122. karlmagnus Posted: July 21, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#2106920)
What new comparisons to Mark Grace? That BS has been around for 50 "years." Don't play stupid games; go back and do some proper analysis.
   123. jimd Posted: July 22, 2006 at 12:10 AM (#2106937)
Ballot for 1981

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

I am a peak/prime/career voter. Prime tends to dominate the ballot as Career has an easier time of it in HOM elections, and short Peaks don't get too far in my system.

1) B. GIBSON -- His record speaks for itself. Prime 1961-72. Best-player candidate 1968, 1969, 1970. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972; WARP adds 1962; WS adds 1964. Also a star in 1961, 1971.

2) J. SEWELL -- Nice combination of WARP peak and career. Clearly the best MLB SS of the 1920's. Prime 1921-29. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1928; WS adds 1929, at 3rd. Other star seasons include 1921 and 1927. Honorable Mention (HM) in 1922.

3) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. I still think he rates ahead of Ashburn, but it's close. Prime 1900-08. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1908; WARP adds 1902 and 1907. Other star seasons include 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906.

4) H. KILLEBREW -- His relatively poor showing in my system surprised me. But his prime does coincide with the AL's weakest era. The two above him are both from AL-dominant periods. WS loves him; league-adjusted WARP does not. Prime 1959-72. Best player candidate 1967. 1st-team MLB All-Star (1B) 1967. Other star seasons (usually WS only) include 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971. HM in 1960, 1965, 1972.

5) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's. Prime 1890-98. 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1890, 1892, and 1896; WS adds 1893, 1894, 1895, WARP adds 1897. Other star seasons include 1891. HM in 1898.

6) K. BOYER -- Joins my ballot of good defensive primes. Prime 1956-64. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1958; WARP adds 1960, 1961. Other star seasons include 1956, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964.

7) M. MINOSO -- Marginal candidate, but aren't they all. Prime 1951-61. 1st-team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1954, 1959, 1960; WS adds 1956. Other star seasons include 1953, 1955, 1957, and 1958. HM in 1952 and 1961.

8) R. MARANVILLE -- Better WARP career than Beckley. Where's the luv from the career voters? Prime 1913-22. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1914 and 1916 by WS. Other star seasons include 1913, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1921, 1922, and 1929.

9) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Prime 1880-86. Best Player candidate 1880-81 (WARP). 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1880, 1881; WARP adds 1882, 1883, and 1885. 1884 in the UA is hard to evaluate but may also be #1. Other star seasons include 1886.

10) B. VEACH -- Good peak relative to great competition. Was an all-star OF longer than Medwick, Averill, etc. Prime 1914-1922. 1st-team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1915; WARP adds 1916, 1917. Other star seasons include 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922. HM in 1914 and 1918.

11) G. VAN HALTREN -- Not much more to say. Prime 1889-1901. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1896 and 1897 (WARP). Other star seasons include 1895, 1898, 1900, 1901. HM in 1889, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1899.

12) B. WALTERS -- Reevaluated his peak; he's ballot-worthy. Prime 1939-44. Best player in 1939; candidate in 1940 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1939, 1941, 1944; WS adds 1940. Other star seasons include 1936 and 1942.

13) N. CASH -- Ranks ahead of Cepeda, and just makes the ballot. Prime 1961-71. Best player candidate 1961. 1st-team MLB All-Star (1B) in 1961. Other star seasons include 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971. HM in 1969.

14) J. MENDEZ -- Reevaluated after HOF election.

15) D. MOORE -- Reevaluated him after recent discussions.

16) E. HOWARD -- Very different from Mackey. Prime 19??-64. 1st-team MLB All-Star (Ca) in 1961, 1963, 1964. Other star seasons include 1962. HM in 1958.

17) D. DEAN -- He's just missing this thin ballot. Prime 1932-36. Best player candidate 1934. 1st-team MLB All-Star in 1934, 1935, 1936; WARP adds 1932. Other star seasons include 1933.

18) R. KINER -- If he was the best LF during those years, he'd be high on the ballot. Prime 1947-54. Star seasons include 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951. HM in 1952, 1953, 1954.

19) J. BECKLEY -- Not quite. Long low prime but never close to the best player in the league. Prime 1893-1900. 1st-team MLB All-Star in 1900. WARP adds 1894, 1901; WS adds 1893. HM in 1890, 1896, 1899, 1904.

20) R. WADDELL -- Creeping up. Peak is either too short or not high enough for a better score. Prime 1902-08. Best player candidate 1902. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1902, 1905. WARP adds 1904. Other star seasons include 1903. HM in 1906, 1907, 1908.

Just missing the cut are:
21-22) Billy Pierce, Dick Redding,
23-24) Dizzy Trout, Joe Tinker,
25-26) Bill Hutchison, Hugh Duffy,
27-28) Nellie Fox, Edd Roush,
29-30) Harry Hooper, Tommy Leach,

Note: Killebrew does make my PHOM on his first ballot. NBJHBA would see him in the upper-third of the HOM. I just don't see him close to that high.
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 22, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2107001)
What new comparisons to Mark Grace? That BS has been around for 50 "years." Don't play stupid games; go back and do some proper analysis.

As I have pointed out this week and countless other times, I don't buy the Beckley-Grace comparison, but I'm positive that you wont win any converts to your side using that tact, karlmagnus.
   125. karlmagnus Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:16 AM (#2107019)
Too true, Granny, I was irritated about something else when I wrote that. All the same the comparison HAS been around for 50 "years" -- to claim it's something "new" is either a goad, or a deliberate attempt to lead simple new voters to peg him inaccurately without doing a proper analysis. In the latter case it's dishonest, IMHO. In the former case you're quite right, I shouldn't allow myself to be goaded :-(

I have to say that philosophically, I think getting a large number of new voters three quarters of the way through the project is liable to degrade the results. Of course they're all splendid chaps and very knowledgeable, but I don't think the Delphi method works if the group's changed late markedly in the discussion.
   126. karlmagnus Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2107021)
That's "markedly late." sorry
   127. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2107048)
Well, I'd say we do need to take care that the newer voters really are grasping the pros and cons of the 10-15 old-time guys who really do still have at least an outside shot.
Beckley is a tough case - he rates No. 4 on my ballot, so I'm a fan, but I'll concede some blemishes.
But I'd hate to see him not get in mainly on the idea of new voters not exploring the oldest candidates carefully.

Should there be a cutoff date for new voters? It's been very helpful to have fresh blood for three years, but it's a fair question as to whether we could have 'too much fresh blood' near the end.

All that said, I offer no evidence that newer voters don't consider all the candidates. It's more a cautionary comment about something to watch over.
   128. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:56 AM (#2107085)
it's a fair question as to whether we could have 'too much fresh blood' near the end.

Agreed, a fair question. Thankfully we have a fairly rigorous screening process in terms of approving new voters, and we police ballots pretty carefully for any imbalances that might indicate problematic voting or underinformed voting. For now it seems like our current policies can handle the new voter influx, but we may need to periodically check in if lots of new voters start streaming in as the familiar candidates come along.
   129. rico vanian Posted: July 22, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#2107229)
As a new voter (but long time lurker), I can attest that I pay great attention to the old timers and include the ones I see fit. I would like to make the point however, that after being on the ballot for at least 60+ years in many cases, perhaps there is a reason that many of them were not voted in by the long time voters and still remain on the outside. The old cream rises when appropriate (for example, George Sisler. It could be that we "new guys" are the ones putting the old guard over the top.
   130. DanG Posted: July 22, 2006 at 05:17 AM (#2107319)
My #1, #2 and #3 were elected. My ballot is starting to look like the Teddy Bears' Picnic. In 1981 Gibson and Killebrew breach the doors of the HoM, while Pinson joins the glut. The next year brings the stellar class of Aaron and F. Robinson, relegating B. Williams, Freehan and W. Davis to the backlog. The backlog grows in 1983 with the quartet of Torre, Allen, B. Robinson and Wynn coming on.

1) Bob Gibson – Best pitcher candidate since Spahn, ten years ago. He deserves to be a unanimous #1 choice.

2) Harmon Killebrew – Don’t know if he’s still a top-100 player, but clearly #2 on this ballot.

3) George Van Haltren (4,2,3) – Now in free fall. In six years, 1972 to 1978, he went from the #1 unelected player to #15. Why? Now in his 73rd year eligible. His day may come, eventually. Pennants Added study shows him well. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900; he had high SB totals (usually 35-40 in his prime years), which I believe was more important pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Players with most stolen bases 1891-1900:
1—660 B. Hamilton
2—443 G. Van Haltren

Players with 2900 times on base 1889-1901:
1—3392 B. Hamilton
2—3134 G. Van Haltren
3—3046 J. Burkett
4—3043 E. Delahanty

4) Tommy Leach (5,4,5) – Holding steady, finished mid-20’s for the ninth straight year. I think it’s what Bill James once said, that all-around players get overlooked, while specialists get overrated; voters like that one area of dominance. Modern comp to, but just a bit behind, Craig Biggio, he could beat you in many ways. Longevity, defense and speed, more important in that era, rate him above Groh. Versatility is a plus; it should not be assumed that any typical thirdbaseman of the era could have successfully handled CF. Had a better peak than Bobby Wallace, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). I like guys who play; longevity is a hallmark of quality. Of the players with the most games played, 1891-1923, 13 of the top 14 are HoMers:
1—2792 H. Wagner
2—2517 S. Crawford
3—2480 N. Lajoie
4—2450 T. Cobb
5—2443 B. Dahlen
6—2383 B. Wallace
7—2307 E. Collins
8—2242 F. Clarke
9—2232 G. Davis
10-2182 T. Speaker
11-2156 T. Leach
12-2123 W. Keeler
13-2122 J. Sheckard
14-2087 S. Magee

5) Edd Roush (6,5,6) – The dude could mash, while playing a stellar centerfield. Pitcher’s park hurts his raw stats. Support fell off last election, with his worst finish in six years. Pennants Added likes him a lot. Players with OPS of .850+, 1917-25, minimum 3800 PA:
1—1.193 B. Ruth
2—1.037 R. Hornsby
3—.975 T. Speaker
4—.961 T. Cobb
5—.931 H. Heilmann
6—.918 G. Sisler
7—.865 Z. Wheat
8—.864 E. Roush

6) Minnie Minoso (7,6,7) - A kind of player I like more than most voters, a durable, five-tool talent. By win shares, he’s very similar to Hack and Grich. Long prime, fine peak (3 years +30 WS, adjusted to 162 G). Career total 356 AWS. I figure he gets an extra three full years of credit (~60 WS), not simply due to the years he was denied opportunity, but also due to the retardant effects his skin color and his war service had on his development. YMMV.

7) Roger Bresnahan (8,7,8) – Only about nine voters have much regard for The Duke of Tralee. Versatility should be a bonus, not a demerit. How many other catchers could have been pulled out from behind the plate to be an all-star in centerfield? Could move higher, but I really like guys who play. Played half his teams’ games in only 11 seasons, averaging 71% of team games in those years. Still, his offensive production towers over other catchers of his era, so he deserves a vote. Defense only C+. Players with OBP over .380, 1903-14 (minimum 3100 PA):
1—.424 T. Cobb
2—.420 E. Collins
3—.413 T. Speaker
4—.401 R. Bresnahan
5—.400 H. Wagner
6—.399 F. Chance
7—.396 R. Thomas
8—.386 N. Lajoie
9—.382 M. Huggins

8) Jimmy Ryan (9,8,9) – Browning had one skill; Ryan could do it all. As a SNT he finished ahead of six HoMers; the order in the teens was Duffy-Ryan-GVH-Beckley. Usually trailing those guys were Caruthers-Pearce-Pike-Jennings-Griffith. To those 15 voters who had GVH in their top twelve last ballot, how do you justify snubbing Ryan? Players averaging more than 45 extra-base hits per season 1888-98:
1—549 E. Delahanty
2—507 J. Ryan
3—502 J. Beckley
4—497 S. Thompson
Most outfielder Assists, 1876-1918
1—375 J. Ryan
2—348 G. VanHaltren
3—348 Tom Brown
4—307 J. Sheckard
5—289 O. Shaffer
6—285 K. Kelly
7—283 S. Thompson

9) Jake Beckley (10,9,10) - He’s Joe Start, but without a peak and retired four years sooner. Grade B fielder, won four WS GG. The many triples were the product of a strange park in Pittsburgh, as his other stats do not suggest good foot speed. Top ten seasons in win shares for Beckley and the other long-career first basemen of his era:
23-21-21-20-19-19-18-18-18-17 J. Beckley
31-26-21-21-19-19-18-17-17-14 H. Davis
25-25-22-21-19-19-17-17-17-15 F. Tenney
24-22-21-20-16-14-13-13-12-11 D. McGann
30-20-17-17-16-13-12-11-11-10 T. Tucker
19-18-17-17-17-12-12-10-10-09 J. Doyle

10) Wally Schang (11,10,11) – There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between him and Bresnahan. He’s still on the radar. Players with OBP of .380+, 1915-29, 5600+ PA:
1—.475 B. Ruth
2—.439 T. Cobb
3—.436 R. Hornsby
4—.435 T. Speaker
5—.427 E. Collins
6—.412 H. Heilmann
7—.399 J. Sewell
8—.398 W. Schang
9—.393 K. Williams
10-.381 G. Sisler

11) Burleigh Grimes (12,11,12) – Comparable to Wynn. Has the heft I like in a career. Pitchers with 3750+ IP, 1916-75. The top ten are all HoMers, nearly:

1—5244 W. Spahn
2—4689 R. Roberts
3—4564 E. Wynn
4—4344 R. Ruffing

5—4180 B. Grimes
6—4161 T. Lyons
7—3941 L. Grove
8—3897 E. Rixey
9—3884 B. Gibson
10—3827 B. Feller

11—3762 W. Hoyt
12—3760 J. Bunning
13—3759 B. Newsom

12) Charlie Keller (13,12,13) - Recent discussion highlights how he had a long, really high prime. I give full credit for missed war time. His last minor league year was also of great value, he gets credit there, too.

13) Cupid Childs (14,13,14) – I’ve voted for him eight times previously: 1914-15, 1942 and 1976-80. The backlog added since 1940 has finally played itself out. Players with OBP over .400, 1876-1924 (6000+ PA):
1--.455 B. Hamilton
2--.433 T. Cobb
3--.431 T. Speaker
4--.423 D. Brouthers
5--.421 E. Collins
6--.416 C. Childs
7--.415 J. Burkett
8--.413 R. Thomas
9--.411 E. Delahanty
10--.402 J. Kelley

14) Ralph Kiner (15,14,15) – Hangs on to ballot spot. I’m not a big fan of short careers or narrow skill sets. But, I’ve never seen him on any “questionable hall of famers” survey. NBJHBA rates him ~#171. Like Keller, a long, high prime. Could move up.

15) Billy Pierce (--,--,--) – First time on ballot. Only Spahn, Roberts and Lemon were completing a higher percentage of their starts; Pierce was also relieving about five times a year. It adds a lot of leverage to his pitching, as has been discussed.

Top tenners off ballot:

Mendez. As you may know, I have always been a bit skeptical of NeLers translated numbers; I am not so quick to assume superstardom from them as most voters. In fact, I have a suspicion that some of their lofty ranking is due to the fact that, because most of their analysis was the work of others, voters are unable to justify a downgrading.

Duffy was a regular on my ballot until 35 years ago and may return someday; like Thompson his raw performance was greatly inflated by a hitter’s park. I’ve never voted for Sewell, the “position-era domination” argument doesn’t do much for me. OTOH, I’ve never voted for Waddell because he ranks behind many other pitchers of his era, where it was easy for pitchers to dominate. In all three cases, their performances are not historically rare.

Pinson is about one all-star caliber season from making it.
   131. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 22, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#2107323)
I have to say that philosophically, I think getting a large number of new voters three quarters of the way through the project is liable to degrade the results. Of course they're all splendid chaps and very knowledgeable, but I don't think the Delphi method works if the group's changed late markedly in the discussion.

It's unsurprising, yet disappointing, that the people who are most militant against new voters such as myself are the ones whose pet candidates aren't receiving support from the newbies. Obviously, Katherine Harris isn't the only person who employs the "disqualify the ballots that hurt my guy" technique of democracy.

If you're going to cast aspersions at the new voters who are "ignoring" your guy, you should at least attack the real argument against him -the peaklessness- and not the strawman of timelining. Beckley isn't even first among contemporaries; I have him below Childs, Duffy, and McGraw.

I will say this for Beckley: I would wager a substantial sum of money that had he played 30 years later, he'd be a no-brainer HOFer. His stats suggest strongly that he'd benefit from closer fences and a lively ball, and I suspect the gradual evalution of stadia play a role in his apparent consistency. Sort of like how Hank Aaron looks consistent because the offensive environment improves, Beckley looks consistent because the nature of the game changes to increasingly favor his specific talents.
   132. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 22, 2006 at 06:25 AM (#2107350)
My ballot early, as I'm out of town. Should have done this before I left, but I was still crunching numbers up till then.

As for the potential influx of new voters I've been nervous about it since the beginning. We just need to be careful and monitor them more closely now . . . not because of how they vote, but because seeing threads for Gibson, Marichal, Carlton, Morgan, Bench, etc. popping up is going to generate more interest from people that saw them play and who might not care about early baseball . . .

My ballot . . .

1. Bob Gibson SP (n/e) - An easy all-time great. Much better than Marichal, easily one of the 20 best pitchers we've seen to this point, arguably top 10.

2. Harmon Killebrew 1B/3B (n/e) - Not as good as his reputation, but still a great player.

3. Gavy Cravath RF (2) - Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project.

4. Joe Sewell SS (3) - I've been too hard on him. With my revised rankings, he's smack dab in the middle of the pack among HoM SS's. I'm glad he didn't get rushed in, but now I've come full circle and think he's waited too long.

5. Jack Quinn SP (4) - I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a huge leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26.

6. Urban Shocker SP (25) - Vaults this week, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

7. Billy Pierce SP (5) - What's not to like? He played for good teams, and behind good defenses, but he also faced the toughest opposition as was custom for an ace in his era. A forgotten star historically. He took a bit of a dip with my league adjustments (AL much worse than NL during his tenure). But I still think he's worthy.

8. Charley Jones LF (7) - A superstar of the early NL/AA. I give full credit for his contract debacle / blacklisting, which I consider a product of his timeframe, and not something that would hinder any modern player.

9. Jake Beckley 1B (8) - Drops a bit, but I still fully endorse his election. A smidge below Rafael Palmeiro, they were basically the same player, though Palmeiro was a little bit better with the stick, 1B was much tougher in Beckley's day. The average 1B had just a .531 OWP during his career, Beckley was .596, played good, though not great defense (+67 FRAA according to WARP) and played for nearly 20 years. The Ted Lyons, Red Faber or Red Ruffing of 1B. There's just so much career value here. Too much to ignore.

10. Norm Cash 1B (9) - Wow, history books, where have you been hiding this guy? .671 career OWP! +109 fielding runs! That puts his defense at a level with Roger Connor, George Kelly and Frank McCormick among the all-time greats. He has more FRAA than Vic Power, for example. This is a conservative ranking. I will be VERY disappointed if he isn't eventually elected.

11. Tommy Bridges SP (11) - Unspectacular peak, but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

12. Wally Schang C (12) - Basically the best MLB catcher between Bresnahan and Cochrane/Hartnett. As valuable a hitter as Campanella or Bennett. Defense questionable, only thing keeping him from the #3 spot on this ballot.

13. Cupid Childs 2B (13) - Good hitter, and I overestimated how much 2B was a hitter's position in his time. Very similar to Stan Hack, shorter career though. He gets a bump this week, Chris Cobb's Sisler analysis showed Childs pretty favorably.

14. Dave Bancroft SS (14) - Let's see. You've got a SS with a .498 OWP, during an era where the average SS has a .414 OWP. He's also one of the 15 most valuable defensive shortstops in history to this point. He had a reasonably long career as well, though his in-season durability wasn't great. Think that's a valuable player? I do.

15. Burleigh Grimes SP (15) - Faced pretty steep competition (.520 RSI), so his 256-226 RSI and 107 ERA+ understates his record somewhat. I wouldn't be against his election at this point - his hitting puts him over the top. Did very well with my re-tooled system.

Knock, knockin' on my ballot's door . . .

Luke Easter, Dobie Moore, Tony Lazzeri, Roger Bresnahan, Elston Howard, Nellie Fox, Ralph Kiner, Charlie Keller, Phil Rizzuto, Tommy Leach, Pie Traynor, Bob Johnson, Rube Waddell, Bucky Walters, Dutch Leonard, Dolph Luque, Virgil Trucks.

Some elaboration . . .

Rube Waddell - moved up this week. I've got him similar to Mordecai Brown now - problem is that I'm not sure if that means Brown was a mistake.

José Méndez: Between Waite Hoyt and Vic Willis for me, #15 among eligible pitchers. A hair behind Dizzy Trout and Bucky Walters, who I think are good comps.

Minnie Minoso: Between Duke Farrell and Bill Monroe, #38 among eligible hitters. What's the difference between him and Edd Roush - who I have at #34 among hitters. Or Orlando Cepeda, who I have at #43?

Ralph Kiner: I dropped him a fair amount last week - I've got him #17 among hitters, had him #8 overall two weeks ago. I don't think I was accounting enough for defense in the past. He's quite similar to Charley Jones, but Jones was a plus fielder, Kiner a minus. That makes all the difference in the competition this tight.

Hugh Duffy: I've got little love for Hugh. I mean he was a good of a hitter as Roush - but hitters at the same position in his time has a .579 OWP, Roush's position peers had just a .530 OWP. Duffy was a good fielder, but not in a class with someone like Mike Griffin, who hit just as well, considering he played CF his whole career, while Duffy had considerable time on the corner. I just don't get it with him.
   133. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2107472)
"Obviously, Katherine Harris isn't the only person who employs the "disqualify the ballots that hurt my guy" technique of democracy."
Apparently you have the Hall of Merit confused with the regular Baseball Think Factory section. Please take your political observations elsewhere, thanks.

And I'm not even sure your post makes sense from a baseball standpoint.
If a new voter, for example, were to find that not a single one of the pre-1930 players was ballot-worthy, that does merit questions. We have great peaks, solid primes, worthy long careers, 'extra-credit' candidates of all kinds, etc.

It's sort of pointless for us if all the new ballots were to give all the slots to modern players, no?
And I'm not even claiming that to be the case - I just said it was something to weigh.

There's no question that everyone who was voting 50 years ago has thoroughly weighed the older candidates; in effect, that was all we had to look at.
But theoretically, a newcomer might decide it wasn't worth it to bother to look at these 'discards.' No good.

rico makes a fair point about maybe there being a reason these guys are still on the ballot. BUT it really is important to the process for a newer voter to weigh those older fellows equally, because that extra 11th-place vote that could result might just alter an election.

Finally, I would respect someone for finding old-time Negro Leaguers so problematic that they felt they couldn't vote in the project. But I would not accept someone refusing to vote for them and then submitting a ballot. You simply have to weigh them to the best of your ability, and then vote.
I had Redding high for a long time, but downgraded him off the newly-arrived 1920s stats. Mendez is forever just off my ballot; Trouppe is of the sort of long-career C who I don't tend to favor; Moore seems like a short career even in a best-case scenario. And so on.
You don't have to vote for them, but you have to give them full consideration.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 22, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2107531)
Too true, Granny, I was irritated about something else when I wrote that.

No problem, karlmagnus. I just don't want yours or anybody else's persuasive arguments be ignored out of spite. Besides, I like the threads to be conflict free as possible (especially from my own temper! :-)

Apparently you have the Hall of Merit confused with the regular Baseball Think Factory section. Please take your political observations elsewhere, thanks.

Besides, the other side of the political spectrum will find someone to toss their own verbal grenade at you. Bad will can only be fostered if we disrespect the other guy's or gal's opinion at our site.

Now ends Pastor Murphy's sermon, pontificating, and moralizing for today. :-D
   135. karlmagnus Posted: July 22, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#2107589)
Granny, your pontificating is one of the major reasons the HOM works; it defuses arguments and makes people refocus on the questions at hand. I was actually in a benign mood today, and so would not have responded angrily to the "Katherine Harris" and "pet candidates" cracks but in another mood I might have.

B Williams, you're very welcome as a voter, whatever your political and Beckley-litical views. I would however ask new voters to bear in mind that 80 "years" of Delphi methoding have produced a high level of collective wisdom (only in a few cases like Chris Cobb starting from especial individual wisdom.) Thus a candidate who's survived in the top 10 or even top 20 for such a long time must have considerable Merit, which needs to be identified and assessed in comparison to newer names. That applies to my non-faves Mendez and Moore as well as to my faves Beckley and Welch, of course.
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 22, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#2107604)
Granny, your pontificating is one of the major reasons the HOM works; it defuses arguments and makes people refocus on the questions at hand.

I appreciate that, karlmagnus. Despite my own occasional outbursts, I always try to refrain from confrontational posts if I can help it. Since the time my sinus pressure problem popped up in my thirties, anger makes me literally sick. My head feels like it's going to explode and as if my blood pressure was through the roof (fortunately, it only tops out at borderline when I'm angry).
   137. karlmagnus Posted: July 22, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2107639)
Gosh, you poor thing, I'd be long gone if I had your problem. I've always believed a good explosion clears the air. Doesn't help career et. al. but there we are.
   138. OCF Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:09 AM (#2108039)
With 40 ballots in, we're up to 82 candidates receiving votes. That's more than we've been having in the last few elections, and may still set a record.
   139. fra paolo Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#2108224)
Argh, I'm not ready yet! Stand by for a revision.
   140. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:36 PM (#2108238)
1981 ballot

This is my birth year. So technically I do not exist while we are balloting but when it comes time for induction I will be about three months old. I would take another few years before I becamea baseball fan and it wasnt' until 1987 that I was awoken to the greatness that was Don Mattingly and the almighty Yankees, who happened to be less than almighty for the next nine seasons. Why time hasn't been kept since my birthday is a mystery to me, in my world this is the first year of teh new calender, Anno Mark.

Also my Chinese friends have infomrmed me that 1981 was also the year of the #### (rooster if the cybernanny doesn't like the first word). Draw your own conclusions.

PHOM: Gibson and Killer (Bobby Doerr and Quincey Trouppe head up my PHOM backlog)


1.Bob Gibson (x, PHOM) – Best pitcher of the 1960’s, or at least the best of the bunch whose career was centered on the 1960’s. Better than Bunning, Drysdale, Marichal, and Koufax. Very high peak and while he never led the league in IP, he was in the top 7 a number of times.

2.Harmon Killebrew (x, PHOM) – I am not sure that he is in the upper third of the HOM or that he was as good as Bill James thinks he was in the NBJHBA. However, it is pretty close and he probably deserves some extra credit for his willingness to play other position, even if it deflated his own value. The gap between he and Keller is closer than most might think.

3. Charlie Keller (3, PHOM) – Best peak on the board. If you give him WWII and MiL credit he could have up to 7 MVP level seasons (30+ WS) and two solid All-star level seasons. That’s almost a decade of high level performance, only Joe D, Teddy Ballgame, and Stan the Man were better during his era.

4. Cupid Childs (5, PHOM) – I am pretty sure that Childs has been in my top five every years since sometime in the 1940’s. He had a great peak and decent career length for a MIer of his era. Best 2B of the 19th century in my opinion.

5. Hugh Duffy (6, PHOM) – Best of the 1890’s CF trio based on his superior peak. I agree with WS that Duffy deserves some credit for his team over performing not only their pythag but also their RS and RA projections.

6. Dick Redding (7, PHOM) – 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era after Smokey Joe Williams and that ain’t bad. I like his peak as much as Mendez’ and he had more career. Seems to be our best backlog pitcher.

7. Ralph Kiner (8¸ PHOM) – Seven straight HR titles is impressive no matter what the context. Kiner has a great peak, however I prefer Keller’s combination of OBP and decent defense to Kiner’s power.

8. Dobie Moore (9, PHOM) – I had him slightly higher until new numbers showed that he more Ernie Banks without the decline phase than Hughie Jennings. Still, that is worthy of the HOM. Slightly better than Sisler in the peak department and I give Gorgeous George little credit for his post 1922 years.

9. Bucky Walters (10, PHOM) – Very good pitcher with a nice peak. He was baseball’s best pitcher in 1939 and 1940, could hit a little too.

10. Pete Browning (11, PHOM) – Quite possibly the best hitter on the board right now. However, concerns about the quality of the 1880’s AA keep him below Keller and Kiner for me.

11. Quincey Trouppe (12) – We elected the wrong NeL catcher, it is that simple. Trouppe was a better hitter and was a better player at his best than Mackey was.

12. Dizzy Dean (13) – High peak pitcher who I view as Koufax Lite. His peak wasn’t quite as good, he had a little less career, and may have even been a worse hitter. Still HOM worthy, however.

13. Rube Waddell (14) – I have him about even with Mendez but a little ahead based partly on a 15 point advantage in career ERA+ for Rube. However, he is the best player ever to leave an MLB game in order to chase a fire truck in all of baseball history.

14. Elston Howard (15) – The more I look at him the more he looks like Quincey Trouppe. Both were good hitting catchers with nice peaks who played decent portions of their careers at other positions. However, I prefer Quincey’s time at 3B to Elston’s time in the OF and Quincey played more baseball while Elston sat behind Yogi Berra.

15. Ken Boyer (16) – Very good defensive 3Bman. I will admit that he is receiving a sort of 3B bonus, but if I did not give these out there would be very, very very few 3B in the HOM and I can’t justify that. Not much better than Elliot (#26) or Rosen (#18), but he was better.


16-20 Cravath, Mendez, Rosen, Oms, GVH
21-25 Pierce, Bresnahan, Fox, F. Howard, Berger
26-30 Doyle, McGraw, Willis, Elliot, Cepeda,
31-35 Newcombe, Roush, Rizzuto, Burns, Minoso
36-40 Chance, Veach, Shocker, Sewell, Lundy
41-45 Wilson, Bancroft, R. Thomas, Monroe, Leach
46-50 Ryan, Klein, C. Jones, Stephens, Johnson

Required Disclosures
Mendez – Just of ballot and roughly equal to #13 Rube Waddell
Fox – Has moved up a little, of the great field and little hit MIers, he seems to be my favorite
Minoso – Very good player, but I just don’t see him as that different from a host of other corner outfield candidates like George Burns, Bobby Veach, and even Bob Johnson. If his NeL and MiL numbers were better he would have my support.
Sewell – Again I don’t’ see anything special. Being the best AL SS of the 1920’s does not make one better than Phil Rizzuto.
Beckely – Not even close, he was never one of his league’s top 10 players.

Newbies

None of the other four Newbies worth mentioning made my top 60 and after 60 I stop ranking players. Pinson doesn’t have the peak I like to see from an OFer, Perry doesn’t have enough peak or career, I am not that impressed with Osteen, and a reliever will need to have been really elite to get my vote (Wilhelm, Gossage, Rivera and a few more) and I don’t think that McDaniel was that type of reliever.
   141. dan b Posted: July 23, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2108262)
1. Gibson I will grudgingly concede he ranks above Koufax.
2. Killebrew Definitely a HoMer.
3. Duffy PHoM 1912. 1890’s underrepresented. I’ve been looking at how players on the ballot compare with the median level of already enshrined HoMers whose credentials are post 1893 MLB using WS. Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons and also 10 consecutive seasons
4. Kiner PHoM 1966. Ignore the überstats and pay homage to seven consecutive HR titles. Above the HoM median in 3 and 5 year peaks.
5. Waddell PHoM 1926 and returned to my ballot for the first time since 1939 in 1964.
6. Cravath PHoM 1967. Would have been in my PHoM 35 years sooner had the mle’s been available.
7. Leach PHoM 1926. Favorite teddy bear.
8. Bresnahan PHoM 1928. SABR Dead ball era committee has him #1. No major league catchers between Ewing and Hartnett is not being fair to all eras.
9. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks puts Diz on my ballot for the first time.
10. Keller PHoM 1967. James puts just ahead of Kiner, and he may be right.
11. Roush PHoM 1942. Arnold Hano, in his 1955 “A Day In The Bleachers”, called Willie Mays “the finest player employed by the National League since Eddie Roush.” Using WS to compare to Ashburn:
· 3 year peak - Roush 36, 33, 30; Ashburn 29, 28, 28
· 5 year peak (consecutive)– Roush 144; Ashburn 138
· 8 best years – Roush 218, Ashburn 216
· WS/162 – Roush 25.9; Ashburn 24.4
· OPS+ - Roush 126; Ashburn 111
· NHBA Rank – Roush 15, Ashburn 16
· Too bad we elected Ashburn.
12. Minoso PHoM 1972.
13. Walters PHoM 1968. Preferring his peak to Wynn’s career.
14. Browning PHoM 1906 and returned to my ballot in 1960 for the first time since 1933.
15. Cooper, W. Doesn’t look like the HoM will have any pitchers wearing a Pirates cap either. By WS one of top 2 pitchers in NL 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924. PHoM 1942.

Off ballot - Mendez and Sewell could make my ballot soon, Beckley NEVER. A team led by Beckley would be hardpressed to avoid 100 losses.
   142. DavidFoss Posted: July 23, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2108303)
I am not sure that he is in the upper third of the HOM or that he was as good as Bill James thinks he was in the NBJHBA.

Several people are mentioning this. Bill James timelines. He's got Killebrew way ahead of Anson/Brouthers/Connor. Career WS will overrate him slightly due to the schedule length change as well. The 162G guys closest to Killebrew on the career WS list are Billy Williams and Willie Stargell. Those guys aren't upper-third either. Even as a Twins fan, I don't see Killebrew as upper third. :-) He looks to be in the neighborhood of Harry Heilmann.
   143. Patrick W Posted: July 23, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2108699)
Not much drama this year. #1 should be unanimous, #2 should be in the high-90s percentile, #3 will be 20 votes behind that.

1. Bob Gibson (n/a), St.L. (N) SP (’59-’75) (1981) – A top ten all-time pitcher as he is elected, he looks to just drop off from that list once Seaver, Clemens and Maddux hit the ballot.
2. Harmon Killebrew (n/a), Minn. – Wash. (A), 1B / 3B (’59-’75) (1981) – Pretty much the average HOMer to date; as such, the most likely player to get overlooked by this process. See Bunning, Jim and Marichal, Juan for other recent examples.
3. Billy Pierce (4), Chic. (A) SP (’49-’64) (1971) – Harmon has some breathing room between 2 & 3 this year. Not as much as you would guess based on name recognition though.
4. Ken Boyer (5), St.L (N), 3B (’55-’68) (1975) – A lot more hitting value than the fielding infielders further down the ballot.
5. Dutch Leonard (7), Wash. (A) SP (’34-’53) (1972) – Amazing how valuable he was before and after the war, the lost time to injury in ’42 and the apparent effects of recovery in ’43-’44 keep him from the 15-18 votes that all his equals seem to be getting. Penalize one guy for playing too good during the war, penalize another for not playing good enough...
6. Dizzy Trout (8), Detr. (A) SP (’39-’52) (1967) – Bob Lemon was better than Dizzy Trout, but Lemon on the cusp while Trout isn’t even the best Dizzy according to the voters is too steep a drop IMO. It would take a war discount of close to 50% to drop him from my ballot, which is about 35-40% below what the quality drop-off actually was. Don’t penalize the players for being in their prime in ’42-’45.
7. Norm Cash (9), Detr. (A), 1B (’60-’74) – Ben Taylor appears to be the comp, but Cash ranks so close to Dizzy in the total value column that I have raised Taylor 5 spots instead of starting Norm at 14.
8. Alejandro Oms (6), Cuba (--), CF (‘21-‘37) (1965) – I’m not enough of a Cuban baseball expert to be Oms’ biggest fan. On top of the fact that I don’t like the slippery slope his election might lead to.
9. George Van Haltren (11), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Would already be in but for the fluke scheduling quirk in ’31. Here’s hoping it won’t take much longer.
10. Ben Taylor (10), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – I am comfortable being Ben’s 2nd-3rd biggest fan.
11. Dom DiMaggio (12), Bost. (A), CF (’40-’52) (1978) – 2nd best OF to date for FRAR (Speaker), and Dom’s rate is much better than Tris. That, along with the fact that he’s not Marion with the bat, gets him on the ballot. 4th highest war credit bonus to date (Pesky, Greenberg, Feller) I have measured this by pct. of career above actual career, so he beats out Ted. Adding up the total credit would be a different story of course.
12. Bob Johnson (13), Phila. (A), LF (’33-’45) – Late start to his career, but every season a quality one, and 0.304 EQA always looks good on the resume.
13. Luis Aparicio (14), Chic. – Balt. (A), SS (’56-’73) – Luis causes a re-evaluation of the infielders. They are slotted correctly here amongst each other, but not yet among the pitchers and outfielders. All these guys could slot between spots 8-30 at the drop of a hat.
14. Joe Sewell (15), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – Best bat among the fielding IF studs. Which helps make up for the fact that the other fielding studs were better defenders.
15. Minnie Minoso (--), Chic. (A), LF (’49-’63) – Numbers say he’s on the happy side of the in/out line of the HOM right now (i.e. one of the top 200+ players of all time), but I see him as a victim of the timeline to ensure earlier eras were properly represented. Having said that, he is 4th on the backlog for P-Hall entry, so I could be wrong…

Jose Mendez – Would rank as the worst pitcher elected on my list, if that comes to pass.
Ralph Kiner – Considering they’re so similar, quite a few of you should have to explain Kiner with 27 votes and Chuck Klein with 2 before I explain why he is off-ballot.
Jake Beckley – PHOM, but not good enough this year.
Hugh Duffy – This seems like we’re just pulling names out of the hat at random. 65 years later, still not better than Ryan or Van Haltren.
Rube Waddell – Practically the exact same value as Dean, except Ol Diz is a better peak candidate. Since neither of these two is gonna go far on a career argument, Rube at 21 votes and Diz at 8 is puzzling.

TWO (!!!) of the players from last year’s top ten actually made my top 15.
   144. Al Peterson Posted: July 23, 2006 at 10:48 PM (#2108892)
1981 ballot – Pouring through some good new candidates.

1. Bob Gibson (-). Who wins the staredown between Gibson and Frank Robinson? Neither is someone to mess with. Would be in the dictionary under “intimidator”.

2. Dick Redding (3). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book.

3. Harmon Killebrew (-). Versatility was good, the defense at those various positions was not. Still a masher of the ball.

4. Bob Johnson (5). Let’s get the Win Shares issue out of the way first. The system don’t like him, that’s not the death blow for me. Therefore…

His peak might not be as high as others but at the same time for 13 years he has the highest floor of anyone. By floor I mean what can we reasonably expect from him in terms of performance. During those 13 years you knew exactly what you got with Bob Johnson – nothing less, rarely more. I guess my system rewards consistency as well as greatness. WARP numbers like him, WS not so much. Over his career his teams underperformed Pythag W-L by 15 games so he loses some there.

I’m afraid he’s between the two voting factions. He doesn’t have the peak but was effective longer that the high peak, short career players. He doesn’t have the career but was at a higher production level than the low peak, long career players. Either way, he stacks up nicely compared to the other LFs hanging around.

Indian Bob got a late start, played on bad teams in ballparks that favored pitchers, and got left out of post-war ML baseball while he was still doing well at age 39. 10 years of top 10 performances in OPS+, 107.1 WARP1 for 13 years with no padding on the front or back end.

I guess they were right. While others shot to stardom, collected an MVP, and faded from sight, along rolled Bob Johnson, punching the time clock with excellence far from the spotlight. Forgotten while playing, lost in history. Somewhere Joe Medwick laughs at the fact he got in while his contemporary remains in limbo.

Comparison with Clemente

Clemente (14 yrs, age 24-37): 141 OPS+, 8003 AB + BB.
Johnson (13 yrs, age 27-39): 138 OPS+, 7995 AB + BB.

5. Rube Waddell (6). They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Hard thrower, dominated strikeout categories wherever he went. Rube was the traveling circus coming to town – people came to see him pitch. Should get some minor league credit in his early career. Baseball was in the transition from one league to the NL/AL setup and he was bouncing around leagues for awhile but pitching effectively.

6. Hugh Duffy (8).
Constant little tweaks to my system lead to players bubbling up toward the end of the ballot. He’s got that nice little peak in the early 1890s. The fact he played LF is not a huge minus since it was more important defensively in the earlier eras of the game.

7. Tommy Leach (7). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford.

8. Edd Roush (9). Star of the 1910s. Another CF which doesn’t seem to hurt in my rankings.

9. Joe Sewell (11). I’ve come around a little bit on the ironman. His work at SS was excellent, lacked a little in length but not enough to dismiss as a candidate as we delve into the backlog.

10. Billy Pierce (10). Consistently good, sometimes a little better than that.

11. Norm Cash (12). Count me as one who sees him as a viable candidate. Maybe the Tigers used him optimally by sitting him vs leftys. Still did a lot of good things.

12. Cupid Childs (13). This is a nod to similarities to Sewell. Was the best at his position for awhile, played at a time where it was difficult on middle infielders.

13. Dobie Moore (14). Dobie returns, with his high peak. Some credit given for the military years. Hughie Jennings probably a fair comparison for similar shaped career.

14. Pete Browning (15). I think I had timelined him a bit in recent elections. Or else I’m to the point where as a pure hitter its hard to argue the man wasn’t something special.

15. Alejandro Oms (16). Top-flight foreign player, among the best ever to strap on the spikes according to many. Seems to translate well for a CF candidate.

16-20: Ryan, Mullane, Boyer, Kiner, Mendez
21-25: Walters, Keller, Chance, C Mays, Poles
26-30: Shocker, W Berger, F Jones, Byrd, Welch
31-35: Minoso, Howard, Easter, Luque, Cepeda
36-40: C Jones, Ben Taylor, Beckley, Doyle, Willis
41-45: G Burns, Joss, Bresnahan, Bancroft, Lundy
46-50: Grimes, R Thomas, Stephens, Bridges, Trouppe

Top 10 Returnees: Mendez(#20), Minoso (#31), Kiner(#19), Beckley (#38). Kiner is a peak guy with fielding issues. Mendez career was during the sketchy record-keeping stage of the Negro Leagues and other places he played. Minoso had a nice prime, didn’t advance his cause with NeL play as much as previously thought. Beckley you really must love the long career argument which I’m lukewarm to.

New guys: Just the two you see. Everyone else outside the top 50.
   145. andrew siegel Posted: July 23, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2108930)
(1) Gibson (new)--Easily a top 20 pitcher.
(2) Kilebrew (new)--I agree with the Heilmann comp and the 120-200 alltime ranking.
(3)Keller (3rd)--One notch better for his prime than guys like Moore, Sisler, Kiner, and Berger.
(4) Mendez (7th)--Very similar to Marichal (also see Waddell, Rube + bat + reliability).
(5) Cravath (6th)--My gradual reconsideration of all old candidates shows that I dropped the ball with him. Great--though scattered prime--and 300-plus WS.
(6) Sewell (10th)--Feel like I've been underrating the defense a bit.
(7) Roush (4th)--Solid CF who always ranked in the top 10 in his league offensively. Solid prime; solid career. Missed a lot of games or he'd be in already.
(8) Minoso (9th)--Has the prime; negro league credit gives him the career. Ranks very highly among 1950s position players. His prime close enough to Clemente's to raise eyebrows.
(9) Leach (8th)--Lots of All-Star seasons by every metric, though never an MVP candidate. Weak league too.
(10) Cash (nr/22)--Doesn't feel like an HoMer but, his OWP is so high that even when you adjust for league and playing time he had about the same offensive value as Cepeda; defense puts him ahead.
(11) Pierce (11th)--Compares well to other recently- and soon-to-be-elected pitchers.
(12) Duffy (12th)--This week only giving him partial extra credit for all the excess offensive WS.
(13) Oms (nr/16th)--Belongs with these.
(14) Van Haltren (13th)--Very good for a very long time, but lots of good 1890s OF's.
(15) Cepeda (15th)--Very similar to Bill Terry.

Redding's numbers don't impress me; I run hot and cold on Beckley but was fairly peruaded by Kelly's lists (he's in the 20's for me right now); Kiner only had 4 years that scream superstar--that's just not enough; Rube Waddell isn't in my top 75--not good enough to overcome his unreliability.
   146. EricC Posted: July 23, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2108980)
1981 ballot.

1. Bob Gibson - Best pitcher between Spahn/Roberts and Seaver; best pitcher of the 60s. Would be PHoM-worthy even without 1968.
2. Wally Schang - When Schang retired in 1931, he was the major league career leader in WS. He did not earn this distinction lightly: His total of 245 is still 12th all-time among retired ML catchers; the AL was the stronger league during his time; and in-season catcher usage during his time was low- by my estimates, about 10 to 15 percent less than that for post-1930 catchers.
3. Harmon Killebrew As with Banks, not inner-circle despite 500+ HR, but well-above borderline.
4. Joe Sewell - Best ML SS of the 1920s, in the strong AL; very consistent.
5. Orlando Cepeda - Strength of the NL during his time helps his case.
6. Norm Cash - Cash was consistently very good for a long time; the kind of player that my system likes. And 1961 doesn't hurt.
7. Jose Mendez - Reputation and statistical evidence that he had a HoM-worthy peak. I see similarities to Lefty Gomez, with the patches of brilliance.
8. Charlie Keller - My guesstimate is that his monster peak would have been sustained during the war years, making him a viable "peak" candidate a la Jennings in the past or Garciaparra in the future.
9. Frank Howard - By Win Shares, 297 WS/25.4 WS/162 in 7353 PA for a 60s player, very deserving. Although I don't use WARP, WARP3 admittedly doesn't make him look like a sure thing. A great hitter who played in pitchers parks in a pitchers era, and who, along with Cepeda and Cash, should not be quickly buried.
10. Tommy Bridges - 2nd most runs saved above average of all unelected Cooperstown eligible pitchers, behind Blyleven The factoid does overstate his greatness a little, because he pitched in a high run-scoring time, but his rate stats show that he was still great, even in the second half of his career, despite the low IP/season then.
11. Lefty Gomez - Very good to dominant, in a strong league, and at a time when dominance was rare.
12. Gil Hodges - The best or among the best 1B throughout his prime in the strong 50s NL.
13. Sol White - Unfortuately, too much of his record is lost to ever know if this rating is accurate, but the sketchy record available show a full career, most of it at 2B, but several years at SS, with a high batting average.
14. Wally Berger - The kind of career that might slip past a "career-value" lens, but his peak/prime was very good.
15. Ken Boyer - Borderline 50s-60s 3B; helped by relatively strong NL.

17. Ralph Kiner and 19. Orestes Minoso have recently been on my ballot.
34. Rube Waddell. I like his peak and haven't written him off.
57. Hugh Duffy; 68. Jake Beckley. I have more "modern" players on my ballot than older players because the population was larger. I don't expect everyone to share this philosophy, but it is a justifiable one, and doesn't make me a timeliner any more than voting more Californians into the HoM than Nevadans makes one a "stateliner".

62. Vada Pinson. One would think that 300 WS was a magic number for HoM induction, but a close look at Pinson's career shows that it doesn't "add up". His case isn't helped by the large number of contemporary players with much better cases. About equal with Willie Davis and far below Jimmy Wynn among CF of his time.

?. Jim Perry. Was the Lloyd Waner of his family.
   147. fra paolo Posted: July 23, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#2108998)
The ballot I'd like to post, as opposed to the one John posted for me:

I value:

a) A consistent prime. I value players who perform at an above-their-average level for a minimum of four out of five years. I don't like players who slump more than one consecutive season below their average.
b) Being the best at the position during one's prime.
c) High peak during prime. Big seasons help win pennants.
d) Positional balance. Given the way the ballot is structured, I think it is better to try to balance the positions. I try to pick the best starting nine not already HoMers for my first places.
e) Extra credit for the 'skill' positions: catchers, middle infielders and pitchers are the heart of the team, as I know from my amateur playing days. It's hard to win a pennant without a reliable set of players in these positions.


And now to the ballot:

1) Bob Gibson. That 1968. And 13 prime years. And three pennants during them.
2) Harmon Killebrew. 11 years of prime hitting.
3) Ralph Kiner. I concluded that his peak was verging on the incredible, putting him ahead of Charley Jones.
4) Edd Roush. The man who beat Duffy into second place on the all-time NL CF list in 1931.
5) Ken Boyer. He's good with the leather, and above average with the bat at a position underrepresented in the HoM.
6) Joe Sewell. Best shortstop in the American League during his 8-year prime.
7) Cupid Childs. His bat makes him appear the best 2b on offer.
8) Charely Jones. Possibly the most dominant hitter not in the HoM.
9) Gavy Cravath. This late starter was almost as dominant as Jones during a short prime.
10) Rube Waddell. His pitching peak is comparable to Kiner's hitting one.
11) Hugh Duffy. Second-best CF in major-league history when he retired.
12) Orlando Cepeda. A solid peak puts him ahead of his rivals by a nose.
13) Elston Howard. By all measures I've looked at except uberstats, he looks the best catcher candidate.
14) Rabbit Maranville. A beneficiary of my look at Adjusted Batting Runs, and highest WARP3 of anyone I looked at who was not already on my preliminary ballot.
15) Nellie Fox.. 304 Win Shares.

A note on Quincy Trouppe. In raw stats, comparing primes, he beats out Howard on a little runs-created-type metric of my own design, but when I adjust his result down by 10 percent to allow for lower league quality, he falls back to 3d behind Bresnahan, but ahead of Schang. Is this too much of a deflation?
   148. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2109011)
The ballot I'd like to post, as opposed to the one John posted for me:

Sorry about that, fra. I'll delete the other one.
   149. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:26 AM (#2109025)
Who wins the staredown between Gibson and Frank Robinson?

Lets see. Frank's line versus Bob:

Pitcher     AB   H  2B  3B  HR  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF   AVG   OBP   SLG
Bob Gibson  83  19   3   0   4  11   0  12   1   0   3  .229  .316  .410 


I'd have to go with Bob on that one. :-) Still a bit of take-and-rake from Frank, though.
   150. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2109030)
Commentary

*I've been able to mostly reconstitute my Win Shares-based ranking system; my ballot looks more like the one from 1979 than 1980.
*Pierce is a quirk of my system -- he doesn't rank as a top-25 player, but looking at the whole body of evidence is making me think I'm missing the boat on him. Joe Dimino's exhaustive pitcher evaluation played a critical part
*Ken Boyer, Bob Johnson and Bucky Walters were the last three players I left off of the ballot. They might as well be 15a, 15b, 15c.

1981 Ballot

1. Bob Gibson
2. Charlie Keller
3. Harmon Killebrew
4. Jose Mendez
5. Dobie Moore

6. Quincy Trouppe
7. Rube Waddell
8. Dick Redding
9. Nellie Fox
10. Minnie Minoso

11. Alejandro Oms
12. Billy Pierce
13. Tommy Leach
14. Edd Roush
15. Dizzy Dean

Consensus Top 10 Players Off Ballot

Ralph Kiner - 1949 and 1951 were monster seasons with the bat. 1947 and 1948 were MVP-level, too. But those four seasons are all there really is to recommend him.
Joe Sewell - Solid player who had a few All-Star level seasons, but stands out in comparison to his contemporaries only because of a drought in top-line talent at shortstop in the white majors.
Hugh Duffy - Nice little player who lingers just off my ballot. He'll make a few cameo appearances when the backlog gets thinned out.

Jake Beckley - The following is something I posted in 1931, slightly tweaked and modernized:

I feel very strongly that the electorate will be making a grave mistake if we elect Beckley, who was the Harold Baines of his time. He is credited as being the best first basemen outside of the Anson-Brouthers-Connor troika, but what kind of accomplishment is that, really? He was often the second or third-best position player on mostly mediocre teams.

Season W/L records for teams where Beckley was one of the three best position players, based on Win Shares:

66-68
61-71
60-68
55-80
65-65
71-61
76-56
83-67
62-77
52-87
70-70
75-79
58-96

854-945-----.475

Only three of Beckley's teams enjoyed winning records when he was one of their three best position players. Two more finished at .500. Both times that Beckley was the best position player on his team, the team finished with a losing record.

Season W/L records for teams where Beckley was not one of the three best position players:

80-73
81-48
65-65* (average of NYG and PIT records in 1896; Beckley had 5 WS for each team)
92-60
74-65

392-311-----.558

On the other hand, four of the five teams where Beckley was not among the top three position players had winning records -- the other team finished at .500 (see note above).

There were 12 seasons in which Beckley was one of the five best players on his team, pitchers included. Only two of those teams finished with winning records, the 1895 Pittsburgh Pirates, who finished 7th with a 71-61 record in the 12-team National League and the 1899 Cincinnati Reds, who finished 6th with an 83-67 record in the 12-team NL.

(Incidentially, both seasons ended up with exceptionally bad doormats in the National League. The 1895 season had the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Louisville Colonels far down at the bottom of the standings:

WSH-----43-85-----.336
STL-----39-92-----.298
LOU-----35-96-----.267

Those three teams alone were bad enough to allow the other nine to finish with a winning record, something which almost happened again in 1899. This time, it was the historically bad Cleveland Spiders that pushed most of the teams above .500 with a truly dreadful 20-134 (!) record, good for a .130 "winning" percentage. The Spiders finished 84 games out of first place and 35 games out of 11th place. Eight teams finished above .500 and the Washington Senators fell just two games short of that break-even mark.)

I think that the support for Beckley at this time comes from the fact that his record is fairly unambiguous. I gather that a lot of voters look at Beckley's .308 batting average, 2930 hits and 1575 RBI and see that as a fair representation of his ability. There are no questions that have to be grappled about whether or not the game he played was a recognizable form of baseball. There are no questions about how he would have competed at the highest level. There are no questions about what he would have done in a full career. He is what he is, which makes him appealing in comparison to other candidates whose abilities are shrouded by some type of uncertainty.

To me, what I know for certain about Jake Beckley is far less appealing and ballot-worthy than what I think I know about a lot of the other players. If Beckley was the best position player on your team, they would have trouble breaking .500. If he was a complementary player to some real sluggers, the team might make a run for the Wild Card every few years. A sturdy role player does not a HOMer make.
   151. OCF Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#2109061)
Berger and Sol White bring us to 84 candidates receiving votes.
   152. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:28 AM (#2109074)
1981 ballot

1. Bob Gibson: For career value among 20th-century pitchers so far, I have him 9th in WS, 7th in W3, 6th by the ESPN book’s TPR. For prime, there’s 13 straight winning seasons with positive RSAA in every one. 5-time STATS all-star, at least 3 more all-star level seasons. Helped himself hitting and fielding. If he’s not inner circle, he’s barely out -- and I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell him he <u>wasn’t</u> inner circle. (PHOM this year)

2. Harmon Killebrew: Most career WS of anybody who’s not already in. 6-time STATS all-star. There are some warts in the record, particularly defense. James has him as a D at 3b, a B at 1b. There aren’t many D thirdbasemen, likely because bad 3b don’t stay there long enough to earn a grade. Still, he was competent enough that the Twins moved him back there twice in his later career. The power and walks more than make up for any deficiencies. (PHOM this year)

3. Minnie Minoso: Outstanding player throughout the ‘50s, but no knockout seasons. (eligible 1970, PHOM 1972)

4. Roger Bresnahan: Great player whose versatility illustrates his quality. (eligible 1921, PHOM 1929)

5. Rube Waddell: Great ERA+, struck out tons of people when others weren’t. Yeah, he gave up a lot of unearned runs, but it’s not like he was alone…. In the core of his career, 1900-1909, 33% of the runs he allowed were unearned. Cherry-picking the same period, we have 3-F Brown 36%, Ed Walsh & Addie Joss 34%, Christy Mathewson, 31%, Cy Young 30%. (eligible 1916, PHOM 1968)

6. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%, Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. (eligible 1940, PHOM 1942)

7. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, very good offense for a middle infielder. Made my PHOM as a shiny new toy in ’39, now a teddy bear. (eligible 1939, PHOM 1939)

8. Nellie Fox: 94 OPS+ is a little off-putting, but he was a top-notch defender, durable, very valuable to the White Sox offensively and defensively. 8 all-star caliber seasons. (eligible 1971)

9. Carl Mays: Good peak candidate, pretty good hitter. (eligible 1935)

10. Lefty Gomez: Low innings total, but a terrific peak, more career than Dean, good black & gray ink, HOFS, HOFM, W-L, ERA+. Yes, he pitched for a lot of good teams. I think he had something to do with them being good. (eligible 1948)

11. Ralph Kiner: 7 homer titles. A latter-day Pete Browning without league quality issues. (eligible 1961, PHOM 1976)

12. Dick Redding: Long career flame-thrower, top 5(?) Negro League pitcher. Not so sure about him anymore; he’s slip-sliding. (eligible 1937, PHOM 1966)

13. Billy Pierce: The epitome of the “crafty lefthander.” (eligible 1970)

14. Ken Boyer: Best 3b candidate by a nose over Traynor & Elliott. (eligible 1975)

15. Orlando Cepeda: Edges Cash as a 1b candidate. Better peak, one more good season, MVP (whether deserved or not). (eligible 1980)

Required comments:
Jose Mendez: I’m toying with putting him on and dropping Redding off -- the HOF election is an influence.
Hugh Duffy: Hugh made my PHOM in ’40, but the field’s much deeper now. Near the bottom of my top 30.
Jake Beckley: Very good for a long time. He went into my PHOM in ’26, but I’ve cooled off on him since.

New guy:
Vada Pinson: A lot of Win Shares, but he didn’t age well and the peak isn’t overwhelming. Chris Berman would have had a field day with that name -- “show me the VADA go home”? “Needles and Pinson”?
   153. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:36 AM (#2109121)
James Newburg,
Aside from what I would call an over-reliance on Win Shares, can you help me out by doing a similar survey of some C/2B/SSs who have been elected? If some of them struggled to lead their team in Win Shares, are they not worthy?
I have to admit, I think Win Shares are interesting, but the overall admiration I find out of step with the amount of scholarly research/factchecking/reality check on it. That is, WS has potential, but it ain't there yet by a longshot.

Part of the debate on Beckley is based on the value of 1B in his era.
The Baines comment makes me suspect you see him as a modern 1B-OF comp. Is that true?
   154. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:54 AM (#2109134)
a few comments,

1. I think that Beckley suupoerters overrate the value of 1B in the 1890's, I view it as more of a modern day RF, maybe a little better. I don't think it was as important as CF was during that time and definitely not as good as C, SS, 2B, 3B. Do we have any FIELDING data that would support that it was better than 3B or 2B or whatever people seem to think. I don't buy the offense thing since there weren't any godo offensive 1B anyway. Seems tautological to me. I also don't want to give players points because managers didn't know what they were doing.

2. Garciaparra is not a great peak candidate. At least not yet and I doubt he will be when he retires since he has so little defensive value now. His best year wasn't as good as Jeter's, he didn't walk , which made him slightly overrated offensively, and this year he is a 1B with middling power, batting title or no. Very good, not MVP, if you want a peak guy to support from this era I suggest Giambi.
   155. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#2109142)
Schmeagol, that case can be made, and neither of us can prove it, obviously.

But there are double potential tautologies at work here - either assuming the position was tougher to play, or assuming it WASN'T.

I don't mind a claim that managers of that time were dumb, but I don't see it as a superior a priori assumption that there are NOT. We can agree that they wanted their teams to win.

As for Jeter-Garciaparra:
Jeter's best so far OPS+ is 161-127-126.
Nomah's best so far OPS+ is 158-152-142.

When you refer to "best year," if you are using adj OPS+, then that smells like a deliberately misleading argument. We have no peak voters, I don't think, who would not prefer the latter.
The whole "didn't walk" thing I also find overrated. It doesn't affect OPS+ by more than a couple of pts. I'd rather see someone say, 'So and so's 158 is really more like a 155.' Which would be true, but most people would just figure, 'so what.'

I lean Jeter at this point, but "peak" is not an argument for Jeter (nor is postseason, where his stats are virtually identical to his regular season, much like A-Rod).
   156. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 24, 2006 at 05:16 AM (#2109204)
Hmm, this is interesting. I've got someone on my ballot this year for the first time since 1917. That's going to be a tough record to break. I won't spoil the suspense just yet...

Gibson and Killebrew make my PHoM.

1. Bob Gibson (new) A dominant pitcher. The question is, who'll be the Bob Gibson of 2035, the modern pitcher that the old-timers will say would have knocked down these showboating hitters today? Probably Clemens. (I know there's truth to the rep, but it's still Old Ballplayers Never Die.)

2. Harmon Killebrew (new) Not a great deal ahead of other 1Bmen, but I've got doubts about all of the backloggers as well.

3. Tommy Leach (3) Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. We're definitely short on third basemen, and I think he's the best available candidate. Made my PHoM in 1940.

4. Bill Monroe (4) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Even though we don't have reliable numbers for him, he shouldn't be overlooked. Made my PHoM in 1939.

5. Dick Redding (6) I'm for settling the Redding/Mendez debate by putting them both in. For now, Daisy-Cutter Dick is ahead because I find his career argument stronger than Mendez' peak one. From what I’ve gathered about the new numbers, nobody’s really sure what they mean yet. Made my PHoM in 1973.

6. Minnie Minoso (5) The more I look at him, the more I like him ahead of the other OF candidates. Gets a bit of an era boost from me – even though the AL was the weaker league, overall I think the Fifties are somewhat underrepresented, and also defensive credit for playing some 3B. Also, the spread between the leagues took some time to develop. Made my PHoM in 1971.

7. Joe Sewell (8) Gets picked on a lot, but I wouldn’t have minded his induction. The comparisons to Doerr and Gordon are viable, and he played a more important position. Bancroft may be underrated, but Sewell’s batting advantage is enough to keep him ahead for me. Made my PHoM in 1939.

8. Quincy Trouppe (7) I don’t quite credit him with all the At-Bats that the MLEs do, but a 22-year career of mostly catching goes a long way, and all the evidence says that he was very good. A better hitter than Mackey, and had a more substantial career. Catcher defense is important, but not enough to make up for everything else. Made my PHoM in 1961.

9. Jose Mendez (9) The comparison of the K/9, BB/9 numbers impressed me. I still lean towards Redding’s career, but it’s closer. Made my PHoM in 1975.

10. Dobie Moore (10) The new MLEs don’t hurt him all that much IMO. We honestly don’t know exactly how good he was with the Wreckers. If he started out batting eighth, I don’t think he was putting up great numbers from the get-go. For a long time I had him just behind Jennings, but now I've decided he was clearly better than Jennings - perhaps not as high a peak, but his excellence endured longer. If you could have either one as a 22-year-old, why wouldn't you take Moore? Made my PHoM in 1968.

11. George Van Haltren (11) A very good player for a long time, even if he was never truly great. I can't see how people can have Beckley ahead of him when you compare them season-by-season. Made my PHoM in 1972.

12. Gavvy Cravath (13) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't too fond of him (I do need to redo my attempted WS-to-WARP translation with the latest system). Like Minoso, has the underrepresented era/weak league factors to consider.

13. Rube Waddell (15) Yeah, I wasn’t giving the ERA as much credit as it deserved. Some truly outstanding seasons, and the strikeouts certainly aren’t a bad thing. But his era is pretty well-represented for pitchers. I'm not totally convinced he's the best available white pitcher, but everyone else has issues too.

14. Cupid Childs (14) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. His career is on the short side, but he was the best second baseman of the 1890s, whatever you feel that's worth (among white players, at least). Made my PHoM in 1932.

15. Jake Beckley. (17) It only took 64 years, but he's back in the top 15. I still think his typical season was pretty weak, but he has a ton of career value, and was more consistent than Cash and especially Cepeda. Moved past Medwick/Johnson because I really do think the 30s are overrepresented.

Just for fun, here's that 1917 ballot:
1. Cy Young
2. Fred Clarke
3. Charlie Bennett
4. Jimmy Collins
5. Joe Kelley
6. Lip Pike
7. Dickey Pearce
8. Elmer Flick
9. Willie Keeler
10. Hughie Jennings
11. Frank Grant
12. Bob Caruthers
13. Jake Beckley
14. Jim McCormick
15. Joe McGinnity

They're all in the HoM now except for Beckley & McCormick, although Jennings never made my PHoM. Griffith would have been eligible as well, plus Childs and Van Haltren (who are in my PHoM). I think that's it.

(15A Joe Medwick)

16. Bob Johnson (16) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons. I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend how Medwick can be in and Johnson nowhere close.
17. Billy Pierce (18) There really isn’t much separating him from Marichal when you look at the totality of his career, although the year-by-year Win Shares are not impressive. Did have his best years in the early 50s, when the NL advantage was not so great.
18. Bus Clarkson (19) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. Still a high ranking for a relatively unknown player IMO.
19. Ken Boyer (20) I see his numbers as comparable to Elliott, with a higher peak. When you add in a wartime penalty for Elliott, it’s not a question. But Joe does have a point about better-hitting 3Bmen in the 1960s, so I slipped him behind Clarkson.
20. Norm Cash (25) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism). Swapped places with Cepeda this year, they're tough to tell apart.
21. Alejandro Oms (21) He's definitely a candidate, but he's also one more OF from a well-represented era.
(21A Biz Mackey, 21B Clark Griffith, )
22. Charlie Keller (24) I see him as distinctly better than Kiner. If Keller had been the biggest star on the Pirates and Kiner was the second banana on the Yankees, King Kong would probably be in the HoF. (Especially because DiMaggio et.al. wouldn’t have put up with Ralph’s pursuit of fame.)
(22A Cool Papa Bell, 22B Richie Ashburn, 22C Max Carey)
23. Phil Rizzuto (23) Now I’m not so sure why I initally liked him so much. He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, and even if it’s unfair, I’m less certain about that.
24. Orlando Cepeda (22) At the moment, I'm appreciating Cash's consistency a little more.
(24A Sam Thompson, 24B Rube Foster)
25. Bob Elliott (26) Right now, appears a little better than Traynor and a little worse than Clarkson and Boyer. I’m a 3B fan, but I don’t know that he’s the guy to support.
26. Ben Taylor (27) Top 3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM.
27. Nellie Fox (28) Just can't have him on the same level as Gordon or Childs. Played longer, but didn't have much more value. The defensive advantage doesn't make up for the lack of offense.
28. Bucky Walters (31) The wartime penalty holds him back, but he does have a strong candidacy.
29. Ralph Kiner (29) Like I said for Keller's comment, I prefer him among the peak outfielders. Just see him as a little bit better in several ways.
30. Vern Stephens (28) Could be higher, but I am sure he’s behind Rizzuto.

(30A Hughie Jennings, 30B George Sisler)
31. Edd Roush
32. Pie Traynor
33. Frank Howard
34. Roger Bresnahan
35. Vic Willis
36. Charley Jones
37. Elston Howard
38. Tony Lazzeri
39. Lave Cross
40. Bobby Veach

55. Hugh Duffy. The only top-10 returnee I’ve ever had anywhere near this low. I have him very close to Mike Griffin – played a little longer, had a better peak, but they’re almost identical hitters and Griffin was clearly a better fielder. I just don’t see him at all.
   157. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 24, 2006 at 05:22 AM (#2109209)
Just realized I made a mistake with my 1917 recap: Sam Thompson (HoM, not PHoM) was on the ballot as well. Now I really think that's it.
   158. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 05:37 AM (#2109224)
Howie,

1. I see the defensive spectrum in teh 1890's like this C-SS-3B-2B-CF-1B-RF-LF, though there are some RF/LF types that were really glorified CFers who may have had more defensive value than a 1B, i.e. Hugh Duffy. I guess I jsut dont' see the shift as so severe that Beckley all of a sudden becomes a great player at his peak.

2. The Jeter comment was a bit of a red herring I will admit. My point wasnt' that Jeter has/had the better peak but that Garciaparra is not a great peak candidate in the Keller/Jennings mold. I only mentioned the walks because if you only look at triple crown stats Nomar looks much better than when you figure in the walks. I didn't know their OPS+'s were so disparate, however, their WS #'s are pretty close at their peaks (Nomar ahead) even though Jeter is/was a pretty bad fielder.
   159. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:40 PM (#2109356)
49 ballots tallied up to this point. Still missing ballots from: sunnyday2 (!), Ken Fischer, Esteban Rivera, Michael Bass, Max Parkinson, KJOK, and AJM.
   160. Ken Fischer Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2109371)
1981 Ballot

I’m still in the processing of moving and doing this at a Kinko’s in Norman, OK. This is the second of three ballots I’ll be doing at Kinko’s. I don’t have internet access at home until August 8. My ballot is basically the same as last time with Gibson & Killebrew replacing Kaline & Santo at the top.

1-Bob Gibson 317 WS No-brainer

2-Harmon Killebrew 371 WS Sometimes underrated

3-Dick Redding

4-Jose Mendez

5-Minnie Minoso 283 WS
Would’ve easily been over 300 if his Negro League years were in majors.

6-George Van Haltren 344 WS
I refuse to give up on Van.

7-Mickey Welch 354 WS

8-Carl Mays 256 WS
256 win shares in an offense dominated era is impressive.

9-Vern Stephens 265 WS
Gets no respect…a forerunner of the modern power hitting shortstop.

10-Wally Schang 245 WS

11-Ken Boyer 279 WS

12-Bob Johnson 287 WS

13-Jake Beckley 318 WS

14-Tony Mullane 399 WS
He has the most WS for a non-HOMer

15-Edd Roush 314 WS

Sewell is #16…Fox #18…Kiner #21…Waddell #36...and Duffy # 48
   161. Max Parkinson Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2109400)
1981 ballot: (MP HoMers in bold, this year’s inductees are (like most) Gibson and Killer).

1. Bob Gibson

Well, that was easy.

2. Jose Mendez

Bumped again.

3. Pete Browning

I am now convinced that he would have been one of (if not THE) the best hitters in the ‘80s even if there was only one league. I have therefore minimized his AA penalty.

4. Harmon Killebrew

Killer falls between Browning and Jones on my “hitter” list. More straight up hitting value than Browning (although Pete’s hitting peak was a little higher), but Pete played more difficult positions for enough seasons to nudge ahead, as a lot of my comparisons are vs. position within a season…

5. Dick Redding
6. Charley Jones

I’ve been giving him credit for his “lost” years due to blacklisting, and he vaults up the list.

7. Dobie Moore

Incredible Peak. I assume that he would have been the best SS in baseball for nearly a decade, were he allowed to play.

8. Gavvy Cravath

Another adjustment. Was the best RF in the game for a good 6 year stretch, with MVP-calibre seasons thrown in. I have resisted adding too much credit for MiL performance, but I couldn’t keep him from the ballot any longer.

9. Rube Waddell

Welcome back to the ballot. Love me those punches, Rube.

10. John McGraw

If we were factoring in managerial success, he would have been in this hall as early as the ‘Coop. Alas, it’s looking tough for him here on playing alone. Not for me, though.

11. Joe Sewell
12. Dizzy Dean

Dean moved up for me when I realized that I was underrating peaks in pitchers. When Sandy Koufax can’t sniff my ballot, something’s wrong. The changes I incorporated helped Dean as well as Mendez.

13. (N)Ed Williamson

Between him and Mugsy, we could shore up the 3B drought pretty quick.

14. Ben Taylor

He’d slide nicely in the 1B void.

15. George Burns

The more that I look at Oms, the more that I wonder if he would have been as good as the second-tier OF of the ‘10s and ‘20s (Burns, Veach, Roush). Maybe even the third tier (Hooper, Rice, Manush, Ken Williams)

16-20. Keller, Minoso, Veach, Pierce, Walters
21-25. Cash, Lazzeri, Bancroft, Duffy, Konetchy
26-30. B. Johnson, Trouppe, Cuyler, Childs, Kiner
31-35. Youngs, Klein, Monroe, Tiernan, Hooper
36-40. F. Jones, Traynor, Shocker, Boyer, Oms
41-45. Bradley, F. Howard, Roush, Cicotte, E. Howard
46-50. Cepeda, Leach, Chance, Nicholson, Griffin
51-55. Ryan, Bridges, R. Thomas, Schang, Seymour
56-60. Nash, Dunlap, Rommel, Rucker, Beckley
61-65. Elliott, H. Wilson, Hodges, Fox, Byrd

Previous Top 10s:
Duffy is 24.
Kiner is 30.
Beckley is 60.

Vada Pinson is so far off the radar. He’s near Spud Chandler, Tom Haller and Eddie Yost. Again I wonder about the concept that 300 Win Shares makes one a Hall of Merit candidate.
   162. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#2109463)
1981 Ballot:

1. Bob Gibson – Easily the best candidate this year. What a pitcher he was.

2. Harmon Killebrew – Edges out Browning for the second spot.

3. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the Player's League.

4. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder.

5. Rube Waddell - Was a special pitcher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was playing elsewhere.

6. Dobie Moore - Fantastic peak with just enough career at shortstop.

7. Jose Mendez – Great peak pitcher with some hitting credentials added.

8. Billy Pierce – The comparison with Marichal makes me realize that I had him too low. Looks worthy when compared to his peers.

9. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of “years” has made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

10. Ralph Kiner – His peak is enough to land him on my ballot.

11. Bill Monroe - Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

12. Jake Beckley - The career man. What he accomplished during his career is enough to offset the lack of peak, so to speak.

13. Charley Jones – Fantastic hitter from the 19th century. Gets some credit for blacklisting from me.

14. Roger Bresnahan - I believe his versatility is a major plus in his case. I can understand not giving him credit if you think his playing time at other positions was worthless but when he was an outfielder he was one of the best ones in the league.

15. Cupid Childs – Very good offensive force at a time were careers were shortened because of the roughhouse style played.

16. Edd Roush – Vaults up from the nether regions of my consideration set. The arguments on his behalf made me look and realize that I had goofed. Playing time issues still hold him back somewhat.

17. Nellie Fox – Outstanding defense and hitting production for a good length of time.

18. Vic Willis – Jumps into the top 20. Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic.

19. Minnie Minoso –I suspect the study turned up about the same information we did in regards to his pre-major league years.

20. Burleigh Grimes – Not as many great seasons as some other candidates but his career length has it over most of them.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Joe Sewell – Close to making my top 20. See Moore as better.
   163. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 24, 2006 at 06:17 PM (#2109801)
Happy birth year Jschmeagol!!!!
   164. sunnyday2 Posted: July 24, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2109910)
Just back from 10 days mountain climbing...won't be getting a ballot in this year. But thanks (speaking as a Twins fan) all for your support for Harmon.

BTW had fun climbing with a couple of friends who are White Sox fans. What a great opportunity for a little good natured needle. And over the past 15 years the Twins have almost invariably lost ground during my July climbing trip, a nice change of pace this year.
   165. Max Parkinson Posted: July 24, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2109959)
Marc,

You know, one voter can make the difference between a player making the top 10 and not making the top 10...
   166. OCF Posted: July 24, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2110009)
You know, one voter can make the difference between a player making the top 10 and not making the top 10...

That part is true, but all it means is that any of about the top 15 or so have near-equal claim on our attention. I don't see that there should be much difference between how you consider or reconsider candidate #9 and candidate #12. This year, no one voter will change who we elect. (I know, not supposed to discuss results, but if you've been reading this thread, you know.)
   167. KJOK Posted: July 24, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#2110072)
Using OWP w/playing time, Player Overall Wins Score, and defense (Win Shares/BP/Fielding Runs) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average, Player Overall WInsScore and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers. For Position Players AND Pitchers, heavily weight comparison vs. contemporaries, and lightly look at WARP1.

1. BOB GIBSON, P. 45 POW, 122 WARP1, 350 RSAA ,256 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins & 127 ERA+ in 3,885 innings. Ranks high in every single measure I use.

2. HARMON KILLEBREW, 1B/3B. 33 POW, 108 WARP1, 388 RCAP & .667 OWP in 9,831 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Enough offensive value to get in.

3. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. 23 POW, 75 WARP1, 282 RCAP & .651 OWP in 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. He’s no Berra, but was best Catcher from 1880s – 1915.

4. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. 20 POW, 78 WARP1, 459 RCAP & .727 OWP in 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low. Plus led his team to 3 consecutive championships. Oh, AND at least 2nd best 3B between 1875-1900!

5. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. 23 POW, 72 WARP1, 308 RCAP & .720 OWP in 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was MUCH more important defensively. Top seasons better than Beckley’s best. Deadball era offensive stars continue to get no respect….

6. JOE SEWELL, SS. 35 POW, 103 WARP1, 346 RCAP & .549 OWP in 8,830 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell. Better than Ernie Banks. Best major league SS of the 1920’s, AND 3rd best SS of 1910-1930 period.

7. QUINCY TROUPPE, C. Estimated 115 OPS+ over 8,462 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Comp looks to be Gary Carter. He could hit for a catcher, and seems to have been AT LEAST average defensively. One of the best major league teams was willing to give him a chance at age 39, which I think says something about his talent.

8. BEN TAYLOR, 1B. Estimated 138 OPS+ over 9,091 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Comps are Fred McGriff and Mule Suttles. Too bad his best years were pre-live ball, pre-Negro Leagues, but we do have his 1921 stats that show his greatness. He’s Bill Terry plus about 3 more Bill Terry type seasons.

9. BOB JOHNSON, LF. 36 POW, .651 OWP, 319 RCAP, 102 WARP1, 8,047 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Many many very good seasons.

10. BILLY PIERCE, P.26 POW, 94 WARP1, 224 RSAA, 191 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 119 ERA+ in 3,305 innings. Different career shape than Wynn, but very close in ranking. Close to Marichal also.

11. NORM CASH, 1B. 31 POW, 102 WARP1, 295 RCAP & .671 OWP in 7,910 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Obviously underrated player who just needs more in-season PT to make a high ballot slot.

12. JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. 23 POW, 115 WARP1, 245 RCAP & .596 OWP in 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A very good for a long time player. Possibly best first baseman from 1880 – 1920, but I’m not 100% sold he was better than Chance or even Taylor.

13. JOSE MENDEZ, P. 154 MLE Neut Fibonacci Win Points. 114 MLE ERA+ over 3,001 MLE Innings. Similar career to Orel Hershiser perhaps, only a little better. Had some really great years early in his career, then changed positions due to arm problems at age 27 and was never really a star player after that.

14. DICK REDDING, P. 183 MLE Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 114 MLE ERA+ in 3,556 innings. Was the 2nd best Negro League Pitcher in his era, behind only Williams.

15. DAVE BANCROFT, SS. 36 POW, 111 WARP1, .498 OWP, 157 RCAP, 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Similar to Bobby Wallace and Ozzie Smith, so surprised he’s not getting more votes.

LEFT OFF THE BALLOT:

NEWBIES OF NOTE:
VADA PINSON, CF. 3 POW, 94 WARP1, 6 RCAP, & .545 OWP in 10,403 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Great thru age 26, then just padded his WARP1 afterwards.

LINDY McDANIEL, RP. 13POW, 70 WARP, 74 RSAA, 108 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins & 109 ERA+ in 2,140 innings. Had a few good years relieving, but not enough of them.

RETURNEES:

RALPH KINER, LF.24 POW, 75 WARP1, .693 OWP, 346 RCAP, 6,256 PAs. Def: FAIR. Given the differences in career length and defense, can’t see putting him on ballot ahead of Bob Johnson.

MINNIE MINOSO, LF. 21 POW, .636 OWP, 182 RCAP, 86 WARP1, 7,710 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Pre-MLB years don’t add much to his case.

HUGH DUFFY, CF/LF. 5 POW, 95 WARP1, 154 RCAP & .623 OWP in 7,838 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Just not in the elite OF class offensively, and fielding runs doesn’t even like his defense (-31).

RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, 69 WARP1 and 134 ERA+ in 2,961 innings. He was a more effective version of Nolan Ryan (fewer walks) and a LH clone of Dazzy Vance.

DOBIE MOORE, SS. Wish we had good MLE’s for him. Hard to tell if he’s ballot-worthy or far from it. Could be close to Hugh Jennings comp. Based on reputation and known data, just not quite there.

CHARLIE JONES, LF. 19 POW, .697 OWP, 245 RCAP, 71 WARP1, 3,958 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not a lot of PAs due to short schedules and suspension, but lots of offensive production.

NELLIE FOX, 2B. 14 POW, .483 OWP, 129 RCAP, 93 WARP1, 10,349 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Too many other quality 2nd basemen still better than him, such as Childs.

CUPID CHILDS, 2B. 30 POW, 104 WARP1, 354 RCAP & .609 OWP in 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890’s, but only around 4th best in 30 year period.

KEN BOYER, 3B. 20 POW, 96 WARP1, 122 RCAP & .561 OWP in 8,268 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Slightly early demise and only ‘very good’ offense keeps him from being higher.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. 12 POW, 118 WARP1, 167 RCAP & .620 OWP in 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. He wasn’t that far above position offensively, and wasn’t that good defensively.
   168. jimd Posted: July 24, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2110178)
6. sunnyday2 Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#2109906)

I am just back from 10 days of mountain climbing in Montana and what do I see but a thread for my old idol Tony.


If he remembers what time of the "year" it is, he'll cast his ballot in time.
   169. jimd Posted: July 24, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2110183)
Just back from 10 days mountain climbing...won't be getting a ballot in this year.

Somehow missed that above.
   170. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 24, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2110239)
After reevaluating pitchers there are some changes in my ballot from last year...

1. Bob Gibson - 11th best pitcher so far.

2. Harmon Killebrew - 8th best first baseman so far.

3. Jose Mendez - Truly outstanding peak.

4. Bucky Walters - Not as good a peak as Mendez, but more career value, they were neck and neck for the third spot.

5. Ken Boyer - Very good defender, very good hitter, with a pretty damn good peak.

6. Joe Sewell - Outstanding shortstop. And could hit a little bit too.

7. Dizzy Trout - Nice peak. '44 was fantastic, he was robbed of MVP by teammate Newhouser.

8. Jimmy Ryan - Good hitting centerfielder, long career

9. Bob Johnson - Outstanding hitter, never below a 125 OPS+ in his major league career.

10. Nellie Fox - Great defender, average hitter. Long career, 82nd in career times on base.

11. Jake Beckley - Good hitter, played forever. 86th in career XBH.

12. George Van Haltren - Good hitting CFer, over 400 adjusted win shares.

13. Minnie Minoso - Very good hitter, over 350 win shares after adding his negro league career.

14. Gavvy Cravath - Superb hitter, not much of a defender. Gets a couple of minor league seasons added to his major league totals. 4th on the all time home run list when he retired.

15. Billy Pierce - 3300 innings, 119 ERA+.

Disclosures:

Duffy - Just missed my ballot, he's 18th.

Kiner and Waddell - Great peaks, but not enough career value.
   171. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#2110365)
The election is now over. Results will be posted very shortly.
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