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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 24, 2006

1981 Results: Gibson and Killebrew Top This Year’s Election For the Hall of Merit!

In his first year of eligibility, Cardinal star pitcher Bob Gibson easily gained admission to the Hall of Merit with an outstanding 99% of all possible points. His 1,279 points is the third highest ever (behind Ty Cobb in 1934 and Walter Johnson in 1933 and a few points ahead of Babe Ruth in 1941).

Minnesota slugger Harmon Killebrew, another newbie, achieved a more than impressive 88% of all possible points from the electorate.

A record 84 candidates found their way on a ballot for this election (breaking the record set in 1968 by two).

Rounding out the top-ten were: José Méndez, Joe Sewell, Minnie MinosoRalph Kiner, Billy Pierce (first time in the top-ten!), Cannonball Dick Redding, Cupid Childs (back in the top-ten after countless decades!), and Hugh Duffy.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Bob Gibson              1279   54  48  4  1  1                                 
 2  n/e  Harmon Killebrew        1137   53   5 36  5  3  1  1                 1  1      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3    4  José Méndez              449   30      4  5  5  2  1  3  1  2  1     1  1  4   
 4    5  Joe Sewell               379   28      2  1  3     7  3     3  2  4        1  2
 5    7  Minnie Minoso            372   32         2  1  3  2  5  2  2  2  2  3  1  2  5
 6    6  Ralph Kiner              323   27         4  1     2  3  5     1  1  2  3  4  1
 7   11  Billy Pierce             312   26         2  1  2  1  5  3     3  1  2  3     3
 8   12  Cannonball Dick Redding  291   23      1  2  2  3  2     2  2        3  3  1  2
 9   16  Cupid Childs             290   24            2  5     3  2  2  1  1  2  4  1  1
10    9  Hugh Duffy               290   23         2  3  3  2  1  1  1  1  1  4  2  1  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   10  Rube Waddell             288   23         1  2  5     2     3  3  2  1  3     1
12    8  Jake Beckley             288   21      3  1  3  3           3     1  3  2  1  1
13   17  Ken Boyer                273   24            2  3  3  2     2  1  3        5  3
14   13  Dobie Moore              246   21         1  2  1  4  1  2     2        2  4  2
15   15  Nellie Fox               244   19   1        1  4     3  1  2  2  2           3
16   18  George Van Haltren       238   20         3  1     1        4  3  4  1  1  2   
17   14  Charley Jones            224   16         3  2     2  3  3     1        1     1
18   19  Charlie Keller           205   16      1  3        1  1  2     3     3     1  1
19   30  Bucky Walters            186   16         1  2     1  1  1  1  2  1  3  1  1  1
20   27T Edd Roush                183   16         1  1  2     1  1  2  2  1        3  2
21   22  Quincy Trouppe           180   15               1  4  1  3        2  1  1  2   
22   20  Pete Browning            177   13         3     3  2     1     1           3   
23   24  Gavy Cravath             174   14         1     2  2  1  2  2        1  1  1  1
24   23  Bob Johnson              171   13         1  2  1  1  1  1  2     1  3         
25   26  Tommy Leach              170   14         1  2     1  2  1  2        1  2  1  1
26   21  Mickey Welch             170   11      2  2  1     1  1  1  1     1        1   
27   25  Roger Bresnahan          156   13         2  1        2  1  1  1  1     2  1  1
28   29  Orlando Cepeda           153   15               1  1  1  2  1     1  2  3     3
29   27T Norm Cash                146   12               1  3  1        3  3     1      
30   31  Burleigh Grimes          128   10         1  1  1  1  1        2  2           1
31   35  Dizzy Dean               101   10            1              3     1  2  1     2
32T  33  Bob Elliott               90    8                  1  1  1  1     1  2  1      
32T  37  Alejandro Oms             90    8         1              2  1     2     1     1
34   32  Wally Schang              88    7      1     1                 2  1  1     1   
35   34  Larry Doyle               75    5         1  1     1     1  1                  
36   36  John McGraw               68    5            2     1           1        1      
37   38  Pie Traynor               61    5         1           1  1        1           1
38   41  Vic Willis                60    6                     1        1  1  1  2      
39   39  Ben Taylor                59    5               1        1  1  1           1   
40   42  Tommy Bridges             55    6                              1  2  2        1
41   44  Carl Mays                 55    5                        2  1  1              1
42   56  Phil Rizzuto              50    4            1     1                 2         
43   50  Jimmy Ryan                49    5                        2        1        1  1
44   40  Ernie Lombardi            47    4            1                 2        1      
45   54  Rabbit Maranville         45    4         1              1                 2   
46   43  Frank Howard              44    5                           1     1     2     1
47   45  Sam Rice                  44    4                     1  1     1              1
48   47  Bill Monroe               43    4            1                    1  1     1   
49   48  Elston Howard             40    5                                    2  1  2   
50T  53  Luis Aparicio             40    4                           2           2      
50T  51  Ed Williamson             40    4                           1  1     1  1      
52   60T Dizzy Trout               39    3                  1  1           1            
53   55  Lefty Gomez               35    3                     1        1  1            
54T  52  Addie Joss                34    3            1                 1              1
54T  49  Dutch Leonard             34    3               1                    2         
56   57  Chuck Klein               31    2               1  1                           
57   58T Al Rosen                  30    3                        1     1              1
58   60T Dave Bancroft             28    3                  1                       1  1
59   46  Vern Stephens             26    3                           1              2   
60   58T Frank Chance              24    2               1                       1      
61   60T Ed Cicotte                23    2               1                          1   
62   74T Gil Hodges                21    2                           1        1         
63   63  Tony Mullane              19    2                           1              1   
64   70T Dom DiMaggio              18    2                                 1     1      
65   65  Fielder Jones             18    1         1                                    
66   70T Wilbur Cooper             16    2                                 1           1
67T n/e  Vada Pinson               16    1               1                              
67T  64  Jack Quinn                16    1               1                              
69  n/e  Urban Shocker             15    1                  1                           
70T  68  Artie Wilson              13    1                        1                     
70T  66T Sam Leever                13    1                        1                     
70T n/e  Johnny Pesky              13    1                        1                     
73  n/e  George J. Burns           12    2                                             2
74   69  Fred Dunlap               12    1                           1                  
75T n/e  Dick Bartell              11    1                              1               
75T n/e  Don Newcombe              11    1                              1               
75T  70T Bobby Veach               11    1                              1               
78T n/e  Harlond Clift             10    1                                 1            
78T  74T Hack Wilson               10    1                                 1            
78T  70T Herman Long               10    1                                 1            
81  n/e  Sol White                  8    1                                       1      
82   76  Wally Berger               7    1                                          1   
83T n/e  Billy Nash                 6    1                                             1
83T n/e  Cecil Travis               6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Red Schoendienst(66T), Hilton Smith(77).
Ballots Cast: 54

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2006 at 10:39 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:02 AM (#2110372)
Congrats to Bob and Harmon!

BTW, for those who will be conducting posts to beat up on Cupid Childs, bring it on! :-)

HOF-not-HOM through 1981
 
1. Bancroft
Dave
2. Beckley
Jake
3  Bender
Chief
4  Bottomley
Jim
5  Bresnahan
Roger
6  Chance
Frank
7  Chesbro
Jack
8  Combs
Earle
9  Cuyler
Kiki
10 Dean
Dizzy
11 Duffy
Hugh
12 Evers
Johnny
13 Gomez
Lefty
14 Grimes
Burleigh
15 Hafey
Chick
16 Haines
Jesse
17 Hooper
Harry
18 Hoyt
Waite
19 Johnson
Judy
20 Joss
Addie
21 Kelly
George
22 Kiner
Ralph
23 Klein
Chuck
24 Lindstrom
Freddie
25 Manush
Heinie
26 Maranville
Rabbit
27 Marquard
Rube
28 McCarthy
Tommy
29 McGraw
John 
30 Pennock
Herb
31 Rice
Sam
32 Roush
Edd
33 Schalk
Ray
34 Sewell
Joe
35 Tinker
Joe
36 Traynor
Pie
37 Waddell
Rube
38 Waner
Lloyd
39 Welch
Mickey
40 Wilson
Hack
41 Youngs
Ross
 
HOM
-not-HOF
 
1  Ashburn
Richie
2  Barnes
Ross
3  Beckwith
John
4  Bennett
Charlie
5  Brown
Ray
6  Brown
Willard
7  Bunning
Jim
8  Caruthers
Bob
9  Dahlen
Bill
10 Davis
George
11 Doby
Larry
12 Doerr
Bobby
13 Drysdale
Don
14 Ferrell
Wes
15 Foster
Willie 
16 Glasscock
Jack
17 Gordon
Joe
18 Gore
George
19 Grant
Frank
20 Groh
Heinie
21 Hack
Stan
22 Hill
Pete
23 Hines
Paul
24 Jackson
Joe*
25 JohnsonHome Run
26 Killebrew
Harmon
27 Mackey
Biz
28 Magee
Sherry
29 Marichal
Juan
30 McPhee
Bid
31 McVey
Cal
32 Newhouser
Hal
33 Pearce
Dickey
34 Pike
Lip
35 Richardson
Hardy
36 Reese
Pee Wee
37 Rogan
Bullet Joe
38 Santo
Ron
39 Santop
Louis
40 Sheckard
Jimmy
41 Slaughter
Enos
42 Start
Joe
43 Stearnes
Turkey
44 Stovey
Harry
45 Suttles
Mule
46 Sutton
Ezra
47 Torriente
Cristobal
48 Vaughan
Arky
49 Wells
Willie
50 White
Deacon
51 Wilhelm
Hoyt
52 Williams
Smokey Joe
53 Wilson
Jud
  
*  not eligible for the HOF 
   2. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:04 AM (#2110374)
54 voters. sunnyday2 took a vacation week off, Trevor P. returned to the fold after three "years" away, and we had two new voters: Get Melky? and fra paolo. One of them turned out to be a consensus upper-middle-of-the-pack guy, and one of them an outlier. Despite the record (I think) 84 candidates, it wasn't a low-consensus year. The mean consensus score was -1.1 and the highest possible was +12. Here's are some individuals:

Got Melky?: +10
Esteban Rivera: +4
andrew siegel: +4
Devin McCullen: +4
ronw: +3
favre: +3
AJM: +3
TomH: +3
fra paolo: +2
...
Chris Cobb: +2
...
OCF: +2
...
Ken Fischer: +0
Rick A: +0 (medians)
...
John Murphy: -4
Joe Dimino: -4
jimd: -4
Rusty Priske: -5
Vaux: -5
Patrick W: -6
Eric C: -9
yest: -12
Jim Sp: -15 (you've got to admit it was a pretty strange ballot)
karlmagnus: -15
   3. Jim Sp Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:18 AM (#2110407)
(you've got to admit it was a pretty strange ballot)

yup.
   4. Jim Sp Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:23 AM (#2110418)
I've got Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams, Mendez, and Sewell next time, so I may go from worst to first in a year.
   5. fra paolo Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2110422)
I don't understand the consensus scores.
   6. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#2110477)
fra paolo, they're a measurement of how close each voter is to an "average" voter. The scale is arbitrary, so zero doesn't mean anything in particular. The actual formula is pretty ad-hoc. The points awarded to each ballot position matter. In your case, you had Gibson and Killebrew 1-2; pretty much everyone who had that was at least in the middling pack of voters on consensus score. You voted for 7 of the top 15, which was a fairly typical number. I expect that the average score will go up slightly for next year as we replace broad but not unanimous agreement about Gibson and Killebrew with unanimity for the top two spots. But then it won't be easy to be an outlier on either side.
   7. jimd Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:53 AM (#2110551)
BBWAA Voting for 1981

Name Votes PCT
Bob Gibson 337 84.04

Don Drysdale 243 60.60
Gil Hodges 241 60.10
Harmon Killebrew 239 59.60
Hoyt Wilhelm 238 59.35
Juan Marichal 233 58.10
Nellie Fox 168 41.90
Red Schoendienst 166 41.40
Jim Bunning 164 40.90
Maury Wills 163 40.65
Richie Ashburn 142 35.41
Roger Maris 94 23.44
Harvey Kuenn 93 23.19
Elston Howard 83 20.70
Orlando Cepeda 77 19.20
Thurman Munson 62 15.46
Ted Kluszewski 56 13.97
Luis Aparicio 48 11.97
Lew Burdette 48 11.97
Bill Mazeroski 38 9.48
Don Larsen 33 8.23
Roy Face 23 5.74
Vada Pinson 18 4.49
Jim Perry 6 1.50
Dave McNally 5 1.25
Claude Osteen 2 0.50
Glenn Beckert 1 0.25
Gates Brown 1 0.25
Leo Cardenas 1 0.25
Lindy McDaniel 1 0.25
Jim Northrup 1 0.25
Sonny Siebert 1 0.25

Marichal was not eligible until 1981 due to a token appearance his last season. Vernon, Newcombe, and Dark were no longer eligible.
   8. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2110555)
OCF, does a consensus score of '0' mean anything?

What is everyone's consensus score if there is a unanimous 1-15? What is everyone's consensus score if everyone votes for 15 different guys? Do either of those scale with the number of voters?

Hmmm... have you posted the formula anywhere? I kinda have the gist of what it means, but every time I try to guess at what the formula might be, it doesn't match the numerical results (i.e. positive consensus values don't jive with a distance-from-your-contribution-to-avg-pts-per-ballot).
   9. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:15 AM (#2110635)
OK, let me see. Childs drops behind Waddell on my ballot but goes up 7 spots. Beckley makes my ballot for the first time since 1917 and goes down 4 spots. And I'm tied for second highest consensus score. Huh? (Don't waste time figuring it out on my account, I'm just amused.)
   10. karlmagnus Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:20 AM (#2110650)
With 5 candidates within 3 points of each other, there's bound to be a bit of funny shuffling. Glad Childs is back on the radar screen, though; I've had him pretty consistently on my ballot.
   11. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2110693)
It doesn't scale with number of voters - well, mostly not.

Answering David Foss's questions:

If we were completely unanimous, everyone would get +50.

If everyone's ballot was disjoint, the total would get worse with more voters. Just two voters, disjoint, would both be -3; three such voters would be -16; five such voters -22. If 50 voters agreed completely and one voter was disjoint from them, the fifty would be at +48 and the oddball at -54.

I said it's ad hoc. There are two pieces:

A= the inner product of the indivual's ballot point totals with the average ballot (ballot totals divided by the number of voters), scaled so that 100 is perfect agreement.

B= the sum of the squares of the componentwise differences between the ballot and the average ballot, divided by the total points per ballot. (That's 203 in an elect-2 year.)

Then the consensus score is A/2-10*sqrt(B).

So no, zero doesn't mean anything.

I patched it together long ago, by trial and error until I got something I liked. I probably wouldn't do it the same way now, but I've decided to keep it for historical continuity.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2110734)
all-time votes points thru 1981 - still eligible in 1982 election in CAPS

Beckley picks up 50 pts on GVH, still trails by 928.5.
Duffy picks up 52 pts on GVH, still trails by 1303.
Mendez leapfrogs the Leach-Bresnahan twins to claim 18th; poised to move up 2 more spots next year.


TOP 25, ALL-TIME
VAN HALTREN 21798.5
BECKLEY 20870
DUFFY 20495.5
Griffith 17924
BROWNING 17805.5
Jennings 16976
CHILDS 15996
WADDELL 15685
WELCH 14771
Sisler 13875

Pike 13399
Thompson 12349
RYAN 11555.5
Bennett 11503
SEWELL 11087
Rixey 10789
Caruthers 10704
MENDEZ 10556
TLEACH 10478
BRESNAHAN 10398

REDDING 10350
CJONES 10209
Beckwith 9896
H Stovey 9576
Mackey 8930

OTHERS IN THE TOP 25 ACTIVE
(Moore 7809, Roush 7506, Doyle 6775, Monroe 6181, Cravath 5883, Grimes 5463, Kiner 5329, Williamson 5126, Schang 4886, Walters 4667, McGraw 4597)

almost
(Minoso 3921, Oms 3691, Joss 3197, McCormick 3148X, Willis 3103, Pierce 2894)

Missing anyone? Keller? Trouppe? BJohnson?
   13. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2110753)
Thanks OCF!
   14. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2110755)
Mendez will not reach the top of Howie's chart - his current trajectory points towards election.
   15. Swing on This Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2110844)
Congrats to Childs. 1931 marked the only time he previously finished in the top 10 (8).
   16. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:57 AM (#2111012)
Childs has been on every single ballot of mine since I started in 1935 and has been as high as #1 (currently #2 in my returning backlog) and PHOM since 1939. I must say that his top 10 placement makes me happy, hopefully this augers well for future induction. He woudl certianly be someone who would raise some eyebrows among the regular BTF guy.

On the other hand, that I agree with karl on this makes me uneasy...;-)
   17. yest Posted: July 25, 2006 at 03:48 AM (#2111079)
BTW, for those who will be conducting posts to beat up on Cupid Childs, bring it on! :-)
I was mosty shoting at Breshan


A list of eligible HoFers
HoMers in bold
all HoFers with significant playing careers are included
1936
Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson
1937
Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Cy Young , Connie Mack, John McGraw, George Wright
1938
Pete Alexander
1939
George Sisler , Eddie Collins , Willie Keeler , Lou Gehrig, Cap Anson , Charlie Comiskey , Candy Cummings , Buck Ewing , Charles Radbourn , Al Spalding
1942
Rogers Hornsby
1945
Roger Bresnahan , Dan Brouthers , Fred Clarke , Jimmy Collins , Ed Delahanty , Hugh Duffy , Hughie Jennings , King Kelly , Jim O’Rourke , Wilbert Robinson
1946
Jesse Burkett , Frank Chance , Jack Chesbro , Johnny Evers , , Clark Griffith, , Tommy McCarthy , Joe McGinnity , Eddie Plank , Joe Tinker , Rube Waddell , Ed Walsh
1947
Carl Hubbell , Frankie Frisch , Mickey Cochrane , Lefty Grove
1948
Herb Pennock , Pie Traynor
1949
Charlie Gehringer , Mordecai Brown , Kid Nichols
1951
Mel Ott , Jimmie Foxx
1952
Harry Heilmann , Paul Waner
1953
Al Simmons , Dizzy Dean , Chief Bender , Bobby Wallace , Harry Wright
1954
Rabbit Maranville , Bill Dickey , Bill Terry
1955
Joe DiMaggio , Ted Lyons , Dazzy Vance , Gabby Hartnett , Frank Baker , Ray Schalk
1956
Hank Greenberg , Joe Cronin
1957
Sam Crawford
1959
Zack Wheat
1961
Max Carey , Billy Hamilton
1962
Bob Feller , Jackie Robinson , Bill McKechnie , Edd Roush
1963
John Clarkson , Elmer Flick , Sam Rice , Eppa Rixey
1964
Luke Appling , Red Faber , Burleigh Grimes , Miller Huggins , Tim Keefe , Heinie Manush , Monte Ward
1965
Pud Galvin
1966
Ted Williams , Casey Stengel
1967
Red Ruffing , Lloyd Waner
1968
Joe Medwick , Kiki Cuyler , Goose Goslin
1969
Stan Musial, Roy Campanella , Stan Coveleski , , Waite Hoyt,
1970
Lou Boudreau , Earle Combs , Jesse Haines,
1971
Dave Bancroft , Jake Beckley , Chick Hafey , Harry Hooper , Joe Kelley , Rube Marquard , Satchel Paige
1972
Sandy Koufax , Yogi Berra ,Early Wynn, Lefty Gomez , Ross Youngs , Josh Gibson , Buck Leonard
1973
Warren Spahn , George Kelly , Mickey Welch , Monte Irvin , Roberto Clemente
1974
Mickey Mantle , Whitey Ford , Jim Bottomley , Sam Thompson , Cool Papa Bell
1975
Ralph Kiner , Earl Averill , Bucky Harris , Billy Herman , Judy Johnson
1976
Robin Roberts, Bob Lemon , Roger Connor , Freddy Lindstrom , Oscar Charleston
1977
Ernie Banks ,Amos Rusie , Joe Sewell , Al Lopez , Martin Dihigo , Pop Lloyd
1978
Eddie Mathews, Addie Joss
1979
Willie Mays , Hack Wilson
1980
Al Kaline, Duke Snider, Chuck Klein
1981
Bob Gibson, Johnny Mize , Rube Foster
1982
Travis Jackson
1983
Juan Marichal, George Kell
1984
Luis Aparicio, Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, Rick Ferrell , Pee Wee Reese
1985
Hoyt Wilhelm, Enos Slaughter , Arky Vaughan
1986
Bobby Doerr, Ernie Lombardi
1987
Ray Dandridge
1989
Red Schoendienst
1991
Tony Lazzeri
1992
Hal Newhouser
1994
Leo Durocher , Phil Rizzuto
1995
Leon Day , Vic Willis , Richie Ashburn
1996
Jim Bunning, Bill Foster , Ned Hanlon
1997
Nellie Fox, Willie Wells
1998
George Davis , Larry Doby , Joe Rogan
1999
Orlando Cepeda, Joe Williams
2000
Bid McPhee , Turkey Stearnes
2001
Bill Mazeroski , Hilton Smith
2006
Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Andy Cooper, Biz Mackey, Mule Suttles, Cristobal Torriente, Jud Wilson, Frank Grant, Pete Hill, Jose Mendez Louis Santop, Ben Taylor, Sol White
   18. Ardo Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2111103)
Could someone write (or point me to) a Keltner- or Keltner-lite discussion of Cupid Childs? My impression is that he was never a dominant player and would score poorly - but I'm open to being proven wrong.

For the first time in my memory, OCF did not list me on the high end of our consensus scores. It seems that my strong support for some less popular candidates (Schang, Cash, Charley Jones) is catching up to me at last.
   19. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:17 AM (#2111112)
Ardo,

I have no idea if we have done a Keltner list for Childs. However, he was the best 2B in baseball every year for nearly 10 years and he has a good peak, so I dont' think dominance is the problem. The problems that I see are either career related (I think this is overstated, MIers of the 1890's all had short careers) or deal with 2B being less important during his day. I don't think either is enough to overcome his good qualities, high peak , good hitter, best 2B of the 19th century, etc.
   20. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:27 AM (#2111127)
Could someone write (or point me to) a Keltner- or Keltner-lite discussion of Cupid Childs? My impression is that he was never a dominant player and would score poorly - but I'm open to being proven wrong.

He was a dominant player. Perennially the best 2B in baseball for most of his career. High OBP guy. Decent fielder (B+ grade) which not detracting from his value like other 2B hitting candidates like Doyle & Lazzeri (the electorate as a whole likes competent gloves on their glove position guys.

What has kept him out so far? His best year was in the 1890 AA (three league year) and there is some uncertainty as to how much to discount that. He had durability issues (in-season & career). Some of those durability issues were due to the rough era he played in, but he also had bouts with malaria and was dead by age 45.

The plusses outweight the minuses for me and I end up voting for him every year, but other people's mileage has varied.
   21. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#2111134)
Ardo, there were 10 voters whose consensus scores rounded to +2. Of those, I chose to list only three: fra paolo, beacuse he's new, Chis Cobb, because I've been making a habit of tracking him, and myself. You were another one, and in fact, you were the very next one in line behid fra paolo. Your general standing remains about the same.
   22. Ardo Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2111163)
Thanks for the consensus update, OCF.

84 men received votes, huh? One aspect of this project that amazes me is how quickly the talent distribution curve flattens. Let's make a team out of bottom-of-the ballot guys:

C: Howard
1B: Hodges
2B: Monroe
SS: Bancroft
3B: Nash
LF: Klein
CF: Pinson
RF: Berger

P's: Newcombe, Shocker, Cicotte, Joss.

Part-time playing manager: Chance.

That's a fantastic team, strong on both offense and defense. Play Diamond Mind with it, and you'll win 100-110 games. Yet none of these guys earned more than 5 votes or placed in the top 40 on the 1981 ballot.
   23. yest Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:28 AM (#2111197)
John the 1974 and 1975 results page aren't working(where I think my team first posted)
I'm doing this by memory so I missed some
you can also make a great team with players that never got any votes
C Johnny Kling
1B Jim Bottomley
2B Fred Pfeffer
SS Harvey Kuenn
3B Eddie Yost (replaces Kell after I voted for Kell in 1976)
RF Carl Furillo
CF Lloyd Waner
LF Heinie Manush
P I can't think of any (out of 4 pitchers I only remember Hilton Smith, and Don Newcombe both got votes )
   24. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:41 AM (#2111211)
"3B Eddie Yost (replaces Kell after I voted for Kell in 1976)" - Makes me wonder how good Yest's team would be if we, you know, didn't have Yest voting. ;-)

Also, who voted for Billy Nash?
   25. EricC Posted: July 25, 2006 at 10:16 AM (#2111249)
you can also make a great team with players that never got any votes

....

LF Heinie Manush


I voted for Manush once or twice, and I don't think I'm the only one. I'd pick Augie Galan for LF.

P? Did Mel Harder, Bill Byrd, or Harry Brecheen ever get any votes?
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: July 25, 2006 at 11:05 AM (#2111252)
>I have no idea if we have done a Keltner list for Childs. However, he was the best 2B in baseball every year for nearly 10 years and he has a good peak, so I dont' think dominance is the problem. The problems that I see are either career related (I think this is overstated, MIers of the 1890's all had short careers) or deal with 2B being less important during his day. I don't think either is enough to overcome his good qualities, high peak , good hitter, best 2B of the 19th century, etc.

All of this overlooks the fact that Bid McPhee was a near-contemporary who had a long career, and Fred Dunlap a near-contemporary who had nearly as good of a peak/prime. Best 2B every year for 10 years...I dunno. He mighta been the best overall for 10 years if you select a 10 year period that is most advantageous to Childs. Best 2B of the 19C? For peak he can't hold a candle to Barnes or even Hardy Richardson and for career again there's McPhee.

Childs in in my PHoM, BTW, so I like him. But I don't seriously think he is one of the 10 best eligibles at this point.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: July 25, 2006 at 11:13 AM (#2111253)
How about a HoF not HoM team?

C Bresnahan
1B Chance or Beckley
2B Fox
SS Aparicio
3B Traynor
LF Kiner
CF Roush
RF Klein
DH Cepeda

Note how quickly we run out of great hitters. We've elected them all, while there are scads of HoF not HoM gloves.

P Waddell Dean Willis H. Smith

We've elected most of the decent P too. Other than LF you could put together a really stellar defensive squad.
   28. rawagman Posted: July 25, 2006 at 11:51 AM (#2111262)
You forgot Hugh Duffy. You could put him in RF.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 25, 2006 at 11:58 AM (#2111270)
All of this overlooks the fact that Bid McPhee was a near-contemporary who had a long career, and Fred Dunlap a near-contemporary who had nearly as good of a peak/prime. Best 2B every year for 10 years...I dunno. He mighta been the best overall for 10 years if you select a 10 year period that is most advantageous to Childs. Best 2B of the 19C? For peak he can't hold a candle to Barnes or even Hardy Richardson and for career again there's McPhee.

Now now, that's not really a fair argument. Bid McPhee played forever, but his peak and prime are distinctly inferior to Childs'. Dunlap prime was over by 1886 or so, and his last decent year was 1888. Childs doesn't get going till 1890, so their primes are separated by half a decade. I guess you could call that near contemporaries, but given the rapid rate of change of the level of play and the nature of the game from the 1880's to the 1890's, they're not really contemporary at all.

Either way, Childs passes the Keltner test as the best 2B over his prime years.
   30. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:24 PM (#2111287)
A little more on Childs:

The best equivalent I can think of for Childs in the modern Game is Derek Jeter; Childs plays a less important defensive position, but plays it well, unlike Jeter whose defense at SS is...you-know-what.

Here are his translated prime stats from BP. The formatting is awful, but you get the idea:

Age--Year---AVG/OBP/SLG
24--1892---319/439/462
25--1893---285/416/433
26--1894---278/405/410
27--1895---238/348/342
28--1896---295/417/446
29--1897---289/396/422

So when you put his stats in the modern offensive environment, it looks alot like Derek Jeter, no? (He even has the early peak year, a-la Jeter 1999)

Now, how did his teams do? Childs was, most years, probably the 2nd best player on the Cleveland Spiders behind Jesse Burkett (actually, BP hates Burkett's defense, so there are a few years where they have Childs ranked number 1). And these Cleveland teams were generally excellent during his prime:

1892: 93-56
1893: 73-55
1894: 68-61
1895: 84-46
1896: 80-48
1897: 69-62

For an aggregate W-L of 467-328, a .587 W%. Standard disclaimers about 1890's competitive balance apply.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:27 PM (#2111288)
Either way, Childs passes the Keltner test as the best 2B over his prime years.

Without a doubt, Bernie. He was the undisputed king of second baseman during the Gay Nineties. One can try, but there is absolutely no way that can be challenged.

As for McPhee and Dunlap, I do have Cupid slightly behind McPhee, which is a testament to Childs' far superior peak. McPhee was about as much of a career player that you can be to enter the HoM. As Bernie noted about Dunlap, he didn't have the prime of Childs. His 1884 season needs some serious regression, too. I used to him have him on my ballot decades ago, but I can't see any argument for him over Childs.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:28 PM (#2111289)
Childs out-OPS+'d McPhee by double digits in each of 1890-94 and 1896-98, losing out in 1895 and (barely) in 1899.

McPhee also had an 1880s career that Childs didn't, and McPhee is a fielding benchmark of the era. They're awfully tough to compare.

If you whack Childs' 181 in 1890 AA down to 136 (and it WAS a dreadful league, so that's not crazy), you have OPS+s of:

150 36 35 31 23 21 21 11, also a 90.

Compared to some infielder from the 1950s, that doesn't dazzle at first as much as it should: This is the most vicious era in baseball history, and the lack of in-season durability and longevity reflect that.
Also, Childs is putting up these numbers in a one-league, 12-team era, generally.

Top 6 in OBP six times in the 1890s, very nice.
Top 9 in walks EVERY year from 1890 thru 1900, and had a top-9 pace in his other season, 1901, as a part-timer.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:37 PM (#2111293)
Without a doubt, Bernie. He was the undisputed king of second baseman during the Gay Nineties. One can try, but there is absolutely no way that can be challenged.

Frank Grant.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:45 PM (#2111299)
Frank Grant.

I was referring to the ML, Chris, but I'll give you Grant. However, we have no way of really knowing how he compares to Childs, do we? I wish we did.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:49 PM (#2111300)
I moved posts 29-34 over to the "1982 ballot discussion," which is where I'm headed...
   36. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2111306)
I was searching through some old newspaper articles trying to find nuggets on Childs..so far, no luck with that, but I did find this terrific article about the Temple Cup b/w the Spiders and Orioles from the Washington Post. Here's the first two paragraphs:

Baltimore, Md., Oct. 2-Ed Hanlon's Orioles soared away wih the premier game in the series for the Temple Cup. Granger Cyrus Young was sent to the rubber by Capt. Tebeau, with a view to transforming the Orioles into farmers. But the champions made a Reuben out of the elongated Hoosier tree-chopper.
It wasn't Cyrus' day to scintillate. His bread-winning arm had lost its speed and cunning, and the sphere, as it wafted up to the Orioles' slapstick, looked so large that Nick Young, who was ensconsced behind the backstop, could detect his plain round signature on every ball.
   37. Jeff M Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:43 PM (#2111335)
OCF, I'm not a math guy, so my ability to understand your formula is limited (but I appreciate you posting it). Conceptually, does a high consensus score (+10) indicate a close positive correlation with the final ballot results, with a low consensus score (-15) indicating a close negative correlation with the final ballot results (and the median essentially being no correlation)? Or is it something slightly, or significantly different.

After 84 ballot years, I'm not sure I've ever been on the consensus score list. Can't recall so anyway. Does that mean I'm always hovering around the median, and if so that there's little correlation (positive or negative) with the results?
   38. DL from MN Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2111419)
Just following up, did we ever hear back from Ron Santo? I think Harmon would appreciate the same sort of gesture. He may even send a thank you. Bob Gibson, otoh, probably wouldn't care. He certainly doesn't need us to validate his greatness.

I'm very happy to see Billy Pierce gaining momentum.
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2111425)
Just following up, did we ever hear back from Ron Santo?

Joe sent it, but no word yet, DL.

I think Harmon would appreciate the same sort of gesture. He may even send a thank you.

He has a nice guy rep, so you might have a point. But I'll leave that for Joe to decide.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2111440)
Conceptually, does a high consensus score (+10) indicate a close positive correlation with the final ballot results, with a low consensus score (-15) indicating a close negative correlation with the final ballot results (and the median essentially being no correlation)? Or is it something slightly, or significantly different.

The main stumbling block to the understanding of his description is his use of the word "inner product" on the plus side ("A"). The average voter gave Bob Gibson 23.7 points, I gave him 24 points -- so add 23.7*24. The average voter gave Killebrew 21.1 points, I gave him 23 points -- so add 21.1. The average voter gave Mendez 8.31 points, I didn't vote for him -- so add nothing. Etc etc etc. You only have to worry about the guys you voted for because everything else will be zero. Then take the sum and divide by perfect agreement (24*24 + 23*23 + 18*18 + ...) and then multiple by 100. You get a high positive score for voting for guys who get a lot of votes.

That "plus side" (or "A") looks like one type of consensus score measure by itself. It looks like the "minus side" (or "B") is another type of consensus measure. The mean-square distance from the mean. Using the example above: (24-23.7)^2 + (23-21.1)^2 + (0 - 8.31)^2 + ... etc, etc, etc. Looks a bit like a standard deviation (and was my first guess at what the formula was -- but in either measure "0" doesn't mean anything... its only when he mixes the measure that it means something).

After 84 ballot years, I'm not sure I've ever been on the consensus score list. Can't recall so anyway. Does that mean I'm always hovering around the median, and if so that there's little correlation (positive or negative) with the results?

That's me as well. I showed up on the low list when I didn't vote for Slaughter and I got lucky and hit the median once or twice, but other than that I'm always in the middle. Basically, it means that we're an average distance from the mean. Its the low consensus guys who have little correlation with the results, we're just averagely correlated with the results. Hmmm... every time I think of a way to describe it, its math related. :-) (gaussian curve: High consensus -> near the peak; low consensus -> outliers on the tail; median consensus -> halfway down the curve)
   41. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#2111446)
its only when he mixes the measure that it means something

I meant its only when he mixes "A" and "B" that you can get even zero at all. Each one is guaranteed to be non-zero. Since both A and B are consensus-type measures by themselves, the end result ends up being a 'consensus of consensus'. :-)
   42. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2111465)
The average voter gave Killebrew 21.1 points, I gave him 23 points -- so add 21.1

The average voter gave Killebrew 21.1 points, I gave him 23 points -- so add 21.1*23

Yikes... my bad habit of not proofreading really shows when I try to explain math. Sorry guys. I may not be helping here.
   43. karlmagnus Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2111490)
Actual "consensus" scores (defined intuitively as distance from the average) should be Poisson not normal, shouldn't they, with the majority fairly close to consensus and only a few fruitcakes like myself at the tails. Unfortunately, my math is too rusty or never good enough to work out whether OCF has constructed a function that maps linearly with "consensus".
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:52 PM (#2111598)
I was very low on the consensus scale as long as the 19C guys were a good part of the ballot. For the 20C I am depressingly normal. Must find some way to make it more interesting!

E.g. When this whole project is over I predict we will look back and say that we elected too many hitters and not enough gloves and arms. Yet my own ratings lean heavily toward hitters and when it comes to MVP voting, my lists tend to look a lot like Silver Slugger lists. And for that matter, when I go to a ballgame I would rather see a 10-9 than a 1-0.

So I dunno. A part of me wants to raise up Dave Bancroft and Dick Lundy and Phil Rizzuto, and part of me thought that Greg Gagne was the MVP of those Twins world champs. But I keep voting for Kiner and Browning and Cepeda, and I cheered hardest for Kent Hrbek (OK, and Kirby). What to do, what to do?
   45. OCF Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#2111606)
Maps linearly? The "A" factor is linear, but the "B" factor isn't. Frankly, the whole thing is a mess, and if I were to do it over again, I'd probably use just the "A" factor, on a 0 to 100 scale. That would look something like the every once in a while voter-to-voter cross-correlations that I do.

David Foss did explain "inner product" successfully. The "B" factor is a 2-norm distance.

There are 61 years worth of consensus score information, going back to 1921. Jeff M's average over 61 years is .7 points below the group averrage, while David Foss's average over 59 years is 1.6 points above the group average.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2111621)
I was very low on the consensus scale as long as the 19C guys were a good part of the ballot. For the 20C I am depressingly normal. Must find some way to make it more interesting!

:-)

I'm been getting closer to the middle-of-the-pack myself. No, I wont be in Got Melky territory anytime soon (or ever), but it looks like the days when I had a chance to grasp the bottom rung on the list are long gone.
   47. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#2111642)
For the 20C I am depressingly normal. Must find some way to make it more interesting!

Hey, the most boring parts of a gaussian distribution are the top of the peak and the tails. Its us average-consensus guys who truly give the electorate shape!

:-)
   48. karlmagnus Posted: July 25, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2111647)
But the distribution's not Gaussian. It's yest and I flapping the tail of the Poisson fish that give the distribution its character :-)
   49. yest Posted: July 25, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2111731)
I voted for Manush once or twice, and I don't think I'm the only one. I'd pick Augie Galan for LF.
Since I did that by memory I think that he might have been in my first draft before I was corrected I think I went with Ken Williams

John can you please fix the 1974 and 1975 results pages
   50. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2006 at 08:19 PM (#2111753)
John can you please fix the 1974 and 1975 results pages

1974 Results
1975 Results

They work fine. They just have more colorful URLs so you have to navigate there from the Important Links page.
   51. yest Posted: July 25, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#2111882)
The team I posted in 1974
C Johnny Kling
1B Jim Bottomley
2B Fred Pfeffer
SS Harvey Kuenn
3B George Kell (no longer eligable replacing him with Eddie Yost)
RF Carl Furillo (I like Rocky Colavito better missed him last time)
CF Loyd Waner
LF Ken Williams
P Hilton Smith (no longer eligable replacing him with Jack Stivetts)
P Charlie Buffinton
P Babe Adams
P Don Newcombe (no longer eligable replacing him with Will White)
   52. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 26, 2006 at 07:49 AM (#2112746)
Bernie,

Boy do I wish that sportswriting was still like that! Something about it makes the game seem so much bigger than the crap we must read on mlb.com or espn.com. Turn Cy Young into a Rueben Sandwich? perfect!

And,

I used to be up at the top of the consensus scores but I believe I am more in the middle now. It took me a little while to develop into the peakster than I am today, unlike someone like Bernie who came gusn a blazing right away.
   53. Paul Wendt Posted: July 28, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2115034)
Cyrus

What is the name for that sort of a reverse abbreviation? (Cy, abbreviation for Cyclone, two forms of nickname unrelated to given name Denton, yield common given name Cyrus by some back-formation.)

--
> Frank Grant.

I was referring to the ML, Chris, but I'll give you Grant. However, we have no way of really knowing how he compares to Childs, do we? I wish we did.


Who knows what we may know in a few years, about the work of Sol White, Frank Grant, even Bud Fowler, on the diamond?
   54. Rick A. Posted: July 28, 2006 at 10:42 AM (#2115324)
Howie,

I've fallen behind a few years in the vote totals and just added them recently. Here are a few discrepancies between your totals and mine as well as some added players.

DUFFY 20495.5 20518.5
BROWNING 17805.5 17819.5
WADDELL 15685 15700
WELCH 14771 14761
Sisler 13875 13892
RYAN 11555.5 11563.5
SEWELL 11087 11197
REDDING 10350 10360
CJONES 10209 10225
Oms 3691 3715

Missing anyone? Keller? Trouppe? BJohnson?
Trouppe 3451
BJohnson 2953
Chance 2792
Tiernan 2686
Elliott 2445
Fox 2408
Rice 2272
Taylor 2268
Cicotte 2254
FJones 2248
Dean 2225
Keller 2125
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: July 28, 2006 at 12:33 PM (#2115351)
thanks, Rick.
looks like I missed someone's ballot somewhere, and a couple of computational errors.

revised:

all-time votes points thru 1981 - still eligible in 1982 election in CAPS


TOP 25, ALL-TIME
VAN HALTREN 21798.5
BECKLEY 20870
DUFFY 20518.5
Griffith 17924
BROWNING 17819.5
Jennings 16976
CHILDS 15996
WADDELL 15700
WELCH 14761
Sisler 13892

Pike 13399
Thompson 12349
RYAN 11563.5
Bennett 11503
SEWELL 11197
Rixey 10789
Caruthers 10704
MENDEZ 10556
TLEACH 10478
BRESNAHAN 10398

REDDING 10360
CJONES 10225
Beckwith 9896
H Stovey 9576
Mackey 8930

OTHERS IN THE TOP 25 ACTIVE
(Moore 7809, Roush 7506, Doyle 6775, Monroe 6181, Cravath 5883, Grimes 5463, Kiner 5329, Williamson 5126, Schang 4886, Walters 4667, McGraw 4597)

almost
(Minoso 3921, Oms 3715, Trouppe 3451, Joss 3197, McCormick 3148X, Willis 3103, BJohnson 2953, Pierce 2894, Chance 2792, Tiernan 2686)

more recent candidates
(Elliott 2445, Fox 2408, Keller 2125)
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 28, 2006 at 01:08 PM (#2115376)
Cyrus

Takes me back to my Earl Weaver Baseball days. We used to call Cy Young Cyrus because we called Ty Cobb Tyrus.
   57. jimd Posted: August 02, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2123596)
HOM-not-HOF

John, your list above is missing Biz Mackey.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 02, 2006 at 11:45 PM (#2123908)
John, your list above is missing Biz Mackey.

You are correct, sir. I don't know what happened to him because he used to be on the list, but I'll rectify it shortly. Thanks!
   59. jimd Posted: August 03, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2124018)
Distribution of HOMers by birth-year.
(any errors are of course unintentional; some sources are in disagreement)

1836 1 Pearce
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1842 1 Start
1843
1844
1845 1 Pike
1846
1847 2 Wright White
1848
1849
1850 5 Barnes McVey O'Rourke Spalding Sutton
1851
1852 2 Hines Anson
1853
1854 2 Bennett Radbourn
1855 1 Richardson
1856 2 Stovey Galvin
1857 4 Keefe Gore Connor Kelly
1858 1 Brouthers
1859 3 Glasscock Ewing McPhee
1860 2 Ward Thompson
1861 1 Clarkson
1862
1863
1864 1 Caruthers
1865 1 Grant
1866 1 Hamilton
1867 2 Young Delahanty
1868 1 Burkett
1869 3 Jennings Nichols Griffith
1870 3 Dahlen JCollins Davis
1871 3 McGinnity Rusie Kelley
1872 2 Keeler Clarke
1873 1 Wallace
1874 3 Wagner GJohnson Lajoie
1875 1 Plank
1876 2 Flick MBrown
1877
1878 1 Sheckard
1879 1 RFoster
1880 3 Crawford Hill Mathewson
1881 1 Walsh
1882
1883
1884 2 Lloyd Magee
1885
1886 3 JWilliams Baker Cobb
1887 3 Alexander ECollins WJohnson
1888 3 Speaker Wheat Faber
1889 4 Coveleski Jackson Rogan Groh
1890 2 Carey Santop
1891 2 Vance Rixey
1892
1893 1 Sisler
1894 1 Heilmann
1895 2 Ruth Torriente
1896 2 Hornsby Charleston
1897 1 Mackey
1898 2 Frisch Terry
1899 1 Wilson
1900 4 Grove Goslin Hartnett Lyons
1901 2 Suttles Stearnes
1902 3 Beckwith Averill Simmons
1903 6 Cochrane Waner Gehringer Bell Gehrig Hubbell
1904 2 Ruffing BFoster
1905 1 Dihigo
1906 2 Paige Cronin
1907 4 Appling Dickey Leonard Foxx
1908 3 Ferrell RBrown Wells
1909 3 Ott Herman Hack
1910
1911 3 Greenberg Medwick Gibson
1912 1 Vaughan
1913 1 Mize
1914 1 DiMaggio
1915 2 Gordon WBrown
1916 1 Slaughter
1917 1 Boudreau
1918 4 Doerr Reese TWilliams Feller
1919 2 Robinson Irvin
1920 3 Wynn Lemon Musial
1921 3 Spahn Newhouser Campanella
1922
1923 2 Wilhelm Doby
1924
1925 1 Berra
1926 2 Snider Roberts
1927 1 Ashburn
1928 1 Ford
1929
1930
1931 5 Banks Mays Mathews Mantle Bunning
1932
1933
1934 2 Clemente Kaline
1935 2 Gibson Koufax
1936 2 Killebrew Drysdale
1937 1 Marichal
1938
1939
1940 1 Santo

A couple of interesting notes on the data:

The pitcher's drought 1908-1918. No pitchers born between RBrown/Ferrell and Feller.
It's impact is not as big as one might think because there were bumper crops just before and just after.
1903-06: Hubbell, Ruffing, Foster, Dihigo, Paige.
1920-23: Wynn, Lemon, Spahn, Newhouser, Wilhelm.
Candidates include: Walters, Dean, Trout

The glove gap 1874-1884: No "gloves" (2b,3b,ss,ca) born from Lajoie to Lloyd. There actually is a shortage of second-tier HOM gloves from the early dead-ball era. There's Wallace and ...? OTOH, there's not even any ballot mentions any more other than Bresnahan.
   60. TomH Posted: August 03, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2124850)
jimd, thanks.
Some would say that it is better to analyze by playing years than birthdate, but these data are here, so I'll use what we have.

I made up some pretty graphs. Worth a thousand words that I could write here, but I'll try to do it succinctly.

We've HoMed 44 or 45 pitchers born between 1850 and 1937. Generally, we are honoring 1 pitcher per 2 MLB yrs.

If you look at 20- or 30-yr 'swaths', it is clear that we have elected more pitchers born before 1892 than after. There is NO long period after the 1890s that is overrepresented; the graph is very steady or level, unless you cut it into smaller (10-yr) swaths. While we can have sold discussions over the use of timelining, it is obvious to me that we are, if anything, ANTI-timelining, picking MORE pitchers in the early days. Some might argue that baseball was different enough in the deadball era (ace pitchers more crucial) that we should honor more of them. I'd rathernot go there.

Our peak pitcher period is 1869 thru 1891; over this 23 yr period, 18 hurlers are in the HoM. In the next 23 yrs (birth year 1892 to 1914), we have only elected 8. Yes, I cherry-picked the 1891/1892 date, but still:

twenty three to eight

Who are our highest backlog pitchers, and their birthdates?
Waddell 1876
Mendez 1887
Redding 1890
Walters 1909
Pierce 1927

Who thinks we should elect MORE guys from the era we already have overrepresented in the HoM? Who thinks we ought to instead honor the stars of post-1935 baseball who have gotten a shorter shift?

Please take a hard look next election of the merits of Walters and Pierce relative to the pitchers of their time, as compared to how Waddell, Mendez, and Redding would rank in theirs.
   61. TomH Posted: August 03, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#2124855)
ooops

<i><b>eightteen to eight
   62. TomH Posted: August 03, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#2124907)
eightteen to eight

(my typing skills approx equal to reading skills apparently)
   63. Jim Sp Posted: August 03, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2124943)
TomH,
I partially agree with your point, but I'd add some caveats.

If you're saying that McGinnity or someone else was a mistake, that's fine. But we can't hold McGinnity's election against Mendez.

Also, there just weren't a lot of historically great pitchers throwing in the 1950s, and pretty soon we'll have a flood of great pitchers enter the ballot. So I think the "anti-timeline" will not be a lasting phenomenon, it has more to do with the current candidates.
   64. karlmagnus Posted: August 03, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#2125013)
Probably players who were good at both were more likely to go into pitching in the dead ball era, more likely to go into hitting in the 1930s. Who wants to be the anonymous stiff that Ruth, Foxx, Gehrig and Wilson beat around the head? Maybe we should elect MORE dead ball pitchers, since more pitchers of that era weree Meritorious. I give you Waddell, Joss and Leever!
   65. DL from MN Posted: August 03, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2125018)
If you're looking at Walters don't forget Hilton Smith. Smith was also a very good hitter for a pitcher. He may also deserve leverage credit for his relief appearances.
   66. OCF Posted: August 03, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#2125096)
There actually is a shortage of second-tier HOM gloves from the early dead-ball era. There's Wallace and ...? OTOH, there's not even any ballot mentions any more other than Bresnahan.

From the later part of the deadball era: Larry Doyle. (A hitter at a "glove" position.) Take another look, guys. OK, Doyle was born in 1886 so he's the same age as Baker and E. Collins, and not quite in your 1874-1884 "gap." I did, once upon a time, cast votes for both Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers, but both have disappeared from my view. Rabbit Maranville and Dave Bancroft were born in 1891, so they're a little younger yet.

And, as for TomH's comment about pitchers: I have been supporting Billy Pierce.
   67. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2125513)
Pitching probably wasn't as important pre-1893 as it was after, certainly as it is today.

However, individual pitchers were more important for the simple reason that they pitched more innings.

I appreciate the efforts that some have made here to quantify what we mean by "workhorse" and to identify workhorse pitchers after 1893 by the standards of their day. It is useful information. Taking it to its extreme, one might want to argue that a pitcher throwing 500 innings in the '90s is no more valuable (because the feat is no more difficult) than throwing 200 innings today.

OTOH one might also argue on the basis of just the raw bald-faced numbers that a pitcher who threw 500 innings was in fact 2.5 times more valuable than a pitcher who throws 200 (assuming the same level of effectiveness).

I think we all tend toward the first position--that the 500 is more or less = to the 200.

But if we go to the full extreme, it seems to me that we are leveraging not just pitchers but pitching, and making it more important overall than it really is.

So I still figure that, as is reflected in WS, a pitcher who threw 500 innings is in fact more valuable than one who throws 200. And if we end up with more pitchers from the early days than from the more recent, so be it. Pitching may be more important today than before 1893, but the total value thereof is simply distributed among many more pitchers, and there's a limit to how much of a handicap I'm willing to give.
   68. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2006 at 07:25 PM (#2125520)
But then again, strictly from the standpoint of a gap analysis, the "lost generation" is still the black players whose primes were or should have been 1947-1957, many of whom didn't get a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate their skills over the long term. If I remember the numbers, we elected something like 16 blacks born in the '10s and only 2 born in the '20s.
   69. andrew siegel Posted: August 03, 2006 at 08:27 PM (#2125680)
I've written this before, but not for 50 years or so:

There is a special problem in comparing pitchers from era to era. We know two things about the evolving role of pitchers. On the one hand, pitcher workloads differ wildly from era to era and, in general, have gone DOWN over time. On the other hand, the importance of pitchers (as oppossed to fielders or hitters) in determining the outcome of a given plate appearance has also differed wildly across time and, in general, has gone UP over time. Studies like Joe's that normalize for the workloads of a pitcher's era assume that these two countervailing trends basically balance each other out. The problem is that we don't really have any way to know whether or not that is true. Perhaps pitcher workloads have decreased more sharply over time than is made up for by the increased value of each pitcher innings (in which case we are underrating the older guys). Perhaps, alternatively, pitcher workloads have decreased less than is made up for by the increased value of each inning (in which case we are underrating the newer guys). Or perhaps the effect isn't consistent over time and we are underrating or overrating certain isolated eras.
   70. rawagman Posted: August 03, 2006 at 10:14 PM (#2125845)
I have also found pitcher fielding to have dropped immensely over the last century.

I recently placed a cursory glance at the fielding numbers of dominant lefties from vastly different eras: Rube Waddell, Lefty Gomez and Randy Johnson.

In rough numbers, I focused on the LgArange factor by career for the thre southpaws.
The numbers went, in chronological order, roughly 2.5, 1.5 and 0.5. That is an immense drop in value by pitchers on the overall effects of the game over the years.
   71. Paul Wendt Posted: August 03, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2125897)
jimd
<i>Distribution of HOMers by birth-year.
(any errors are of course unintentional; some sources are in disagreement)<i>

Do you have a list of all or some disagreements? Collectively, birth and death dates continually change with continuing research. I have a short list of early star star players whose birthdates have been revised by recent research: Glasscock, Hines, McVey. I doubt that is complete, even for HOMers who played in the 1870s major leagues.

I believe I sent these three to John Murphy after the findings were announced, but that was after election in each case, so there was no live relevant thread for the player and the HOM Plaques do not need birth data.

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