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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 31, 2006

1982 Ballot

New candidates: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams, Bill Freehan, Tony Oliva, Willie Davis, Rico Petrocelli, Tommy Davis, and Tommy Harper.

Top-ten returnees: José Méndez, Joe Sewell, Minnie Minoso, Ralph Kiner, Billy Pierce, Cannonball Dick Redding, Cupid Childs, and Hugh Duffy

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 31, 2006 at 11:39 AM | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Chris Fluit Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:44 PM (#2130655)
I noticed that the whole issue of discarding lost causes (pet projects/teddy bears/what have you) has come up once again so I'm going to preemptively defend my ballot. A couple of elections ago, I mentioned that I was considering dropping a player off of my ballot as a lost cause (although I hadn't actually done so at the time). Another voter (Jim Sp maybe) mentioned that it was unconstitutional and pointed me to the relevant discussion from an election during the 1950s. Sounds great. I would happily watch my consensus score drop while I continued to vote for a handful of players that others ignored. For this ballot, however, the player I previously described as a lost cause did actually drop off my ballot (Ernie Lombardi). I didn't drop him because he was a lost cause. I dropped him because newly eligible players like Orlando Cepeda and Billy Williams and a newly discovered lost cause (Don Newcombe) made less room on the ballot. Lombardi took the hit, but not before Joe Sewell and Ken Boyer (neither of whom can be described as lost causes) took similar falls in previous elections.
   202. Chris Fluit Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:50 PM (#2130657)
I thought I already posted this but it appears to have disappeared:

I noticed that the subject of dropping lost causes/pet projects/teddy bears has come up again so I'm going to take a quick moment to preemptively defend my ballot. A couple of elections ago, I mentioned that I had considered dropping a player as a pet project though I had not yet done so. Another vote (Jim Sp maybe) pointed me to the relevant discussion on lost causes from an election in the 1950s. Sounded fine to me. The constitution clearly prohibits the dropping of lost causes. I'll happily go along with and watch my consensus score drop as I vote for a handful of players that others ignore. However, with this most recent election, the player that I described as a lost cause (Ernie Lombardi) has actually dropped off my ballot. I did not drop him as a lost cause. I dropped him because a few new eligibles (such as Billy Williams and Orlando Cepeda) and a new lost cause (Don Newcombe) made less room on the ballot. Lombardi took the hit. But not before Joe Sewell and Ken Boyer (neither of whom can be described as lost causes) experienced similar falls from my ballot.
   203. Chris Fluit Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#2130659)
And now I see that the first post shows up again. Sorry 'bout that.
   204. dan b Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:01 PM (#2130672)
The thought occurred to me last night as I was turning in that there may be a little more discussion about my ballot, but I have been dealing with too many deadlines at work to respond sooner. Thanks to those that have defended my ballot as constitutional. Trust me, no player was dropped from my ballot BECAUSE he was a lost cause, but every lost cause was re-examined. I was using the voting patterns of the group to second guess my ballot which is something we all should do on occasion. Of the players on my 1981 ballot, Dizzy Dean was the weakest candidate (the “lostest” of the lost), but he has the kind of peak I am looking for in a pitcher, I can justify his candidacy and will continue to vote for him. Players in or near the top 10 (Duffy, Kiner, Waddell) were not re-examined - their place on my ballot is validated by the consensus. Of the 4 discarded teddy bears, the cases of Browning and Cooper are somewhat moot since they occupied the 14 and 15 spots on my 1981 ballot and were pushed off the bottom of the ballot by the 4 newbies and my upgrading of players such as Boyer, Pierce and Fox. Re-examining Leach and Cravath made me realize I could no longer justify placing them as high as I had them in 1981. Perhaps I was voting for them more out of habit than intellectually. I like Tommy Leach, he made my PHoM in 1926, I wish more had shared my enthusiasm for his candidacy then – he would not have been our worst selection. Fifty-six years later, I see him as part of a growing glut of comparable players, definitely HoVG, borderline HoM. Given the choice, I would now take Boyer.


I hope I didn’t just say something to reignite the firestorm. :)
   205. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#2130687)
Actually, if you'd said that last night, it probably would have shut it down in the first place. (Yeah, yeah, hour and a half to the deadline, I know.)
   206. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:28 PM (#2130691)
(Yeah, yeah, hour and a half to the deadline, I know.)

...which will make a very uneventful election eventful...
   207. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#2130699)
Yes Dan, I agree with Devin, all is good.

As for Vaux Sunnyday, he posted a 1981 ballot, I didn't go back further.
   208. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 07, 2006 at 11:18 PM (#2130727)
Well, apparently Murphy doesn't care, but here's my ballot anyway:

1. Hank Aaron (new)

2. Frank Robinson (new) Far be it from me to screw things up.

Oh, yeah, those two are my PHoM this year.

3. Billy Williams (new) I guess I can understand why the strict peakers aren't crazy about him, but I really can't see much reason for any type of career voter not to have him pretty high up.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Minnie Minoso (6) 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. Bill Freehan (new) I really like him, and am more worried about having him too low than too high (but I'm also not a huge fan of the backlog). He wasn't quite the overall force the other catcher candidates were, but he made up for much of that with his defense.

8. Dick Redding (5) 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.

9. Joe Sewell (7) 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.

10. 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.

11. Quincy Trouppe (8) 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Gavvy Cravath (12) 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.

15. Rube Waddell (13) 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. There's a lot of similarities between his record and Pierce's, except for the ERA+.

16. Cupid Childs (14) And the week after Beckley makes my ballot for the first time since 1917, Childs is off my ballot for the first time since...actually, I don't have that file at work, but sometime in the 1920s, I think. 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.

17. Jake Beckley. (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.

(17A Joe Medwick)

18. 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.
19. Billy Pierce (17) 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.
20. Bus Clarkson (18) 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.
21. Ken Boyer (19) 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.
22. Norm Cash (20) 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 last year, they're tough to tell apart.
(22A Biz Mackey, 22B Clark Griffith)
23. Alejandro Oms (21) He's definitely a candidate, but he's also one more OF from a well-represented era.
24. Charlie Keller (22) 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.)
(24A Cool Papa Bell, 24B Richie Ashburn, 24C Max Carey)
25. 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.
26. Orlando Cepeda (24) At the moment, I'm appreciating Cash's consistency a little more.
(26A Sam Thompson, 26B Rube Foster)
27. Bob Elliott (25) 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.
28. Ben Taylor (26) Top 3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM.
29. Nellie Fox (27) 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.
30. Bucky Walters (28) The wartime penalty holds him back, but he does have a strong candidacy.

31. 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.
32. Vern Stephens (28)
(32A Hughie Jennings, 32B George Sisler)
33. Edd Roush
34. Pie Traynor
35. Frank Howard
36. Roger Bresnahan
37. Vic Willis
38. Charley Jones
39. Elston Howard
40. Tony Lazzeri

57. 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.
   209. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 11:31 PM (#2130734)
Well, apparently Murphy doesn't care

hehehe...
   210. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#2130749)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   211. Howie Menckel Posted: August 08, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#2130770)
sounds good to me, dan b
   212. Sean Gilman Posted: August 08, 2006 at 08:54 AM (#2131054)
Thanks, dan. Sorry to start a fire of sorts.
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