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Sunday, July 09, 2006

1981 Ballot Discussion

1981 (July 24)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

317 117.9 1959 Bob Gibson-P
371 99.2 1955 Harmon Killebrew-1B/3B
321 79.5 1958 Vada Pinson-CF (1995)
205 78.9 1959 Jim Perry-P
201 76.5 1960 Claude Osteen-P
199 69.4 1960 Leo Cardenas-SS
186 69.4 1956 Lindy McDaniel-RP
166 59.4 1962 Sam McDowell-P
168 56.0 1963 Dave McNally-P (2002)
144 53.4 1964 Sonny Siebert-P
159 42.2 1964 Johnny Briggs-LF
161 40.1 1965 Jim Northrup-RF
133 46.1 1966 Bill Hands-P
118 35.0 1962 Ed Brinkman-SS
110 36.2 1965 Ken Berry-CF
111 25.7 1964 Danny Cater-1B

Players Passing Away in 1980
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

93 1931 Rube Marquard-P
90 1933 Bob Shawkey-P
89 1926 Ernie Shore-P
79 1941 Hughie Critz-2B
75 1940 Ed Morgan-1B
74 1943 Jack Rothrock-RF/CF
71 1947 Odell Hale-2B/3B
62 1956 Joe Page-RP
60 1959 Jerry Priddy-2B
56 1965 Bob Porterfield-P
51 1974 Elston Howard-C

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 09, 2006 at 07:07 PM | 219 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 22, 2006 at 07:51 AM (#2107369)
Trevor Hoffman may be the first Marlin to get elected as well, not as likely as Sheffield or Piazza, but he may retire first.

Also, how likely is Walker to get in for the Rockies? However, the first candidate I see from the Rockies will be Dale Murphy. Don't think he will get in early but he may get some support.
   202. fra paolo Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:35 PM (#2107427)
could I ask who your top 3 Negro League candidates are and what evidence you are using to evaluate them?

I have based this initial ballot heavily on the 1980 ballot returns, using a consensus system to identify the top 3 names at each place in the ballot (eg, at number 5 Cannonball Dick Redding, Hugh Duffy and Minnie Minoso each received 4 votes, the highest total for an individual candidate at that place). Although in a couple of places there were large ties for third-place candidates, in which case I took only the top two, plus any who featured in the top 10 of the unelected.

This gave me the following leading Negro League candidates: Quincy Trouppe, Cannonball Dick Redding, Jose Mendez, Dobie Moore. At the moment, the Top 3 would be drawn from among them, but I haven't gone so far as to rank them. I got almost all my information from reading the HoM threads about these players.

Jose Mendez: I felt his his case rested too heavily on extrapolations from the early Cuban Winter League, which for me is equivalent to pre-National Association data: We only have a vague idea of how to rank players.

Dobie Moore: My "father's neighbour" only had a seven-season Negro League career. I'm sure it would have been longer had he not suffered his injury, but I'm not voting for him because to do so demands giving him more credit for non-existent statistics (military and unanticipated career end) than I'm comfortable with.

I'm pessimistic about ever voting for the above two. There are too many question marks in both their cases. I do intend, however, revisit them.

Cannonball Dick Redding: In his case, I took the estimated win shares on the thread and compared them to Gibson and Waddell. I think Gibson and Waddell have stronger claims on the HoM than Redding, and one rule I'm sticking to absolutely is never to vote for more than two players at the same position.

Quincy Trouppe: Ah, now, what to do with Trouppe? I find him the most enigmatic of the four Negro League players I have looked at. The MLEs compiled on his thread give him a compelling case. He also plays a position where I think the "major-league" rivals have weak cases. But he is not included in the 2005 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia's list of Top 100 Negro Leaguers, although he does get a place on Bill James's NHA list of catchers. (I should note in passing that of the four names I'm working from, only Redding's is described as a HoF Calibre career in the Baseball Encyclopedia) His thread and Mendez's are ones I want to study further before drawing a conclusive opinion.

I believe that subsequently I'll add more Negro League names for review, as I study the results of future ballots. (I've already got plans.) But I don't think my initial method of choosing names for study can be faulted.

I did do some web searches for these players, and in the end found myself using the HoM threads because they offered the best info for the judgments I'm trying to make. An attempt to find the i9 site mentioned on one thread was a failure. But, in England, data on the Negro Leagues is hard to come by in the public libraries, and my collection of baseball books is not extensive.
   203. fra paolo Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2107434)
I was pleasantly surprised to see that he has decided to join us. I guess our pros outweigh our cons.

Thanks to all who welcomed me. It was the Jim Perry thread that by a roundabout way led me to conclude that by applying a positional balance the problems I have with the HoM balloting system could be minimized.

<u>re Charlie Keller and Quincy Trouppe</u>
I ran my ruler over Keller once, but I'm going to do it again. I want to look at the catchers (including Trouppe) one more time before I post something on the ballot thread, which even if my ballot isn't accepted will be a useful exercise.
   204. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 22, 2006 at 01:58 PM (#2107440)
Interesting about the Rockies not having ever had anyone on board who can be considered a slam dunk HOFer, let alone a very-good-chance HOMer. Walker, Murphy, and Helton appear to all be destined for HOVG. Perhaps then the answer is Ian Stewart????
   205. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 22, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2107584)
Walker, Murphy, and Helton appear to all be destined for HOVG.

It's too early still to judge Helton, since he could compile some impressive career stats depending on how durable he remains. As for Walker and Murphy, I wont be surprised to see them in the HOF. Not great choices, but certainly not horrible ones, either.
   206. Chris Cobb Posted: July 22, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2107673)
fra paolo, thanks for answering Brent's questions about your assessment of NeL candidates. I'm glad to see that you have given them considerable thought. Your assessment of the data underlying the MLE statistics is mistaken in some respects, however. Let me give you a bit more background on the data, and also remind you that it is inappropriate to dismiss a candidate from consideration because the statistical record is slender. There is a higher degree of uncertainty in ranking NeL and pre-NeL black players, but our mandate is to give them equal consideration with players who were not excluded from the major leagues because of racism.

Jose Mendez: I felt his his case rested too heavily on extrapolations from the early Cuban Winter League, which for me is equivalent to pre-National Association data: We only have a vague idea of how to rank players.

Mendez's case has three significant statistical supports.

The first is play against major league teams touring Cuba during the winter. Mendez actually has more documented games against major-league competition (and good major-league competition at that, since the teams that toured were usually league champions) than any other non-ML pitcher we have considered, with the possible exception of Joe Williams. These stats include H/9, K/9, BB/9 rates that enable us to compare Mendez quite directly to his major-league counterparts, with suitable adustments for the hitting conditions in the Cuban park.

The second is play in the early Cuban winter league through about 1915. These stats are _much_ more meaningful than pre-NA stats, which give us a window into a game that was _very_ different from the modern game, and that leave out major components of the statistical record that we take for granted. The CWL game was the same as the game being played in the American majors at that time, and the stats are as good or better than any of the stats that we have for the North American Negro Leagues in the 1920s and 1930s. Moreover, factors for the conversion of these stats into Major-League equivalents are readily obtainable because there were several Cuban nationals who were playing in the major leagues at this time who were also playing winter ball in the CWL. In sum, the CWL stats are a second excellent source of information, as good or better than any data we have from the Negro Leagues themselves.

The third is play in the Negro Leagues in the 1920s. These stats are comparable to the stats for all other NeL candidates.

If you examine the statistical record and the translations carefully, you should be able to arrive at a precise, not a vague assessment of Mendez's merit. I will readily admit that he is overdue for a comprehensive representation that pulls together all of the evidence and lays out translations and the methodology behind them, we have the evidence to do that with considerable accuracy.

Dobie Moore: My "father's neighbour" only had a seven-season Negro League career. I'm sure it would have been longer had he not suffered his injury, but I'm not voting for him because to do so demands giving him more credit for non-existent statistics (military and unanticipated career end) than I'm comfortable with.

Moore undoubtedly had a short career, but please remember that he was in the military to play baseball, and he was likely making a better living playing ball for the army than he would have made in the days prior to the organization of the Negro National League in 1920. Unlike military service in other cases, you are not giving him credit for what he might have done had he not been in military service, you are giving him credit for what he _did_ do. The lack of statistics is a obstacle to precise evaluation, but we are electing _players_, not statistical records, and it is no fault of Moore's that nobody was documenting his play as fully as it should have been documented. You may decide that Moore's record does not support the conclusion that he was a major-league calibre player in the late 1910s, but if you decide that he was a major-league calibre player at that time, then he deserves credit for it.

I'm pessimistic about ever voting for the above two. There are too many question marks in both their cases. I do intend, however, revisit them.

Question marks in the statistical record are not a valid reason for not voting for a player. Make your best estimate, and vote accordingly. Otherwise our elections will simply be reinstitutionalizing the racism that excluded them categorically in the first place.

Cannonball Dick Redding: In his case, I took the estimated win shares on the thread and compared them to Gibson and Waddell. I think Gibson and Waddell have stronger claims on the HoM than Redding, and one rule I'm sticking to absolutely is never to vote for more than two players at the same position.

I'm glad that you find the win shares in Redding's case useful. However, I am obliged to point out that the actual data underlying them are actually rather less complete and harder to interpret than the data underlying Mendez's win shares. Prior to 1920, the data for the play of North American black teams is very sketchy. The data on Redding is more complete after 1920, but his HoM case rests on his play before 1920, since after 1922 or so it is obvious that he was no longer a great pitcher.

Building positional distribution into your system is reasonable, but is it reasonable to treat pitcher the same as all the other positions? If you had a HoM with the same number of pitchers as second basemen, that would seem to be to be radically unbalanced in terms of positional representation. Would it not make more sense to include as many pitchers as, say, outfielders, on your ballot?

Quincy Trouppe: Ah, now, what to do with Trouppe? I find him the most enigmatic of the four Negro League players I have looked at. The MLEs compiled on his thread give him a compelling case. He also plays a position where I think the "major-league" rivals have weak cases. But he is not included in the 2005 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia's list of Top 100 Negro Leaguers, although he does get a place on Bill James's NHA list of catchers.

Trouppe's absence from things like the ESPN list and the final ballot for the recent HoF election is quite likely attributable to the fact that he spent only a small portion of his career in the organized Negro Leagues, and any study that looks only or primarily at those statistics will miss Trouppe altogether. His case rests primarily on his play in the Mexican League during the 1940s, and the question of how to rank him depends on what one considers the quality of the Mexican League to have been at this time.

(I should note in passing that of the four names I'm working from, only Redding's is described as a HoF Calibre career in the Baseball Encyclopedia) His thread and Mendez's are ones I want to study further before drawing a conclusive opinion.

Whatever the ESPN Encyclopedia thinks, the Hall of Fame now thinks that Mendez had a Hall of Fame career :-) .
   207. OCF Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2108043)
I'll remind everyone that Mendez currently occupies the top spot on our backlog. If current voting trends continue, then as soon as there is an opening (not 1982, but not long afterward), he will be elected. So everyone - friends of Mendez, enemies of Mendez (we should be neither - we're all just voters) - should reexamine his case. Is he correctly placed at the top of the backlog?
   208. Cblau Posted: July 23, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#2108082)
SWW, regarding your ballot,
You say Grimes beats Beckley on grey ink 38-1. That's on black ink. Beckley's got grey ink of 165, while the average HoF batter has 144. Grimes does do better than Beckley in grey ink as well.

And you continue to claim Sam Rice was on consistently bad teams, when the opposite was true. He was on Washington 19 years; they finished in the first division 13 times, including first place 3 times. They never finished last with Rice on the team.
   209. fra paolo Posted: July 23, 2006 at 10:28 AM (#2108216)
I lost track of the time last night reading the Mendez thread more closely, especially stats against the major leaguers, and ended up going to bed at 3 AM. At the moment, though, I still like Waddell and Gibson better. I wonder about sample size.

I also looked at the Trouppe thread again, less closely, as part of a review of his unintegrated rivals that, in the latter case, focused on Adjusted Batting Runs during their primes. I don't know why, but I had a note next to Trouppe's name "not enough prime", which is just not the case. I reckon he's as good (if not better) a candidate as my current front runners at this position: Bresnahan, Schang, E. Howard.

I've made a mistake including two catchers on my preliminary ballot. I don't think they are good enough. I'm also going to rework it revising my corner outfield rankings.
   210. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2108226)
I agree with you on both fronts Fra. I have Mendez currently sixth among pitchers behind Gibson, Redding, Walters, Dean, and Waddell and just off my ballot. I have a heard time placing him above Waddell. I also have Trouppe first among catchers, and on my ballot, followed by Howard then Bresnahan with Schang and Lombardi somewhere in the ether (that is most likely spelled wrong).
   211. TomH Posted: July 23, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#2108974)
a little info on Billy Pierce; less scholarly than what we've already discussed, but some quick hits that make me wake up and go "hey, this guy was good in his time!"

MLB innings pitched leaders, 1949-62
1 Warren Spahn 3925
2 Robin Roberts. 3784
3 Early Wynn.... 3244
4 Billy Pierce.... 3092
5 Bob Friend..... 2750
6 Lew Burdette.. 2555
7 Whitey Ford.... 2296

MLB RSAA (Runs Saved Above Average) leaders, 1949-1962
1 Warren Spahn 286
2 Billy Pierce.... 241
3 Whitey Ford... 237
4 Robin Roberts. 195
5 Mel Parnell..... 173
   212. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2109149)
I guess the problem that I have with those charts, Tom, is the arbitrary cut off points around the beginning and end of Pierce's career. How does it look if you go 1944-1967 or something like that?
   213. Mike Webber Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:31 AM (#2109159)
"hey, this guy was good in his time!"


All of them are even a little better when you cherry pick their career though.

What do I mean, well I liked Tom's chart, but I think charts like that are always better when you add 5 years to the begininng and end of the players career. Ford and Pierce are contemporaries, but Whitey hung on past '62. So I reran the chart from 1994 thru 1967 (Sinnins SBE)

CAREER
1944-1967


INNINGS PITCHED                 IP     
1    Warren Spahn             5229.2   
2    Robin Roberts            4689     
3    Early Wynn               4059     
4    Bob Friend               3612     
5    Curt Simmons             3348.2   
6    Billy Pierce             3305     
7    Whitey Ford              3171     
8    Don Drysdale             3130     
9    Lew Burdette             3067.2   
10   Jim Bunning              3058     

RSAA                           RSAA    
1    Warren Spahn                323   
2    Whitey Ford                 321   
3    Hal Newhouser               273   
4    Jim Bunning                 255   
5    Hoyt Wilhelm                251   
6    Billy Pierce                224   
7    Don Drysdale                223   
T8   Robin Roberts               220   
T8   Sandy Koufax                220   
10   Harry Brecheen              192   



And my thought was, hmm that is odd Pierce's numbers changed. So I checked his career and realized that Tom dropped off the beginning and end of Billy's career
Year IP RSAA
1945 10 2
1946 55 -14
1963 99 -12
1964 49 7

Netting -17 RSAA.

Now I don't tihnk those four years make or break Pierce's candicacy, but when you cherry pick the numbers something smells fishy.

That said, Billy is still 6th on both lists, and you could make an excellent arguement that the 6th busiest and 6th most effective pitcher in a 25 year period is HOM-worthy. Especially since Spahn is the only name ahead of him on both lists.
   214. Mike Webber Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#2109162)
jschmeagol - great minds think alike?

I hadn't read your post when I researched and posted mine.
   215. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 24, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2109734)
Redding, Walters, Dean, Pierce, Waddell

Off the top of my head, these are Mendez's rivals for election. Every one of them has an issue that's keeping them out.

-Mendez: Uncertainty over MLEs as well as short to medium length career, also not much attention paid to him by various polls and rankings conducted much later in the century.
-Redding: Uncertainty over MLEs as well as sudden, dramatic, and permanent loss of effectiveness around 1920, not much of a hitter.
-Walters: Uncertainty over big war season, and so-so shoulder years after his three big seasons.
-Dean: No shoulder seasons, and peak years not as peaky as we'd like from a peak-only pitcher.
-Pierce: Career length is not tremendously long, and many seasons are good but not jawdropping.
-Waddell: Uncertainty about how personality affected performance and teams, uncertainty about value of his Ks, uncertainty about the UER issue, total inability to hit, inability to competently field position.

Each, however, has some good stuff supporting them.

-Mendez: Big, big peak seasons, documented excellence against all comers, some shoulder seasons after injury that indicate the height of his talent level, very good hitter and fielder.
-Redding: Strong, consistent prime, reputation as great pitcher and much critical acclaim.
-Walters: Big, big peak seasons, great hitting and fielding pitcher.
-Dean: Nice ERA+ in a consecutive peak.
-Pierce: That 208 ERA+, durable during prime, plenty of high-leverage relief outings throughout career, good career ERA+.
-Waddell: Great ERA+, tons of Ks, innings totals consistent with a #1 or #2 starter of the era.

Truly the goods and bads of each guy will play to a particular voter's peak/prime/certainty preferences. I never vote for Dean, Redding, or Waddell, but I'd be most likely to vote for Waddell of the three. I always vote for Mendez, Walters, and Pierce (in that order), though I'm shakiest on Walters, and I think all three ought to be in. I think the MLEs (which Chris Cobb has said need some recalibration but would likely end up inching Mendez's projections upwards) strongly suggest that Mendez had a superb prime, probably as big or bigger than Walters', but that he sustained that level longer than Bucky. Pierce hasn't got the big peak, but he's not many ballot slots lower because he's got a longer prime with many nice seasons after Mendez and Walters' big years give way.

I've grown to really not like Redding as a candidate (nothing personal, Dick). His 1920s numbers are awful, and he needs them to step up from the Vic Willis mold of high innings, decent performance, moderately long career. In other words, I'm not sure absent some wicked park effects that Redding is truly a bulk candidate or if he's really a ten-year guy dressed up in careerist's costume. Even so those ten years don't strike me as huge. They are good, no doubt, but I don't see the peak-level seperation. In other words, for me, all the arrows point in the wrong direction, and I wonder if his legendary fastball pumps his historical reputation up too much. Dean's another big legend. Actually I'm much more friendly to him than I let on. His peak is excellent, it's just not good enough to support a Koufaxian candidacy without at least one more peak or shoulder year. I can see a scenario where I vote for him in 2007 when everyone else is gone, but that's about it. Same scenario for Waddell. Except that all the arrows are pointing every which way for him. The narrative of his career, such as it is, is extremely fragmented and scattered, making it difficult for a concretist like me to attach much significance to any one strand of it.

This last sentence is true for all six guys in the sense that if I can build a story in my mind around them, then it's simple for me to say "yes." The arrows of Mendez's career all point in the same direction. Pierce is a little mixed, but many more go in the direction of yes than no. Walters a little more mixed, but still solidly yes for me. Redding is trending no, no, no. Dean trends mostly no, and because Waddell trends nearly equally both ways, I'm confused and so go no.

I've said too much. I haven't said enough.
   216. OCF Posted: July 24, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2110052)
My voting order for the pitchers Dr. Chaleeko discusses has been Pierce, Mendez, Walters, [Bridges], Redding, Waddell. For me, Dean is completely out of the picture.

Here are there career records in my RA+ system. First I'll give the career equivalent W-L, then a "big years score" which consists of the year-by-year sum of equiv. FWP, minus 15, with only the positives counting. In other words, it's the FWP above 15 per year.

Pierce: 218-150; 36
Willis: 248-196; 44 (this is with a defensive quality adjustment; he'd rank higher without that)
Waddell: 200-129; 59
Bridges: 190-124; 17
Walters: 197-148; 43 (this includes credit for his hitting)
Dean 136-82; 35
Mendez: N/A
Redding: N/A

Since I've always used RA+ rather than ERA+, all the talk about Waddell's UER never bothered me - I'm already charging him for them. I've been taking a different discount that has hurt both Waddell and Willis: it's called "pitchers could pitch more innings per season back then." That also causes me to take in effect a big discount from that "big years score" for both Waddell and Willis.

Question: If I'm holding that - the prevalence of high IP in the time - against Waddell and Willis, would it not also be fair to hold that against Mendez?

Bridges is the least impressive one of this on the "big years score," but in looking at this, I've got the nagging thought that I've been both overrating Walters and underrating Bridges. Any thoughts on that from the friends of either one?
   217. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 24, 2006 at 11:01 PM (#2110220)
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.

This was in the Ballot thread from one of the ballots posted today, and I have to respond. Kiner is obviously better than Klein because Kiner plays in the post-integration late 40's-50's, while Klein plays in the ~1930 NL. I don't know if there's an adequate explaination for why the standard deviation for offensive performance in the 1930's NL was so high, but it was. That kills Klein's candidacy.

Klein had the best OPS+ in the NL 1 time; Kiner had the best OPS+ in the NL 3 times. Kiner was a more dominant offensive player.
   218. DL from MN Posted: July 24, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2110329)
Just looking through the baseball reference birthdays and my latest son continues the trend of HoM outfielders. The guys in my family (3 boys) share birthdays with Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Joe Dimaggio and now Shoeless Joe Jackson.
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